Create an Ankylosaurus Dinosaur scene in Illustrator

4,255 views | 29-August-2011 | Home > Illustrator Tutorials

Hi all, this is my first tutorial. In this Illustrator Tutorial I will show you how to make this lovely scene of Ankylosaurus (Dinosaur) using the pen tool and with the help of Gradients, Symbols and Scribbles Graphic Style.In between I will be giving some tips to you on the workflow while using Illustrator. There are many ways one may want to make this dinosaur scene this is just my way of making it.

My water colour painting is for practice, please do not use this work for cruelty,insult, abuse to me or the animal kingdom. These creatures though extinct have left a place in the hearts of most people.

  • Resources needed:
  • Dinosaur Sketch LINK


This watercolour painting was done when I was schooling, I just wanted to vectorize it into a lovely scene.


Final Result Preview:



Step 1:


Make a new document of size Width 11 inches and Height 8.5 inches.


Step 2:


Import the sketch into illustrator.


Step 3:


Lock the sketch layer and on a new layer start outlining the Dinosaur back or top body starting from the nose to the tail with the help of a pen tool as show in Step 4


Tip : In illustrator when working with a complex scene always work on layers for your work. This will help you in making alterations later and the line art will not get complicated for you to vectorize it later.


If we get the outlined filled like in below image we must unfill it by clicking this icon (none), because we only want the Sketch to be outlined and later on will work on it.


Step 4:


Here we have now traced the Dinosaur back with the help of the Pen Tool.


Step 5:


Now that we have outlined the back we must do the same for the lower portion of the Dinosaur. This must be done again on a new layer. Start outlining from the mouth to the tail including the legs then we get the below image.


Step 6:


Then select the lower body outline of the dinosaur go to Window Menu > Swatches > Open Swatch Library > Skintones

Then select upper outlined body of the dinosaur and go to Window Menu > Swatches > Open Swatches Library > Foliage.


After filling the colour our Dinosour comes to shape somewhat. Dont worry of the horns of the dinosaur or the nails the detailing we will come to that later.


Step 7:


Adding texture to the lower body. Select the lower body layer and drag it on to the new layer then with this new duplicated layer go to Windows Menu > Graphic Styles > Open Graphic Style Library > Scribble Effects.


Select the Scribble 11.


Select the Scribble 11. We can modify it by filling the colour to match the dinosaur skin, we can later modify it more by selecting the appreance tab and scribble fx > Scribble Options > Settings > Tight.

Change the Tight Angle to 90 degrees and play around with the settings till your satisfied.


Step 8:


Now lets add some backgroud to the dinosaur so that we get a feel what the scene will look like. Add a new layer below the dinosaur layer as shown below and go to the Window Menu > Symbols > Nature. (from the symbols drop down we get Nature symbols). We can now add trees, clouds, grass, plants for the scene. Just select the symbol and drag it on to your scene.


For the sky make a retangle below all the dino layer and trees etc arond the scene and drop a linear gradient from light blue to sky blue as show below.


In the bleow image the clouds,trees,grass and the gradient sky are all added for the scene, its all added below the dino layer. Transform and adjust the trees to fit in the retangle sky background.

Tip : As you can see my other layers locked to avoid accidently working on the same layer, this also help in correction if required later as said in Step 3.


Step 9:


For the grass add another layer above the dinosaur layer as show in the below image and go on duplicating it till it fills you scene.

Tip : for duplicating an object or symbol there are two most common methods in illustrator, firstly by selecting the symbol / shape and using the Alt key on PC and keeping it pressed down and then clicking the mouse left click and dragging the symbol where you want it to be duplicated.This can be done for trees etc for 2 or 3 times duplication, for multiple duplication you can you the second method. Secondly you can use the symbol sprayer tool from the tools menu as show below and later you can you the symbol shifter tool from the symbol sprayer drop down in the ls menu to shift or resize your symbol by the symbol resizer tool. This can be done grass to fill the scene.


Step 10:


Now we go back to the dinosaur, looking at it our dinosaur looks completly flat so we are going to give it mass, make it look like 3d. Select the lower body of the dinosaur go to Window Menu > Swatches > Open Swatch Library > Gradients > Skintones > Skintone 18.


Now select one end of the Gradient slider and change the colour to the given settings. C - 1, Y - 13, M - 31, K - 0. The below images show the same.


Now select that one end of the gradient slider and drag it further this will give volume to the lower body making it to appear like as if the middle body is like a cylinder having mass.


Free download files


Godwin Dsouza -

A Canadian certified Graphic/Web designer based in Mumbai, the heart of India, somewhere along the Asian Continent. Who loves all types of artwork like 3d rendered artworks, Illustrations, Photo manipulation and Print works like Brochure, Visiting Cards, Letter Heads & Envelopes, Flyers, and Graphic Invites.

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