Creating Simple Character Illustrations Using Figma

I love art in all forms. In the cases where I can’t put pen to paper, I use my computer to draw! There are a lot of Vector tools that makes it possible for me to do this with my favourites being Illustrator (Duh!) and Gravit Designer (shameless plug — I was featured in a post here).

I decided to try and test out Figma to see if I can draw as well as I do in the other tools. Inspiration for this illustration is Gigantic’s video for How to Draw A Simple CARTOON PERSON| Flat Design GRANDPA

I started with creating a colour palette so I have a nice clean way to select colours when I need them using the colour picker in the fill properties.

I also created a frame that would act as my Artboard and I placed a rectangle with the exact same sizing on it so I can manipulate the background colour as freely as I would when using a vector design tool.

From here on I knew I would have to use basic Object tools like the rectangle and Circle shape to create body parts. I also used the Edit Object tool to edit anchor points to create desired shapes. The Multiple selection tool was also a great a way in cutting multiple shapes to create a new shape.

I started with the head and followed the tutorial to ensure I was on the right track. From creating the this body part, I was able to discover that I could manipulate most of the shapes to achieve my desired effect with using the above toolset. I went further to change the character from a GrandPa to a GrandMa and I also added a bit of extra touches to it.

I used the radius property to set multiple radiuses for rectangular shapes to get the desired effect as there was no rounded rectangle in the toolset.

After the head, I went on to create the body, arms and legs. It was a breeze to do this because I had gotten used to manipulating the shapes.

Pro-tip: Be careful when resizing as corner radiuses and stroke weights don’t automatically resize as compared to using illustrator.

The zoom tool is your best bet to give you accuracy as you can see endpoints and arrangement of shapes as closely as possible. The guides also act as a great way to ensure your shapes are aligned properly.

Remember the Rectangle I placed on the frame? Well now I could create a gradient to give my character some extra effect. I added some extra illustrations like a flower vase and a lamp to create a more grounded look.

I used the pen tool to create the light glow and reduced the opacity so it would be barely there. And that was it!

I was glad I did this because it was a refresher that there is no tool that you cannot use to get the desired effect you want. It also made me think of new ways to design using a limited tool set. Plus it was super fun to do!

Here’s the link to the Figma Document — https://www.figma.com/file/eyUMTkN3gSKqMhWl4kzANrn5/Character-Illustration

Give it a try and I am sure you can create really amazing stuff!


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