Create a Geisha Girl in Illustrator

Create a Geisha Girl in Illustrator

In this Illustrator tutorial I’d like to show you the possibilities of drawing the basic shape for creating a cute geisha girl.



Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:
Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS3
  • Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate

Step 1

Let’s create a new document first. Make sure to set the dimensions to Width=600px, Height= 700px and the Color Mode to RGB.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 2

Let’s start with the face first. Using the Pen tool (P) draw a shape as in the image below.

In the Swatches palette, go to Open Swatches Library > Gradients > Skintones. Select Skintone 11 for the face shape.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

With the face shape still selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and set the values as shown below.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 3

Now we will start to create eyes. Eyes are probably the most important part of the human face. Create a circle by using the Ellipse Tool (L). Then go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper and set the values. Make sure to expand them, go to Object > Expand Appearance.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Now we will modify the new shape that we have created to get the final shape for our eyes. You should end up with a result like this.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Using this shape to represent the outer eye shape, apply the gradient Skintone 11.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

For the eye shadow, draw a large shape with the Pen Tool (P), apply a linear gradient with lower Opacity = 40%.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Now we duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the outer eye shape, scale it smaller and place it in front. Fill it with gradient as shown in the image below.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Thicken up the eye by drawing shapes with the Pen Tool (P). Fill it with color #543E36 then duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) it, apply the Overlay blending mode to the copy.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

For the iris of the eye, draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool (L)and place it where you’d like your character to be looking. Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the eye shape. Select both of the eye shapes and the circle, Intersect shape areas in the Pathfinder panel. Make sure to expand them, go to Object > Expand Appearance.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Fill the shape that you have created in the previous step with the gradient indicated, then duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) it, apply the Overlay blending mode to the copy.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw three shapes, the big one represents the pupil, and two small circles represent a sparkle in the eye then fill them with the color indicated.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Repeat these steps for the left eye. Now it should look like this.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 4

For the eyebrows, we pick the Pen tool (P) to create a shape and fill it with gradient as shown in the image below.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + B) the eyebrows shape, move the copy down slightly and fill it with gradient Skintone 11 in the Swatches palette.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Duplicate the eyebrows for the other side. Now you should end up with a result like this.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 5

The nose is fairly simple, we pick the Pen tool (P) to create a shape and fill it with gradient Skintone 11 in the Swatches palette.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + B) the nose shape, move the copy down slightly and fill it with gradient Skintone 12 in the Swatches palette.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Draw two circles, pull the anchor points on the center sides of each and convert them to harsh points so you have two little tear drops.Fill them with gradient Skintone 12 in the Swatches palette.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Now you should end up with a result like this.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 6

For the lips, we pick the Pen tool (P) to create three basic shapes as shown in the image below. Fill the shapes we have created with the gradients indicated.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Place the lips on the character’s face. Add some highlights to the lips by drawing 2 shapes as shown in the image below. Fill the highlight shape with white color and lower Opacity=50%.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Add more depth to the lips. Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + B) the lip shapes number 1 and 2 , resize them a little bigger and put them behind. Fill them with gradient Skintone 12 in the Swatches palette.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Now you should end up with a result like this.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 7

Let’s work with the character’s little rosy cheeks. Use the Ellipse tool (L) to draw a circle and fill it with color #D91C5C . Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian blur and set the values. Apply Overlay blending mode to the circle.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + V) the blusher. To hide the blusher outside of the face, copy the face and paste in front, bring it to front (Shift – Control-]), select the blusher and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 8

Let’s draw the geisha’s hair. Pick the Pen tool (P) and Ellipse tool (L) to draw four shapes, fill them with the gradient indicated.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Use the Paintbrush tool (B) to draw stroke lines throughout the hair. You can leave the stroke from 0.5 – 1pt randomly. Go to Window > Brushes then apply the Charcoal brush for them. Fill them with color #8C725E and lower Opacity = 30%.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

We continue with the paintbrush. You should set the stroke at 0.25pt this time. Go to Window > Brushes then apply the Pencil thin brush and fill them with color #72594B.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Once we have a full body of hair to work with, top it off with a little reflection. Pick the Pen tool (P) to draw a shape and fill it with color #D1B79F, then lower Opacity = 20%.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 9

In this step, we will create the cherry blossom. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool (M) to create a shape, duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + V) it four times, turn it around and arrange it as shown in the picture. Select all the petals and hit the Add to shape area button in the Pathfinder panel. Make sure to expand them, go to Object > Expand Appearance. Fill the shape with color#FFC4C0.
Now, it has become considerably more like a cherry blossom flower, hasn’t it? One more step, just go to Mesh tool (U) , add the anchor point in the center of the flower, fill it with color #FFD9D7.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Now, we’re going to create the center of the flower. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and Rectangle Tool (M) to create 2 shapes as shown in the image below. Group (Ctrl + G) them together and fill with color #DB9B93. Copy the finished shapes, and duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + V) it many times, turn it around and arrange it as shown in the picture.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + V) the finished cherry blossom flower and place them as shown in the image below.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool (M) to create a rectangle, and Ellipse Tool (L) to draw 2 circles as shown in the image below. In the Swatches palette, go to Swatches > Open Swatch Library > Gem and Jewels. Fill the rectangle with Citrine gradient, and Rose Quartz for the circles.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Group (Ctrl + G ) all elements together. Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + V) it and place as shown in the image below.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 10

In this step, we will create geisha’s neck and shoulders. Pick the Pen tool (P) to draw a shape as shown in the image below. Fill it with gradient Skintone 11 in the Swatches palette, then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and set the values.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

You should end with a result like this.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 11

A kimono is a trademark of Japanese culture. Now we pick the Rounded rectangle tool (M) to create two rectangular shapes forming a V neck collar as shown in the image. First, in the Swatches palette, go to Open Swatches Library > Gradients > Tints and Shade > Red, apply the gradient Red to the front shape.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

We continue with the rest of shape, in the Swatches palette, go to Open Swatches Library > Gradients > Gem and Jewels > Opal, apply the gradient Opal to the back shape.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Group (Ctrl + C) the V neck collar shape and duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + V) it. Place it as shown in the image below.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Grab the Ellipse tool (L) and create two ellipse shapes. Repeat the previous step and group (Ctrl +G) them together. Then put them behind the geisha’s neck.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Grab the Pen tool (P) and create a shape as shown in the image below. Apply the gradient Red to it.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Grab the Pen tool (P) and create a saggy sleeve as shown in the image below then duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + B) it. Apply the gradient Red to the front shape and gradient Opal to the back shape.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

The Kimono looks rather blank, so we’ve got to add some texture. I’ve used two patterns available from Adobe Illustrator. Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the saggy sleeves. Go to Open Swatches Library > Patterns > Nature > Nature Foliage. Apply the Floral Vine Color pattern then apply the Screen blending mode for the copy.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Repeat the previous step for other parts of the Kimono.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool (M) to create a very broad belt around the waist. In the Swatches palette, go to Open Swatches Library > Gradients > Gem and Jewels, apply gradient Citrine. Then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and set the value.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Now we will create the geisha’s hand. Pick the Pen tool (P) and create a hand shape as shown in the image below. Apply the gradient Skintone 11. Then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and set the value.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11

Now you should end with a result like this.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


Step 12

Let’s set a background for our final design. Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) from the Tools Panel and click somewhere on the Artboard. The Rectangle Options box will pop up. Set the dimensions to 600 x 700 pixels. Go to Open Swatches Library > Patterns > Nature > Nature Foliage. Apply the Petal Three pattern for our background.
 Create a Geisha Girl in Adobe Illustrator 11


And We’re Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.
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