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Use a Basic Polygon, 3D Rotate & Gradients to Illustrate an Umbrella


Do you want to illustrate an umbrella? If yes then let's get started and you will undoubtedly learn the excellent Illustrator tools and create you own impressive and stunning artworks! Open the Illustrator program, create there the new document and let's begin

Step 1

First you need to make the so-called "Main geometry sketch" which is shown in the image below.

If you know how to achieve this result without assistance do it by yourself. But if not, read carefully the first introductory steps of the tutorial. Take the Polygon Tool and click in the workspace of your document. Specify the number of sides to 8 as shown in the diagrams below.

Step 2

Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat.

Then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

After that go to Effect > 3D > Rotate and choose the Isometric Left position preset as shown.

Step 3

Go to Object > Expand Appearance again.

The result which you have just made is flat. But as you know the top part of an umbrella is concave up. In order to reach this take the Direct Selection Tool (A), and convert your violet figure. Then grab the Pen Tool (P) and outline the paths of the umbrella's top. See the helpful image below.

Step 4

Divide the violet path in 5 parts and colorize them in different colors.

Take the Line Segment Tool (Back Slash), and draw a path which will represent a rod of the umbrella and apply the Round caps to it in the Stroke palette. Place this path in the right position between orange and brown paths.

Go to Object > Expand and Object > Ungroup.

Step 5

Illustrate the handle the same way.

Expand it...

...and inflate the end of it as shown because I think that it will be more interesting. :)

And your "Main geometry sketch" will be completed.

Step 6

Let's begin to paint our umbrella in order to convert the flat image of the main geometry to the three-dimensional finalized result. Select the top red path and fill it with an angled linear gradient.

The violet path is filled with an angled linear gradient too.

Step 7

The orange path should be filled with darker gradient. Do you know why? Because this path is located in the inner part of the umbrella. It is an area of shade in the picture. Add the corresponding coloring to it as shown.

The rod path is a metallic part of the umbrella. So its filling must have contrasts between lights and shadows. Apply such a gradient filling to it in order to satisfy this rule. See the image below for reference.

Step 8

The brown path has the complicated light distribution as you can see it in the finalized image of this tutorial in the top of it. So as to achieve this effect, first fill this path with usual shown gradient.

Copy this path and Paste it in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Fill the copy with another shown gradient.

And change the Blending Mode to Darken in the Transparency palette.

Step 9

The inner parts of the top part of the umbrella are filled the same way. Do it without assistance. Follow the helpful diagrams below.

Step 10

The handle seems to be flat...

Let's turn it into amber. We will do it without using any pattern and within the bounds of Illustrator program. How to do this?

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and illustrate a black ellipse. (The olive background is not important).

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and set there the shown values in the dialog box. Click then the Copy button.

Change the Opacity of the biggest ellipse to 0.

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and specify the corresponding options as shown below.

Select then both ellipses and go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).

Step 11

Then drag and drop it into the Brushes palette. Select the Art Brush option in the dialog box.

Set the items for the brush as you can see them on the diagram below. Name this brush as the "Black brush." Besides, change the method of colorization of the brush to Hue Shift (shown with an arrow in the diagram below) in order to manage the brush colors.

Step 12

Click the New brush button in the Brushes palette, and select the Bristle brush option in the dialog box.

Set the items for the brush as you can see them in the diagram below and name this brush as the "Handle brush."

Step 13

When this brush is selected grab the Paintbrush Tool (B) and draw a following path over the handle. Change the color of the Stroke to light orange.

Crop the path with a clipping mask by going to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command + 7).

Step 14

Draw the next paths and apply the "Black brush" to them. Crop them with a corresponding clipping mask too.

Decrease both: the opacity and the Stroke weight of the paths, and then change the Stroke color to white. Despite the fact that we use the "Black brush", the Stroke color will allow us to manage the color of the brush more effectively.

Step 15

Apply the "Black brush" with the black Stroke to the following paths.

And apply the "Black brush" with the white Stroke to the next paths.

Change the Blending mode of these paths to Multiply in the Transparency palette.

Step 16

In order to complete the creation of amber handle we need to add two or three semitransparent paths to which the "Black brush" is applied. Do it.

Can you distinguish the umbrella's handle from amber now?

Step 17

Change the metallic rod contour so as to illustrate a latch.

Draw a gray path using the Pen Tool (P) under the cavity.

Copy it and Paste in Back (Command + C then Command + B), move and change it slightly as shown below, and change the color of filling of it.

Emphasize on the cavity by using the "Black brush."

Step 18

Attach the handle to the rod by illustrating the following rectangle filled with an angled linear gradient. Follow the helpful diagram below.

Produce a blend from usual lines shown below. Do it by yourself. Up to this point in the tutorial you already know how to achieve this without assistance.

Crop the blend with a clipping mask and decrease the opacity of it. You should receive the same picture as the shown one below.

And apply the "Black brush" to the next two paths.

Step 19

Produce the shown ellipses over the rod at the upper part of it.

Produce a cylinder from both: red and yellow ellipses. Select the red ellipse, Copy it and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Take the Lasso Tool (Q) and select the nearest anchor points of these two paths: the copy of the red and the yellow ones.

Press the Delete button on your keyboard.

Select the upper anchor points of these two paths using the Lasso Tool (Q)...

...and go to Object > Path > Join (Command + J).

Do the same with the lower anchor points.

Step 20

Repeat these manipulations in order to achieve the shown result, where you should add besides the dark blue ellipse.

Fill the paths with the colors and the gradients as shown. I think, you can do it by yourself already.

The rod detail is inserted into by using the clipping mask over the dark blue ellipse. Just apply the techniques you learned earlier in the tutorial here. Follow the helpful diagram below.

Step 21

The eight joining spokes are illustrated the same way. Follow the helpful diagrams below and create them. First use the usual lines as spokes.

Then expand them, fill with angled linear gradients and place every spoke in the right location. They must be positioned symmetrically. There are 4 spokes in front, and there are 4 ones in back. While creating the spokes follow the helpful image below.

Step 22

If you desire you can illustrate the holes for the joining spokes.

But they are hardly visible in the full image...

Step 23

The main spokes which support the top of the umbrella are very thin and may be illustrated with usual paths to which the "Black brush" is applied. I will show you one of them. Draw a usual path...

...and apply the "Black brush" to it.

Illustrate the other spokes.

Why can you use this simple way without detailed creation? Because every vector artwork is produced for own dimensions in spite of its ability to be scaled. Inasmuch as we do not draw an umbrella for street big boards we can produce the small parts of it without detailed work. And, moreover, the pictures in the street big boards are seen from a distance. Thus the small parts there are invisible too.

Step 24

The ends of the spokes are tiny, and may be created, as I have said just, by using the simple circles filled with a radial gradient.

The thread along the bounds of the umbrella's top are usual dashed paths. The inner thread path is slightly desaturated because the inner parts of the top are placed in the area of shade.

After that illustrate a background.


The final image is below.