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  1. Design & Illustration
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Design

Create a Quick Spring, Holiday Scene in Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

Whether Easter is a religious holiday for you or not, if you live in the US, then you'll likely be buying some chocolates and answering some Easter Bunny questions to your kids or nephews. You may even get some client requests for this type of scene, so learn how to put it together using the Ellipse Tool and the Paintbrush Tool. Today we'll build this cute, holiday scene composed of a bunny and pastel eggs.


Introduction

In the Northern Hemisphere it's finally turning into Spring, although us residents of the United Kingdom would strongly disagree... being a country of forever rainfall! To help bring on the hope of sunny days and green meadows, I'm going to show you how to create a quick Spring influenced scene with a cute bunny/rabbit and some pastel shade eggs.

Surprisingly, the core tools used in this tutorial are the Ellipse Tool (L) and the Paintbrush Tool (B). It's easiest and quickest to create if you have a graphic tablet, however it is easy to achieve with a mouse, so don't be put off! Let's get on with it...


Step 1

Start a New Document in a Landscape Orientation. Double-click on "Layer 1" and rename it "Skeleton." In this layer folder I'm going to draw some circles using the Ellipse Tool (L) as the base of my rabbit.

The circles for the body and head (in blue on the screenshot) are even circles and then ears, tail and feet are created using ellipses (shown in pink). Rotate them using the Free Transform Tool (E) as needed.


Step 2

Use the Direct Selection Tool (V) to modify the points to create the shapes as shown below. No points have been added or removed as I've wanted to keep the shapes as simple as possible.


Step 3

Begin filling the shapes with shades of brown as shown in the screenshot. The furthest ear and two shapes for the body are the same shade of brown and the feet are the same shade also.


Step 4

Select all of the shapes (Command + A) and Copy (Command + C) and Paste in Front (Command + F). Collate the shapes so the duplicated shapes are stacked over their original. Create an inverted transparent radial gradient using the darkest shade of brown (C=40, M=45, Y=50, K=15) and apply this to the duplicated shapes. Use the Gradient Tool (G) to modify the size and location of the gradient sources to give a subtle impression of shadow to the shapes. Set these shapes to Blending Mode Multiply.


Step 5

Create a New Layer and rename it "Details." Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw an even circle for the eye with the lightest brown fill color (C=25, M=25, Y=40, K=0). Rotate the shape using the Free Transform Tool (E) and then use the Direct Selection Tool (V) to modify the points to create an eye shape. Set the Blending Mode to Screen.

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw shapes for the top and bottom eyelid, and for the nose and mouth, detailing with a dark brown fill color (C=50, M=50, Y=60, K=25).

Then add shapes for the nose, corner of the eye, and ear with a magenta fill color (C=0, M=100, Y=0, K=0). Set the Blending Mode for the nose and ear shape to Screen with an Opacity of 35%. The Blending Mode of the shape for the corner of the eye should be set to Normal with 35% Opacity.


Step 6

For the fur I'm going to be using the brushes I created for the Width Profile Brush Tutorial. If you've not created them before, the brushes used in this tutorial will be "Width Profile 1" and "Width Profile 5."

Create a New Layer and rename the layer folder to "Fur." Use the Paintbrush Tool (B) with the darker brown stroke color (C=40, M=45, Y=50, K=15) and a Stroke Weight of 2pt (and using the "Width Profile 1" brush), draw strokes to give an impression of fur in the directions and style as shown below.

Select All of the strokes (Command + A) and set them to Blending Mode Multiply and 10% Opacity. Then Group them (Command + G).


Step 7

Use the same settings to create highlighting strokes of fur. Set the Blending Mode to Screen and Opacity to 15%. Once complete Group them (Command + G).


Step 8

With the same brush settings, change the Stroke Weight to 1pt and draw strands of fur to add dimension definition with a Blending Mode of Multiply and 40% Opacity. These strokes shouldn't be as dense as previously drawn, and should only be drawn to define the areas of the illustration. For example: between the claws, round the ears, and base of the tail. Group the stroke once complete (Command + G).


Step 9

In the "Details" layer folder and using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a circle underneath the eyelid shapes. Set the fill color to C=55, M=60, Y=65, K=40, with a stroke color to C=40, M=45, Y=50, K=15, Stroke Weight set to 2pt and set Align Stroke to Inside. Then set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a shape over the eye with the transparent radial gradient previously used for the shading on the body. Draw this shape just under the eyelid to give the impression of a shadow cast onto the eyeball. Set the Blending Mode to Screen and Opacity to 30%.

Using the same transparent radial gradient to add a variety of shapes to create a reflection of an object/light source in the eye. Set these shapes to Blending Mode Screen and 50% Opacity.


Step 10

Duplicate the shape used for the pink within the ear. Change the fill color to the brown transparent radial gradient and use the Gradient Tool (G) to reposition and shape the gradient source. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 50%.


Step 11

Use the Pen Tool (P) to ensure smoother curves, and draw lines to add further definition on the rabbit. Use the "Width Profile 1" brush at a Stroke Weight of 3pt, Blending Mode of Multiply and Opacity of 50%.


Step 12

Create a New Layer below the "Skeleton" layer folder and rename it "Eggs." Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw an even circle. Then with the Direct Selection Tool (V) pull the top point upwards to create an egg like shape.


Step 13

Duplicate the egg shape and change the fill color to the brown, transparent radial gradient. Reposition the gradient source with the Gradient Tool (G) and then set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Use the Paintbrush Tool (B) and the "Width Profile 1" brush set to a Stroke Weight of 5pt to draw speckles to add a texture to the eggs. The darker spots will be set to Blending Mode Multiply and 20% Opacity. The lighter are set to Blending Mode Screen and 20% Opacity. Once done Group the spots (Command + G) and then go to Object > Expand. Group all elements once complete (Command + G).


Step 14

Duplicate the eggs and place them in the background of the rabbit. Rotate and resize some of them slightly using the Free Transform Tool (E). Go into the groups of each egg and change the color of the bottom egg shape to a pastel shade.


Step 15

Create a New Layer below the "Eggs" layer folder and rename it "BG." In the Brush Palette go into the drill down menu and select Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil, then select the "Chalk - Scribble 1" brush.

Use the Paintbrush Tool (B) to draw horizontal strokes around the base of the rabbit using a light green shape (C=12, M=0, Y=30, K=0) with a Stroke Weight of 3pt. Select All of the lines (Command + A) and set the Blending Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 50%, and then Group them (Command + G).


Step 16

Draw an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L) and fill it with a transparent radial gradient using the same light green. Place this shape below the strokes previously drawn in Step 15.

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to add a rectangle in the background for the "sky," and fill it with a blue transparent radial gradient (C=15, M=3, Y=0, K=0).


Step 17

Create a New Layer at the very top and rename it "Grass." This time using the "Width Profile 5" brush, with a green stroke color (C=50, M=10, Y=100, K=10) and a Stroke Weight of 2pt, use the Paintbrush Tool (B) to draw blades of grass overlapping the eggs and rabbit. Group these strokes once complete (Command + G).


Step 18

Finally, create a New Layer above the "Fur" layer folder and rename it "Whiskers." Using the "Width Profile 5" brush, a Stroke Weight of 0.5pt and stroke color of white, add curved lines to the face for whiskers and some highlighting strokes on the tail using the Paintbrush Tool (B). Set the Opacity of these lines to 50%.


Conclusion

By modifying the points of circles you can create a variety of shapes such as the ones shown in this tutorial. The main benefit to creating shapes in this manner is that you'd keep your point count down and hopefully the file size. Of course this is redundant if you're creating a fur effect as shown today.

I hope you've had fun with today's tutorial and please wish for a lovely sunny Spring day! Summer is only around the corner!

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