How To Create A Great Pig Postcard Illustration
This tutorial aims to guide you from sketchbook to screen; a “Cute Pig” drawn with pencil in just a couple of minutes translated into a vector postcard. You can send it to your girlfriend later, or print it on a cup or a bowl. Intermediate knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is advised.
Final Image preview
Step 1: The Sketch
Open your sketch file in Illustrator by either opening it directly or opening a new document and going to File > Place. Give the layer it’s on an appropriate name and lock it. You can download this sketch by clicking on it.
Step 2: Start Drawing
The process of transforming your sketch into an illustration requires a bit of skill with the Pen Tool, but most of your work is already done. Create a new layer and give it an appropriate name, (Body in this case).
Select Pen Tool and start tracing the main body form.
Step 3: Continue drawing
Now create a new layer and call it “Head” and use the Pen tool to draw the essential shapes which build up our Pig’s face. Start from drawing eyes. Using ellipse tool draw a circle and fill with black, then draw a highlight on it.
Select both, the black circle and the highlight and copy them to create the second eye.
Now using the pen tool again draw his nose and holes.
Draw those two small lines above the nose.
Using the Ellipse tool draw an ellipse for the cheek.
Now draw a path as you see below, we’ll need it later for the shadow.
Step 4: Ears
Create two new layers and name them “Left Ear” and “Right Ear”. Place the “Right Ear” layer on the top of the rest and “Left Ear” under the “Body” layer. Now do the same thing to the ears, using the Pen Tool draw their paths. If you want to make your paths more visible go to your layer’s options and select a color that will look better, magenta for example is one of most common colors used for paths.
Great! Now make sure that the “Left Ear” layer is selected and draw another path.
Step 5: Hands
Create a new layer and name it “Hands”. Start from drawing left hand.
As you can see my sketch isn’t drawn correctly, right hand (pig’s left) is too short and left hand (pig’s right) is too long, we can correct that right now by drawing longer or shorter paths. When you’ll finish drawing right hand, draw right hoof. You can draw it on the sketch and then slightly move it to left.
Now draw the left hoof and hand and make it a bit shorter of course.
Step 6: Legs
Create two new layers and name them “Right Leg” and “Left Leg”. Leave “Right Leg” on the top and move “Left Leg” under the “Body”. Like we did before, draw paths for legs and hoofs.
Step 7: Tail
On an new layer “Tail” that you place under the “Body”, using the pen tool again draw pig’s tail.
Step 8: Navel
Create a new layer “Navel” on the top and draw a simple navel path.
Step 9: Bowl
On a separate layer try to draw a bowl. You can try to draw it by yourself of use my sketch, but I prefer to draw it again.
Now add some text here, it can be your name if you’re going to give someone this postcard our it can be any other name, I’ll call my pig, Benny. Type the name that you want and apply Arc effect.
Step 10: Color
Having completed all the line work, it’s time to add some color to our pig. Start by colorizing face details, I used #AF8484 and #895858 for nose holes and their shadows and #F9C7C5 for the nose itself. Give a 1pt stroke to the nose with the same color as nose holes.
Use the same stroke color for those two line above the nose. For cheeks I applied a radial gradient (#F97070 to #F97070) but with o% opacity for the second slider.
Now give some color to the hoofs, apply a three color gradient (#826060 #563939 #331C1C) to one of them and them using the Eyedropper Tool (I) give the same gradient to the rest.
Apply a linear gradient (#F9B3AC to #DB837F) to the hands.
Apply the same gradient to the legs as you used for the hands. Select just the “right leg” and set the angle for it’s gradient -30 degrees.
For the big shape of the navel use the same gradient as you used for the right leg and set the #F9C7C5 fill color for the small shape.
Now give some colors to ears by applying the same gradient to them.
Finally, select the main body shape and give it that gradient to.
Now select the tail and set the #F9B3AC as fill color. Press the Divide button on the pathfinder panel and with the tail still selected pres Ctrl+Shift+G to ungroup. You should see no difference, but now you’re able to select the middle part of the tail and apply the same gradient to it.
Select the Scissors Tool (C) and make some clicks on the tail path as you see on the image.
Now select these two paths and apply the same gradient with 90 degrees angle.
Select the path that is located under the nose of our pig and apply a gradient from a bright brown to transparent and move it down under other paths by pressing Ctrl+[ if needed.
Draw a line using pen tool near the shadow that we’ve just created and give it a 1pt stroke as we did with the nose shape. This will make our pig look very sad.
Step 11: Background
You can now remove the sketch or make in invisible.
Create a new layer and name it “BG”. Draw a rectangle with the same dimensions as your document. Apply a radial gradient from a blue to a pale blue ( I used #93C9C7 and #C6F7F7).
Give your rectangle a 10pt white inside stroke.
Step 12: Shadows
Draw two ellipses under the pig and his bowl and apply a gradient from a dark green to the same green but with opacity of the second slider set to 0% and Aspect ratio set to 30%.
Step 13: Text
Now add some text to your postcard. For this postcard i used Honey Script font, it’s free so you can google and download it. I wrote “I’m always waiting for you…” but you can use your imagination and write something else.
The Postcard is ready!