How to draw a cute Christmas Reindeer

Hello and welcome to my first drawing video tutorial! I wanted to create a chirstmas character and since Christmas is only around the corner, I thought you could give this tutorial a go and use this cute little Reindeer for your christmas cards, tags or decorating projects!

 So here is the finished image. Isn’t he cute?
How to draw and Reindeer
I will be working in Illustrator but you can use the graphics program of your choice. This is not a ‘how to use illustrator’ tutorial so I won’t be going into detail about where to find tools or instructions on how to use these tools. I am assuming that you will be using the graphics program of your choice and will already know the program well. That’s not to say that you need a graphics program to complete this tutorial! Pencil and paper will work just as well.


The following steps are to accompany the video and will explain each stage of the drawing process as the video progresses.


I was going to talk whilst drawing but I hate my voice and prefer that I don’t subject you all to my bad english and strong kiwi accent! Then I was going to create a fancy schmancy video incorporating the steps in writing at the bottom of the video as it played but it all got too hard! Fancy Schmancy will have to wait until I learn iMovie a little better. For now, you will just have to read the steps and follow the video as we go along.


Step 1:

First I start with the Pencil tool and draw a rough circle for the head. I love using the pencil tool as this allows me to give my illustrations a rough hand drawn feel. A perfect circle for a head is just, well, too perfect!

Step 2:

I play around with the line by adding, removing and reshaping nodes until I am happy with my circle


Step 3:

I then duplicate the circle to create some eyes. I use the pen tool to draw a nose and the  mouth. The trick here is not to be too fussy about getting the perfect shapes. The more you play, the less the line looks hand drawn and natural. My style is very simple with a hand drawn feel so I don’t like to meddle too much. These rough lines are what makes your illustration unique.


Step 4:

I use the pencil tool to draw a rough shape for the base of the hat. I zoom in to remove and reshape nodes until I am happy with the shape. Use the pencil tool to create the top of the hat by drawing a u shape. Duplicate the face circle, resize it so the circle is smaller and use this as the pom pom on the hat.


Step 5:

I use my pencil tool to draw the Reindeer’s body and I also draw the scarf. Again, this is all pretty rough but I like that rough look. Play around with the placement of each piece of the scarf until you are happy with where it sits. You can always go back and adjust this later.


Step 6:

I wasn’t very happy with the shape of the body so I play around with this for a bit until I decide to scrap the whole thing and start again! This time I decide to use the pen tool for more control over the lines. It takes me a few goes but I finally get there!


Step 7:

Use the pencil tool to draw a tail and the pen tool to draw a leg. I use the pen tool for the leg as I need straighter lines that are harder to achieve with the pencil tool. I use the line tool to cut the leg in two so I can colour the bottom part of the leg a darker colour to make the hoof.


Step 8:

I’m not very happy with the proportion of the body to the head so I decide to play around with this a bit.


Tip: If you are going to make any big changes to your drawing, always duplicate the original and make changes to the copy. This way, you can sit back and compare the two and clearly see which one you prefer and delete the one that you don’t.


Step 9:

Now start work on the antlers by using the pencil tool to draw a line. Adjust the stroke of the line until you are happy with the width of the antler. Once you have finished the antler – group, duplicate and flip so you have two antlers!


Step 10:

I removed the hat because I felt that it didn’t fit in with the antlers well. Space the antlers until you are happy with where they fit. I decide to try the hat again but make it smaller to fit in-between the antlers. Much better!


Step 11:

I draw an arm, duplicate and mirror it but decide I don’t like the arms so I delete them. Reindeers don’t need arms, do they? You can add arms to your reindeer if you like.


Step 12:

Ralph is looking pretty good now, don’t you think? And yes, that’s the name I came up with whilst drawing. Anyway, this is the fun part – adding extra elements to Ralph to spruce him up a bit. I don’t like to go overboard with the sprucing as my style of illustration is relatively simple but you can do as much sprucing as you like on your end! I add dangling baubles to his antlers and I draw stripes on his scarf.


Done! What do you think of Ralph? He would look pretty cute on a Christmas card, don’t you think?


Please share your Reindeer illustrations with me by contacting me via email or uploading your Reindeer image to the Creative Clip Art Collection Facebook page. I would love to see them. Also, make sure you comment on this tutorial and share your thoughts. I want to hear them all!


Merry Christmas from Ralph X


Here is the Video. Enjoy.

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  1. I love watching how other artists work, thanks for the useful tips. I love your work. It’s so unique and whimsical. I will be placing an order soon :)

  2. Hi there. Thanks for the video. I just learnt how to use the divide pathfinder tool! Thank you!

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