Design Process: How to Draw the Super-Villain Megamind in Illustrator

In this tutorial we will create a vector drawing of the super-villain Megamind. Along with this, you will learn how to observe the “hidden” technical details a design needs to alter the audience’s reaction the way YOU want.

You will learn how to:
– make an overall analysis of a design before starting to draw
– create proper outlining with a professional look
– organize your work into layers
– adjust color tones for a better look
– use vector masks

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Difficulty: Intermediate
Completion time: 1-2 hours
Tools: Illustrator CS3

Super-Villain Megamind Final Image


– pencil, paper, graphic tablet
– favourite music playlist

First, make yourself comfortable. It’s important you are not influenced by external factors, mess on your desk or thoughts. Clear your mind of any other worries. Now let’s begin!
Get some posters or see some trailers of the movie on the internet and get an idea of how the character looks like.
Observe the proportions and try to figure out why was he designed like that and write them down.


– Large head and skinny body – Makes the head look alot bigger
– curved nose bridge and sharp chin, enhanced by the small beard – suggests the character is not completely confident in himself and further enhances the skinny look of his body.

– relatively large eyes, unlike other villains – shows the character is actually kind and sociable. Eyes are considered the mirror of the soul and being able to see them wide open is like reading an open book, you can tell what he’s thinking of.

Let’s take, for example, Joker, from the Batman. His eyes are contoured with black, which makes the character look psychotic and in the same time it makes the eyes look smaller and deceiving, thus the character is more unpredictable and dangerous.

– tight suit – using more loose clothing (such as a long overcoat) would make the character look bulkier and more imposing, but latex doesn’t hide any body traits at all – the best choice to further point out the skinniness of the character.

– bright blue cape – it contrasts alot with the dark gray suit, so you can see he is skinny from any point of view.

So why all this skinniness?
To create a focus point on his large head, suggesting he’s “the man with the plan”, rather than doing everything by himself.

Now let’s begin our pencil work!  I started with a pose, roughly maintaining the proportions. It was  alot messier than now, I had to clean it up a bit. It’s not compulsory to get it from the first try, use multiple lines and see which one makes it look the best, then clean the others.

I started building up some details on the pose: the face, body and some apparel.

Now that we have our sketch ready, let’s turn it into vector.


Open Illustrator and create a new document (File > New…) of Letter format and click-drag the sketch onto our canvas. Grab the Selection Tool (V) and make it larger. Hold the SHIFT key while dragging to preserve proportions.


In the Layers palette (F7), double-click the “Layer 1” tag and rename it to “sketch”. Then click the “Create New Layer” and create the layers shown below.


Lock all the layers except the “outline” one. Go to the Brushes palette (F5), double-click a brush and use the following setting. Then double-click another brush and use the settings below.


Grab the Brush Tool (B), select the first brush and trace the major outlines of the character. Then select the second brush and trace the smaller details: eyes, eyelids, nose, mouth and parts of his clothing. Notice that I’ve added thicknesses to his apparel.


Select all artwork (CTRL+A) and go to Object > Expand Appearance, then go to Object > Path > Clean up.


Select all artwork, go to the Pathfinder window (Window > Pathfinder) and click the “Merge” button.


Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a light blue rectangle over the entire outline and hit CTRL+SHIFT+[ to send it to back. Select all artwork (CTRL+A) and hit the “Merge” button again in the Pathfinder window. Then grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the extra color and hit Delete.


Grab the Magic Wand Tool (Y), hit Enter, set Tolerance to 0%, select the fill of the character, unlock the “base colors” layer and click-drag the small square onto that layer. Then lock the “outline” layer.


Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select each piece of color and recolor it.


Lock the “base colors” layer and unlock “shadows”. Grab the Eyedropper Tool (I), click on the color of the head, hit SHIFT+X and grab the Brush Tool (B). Double-click the Fill color and make it a bit darker. Hit OK and paint the shadows of the head. You can go over the outline, but not beyond it.


Do the same for the lights, but make the color lighter and paint them on the “lights” layer.


Unlock the “base colors” layer, grab the Path Tool (P) and draw some lightning shapes, but following the “3D” shape of the cape.


Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the inner side of the cape and hit CTRL+C > CTRL+F to paste a copy above it.


Hit CTRL+SHIFT+] to bring it to front, select the shapes created (hold SHIFT for multiple selections) in STEP 12 and the copied cape and right-click > Make Clipping Mask.


With this group still selected, hit “Merge” in the Pathfinder window (Window > Pathfinder). Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) to recolor the lightning shapes: select each and use the Eyedropper Tool (I) on the cape color, then double-click the Fill and make it lighter.


Download the source file from below. (5.2 MiB, 696 hits)

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34 Comments Design Process: How to Draw the Super-Villain Megamind in Illustrator

  1. Pingback: 8 impressive design posts « Photoshop actions, ps actions & design stuff

  2. Dindup Pemba Jun 29, 2012 at 08:43

    wow its really amazing, thank you very much for your post!

  3. kabeer khan Jul 21, 2012 at 09:40

    wow…………really awesome share ! Thanx for sharing


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