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How to Create a Cartoon Oscar Trophy in Illustrator

How do I create an Oscar trophy in Adobe Illustrator?

The recent Academy Awards have made us all familiar with the coveted Oscar trophy, a golden knight holding a crusader’s sword and standing atop a five-spoke film reel. The Oscar statuette is the most recognized trophy in the world, and in this tutorial, we’ll create a stylized Oscar trophy in just 15 steps! Using simple geometric shapes and various tools and functions of Adobe Illustrator, this tutorial will make the process fun and easy. Let's get started!

Tutorial Details:

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC 2015
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Topics Covered: Shape Building, Reflect Tool, Align panel, Pathfinder panel, Blending Modes
  • Estimated Completion Time: 20 Minutes

Final Image: Oscar Trophy

Step 1
Let’s start with the head of the statuette. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a 70×90 px yellow shape.
Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select both left and right top anchor points. Pull the circle marker of the Live Corner down to the center of the shape, making the corners fully rounded.
Another way to adjust the corner radius is to set the desired value of the Corners in the control panel on top.
Let’s set the radius of the top corners of our rectangle to 28 px and the bottom corners to 18 px.
There we have it!

Step 2
Now let’s build the torso. Make an 110×110 px square using the Rectangle Tool (M).
Select its bottom left anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and hit the Enter key to open the Move options window. From here, set the Horizontal value to 20 px, Vertical to 0 px and click OK to move the point 20 px to the right.
Repeat the same for the bottom right anchor point, but this time, set the Horizontal value to -20 px in order to move the point in the opposite direction, making the bottom of the torso much narrower than its top.

Step 3
Make the shoulders rounded by setting the Corners to 22 px.

Step 4
Let’s create the neck by placing a 20×25 px rectangle between the head and the torso.
Select all three shapes and click Horizontal Align Center in the Align panel. Make sure the Align to Artboard parameter is selected in order to make all the elements perfectly centered to the canvas and to each other.
Make the neck wider using the same technique from the previous step: move the bottom anchor points 5 px in the opposite directions with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Move function.

Step 5
Now let’s move on to the arms. Start by making a 70×25 px oval using the Ellipse Tool (L).
Select its top and bottom anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move them a few pixels to the right, making the right side of the ellipse slightly wider.

Step 6
Rotate the ellipse 25 degrees and place it by the left side of the torso. Copy (Control-C) and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) and rotate the top copy, bending the arm at the elbow.

Step 7
Add a 40×67 px ellipse at the top of the arm for the bicep.
Select all three pieces of the arm and Unite them in the Pathfinder.
Copy (Control-C) the arm and Paste in Back (Control-B). Move the bottom copy a few pixels to the right, using the right arrow key of your keyboard, and make its fill color darker; this will place a flat shadow beneath the arm.
Select both the arm and its shadow and double-click the Reflect Tool (O) to open its options window. Flip the shapes over the Vertical Axis and click the Copy button to create a second arm. Attach it to the opposite shoulder of our statuette.
Group (Control-G) both arms to keep everything organized.

Step 8
Let’s move on to the legs. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create an 80×165 px yellow oval and attach it to the bottom of the torso. Create another ellipse of 55×170 px size and place it over the first ellipse, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 9
Now we’ll make the feet. Take the Polygon Tool (you can find it in the same drop-down menu as the Rectangle Tool (M)) and single-click anywhere on the Artboard to open the options menu. Set the number of Sides to 3 and make a triangle in the bottom of the legs. Adjust its size to make it fit the scale of the trophy.
Select all the created shapes and make them perfectly aligned by clicking the Horizontal Align Center button in the Align panel.

Step 10
Now that the body is finished, let’s create a crusader’s sword. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to make a 9×275 px narrow rectangle for the blade. Add a 35×6 px rectangle for the guard and make the shapes crisscross.
Select both shapes, Copy (Control-C) and Paste in Back (Control-B). Make the copies darker and move them down and to the right a bit, using the arrow keys of your keyboard.
Remember to Group (Control-G) all the elements.

Step 11
Position the sword on top of the figure, placing it between the arms and the body. We can do this either by rearranging the elements manually in the Layers panel or by pressing Control-[ a few times to Send Backward. Make the Fill color of arms and the sword a bit lighter.
Our knight is ready! Let’s select all of its elements and Group (Control-G) them.

Step 12
Now let’s design the bottom part of the trophy. Oscar is standing on the circular film reel; however, since we’re seeing it from the front, we can depict it as a set of rectangles.
So let’s grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a dark-gray pedestal. You can see the position and the size of each rectangle in the image below.
Once you’ve finished with the pedestal, Group (Control-G) it and place the Oscar’s figure on top of it. Use the Align function, if needed, to align the elements to the center of the Artboard.

Step 13
Let’s add a few finishing touches!
Select the entire statuette, Copy (Control-C) and Paste in Front (Control-F). Keeping the top copy selected, Unite it in the Pathfinder, creating a silhouette.

Step 14
Select the silhouette and take the Eraser Tool (Shift-E). Hold down the Alt key and erase the left half of the shape.
Switch the Blending Mode of the remaining piece to Multiply in the Transparency panel, this way darkening the right half of the statuette.

Step 15
Let’s finish up with the Oscar trophy by adding some sparkles to make it shine!
Take the Star Tool and single-click anywhere on the Artboard to open the options window. Set the Points value to 4 to create a 4-pointed star. You can hold down the Shift and Control keys to adjust the size of the star and the length of its rays.
Speckle some stars here and there, making the illustration more detailed.

And the winner is… You! Congratulations! Our shiny Oscar trophy is finished!

Great job! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and discovered some new tips and tricks on working with Adobe Illustrator! Hopefully this can help you with your future designs and illustrations. Above all, I hope you've had fun!

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