Jellyfish in Illustrator Tutorial Title

How To Create A Jellyfish In Illustrator

I love Illustrator! I love the nice clean and crisp vectors it produces and all of the little tips and tricks  you are able to do with it! Today we are going to be making a quick and simple jellyfish using mostly simple shapes and the Arc effect.

So let’s get right to it!

Start with the ellipse tool

First off open up a New Document file. Now start your jellyfish with the Ellipse Tool (L) and hold down your Shift Key to make it perfectly round.

move bottom anchor point up to start head

Next you are going to take your Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the bottom more anchor point and start shifting it up so it will look like the shape above

create bottom of jellyfish body

Take your Rounded Rectangle Tool or the Rectangle Tool (M) and hold shift and the Up and Down Arrow Keys to get the perfect roundness.

take the arc tool to round it out

Once you have your rounded rectangle in place now it’s time to start using the Arc Effect! To get to the  Arc effect just select Effect -> Warp -> Arc. Then set your bend at -20 and press OK.

fit arc shape to body

Shift your newly bent shape up to your first shape like you see above. You can use the Transform Tool (E) to adjust the shapes so they fist more like this. And then expand your shape by selecting Object – > Expand.

apply gradients to color the shapes

Next let’s get rid of the boring black and white and add in a splash of color! Select your shapes and apply any sort of gradient you want. I went into the swatch palettes and selected Gradients -> Brights and selected the Orange to Yellow Gradient. As far as the angles of the gradient I did -90 on the cap of the jellyfish and 90 on the bottom.

make some reflection dots with ellipse tool

Now we add in some shine to the cap of the jellyfish! Take your Ellipse Tool (L) and put on a couple of white ovals.



drop the opacity to 30%

Select your white ovals and drop the opacity down to 30%.

rounded rectangle tool to start the eyes

Now its time to give our little critter some eyes! Start out with the Rounded Rectangle Tool or the Rectangle Tool (M) and hold shift and your Arrow Keys to make a small black  wide slit.

apply the arc effect to make the jellyfish happy

Use your Arc Effect to bend the rectangle upwards. Effect -> Warp -> Arc. Then expand the newly bent shape. Now Copy (CMD,C) and Paste in Place (CMD, Shift, V)

copy and paste to create another eye

Move that copied shape over to the other side of the jellyfish head. Hold down the Shift Key to keep it aligned with the other one

use rounded rectangle to make a mouth

A cute jellyfish face isn’t complete without a mouth! Lets use the Rounded Rectangle Tool or the Rectangle Tool (M) and hold shift and your Arrow Keys to make a wider black rounded rectangle.

arc tool and warp it -35

Let’s give this little guy more emotion by applying the Warp Effect. Effect -> Warp -> Arc. Not only are we going to bend it -35 but we are going to create some horizontal distortion -25 as well.

ovals for teeth

Now we add in the little chompers. Select your Ellipse Tool (L) and create some little white ovals over the mouth piece.

use the pathfinder and divide


Next select all of the teeth and the mouth and use your Pathfinder Tool and Click on Divide. This with break up your pieces. Now Ungroup the mouth and Delete the outer white parts of the teeth you don’t need.

remove excess shape and add gradient

Add in some more gradients in the mouth to give it more depth.

let's start making tentacles

What good is a jellyfish if it doesn’t have tentacles! Take your Line Segment Tool (\) and give it a thickness of 30 or so. Select the Rounded Caps box in your Stroke Box.

use zig zag tool to make the tentacle wiggle

Now we are going to make the line more wavy. Select the Zig Zag Effect. Select Distort & Transform – > Zig Zag to get the dialog box. Make sure your size is small and your points are Smooth. Once you get the tentacle shape of your liking Expand your shape Object – > Expand.

copy paste for more tentacles

Copy (CMD,C) and Paste (CMD,V) your tentacle and shift it over next to it. Select your two tentacles Copy (CMD,C) and Paste (CMD,V) once more and reflect your tentacles! Object -> Transform -> Reflect and adjust them to your liking.

add color gradient to make tentacles match


Add in your gradient to the tentacles to match the cap of the jellyfish.

expand the shapes and group together


Group all of the shapes together. Select All (CMD, A) and Group (CMD, G). This will allow you to freely move your jellyfish around the art board without missing any limbs.

add bubbles with the ellipse tool


Add in a watery background by selecting the Rectangle Tool (M) and expanding it out as big as you want it to be. Add in some blue color to the rectangle and then send it behind the jellyfish by pressing ( CMD,[ ). Next let’s add in some bubbles by selecting the Ellipse Tool (L) and hold Shift for a perfect white circle and then make another oval inside for the shine. We drop down the opacity of the large circle to about 30% and the smaller one to about 50%. Copy the bubble.

Now we have our cute Jellyfish!

Paste (CMD, V) the bubble and resize as  needed to give it an aquatic effect!

And here is the cute little bugger all finished up! I hope you enjoyed this little illustration tutorial and I will be making one every Tuesday! So check back often to learn more little techniques.

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