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How to Draw a Simple, Super Kawaii Pineapple in Adobe Illustrator


Bring on the cute, bring on the funk! This tutorial highlights how easy it is to create a cute little pineapple with some basic shapes and simple gradients in Adobe Illustrator. Once you've made your little cutie, push it further with more details and stand back and admire your happy new friend.

1. Draw the Body

Step 1

I drew this little cutie with my Wacom tablet in Adobe Photoshop CS5. You can draw out something similar in the drawing program of your choice, get a bit old-fashioned and use traditional media and scan it in, or follow the tutorial and create your pineapple friend on the fly. It's your call, dear reader. Let's press on!


Step 2

The sketch is Locked on its own layer. I tend to delete it when I'm finished with my piece (in the event I'm printing later), so that makes it easier for me. Create New Layer and grab the Pen Tool (P). I started the pineapple's basic shape amongst the leaves, curving down and around the base.


Step 3

Follow the contour of your drawn pineapple shape with the Pen Tool (P).


Step 4

Finish up the base pineapple shape and join your starting point with your ending point at the top (aka close your shape).


2. Draw the Leaves

Step 1

Choose a green fill (I'll be using three different shades in this design) and continue with the Pen Tool (P). Start with two points and manipulate the handles of the second point to create a dramatic arch by holding down the Alt key.


Step 2

Still holding down the Alt move the lower handle back into the point so it won't cause your leaf shape to get out of shape in the next steps.


Step 3

Close the shape and manipulate the handle so you have your desired leaf shape.


Step 4

Take this moment to check if your curves are where you want them. If so, then pat yourself on the back: you've got your first pineapple leaf! If not, make your adjustments before that well-deserved back pat.


Step 5

Repeat the leaf making process on the drawing itself. The three greens I chose go from a bit yellow to greener and then slightly teal.


Step 6

Copy (Control + C) and Paste (Control + V) your leaves around the top of the pineapple. Rotate them to your liking with the Selection Tool (V).


Step 7

When you've got an assortment of leaves gathered together, Group (Control + G) them together, Copy and Paste, and change the new leaf group's color to a darker green.


Step 8

Set this group behind the first leaf group in the Layers panel.


Step 9

Add smaller leaves in the front of the other two groups and adjust colors as you see fit. Let's move on to details of the pineapple body.


3. Create a Heart

Step 1

I decided the texture of a pineapple was best represented as a bunch of chubby little hearts. And by "best", I mean "most kawaii" in my opinion. Perhaps you dig stars or tiny monkey faces. Let's go!
Using the Ellipse Tool (L) create a circle. Hold-Shift for it to stay uniform in shape.


Step 2

Copy and Paste your circle, overlap them a bit, and align. The deeper the "V" between the circles, the deeper the "V" your heart will ultimately have.


Step 3

Using the Pen Tool (P), start on the left side of the first circle. your goal is to hit the center of that left side and bring your pen down and around to the center point (or so) between the two circles. Adjust the curve with the handles. Bring your pen back up to close your shape. This quadrant of the heart has only three points.


Step 4

Copy and Paste that left lower quadrant, Right-click and choose Transform and Reflect.


Step 5

You'll be reflecting this shape over a Vertical axis so it mirrors horizontally. Hit OK and line up your new shape with the right side of your heart.


Step 6

Do your best to line up the right-side curve with the right-side circle and the other heart point.


Step 7

Select all four of your heart pieces and Unite them in Pathfinder. While doing so, click the extra options and Make Compound Shape as well as Expand. This makes sure that your new compound shape doesn't have stray points in the middle in case you missed aligning something in the center of the shape.


4. Create a Simple Pattern

Step 1

One option in creating a simple pattern is to quickly tile some shapes and delete them from your base shape. There are other methods, but this one is quick in a pinch and that's our goal today. Copy and Paste your little hearts. Resize them to fit better on your pineapple.


Step 2

I had lined up nine little hearts, Group (Control + G) them together and continued to Copy and Paste them across the width of the pineapple base.


Step 3

Unite your hearts together in Pathfinder. Select the pineapple base and one again Copy and Paste.


Step 4

Align the new pineapple shape with the old one, and place it (the new one) beneath the compound heart shapes. Select the compound hearts and the new pineapple shape and hit Intersect in Pathfinder.


Step 5

You should be left with a heart pattern on top of your pineapple base. While the compound heart shape is still selected, hit Expand in the Pathfinder panel.


5. Add a Cute Kawaii Face

Step 1

You haven't got a kawaii object until it has a ridiculously cute face. We're talking basket of kittens cute here. Using your Ellipse Tool (L), draw a vertical ellipse for an eye. I hid the rest of my shapes in the Layers panel so I could align the face with my original sketch. In lieu of black, I'm using a dark, warm brown for this little cutie-pie.


Step 2

Repeat on the other side for the second eye. Using the Pen Tool (P), apply your face color to the stroke only and draw a small curve for a smile. In the Stroke panel click the middle buttons for rounded corners and apply a Stroke Weight of 16pt.


Step 3

With your little stroked smile selected go to Object > Expand.


Step 4

This dialogue box will pop up. Select Fill and Stroke, and hit OK.


Step 5

Now your little smile is its very own shape! Just in case you were making a simple character like this for screen-printing, stroked lines usually won't be printed. But shapes will. Problem you may or may not have had solved! Another way of doing this is using the Blob Brush Tool (Shift + B) which works best if you're using a tablet.


Step 6

Those eyes need highlights. I added hearts. Stars or little circles work well too. Make them sparkle, make them shine!


Step 7

This pineapple isn't cute enough yet. Remember, we're going for giant-eyed, fuzzy-faced kitten status. Using the Ellipse Tool (L) draw some circles and place them under the eyes. Instant cute cheeks!


6. Outline the Pineapple

Step 1

Select your entire pineapple using the Selection Tool (V) and Group (Control + G) your pieces together, and then, Copy and Paste the pineapple.


Step 2

Apply the same dark brown from the face to the new pineapple shape and Unite in Pathfinder.


Step 3

Once united, make sure your stroke has round edges and a thick weight. I chose a 14pt Stroke Weight.


Step 4

Place your dark brown shape behind the pineapple group and align.


7. Create a Quick Background

Step 1

Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool draw a square behind your pineapple friend. I chose a bright blue-green to contrast with the yellow-orange fruit.


Step 2

Using the Gradient Tool (G) apply a radial gradient going from a lighter tone of your background color to the background color itself. Adjust the radius of the gradient to your liking.


Step 3

For an added bonus, I Copy and Pasted the dark brown outline shape, took off the stroke, and adjusted the Opacity to 40%. It was set behind the pineapple and slightly to the right.


8. Quickly Edit Your Simple Character's Shape

Step 1

Teachable moment time! Let's say that you dig your cute new character. That's great! Let's say that you looked at it and after a while decided you wanted to change the base shape so it's a little smoother. That's easy! Let's begin.

I Ungrouped everything, deleted the dark outline shape, and hid those precious little hearts. Grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and start with the bottom right corner.


Step 2

Continue deleting the other two right-side anchor points. Now you're ready to re-shape your pineapple!


Step 3

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) and edit the top and bottom anchor points (use the adjustment handles) so both the top and bottom are rounder and cover more of the original pineapple area. Then, Copy and Paste your new shape.


Step 4

Flip your new shape over a Vertical axis (as you did with your heart-half).


Place it beneath the leaves and face, and align it horizontally with the other half. Adjust the bottom anchor points so there isn't a dimple at the bottom of your pineapple.


Step 5

Select both halves of your pineapple and Unite in Pathfinder.


Step 6

Unhide those sweet little hearts and resize them so they extend beyond your new base shape. Copy and Paste the base pineapple shape, st it behind the hearts and select both the compound hearts and the new pineapple base. Hit Intersect in Pathfinder. Re-do the dark brown outline shape and your makeshift drop shadow from earlier and you've got an edited pineapple friend!


Super Kawaii! Awesome Work!

You've made it, dear friend! Your little pineapple friend is smooth, scalable, and above all cuter than that basket of kittens I was so keen to tell you about. Simple kawaii characters are mad easy to draw in Adobe Illustrator. What kind of cute little friends have you been drawing?

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