1. Design & Illustration
  2. Gradient Mesh Tool

How to Create a Wooden Window Frame With Curtains in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool and the Mesh Tormentor plugin in Adobe Illustrator to create a vector wooden window with curtains!

If you want to skip the tutorial and just use this shirt with lots of other awesome designs, purchase the Wooden Window Frame with Curtains from GraphicRiver!

 Wooden Window Frame with Curtains on a Transparent Background
Wooden Window Frame with Curtains

Before starting this tutorial, you should install the Mesh Tormentor plugin. Go to the Mesh Tormentor site and download the free Mesh Tormentor plugin that corresponds with your Illustrator version. Then unzip the received archive, close Adobe Illustrator, and copy the .aip file into the "Extensions" folder on your local installation disk. (For example, it is the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS6\Plug-ins\Extensions folder on my computer.) 

Open Adobe Illustrator again and go to Window > Mesh Tormentor.

1. How to Draw the Curtains

Step 1

We will begin with a simple Mesh!

Draw a long, narrow, white rectangle (about 160 px wide and 7 px tall). Then grab the Mesh Tool (U), and, by clicking on the top edge of the shape, create a row where indicated.

Create two more nodes so the mesh grid is identical to the one in our first substep. Next, select the two nodes of the middle row and color them both with #E7E7E7.

Continue similarly. The hex color code is always above the nodes that need to be colored!

You will need these colors:

  1. #E7E7E7
  2. #AFAFAF
  3. #E7E7E7
  4. #C9C9C9
  5. #AFAFAF
  6. #BDBDBD
  7. #DADADA
  8. #C3C3C3
create striped white and grey mesh

Step 2

Now that the Mesh base of our curtain is done, simply stretch it downwards to create a full-sized curtain (about 670 px in height).

Next, grab the Warp Tool (Shift-R) and double-click on it to bring up the Options. Set them accordingly:

  • Width: 150px
  • Height: 450px
  • Angle: 0°
  • Intensity: 50%
  • Detail: 2
  • Simplify: 50

Now, using the Warp Tool, bend the bottom part of the curtain to the left.

bend the curtain

Step 3

Use the same options, only changing the height of the brush to 650 px, and stretch the top part of the curtain to the left.

bend the curtain on top

Step 4

Set the Opacity of the curtain to 80%.

change opacity

Step 5

Create a mirror copy of our curtain (Object > Transform > Reflect).

create a copy

2. How to Create the Wooden Texture

Step 1

For this step, download the attachment in the sidebar of the tutorial and open plank.jpg in Adobe Illustrator. Create a copy of the raster image.

Grab one of the copies, go to Window > Image Trace, and trace the texture of the wood with these settings:

  • Mode: Black and White
  • Threshold: 95
  • Paths: 50%
  • Corners: 75%
  • Noise: 25px
  • Create: Fills
  • Options: Ignore White, Snap Curves to Lines

Select the result and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

trace the texture

Step 2

Change the color of the texture to #5B350C, its Blending Mode to Multiply, and Opacity to 20%.

color and change opacity

Step 3

Create a rectangle with the same size as the raster. Go to Object > Create Gradient Mesh and use the following settings:

  • Rows: 30
  • Columns: 4
create 30x4 mesh grid

Step 4

Here's where Mesh Tormentor comes into play. If you haven't already, install it (consult the beginning of the tutorial) and open it through Window > Mesh Tormentor.

Put the Mesh grid on top of the raster image. Select both objects and click on the "Mona Lisa" icon in the Mesh Tormentor panel to color our Mesh like the plank.

trace the mesh

Step 5

Grab the Warp Tool (Shift-R) again, using these settings:

  • Width: 150px
  • Height: 50px
  • Angle: 0°
  • Intensity: 30%
  • Detail: 2
  • Simplify: 7

Move the lines of Mesh to warp them a bit, just like in the picture.

warp the mesh

Step 6

To create knots in the wood, grab some Mesh nodes and drag them to the left (they are selected in the screenshot below), and then color them all with #89521C.

color the knots

Step 7

Now grab the texture we made in Step 2 and place it on top of the plank!

apply the texture

3. How to Create the Window

Step 1

Now that our wooden plank is done, stretch it in length, and create a window frame out of four planks!

create a frame

Step 2

Grab a copy of one of the planks and shrink its width. Then, draw a shape identical in size. Color it with #5B350C, and change its Blending Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 70%.

Finally, place the new shape on top of the plank to darken it. I recommend Grouping both objects by selecting them and pressing Control-G.

create a thinner plank

Step 3

Now, draw a slightly smaller shape with slanted edges on top and bottom. Move it over the plank and, selecting both objects, right-click. Choose Make Clipping Mask in the drop-down menu.

apply clipping mask

Step 4

Create the inner frame of the window out of the small planks.

create inner frame

Step 5

Place the inner planks into the frame—stretch and resize them if necessary to fit.

add inner frame

Step 6

For the next plank, we will need to draw a Mesh to overlay it. You will need these colors:

  1. #BAA5A1
  2. #FFFFFF
  3. #D4C7C5
  4. #947770
create mesh overlay

Step 7

Set the object's Blending Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 70%.

change transparency

Step 8

Shrink the plank's height slightly, and then overlay the Mesh on top of it. This is going to be Plank 1.

overlay mesh

Step 9

Create Plank 2 by simply shrinking the height of the original plank.

resize the plank

Step 10

Similarly, create Plank 3.

resize the plank - make it smaller

Step 11

To begin working on Plank 4, severely shrink it in size.

shrink both width and height of the plank

Step 12

Create an identical shape to overlay (#876D5B color, 70% Opacity, Multiply) and place it on top. Then draw a shape with slightly slanted edges and apply a Clipping mask to the plank.

overlay and apply clipping mask

Step 13

Let's draw Plank 5!

Grab the original piece of wood and resize it, as indicated below. Then rotate it a little bit. Next, draw a slanted outline and apply it as a Clipping mask.

apply clipping mask

Step 14

Grab an identical shape, fill it with #D6BFB9, and color its top left corner white. Change its Blending Mode to Multiply, and overlay it on top of Plank 5.

overlay mesh

Step 15

For Plank 6, follow the same instructions as in Step 13, just use a different shape.

apply clipping mask

Step 16

Finish Plank 6 in a similar fashion as the previous one.

overlay mesh

Step 17

Begin making Plank 7 by taking a long piece of wood and creating another overlay, this time colored with #CEA365 and using Multiply and 60% Opacity.

more overlay

Step 18

Rotate this plank, and apply a Clipping mask using a slanted outline.

clipping mask

Step 19

Now you can create a window frame! Assemble the object by the numbers. Resize the planks as necessary.

assemble window

Step 20

Finally, create another window frame by using Object > Transform > Reflect with the original.

reflect copy

Step 21

Fit both windows inside the big frame!

place inside frame

4. How to Create the Windowsill

Step 1

Last but not least, let's create a windowsill to go with our window!

Grab the original plank and double its width by first Reflecting it Horizontally, and then joining both pieces together.


Step 2

Create a windowsill outline for our newly joined plank and apply it as a Clipping Mask.

apply clipping mask

Step 3

Now, let's do a highlight! We will need two shapes of the same size—one filled with a Radial white to black Gradient, and another filled with #F7F7F7.

two ellipses

Step 4

Place the Gradient over top the grey circle.

Then open up the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency) and, after selecting both shapes, press Make Mask in the panel.

make transparency mask

Step 5

If the result doesn't look like mine (I've placed it on a grey background for visibility), take the tick off Invert Mask in the panel.


Step 6

Release the Clipping Mask on the windowsill, place the highlight under the outline, and apply the Clipping Mask again!

place the ellipse on the windowsill

Step 7

Create the edge of the windowsill out of a copy of Plank 1 by making it longer and narrower.

edge of the windowsill

Step 8

Complete the windowsill!

complete result

Step 9

The only thing left is the shadow! Draw two shapes, one colored with #545454, and the other white. Place the grey shape on top and change the white shape's Opacity to 0%.

creating the blend

Step 10

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and select Specified Steps, 30.

Then, select both shapes and use Object > Blend > Make.

create the blend

Step 11

Place the windowsill and the shadow.


Step 12

Attach the curtains on top.

add curtains

Step 13

If you want to put a scene behind the window, you can go to this tutorial of mine:

After you complete the background, simply "cut out" the part you want to show by using a Clipping Mask.

add scene

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

What now? You can try any of my other tutorials from my profile, or check out my portfolio on GraphicRiver, as well as the original vector we recreated in this tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and will be super happy to see any results in the comments below!

 Wooden Window Frame with Curtains on a Transparent Background
Wooden Window Frame with Curtains
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