Quick tip: Make a Worm on Illustrator


Hi everyone, today I'm going to show you some quick tips on how to make a simple but effective vector illustration inspired on the classic video game, Worms. If you are from the 80's or 90's you probably heard of it or had the chance to play it, it is "the predecessor of Angry Birds" in the words of my mate Mike Austin.

On this quick tip I will have a more tradicional illustration approach, focusing less on tools and more on drawing and logic, hope you guys appreciate it and show your version on the comments, have a good time.


Sometime ago I thought that movement lines, geometric shapes and croquis were totally bullshit, but the thing is you can't make a proportional and equilibrated illustration without a appropriate sketch of it. So first I made a rough line of the movemment/pose I wanted.

I opened Photoshop to draw the sketch, I divided the body in a circle that would be the head, neck, breast, belly and limbs (or sort of). This allows me to make a more proportional and equilibrated character.

On the following I made a outline to have a better Idea of the silhoutte.

Now I tried to place the main characteristics and expression of it.

Erased the circles, now it's ready to "ink" using vectors.

The Worm

After placeing it on illustrator. the first thing I did was create its shadows by using the ellipse tool (L).

Using the pen tool (P), I made a rough trace of the silhouette in beige.

I added a loose stroke over it and as always I decided to expand it's appearance to make things easier when resizing and adjusting it to look more hand drawn. You can do this by accessing Object > Expand Appearance.

Make a trace on the helmet using again the pen tool (P).

Use the brush tool (B) to make the stroke on it.

Draw the eyes using the pencil tool (N) or if you prefer do it using the pen tool (P).

Same thing for the mouth hole.

And the same fo the strip.

Using the pencil tool (N) let's draw the two lines of teeth, leave a space on the borders of each one, as it was gnashing then in panic.

Add a stroke on the strip fill then expand it's apperance as already showed above.

Add some circles using the ellipse tool (L) to indicate the holes used to adjust the helmet.

Add a stroke around each eye and expand their appearance too.

In order to make the eyes, first make a circle using the ellipse tool, make another one and place on the corner of the previous one.

Select both and now go to the pathfinder panel and choose the option called Minus Front.

Place them inside the eyeballs.

Using the pencil tool (N) create these random shapes over the helmet, use different green shades to look like camouflage.

Select all them, make a trace around the helmet shape and then make a clipping mask (command + 7 / ctrl +7).

Also draw some gray shapes on the border of the helmet, select them and choose the blending mode called Multiply, pretty simple.

Uinsg the brush tool (B) I drawed the wrinckle on the cheek and the chin of the Worm.

Using the pencil tool (N) I drew some shadows on the teeth, then made a clipping mask over it to fit in.

Make the eyebrown by using the pen tool (P), add a white fill on it.

I repeated the same technique of shading used on the teeth on teach eye, it's pretty simple, should no take much time of you.

Let's add some shades on the body, I used a darker beige color for this. As you can see, I was very specific about the lightning, as it should make sense. So the eyes, chin and helmet generate shadow on it's body.

Ok, the worm is done.

The Dynamite

Using the pen tool (P) draw this dynamite body.

Using the ellipse tool (L) make the shadow of it.

I traced the top of it to make a top, then added a darker red.

Using the brush tool (B) you can draw the fuse.

The sparkle can be drawn using the pen tool (P), then just copy it, rotate it, resize it and add a orange fill.

Also added some lights on the right side using the pencil too; (N).

Made the same on the left side to make the shadow, that's it, it's finished.


I hope you guys digged this tutorial and learned some quick tips on making simple illustration, but at the same time effective. Don't forget to share you results and doubts with us, see you next time.

Download the Illustrator File

Click here to download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial.

Written by

Marcos Torres

I'm Marcos Torres, I'm a Graphic Artist from Brasil. You can know more about me at my Website, at my Tumblr or at my Flickr.