In this fourth Illustrator Tutorial created using simple tools and shapes, we’ll create a Skull Icon.    

By Supercolor, on October 29, 2012, under Illustrator Tutorials

Final Result Preview


Step 1 – The New Document, Head Base and Skull Part 1

Start by opening Illustrator and create a new document, I choose the 500x500px.


Let’s create the base of the icon, Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool with a 20px corner radius, to enter the corner radius option, just click on the canvas, this will open the option panel of this tool. Create the shape with a dark grey colour.


Next select the Pen Tool (P) and create the left side part of the skull, there’s a few curves to create. When you like the result, duplicate this shape, reflect it vertically, move the new one on the right, select both shapes and click Unite in the Pathfinder panel.


Add a grey colour gradient on this new shape with a 135° angle, I used # e6e7e8 and # bbbdbf.


Step 2 – Skull Part 2

Select the Pen Tool (P) and create a curvy shape on the top left side of the skull, repeat the same process than in step 1 to duplicate, reflect and unite both shapes.


Duplicate the base skull layer we created in step 1, and select both shapes. Then click Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. Add a grey colour on this new shape #d0d2d3.


Step 3 – Eyes and Teeth

Let’s now create the eyes, select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create an oval shape. Select the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the right anchor point, move this point handle down, repeat the same process with the other points playing with the handles until you have a nice eye shape. Add a dark grey colour to this shape. Duplicate this eye, reflect if vertically and place the new one on the right.


Duplicate the left eye layer twice, select on of the duplicated eye shape and move it a little down the left. Select both duplicated eye layers and click Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. Change the opacity of the new shape to 25%. Repeat the same process for the other eye.


Select the Ellipse Tool and create 4 circle shapes for the teeth, select the Direct Select Tool (A) and select each points, play with the handles like we did on the eyes to make the circle less perfect. Add a white to grey gradient with a -90° angle on those teeth shapes.


To finish with the teeth create a quarter moon shape on the top of each tooth, add a dark grey colour on those shapes with a 50% opacity.


Step 4 – Nose

Create a small oval shape using the Ellipse Tool, with the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top point, move it up and move the handles of this point inside.


With the Pen Tool, create a shape with a dark grey colour and 25% opacity on the top of the nose to create a depth effect.


Step 5 – Shadow

Create a wide horizontal rectangle in the bottom part of the skull, place this shape layer just in front of the base layer then add a gradient to it with a -90° angle from black with a 50% opacity to white with a 0% opacity.


Final Result

Here we are with a simple funny scary skull icon you can use as an avatar, an icon or in any webdesign project. I hope you’ve learned a few tricks. Feel free to share your creations and leave a comment.