If you’re a designer who just loves creating ‘stuff’, Adobe Illustrator should be your favourite tool! Armed with just a few tools and techniques you can use Illustrator’s range of shape tools to construct cool vector illustrations of anything. In today’s tutorial I’ll take you through my design process of creating a simple illustration of a water gun. The entire design is made from Illustrator’s basic tools, then the Live Paint tool is used to add colour. I’ll also show you some handy techniques to apply popular effects to replicate some of the popular illustration styles often seen on Dribbble.

Super Soaker style water gun Illustrator tutorial

The subject I’ll be using for this tutorial is a super soaker style water gun, just because they’re cool! That’s one of the wonders of Illustrator, there’s no limit to the types of random vector graphics you can create. The entire illustration is made with simple shapes such as rounded rectangles and circles, then colour is applied with the help of Illustrator’s Live Paint tool.

Open up Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. Grab the Rounded Rectangle tool and begin overlapping a few shapes of various sizes to represent the nozzle of the water gun. Use the cursor keys to adjust the corner radius before releasing the mouse, then make sure all the shapes are aligned horizontally using the relevant button in the Align panel.

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  1. Hey, thanks for the tutorial! Just one question – why did you go to photoshop for the last step? Couldn’t you have possibly done all the halftone patterns in illustrator? Or can you tell me whats the difference between adding halftones in illustrator and photoshop?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I could certainly have added the halftones in Illustrator, but Photoshop is much more powerful when it comes to textures. Plus, I currently only have my distressed halftone patterns available in PS format.

      I’m going to start work on a set specifically for Illustrator as my next free design resource though, so keep an eye out for them!

  2. Really this is one of the finest tutorial ever i see. Everything openly explained to follow in a simple way.. Thanks Chris and wish you all the best!!

  3. When I first saw this illustration, I thought to myself, “I already know how to do that!”. But I started reading it and ended up learning some great little refinements to my methodology AND the use of the Live Paint tool, which I had never bothered to learn.

    Thanks, Chris, you have made me a better designer.

  4. Great tutorial on making vector illustrations! It can be a bit daunting when you start out, but vectors are a huge asset once you learn to use them. Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Could this be done in PS?..What are your views on doing the entire thing in PS?

  6. Thank you, thank you very much! I’ve been looking for a tutorial like this for a while. And thank you in general for all your tutorials and tips. Greetings from Colombia!

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