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Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: How to Draw an Owl Icon

This is step by step Illustrator tutorial that teaches you how to draw an owl icon in flat style. We’ll be using different shapes and some vector building techniques. And of course work with colors. Let’s start!

First of all create new document Ctrl+N.
Color Mode - RGB. Dimensions are 500x500 px.

Create Basic Shapes

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an oval. Turn off the Fill. We need only Stroke.

Move the ellipse up by the Selection Tool (V) and hold Shift and Alt. You will get the copy of the ellipse.

Select all Ctrl+A and click Minus Front in the PathFinder panel to get new shape.

Draw one more ellipse.

Copy this ellipse to the opposite side. Take the Reflect Tool (O). Hold Alt button and click to the central anchor point. Select Vertical in the options and press the Copy.

You should get the result as in the picture below.

Then select all (Ctrl+A) and click Divide in the PathFinder panel.

Ungroup all (Shift+Ctrl+G) and delete redundant parts.

Drawing eyes. These are simple circles as you see. You can draw one eye using the Ellipse Tool (L) and copy it to get second eye.

Take the Line Segment Tool (\) and draw the line. Hold the Shift button for a horizontal line.

Drag and drop this line by the Selection Tool (V) and hold Shift and Alt to create a copy.

Press Ctrl+D several times to repeat the action. You should get a lot of lines on the belly.

Take the Selection Tool (V) and stretch some lines that are too short.

Select all lines and go Effect > Distort and Transform > Zig Zag. Set the options as in the picture and click OK.

Then go Object > Expand Appearance to expand effect to simple lines. Next Object > Expand to expand the open paths.

Time to make a beak. Take the Poligon Tool and left click to any place of the Artboard. You will get the options of new shape. We need a triangle so set Radius 8 px and 3 sides.

Draw lines for the owl's legs. Don't forget to go Object > Expand to expand open paths.

Draw the tail. Create the ellipse and send it to back (Shift+Ctrl+[ ).

Copy this ellipse. Rotate slightly and reflect to the opposite side using the Reflect Tool (O).

Owl is ready. Working with color in next steps.


Open the Color panel and set any color as you wish. This will be the base color for our owl.

Then open the Color Guide panel (Shift+F3). The base color will be in the left upper square. Colors will be selected automatically in the line on the right.

I use Complementary 2 harmonic. You can choose any one in the Color Guide panel. And there are a lot of color samples in the Window > Swatch Libraries.

You can set the shades of colors in the Color Guide panel using the options.

Now you can save colors as Swatches using opions of the Color Guide panel.

Then paint the owl in these colors. Stroke need to be turned off. Use only Fill.

Background and Shadow

Take the Rounded Rectangle Tool and left click to any place. Set options:

Width: 240 px
Height: 240 px
Corner Radius: 20 px

The rectangle send to back under the owl. Don't forget to pick up the color for it.

Draw two lines using Line Segment Tool (\). Hold the Shift button while drawing. Use View > Smart Guides for neat result.

Select these lines and double press Ctrl+J to join the shape. This is a ingot for the shadow.

Select the shadow and the rectangle and send all back Shift+Ctrl+[ . Then take the Shape Builder Tool (Shift+M).

Place the cursor on the protruding part of the shadow. Then hold Alt and left click on it to cut off redundant part.

Turn off the Stroke. Use linear gradient for the Fill.

Finally you should go to the Transparency panel (Shift+Ctrl+F10) and set the Multiply blending mode. Use Opacity 20% also.

Now our owl can fly :)

If you want to know how to prepare and save such illustrations for microstocks sale see this article: How to Prepare and Save Vector Files for Microstocks.

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