beauty is all around us. Let's display this magic of nature through our
artwork. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create perfectly shaped
leaves, berries, and chestnuts. As usual—you guessed it—we will use
just simple shapes and a few useful tricks.
1. Creating the Chestnut Leaf
Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document (Control-N). First, we are going to create the stalk. Set the fill color at R=132 G=98 B=3, and then 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.
Now, go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. In the new dialogue window, enter the following: Style Arc Lower Horizontal, Bend -50%, Distortion Horizontal 0%, Vertical 0%. Press OK. Go to Object > Expand Appearance.
So, now you have the stalk. We will use the same stalk with a different fill color for all the leaves. Make one more copy of this shape and keep it for later. I will let you know when you need it!
We'll create the leaf now. Start with the Ellipse Tool (L) and set the fill color at R=215 G=195 B=0. Keeping the ellipse selected, take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the bottom anchor point to make it sharp.
Then select the Direct Selection Tool (A) and slide the left and right anchor points up. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) again while holding the Alt key, move the handles of the top anchor point of the ellipse down to make it sharp. Look at the image below to see what it should look like!
Remember the stalk you created in the first step? I asked you to keep it for later—now it's time! Holding the Alt key, drag the stalk across to use it for the chestnut leaf. Be sure to leave a copy of the stalk to use on other leaves. Place one of the copies of the stalk over the leaf you created in the previous step (Control-X, Control-F). Copy-paste the stalk a few times to make several of them. Then arrange them as shown below to create the veins of the leaf.
Copy-paste the leaf to create another one, and make the stalk smaller. Select the whole new leaf and rotate it to the left while holding the Shift key. You will see that the leaf is rotated by 45 degrees.
Copy-paste this leaf, make it smaller, and rotate it to the left by 45 degrees while holding the Shift key. Repeat this last part once again.
the three leaves from the left side, right-click the mouse and select
Transform > Reflect. This will bring up the Reflect dialogue window,
where you should enter Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy.
Move the three new leaves to the right. Group the chestnut leaves
(right-click > Group).
2. Creating the Berries
Set the fill color at R=193, G=5, B=45, choose the Ellipse Tool (L), and draw a circle while holding the Shift key. Keep it selected, and hold the Alt key (to make a copy); now shift this circle diagonally. Then select the first circle and make a copy in the front (Control-C, Control-F). Keeping this new copy selected, hold the Shift key, and select the circle you moved diagonally. Go to the Pathfinder panel and press the Minus Front button. Color the new shape in R=178, G=2, B=40.
the Ellipse Tool (L), create a new ellipse, rotate it a little to the
right and place it as shown. Set its color to R=214 G=7 B=46. Then take
the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move the right anchor point inside, as in the image below, to show the volume of the berry.
Let's create a sepal (the base of the berry) from a brown oval (R=85 G=25 B=0). You will need to get sharp corners with the help of the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C). Click on the top and bottom anchor points. Keep the ellipse selected and take the Rotate Tool (R). Click the Enter key on your keyboard to bring up the dialogue box. Enter 90 degrees and press Copy.
Place the sepal where it should be.
Make three kinds of the berry. Play with it!
Create one more copy of the stalk and use it to create a branch for the berries (remember to leave another copy of the stalk for further leaves). Give the branch a fill color R=85 G=25 B=0 and place the berries on it. Group the
berries (right-click > Group).
3. Creating the Maple Leaf
Create an ellipse with sharp corners and fill color R=239 G=65 B=53.
Create two more copies and place them on the left side of the first ellipse. Select these two copies, right-click the mouse and select Transform > Reflect. In the new dialogue window, enter Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the two new ellipses to the right.
Use a copy of the stalk and change the fill color to R=181
G=18 B=27. Create a copy of the leaf, make it smaller, and rotate it to the left while holding the Shift key.
Repeat the process until you fill up the left side.
the leaves from the left side, right-click the mouse, and select
Transform > Reflect. Make a Vertical reflection and move the new copies
to the right.
Draw a circle on the middle of the leaf.
all blades (sharp red ellipses) and the circle from the previous step
together. Use the Unite button in the Pathfinder panel to make a solid shape.
After that, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to achieve the result you
want. Group the maple leaf together (right-click > Group).
4. Creating the Branch With Pink Leaves
the fill color to R=209 G=18 B=66. Create the sharp corners of the leaf. Then
go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen and set the
slider to 3 px in Size, check Absolute, move the Detail slider to 10 in, and
check Points Smooth. Press OK. Then expand the leaf (Object >
Use a copy of the stalk, and set the fill color at R=130 G=0 B=36. In this case, it's a branch. Place the branch over
the leaf that we just created. Create one more leaf (Copy-Paste) and
make the stalk smaller. Rotate the new leaf to the left and place it
on the left side of the branch. Holding the Shift and Alt keys
together, move the new leaf down. Then keep pressing Control-D
until you fill up the left side of the branch.
Select all leaves from the left side and make a reflection to the right side (right-click > Transform > Reflect). Move the new copies to the right side of the branch. Group the whole branch.
5. Creating an Acorn
To create an acorn, start with two ovals (R=205 G=178 B=47).
part needs a brown oval (fill color R=121 G=68 B=0). Using the Direct
Selection Tool (A), move the left and right anchor points down.
a tiny rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). Then go to Effect >
Warp > Arc. In the new window, adjust the options: Style Arc Vertical,
Bend -35%, Distortion Horizontal 0% and Vertical -30%. OK. It's a
stem to the acorn. Expand it (Object > Expand).
Put all the parts together. To show the volume, create two lighter ovals on the acorn.
Create two acorns. Play with the colors. Then group the acorns.
6. Creating the Yellow Leaf
Сompose the copy of the stalk and veins as in the image below. Change the fill color to R=117 G=63 B=0.
Draw a yellow circle. Hit the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the top anchor point. Then go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Adjust the options: Style Arc Horizontal, Bend 0%, Distortion Horizontal 0% and Vertical 30%. Click OK.
go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Make the Options Size
3 px, check Absolute, Detail 10 in, Points Smooth, and click OK. Group the
7. Creating the Three Light Green Leaves
an oval (R=215 G=195 B=0), and then move the left and right anchor points
down. Make the top anchor point sharp. Go to Effect > Distort &
Transform > Zig Zag and enter in the new dialogue window Options Size
1 px, check Absolute, Ridges per segment 25 and Points Corner. Your
options can be different than mine—just try to find what suits you the
Create three leaves following the image below. Make two leaves darker and put them behind (Control-X, Control-B) the lighter one. Group the leaves.
8. Creating the Chestnuts
Draw a brown ellipse (R=85 G=25 B=0). Using the Direct Selection Tool (A),
move the handles of the ellipse to distort the shape a little. Draw
another ellipse (R=218 G=199 B=146) which overlaps the brown shape. Make
a copy of the brown shape in front (Control-C, Control-F), and while
keeping it selected, hold down the Shift key and select the light brown
shape. On the Pathfinder panel, press the Intersect button. Draw over the
chestnut a distorted ellipse with a lighter color to show the volume.
Try to create more chestnuts by yourself simply by distorting the ellipses.
Place them together and group.
9. Creating the Oak Leaf
the last copy of the stalk, create the stalk and veins of the
oak leaf. Draw an oval on the top of the leaf (fill color R=205 G=178
B=47) and add three more on the left side of the leaf. Make a vertical
reflection of the left-side ovals to the right side. Draw one more oval
on the bottom.
the blade (all the ovals without veins and stalk) of the oak leaf,
and on the Pathfinder panel press the Unite button. Make the bottom of the
leaf sharp using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C). Group the
10. Creating the Background
a square with a fill color of R=247 G=245 B=178 and a width and height of 600 px. Then draw nine darker (R=239 G=238 B=128) circles where
you will place the leaves, berries, and chestnuts.
Place the plants on the yellow circles.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did! You can also use these autumn icons to create a seamless wallpaper, seasonal greetings cards, and so on. Enjoy!