In this simple tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool and a bit of Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator to create an autumn background!
1. How to Draw the Boots
Let's start off by drawing the first boot with Gradient Mesh.
Create an orange rectangle—the color is
Next, grab the Mesh Tool (U). Click to create nodes, which in turn create a Mesh Grid. When you have a thick enough mesh grid, grab the edges of the rectangle and move them to make the shape rounder. It should resemble the shape of a boot.
Once you're done with the shaping, select
the nodes on the left side of the shoe (they are already colored differently in the
screenshot) and color them with
Next, select the nodes on the edges of the object (they're selected below) and proceed to change their color to
#A73013. Add some darker red tones in the fourth step with
#BA391D, and then add more highlights with
Always make sure to select the nodes that are selected in each screenshot below and apply the corresponding color to them!
Draw an object in the shape of a sole for the boot, coloring it with
#1A1C24. Attach it to our mesh shape, and then create a smaller copy of both objects.
Modify the smaller copy with mesh. You will need these colors:
Add some shadows by cloning an ellipse filled with a
#C4A78B to white Radial Gradient. Set them to Multiply.
2. How to Draw the Umbrella
Begin drawing the umbrella with mesh.
Draw a handle by filling a narrow rectangle with a Linear Gradient. It should contain these colors:
Draw the final part by applying a Gradient to the Stroke of a drawn path. It should contain these colors:
Expand the path.
Assemble the umbrella, adding some shadows underneath.
3. How to Draw the Background and the Floor
Begin by drawing the backdrop with mesh.
To add the wooden floor, first consult Section 4 of this tutorial:
Next, bend it with Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort as shown below.
Expand Appearance of the result.
Draw an outline over the highlighted section of the floor, and then Make a Clipping Mask.
#533D18 backdrop behind the planks.
Create a rectangle, filled with a Gradient from
Set it to Overlay and 80% Opacity, and place it on top of the floor.
Create a little rim using a Radial,
#F5BB59 gradient on a Stroke.
4. How to Add the Leaves and Bokeh
Learn how to make the orange leaf in this tutorial:
Next, bend it with Effect > Warp > Arc, using these settings:
- Bend: 30%
- H.: -26%
- V.: 26%
Expand Appearance of the result.
Add a copy of the bent leaf and make it yellow with Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors.
Take the original leaf once more, bending it with Effect > Warp > Arc.
Take a copy of this one as well, making it lighter with the Edit > Edit Colors > Saturate function.
Press the Download Attachment button on the right sidebar of this page, and open leaf.jpg in your working file in Adobe Illustrator.
Use Image Trace to isolate a Black and White outline.
Fill the outline you get with
#D09739. Add an actual leaf, filling it with
#EAC02C and using 20% Opacity.
Add one more leaf, this time filled with
#E09736. Also use 20% Opacity.
Arrange the leaves, adding shadows under the ones on the bottom.
Create an Opacity Mask out of a
#FF1200 circle and a circle filled with a Radial Gradient. Set the Transparency mode to Screen, with 70% Opacity.
If you'd like to add bokeh lights, learn how to do it here:
Create a background.
Assemble all the elements!
Congratulations, You're Now Done!
Thank you for following along, and please
feel welcome to post your result in the comments. I'll be looking
forward to seeing it!
In this tutorial, you learned how to create an autumn background using the Mesh Tool. I hope you've enjoyed it and learned how to use Gradient Mesh for the future! Check out some of my other vector tutorials on my instructor profile.
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