Welcome! I hope this blog finds you well. If you clicked on this, then you must be interested in creating an adorable baby t-rex using Adobe Illustrator. All of my Illustrator characters are made using and combining simple shapes. Let's get right to it!
Here is what the t-rex will look like when finished:
First you'll want to create a new document. For the baby t-rex I created a 16x20 inch portrait artboard, but you may choose your own size and orientation. When creating a new Illustrator character, I like to start with the head, then resize as needed to fit with the body.
Step 1 - Using the ellipse tool located in the left toolbox, create an ellipse. To access the ellipse tool, click and hold on the rectangle tool, then choose ellipse. Next, you'll use the direct selection tool, also located in the left toolbox, to manipulate the left, right, and top anchor points down. Still using the direct selection tool, turn the handles of the left and right anchor points inward and up. Under Appearance, which is located on the right toolbox under Properties, choose which fill and stroke colors you’d like your t-rex to be. For this tutorial, I made my t-rex a medium green fill with a dark green stroke. Click on the boxes next to fill and stroke to choose your colors. You may use a pre-made swatch or create your own using the color mixer. If you use color mixer to create your own color, don't forget to save it as new swatch by clicking on the plus symbol at the bottom of the fill box.
Step 2 - Create a second, smaller ellipse. Using the direct selection tool, manipulate the left and right anchor points down, and the top anchor point up. Use the handles to turn the left and right anchor points inward and down.
Step 3 - Position the smaller ellipse on top of but higher than the bigger ellipse. Select both ellipses then use the pathfinder tool to unite. The pathfinder tool can be found in the right toolbox under Properties. The unite tool is the icon with two solid squares. Uniting the ellipses will create one shape from the two.
Step 4 - Now that we have the basic head shape, we will start to make the facial features. We will start with the eyes. To make the eyes, use the ellipse tool to create a vertical ellipse. Use a white fill with the same color stroke you used for the head. Create smaller ellipse by copying (ctrl + C on PC/command + C on Mac) and pasting (ctrl + V on PC/command + V on Mac) the first one. With the new ellipse selected, hold shift while resizing it smaller. Holding shift while resizing means that object will be proportionally resized. After resizing the second ellipse, choose the eye color fill, but do not add a stroke. Place the smaller ellipse into the larger ellipse near the bottom. Next, create a small circle using the ellipse tool. To ensure the shape made is a circle, hold down shift while making the ellipse. Choose white for the color fill with no stroke. Place the circle at the top left corner of the smaller ellipse (half in/half out). Select both ellipses and the circle and group (ctrl + G) them together. Rotate the eye to the left 7-8 degrees. To create right eye, select the eye then choose Object-Transform-Reflect. Reflect it vertically at 90 degrees, then click copy. Move the copy to the right. Place the eyes on the head, resizing while holding shift if needed.
Step 5 - Next we will make the snout. Create an ellipse using same fill and stroke as the head. Using the scissors tool, cut the ellipse in half horizontally. The scissors tool is located in the left toolbox. Click and hold on the eraser tool, then choose the scissors. With the scissors tool selected, click first on the left anchor point of the ellipse, then on the right anchor point. This will split the ellipse in two. Move the top half of the ellipse to cover part of the bottom of the eyes on the head, and delete the bottom half of the ellipse.
Step 6 - Create a small ellipse for the nostril with a black fill and the same stroke you chose for the head. Rotate it left 22 degrees. Copy/paste the nostril ellipse, then change the fill to the head color. Use the scissors tool to cut this ellipse horizontally like in step 5. Keep the top half and delete the bottom half. Position the black nostril on the left side of the snout. Position the half ellipse above the nostril and aligned with the snout. Rotate it flush with the snout. Group the small ellipses together. To create the right nostril, select what just grouped then choose Object-Transform-Reflect. Reflect it vertically at 90 degrees and click copy. Move the new group to the right side of the snout. Make sure to rotate as needed so the half ellipse is flush with the snout.
Step 7 - For the mouth, create an ellipse using same fill and stroke as the head. Using the direct selection tool, manipulate the left and right anchor points up. Use the handles to turn left and right anchor points inward and up. Use the scissors tool to cut this ellipse horizontally. Keep the bottom and delete the top.
Step 8 - Teeth will now be added to the mouth. Use the polygon tool to create an isosceles triangle with a white fill and whatever stroke you used for the head. The polygon tool is in the left toolbox. Click and hold on the rectangle tool, then choose polygon. After creating a polygon, click on it to change the number of sides to 3. Resize the triangle as needed to make it a long, isosceles triangle. Using the triangle as a template, select curvature tool in the left toolbox. Make a curved isosceles triangle colored same way. Copy/paste the curved triangle. Rotate each new copy along the mouth, changing sizes for each tooth. You don't have to make them proportional. Once you get to middle, group the teeth together. Next, choose Object-Transform-Reflect. Reflect it vertically at 90 degrees and click copy. Move the new object to the right side of the mouth. Rotate the new teeth along the mouth as needed. If you need to move the new set of teeth individually, you may ungroup them by choosing Object-Ungroup. Select the mouth then choose Object-Arrange-Bring to Front. Group everything together and place it on the head.
Step 9 - To add some flair to this little fella, we are going to create some spots. Create some ellipses/circles of various sizes (fill=whatever/stroke=same as head). Use the shape builder tool to create partial ellipses/circles in line with head. To do this, you'll first position whichever ellipses/circles you want to be partial onto the head. Next, select those ellipses/circles and the head at the same time. Select the shape builder tool from the left toolbox. The icon for the shape builder tool is a small circle overlapping a bigger circle with a dotted line and arrowhead. With the shape builder tool chosen, hold down the alt key to take away parts of the shape. Holding the alt key down, click on the part of the ellipses/circles outside of the head to delete. Arrange the other ellipses/circles at top of head but underneath the half ellipses/circles.
Step 10 - The final facial feature we'll create are the eyebrows. Use the curvature tool (fill=blank/stroke=same as head) to create the left eyebrow. Don’t close the path. Instead, just the click on the selection tool in the left toolbox when finished. Move the eyebrow to above the left eye. Select it, then choose Object-Transform-Reflect. Reflect it vertically at 90 degrees and click copy. Move the new object to above the right eye. Select the head and everything on it then group them together. The head is finished!
Now that the head is completed, we will create the body and tail.
Body and Tail:
Step 1 - Create a long, vertical ellipse the same fill and stroke as the head. Rotate it 9.5 degrees. Using the direct selection tool, manipulate the anchor points. Move the left anchor point down, use the handle on the right anchor point to turn it inward and up, and move the bottom anchor point down and to the right. Then use the handle of the bottom anchor point to turn it down and to the left.
Step 2 - Use the curvature tool in the left toolbox to create a tail shape. Use the smooth tool to smooth out the tail shape. The smooth tool can be found in the left toolbox. The icon for the smooth tool looks like a pencil with curved lines in it. If it isn't in your toolbox, click on the three dots at the bottom of the toolbox and look for it under draw. Resize the tail as necessary. Move the tail to bottom right of the body. Select both the tail and body. Click on Unite under Pathfinder in the right toolbox.
Step 3 - Copy/paste the body and tail. Choose a different color fill, but the same stroke as the body. With this new shape selected, choose Object-Arrange-Send to Back. Move the shape down and to left of body and tail.
Step 4 - Add some spots to the back of the body and the top of the tail. You'll do this the same way you did for the head. DO NOT GROUP THE BODY AND SPOTS YET.
Step 5 - Now we'll add the legs and feet. Create a vertical ellipse using same fill and stroke as the head. Create a smaller, horizontal ellipse. Using the direct selection tool, manipulate the left and right anchor points down. Position the horizontal ellipse flush with bottom of vertical ellipse, with the horizontal ellipse sticking out to the left. Selecting both ellipses, click on Unite under Pathfinder in the right toolbox.
Step 6 - Let's add some claws to that foot. Create a small, vertical ellipse with a white fill and the stroke the same as the head. Use the direct selection tool to manipulate the left and right anchor points down. Move the claw to the left edge of foot. Resize the claw proportionally and rotate it as needed. Copy/paste the claw and move it to the right.
Step 7 - Let's align the legs with the body. Select the leg and claws, then copy and paste. Group only ONE leg then send it to back by choosing Object-Arrange-Send to Back. Align this leg with the body. Next, align the other, ungrouped leg with the body, but DO NO GROUP. Select the green body and front leg. Using the shape builder tool, merge the objects by clicking and dragging the mouse from the body into the foot. DO NOT GROUP THE BODY YET.
Step 8 - The final parts of the body will be the arms and hands. Create three ellipses: two horizontal and one smaller that is plump and vertical. Rotate one horizontal ellipse 22 degrees. Use the scissors tool to cut this ellipse in half vertically. You'll do this the same way you did the snout, except you'll click on the top and bottom anchor points. After cutting this ellipse, make the left part a little longer and delete the right part. Rotate the other horizontal ellipse 340 degrees and move flush with first ellipse. Using the direct selection tool, manipulate the left and right anchor points in the vertical ellipse down. Rotate the vertical ellipse 315 degrees and move it flush with second ellipse. Selecting all three ellipses, click on Unite under Pathfinder in the right toolbox.
Step 9 - Time to add some claws to the hand. Copy/paste the claw from the front foot. Reflect the claw by choosing Object-Transform-Reflect. Reflect it horizontally at 338 degrees and click OK. Copy/paste it twice. Line up all three claws along the bottom left of hand. Resize proportionally and rotate as needed. Select the arm and claw then group them.
Step 10 - Next we'll position the arms onto the body. Copy/paste the arm. Send one arm to the back by choosing Object-Arrange-Send to Back. Rotate and reposition the arm with the body as needed. Move the other arm to the body. Rotate and reposition the arm as needed. Create a small rectangle using the rectangle tool in the left toolbox. Use the same fill as the arm with no stroke. Rotate the rectangle and place it at end of arm to cover the border. Lastly, select all parts of the entire body and group them together.
Now that we have both the head and body made, it's time to put them together!
Send the body to the back by choosing Object-Arrange-Send to Back. Position the body with the head. Holding shift, resize the body and/or head if needed. If you'd like, you can slightly rotate the head. Finally, select both the body and head then group them together. You're all finished!
Congratulations on finishing your baby t-rex! Feel free to make this t-rex your own in any way that you see fit.
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