to move the body shape beneath all other elements.
on and add paws to our dog. Arm yourself with the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a thin, stylized leg. Add some fur to the
upper part of the leg, making it thicker.
form the notches in the furry part of the leg in the same way as we did with the
dog’s ear. Place several copies of the arched triangle above the fur, select
all these copies, and press Control-8
to make a Compound Path.
the fur shape and the notches and apply the Minus
Front function of Pathfinder to cut out the pieces.
Form the back leg of our spaniel using the Pencil
Tool (N). Copy the created shape and Send
it to Back (Shift-Control-[). Make
the copy darker and move it to the left, forming the second back leg.
the second front leg with the Pencil Tool (N), making it bent and lifted. Place the leg beneath all
other elements, making it a bit darker than the body. Place several triangle
notches above the furry part of the leg and cut them out using the Minus Front function of Pathfinder.
more fur to the chest, drawing a curved shape using the Pencil Tool (N) and cutting up a few notches.
form a tail to give our pet’s body a finished look. Make a dark-brown squashed
ellipse with the Ellipse Tool (L). Go to Effect > Warp > Arc
and set the Horizontal Bend value to
-50%, making the shape arched.
tip of the tail pointed by moving the anchor handles with the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C).
triangle notches across the lower part of the tail, and cut them out using the Minus Front function of Pathfinder.
Minor Details and Apply Textures
move on to the facial details of our pet, starting with the nose.
Take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw out a dark-brown
nose with one nostril. If the created element overlaps the head shape,
that’s totally fine. To fix this, select both the head and the nose, take the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), hold down
Alt and click the unneeded pieces
outside the head. This way you delete the unwanted part just in one click.
try out another Adobe Illustrator drawing tool.
Select the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B)—you can find it in the same drop-down
menu as the Paintbrush Tool (B) in
the Tools panel.
Double-click the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B) to access the
Options window. Here you can vary
the Fidelity of your brush, making
the lines Accurate or Smooth. And you can change the
shape of your brush as well.
In our case, I leave the shape of the brush round, setting its
size to 3 pt. You can increase or
decrease the brush size, using the bracket keys ([ and ]) on your keyboard.
set up your Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B),
draw a wavy line, forming a smiling mouth. Delete the unwanted piece outside
the head, using the Shape Builder Tool
(Shift-M) while holding down Alt. Add a few round dots beneath the nose, making the face more
Add a spot of a lighter brown shade in the upper part of the head. Place a beige crescent-shaped
eye above the spot using either the Pencil
Tool (N) or the Blob Brush Tool
(Shift-B), forming a closed eyelid.
make some elements of our pet textured, giving them a furry and fancy look!
Select the brown spot that we’ve created and head to the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes). Open the Brush Libraries Menu (a tiny bookshelf icon in the bottom left
corner of the Brushes panel) and select Artistic
From here you can select any textured
brush to your liking, applying it to the spot as a Stroke. In our case, let’s select the Charcoal – Thin brush.
As you may
notice, the stroke color seems to be a bit lighter than the color of the spot, even if we set one and the same color for both the Fill and the Stroke.
fix this, let’s Object > Expand
Appearance of the shape. Now we have the textured outline as a separate
object in the Layers panel. Select
it, and pick and apply the dark-brown color from the spot, using the Eyedropper Tool (I), making the shapes
fit each other seamlessly and look like a single shape.
another spot on the back of the spaniel, filling it with the same color as the
Add a few
more spots to the body and apply Pencil
– Thick Stroke from the same Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil
To make the illustration even more interesting, you can apply a
different brush to every spot, making each one look unique. Object > Expand Appearance of the spots and make the colors
overlapping shapes and use the Shape
Builder Tool (Shift-M) while holding down Alt to cut off the unneeded pieces outside the body. You can Unite the texture and the spot in Pathfinder to make it more convenient to work with.
finish up our dog by adding a few more spots here and there to your
liking. For example, apart from the spots on the body, I place two more spots on
the legs, apply textures, and use the Shape
Builder Tool (Shift-M) to cut off the unwanted parts.
Now we can move on and create a simple background.
3. Render a
To make our
illustration look balanced and complete, let’s put our dog on some kind of ground, filling our image with autumn spirit. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to place a greyish-brown shape beneath the dog.
side anchor points with the Direct
Selection Tool (A) and drag the points down, forming a kind of bump or small hill.
yourself with the Paintbrush Tool (B), select
one of the Artistic brushes from
the list that we’ve already used, for example Charcoal – Pencil, and make a few strokes on the ground, depicting the grass.
brushes, the length of the grass blades and their colors to make the grass look
more realistic. A grungy pencil texture here helps to increase the fancy cartoon
effect of our illustration.
the Pencil Tool (N) and start
drawing a wavy surface beneath the hill. Fill the created shape with the same
color as the ground, using the Eyedropper
Tool (I), making the shapes merge with each other.
Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) to move the
anchor points and their handles, making the shapes more rounded and smooth. You
may need to add some extra anchor points with the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) or, on the other hand, to delete the
unneeded points with the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-).
Switch the Fill color to greyish-blue and start drawing
another wavy, curved shape, using the Pencil
Tool (N). Finish drawing the shape and Send
it to Back (Shift-Control-[),
beneath the ground, forming a stylized water surface.
curves of the water surface by moving the anchor points and their handles, as we
did previously. Add a few minor pieces of the ground and water, making the
illustration more detailed.
make an 800 x 600 px rectangle using
the Rectangle Tool (M) and fill it
with a very light-yellow color, filling our image with autumn atmosphere. Place
the created shape in the background, so that the main elements of our
composition remain in the center.
finish up our illustration by adding a few minor details.
Take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a fluffy curved shape, forming a cartoon
cloud. You don’t need to make the path closed—just start from the left and
move to the right, finishing at the right point. This way, after applying white Fill color, we will get a straight horizontal line in the bottom of our
cloud, just as we need.
more clouds of different shapes and spread them here and there on the sky,
above the dog’s head.
Hunting Dog Illustration Is Finished!
Great job! We’ve filled our image with warm autumn spirit and successfully
finished our fancy cartoon character.
I hope you’ve enjoyed playing around with
those versatile drawing tools of Adobe Illustrator and learned some new tips
and tricks about applying textures and using brushes in your artwork.
Have fun, and don’t forget to share your art with us!
Read more here:: How to Vector a Cartoon Hunting Dog in Adobe Illustrator