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Use the Warp Tool to Create a Furry "Toto" in Adobe Illustrator

This post is part of a series called The Wizard of Oz.
Create a Colouring Book Style Illustration of Dorothy Gale in Adobe Illustrator
How to Create a Sepia Kansas Farm in Isometric Pixel Art With Adobe Photoshop
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

As you've seen already, we are starting a huge project: creating Wizard of Oz characters. It is a children's story written by L. Frank Baum, and the original name of this story is "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". It is a story about a little girl named Dorothy and her puppy Toto's adventures after their house was swept away from Kansas to the Land of Oz by a cyclone.

In this tutorial, we will create our cute puppy character, Toto. We will use basic shapes and add new fills to existing ones. You will also learn one of the many ways to create fur. At the end of this tutorial, you will get a puppy in a basket against a floral background, and a little gratification from a job well done!

1. Make the Basket

Step 1

After creating a New document (600 x 600 px Width and Height), we will start by forming the shape of the basket. Hit the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle similar to the shape shown below. While keeping it selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. In the new dialogue window, adjust the options as you see here:

creating the shape of the basket

Step 2

Now look at the Appearance panel. Click on the tiny triangle in the top right corner and in the pop-up menu, select Add New Fill. Then look at the Swatches panel. Go to Swatches > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Lines and select the 6 lpi 50% pattern for this new fill. Set the Opacity to Soft Light.

We don’t want to stop here just yet. Let’s add one more fill. Press Add New Fill again, and go to Swatches > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Lines. Select the Scotch Rule 4 pattern and set the Opacity to Soft Light.

adding new fills to the basket

Step 3

Take the Rounded Rectangle Tool—draw two rounded rectangles and place them at the top and bottom of the basket shape.

adding bottom and top to the basket

Step 4

While keeping the same fill color, use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create two circles (to create an even circle, hold down the Shift button while drawing). Draw the small circle over the bigger circle. Then go to the Pathfinder panel and press the Exclude button. This will be the handle of the basket.

creating the handle of the basket

Step 5

Put the handle on top of the basket, but behind the basket (Control-X, Control-B).

placing the handle

2. Draw Toto's Head

Step 1

With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L), create two ellipses which are overlapping each other. Go to the Pathfinder panel and press the Unite button.

creating the shape of the head

Step 2

Double-click on the Warp Tool (Shift-R) and let's adjust the options. We will use this tool to draw the fur. Once the Warp Tool Options appear, enter the settings you see below, and then press OK.

Now we will start creating the fur. Draw each strand of hair spanning from the head outwards. Try not make the fur too long.

creating the fur on the head

Step 3

Create another copy of this furry head in front (copy-paste), making it smaller and lighter.

continuing creating the head

Step 4

Let's add the eyes. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), first create two ellipses: a large, dark blue one, and a small, white one for the highlight. Then copy-paste to complete the set of eyes, and place those two eyes on the head.

creating the eyes

Step 5

Now let's create the nose. Keep the same fill color as we had for the eyes and create an ellipse. Then you will need to make a sharp corner with the help of the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C). Click on the bottom anchor point to make it sharp. Add a white ellipse to create a highlight.

creating the nose

Place the nose under the eyes of the dog.

placing the nose

Step 6

To create the mouth of Toto, we will draw an ellipse (R=92 G=115 B=130) and rotate it slightly to the right. Using the Reflect Tool (O), let’s create another copy of this ellipse. Here’s the trick, though: once you have selected this tool, hold down the Alt key and click on the right side of the ellipse. A new dialogue window will appear where you need to enter Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy.

Use the Warp Tool (Shift-R) again as you did for the head to add furry effect around the mouth.

creating the mouth

Now, place the mouth under the nose.

placing the mouth

Step 7

Set the fill color to R=85 G=108 B=123, and once more draw an ellipse. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move the handles of the anchor points of the ellipse to create the shape as in the second image below. Then, using the Warp Tool (Shift-R), add the furs.

Copy-paste this shape in the front and make it smaller and darker (R=49 G=68 B=79).

creating the ear

Step 8

We just created the left ear! But we still need the right one. Hit the Reflect Tool (O) and make a reflection of the whole ear as you did for the mouth. Place the right ear on the right side of the head.

We can now also align everything if you didn't do this before. So, select the two ears and group them together (right-click > Group), and then group the two eyes, the nose (along with the white highlights), and the mouth. After that select, the whole head and on the Align panel, press Horizontal Align Center.

creating another ear and placing them on the head

3. Create Toto's Body

Step 1

Make the fill color darker than the face (R=55 G=78 B=91), and draw an ellipse. After that take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move the three handles to create the shape as shown in the image below.

creating the body

Step 2

Using the Warp Tool (Shift-R), create some fur on the body as you did before. You don't need to add the fur on the bottom of the body, because it won't be visible later.

creating the fur on the body

Place the body behind the head (Control-X, Control-B).

placing the body

4. Place Toto in the Basket

Select your dog and set it inside the basket.

placing Toto in the basket

5. Create the Paws and the Tail

Step 1

Now we can create the paws. Their position in the basket depends on how deep the dog is sitting in the basket.

Hit the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a small, narrow ellipse. Keep the same fill color as we had for the body. Move the handles to create the shape shown below.

creating the paw

Step 2

Copy-paste the paw you just created and make it darker (R=42 G=64 B=73). Place the darker paw behind the whole body of the dog.

creating another paw

Step 3

Let’s add some furs to the paws. Remember to select the object before using the Warp Tool (Shift-R).

creating the fur

Step 4

Using the same method as you did with the paws, create a tail and then add the fur.

creating the tail

6. Create the Background

Step 1

Let’s make a light blue oval for our background—place it behind everything (Control-X, Control-B) and set the fill color to R=232 G=239 B=239.

creating the background

Step 2

Take the Polygon Tool and click on your work space. In the new dialogue window, enter 6 Sides and for the Radius, it doesn't matter, just not too big. Set the fill color at R=202 G=219 B=221. To make a flower from it, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat and set the slider to 55%. The flower is ready.

creating the flower

Step 3

Spread the blue flowers on the left side of the background by copying-pasting the flowers. Then add a few more very light blue flowers (fill color R=249 G=252 B=251).

spreading flowers

Step 4

Now for a slightly tricky step: select all the objects which are overlapping the oval background as well as the oval background itself. Keep them selected and press Control-C, Control-B on your keyboard. On the Pathfinder panel, press the Unite button to create one shape from all these objects. Delete the fill color and set the stroke color to R=216 G=226 B=227. Make this stroke very thick on the Stroke panel. We are done!

creating the background 2

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore, Toto

Our illustration is ready, and you’ve done a great job! You’ve just mastered creating different shapes by moving the handles of the anchor points on an ellipse, adding multiple fills to an existing one, and one of the many ways to create animal fur. I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial.

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