30th Jul 2021

Introduction of 2D character design in Adobe Illustrator

Game Design

Written By, Chirag Tiwari


Character design can often be a tricky foe to tackle. A lot of creative thinking is needed to create your own character from a sketch. Many of the classic characters familiar from cartoons, advertising, and movies look straightforward, but a vast amount of effort and skill will have gone into making them so effective.

Creating character has always been about keeping it simple. To explore these, and other iconic characters, further. In this guide, you will learn how to design a character and basic tricks.

So let’s get started.


First things first… grab some paper, a pencil, and start Sketching fun characters from your mind. After a little brainstorming, I came up with this:

Put the sketch into Adobe Illustrator using File > Place (of course you need to scan your sketch in).

Make an Outline

Dim the image between 10 to 20%.

This will allow you to see the Path lines you create.

Set the Pen Tool to No Fill with a stroke of 1 pt, so we can ‘path’ each section with it.

After you’ve outlined your shape, copy and paste it in front then make it slightly smaller than the original shape. The original shape will act as an outline when you fill both with color.

This helps give your character varied line weights so you don’t have to use Strokes.


Fill Flat Colours

Continue making other shapes such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. Once you’ve built most of the shapes, fill each section with base colors.

Below is an example of the sub-layers:

Continue using the same steps as above for each section.


Add Some Detailing

Next, change the solid colors into gradients — this adds depth to your character.

When you have the base colors complete, start highlighting your character with smaller gradients.

And here is the Final Result:



That’s it! Simple right? Good luck creating your own character!

Written By,

Game Designer at Yudiz Solutions Pvt. Ltd