Create a Devil Horns Toy Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple devil horns toy illustration in Adobe Illustrator.


In the first steps you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create the two horns using basic blending, masking and vector shape building techniques along with a simple blend and the Live Corners feature. Next, you will learn how take full advantage of the Appearance panel and how to easily create a dashed stroke. Finally, you will learn how to add a subtle shadow using the Appearance panel, two linear gradients and some basic effects.


Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

How to Create a Devil Horns Toy Illustration

Tutorial Details

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

Step 1

Hit Control + N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 600 in the width and height boxes then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 5px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid, it will ease your work and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control + ‘ keyboard shortcut.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

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Step 2

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color to R=39 G=170 B=225. Move to your artboard and simply create a 175 x 165px rectangle, the grid and the Snap to Grid feature should ease your work.

Using the same tool, create a 165 x 120px shape and place it exactly as shown in the second image. Once again, the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will come in handy.

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Step 3

Using the Selection Tool (V), select both shapes made so far, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Minus Front button.

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Step 4

Focus on your Toolbar and replace the existing fill color with R=247 G=148 B=30. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 155 x 140px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image.

Using the same tool, create a 140 x 125px shape and place it exactly as shown in the second image.

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Step 5

Grab the Selection Tool (V), select both orange shapes made so far and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

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Step 6

Get back to your Toolbar and replace the existing fill color with R=190 G=30 B=45. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 210px circle and place it exactly as shown in the following image.

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Step 7

Make sure that your red circle is still selected and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select one of these copies along with the blue shape and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting group of shapes is selected and simply hit Shift + Control + G to Ungroup them.

Keep focusing on your blue shapes, select the smaller one and hit the Delete button from your keyboard to get rid of it. In the end things should look like in the third image.

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Step 8

Select one of your red circles along with the orange shape and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Ungroup (Shift + Control + G) the resulting group then select the smaller, orange shape and remove it. In the end things should look like in the third image.

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Step 9

Focus on your orange shape and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the top anchor point, focus on the top bar and enter 1px in that Corners box.

This feature is only available for CC users. The best solution to replace this effect would be the Round Any Corner script that can found in this article: 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts. Save it to your hard drive, return to Illustrator and make the Direct Selection Tool (A) active. Select that top anchor point and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 20px radius and click OK. The end result might look a bit different, but it’s really not that noticeable. Feel free to try a different value for the radius. Keep in mind that in some cases you will have to increase/decrease the value mentioned in that Corners box.

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Step 10

Focus on your blue shape and make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active. Select the top anchor point, focus on the top bar and this time enter 3px in that Corners box.

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Step 11

Reselect your blue shape and replace the existing fill color with R=237 G=28 B=36 then select the orange shape and replace the existing fill color with R=255 G=106 B=110.

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Step 12

Focus on your Toolbar and double click on the Blend Tool to open the Blend Options window. Select Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu and enter 75 in that white box.

Reselect the two red shapes that make up the horn and hit Alt-Control-B to create a new blend. In the end things should look like in the second image.

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Step 13

Move to the Layers panel and open the existing layer. Focus on the blend, open it and duplicate the top shape (Control + C > Control + F).

Select this copy, drag it outside the blend (in the top of the Layers panel) and replace the existing fill color with a simple white (R=255 G=255 B=255).

Make sure that this white shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). First, click on that "Opacity" piece of text that stands for the existing fill to open the Transparency fly-out panel. Change the Blending Mode to Color Dodge then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px Radius and click OK.

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Step 14

Make sure that your white shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, set the color to R=239 G=65 B=54, change its Blending Mode to Color Burn

Go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px Radius and click OK.

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Step 15

Reselect your white shape, focus on the Appearance panel, make sure that the entire path is selected (click on that "Path" piece of text from the top of the Appearance panel) and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px Offset and click OK.

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Step 16

Reselect the blend and the other shape that make up your horn and hit Control + G to Group them.

Move to the Layers panel, open this new group, focus on the blend and duplicate the bottom shape. Select this copy, drag it to the top of the Layers panel and replace the existing fill color with a simple white.

Now, select this white shape along with your group, open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency) and click the Make Mask button. If you’re not an Illustrator CC user you need to open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click the Make Opacity Mask command.

Return to the Layers panel, double click on the name of your masked group and rename it "Horn".

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Step 17

Make sure that your "Horn" group is selected and go to Object > Trasnform > Reflect. Check the Vertical box then click the Copy button.

Select the newly made group, hold the Shift button from your keyboard and drag it to the left as shown in the third image.

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Step 18

Select your circle and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the color from the fill then select the stroke. Make it 4px wide and set the color to R=39 G=170 B=225. Make sure that your circle stays selected and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points twice.

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Step 19

Make sure that your circle stays selected, keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button.

Select the new stroke, drag it below the existing one, set its color to R=237 G=28 B=36 then open the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). Make sure that the Width is set to 4px then check the Dashed Line box. Enter 2px in the first dash box and 4px in the first gap box.

Return to the Appearance panel. Make sure that your red stroke is still selected and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset and click OK.

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Step 20

Reselect your circle and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Ungroup the resulting group of shapes (Shift + Control + G) and you will end up with two separate circles, one with the blue stroke and the other with the red, dashed stroke.

Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the anchor points highlighted in the first image and hit the Delete button from your keyboard.

Select your blue path, make sure that the stroke is selected and check the Round Cap button from the Stroke panel. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Move to the Layers panel, double click on the name of your blue path and rename it "Top" then focus on the path with the dashed stroke and rename it "Grid".

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Step 21

Select your "Grid" path, focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing stroke color with R=40 G=40 B=40.

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Step 22

Select your "Top" path, focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing stroke color with R=70 G=70 B=70.

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Step 23

Make sure that your "Top" path stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the existing stroke andduplicate it using the Duplicate Selected Item button.

Select the new stroke, replace the existing stroke color with R=120 G=120 B=120 and set the Weight at 1px.

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Step 24

Reselect your "Top" path and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the 1px stroke then select the remaining stroke and replace the existing stroke color with R=39 G=170 B=225.

Make sure that this blue path stays selected and grab the Pen Tool (P). Focus on the bottom, right anchor point, click on it then extend your path by adding a new anchor point as shown in the second image.

Deselect your path then select it again. Make sure that the Pen Tool (P) is still active, focus on the bottom, left anchor point, click on it then add a new anchor point and place it as shown in the second image.

Move to the Layers panel, find the shape made in this step and rename it "Main".

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Step 25

Make sure that your "Main" path stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing stroke, replace the existing stroke color with R=100 G=100 B=100 and then duplicate it.

Select the new stroke, replace the existing stroke color with R=120 G=120 B=120 and set the Weight at 1px. Make sure that your "Main" path is still selected and hit Shift + Control + [ to send it to back.

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Step 26

Focus on the Layers panel and duplicate the largest, red shapes that make up the horns. Select these copies and drag them to the top of the Layers panel.

Keep focusing on the Layers panel, select you "Top", "Grid" and "Main" paths and make copies in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select only these copies and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke twice.

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Step 27

Reselect all the shapes made in the previous step and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with a simple black (R=0 G=0 B=0) then move to the Layers panel and rename it "Shadow".

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Step 28

Make sure that your "Shadow" shape stays selected, send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ) and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill, lower its Opacity to 30% then open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient) and click on the gradient thumbnail to add the default black to white linear gradient.

Keep focusing on your Gradient panel, set the angle to 90 degrees then move to the gradient colors. Select the right slider and set its color to R=70 G=70 B=70 then select the left slider, add the same color and lower its Opacity to 0%.

Get back to the Appearance panel, make sure that the existing fill stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Drag those points roughly as shown in the following image then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px Radius and click OK.

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Step 29

Make sure that your "Shadow" shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button.

Select this new fill, lower its Opacity to 10%, add the linear gradient shown in the following image and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Drag those points roughly as shown in the following image, click OK and you’re done.

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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.

How to Create a Devil Horns Toy Illustration