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Use Brushes to Create a Watermelon Text Effect in Illustrator

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Follow this tutorial and learn how to create an all vector watermelon text effect in Adobe Illustrator.

We will start with the text and using a few manipulation techniques we will obtain all the letters that we need to complete this effect. An important part is the watermelon look and we will create this by adding multiple fills and strokes in the Appearance panel then save it as a watermelon style in the Graphic Styles panel. We will continue with the texture on the pulp of the watermelon which is also vector and created using Art and Scatter Brushes from the library. To add the seeds we will create and save our own Seed Scatter Brush. At the end, we'll add some highlights and shadows and we'll create a couple of juice drops in order to make this effect more attractive. Let's begin!


Tutorial Assets

To complete the tutorial you will need the following assets:


1. Start a New Project

Launch Illustrator and go to File > New to open a blank document. Type a name and enter 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. While there, also go to Units & Display Performance and set the Units as indicated. I usually work with these settings and they will help you throughout the drawing process.

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2. Create the Shapes of the Letters

Step 1

Grab the Type Tool (T) and type the following letters on your artboard. Use the fonts and sizes indicated for each one. The word is "SAMPLE" but we will create the letters "A" and "L" separately.

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Step 2

Now let's create the letter "A". Grab the Star Tool, click on your artboard to open the Star window and enter the settings shown below. You will get an upside-down triangle but you can flip it by going to the Transform panel and selecting Flip Vertical from the fly-out menu (upper right corner).

Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) select only the bottom middle point and move it down about 9px by pressing the Down Arrow Key on your keyboard 9 times. Next, using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) click on this point and drag to generate the handles.

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Step 3

Select only the points "1" and "2" with the Direct Selection Tool (A) then go to File > Scripts > Round Any Corner and apply a Radius of 10. As a result you will get the rounded corners at the bottom. Next, select the point "3" and move it up about 15px by pressing the Up Arrow Key on your keyboard 15 times. You can also use Object > Transform > Move instead. Now, grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and click on the points "4" and "5" to remove them.

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Step 4

Finally, use the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) to generate small handles for the top point and the shape as the letter "A" is ready.

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Step 5

Move the shape obtained at the previous step to her place then draw an ellipse as the letter "L". I will name these shapes: "letter S", "letter A", "letter M", "letter P", "letter L" and "letter E". I recommend you to make multiple copies because you will need them later more than once.

The letters "A" and "E" are colored differently because they won't act as the letters but we will use them as masks.

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Step 6

Next, take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle over "letter A". Both shapes should have the same width at the bottom (1). Use the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to add an extra point at the bottom of the rectangle, in the middle (2) then select only this point and move it down until it meets the bottom of the triangle (3). Transform this point from corner to smooth point by dragging the handles with the Convert Anchor Point Tool (4) then also using this tool drag the handles for the bottom left and right points of the rectangle (5).

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Step 7

At this point your text should look like below with the shape obtained at the previous step behind "letter A". Next, focus on "letter E" and using the Ellipse Tool (L) draw a shape of about the same size. It's not quite a circle and the two shapes should match perfectly in the left side.

I will name these two shapes "fake A" and "fake E" and again I recommend you to make extra copies because you will need them later.

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Step 8

Now, focus on "letter M". Grab the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\) and draw a straight line above the waves. Select "letter M" and also the line and press Divide in the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) then delete the smaller shape from the bottom. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) select only the two anchor points at the bottom and move them down as shown below.

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Step 9

Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw three ellipses at the bottom as in the image then Group (Control-G) them. Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) the shape from the previous step then select this copy and also the group of ellipses and press Subtract in the Pathfinder panel. I will name the newly obtained shape (purple) "letter M" and the one from behind (gray) "fake M".

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Step 10

At this point all the shapes are pretty much ready. Just grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and click on the point indicated of the letter "P" to remove it.

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3. Create the Watermelon Style

Step 1

Now let's get started with the actual watermelon look. Focus on one of the letters and select green as the fill color. In the Appearance panel, open the fly-out menu and choose Add New Fill in order to add a second fill attribute above the first. Change the color to dark green. Having the second Fill selected in the Appearance panel, go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and apply a -0.84px Offset. The purpose is to get a thin outer edge.

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Step 2

As you did at the previous step, add a third fill on top of the two. While this Fill attribute is selected in the Appearance panel, change the color to light pink then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and apply a -2.4px Offset.

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Step 3

Add a new fill above the rest and this time use the radial gradient indicated. Having this Fill attribute selected, apply a -6.3px Offset and as a result you will get the pulp area of the watermelon.

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Step 4

We are done with the fills but now we'll add a few strokes. Select light green for the first Stroke then go to Effect > Path > Offset path and apply a -2.8px Offset. The goal is to get a thin light green edge right next to the dark green fill (see the close-up). If your stroke is not there, you can adjust the Offset value at any time because this is a live effect.

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Step 5

Add a second stroke above the first by opening the fly-out menu in the Appearance panel and choosing Add New Stroke. Having this Stroke attribute selected in the Appearance panel, apply a -3.8px Offset then reduce the Opacity to 60%. The color remains the same. This second stroke should be right next to the first stroke and if it doesn't, you can adjust the Offset value.

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Step 6

Add a third Stroke above the others then apply a -4.8px Offset and reduce the Opacity to 30% this time. The color remains the same. After this, the watermelon look will be completed and you will have the green peel, the red pulp and the lighter area between the two.

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4. Save and Apply the Watermelon Style

Step 1

Now, open the Graphic Styles panel (Window > Graphic Styles) and have the Appearance panel standing nearby. Select your letter then from the Appearance panel drag the thumbnail into the Graphic Styles panel to save it.

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Step 2

Return to the letters and select the following shapes: "fake A", "fake M", "letter P" and "fake E". Apply the watermelon style to them by selecting it from the Graphic Styles panel.

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Step 3

As I've said at the beginning, we will use "letter A", "letter M" and "letter E" to create masks. So, select "fake A" and "letter A" (which must be in front, fill-none and stroke-none) then go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7). Repeat the same thing using "fake M" and "letter M" then "fake E" and "letter E". You can see the end result in the next image.

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5. Add Texture on the Pulp of the Watermelon

Step 1

Grab the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a few paths on each letter, two to four depending on the size and shape of each letter but basically they should cover the pulp area. You can see the settings for the Pencil Tool below but you can also use the Pen Tool (P) for this.

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Step 2

Select all the paths drawn at the previous step and stroke them with an Art Brush called "Chalk" that you can find in Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil. Set the Stroke Weight to 0.6 pt.

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Step 3

Still having all the paths selected set the Blending Mode to Overlay.

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Step 4

Take again the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a few spiral paths on top of each letter as in the image. Stroke these paths with a Scatter Brush called "Ink Spatter 1" that you can find in Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_Ink. Set the Stroke Weight to 0.3 pt and the stroke color to white for all of them.

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You can see below the settings that I've used for the brush stroke. Double-click in the Appearance panel on the brush stroke applied to open the Stroke Options window and set the values as indicated.

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Step 5

Select the five paths that you have stroked with the Scatter Brush then set them to Blending Mode Screen and 30% Opacity.

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6. Mask the Texture on the Pulp of the Watermelon

Step 1

At this point you need to mask all the brush strokes and clean up the edges of each letter but for this you need some new shapes. Select "letter S" then go to Object > Path > Offset Path and apply a -6px Offset. As a result you will get a smaller shape about the size of the red pulp. Bring this new shape in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front (Shift-Control-]) then in the Appearance panel press the Clear Appearance icon in order to remove all the fills and strokes. You will use this shape to mask the brush strokes later.

Repeat the same things for "letter P".

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Step 2

At the beginning I've said to make copies of all the shapes, right? Now is the time to use them. Grab a copy of "fake A" then go to Object > Path > Offset Path and apply a -6px Offset in order to get a smaller shape (1). Remove the existing appearances. Next, grab a copy of "letter A" (2) and having these two shapes selected, press Intersect in the Pathfinder panel. As a result you will get a new shape having the size of the red pulp (3).

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Step 3

The same thing goes for the next letter. Take the copy of "fake M" then apply a -6px Offset to get the smaller shape (1). Next, take a copy of "letter M" (2) then remove the existing appearances for both shapes if any. Still having both shapes selected, press Intersect in the Pathfinder panel and you will get a new shape the size of the pulp.

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Step 4

Take a copy of "fake E" then apply a -6px Offset to get the smaller circle (1). Take a copy of "letter E" (2) then having both shapes selected, press Intersect again. You can see the resulting shape below (3).

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Step 5

First, select the five shapes obtained in the previous steps and bring them in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front (Shift-Control-]). To create the masks start with the first letter, in this case "S". Select the shape of the pulp (fill-none, stroke-none) along with all the brush strokes on top of the letter "S" (4 + 1 spiral) and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

Repeat the same thing for the rest of the letters and at this point your watermelon text effect should look like below:

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Step 6

Take another copy of "letter M" and fill it with the color indicated. Send this shape behind everything by going to Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Control-[). Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) select a few of the point at the bottom and move them a little down with the help of the Down Arrow Key on your keyboard. To make sure that you don't move the wrong points you can lock everything else except this shape.

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7. Create the Seeds

Step 1

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 16 x 16px circle having a black stroke. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select only the top point then move it up 8px by pressing the Up Arrow Key on your keyboard eight times. Still having the top point selected, grab the handles with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and make them shorter. Finally, select the left and right anchor points and make their handles a little longer. I will name the shape obtained "seed-shape".

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Step 2

Select the "seed-shape" then go to Object > Path > Offset Path and apply a -2.5px Offset. You will get a smaller shape in the middle but move it a little up. I will name the green shape "seed-middle". Next, select again the "seed-shape" and apply a -5.5px Offset to get the third shape. I will name the red shape "seed-small".

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Step 3

To color the seed fill the three shapes with the gradients indicated.

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Step 4

Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) the "seed-shape" then grab the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the two points indicated to cut the path. Delete the top segment and select white as the stroke color for the remaining path at the bottom. Stroke this path with a Blend Art Brush called "White Blend Art Brush_thin" from the collection of Blend art brushes that I've talk about in this tutorial Create a Set of Multi-Use Blend Brushes. Set the Stroke Weight to 0.25 pt and reduce the Opacity to 80%. When you are done, select this path and choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu in order to expand the brush stroke applied. Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up the seed and this will be "seed 1".

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Step 5

Make a copy of "seed 1" then select "seed-small", make it a little smaller and move it on the left side. Replace the existing gradient with the one shown below. Next, select the group that resulted after expanding the brush stroke and reduce the Opacity to 50% because we don't want all the seeds to be so shiny. This will be "seed 2".

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Step 6

Select "seed 2" then go to Object > Transform > Scale, enter 22% in the Scale field and hit Copy. You will get the third seed. Select "seed-middle" and replace the gradient then select "seed-small" and give it a white fill. Everything else remains the same. This will be "seed 3".

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Step 7

We can't save shapes that are filled with gradients as brushes unfortunately but we'll work around this. Make a copy of "seed 1" but keep the original because you will need it later. Replace the gradients for the three shapes with three different colors, like green, purple and yellow. You have expanded the brush stroke so this is not a problem. Now, select the new seed and drag it into the Brushes panel to save it as a New Scatter Brush.

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8. Add Seeds on the Pulp of the Watermelon

Step 1

Focus on the first letter. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse in the middle then stroke this path with the Seed Scatter Brush saved earlier. Double click on the brush stroke applied in the Appearance panel to open the Stroke Options window and change the settings as shown. You can try different values for Size, Spacing and Scatter but it's important to set the Rotation relative to Path and also, only if your seeds are pointed outwards (the tip) set the Rotation to 180 degrees.

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Step 2

On top of the letter "M" draw two paths like in the image using the Pen Tool (P). Stroke them with the Seed Scatter Brush then open the Stroke Options window and change the settings. In the first window are the settings that I've used for the bigger path and in the second window are the settings for the smaller path.

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Step 3

Continue with the letter "P". Draw with the Ellipse Tool (L) a circle then stroke it with the same brush. You can see below the settings that I've used. Don't worry about the overlapping seeds because you can delete or rearrange them later.

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Step 4

The same thing goes for the letter "E".

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Step 5

At this point your watermelon effect should look like in the next image. If you are happy with how it looks, select all the paths that you have stroked with the Seed Scatter Brush and choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu. For the letter "A" I decided to manually arrange just a few seeds later.

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Step 6

Now you need to recolor the seeds therefore grab the original seed ("seed 1") and keep it nearby. Zoom on the first letter and using the Direct Selection Tool (A) select one of the green shapes then go to Select > Same > Fill Color. As a result all the green shapes will be selected and you can color them all at once. Do not release them, switch to the Eyedropper Tool (I) and use it to copy the gradient from the original seed.

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Step 7

Now select one of the purple shapes then go to Select > Same > Fill Color. Once all the purple shapes are selected, use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to copy the brown gradient from the original seed.

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Step 8

Repeat the same thing for the yellow shapes and replace the fill color with the golden gradient. You are done with the main seeds.

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9. Add the Remaining Seeds

Step 1

Remember that you have created "seed 1", "seed 2" and "seed 3", right? In between the main seeds ("seed 1") you can scale and arrange more seeds to create a more natural look. So, multiply "seed 2" and "seed 3" and arrange a few on the first letter. Lower the Opacity for each seed somewhere between 50 and 70%. In the image below there are two examples for you.

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Step 2

Arrange a few seeds on top of the letter "A" also. Start with "seed 1" which is the main then a few of the other. Reduce the Opacity for some of them to 70%.

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Step 3

Continue with the letter "M" and basically do the same thing.

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Step 4

Here is the letter "P":

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Step 5

And here is the letter "E":

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Step 6

You are done with the seeds and your text effect should look like in the next image:

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10. Create the Look for the Letter "L"

Step 1

Just three short steps for this. First, select the ellipse and fill it with the radial gradient indicated. Next, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw three paths on top as in the image. Stroke these paths with an Art Brush called "Brush 1" that you can find in Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic > Artistic_Paintbrush. Set the Stroke Weight to 0.25 pt.

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Step 2

Having the three paths selected, choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu in order to turn the strokes into fills. Select the resulting purple shapes then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen and apply the settings shown. Select again Expand Appearance in order to expand the effect applied then replace the purple fill with the radial gradient shown.

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Step 3

Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) the ellipse and bring it in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front (Shift-Control-]). Remove the gradient fill. Now, select the three stripes and also the copy of the ellipse and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7). The letter "L" is ready.

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11. Add Highlights

Step 1

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a few paths following the peel of the watermelon. I made four but you can draw more or less. Stroke these paths with a Blend Art Brush called "White Blend Art Brush 100 x 3" from the Set of Multi-Use Blend Brushes. Set the Stroke Weight to 0.5 pt then reduce the Opacity to 75% for all of them.

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Step 2

Use again the Pen Tool (P) to draw a few paths right between the red pulp and the lighter area. Stroke them with the same White Blend Art Brush but this time keep the Stroke Weight at 1pt to get smoother highlights.

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12. Create the Drops of Juice

Step 1

Create a shape similar to the "seed-shape" and fill it with the linear gradient indicated at a 50 degrees Angle. Set to Blending Mode Color Burn (1). Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this shape and move it a little up and to the left. Replace the existing gradient with a white to black radial gradient then set to Blending Mode Screen (2).

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Step 2

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a small path in the upper left side of the juice drop. Stroke it with the White Blend Art Brush that you have used earlier then set the Stroke Weight to 0.5 pt. Select Expand Appearance from the Object menu in order to expand the brush stroke. Now, Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up the drop of juice and make another copy. Scale and arrange the two drops of juice like in the next image.

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13. Create the Background

Step 1

First, create a new layer behind the layer with the text effect and name it "Background". Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a shape around the text and fill it with the radial gradient shown.

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Step 2

Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) the background-rectangle and keep the same gradient. Now, go to Effect > Distort > Glass and apply the settings shown. Set to Blending Mode Multiply and 40% Opacity.

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14. Add Shadows

At this step you will need a copy of each letter again. Send all of them behind everything by going to Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Control-[). Remove the existing appearances if any and fill them with green, for example. Still having these six shapes selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply the settings shown. You have just finished!

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Congratulations! You're Done

I hope you enjoyed to create this watermelon text effect and that you've learned a few new things. If you decide to make this please attach an image in the comments section. I would love to see your result.

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