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How to Create a Cartoon Holiday Illustration using CorelDRAW

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This post is part of a series called Christmas Illustration Content.
How to Create a Realistic Reindeer with Gradient Mesh in Adobe Illustrator
How to Create a Festive Dog Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

In the following tutorial I'm going to show you how to create a simple fun holiday illustration using basic CorelDraw tools. We'll go from sketch to rendering in vector. Ho ho ho, here we go!


Step 1

Let's start our work with basic sketch. Don't pay too much attention to details, the most important thing at this stage is the contour of overall shapes and the layout of elements. Create new document, A4 will do just fine. Place your sketch on the workspace. On the tools panel located at the left side of the screen pick the Interactive tools with long press and select Transparency. Set the sketch opacity to 70%. Then select Lock object in the right click context menu


Step 2

Now pick Freehand tool at value of 2px and start draw outline above the sketch. To remove some extra nodes that you don't need and to shape up outlines, use Shape tool. Our work with sketch is done, we don't need it anymore. Unlock and delete your sketch.


Step 3

Use Ctrl + PgUp and Ctrl + PgDn to place elements in right order. To make it easier for you to do, you can color all elements in one color. You can better see elements placement this way. After you arrange objects clear color.


Step 4

Let's start with Santa. Select the eyes, eyebrows, wrinkles, nose and upper contour of the mouth, click Outline color in the right lower corner. In the open panel select rounded Line caps. Make eyebrows value of 10px, eyes and nose - 8px, the upper contour of the mouth - 6px, wrinkles - 3px width.


Step 5

Select the inner and outer belt outlines with Shift, combine objects into a single one with Combine command on the Property bar.

Right now our belt is overlapping Santa's costume and goes out of its outline borders. Select the belt, hold down Shift, select the Santa's costume and click Intersect button on the Property bar. This creates a new object on the area where the source object (belt) and costume overlaps. Remove the source object.


Step 6

Let's move to gift boxes. Select ribbons and bows on both gift boxes, open the Outline Pen panel and make them 6px, rounded Corners and rounded Line caps. With help of Bezier tool draw 4px width edges of the box with rounded corners and line caps.


Step 7

Now work a little on the bird. Make 5px width rounded Line caps of bird's feet. Select body and chest, click Intersect button on the Property bar. Remove the source object.


Step 8

Duplicate a wing with Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl + V), or with Duplicate (Ctrl + D). Press again to rotate it and move marker from center to the upper left corner of the wing. Rotate the wing a bit to the left and then move it just a little left and down. Then press again to rotate and pull down by the right side arrows, the wing will move down a bit.


Step 9

Let's work on lettering. First of all, open the Outline Pen panel and make all letters rounded on Corners and Line caps. Our bird is singing "Merry Christmas", so that's why we've got to make all letters not only different size, but also different thickness. Grab all letters from word "Merry" and make them 17px width. Letters C, H, R - 16px; I, S – 15px; T, M and dot above the letter I – 13px; A – 10px; S – 11px width.


Step 10

When you're done with shapes, let's start to fill it with colors. I personally don't like to work on a white background, so in the settings I'll make it gray. In this work I used the following colors


Step 11

Be sure that all paths are closed, otherwise object will not be painted. To close path do Arrange > Join Curves. You can start with creating your own palette or you can use mine. I suggest you to place palette somewhere near the illustration to make a quick pick of color. Now with Color Eyedropper tool pick color you need and fill appropriate objects. Do not pain outlines, we'll do that in the next step.


Step 12

We need outlines only for Santa's face, letters, bows, ribbons and bird toes. So delete all other outlines. Grab objects with Pick tool and then right-click on white square with a cross at the top of the palette.

Color the rest outlines that we've left. Make letters white.


Step 13

Now we're going to convert our outlines to objects, all except the letterings. Go to Arrange > Convert Outline To Object or use shortcut Crtl + Shift + Q.


Step 14

To convert letters outline to objects we need a little more patience, because a closed loop automatically fills with color. To avoid this, we have to break letters with loops on several parts with Shape tool. Select node within loop, push Break curve, then use Pick tool to select letter and press Ctrl + K to break the object apart. Then you can convert it from outline to object with Crtl + Shift + Q. Do the same thing with other letters with loop.


Step 15

Now it's time to add some shadows and details. To create shadows I use the most simple way – Eraser tool. Duplicate mustache, beard, fur on a hat and a pompom. Make it light blue color. Place these elements in right order, so they won't overlap Santa's face. Now with Eraser tool at size about 12px select and erase part of new light blue objects. Then use Shape tool to shape up your shadow.


Step 16

Add some more shadows to hat, sleeves, boots, body, buttons, buckle, fur on the suit, mittens and don't forget about the bird's body. Remember to arrange your objects were they belong using Ctrl + PgUp, Ctrl + PgDn, Ctrl + Home and Ctrl + End.


Step 17

To make buttons and belt a bit cute draw highlights. Use Bezier tool or Freehand tool to draw a few small curves at about 5px width with rounded Corners and Line caps, two on the belt and one for each button. Then convert it to objects and fill with light yellow color.


Step 18

Let's make striped pants for Santa. Use Bezier tool to draw curved line at value of 18px, convert it from outline to object (Crtl + Shift + Q). Place it above the leg, multiply as much as you need and move it to make striped pattern. Then group all the stripes, select stripes and leg and press Intersect. You will have a new object. Change its color to light red and delete source object.

Do the same thing with other leg.


Step 19

Use Freehand tool and Shape tool to draw several small circles about 10-20px in diameter. These are ours snowflakes. Fill them with white and delete outlines. Make snowflakes different sizes by selecting them and pulling by any corner. Multiply circles and place them all over illustration to create the visibility of falling snow. Try to avoid overlap with other white objects.


Step 20

Now the only thing we left to do is create a background. In this case a square will do just fine. Make a 1750 x 1750px light-blue square and put it to the back of page, right-click - Convert to curves. Align background to the center of page. Group everything else except background and align it to the center of page too. Then move it up a little so that all illustration was placed visually a bit higher the center.


Conclusion

It's all done! Now you know how to draw a cute cartoon illustration using simple set of tools and commands. Hope you had fun! Thank you!

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