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In this tutorial we will learn how to create a vector strawberry. We'll use Illustrator tools, such as: the Blend Tool, Envelope Distort, Pathfinder, and Gradient Fill. Find out how simple are the technical means to achieve this excellent result. Learn to think like an illustrator in how you perceive light and dark, and how to recreate that in your work.
You can find the Source files in the directory labeled 'source' that came in the files that you downloaded. You may wish to look through them briefly before we begin.
Before you start working, I want to mention that the main thing you have to understand is the right work with the colors, do not copy blindly the colors I use, pay attention to step 12.
Start creating depressions for the seeds on the strawberry. Open up a new document. Take the Ellipse Tool and create a dark red ellipse. Color is of no importance at this stage and is called a technical color. Use such technical colors which will be convenient for you to work with. All the technical color will be replaced later on.
Select the created ellipse, duplicate and drag it horizontally within some distance. To do this, hold down the Shift and Alt keys. Select both ellipses and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the Specified Steps to 8. Now go to Object > Blend > Make. Remember that you can always change the distance between source objects using the Direct Selections Tool (A) and adjust the number of steps, going through Object > Blend > Blend Options.
With the objects selected go to Object > Expand Appearance, you get a group of ten ellipses.
Duplicate the group and drag it down and to the right, as shown below.
There is no need for exact accuracy, because there are no absolutely regular strawberries in nature. Repeating the same steps, we get a few rows of staggered ellipses.
Now create the shape of the strawberry. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an red ellipse. The fill color is also technical in this step.
Take the Direct Selections Tool (A) and deform the ellipse so that we can make the shape of the strawberry.
Combine the shape of the strawberry with the group of ellipses as shown.
Copy the shape of the strawberry (Command + C) and Paste in Back (Command + B). Objects in the under layers should be placed as follows: the shape of the strawberry, a group of ellipses down below, the shape of the strawberry down below. You can always change the position of under layers by dragging them up or down in the layers palette as needed.
Select the top shape of the strawberry and a group of ellipses, then go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make With Top Object.
Then go to Object > Expand Appearance
Take the Selections Tool (V) and increase the width of the group of ellipses.
Copy the shape of the strawberry and paste it over the group of ellipses. Select the top shape of the strawberry and the group of ellipses, then click Crop from the Pathfinder box. Then press Expand.
Select the group of ellipses, then go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make With Warp, and apply the settings below.
Then go to Object> Expand Appearance.
Now cut off the group of ellipses in the shape of a strawberry, using the technique described in step 8.
Ungroup (Shift + Command + G) the group of ellipses. Now we can edit and remove unnecessary objects, to give the image a perfect view.
Before we start painting elements of the strawberry in the final colors, we will show where the light source will be located, and how lights, shadows, and penumbra will be situated.
The numbers on the picture below show: source of light (1), light rays (2), shines - very light areas, where glare may be located (3), penumbras (4), shadows (5), the shape of a wave of light - chiaroscuro layout on the object depends on it (6).
The shape of the wave of light is always spherical, but its curvature depends on the distance to the source of light. If the source of light is very distant, as, for example, the sun is, the curvature of the light wave will be slight and its shape is considered to be a straight line. Location of the source of light indicates where and towards what the chiaroscuros will be located. The shape of chiaroscuro is largely determined by the shape of the illuminated object.
In the Adobe Illustrator program the play of light on the object can be achieved by using different shades of one color, linear and radial gradients from light to dark shades. Glares can be created as separate objects of a lighter color. The Kuler website can help you determine the shades of the basic color.
Now let's continue creating our strawberry. Take the Selections Tool (V), select all the objects and rotate the strawberry as shown below. Select one of the ellipses and fill it with a linear gradient that goes from light red (C=2, M=91, Y=81, and K=0) to red (C=5, M=100, Y=100 and K=1). Use the Gradient Tool (G) to place the location of the gradient.
Now create a glare on the edge of the depression. To do this, copy the ellipse (Command + C) and Paste in Back (Command + B). While working with the lower ellipses it is convenient to lock the under layer with the upper ellipse in the palette.
Fill the lower ellipse with linear gradient from pink (C=3, M=67, Y=38, and K=0) to light-pink (C=0, M=16, Y=1 and K=0). Move the lower ellipse a little bit up and to the right; adjust the gradient with the help of the Gradient Tool (G).
Now create the shape of the seed. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse, deform it using the Direct Selections Tool (A) and fill it with a linear gradient from light yellow (C=7, M=13, Y=54, and K=0) to light brown (C=16, M=67, Y=100, and K=4).
Now create the shadow from the seeds, using the technique described in step 13. The shape of the shadow can be changed using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and Selections Tool (V). Fill the shape of the shadow with a solid brown color (C=22, M=100, Y=100, and K=18).
Create a reflex from the seeds in some depressions in the strawberry penumbra. Use the Pen Tool (P) to create the shape of reflex, fill the shape with a solid terra cotta color (C=0, M=74, Y=75, and K=0).
In the depressions located at well-lit areas of the strawberry, fill the seed shadows with a maroon color (C=10, M=100, Y=100, and K=4).
Closer to the edges of the berries the whole seed will not be visible, so part of it should be cut off according to the shape of the depression.
Copy the ellipse (Command + C) and Paste in Front (Command + F), select the seed and the upper ellipse and click Intersect in the Pathfinder palette. Then press Expand.
At the places where the ellipses intersect with the shape of the strawberry, add a few anchor points using the Pen Tool (P), and deform the shape using the Direct Selections Tool (A), as shown below.
Fill the depressions located in the penumbra with a linear gradient that goes from red (C=0, M=98, Y=96, and K=0) to dark red (C=11, M=100, Y=100, and K=2).
Fill the depressions located in the shadows with a radial gradient from brown (C=28, M=100, Y=100, and K=36) to dark red (C=12, M=100, Y=100, and K=4).
This way you work with all the depressions and seeds of the strawberry. There is no need to recreate the seeds each time, it is enough to copy the created one and change it where it is necessary, the gradient direction and size of the seed. The gradient direction depends on the light source location ,and the location of seeds on the strawberry. Most of the seeds are directed towards the top of the strawberry.
In this artwork you can rely on your artistic taste. Now select the shape of the strawberry and fill it with a linear gradient. The gradient will consist of three colors: light red (C=0, M=86, Y=76, and K=1), red (C=9, M=100, Y=100, and K=3), and dark red (C=21, M=100, Y=100, and K=17).
Take the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape of light glare on the strawberries. Fill the created shape with a linear gradient that goes from pink (C=0, M=45, Y=22, and K 0) to light-pink (C=0, M=18, Y=0, and K=0).
Cut off the shape of the light glare according to the shape of the strawberry using the technique described in step 17.
Reduce the Opacity of the light glare up to 80%.
Apply the same technique to create shadows on the bottom of the strawberry. The gradient color goes from dark red (C=20, M=100, Y=100, and K=14) to red (C=38, M=92, Y=72, and K=54), and the Opacity is 70%.
Now create the leaves. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create five small leaves as shown.
Create shadows on the leaves. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create the shape of the shadow. Fill the shape of the shadow with a linear gradient. The gradient contains three shades of green: first green (C=59, M=48, Y=100, and K=38), second green (C=52, M=49, Y=100, and K=32), and third shade of green (C=57, M=39; Y=100, and K=21).
Cut off the shade according to the leaf shape using the technique described in step 17. Create shadows on several leaves.
To fill the leaf shape, use a complex linear gradient consisting of five green colors: one (C=59, M=39, Y=100, and K=22), color two (C=41, M=51, Y=99, and K=23), color three (C=59, M=39, Y=100, and K=22), color four (C=52, M=29, Y=100, and K=8), and color five (C=35, M=19, Y=66, and K=0). Pay attention to the second color – that is the reflex color from the red strawberry, so it must be on the right place.
Take the Pen Tool (P) and create the veins on the leaf. Fill the veins with the same linear gradient, taking into consideration all that was mentioned above. (38) Work on the leaves that are left using the described technique.
Create a shadow under the strawberry. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse. Now fill the ellipse with a grey to white linear gradient.
Learning where to place light is important. The technical aspects of creating this delicious illustration are not difficult, but you will need a lot of patience and a keen eye for light. Your eyes may get very tired within a few hours, and you may fail to notice obvious things. In such cases, it will be better to leave the final fine-tuning of the image for the next day. Have fun creating!