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Illustration: Create a Fanart Design

Intermediate level Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator

How to Set Up a New Document

As we do with all of our projects, start by setting up a New Document ( File > New or Control + N) which we will adjust using the following settings:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 960 px
  • Height: 680 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72 ppi)

We’re going to be creating the illustration using a Pixel Perfect Workflow, so I highly recommend you take a moment and read this in depth tutorial that will get you up to speed in no time.

How to Set Up the Layers

Once we’ve set up our new document, it would be a good idea to separate our project using a couple of different layers, since this way we can streamline our workflow by focusing on one section at a time, which allows us to keep track of each and every shape.

So, open up the Layers panel, and let’s create a total of three layers which we will name as follows:

  • Layer 1 > background
  • Layer 2 > game cabinet
  • Layer 3 > characters

The way we’re going to be using these layers within our workflow is pretty easy. We’ll want to lock all except the one that we will be working on, so that we won’t move or misplace some of the shapes by accident. Then, once we’re done with the current section, we can then lock its layer and move on up to the next one.

How to Create the Background

As soon as we’ve finished layering our document, we can start working on the illustration, and we will do so by quickly creating the background.

Step 1

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 960x680 px rectangle, which we will color using #5F6999 and then center align to the underlying Artboard using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

Step 2

Once you have the background in place, lock the current layer and then move on up to the next one.

How to Create the Game Cabinet

Assuming you’ve already positioned yourself onto the next layer (that would be the second one), let’s start working on the game cabinet, which we will gradually build one section at a time.

Step 1

Create the main shape for the visible section of the cabinet’s lower body using a 784x88 px rectangle which we will color using #AA8A57, and then center align to the Artboard’s bottom edge, making sure to push it to the outside by a distance of 2 px using either the directional arrow keys or the Move tool ( right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > 2 px).

Step 2

Give the shape an outline using the Stroke method, by creating a copy of it ( Control + C) which we will paste in front ( Control + F), and then adjust by first changing its color to #161414 and then flipping its Fill with its Stroke ( Shift + X). Set the resulting shape’s Weight to 4 px, and its Corner to Round, making sure to select and group the two together afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Quick tip: if you’re wondering why we pushed the fill shape outside of the Artboard’s surface, well that’s because we want its outline’s bottom edge to be hidden once the project is exported as a final image.

Step 3

Add the top section using a shorter 784x20 px rectangle ( #D1AE6F) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( Control + G) and then position on top of the shapes from the previous step.

Step 4

Add the side sections using two 20x108 px rectangles ( #D1AE6F) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will individually group ( Control + G) and then position onto the outer edges of the cabinet’s lower body.

Step 5

Create the front speaker unit using eight columns of 12 px wide 4 px wide Stroke lines ( #161414) with a Round Cap, which we will distribute at a distance of 4 px from one another as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and group ( Control + G) all of the segments together, positioning them at a distance of 16 px from the top section’s bottom edge. Also, since we’re pretty much done working on this part of the cabinet you can select all its composing sections and group ( Control + G) those together as well.

Step 6

Start working on the sides of the cabinet’s center section by creating an 824x272 px rectangle, which we will color using #D1AE6F, and then position on top of the one that we’ve just grouped.

Step 7

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by individually selecting its top anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then pushing them to the inside by a distance of 72 px using the Move tool ( right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > ± 72 px depending on which side you start with).

Step 8

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), making sure to select and group the two together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 9

Add the current section’s deck using a 784x272 px rectangle ( #7DC465), which we will adjust by selecting and pushing its top anchor points to the inside by the same 72 px distance ( right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > ±  72 px depending on which side you start with). Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), grouping ( Control + G) and then positioning the two to the center of the previously created shapes.

Step 10

Create the little screws using four 12x8 px ellipses ( #161414), which we will position onto the corners as seen in the reference image.

Step 11

Take a couple of moments and draw the little grass patches using three groups of three 4 px thick Stroke lines ( #161414) with a Round Cap. Take your time, and once you’re done, select and group ( Control + G) all of the current section’s composing shapes before moving on to the next one.

Step 12

Start working on the cabinet’s upper body, by creating a 640x304 px rectangle ( #AA8A57) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( Control + G) and then position on top of the center section.

Step 14

Add the fill shape for the screen using a 616x292 px rectangle, which we will color using #7FBADB, and then center align to the upper body’s top edge.

Step 14

Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw the two sky patches using #98D1EA as your Fill color. Take your time, and once you’re done give the current section a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), selecting and grouping ( Control + G) all its composing shapes before moving on to the next step.

Step 15

Draw the two hills using #7DC465 for the front one’s Fill shape and #6EA058 for the back one. Give the resulting shapes a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), individually selecting and grouping them afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 16

Use a few copies ( Control + C > Control + F) of the grass patches from the previous section, and position them onto the hills as seen in the reference image.

Step 17

Using #668C58 as your Fill color, draw the two bushes giving the resulting shapes a 4 px thick outline ( #161414). Take your time, and once you’re done individually select and group ( Control + G) their composing shapes, making sure to position them beneath the hills ( right click > Arrange > Send Backward).

Step 18

Add the two clouds using white ( #FFFFFF) for your Fill color, giving the resulting shapes a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), making sure to individually select and group ( Control + G) them afterwards.

Step 19

Start working on the top score indicator, by creating a 76x50 px rectangle ( #757D82) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will position at a distance of 56 px from the display’s bottom edge.

Step 20

Turn on the Pixel Preview mode ( Alt + Control + Y), and using a couple of 4 px thick rectangles ( #5D666B), add the digits to the screen adjusting them as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, switch back to the Default Preview mode using the Alt + Control + Y keyboard shortcut.

Step 21

Add a score to the display, by changing the color of some of the digits’ segments to #161414. Once you’re done, select all of the score indicator’s composing shapes and group them together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 22

Add the side score indicators, using two copies ( Control + C > Control + F twice) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will position at a distance of 28 px from the current section’s bottom corners. Once you have the shapes in place, adjust the score by changing the color of the digits to #161414, making sure to select and group all of the upper body’s composing sections together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 23

Select and group ( Control + G) all of the cabinet’s composing sections, masking them afterwards using a 960x680 px rectangle (highlighted with red) by right clicking > Make Clipping Mask.

Step 24

As soon as you’ve finished working on the game cabinet, you can lock its layer and then move on to the next one.

How to Create the “Mole” Holes

Normally, we would be adding the holes to the game cabinet, but since we’re going to be using some of them to build and mask our characters, we’ll want to put them onto the same layer as our little heroes.

Step 1

Create the bottom row using three 112x24 px ellipses ( #668C58), with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will individually group ( Control + G) and then horizontally distance at 32 px from one another, positioning them at a distance of 64 px from the deck’s bottom edge.

Step 2

Add the second row using four 112x24 px ellipses ( #668C58), with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will individually group ( Control + G) and then position as seen in the reference image.

How to Create Beemo

As soon as we’ve finished creating and positioning the holes, we can start working on our cute characters, and we will do so starting with Beemo.

Step 1

Zoom in on the top row’s first hole, and create the character’s body using a 72x84 px rectangle ( #75D3A9), which we will adjust by setting the Radius of its top corners to 8 px from within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties. Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), grouping ( Control + G) and then center aligning the two to the hole’s bottom edge.

Step 2

Start working on the Beemo’s face by creating the screen using a 52x42 px rounded rectangle ( #D4FFDC) with a 4 px Corner Radius and a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), grouping ( Control + G) and then center aligning the two at a distance of 6 px from the body’s top edge.

Step 3

Add the eyes using two 6x6 px circles ( #161414), which we will position at a distance of 14 px from the screen’s top edge, and 4 px from its sides.

Step 4

Create the mouth using a 16x6 px ellipse with a 4 px Stroke ( #161414), which we will adjust by removing its top half, positioning the resulting shape as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and group all of the screen’s composing shapes using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 5

Add the cartridge insertion point using a 24x6 px rectangle ( #4A8E6C) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), grouping ( Control + G) and then positioning the two at a distance of 4 px from the screen’s bottom-left corner.

Step 6

Create the smaller circular button using a 6x6 px circle ( #699BB7) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), grouping ( Control + G) and then positioning the two at a distance of 14 px from the previously created shapes.

Step 7

Add the d-pad using a 16x6 px rectangle ( #F7AF31) on top of which we will add a smaller 8x4 px one ( #F7AF31). Unite the two into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode, giving the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), making sure to group ( Control + G) and position the two as seen in the reference image.

Step 8

Draw the triangular button using a 10x8 px rectangle ( #89BDE0) as your starting point. Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), grouping ( Control + G) and then positioning the two at a distance of 2 px from the main body’s bottom edge, and 2 px from the circular button.

Step 9

Add the larger circular button using a 12x12 px circle ( #8FEA8F), which we will adjust by removing its bottom half. Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), grouping ( Control + G) and then positioning the two at a distance of 6 px from the body’s bottom-right corner. Once you’re done, select and group ( Control + G) all of the character’s composing sections together, before moving on to the next step.

Step 10

Since we want the bottom section of the character to remain confined to the surface of the underlying hole, we’ll have to mask it using a copy ( Control + C) of its fill shape, which we will paste in front ( Control + F) and then adjust by removing its top anchor point and drawing a rectangular path using the Pen Tool (P). Then, simple select the resulting shape (highlighted with red) and the ones that you want to mask and right click > Make Clipping Mask.

Step 11

Since the masked character now overlaps the lower half of the hole’s outline, we’ll have to cover it up using a copy ( Control + C > Control + F) of the later, which we will adjust by removing it top anchor point as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and group all of current hole’s composing shapes using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

How to Create Jake

As soon as you’ve finished working on the first character, position yourself onto the third hole, where we will focus on creating Jake.

Step 1

Create the hero’s body using a 72x84 px rectangle ( #F7AF31) with a 32 px top Corner Radius and a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( Control + G) and then center align to the hole’s bottom edge.

Step 2

Add the eyes using two 22x22 px circles ( #161414) on top of which we will add a smaller 12x12 px one ( #FFFFFF), individually grouping ( Control + G) and then positioning the them as seen in the reference image.

Step 3

Draw the eyebrows using two 6 px wide 4 px thick Stroke lines ( #161414), which we will position above the eyes, at a distance of 2 px from their top edge, and 4 px from their inner facing one.

Step 4

Start working on the mouth by creating a 20x20 px circle with a 4 px thick Stroke ( #161414), which we will center align to the larger body, positioning it at a distance of 28 px from its top edge.

Step 5

Next, create a 34x28 px rectangle ( #F7AF31), which we will position at a distance of 22 px from the body’s bottom edge, and the adjust by subtracting a smaller 10x16 px one (highlighted with red) from its bottom edge.

Step 6

Take a couple of moments and adjust the roundness of the resulting shape’s corners using the Live Corners tool until you get the exact result seen in the reference image.

Step 7

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), selecting and grouping the two together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 8

Add the nose using a 16x10 px ellipse, which we will color using #161414 and then center align to the mouth, positioning it at a distance of 4 px from its top edge.

Step 9

Create the ears using two 8x6 px rectangles with a 4 px thick Stroke ( #161414), which we will adjust by setting the Radius of their bottom corners to 4 px and then opening up their top edge. Position the resulting shapes onto the sides of the larger body, underneath the eyes, making sure to select and group all of the character’s composing shapes together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 10

Mask the resulting character following the exact same process used for Beemo, making sure to add the front outline section afterwards. Take your time, and once you’re done select and group ( Control + G) all of its composing shapes together before moving on to the next one.

How to Create Finn

Position yourself onto the bottom row’s first hole, and let’s start working on our next character which is Jake’s best friend and the show’s main protagonist, the one and only Finn.

Step 1

Start by creating his lower body using a 72x16 px rectangle ( #89BDE) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( ControlG) and then center align to the hole’s bottom edge.

Step 2

Add the main shape for the character’s head using a 72x58 px rectangle ( #F4EDED), which we will position on top of the shapes that we’ve just created.

Step 3

Create the ears using two 16x10 px rectangles ( #F4EDED) with an 8 px top Corner Radius, which we will position onto the sides of the previous shape’s top edge, selecting and uniting the three into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

Step 4

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), followed by a 48 px wide 4 px thick Stroke line ( #161414) with a Round Cap, selecting and grouping all three shapes together using the Control G keyboard shortcut.

Step 5

Start working on the character’s face, by creating the circular cutout using a 52x38 px ellipse ( #FCDCD5) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( ControlG) and then center align to the upper body, positioning it at a distance of 4 px from its top edge.

Step 6

Add the eyes using two 6x6 px circles ( #161414), which we will position as seen in the reference image.

Step 7

Create the mouth using a 12x12 px circle with a 4 px thick Stroke ( #161414), which we will adjust by removing its top anchor point, setting the resulting paths Cap to Round. Center align the resulting shape to the circular cutout, positioning it at a distance of 2 px from the eyes. Once you’re done, select and group ( Control + G) all of the character’s composing shapes before moving on to the next step.

Step 8

Mask Finn’s body following the exact same process used for the previous characters, making sure to add the front outline segment afterwards. Once you’re done, select and group ( Control + G) all of its composing sections together before moving on to the next one.

How to Create Princess Bubblegum

We are now down to our forth and last character, so make sure you position yourself onto the hole and let’s get started!

Step 1

Start working on the hair, by creating a 72x84 px rectangle ( #E190B8) with a 36 px top Corner Radius and a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( Control + G) and then center align to the hole’s bottom edge.

Step 2

Add the hair’s back section using a 48x48 px square ( #C1789E) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( Control + G) and then center align to the larger shape’s bottom edge.

Step 3

Start working on the head, by creating the neck using a 12x12 px square ( #FCDCD5), which we will center align to the previously created section.

Step 4

Create the face using a 48x38 px rectangle ( #FCDCD5) with a 24 px bottom Corner Radius, which we will position as seen in the reference image.

Step 5

Select the two shapes and make them act as a single larger one by using Pathfinder’s Make Compound Shape option.

Step 6

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414) with a Round Join, selecting and grouping the two together afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 7

Add the eyes using two 6x6 px circles, which we will color using #161414 and then position as seen in the reference image.

Step 8

Create the mouth using a 12x6 px circle with a 4 px thick Stroke ( #161414), which we will adjust by removing its top half, positioning the resulting shape at a distance of 4 px from the eyes.

Step 9

Start working on the crown, by creating a 76x6 px rectangle ( #FDB72A), which we will position as seen in the reference image.

Step 10

Position another 8x20 px rectangle ( #FDB72A) on top of the one that we’ve just created, uniting the two into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

Step 11

Set the Radius of the resulting shape’s inner facing corners to 8 px using the Live Corners tool.

Step 12

Add the upper section of the crown using a 20x20 px circle ( #FDB72A), uniting the two into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Make Compound Shape option.

Step 13

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), selecting and grouping the two together afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

Step 14

Add the little stone using an 8x8 px circle ( #89BDE0) with a 4 px thick outline ( #161414), which we will group ( Control + G) and then position as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and group ( Control + G) all of the crown’s composing shapes, doing the same for the entire character afterwards.

Step 15

Finish off the character and with it the project itself, by masking it following the same process used for the previous ones, making sure to add the front outline segment. Once you’re done, select and group ( Control + G) all its composing sections before hitting that save button.

It’s a Wrap!

There you have it fellow Adventure Time fans, an in-depth step-by-step approach on how to create a cute game cabinet illustration using nothing more than some basic geometric shapes and tools.

As always, we’re looking forward to seeing your finished projects, and if you have any questions just post them inside the comments area and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!


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Discussion

In today’s tutorial we’re going to learn how to create our very own Adventure Time themed illustration, using some of the most basic shapes and tools that Illustrator has to offer. So if you’re into cartoons as much as I am, quickly grab a fresh cup off that magic bean juice and let’s get started!

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Intermediate level 50m 1,032 views

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