Recently I saw an old romantic movie called „Roman Holiday” for the hundredth time, and a great idea came to my mind. After that, I decided to create a modern illustration of a boy on a scooter. Then I browsed many scooter images on GraphicRiver to remind myself (actually to learn) how this form of transportation looks. After adapting the illustration to a beginner’s level, I came up with this idea.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a boy on his scooter using basic shapes and warp effects.
Let’s have a look and get started.
1. How to Create the Scooter
After opening Adobe Illustrator, create a New Document with 850 x 850 px Width and Height. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an oval. In the image below, you can see which Fill color you need. Behind the oval, create the same colored rounded rectangle by using the Rounded Rectangle Tool.
To align these two shapes, open the Align panel (Window > Align). Set Align To: Align to Selection (open the fly-out menu and go to Show Options if you don’t see the Align To: section shown here), make sure that your shapes are selected, and click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons. In the end, your rounded rectangle should be in the middle of the oval.
Create a grey rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). Place it behind (Control-X, Control-B) the existing shapes.
For the handles, create a pink rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and place it in front of the grey rectangle on the left side. Create a Copy of this rectangle: select it and while holding the Shift and Alt keys, drag it to the right. This way, you’ll create a second copy of this rectangle which will be horizontally aligned. Group the two handles (right-click > Group) and Align all the shapes by pressing the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons.
Finally, add a grey oval in the middle of the dark yellow one.
Create a new rectangle and attach it below the existing shapes. Next, add a large rounded rectangle by using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, and slightly deform it. Select the large rounded rectangle and go to Effect > Warp > Inflate. Enter the options you see below. This is the front of our scooter.
This may seem like a lot of text, but it’s not too hard to do if you read it carefully.
Let’s add the front wheel. First, create a small dark grey rectangle. In the first image you can see the zoomed in shape. In the middle of the top and bottom sides of the rectangle, add two new anchor points. To do this, select the Pen Tool (P) and simply click on the middle of each side of the rectangle.
Next, we need to move these anchor points down. Select these anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A), and move them down using the Down Arrow key on your keyboard until you get a result similar to the one in the second image below.
Create a grey rounded rectangle and place the V-shape on top of it.
Next, we will make a Copy of the V-shape. Select it and drag it down while holding the Shift and Alt keys. While the newly created V-shape is selected, press the Control-D buttons the required amount of times (in my case it is six) to repeat the previous step to create a new group of these shapes exactly the same distance from each other.
Now we need to cut off the unnecessary parts of the V-shapes, which are out of the boundaries of the rounded rectangle. Make a Copy of this rounded rectangle in front (Control-C, Control-F), cut it off (Control-X), and place it in front of everything (Control-F).
Here is a short explanation of such manipulations: when you create a copy in front of the rounded rectangle, this copy will appear just in front of the original. Keep in mind that it’s not in front of the V-shapes we already created. Then we need to cut off the copy and place it in front of everything so that it now appears in front of the original rounded rectangle and V-shapes.
Keeping this copy and all V-shapes selected, press the Crop button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder).
Now we will add a cover above the front wheel. For this purpose we will need a rounded rectangle, which will have exactly the same shape as the wheel, but slightly larger in its size. If we simply enlarge it, the rounded corners will be not proportional. Therefore we will use the Offset Path.
So, keeping this copy selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Set the parameters Offset: around 10 px, Joins: Miter; Miter limit: 4. All these values are approximate, and it depends on the size of your original shape. Set the color of the newly created rounded rectangle to light brown. Next, place it in front of the image (Control-X, Control-F).
We will need just the upper part of this shape, so cover its lower part with any color rectangle. Keeping these two shapes selected, go to the Pathfinder panel and press the Minus Front button. There you go! You have just created the front wheel.
Place the wheel in front of the scooter. Then we will add one more detail. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a thin dark yellow rectangle and place it in front of the scooter as shown in the image below. Make a Copy of this rectangle (drag it down while holding the Shift and Alt keys) and use the Control-D buttons to repeat copying this shape three more times.
And now for the final detail for our scooter—the mirror. For the mirror holder, we will use a thin grey rectangle, slightly inclined to the left and attached to the left handle of the scooter. Attach the mirror (yellow ellipse) slightly rotated clockwise.
To make a Copy of this mirror select the mirror with its holder, right-click your mouse and select Transform > Reflect. Once you get a dialogue box, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the newly created mirror to the right.
Our cool scooter is ready to ride!
2. How to Create the Boy’s Head
Let’s begin illustrating the boy’s head. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an oval. In the image below, you can see which Fill color you need. Then go to Effect > Warp > Inflate. Enter the options you see below.
Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a small ellipse and Rotate it to the left. This is the left ear, so we’ll put it on the left side of the head. While it’s selected, take the Reflect Tool (O), hold down the Alt key, and click the forehead in the center of the face. In the new dialogue window, select Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. Voila! We have two ears now.
Now let’s create the neck. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a small rectangle under the head. While it’s selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower and enter the following options:
To create the mouth, draw a white ellipse. Cover the upper half of this ellipse with any Fill color rectangle. While keeping the rectangle and ellipse selected, go to the Pathfinder panel and press the Minus Front button. The boy is smiling now!
Select the head, and make a Copy behind (Control-C, Control-B). Make this copy bigger and change its Fill color. Add an ellipse onto the top of the head with the same Fill color.
We will use the Warp Tool (Shift-R) to style his hair. Double-click on the Warp Tool (Shift-R) and enter the options you see below in the second image. Note that the arrows in the first image show how to move your mouse, but you can actually create any hairstyle you want. It is very important to select the object before you use the Warp Tool (Shift-R)—otherwise you will affect other objects surrounding it.
This way you can also create a woman with a girlish hairstyle.
Since the boy rides his scooter during the summer, let’s give him a pair of sunglasses. Create an oval with a dark grey Fill color. To create the sunglasses shape shown below, go to Effect > Warp > Arch and enter the options shown. Expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance).
Make a vertical reflection of this shape. Then add an arc using the Arc Tool between the two glasses as a bridge.
With the help of the Arc Tool again, draw the left temple of the sunglasses. Be sure to check the Round Cap on the Stroke panel.
Create a vertical reflection of the left temple to get the right temple. The sunglasses are ready!
Then place the sunglasses on.
3. How to Create the Boy’s Body
Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a pink rounded rectangle and attach it to his head. Place it behind the image of the scooter.
To create the arms, we will start with an arc. First, Delete the Fill color and set the Stroke color the same as the body color (Shift-X). Check the Round Cap on the Stroke panel and make the Weight of this stroke very thick (around 30-40 px).
Now, using the Arc Tool, draw the boy’s left arm. Move the handles of the anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) to achieve the result you need. Make a Copy of the arm through Transform > Reflect. Move the newly created arm to the right.
To add the boy’s fingers, Delete the Stroke color and set the same Fill color as the face (use the Eye Dropper Tool (I)). Draw a rounded rectangle which will be multiplied with the Shift and Alt keys as well as the Control-D button. We just created the fingers for his right hand.
Make another Copy of the fingers. Simply hold the Shift and Alt keys and drag them to the right to place them on the right handle of the scooter. This is his left hand.
Let’s create the boy’s legs. Here we will use the Line Segment Tool (\). Draw a grey horizontal line. To get it straight, hold down the Shift key as you draw the line. Remember to Delete the Fill color and choose a Stroke color similar to the one shown in the image below. Before drawing, be sure to check the Round Cap button on the Stroke panel and adjust the appropriate Weight of the stroke.
The next thing we’ll do is bend this line. While keeping it selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. In the new dialogue window, adjust the options you see in the second image below. Place it behind the scooter.
To finish creating the legs, add another line on the left side by using the Line Segment Tool (\). Make a Copy of this line by using the vertical reflection options we previously used for the creation of the arms.
4. How to Create the Background
Draw a square behind everything at 850 px Width and Height. That’s all we want!
Awesome Work, You’re Done!
Great job, you’re done! I hope you had fun creating this illustration of a boy who’s hurrying somewhere in a good mood. I also hope you learned some new tricks for creating your own illustration. Let’s see what you can create!