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Turn Your Illustrator Pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns

Adobe Illustrator, Ten Minute Tutorials, Vector : , , | Comments Off on Turn Your Illustrator Pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns


Well! Fall is in full swing and Halloween is on its way. Recently I showed you guys how to make a simple pumpkin vector in Adobe Illustrator CS4 using an ellipse tool, the appearance panel and a few hand-drawn paths. Today, we’re going to turn that guy into a Jack-O-Lantern and wrap him up in some shiny ribbon!

Part One: Making a Jack-O-Lantern Face

This tutorial assumes you have pretty close to zero working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator. If you are familiar with it you could skip to about step 7 to see what my method here is. Images are linked to larger versions so you can see my screen and settings when needed.

Step 1.

Remember last week when we made this little guy and I told you I preferred layers to groups? Well this week I’m using a group for my pumpkin paths. Flexible. I can be. Select your pumpkin stem paths and your rind path and press ctrl+G to group them.


Step 2.

Select the polygon tool and drag out a shape while holding your mouse button. Press your keyboard’s down arrow until you get a triangle. Hold the shift key to get a flat bottom. Release your click.


Step 3.

Ctrl Copy, Ctrl Paste to have two triangles. Nudge them around until you have them a satisfactory distance apart.


Step 4.

Select both by using the selection tool (V) to grab one, hold shift and grab the other. Choose Vertical Align Bottom from the align options at the top, or inside the Align Window (Window> Align or Shift+F7).


Step 5.

Using the bounding box (Shift+Ctrl+B or View>Bounding Box) hold the shift key and scale your triangle eyes to look nice and proportional to your pumpkin.

Press Ctrl+8 to combine the triangles into a compound path.


Step 6.

Using the Pen Tool (P), draw out a simple (or complex, be creative) smile for your lantern.

Use the direct selection tool to grab some of the little squares along your path to adjust it to your liking.

When you’re happy, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to grab the eyes and mouth and press Ctrl+8 to combine them into a compound path.


Step 7.

Open up the Gradient Window (Window>Gradient) and select one of the colors in the gradient slider. Double click on the Fill color to adjust it. Do the same with the other fill color, using a darker shade of orange to create depth from the imaginary candle inside our digital Jack-O-Lantern. From the dropdown in the gradient window select Radial. Use the gradient annotator (Alt+Ctrl+G if it isn’t visible) to shift the source of your light down in your pumpkin and manipulate the gradient into more of an oval shape.

You can add more than two colors, just click on the slider area where there is no slider and you’ll create a new color slider to adjust.


Step 8.

Ctrl+Copy, Ctrl+Paste your glowing openings.

You’re doing great, and this looks nice, but we’re going to do just a bit more work to add a little more depth to our face.

Select the bottom of the face paths and visit the Pathfinder Window (Window>Pathfinder) and select Divide.


Step 9.

The previous step will turn our bottom duplicated path into separate shapes again within a group. Grab the group and click the color button beneath the fill box . This will give these shapes a solid fill.


Step 10.

Select your two eye paths and head to the Appearance Window (Window>Appearance).

At the bottom click FX, navigate to Distort and Transform> Transform and apply settings as shown, moving the shapes down vertically and growing them horizontally


Step 11.

Back in your Layers Window select the mouth path. Appearance panel, FX, Distort And Transform> Transform with settings shown. Don’t forget to choose which anchor area you are growing the mouth from (circled in the image below).

Nicely done! You’ve made a Jack-O-Lantern in Adobe Illustrator.

Proud of ya : )


Step 12.

Add a little finishing touch by grabbing the bottom group featuring your pumpkin. Appearance Panel > Distort and Transform > Transform and apply transform effects shown.


Part Two: Creating a Ribbon and Wrapping it Around

Step 1.

Using the Pen Tool with a thin stroke (no fill) of your choosing create an open path approximating your desired ribbon shape. It should be clean but does not need to be precise as we’ll adjust it in a minute.


Step 2.

3D> Effects> Extrude And Bevel. Apply as shown, then start adjusting your ribbon points to suit your vision.


Step 3.

After adjusting your ribbon path to the shape and color you desire (you can see my final result is much different to the ribbon above, I modified the anchor points on the path until I was happy), add a path along your ribbon using the pen tool, then add text to the new path with the Type on a Path Tool.


Step 4.

To wrap a ribbon around your pumpkin create the ribbon as before, shaping it as necessary to make it big enough to fit around the fruit. Use my path and settings as a guide.


Step 5.

Duplicate the ribbon, sending one to the back, behind the pumpkin. Using the pen tool create a fill-free, stroke-free path above the top ribbon, outlining the edges of the pumpkin. Now, with that path and the top ribbon selected, create a clipping mask. Object > Clipping Mask > Make. Or press Ctrl + 7.

The clipping mask you just created ‘hides’ but does not delete anything outside of its boundaries. You can use a single clipping mask with multiple paths, but we only want to clip the top ribbon.

In the image below both my ribbon path and clipping path are shown as yellow outlines.


Step 6.

Add a path along the ribbon, use the Type on a Path tool and you’re done.

If your clipping mask isn’t exactly right you can adjust the points with the Direct Selection Tool (A)


Happy Halloween!


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About EchoStenger.com

EchoStenger.com began in early 2013 as a side project of Echoia.com. Namely, Echoia Photography. Wanting to expand to include more varied content, it seemed only appropriate to change the site's title.

It currently is an outlet for many of my interests and passions. I share my work in and write tutorials for Adobe Illustrator, review products (mostly purchased by me), experiment with my Silhouette Cameo machine (hashtag vector in flesh!), share my day-to-day and still post photographs on a regular basis.

Thank you for visiting and coming along with me as I grow and seek out beauty in everything.

I am a Christian mom, girlfriend, dog-mom, cat-mom and pseudo step-mom. I take up hobbies faster than I can put them back down. I am from Texas, but currently reside in Utah.

I. Love. Air conditioning.

Fiona Apple.

Angel : My seraph son. I’ll likely speak of nothing and no one so much. Born October 2009. He likes the color orange blue and almost anything Marvel.

Veda : Black. Lab-like. Born Summer 2008. A life changer. Full name and title: Princess Darth Veda Jane Sultanfuss Stenger. Usually just Veda/Veda Jane when she’s bad. Also ‘Monster’. In your way? Just say, 'Scoot, Veda.' Taken March 18, 2018. Missed every day.

Trinity : Rescued from the pound about 9 weeks of age, Summer 2009. I call her ‘Wiggle Bottoms’, 'Dummy' (lovingly, of course) or ‘Little Bit’. Big time cuddler.

Li : Dog cat. Scarier than both the dogs put together.

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