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How to Create a Grass Banner in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool and Warp effects in Adobe Illustrator to create a fresh spring grass banner!

You can purchase an illustration including similar grass banners and even flowers from GraphicRiver.

Green Grass
Green Grass

1. How to Create a Blade of Grass

Step 1

Our first step is going to be the creation of a single blade of grass. Create a long, narrow rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M).

Green rectangle

Step 2

Color it green. You can use #699108, as I'll be using it in this tutorial.

Colored with 699108

Step 3

Select the upper right-hand corner of the rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and Delete it, creating a triangular shape.

Deleted node to create triangle

Step 4

Take the Mesh Tool (U) and create four mesh nodes at regular intervals from each other, simply clicking with the tool on the path. In the end, you should have six mesh nodes, as demonstrated in the screenshot.

Created nodes with Mesh Tool

Step 5

Now we will be coloring our created Mesh. We will start with the lowest node, coloring it with the #325001 color.

Colored node with 325001

Step 6

Next up, we will take the second node from the bottom and color it with #7CA10F.

Colored node with 7CA10F

Step 7

We will continue coloring the nodes, alternating darker and lighter colors, as shown in the screenshots below:

#4C6C06 for the third node.

Colored node with 4C6C06

#7CA10F for the fourth node.

Colored node with 7CA10F

#416203 for the fifth node.

Colored node with 416203

Finally, #7CA00D for the uppermost node.

Colored node with  7CA00D

Step 8

Create another row of mesh by clicking right around the middle of the shape with the Mesh Tool (U).

Created node in the middle of the shape

Step 9

Make the end of our grass blade lighter by selecting all the nodes with the Lasso Tool (Q) and coloring them with #F3FF84.

Colored the tip with F3FF84

Step 10

Select the middle row of nodes using the Lasso Tool (Q) and adjust the color of them by going to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors.

Input the settings shown below: 17% Red, 12% Green.

Adjusted the colors 17 Red 12 Green

2. How to Create Grass Shapes Using Warp Effects

Step 1

Now we will create four more copies of our grass blade to modify them. You can clone them by using Control-C, Control-V, or simply drag the shape while holding the Alt key.

Created five copies

Step 2

Take one of the copies and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Use these settings:

  • 45% Bend
  • 21% Horizontal Distortion

This will warp the blade of grass and make it look more natural.

Warped with Flag 45 Bend 21 Horizontal Distortion

Step 3

Select the result and go to Object > Expand Appearance to adjust the shape to the applied effect. Don't forget to repeat this step after each Warp!

Expanded Appearance

Step 4

The second blade of grass we will modify with Effect > Warp > Arc with the following settings:

  • 8% Bend
  • -6% Horizontal Distortion

Repeat Step 3 after this.

Warped with Arc 8 Bend -6 Horizontal Distortion

Step 5

For the third shape, use Effect > Warp > Flag again, but with different settings:

  • -35% Bend
  • -10% Horizontal Distortion

Repeat Step 3.

Warped with Flag -35 Bend -10 Horizontal Distortion

Step 6

To achieve a different look, you can create anchor points on the shape, using the Add Anchor Point (+) function, and then drag them with Direct Selection Tool (A), as I did right here:

Added Archor Point and dragged it a little downwards

Step 7

Moving on to the fourth shape, apply Effect > Warp > Rise with the following settings:

  • -46% Bend
  • 26% Horizontal Distortion
  • 1% Vertical Distortion

Repeat Step 3.

Warped with Rise -46 Bend 26 Horizontal Distortion 1 Vertical Distortion

Step 8

Finally, modify the last remaining shape with Effect > Warp > Flag and these settings:

  • 75% Bend
  • 71% Horizontal Distortion
  • 1% Vertical Distortion

Repeat Step 3.

Warped with Flag 71 Bend 71 Horizontal Distortion 1 Vertical Distortion

Step 9

We're done with the warping! Now, rotate your grass blades so they are facing the correct way. Select all five of them and create a copy (Control-C, Control-V) of them.

Created a copy of the grass

Step 10

Select the copies and by going to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors, make the grass a bit darker. 

  • -18% Red
  • -19% Green
Adjusted the colors -18 Red -19 Green

Step 11

Create one more copy of the original grass and adjust the colors as well.

Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors

  • 12% Red
  • 13% Green
Adjusted the colors 12 Red 13 Green

Step 12

Now that we have all the different colors, let's think about the length of the grass!

Select all of the grass we created so far, create a copy, and scale the grass a little bit to make it shorter.

Created more copies and scaled them to look shorter

3. How to Create Your Own Grass Banner

Now that we have all the different types of grass, your next task will depend on your creativity!

Step 1

Using the blades of grass we've created so far, create a patch of grass by putting them next to each other. You can copy the shapes and send them to back (Shift-Control-[) or to the front (Shift-Control-]). Of course, you can modify the different pieces as well, using the functions that we learned in this tutorial (changing the color, warping, etc.).

Arranging the grass

Continue, once you are happy with your patch of grass. You can use mine as inspiration!

Final arranged picture

Step 2

If you are satisfied with the end result, select the patch of grass, create a group (Control-G), and then move it next to its original place while holding the Alt key. This will copy it. There shouldn't be any empty space between the two patches.

Copying the grass patch - do not leave white spaces

Step 3

Keep the second group selected and press Control-D. This will copy it again.
Repeat this step until you are happy with the resulting length of the banner.

Final banner

4. How to Pretty It Up

We're almost done! All that's left is to make your banner look a bit nicer.

Step 1

Create a white rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M). The size doesn't matter for now.
Take the Mesh Tool (U) and create a node right in the middle of the shape.

White rectangle mesh node in the middle

Step 2

Select the bottom three nodes with the Lasso Tool (Q) and apply the #293500 color to them.

Coloring the bottom row with  293500

Step 3

Similarly, select the middle nodes and color them with #B8B87A.

Coloring the middle row with B8B87A

Step 4

Open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency) and apply the Multiply Transparency mode to the shape.

Setting the Transparency to Multiply

Step 5

Stretch and scale the shape so it fits on the bottom of your grass banner. If you feel the shadow is too dark, adjust the Opacity in the Transparency panel—I made it 70%.

Scaling the shape so it goes from the bottom to about the half of the banner

Step 6

In this we will apply a Clipping Mask, effectively "cropping" the banner. 

So now, create a rectangle and move it on top of the picture. It should include everything that you want to have in the final image.

Creating rectangle for Clipping Mask

Step 7

Select everything (Control-A), and then press the right mouse button and select Make Clipping Mask.

Doing the Clipping Mask

Congratulations, You're Done!

What now? You can play around with your banner some more, for example rotating or stretching the different blades of grass. You can adjust the color of the shadow as well.

Final Result

In this tutorial, you learned how to create a spring grass background, primarily using the Mesh Tool and the different Warp effects!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and learned some useful tools for the future!

This grass banner is uniquely created through this tutorial, but you can find similar grass banners in this illustration, and there's even more in my portfolio!

Green Grass
Green Grass banners
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