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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Character Design
Design

How to Create a Candy Monster Character in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw a candy monster cartoon character in Adobe Illustrator. 

There are plenty of techniques used throughout the entire tutorial, from textures to small details, a new Blend Art Brush, masking techniques, reverse spine blending options, and even a 3D effect. Not to mention the colorful candy and jelly worms that are fun to draw. 

By the end of the tutorial, you will have the skills to draw other cartoon characters in future projects. Let's start!

If you are hungry for more cartoon characters or cartoon styles in general, make sure to go over to GraphicRiver and you'll surely find what you are looking for there. 

1. How to Open a New Document 

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 the Units and RGB as the 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.

how to open a new illustrator document

2. How to Create the Body of the Monster

Step 1

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 192 x 339 px ellipse on your artboard (1). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and use it to select only the right and left points; then move them outwards to make the ellipse rounder (2). Now, select only the bottom point and drag the handles to make them longer (3).

how to draw the body of the monster

Step 2

Make a few extra adjustments to get the shape from the image below and fill it with light blue. This will be the “body shape”.

how to color the body of the monster

3. How to Create the Eyes of the Monster

Step 1

Draw two shapes like the ones in the following image as the eyes and give them a 1 pt light blue Stroke. They don't have to be perfectly rounded.

Select only the left eye and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Change the settings as indicated and hit OK. As a result, you will get the outer contour of the eye.

how to create the left eye contour of the monster

Step 2

Select the right eye and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel again. The settings are the same except for the rotation coordinates and the light, which you have to move from the upper right side (default) to the upper left side.

how to create the right eye contour of the monster

Step 3

Zoom in on the eyes and draw the eyeballs inside the 3D contours, making sure not to cover the shading and highlights created by the 3D effect (1). Fill the eyeball shapes with the radial gradient shown (2), and you can see the result in the image below (3).

how to draw the eyeballs of the monster

Step 4

Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a small 18 x 19 px ellipse as the iris for the right eye. Select light brown as the fill color; then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown (1).

Next, grab the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a random star-like path over the iris (2). Use the Ink Spatter 1 Scatter Brush from the Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_Ink and reduce the Stroke Weight to 0.1 pt. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply (3).

Select the iris shape and Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) in order to make a copy of it in front of everything. Remove all existing appearances. Now, select the stroked path along with the copy of the iris and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7) (4).

how to create the iris of the monster

Step 5

Draw a 7 x 7 px black circle in the center of the iris as the pupil (1).

To add a sparkle, draw a small circle in the upper right side filled with a basic white to black radial gradient (2), and then set the Blending Mode to Screen (3).

how to draw the pupil of the monster

Step 6

Select the iris, the stroked path, the pupil, and the sparkle, and make copies of them for the left eye.

Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up each eye to keep things organized in the Layers panel.

how to create the left iris and pupil of the monster

Step 7

Select the left eye contour, go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow, and apply this effect twice using the settings shown.

how to add shadow around the monsters left eye

Step 8

Now, select the right eye contour and apply the two Drop Shadow effects. The settings are the same as above, except for the X Offset, which is negative this time.

how to add shadow around the monsters right eye

4. How to Create the Mouth of the Monster

Step 1

Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a big mouth shape for all that candy, and fill it with a dark burgundy red (1). While this shape stays selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply the settings shown (2) to obtain the blue bottom lip. Apply the Drop Shadow effect again, using the other settings shown (3) to obtain the upper lip.

how to create the mouth and lips of the monster

Step 2

With the mouth shape still selected, apply the third Drop Shadow effect to obtain a thin highlight line above the upper lip (1).

Apply the Drop Shadow effect for the last time to obtain the highlight line under the bottom lip (2).

how to add highlight around the monsters lips

Step 3

Select the mouth and Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) to make a copy of it. Remove the four Drop Shadow effects and just keep the dark red fill color (1). Draw a similar but smaller shape at the top of the mouth and fill it with a lighter shade (2).

Now, select both shapes and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 20 Specified Steps, hit OK, and then go back to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B) (3).

how to create depth in the mouth of the monster

Step 4

Next, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw four paths on the lips (1). Give them a 1 pt white Stroke and use the Black Blend Art Brush 100x3 (info below). Set the Blending Mode to Overlay for all four (2).

I have an entire tutorial dedicated to Blend Art Brushes and how useful they are. I use them in my drawings all the time. You can find out how to create and save the Black Blend Art Brush 100x3 that we are using today in How to Create a Set of Multi-Use Blend Brushes in Adobe Illustrator.

Since the Colorization of the brush is set to Tints, when you select white as the stroke color, the brush becomes white as well, despite its name. The same thing happens with any other color.

how to add shine on the monsters lips

5. How to Create the Tongue of the Monster

Step 1

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape like the one in the following image as the back piece of the tongue (1). Continue with the front piece and fill it with red (2).

how to draw the tongue of the monster

Step 2

Draw a path through the middle of the back piece and move it behind the front piece of the tongue (1). Give it a 1 pt Stroke using the color indicated and select Width Profile 2 in the Stroke panel.

With the path still selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow and apply the settings shown. Reduce the Opacity to 75%, but only for the Stroke attribute, and you can see the result below (2).

how to add detail on back tongue of the monster

Step 3

Next, draw a path through the middle of the front piece of the tongue (1). Give it a 1 pt Stroke using the color indicated and select Width Profile 2 again. Set this Stroke attribute to 75% Opacity.

With the path still selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow and apply the settings shown (2).

how to add detail on front tongue of the monster

6. How to Create the Teeth of the Monster

Step 1

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw the shapes of the four top teeth filled with beige (1). Next, draw a similar but smaller shape above each tooth filled with cream (2) and finally, four smaller shapes filled with white (3).

Now, select the three shapes that make up the first tooth and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 10 Specified Steps and hit OK, and then go back to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B). Repeat the same thing for the other three teeth (4).

how to create the top teeth of the monster

Step 2

Follow the technique explained above and create the four bottom teeth.

how to create the bottom teeth of the monster

Step 3

Group (Control-G) the four top teeth and apply the Drop Shadow effect to create a shadow. Do the same thing for the bottom teeth.

how to add shadow to the monsters teeth

Step 4

Select the two pieces of the tongue and apply the Drop Shadow effect using the settings shown.

how to add shadow to the monsters tongue

Step 5

It's finally time for a mask. Select the mouth shape and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it in front of everything. Remove all existing appearances (1).

Now, select this copy of the mouth along with the top teeth, the bottom teeth, and the tongue, and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7). You can see the result in the image below (2).

how to mask the teeth and tongue of the monster

7. How to Add Texture on the Monster's Body

Step 1

Grab the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a random path on the body of the monster, and then send it behind the eyes and the mouth (1). Give it a 1 pt white Stroke using the Ink Drop Scatter Brush from the Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_Ink (2).

While the Stroke attribute stays selected in the Appearance panel, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 2.5 px. Set the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 20% (3).

how to add light spots on the monsters body

Step 2

With the path still selected, add a New Stroke in the Appearance panel above the first. Use the Ink Drop Scatter Brush again, but open the Stroke Options window and switch the Scatter settings. This will make the dark spots not overlap with the white spots from the previous step (1).

Apply a 2.5 px Gaussian Blur again; then set the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 50% (2).

If your spots go over the edge of the body, simply use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to modify the path or create a mask.

how to add dark spots on the monsters body

8. How to Add Shading on the Monster's Body

Step 1

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a curved path at the top of the head. Give it a 10 pt blue Stroke and choose Width Profile 6 from the Stroke panel (1).

Next, draw a curved path at the bottom of the body. Give it a 15 pt blue Stroke and use Width Profile 6 again (2). Apply a 12 px Gaussian Blur for both of them (3).

how to add shading on the monsters body

Step 2

Select the body shape and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it in front of everything. Remove all existing appearances. Now, select the two curved paths along with the copy of the body and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

how to mask shading on the monsters body

9. How to Create the Arms of the Monster

Step 1

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shapes of the arms as shown in the following image (1). Next, draw two smaller shapes on the inside filled with a darker shade of blue (2).

Select the two shapes that make up one of the arms and Blend them using 20 Specified Steps. Do the same thing for the other arm (3).

how to draw the arms of the monster

Step 2

Draw two curved paths on the arms and apply the two strokes using the Ink Drop Scatter Brush as you did earlier for the body. Position the paths so the spots fall on the arms (1).

Make a copy in front for each arm shape and use them to mask the stroked paths (2).

how to add texture on the monsters arms

10. How to Create a Tapered Blend Art Brush

Step 1

Earlier in the tutorial, you used the Black Blend Art Brush 100x3 from How to Create a Set of Multi-Use Blend Brushes. Now, let's create a new Blend Art Brush that is not featured in that tutorial but definitely should be.

Grab the Line Segment Tool (\), click on your artboard, and choose 100 px as the Length and 0 degrees as the Angle. This will generate the green horizontal line. Use the Line Segment Tool (\) again, and this time choose 5 px in Length and 90 degrees as the Angle to generate the small blue vertical line. While both lines stay selected, press Vertical Align Center and Horizontal Align Right in the Align panel (1).

Use the two lines as guides and draw a sharp triangle (2). While this triangle stays selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and apply an Offset of -2 px to obtain a smaller one inside (3).

Fill both triangles with black, but set the Opacity of the bigger one to 0% (4). Blend them using 15 Specified Steps, and the brush is ready to be saved (5).

how to create a new tapered blend art brush

Step 2

Drag the blend group obtained in the previous step into the Brushes panel and choose New Art Brush. Type Tapered Blend Art Brush 100x5 as the name and choose Tints as the Colorization Method. Hit OK, and you'll find the new brush right next to the Black Blend Art Brush 100x3 in the Brushes panel.

how to save a new tapered blend art brush

11. How to Create the Feet of the Monster

Step 1

Draw the shape of the right foot with the Pen Tool (P) and fill it with blue (1). Continue with a smaller shape above, filled with a lighter shade of blue (2), and with the smallest shape at the top filled with a darker shade of blue (3).

Blend these three shapes using 15 Specified Steps, and you can see the result below (4).

how to draw the foot of the monster

Step 2

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a path at the bottom of the foot, and give it a 5 pt Stroke using black and Width Profile 6. Apply a 5 px Gaussian Blur and set the Blending Mode to Overlay.

how to add shading on the monsters foot

Step 3

Draw two short paths at the top of the foot and give them a 1 pt azure blue Stroke using the Tapered Blend Art Brush 100x5 that you saved earlier (1).

Make a copy of the foot shape in front and set it to stroke-none and fill-none. Use this copy to mask the last three stroked paths (2). You can see the result below (3).

how to add details on the monsters foot

12. How to Create the Claws of the Monster

Step 1

Draw three triangle-like shapes as the claws and fill them with dark orange (1). Next, draw a similar but smaller shape on each claw, filled with a pale shade of orange (2).

Select the two shapes that make up one of the claws and Blend them using 10 Specified Steps. Repeat the same thing for the other two claws (3).

how to draw the foot claws of the monster

Step 2

Follow the top edge of the claws and draw three paths with the Pen Tool (P). Give them a 2 pt Stroke and use Width Profile 6. Send these paths behind the claws in the Layers panel.

how to add shadow at the base of the foot claws

Step 3

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the bigger claw shapes from the blend groups and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make copies of them. Move the copies behind the claws in the Layers panel. Keep the same fill color and just apply the Drop Shadow effect to create the shadows (1).

Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) the bigger foot shape, and set the copy to stroke-none and fill-none. Use it to mask the three copies of the claws with the shadow applied to them (2). As a result, the shadow that falls outside the foot area will not be visible (3).

how to add shadow under monsters claws

Step 4

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a path on each claw and give them a 0.5 pt white Stroke using the Tapered Blend Art Brush. Also apply a 1 px Gaussian Blur.

The base (thicker part) of the brush should be at the top of the claws, and the tip of the brush should be at the bottom. If not, open the Stroke Options window and check the Flip Along option.

how to highlight the foot claws of the monster

Step 5

At this point, the right foot is ready, and you can Group (Control-G) all the shapes that compose it to keep things organized in the Layers panel.

While the right foot stays selected, go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy to obtain the left foot. All you have to do is to move it into place and make small adjustments if needed.

how to create the left foot of the monster

Step 6

Focus on the right arm of the monster and use the same technique to create the claws (1-3).

Select only the bigger claw shapes from the blend groups, and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make copies of them. Move these copies behind the claws in the Layers panel, and choose brown as the fill color. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the top anchor points of these shapes (without the tip) and move them inwards a little with the help of the arrow keys on your keyboard (4). You can see the result below (5).

how to create the right arm claws of the monster

Step 7

The right arm's claws are ready now, and you can Group (Control-G) all the shapes. Reflect this group to obtain the claws for the left arm.

how to create the left arm claws of the monster

13. How to Create the Horns of the Monster

Step 1

Use the technique explained earlier for the arm claws to create the horn on the right side of the head (1-4).

To add some shine, use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a path on the horn (5). Give it a 1 pt white Stroke and use the Tapered Blend Art Brush. Also apply a 2 px Gaussian Blur (6).

how to draw the big right horn of the monster

Step 2

Follow the previous step again, and create a smaller version of the horn next to the first one (1). Now, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape like the one in the next image at the base of the horns (2).

To add some details, draw a few short paths on the blue shape. First, select a 2 pt blue Stroke and use the Tapered Blend Art Brush. Add a New Stroke above, select a 0.25 pt gray Stroke, and use the Tapered Blend Art Brush again (3). You can see the result below (4).

how to draw the skin around the horns of the monster

Step 3

At this point, the right horns are ready, and you can Group (Control-G) all the shapes. Reflect this group to obtain the horns on the left side and move them into place.

how to create the left horns of the monster

14. How to Add Extra Details on the Monster's Body

Step 1

Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a few triangle-like shapes at the bottom of the body filled with the linear gradient shown at a 90 degrees Angle (1). Continue with the pieces of fur at the top of the head, and use the same gradient but change the Angle to -90 degrees (2).

how to add top and bottom fur on the monster

Step 2

Next, draw two fur pieces on the sides of the head and a few smaller ones on the arms. Use the gradient shown to fill all of them. The darker shade of the gradient should be at the tip of these fur shapes, so adjust the angle accordingly.

how to add extra fur on the monster

Step 3

Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a bunch of ellipses of different sizes on the body. Fill all of them with blue. Add a New Fill above and use the same color; then apply a 4 px Gaussian Blur.

how to add blue spots on monsters body

Step 4

Use the Pen Tool (P) or the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a few tiny shapes under the eyes as the freckles. They don't have to be perfectly round.

how to add freckles under the monsters eyes

Step 5

Select the body, the arms, and the feet, and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make copies of them. Remove all existing appearances (1) and then press Unite in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into a single shape (2).

how to create a mask shape for the monster

Step 6

Select the body shape; then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply the settings shown (1).

Select the shape that you obtained in the previous step, set it to stroke-none and fill-none, and move it right in front of the body in the Layers panel. Now, select the body along with this shape and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7) (2). As a result, the shadow around the monster that falls on the white background will not be visible (3).

how to add shadow on arms and feet of the monster

15. How to Create the Colorful Candy

Step 1

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 35 x 35 px circle filled with the radial gradient shown (1). Switch to the Pen Tool (P) and draw four shapes as shown in the image below. All four shapes have a white fill color, but set the Opacity for the bigger ones to 0% (2).

Select the pair of shapes on the upper left side and Blend them using 15 Specified Steps. Set the resulting blend group to Blending Mode Soft Light.

Blend the other two shapes on the bottom right side; then set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to 75% (3).

how to draw the orange candy

Step 2

The orange candy is ready, and you can Group (Control-G) all the shapes. Make a copy of the group; then select only the circle and replace the orange gradient with the green radial gradient shown.

Do the same thing to obtain the pink candy, the chocolate candy, and the caramel candy.

how to create colorful candy

Step 3

It's time to arrange the candy inside the monster's mouth. First, arrange the orange candy in the desired place; then select only the orange circle and apply the Drop Shadow effect.

Arrange the pink candy on the right side and apply the Drop Shadow effect again to the pink circle. Continue to arrange the rest of the candy or as many as you want. You can also scale them up or down, and don't forget to add the shadow.

After you are done, select all the pieces of candy and move them behind the teeth but in front of the tongue in the Layers panel under the existing mask.

how to arrange candy inside monsters mouth

16. How to Create the Jelly Worms

Step 1

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a wavy path between the colorful candy and one on the right side of the mouth. Give them a 10 pt Stroke using the color of your choice.

how to draw the jelly worm paths inside monsters mouth

Step 2

Draw a small 10 x 10 px circle on your artboard. Go to Object > Transform > Move, type 170 px in the Horizontal field, and hit Copy to obtain the second circle. The fill colors are not important at this moment—just make sure they are different.

While the two circles stay selected, go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and choose 18 Specified Steps. Hit OK and then go back to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B).

how to create a blend group

Step 3

First, make a copy of the blend group from the previous step because you have worms to create. Now, select the blue path along with one of the blend groups and go to Object > Blend > Replace Spine (1). Use the other blend group for the green path and do the same thing. You can see the result below (2).

how to create the jelly worms

Step 4

Zoom in on the mouth and use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select each circle at the end of the blended worms and replace the fill colors (1). You can choose other colors as well.

Use the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N) to draw slightly curved paths on the yellow/green worm. Give them a 0.5 pt black Stroke and select the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel. Set the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 75%; then Group (Control-G) all of them (2).

Repeat the same thing for the pink/blue worm.

how to recolor and add details on jelly worms

Step 5

To add shine, draw a path on the yellow/green jelly worm following its shape (1). Give it a 1 pt white Stroke and use the Tapered Blend Art Brush (2). With this path still selected, duplicate the existing Stroke attribute in the Appearance panel, but open the Stroke Options window and check the Flip Along option (3). Set the Blending Mode to Overlay (4).

Draw a similar path on the pink/blue jelly worm and apply the same settings to make it glossy as well.

how to add shine on jelly worms

Step 6

Select only the blended yellow/green worm (without the lines and the highlight), and then Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) to make a copy of it and expand it (Object > Expand). Apply the Drop Shadow effect to the resulting group using the settings shown (1). Repeat the same thing for the other jelly worm.

It's time to mask the yellow/green jelly worm, and for that, you need a copy of the mouth shape. Bring the copy in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front (Shift-Control-]) and set it to stroke-none and fill-none. 

Now, select all the shapes that make up the yellow/green worm, along with the copy of the mouth, and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7) (2). The result is not quite what we want, so you need to distort the mask shape a little to reveal the front end of the worm (3).

how to add shadow and mask the jelly worm

17. How to Add the Final Elements

Step 1

Let's create a stick for the orange candy. Draw a rectangle-like shape, slightly rounded at the ends and filled with a very light gray (1). Continue with a similar but smaller shape on the stick filled with white (2) and finally, draw a small ellipse at the end filled with gray as the hole (3).

To add the shadow, draw another rectangle-like shape under the stick filled with a linear white to black gradient. Set the Opacity to 0% for the white slider to make it transparent, and after that, apply a 1.5 px Gaussian Blur (4).

how to draw the orange candy stick

Step 2

You can also add smaller versions of the chocolate and caramel candy on the tongue and then apply the Drop Shadow effect to the circles.

how to add extra candy inside monsters mouth

Step 3

The last thing is the saliva, and it's easy to make. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape between the top teeth, as shown in the next image. Select light blue as the fill color; then set the Blending Mode to Screen and reduce the Opacity to 30% (1).

Draw a small, droplet-like shape at the bottom, filled with pale blue; then set the Blending Mode to Screen and reduce the Opacity to 40% (2). Group (Control-G) these two shapes and apply the Drop Shadow effect using the settings shown (3).

You can add more saliva using the same technique, but draw different shapes to make it more realistic.

how to draw saliva inside monsters mouth

Step 4

This big guy is done now.

candy monster cartoon character

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is the final image of the candy monster. He is quite cute, right?

I had a lot of fun creating this cartoon character, and I hope the tutorial was fun for you as well. If you decide to recreate it, please share an image because I would love to see it.

Now you have the knowledge to create other cute characters, so be creative and keep drawing!

final image of candy monster cartoon character
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