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Create a Cute Adipose From Doctor Who in Adobe Illustrator


With the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who there's no better way to celebrate than with some fantastic fan art. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a sweet little Adipose (one of those fat monsters from series four) with basic shapes. Kick it up a notch and head over to the craft section of Tuts+, to render this little cutie in plush form, with Amanda Tepie.

1. Prepare Your File and Basic Body

Step 1

I started with a quick sketch of the character (thinking heavily about the crafted portion of this collaboration tutorial) in Adobe Photoshop CC. Opened it in Adobe Illustrator CC with an artboard sized 8 x 10in.


Step 2

Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, draw a large rectangle that will be adjusted into the Adipose's body shape. Check out the dialogue box for measurements of the rectangle I used.


Step 3

Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), adjust the anchor points and handles so the top of the rounded rectangle is narrower than the bottom. Don't lose the overall rounded form, however, and Rotate the shape slightly to the left.


2. Create the Arms and Hands

Step 1

This is my favorite part of the tutorial. The little stubby hands and arms of the Adipose are constructed from three basic shapes repeated and adjusted. Start with two identical ellipses drawn with the Ellipse Tool (L). Draw a rectangle, using the Rectangle Tool (M), between the two and Align so they're centered with each other (and the outer edges of the ellipses align with the edges of the rectangle).


Step 2

Unite the three shapes in Pathfinder and adjust the top anchor points of the cylinder shape so the top is narrower and more rounded than the bottom.


Step 3

With the Rounded Rectangle Tool, draw five little shapes. Adjust the top anchor points, again, so the tops are narrower and rounder than the bottoms. Using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), and with all five finger shapes selected, drag across all five to unite the shapes. Then, select the arm cylinder and the compound fingers shape and using the Shape Builder Tool select the little bits of the arm shape that do not intersect with the fingers, deselect, and delete them. Unite the fingers and arm in Pathfinder, and your arm and hand are complete!


Step 4

Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-V) the arm, Reflect it over a vertical axis, and place it behind the body in the Layers panel for the Adipose's right arm.


3. Create the Little Feet

Step 1

The foot is pretty similar to the hand and body. Draw a rounded rectangle, adjust the top so it's narrower (and pops out a bit at the top), and rotate slightly to the right. For the toes, they're also rounded rectangles whose anchor points have been adjusted (the big toe has been, anyway. The other toes are just plain shapes). The fifth toe is just a suggestion from the main foot shape. Adjust your toes and Unite all toe and foot shapes in Pathfinder. Copy and Paste the foot for the other side.


Step 2

Check out the placement of the arms and feet in conjunction with the body here (just outlines). All hands and feet are behind the body shape in the Layers panel.


4. Draw the Face

Step 1

For the tiny eyes, draw two black ellipses with the Ellipse Tool. How circular or oval they are is up to you (though the Adipose errs on the side of circular eyes).


Step 2

For the cute little mouth, draw a circle and bisect it with a rectangle. Select both and hit Minus Front in Pathfinder. Draw an ellipse and Minus Front it from the half circle to form a happy little smile.


Step 3

For the Adipose's single tooth, draw a triangle with the Polygon Tool, set its fill color to white, squish it inward so it's narrow, and flip it upside down. Resize as needed to place within the mouth.


Step 4

I added some shadow to the eyes with layered ellipses each set to a gradient fill going from dark beige to the beige of the Adipose.


5. Create Basic Shadows

Step 1

For the right hand, apply a gradient fill with the Gradient Tool (G) similar to the one used behind the eyes. Adjust the angle so that the shadow is concentrated in the lower right of the shape.


Step 2

Apply a similar gradient to the feet as you did on the right hand. This time, the shadow is going from the top of the foot to the bottom. Make sure, after adjusting the gradient, that your feet remain behind the body.


Step 3

For a highlight on top of the hear, draw a gradient filled ellipse going from a light cream to the body's beige. Delete the portion of the ellipse that does not intersect with the body by using the Shape Builder Tool. Select both shapes, then select the shape outside the head with the Shape Builder Tool, deselect, and delete the shape above the head.


Step 4

Draw a rounded rectangle and adjust the size with the Selection Tool (V) by pulling it both downwards and upwards, elongating the rounded rectangle. Delete any potion of the shape that does not intersect with the little Adipose's body.


Step 5

For reference, here's the outline of the shapes so far so you can check out the placement. The more gradient shapes you add, the more complex the outline view will be.


6. Render the Body

Step 1

I want to make the belly look like it pops out a bit (these are fat monsters, after all). Using the gradient from the highlight on the head, draw a rounded rectangle for the bottom of the character. Delete non-intersecting portions of the shape using the Shape Builder Tool. Concentrate the lighter color at the bottom so the shadows on the feet pop out more.


Step 2

Draw two overlapping ellipses and Minus Front so the lower ellipse and portions of the upper ellipse it overlaps are deleted. You'll be left with this upside-down crescent. Apply a fill gradient with the same cream to beige highlight from the previous step and place it on the Adipose's belly.


Step 3

For the shadow on the left hand, draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool and two additional, narrow ellipses. Check out their formation below. Using the Shape Builder Tool, select the upper shape created by these overlapping shapes. Delete the others, or just pull it away with the Direct Selection Tool. Apply a linear shadow gradient (I chose dark beige to beige), with the Gradient Tool. Concentrate the darker color at the bottom of the shape.


Step 4

This highlight on the head is just two rounded rectangles where the lower rectangle and the portions of the other shape that it overlaps are deleted by selecting both and hitting Minus Front in Pathfinder.


Step 5

To add some shine to the eyes, Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool and a linear gradient fill going from cream at 100% Opacity to the same cream at 0% Opacity (adjust this in the Gradient panel). Decrease the circle's overall Opacity to 70% in the Transparency panel. Add a few transparent cream circles to the eyes and Group (Control-G) these shapes together.


Step 6

For the highlight above the mouth, I draw an ellipse and two triangles that intersected one another. Unite the triangles in Pathfinder and Minus Front them from the ellipse for a pointy teardrop shape. Go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners to round off the teardrop shape. Apply a creamy gradient fill and place above the mouth on the Adipose.


Step 7

Copy and Paste the main body shape (make sure it's aligned with the body without moving the main body shape) and draw a rounded rectangle overlapping the upper left portion of the character. Select both of these shapes and Minus Front in Pathfinder. Apply a gradient going from a light blue to transparent beige in the Gradient panel. Adjust its overall transparency in the Transparency panel so it seems more like reflected light than a harsh shadow.


Step 8

For the highlights above the eyes (sort of like little eyebrows), draw a circle and, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), pull the right anchor point outward and adjust the handles around the shape so it resembles the one seen below. Apply a creamy gradient fill and place above the eyes.


Step 9

For this additional shadow on the right hand, draw a rectangle with a darker shadow gradient than the one on the hand. Delete the non-intersecting rectangle around the hand selecting both the rectangle and the hand, and selecting the space outside the hand with the Shape Builder Tool. Delete these extra shapes after you've deselected (so the hand and shadow that conforms to it remain). Make sure the shadow shape is place above the hand but below the body in the Layers panel.


Step 10

The blue highlights are blue to transparent beige linear gradients in circles and are deleted the same way as the rectangular shadow from the previous step was. Repeat on each foot. Make sure the shadow shapes are placed behind the body but above the feet in the Layers panel.


Step 11

Initially the thin shadow on the left side was going to be blue. I decided it was best to keep it as a dark beige. Adjust the shape's opacity and keep it above the body, since the shadow is on the body itself.


Step 12

Add some ellipses with creamy highlight gradients to the top of the head and the finger tips to create additional changes in planes within the design form.


Step 13

Group all of the character's shapes together (this will keep things tidy), and lock the group in your Layers panel. Draw several dozen tiny circles in a light cream, blue, or white on the upper left side of the Adipose's head. Group them together, Copy, Paste, and Reflect over a vertical axis for the other side of the head. You can see the outline of the character's shapes below. Add additional highlights to the hands, feet, and body as you see fit.


7. Create a Star Burst Background

Step 1

Copy and Paste your character, Unite this new group together in Pathfinder, and apply a dark (black or very dark blue) color to it. Set it behind your character and slightly off to the lower right side for a graphic shadow. This is only meant to help separate your character further from the background. Group together both the character and the shadow. Draw a dark colored rectangle that overlaps the artboard for the background.


Step 2

Hide your character in the Layers panel. For the star burst background, draw an ellipse and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Hit Preview, and play with the options in the Zig Zag options window. Create several of these variations and scatter them around the picture plane.


Step 3

Play with location and color of your fanciful star bursts. When satisfied with their shape and size, go to Object and Expand their appearance.


Step 4

Apply a radial gradient fill going from navy blue to black to the backgrounds rectangle.


Step 5

Using the Pen Tool (P), draw some shapes radiation outwards from the bottom of the picture plane. Select all of them, Unite in Pathfinder, and apply a linear gradient similar to the colors used in the background. Adjust the radiating shape's Opacity in the Transparency panel.


Step 6

As an optional step, apply a radial gradient to each star burst shape. This will soften them up and make them glow a bit. My gradient goes from the star burst color at the center out to a transparent black.


Oh Yes, You're Now Done!

It's time to start waving goodbye, as you've finished this tutorial and your little Adipose is set to go back to the mother ship. I hope you enjoyed building up this alien life form.


Our craft team will show you how to create your own Adipose plushie, based on this tutorial. Check out the end result for this... so cute!

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