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25 High-Quality Adobe Illustrator Tutorials for Creating Cute Characters

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Read Time: 7 mins

Cute isn't limited to one style or genre - there's no limit to the characters one can create. There have been quite a few Adobe Illustrator tutorials released on Vectortuts+ and across the web that will help you advance your skills in creating cute, vector character designs. We've assembled them here for you to reference and practice.

These tutorials cover a range of techniques, tips, workflows, and are targeted at beginners all the way to professionals looking for refined results. If you've ever wanted to take your Illustrator character design skills to the next level, then bookmark this article in Delicious, Favorite it in Twitter, or give it some Cow Bell, because it's one you'll want to come back to.

Character Illustration

This tutorial walks us through a freelance project for a creative agency. This is a character design for Fanta soda to use in their Halloween promotion. The resulting character has a hint of evil, but overall is quite cute. A professional and complete workflow is detailed.


Create a Twitter Style Bird Mascot

Using some basic shapes, effects, and gradients Rype shows 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 (Ryan Putnam), Sean Hodge (me), or Collis Ta'eed (Envato CEO) on Twitter as well!


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.


Creating Vector Characters in Illustrator

This tutorial is loaded with character design tips. It walks through the essential steps, from before you even pick up a pen and paper to working your design up as a vector image. It shows you, among other things, how to add detail to your vector characters and how to keep them just simple enough.


Digital Manga Illustration

Manga is Japanese form of art creation. Part of it's style is cute characters and a popular source of inspiration to many creatives. This tutorial walks through the process of creating a Manga group of characters from sketch, and into Illustrator and Photoshop.


Creating Convincing Characters

Illustrator Alexis West shows how to create characters with personality, distinctive looks, and integrate them into a scene that helps bring out the characters emotions. This tut starts with a pencil and ends up in Illustrator with loads of tips along the way. A complete workflow is covered.

How to Draw a Cartoon Duck , Character illustration

This is a simple tutorial, that starts and ends in Illustrator. You'll learn how to use simple shapes to create a cute bath duck. Then you'll color it, add some fun bubbles, and shade it.


Tutorial: Twitterlove Bird, from sketch to vector in Photoshop and Illustrator

This tutorial details how to create a cute cartoon style Twitter bird. The linework is created first with pencil, cleaned up and adjustments made in Photoshop, then Illustrator used to create the final character.


Illustrator Tutorial – Create a Gang of Vector Ninjas

This is a tutorial from Chris Spooner that is an awesome starting point for creating cute characters that are super-fun in Illustrator. In the tutorial you'll construct a group of vector ninja characters using just the basic shapes and a variety of simple tools.


How to Create a Cute Bunny Vector Character

This Illustrator tutorial covers 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 Create a Cute, 3D, Vector Robot – Vector Plus Tutorial

This tutorial shows how to use simple shapes in Illustrator to create a cute, rounded robot. It reviews how to apply various shading techniques to give your vector illustration a 3D style. The tutorial reviews working from sketch to the final illustration, and covers all the techniques used to make this character.


Create a Character Mascot with Adobe Illustrator CS4

This intermediate Illustrator tutorial shows you how to create a vector character mascot from a sketch in Adobe Illustrator CS4. Happy Mascots are becoming increasingly popular in web design. You can create these cute characters to help brand your next web project.


Create a Happy Tree Illustration with Bubblefriends – Vector Plus Tutorial

If you want to learn how to craft unique character illustrations in Illustrator, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. In this tutorial, Bubblefriends takes us through the process of using a sketch, Illustrator's tools, and some artistic ingenuity to make this cute, super-happy illustration.


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

This tutorial shows how to create a professional vector illustration of a cute boy at the crossroads. It details a professional workflow for creating illustrations in Illustrator and prepping the artwork for stock sites. Oksancia also includes a bunch of time-saving tools and tips. This is a thorough, information-packed tutorial.


How to Illustrate a Cute Emo Kid

Among other styles, Designious creates fun cartoon style characters. In this tutorial, they take you through the process of drawing these type of cuties. The concept is based on the Emo trend and the tutorial covers all the steps from sketch to full color vector. Illustrator CS3, pen, paper, scanner, and Wacom tablet will be needed to complete the tutorial.


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, Rype explains how to create a Happy Octopus Character. You can use these techniques and elements to create whatever character you want!


Adobe Illustrator Cartoon Snail Tutorial

This tutorial covers how to create a cute, cartoon snail in Illustrator from start to finish. It's a short tutorial, but with good results. The author has another tutorial that creates a cute character "Adobe Illustrator Cartoon Bug Tutorial" that can be reviewed quickly.


Create a Cute Panda Bear Face Icon

This is an easy to follow tutorial. Rype shows you how to create a cute panda bear face icon all from simple shapes. One can rapidly transfer these techniques to icons, illustrations, logos, or other projects.


Maintaining Rhythm and Flow in Vector Character Design

This isn't actually an Illustrator tutorial, but it offers some great techniques you can apply to your character designs, and it uses cute vector characters as the example to demonstrates the tips given. These techniques can be used in Illustrator to improve your character designs.


Symmetrical Illustration: Thug Bunny!

This character has an intense cuteness, rather than something more fluffy cute. In this tutorial, Von covers a technique for using symmetry in your vector artwork. By drawing half your work and flipping a copy in Illustrator you can speed up your workflow. Von reviews other time saving techniques as well.


How to Create a Cute Hippo Character!

This tutorial will show you how to create cute Hippo Character in Illustrator using simple shapes and a really basic effective drawing techniques.


Drawing a Funny Game Character

This tutorial shows you step by step how to make a cute game character in Illustrator. It uses mostly basic shapes to compose the fun, quirky-cute character.


Drawing a Character's Face in Illustrator

This cute character is an elf. The tutorial covers creating this tutorial with mostly the pen tool and coloring as well.


How to Create a Cartoon Character with Expressive Lines

This character has an angry-cute feeling, which is different. This tutorial covers the steps necessary for creating a multicolor, shaded cartoon character. Adobe CS3, a Wacom tablet, an inked drawing, and scanner are used to create this character.


The Making of a Chocolate Bar Character

For those of you advanced cute character creators you'll love this tutorial. It doesn't cover every detail step by step, but it give a great overview of the creative process, shows the vector linework before being colored, and gives some great tips. I love the chocolaty conceptual work done here by Dacosta!


Cute Character Inspiration and Resources

If the tutorials above have got you craving more, then check out the links below. Some are sites dedicated to character design, others character design groups, roundups of cute vector characters, and interviews with those that specialize in creating cute characters.

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