Welcome to my unusual tutorial, which mixes an Illustrator tutorial and a bit of botany. You will learn how to draw four different spring flowers using basic shapes, some warp effects and moving anchor points. You will also learn the botanical names of their parts. You won't have to make any sketches before we start—meaning that you don't need to have drawing skills, you just need to love spring and flowers!
It's an easy tutorial without the Pen/Brush/Pencil Tools, but I assure you that it won’t be a simple, six-petal-flower made from the Polygon Tool, as we did before. In the end, you’ll be surprised that you created beautiful flowers that you normally see during the spring.
If you like to go to the forest in the springtime to pick early spring flowers, if you love to see colorful flowers on your dining table, if you enjoy gardening, then this tutorial is just for you! By the way, you will love the big collection of spring flowers on Envato Market. Let’s get straight to it!
1. Create the Snowdrop Flowers
We’ll start by making the petal of our first flower, a snowdrop. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an oval. In the image below, you can see which fill color you need. Then we will warp it so that it resembles a petal. Go to Effect > Warp > Inflate. Enter the options you see below.
Expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance). We want to give the petal more volume, so make a lighter copy behind and lighter, smaller copy in front. You don't need the stroke color that’s shown in the image below—it’s just marked to show the boundaries of the ellipses.
Let's create the veins of the petal. First, draw an ellipse, and then you will need to get a sharp corner with the help of the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C). Simply click on the top and bottom anchor points.
While keeping this shape selected and holding the Shift and Alt keys together, move it to the right. You will get a copy of this sharp shape. Press Control-D twice more and you will get two more copies. Group these four sharp shapes (right-click > Group).
After that, go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. In the new dialogue window, adjust the options as you see in the image below.
Place the veins on the petal.
To create another petal, we will warp the previous one. So make a copy of the petal and warp it (go to Effect > Warp > Arc).
Place the petal that you just created in the previous step on the left side and behind the original petal that is straight.
Create a copy of two veins and place them on the petal on the left.
If you want, you can select the entire left petal including the veins and group it together to make it easier to maneuver (right-click > Group). Hit the Reflect Tool (O) and click on the middle of the first petal, while holding the Alt key. In the new dialogue window, check Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. You will get a third petal on the right.
Now we will create a part of the flower where all petals sit—the receptacle. I told you that I mixed in some botany! So start with an ellipse with vintage green fill color. Then warp it. Then expand it (Object > Expand Appearance). Finally, add a lighter, smaller copy of it in front.
Place the receptacle over our petals from earlier. Add a line using the Line Segment Tool (\)—this is our stem. Make sure that the Round Cap on the Stroke panel is checked and the stroke weight is thick.
Create a few more snowdrops by copying-pasting. Flip them around so that they are looking in different directions.
We still need leaves, and we will make them from our friendly ellipses, of course.
Delete the stroke color and set the fill color. Draw a few ellipses in
different sizes and warp them as you want. You need to go to Effect >
Warp > Arc, check Vertical in the new dialogue window and move the
slider in the Bend section in different directions.
Expand each leaf (Object > Expand Appearance).
Place the leaves close to the stem.
2. Create the Willow Branches
Let’s move on to our second set of flowers—the willow branches. We will start by creating a branch.
Draw an ellipse and move down the left and right anchor points. First
you need to select the anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool
(A), and using the arrows on your keyboard, move them down. That's the willow branch.
Next up is the willow catkin. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create an ellipse.
Move down the left and right anchor points to make it more like an egg shape.
Add lighter copy in front (Control-C, Control-F) and make the copy smaller.
Change the fill color to dark brown and draw a smaller ellipse on the bottom, which needs to be slightly rotated to the left.
At the end, add a few yellow circles over the catkin. We’ve just made a willow catkin. Better group it now, as it will be easier to move them later.
Place this willow catkin on top of the branch.
Create a copy, and then place it on the top left side of the branch. Rotate this slightly to the left.
While holding down the Alt key, move this catkin down. Keep pressing Control-D and the copy of the catkin will move along the branch.
Once you fill up the left side of the branch, right-click and press Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical in the new dialogue window and Angle 90 degrees. Then hit Copy. Now you should have a willow branch full of catkins.
You can make a new one by rearranging the catkins.
Rotate and warp the branches to show that they are flexible.
3. Create the Bluebell Flowers
Go ahead and create a violet ellipse to start the first petal of our bluebell.
Keep this petal selected, and then take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the bottom anchor point—you will get a sharp corner.
Next, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the top and bottom anchor points and move them up.
Copy-paste behind (Control-C, Control-B) the first shape, and make it wider and darker.
Copy-paste the first petal that you created and warp it. This is the left petal of the bluebell. Expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance).
Now we're going to create the right petal. Make sure that the new copy stays selected and right-click with your mouse. Press Transform > Reflect, select the Vertical axis of reflection and press Copy. Move it to the right.
We’ll now create the back petals. Simply copy the first straight petal, make a copy of it, change the fill color to a darker color, and place it in the back. Add another dark petal for the back.
Remember the receptacle we used for the snowdrops? Go ahead and take a copy of it now for the bluebell. Remember the leaves we used for the snowdrops? Let’s take a copy of it for the sepal of the bluebell. Voila! We’ve just created our first bluebell flower!
Now that we have the bluebell flower, let’s create the flower bud of the bluebell. In the image below, you can see that we first take a violet ellipse, and then warp it, add a smaller, lighter copy in front, and add a receptacle and sepals. That's all for the bud. And you guessed it right! Better group them now (right-click > Group).
Let’s go ahead and add stems to our bluebell flowers and buds. Delete the fill color and set the stroke color. Using the Line Segment Tool (\), we will draw stalks. The stroke weight should be thick and Round Cap on the Stroke panel should be checked off.
Place flowers on each stem. Then add small leaves, just like the real bluebell flowers. You can take the sepals and turn them into regular leaves.
4. Create the Anemone Flowers
Make sure that you have deleted the stroke color and set up the fill color. The last flower that we’ll be creating today is the anemone.
After creating a light beige ellipse, which is our first petal, warp it using the options shown below. Expand the appearance. To show the volume of the petal, let's create a copy behind and make it lighter. Again, I just marked the outlines with the black stroke so that you can see better—you don't need the black stroke for your piece.
Take a copy of the veins from the snowdrop and place them on our anemone petal. Group it—our first petal is complete.
Now we need to make five of them. Keep it selected, take the Rotate Tool (R) and while holding down the Alt key, click under the petal. In the new dialogue window, enter Angle 72 degrees and hit Copy. Press Control-D three more times to get the rest of the petals.
Place a yellow circle in the middle as a stigma, the middle part of flower.
To make our anemone more realistic, let's create stamens. Stamens actually consist of two parts: a filament (a tiny stalk which grows on a stigma) and an anther (where the pollen is stored).
Take the Arc Tool, delete the fill color and set the stroke color. It has to be slightly darker than the stigma. Draw many small filaments as shown in the following image. After that, remove the color from the stroke, make the fill color light yellow, and draw many small circles for the anthers.
Your finished artwork should look close to the last flower in the following image.
Now I'm pretty sure you know how to create the anemone's bud. Try to do it by yourself, so you can get some practice.
Draw in a few stems—the stoke color is the same as for the stem of the snowdrops. Place flowers and buds (as many as you want) on each stem.
Using the Eyedropper Tool (I), take the same fill color as the leaves of snowdrops. Make sure that you don't have any stroke color. The image below has the stroke color to show you the boundaries and that the entire leaf is made from different sizes of ellipses.
So let’s go ahead and draw three ellipses as shown below. Then add three on the bottom. Select all of them and press the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder).
On the third leaf down below, you can see two marked anchor points which you want to delete using the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-).
Using the shapes you just got and maybe adding a few extra ellipses, form a leaf.
Select all the ellipses you used to form the leaf (everything from the
previous step) and press the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel
(Window > Pathfinder). Delete the unnecessary anchor points using the
Delete Anchor Point Tool (-).
If you’d like, you can move the handles of the anchor points to make the leaf little bit smoother.
Add a long, dark green ellipse as the stem. Then go to Effect > Warp > Arc and warp the leaf.
You can create a few of them, but be sure to expand every leaf.
Place the leaves close to the stems of the anemones.
5. Create the Backgrounds
We’re almost there! Let’s draw four darker circles in which to place our beautiful flowers.
Awesome Work, You're Done!
Phew! That was some hard work, right? But you did an awesome job!!
I hope that the spring has already blessed your city with nice weather and a pocketful of sunshine. I wish you all a bright and happy spring, filled with beautiful flowers. See you next time!