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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Gradient Mesh Tool
Design

How to Create a Christmas Sleigh Design With Mesh in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use Mesh in Adobe Illustrator to create a vector Christmas sleigh design with a sleigh and a pile of gift boxes!

If you want to skip the tutorial and just use this Christmas design along with some other awesome elements in your work, you can purchase Christmas Background with Presents on a Sleigh from GraphicRiver!

 Christmas Background with Presents on a Sleigh
Christmas Background with Presents on a Sleigh

1. How to Draw the Christmas Sleigh

Step 1

Start by drawing an object just like the one shown below. Fill it with #DBAF85.

Let's begin using Mesh in Adobe Illustrator! Grab the Mesh Tool (U) and create a Mesh Grid like the one in the screenshot below by clicking where the nodes are supposed to be.

Once your Mesh Grid is done, begin coloring it by selecting the indicated nodes with the Mesh Tool (U) and changing their color to #A67F64.

Finally, color the nodes on the top edge of the shape with #FEE4CD.

christmas design mesh tool

Step 2

Draw another part of the Christmas sleigh using the Mesh Tool.

You will need these colors to complete the object:

  1. #E8CAB0
  2. #B08A70
  3. #FEE4CD
christmas sleigh vector

Step 3

Now combine both parts, adding a #634326 curve on the side.

christmas sleigh vector tutorial

Step 4

Begin drawing another object with Mesh.

  1. #E5D0BA
  2. #B1885B
  3. #CEAF8F
mesh in adobe illustrator

Step 5

Add one more part.

  1. #90745D
  2. #B1885B
plank mesh

Step 6

Assemble this part of the Christmas sleigh.

christmas design mesh

Step 7

Begin drawing another plank using these colors:

  1. #E5D0BA
  2. #B1885B
  3. #CEAF8F
christmas sleigh mesh

Step 8

Draw a leg for the sleigh with Mesh.

  1. #B18D62
  2. #4D2807
  3. #96734A
  4. #C8B299
  5. #BF9C70
mesh in adobe illustrator

Step 9

Add a second leg.

  1. #B2885A
  2. #4B2C09
  3. #BCA388
  4. #694C2D
  5. #A88A6B
  6. #9E7955
gradient mesh

Step 10

Draw the next part for our Christmas sleigh design.

  1. #84613A
  2. #C5AD9B
  3. #AB8D6F
wooden mesh

Step 11

Draw one more plank with Mesh.

  1. #C5AD9B
  2. #9A7652
wooden plank vector

Step 12

Assemble the last wooden part.

vector mesh

Step 13

Create the Christmas sleigh out of the elements we made!

christmas sleigh vector tutorial

2. How to Add the Christmas Presents

Step 1

To learn how to draw one of the presents we will be using, please consult this tutorial I've made:

Go to Section 3 and draw the green present with a bow.

Next, select it and proceed to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors, inputting the following values:

  • Red: -2%
  • Green: 3%
  • Blue: 10%
edit colors adobe illustrator

Step 2

For two more presents, take a look at this tutorial:

Grab the violet box from Section 1 and recolor it with Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors.

  • Red: 53%
  • Green: -17%
  • Blue: -47%
recolor box

Step 3

Recolor the silver bow as well. Use these parameters:

  • Red: 20%
  • Green: 0%
  • Blue: -40%
tutorial vector bow

Step 4

Combine the box with the bow!

red gold gift box vector

Step 5

Grab a white box from Section 2 of the tutorial linked above, and then proceed to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors.

  • Red: 5%
  • Green: 2%
  • Blue: -6%
present recolor

Step 6

Recolor the violet bow.

  • Red: 21%
  • Green: -33%
  • Blue: -66%
gift bow recolor

Step 7

Grab another copy of the violet bow and make it cyan.

  • Red: -11%
  • Green: 15%
  • Blue: -11%
edit colors

Step 8

Assemble both color variants.

christmas design box

Step 9

Now it's time to draw one more Christmas present with Mesh in Adobe Illustrator!

Start with the gift box.

  1. #D1A967
  2. #FFFDC2
  3. #EFC785
mesh in adobe illustrator present

Step 10

Begin drawing the ribbon with the Gradient Mesh Tool.

  1. #C81601
  2. #FF7150
  3. #7F0000
gift bow ribbon christmas

Step 11

  1. #C81601
  2. #FF7150
  3. #7F0000
mesh in adobe illustrator tutorial

Step 12

  1. #F03F00
  2. #850000
  3. #FF7150
  4. #C81601
mesh in adobe illustrator bow

Step 13

  1. #C00E00
  2. #7C0000
  3. #A30800
mesh in adobe illustrator christmas ribbon

Step 14

  1. #DB2909
  2. #7C0000
  3. #FF7150
mesh in adobe illustrator ribbon

Step 15

  1. #DB2909
  2. #FF5636
  3. #940A05
mesh in adobe illustrator tutorial

Step 16

Assemble the Christmas design bow.

mesh in adobe illustrator bow

Step 17

Place the bow onto the box.

mesh in adobe illustrator box

Step 18

Place all presents on top of the sleigh or around it!

christmas sleigh vector

3. How to Complete the Christmas Design

Step 1

First, draw the background with Mesh. Use these colors:

  1. #06525F
  2. #00A7B1
  3. #003036
  4. #002623
mesh in adobe illustrator background

Step 2

Draw some snowy hills.

  1. #F0F8FD
  2. #ADD3EB
  3. #DCEDFA
  4. #FFFFFF
mesh snow hill

Step 3

Make the top edge of the hill completely transparent.

mesh in adobe illustrator

Step 4

Draw some pine trees, using #01656B, #00353F, #00322E, and #00433C.

vector pine tree

Step 5

Make a forest out of the trees.

vector pine forest

Step 6

Draw a circle, filling it with a white to black Radial Gradient.

Set it to Screen with 85% Opacity.

radial gradient

Step 7

Make a starry sky, adding a moon from this tutorial:

vector mesh moon

Step 8

Make snow out of white, roundish shapes.

vector snow

Step 9

Add a cloud from this tutorial:

Set it to 60% Opacity and Soft Light.

vector mesh cloud

Step 10

Add snow to the sleigh and boxes from this tutorial:

snow vector

Step 11

Combine everything into a Christmas design background!

Christmas design background

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

What now? You can try any of my other tutorials from my profile, or check out my portfolio on GraphicRiver, as well as the original Christmas design we recreated in this tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and will be super happy to see any results in the comments below!

 Christmas Background with Presents on a Sleigh
Christmas Background with Presents on a Sleigh

Check out more Christmas tutorials right here!


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