Fun With Illustrator: Make a Happy Little Cloud


We’re all big Bob Ross fans here at ClickPopMedia. Today, in the tradition of the Joy of Painting, I am going to show you how to make a happy little cloud.

Welcome back everybody. I sure am glad you could make it out today. Does everyone have their Illustrator warmed up and ready to do some vectorizing? Good.

Step 1:
What I have here is a 600 px by 600 px Illustrator document, but you can use whatever size makes you happy. Keep in mind though, if you do things at a much different size, most of the values I give you won’t translate correctly.

Step 1

Step 2:
The next thing we’ll do is make a sky for our clouds to live in. So let’s make a 600 x 600 square with a nice white to blue radial gradient fill. Let’s try and get a gradual fade between the colors, just a whisper of a gradient. You can adjust your gradient using the Gradient Tool (hotkey G).

Step 2

Step 3:
Create a new layer and now we’ll start to make our little cloud. Make two circles (hotkey L) that will be the outer boundaries of your cloud. There we are

Step 3

Step 4:
Now then, we’re going to build up on our cloud by making more circles of different sizes.

Step 4

There it is, the top of our cloud. Don’t over think this step to much. The clouds are very free, they just float around and have fun all day. So we’re just making some fluffy, carefree clouds.

Step 5:
Well, now we’re going to finish off our basic shape. Take the pen tool (hotkey P) and create a shape that covers up all the open space left in your cloud. You can also continue using circles or curves if you want to have a puffy bottom on your cloud. Just let your imagination go.

Step 5

Step 6:
Now we get to the fun part. Illustrator has a neat little tool called the Pathfinder. Maybe I’ll do a bigger tutorial on the Pathfinder later, but for now we’ll just keep it simple. We are going to be using the Pathfinder to make the shapes we’ve made come together. So go ahead and select all the shapes in your cloud. Now click the “Add to Shape Area” button in your Pathfinder tab and immediately after that, before you do anything else, click the “Expand” button and watch that little rascal come together.

Step 6

Step 7:
Now we’re going to give the cloud some character. Remember, this is your cloud, so you can do any little thing with it. I’m just going to show you what I did. I thickened up the outer stroke a bit, just to make our little friend look even a little puffier than before. I also added a light gray to white linear gradient coming up from the bottom of the cloud just to give the indication of depth and shadow.

Step 7

Step 8:
I’ve made a few more clouds to live together, so our friend isn’t lonely. Each of our clouds has just a whisper of a drop shadow (Effect>Stylize>Drop Shadow: Opacity 30%, 0px offsets, 5px blur) just to soften things up.

Step 8

And now we have a finished cloud family. So with that I’ll tell you good bye. I look forward to seeing you again. From all of us at ClickPopMedia, have fun with Illustrator, and God bless you.


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