Illustrator tutorial – create a cute penguin

I’m not sure if my other tutorial about glossy text using the opacity mask was useful to someone, taking into consideration the fact that there are so many awesome sites providing amazing tutorials concerning illustrator. I found out that some things aren’t that hard to achieve, and I wanted to share that with some of you that think it’s hard. This time, I will show you step by step how to create you own penguin. So…this is what you will get if you follow the steps.

Step 1- Create the body

how to create a cute penguin
First Step

Create an ellipse using the Ellipse tool,or holding down the (L) key, then add two anchor points on the upper side of the ellipse. To add anchor points to a shape, go to Pen tool – Add anchor point tool, or hold down the (+) key. Then, push the anchor points created downwards to achieve your shape. After that, fill the shape with any color that you like. I chose a very dark blue color, in order to make the penguin look as natural as possible.

Step 2 – Create the wings

how to create a cute penguin
Second Step

I made the penguin’s  wings using the pen tool. Make sure you have selected the stroke and you have no color, so that you can see better what you are doing. Add an anchor point to the wing, so that you can play around until you achieve the shape that you like. Rotate the wing a little bit and  put it next to the body. Now, select the wing using the black arrow (The selection tool) and then select the Eyedropper tool and click on the big shape. Your wing will achieve the color of the shape. To double the wing go to Object – Transform – Reflect, choose Vertical, 90 degrees and click Copy. You will get a mirror effect of the wing. To align the wings, select them both and go to Window – Align and select Vertical align center.

Step 3 – The belly and the eyes

how to create a cute penguin
Step Three

For the belly, just make a white ellipse with the Ellipse tool over the colored shape. For the bellybutton, do the same, but make it oval, very little and fill it with the body’s color. Do that with the eyedropper tool.
For the eyes, start by doing a white ellipse with stroke. Double it, by holding the Alt key down and just drag it near. Select them both and align them using Vertical align top from the top menu. Then, select again both shapes, go to Pathfinder, and select the first option there, Add to shape area. You’ll notice that the two ellipses become a single shape.

Step 4 – The nose

how to create a cute penguin
Step Four

The nose is pretty simple, i used again the pen tool to create it. Make a triangle and color it orange. Go to Effect – Warp – Arc. Make sure that the preview is selected. Choose Bend Horizontal -42, distortion horizontal 12 and vertical -26. Click ok. After that, go to Object – Expand appearance and put the nose under the eyes. Now, to make the nose go behind the eyes you can go to Object – Arrange – Send Backward as many times until you see it behind, or just hold down Ctrl and [, it’s the same thing, but easier.

Step 5 – The feet

For the feet, make again an ellipse, color it orange as well, and then play around using the white arrow and dragging the existing anchor points (double click to select an anchor point). Then go to Object – Transform – Reflect, choose Vertical, 90 degrees and click Copy. Align the two feet by using the Vertical Align Bottom. Place the feets at the penguin’s bottom and send them backwards by holding down Ctrl and [ until you see them on the back.

how to create a cute penguin

And now… the final image.

how to create a cute penguin

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