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Illustration

How to Create an Elegant, Vector Pen in Illustrator

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In this tutorial, I'll show you how to draw a vector pen, in an elegant box using Illustrator. We'll pull out the Pen Tool, Rectangle Tool, and gradients in this one. Let's see the final result which is our goal.

Final Image Preview

Below is the final image we will be working towards. Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Vector Plus for just 9$ a month.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1-2 hours

Step 1

Open a new document and grab the Pen Tool (P). Create a rectangle shape as shown below, and then fill it with a Linear Gradient. To do this, open the Gradient panel (Command + F9), select Type: Linear. For the first Stop Color Slider apply color R=49, G=57, and B=59. For the second one R=76, G=93, and B=103.

Step 2

Copy the shape you just created using Command + C followed by Command + B under it. Move the copy a few pixels upwards and change the Fill color to: R=153, G=153, and B=153.

Step 3

Now select the two shapes and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Now in the opening window, set Spacing to Specified, Steps to 10, and click OK. Then go to Object > Blend > Make and straight after that go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 4

Apply the same actions to the left half of the box. Fill it with the same Linear Gradient used in Step 1.

Step 5

Copy the last created shape using Command + C followed by Command + B, and move it a few pixels upwards using the arrow keys. Now change the Fill color to gray (R=153, G=153, and B=153). Select the two shapes and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. In the newly opened window set Spacing to Specified Steps at 10, then click OK. Now go to Object > Blend > Make and straight after that apply Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 6

Repeat the same actions for the top and right side of the box.

Step 7

Now pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape like the one shown below. This will be the box's bottom.

Step 8

Copy the shape, which will be the bottom using Command + C followed by Command + F. Pick the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), add one point in the top part of the copy, edit the keypoint as shown below, and fill with a Linear Gradient. To do this, open the Gradient panel (Command + F9), select the Type of Linear. You need three Stop color Sliders all together. From left to right select a white color, for the second one R=223, G=238, B=249 and for the third one R=207, G=219, and B=241.

Step 9

With the last created shape that we filled with a Linear Gradient is still selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Apply the following settings: Mode of Multiply, Opacity at 75%, X Offset at 0, Y Offset at 0, Blur at 5px, and color of #718189.

Step 10

Pick the Pen Tool (P), create a rectangle shape in the position shown, and fill with a black color.

Step 11

Copy the last created shape using Command + C followed by Command + B under it. Change the Fill color to gray and move the copy a few pixels downwards.

Step 12

Now select the last two shapes and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Then in the open window set Spacing to Specified Steps at 10, and click OK. Now go to Object > Blend > Make (Alt + Command + B) and straight after that apply Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 13

Create the remaining sides and the box lid using the same process.

Step 14

Now using the Pen Tool (P), create a shape behind all the other shapes of the lid, then fill with a dark gray color.

Step 15

Copy the last shape of the lid using Command + C followed by Command + F and fill with a Radial Gradient.

Step 16

Let's keep working with the Pen Tool (P). Create a shape in the position shown below and fill with a Linear Gradient.

Step 17

Create a shape over the right side of the lid and fill with a Linear Gradient as shown.

Step 18

Again, use the Pen Tool (P) to create a shape in position shown. Fill it with a black color and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Now in the new window apply a Radius of 20px, then click OK. Also, reduce the Opacity to 25%.

Step 19

Create two lines using the Pen Tool (P) and apply a Stroke color of black. Now go to Window > Brush Libraries > Artistic > Artistic Ink. Select "Tapered Stroke" and decrease the Stroke color to 0,25pt. With the two lines still selected, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur, then set the Radius to 5px, and click OK.

Step 20

Create a line in the top part of the lid with Stroke color set to white and weight at 0,10pt, then apply a Gaussian Blur of 3-4px.

Step 21

We continue by adding shadows and reflections. Create a line in the position shown below. Go to Window > Brush Libraries > Artistic > Artistic Ink, select "Tapered Stroke." Now give it a Weight of 0,50%, set the color to white and apply a Gaussian Blur with a Radius of 10px.

Step 22

We are ready with the box. Now it's the pen's turn. Grab the Rectangle Tool and create the shapes of the pen as shown below.

Note: You can pull points with the Direct Selection Tool where needed to curve various corners. You may also need to convert points to Smooth in the top menu bar, after selecting them with the Direct Selection Tool. You may also prefer to use the Pen Tool in places or other shape tools.

Step 23

Now we need to fill the shapes with color. Let's start with the top part of the pen and then work our way down, adding gradients. Have a look at the images below for reference here.

Step 24

Create a rectangle over the top part of the pen. Now fill it with a Linear Gradient with colors that go from blue to dark blue. Change the Blend Mode from Normal to Color Dodge, apply Gaussian Blur with a Radius of 2px, and reduce the Opacity to 35%.

Step 25

Create two lines with a Stroke color of white and Weight set to 1pt. In the top part of the pen apply a Gaussian Blur with a Radius of 9-10px, then reduce the Opacity to 50%.

Step 26

Now group all the shapes of the pen by selecting them and apply Object > Group.

Step 27

Now if you want, you can put the pen in the box. To do this, select all shapes of the pen and go to Object > Transform > Scale. In the new window set Scale to 55%, and click OK. This way you'll decrease the pen's size.

Step 28

Now put the pen over all shapes of the box and in position as shown.

Step 29

Pick the Rotate Tool (R), click on the very lowest point of the pen and rotate until you make sure it's in the correct position.

Step 30

Create a rectangle shape using the Pen Tool (P). Now move in under the shapes of the pen and fill with black.

Step 31

Copy the shape you created earlier using Command + C followed by Command +B. Now send it under all shapes of the pen, apply Gaussian Blur at 10px, and decrease the Opacity to 50%.

Conclusion

In the end you can add shadow on the box and a background - anything you wish.

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