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Create a Valentines Day Illustration for Your Sweetie

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Read Time: 9 min

In this tutorial we will learn to create a cheerful character and lovely, colorful bubbles. Use this knowledge to create a darling Valentine's Day card for your sweetie. We'll cover numerous techniques and build this illustrations step by step.

Final Image Preview

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Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS3
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 Hour

Step 1

Let's start by opening Adobe Illustrator and creating a new document (Command + N) at 800 px by 800 px. Now create a bench with three rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). Rename the layer to "Bench." Set the fill color to a dull brown (C=47, M=45, Y=49, and K=9) , without a stroke.

Step 2

Now create the legs of the bench. Duplicate the vertical rectangle, reduce its height and go to Object > Transform > Shear... Apply the settings you see below.

Step 3

Create the second leg of the bench go to Object > Transform > Reflect... and press Copy.

Step 4

After placing the legs in the correct places, select all objects and click on the Add button in the palette Pathfinder. Then press Expand.

Step 5

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle to make the board. Set its fill color to C=25, M=38, Y=46, and K1 and set its stroke to none.

Step 6

Now we'll ad an edge to the bench board. Create two rectangles the same length as the board. Fill the first with C=16, M=25, Y=29, and K=0, then fill the second with C=31, M=44, Y=54, and K=4. Align them on the board using the Align tools as needed.

Step 7

Select all the objects of the board and group them (Command + G). Move the board down while holding Alt + Shift.

Step 8

Also create a bench seat using the same methods. The bench is now ready. As you can see, the bench is very simple to make.

Step 9

Now let's start building the character. Create a new layer and name it "girl." Create the head. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make an ellipse (color C=0, M=13, Y=32, and K=0) without stroke.

Step 10

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a shape of an eye. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) for the deformation of the ellipse.

Step 11

Create the three ellipses for the inner eye parts: the pupil, iris and highlight.

Step 12

Create an eyelash shape using the Pen Tool (P) as shown below.

Step 13

Copy the shape of the eye and paste it above all the sub layers. Select this shape and the eyelashes in the layers palette. Push the Subtract button in the Pathfinder palette. Then press Expand.

Step 14

Let's create the left eye. Select all the elements of the right eye and go to Object > Transform > Reflect ... and press Copy. Change the position of a highlight and situate the eyes as shown.

Step 15

Now we'll create the nose. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create a nose. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) for the deformation of the ellipse.

Step 16

Fill the nose with a radial gradient. Set the gradient to a skin color (C =1, M=10, Y=19, and K=0) and a lighter skin color (C=0, M=33, Y=49, and K=0). Now create two ellipses to indicate nostrils.

Step 17

The head is turned slightly to the left side. Therefore, slightly reduce the horizontal position of the left eye and also move the nose slightly to the left. Now let's create the lips. Create an ellipse, add anchor points and deform them using the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Step 18

Create a hole of the mouth and glares on her lips using the Pen Tool (P). I used these colors: hole area is a dark red (C=1, M=88, Y=68, and K=0), the highlights are pink (C=0, M=43, Y=23, and K=0) and light pink (C=2, M=15, Y=9, and K=0).

Step 19

Create ruddy cheeks. Create three ellipses and fill them with a solid peach color (C=0, M=33, Y=49, and K=0), as shown below.

Step 20

Select the ellipses and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur ... apply the settings you see below.

Step 21

Create a new ellipse, then convert the left and right anchor points to corners. Drag the shape into the Brushes box and create a New Art Brush. Create the shape of the eyebrows by using the Pen Tool (P) and apply a new art brush.

Step 22

Create a shape of hair by using the Pen Tool (P). Now fill it with solid maroon color (C=28, M=98, Y=90, and K=30).

Step 23

Now create highlights on her hair. Create the highlight shapes using the Pen Tool (P). Fill it with an orange-red color (C=22, M=84, Y=100, and K=13.)

Step 24

Make a copy of shape of hair, paste it in front (Command + F), and by selecting the copy and the highlight, click on Intersect in the Pathfinder box. Then press Expand. Use this technique on all the highlights.

Step 25

Group all the elements of the the head (Command + G). Now turn her head slightly.

Step 26

Create the shape of the neck and shadows on it with the Pen Tool (P). The shadow is a dark peach color (C=0, M=42, Y=58, and K=0). We use the same technique as in Steps 22 and 23 for the highlights on her hair.

Step 27

Now create a dress shape by using the Pen Tool (P).

Step 28

Let's create a pattern for her dress. Create a rectangle with a yellow color. Create an ellipse and deform it by using the Direct Selection Tool (A). Go to Effect > Distort & Transforms > Transform, and use the settings you see below. Now apply Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 29

In the center of the shape create a circle, select all the elements of the flower and press Add from the pathfinder box, then Expand.

Step 30

Place the flower on top of a yellow rectangle. Now scale, duplicate, and rotate copies. Drag the pattern into the palette Swatches and apply it to the dress.

Step 31

Create a collar by using the Pen Tool (P).

Step 32

Now we'll create legs and arms for our character. Make a New Art Brush with the shape shown below. Draw arms and leg paths using the Pen Tool (P) and apply the new art brush. Select the arms and legs and apply Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 33

Create the left and right hand using Pen Tool (P).

Step 34

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create fingernails. Now create a shadow on the hands and feet as in Steps 22 and 23. Select all the shadows and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and apply with a 5 pixel Radius.

Step 35

Now we'll make the sneakers. Create an ellipse shape. Add the anchor points and deform them using Direct Selection Tool (A).

Step 36

Add details.

Also, be sure to duplicate a sneaker and dress for the second foot.

Step 37

Create a stick for our character to blow bubbles with. Use the Pen Tool and the Ellipse Tool (L) for this.

Step 38

Now we'll make some stylized bubbles. Create some ellipses and fill them with a linear gradient, fell free to get creative and experiment here.

Now cut a hole in the bubble. Copy and paste in front the black ellipse (Command + C then Command + F). Now select the black ellipse, and one of the gradient ellipses and apply Subtract from the Pathfinder palette.

Use the same technique to make the second black ellipse and the second gradient ellipse.

Add a few ellipses filled with a linear gradient.

Create many different bubbles to get a nice effect. Place the bubbles in a new layer.

Step 39

Below the "bubbles" layer create a new layer called "Template." Create a heart shape on this layer, then lock the layer.

Step 40

Duplicate, scale and place bubbles on top of the template - be creative with the placement and make this the focal point of the illustration. Delete the "Template" layer, after you're finished adding bubbles.

Step 41

Create a new layer background layer named "BG." Place it below all the other layers. Create a rectangle and fill it with a linear gradient. The colors should go from beige (C=1, M=10, Y=19, and K=10) to blue (C=34, M=0, Y=0, and K=0).

Step 42

Create a form of the tree using the Pen Tool (P). Fill the form with a solid brown (C=40, M=70, Y=100, and K=50).

Step 43

Now create a shadow on the tree as in Steps 22 and 23. Color the shade a dare brown (C=47, M=82, Y=80, and K=62).

Step 44

Create the shape of a leaf using the Pen Tool (P). Create a curve on a leaf, select the curve and the leaf, then press Divide from the Pathfinder palette. Ungroup and use a linear gradient to color it.

Step 45

Now we'll make a shadow for the bench and character. Make a new layer called "Shadow." Copy the girl and the bench, then paste them into this new layer.

Step 46

Press Add from pathfinder palette and Expand.

Step 47

Fill the shape with the color: C=16, M=20, Y=24, and K=0.

Step 48

Deform the shadow. Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort, then apply Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 49

Create a shadow of a tree using the Pen Tool (P). Duplicate the shape and paste in front.

Step 50

To the top form apply a black to white linear gradient.

Step 51

Select both shapes and Make an Opacity Mask.

Adjust the gradient.


I hope this tutorial will give you and your sweetums pleasure this holiday. Dear designers, create lots of happy and fun pictures. Happy Valentine's Day!

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