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How to Create a Quick Spring Banner in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In today's tutorial, I'm going to show you how to easily create a spring banner. You will draw birds, a bow and floral branches using basic shapes, and learn how to add a new fill to an existing one.

1. Drawing the Body of the Bird

Step 1

Create a new document (Control-N) and hit the Ellipse Tool (L). We will first create the body of the bird. Set the stroke color at any color and with no fill. Create an ellipse. Then add a smaller one on the top. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle; this will form the neck of bird. To finish off the body shape, take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and make the lower part of the rectangle wider.

In the end, the shape should look like in the following image.

drawing the body

Step 2

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw two long, narrow ellipses to create the tail. Place them as shown in the image below.

adding the tail

Step 3

Now let's create the beak. You will need to get a sharp corner with the help of the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C). Click on the right anchor point. Then take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the top and bottom anchor points. Shift them to the left. Voila! The beak is done!

creating the beak

Step 4

Place the beak in its place and add an ellipse to show the eye of the bird.

adding the eye

Step 5

Select the shapes which we used to create the body of bird. Go to the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Unite button. Take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and convert sharp corners into smooth. Notice that you do not need to click with the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), but stretch the handles of the anchor points.

making one shape from the the body parts

Step 6

Delete all the strokes and fill the resulting shapes with the colors shown in the image below. The color of the eye is black with white highlight.

showing the colors of the body and beak

Step 7

Now let's create the wing. Set the fill color to R=96 G=115 B=128 and, with the help of the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an ellipse. Make the right anchor point sharp using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C).

Then move the top and bottom anchor points to the left. Select the anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and move them using the arrows on your keyboard.

creating the wing

Step 8

Place the wing on the bird.

placing the wing

Step 9

Now, let’s create the dark area around the bird's eye. Make the sharp corners of the ellipse (R=96 G=115 B=128).

creating a dark area around the bird eye

Step 10

Put it behind the eye of the bird.

placing a  dark area around the bird eye

Step 11

Keep the same fill color and draw an ellipse. Place it as shown in the image below. Select the body shape of the bird and make another copy in front (Control-C, Control-F). Keep it selected and, while holding the Shift key, select the new overlapping oval. In Pathfinder, press the Intersect button.

creating the belly of the bird

Step 12

On to the last part. Draw a narrow ellipse, set the fill color at R=221 G=213 B=74. Then make the right anchor point sharp and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the following settings. Don't forget to expand the resulting shape (Object > Expand Appearance).

creating the beak 2

Step 13

Place the newly created shape on the beak. The bird is ready!

placing the rest parts on the bird

2. Creating Another Bird

Using the same process but changing the color, we can create another bird.

creating another bird by changing the fill colors

3. Creating the Bow

Step 1

Start with a pink (R=246 G=160 B=169) rectangle, which you need to create with the help of the Rectangle Tool (M). Go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the following settings:

creating left wing of the bow

Step 2

Expand the shape (Object > Expand Appearance) and draw an overlapping rectangle as shown in the image. Select the two shapes and on the Pathfinder panel, press the Intersect button.

creating left wing of the bow 2

Step 3

Hit the Reflect Tool (O) and click on your art board, holding the Alt key. In the new dialogue window, check Vertical and press Copy.

creating right wing of the bow

Step 4

A slightly lighter (R=248 G=184 B=190) rectangle will make up the middle part of the bow. Enter the Warp Options with the settings you see below:

creating the middle part of the bow

Step 5

Using the Reflect Tool (O), make a Horizontal reflection of the bow wings and set the fill color to R=232 G=116 B=18. Don't forget to put them behind (Control-X, Control-B).

creating the bow

Step 6

Take one of the bow wings and make it a bit bigger. Incline the wing to the left. Then place it behind everything (Control-C, Control-B) and change the fill color to R=244 G=144 B=159. After that, make a vertical reflection with the help of the Reflect Tool (O).

drawing the ends of the bow

4. Placing the Birds and the Bow Together

Arrange the two birds and the pink bow as shown.

placing the birds and bow together

5. Drawing the Floral Branch

Step 1

Now let's create the branch. Set the fill color to R=128 G=69 B=0. Take the Polygon Tool and click on your art board. Make it 3 Sides with any Radius. You will get a triangle, which you will need to make very narrow and long. Copy-paste it to have two more triangles. Arrange the branch as you like.

drawing the branch

Step 2

Once you have an ellipse, fill with color R=177 G=190 B=45. Pick the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and make sharp anchor points. You'll get a simple leaf shape.

creating the leaf

Step 3

Copy-paste to create as many leaves as you want, and put them on the branch.

placing the leaves on the branch

Step 4

Take the Polygon Tool and click on your workspace. A new dialogue window will ask you how many sides and what radius you want. Make 6 Sides, and Radius doesn't matter, just not too big. Set a white fill color with any stroke color. And to make a flower from it, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat and set the slider to 60%. The flower is ready. Later, we will remove the stroke, because we don't need it.

drawing the flower

Step 5

Add a yellow circle for the middle part of the flower.

adding the middle part of the flower

Step 6

Spread the flowers over the branch however you like.

placing the flowers on the branch

6. Placing the Branches and Flowers

Make a vertical reflection of the branch and add a few more flowers and leaves.

placing birds on the floral branches

7. Creating the Background

Step 1

Draw a blue rectangle at size 600 px Width and 250 px Height. Place it behind everything.

creating the background

Step 2

Look at the Appearance panel. Click on the tiny triangle on the top right corner and in the pop-up menu select Add New Fill. Now look at the Swatches panel. Go to Swatches > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Dots and select the 6 dpi 10% pattern for this new fill. Set the Opacity to Overlay.

creating the background 2

8. Final Touches

The last step is to place the birds and floral branches on the background.

Also we need to delete the stroke color from the flowers. Select one flower without the middle part and go to Select > Same > Fill & Stroke. Then delete the stroke and leave just the white flowers.

And let the spring reign!

placing the background


After all the great work, I wish you a happy spring mood. Enjoy the spring!

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