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20 Fun & Lively Character Design Tutorials from Vectortuts+

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This Cyber Monday Tuts+ courses will be reduced to just $3 (usually $15). Don't miss out.

Mastering the art of character design is something that takes both a lively imagination and a good understanding of drawing techniques. Today we have have bundled together a collection fun and lively character design tutorials from the Vectortuts+ archives. Covering a variety of subjects from sketching to rendering there's plenty of projects to help you imagine and create your own fantastic characters.


  • How to Create a Web Site Mascot

    In this tutorial, I'm going to give an overview of how developed a character from the initial brief through to the final site mascot and then to go on to create several poses for different parts of the site.

    This character was originally made for an Envato site which didn't take off, and the artwork wasn't being used, so I've reworked this a bit to become a Vectortuts+ character. Let's check out the process of making this website mascot and learn loads of tips along the way!

  • How to Cell Shade and add Texture to a Vector Comic Character

    This tutorial will show you how to create a cell shaded character in Adobe Illustrator, this is a fast technique utilizing the Live Paint bucket for block coloring, the gradient tool to add depth and form, and masked blended shapes for texture.

  • How to Create a Cute Bunny Vector Character

    In this Illustrator tutorial, I will show you how to create a cute bunny character. This tutorial uses simple shapes and gradients that are easy to apply to other character illustrations. The great thing about his tutorial is you don't have to be an amazing artist to create it!

  • How to Color a Cute Character using Graphic Styles

    Coloring a character sketch can sometimes take much longer than anyone expects. With a few layer tricks and Graphic Styles, I will show you how to create a character that is quick to ink, easy to edit and a breeze to re-color. Let's get started!

  • Create a Twitter Style Bird Mascot

    Using some basic shapes, effects, and gradients I will show you how to create a Twitter mascot for your blog or website. Twitter is a popular free web service for social networking and micro-blogging. You can follow Vectips, Sean Hodge, or Collis Ta'eed on Twitter as well!

  • How to Create a Fantasy Character in Illustrator

    This tutorial covers the process of creating a fantasy pinup illustration with Illustrator CS3. This tutorial uses Live Paint, so you will need CS2 or above to follow. If you need an alternative method for a legacy version of Illustrator, please download my Creating Comics with Illustrator tutorial tutorial, which includes instructions for that.

  • Give a 3D, Vector Robot a Realistic Feel in Photoshop

    In this tutorial you are going to learn how to combine different methods from Illustrator and Photoshop to enhance your 3D vector art. Through the process you will learn how to use the appearance panel, 3D extrude and 3D revolve. You will also create a custom art brush, and your own symbol. I am going to show you how to create masks using Channels and Layers, as well as creating Clipping Masks in Photoshop.

  • Create a Super Happy Octopus Character

    In Illustrator it's really easy to create fun characters with some simple shapes and the Pathfinder Panel. In the following tutorial I will explain how to create a Happy Octopus Character. You can use these techniques and elements to create whatever character you want!

  • How to Create a Vector Illustration and Prepare it for Micro-Stock Sale

    There are numerous micro-stock websites that vector designers can design for and make consistent earnings through. Envato runs a few stock sites, such as Graphic River, which you may be interested in participating in. You may find the article on Freelance Switch about making money through selling your work on stock sites enlightening as well. There are some great tips in that article.

    I have quite a bit of experience working with Shutterstock and iStockphoto. This tutorial details a professional workflow for creating vector illustrations and prepping the artwork for these sites. I've also included a bunch of time-saving tools and tips as well. Let's get started!

  • How to Illustrate a LeBron James Cartoon Character

    Hello fellow vector artists, I am a cartoonist/illustrator who specialized in retro style vector cartoons. You can find more of my work and books at my web site. In this tutorial, I'll show you how I use Adobe Illustrator to create vector cartoons.

  • How to Create a Cartoon Character with Expressive Lines

    Cartoon character drawing covers a lot of techniques and styles from one color characters to multilayered colorful ones. In this tutorial, I will cover the necessary steps for creating a colored multicolor cartoon character that includes shadings. I used Adobe CS3, a Wacom tablet, an inked drawing, and scanner. With your tools ready, let's get to it!

  • How to Illustrate a Cute Emo Kid

    We've recently included some funny looking cartoon style silhouettes on our website, so in this tutorial I will take you through the process of drawing these cuties. The concept is based on the Emo trend and I will take you trough all the steps from sketch to full color vector. I am using Illustrator CS3, pen, paper, scanner, and Wacom tablet.

  • How to Turn a Sketch into a Fat Cat Vector Illustration

    This tutorial aims to guide you from sketchbook to screen; a "Fat Cat" doodled with biro translated into a neat vector caricature. Intermediate knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is advised. Let's take a look at how to create a cheeky cat illustration – from initial concept through to vector goodness.

  • How to Create a Stinking Zombie Flesh-Eater in Illustrator

    In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a cartoon zombie in Illustrator. Starting by creating a fresh corpse, we will then ‘yuck' it up using a number of techniques. Let's ‘rip' this one apart!

  • Create Character Driven Book Cover Art Using Illustrator and Photoshop

    In this two part tutorial on creating the "Let's Go To Monster School!" book cover, I'll show you a complete process from initial sketch to the final artwork, using an Illustrator to Photoshop integrated workflow. In Part 1 we will employ Illustrator to trace our hand drawn sketch, lay down the shapes and define the basic colors.

  • How to Design a Cheeky Koala Mascot Head

    We'll use some opacity masks, brushes, gradients and effects, in addition to an easy shading technique you'll find yourself using in plenty of other projects. Get ready to tuck into this Aussie-flavored tut!

  • How to Create Typeface Characters

    I started a character design project that merges typefaces into unique monsters, cute animals, and various other font inspired character creations. The method is simple, I take different sections of the characters of a specific font and I put them together, giving birth to different kinds of creatures.

    The interesting thing about Typefaces is that each font gives a different aspects to the characters. That is the essence of Typefaces – Faces with Type. Learn the basics of how to create these fun characters!

  • Make a Fun Holiday Reindeer Illustration

    Take an in-depth look at the process of designing and illustrating a holiday reindeer illustration. This tutorial covers illustration style, color selection, shading and touches on typography. The process of adapting your illustration during creation is also covered. This tutorial is created by Jesse Hora and Darrin Higgins. Time for some holiday fun!

  • How to Create a Cute Snail Using Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial we will learn how to draw a snail using tools such as the Pen Tool (P), Selection Tool (V), Direct Selection Tool (A), Ellipse Tool, and Gradient Tool (G). Some shapes will be created with the help of the Pathfinder panel. This artwork was created by my student Artur Chochaev.

  • How to Create a Killer Chainsaw Bunny Character

    This tutorial shows you how I build a Bucket ‘o' Thought character and add a dynamic background effect. This process can be applied to any sketch you are vectorising. It takes some knowledge and skill with the Pen tool, but gives you ultimate control over your line work. In this tutorial, I will constantly refer to a tools' quick key, learn your quick keys people, it makes things so much easier!