You are viewing an old version of this site. Please head over to to check out the new version.
Speakin' OutHere I share my thoughts, tutorials, freebies
inspiration to the design community.

Create A Cute Vector Octopus in Illustrator with Simple Shapes

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

In this Illustrator tutorial, we will learn how to Create A Cute Vector Octopus in Illustrator with Simple Shapes. This is a pretty simple illustration of an octopus using basic Illustrator tools and shapes.

Final Product:
Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

1. Create a new layer in Illustrator (CTRL/CMD + N) with dimensions 3 inches x 3 inches. Actually, the dimensions don’t really matter as much this time since we are creating our design in vector format, thus, we will be able to scale it any size we want.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

2. Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a rounded rectangle.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

3. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a circle above the rounded rectangle. Make sure their sides are aligned.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

4. Let us now draw the tentacles of this octopus. Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a short, curved line as shown on the picture. Make sure that on the Stroke Panel, the Round Cap option is being selected to make the tips of the tentacles rounded. Also, on the Tools Panel, make sure only Stroke is selected and not Fill.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

5. Let us convert our line to a shape by hitting on Object > Expand > OK. Make sure our line is being selected when this is done. The reason why we are doing this is because we will need the lines converted to shapes when we use the Pathfinder Tool later on.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

6. Copy and paste the tentacle we just created and place arrange it as shown. Make the third tentacle appear smaller than the other two.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

7. Select the three tentacles we just created, copy (CTRL/CMD + C) and paste (CTRL/CMD + V) it onto the canvas. For this second group of tentacles, flip them by right clicking on them by hitting on Transform > Reflect > Vertical > OK.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

8. Select the entire octopus, right click and Group it. Copy (CTRL/CMD + C) and paste (CTRL/CMD + V) it on the canvas. Place the second octopus exactly on top of the first by hitting on Edit > Paste in Front (CTRL/CMD + F)

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

9. Using the Ellipse Tool (U), draw some circles on top of our octopus. Change the Opacity of the circles to around 52%. The Opacity settings can be changed by opening the Window > Opacity panel. Select all circles and Group them.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

10. Select the group of circles and our topmost octopus. Open the Pathfinder panel by going to Window > Pathfinder and click on Intersect Shape Areas.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

11. We will no be drawing the eyes. This step is actually pretty simple. Just draw three circles on top of each other using the Ellipse Tool (U). Make sure the bottommost circle is the largest and topmost the smallest. Group the three circles and copy (CTRL/CMD + C) and paste the second group right beside the first.

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

We now have a cute octopus vector illustration made in Illustrator! Now, you may be wondering where the other two tentacles are. Well, they’re hidden right behind the octopus :) Play around with the colors of these octopuses and feel free to share to us what you came up with!

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

Octopus Illustration in Illustrator

Subscribe for ccda training and pass your ccent as well as ccie on first attempt!



JAN, very nice tutorial.


nice and simple tut I like


Oh the octopuses are so cute! This is a great tutorial Jan thank you!


I will try this


Me encanta tu sitio, tiene cosas muy lindas e interesantes, sigue así. Un saludo


nice! i like it.

Jan Cavan

Thanks for the great feedback y’all!


I love this cute guy but I’m stuck on step 10. When I try to intersect I get “filter produced no results. please select two overlapping paths.”
What am I doing wrong?

Jan Cavan

@monkeyprincess: Make sure you group the circles and the octopus separately. Once you have, select both the circles group and the topmost octopus group and “Intersect” them. Let me know if you still have questions :)

Web Design New York

I very much enjoyed and learning from it.



Simple a cute :D Nice work!


I’m stuck when you expand the stroke, I keep getting this:

Jan Cavan

@Ryan: When using the Pen Tool to draw a stroke, make sure the stroke is a curved line. Let me know if you need more help.


Thanks for the tutorial, was my first experience with illustrator and was easy to do it. ^^


lovely tutorial
i follow your tutorial
love your work


thanks a lot


Great tutorial thank you for sharing with us.


Wonderful work thanks for sharing this post.