Trick or treat! Most of the time when people talk about Halloween, the first things that pop up in their minds are scary and gory characters and images. However, let me tell you—Halloween can also be cute and funny. Recently, after the publication of my tutorial on drawing kawaii animals, I got a request from one of my readers to draw kawaii Halloween characters. I found this idea really interesting, so here we are!
During this tutorial, you’ll learn to create and
transform basic shapes using the Ellipse Tool and Rectangle Tool. You
will be able to use the round corners effect, warp effect, and Zig Zag options,
move anchor points, use the Pathfinder panel, and many other tools which
will be quite useful in your future projects. We’ll first start by
drawing different Halloween characters, and then we'll place the
signature kawaii faces on them.
If you are ready, let’s dive right into it!
1. How to Create the Cauldron and Potion Icon
Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document with 850 px x 850 px in Width and Height. Let’s start by drawing the cauldron with a gray circle. We will use the Ellipse Tool (L) for it. Remember to hold the Shift key while drawing the ellipse so that you will get a nice, even circle.
Next, make the rectangle over the created circle by using the Rectangle Tool (M), as in the image below. We will use it as a cutter; therefore the color of this rectangle is not important. Select both shapes and press Minus Front on the Pathfinder panel. This action leaves us with the body portion of our cauldron.
On top of this body, add a slightly
darker rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool as the rim.
create the legs of the cauldron, take the Ellipse Tool (L) (same fill
color as the body) and draw an ellipse. Keeping it selected, take the
Direct Selection Tool (A), select the left and right anchor points, and
move them up a little bit to get a lopsided ellipse. To move the anchor
points, use the Up Arrow key on your keyboard.
leg slightly to the right and place it as in the image below. While
keeping it selected, right-click your mouse and select Transform >
Reflect. Once you get the dialogue box, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90
degrees, and press Copy. Move the other leg to the right.
add a boiling potion into our cauldron. Make a set of circles in
different sizes (use the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding the Shift key).
Add a few lighter blue circles on top of the darker ones to add volume
to the image.
As written in the witch's handbook, for the special Halloween flavor, we need to throw in a couple of bones into our potion. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a light rectangle and add a circle on top of it.
Keeping the circle selected, hold down the Alt and Shift keys, and move the circle to the right with your mouse. This way, you’ll create a second copy of the circle, which will be horizontally aligned. In the next step, select both circles, hit the Alt and Shift keys, and move them down to the bottom of the rectangle. The fresh bone is ready for the potion!
Make another copy
of the bone (Control-C, Control-V), slightly rotate it, and slowly place
both bones into the boiling potion. Don't forget to place both bones in
the back; while they are selected, use the combination: Control-X,
Our cauldron with the boiling potion is ready.
2. How to Create a Ghost Icon
For the ghost, we will start by drawing two light gray rectangles by using the Rectangle Tool (M). The black strokes in the image below are just for your visibility so you don't need them in your drawing.
Select these two rectangles and unite them by pressing the Unite button
on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). Next, we will apply
the round corners effect: Effect > Stylize > Round Corners.
In the end, expand the object: Object > Expand Appearance.
Draw a line using the Line Segment Tool (\). To have a straight line, hold the Shift key while drawing the line. Now we will modify this line; Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. In the Zig Zag options window, adjust the Size and Ridges per segment to achieve a similar curve as in the image below. Do not forget to select Smooth Points. For your convenience, select Preview while adjusting these options.
keeping this curve selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. In the new
window, adjust the options from the image below. Finally, don't forget
to Expand Appearance (Object > Expand Appearance).
the Zig Zag curve on top of the ghost’s body. Select both objects and
press Divide on the Pathfinder panel. After that, right-click on your
mouse and hit Ungroup. Now you just simply delete the bottom part to
have the ghost shape.
3. How to Create a Broom Icon
Make a light gray ellipse by using the Ellipse Tool (L). On top of this ellipse, make a rectangle in the same color with the Rectangle Tool (M). Remember that the black strokes in the image below are just for your visibility, so you don't need them.
The created rectangle will be modified with Bulge and Arc effects. First: go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. In the new window, enter the presented options for Bulge effect. Don't do anything else—just look at the next image.
Down below is the same image as the previous one, but
here, I’ll show you the Arc Lower options. Keeping the rectangle
selected (you've already applied the Bulge effect), go to Effect > Warp
> Arc Lower and apply the options presented in the image below.
expand the rectangle: Object > Expand Appearance.
Next, we will use the Polygon Tool to make triangles. Take the Polygon Tool and click on your artboard. In the new dialogue window, type 3 Sides with any Radius. Then click OK. Make three different triangles and place them above the shape of the broom. Make a copy of the broom shape in front of everything. It gets a bit tricky here: first, create a copy in front (Control-C, Control-F), but you will place the new copy in front of the broom shape. Then you cut off this shape (Control-X) and place in front of everything (Control-F).
After that, select all the triangles and the top broom copy together. Press the Crop button in the Pathfinder. Done!
a dark rounded rectangle as the broom handle, using the Rounded
Rectangle Tool. For the tape that holds the broom together, draw in a
light blue rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M).
4. How to Create a Bat Icon
Now let's create a bat—starting with the head. Draw an oval.
In the image below, you can see which fill color you need. Go to Effect
> Warp > Inflate to form the head. Enter the options you see
For the ears, start by drawing an ellipse with
the Ellipse Tool (L) and set the necessary fill color. Keeping the
ellipse selected, take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click
on the top anchor point to make it sharp. Add another small blue
Rotate the ear slightly to the left
and place it on the left side of the head. While keeping it selected,
right-click your mouse and select Transform > Reflect. Once you get
the dialogue box, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press
Copy. Move the new ear to the right.
Add another ellipse for the body
of the bat.
Now we will create the wings. Draw an
ellipse, and then draw four more, using a different color, and place
them as in the image below. Take a look at the dark gray ellipse: can
you see the wing shape? You can move orange (or whichever color you
have) ellipses to achieve the result you want.
Once you are satisfied with the way it looks, select all the ellipses and press the Minus Front button. Here is the bat’s wing.
the wing on the left side of the bat. Then make a vertically reflected
copy of this wing to have another one. You already know how to do it!
Your bat is ready!
5. How to Create a Kawaii Face
As you know, all kawaii characters have the signature goggly
eyes. Create a dark circle while holding down the Shift key. Add another
tiny white circle to brighten up the eye. Select the entire eye and, while holding the Shift and Alt keys, move it to the right to get
another copy of it. Now you have two eyes.
For the mouth, draw an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L) with no fill and with a dark gray stroke color. On the Stroke panel, check Round Cap.
After that, grab the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the left and right anchor points of the ellipse. Delete the upper part. Select the lower part of the ellipse and while holding the Shift and Alt keys, move it to the right to get another copy of it; make sure that it is attached (connected) on the right side.
Select both shapes and group them
together (right-click > Group). Expand it: Object > Expand, OK. This is the cute mouth for our kawaii face.
Place the mouth almost between the eyes.
Place the face on each of the kawaii characters that we created in the previous steps.
6. How to Create the Background
Draw a blue square with width and height of 850 px, send it to the
back (Control-X, Control-B), and center it to the artboard. For the
alignment, select this square and on the Align panel (Window > Align)
from the pop-up menu, choose Align to: Artboard, and hit the Horizontal
Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons.
Add four darker rectangles—this is where you will place your kawaii characters.
the most exciting part. Place your kawaii characters on the rectangles.
The ghost and the bat need more space, so place them on the longer
rectangles and the other two on the shorter rectangles.
Boo! You're Done!
Good job! I hope you had fun creating these cute characters as much as I did. You can also use all the techniques you learned from this tutorial to create your own kawaii animals, plants, and even furniture. Be creative and enjoy the process of drawing! Happy Halloween! Boo!