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How to Create a Flat Design Summer Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Today we're going to create an interesting composition with several objects, which may be useful for a vacation or travel concept. We’ll work with basic shapes and tools and a fresh, bright color palette.

Get inspired with more amazing Summer Graphics from GraphicRiver.

1. How to Create a Surfboard

Step 1

First, set up a New Document (File > New): 

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 850 px
  • Height: 600 px
  • Units: Pixels
  • Color Mode: RGB

Make seven layers in the Layers panel:

  • Details
  • Suitcase
  • Parasol
  • Swim Shirts
  • Beach Towel
  • Surfboard
  • Background

Don't forget to go to the View panel and turn Smart Guides on.

Creating of a New Document

Step 2

Let's start by making a narrow and long 20 x 420 px rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M), colored in with #f9a03f. Then round all its corners to their maximum by using the upper Corners panel. 

Let's make our rectangle look like a surfboard. Go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Set it to Vertical and Bend: 30%. Click OK (or press Enter on your keyboard). And Expand (Object > Expand) the shape.

Applying of a Bulge effect to the surfboards shape

Step 3

Choose the Polygon Tool and click once on the Artboard. In a pop-up menu, set the Radius to 50 px and Sides to 3. As you can see, we've created a triangle.

Place this triangle above the bottom side of the surfboard’s base (see the picture), select both the base and the triangle, and choose Minus Front on the Pathfinder panel. 

With the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), drag the inner sides of the resultant tails of the board to make them more curved and round their corners a bit.

Making of a boards tail

Step 4

Make a random rectangle, color it in with pink (#f294b6), and place it under the middle of the base shape. 

Then select the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) and, keeping both shapes selected, Delete the redundant parts while holding Alt.

Adding of a pink stripe

Step 5

Create one more rectangle colored in with magenta (#df2754) and place it under the pink shape.

Delete any unnecessary parts, as we did with the previous rectangle.

Adding of a magenta stripe

Step 6

Add a pale pink (#f9cddf) rectangle over the pink one. Select it with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and, while holding Alt, drag this pale pink rectangle under the magenta shape.

Delete any redundant parts of the pale pink shapes.

Adding of two pale pink stripes

Step 7

Let's add three dots and a semi-transparent shadow.

With the Ellipse Tool (L), make one small circle and two equal smaller ones. Color them all with a pale orange (#f9d1aa). Place them on the left side of the base of the surfboard.

Create a big random magenta rectangle. It must cover all of the right side of the surfboard. In the Transparency panel, choose the Multiply Mode.

Delete all the redundant parts of the rectangle.

Our surfboard is done!

Adding of dots and a shadow

2. How to Make a Beach Towel

Step 1

Start with a 150 x 230 px purple (#9076e2) rectangle.

Then make a 150x18 px pink (#f294b6) rectangle and place it at the bottom of the previous shape.

Click on the pink rectangle with Direct Selection Tool (A), holding Alt, and drag the copy to the upper side of the basic shape.

Creating of a base of a beach towel

Step 2

Select both pink stripes. Choose the Blend Tool (W) and click on the pink stripes. Then click twice on the Blend Tool thumbnail and set the Spacing to Specified Steps; 3 in the pop-up menu.

Expand the effect.

Making of pink stripes

Step 3

Copy one of the pink rectangles and recolor it with a dark purple (#4a288c). Place one dark purple stripe under each pink shape.

Adding of dark purple stripes

Step 4

Make a small 10 x 20 px dark purple (#4a288c) rectangle and round two of its upper corners to the maximum. Place this shape above the main towel shape and to the left.

Then Copy it and move the copied piece to the right.

Making of shapes for towels fringe

Step 5

Select the Blend Tool (W), and then click on both dark purple shapes and click twice on the Blend Tool thumbnail. Set the Spacing to Specified Steps; 6 in the pop-up menu. Expand the effect.

After, Copy that fringe group, Reflect it Vertically, and move it to the bottom of the towel.

Adding fringe to the second side of the towel

Step 6

And of course, the shadow! Do it as we did with the previous objects.

Making of a shadow

3. How to Create the Swim Shorts

Step 1

Make a 95 x 15 px rectangle colored in dark purple (#4a288c). Round its corners to 3.

Then, with the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), drag the bottom side down a bit.

Making of the first shape for swim shorts

Step 2

Make a 70 x 90 px magenta (#df2754) rectangle. Round its upper corners to the maximum and the bottom corners to 3. Rotate it a bit to the right and place it beneath the dark purple shape.

CopyPaste and Reflect this shape Horizontally to make the second leg.

Making of two magenta legs

Step 3

And now we're going to make pockets.

Create a 40 x 40 px pale pink (#f294b6) circle and place it on the left leg. Delete the redundant part. Then Copy and Paste it to the same place (Ctrl-Shift-V), Reflect Horizontally, and move it to the right leg.

Making of two pockets

Step 4

Make a small 8 x 8 px magenta (#df2754) square and round its corners by 2 px. Place it in the middle of the dark purple shape.

With the Pen Tool (P) or the Brush Tool (B), make half of a bow. Set the Fill color to #d6f7fc and Stroke to 5. Then Expand the bow, make a copy, Reflect it Horizontally and move it to the right side. Round its lower corners to the maximum.

Make a random magenta (#df2754) rectangle and place it on the right side of the shirts. Then with the Eye Dropper Tool (I), copy the layer style from the shadow of the surfboard. Delete any redundant parts.

Creating of a bow

4. How to Make a Parasol

Step 1

First, on the Parasol layer on the Layers panel, make a 10 x 220 px magenta (#df2754) rectangle and Round its corners to the maximum.

Making of a stick for a parasol

Step 2

Create a big 240 x 240 px orange (#f9a03f) circle, using the Ellipse Tool (L). Place it above the previous shape.

With the Line Segment Tool (/), make a horizontal line without any fill and color and place it on the circle (see the picture).

Select both the circle and line. Then click Divide on the Pathfinder panel. Delete any unnecessary parts.

Adding a basic shape to the parasol

Step 3

Add a bright orange (#ef5500) 320 x 320 px rectangle under the parasol’s base.

Make a 320 x 220 px pale orange (#f9d1aa) triangle. Place it on the basic shape to form a middle segment of our parasol and Delete redundant parts.

With help of the two thin lines without fill and color, Divide the bright orange rectangle under the parasol’s base vertically into three parts. Color the middle part in with orange (#f9a03f).

Adding segments to the parasol

Step 4

Select a left part of the three bright orange rectangles. Go to Effect > Warp > Arch. And set the Vertical and Bend to 30%.

Do the same with the third right shape, but choose Bend: -30%. Expand the effects, round both the bottom corners of the two rectangles to 3 px, and drag their bottom sides up.

Round the corners and drag the bottom side of the middle shape too.

Editing of the bottom segments of the parasol

5. How to Make the Suitcase

Step 1

Start with a pink (#ea7aad) 200 x 130 px rectangle. Round its corners to 10 px.

Add one more 175 x 110 px pale pink (#f294b6) rectangle and place it on the previous one.

Creating of a base for a suitcase

Step 2

Make a small 20 x 35 px magenta (#df2754) rectangle, and round its corners to 3 px. Then make a dark purple (#4a288c) 10 x 20 px rectangle, and round its corners to 3 px too. Place this shape on the previous one.

Create a pale purple (#9076e2) 7 x 4 px rectangle with corners rounded to the maximum. Place this shape on the dark purple one.

Making of a latch

Step 3

Our latch is done. Now, place it on the suitcase’s base to the left. You may also Group it: select all three layers and click Control-G on your keyboard. Then, Copy the group and move a copy to the right.

Adding of latches to the suitcases base

Step 4

Add a handle! Make a 10 x 30 px magenta (#df2754) rectangle and one copy.

Also, make a 70 x 10 px magenta (#df2754) rectangle and place it up between the two previous ones. Merge them all using the Pathfinder panel. Round the left and right outer upper corners to 3 px.

Creating of a base for a handle

Step 5

Create a 50 x 20 px pale purple (#d6c7f9) rectangle, round its corners to 3 px, and place it on the horizontal part of the handle. Add two glare dots which will be a tiny circle and rounded rectangle. Place them on the pale purple shape and color them #efebfc.

Adding of a part to the handle

Step 6

Let's make our suitcase more interesting by adding three minimalist travel stickers.

For the first one, make an orange (#f47a2a) triangle (using the Polygon Tool) with a pale orange (#f9d1aa) Stroke. Round its corners and place it approximately in the middle of the suitcase’s base.

Making of triangle sticker

Step 7

For the second sticker, you have to select the Star Tool, click once on the artboard, and choose Points: 20 (Radius 1 and Radius 2 to your notice). Color this shape pink (#ea6a8e), select all its outer corners, and round them to the maximum.

Copy this pink shape, and color it with magenta (#df2754). Make the copy a little bigger and place it behind the pink shape. Then, place the sticker on the left side of the suitcase. Remove any redundant parts.

Making of a rounded star sticker

Step 8

To create the third sticker, make three circles each a little bigger than the previous one. Place them one above the other. Color the inner circle with a pale purple (#d6c7f9), the middle circle with purple (#9076e2) and the outer circle with dark purple (#4a288c).

Then, place them on the right side of the suitcase and Delete any redundant parts with the help of the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M).

Also, make a semi-transparent shadow for the suitcase.

Adding of a circle sticker

We made all the icons! Now, let’s make a catchy composition with them.

6. How to Compose Objects Into a Beautiful Illustration

Step 1

Arrange all the objects as though they are in an imaginary rectangle. You may also make a real one and then Delete it if it's more convenient for you.

Creating of a full composition

Step 2

Let’s fill the empty spaces with pretty details.

With the help of the Line Segment Tool (/), create a vertical line with a 20 px Height and 5 pt Stroke colored in purple (#9076e2). Also place its copy horizontally to form a plus sign. Expand both lines and Merge them using the Pathfinder panel.

Then, round all corners of the plus sign to the maximum.

Making of a plus sign

Step 3

Place as many pluses as you like around the main objects.

Adding of pluses to the full composition

Step 4

Next, make a 30 x 30 px pale pink circle with a 7 pt Stroke and no Fill. Expand it and multiply its copies around the other objects.

Adding of pink circles

Step 5

Create an 18 x 18 px magenta circle with a 7 pt Stroke and no Fill. Expand it too and do the same as before with the previous step.

Adding of magenta circles

Step 6

And finally, add small, pale purple (#d6c7f9) circles.

Create an 850 x 600 px white rectangle, Align it to the Artboard and place it on the Background layer.

Adding of pale purple circles

Bravo, We Did It!

Now, we’re absolutely ready for holiday adventures! I hope you had a lot of fun creating this illustration with me and that you learned something new that will help you with your future work.

Also, check out my How to Create a Bold Fruit Pattern in Adobe Illustrator tutorial to learn how to make juicy watermelons and oranges that you can also add to today’s creation.

Summer Illustration Result With Watermelons and Oranges

Share your results in the comments. I'll see you!

Flat Design Summer Illustration Adobe Illustrator Tutorial
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