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Eat Your Veggies! Create a Vegetable Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Get those sweet vitamins and minerals with this cute vegetable pattern in Adobe Illustrator CC. We'll use simple shapes to create each item, repeating basic styles, and creating a color palette that brings our design together as a cohesive pattern. Top it all off with the Pattern Options panel for quick and easy creation of seamless patterns, and you've got a fabulous design garden growing!

I created this design in Adobe Illustrator CC 2015. You are welcome to use earlier versions of the program, but may find some features to be missing. Since everything's been created from basic shapes, however, I'm sure you can adapt these techniques to whatever program you've got on your computer.

1. Corn on the Cob

Step 1

Open a New Document and use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a circle. Most of our shapes will start with a circle.

  1. Set the fill color to bright green (#7dd229).
  2. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to pull the top anchor point upward.
  3. Use the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) to convert the top anchor point from a curve to a point.
  4. Select your long teardrop shape and go to Effect > Warp > Flag to apply a Vertical bend of 37%. Then go to Object > Expand Appearance.
Drawing the first corn husk leaf

Step 2

Draw a larger circle to gather your warped leaves around it.

  1. Place two warped leaves on the left side.
  2. Copy (Control-C)Paste (Control-V), and Reflect the two leaves over a Vertical Axis so you can place them on the right side of the large circle. 
Place the warped leaves on either side of a large circle

Step 3

The corn base was created from a light yellow circle whose top anchor point was pulled upward by the Direct Selection Tool. Place it beneath the leaf shapes but above the green circle shape in the Layers panel.

Draw a light yellow tear drop for the corn cob

Step 4

Let's create some kernels!

  1. Draw a series of rounded rectangles with the Rounded Rectangle Tool over the corn cob.
  2. I've hidden the leaves so this can be seen clearly. Group (Control-G) the rounded rectangles together.
  3. Select the corn cob and the kernel group, and use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) to select the portions of the kernels that do not intersect with the corn cob.
  4. Deselect all components and delete the non-intersecting components of the rounded rectangles.
Draw rounded rectangles to form the corn kernels and use the shape builder tool to delete them from the corn cob

Step 5

Let's review the colors used in this design so far! For the corn base, I used light yellow (#fce47f) and then medium (#fecc68) and dark yellow-orange (#ffc05c) for the kernels. Then, the inner leaves are medium green (#8eb72a) and the outer leaves are light green (#7dd229).

Review the colors used in the corn design

2. Create the Corn Details

Step 1

Group together your corn design. Then, Copy and Paste the object and Unite the pasted object in the Pathfinder panel. Set the fill color and stroke color to dark brown (#3d1708). In the Stroke panel, set the width to 3–5 pt and the caps and corners to rounded.

Place behind the original corn object and Align the two objects to their centers in the Align panel. Expand your design under Object. This is the technique we'll use to create outlines for all of our little vegetable designs.

Create an outline for your corn design

Step 2

In the case of Scaling your corn cob down, make sure Scale Rectangle Corners is selected in the Transform panel. If it's not, you may find your rounded rectangles will change in shape as you resize your object.

Scale rectangle corners to keep corner fidelity

Step 3

As an optional step, you can add adorable little faces to your vegetable designs.

  1. Draw two circles for the eyes.
  2. For the mouth, draw a circle and overlap it with a rectangle. Select both shapes and hit Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel.
  3. Draw two pink ellipses for the cheeks and place them under the eyes in the Layers panel.
Draw a simple face on your corn

Step 4

I sometimes like to add a cute and simple heart to the mouths of my designs.

  1. Draw a small circle with the Ellipse Tool.
  2. Copy and Paste that circle and overlap the first. Unite the two shapes in the Pathfinder panel.
  3. Delete the bottom three anchor points with the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-).
  4. Add a new anchor point in the center of the bottom edge of the shape with the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). Pull the lower anchor point downward with the Direct Selection Tool
  5. Grab the handles of the two side anchor points and round out the side a bit.
  6. Use the Anchor Point Tool to convert the bottom point from a curve to a point. Set the fill color to pink (#fc94b5).
Use a couple circles to draw a simple heart

Step 5

Place the heart in the mouth of your corn design. Draw two small white circles on the eyes for highlights. Group all of your corn components together.

Complete the corn on the cob design and group it all together

3. Draw an Avocado

Step 1

This is one of the easiest designs in this tutorial. Draw a circle and pull the top anchor point upward to create the base design of the avocado.

Draw a teardrop for the avocado base design

Step 2

Set the base color of the avocado to #7e6353. Repeat the first shape with a smaller circle and set the color to lime green (#c3e548). Draw a circle in the center and set the color to #c97d5a.

Add a dark-brown outline to the base shape, and give your avocado a face as we did with the corn on the cob. For highlights on the avocado pit, draw a couple of circles and set their fill colors to #e5ab70Group all of your avocado components together and make sure to Expand your design under Object.

Draw your avocado components and group it all together

4. A Bunch of Beets!

Step 1

Once again, this vegetable starts with a teardrop shape formed from a circle. Convert the lower anchor point to a point from a curve. Copy and Paste two instances of your upside-down teardrop, and Rotate all three objects slightly so that when they overlap they look like a bunch of beets.

Draw three upside down teardrop shapes

Step 2

For the stems of the beets, draw a thin, vertical rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M). Select your rectangle and go to Effect > Warp > Arc to apply a Vertical bend of 37%Then, go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Create a beet stem from a warped rectangle

Step 3

CopyPaste, and Reflect or Rotate a couple instances of the stems. Place them over each beet. To thicken the stems, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the offset at 2–3 pixels.

Place your beet stems over their corresponding beets

Step 4

For the leaves, overlap several circles on top of each other and once you have the puffy leaf shape you desire, Unite the circles in the Pathfinder panel. Place the leaves on top of the beet stems.

Draw fluffy leaves with circles

Step 5

Add an outline stroke to each of the beets. Then, add an outline to the entire beet group, as we did with the corn and avocado earlier. Draw faces with circles, small curves, and little arrow shapes.

For the new colors added to our palette in this section see the following:

  • dark green leaves (#4c721f)
  • beets (#a80057)
  • beet stem (#75002d)

Optionally, you can draw some squiggles with the Pencil Tool (N) or the Pen Tool (P), or draw smaller leaves with circles as we did before and layer them on top of each other.

Complete your bunch of beets

5. Tomayto Tomahto

Step 1

Draw a large ellipse for the tomato's base. For the leaves, we're once again creating a series of teardrop shapes with the techniques we've used earlier. Overlap four Rotated green teardrops for the lower half of the tomato's leaves. CopyPaste, and Reflect the four leaves over a Horizontal AxisUnite all eight teardrop shapes together and place them on the top of the tomato.

An ellipse and teardrop shapes form the basic tomato design

Step 2

For the stem, draw a small green rectangle. Go to Effect > Warp > Arc to apply a Vertical bend of 20% and make sure to Expand Appearance under Object. Draw an ellipse and line it up with the top edge of the warped stem shape. 

Unite the two shapes together. Use the Direct Selection Tool to move the lower anchor points inward and narrow the stem's base. Place it on the top of the tomato.

Draw a tomato stem with a rectangle and an ellipse

Step 3

Complete the tomato in the same manner (with an outline and a face) as we've done with the previous vegetable designs. The red I used for the tomato is #ff4b78. I also changed the little tongue heart's color to tomato red.

Complete your tomato

Step 4

Here's a look at our vegetable designs so far. We've got three more to go!

Heres a look at our vegetable designs so far

6. Draw Bell Peppers

Step 1

The bell pepper design is pretty simple as well. Let's start with the stem.

Draw a vertical light green rectangle. Go to Effect > Warp > Bulge and apply a Vertical bend of -9%. Expand the Appearance under Object. Then, apply an Arc Effect with a 35% Vertical bend. Once again, make sure to Expand its Appearance.

Warp a rectangle to get the basic stem shape

Step 2

Let's add a top edge to the stem.

  1. Draw an ellipse with the Ellipse Tool and Rotate it with the Selection Tool (V) so that it's at an angle similar to the top edge of the stem shape.
  2. Use the Direct Selection Tool to manipulate the anchor points of the ellipse so it fits onto the top of the stem a bit better. 
  3. Set the fill color to medium green.

Step 3

For the pepper shape itself, draw a fat vertical ellipse for the center shape and three red (#fe5153) ellipses for the front, each rotated from the center. Place the stem at the top of the pepper. You can also draw a darker-red, scalloped shape with the Pen Tool to create a bit of depth, or just change the back ellipse's fill color. Group your pepper components together.

Use ellipses to create the pepper shape

Step 4

Complete the pepper with a face and an outline. Copy and Paste your pepper, and change the reds to yellow for an alternate pepper colorway.

Create multiple pepper colorways

7. Spice It Up With a Jalapeño

Step 1

Our pepper friends wouldn't be complete without a cute and spicy jalapeño. Like the avocado, it's very, very simple.

Draw a circle and drag the lower anchor point downward to create an elongated teardrop shape. CopyPaste, and Scale the bell pepper's stem down to create the jalapeño's stem. Place it behind the pepper's body in the Layers panel.

A long teardrop and the bell pepper stem make a perfect jalapeno

Step 2

Add an outline to your design, as we've done previously, and a face too, if you'd like. Scale and Rotate the pepper to your liking to be placed later into your pattern design.

Complete the jalapeno design

8. Don't Cry, Little Onion

Step 1

Once again, as we've done with all of these cuties, draw a circle. Pull the top anchor point upward and convert the curve to a point with the Anchor Point ToolCopyPaste, and Scale three instances of the onion body down and place them at the bottom of the onion. Group these four objects together. I chose #feb159 for my onion color.

Four little teardrops create a cute onion

Step 2

With the Pen Tool, draw two little 'greater than' and 'less than' shapes for the eyes.

  1. Draw a half-circle or slight curve for the mouth.
  2. Draw a large curved path from the top center to the bottom center of the onion.
  3. Repeat three more times. Expand the strokes and Unite these shapes in the Pathfinder panel.
  4. As with the corn kernels, use the Shape Builder Tool to delete the onion stripes from the onion base. Set the fill color to #df9361. Complete your design with a dark-brown outline.
Add some details to your onion design

Step 3

For the pattern, arrange three or four of the vegetables and create a New Pattern in the Pattern Options panel. Set the Tile Type to Brick by column. Hit Done and then Copy the rest of the vegetable designs.

In the Swatches panel, Double-Click your new pattern, and Paste your other vegetable objects onto your pattern. Now you can rearrange your elements, overlapping the pattern swatch's boundaries and creating a dense, seamless pattern. ScaleRotate, and Move your elements as you see fit. Once satisfied, hit Done and your pattern swatch will be updated with your new additions.

Eat Your Veggies!

To complete your design, draw a large rectangle over your artboard and apply your pattern swatch to it as the fill color. Draw another rectangle below the first with the fill color of your choice to add a simple background color to your design.

What other fruits and veggies can you add to your design to make it unique? Share your vegetable designs in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, check out these other cute pattern and object tutorials:

The final vegetable pattern design
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