How to Create a Jolly Santa Vector Illustration

This tutorial will take you through the entire creative process from rough thumbnail sketch to final digital art. You’ll discover how to create and build a precision vector illustration of jolly St.

Nick. I’ll cover simple build methods and techniques that will help you discover a new ways for creating well crafted vector artwork.





Tutorial Details
  • Applications Used: Adobe Illustrator CS5
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Estimated Completion Time: 3h +

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Final Product What You’ll Be Creating



Step 1

Drawing is a designers best friend. A solid creative foundation starts with drawing and in this case a very crude and rough thumbnail sketch of Santa. All I’m doing is capturing the essence of what I want to create.


Step 2a

Drawing is all about refinement. Rarely do you draw something perfect the first time. Most often you’ll take a rough thumbnail sketch and re-draw it and refine the form and shape until you have a tight refined sketch. Looking at my rough thumbnail I re-draw my Santa design so it removes the guess work as it relates to shape and form. I’m basically drawing it as I’ll build it. My refined sketch will serve as my road map for building my vector art.


Step 2b

Before I move to vector I scan in my refined sketch and using Photoshop I clone the art, flip it and than weld the two sides together. This design is almost completely symmetric so doing this will give me a good idea as to how the final will feel before I create it in vector form. It’s at this stage I determine if my base drawing is OK to proceed or if I should refine it further. For this design we’re ready to deck the halls.

…and that’s the end of the preview!



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