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Design

How to Create a Scream Mask in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Horror Movie Week.
How to Create the Carpet Pattern From "The Shining" in Adobe Illustrator
How to Create a Howling Werewolf Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Scream is a classic slasher movie series, and in this tutorial, you will learn how to draw the famous scary mask of the mysterious killer known as Ghostface. 

Practice your drawing skills and learn how to play with different shapes and strokes to give dimension to the mask and create shadows only where needed. Let's have fun with this one!

If you are looking for more Halloween inspiration or you need more scary vectors in your life, be sure to check out Envato Market and you'll surely find what are you looking for there. 

1. Start a New Project

Launch Illustrator and go to File > New to open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set up the dimensions and then select Pixels as Units and RGB as Color Mode. Make sure that Align New Objects to Pixel Grid is not checked.

Next, go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment to 1 px and while there, go to Units to make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process.

open new illustrator document

2. Create the Shape of the Mask

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw two rectangles with the dimensions shown. While both shapes stay selected, press Unite in the Pathfinder panel to obtain a single shape.

create the shape of mask

Step 2

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the points indicated (1) and press the Convert selected anchor points to smooth option in the Control panel. As a result, the corner points will turn into rounded points.

Next, take the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and click on the two points indicated to delete them (2). Make a few extra adjustments to the resulting shape (3) with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and rotate the handles until you obtain the shape of the mask (4).

distort the shape of mask

Step 3

Fill the shape of the mask with light gray. Next, use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a slightly bigger shape filled with the linear gradient shown at a 90 degrees Angle, and send it behind the mask. Draw a bigger shape in back and fill it with the other linear gradient shown.

draw the black hood around mask

Step 4

Approximately between the two black shapes, draw a new shape and give it a 2 pt gray Stroke.

draw the edge of the hood

3. Create the Outer Edge Shading

Step 1

Follow the outer edge of the cheekbones and draw two shapes as shown in the following image, filled with black. Next, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 15 px.

create shading on cheekbones of mask

Step 2

Draw a moon-like shape at the top of the forehead, filled with black, and after that, apply a 15 px Gaussian Blur again.

create shading on forehead of mask

Step 3

Draw another moon-like shape on the chin, filled with black, and apply a 10 px Gaussian Blur this time.

create shading on the chin of mask

Step 4

Select the shape of the mask and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) in order to make a copy of it and remove the existing fill color (the blue shape). Now, select the four shading shapes along with the copy of the mask, and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

mask the shading shapes

4. Create the Eyes

Step 1

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw the shape of the eye as shown in the following image. While the eye shape stays selected, go to Object > Transform > Reflect, check Vertical, and hit Copy. As a result, you will get the other eye, and all you need to do is to move it in the right place.

draw the eye shapes of mask

Step 2

Draw a slightly bigger eye shape and send it behind the first. Use the Reflect effect again to obtain the second shape. Fill them with the linear gradient shown at a -90 degrees Angle.

draw bigger eye shapes

Step 3

Before you continue, select only the two bigger eye shapes and Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) in order to make copies for later. 

Select the two eye shapes from the left side and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 20 Specified Steps and hit OK; then go back to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B). Repeat the same thing on the right side.

blend the eye shapes of mask

Step 4

Select the two copies of the bigger eye shapes that you made in the previous step and make sure that they are behind the blend groups. Keep the existing gradient, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and apply a Radius of 3 px. This will create a discreet shadow around the eyes.

create shadow around the eyes of mask

Step 5

Next, draw a smaller eye shape filled with black and use the Reflect effect to obtain the second shape for the other eye. With these two shapes selected, apply the Drop Shadow effect using the settings shown below.

draw the holes in the eyes of mask

5. Create Shading Around the Eyes

Step 1

Follow the inner edge of the eyes and draw two shapes as shown in the following image. Fill them with light gray and then apply a 3 px Gaussian Blur.

create shadow between the eyes of mask

Step 2

Follow the outer edge of the cheekbones and draw two paths with the Pen Tool (P). Give them a 5 pt black Stroke and use the Width Profile 1. While the two paths stay selected, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 3 px.

intensify shadow on cheekbones

6. Create the Mouth

Step 1

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a long shape as the mouth. Make a copy in back of the pink shape, and scale it to obtain the slightly bigger blue shape.

draw the mouth of the mask

Step 2

Fill the pink shape of the mouth with the first gradient and the blue shape of the mouth with the second gradient shown, both at a 90 degrees Angle.

color the mouth shapes of the mask

Step 3

Before you continue, select only the bigger shape of the mouth and then Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) in order to make a copy of it for later.

While the two mouth shapes stay selected, go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 20 Specified Steps and hit OK; then go back to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B).

Finally, draw a slightly smaller shape of the mouth, or just scale one of the previous mouth shapes, and fill it with black. 

blend the mouth and draw the mouth hole

Step 4

Now, select the copy of the bigger mouth shape that you made in the previous step and use the gradient shown at a 90 degrees Angle to fill it. Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 3 px, and you will create a discreet shadow around the mouth.

create shadow around the mouth of mask

7. Create the Nose

Step 1

Draw a triangle shape with rounded corners and fill it with the linear gradient shown at a -90 degrees Angle. Continue with a smaller triangle shape at the base of the first one and use the second linear gradient to fill it.

draw the nose shapes of mask

Step 2

Before you continue, make a copy in back of the bigger nose shape for later use.

Now, select the two nose shapes and blend them using 35 Specified Steps. After that, draw two small black shapes at the base of the nose as the nostrils.

blend the nose shapes and draw the holes

Step 3

Select the copy of the bigger nose shape that you made in the previous step and fill it with the linear gradient shown at a -90 degrees Angle. Apply a 3 px Gaussian Blur and you will get a discreet shadow around the nose.

create shadow around the nose of mask

Step 4

You are almost done with the face. Draw two long shapes on the cheeks, as shown in the following image, and select light gray as the fill color. Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 3 px.

create shading on the cheeks of mask

8. Create the Cape

Step 1

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw two shapes like the ones in the following image, and move them to a new layer behind the mask.

draw the cape shapes

Step 2

Let's create some shading and highlights on the cape. Draw a big moon-like shape filled with black and then apply a 5 px Gaussian Blur. Reduce the Opacity to 60% if needed.

create shading on the cape of mask

Step 3

Draw a few other random shapes on the cape filled with black and apply a 5 px Gaussian Blur.

create more shading on the cape of mask

Step 4

Draw a few other smaller shapes between the shading shapes and fill them with the colors indicated below. Apply a 5 px Gaussian Blur again.

create highlights on the cape of mask

Step 5

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a path following the top edge of the cape and then select a 5 pt Stroke with the Width Profile 1. For visual reasons I used red, but you should use black.

While this path stays selected, apply a 3 px Gaussian Blur and you will intensify the shadow on the forehead under the cape.

intensify shadow on forehead of mask

Step 6

Draw another curved path on the top of the cape and give it a 10 px Stroke with the Width Profile 1. For visual reasons I used red, but you should use black. Apply a 3 px Gaussian Blur to darken that area.

intensify shadow on the head of mask

Step 7

At this point the mask is ready and should look like the image below.

finished scream mask

Awesome Work, You're Done!

Scary or not so scary?

I hope you had fun with this tutorial. I expect a lot of recreations, so be sure to share them with me because I love a good scary thing.

Scream mask final image
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