How to Create Flat Bride & Groom Characters in Adobe Illustrator
In this tutorial we’ll be designing stylized flat characters, depicting a happy couple getting married. We’ll be modifying a lot of basic geometric shapes, applying various warp effects and using handy tools and functions of Adobe Illustrator to make the characters look fancy and lively.
By the end
of this tutorial you’ll be able to design a bride and a groom in fancy flat style and change their
appearance to your liking, varying hairdos, suits, skin color and other
details. What is more, we can combine the characters, depicting both heterosexual and
same-sex wedding couples!
If you want to take a closer look at how each character was designed or to use it for your designs of wedding invitations, postcards or other, make sure
you’ve check out these 9 Wedding Couples with Flat Characters on GraphicRiver
to discover all the numerous combinations of happy couples and all the variety of
1. How to
Create the Face of a Flat Groom Character
making the head with the help of the Rectangle
Tool (M) or the Rounded Rectangle
Tool, which you can find in the same drop-down menu of the Tools panel. Make a 65 x 80 px yellow shape and set the Corner Radius to 20 px. We can do this by selecting our shape with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then either using the Live Corners feature (by pulling the tiny circle markers) or from the control panel on top.
the eyes. Take the Ellipse Tool (L),
hold down Shift and make a 6 x 6 px brown circle. Select it with the Selection Tool (V), hold Alt-Shift and drag to the side,
creating a copy for the second eye.
In order to
keep everything organized and aligned, select both eyes and Group (Control-G) them. Then select
both the eye group and the head and click the head once again to make it a Key Object. You will notice a thicker
selection outline around the head, indicating that all other objects will now
be aligned to the Key Object. Let’s
open the Align panel and click Horizontal Align Center to make the
eyes perfectly centered.
eyes closer to the lower half of the face, forming a large forehead.
depict the eyebrows in order to give the face a lively expression. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to make a 7 x 3 px blue shape with fully rounded
Keeping the brow selected, double-click
the Rotate Tool (R) and set the Angle value to 15 degrees. Click OK to
apply the changes.
the Reflect Tool (O). Flip the brow
over the Vertical Axis and click Copy to create a second brow.
Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and let’s make a nose.
Hold Shift and create a 10 x 10 px yellowish-orange circle.
Select its top anchor point with the Direct
Selection Tool (A), hold Shift
and drag the point up, creating a drop-like shape for the nose.
use the Align panel to center the
nose to the face, using the head shape as a Key Object.
Now we’ll form
a wide, smiling mouth using the Rectangle
Tool (M). Create a 25 x 10 px
white shape. Select its bottom anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool and pull the circle markers of the Live Corners, making the corners 6 px rounded.
the Rounded Rectangle Tool and let’s draw the ear. Make a 10 x 20 px
shape of a slightly darker color than the face. Hold Alt-Shift and drag the ear to the right, creating a copy for the
opposite side of the head.
select both ears, Group (Control-G)
them and right-mouse click > Arrange
> Send to Back or simply Shift-Control-
to place the ears behind the head.
style a fancy hairdo for our groom. Arm yourself with the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 85 x 50 px blue shape. Select both the rectangle and the head shape
and Horizontal Align Right, using
the head as the Key Object to snap the hair to the right part of the head.
Take the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), hold Shift, and pull and position the handles of
the top left anchor point vertically, as shown in the screenshot below.
select the opposite (top right) anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and pull the Live Corner marker to make this part of the shape really smooth and
same for the bottom left corner, making it rounded to create a stylish fringe.
We can fix
the hair shape, using the Direct
Selection Tool (A) while pulling the anchor handles on top of the hair, making it flat to preserve the overall geometric style with straight lines.
Let’s add a
neck before we proceed to build the body. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to create a 20 x 35 px shape with full rounded corners. Press Shift-Control-[ to Send
the shape to Back, beneath the head.
2. How to
Design the Body of the Flat Groom Character
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and let’s start
drawing the body from the shirt. Make an 80 x 150
px white shape, select its bottom anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and make the
corners fully rounded, setting the Corner
Radius to 40 px in the control
panel on top.
Take the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), place a
new anchor point in the middle of the top edge, and drag it up, using the Direct Selection Tool (A).
the top part of the trousers. Place a dark-grey rectangle over the bottom of
the body, as shown in the image below.
the body shape and the rectangle and switch to the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M). Hold Alt and click the piece of the rectangle outside the edges of the
body. This way we can delete the unwanted parts of the shapes.
couple of blue stripes on top of the trousers, using the same technique with
the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) to
delete the unwanted pieces outside the body shape.
on to the groom’s jacket. Create a grey rectangle (of a slightly lighter color
than the trousers) and make it cover the left part of the character’s body.
Select both the rectangle and the body shape and delete the unneeded part, using
the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M).
Select the bottom right anchor point of the rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and
make it rounded.
add a second half of the jacket. Select the created half and double-click the Reflect Tool (O) to mirror the shape over the Vertical Axis and click Copy.
We need to Align the created part to the opposite
side of the body. In order to do this precisely and easily, select both the
mirrored piece and the body and click the body shape once again to make it a Key Object. Head to the Align panel and click Horizontal Align Left to snap the
jacket to the left edge of the body. Easy as that!
lapels to the suit. Grab the Polygon
Tool and single-click anywhere on the Artboard to open the pop-up options window. Set
the Sides value to 3 and draw a triangle. Select its side
anchor point with the Direct Selection
Tool (A) and shrink the shape, making it much narrower.
Attach the lapel to the left half of the suit and use the Align function to Horizontal Align Right and Vertical Align Top, using the suit as
the Key Object in order to snap the lapel to the edge.
Let’s add a
shadow beneath the lapel. Copy the lapel and Paste in
Back (Control-C > Control-B). Move the side anchor point of the bottom
copy down and to the left, making the shape a bit wider, and make its Fill color somewhat darker as well.
Group (Control-G) the lapel and its shadow and use the Reflect Tool (O) to flip the lapel
group to the opposite half of the suit and snap it to the edge, using the Align panel.
depict a bow tie to make our groom look elegant. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to create a 10 x 15 px shape with 2 px
Corner Radius and fill it with the same blue color as the hair. Use
the Eyedropper Tool (I) to pick the
color from one shape and apply it to the other.
Attach a 10 x 12 px rectangle of a slightly darker
blue color to the left edge and use the Direct
Selection Tool (A) to select the top and bottom left anchor points and move
them in opposite directions with the help of the arrow keys in order to make the shape wider.
Use the Reflect Tool (O) to add a second half
of the bow tie.
Use the Rectangle Tool (M) and the Polygon Tool to add a tiny pocket with
a blue triangular handkerchief inside.
round dark-grey buttons to the jacket, and let’s proceed to the arms of our
Use the Arc Tool (you can
find it in the same menu as the Line
Segment Tool ()) or the Pencil Tool
(N) to draw a smooth arched line for the right arm.
Set the Stroke color to the same tint of yellow
as we have for the face. Open the Stroke
panel and set the Weight to 20 pt, making the line really thick.
Set the Cap to Round Cap in order to make the tips of the line fully rounded.
anchor point in the middle of the arm or, if you don’t have one, create it using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). Select it with the Direct Selection
Tool (A) and make the anchor handles a bit shorter in order to bend the
elbow in a more realistic manner.
Add a short
stroke for the thumb, setting the Weight
to 10 pt.
Let’s add a
sleeve to the jacket. Select the arm with the Selection Tool (V),Copy it and Paste in Front (Control-C >
Control-F). Change the Stroke
color to the same dark grey as we have for the jacket. Switch the Cap to Butt Cap, making the tips straight. Move the top and bottom anchor
points of the arm together with the sleeve to make them fit the
shoulder of the jacket.
remove the anchor points of the tips of the lines to make the strokes shorter,
if needed, but try to keep both lines combined with each other, so that the
yellow stroke is right beneath the grey stroke.
Add the second
arm, using the same technique, but this time change its position as shown in
the image below.
draw the legs. Use the Line Segment Tool
() or the Pen Tool (P) while
holding down Shift to make a straight vertical line. Apply a dark-grey color
for the Stroke and set the Weight to 20 pt and Cap to Round Cap, making a thick line.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a 50 x 16 px dark-grey shape for the boot.
Select its top left anchor point with the Direct
Selection Tool (A) and make the corner fully rounded, setting the Corner Radius to 16 px.
Use the Arc Tool to create a smooth arched line
to the second leg, making it look slightly bent.
our groom is finished! Let’s move on to the bride!
3. How to Draw
the Head of a Flat Bride Character
by forming the head from a 55 x 80 px
yellow rectangle. Select both top anchor points and make the corners rounded,
setting the Corner Radius to 20 px.
bottom of the rectangle, which is for the chin, fully rounded.
bottom anchor point in the middle of the chin with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and click Convert selected anchor points to corner in the Convert menu of the control panel on
top to make the chin pointed.
We can also
drag the chin point up a bit to make the face shorter.
eyes, nose and neck in the same way as we did for our previous character with
the only difference that we also need to draw eyelashes. Use the Arc Tool to make a tiny arch with 1.5 pt Stroke Weight and Round
Let’s add a
smiling mouth. Continue using the Arc
Tool to make an arched red line with 1.5
pt Weight and Round Cap.
Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a 15 x 6 px light-pink shape for the lips. Send Backward (Control-[), beneath the
side anchor points of the ellipse and move them a few pixels up using the UpArrow key to make the lips fit the red
pinkish ovals on the cheeks for the blush, and let’s move on to the hairdo.
Place two brown ovals over the forehead and make them overlap, as shown in the
image below. Select both ovals and Unite
them in the Pathfinder, merging them
into a single shape.
Now we need
to delete the unwanted part of the hair, which is outside the
head. Select both the hair shape and the head and use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) while holding Alt to click and delete the piece.
have it! An elegant hairdo is ready!
Make a 40 x 30 px ellipse for the bun and Send to Back (Shift-Control-[), beneath
the head. Make the color slightly darker than the overall color of the hair.
Add two 5 x 5 px white circles for the pearl
earrings. Use the Pencil Tool (N) to
draw an arched line at the bottom of the neck for the necklace, and let’s see
how we can add pearls here in a few clicks.
Apply white color for the Stroke and open the Stroke panel. Set the Weight to 5 px, Cap to Round Cap
and tick the Dashed Line checkbox.
Set the dash value to 0 px and the
gap value to 4.5. This way we’re
forming a nice necklace with round pearls. If you happen to have some gaps
between the pearls, try adjusting the gap
value, thus eliminating the unwanted spaces.
be adding flowers to make the hairdo more festive. Take the Polygon Tool and set the Sides
value to 6, creating a pink hexagon.
Place it in front of the bun, and let’s see how we can actually turn it into a
flower. Go to Effects > Distort &
Transform > Pucker & Bloat and move the slider to the Bloat side, setting it to 60%.
Go to Object > Expand Appearance in order
apply the effect, making the flower editable.
Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to add a few minor details to the flower.
let’s add a veil to finish off the hairdo. Create an 85 x 85 px light-pink rectangle and make its top part fully rounded
by using the Live Corners feature
and the Direct Selection Tool (A).
Now we can
move on to the body!
4. How to
Draw the Body & Dress of the Flat Bride Character
Create a 60 x 105 px yellow rectangle for the body
and make its corners fully rounded, using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Live Corners feature.
Let’s add a
couple of anchor points in the middle of both sides of the rectangle with the help of the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). Select the
point on the left and press Enter to
open the Move options window.
Set the Horizontal value to 5 px and the Vertical value to 0 px.
Click OK to move the point 5 px to the right.
same for the opposite point, but this time apply a negative value (-5 px) in order to move the point in
the opposite direction, forming a wavy waistline.
both points selected, click Convert
selected anchor points to smooth in the control panel on top, making the edges
design the dress!
light-pink rectangle over the body, select both shapes and use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) while
holding Alt to delete the unneeded
piece outside the body.
overlapping circles for the bust and Unite
them in the Pathfinder. Delete the
unwanted parts, using the Shape Builder
two more circles (40 x 40 px each) for
the sleeves, applying a slightly darker color. And now we need to cut the
circles to make them fit the body.
just move the shapes beneath the body, but we actually need these shapes to
remain on top of the body shape in the Layers
panel, as they will be covering the top parts of the arms.
select the body shape, Copy and Paste in Front twice (Control-C >
Control-F > Control-F). Then select the top body copy and the right sleeve
and use Minus Front function of the Pathfinder to cut off the left half of the
same for the left sleeve, using the second copy of the body shape.
Now let’s draw a long puffy skirt. Start by attaching a 55 x 230 px rectangle to the body. Select its bottom right anchor
point with the Direct Selection Tool (A)
and hit the Enter key to open the Move window. Set the Horizontal value to 80 px and the Vertical value to 0 px.
Click OK, moving the point 80 px to the right.
same for the opposite point, applying a negative value (-80 px), thus making the skirt wide at the bottom.
skirt selected, go to Effect > Warp
> Bulge. Set the Vertical Bend value to 40% and click OK. Continue by using Object > Expand Appearance to apply the effect.
with the skirt by adding two darker wide stripes in the bottom.
design a festive bridal bouquet, using the flowers that we’ve already created
for the hairdo.
Make a 47 x 47 px green circle and fill it with
white flowers and tiny circles. Add a darker green rectangle under the bouquet,
making the bottom part of the shape somewhat wider.
Use the Arc Tool or the Pencil Tool (N) to add the arms holding the bouquet. Set the Stroke color to yellow, Weight to 12 px and Cap to Round Cap.
the arms beneath the sleeves in the Layers
have it! Our happy couple is ready to get married! Put our characters next to
each other and add any minor details to your liking. For example, here I’ve
used the Line Segment Tool () to
add some horizontal lines for the floor.
Our Flat Wedding Characters Are Finished!
you’ve enjoyed following this tutorial and designing fancy characters. You can
actually change their appearance to your liking and even depict
yourself together with your other half or someone from your friends and family in a stylized flat manner!
Take a look
at the variety of couples that we can create using our characters and varying their
hairdos, skin color and suits. What is more, we can depict both heterosexual and
same-sex happy couples! If you wish to discover how the characters
were made or you want to get a full set for your designs in various formats
(both vector and raster), make sure you check out these 9 Wedding Couples with
Flat Characters on GraphicRiver.