How to Create a Reindeer Cartoon Character in Adobe Illustrator

Post pobrano z: How to Create a Reindeer Cartoon Character in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Learn how to create a cute reindeer character that will put you into the winter holiday spirit, using Adobe Illustrator.

For
the reindeer’s head, body, and legs, you’ll use effects to add texture
and brushes to add details. After that, you’ll create a cute face
for this little guy along with the classic red nose, draw the horns, and decorate them with a bauble and ribbon curls. By the end of this
tutorial, you will be able to apply these techniques to create other
cartoon characters in the future. Let’s start the fun!

If
you are hungry for more cartoon characters
decorations,
winter holidays or Christmas inspiration, be sure to check out GraphicRiver where you’ll
find more resources than you’ll ever need. 

What You’ll Need

To
complete the tutorial you will need the following assets:

1. How
to Open a New Document 

Launch
Illustrator
and
go to
File
> New
to
open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set up the
dimensions, and then select
Pixels
as
Units
and
RGB
as
Color
Mode
.
Make sure that
Align
New Objects to Pixel Grid
is
not checked.

Next,
go to
Edit
> Preferences > General
and
set the
Keyboard
Increment
to
1
px
and
while there, go to
Units
to
make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with
these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process.

how to open a new illustrator document

2. How
to Create the Head of the Reindeer

Step
1

First,
take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 90 x 219 px ellipse on your
artboard (1). Use the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to add extra points
on the path, and now distort the ellipse by moving these points and
also adjust their handles to get the shape of the head (2). Rotate
the head about 30 degrees and give it a light brown fill (3).

how to create the reindeer head shape

Step
2

While
the head shape stays selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner
Glow
and apply the settings shown (1); then go back and apply this
effect again using different settings (2).

how to apply Inner Glow effects to reindeer head shape

Step
3

Let’s
add some texture. With the head shape still selected, add a New Fill
above the first and use the same color; then go to Effect > Sketch
> Note Paper
and apply the settings shown (1). Set the Blending
Mode
to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 12% (2).

how to apply texture to reindeer head shape

Step
4

Use
the Pen Tool (P) to draw three paths on the sides and at the bottom
of the head. Give them a 2 pt black Stroke and use the Dry Brush 6
Art Brush
from the Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic >
Artistic_Paintbrush
(1). 

Next, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian
Blur
and apply a Radius of 6 px (2), and then set them to Blending
Mode Overlay
and 35% Opacity (3).

how to add details to reindeer head shape

Step
5

Select
the head shape and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) in
order to make a copy of it in front of everything. Remove all
existing appearances for this copy. Now, select all the shapes on
your artboard and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make
(Control-7)
. You can see the result in the image below, and at this
point the head is ready (2).

how to mask the reindeer head

3. How
to Create the Ears of the Reindeer

Step
1

Use
the Pen Tool (P) to draw the two ear shapes and give them a light
brown color (1). Next, apply the Inner Glow effect twice, as you did
for the head, but use the settings shown below (2).

how to draw the ears of the reindeer

Step
2

Draw
a similar but smaller shape on top, filled with light pink (2), and
then draw the second shape even smaller, filled with the same pink
(2). The third shape is the smallest; use the linear gradient
shown to fill it (3).

Now,
select only the second pink shape along with the smallest purple
shape and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 20
Specified Steps
, hit OK, and then go back to Object > Blend >
Make (Alt-Control-B)
(4).

how to create the inner part of the reindeers ear

Step
3

Using
the Pen Tool (P), draw a curved path at the top of the pink ear shape
(1). Give it a 2 pt brown Stroke and use the Black Blend Brush 100×3
(info below). Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up the left
ear to keep things organized in the Layers panel (2).

Follow
the same techniques to draw the other ear of the reindeer, or to make
things easier, you could just reflect vertically the first one (Object
> Transform > Reflect
) (3).

I
have an entire tutorial dedicated to
Blend
Art Brushes
and
how useful they are. I use them in my drawings all the time. You can
find more information on the
Black
Blend Art Brush 100×3
that
we are using today in 
How
to Create a Set of Multi-Use Blend Brushes in Adobe Illustrator
.

how to add detail on the reindeers ear

4. How
to Create the Body of the Reindeer

Step
1

Take
the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape like in the next image as the body
(1). Use the same color, effects, and settings as for the head of the
reindeer earlier in the tutorial (2).

how to draw the body of the reindeer

Step
2

Select
the body shape and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) in
order to make a copy of it in front of everything. Remove all
existing appearances for this copy (1).

Now,
select the body shape along with the copy and go to Object >
Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7)
. As a result, you will get smooth, clean edges (2).

how to mask the body of the reindeer

Step
3

To
create the belly, draw an ellipse on the body (1) and fill it with
the radial gradient shown. After that, go to Effect > Stylize >
Feather
and apply a Radius of 5 px to make the edges a bit smoother
(2).

how to draw the belly of the reindeer

5. How
to Create the Legs and Hooves of the Reindeer 

Step
1

Draw
with the Pen Tool (P) the shape of the leg (1) and use the same
color, effects, and settings as for the head and the body of the
reindeer. For the Inner Glow effects, use a smaller Radius value
because the shape of the leg is much smaller. You can see the result
in the image below (2).

You
can create a mask using a copy of the leg shape to get clean edges, just as you did earlier in the tutorial for the body.

how to draw the leg shape of the reindeer

Step
2

The
hoof is made of two shapes as shown in the following image (1), so draw
the two halves with the Pen Tool (P) and fill them with dark brown
(2). Next, draw two similar but smaller shapes in the middle filled
with a medium brown (3).

Now,
select the dark brown shape on the left side along with the smaller
shape on top of it and blend them using 20 Specified Steps. Do the
same thing for the right side of the hoof (4).

how to create the hoof of the reindeer

Step
3

Draw
with the Pen Tool (P) two paths on the hoof (1); give them a 1 pt
light brown Stroke and also use the Black Blend Art Brush. As a
result, you will get two highlights on the hoof (2).

Group
(Control-G)
all the shapes that make up the hoof to keep things
organized in the Layers panel.

how to highlight the hoof of the reindeer

Step
4

Make
a copy of the first leg and the hoof and arrange them on the left
side of the body as the “arm”. Move these two behind the body in
the Layers panel (1).

Make two other copies and arrange them as the right leg and the right
“arm”. These two should be in front of the body. Take the Pen
Tool (P)
and draw a slightly curved path at the base of the leg and
the “arm” (2); give them a 1.5 pt Stroke and use the Black Blend
Art Brush
again. This will create a small shadow at the base (3).

how to arrange the legs of the reindeer

6. How
to Create the Collar of the Reindeer

Step
1

Draw
a rectangle-like shape on the neck of the reindeer and use the linear
gradient shown to fill it (1). Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B)
this shape and move it 1-2 px downward by pressing the Down Arrow key
on your keyboard. Change the fill color to dark red (2).

how to draw the collar of the reindeer

Step
2

Go
to the Symbols panel, open the Symbol Libraries menu > Web Buttons
and Bars
and find the Bullet 6-Orange symbol. Drag it into your
artboard and go to Object > Expand (1). Select the bigger circle
and delete it.

Now,
select the outer circle and set the Angle of the gradient to -90
degrees
so the white is at the top and the gray at the bottom. Also
set the Blending Mode to Multiply (2). 

Select the new button (3), go
to Object > Transform > Scale, and type 22% in the Scale field.
Move the tiny button (4) on the collar and make two or three more copies.

how to add button details on the reindeers collar

7. How
to Create the Eyes of the Reindeer

Step
1

Use
the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw two ellipses as the eyes (1). Fill them
with a very light gray and then apply the Inner Glow effect using the
settings shown (2).

how to draw the eye shapes of the reindeer

Step
2

Draw
a smaller ellipse on each eye as the iris (1). Fill them with a dark
yellow and apply the Inner Glow effect (2).

how to draw the iris shapes of the reindeer

Step
3

Draw
two even smaller ellipses filled with black as the pupils (1). To add
some sparkles, draw two new ellipses on the pupils as shown in the image
below (2). Fill all of them with a basic black to white radial
gradient and set the Blending Mode to Screen (3).

how to draw the pupils and sparkles on reindeers eyes

Step
4

Use
the Pen Tool (P) to draw two curved paths above the eyes as the
eyebrows and two paths following the bottom edge of the eyes for the
shadows (1). Give all of them a 2 pt brown Stroke and use the Black
Blend Art Brush
(2).

how to create the eyebrows and shadows for reindeers eyes

Step
5

Draw
other two paths under the eyes, as shown in the next image (1). Give them
a 2 pt brown Stroke and use the Black Blend Art Brush again (2).

how to create the under eyes of the reindeer

8. How
to Create the Mouth of the Reindeer

Step
1

Grab
the Pen Tool (P) and draw a big mouth shape like in the following
image (1). Use the same color and effects as for the ears

of
the reindeer (2). 

Now, Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) the mouth
shape, remove all existing appearances, and select just a brown fill
color. Move this copy 2 px downwards by pressing the Down Arrow key
on your keyboard twice (3).

how to draw the mouth shape of the reindeer

Step
2

While
the mouth shape stays selected, go to Object > Path > Offset
Path
and apply an Offset of -5 px (1). Fill the smaller shape
obtained with red and apply the Inner Glow effect (2).

how to create the gums of the reindeer

Step
3

Draw
the shapes of the teeth, four on each side. They don’t have to be
identical or perfectly round (1). Fill the teeth with pale
yellow and after that, draw a similar but smaller shape filled with
white on each tooth (2).

Select
only one tooth along with the smaller white shape on top of it and
Blend them using 12 Specified Steps. Repeat the same thing for the
rest of the teeth (2).

how to draw the teeth of the reindeer

Step
4

Zoom
on the teeth and draw with the Pen Tool (P) two paths right between
them (1). Give them a 0.5 pt Stroke using gray and the Black Blend
Art Brush
(2).

how to add shadow between the teeth of the reindeer

Step
5

Let’s
add a small highlight on the gums. Use the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil
Tool (N)
to draw a short path on the left side of the teeth (1). Give
it a 1.5 pt Stroke using white and also the Black Blend Art Brush.
Since the Colorization is set to Tints, the brush becomes white as
well regardless of its name. Reduce the Opacity to 50% (2).

how to highlight the gums of the reindeer

9. How
to Create the Nose of the Reindeer

Step
1

Use
the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw two ellipses like in the next image
filled with red and dark red (1). While both shapes stay selected,
Blend them using 12 Specified Steps (2). Now, select the resulting
blend group, go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply the
settings shown below (3).

how to draw the red nose of the reindeer

Step
2

Draw
a new ellipse on the nose filled with a basic black to white radial
gradient (1). Apply a 2 px Gaussian Blur; then set it to Blending
Mode Screen
and 75% Opacity (2).

how to add shine on reindeers nose

Step
3

Use
the Pen Tool (P) to draw a path on the lower left side of the nose
(1). Give it a 2 pt Stroke using white and the Black Blend Art Brush.
Set the Blending Mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 75% (2).

Use
the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the bigger ellipse of
the nose and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a
copy of it in front of everything. Set this copy to stroke-none and
fill-none. Now, select the stroked path along with the nose copy (3)
and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7). You can
see the result in the image below (4).

how to highlight the reindeers nose

Step
4

At
this point the red nose is ready and you can Group (Control-G) all
the shapes that compose it to keep things organized in the Layers
panel. 

This cute reindeer is just missing his horns now.

reindeer cartoon character without horns

10. How
to Create the Horns of the Reindeer

Step
1

Grab
the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N) and draw four paths to define
the shape of the horns. Give them an 11 pt Stroke and press the Round
Cap
option in the Stroke panel (1). While the paths stay selected, go
to Object > Expand and then press Unite in the Pathfinder panel.
As a result, you will get the shape of the left horn (2).

Now,
you can make extra adjustments like making the top ends wider and
rounder or fix other areas that don’t look smooth enough (3).

how to draw the horns shape of the reindeer

Step
2

Repeat
the previous step and create the right horn (1) or you could just
reflect vertically the first one (Object > Transform >
Reflect
). Fill both horns with brown; then go to Effect > Stylize
> Inner Glow
and apply the settings shown (2).

how to color the reindeers horns

Step
3

Use
the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N) to draw a few short paths on
the horns where you want the highlights to be (1). For the green
paths select a 2 pt Stroke, for the orange paths select a 1 pt Stroke, and also use the Black Blend Art Brush.

With
all the paths still selected, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian
Blur
and apply a Radius of 2 px (2).

how to highlight the reindeers horns

11. How
to Create the Bauble and Ribbons

Step
1

Take
the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 53 x 53 px circle filled with a golden
radial gradient (1). Draw a new circle on the upper right side of
the bauble filled with a basic black to white radial gradient and
after that, apply a 2 px Gaussian Blur. Set the Blending Mode to
Screen and the Opacity to 75% (2).

Continue
with another ellipse on the lower left side of the bauble filled with
a basic white to black radial gradient and apply a 2 px Gaussian Blur
again. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 15% this
time (3).

Let’s
create a mask now. Select the bauble shape and then Copy and Paste in
Place (Shift-Control-V)
to make a copy of it in front of everything.
Remove the existing appearances for this copy. Now, drag a selection
over the bauble to select all the shapes and go to Object >
Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7)
(4).

how to create the golden bauble

Step
2

To
create the hanging piece, first draw a rectangle-like shape at the
top of the bauble filled with the linear gradient shown (1). Next,
draw a circle having a 0.75 pt Stroke and after that, go to Object >
Expand
(2). Fill the resulting ring shape with the same golden
gradient (3).

how to create the hanging piece of the bauble

Step
3

To
add a shadow under the hanging piece, draw a path following the top
edge of the bauble (1). Give it a 0.5 pt brown Stroke and use the
Black Blend Art Brush (2). At this point, the bauble is ready, and you
can Group (Control-G) all the shapes (3).

how to add shadow under hanging piece of the bauble

Step
4

From
the bauble up to the horns, draw a thin rectangle slightly rounded at
the ends as the hanging ribbon (1). 

To create the ribbon curls, follow the sequence of
images and draw one segment at a time (2). There are no shortcuts
here.

how to hang the bauble and add ribbon curls in reindeers horns

Step
5

You
can add a second ribbon curl or as many as you want. 

To create the
small bow above the bauble, follow the sequence of images and draw it
with the Pen Tool (P).

how to add more ribbon curls and bow in reindeers horns

Step
6

The
golden curls are just a much thinner version of the red ribbon curls.
You can decorate the horns with as many as you want.

I’ve
used these ribbons in another tutorial of mine a while back, 
Create
a Set of Realistic Christmas Baubles
. Have a look and learn more about how to create vector baubles in Illustrator.

how to add more golden curls in reindeers horns

Step
7

This
cute guy is ready for Christmas now.

reindeer cartoon character with decorated horns

Congratulations!
You’re Done!

I
hope this tutorial was fun for you and put you into the winter
holiday spirit. Cartoon characters are my favorite to draw because
they put my imagination to the test, so if you decide to recreate this
cute reindeer, please share an image. I would love to see your work.

final image of reindeer cartoon character