Illustrator Tutorial

Even for those who have never heard of Angry Birds, this Illustrator tutorial is as easy as shooting birds into castles.

Angry Bird Illustrator Tutorial

Ah, Angry Birds - one of the most popular online games for quite some time now. It seems that everyone has played this game at one point or another, including grandparents, teenagers, toddlers, and even executives. For the few of you who have never even heard of Angry Birds, the game involves shooting "angry birds" with a large slingshot at fortresses of pigs.

Today you will be learning how to create an angry bird in vector format on Illustrator, which you can use as your desktop wallpaper, display it on your blog, use it on postcard prints, or even on the cover for brochures. It is very easy, so let’s get started.


yellow angry bird

After opening up illustrator, select the Pen Tool and draw a somewhat triangular shape. It's okay if it looks a little messy at first. You can then use the Direct Selection Tool to control individual anchor points on the outline and drag them to make the bird's triangular shape more rounded. Once you change the stroke value to 5, it should look something like this.


Now, use the same tools to create little tufts of hair - one for the head and one for the tail. Change the fill color to black so that they are solid shapes. Drag them into place, then change the fill color of the body to RGB: 252,255,54. Do this by double clicking on the fill color, then changing the values in the color palette to match this. It will look something like this.


You want the hair to look like it is growing out of the body, not covering it up. To get the smooth shape, you will need to reorder the shapes so that it looks correct. To do this, select the tufts of hair (hold down shift to select the multiple graphics) and right-click; then select "arrange" then "send to back." Your screen should look something like this:


You are halfway there! To make sure everything stays in place as you work on the details, select the whole image with all of its parts and click "object" then "group." Now you will see that it is one concise selection.


Now use the Pen Tool to create a white area for the bird’s chest. Use a white fill and no outline. It should look like the following image:

white chest 

Next, fashion a beak using the Pen Tool. Have a black outline of about 4 and fill it with an orange RGB: 253,169,40. If necessary, use the "Arrange" tool again so that it overlaps the white chest of the bird. Your bird should now look like it is coming together.

orange beak 

Next, create irregular shaped ovals for the eyes. Do this by using the Elliptical Tool, then the Direct Selection tool as before.


Drag the eyes onto the body, and position them where you want them. Select the beak and then use the "arrange"->"bring to front" feature so that it overlaps the eyes in the right way. Use small dots for the pupils.

arrange eyes 

Next, create some angry eye brows. By now, you should be familiar with the Pen Tool and positioning it above your other elements using "Arrange." Use the fill color RGB: 194,0,0. Then, create some shadows to give the bird a more 3D shape. Select a neutral dark orange shade, change the opacity to 38%, then draw a shadow along the body of the bird. It should look like this.

 eybrows and shadows

Lastly, give the beak a more 3D appearance by selecting a bright, lighter shade of orange. Change the opacity to whatever looks best with the color you choose. You want the highlights to be subtle, but still visible. I used 65%. Put highlights along the bridge, and along the left side. Add bags under the eyes if you wish.

highlights and opacity 

Your vector is finished! Make sure you save it.

finished angry bird

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