In this tutorial you will learn how to create a bouquet of pretty flowers, using only Art Brushes and and the Gradient Mesh Tool. You will find that the techniques learnt in this Quick Tip will help you craft a variety of flowers and decorative elements. Let's get started!
Choose a flower image for reference. Make sure it's clear like the one I've used in the example below. Once you have an image, make an ellipse around the center of the flower.
Take the Crystallize tool (located with the Warp tool in the tools tab) and use it at the edge of the ellipse. Fill the shape with a yellow gradient.
Next, make a small pure yellow circle and convert it to a symbol by dragging it into the Symbols palette.
Select your new Symbol, then spray the center circle with the symbol using the Sprayer Symbol Tool (Shift + S).
Repeat steps 3 and 4 with a darker circle symbol. You should have an image similar to the one below.
Select the two sprayed symbol objects, then press Control + G to group the shapes. Open the Transparency Palette. and click twice on the preview image to and create an opacity mask. Now Alt + Click the opacity mask to edit it, make a shape like the one below and fill it with a gradient from dark gray to white. Exit the Opacity Mode.
Select the main Ellipse that you have crystallized and press Control + C to copy then Control + F to paste in front, put this copy on the top and fill it with a Radial Gradient of Black (C=100, M=100, Y=100, K=100) to Transparent.
For the petals, trace two or three of the petals and then drag them, one after the other into the Brush Pallet and convert them to Art Brushes .
On the flower image, make straight lines across the petals like in the image below. Select some of the lines and choose one of the the art brushes that you have made it in the previous step. Then, select the remaining lines and choose the other brush that you have made. Select all lines then go to Object > Expand Appearance .
Color the petals white and apply a Drop Shadow (Effect >Stylize > Drop Shadow).
The flower is now finished, make some copies and scale and rotate them to assemble a bouquet.
To make the stem of the flower create a beige circle and then apply 3d Extrude & Bevel (Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel) with the following settings.
Drag the stem into the Brush Palette. to make an Art Brush. Now, make the stems with the Pencil Tool (N) and apply the new Brush.
For the ribbons, make a rectangle filled with a gold gradient similar to the one below.
Select the Rectangle, click expand appearance and then click Object > Envelope Distort, Make With Mesh.
Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and form a ribbon by repositioning the shape. Repeat the previous steps to make the remainder of the ribbon shapes.
Add an interesting background in a style that you like and there you have it. A simple way to make some pretty flowers with a ribbon. Try experimenting with different colors and flower shapes to see what you can come up with. Enjoy!