Beginner Tutorial: Create Super Mario’s Head on Illustrator

Hi everyone, following my latest beginner tutorials today I’m going to show you how to create a Super Mario face using mostly simple and easy to create shapes. As every kid born in the 80/90′s , I’m still a huge fan of this Nintendo character, so this will be another “nostalgia tutorial” , hope you guys enjoy it!

Just a reminder: this is a beginner tutorial, eve though some of you are really skilled on this software, I would recommend you to take a a time to read this as you can get some insights and ideas from this tutorial. Please comment If you have any problems or doubts, have fun! And before we can begin, please listen to THIS while reading.

Step 1

So, the deal on this tutorial is to create this Mario’s face using the most round and simple objects as possible, why? Not just because it’s easier than using the pen tool for it, but as drawing analysis, understanding that everything is created by simple and geometric shapes. It’s a work of observation and it really takes time to understand, but with time you will find easy to see shapes on every object you see.

Ok, so I saved a color pallet on the source file so you guys don’t need to screen grab this JPEG or getting busy figuring out what colors we’re going to use. Let’s begin by creating a ellipse using the ellipse tool (L).

Make another ellipse using the previous tool and adjust it using the direct selection tool (A), this will be the nose.

Mkae another ellipse on the right side of the big one, this will be the ear.

We’re going to create more three ellipses on the bottom of the big one, this will be his chin, Mario being a chubby guy should have some cheeks.

Then select all those three, the ear ellipse and the big ellipse, go to the pathfinder panel and choose the option called Unite. They should turn all into one.

Add some beige fill to it and go to the brush panel, choose the one called 5 pt. Oval, it’s a good one for cartoon characters outline, so use a thick one. Use the path eraser tool on the pencil tool (N) panel to erase past of the nose, like pic bellow.

Step 2

Let’s skip to the eyes, basically you’re going to crete several ellipses and one last sphere using the ellipse tool (L).

Add some color and fill as the examples bellow.

For the other eye you’re basically going to duplicate or do the same procedures, don’t forget that this one should be with the nose partially on the front.

The mustache is really piece of cake to do, first make a line of ellipses with different sizes like the sample bellow.

Select all them and use the patfinder option called Unite.

Use a black fill on them.

Make another ellipse over them and use the pathfinder option called Minus front.

Don’t forget to put the nose on the front.

And add some thick stroke on the mustache.

Step 4

Oh the eyebrows, just another piece of cake part. First make two ellipses under the eyes as the samples bellow.

Make the intersection with other ellipses like the sample bellow.

Then just go to the pathfinder panel and choose the option called Minus Front., then add some black fill on it.

The ear detail is the only part made 100% using the pen tool (P), If you’re not used with the tool you still can try to do it using the brush tool (B) or using some ellipses and pathfinder modes to achieve it.

Super Bald Mario heheh ok let’s start to give some sense on it guys. Let’s proceed by creating the mouth.

First let’s make a ellipse and adjust the vector points using the direct selection tool (A).

Make a ellipse over it and use the pathfinder tool called Minus Front.

Use the brush tool (B) to give this little detail, use a thick brush.

I love using this tool: use the pencil tool (N) to draw the tongue, do the same procedure to draw the teeth.

Step 5

Ok I’m tired of looking to this bald Mario, so let’s put a hat on him and give him some hair. First make a ellipse and a circle like this.

Add some red fill and a thick stroke on it.

Make the white circle where we are going to put the “M”.

Use the brush tool (B) on the hat to add this detail.

The flap is bit tricky to do, first create a ellipse using the ellipse tool (L).

Make a sphere bellow it and use the pathfinder option called Minus front.

The result may be a little messy, but first you should ajust Mario’s head using the direct selection tool (A).. After it you should adjust the flap like the samples bellow

Draw the “M” using the pen tool (P), that’s no big deal.

In order to draw the hair let’s first make two circles, resembling almos a “8″.

Then using the pencil tool (N) or the pen tool (P) to make this part.

Select all and choose the pathfinder option called Unite.

Add some black stroke and a brwon fill on it and we’re done.

Final Result

Download the Illustrator File

Click here to download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial.