The majority of people in Ukraine, the country where I grew up, are Christian. Therefore, Ukrainian culture has a big influence from Christianity, and one of the biggest celebrations in Ukraine is Easter.
In today’s tutorial I would like to show you how to use basic shapes to create a wonderful image in Adobe Illustrator. You will also learn how to create some decorated Easter eggs and a little chick. As always, we will apply different warp effects to some basic shapes to achieve the beautiful result we want. I think that this image is really festive looking and perfect for the Easter occasion.
1. How to Create the Paska (an Easter Bread)
Create a new document (File > New) with 850 px Width and 850 px Height. Let’s start with the special baked Easter bread, which in Ukraine is called paska. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a brown ellipse. Next, we will apply the warp effect to this ellipse. Go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower and enter the presented options. Expand the shape once you like how it looks (Object > Expand Appearance).
Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a lighter rounded rectangle. Place it behind (Control-X, Control-B) the top part.
Now by using the warp effect, we will slightly deform this rounded rectangle to show that it's round. Select the rounded rectangle and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. In the new window, adjust the presented options. Expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance). Starting from this step, remember to always expand all transformed objects on which we use the warp effect.
To add frosting on top of the paska, create a light oval on the top part. Now we will add some dimensions to the frosting by making it look as if it is dripping. Double-click on the Warp Tool (Shift-R), and in the pop-up window, select Brush Dimensions: Width and Height around 30 px, Angle 0 degree, Intensity 100 %; Warp options: Detail 2, Simplify 50. These options are approximate, so they can be slightly different in your case.
Select the ellipse that we just placed as the frosting, and start to spread it over the paska as shown by the arrows. A very important point: select the object before you use the Warp Tool (Shift-R), otherwise you will spread other objects surrounding it.
Let’s add some sprinkles on top. Add some tiny baby blue and pastel pink rounded rectangles over it (use the Rounded Rectangle Tool). Feel free to change the colors of the sprinkles for a more personal touch.
To finish our paska, we will add a candle on top. First create a green, thin, horizontal rounded rectangle. Then add a tiny orange oval on top and apply the warp effect: Effect > Warp > Inflate (enter the options shown below).
2. How to Create the Easter Eggs
Let’s start with a blue ellipse for an egg. Select the bottom and top anchor points by using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and move them up by pressing the Up Arrow key on the keyboard.
Next, we will work on the decorative pattern of the egg. First, delete the fill color and set the stroke color. Draw a few dark blue and white lines of different thicknesses using the Line Segment Tool (\). To have a straight line, hold the Shift key while drawing the line. The line thickness can be changed on the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke) by changing the stroke Weight.
Also add a line of white and blue circles. To do so, create a small circle (use the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding down the Shift key). Make a copy of the circle: while holding the Shift and Alt keys, drag the circle to the right. This way, you’ll create a second copy of the circle, which will be horizontally aligned. While the newly created circle is selected, press Control-D a few more times to repeat the previous step and create a group of circles exactly the same distance from each other. Group them for your convenience (right-click > Group).
To add a zig-zag line, first create a straight line. Then modify it: go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag... In the Zig Zag options window, adjust the Size and Ridges per segment to achieve a similar zig-zag effect as in the image below. Don't forget to select Points: Corner. For your convenience, select Preview while adjusting these options. At the end, click OK.
Place the entire decorative pattern in front of the egg's base shape, but don't group all these lines and zig-zags. Next, while keeping it selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. In the new window, adjust the options you can see in the image below.
Be sure your transformed decoration is wider than the egg's base shape. Then expand this decoration (Object > Expand Appearance). Now it is very important to expand it one more time, but this time go to Object > Expand, and then hit OK.
Now we need to cut off the unnecessary parts of the decoration. Make a copy of the egg's base shape in front (Control-C, Control-F), cut it off (Control-X), and place it in front of everything (Control-F). Here's a little help: when you create a copy in front of the egg's basic shape, this copy will appear just in front of the egg's base shape, not in front of the decoration which we created.
Then we need to cut off the copy and place it in front of everything, but this time in front of the egg's base shape and ornamental decoration.
While keeping this copy in front and the ornament selected, press the Crop button in the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). You will end up with the egg's base shape with a resized piece of decoration on it.
Let’s create a dotted Easter egg. Make a copy of the blue egg shape from the previous step. Add a white circle in front of the egg’s base. Make more copies of the circle (move the original circle into different directions while holding the Alt key) and place them all over the egg as you wish.
Once all the dots are placed, we need to cut off the unnecessary parts of the circles which are outside of the egg's boundaries. Similarly to the previous step, make a copy of the egg’s base in front (Control-C, Control-F), cut it off (Control-X), and place it in front of everything (Control-F).
While keeping this front copy of the egg’s base selected, select all circles. To select all of the circles at once, grab the Magic Wand Tool (Y) and hit on one of the circles which are visible outside of the egg. By pressing on one of the circles, this tool will select all similar objects, which in this case, are all of the circles.
Once you’ve selected all the circles along with the top copy of the egg, press the Crop button in the Pathfinder panel. Our dotted Easter egg is now ready!
Make two more copies of the dotted Easter egg, and change the color of the dots and the egg’s base.
We can also add a flower pattern to our Easter eggs. To create the flower, we will start with a white circle and a white vertical oval above it. Keep in mind that the black stroke is there only for better visibility, so you don't actually need it.
Next, select the oval, hit the Rotate Tool (R) and, while keeping Alt button pressed, click in the middle of the circle. Enter 45 degrees in the new dialogue window and press Copy. To finish the flower, press Control-D six more times.
Now create two more copies of the white flower and place them in front of the egg’s base (this time, make it orange).
Next, as in the previous steps, make a copy of the egg’s base in front (Control-C, Control-F), cut it off (Control-X), and place it in front of everything (Control-F). While keeping this front copy of the egg’s base selected, select all the flowers. (You can use the Magic Wand Tool (Y) as in the previous step).
Once you have selected all the flowers and the top copy of the egg, press the Crop button in the Pathfinder panel. The Easter egg decorated with flowers is ready!
Make another copy of the flower-decorated egg and change its color to pink.
Now we have six nicely decorated Easter eggs.
3. How to Create the Easter Basket
Create a light brown rectangle and deform it: go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the options presented below and press OK.
After that, apply another warp effect (Effect > Warp > Arch) and apply the options shown below.
For the handle of the basket, create an oval with no fill color and light brown stroke color. On the Stroke panel, adjust the stroke Weight to get a result similar to the one shown below.
Now add a set of darker lines. Create a straight line using the Line Segment Tool (\) while holding the Shift key. The line thickness can be controlled on the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke) by changing the stroke Weight. To multiply the created line, make a copy of it (holding the Shift and Alt keys and drag the line up) and, while the newly created line is selected, press Control-D a couple of times. Group them for your convenience (right-click > Group) and expand (Object > Expand).
Now apply the Arch effect shown below. Make a copy of the basket base in front (Control-C, Control-F), cut it off (Control-X), and place it in front of everything (Control-F). While keeping this front copy of the basket base selected, select all the lines and press the Crop button in the Pathfinder panel. The basket is ready!
Now place all of the objects to create a nice composition. Be sure that the base of the basket is placed in front of the Easter eggs and paska, which are inside the basket.
Finally, create a darker oval and place it behind everything.
4. How to Create the Chick
To create the tiny chick, we will start with a yellow oval, which will be deformed by the Arc effect and the options shown below. This is the body of the chick.
Next, create an ellipse which is almost a circle and apply another warp effect. This will be the head of the chick.
Place the head of the chick on its body, as shown in the image below. Note how the body is slightly tilted. Add a small brown oval and a tiny white circle for the eye.
For the beak, create an orange oval and apply the Arc effect with the options presented below.
Let’s put the beak on the chick. Be sure that the beak is placed behind the head (Control-X, Control-B).
Next, we will add the wing. Create a copy of the body shape, change it to a darker color, make it smaller, and place it on the body. Finally, make another copy of the body shape in front, and shift it up.
To add the tail, create a small yellow oval and modify it with the Arc effect shown.
Make three more copies of the shape, and make two of them slightly thinner. Place two bigger ones as the tail, and two smaller ones as forelocks on the head.
For the chick’s leg, create an oval and place it on the bottom part of the body. Then, create a thin rectangle, slightly rotate it to the left, and attach it behind the oval.
Create a new copy of one of the forelocks, change its color to orange, and place it on the bottom of the leg, as a toe. Create two more copies to give it two more toes.
After that, create a vertical copy of one toe to have the fourth toe. You can also add a few feathers on the leg using the forelock.
Group the whole leg, and make a new copy of it. Make the new leg smaller and place it close to the first one. And our cute chick is ready!
Place all the objects together.
5. How to Create the Background
For the background, create a square with no stroke color and with 850 px Width and Height. To make the square, select the Rectangle Tool (M), click on your artboard, and then enter the options needed.
To finalize the image, add a darker ellipse below as a shadow.
Place the background and shadow behind the Easter basket and chick: select the background, cut it off (Control-X), and put it behind (Control-B).
What a wonderful illustration we have created! I hope you like your final outcome and the process. If you want, you can also add some crocuses to your Easter basket—here is the tutorial where I show you how to create these flowers.
Feel free to customize the image to your liking. So now that you have followed this tutorial, I hope that you can create more amazing images in Adobe Illustrator.
See you next time!