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Create an Easy, Retro Pumpkin Card in Adobe Illustrator

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In this tutorial you will learn how to create a retro Halloween greeting card in Adobe Illustrator. It will include an easy to create pumpkin and a simple background. You will use the basic shapes and a little bit of the Pen Tool (P). This is a great tutorial for beginners, so let's begin!

1. Create the Background

Step 1

Create a New document. Using the Rectangle Tool (M) and holding the Shift key, create a square (R=136, G=176, B=147).


Step 2

Use the same Rectangle Tool (M) and make a small rectangle (R=234, G=224, B=195). Incline it a little to the right using the Free Transform Tool (E).


Step 3

Keep selected the created rectangle and right-click of your mouse. Select Transform > Reflect. In the dialogue window select Vertical with the Angle 90 degrees and press Copy.


Step 4

Enable Smart Guides by going to View > Smart Guides. Take your second rectangle and move it slowly to the right until you have result like in the image below.


Step 5

Select the rectangles together and holding the Alt key (to make copy of them) move them to the right. Then press Control-D to repeat the last action. Keep pressing Control-D few times to create a row.


You will get the result like this:


Step 6

Select the whole zig-zag line and move it down holding Shift-Alt. Press Control-D a few times, so you will get several rows of zig-zag lines.


Step 7

Put these lines in the middle of the square and Group them (Control-G). Then create a copy of the square and bring it to the front; do this by right-clicking on your mouse and choose Arrange > Bring to Front. Keep selected this new copy and holding the Shift key and select the zig-zag lines. Go to Pathfinder panel and press Crop.


Step 8

This is an easy step; just draw a circle (R=82, G=122, B=87) using the Ellipse Tool (L). Hold the Shift-Alt to create an even circle.


Step 9

Keep selected this circle and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Do this a several times.


Step 10

Now go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat. In the dialogue window, adjust it to around 3-5% and press OK.


Step 11

Now your background is created. You should lock the first layer (in the Layers panel) and create a new one by pressing the Create New Layer button in the same panel.


2. Create the Pumpkin

Step 1

It's time to draw your pumpkin. Create an oval with the Ellipse Tool (L) (R=246, G=139, B=40).


Step 2

Make a copy of the oval and send it to the back (Control-C, Control-B), and slide it to the left. Make the color a little darker (R=239, G=127, B=37). Using the Free Transform Tool (E), rotate the shape slightly.


Step 3

Repeat the process and change the fill color to another slightly darker shade (R=229, G=113, B=35).


Step 4

Select two darkest ovals, right-click and choose Transform > Reflect. Move them to the right.


Step 5

Select all ovals except the middle one and make a copy of them (Control-C, Control-B). Keep them selected and shift them up a little. Change the color to R=216, G=104, B=29. Make sure to place them in the middle as shown below.


3. Create the Stem and Curls

Step 1

Now we need to use the Pen Tool (P). So, grab it, set the stroke color to R=171, G=187, B=64 and try to draw a path like below. Don't forget to close the path. When you are finished, make this green color from the stroke to the fill.


Step 2

Move the stem in place. You will need to put the four darkest ovals of the pumpkin one more time to the back.


Step 3

Set the green (R=171, G=187, B=64) for the stroke and select the Spiral Tool. Create a small curl (make sure that in the Stroke panel is checked Round Cap) close to the stem. Then take the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the last anchor point in this path and put this over the stem.


Step 4

Make two more curls like in the image below.


4. Give the Pumpkin a Face

Step 1

For the eyes of the pumpkin, just draw three circles like in the image below: biggest (R=234, G=224, B=195), middle (R=68, G=41, B=36) and smallest (R=255, G=255, B=255).


Step 2

Select the whole eye, right-click and select Transform > Reflect. Choose Vertical axis of reflection in the dialog window and press Copy.

After that you need to move the white smallest circle of the second eye to the left side. The white circles are the highlights of the eyes, so they need to be on the same side.


Step 3

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a circle (R=68, G=41, B=36), then another one over it (any color). Select the two circles and on the Pathfinder panel press Minus Front.


Step 4

Move the shape to the pumpkin and there we have a cute little pumpkin.


5. Create the Bunting Flags

Step 1

Now we will create a cord for the bunting flags. Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a line over the pumpkin (stroke color R=68, G=41, B=36).


Step 2

Using the Polygon Tool, we will create a triangle. So, take this tool, click somewhere on your work board and select 3 Sides in the dialog window. Set the fill color R=244, G=208, B=73 for the triangle.

Use the Free Transform Tool (E) to rotate it and place it like in the image below.


Step 3

With the selected triangle, hold the Alt key and move it to the left.


Step 4

Set the brown fill color (R=68, G=41, B=36) for every second flag.


Step 5

Make a copy of the cord. Select together the new copy and all the flags. In the Pathfinder panel press Divide. Then ungroup it (Object > Ungroup).


Step 6

Delete the stray objects to complete your pumpkin.


6. Place the Pumpkin on the Background

Group the pumpkin and put on our already created background.


7. Create the Ribbon Banner

Step 1

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a rectangle (R=246, G=139, B=40). Still having it selected go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. We only need just left and right points, so you should delete the top and low points using the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-). After that move the new anchor points to the middle like in the image below.


Step 2

Just type "Happy Halloween!" on the banner using your favorite font with the Type Tool (T). Set the color to R=68, G=41, B=36. Then add this below your pumpkin.


Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

Now you know how to create a cute pumpkin character and for a Halloween card. Just print it out and send to your friends and family. Have fun and good luck!

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