Regardless of all the crazy snow storms, yes, spring is on its way, and
soon we will see the first flowers. Let’s try to recreate the beauty of
spring on your art board. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create
special brushes to draw flowers. Also, you'll learn how to create a
brush from a flower illustration. At the end of this tutorial, you will be a
1. Drawing a Stalk Using a Special Brush
Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document (Control-N). First, we are going to create the special brush which you will use to draw the branches. Set the fill color to black, delete the stroke color, if you see it, and hit the Ellipse Tool (L). Draw a very long and narrow ellipse, but not too big. The size of the ellipse doesn't matter, because later you can increase or decrease the weight of stroke. After that, hit the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top and bottom anchor points of this ellipse, which are marked in the image below, and move them to the left. Hold the Shift key to move the anchor points straight.
Now you need to turn this ellipse into a brush. For this, grab the ellipse and move to the Brushes panel. In the new dialogue window, select New Art Brush and press OK. Again a new dialogue window will pop-up, where you need to select Direction from right to left and make Colorization Method Tints. At the end, press OK.
So now we are going to start creating a willow. Double-click on the Brush
Tool (B) and adjust the brush options. In the new Paintbrush Tool
Options window, make Fidelity 3 pixels, Smoothness 50 percent, and in
the Options section check Fill new brush strokes. Click OK.
Delete the fill color and set the stroke color to R=125 G=108 B=90. Take your recently created brush and draw the branch of the willow. Start to draw from bottom to top. If your hand is shaking, you can draw a very short line and, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top anchor point of this line and move it higher. Draw four branches. If you see that your branches are very thin or thick, you can go to the Stroke panel and increase or decrease the Weight of the stroke.
Make the stroke thinner (decrease the Weight of the stroke on the Stroke panel) and draw a few smaller branches.
2. Drawing the Willow Catkins
Delete the stroke color and set the fill color at R=172 G=188 B=167. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create an ellipse. Make the fill color lighter (R=189 G=201 B=185) and draw a smaller ellipse inside the first one.
Create another ellipse, smaller than the previous two, and set the fill color at R=94 G=83 B=73. While keeping it selected, use the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the right anchor point—you will get a sharp corner. Then, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top and bottom anchor points and move them to the left. Copy-paste the shape you got, and make it smaller and lighter (R=114 G=101 B=90). Place this copy over the previous shape.
Put all the shapes together as in the image below. It's a willow catkin. Select the whole willow catkin and drag it to the Brushes panel. In the new dialogue window, select New Art Brush and press OK. Again, you will get another dialogue window, where you need to select Direction from left to right and make Colorization Method None. Press OK.
Delete the fill color and make any stroke color. The stroke color doesn't matter, because before you set Colorization Method to None. Take this newly created brush and draw the willow catkins.
For a better understanding of how the brushes work, you can go to View > Outline. You will see something like the image below. To return to the previous view, go to View > Preview.
With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a circle. Hold the Shift key to create an even circle. Set the fill color at R=244 G=243 B=238 and make sure that you don't have a stroke color. Grab this figure and move it to the Symbols panel (Window > Symbols). In the new dialogue window, make sure that you select Movie Clip for Type and press OK.
Now double-click on the Symbol Sprayer Tool (Shift-S), and adjust the options. In the new window, make Diameter 200 px, Intensity 8 Fixed, Symbol Set Density 10, and check Show Brush Size and Intensity. Click OK. Using the Symbol Sprayer Tool (Shift-S), spread the recently created symbol over the willow catkin.
Spread the symbol all over the willow catkins. Expand the symbols (Object > Expand) and then ungroup them (right-click > Ungroup), because all the symbols will be grouped. For your convenience, you can group (right-click > Group) every willow branch, so later you can manage them more easily.
3. Drawing the 'May Lilly’—Lily of the Valley
Take the brush you used for the branch of the willow and set the stroke color at R=141 G=139 B=66. Draw two stalks of the lily of the valley.
Decrease the stroke Weight and draw a few more tiny stalks which will connect the blossom.
Let's create another brush to draw the lily of the valley. Start with a long, narrow ellipse with black fill color. Take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the right anchor point of this ellipse to make a sharp corner. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top and bottom anchor points of the ellipse, and move them to the left. Now make a new brush from this shape as you did for the branch of the willow.
Now that your brush is ready, we need to draw the lily of the valley and make another brush from this flower later. First, let's draw the flower. Set the stroke color at R=245 G=249 B=239 and draw a short line using the brush you created from the previous step. You probably will need to increase the stroke Weight to make a nice shape like in the image below. Then draw two side petals. Don't worry about the very light color of the petals, as we will have a darker background later.
Make the stroke color a little darker (R=236 G=244 B=222) and draw two more petals. Place them behind (Control-X, Control-B). Decrease the stroke Weight and draw a few lines on the top of the flower to show the volume.
Then select the whole flower and create a new brush from it, as you did for the willow catkin. Remember to make the Colorization Method None.
Using the brush you created in the previous step, draw the lily of the valley. Group every branch for your convenience.
Place the lilies of the valley into the bouquet.
4. Drawing the Forget-Me-Nots
Take the brush you are using for the branch and stalk, and change the stroke color to R=93 G=122 B=66. Draw the stalks of the forget-me-nots. For longer stalks, make the stroke Weight thicker, and for shorter ones use a thinner stroke weight.
To draw the forget-me-nots, we will use the brush which you have used for lily of the valley. So change the stroke color to R=84 G=174 B=184. Draw five petals. Then decrease the stroke Weight and make the stroke color lighter (R=172 G=214 B=217), and draw a few lines inside the flower as shown in the image below.
For the middle part of the forget-me-not, we will use an existing Illustrator brush, which you can find in the Brushes panel. Click on the Brush Libraries Menu and select Artistic > Artistic_Calligraphic. Choose a 1 pt Round Brush, make the stroke color R=230 G=204 B=35 and draw the middle part of the flower. Then make the stroke Weight thicker and put one gray (R=75 G=82 B=79) dot in the middle. The forget-me-not is finished.
Create a second, lighter forget-me-not by changing the color of the petals to R=149 G=216 B=216.
Select the original blue flower and drag it to the Brushes panel. Create New Scatter Brush with Colorization Method None. After that, do the same with the light blue flower.
Switching between the blue flower brush and the light blue flower brush, place forget-me-nots on the stalks. To create the buds of the forget-me-nots, just draw ellipses in blue and light blue fill colors.
Group every branch (right-click the mouse > Group).
Place the branches of the forget-me-nots in the bouquet.
5. Drawing the Leaves of the Forget-Me-Nots
Let’s create a brush to draw the leaves of the forget-me-nots. Create a long black ellipse. Make the left and right anchor points sharp using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C).
Increase the stroke Weight, set the stroke color at R=78 G=99 B=55 and draw a leaf. Decrease the stroke Weight, make the color lighter (R=93 G=122 B=66) and draw the stalk of the leaf. Group the leaf (right-click > Group) and put it on the branch of the forget-me-not.
Now, using the same techniques as described in the previous step, add more leaves.
6. Drawing More Willows
Copy-paste two more willow branches and place them over the whole bouquet.
7. Drawing a Ribbon
Take the 1 pt Round Brush, make the stroke color R=84 G=174 B=184 and draw a ribbon around the bouquet as shown in the image below.
Add the curly ends.
8. Creating the Background
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and, while holding the Shift key, draw a square with the fill color of R=228 G=226 B=213 and width and height of 600 px.
Take a look at the Appearance panel. Press the pop-up menu in the top right hand corner and select Add New Fill. Now look at the Swatches panel. Click on the Swatch Libraries Menu in the bottom left corner and select Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. Choose Bird Feet. Return to the Appearance panel and make the Opacity for this second new fill Overlay.
Here is how your spring bouquet should look now!
Congrats, your spring bouquet is ready and you just need to put it in a vase. If you want to create a vase or cozy room to go with this bouquet, check this tutorial. I hope some tricks were helpful for you and you can use them in your future projects!