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Create a Swirly Lollipop Using the Spiral Tool

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In this tutorial, you'll be shown an easy and accurate way of creating your own swirly lollipop using a custom Art Brush and the Spiral Tool in Adobe Illustrator. If you're a beginner Illustrator user, this tutorial will help you get familiar with how to use Illustrator's tools creatively.


Step 1

Open a new document that is 600px wide by 800px high. Now make sure you have Smart Guides turned on by going to View > Smart Guides.

First thing we'll do is make the gradients needed for the lollipop's shading. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a small square of any size and give it a linear gradient with three sliders. Then use RGB colors orange (247, 147, 30), yellow (252, 238, 33), and orange (247, 147, 30) setting the middle slider to a location of 30%.

Now draw another for the second swatch and by default this should be filled with the same gradient. Delete the last slider so you're left with only two and change the colors to re (133, 0, 0) and dark red (193, 39, 45) with a location for the center at 80%. Now we can drag them off to the side where we'll use them later.


Step 2

Click on the artboard, with the Rectangle Tool (M) still selected and draw a rectangle 15px wide by 30px in height. Change the fill to yellow.

Next go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform and move the rectangle 15px horizontal and for number of copies enter 34, then hit OK. Now proceed to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 3

Click anywhere on the artboard to deselect the new set of rectangles. Then use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to click on the second rectangle from the left. While holding Shift, select every other rectangle from there on. When that's done simply change the fill color of the selected rectangles to red.


Step 4

Hit Command + A to select all the rectangles, then go to Object > Transform > Shear, and give a Shear Angle of 30 degrees. The axis will remain Horizontal, then click OK.


Step 5

From the Toolbar select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, then drag it from the top left corner of the rectangles you created earlier all the way over to the bottom right. While holding it in place, hit the Left Arrow key on the keyboard once to make the edges as round as possible. With Smart Guides enabled everything should just snap into place.

Select this and the rectangles below the Pathfinder Panel (Window > Pathfinder) simply select Crop.


Step 5

Drag this new shape into the Brush Panel and in the New Brush options select Art Brush. The only setting you will need to change here is the direction, this will need to go in the opposite direction which is left. With that done we'll no longer need the shape we created earlier so you can go ahead and delete it.


Step 6

From under the Line Segment Tool (/) select the Spiral Tool and click in the center of the artboard to bring up a dialogue box. Give your spiral a radius of 250px, with a 90% decay and 11 segments making sure the style goes in a clockwise direction.

Keeping the spiral selected, proceed to the Brush Panel and select the Art Brush you made earlier giving it a stroke of 4px. Now using the Selection Tool, hold Shift, and rotate the new lollipop clockwise 90 degrees.


Step 7

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the bottom point on the spiral. Then hold down the Shift key and nudge upwards eight times. Then nudge to the right five times. Next, grab hold of the left handle and drag downward about 35 degrees, you might have to play around with this until it looks right. Lastly select the point farthest to the left and nudge inwards about ten pixels or until it looks right.

When satisfied go to Object > Expand Appearance to make your stroke into a solid set of shapes.


Step 8

Use the Magic Wand Tool (Y) to select all of the shapes with a red fill. Then use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to apply the red gradient you created in step one. Now repeat for all the yellow shapes this time filling with the yellow gradient.


Step 9

Now we just have to fix all the angles. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Gradient Tool (G) work your way around the lollipop and draw new gradients from the outside and drag inwards to the nearest edge. You don't have to be really accurate but we want to avoid any obvious straight lines, so it may take a few attempts before you get it looking just right.


Step 10

For the missing piece in the center, copy the lollipop (Command + C) and paste in front (Command + F). Then in the Pathfinder Panel click Unite, followed by a Right-click on the new shape, then choose Release Compound Path from the menu. Now just delete the outer shape and fill what's left with the appropriate gradient.

Select the entire lollipop and group it together (Command + G).


Step 11

For highlights draw a circle slightly smaller than the lollipop itself and fill it with white. On top of this draw another circle slightly larger and more to the left. When you're happy with what you've got, select both and then choose Minus Front from the Pathfinder Panel. Take this shape, hold Alt and drag another copy, then rotate and resize it as you see fit. I used four copies in total, but you can use more or less if you'd prefer.


Step 12

With the last reflection still selected, go to Select > Same > Fill Color and group (Command + G). Now just change the Opacity to 50% and you're done! Drag the Selection Tool over everything you've created so far, group together once more, then hold Shift and scale everything down to approximately 350px in width.


Step 13

Now we'll work on creating the lollipop's stick. Select the Rectangle Tool and click on the artboard. Create a new shape 20px wide by 430px in height. Give the stick a linear gradient fill using the colors RGB Gray (179, 179, 179) to light gray (245, 245, 245) with a location of 30%.


Step 14

Change to the Ellipse Tool (L), and click once more on the artboard to create a ellipse with the same 20px width, but only a height of 3px. Drag this to the bottom of the rectangle, snap it into place, and with both shapes selected choose the Unite option over in the Pathfinder Panel. Now make a new copy (Command + C) and Paste in Front (Command + F).


Step 15

Select both the lollipop and stick, then in the Align Panel click on Horizontal Align Center. This just makes it easier for us to see where the shadow from the lollipop needs to be on the stick. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and the draw a shape with a slight curve at the bottom, it doesn't need to be perfectly accurate; it just needs to somewhat match the curve of the lollipop. Select this and the stick copy below it, then go to the Pathfinder and apply Intersect.


Step 16

Now all we have to do is make it actually look shaded. With the new shape highlighted, go to Recolor Artwork and select Global Adjust from the options menu. Lower the Luminosity to -15% and click OK. Select both the stick and shadow, then group them together (Command + G). Finally, apply Object > Arrange > Send to Back and nudge up or down as needed.


Step 17

Lastly, we just need to create the shadow. For this, we need to draw a rectangle about 250px wide by 60px in height. Give it the same color fill as your background, which in this case set it to white. Now with the Mesh Tool (U) add a point roughly one third of the way up and about an eighth of the way in from the right side.

You'll also need to place one point slightly above, slightly below, and finally to the right. Try if you can to make these approximately the same distance apart from each other. With those all done, now click on the center mesh point and change the fill color to a light gray. The exact color I used was R=171, G=171, B=171, but you can make it as light or as dark as you like.


Step 18

Finally, using the Direct Selection Tool (A) go over to the points on the left edge of the rectangle. The center of the shadow needs to stay put. Now shift-click and drag the point above it towards the top left, but not actually touching the corner. Do the same for the point beneath, then Object > Arrange > Send to Back.


Final Image

Now you're done and here's the result! Go have fun and experiment with different colors!

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