If you love jewels, like I do, then this tutorial will be interesting. By the end of it you will learn how to make two vector diamond rings and the details that give them realism.
This tutorial is about making two diamond rings with all their component parts, starting from the ring, the big diamond with the base where it sits and the little diamonds applied with an extra shine. I paid attention to the details so they look realistic and I will show you the tips and tricks that I used to make them. Let's get started!
Final Image Preview
Below is the final image we will be working towards. Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Vector Plus for just 9$ a month.
- Program: Illustrator CS4
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Estimated Completion Time: 3 hours
Open a new document any size that you want and use RGB mode. We will start with the ring shape. Take the Ellipse Tool and draw a shape like in the image below, select no fill and just a 1 px black stroke. Next make the second shape a little bigger then the first one.
Now take the Direct Selection Tool and select the most left point, then move it a bit to the right so that we crush the shape a little. Select the most right point and do the same. Now select the outer circle, copy it and paste it in front. We will need this later. After that select both original shapes (not the one that we just pasted) and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.
Select the Ellipse Tool and make a bigger oval shape than the first one. Now place it on top of the smaller shape and select both of them. Go to the Pathfinder panel and click on Minus Front so we get the shape in the next image.
Now we are going to use the shape that we pasted in front earlier. Take the Add Anchor Point Tool, add two points, and then draw the path that you see in the image-below using the Pen Tool. Do the same to the other part, select no fill and 1 px black stroke. These shapes that we just created have to be on top of the first two. This is important otherwise we aren't going to be able to color them later.
It's time for some colors. Select the first compound shape that we made, deselect the stroke and fill it with the linear gradient that you see in the image below. Colors from left to right are: 80% black (R=51, G=51, and B=51), (R=153, G=153, and B=153) or 40% black; (R=204, G=204, and B=204) 20% black; (R=243, G=244, and B=244); (R=128, G=124,128); (R=242, G=242, and B=242) 5% black; (R=178, G=178, and B=178) 30% black and (R=125, G=125, and B=125).
Also select the shape shown in the second image-and fill it with the linear gradient that you see. Colors are: 80% black (R=51,51, and B=51), 60% black (R=102, G=102, and B=102), 10% black (R=230, G=230, and B=230), 60% black (R=102, G=102, and B=102), light gray (R=243, G=244, and B=244); 70% black (R=77, G=77, and B=77) , and 90% black (R=26, G=26, and B=26).
Now we are going to color the shapes that we made on top. To do that use the linear gradient from the image. For the shape on the left the colors are: 80% black (R=51, G=51, and B=51), gray (R=139, G=135, and B=141), light gray (R=243, G=244, and B=244), gray (R=128, G=124, and B=128), gray (R=167, G=169, and B=172) and for the shape on the right: 80% black (R=51, G=51, and B=51), gray (R=139, G=135, and B=141), light gray (R=243, G=244, and B=244), gray (R=178, G=178, and B=178), and another gray (R=167, G=169, and B=172).
It's time to add some details. Instead of drawing new shapes with the Pen Tool, I prefer the following trick. Take the Direct Selection Tool and select only the 3 points that you see in the image, then copy and paste them on your work area. Now deselect the fill and give it just a black stroke. If Illustrator copies more than the 3 points, like mine did, just delete them, we only need to get the shape below.
Next go to the Brushes panel and select the brush from the image below - the first one. I needed more brushes so I deleted some points to get the 2 new brushes that you see in the image. Then just drag them both to the Brushes panel so we can use them further.
Now select the detail path that we did earlier and apply the first brush to it, make the stroke 0,10 px and then Expand Appearances. Fill the shape with the linear gradient from the image: 90% black (26,26,26), 0% black (255,255,255), 70% black (77,77,77), 0% black (255,255,255), and 90% black (26,26,26).
Now put the shape back in its place, set the mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 50%.
Using the same technique make the detail shape from the image-below and fill it with a similar gradient. Just adjust the colors so that the reflections look as real as possible. Also go to Effects > Stylize > Outer glow, then set the values that you see in the image.
Now just repeat the previous steps and make more detail shapes. For the next one just fill it with a linear gradient white to black and adjust it so you get the result that you like. Once you're done, do the same to the other side or reflect a copy of it.
Do the same with the outside of our ring. Fill it with the gradient as shown, then repeat or flip it to the other side.
For the shape shown in the image below, after you make it and fill it with the gradient shown, go to Effects > Stylize > Outer glow. Then apply the same values from Step 7. Change the mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 25%. Do the same to the other side.
We have two more shapes to go. Fill them with the gradient shown in the image below: very dark gray (26,26,26), light gray (228,228,228), and black (0,0,0). Then reduce the Opacity to 50% or until you like what you see.
We are done with this part. Now our ring should look like the image below.
It's time to make the base were the big diamond will stay. Take the Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle (the size isn't important now because we will resize it anyway later to fit behind the diamond). Next with the Direct Selection Tool, select each point and click on the Convert Selected Anchor Points to smooth (as shown in menu bar). You should get the shape from the next image.
To make the next shape, select the one above and go to Object > Path > Offset path and set the value to 8 pt, then Expand. Now make four little oval shapes with the Ellipse Tool and place them in the center of each side as you see in the image.
Select all the five shapes and click on Minus Front from the Pathfinder panel. You should have something similar to that shown below. Now fill it with a linear gradient called Steel from the Library. You could also use Silver, but I liked the way the first one looked more.
Now with this last shape that we just made selected, go to Object > Path > Offset path and set the value to -1 pt or -2 pt depending on the size of your shape. Expand and fill it with the same Steel gradient only adjust the angle like in the first image.
Now copy the original shape (the simple gray one), paste it in front and fill it with the same Steel gradient, like in the second image. Next paste in front one more time the first gray shape, make it a little smaller to get something like in the last image below. We are done with the base for the big diamond.
It's time to make the big diamond. I searched for some nice diamond cuts for inspiration and then I drew a pattern using the Pen Tool. You can use any shape that you like. I got something like in the image below.
The next step is to add some colors. Select every individual part, set it to no stroke, and fill them with the linear gradient, as shown in the image below.
I've randomly selected them from different parts of the diamond shape and I also adjusted the gradient for every single part because I wanted to end up with something less regular. Colors are: purple (R=183, G=169, and B=210), light purple (R=226, G=220, and B=238), and white (R=255, G=255, and B=255).
And here is another type of gradient that I used so I would get the effect that I wanted. Colors are similar: white (R=255, G=255, and B=255), light purple (R=226, G=220, and B=238) and mid-purple (R=135, G=140, and B=197).
This is the final diamond look. In the second image below, I've placed it on top of the base that we made.
It looks like the diamond just sits on top and I decided to make two little shapes like the ones that hold the rock on a real diamond ring. For that take the Ellipse Tool and make an oval as shown, and fill it with the gradient similar to the steel one that we used for the base. The size of the shape doesn't matter at this point because we will resize it when all the design is ready.
Now let's make an opacity mask because it will blend better with the base shape when we put it on top. Copy and paste the shape and fill it with a white to black gradient as shown. Place it on top of the first one. Select both of them and go to the Transparency panel and select Make Opacity Mask. You should have something like in the second image below.
Next I copied the original oval, filled it with a dark gray and placed it behind like shown in the image-for a more realistic look. Now group all the shapes, resize them, make a second copy and place them one the side, one on top of the other, just like in the image below.
The ring should now look like the following image.
I wanted more glow and a more elegant design so I decided to add a few more diamonds. Select the big one then copy and paste some more diamonds. Resize them and place them as shown.
Let's make some more now and place them. For a more natural look I added a small Drop Shadow with the values that you see in the image below to each one of them.
The ring should look something like this now.
For the second diamond I used the same shape and just changed the gradients. Basically, I replaced the light purple with a dark one so we can get a different reflection. I also adjusted the angles to make it look different than the first one. Here are two examples of the gradients I've used.
Next thing to do is to replace the little diamonds with this new one, so just make copies of it and resize them like we did before. Here is how the second diamond ring should look.
For the final step, I made a black background. Then I rotated the rings until I liked how it looked. I adjusted some of the gradients used so the reflections look natural and I also added some shadow where the first ring comes a bit on top on the other to make it look more real. This is the final image.
The work is done! I hope you enjoyed it and that you learned some new techniques!
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