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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Valentine's Day

How to Create a Valentine's Piglet Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

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What You'll Be Creating

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

Step 1

Create a new document (File > New) with 850 px width and 850 px height.

Let’s 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.

creating the headcreating the headcreating the head

Step 2

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 looks!

creating the eyecreating the eyecreating the eye

Step 3

For the bright spots on the pig’s eyes, let’s add some heart shapes.

You 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.

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 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 them.

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!

creating the heartcreating the heartcreating the heart

Step 4

Place 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 brown circle.

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.

placing the eyeplacing the eyeplacing the eye

Step 5

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.

creating the snoutcreating the snoutcreating the snout

Step 6

For 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 one.

creating the earcreating the earcreating the ear

Step 7

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 ready!

placing the earplacing the earplacing the ear

2. How to Create the Bow

Step 1

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:

creating the left loop of the bowcreating the left loop of the bowcreating the left loop of the bow

Step 2

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.

creating the left loop of the bow 2creating the left loop of the bow 2creating the left loop of the bow 2

Step 3

Hit the Reflect Tool (O) and click on your artboard while holding the Alt key. In the new dialogue window, check Vertical and press Copy.

creating the right loop of the bowcreating the right loop of the bowcreating the right loop of the bow

Step 4

A 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:

creating the middle part of the bowcreating the middle part of the bowcreating the middle part of the bow

Step 5

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).

continue creating the bowcontinue creating the bowcontinue creating the bow

Step 6

Take 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.

creating the ends of the ribboncreating the ends of the ribboncreating the ends of the ribbon

3. How to Create the Body, Arm, and Leg

Step 1

Using 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).

creating the bodycreating the bodycreating the body

Step 2

To 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.

creating the armcreating the armcreating the arm

Step 3

Let's 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.

creating the legcreating the legcreating the leg

Step 4

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. 

Then 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!

creating the hoofcreating the hoofcreating the hoof

Step 5

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 tail.

placing the hoofplacing the hoofplacing the hoof

Step 6

Take the bow that you set aside before, and place it on the piggy. Our pig is almost ready!

placing the bowplacing the bowplacing the bow

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. 

creating the wingcreating the wingcreating the wing

Place the wing behind the image of the pig (Control-X, Control-B).

placing the wingplacing the wingplacing the wing

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.

adding the heartadding the heartadding the heart

6. How to Add the Background

Step 1

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.

creating the backgroundcreating the backgroundcreating the background

Step 2

Place the Piglet Angel with the heart on the background. We are done!

placing the pig on the backgroundplacing the pig on the backgroundplacing the pig on the background

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!

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