How to Draw a Set of Emoticons in Adobe Illustrator
In this tutorial we are going to draw a set of Emoticons or Smileys by using gradients and basics shapes that combined with the Pathfinder panel will give the emoticons life. So let's begin.
First open a New document (Cmd + N) and add layers in this order: on top its the "Faces" layer, then the "Faces Sketch" layer and the "Base" layer (in here we are going to draw our base shape of the emoticons) and finally the "Base Sketch" layer.
In the "Base Sketch" layer we draw our base figure of the emoticons by using the Blob Brush Tool (Shift + B). In this case it's a circle just with some lines to define shadows and lights. Lower the Opacity of the sketch to 40% and lock the "Base Sketch" layer, in the "Base" layer we are going to begin to draw.
Our circle (L) size is 300 x 300 px. This is the basic shape, draw it with a 1pt black stroke.
Select the circle and apply Offset Path option (Object > Path > Offset Path) with a -10px of Offset value. With this we get a circle a little smaller than our original circle (you can also do it by duplicating it and scale it).
Now duplicate the circle (the blue one in the image with Cmnd + C to Copy and Cmnd + F to Paste in Front) and drag it like the magenta circle in the image, duplicate the circle again (blue) select both circles and apply Intersect in the Pathfinder panel.
And we get this figure (yellow one), this is our light area of the emoticon.
Now repeat the process, duplicate again the circle drag it like the magenta circle in the image, duplicate again the blue circle in the image, select both and apply Intersect in the Pathfinder panel again.
And we get this figure (yellow one), this is our darker area of the emoticon.
Select all the shapes and press D. This is our emoticons base shape without color, with the color application we are going to detail a little bit more. Now you can delete your "Base Sketch" layer.
This is our color palette:
- White #FFFFFF
- Yellow #FCF17C
- Red #F05850
- Blue #67CDF5
- Brown #641912
With these colors we are going to generate all the gradients combinations to have a more complete palette (all the gradients we are going to use are linear gradients). To save your palette colors select the colors and click the New Color Group icon in the Swatches panel.
Just give a name to your palette and click OK.
Now we do the gradients of each color, first from an opacity of 100% to 0% this for each one, to change colors in the gradient window, just double click on the color and you get your Swatches panel and there you change the colors.
Now the gradients with all the colors with white.
Now with the yellow color.
The red color.
And finally the blue, now we have all the gradient combinations of this colors, this will be our color palette. To add gradients to the Swatches panel you need to drag them from the color window.
For applying the colors I prefer better to have your colors near your illustration and apply them with the Eyedropper Tool (I). If you click with this tool you get the color value of the figure you click and if you press Alt you use that color to paint, we start with the yellow color.
Now apply the red and yellow gradient, however in the Gradient panel we will select Radial instead of Linear. This will be the only gradient that we use in Radial mode.
For the shadow we use the Red Gradient like in the image.
For the light we use the white gradient, now we start to see some depth in our shape.
Add more detail to our base, and now we are ready to start drawing the faces of our emoticons.
We copy five circles of our base shape for the emoticons and in our "Faces Sketch" layer. We draw the sketches: a sad, angry, surprised, happy and in love expressions by using the Blob Brush Tool (Shift + B). We put the Opacity low to 40% to redraw more easily, lock this layer and we start to redraw in our "Faces" layer.
For the sad emoticon we begin by drawing the eyes. The shapes we are going to use are a Rectangle (M) and a Rounded Rectangle. Remember to align the sketch to our emoticon base shape.
Now to add more detail like the shine of the tears we draw a figure made of triangles with the Polygon Tool. Intersect it with the Pathfinder panel into the rectangle shape.
To draw the shine, draw a triangle with the Polygon Tool, to do it draw a Polygon and with the arrow keys up and down you can add or remove sides to the polygon, do it a triangle and then duplicate it by drag it and pres Alt. Then Cmnd + D to duplicate a copy at the same distance, then duplicate the three triangles and rotate them with the Rotate Tool (R) like in the image, finally apply Unite in the Pathfinder panel.
To start the mouth we begin by drawing a Rounded Rectangle. Select it, then with the Eraser Tool (Shift + E) by pressing Alt we make a drag and erase the half of the shape. Then we duplicate our shape and again with the eraser tool make another drag to get the teeth. Add some rectangles for more detail, first draw one and then duplicate it, to do this select it then press Alt + Shift and drag it, with this you get a copy of your rectangle figure, then press Cmnd + D to do your last step and you get a copy of it at the same distance, then select the three. Apply Unite in the Pathfinder panel and finally apply Intersect in the Pathfinder panel with the tooth shape (remember to duplicate your base shape).
Now to add the shape of the shadow of the teeth. Use your base shape and duplicate it and drag it a little down, then duplicate again and you get the shadow shape. To make the tongue you can use your mouth base shape and scale it and then duplicate it an apply Unite with the Pathfinder panel. Finally duplicate your mouth base shape and Intersect the shapes.
Once you have created the tongue, to give more detail to the mouth you can use a circle an Crop it with our mouth base figure, then just draw a little circle and apply Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. Now our sad emoticon mouth its done.
This is the look of the emoticons Sad face. Remember to group everything and Align it to the center.
Select the face and press “D” to set it with the basic Black line and White fill, if you need to send something to front or back just select the object and Cut it (Cmnd + X) and select the object were you want to Paste it Front (Cmnd + F) or Paste it Back (Cmnd + B). Use the Pathfinder panel to paste the tears inside our emoticon base shape, and align all to center, now we are going to begin to add some colors.
For the eyes we use our brown solid color, and for the tears the yellow and blue gradient, for the shine with the white gradient, apply them like in the image.
To paint the mouth we use the brown and red gradient, for the tongue the yellow and red and the brown gradient to the last detail, you can play with the values of the gradients as you wish or you can apply them like in the image.
For the teeth we use the blue color for the lines and our blue and white gradient for the tooth base, for the shadow we use our brown gradient, now our sad emoticon is finished.
Now with the angry emoticon, we begin with a circle for the eye.
To draw the eye first use the Eraser Tool (Shift + E) and erase with a drag by pressing Alt and drag to cut the circle to the half, then duplicate your figure and drag it and use the Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel to make the eyelid. Finally duplicate your eyes shape and erase with a drag to make the shadow.
To the eyebrow we only need to draw a triangle and transform it like in the image. then just rotate it and add it to the eye like in the image.
To make the horns we start with a circle then grab the upper node and drag it like in the image , then remove the anchor points of the node with the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift + C) and click on the node, with this tool you can add or remove anchor points. Finally just rotate the horn like in the image.
To make the mouth we start with a triangle, then remove the nodes with the Scissors Tool (C) just click on the nodes and remove the segment. Another way to cut anchor points its by selecting them and on the application bar click on the scissors icon and the cut will be exactly in the node(s) you select. Then after removing the nodes, add some points to the line and apply Outline Stroke (Object > Path > Outline Stroke) and finally with the Eraser Tool erase with a drag and we got the mouth.
Our Angry emoticons face will look something like this.
We align to the center our angry face to the emoticons base and now we are going to begin with the color. And we erase a part of the shine (in magenta) because of the horns.
First we color the horns with our yellow and red gradient and the eyebrows with brown color.
For the eyes and mouth use red, for the eyes shadow the brown gradient and for the eyelid the yellow and red gradient our angry face its almost done.
Add some details like the shine in the horns with white gradient and the shadow behind them with the red gradient, remember to apply the pathfinder to Crop the objects. Our angry emoticon is done.
For the surprised emoticon we begin with a rounded rectangle for the eyes.
The eye you can do it by using the Offset Path and then duplicate the figure and erase with a drag with the Eraser Tool like the magenta figure in the image, finally add some circles for the shine in the eyes.
The mouth we begin with a simple circle, for the teeth two rounded rectangles. Apply Unite in the pathfinder and Crop them inside the circle, then generate a smaller circle by select the object and apply Offset Path.
Duplicate the tooths and use Minus Front in Pathfinder to generate the shadows, to made the tongue its two circles and apply Unite and then crop with the main circle of the mouth.
To add more detail to the mouth you can draw the throat with a circle for the base an combine a rectangle and a circle for the uvula apply Unite in the path finder, select the nodes as you see in the image (green dashed line) and in the Tool bar convert them to rounded to give a more smooth look and finally apply Minus Front.
Our Surprise face its done, remember to press “D” and arrange the objects were they belong by Cutting them and paste them in front or behind the part were they should be, when you get use to this its more faster than use the arrange commands.
Align the surprised face to the emoticons base shape and lets begin with the colors.
For the eyes we use the brown color, for the eyes shines we use the yellow and white gradients and for the detail in the eyes the yellow and red gradient.
For the cheeks we use the red color and for the teeth the white and blue gradient and for the shadow the brown and blue gradient.
For the mouth we use the yellow and red gradient to add color to the tongue, the brown and red gradient for the mouth and for the throat the brown color. Our surprised emoticon is finished.
The happy emoticon we can begin with a circle to draw the big smile.
First apply the Eraser Tool and erase the half of the circle with a drag.
To do the teeth first draw a Rounded Rectangle and then duplicate it like in the image. Then use the Eraser Tool, finally duplicate them and use the Reflection Tool (O).
Align your tooths to the mouth shape and then remove one of the teeth.
The tongue and throat we can use the same of the surprised face, just crop it in the mouths base shape.
For the eye draw a circle, remove some nodes and add some points to the line and put the values of the line Round Cap and Round Join, finally apply Outline Stroke
Our happy face its done, now we can color it.
As the same with the previous emoticons align the face to the center and now lets begin with colors.
For the eyes we use our yellow and brown gradient, and for the cheeks the red color.
For the tooths we use the white and blue gradient and for the shadow the brown gradient, to separate in different planes the tooths just adjust the gradient to give volume and a sensation of deep in the tooths.
The colors of the mouth are the same as the surprised face, just the light in the tongue its a white gradient. Our happy emoticon is finished.
Finally the in love emoticon, as all of the previous emoticons align the sketch to the center and start the re-drawing.
to draw the heart the base its 2 circles, then apply Union in the Pathfinder and Drag the node in the middle like in the picture.
Select the node in the middle and remove the anchor points you can do it by clicking to the icon in the application bar and convert them to corner or you can convert it to corner with the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift + C), after this adjust the nodes to make the heart more rounded and at last apply Offset Path.
To make the mouth we start with a circle remove some anchor points and duplicate and drag like in the image, then add more points to the stroke apply Outline Stroke and at last apply Unite to convert it in one path.
Our in love emoticon face its done.
Align the Face to our emoticons base.
For the hearts we use the red and brown gradient and for the light the white gradient.
For the mouth and cheeks we use the red color, and our in love emoticon is finished.
This is our last result, hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you do some emoticons share it with us, saludos to everyone!