Deke’s Techniques 207: Creating a Cartoon Grumpy Bird’s Body in Illustrator

In this week’s Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke contemplates the creation of cartoon gaming characters in Adobe Illustrator. (This creature may or may not bear homage to a certain video game Deke might have played before he became obsessed with Fieldrunners.)

But the point of the exercise is to explore how the highly graphical creatures that populate our modern pastimes are created from standard shapes, which are then stretched, filled, warped, duplicated, highlighted, and shaded in Illustrator. So start with this:

And end up here by the end of the video:

I sort of love this featureless egg-like-but-with-telltale-hair creature, but there’s more:

There are two follow-up member exclusive videos at this week, which take the creature to full-fledged bacon-consuming fury:

If you’re not a member of, don’t get angry. You can get a free week trial by going to and signing up. That will give you plenty of time to watch these two free videos and peruse the list of over 2 other Deke’s Techniques (not to mention a certain new Photoshop course that should be arriving very shortly.)

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