In this tutorial, we’ll be drawing a dog – a symbol of the upcoming 2018 year! We’ll be using simple geometric shapes and various tools and functions in order to achieve a flat-style look. Let’s launch Adobe Illustrator and get started!
- Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Topics Covered: Shape Building, Live Corners, Align Panel, Reflect Tool
- Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes
Final Image: Cute Dog Icon in Adobe Illustrator
Let’s start creating a head from a 150 x 180 px light-yellow rectangle.
Now take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the top corners of the shape. Pull the circle marker of the Live Corners to make the corners rounded. You can adjust the Corners radius value manually from the control panel on top. Let’s set it to 60 px.
Create another rectangle of 200 x 85 px and place it perpendicular to the first shape. Now let’s select both shapes and align them. Click the first rectangle once again to make it a Key Object (its selection will become thicker). Open the Align panel and click Horizontal Align Center. Now the second rectangle will be aligned to the first time. No matter how many objects are selected, they will all become aligned to the Key Object.
Let’s select the horizontal rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and make all the corners rounded.
Let’s take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a nose. Create a 40 x 20 px brown oval. Select its side points with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move them up a bit to make the top of the nose flatter and its bottom pore pointed.
Let’s make a mouth. Create a 42 x 35 px ellipse with dark-brown Stroke. Open the Stroke panel and set the Weight to 2 pt, Cap to Round Cap.
Now select the top anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and hit the Delete key to remove the point, creating an arc.
Select the created arc, hold Alt-Shift and drag it to the left, creating a copy. Now we have a smiling muzzle!
Let’s add a tongue. Make a 35 x 45 px pink rectangle. Select the bottom corners with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and make the bottom of the shape rounded. Now we need to place the tongue beneath the mouth by moving it down in the Layers panel or by pressing Control-[ a few times.
Apply a light-yellow Fill to the elements of the muzzle in order to hide the top of the tongue.
Use the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\) to create a vertical stroke along the center of the tongue.
Use the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding down Shift to make a 10 x 10 px brown circle for the eye. Hold Alt-Shift and drag the circle to the opposite side, creating a second eye.
Let’s create a spot around the right eye. Make a large orange ellipse and place it beneath the eye.
Now we’ll delete the peace of the spot that we don’t need. Let’s select both parts of the head and the orange spot. Take the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) and hover the mouse over the unwanted piece. Hold the Alt key and click the piece to delete it.
Finally, we need to add the ears. Let’s take the Polygon Tool (you can find it in the same drop-down menu as the Rectangle Tool (M)) and single-click anywhere on the Artboard to open the pop-up window. Set the Sides to 3 and create a brown triangle. Squash it to make its bottom side wider.
Make the corners of the ear shape rounded using the Live Corners feature and position the ear over the top part of the head. Keeping the ear selected, double-click the Reflect Tool (O) and select the Vertical Axis. Click Copy to create a mirrored shape and attach it to the opposite side of the head.
Congratulations! Out Cute Dog Icon is Finished!
We can adjust some minor details to make our illustration more balanced. For example, we can make the eyes a bit larger (15 x 15 px) and the strokes of the mouth and tongue a bit thicker (4 pt).
Add a dark-blue background to increase the contrast. And there we have it! Now our image looks completed, great work!
I hope you’ve enjoyed following this simple tutorial and learned some new tips and tricks that will be useful for your future icons.