Illustrator Tutorial: Vector Flowers
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a beautiful and elegant vector floral portrait. You will learn to draw shapes, use the mesh tool, gradients, brush styles to achieve the ultimate effect of your illustration. This illustration can be extended to online greeting cards, invitation cards or a posters by simply adding the text of your choice.
Create a Background
1. Open a new document with 600x600px in RGB color mode. Select the Rectangle tool (M) and create a square shape of 500x500px. This square is our green background for the flowers. Now apply a Linear Gradient with the Gradient tool (G) to this square shape as shown in the figure below. The color values are from top (Color: #87a316) to bottom (Color: #507705). You may adjust the gradient slider as per your wish.
2. Name the layer as ‘Background’ and lock the layer in the Layers panel.
Create a Flower
3. Let’s first draw a basic shape of a flower. To do that, draw a stigma (#5) of flower with the Ellipse tool (L). With the help of a Pen tool (P), draw petals as shown in the figure. I have shown each petal in different outline color and have given numbering for easy reference.
4. Select petal #1 and fill white #ffffff color with the outline none.
5. Select Mesh tool (U) and click on the petal to add mesh points as shown in the figure.
6. With the help of Direct Selection tool (A) select the mesh points where you want to fill the pink color (#f6cafa). You may select individual points and fill the color to each single mesh point to achieve desire effect.
7. Likewise, repeat the steps for rest of the petals. Here is what you get after completing all the petals.
8. Select the Pen tool (P) and draw the thin lines (1pt or less thickness) of pink color (#F0C2F0) over the petals. You may want to blur couple of lines by going to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. To use blur effect, give thick brush strokes and then apply Blur effect.
9. Now let’s detail out the Stigma. Select the shape and fill Yellow (# FFEE03) color with the outline none. Select Mesh tool (U) and add mesh points to the shape as shown here.
10. With the Direct Selection tool (A) select the mesh point from right bottom and fill #f5a604 color.
11. Select the Brush tool (B) and add random color dots of #efae02 and #b27000 as shown in the figure below. Use the Brush settings as shown here. For bigger dots define brush as 3pt Round and for smaller dots define brush as 2pt. Oval.
12. To draw flower stem, select Pen tool (P) and draw a curved outline. To define outline thickness, go to Stroke panel Ctrl + F10 and define thickness as 4pt. Keeping the outline selected, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. This way we can fill gradient in the stroke. Select the Gradient tool (G) and fill linear gradient as shown here. The gradient colors which are used here are : from Left to Right – # EEFFB9, # A8E700, # C6FF17, # 65B900, # 2E471F.
13. Here we have the flower ready. Now group (Ctrl+G) all the flower parts. Keeping the flower selected hold down the ‘Alt’ key and drag. This will get you a duplicate copy of the flower. You will now have a second flower. Keeping it selected drag down the top handle to resize it. Repeat the steps for the third flower and make it look smaller. For the third flower, set the Opacity (Ctrl+Shift+F10) 50%.
14. Arrange all the three flowers as shown here.
Creating the Flower Bush
15. With the Pen tool (P) draw a leaf shape. Select the shape and then select the Rotate tool (R). Move the center rotating point to the bottom of the leaf. Keeping the leaf selected, now hold down the ‘Alt’ key and rotate the leaf towards right. It will get you the duplicate shape of a leaf. Repeat the steps for left tilted leaf. Here is how it should look.
16. Select a center leaf and apply Linear Gradient (G) from top (#aed73e) to bottom (#57720c). Repeat the same gradient to rest of the leaves. Now group (Ctrl+G) them all.
17. Select the group of leaves that we just created. Holding down the ‘Alt’ key drag the object and you will get another set of leaves. Make such duplications as many as you want. Resize couple of leaves to smaller size. You may also want to rotate couple of them. Arrange all the leaf sets as shown here. We now have our flower bush ready.
Creating the Flower Buds
18. With the Pencil tool (N) draw a basic shape of a Sepal. You don’t have to be precise while drawing this.
19. Select the shape and fill the Linear Gradient with the Gradient tool (G). The gradient colors are from top # FFFF17 to bottom # 1F401C.
20. To draw a bud, select the Ellipse tool (L) and draw an oval shape at the center of the Sepal. With the Gradient tool (G) fill the vertical linear gradient to the bud. The bud colors are from Left to Right – # EEFFB9, # FBB5FF, # FF6ECC.
21. To draw a stem of a bud, select Paintbrush tool (B) and draw a stroke as shown here. Stroke color is # C1E266. Draw couple of strokes of green color # 7AAA11 over the sepal as well. The bud is ready now.
22. Group all the bud parts and duplicate 2 to 3 copies. Arrange them as shown in the graphic below. The buds which are placed far behind, set the Opacity (Ctrl+shift+F10) to 50%.
23. Select Paintbrush tool (B) and draw random strokes behind the flowers. The stroke color is # C1E266. Now draw small dots of pink # F9A2EC and yellow # F7EB0F on top of desired strokes with the paintbrush tool. Here is what we have after completing grass and buds.
Final Floral Landscape
24. After composing all the elements together the final floral flower image should look like this.
Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and find it useful.
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About The Author: deepaswami
Hi, I am Deepa a Visual Designer and have been using illustrator for quite a while now. I love exploring new tricks and techniques in my leisure and would like to share my learning at every opportunity. The areas that I specialized in : - Interactive / GUI Design, Web Interfaces/apps & Icon Design. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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