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Design

How to Add Texture to a Flat Illustration in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Summer heat is a perfect time to have a cold glass of fresh homemade lemonade to detox and refresh ourselves. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to make a trendy flat-style illustration of a lemonade jar, using basic shapes and working with layers and Blending Modes in Adobe Photoshop. Then we’ll make our image look detailed and unique by adding grainy textures with the help of grungy Adobe Photoshop brushes, which you can purchase from Envato Market or select from the default sets.

You can use your graphic tablet for more convenience, but there are no hand-drawn elements in this illustration, so you can easily make it with your mouse! What is more, these techniques can be applied not only to make a flat jar with drinks, but also flat meals and dishes or even flat cityscapes or any other kind of flat style illustration. These effects will make any of your artworks look fancier. Let’s try it out!

1. Create the Glass Jar Base From Geometric Shapes

Step 1

Make a New Document of 2480 x 1748 px size (horizontal orientation of A5).

Arm yourself with the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and let’s make the body of the jar from a 585 x 820 px shape.

Head to the Properties panel (Window > Properties) and from here we can adjust some parameters. Our rectangle remains a vector Live Shape, until we rasterize it manually, so we can change its size without quality loss. 

We can also change its Fill color here by clicking the Fill color square and selecting one from the swatches or from the Solid Color panel, if we click the colorful icon in the top right corner of the drop-down swatches menu. Let’s set the Fill color to a very light turquoise.

Finally, we can change the Corner Radius of the rounded corners. Let’s set it to 85 px, making the corners of the jar smooth.

Press Control-J to Duplicate the shape layer, so that we have two identical shapes one above the other. We will need the copy a few steps later.

make a rounded rectangle

Step 2

Let’s add a 350 x 85 px shape on top for the neck of the jar. Set its Corner Radius to 20 px. Keeping the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) selected, select both shapes and click the right mouse button to open the context menu. Click Unite Shapes, merging them into one Live Shape.

make a shape for the neck of the jar

Step 3

Now we’ll add a glass rim on top of the neck. Make a 395 x 40 px rounded rectangle with 20 px Corner Radius. In the Properties panel, change its Fill color to a lighter turquoise.

Press Control-J to duplicate our shape and move it on top of the rim. Let's make the shape a bit larger. You can do this by changing its size in the Properties panel. Otherwise, press Control-T for Free Transform Path and make the copy a bit larger by holding Alt-Shift and using the Move Tool (V) to expand the shape. 

add a rim of the neck of jar

Step 4

Make a 340 x 80 px orange rectangle with 20 px Corner Radius for the cap of the jar. Send the shape To Back by either pressing Shift-Control-[ or dragging it down in the Layers panel, thus placing the shape beneath the glass rim.

make an orange cap from a rounded rectangle

Step 5

Now it's time to use the copy of the jar body that we made in the very first step! Find it in the Layers panel and drag it on top of the body. Change the Fill color of the copy to light blue.

make water inside of the jar

Step 6

Keeping the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) selected, decrease the size of the shape, depicting water inside the jar.

descrease size of water shape

Step 7

Now create another rectangle, covering the top of the water shape. Keeping the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) selected, select both shapes and click the right mouse button to open the context menu. Subtract Front Shape, making the top of the jar empty.

By the way, our shapes are still editable! And we can change the size of the subtracted shape if we click it with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and press Control-T for Free Transform Path.

Subtract Shape to lower water level

Step 8

Now switch to the Rectangle Tool (U) and make a 35 x 1110 px light-yellow vertical stripe for the straw. Select all shapes in the Layers panel and Align their horizontal centers from the control panel on top.

Now select only the straw and press Control-[ several times, moving the layer down, until you place it between the jar body and the glass rim. Now the straw looks as if it is inside the jar.

make a straw from the rectangle

Step 9

Let’s shape the handle of the jar. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) to make a turquoise shape and then another, smaller shape on top of it. Select both shapes, while the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) is still selected, and Subtract Front Shape to cut the top shape out. Send the handle to Back by pressing Shift-Control-[, and make its fill color a bit darker than the body of the jar.

add a handle to the jar

2. Make a Lemon From Basic Shapes

Step 1

Now let's prepare the main ingredients for our lemonade. Take the Ellipse Tool (U) and make a 320 x 320 px yellowish-orange circle. 

Duplicate (Control-J) the shape and use Free Transform Path (Control-T) to make the copy smaller. Fill the copy with light yellow for the flesh of the lemon. Then add a third shape on top, making it a bit darker and smaller.

make a lemon circle with the ellipse tool

Step 2

We need to divide the top circle in order to shape the segments of our lemon. Make the top circle invisible, so that it doesn’t distract us, by clicking the tiny eye icon in the Layers panel.

Take the Line Tool (U) and make a thin vertical stripe of 9 x 400 px across the lemon. Align the shapes, if needed, to make the centers match.

Duplicate (Control-J) the stripe, press Control-T and rotate the shape 90 degrees, placing it horizontally across the lemon.

use the Line Tool to make lines across the lemon

Step 3

Make two more copies of the stripe, rotating each of them 45 degrees. Finally, select all the stripes and, with the Line Tool (U) selected, click the right mouse button and Unite Shapes, merging all the stripes into a single layer.

Unite the lines

Step 4

Now make our lemon circle visible again in the Layers panel. Select both the circle and the merged stripes. Keeping the Line Tool (U) selected, press the right mouse button and Subtract Front Shape to cut out the stripes.

Great! This way we’ve formed the segments of our lemon.

cut out the lines to form the segments

Step 5

Let’s also shape the body of the lemon. Duplicate (Control-J) the biggest orange circle and move the shape to the right.

Take the Rectangle Tool (U) and make a narrow 86 x 340 px shape, placing it above the duplicated circle.

make the body of the lemon

Step 6

Keeping the Rectangle Tool (U) selected, select both the circle and the rectangle, click the right mouse button and Unite Shapes. Finish up with the body of the lemon by forming a tiny bump on the right side of the shape with the help of the Ellipse Tool (U).

unite the body of the lemon

Step 7

Let’s make one more detail for our lemonade: a leaf of fresh mint. Take the Custom Shape Tool (U) and find the Raindrop shape in the drop-down list of Shapes, which is located in the control panel on top.

Make a 190 x 300 px shape and fill it with dark turquoise.

make a leaf from the raindrop custom shape

3. Paint the Objects With Textured Brushes

Step 1

Now that the basic shapes are ready, let’s add a touch of texture to make them more detailed and three-dimensional. 

First of all, let’s select the parts of the lemon circle and Group (Control-G) them. Then group the lemon’s body and, finally, group these two groups into one. Keeping our layers neat and organized will help us to find and edit the shapes faster.

group the elements of lemon

Now let’s select the lemon’s body layer, hold Alt and click the Create a new layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. In the pop-up New Layer window, tick Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask. Now the new layer will be linked to the lemon’s body layer. You will see a tiny arrow next to our new layer in the Layers panel, indicating a linked layer.

Such layers allow us to paint inside the edges of the selected shape, which helps to speed up our work, as we don’t need to use the Eraser Tool (E) in order to clean up the edges. Let’s try it out!

Select the linked layer and take the Brush Tool (B). Click the Right Mouse Button to open the list of brushes. Select any grungy textured brush to your liking, either from your collection of default Photoshop brushes or by trying out one of these amazing textured brushes from Envato Market, which will give your artwork a new fresh look.

I’ll be using a Dry Brush 1 #2 from the default M Brushes set. You can Append or Replace the brushes by clicking the tiny cog icon in the top right corner of the brushes list. Just find your set and there you have it!

Select a dark-orange color in the Color panel and try making a few strokes above the lemon’s body.

paint with texture brushes over the lemon

Step 2

If you want to add more variety to the brush strokes, try playing with the settings in the Brush panel (Window > Brush). Here you can change the Spacing or make the brush textured or even wet-edged.

Add more textured strokes to the body, varying the color from dark orange to light yellow.

Then select the biggest circle of the lemon, hold Alt and make a new linked layer. Paint over the orange circle of the lemon to make it textured, too.

make the lemon textured

Step 3

Now let’s make the segments of the lemon textured as well. Add a linked layer to the segments and use the textured brush to paint over it, using dark orange and bright yellow. 

You can vary the Opacity and Flow of the brush in the control panel on top, making the brush strokes light and transparent. I’m using a graphics tablet, so I keep the Pressure for Opacity function turned on. If you’re working with your mouse, that’s totally fine—just play with the Opacity to adjust the thickness of your strokes.

We can also use the [ and ] keys to change the size of the brush faster.

make the segments of the lemon textured

Step 4

Make a New Layer for the minor details. Now I open a Dry Media Brushes default set and use the Charcoal Pencil brush to draw a few tiny red strokes above the segment. Continue adding strokes, making the lemon spotty. Use other colors as well to add variety to our image by switching to orange, bright yellow and white.

add pips to lemon

Step 5

Add a few spots to the lemon’s body as well. Now it looks complete!

minor details added to the lemon

Step 6

Let’s add a couple more variations of the lemon slices. Duplicate the lemon circle group by selecting it in the Layers panel and pressing Control-J. Let’s cut it in half, making a slice. Keeping the group selected, click Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layer panel to add a Clipping Mask to the whole group.

Now use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the upper half of the lemon. Click the mask in the Layers panel and use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to fill the selected area with Black color. This will make the top of our lemon invisible. Now we have a nice slice of half-lemon!

make a half-lemon slice with clipping mask

Step 7

Let’s apply our techniques to the leaf. Create a new linked layer and use a textured dry Brush to paint over the leaf. Make one of its halves lighter. Add darker blue strokes on the bottom of the leaf.

add texture to the leaf halves

Step 8

Add a gentle highlight on top of the leaf, using a light-turquoise color. Use the Charcoal Pencil brush to draw the veins of the leaf: dark blue on the dark half and light turquoise on the light half.

add detail to the leaf texture

Step 9

Now let’s color our jar. Select the body shape of the jar and add a Linked Layer. Use the Dry Brush 1 #2 (or any other textured grainy brush to your liking) and start painting with dark turquoise along the edges of the jar.

add dark turquoise texture to the jar with brushes

Step 10

Add more turquoise along the edges and then switch to dark blue. Paint above, adding more contrast and color.

add blue texture to the jar with brushes

Step 11

Add a Linked Layer to the water shape and make the water shape textured by painting above it. When you’re happy with the result, work at the handle of the jar, adding dimension to it.

add texture to the jar liquid

Step 12

Now move to the glass rim. Remember to add a new linked layer to every shape that you want to color. Make the elements three-dimensional by using the darker color at the edges and adding a gentle highlight in the center.

add texture to the jar with brushes 4

Step 13

Now let’s make a polka-dot pattern on the cap of the jar. Select the cap layer and add a new linked layer to it.

Select a Pastel Rough Texture brush from the Dry Media Brushes set or use any other round brush to your liking. Make a white spot on top of the cap. Add more spots, forming a pattern. Finally, selected the pattern layer and set its Blending Mode to Overlay on top of the Layers panel. Lower the Opacity of the layer to 78%.

form a polka dot pattern on the cap

Step 14

Let’s shape the straw. First of all, make a new Linked Layer and draw diagonal pink stripes, using the same textured grainy brush as you did before. Now let’s make the straw more three-dimensional by adding a couple more linked layers.

Switch one of the linked layers to Screen Blending Mode and paint along the left edge of the straw with yellow to make a highlight. Switch another linked layer to Multiply Mode and paint along the right edge with pink to add a gentle shadow.

Lower the Opacity of the layers if the shadow or highlight turns out to be too intense.

shape the straw with linked layers

Step 15

Let’s add a touch of blue to the part of the stroke inside the jar. This way we’ll show that it is behind the glass surface. Add a new linked layer to the straw. Take the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and select the bottom piece of the straw, which is inside the water. Fill the selected area with light-blue color and switch the layer to Multiply Mode.

We can add one more linked layer to the straw and this time fill the whole shape inside the jar with light-blue color. Switch it to Multiply Mode, too, and lower the Opacity a bit.

add a blue tint to the straw

4. Build a Balanced Composition

Step 1

Let’s see, what do we have to make fresh lemonade? We have a whole lemon (I’ve made it by attaching two parts of the lemon body to each other), a half-lemon, a lemon circle, a slice and a mint leaf. Let’s mix everything together!

lemonade ingredients

Step 2

Let’s place some lemons on both sides of the jar. Use the Shift-Control-[ and Shift-Control-] key combinations to rearrange the shapes as needed.

Duplicate the lemon circle and put a couple of copies inside the jar. Let’s edit these shapes a bit. Copy the biggest circle of the lemon and place it on top of the other circles. Change its fill color to blue and switch to Multiply Mode, lowering the Opacity to about 60%. This subtle touch of blue gives our lemons a realistic look, showing that they are floating in the water.

start building a composition

Step 3

Add more slices inside and outside the jar. Start decorating the whole scene with leaves.

continue building a composition

Step 4

Now duplicate the water shape and place the copy on top of the lemons. Switch to Multiply Mode, making it look a bit more true to life. Add more leaves to balance the composition.

edit the colors

Step 5

Use the Charcoal Pencil brush to make a thin, arched stroke for the stem of the plant. Attach a few berries by making circle spots. Duplicate the plants and decorate our jar. Use Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to mirror some of the shapes.

decorate the jar with plants

Step 6

Let’s finish up our illustration, making the composition look balanced. Fill the Background layer with light-yellow color. Create a New Layer on top of the Background layer and use a textured brush to make a gentle shadow underneath the jar.

work at the background

Wonderful! Our Glass Jar of Fresh Lemonade Is Ready!

Great job, my friends! We’ve learned some useful tips and tricks while working with geometric shapes, linked layers, clipping masks and making our image unique by applying grainy textures with the help of the brushes.

As you can see, a touch of texture gives a really nice look to a flat illustration, making it look unique and detailed. You can apply this knowledge not only to creating a fancy jar, but also to making any other kind of flat illustration look different.

Check out the following tutorial and see how you can make simple flat weather icons look different, when you apply a grainy texture!

Have fun!

flat jar with lemonade in adobe photoshop is finished
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