How to create a Minion Cartoon character in Illustrator

Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create a cartoon character called Minion from the movie “Despicable Me”. We’ll start the process with his basic shape and then build up a complete vector character design with color fills and basic shading to create a funny cartoon Minion.



Open a new document in Illustrator. Select pen tool draw a shape as shown and fill it with a yellow and orange radial gradient color.


Now select a point on the gradient slider (as shown in the image) and move it to a 60% location. Then select a yellow color and again change its location to 43%. Now get a gradient tool and move a center point of gradient slightly upward.


That’s it with the body coloring.

Now we will start drawing his eye. Select a ellipse tool and draw a circle. Now goto Object > Path > Offset path type 10 px in offset and hit OK. Now select both the circles and click on minus front option in pathfinder panel.


In next step create a circle with an ellipse tool. Copy that circle and paste it behind (ctrl+c and ctrl+b). Move the back circle slightly towards left and by selecting both circles click on minus option in pathafinder panel. Now place that shape in our previous ring and change its color to black, as shown in the image.


Now repeat the above step and make one more similar shape but this time little bit bigger and flip it to right side. Place that shape on ring and scale it from one side so that it will look more curvy and adjust it to place it neatly. Add a white and black radial gradient and adjust it as shown.


In next step we will draw an eye ball.

Draw a oval shape with ellipse tool, and add a white and light gray radial gradient. Adjust the gradient slider point location to 87%. You are done with the white part of the eye.


Follow the above steps and draw a circle with brown and dark brown color and place it on the white part of the eye.


Draw two more white circle and place it on brown circle as shown.


Now we will draw glass for his eye frame.

Draw a circle with an ellipse tool and add radial gradient of white and light blue color. Adjust the gradient as shown. Chage its transparency (opacity) to 25%.


Place the glass circle on eye frame (ring) and group them together. Place and adjust the whole thing on body which we created in the beginning. You can also rotate the eye a bit as if he is looking upward.


Next step we will draw hinges and belt.

Select a Rounded rectangular tool and draw one vertical rectangle as shown. Add black and white linear gardient, adjust it with a gradient tool. Copy that rectangle by holding Alt key and palce it down. Now select a pen tool and draw a belt shape as shown in the image. Add dark gray color for belt.


Next step is to draw his mouth.

Create an circle with an ellipse tool, then select a direct selection tool (A) and delete the upper point on the circle. Now select left and right point on the circle and join them (Right click > join). Now you have a exact half circle which is a basic shape of mouth. Fill it with a dark gray color.


Copy the mouth shape and Paste in Back (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+B). Move the copy up slightly and change the color to your dark orange color. Copy the mouth shape and Paste in Back (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+B) again. This time, move the shape down and change the fill to your light orange color.


Create an oval shape with an ellipse tool that is about one third the size of the mouth. Copy the ellipse and Paste in Front (Crtl+C and Crtl+F). Move the copy down slightly and scale up about a fourth of the original size. Next, select both shapes and press the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.


Fill the new shape with dark orange color. Copy the shape and Paste in Back (Crtl+C and Crtl+B). Next, scale the copied shape up and change the color to light orange. Center both shapes one on the bottom and two on left and right side of the mouth shapes you have already created.


Select the main dark gray mouth shape, Copy and Paste in Front (Crtl+C and Crtl+F). With the Selection tool (V), hold down the Shift key and scale the copy bottom up slightly. Still with the Selection tool (V), squish the copied shape from the bottom up until the copy is about one fourth the original size. Change the first color stop in the linear gradient to white and the second to a light gray. Also, change the Location of the Middle point to 80 %.


With the Star tool (found under the shape tools in the Tools panel), click on the artboard to open the Star dialog. In the dialog change Radius 1 to 30 px, Radius 2 to 15 px, and the Point to 3 (your radius dimensions might be different depending on the dimension of your artwork, just make sure that Radius 2 is half the size of Radius 1). Squish the triangle shape horizontally to about half it’s original size. Place the two triangle one over the right side and other over the left side on the teeth, also group both the triangles (Right click group). Next, select the teeth and the triangles and press the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.


Create a red color tongue shape as shown  with the pen tool at the bottom of the mouth shape. Make sure half of it hanging out of the mouth shape. Select the main dark gray mouth shape, Copy and Paste in Front (Crtl+C and Crtl+F). Select the tongue copy and dark gray mouth and press the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.


Select all the mouth shapes and place them on the body shape. Next, Rotate the mouth shape to the left slightly.


Create a clothe shape as shown with the pen tool. Add a linear gradient of blue and dark blue or any color you want. I m using blue theme. Place clothe shape on his body.


To create a hand, draw a vertical rectangle with rounded rectangle tool. Add same colors as body but this time with linear gradient. Select upper left two points on the rectangle with direct selection tool and shift them towards left as shown.  Place the arm on body. For fingers, Draw three more round rectangles, two of same shape and one little bit bigger. Place them on each other as shown. Make a one single shape by pressing the unite button from Pathfinder panel. Place those fingers on the hand and rotate them towards left slightly. Make a copy of finger shape and place it on the other side of the body.


For creating his hair, draw a small circle and then select right point with direct selection tool. Now hold shift and move that point towards right, you will get some what comet like shape. Goto the brush panel and click on new brush button. Check art brush option click OK, and choose direction to right, hit OK. We have now created a new brush.  Select a brush tool with our new brush stroke and draw hairs on his head by stroking them from down to upward. Draw some random hairs and create a decent hair style for him. Adjust stroke weight in the stroke panel according to the thickness of the hair.


Lets move to shoe part. Select pen tool, and draw shape as shown in image.  Add gray and black radial gradient, adjust the center point with gradient tool. Make a one more copy by holding alt key and moving it with selection tool. Holding shift key scale them to small and place them under Minion and send them back (Right click > Arrange > Send to back).


Add more details on his clothes.  Create a circle with ellipse tool. Make a one more copy by holding Alt key. Place both the circles on his clothes where shoulder belts join the main part. You can also add any logo, as I have added a “+” sign logo.


Finally You can some dark yellow color spots on his chicks.


Our Minion character is now complete. The simple techniques of varied shapes, gradient fills and basic shading really help add depth and definition which brings the character to life.