What You’ll Be Creating
Are you waiting for the new X-Men:
Apocalypse movie as much as I am? Let’s get ready together and follow this
tutorial to create flat, faceless X-Men avatars! We’ll discover some useful tips
and tricks and learn simple techniques, while using basic shapes, the Pathfinder panel, the Shape Builder Tool and Clipping Masks.
X-Men are my favorite heroes from
the whole Marvel universe, so I always wait for the new movies with impatience.
However, this tutorial can be useful not only for X-Men fans! You can use the
following techniques to create some superhero avatars, flat human portraits and any other kind of flat avatars! You can even use your own photo
or any reference image from Envato Market to create a similar avatar for your social network profile. Let’s try
1. Create Wolverine’s Avatar
Let’s shape Wolverine’s face, starting
with his chin. Take the Rectangle Tool
(M) and make a 100 x 60 px shape
of pinky-beige skin-tone color. Keeping the shape selected, go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points to add a point in the
middle of each side.
Let’s form the chin. Select the bottom left
anchor point with the Direct Selection
Tool (A) and hit Enter to open
the Move window. Set the Horizontal
value to 20 px and Vertical to 0 px. Click OK to move
our point 20 px to the right.
Repeat the same for the bottom right anchor
point, but this time set the Horizontal value to -20 px in order to move the point in the opposite direction.
Now let’s make the shape of the chin more
rounded and smooth with the help of the Live
Corners function. Select all the anchor points except the top two with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and pull the
circle markers of the Live Corners
up, making the corners slightly rounded.
If you’re using earlier versions of Adobe
Illustrator, which do not include this function, you can use Effect > Stylize > Round Corners
instead. But notice that it will make all the corners rounded. In this case, use the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) while holding Alt to make the top of the
shape straight and flat again.
Now let’s shape the upper part of the face.
Create a rectangle of 100 x 75 px. Go
to Object > Path > Add Anchor
Let’s adjust the hairline a bit. Select the
top central anchor point with the Direct
Selection Tool (A) and move it 10 px
down. Switch to the Anchor Point Tool
(Shift-C) and drag the anchor handles of the selected point up, as shown in
the image below. This way we form a gull-shaped hairline.
Move the handles of the top left and right anchor
points to make the hairline more flowing and curved.
Let’s make sure that the parts of the face
are perfectly aligned to each other. We’ll be using the same technique further
on when we need to align the objects to each other.
Select both parts of the face with the Selection Tool (V) and click the upper
shape once again to make it a Key
Object. It will be indicated with a thicker selection around the shape. Now
head to the Align panel and click Horizontal Align Center. This way we
align the chin to the upper shape.
Move the top part of the face down, attaching it to
Use the Move function again to move the upper left and right corners a bit
closer to each other, making the top of the shape narrower.
Now let’s draw Wolverine’s well-known hairdo! Arm yourself with the Pencil
Tool (N) and draw the left part of the hair. Connect the extreme anchor
points either with the Pencil Tool (N)
or with the Pen Tool (P) to make the
right edge of the shape straight and squared.
Fill the shape with dark-grey color.
And let’s flip the copy to the other side to make the second half of the
hairdo. Double-click the Reflect Tool
(O) to open the options window and select the Vertical Axis. Click Copy
and attach the right part of the hairdo.
Now let’s add the ears. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a 15 x 30 px oval. Attach the shape to the
face, rotating it a bit. Add a second ear, using the Reflect Tool (O).
Now let’s form Wolverine’s beard! First of
all, Copy the face shape and Paste in Front (Control-C > Control-F). Use
the Eyedropper Tool (I) to pick the
color from the hair and apply it to the created copy.
Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a 125 x 130
px shape, placing it above the upper part of the face. Now you can see the
beard has started showing up in the bottom of the face.
Add another ellipse of smaller size (60 x 45 px), partially covering the chin.
Select both ellipses and Unite them in Pathfinder, merging them into a single shape.
Now let’s cut out the ellipses, leaving
only the dark-grey pieces for the beard. Select both the dark-grey shape and
the merged ellipses and use the Minus
Front function of Pathfinder
to cut the shapes.
Let’s add a couple of locks of hair to
Wolverine’s forehead. Make a 60 x 5 px
ellipse. Select its side anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and make the tips of the shape pointed, using
the Convert selected anchor points to
corner function on the control panel on top.
Keeping the shape selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Set the Horizontal Bend value to 30% and Object > Expand Appearance to apply the effect.
Attach the created hair lock to the hairline
and add a smaller copy next to it.
Let’s add the neck. Make a 60 x 70 px rectangle of a darker skin
tone color. Place the neck beneath the head by Moving it to Back