Everybody probably knows the story about princess frog, because many countries have similar stories. How do you imagine the frog princess? I imagine her as an adorable little frog princess like the one we'll create today. This short tutorial is very easy to follow, and great for beginners.
Once you are ready, let's start!
1. How to Create a Vector Frog
Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document with 850 x 850 px Width and Height. We will start by drawing the head of the frog. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an oval. In the image below, you can see which fill and stroke colors you need. On the Stroke panel, make the stroke Weight very thick, about 5 px. The stroke will give our final image a cartoonish look.
Next, we will apply the Inflate effect to this ellipse. Go to Effect > Warp > Inflate. Enter the options you see below, and press OK.
Expand this shape: go to Object > Expand Appearance. After expanding the shape and ungrouping it (right-click > Ungroup), you will notice that now you have two pieces instead of one: the stroke itself and the fill color by itself. To make it into one shape again, simply delete the stroke and make a new stroke color directly on the Tools panel, which is on your left (see the second image).
Create an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L) using the same fill and stroke colors as before. Rotate it slightly to the left.
While keeping this small ellipse selected, take the Reflect Tool (O) and, while holding down the Alt key, click on the forehead. In the new dialogue window, select Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. You should now have these two ellipses on the frog’s head.
Next, select all three of the shapes and, using the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), unite them. Now, instead of three ellipses, we have one shape.
Finally, add two dark grey ellipses for the eyes.
For the highlights on the frog’s eyes, let’s add some heart shapes. Because she is in love, remember? Start by creating a rounded rectangle by using the Rounded Rectangle Tool. But let me show you how to make it with the Corner Widget, which is available in the latest version of Adobe Illustrator. It will be easier to adjust the roundness of the corners by using this tool.
So create a regular rectangle by using the Rectangle Tool (M). Be sure to check View > Show Corner Widget. Now, near each corner of the rectangle, you have a tiny circle. Move these circles to the middle of the shape, and the corners of the rectangle will gradually become round. (Just for practice, try moving the circles out, and the corners of the rectangle will be sharp again.)
Rotate the rounded rectangle by 45 degrees. Next, while keeping it selected, press the Reflect Tool (O) and then the Enter key. In the pop-up window, enter Axis Vertical. and hit Copy. Arrange these two shapes as shown below. The orange shaded area on the image is the area that we want to keep. So we will need to delete the rest. For that, take the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), select the two rounded rectangles and swipe on the orange marked areas, thus forming a heart shape. Using the same tool and holding the Alt key, click on the unmarked areas to delete them. Now you should see the basic heart, which we will use inside the eyes later on.
For older versions of Adobe Illustrator: select both rounded rectangles and press Divide on the Pathfinder panel. After that, right-click your mouse and hit Ungroup. Select those three parts of the rectangles marked orange in the image below, and press the Unite button in Pathfinder. Now simply delete the excess to get your heart shape. And your heart is ready!
Finally, place the two white hearts on the eyes. Remember that you don't need the stroke (outline) anymore.
Now we will create the mouth. We start by creating an ellipse. Remember to use the same stroke color and no fill color. Then take the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the marked anchor points to cut off the upper part of the ellipse. Delete this part, as you don't need it.
To create the body, place an ellipse behind the head. Place another small ellipse on the left side of the body—this will be the leg.
Hold the Shift and Alt keys together and move the left leg to the right. Now, you have the right leg, perfectly aligned.
Now we will create the arm. Start with an ellipse. Now, hit the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move the handles of the anchor points to achieve the result you see below.
After that, take the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the path segment marked in the image below. This will be one arm, and we still need another. Place this arm on the left side of the frog's body, under the head. While keeping it selected, hit the the Reflect Tool (O) and press the Enter key. Be sure that in the new dialogue Reflect window Vertical is checked, and press Copy. Using the Right Arrow key on your keyboard, move the newly created arm to the right.
2. How to Create the Arrow and Crown
Make a new copy of one of the hearts that you placed on the frog's eye. Change its fill color and set the same stroke color as before. On the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke), check Corner: Round Join.
Then delete the fill color, so that you only have the stroke color. Now, using the Line Segment Tool (\), draw a line.
Click on the heart to have in the AI memory the same fill and stroke
color as you have for the heart. Draw a rectangle using the Rectangle
Tool (M) on the other end of the line. Using the Direct Selection Tool
(A), select the two upper anchor points of this rectangle. Move them to
While keeping this rectangle selected, take the Reflect Tool (O) and press the Enter key. In the new dialogue window, check Horizontal and press Copy. Move the new copy down. The arrow is done!
For your convenience, select the whole arrow and group it (right-click > Group).
Place the arrow in the frog's mouth. Be sure the arrow stays in the mouth, not over it. To achieve this, select the mouth, cut it off (Control-X) and place it in front (Control-F).
Now we will create the crown. Leave the same stroke color, and change its fill color to yellow.
Then we need to make a cutter to cut off one part of the crown. For this, we need to draw a triangle: take the Polygon Tool and click on your artboard. In the new dialogue window, type 3 Sides with any Radius. Then click OK. Finally, turn it upside down, and place it as shown below. While holding the Shift and Alt keys, move this triangle to the left. You'll get the second upside-down triangle. Select them and unite them: press the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder).
Keep this shape selected and select the yellow rectangle. Press the Minus Front button on the Pathfinder panel.
To finalize our crown, go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the options presented below and press OK. The crown is ready!
Place the crown on the frog's head. Isn't she cute?
3. How to Create the Lotus Leaf and the Reed
Let's create the lotus leaf where our frog will sit. Keep the same stroke color and change the fill color to blue, and then draw an ellipse.
Create a cutter again: this will be a triangle which you'll make using the Polygon Tool. Place the triangle (the cutter) on the ellipse as shown below. Hit Minus Front on Pathfinder.
Now we want to make the edges of the leaf smoother. First, check Show Corner Widget (View > Show Corner Widget). After that, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), drag the outer corners inside and the inner corner outside to make them smooth.
A reed will be a nice addition to the lotus leaf. Start with an ellipse. To create a leaf shape of the reed, you'll need to create sharp corners using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C). Simply click on the top and bottom anchor points of the ellipse. And, yes, it's the same fill color as the lotus leaf.
Delete the fill color and leave the stroke color as it is. Take the Arc Tool and draw a curve.
Set the fill color you see below and draw a rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool. The reed is ready!
Place your froggy on the lotus leaf. Add the reed and, if you want, add a few more reeds by making copies.
4. How to Create the Background
For the background, create a light blue square with no stroke color and with 850 px Width and Height. To make the square, select the Rectangle Tool (M), click on your artboard, and then enter the options needed.
Place the background behind the frog: select the light blue square, cut it off (Control-X), and put it behind (Control-B).
Add a few water ripples: create a few ellipses with no fill color and with the stroke color presented below. They should stay over the background and under the frog.
Make a new copy of the heart, set the fill color presented below, and delete the stroke color. Distribute the hearts around your froggy.
And we are done! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new about using Adobe Illustrator. This image is perfect for Valentine's Day, and also perfect for anyone you love. Print it out, give it as a card, or simply keep it where it is.
See you later!