Today we will create an illustration of an elderly man. We’re going to do this by using some basic geometric shapes combined with the power of some simple tools in Adobe Illustrator.
And to keep our love for grandparents, remember that grandparents’ day is in September, and this tutorial could result in a beautiful card for them.
And now, let’s get started!
1. How to Create the Head
After opening your Adobe Illustrator and creating a new document with 850 x 850 px Width and Height, we will start to create the man’s head. Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a beige rounded rectangle. In the image below, you can see which fill color you need.
To get a rounded rectangle with very rounded corners, create a small rounded rectangle first, and then stretch it while holding down the Shift key. Or you can go to View > Show Corner Widget and modify the corners by dragging them inside.
Now, we can draw the hair. Start by creating a grey rounded rectangle. To place it behind, hit Control-X, Control-B. Now add two smaller rounded rectangles to the sides of the head.
In this step, we will create the ears and neck.
First, add another thin vertical rounded rectangle and attach it to the left side of the head behind the small grey rounded rectangle and in front of the large grey rounded rectangle.
Now, while holding the Shift and Alt keys, move this ear to the right. You will get another copy of the ear to complete the ears.
Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create an oval with the same beige color and place it under the face to create the neck.
Let’s add the eyebrows. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a thin, horizontally aligned, light grey oval. Then take the Direct Selection Tool (A), select by dragging the top and bottom anchor points of the oval, and slide them up. This will be the eyebrow. Place the left eyebrow over on the left side. While keeping the left eyebrow selected, hold the Alt and Shift buttons, and move it to the right. Now you have two eyebrows.
Let’s make the nose. Place a new vertical light brown ellipse. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the left and right anchor points and then move them down. Create a new copy of this shape in front (Control-C, Control-F), and change its fill color to beige using the Eye Dropper Tool (I). To take the color you want, select the necessary object (the one you want to change color), take the Eyedropper Tool (I), and click on the necessary object.
Make the new beige copy a bit thinner, so you can see just the sides of the previous light brown shape. The nose is done! Group it for your convenience: right-click > Group.
Next, we will add eyes. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a dark brown circle for the left eye. To make an even circle, draw an oval using the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding down the Shift key. Select the left eye and, while holding the Shift and Alt keys, move it to the right to get another copy of it. Now you have two eyes.
Next, we will create the mouth and mustache.
First, create a light grey rounded rectangle and place it under the man’s nose. To have this rectangle under the nose, just select the nose and place it over the rounded rectangle: Control-X, Control-F.
Now, we will cut the bottom half of the rounded rectangle: using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle and cover the bottom part of the rounded rectangle. The rectangle will be used as a cutter; therefore its color is not important. Select both shapes and press the Minus Front button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). This action leaves us with half of the rounded rectangle, which looks like a mustache. (Just something interesting: do you have some ideas how else you can create mustaches in any other shape?)
Next, create a light brown ellipse and place it behind the mustache. Then create a copy of this ellipse in front (Control-C, Control-F), make it a bit smaller, and change the fill color to the same as the color of the face.
To make the glasses, create an even circle. It needs to have an almost black stroke color and a light fill color, as shown in the image below. Place this circle in front of the left eye. Hold the Shift and the Alt keys together, and move this circle to the right to duplicate it.
Now we need to add a transparency to the fill color and keep the stroke color unchanged. For this, we will lower the opacity of the fill color: on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), you have to click on the word “Fill” then “Opacity” and in the pop-up menu, decrease its Opacity to 50%. Remember: you need to change the Opacity just for the Fill, not for the Stroke. That’s why we use the Appearance panel and not the Transparency panel, which will change the Opacity of the whole circle, fill and stroke.
Then, using the Arc Tool, add an arc between the two glasses as a bridge. Make sure you delete the fill color and leave just the stroke color.
With the help of the Arc Tool again, draw the left and right temples of the glasses. Be sure to check Round Cap on the Stroke panel.
2. How to Create the Body and Legs
Let’s make the body. Delete the stroke color and set the fill color presented below. Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a red rounded rectangle and attach it to the head. Place it behind the head.
Now, using the Bulge effect, we will slightly deform this rounded rectangle. Select the rounded rectangle and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. In the new window, adjust the presented options. Expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance).
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, or just press Shift-X. Check 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 man’s left arm. Move the handles of the anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) to achieve the result you need. To make a copy of the arm, select it, 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 arm to the right.
For the left hand, create an oval and attach it to the left arm. Keep the same fill color as for the face. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom anchor point, and move it up to get a result similar to the image below. Make a copy of this shape and attach it to the right arm.
Create a dark grey rounded rectangle and attach it below the body. Hide a part of this rounded rectangle behind (use Control-X, Control-B).
Using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a rectangle for the left leg. Then take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move the lower right anchor point to the left.
Make a copy of the leg: select it, right-click your mouse, and select Transform > Reflect. In the dialogue box, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the created copy to the right.
For the shoes, make a copy of the shape of the mustache, which we created before. Add a thin, horizontally aligned, rounded rectangle for the shoe sole. Set the necessary fill color for the shoe. While holding the Alt and Shift keys, move the whole shoe to the right leg.
3. How to Create the Walker
Create a rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool with no fill color and a greyish-blue stroke color. Select the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the left and right parts of the rounded rectangle, marked in the image below. Delete the bottom part of the rounded rectangle by pressing the Delete button on your keyboard.
Place the shape below the left hand (use Control-X, Control-B). And place a copy of it below the right hand (to have them horizontally aligned, move the left copy to the right while keeping the Shift and Alt keys pressed).
Finally, join the two sides of the walker with a horizontal line (match the thickness of the line to the thickness of the vertical lines) using the Line Segment Tool ().
Using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a dark grey rectangle. Then, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), move the upper anchor points to the center. Attach four copies of this shape to the bottom of the walker to create the tips.
4. How to Create the Background
Create a light green square with 850 px Width and Height, by using the Rectangle Tool (M). First select this tool, and then click on your artboard and enter the necessary width and height in the new dialogue window, and press OK.
Place the image of the man with the walker in front of the background.
To finalize the image, add a few dark green rounded rectangles below as shadows.
And we are finished! Well done! I hope you enjoyed learning some of the processes and shortcuts during the creation of this image in Adobe Illustrator.
Always respect your elders—they made it through school without Google or Wikipedia!
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Author: Nataliya Dolotko
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