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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Fan Art
Design

How to Create the Hello Kitty Character in Adobe Illustrator

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

As I have a little daughter, I've become a fan of Strawberry Shortcake, Lillifee, My Little Pony, and of course, Hello Kitty. This tutorial will help you create a piece of fan art, totally dedicated to Hello Kitty. I adore this cute little kitten! If, by some horrible mistake, you still don't know who Hello Kitty is—check out the official website.

Hello Kitty is a little explorer of fun and joy, and she is always creative and a game lover. That's why I decided to present her with candy cart and balloons—a little scene at the amusement park. As always, we will use basic shapes and warp effects to complete this scene.

Can't wait to start with you!

1. Drawing the Head and Face

Step 1

After creating a new document (Control-N), we will draw the head of our little kitten. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse with white fill color and black stroke. Now, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. In the new dialogue window, enter the options you see in the image below:

creating the head 1

Step 2

To achieve the perfect shape of the head, we still need to warp a little more. Go to Effect > Warp > Arc, and enter the options:

creating the head 2

Step 3

Now the head is ready, so let’s add two eyes. With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L), draw two ellipses with black fill color and no stroke.

Then again, choose a black stroke color and yellow (R=245 G=237 B=96) fill color, and draw a nose.

creating the face

Step 4

Now we will draw the ear. Make sure that you still have a white fill color and black stroke color; using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an ellipse. 

Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the right and left anchor points. Shift them down a little bit, and you will get an egg shape. Remember this simple movement for your future projects—for example, when you create something with an Easter theme.

creating the ear

Step 5

But now let's return to Hello Kitty. Rotate the ear you created in the previous step to the left, and place it as shown below. Do not forget to place this ear behind the head (Control-X, Control-B). 

Keep the ear selected and take the Reflect Tool (O); while holding the Alt key, click the middle of the face. You just created a reflection of the ear. In the new dialogue window, check Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. Move the right ear to the right side of the head.

placing the ears

Step 6

Delete the fill color and look at the Stroke panel. Check off Round Cap. Then using the Pencil Tool (N), draw three whiskers on the left side of the face. Keep the whiskers selected and hit the Reflect Tool (O). Make a vertical reflection as you did before with the ears. 

If you're not familiar with the Pencil Tool (N), you can use the Line Segment Tool (\) for drawing the whiskers and then move the handles using the Direct Selection Tool (A) to achieve the result you want.

creating the whiskers

2. Creating the Bow

Step 1

Keep the black stroke color and choose the fill color R=218 G=30 B=74. Create a circle. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top and bottom anchor points and shift them to the right. That is the left part of the bow.

creating the left part of the bow

Step 2

Draw one more circle as shown in the image below. Then make a vertical reflection of the left side of the bow to create the right side of the bow, just as you did for the ears and whiskers.

creating the right part of the bow and the middle part

Step 3

Placing two ellipses between the middle circle and the left and right parts of the bow will complete the whole bow. Group it (right-click > Group).

completing creating the bow

Step 4

Place the bow on the right ear of the kitten.

placing the bow on the head

3. Creating the Dress

Step 1

Let’s start with the neck. Draw a circle under the head with white fill color and black stroke.

creating the neck

Step 2

Now take the Eye Dropper Tool (I) and click on the bow. You will get the same red color. With this color, you need to draw a dress. So take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle, and then enter the options you see below:

creating the dress 1

Step 3

And warp it again:

creating the dress 2

Step 4

Place the dress under the neck of the kitten.

placing the dress

4. Creating the Legs

Step 1

To create the leg, we will start from an ellipse. You should already know which tool to use to create this! Now, take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and click directly on the stroke, and you will see handles. Move them to achieve the result which you see in the image below. After that, make a vertical reflection to create another leg.

creating the legs

Step 2

Put the legs in their place.

placing the legs

5. Creating the Arms

Step 1

We will need a rotated ellipse and a little circle to make the arm. Select these two shapes and on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), press the Unite button.

creating the arm

Step 2

Place the arm on the left side of the body, but under the dress. Then make a vertical reflection to create another arm.

placing the arms

6. Creating the Candy Cart

Step 1

Change the fill color to R=245 G=237 B=96, click the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle. Add a narrow pink rectangle on the bottom (fill color R=247 G=170 B=188). Return to the previous yellow fill color and using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, add a small rounded rectangle. Place it behind the two previous rectangles (Control-X, Control-B).

creating the base of the candy cart

Step 2

Let's draw the wheel now. Create two circles, a small one over the bigger one, and set the fill color to R=163 G=165 B=16. Go to the Pathfinder (Window > Pathfinder) panel and press the Exclude button.

creating the wheel of the candy cart 1

Step 3

Add a small circle in the middle. To place it exactly in the middle, select all the circles and on the Align panel (Window > Align) press the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons. 

Then delete the fill color and draw a line using the Line Segment Tool (\). Place this line behind (Control-X, Control-B). 

Keep it selected and press the Rotate Tool (R), and at the same time press the Enter key on your keyboard. In the new dialogue window, enter Angle 45 degrees and press Copy. Keep pressing Control-D on your keyboard to repeat the last movement. Stop when you have filled the wheel.

Group the whole wheel (right-click > Group).

creating the wheel of the candy cart 2

Step 4

Place the wheel on the cart.

placing the wheel

Step 5

Now we will draw decorations for the candy cart. Using the Eye Dropper Tool (I), take the fill color from the wheel and draw a small circle. While holding down the Shift and Alt buttons, start moving the circle. You should get two circles. Then keep pressing Control-D until you have a line of circles.

After that, delete the fill color and with any stroke color, draw a rectangle exactly the way it is shown in the image below. Select this rectangle and all the green circles. Press Crop in Pathfinder

Keep your result selected, because now we need to clean it. Go to Object > Path > Clean Up. Be sure that all fields are checked and press OK. And finally, using the Eye Dropper Tool (I), take the same color from the wheel.

creating the decorations for the candy cart

Step 6

Position this decoration as shown in the image below. Add two pink vertical rectangles (R=247 G=170 B=188).

placing the decorations

Step 7

Let's draw the handle. A tiny yellow rectangle (R=245 G=237 B=96) and a rounded pink (R=247 G=170 B=188) rectangle will create the handle.

continuing creating the candy cart

Step 8

Let's place a roof on the candy cart. Start with white fill color and black stroke and draw a rectangle. After that, delete the stroke color and change the fill color to R=218 G=30 B=74

Draw a rectangle like the one in the image below. Duplicate it by holding down Shift-Alt and moving it to the right at the same time, as we did before. Press Control-D a few times. Make sure that the red rectangles are in the middle of the white one. Select the whole thing and group it (right-click > Group). Go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the following options:

creating the roof of the candy cart

Step 9

Take the green decorations you made for the candy cart before, make another copy and attach it to the roof. Then change the fill color of the decoration to alternating red and white. Use the Eye Dropper Tool (I) to set the right color.

creating the decorations for the roof

Step 10

Place the roof on the top of the candy cart. Voila! it is ready!

placing the decorated roof

7. Creating the Ice Cream

Step 1

One large orange circle and three little circles at the bottom will help us start creating our ice cream. The fill color is R=250 G=166 B=52. Select all of them and in Pathfinder, press Unite.

creating the top of the ice cream

Step 2

Let’s move on to the cone. Keep the black stroke color and create a triangle. First, set the fill color to R=187 G=129 B=59, and then take the Polygon Tool and click on your art board. In the new dialogue window, make 3 Sides and click OK. The radius doesn't matter. 

By making a Horizontal reflection, reflect the triangle upside down and stretch it a little. Now we need to make rounded corners. So go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners. In the new window, enter Radius 10 px and click OK.

Let's concentrate on the Appearance panel. Click on the tiny triangle on the top right corner and in the pop-up menu, select Add New Fill. Now look at the Swatches panel. Go to Swatches > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures and select the Diamond pattern for this new fill. Set the Opacity to Soft Light.

creating the cone of the ice cream

Step 3

Make few different flavors of the ice cream by combining different colors of scoops with cones. I chose blue (R=164 G=215 B=244) and green (R=163 G=165 B=16) colors.

creating different colors of ice creams

8. Creating the Cotton Candy

Step 1

After you've created a circle (R=183 G=0 B=80), go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. You will get four more anchor points like in the image below (the second circle). Then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat and set the slider to 13%.

creating the cotton candy

Step 2

Add a tiny, narrow rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool (fill color R=187 G=129 B=59). And one more piece of cotton candy with a lighter pink color (R=247 G=170 B=188). But they shouldn't fly in midair, right? So let's add a stick—with a yellow (R=245 G=237 B=96) rectangle.

creating another cotton candy

9. Placing the Ice Creams and Cotton Candies on the Candy Cart

Put all the elements in their places. Or position them as you like!

placing all the items on the candy cart

10. Creating a Jar With Lollipops

Step 1

Set the fill color to R=164 G=215 B=244 and draw a rounded rectangle. Add one more on top. Then draw an ellipse behind them and a small circle on the top. The jar is ready!

creating the jar

Step 2

For our lollipop, draw a pink (R=247 G=170 B=188) circle and a narrow rounded rectangle, as you did for the cotton candy. Add a new fill as you did for the ice-cream cone (Swatches > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Lines and select the 10 dpi 50%). Set the Opacity to Overlay.

creating the lollipop

Step 3

Make different flavors of the lollipop by changing the fill color. But be careful here: on the Appearance panel, you need to select the bottom layer and just change that, not the fill with lines. I chose hot pink (R=198 G=0 B=111) and orange (R=250 G=166 B=52).

creating different colors of the lollipop

Step 4

Now put the lollipops in the jar.

placing the lollipops in the jar

Step 5

Place that jar on the candy cart.

placing the jur on the candy cart

11. Creating the Balloons

Step 1

Draw a blue ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L), and set the fill color to  R=164 G=215 B=244. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the left and right anchor points, and move them down. Create a circle on top, much bigger. We just created a balloon!

creating the blue balloon

Step 2

Using the same process, create two more balloons of different colors. I chose R=245 G=237 B=96 for the yellow one and R=247 G=170 B=188 for the pink.

creating another colors balloons

Step 3

Place all the balloons close to the candy cart. To create a string for the balloons, we will use the Line Segment Tool (\). Choose that tool on your Tools panel and draw a line. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and, by moving the anchor points and handles, stretch this line: one end to one balloon, the other to the candy cart. 

Then draw another line and move one anchor point to the balloon, and the other to the candy cart. Repeat this with the last balloon. Don't forget to place all the strings behind the balloons (Control-X, Control-B).

placing the balloons on the candy cart

12. Placing It All Together and Creating the Background

Step 1

Group Hello Kitty for convenience (right-click > Group), and place her close to the candy cart.

placing all the elements together

Step 2

Draw a square for the background, with the fill color R=253 G=234 B=237 and at size 600 px in width and height. Be sure that the background is behind everything (Control-X, Control-B).

creating the background 1

Step 3

Add a new fill to the background as you did for the lollipops and ice cream cones (Swatches > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Dots and select the 6 dpi 20%). Set the Opacity to Soft Light. You’ve done it! The illustration is now ready!

creating the background 2

Conclusion

Hooray! Today’s was a huge job, but you've made it. If you didn’t like Hello Kitty before, I hope you will now.

Final Hello Kitty image
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