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How to Create a Hand Drawn Fox Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

How to Create a Hand Drawn Fox Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a hand drawn illustration of this adorable fox. You will need some basic drawing skills and most of all a good mood.

Software: Adobe Illustrator
Difficulty: Beginner
Completion Time:2 hours

Final image:

Step 1

Create a new document or hit Control-N.

Image 1. Using the Ellipse Tool (L) from the Tools panel, draw a circle. Delete the fill color and make the stoke at any color you want. Take any Brush Tool (B) you want or the Pencil Tool (N) and create two perpendicular lines which cut the head into four parts. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) again and draw the eyes. They have to be placed on the horizontal line.

Image 2. Hit the Brush Tool (B) and draw the ears and nose. Nose sits at the end of the vertical line which you have drawn on the Image 1.

Image 3. Add white fur (it will be white later, but you know what I'm talking about) on the sides of the nose. Using the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) delete auxiliary vertical and horizontal lines.

Image 4. Color the eyes and nose - simply add a fill color. At the end add a little more fur on the ears. Using the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) delete unnecessary lines

Step 2

Image 1. Add some fur under the head of the fox and a body shape.

Image 2. Add the paws.

Image 3. And the tail.

Step 3

Now let's draw strawberries. You can draw it to your own taste, but the main rule is: plants need to envelop the fox.

Step 4

Continue with another plant - a few branches.

Step 5

Add black currants and a few branches.

Step 6

Add flowers.

Step 7

And more flowers. As you can see, I added the seeds to the strawberries and highlights to the eyes of the fox. Also I added more fur on the tail and on the front paws.

Step 8

Now very important part: you need to check if all the paths are connected. And then we will color the whole illustration at once. Select everything (Control-A) and expand it (Object > Expand Appearance). Then using the Rectangle Tool (M) create a big rectangle at any fill color. The rectangle needs to cover the whole illustration. Send the rectangle to the back (Contol-X, Control-B).

Step 9

Select everything (illustration and rectangle, Control-A) and on the Pathfinder panel press the Trim button. You should get a result similar to the image below:

Step 10

Delete the unnecessary parts which don't need to be colored. On the image below I marked just two of them, but you need to find all the parts according to your illustration. Then change the fill color of the outline to dark brown.

Step 11

Color the fox and plants. I used the DIC Color Guide palette (Swatches > Color Books > DIC Color Guide). To add the dark brown color to the outlines, you can select all of them (select just one, then go to Select > Same > Fill color) and transfer it to the new layer. To create a new layer, click on the Create New Layer button on the Layers panel. Then transfer all the dark brown outlines and lock the layer (click on the Toggles Lock). Continue to color other elements on the lower layer.

Step 12

For more convenience you should create the third layer and drag it under the all existing. Lock the layer with colored elements. On the new lowest layer using the Rectangle Tool (M) create a big 900px square.

Set the fill color at R=221 G=202 B=184. Then pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an oval. Set the fill color at R=207 G=181 B=155. Keep it selected and go to Effect > Distort and Transform > Roughen.

In the new appeared window in the Options section make Size 14 px Absolute, Detail 5 /in. In the Points section check Smooth and press Okay.

Step 13

Make sure that the fill color is deleted and set the stroke color at R=215 G=131 B=87. Take the brush you used before and decrease the stroke weight. Or you can use the Pencil Tool (N) with selected Round Cap button on the Stroke panel. Cover the fox with hand drawn fur.

Step 14

Lock the layer with fox and plants and open the layer with background and background shape. Select the background and concentrate at the Appearance panel. Click on the tiny triangle at the right top corner and select Add New Fill. Then go to Swatches > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textured. Find there Bird Feet pattern. Now at Appearance panel and click on the "Opacity" text. Select Overlay.

After that select the background shape. Add a new fill on the Appearance panel. Go to Swathces > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures and find there Capsules pattern. On the Appearace panel make Opacity Soft Light 60%.

That's it!


Look how adding a new screen completely changes the colors on your illustration. Here's how to do this:

Make a new copy of the background. For better convenience you can create a new layer placed on top of other layers. Send there the new copy of the background. For this cut off the new copy (Control-X), then select the newly created layer and paste the copy of the background (Control-F). Leave just one fill, second one simply move to the trash button. Set this fill color at R=213 G=185 B=139. Keep it selected and go to Effect >Texture > Texturizer. In a new appeared window from pop up menu select Sponge. Brush Size 5, Definition 19, Smoothness 5. And press Okay. On the Appearance panel make Opacity of this fill color Overlay. Look how different your illustration is now!


You just made a great illustration. You've learned how to make texturized backgrounds and how to create a cute fox illustration with plants using shapes and pen tools.

By using this technique and changing colors, textures or even drawing another animal based on the body details of fox, you can create a big variety of other illustrations you like. Give this illustration technique a try and let us know how it goes!



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