13 December 2010 ~ 25 Comments

How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

Today we will create a detailed vector illustration of Santa Claus pointing to a text or another image. Along with this, you will learn  how to:

- develop your own work flow
- use gradients
- add shading and lighting
- organize your work into layers

Difficulty: intermediate
Completion time: 1 hour
Tools: Illustrator CS3, graphic tablet

I made this paper sketch to get an idea of how the final image will look like. Based on this outline, we will create our vector.

Draw a Cute Santa Final Image Preview

final How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 1

Create a new document of Letter format in RGB color mode at 72 dpi.

1 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 2

Click-drag the picture onto the canvas and set Blending mode to Multiply, double-click the layer’s name and rename it to “sketch”. Then lock the layer. The picture was a little crooked, so I rotated it a bit.

2 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 3

Click the “Create New Layer” button and add the layers below. Make sure the “sketch” layer stays on top of the others.

3 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 4

For each element, use the Path Tool (P) and trace them, making sure that you have the respective layer selected (ex.,  trace the beard on the “beard” layer). Also use different colors so you can easily select them later.

4 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 5

Go to the Brushes palette (F5), double-click a brush and use the following settings. Hit Ok, then double-click another brush and use the settings below.

5 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

5.1 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 6

Grab the Direct Selection Tool (V) and recolor every element: make the beard and the whites on the suit a light blue tint, recolor the eyes to green, the face to ochre, the suit and the glasses to red. I’ve added a gray background so you can see better all the shapes.

6 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 7

Grab the Brush Tool (B), grab the first brush created in STEP 5, grab a light blue color (but darker than the beard), select the “beard” layer and draw  a stroke of the entire beard. Use a lighter color to draw the shadow of the beard and hit CTRL+SHIFT+[ to send it to back.

7 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

Hey, I saw what you did there. You went for the Stroke setting, didn’t you? We want to keep this to an artistic level and the perfect Stroke setting will ruin that. So don’t do that.

STEP 8

Draw more strokes in the inner side of the beard, to add more detail of the hair. Then trace the contour of the hands. Make sure the respective layers are selected at all times, else it will be very difficult for you to draw details.

8 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

8.1 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 9

Select the “clothing” layer, grab a bright red color and the Brush Tool (B), select the second brush and paint the lights on the red ares of the suit. Then pick a dark red color and draw the shadows. Keep in mind that the light is above him.

9 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

9.1 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 10

Repeat STEP 9 for the red area of the hat.

10 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 11

Grab a light blue color (lighter than the stroke of the beard and lighter than the fill) and paint the shadows of the hat’s border. Select the “hands” layer and draw some small shadows for the hands too.

11 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 12

Select the “face” layer. Select one of the pupils, click-drag its fill color into the Swatches palette, double-click the Fill and make a lighter color. Hit OK and click-drag this one too into the Swatches palette.

12 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 13

Go to the Gradient window (Window > Gradient) and click-drag these two colors in the gradient mixer. Then click-drag the resulting gradient into the pupils. Grab the Gradient Tool (G) and click-drag like below to apply another direction to the gradient. Do the same for the face.

13 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 14

Repeat STEPS 12-13 for the beard, but use white and a light blue color for the gradient.

14 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 15

Click-drag the gradient from STEP 14 into the Swatches palette. Then click-drag it on the hands and onto the hat’s border. For the hands, hat border, change the setting to Radial.

15 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 16

Unlock all layers (except “sketch”) and go to Object > Expand Appearance, then go to Object > Path > Clean up. Then lock the “hands” layer. Select all artwork, grab the Eraser Tool (SHIFT+E), hold the ALT key and click-drag to make a linear erase, like below.

16 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 17

Create a new layer, grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a light gray rectangle. Make it fit the edge created in the previous step.

17 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 18

Open the “winter background”, grab the Selection Tool (V), click the santa silhouette and hit Delete. Then select all artwork (CTRL+A), copy it (CTRL+C) and paste it into our drawing. Resize it to the aproximate width of the rectangle.

18 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 19

Place the background like below, then copy the Width value. Grab the Selection Tool (V), select the gray rectangle and replace its Width with the copied value. Select both the background and the rectangle and hit the “Horizontal Align Center”.

19 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

19.1 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

19.2 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 20

Lock all layers except “hands”. Select the right hand and copy it (CTRL+C) and paste it to back (CTRL+B).Grab the Eyedropper Tool (I) and click the contour of the hand. Set Opacity to 25% and Blending mode to Multiply. Rotate it like below. repeat this for the other hand.

20 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

20.1 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

STEP 21

Grab the Crop Area Tool (SHIFT+O) and draw an area like below. Then click the Selection Tool (V) to exit crop marks mode.

21 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

Done!

final1 How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator

No related posts.

No related posts.

25 Responses to “How to Draw a Cute Santa in Illustrator”

  1. Logomondo 28 December 2010 at 7:47 am Permalink

    Very nice. Keep up the good work

  2. csabi 3 February 2011 at 5:16 pm Permalink

    Hi! I just love your tutorial! Congratulations!
    I`we just opened a tutorials indexing website and I would like to ask you to submit your tutorials, it will bring you some extra traffic
    Please give a chance for my website: http://www.tutorialswindow.com

    Thanks!

  3. Mary 15 January 2012 at 9:02 pm Permalink

    Such a great article! I have no clue how you were able to say this report..it’d take me long hours. Well worth it though, I’d suspect. Have you considered selling banners on your blog?

  4. Diablo 3 beta key 22 January 2012 at 11:48 am Permalink

    Fantastic web site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks to your effort!

  5. Shakira Briggerman 6 March 2012 at 8:37 am Permalink

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thank you for putting up. “I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.” by John Keats.

  6. Hernanda 25 March 2012 at 5:29 pm Permalink

    ome genuinely nice products on this site , I get pleasure from it.

  7. Abbondio 28 March 2012 at 7:25 am Permalink

    Incredible submit! I in the beginning identified your site a week or so in the past, and I wish to subscribe to your RSS feed.

  8. Air Conditioning Southampton 15 April 2012 at 5:59 pm Permalink

    Identified your content incredibly intriguing certainly. I truly appreciated reading it so you make very some very good details. I am going to bookmark this internet site to the upcoming! Relly good article.

  9. Mauri 23 April 2012 at 3:37 am Permalink

    I stumbled in your websites by accident although searching Yahoo and I am glad I did. Your publish is often a bit varied and I liked looking at it. I’ll in turn produce a comment about it on my blog page and stage my site visitors your way. Thanks.

  10. ReBuilder Medical 27 April 2012 at 11:08 am Permalink

    Observed your post very interesting in truth. I seriously appreciated browsing it and also you make very some great factors. I am going to bookmark this site to the long run! Relly excellent short article.

  11. www.house--buyers.co.uk 27 April 2012 at 3:03 pm Permalink

    Identified your article incredibly remarkable indeed. I seriously appreciated browsing it so you make really some excellent points. I will bookmark this site for that future! Relly excellent write-up.

  12. hiring truck drivers 28 April 2012 at 3:23 pm Permalink

    Identified your report really fascinating in truth. I definitely enjoyed examining it and you also make very some superior factors. I am going to bookmark this web site with the future! Relly great report.

  13. m-pro7 gun cleaner 8 May 2012 at 4:05 am Permalink

    Found your write-up pretty fascinating in fact. I actually appreciated reading through it therefore you make fairly some fantastic details. I’ll bookmark this web page for that long run! Relly great write-up.

  14. guld 8 May 2012 at 8:15 am Permalink

    Observed your report extremely interesting without a doubt. I truly liked examining it and you also make very some excellent factors. I’ll bookmark this web page for the long run! Relly great report.

  15. marriage counseling phoenix 8 May 2012 at 11:15 am Permalink

    Located your report pretty intriguing in fact. I really experienced reading it and you make very some fantastic points. I’ll bookmark this site to the long run! Relly good article.

  16. rome accommodation 17 May 2012 at 3:31 am Permalink

    Rattling instructive and fantastic structure of subject matter, now that’s user friendly (:.

  17. Bajki Krecik 18 May 2012 at 1:33 am Permalink

    To make sure I understand you properly, would you say that the New Deal programs in the US’s depression was a move from one ‘Capitalism pseudeo-ideology’ box to another one

  18. Arlie Lapa 18 May 2012 at 5:09 pm Permalink

    I actually value your piece of content, Great article.

  19. invisible braces for kids 20 May 2012 at 5:30 pm Permalink

    171. Dwight:

  20. prior tax returns 22 May 2012 at 4:33 pm Permalink

    I cherished up to you will receive performed right here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be handing over the following. ill surely come more beforehand once more since precisely the similar nearly very ceaselessly inside of case you shield this increase.


Leave a Reply

     Name

    Email

    Website

Subscribe without commenting

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.