Family Clipart

Creating Custom Family Clipart: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Creating custom family clipart is a wonderful way to personalize your digital content, whether it’s for a family blog, a custom greeting card, or even for professional use in designing personalized gifts. Custom family clipart can capture the unique characteristics of your family members and can be a fun and creative project. This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating your own family clipart, from the initial concept to the final touches.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before we dive into the steps, let’s gather the tools and materials you’ll need:

  1. Graphic Design Software: Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, or a free alternative like Inkscape.
  2. Drawing Tablet (optional): A drawing tablet can make the process easier, but it’s not essential.
  3. Reference Photos: Photos of your family members to help with likeness.
  4. Color Palette: A set of colors that you want to use for your clipart.
  5. Inspiration and References: Look for styles you like to help guide your design process.

Step 1: Conceptualize Your Design

The first step in creating a custom family portrait clipart is to conceptualize your design. This involves deciding on the style of your clipart and the elements you want to include. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Determine the Style: Do you want a realistic, cartoonish, or minimalist style? Look at examples online to get a sense of what you like.
  2. Identify Key Features: Think about what makes each family member unique. Is it their hairstyle, glasses, or a favorite outfit?
  3. Sketch Ideas: Before moving to digital, sketch some ideas on paper. This will help you visualize your clipart.

Step 2: Gather Reference Photos

Having good reference photos is crucial for creating accurate and personalized clipart. Here’s how to gather and use them:

  1. Take Photos: Take clear, front-facing photos of each family member. Ensure good lighting to capture details.
  2. Find Pose References: If you’re not confident with drawing poses, look for reference photos or pose libraries online.

Step 3: Set Up Your Workspace

Open your graphic design software and set up your workspace:

  1. Create a New Document: Choose a canvas size that suits your project. A good starting point is 1000×1000 pixels.
  2. Import Reference Photos: Place the reference photos on separate layers. This way, you can easily toggle their visibility.

Step 4: Create Basic Shapes

Begin by creating the basic shapes of your clipart. This involves breaking down each family member into simple geometric shapes:

  1. Draw the Head: Use a circle or oval shape for the head.
  2. Add the Body: Draw a rectangle or oval for the torso.
  3. Include Limbs: Use rectangles or lines for the arms and legs.

Step 5: Refine the Shapes

Once you have the basic shapes, refine them to better match the features of your family members:

  1. Adjust Proportions: Make sure the head, body, and limbs are proportionate.
  2. Add Details: Start adding details like the neck, shoulders, and hips.
  3. Refine Facial Features: Use simple shapes to outline the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.

Step 6: Add Outlines

Outlines help to define the shapes and make your clipart look polished:

  1. Select a Brush: Choose a brush size that suits your style. A smaller brush is good for detailed work.
  2. Trace the Shapes: Carefully trace around your shapes to create clean outlines.
  3. Refine Lines: Smooth out any rough edges and ensure the lines are even.

Step 7: Color Your Clipart

Adding color brings your clipart to life. Follow these steps to add color:

  1. Create a Color Palette: Choose a set of colors that represent your family members. Consider their skin tones, hair colors, and favorite outfits.
  2. Add Base Colors: Use the paint bucket tool to fill in the base colors for each part of your clipart.
  3. Add Shading and Highlights: Use darker and lighter shades to add depth and dimension.

Step 8: Add Details

Details make your clipart unique. Here are some tips for adding details:

  1. Facial Features: Add eyes, eyebrows, noses, and mouths. Pay attention to the unique features of each family member.
  2. Hair: Add hair using simple shapes or lines. Consider hairstyles and colors.
  3. Clothing: Add clothing details like patterns, logos, or accessories.

Step 9: Finalize and Export

Once you’re happy with your clipart, it’s time to finalize and export it:

  1. Check for Mistakes: Zoom in and check for any mistakes or areas that need refining.
  2. Flatten Layers: If you’re using multiple layers, flatten them to create a single image.
  3. Export: Export your clipart in the desired format (PNG, JPEG, SVG).

Tips and Tricks

  1. Keep It Simple: Don’t overcomplicate your designs. Simple shapes and lines often look best.
  2. Use Layers: Organize your work on different layers to make editing easier.
  3. Practice: The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts aren’t perfect.


Creating custom family clipart is a fun and rewarding project that allows you to capture the unique characteristics of your family members. By following this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be able to create personalized and professional-looking clipart that you can use for various purposes. Remember to keep practicing and experimenting with different styles and techniques to improve your skills.

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