Home Sweet Home! In this tutorial we’ll
create the cozy atmosphere of a living room, designing a flat-style interior with
a cute cartoon character sitting in a comfy armchair. We’ll be using basic
geometric shapes and working with the Transform panel to render all the
elements in a fun and easy way.
By the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to
use the techniques that we’ve covered during the tutorial and apply them
to your new illustrations. Feel free to seek inspiration on Envato Market and check these
examples of flat interiors and flat characters. Let’s begin!
1. Create a Flat Character
First of all, let’s create a New Document of 450 x 300 px size.
We’ll start designing our character from
the head. Take the Rectangle Tool (M)
and make a 45 x 60 px yellow shape.
Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A)
and use the Live Corners feature to
make the corners rounded by pulling the tiny circle marker to the center of the
We can also adjust the size and the Corner Radius of the shapes either from
the control panel on top or from the Transform
panel (Windows > Transform).
We’ll be using the Transform panel
during this tutorial, as it allows us to adjust every corner of the shape
Now let’s make an eyelid. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to make a small 7 x 7 px circle with brown Stroke and no Fill. Set the Stroke Weight
to 1 pt and the Cap and Corner to middle positions in the Stroke panel.
Grab the Scissors Tool (C) and click the side anchor points of the circle to
split it apart. Delete the top half.
Make another 7 x 7 px circle for the nose and fill it with yellow, slightly
darker than the color of the head. Select the top anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag it
up to make a stylized nose.
Design the face, using the elements that
we’ve created. Add a couple of small light-pink circles for the blush on the
cheeks and make a mouth, using the same method as we did for the eyes.
Let’s move on to the ears. Make a 7 x 12 px yellow rectangle and use the Live Corners feature to make it
rounded. Place a small rounded rectangle on top, filling it with darker yellow
color. Group (Control-G) the elements and Send to Back (Shift-Control-[).
Make a copy of the ear group and attach both ears to the head.
Let’s draw a nice hairdo for our character.
Use the Ellipse Tool (L), hold Shift and make a 55 x 55 px blue circle. Place the circle above the top of the head,
as shown in the image below. Use the Scissors
Tool (C) to click the side anchor points, splitting the shape into two
Delete the lower half. Select the remaining
shape, click the right mouse button and Join to make the path closed.
Use the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to add a point on the bottom edge of the
hair shape and drag it up, using the Direct
Selection Tool (A). Switch to the Anchor
Point Tool (Shift-C) and drag out the anchor handles, placing them at 45 degrees to make the hairline smooth.
Let’s continue styling the hair. Make a 55 x 55 px square of a darker blue color.
Select both hair shapes and click the lower shape once again to make it a Key Object. Use the Align panel to align both shapes to the
center and to the top.
Make the top of the shape fully rounded,
using the Transform panel or the Live Corners feature.
Now let’s modify the bottom of the shape.
Use the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) to
drag the anchor handles down, making the bottom of the shape slightly arched
and adding smoothness.
Tip: Use the Guides to make the length of the anchor handles equal. Press Control-R to show the Rulers and drag the Guide down from the horizontal ruler.
Select and delete the guide when you don’t need it any more or clear it from View > Guides > Clear Guides.
Select the shape and Send to Back (Shift-Control-[), beneath the head, forming a
stylish short hairdo.
Now let’s render the body of our character.
Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to make a
blue shape of 30 x 57 px size and use
the Transform panel to set the Corner Radius of the top corners to 10 px and the bottom corners to 12 px.
Copy the shape and Paste in Front
(Control-C > Control-F). Keeping the top copy selected, take the Eraser Tool (Shift-E), hold Alt and delete the bottom part of the
shape. Change the color of the remaining piece to green, making a bright shirt.
Take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a smooth arched line for the arm. Set the Fill color to none and the Stroke color to yellow. Set the Stroke Weight to 8 pt, making the arm thicker. Switch Cap and Corner to the
middle positions, making the tips of the line rounded. Add a smaller line for
the thumb, setting the Weight to 3 pt.
Add a darker yellow 8 pt stroke for the opposite arm and Send it to Back (Shift-Control-[). Draw another stroke for the same
arm, but this time place it between the body and the first arm, using the Control-[ keys to move the
Let’s make a cat and let our character hold
it in her arms. Make a 30 x 30 px
dark-grey circle and use the Direct
Selection Tool (A) to drag the bottom anchor point up, squashing the shape.
Send the shape Backward (Control-[) to make the top hand cover it.
Make a 15 x 10
px rounded rectangle for the head, setting the Corner Radius to 5 px.
Add the eyes, using the same technique as we did for the eyes of our main
Move on to the ears and use the Polygon Tool to make a triangle,
setting the number of sides to 3 in
the Transform panel.
Let’s add the legs to our character. We’ll
make the legs bent so that our character could sit in a cozy armchair.
Use the Pen Tool (P) to make a line with 90 degrees corner and 8 pt
Stroke Weight. Use the Direct
Selection Tool (A) and the Live
Corners feature to make the corner rounded, forming a stylized knee.
Let’s add a foot in a soft house shoe. Make
a 12 x 15 px light-beige shape for the
top of the boot. And add another rectangle for the bottom, making the shapes
overlap. Make the top right corner rounded. Select both shapes and Align to the Bottom of the Key Object, using the Align panel.
(Control-G) and copy (Control-C > Control-F) the shapes to add a second leg.
Place the copy beneath the body (Shift-Control-[) and adjust it slightly, changing the corner
radius of the knee and making the elements a bit darker.
2. Design a Flat Interior
Let’s start designing a soft, cozy armchair.
Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to make a
105 x 125 px pink shape. Make its top
right corner rounded with 13 px Corner
Create another rectangle of 25 x 125 px by the left side of the first
shape, making both shapes partially overlap. Fill the new rectangle with darker
pink color and make the top of the shape fully rounded.
Use the Align panel to Align both
shapes to the Bottom of the Key Object.
Let’s create an armrest. Make a 28 x 28 px light-pink circle and place it
as shown in the image below. Connect the circle and the bottom of the armchair with
a narrow light-pink rectangle, Aligning
the shapes to the Bottom of the Key Object.
Make a tiny circle button to decorate the
top of the armrest.
Create a 60 x 28 px rectangle of darker pink color and make its corners fully
rounded. Place the shape beneath the light-pink circle (Control-[) and apply the Horizontal
Align Right function, using the light-pink circle as a Key Object. As you can see, both shapes
are of the same height (28 px), so
they combine with each other perfectly.
Finish up this part of the armchair by adding a dark-pink rectangle beneath the armrest.
(Control-G) the elements of the armrest. Double-click the Reflect Tool (O) and flip the elements over the Vertical Axis. Click Copy and place the created mirrored group by the
opposite side of the armchair, Sending
it to Back (Shift-Control-[).
Add a 110 x 23
px rectangle for the seat of the armchair, making its right side rounded. Put a dark-pink rectangle beneath the seat, creating a gentle
Now we can sit our character in the
armchair and continue working on the surrounding interior. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a narrow 275 x 10 px stripe for the floor, filling
it with light-beige color.
Let’s start shaping the chest of drawers. Make a 70 x 80 px beige
rectangle and Send to Back, beneath
Copy the shape and Paste in Front
(Control-C > Control-F). Make the color of the copy lighter and squash it, reducing
its width to 47 px.
Let’s add some drawers.
Make a 35 x 20 px light-beige
rectangle and put a small round handle in the center of it. Group both shapes, hold Alt-Shift
and drag the group down, making a copy. Press Control-D to add a third drawer.
Let’s add a long flat shadow to the
chest of drawers. Make a rectangle and rotate it 45
degrees. Fill the shape with beige color and switch the Blending Mode to Multiply in the Transparency
panel, making the shape semi-transparent.
Combine the top corner of the rectangle with the armrest (see the circle marking in the image below). Select both the shadow
and the chest of drawers shape. Take the Shape
Builder Tool (Shift-M), hold Alt
and click the unneeded elements of the shadow shape that you want to delete.
Let’s place a small table lamp on top of
the chest of drawers. Use the Rectangle Tool (M)
to make two small perpendicular shapes for the lamp stand.
Make a 25 x 30
px rectangle for the lamp shade. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the bottom left anchor point
of the shade. Press the Enter key to
open the Move options window. Set
the Horizontal value to -5 px and Vertical value to 0 px.
Press OK, moving the point 5 px to the left.
Repeat the same for the bottom right anchor
point, moving it 5 px in the
Let’s add a few more details to the
interior by hanging some pictures on the wall. Make a 45 x 55 px rectangle with light-beige Fill and darker beige Stroke
of 3 pt Weight, depicting a picture
Make another rectangle inside, filling it
with light-yellow color and adding some simple abstract shapes on top.
Make two more pictures and hang them on the
wall, above our character. Finish up the illustration by making a
light-yellow rectangle of 450 x 300 px
for the background (Shift-Control-[).
Congratulations! Our Cozy Flat Interior
Illustration Is Finished!
Great job! We’ve made the
composition look balanced and completed. I hope you’ve enjoyed following this
tutorial and learned some new tips and tricks that will help you to create more
flat interior illustrations with fancy characters and pets.