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How to Create A Gnome House Cartoon Illustration

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create the cartoon illustration of a fabulous gnome house using Adobe Illustrator.

Software: Adobe Illustrator (CS4 & above) Difficulty: Beginner Completion Time: Around 2 hours.

1. Creating the Sketch

Step 1 First, open your Adobe Illustrator and hit Control-N keys to create a new document.

Create a new brush. Delete the stroke color and make the fill color Black. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a small squeezed ellipse. Drag it to the Brush panel. In a new dialogue window, check New Art Brush and press Okay. Another dialogue window will appear – check Direction from left to right and make Colorization Method Tints. Once done, press Okay again.

Step 2 Let’s adjust the brush options:

Double-click on the Brush Tool (B) and in the new dialogue window (Paintbrush Tool Options window), move the slider of Fidelity to 3px. Next, move the slider of Smoothness to 40%, Colorization Method: Tints. Press Okay. Hit the Brush Tool (B) button – make sure that you’re not on fill color anymore. Then, select your newly created brush from the Brush panel.

We’ll begin drawing the funny cartoon gnome house now. Adding an expression to the illustration is a must. Here’s how the facade of the house looks like:

Step 3 Start by drawing the roof and add some dimensions to it. It’s very important to connect all paths.

123RF illustration tutorial

Step 4 Add the stairs and its railings.

Step 5 Draw the door.

Step 6 Now, draw the window.

You can increase the Smoothness or Fidelity in the Paintbrush Tool Options window later if your find your hand trembling a little and that the lines are not smooth.

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to move the anchor points and handles.

Step 7 Add a few bricks.

Step 8 Draw a signboard.

Step 9 Draw the sun and clouds.

Step 10 Now, let’s draw a cute or funny bird. It’s up to you.

Step 11 Place the bird on the roof.

Step 12 Next, draw the bushes and a round background.

Step 13 Lastly, add a few flowers onto the bushes.

Step 14 Your illustration illustration will look like this.

123RF illustration tutorial

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a square. It can be of any fill color – it’s important that the square is able to cover the entire illustration. Send it to the back (Control-X, Control-B).

2. Coloring the Illustration

Step 1

Make sure that all paths are connected. Select all of them (you can select just one black stroke path and go to Select > Same > Fill Color) and expand the object (Object > Expand Appearance). Select everything and on the Pathfinder panel and press the Trim button.

You’ll get this result:

123RF illustration tutorial

Step 2 Now you can color each trimmed path by selecting each individually and adding the fill color you like.

123RF illustration tutorial

Step 3 With the brush created in Step 1: Make a thick stroke on the Stroke panel. Delete any fill color; the stroke color should be the same as the fill color where you want to add the shadow, but with Multiply or Screen Transparency.

If you want, you can also change the Opacity of the stroke on the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency).

Have fun exploring it!

123RF illustration tutorial

Step 4 Finally, use your most prefered stroke color.


So now, you’ve learned how to create a cartoon illustration with an expression, and have successfully added shadows to it using a specially created brush. Congrats on a job well done!

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