Spring has arrived! Let’s greet this amazing season with a beautiful lettering illustration. Of course, we’ll add some floral decorations, love, passion, and creativity!
Today, you’ll learn how to create digital writing in Adobe Illustrator to make some elegant lettering with floral elements for our gentle, ornamental composition. Ideally, it would be great to have a pen tablet for this tutorial for your convenience. We will also use the Width Tool, the Pen Tool, and the Arc and Line Segment Tool.
OK, let's get started!
1. How to Create Digital Hand Lettering
After opening your Adobe Illustrator, create a new document with 850 x 850 px Width and Height. Our illustration will be placed on a dark grey background. So let’s create a dark-grey rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M).
Now, let’s start writing. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect because we just need to mark where the real letters will appear.
So that we can write legibly, let’s get some help: the Rulers. To make them appear, go to View > Rulers > Show Rulers (Control-R). Take the upper ruler and drag it down to the place where you want to write. Repeat this action to make another ruler appear, so that you have two lines between which you can place your letters.
Now that you’ve prepared where you want to write, let’s begin writing using the Pencil Tool (N) with no fill color. If you make a mistake, you can always erase it using the Eraser Tool (Shift-E). It’s easier if you can see the whole artboard (Control-0), because the smaller the letters you write, the less your hand will shake.
Lower the Opacity on the Transparency panel of this layer, close it, and create a new layer.
On the new layer, take the Pen Tool (P) and outline the word "Hello". I recommend the Pen Tool because you won't have a lot of anchor points which make your file heavier, as you would with the Brush Tool (B). Write each letter separately, since it will be easier for you to manipulate the letters later. Begin by writing simple letters and then add some curly decorations later.
Now you can add some curls by manipulating the handles of the anchor points. If you want to connect two letters, select the anchor points that you want to connect using the Direct Selection Tool (A), right-click the mouse, and select Join.
Now it's time for the next word, “Spring”.
Close the upper layer, where you wrote using the Pen Tool (P), and unlock the bottom one, where you will write the new text. Make sure that you’re in the bottom layer and create another couple of rulers below the first two rulers that you made, where you want the second word to be placed.
Simply take the upper ruler and drag it down. Do this action twice to get a pair of rulers as boundaries for your letters. Using the Pencil Tool (N) with no fill color, write the word “Spring”.
For better visibility, you can increase the bottom layer Opacity.
Similar to what we did before with the word “Hello”, lock this layer, lower the Opacity, and go to the upper layer. Next, select the light-cream or yellowish stroke color, and by using the Pen Tool (P), outline the word "Spring". When you are finished, add some curls to the letters by manipulating the handles of the anchor points.
This is my result. Feel free to do something similar to this.
Look at the Layers panel, take the layer where we drafted the letters (the non-decorative letter layer), and drag it to the trash icon (Delete Selection). Press Control-R to hide the Rulers. Select the lines on your artboard (you placed letters between them) and press Delete on the keyboard.
This is what our lettering now looks like:
2. How to Create Floral Details
Now we’ll add some spring floral details. Let’s make the first type of leaves.
Set the stroke color to green with no fill color. Using the Arc Tool, draw the stem of our leaf. Add a few lines from both sides of the stem by using the Line Segment Tool (\) or the Arc Tool, if you prefer. Make sure to check Round Cap on the Stroke panel.
We'll transform these lines into leaves by using the Width Tool (Shift-W). Hit the Width Tool (Shift-W) and place your mouse/pen tablet over the “prospective” leaf. Stretch where the leaf should be thicker. Repeat with the rest of the leaves.
Make a few of these leaf branches. Finally, we need to expand the lines which were transformed. Select them and go to Object > Expand Appearance, and then Object > Expand. (The first time you expanded just the leaves, and then the second time the stem).
For the second type of leaves, we'll use the Arc Tool again to draw lines in two colors: lighter green on the back and darker green over it. Change the width of these lighter lines with the Width Tool (Shift-W). Expand all lines (Object > Expand Appearance, Object > Expand) and make the leaf edges sharper by moving the handles of the anchor points (use the Direct Selection Tool (A)).
Now we will create a rose. Add a pink circle with no stroke color and pink fill color (feel free to choose any shade of pink). To make an even circle, draw an oval using the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding down the Shift key.
Now add some outer petals. Remove the fill color and make the same stroke color (Shift-X) as used for the circle. On the Stroke panel, increase the Weight of the stroke and check Round Cap. Grab the Pencil Tool (N) and start drawing curly petals, which will be the outside of the circle.
To make the inner petals, decrease the Weight of the stroke, and make the stroke color slightly darker. Using the Pencil Tool (N), create inner petals as shown in the image below. Add some lighter petals as well.
In this step, we will create a flower bud. Add a pink circle with no stroke color and pink fill color. Make two copies of this circle with slightly darker color and place them behind the first circle (Control-X, Control-B). Add the fourth copy of the circle behind and make it darkest. Add a few black lines with the Pencil Tool (N) (just grey stroke color), behind the first circle as stamens. And finally, create a green oval behind all petals of the bud as a receptacle.
Expand the stamens. You can select the whole bud, go to Object > Expand, and in the new dialogue window select Stroke and press OK.
For the third type of flowers, let’s use the Line Segment Tool (\) again and draw a few petals as lines. Use the Width Tool (Shift-W) to change the width of these lines and create petals. Add a tiny circle inside the flower. Yellow fill color with no stroke. Isn’t it easy? Finally, expand these lines. Go to Object > Expand.
Create a similar but smaller, white colored flower using the steps we just took. Use the Line Segment Tool (\) for the white petals, deform the lines with the Width Tool (Shift-W), add the yellow circle inside, and finally, expand these lines (Object > Expand).
Here are all the floral elements that we just created. Before moving on to the next step, make sure that you have expanded all of them (Object > Expand Appearance, Object > Expand).
3. How to Arrange the Floral Elements
Make a few copies of the dark green leaves and spread them over and under the letters.
Select the other leaves that we created, make a few copies, and place them also around the text.
Now it is time to place a few copies of our beautiful rose.
Add some of the flower buds.
Scatter a few small red flowers.
Awesome Work, You're Done!
And last but not least, let’s not forget to place our tiny white flowers. With this, we will finish our illustration.
Congratulations! Our spring lettering card is ready! Great job! I hope you’ve enjoyed following this inspirational tutorial and discovered some new tips and tricks that will help you to design more lettering designs and floral compositions. Enjoy the spring, and have fun!