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Create a Cute and Simple Panda With Basic Shapes in Adobe Illustrator

Read Time: 5 mins
This post is part of a series called Easy Character Design.
Create an Easy, Retro Pumpkin Card in Adobe Illustrator
How to Draw Little Red Riding Hood With Basic Shapes in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a cute illustration with upside down panda in Adobe Illustrator. You will use the basic shapes and some use of the Pen Tool (P), so a great project for those who still see themselves as a beginner, but want a little challenge.

1. Create a Panda

Step 1

Create a New document. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a circle with the fill R=73, G=59, B=59. For the nice round circle hold the Shift key and drag out.

Step 2

Draw an oval (color doesn't matter) in a lower part of a dark circle like on the image below:

Step 3

Go to the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and select Minus Front. Now you have the hind legs of the panda.

Step 4

Select the paws by with the Direct Selection Tool (A). Then Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift + C) to make sharp corners more smooth. Voila the hind legs!

Step 5

Add a small circle on top - this is the tail.

Step 6

For the head, Add a circle with the fill R=228, G=226, B=213 and put it behind the legs (Control + X, Control + B).

Step 7

Let's draw the eyes. Draw two circles with the Ellipse Tool (L) - one black (pupil of the eye) and one white, which is very small.

Step 8

Select the whole eye, then Shift + Alt and drag it to the right to duplicate it.

Step 9

Place the eyes onto our panda head. Here is what you should have now.

Step 10

Now you need to draw the same shape like in the image below with the fill color R=40, G=30, B=30. Take the Polygon Tool and click on your artboard. A dialogue window will appear where you will need to select 3 sides and press OK. Then take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift + C) and make the sharp corners more smooth.

Step 11

Place the created shape behind the eye of the panda. For this you should put the shape in place, then select two eyes and press Control + X, Control + F.

Step 12

Create another eye patch for the panda. Select the shape you have for the first patch and Object > Transform > Reflect. In the dialogue window select Vertical and then Copy. Then move the new eye patch to the left.

Step 13

Draw two ovals; one black and one smaller white oval for the nose.

Step 14

Create two more circles behind the panda's head, this is for the ears. Give them the fill color of R=40, G=30, B=30.

Step 15

Add two more black circles like in the image below. Now you should align all your elements: Group the two eyes (group 1) (Control + G), two black spots behind the eyes (group 2), nose with highlight (group 3) and two ears (group 4). Then select all four groups and in the Align panel and use Horizontal Align Center.

Step 16

Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a shape like a flower petal - that's a paw (R=40, G=30, B=30). Put the paw behind the whole body.

Step 17

Creating the second paw. Keep selected the first one and right-click your mouse. Select Transform > Reflect. After that select Vertical and press Copy. Drag the second paw to the right.

Step 18

Select the hind legs of the panda and while holding Alt + Shift keys together, slide it a little to the left. I marked this new shape with red stroke just for better visibility.

2. Add Shading to the Panda

Step 1

Now duplicate the first hind legs. Keep selected this new copy and holding the Shift key select the shape, which I marked with red stroke. Go to Pathfinder panel and press Minus Front. Apply the fill color R=58, G=46, B=46.

Step 2

Use the same process to add a shadow to the tail.

Step 3

Apply a dark gray fill color to it R=58, G=46, B=46.

3. Create a Simple Butterfly

Step 1

Create two ovals with the Ellipse Tool (L) and give them the fill color R=231, G=25, B=57. Select them and use Unite in the Pathfinder panel. You will have now created a wing.

Step 2

Decorate the wing with blue spots (R=137, G=212, B=227). Draw the body of the butterfly; use a brown filled inclined oval (R=111, G=18, B=0).

Step 3

Draw an oval behind the first wing, apply the fill color R=206, G=5, B=44. This is the second wing.

Step 4

Using the Spiral Tool, create two spirals. Move the anchor points (use for it the Direct Selection Tool (A)), making the spirals the butterfly antennae.

Step 5

Place the butterfly on the panda.

4. Create Some Easy Flowers

Step 1

Draw a polygon with 5 sides and a white fill color. Then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat. On dialogue window move the slider to 100%, press OK. Duplicate it and make it smaller using the Free Transform Tool (E) and apply the fill color R=248, G=180, B=186. Then in the middle part of the flower, draw a circle with the fill color R=180, G=46, B=52.

Step 2

Select white and pink flower, double-click on the Blend Tool (W) and choose 50 Specified Steps, press OK. You will get a flower like this:

5. Complete Your Composition

Step 1

Now you need to create a background, which will be created from a square (M) (R=200 G=223, B=142) and a circle (L) (R=148, G=170, B=79).

Step 2

Copy and paste your flowers around the circle in the background. Use the Free Transform Tool (E) to resize and rotate the flowers.

Well Done and Welcome the Panda Cuteness!

Ta-da! I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. Don't forget, by changing colors you could also create teddy bears and more. See you next time and happy vectoring!

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