1. Design & Illustration
  2. Gradient Mesh Tool

How to Draw an Office Background in Adobe Illustrator

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool and Blend in Adobe Illustrator to create a professional office desk background!

If you'd like to skip the tutorial and just use this vector in your work, you can go ahead and purchase the Office Background from GraphicRiver!

Office BackgroundOffice BackgroundOffice Background
Office Background

1. How to Draw a Cup of Coffee

Step 1

Let's begin by creating a base for all of the circular shapes in this tutorial.

Because I want the Mesh to be easy to manipulate and precise, I don't apply Mesh to a circle, but instead to a rectangle, which I then bend into a circular shape.

As the latter is pretty tricky to do, I am attaching a base for you to work with in this tutorial (press the Download Attachment button on the left of this article). Create a few copies of it for further use.

Once you have made your own circle or downloaded mine, grab the Mesh Tool (Control-U) and by clicking inside the shape, place mesh nodes as indicated in the screenshot below.

Next, select the outer edge of the circle and color it with #CAC6C3.

Proceed by coloring more nodes (selected in the image below) with #E6E5E3.

draw mesh circledraw mesh circledraw mesh circle

Step 2

Let's create our first Blend!

We will need two circles, slightly different in size, with the bigger one being white and the smaller one colored with #44392F. Place the brown circle on top of the white one and change the bigger circle's Opacity to 0%.

blend baseblend baseblend base

Step 3

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

Next, select both circles and go to Object > Blend > Make, creating a transparent shadow.

blendblendblend

Step 4

Change the shadow's transparency mode to Multiply.

shadowshadowshadow

Step 5

Grab a copy of the white Mesh circle from earlier, and then color its edges with #CAC6C3 and its middle with #C8C5C1.

draw cupdraw cupdraw cup

Step 6

You will need another copy of the mesh circle. This time, color the whole thing with #695C45. Then make the middle #0C0706 (follow the selected nodes), and finally color some nodes with #72634A.

draw vector coffeedraw vector coffeedraw vector coffee

Step 7

Create a foundation for another blend, this time using two shapes filled with #888483 and #010101. Make the bigger shape transparent.

blend baseblend baseblend base

Step 8

Use the same settings as in Step 3 for Object > Blend > Make.

make blendmake blendmake blend

Step 9

Change the shape to Screen with 80% Opacity.

change transparencychange transparencychange transparency

Step 10

Create another Blend using the same method as before. You will need the same colors as in Step 7.

Don't forget to apply Screen to the resulting image.

draw highlightdraw highlightdraw highlight

Step 11

Place the highlights on top of the coffee base.

add blend to coffeeadd blend to coffeeadd blend to coffee

Step 12

This Mesh is a bit more complicated, but all you have to do is follow the screenshots closely. You will need these colors:

  1. #F3F2F1
  2. #E0DDDB
  3. #CBC6C3
use gradient meshuse gradient meshuse gradient mesh

Step 13

Finish drawing the handle of the cup in three more steps.

  1. #FFFFFF
  2. #F6F4F4
  3. #BEB9B5
draw handledraw handledraw handle

Step 14

Create another Blend out of #B8B4B0 and #E0DDDB shapes.

Apply Multiply and 30% Opacity to the result.

draw blenddraw blenddraw blend

Step 15

Assemble the cup out of the elements we've made so far.

assemble coffee cupassemble coffee cupassemble coffee cup

Step 16

Let's draw bubbles! You will need to grab one more copy of the Mesh circle for this.

  1. #251B12
  2. #7E6E55
  3. #F0F0EF
draw bubble with gradient meshdraw bubble with gradient meshdraw bubble with gradient mesh

Step 17

Make the edges transparent.

make transparentmake transparentmake transparent

Step 18

Grab another copy.

  1. #251B12
  2. #7E6E55
draw bubbledraw bubbledraw bubble

Step 19

Make the edges transparent.

transparencytransparencytransparency

Step 20

Create a semi-circle out of the bubbles.

bubblesbubblesbubbles

Step 21

Finally, add them to the surface of the coffee.

cup of coffeecup of coffeecup of coffee

2. How to Draw the Pen and Pencil

Step 1

Draw the base of the pencil with Mesh.

  1. #252525
  2. #555555
  3. #3F3F3F
color meshcolor meshcolor mesh

Step 2

Stretch the Mesh to make it long enough for a pencil, and then create a jagged left edge.

stretch meshstretch meshstretch mesh

Step 3

Draw the tip of the pencil.

  1. #D4B999
  2. #EDDDC0
  3. #C6AB8D
  4. #4C4C4C
  5. #9C9C9C
draw the mesh tipdraw the mesh tipdraw the mesh tip

Step 4

Add the tip.

tiptiptip

Step 5

Draw another Blend—you will need a #535353 shape and a #E5E3E0 shape.

shadowshadowshadow

Step 6

Make the Blend with the usual settings.

make blendmake blendmake blend

Step 7

Add the shadow under the pencil.

add shadowadd shadowadd shadow

Step 8

Draw the base of the pen.

  1. #BEBEBE
  2. #909090
  3. #AAAAAA
  4. #D9D9D9
  5. #A8A8A8
  6. #C4C4C4
draw mesh pendraw mesh pendraw mesh pen

Step 9

Bend the end of the Mesh into a triangle.

bend meshbend meshbend mesh

Step 10

Draw another part of the pen.

  1. #2D2D2D
  2. #6B6B6B
  3. #C4C4C4
gradient mesh shapegradient mesh shapegradient mesh shape

Step 11

Draw the tip.

  1. #DEC394
  2. #F6E9B1
  3. #F4D5AE
  4. #C1A780
tip of mesh pentip of mesh pentip of mesh pen

Step 12

Assemble the pen. Add a copy of the shadow we used with the pencil.

penpenpen

3. How to Draw the Notepad and Tablet

Step 1

Draw a shape and apply a Linear Gradient to its Stroke. (#4B4A4A - #919090 - #4B4A4A)

Select the result and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

linear gradientlinear gradientlinear gradient

Step 2

Modify the Mesh of the shape a bit, and then add a new shape at the lower edge.

  1. #313131
  2. #FBFBFB
  3. #313131
mesh imagemesh imagemesh image

Step 3

Create a row of these.

row of holesrow of holesrow of holes

Step 4

Draw a sheet of paper.

  1. #FFFFFF
  2. #EAEAEA
sheet of papersheet of papersheet of paper

Step 5

Draw a #313131 cover for the notepad.

covercovercover

Step 6

Make a Blend shadow, using a #E5E3E0 and #191717 rectangle. Set the result to Multiply.

draw blend shadowdraw blend shadowdraw blend shadow

Step 7

Assemble the notepad.

assemble notepadassemble notepadassemble notepad

Step 8

Add the Blend shadow under the sheet of paper, but set its Opacity to 50%.

add shadowadd shadowadd shadow

Step 9

Draw the tablet out of two shapes—one white and one black.

draw tabletdraw tabletdraw tablet

Step 10

Create another Blend shadow, using a #505050 shape and a #E5E3E0 shape.

create blend shadowcreate blend shadowcreate blend shadow

Step 11

Add the shadow under the tablet.

add shadow to tabletadd shadow to tabletadd shadow to tablet

Step 12

Assemble all elements on a #E5E3E0 background.

add elementsadd elementsadd elements

Step 13

Draw a rectangle, outlining what you'd like to keep in your background.

outlineoutlineoutline

Step 14

Select everything, right-click, and press Make Clipping Mask.

make maskmake maskmake mask

Step 15

Enjoy your office background!

final result office backgroundfinal result office backgroundfinal result office background

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 I would be super happy to see any results in the comments below!

Office BackgroundOffice BackgroundOffice Background
Office Background
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