Two-Faced Cat Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

LEARN THE TECHNIQUES TO CREATE THIS COOL ARTWORK! | Build out complex shapes with blend modes and Pathfinder to create this cool cat in this Illustrator tutorial.

In this Adobe Illustrator tutorial, we’ll set about creating this cool two-faced cat illustration. We will build simple shapes, convert them to more complex shapes with the help of the Pathfinder, learn about masking, create the multiple levels of shapes that make up the eyeball, create a gradient highlight, use blend modes to create complex transparency effect, drawing with the Brush tool, and so much more! You’ll love this tutorial if you’re into drawing, illustrating, or just general graphic design stuff in Illustrator.

Tags: illustrator tutorial, illustrator tutorials, illustrator CC, illustrator how to, how to, tutvid, nathaniel dodson, graphic design illustrator, how to draw illustrator, illustration tutorial, vector artwork, vectorize, vector artwork illustrator, adobe tutorials, AI

Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

  1. Create new document 2560×1440
  2. Create 540×540 ellipse and align bottom and center (1280X/1440Y)
  3. Set to a 5px black stroke
  4. Copy and paste that shape in front and drag this over to the right and upward a little bit (1525X/1330Y)
  5. Create a 2600×2600 ellipse and position it to form the cheek of the cat (1590X/1035Y)
  6. Grab the Pen Tool and drag the fur edge of the cat’s face:
  7. Set the tongue ellipse fill to black, the cheek pieces to a dark blue and the fur bit to a dark purple
  8. Make sure Smart Guide are turned on and draw a few rectangles and use Path finder to trim off edges of the 2600px ellipse and the furry bit
  9. Select both pieces of the cheek and merge them with Pathfinder
  10. Select this new cheek piece and the fur and copy/paste in place and then go Object>Transform>Reflect and reflect along the vertical axis to flip this and then drag it over in place and let Smart Guides take you home
  11. Fill left side shape with #ff4d97 and right side shape with #140055
  12. Fill tongue with same pink from left side
  13. Use Curvature Pen Tool to draw a big scalloped shape to create the wavy center
  14. Select the right side and the new wavy shape and Divide using Pathfinder
  15. Ungroup them and select the outer piece and Divide that with the tongue shape before you accidentally delete it
  16. Ungroup this and get rid of the outer piece and colorize what needs to be pink and what needs to be blue
  17. Tweak the path as needed to get a nice flowing edge.
  18. Create a rectangle 2560x900px and align it to the middle of the document (1280X/1170Y)
  19. Fill that rectangle with a gradient that has 3x color stops of #00fffa both edge color stops should be set to 0% transparency
  20. Slide the middle stop to about 30% and set this shape to Overlay blend mode
  21. Copy both the big back cat shapes and create a mask for this gradient shape and fill with white
  22. Duplicate that whole shape with mask and paste in front and set the blend mode to Soft Light
  23. Unlink the artwork from the mask and extend the bottom of this shape to the bottom of the bottom of the cat face circles
  24. Change the three color stops: 0%opac/0%location – 100%opac/30%location – 0%opac/60%location
  25. Duplicate the original gradient shape+mask again and move it in the stack to below everything else and change the three color stops to #00b4fa in the gradient and set to Normal blend mode
  26. Select both shapes that make up the tongue area and copy and paste in place
  27. Merge those two shapes together and position in the stack so this shape is above the tongue shape.
  28. Fill with a black to white gradient 90º extend the black containment stop over to 25% and set this to Multiply blend mode
  29. Time to build the nose: Create a 475×475 ellipse and fill with red
  30. Grab the rounded rectangle and set it to 475x30px w/ 500px radius
  31. Use a series of these shapes to build a shape that looks good
  32. Merge these shapes together and fill with a gradient #ff4d97 to #140055 and move the blue containment to 35%
  33. Center this shape and align it where the nose should go
  34. Mask the bottom of the nose off with a black to white gradient shape
  35. Create 5x ellipses with 25px stroke and size them:
  36. 1000×1000 – 800×800 – 700×700 – 600×600 – 450×450 and position them
  37. Group these lines together
  38. Create a 200×200 ellipse and duplicate this ellipse 2x and use these two new shapes to form the center slit eye shape and use the pathfinder and divide this and save just the middle piece
  39. Duplicate the 200px ellipse and paste in front to create 4x shapes sized: 260×260 – 315×315 – 360×360 – 385×385
  40. Create a small shape for the highlight on the eye near the top of the eye slit and group these pieces together
  41. Select both groups of ellipses and align them to each other’s centers
  42. Create a 430×430 ellipse and give it a 1px red stroke for visibility purposes
  43. Duplicate the shape and change size to 465×465 and go Object>Transform>Move H:25px – V:55px
  44. Duplicate this shape and go Object>Transform>Scale: Non-Uniform H:93%
  45. Select these three shapes and Divide them. Ungroup and delete away all shapes except the two that form the eyelid and the shape that will contain the shadow.
  46. Fill the shadow shape with a black to white gradient and set it to Multiply+35%
  47. Start filling these shapes starting with the middle:
  48. White highlight – #1b1379 slit – #0063f0 – #00b3ff – white – #ace8fc – #0063f0
  49. Set eye lid in place and color top part #0063f0 and the bottom part #1b1379
  50. White rings all 15% and Overlay blend mode.
  51. Select all this stuff for the eye and move over on the side of the cat face and align the left edge to the center of the document (smart guides will help here)
  52. Duplicate to the other side of the face.
  53. Select right grouping of eye shapes and Scale +110%. Do the same for the left
  54. Reflect the left eye along the vertical axis
  55. Recolor the inner eye on the left (inside-out): #1b1379 – #f17ab9 – #ffb1ed – #ffffff – #ffe0f4 – #fdbdde
  56. Color the eyelid: top eyelid #fdbdde, bottom eyelid #a160b6
  57. Add colored blocks behind the sides. Color them #1b1379 on left & #ff4d97 on right (reduce right opacity to 50%).
  58. Create a 2560×1440 and create solid fill of white, align to the center, and cut to clipboard.
  59. Apply a mask to the overall layer and paste that white rectangle in place to reveal the artwork ONLY on the artboard.
  60. Select a piece of the fur and use the color swatch in the Gradient panel and create a color to 50% opacity gradient and use the gradient tool to drag a perfectly angled gradient for this fur. Do this for both pieces of fur
  61. Lock down all the layers and grab the line tool. Open the Stroke panel and set a 5px stroke with rounded caps and set the stroke color to white
  62. Draw 10-20 speckles on each cheek area. Select all and set to Overlay blend mode. Group these up
  63. Use Curvature Pen to draw three cloud shapes and fill top two clouds with #de357c and the bottom cloud with #f384bd
  64. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and add a few 5×5, 7×7, and 10×10 dots to the sky and group the stars and add an Outer Glow: Normal, Cyan, 10px blur
  65. Grab brush tool and use a brush tip from Brushes panel and set stroke to #0063f0 and paint out 10 whiskers on the right side
  66. Change stroke to white and paint 10 whiskers on the left side
  67. Boost stroke on whiskers if needed and then group them all together and mask the loose ends using some gradients.