In this video tutorial you will learn how to build your own letter for Santa Claus in adobe illustrator. You will also learn how to create simple illustrations based mainly on basic shapes as well as some few tips and tricks. Get ready to draw your own letter for Santa Claus just like you did when you were a kid.
Hello! My name is Maria Keller and I am a digital artist from Mexico. On this tutorial I'll teach you how to create your own letter from Santa Claus in Adobe Illustrator. At the end of this tutorial you'll have created a letter and learned a few tips and tricks of the software. All the keys and shortcuts used will be displayed on the screen so you can follow along let's begin. First thing we're going to do is create our document that is going to be the size of a letter, I have already create is mine, but if you don't know how to I'm going to teach you if you go here to file and then create a new document or press ctrl N on your keyboard you're going to open a window that is going to look like this I'm using the latest version of Illustrator CC but the same information will be displayed on Illustrator no matter what version you have so in this case I'm going to print this project so I'm going to select the print present and then I'm going to select the letter size and then i'm going to make sure that my orientation is vertical and my color mode is CMYK, hit create in my case I'm going to hit close because I have already created my document you're going to have a similar document like this. The next step I'm going to do to create my letter for Santa Claus is create a small illustration of Santa Claus, actually of his face and to do that I'm going to use simple shapes with the basic shapes that Adobe Illustrator has to offer. If you go here on the tools panel probably by default you're gonna see this rectangle but if you click and hold the click you're going to see the rest of the shapes you have in here you can see that the rectangle and the ellipse tools have shortcuts but the other ones doesn't have a shortcut so I would recommend you that after you click here and hold that click you're releasing click here on the little triangle here on the right and will have this window be floating around, then you can place this window closer to canvas and access the shapes in a easier way the first thing we're going to create is going to be the nose so i'm going to create a rectangle, to create a rectangle are going to press M on my keyboard or select this tool here then I'm going to click with my mouse and select the width of 16 and height of 37 and I'm going to hit OK and now I have my nose now one thing that I like to do when I'm creating a illustration is navigate around my document so to pan around my canvas I simply hold the spacebar just like this or I can press H on my keyboard and that's going to select the hand tool and I can drag around as well and then you can zoom in pressing ctrl + and zoon out by pressin control - Something I'm doing all the time so now you know how to do it I'm going to get closer to have overlooked of my nose and then announced they're not sorry the nails on the small on the bottom it's going to be around it so i'm going to select only these two anchor points by going to my direct selection tool or placing a on my keyboard and then select the bottom once and then I want to run them all the way around so i can simply select this circle handled and rack or i can input here our radios of eight points and this is going to be my nose now the next thing i want to grate is the ice so i'm going to create an ellipse and I can do that by going to my lip still here or press L on my keyboard and then make a quick now the width of my ID of my I wanted to be a 3.5 and height five and i'm going to hit okay now you see it i have my either now want to make another right so i'm going to select my ID I'm actually gonna get a little closer and while i have it selected I'm going to press alt + shift to make a copy and to constrain the movement on the horizontal axis i'm going to put it on here and it's going to be it now you can see my eyes are not aligned with my notes so I'm going to fix that by selecting one eye and then pressing shift and select the other eye and I'm going to actually make a group of this by going here to object group or you can press ctrl G on your keyboard and then what I want to do you select everything and then you can see here on the top I have my alignment tools or you can go window a line or press shift up seven you're going to have a window like this and then once i have both of these objects selected I want to click again on my nose and as you can see the border is now different cuz its it has like an outline and this is displaying that I have made this now the key object this is here and then I'm going to go to horizontal line center to align their eyes and the nose and how they are line and I think that's good now the next thing I'm going to do is the top part of the heart so I'm going to make a rectangle for that i'm going to press my keyboard or going here to my rectangle tool and click and for this part of the Hat I want to make a 76 width and height of 16 and this is going to be the top part of the Hat and I want this top part of the hat to to be placed here on the top of my nose so we want to go to my selection to look pretty on my keyboard and select both my nose and the these had this part of the Hat and then i'm going to select again the nose just as with it or click against are in the notes to make this mikey object and make this horizontal line center and now you can see that my nose and my top part of my hat they are center and I want the distance from this object to this object to be 0 and you can do that with the distributor space think so if you select both items decided and make one the key object you can you can input here value to specify the value that is going to be between these objects when i get 0 and i'm going to select this one vertical distributed space as you can see now the nose and this top part of the hands or the bottom part of the hap are sitting on the exact same line now i want to create and the head so I'm gonna make a square so i'm going to go to my rectangle tool or press enter on my keyboard and click and I want to make a ripped I'm sorry square that is 6969 going to hit okay now I want this square to be aligned with my nose so again i'm going to select both my shapes and make by clicking again make my nose Mikey object and go again here to my horizontal line center and I want this to be sitting on the top so i'm going to go here to my vertical line top and now you can see that already done what I wanted but now they square is on the top and I don't want that so I'm going to select my square and go right click transformed to arrange and centre back or you can press shift ctrl Open bracket and this work in this way you're going to see that the square now is on the back and you can see again your eyes and your nose now the next thing i want to do is create some ears so i'm going to create a circle to create a circle am going to select the ellipse tool or press LOL my keyboard and click then i'm going to give this circle with a 14 and a height of 14 so I want to make a circle and i'm going to hit OK and now i have my ear I'm going to create another circle by clicking again and making these four by four then hit ok I want this small circle to be in the center of this big circle so i'm going to select both make the big circle nike object by clicking again and then select horizontal lines center vertical line center and now i have it just as I want it now i want to remove one of this anchor point so I'm gonna go to my direct selection tool press a on my keyboard and remove this anchor point on the inner circle and I want to press delete on my keyboard to remove that part and now I only have half the circle it's just I wanted i'm going to move these around here and that's going to be it and again as you can see the ear is on top of the head and that's not something that I want to when i right click arrange centre-back and now i want to have the other ear so to have the other here i have to create that mirror version of the circles i'm going to right-click transform reflect then i can i can have a preview here if I want and make sure that I'm reflecting on the vertical axis and hit copy so i make a copy and I'm just going to click here and rack and then press shift while dragging so i can have a my my circle moving just on the horizontal axis horizontal axis and then i'm going to have it here going to move it a little bit here and now i want to select both these elements and these two elements and make a group if you remember you can go here to objects group or press ctrl G on your keyboard then I want to select this work that i just created and my face is the square and make my face the key object and make a horizontal line center so now the ears are going to be aligned to the same Center and we're going to leave this for now like this now the next thing i want to create is a mustache and a beard and about three so to create that i'm going to go here to my pencil or press p on my keyboard and then I want to make a point around here and then I want to go around here and create another point for this time will i click i'm going to track and then I'm going to go back around this place and make another point and then I'm going to repeat again by making another point and click track and dragging so then I'm going to go here and create another point just like that without dragging and then i'm going to go here and make another point clicking and dragging and then I'm gonna make go here and the point normal point then go here and click and drag to make a corp and then just go back to the beginning and click track a little bit so I can make this car like this now if one of these points didn't work for you you can go to your direct selection tool and click on the anchor points and then you can move them around to have the exact shape you want now my most touch is supposed to be before behind my nose so i'm going to select my nose and then go right click arrange bring to front so i have my notes on the front and i want to create Santa Claus birth to i'm going to go again to the pen tool now the next thing i want to do is create a hat so let make a circle by creating an ellipse are going to live store press L on my keyboard and clicking sorry I'm looking and I want to make a circle with the weight of 73 and the height of 73 73 and hit OK and now i have it and I'm gonna align these to my notes by selecting my circle and my nose and then click again to make my nose my key object and going to horizontal line center and I want to make sure this the circle is sitting on the the middle of the circle sitting on the top of this by just moving it and pressing shift and then moving it around here right around there and I'm going to go right click arrange centre-back now we have the path of Santa Claus just there and then i'm going to create a little pom-pom for Santa Claus hat so i'm going to go here to the polygon tool I'm going to actually select this and then click and i want to create a polygon that asks let's have twenty one side and a radius of our age of 21 and I don't know around nine sides and i'm going to hit okay and you can see it here and then i'm going to apply an effect to this i'm going to go here to affect its sorry disorder and transform poker and blocked when you do that this window is going to appear and you can preview it here what you're doing and I'm going to move it to the to the blood around 65 65 ok then hit ok as you can see this is a little bit big so you can change the values here on the top so because i want to change both their weight and height they can click here on the middle to constrain with and high proportions and I want to make this smaller around i think twenty okay i think that looks good and i'm going to move this around here and then I'm going to go to my panel or press p on my keyboard or here on the middle where you have the anchor point of the circle and make it point and then go around here and then make another point will track a little bit rock around there and then make another point and making a point here and then just simply move another point and dragging a little bit to create this at corp and then make sure you close your shape and then with your shape selected you're going to go right click arrange centre back or ctrl shift open bracket and now we have a Santa Claus but I think we're going to make a body because otherwise it's going to be kind of just the face so i'm going to create another circle i'm going to click here and make a circle structure is going to be more like an oval shape so I'm going to make a circle of 104 actually going to make a circle so 100 points sorry 104 points by 100 / 4 points in my head okay and then i'm going to make sure that this is aligned with my nose i'm going to select my circle and then while pressing shift click on the nose why select both of them then click again to make my nose the key object and go here to the horizontal line center and just as before i'm going to select the circle right click arrange centre-back i'm gonna move this circle anything around here so now we have our Santa Claus now i have already selected my colors you can see them here but if you want you can pick your own colors and make some nice combination so i'm going to select my nose and remove the stroke was Hydra needed so it looks like that and at these kind of orange color so now i want to make a mask for this Santa Claus i'm going to create another circle by going to their lips tool or press L on my keyboard and click and then i'm going to make these 413 413 is going to be circled overhead okay I want this to be green this way and now a good thing that you should always do is that if you want to move this object if you move it like that's going to be hard to select everything that is the Santa Claus and press ctrl G and your keyboard and now you have a single object that you can move around i'm going to select that and go here and make another click on this to make the circle they may not know sorry the key object got the fortune teller line center to have kind of a moment it's not going to work because this is making the Santa Claus a little bit wider so we're going to align with the notes and i'm going to actually select this circle and go right click arrange centre-back and i'm going to bicycles and i won my sandals to be around here and that's going to be it now I don't want to see this lower part of the body or because it's looking winner 2 i'm going to go inside my group by double-clicking on it and if you do that you're now you're inside the group you can hear and i'm going to cut this body by pressing ctrl x or you can go objects or edit cut and then i'm going to double-click outside this so i can go outside the group and then i'm going to select my circle and then you select your circle and go here you can see that you have a your drawing in a normal but you go here to the last one you're going to draw inside and that's what I actually want so i'm going to click here and as you can see I have this dotted line around so that's what I want and I'm going to go edit paste in place or ctrl shift be and now the body is being masked by that circle and to exit this throw inside mult i can go here to draw normal or double-click around this sorry outside this and now you can see that we have done this and now just as before select everything and press ctrl G to group it and now you have this element that is going to be your santa claus now the next element we're going to create is going to be a Christmas tree to create our Christmas tree we're going to select the polygon tool here and then click and then we're going to make sure that we're going to have three sides and i'm going to have a radius of 45 then hit ok now i don't want this triangle to be to have all the sides of the same side so in the same size 12 over here and probably have care to constrain with high proportions so make sure you don't have this on to you are not constrained you so you can change each value individually and I want to have a weight of 67 and a height of 45 and I want to hit enter I want to create a copy of this so i can make ctrl-c and in control be you have a another triangle and then I want to change the width to be 91 and the height to be 54 and i'm going to eat and it's going to be okay then I want to create a new copy so I'm going to just press ctrl be because i already have this this triangle copy and i want to say change the width to a hundred knight and the height to be so with 65 and my hockey and now you can see I have to try out and I want to align them so they are all on the center so i'm going to select all then click again to make this my this triangle Mickey object and then aligned into the horizontal line center now this is not the one that I want so I want to make this one to the bottom by while i'm ok with a press shift so i constrain the movement on one direction and then moving here just as well like that and then these around here and now to make sure that they are spaced evenly i select all of them and then go here to particular distributed objects so now they are made sure that they have the same distance from one triangle to the next one and this is going to be my christmas tree now for the top triangle i'm going to select this green then for the middle one the southern clean and in for them last one these other way and I want this to be on the back somewhere and select the middle one and go arrange centre-back the bottom one and go right click arrange centre-back and now I have kind of the shape of my christmas tree now the next day I went to what is a star so i'm going to select the star tool and click here and I want to make it to have these two have writers of 1230 well and the radius 2 of 6 and have power i start the house five points and ok and i have my start and i'm going to call it with a jello color and i'm going to select my start and select one of the triangles and then click again on the triangle and angle horizontal line center and they were breaking shift movie the little to stop and now we have a hour starting over Christmas treat now I need to make the bottom part of the Christmas tree so I'm going to make a rectangle so i'm gonna create the first one by clicking here we go sorry selecting the rectangle tool represent my keyboard and then clicking here and then make a rectangle that has a weeds of 22 on a height of thirty seven and one hit ok and i want to make another rectangle again just clicking here and have it had a weight of 40 and a height of seven no-hit okay now one part of this pieces to be aligned here so i'm going to select them and it's like a triangle and then clicking again and I want to make it the key object and then align with horizontal align center and then we're going to or whether you're going to do is select this bigger rectangle with while pressing shift to the bottom and then send it to the back by the right click arrange centre-back i'm going to change the color this dark purple and i'm going to move this other one again person she's putting on the bottom and change the color do you think I wonder the dark red will walk fine and I want to make some lines so i can add some ornaments so i'm going to go to the panto or you can go to line two whatever works for you and make a line around here that is a little bit bigger than done there is a triangle and then i'm going to have it have a stroke of these corner and our weight of of three everything work fine and i'm going to apply an effect to this and actually going to make sure first that the line is long enough so i'm going to go here to my direct selection tool or press a on my keyboard and then just move around sorry click on this one and there were pressing shift your weight around here then do the same for this one and make sure that my caps on my corners are both round I have something like this and then I want to make another copy i'm gonna select this one hour pressing Alt + Shift I'm gonna make anyone here and then again while pressing all the shit i'm going to make another one here i'm going to make this one bigger again with the direct selection tool moving the anchor points with shift there i think and i'm going to make sure that everything is aligned i'm going to select all my three lines that i just created and the triangle and then click again of the triangle and heat horizontal line center now i'm going to select both these three lines right his line and I'm going to go effect warp arc don't make an arc of each one of those and actually think this is okay make sure that this is horizontal and less thirteen percent and I'm going ok now i have some guides i'm going to create that and let's still actually circle i'm going to press my keyboard make a click and make them i think 8.5 all work fine want to go 8.5 x 8.5 to make am a perfect circle then he ok and actually going to invert this because i don't need the stroke what I want to have a field and i'm going to feel this one with again with is red and then i'm going to put it here around there is nice and then while I track this one i can press alt to make another copy and place it here so that's it that's going to be my christmas tree i'm going to select it all and press ctrl G to group it and now we have two elements for our letter and everything should have a border because that's going to make this look more fun so i'm going to create the presence and to create some presents i'm going to again use a lot of the shape though someone a little closer here and go to the rectangle tool press em on the keyboard and click and I want to make a box this has a weight of 21 and height of 24 and I do you have this is how whitefield so you can change this i'm going to use this screen just for now and then I want to create another rectangle again by selecting the rectangle tool by clicking and i'm going to make these with the height of 12 and a weight of 29 then hit OK and then i'm going to select both of these shapes and click on one to make the key object and align them with horizontal line center and make sure that the distance between them is 0 so I'm going I'm going to my distribute spacing make sure i have 0 here and click on vertical distribute space and now i have my press enter on the writing looks ok but i think this is looking to too big so we can move my present a little bit sorry my cap a little bit to the bottom and then create another rectangle and I can do this by talking here and make it have a width of 10 maybe Terry now what I want to do is align this rectangle to both my shape so I'm going to select the rectangle on top are selected and work on the rectangle and go again two horizontal lines there and I want this to be sitting on the top so i'm going to go here to particular topic line so they share the same top and I want to move this by clicking and then moving here so that covers and goes all the way to the bottom and that's going to be my present now I want this to have a lighter part and then this one to be this color and then for the ribbon everyone this is red and then I want to go to my polygon tool again clicking here and let's have eight sides and thinking radiation 454 now me work and now i want to apply in effect this one so i'm going to go fact these are answers forum poker and blood again just assume that we did before I'm gonna remove these I think 454 i'm going to hit OK and of course I want to make this way way smaller so i can input the values here or i can go here in the corner and while dragging pressing shift so i change both proportions with around there and then I want to put it here in the middle i can make sure by again selecting my just said this shape that we just created and selecting the top part and then click again to make this key object and go here to align horizontal line center and then I want to move this right here in the bottom and I want to go right leg arranged centre-back and choose the color to the darker yellow and now i have present now the next thing i want to do is create another present probably here so to have some variation i'm just going to select all these and I can grow up it just like I showed you so it's easier that if you want to move it around so I'm gonna go object-group then we would like to that i'm just going to select my present one do that I want to compress all the shift to create a copy and then I want to change the color of this so i can go inside my group by double-click on the world and then change the color now the next thing i want to create a sack can degrade so I'm gonna make an ellipse and again you can select the ellipse tool here press Ellen your keyboard and just make click and I think the pond5 is not going to work so i'm going to go with the lips of 10 by 10 and going to hit okay and how many lives like that actually want to remember this always a stroke and I want to go to my direct selection tool or press a on my keyboard and remove this bottom point now I have this art now what I want to do is go to my pen tool or press p on my keyboard and just make a point here and then make it another point here and that's going to be that then i'm going to press p again so I can make them pick this point without closing it and want to push p and then again move a little bit to the bottom of pressing shift and i'm going to release this now this is going to be the shape of our candy cane and I want to select this and make it have a weight of 575 is going to work fine and i want to add some little our colors here to this crane so i'm going to go select this and go object expand and i'm going to hit okay and if you see that now it's not the struggle that we just did before now it's a pat we can see it so I'm going to make this is this great corner and then we might select my pant or press p on my keyboard and make some lines in here so I can see them properly i'm going to swap the feelin stroke and change the field to this red I'm going to go again to the pencil represent p now what I have to do is select everything and then while pressing shift select again the crane so now you're just selecting just the Alliance's you created and i'm going to group them by pressing ctrl G on my keyboard I'm going to actually change the the weight 22 points and now what I want to do is have these lines been masked by the grain so we're going to do what we did before we're going to cut them by going to edit caught and then select migraine and then well I want to simply go with my direct selection tool to select actually an anchor point and then i'm going to go to the drawing side mold and pasting place with control should be and i'll double click again to go outside this drawing side mount and you can or you can click here and draw normal and you're outside that isolation room and now the next thing i want to do is create this select the screen and go all shift to make a copy and that's going to be okay and i want to go inside by double-clicking on this one select everything and then click again on the crane so i select everything but they're the crane and then I'm sorry the end properly i wanted to go I have to go inside this group again and then select everything and just click again while pressing shift to select the crane and change the colors to school and now we have two candy grains into presence and i'm going to rotate this happy here and then this one to the other side and you can do that with the rotation tool or you can select an object and then if you go to the corner you can just click and drag to rotate that then we're going to actually put a candy corn meal and then is one and then this and now we can see we have both Gibson and both candy quince what and the way I want to use them is first i think i need more because I this is not going to look nice if I only have this i'm going to select everything and then while pressing Alt + Shift want to move them around here and then i can select all of them and go here to the horizontal distribute center and make sure that they have an even space there and then i'm going to select all this presence and actually don't want them to be on my print areas one of them here to the bottom and what I want to do is go to brushes or you can go here window brushes and go here on this little icon and then go new brush and then i'm going to select a pattern brush and I'm going to hit OK and now because I have selected my objects illustrator is going to know that I want to make a pattern brush with this with this object so I don't want this to have a corner so i'm going to select here and remove that by hitting known and i think this is okay and i think i'm going to scale this ten percent for now you see how that's going to look and hit ok and as you can see here on the bottom that I have a pattern brush created with those prices and cranes that I did before so I'm going to make a border by going here to the rectangle tool and then making click and then we're gonna make a move on with our weight of 550 and height of 730-8 and i'm going to hit okay now I want to add some color because otherwise I cannot see it so I'm just going to select this color for now and make the border now to make sure that the border is center on my canvas i'm going to select the border and they here on there on the align window or here on the top you can change this instead of a line to selection to align to artboard so now everything is going to align with the artwork so if i go and press you to the horizontal line center is going to align to align it with the horizontal align and if i press here in the vertical is going to align with the vertical so now we have our rectangle there and i'm going to select this and I'm gonna make this brush the one that we just created with the present so I'm gonna go to my brushes and select my brush and there you go no we have a border that goes all around with these presents and candy canes finally I think I need to other title here so and outside that i recommend for you you want to find forms that are free to use is this one squirrel side foursquare.com and here you can find this point is free that is called Annika and we're going to use this one to greater Santa Claus letter so we're going to go here to our type tool or press T on our keyboard and click and by default this version of illustrator brings you that I want to type the year and then i'm going to go ahead to my selection tool and then go here again to my title or pristine and I want time then and i'm going to select Henry selection tool and now i want to change the font of these almost like both of them and I'm going to go find that form that i just downloaded that is called the only card you can type it in here and I'm going to change actually the size of this one of changes want to 74 and i'm going to change the one below 266 points and I want to align them so they are on the same size i'm going to select all of them then select again on there and make sure that I'm line into the horizontal line left so they have this same left sides and should put them around there i think that's okay i'm going to change the color to the top 12 dr. Greene and then today to the red that witch's hat and again unless we did before I want to select both worlds and ctrl G to grow them and i'm going to begin placing my objects in my composition so I'm gonna put around here that you're Santa and move around here this Santa Claus and I can actually select all of them make their sin sorry make the Santa Claus Mikey object by clicking again on it and then make sure that they share a vertical line center and i'm going to go my christmas tree to the bottom here and that's going to be a replacement for the rough placement of our objects i'm going to create online so you can write your letter for Santa or your kids i'm going to go to the pen tool or press p on my keyboard and just make a point here and then what President shift make another point here and then I don't need to feel what i want a stroke so I'm gonna make this right one stroke with one point so k and just as with before i'm going to select this line and make this make sure that I'm aligning to artwork and then go here to horizontal line center and then we created our first line i want to create another one summer while clicking and dragging i'm going to press alt + shift make another one around there or rather i'm going to go outside the isolation mode and type with my type tool or press T on my keyboard Christmas and then I want to make that merry Christmas to be 21 points and change the color to this darker purple now we've been using and just move it around here you can make sure that you're aligned to the right side of the lines by clicking on the lines and then clicking again to make them the key object and go here to the horizontal line right and there you go and with this you could have a litter that you can print and send to santa claus i hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial thank you very much for watching