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Illustrator Tutorial: How to Create a Fresh Cooked Lobster on a Plate

vector lobster

Today you will learn how to create a freshly cooked lobster on a plate using adobe illustrator. We’ll start with the base, using the basic tools (Pen, Direct Selection, Rectangle Tool) and vector shape building techniques (Offset Path, Scale, Reflect), along with some complex gradients to create the starting shapes. Then using the Appearance, Transparency Palettes and some effects (Grain, Diffuse Glow, Gaussian Blur, Roughen), we’ll add the details, shadings and highlights.

Create a New Document

1. Press (Ctrl + N) to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 815 in the width box and 845 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Create the Carapace of the Lobster

2. Start by drawing a 74 by 182px shape using the Rectangle Tool (M).

3. Show the Rulers (View >View Rulers > Show Ruler) or (Ctrl +R). Next, drag a horizontal and vertical guide from the Rulers (if the guide is locked, go to the View > Guides > Lock Guides) or (Ctrl +Alt + ;). Now select the rectangle shape created in the previous step. Hold down the Shift key, click on the two newly created guides, release the Shift key and then click on the rectangle shape again (to fixe its position). Open the Align Palette (Window > Align), click on the Horizontal Align Center button and then click on the Vertical Align Center button. Now add four anchor points highlighted with red and then move the newly created anchor points as you see in the second image below. Once done, your new shape should look like the third image shown below.

4. Continue to add four anchor points highlighted with red for the new shape. Next, move the two top anchor points 3px down and then move the two bottom anchor points 2px up.

5. Convert all the anchor points of the shape to smooth.

6. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to adjust the handles of the anchor points highlighted with the red arrows.

7. Fill the result with the radial gradient.

8. Reselect the newly filled shape and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and then click OK. While the result is selected, go to the Effect > Texture > Grain. Enter the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 1px Radius and click OK.

9. Select and duplicate (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) the newly created shape. While the result is selected, open the Appearance Palette (Window > Appearance) and remove the Grain effect. Next, go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow. Enter the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur and set it to Blending Mode Multiply. Reduce the Opacity to 50%.

10. Continue to select and duplicate the newly created shape. While the result is selected, go to the Appearance Palette and remove the Diffuse Glow effect and then click on the Gaussian Blur section. In the Gaussian Blur dialog box, enter a 4px Radius and then click OK. Finally, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and increase the Opacity to 60%.

11. Now we’ll add some details for the carapace of the lobster. First, pick the Pen Tool (P) and use this tool to create two curved lines as shown in the image below.

12. Change the stroke weight of the green curved line to 2px. Set the color at R=255, G=255, B=255 and choose the Width Profile 1 in the Variable Width Profile drop-down menu. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur then set it to Blending Mode Hard Light.

13. Select the yellow curved line and set the data for it as you see in the image below.

14. Continue to add another detail for the carapace. Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a shape as shown in the image below. Once your shape is drawn, fill it with the linear gradient.

15. Keep the result selected. Go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px Radius and then click OK. Next, open the Transparency Palette (Window > Transparency) and set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

16. Create the highlight for the carapace of the lobster. Start by drawing a shape using the Pen Tool (P).

17. Next, fill the new shape with the radial gradient.

18. Keep the result selected. Apply a 4px Gaussian Blur and set it to Blending Mode Hard Light. Reduce the Opacity to 40%. Finally, select and group (Ctrl +G) all the shapes created from step 1 up to this time.

Create the Abdomen of the Lobster

19. The first thing to do is to create a 100px by 18px rectangle shape. Add two anchor points in the points highlighted with red. With the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top-center anchor point and move it 18px up. Next, select the bottom-center anchor point and then move it 8px down. Finally, convert all the anchor points of the newly created shape to smooth.

20. Place the newly created shape to the position as shown in the image below.

21. Reselect the newly created shape and go to the Object > Transform > Scale. Select Uniform and enter a 90 in the Scale box and then click Copy. While the duplicate is selected, add two anchor points in the points highlighted with red. Next, move the top anchor point 13px up and move the bottom anchor point 4px down.

22. Place the newly created shape to the position as you see in the image below.

23. Continue to draw more shapes until you have something like this.

24. Now reselect the shape created in step 20 and go to the Object > Transform > Scale. Select Non-Uniform, enter a 90 in the Horizontal box and enter a 70 in the Vertical box and then click Copy.

25. Duplicate the newly created shape four times. Reduce the size of the duplicates and then place the results to the correct positions as shown in the image below.

26. Fill the five shapes created in step 23 with the radial gradient as shown in the images below.

27. Now select the five shapes created in step 25 and fill them with R=35, G=31, B=32. While the results are selected, go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2px Radius and then click OK.

28. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create a 86x by 86px shape. Select and move the top anchor point 12px down and then move the bottom anchor point 12px up. Now pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), hold down the Shift key and click on the top handle of the left anchor point and move it up. Next, click on the bottom handle and move it down. Do the same on the right anchor point to get the result as shown in the final image below.

29. Place the newly created shape to the position as shown in the image below.

30. Reslect the newly created shape and go to the Object > Transform > Scale. Select Non-Uniform and enter a 90 in the Horizontal box and then click Copy. Next, move the result down to the position as shown in the image below. Finally, press (Ctrl +Left Square Bracket) once to send the newly created shape backward.

31. Repeat the same process from the previous step to create more shapes.

32. Fill the newly created shapes with the radial gradient as shown in the images below.

33. Reselect the five shapes filled in the previous step and duplicate (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) them. While the duplicates are selected, go to the Effect > Texture > Grain. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the results.

34. Duplicate the five shapes selected. While the duplicates are selected, replace the existing color of them with the new radial gradient. Keep the results selected. Go to the Appearance Palette and remove the Grain effect. Next, go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur and set them to Blending Mode Multiply. Reduce the Opacity to 50%.

35. Reselect the five shapes created in the previous step and duplicate them. While the duplicates are selected, replace the existing color of them with the new radial gradient. Keep the results selected. Go to the Appearance Palette and remove the Diffuse Glow effect. Next, go to the Appearance Palette again, click on the Gaussian Blur section and enter a 4px Radius then click OK. Finally, set the five resulting shapes to Blending Mode Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 60%.

36. To add some details, draw four curved lines using the Pen Tool (P) as shown in the image below. Next, give these curved lines a 1px Stroke, set the color at R=37, G=0, B=0 and apply the Width Profile 1 for them. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the results.

37. Now select the group created in step 18 and bring it to the front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket).

38. To add some details between the carapace and the abdomen of the lobster, draw two curved lines like shown in the image below.

39. Set the data for the two curved lines as shown in the images below.

40. Now create the highlighs for the abdomen of the lobster. Start by drawing some shapes using the Pen Tool (P).

41. Next fill the newly created shapes with the linear gradient as shown in the image below.

42. Reselect all the newly filled shapes and apply a 4px Gaussian Blur and then set them to Blending Mode Hard Light. Finally, reduce their Opacity as shown in the image below.

Create the Tail of the Lobster

43. Draw a shape using the Pen Tool (P) same with the image below and fill it with R=48, G=0, B=0.

44. Keep the result selected. Go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -7px Offset and click OK. Next, replace the existing color of the duplicate with the radial gradient.

45. While the newly filled shape is selected, go to the Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Next, go to the Effect > Dirtort > Diffuse Glow. Enter the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the result.

46. Draw the two other shapes using the Pen Tool (P) same with the images shown below. Once your shapes are drawn, fill them with R=46, G=0, B=0.

47. Reselect the two newly created shapes and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px Offset and then click OK. Next, replace the existing color of the duplicates with the radial gradient.

48. While the newly filled shapes are selected, go to the Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Next, go to the Effect > Dirtort > Diffuse Glow. Enter the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the results.

49. Select the four newly created shapes and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect. Select Vertical and click Copy. Next, select the resulting shapes, drag them to the right and place them as shown in the image below.

50. Now we’ll add the highlights for the tail. With the help of the Pen Tool (P), create the curved lines and set the data for them as shown in the image below.

51. Select and group (Ctrl +G) all the shapes created from step 43 up to this time. Send this group to the back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

Create the Walking Legs

52. It’s time to draw the walking legs of the lobster. Start by drawing four shapes using the Pen Tool (P) like shown in the image below.

53. Keep working with the Pen Tool (P). Draw other shapes as you see in the images below.

54. Once four walking legs of the lobster are drawn, fill them with R=241, G=122, B=78.

55. Reselect all the newly filled shapes and go to the Object > Path> Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and then click OK. Next, press (Ctrl +3) to hide the duplicates.

56. Reselect all the newly filled shapes again and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -4px Offset and then click OK. Replace the existing color of the duplicates with R=255, G=212, B=211.

57. Apply a 2px Gaussian Blur for the newly created shapes then reduce their Opacity to 60%.

58. Now press (Ctrl +Alt +3) to show the shapes hidden in the previous step and then bring them to the front (Ctrl + Shift + Right Square Bracket). Keep these shapes selected. Go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Set the results to Blending Mode Multiply.

59. To add some details, draw other shapes using the Pen Tool (P) as seen in the image below.

60. Once the shapes are drawn, fill them as you see in the image below.

61. Select all the newly filled shapes and apply a 2px Gaussian Blur for them.

62. Select the four shapes created in step 54, copy (Ctrl +C) them and paste on all Artboards (Ctrl +Shift +Alt + V). While these duplicates are selected, open the Pathfinder Palette (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Unite button.

63. Keep the result selected. Hold down the Shift key and click on the four newly blured shapes of the first walking leg and then go to the Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Ctrl + 7).

64. Repeat the same techniques for the remaining three legs. Once done, they should look like the image shown below.

Create the Claws of the Walking Legs

65. Focus on the first walking leg. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw two shapes as shown in the image below.

66. Fill the two newly created shape with the radial gradient.

67. Continue to draw another shape as you see in the image below. Next, fill it with R=112, G=22, B=0.

68. Add the details for the claw by drawing the two shapes shown in the image below. Once these shapes are drawn, fill them with R=241, G=122, B=78. Next, reselect the two newly filled shapes and go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, set the results to Blending Mode Multiply.

69. This is how the claw of the first walking leg should look like.

70. Continue to draw the second claw until you have something like this.

71. Now select and group (Ctrl +G) all the shapes created from step 52 up to this time. Send this group to the back (Ctrl + Shift +Left Square Bracket).

72. Reselect the newly created group. Reflect it vertically and place the duplicate to the correct position as shown in the image below.

Create the Rostrum, the Antennas and the Eyes of the Lobster

73. Start by drawing a shape using the Pen Tool (P). Fill this shape with the linear gradient.

74. Keep working with the Pen Tool (P). Draw another shape and fill it with the linear gradient. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the result.

75. Create the antennas of the lobster. With the help of the Pen Tool (P), create a shape as shown in the first image below. Fill this shape with R=213, G=40, B=32.

76. Continue to create another shape. Fill it with the linear gradient and then apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the result.

77. Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a shape like hown in the image below and fill this shape with R=213, G=62, B=32.

78. Continue to draw the two other shapes and fill them with the linear gradient as shown in the images below. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for these shapes.

79. Keep working with the Pen Tool (P). Use this tool to create a shape as you see in the first image. Next, fill this shape with R=165, G=0, B=0.

80. While the newly filled shape is selected, go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset and then click OK. Next, replace the existing color of the duplicate to R=255, G=137, B=101. Apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the result.

81. Let’s work on creating the eye of the lobster. First, create an ellipse shape, rotate it and then place it to the correct position as shown in the image below. Next, fill the newly created shape with the radial gradient.

82. Now select and group (Ctrl +G) all the shapes created from step 75 up to this time. Reflect this group vertically and place the duplicate to the correct position as shown in the image below.

Create the Pincers of the Lobster

83. Start by drawing the two shapes using the Pen Tool (P) as shown in the image below.

84. Fill the two newly created shapes as you see in the image below. Reselect the two results, duplicate (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) them and then hide the duplicates (Ctrl +3).

85. Using the Pen Tool (P), create the two other shapes and then fill these shapes with R=241, G=122, B=78. Finally, apply a 2px Gaussian Blur for these results.

86. Now press (Ctrl +Alt +3) to show the two shapes hidden in the previous step. While these shapes are selected, bring them to the front (Ctrl + Shift + Right Square Bracket) and replace their existing color as you see in the image below.

87. Reselect the two results and go to the Effect > Texture > Grain. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Next, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for these results and reduce their Opacity to 50%.

88. It’s time to create the pincer of the lobster. With the help of the Pen Tool (P), draw a shape as shown in the image below.

89. Once your shape is drawn, fill it with the linear gradient. Next, duplicate the result and then hide the duplicate.

90. Draw another shape using the Pen Tool (P) as you see in the image below. Fill it with R=213, G=62, B=32.

91. Reselect the two newly created shapes and go to the Object > Blend > Blend Options. Enter the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Next, go to the Object > Blend > Make (Ctrl +Alt +B).

92. Now show the shape hidden in the previous step. Fill it with none and add a 1px stroke (green). Keep the green shape selected, go to the Object > Path > Offset Path.Enter a -1px Offset and then click OK. Next, select and remove the bigger green shape. Finally, select the remaining green shape and adjust it to get the result as you see in the image below.

93. Fill the newly created shape with the radial gradient (Stroke = none). Keep the result selected. Go to the Effect > Texture > Grain. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the result and then reduce its Opacity to 50%.

94. Select and duplicate (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) the newly created shape. While the duplicate is selected, open the Appearance Palette (Window > Appearance) and then remove the Grain effect. Next, go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow. Enter the data as shown in the image below and click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur then set it to Blending Mode Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

95. Draw another shape using the Pen Tool (P) as shown in the image below. Once your shape is drawn, fill it with the radial gradient. Next, apply a 4px Gaussian Blur then set it to Blending Mode Overlay. Reduce the Opacity to 60%.

96. Continue to create a shape and fill it with the linear gradient as you see in the images below.

97. Now with the help of the Pen Tool (P), create a shape as shown in the image below. Fill this shape with R=213, G=62, B=32.

98. While the shape is selected, go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and then click OK. Next, replace the existing color of the duplicate with the radial gradient.

99. Keep the shape selected. Go to the Effect > Texture > Texturizer. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur and reduce its Opacity to 50%.

100. To add some details, draw a curve line. Give this curve line a 2px Stroke. Set the color with the linear gradient and apply the Width Profile 1 for it. While the resulting shape is selected, go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 1.5px Radius and then click OK.

101. Draw another shape using the Pen Tool (P). Fill it with the linear gradient and apply a 1px Gaussian Blur for the result.

102. Continue to create the other shapes as shown in the image below.

103. Once your shapes are drawn, fill them with the linear gradient.

104. Now keep working with the Pen Tool (P). Use this tool to create a shape and then fill this shape with the linear gradient as you see in the image below.

105. While the resulting shape is selected, go to the Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK. Finally, send the resulting shape to the back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

106. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the highlights on the pincer. Once your shape is drawn, fill it with the radial gradient. Next, apply a 2px Gaussian Blur for the result and then reduce its Opacity to 20%.

107. Continue to create the other highlights as you see in the images below. Once your shapes are drawn, fill them with the linear gradient.

108. Keep the resulting shapes selected, apply a 4px Gaussian Blur and then set it to Blending Mode Hard Light and reduce the Opacity to 40%

109. Now select all the shapes created from step 88 up to this time and then press (Ctrl +Left Square Bracket) several times to get the result as shown in the image below.

110. Continue to select and group (Ctrl +G) all the shapes created from step 83 up to this time. Press (Ctrl +Left Square Bracket) several times to get the result as shown in the image below.

111. Select the newly created group, reflect it vertically and then place the duplicate to the correct position as shown in the image below.

112. While the newly created group is selected, go to the Object > Transform > Scale. Select Uniform and enter a 110 in the Scale box and then click OK.

113. Resize the newly created group to get the result as shown in the image below.

114. With the help of the Pen Tool (P), create a shape as shown in the image below. Fill it with the radial gradient.

115. Keep working with the Pen Tool (P). Use this tool to create a curve line. Give it a 1px Stroke (R=236, G=28, B=36) and apply the Width Profile 1 for the result. Next, go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 1px Radius and then click OK. Finally, select and group (Ctrl +G) the two newly created shapes.

116. Place the newly created group to the position as you see in the image below. Repeat the same process as you did on the previous steps to get the results below.

117. Once done, your work should look something like this:

118. Continue to draw more shapes until you have the same image shown below. You can also see them all in the second image below.

119. Once done, your lobster should look roughly like the image below.

120. Now we’ll add some more details to the walking legs of the lobster.

121. Do this again for the tail of the lobster.

122. Here, we have the lobster ready.

Create the Shadow of the Lobster

123. Let’s work on creating the shadows of our lobster. First, draw a shape using the Pen Tool (P) as shown in the image below.

124. Once your shape is drawn, fill it with R=35, G=31, B=32. Next, apply a 9px Gaussian Blur for the result.

125. Send the newly created shape to the back.

126. Continue to create the shadows for the walking legs. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N), create a shape as you see in the first image. Next, fill this shape with the linear gradient and then reduce its Opacity to 50%.

127. Apply a 3px Gaussian Blur for the newly filled shape. Send the result to the back.

128. Continue to create the shadow for the second walking leg. Start by drawing a shape using the Pen Tool (P). Next, fill this shape with the linear gradient. Finally, apply a 3px Gaussian Blur for the result and then send it to the back.

129. Repeat the same techniques for the two remaining walking legs. Once done, they should look like the third image shown below.

130. Reselect the four newly created shapes. Reflect them vertically, then place the results to the correct positions as shown in the image below.

131. Now select all the shapes created from step 1 up to this time and then rotate them to an angle of about -35 degrees.

Create a Plate

132. Start by drawing a circle using the Ellipse Tool (L) as shown in the image below.

133. Fill this shape with the linear gradient.

134. Keep the resulting shape selected. Go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -4px Offset and then click OK. Next, replace the existing color of the newly created shape with R=240, G=239, B=215. Finally, apply a 2px Gaussian Blur for the result.

135. Reselect the resulting shape and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -80px Offset and then click OK. Next, replace the existing color of the newly created shape with the linear gradient.

136. With the resulting shape selected, open the Apparence Palette (Window > Apparence). Click on the Gaussian Blur section. In the Gaussian Blur dialog box, enter a 10px Radius and then click OK.

137. Continue to reselect the resulting shape and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -40px Offset and then click OK. Next, replace the existing color of the newly created shape with R=241, G=242, B=222.

138. While the newly filled shape is selected, go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Follow the data as shown in the image below and then click OK.

139. Now select all the shapes created from step 132 up to this time and then send them to the back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

140. The last thing to do is to hide the shadow part of the lobster that is outside the plate. First, select the shape created in step 138. Copy it and paste the duplicate in front of the lobster’s shadow. Finally, remove the Drop Shadow effect of the newly created shape.

141. While the newly created shape is selected, hold down the Shift key. Click on the shadow shape, release the Shift key and then go to the Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Ctrl +7).

142. Here is how the lobster should look like.


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