Advertisement

How to Create a Beautiful Flip Flop Icon in Adobe Illustrator

by
Student iconAre you a student? Get a yearly Tuts+ subscription for $45 →
This post is part of a series called Summer in Session!.
Use Inkscape to Create a Pair of Sunglasses With Ease
Get It While It's Hot! Create a Detailed BBQ in Adobe Illustrator

Follow this tutorial and learn how to draw a beautiful beach icon. This icon is made up of two main parts, the base that looks like a beach and the colorful beach flip flops. You will learn to create the sandy texture using various brushes, patterns available in Adobe Illustrator and effects like Film Grain and Radial Blur. Besides learning how to draw a basic flip flop, you will also create fun colorful designs. This tutorial is inspired from summer vacation and sunny days so if it sounds interesting let's begin!


1. Start a New Project

Launch Illustrator and go to File > New to open a blank document. Type a name and set up the dimensions then select Pixels as Units and RGB as Color Mode. Next, go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment to 1px. These settings will help you throughout the drawing process.

diana-beach-icon-tut-1

2. Create the Base of the Icon

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 256 x 256px square. Select a black stroke for the moment then go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and apply a 25px Radius. To expand this effect, go to Object >Expand Appearance then Ungroup (Shift + Control + G).

diana-beach-icon-tut-2

3. Create the Sand Texture

Step 1

Fill the base shape with the color indicated then take a look at the Appearance panel. With this fill attribute selected, press the Duplicate Selected Item icon at the bottom of the panel. As a result you will get a second fill above. Replace the color with a pattern called "USGS 17A Shifting Sand" that you can find in Swatch Libraries > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. Change the Blending Mode for this pattern to Overlay.

diana-beach-icon-tut-3

Step 2

Now, duplicate the second fill attribute as you did at the previous step. Replace the existing pattern with "Stipple Fine" that you can find in the Basic Graphics_Textures category. Set the Blending Mode to Color Dodge.

diana-beach-icon-tut-4

Step 3

Duplicate the first fill attribute and replace the nude color with brown. Drag this attribute at the bottom of the panel then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform and apply the settings shown below. You will get the brown edge in the upper right side of the base.

diana-beach-icon-tut-5

Step 4

Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the base-shape and delete all existing appearances. Select brown as the fill color then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain and apply the settings shown. Set to Blending Mode Overlay.

diana-beach-icon-tut-6

Step 5

We are still working with the shape from the previous step. Select a 1pt white stroke and set it to Blending Mode Soft Light.

diana-beach-icon-tut-7

Step 6

Now, go to the Appearance panel and from the fly-out menu select Add New Fill. Use the linear gradient shown and set the angle to -90 degrees. Move this fill attribute between the first fill and the stroke then set the Blending Mode to Color Burn and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-8

4. Add Details to the Sand Base

Step 1

Now let's improve the sandy beach look in order to make it more realistic. For this, we will use a few art brushes available in Illustrator and we will take them one by one in the order in which they are.

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path like below in the bottom left side of the base. Give it a 2pt brown stroke (1). Also stroke this path with an art brush called "Dry Ink 2" that you can find in Brush Libraries > Artistic> Artistic_Ink (2). Still having this path selected, go to Effect > Blur > Radial Blur and apply the settings shown in the next image (3). Set the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 40% (4).

diana-beach-icon-tut-9

In the Radial Blur window select the Spin Method, Good Quality and the Amount of 20.

diana-beach-icon-tut-10

Step 2

Draw the second path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 1pt brown stroke (1). This time use an art brush called "Chalk" that you can find in Brush Libraries > Artistic > Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil. Double-click on the brush stroke applied in the Appearance panel to open the Stroke Options window and check the Flip Along option then hit OK (2). Apply again the Radial Blur effect using the same settings (3) then set it to Color Burn (4).

diana-beach-icon-tut-11

Step 3

Let's continue with the third path and give it 2pt brown stroke (1). Use again the "Chalk" art brush to stroke it (2) then go to Effect > Blur > Radial Blur and apply the settings shown in the next image (3). Set to Blending Mode Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 40% (4).

diana-beach-icon-tut-12

In the Radial Blur window select the Zoom Method, Good Quality and the Amount of 20.

diana-beach-icon-tut-13

Step 4

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw another wavy path like below. Give it a 2pt brown stroke (1) then use again the "Chalk" art brush to stroke it (2). Apply the Radial Blur effect using the settings shown above then set it to Color Burn and reduce the Opacity to 40% (3).

diana-beach-icon-tut-14

Step 5

Draw the next path in the bottom left side of the base and select a 1pt brown stroke (1). This time use the "Dry Ink 2" art brush to stroke it (2). Apply the Radial Blur effect using the settings shown at the beginning of this step (4.1) then set it to Color Burn (4).

diana-beach-icon-tut-15

Step 6

You are not done yet. Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw the next path and select a 2pt brown stroke (1). Use the "Chalk" art brush to stroke it (2) then apply the Radial Blur effect (settings-4.1). Set to Blending Mode Color Burn and reduce the Opacity to 75% for this path (3).

diana-beach-icon-tut-16

Step 7

Draw another path in the upper left side of the base and give it a 2pt brown stroke. Use the "Dry Ink 2" art brush to stroke it (2) then apply the Radial Blur effect (settings-4.1). Set to Blending Mode Color Burn (4).

diana-beach-icon-tut-17

Step 8

Finally, draw the last path in the upper right side and give it a 1pt brown stroke (1). Use the "Chalk" art brush to stroke it (2) then apply the Radial Blur effect (settings-4.1). Set it to Blending Mode Overlay (4) and you are done with this part.

diana-beach-icon-tut-18

5. Clean Up the Edges of the Icon

Step 1

We want clean edges for this icon therefore we need a mask. First, Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the base shape and delete all existing appearances (no stroke, no fill). Bring this copy in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Having this copy selected and also the eight stroked paths go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control + 7).

diana-beach-icon-tut-19

Step 2

At this point the base of the icon should look like below:

diana-beach-icon-tut-20

6. Add Highlights to the Icon

Step 1

Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the base shape again and delete all existing appearances. Bring it in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front and give it 1pt stroke using any color (1). Take the Add Anchor Points Tool (+) and add two extra points on the left and right edges (2). Next, grab the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the four points indicated to cut the path into segments (3). Delete the ones that you don't need and keep only the two paths shown below (4).

diana-beach-icon-tut-21

Step 2

Stroke the two paths obtained at the previous step with a blend art brush that I've explained how to create in my neon art brushes tutorial. Just that instead of 200 x 5px this one has the dimensions 100 x 3px. Set the Stroke Weight to 0.75 pt then reduce the Opacity to 75%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-22

7. Add Shadow Under the Icon

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse having the dimensions shown. Move the shape at the bottom of the icon then send it behind everything by going to Object > Arrange > Send to Back. Select black as the fill color then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a 10 Radius.

diana-beach-icon-tut-23

8. Draw the Shape of the Flip Flop

Step 1

Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw an ellipse having the dimensions shown. With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select only the top and bottom points and drag their handles to make them longer. Next, select the two points from the middle of the shape and drag the handles to modify their position as shown.

diana-beach-icon-tut-24

Step 2

Grab the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and use it to add two extra points at the bottom of the sole-shape and adjust the handles if needed. Next, select the top point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and modify the position of the handles as shown below. Add other two points at the top using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and move the handles as shown below.

diana-beach-icon-tut-25

9. Draw the Straps of the Flip Flop

Step 1

Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw two paths like below then stroke them with an art brush called "Tapered-Sharp" that you can find in Brush Libraries > Artistic > Artistic_Ink. Set the weight to 0.3pt. From the Object > Expand Appearance then Ungroup (Shift + Control + G) two times and you will get the strap shapes.

diana-beach-icon-tut-26

Step 2

Select the left strap and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points then select the right strap and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points twice. You will get some extra points on each shape. Now, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the two points highlighted with green and move them a little to the left. Next, select the three points highlighted with blue and move them to the right.

diana-beach-icon-tut-27

Step 3

Select using the Direct Selection Tool (A) only the point highlighted with green and move it a little down then do the same thing with the four points highlighted with blue.

diana-beach-icon-tut-28

Step 4

Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag a selection as shown below to select only the points in that area and move them a little down. Finally move the two points from the top next to each other and the straps are ready.

diana-beach-icon-tut-29

Step 5

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shapes from below as the inner part of the straps.

diana-beach-icon-tut-30

10. Create the Design on the Sole of the Flip Flop

Step 1

Now that we have the basic shape of the flip flop we need to bring it to life. Hide the straps for the moment and focus on the sole. Select the shade of pink indicated as the fill color. Next, use the Pen Tool (P) or even the Pencil Tool (N) to draw some wavy paths randomly over the sole.

diana-beach-icon-tut-31

Step 2

Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the sole-shape and bring it in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Group (Control + G) all the wavy paths then select the copy of the sole and the group and press Divide in the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup (Shift + Control + G) the resulting group then delete the bigger shapes from the top and bottom. Fill the stripes with the colors indicated.

diana-beach-icon-tut-32

Step 3

Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the sole-shape again and bring it to front. Fill it with the linear gradient shown using black and gray (40% Black) and set the angle to 90 degrees. Change the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 20%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-33

Step 4

Next, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a segmented swirl as in the image. As the sun rays draw short paths all around. Select for all the paths a 1pt light gray stroke and press the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel.

diana-beach-icon-tut-34

11. Color the Straps of the Flip Flop

Step 1

First unhide the straps. Fill the right strap with the shade of pink indicated. Go to the Appearance panel and having this fill attribute selected, press the Duplicate Selected Item icon at the bottom. As a result you will get a second fill above. Use a linear gradient from white to black then set it to Blending Mode Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 20%. Repeat the same thing for the left strap.

diana-beach-icon-tut-35

Step 2

Now select the left inner strap and fill it with dark pink. Duplicate this fill attribute as you did earlier and use a radial gradient from white to black this time. Set it to Blending Mode Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 20%. Repeat the same thing for the right inner strap.

diana-beach-icon-tut-36

Step 3

Copy and Paste in Back (Control + B) the left strap then delete the existing appearances and select bright pink as the fill color. Select using the Direct Selection Tool (A) only the two points indicated of the shape in back and move them 1px to the left by pressing the Left Arrow key on your keyboard once.

Next, Copy and Paste in Back (Control + B) the right strap and change the fill color. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the four points indicated and move them 1px to the left to reveal a little of the pink shape in back.

diana-beach-icon-tut-37

Step 4

Copy and Paste in Back (Control + B) the right inner strap, delete the existing appearances and select the shade of pink indicated as the fill color. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the two points highlighted and move them 1px up by pressing the Up Arrow key on your keyboard once.

Next, Copy and Paste in Back (Control + B) the left inner strap and change the fill color. This time move the whole inner strap (not the copy) to the right by pressing the Right Arrow key once.

diana-beach-icon-tut-38

12. Create the Toe Bar

Step 1

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw two small circles having the dimensions shown. Arrange them like below and fill them with the radial gradient shown.

diana-beach-icon-tut-39

Step 2

Now, with the Pen Tool (P) draw a path between the hole and the straps as in the image. Set the Stroke Weight to 4.5pt and press the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel. From the Object > Expand and Ungroup then fill the resulting shape with dark pink. Move the toe bar behind the straps.

diana-beach-icon-tut-40

Step 3

Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the toe bar and scale it a little. Replace the fill color with the gradient shown then set it to Blending Mode Lighten and reduce the Opacity to 75%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-41

Step 4

Draw two ellipses with the Ellipse Tool (L) at the bottom of the inner straps and fill them with the color indicated.

diana-beach-icon-tut-42

13. Add Highlights on the Straps

Step 1

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw two paths following the edges of the straps as in the next image. Stroke these paths with the "Blend Art brush" used earlier then set the weight to 0.25pt and the Blending Mode to Overlay.

diana-beach-icon-tut-43

Step 2

Draw other two paths following the edges of the straps and stroke them with the same "Blend Art brush". Set the weight to 0.25pt and reduce the Opacity to 75%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-44

14. Create a Glossy Look

Step 1

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle over the right strap as in the image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown then set it to Blending Mode Lighten and reduce the Opacity to 60%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-45

Step 2

Draw a smaller rectangle on top and select white as the fill color. Set it to Blending Mode Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-46

Step 3

Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the right strap and delete all existing appearances. Bring it in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Now, select the two rectangles and the copy of the strap and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

diana-beach-icon-tut-47

Step 4

Something similar happens on the left side. First, draw the rectangle and fill it with the same gradient. Adjust the angle then set it to Blending Mode Lighten and reduce the Opacity to 40%. Make a copy of the left strap and bring it to front as you did earlier. Now, select the rectangle and also the copy of the strap and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

diana-beach-icon-tut-48

15. Add Shadows

Step 1

Select the two shapes behind the inner straps then Copy and Paste them in Back (Control + B). Give them a black fill then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a 4px Radius.

diana-beach-icon-tut-49

Step 2

We don't want the blur to be visible in some areas and therefore we're going to fix this with a mask. First, Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the sole-shape and delete all existing appearances. Select the two shapes with the blur applied and also the copy of the sole (which should be in front of them) and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

diana-beach-icon-tut-50

Step 3

Copy and Paste in Back (Control + B) the left strap, give it a black fill and move it to the right. Using the Pen Tool (P) draw the other two shapes that we need, one behind the left inner strap and one behind the toe bar.

diana-beach-icon-tut-51

Step 4

Create another copy of the sole (no stroke, no fill) then Group (Control + G) the second and third black shapes. Select this group and the copy of the sole and press Intersect in the Pathfinder panel. You will get a compound path but go to Object > Compound Path and select Release. You should now have three shapes with which you will create the shadow for the inner strap, for the left strap and for the toe bar.

diana-beach-icon-tut-52

Step 5

Fill these three shapes with the linear gradient shown and adjust the angle according to the position of each shape. Set them to Blending Mode Multiply (white becomes transparent) and reduce the Opacity to 35%.

diana-beach-icon-tut-53

16. Create the Sole of the Flip Flop

Step 1

Copy and Paste in Back (Control + B) the sole-shape (insole) and fill it with the color indicated. Move this shape a little down and to the right as in the image. This will be the outer sole.

diana-beach-icon-tut-54

Step 2

Copy and Paste in Back (Control + B) the insole again. Select a 0.5pt white stroke, delete the existing fill color and set the Opacity to 75%. Move this shape a little down and to the right until it's in the middle of the sole. Next, Copy and Paste in Front (Control + F) the outer sole and set the fill to none and the stroke to none. Select the white path and the copy of the outer sole and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

diana-beach-icon-tut-55

17. Compose the Beach Icon

Step 1

The flip flop is now ready and you can create its pair. First Group (Control + G) all the shapes that make up the right flip flop and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical then hit Copy and you will get the left flip flop. Arrange the beach flip flops above the base that you've created to compose the icon.

diana-beach-icon-tut-56

Step 2

Select the right outer sole and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Apply the settings shown and hit OK. Do the same thing for the other flip flop using the left outer sole

diana-beach-icon-tut-57

Step 3

At this point the beach icon is ready. You can create other sizes if you want but first make sure that you expand each brush and effect applied.

diana-beach-icon-tut-58

18. Try Different Designs and Combinations

Step 1

You can use a copy of the flip flop drawn to create various types of beach flip flops. First replace the colors of the insole and outer sole For the design of the insole this time I've used a lot of colorful circles then use a copy of the sole to mask them. Also recolor the straps and the toe bar using the shades of green indicated. If you need more information you can use the reference illustrator file.

diana-beach-icon-tut-59

Step 2

When you are done with the right flip flop reflect it as you did earlier. This time I've moved the outer sole of the left flip flop in the right side for a different look. At the end apply the Drop Shadow effect.

diana-beach-icon-tut-60

Step 3

Here is another example. The colors that I've used are listed below but of course, you are free to use any colors you desire. As the design I used a footprint made up of rectangles and ellipses.

diana-beach-icon-tut-61

Step 4

Now you can compose a new icon using any of the beach flip flops:

diana-beach-icon-tut-62

Congratulations! You're Done.

The tutorial is completed and the beach flip flops icon is ready. I hope that you've learned new things. Experiment with different color palettes and funky designs and see what you come up with. I would love to see your drawings.

diana-beach-icon-tut-13
Advertisement