Adobe Illustrator Tutorials vector Animals - Skin Investigation

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials vector Animals

How to Add Fur to Vector Animal Illustrations


Step 1 - Setting up Colors

First, we can want to set up a color palette that goes with our particular animal. If your animal is a rabbit, you might want creams and whites, a panther might require blacks and blues. Kuler is a great resource when setting up colors. You are going to want four to six different shades and tints of a similar color.

In this tutorial, I am going to be working on a teddy bear and will use six browns in the default Illustrator palette. From two of the mid-range tones create a base gradient. Click the New Swatch icon at the bottom of the swatch library to save this gradient.

Step 2 - Drawing Your Animal

  • Whenever possible try to keep to the simplest shapes possible. The simpler the shape the easier it will be to have the fur lay in the right direction.
  • Create each part of your animal on a separate layer. This will make for much easier and faster working. Since we are going to be creating hundreds of thousands of lines it can cause Illustrator to run slowly if you don’t turn off the visibility of the layers that you have already completed.
  • You can apply your base gradient to each piece as you go. the gradient is radial or linear just yet. We will adjust it later.
  • I would hold off on animals with stripes and spots for your first try using this technique. Although not impossible, they will require a lot more work. Better to get the basics down first.

kBelow is the animal I am starting with. I drew this bear using the circle tool for the head, eyes, and feet pads and the Pen tool for the rest. I made sure to put each part of the bear parts on it's own layer.

Step 3 - Adding the Fur Overview

To add fur to the animal we are first going to create a custom brush that is composed of many small lines (to create the actual fur hairs). Next, we'll take each section of the animal, duplicate it, and use techniques to create lines through the shapes. Then we'll apply the fur brush. Lastly we are going to layer the fur-i-fied shapes to create the warm, fuzzy, cuddle-licious animal we are after. The final design shows the bear once the fur has been added.

k setting up a color palette setting up a color palette setting up a color palette


More about Adobe Illustrator Tutorials vector Animals

Technique worked pretty well

by annagypsey

I never could find the YouTube
tutorial "Adobe Illustrator Sketch"
that I was looking for, but I
tried out bring a sketch into
AI and using the pen tool to
bring out the outline.
It works pretty well...
Adobe Illustrator CS5 used
effect->photocopy which
turned a black and white
photo into a sketch. Then
I used the pen tool to fill
out the outline.
Used old photo of me when
I was 21.

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