In this tutorial, we’ll go through the process of creating a lovely illustration for Valentine's Day. We’ll create an adorable piglet angel character, which you can later even turn into another animal. You may want to browse GraphicRiver to see different characters and be inspired!
We will use basic shapes and apply various effects for modification. In the end, we’ll have a sweet illustration, which you can send to your Valentine! Let’s get started!
1. How to Create the Head
Create a new document (File > New) with 850 px width and 850 px height.
start with the head. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a pink
ellipse that almost resembles a circle shape. Next, we will apply the
Inflate effect to this ellipse. Go to Effect > Warp > Inflate.
Enter the options you see below.
Now, let’s create
those lovely googly eyes. Create a white ellipse with a black stroke
using the Ellipse Tool (L). This black stroke will later be removed, but
for now, let's keep it black so we can see better. Add a brown circle
inside this oval. To make an even circle, draw an oval using the Ellipse
Tool (L) while holding down the Shift key. Rotate the white ellipse
slightly to the left. Rotating is totally optional—I just like the way it
For the bright spots on the pig’s eyes, let’s add some heart shapes.
can 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 later versions of the Illustrator. It
will be easier to adjust the roundness of corners by using this tool.
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
shape and the corners of the rectangle will gradually become round.
(Just as a practice, try moving the circles out, and the corners of the
rectangle will be sharp again.)
While keeping the rounded
rectangle selected, press the Rotate Tool (R). In the pop-up window,
enter 90 degrees and hit Copy. Arrange these two shapes as shown below.
The red shaded area on the image will show the heart area. Next, take
the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), select the two rounded rectangles, and
swipe on the red marked areas, thus forming the heart shape. Using the same
tool and holding the Alt key, click on the unmarked areas to delete
For older versions of 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 red in the image below, and press the Unite button in
Pathfinder. Now just simply delete the excess to have the heart shape.
Your heart is ready!
the googly eye on the left side of the head and delete the stroke from
the white ellipse. Don't forget to place the white heart above the
Let’s finish the eyes. Keeping the left eye
selected, take the Reflect Tool (O). Hold down the Alt key and click in
the middle of the head. In the new dialogue window, select Vertical,
Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. For the right eye, move the white
heart to the right side, because the highlights should always be on one
side. You should now have two of those adorable googly eyes.
Let’s create the snout. Copy the shape of the head and make this shape smaller and lighter. You may also slightly flatten the top of this shape. Add two tiny dark circles for the nostrils.
Select the snout, make another copy of it and place it behind the
original one (Control-C, Control-B). Turn this copy upside down (stretch
it in the opposite direction using the Selection Tool (V)), shift it down
slightly and make it darker. The pig’s snout is ready.
the ears, let’s start by drawing another ellipse. Using the Direct
Selection Tool (A), move down the left and right anchor points. To
create the shape shown below, move the handles by using the Direct Selection
Tool (A). Make another copy of this shape, change it to a slightly
darker color, make it a bit smaller, and place it inside the larger
Place the ear on the left side of the head.
Rotate it a bit to the left. Take the Reflect Tool (O) and while holding
down the Alt key, click the forehead. In the new dialogue window,
select Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. Our pig’s head is
2. How to Create the Bow
Start with a blue
rectangle, which you need to create with the help of the Rectangle Tool
(M). Go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the following settings:
Expand the shape (Object > Expand Appearance) and draw an overlapping rectangle as shown in the image. Select the two shapes and on the Pathfinder panel, press the Intersect button.
Reflect Tool (O) and click on your artboard while holding the Alt key.
In the new dialogue window, check Vertical and press Copy.
slightly lighter blue rectangle will make up the middle part of the
bow. Enter the Warp Options (Effect > Warp > Bulge) with the
settings you see below:
Using the Reflect Tool (O),
make a Horizontal reflection of the bow wings and set the fill color
presented below. Don't forget to put them behind (Control-X, Control-B).
one of the bow wings and make it slightly bigger. Rotate the wing to
the left. Then place it behind everything (Control-C, Control-B) and
change the fill color. Make a vertical reflection with the Reflect Tool
(O). Now our bow is ready. Set it aside for now.
3. How to Create the Body, Arm, and Leg
the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an oval. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A)
and move the handles of the anchor points to create a pear-like shape
for the body. Place the body under the head (Control-X, Control-B).
draw the arm, start with an oval again. Using the Direct Selection Tool
(A), move the handles to create the shape shown below. To show the
boundaries of the arm, create another copy of it behind the original one
(Control-C, Control-B) and make it darker.
draw the leg. Create another ellipse. Using the Direct Selection Tool
(A), move the handles to create the shape shown below. Make another
darker copy in the back (Control-C, Control-B) to create the boundaries.
Next, we will make the hoof. First, we need two brown ovals, which overlap in a vertical direction. After that, go to the Pathfinder panel, press Unite, and you will get one shape from these two ovals.
remove the anchor point located between the two ovals. To remove the
anchor point, you need to use the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-). After
that, delete the two top anchor points, and you’ll end up with one shape
which resembles a hoof!
Place the hoof on the pig’s foreleg and adjust its size. Now put the hoof on the hind leg and make it slightly bigger.
Let’s draw a tail. For this, we will use the Pencil Tool (N). But first, we need to get the same pink color as we did for the body and set it as the stroke color. Click on the pink fill color, and then click on your artboard, because nothing has to be selected.
You will notice that on
the Tools panel (Windows > Tools), you still have this fill color.
Click on the button called Swap Fill and Stroke (Shift-X)—you’ll get a
pink stroke color. On the Stroke panel, adjust the Weight of the stroke
and check Round Cap. Grab the Pencil Tool (N) and start drawing a curly
Take the bow that you set aside before, and place it on the piggy. Our pig is almost ready!
4. How to Create the Wing
Draw a set of blue ovals, which are positioned as shown in the image below. Select all of them and on the Pathfinder panel, press the Unite button. You will get a single shape, which looks like an angel’s wing.
Place the wing behind the image of the pig (Control-X, Control-B).
5. How to Add the Heart
What’s a Valentine’s image without a heart! Let’s take a copy of the heart which
you created for the eyes. Make it bigger and change the color. Place it
behind the pig so that it looks as if our piggy is holding the heart! Add
two white circles as highlights.
6. How to Add the Background
Let’s draw a large square by using the Rectangle Tool (M). Click on your artboard and enter the Width and Height at 850 px.
Place the Piglet Angel with the heart on the background. We are done!
Awesome Work, You're Done!
Great job! I hope you’re very happy with the results, and perhaps you're already thinking about sending this image to your Valentine! Remember, you can also transform the pig into other cute animals. Happy Valentine's Day!