In this tutorial you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool to create a summer background with a vacation scene!
How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator
1. How to Create a Hat
Let’s start off by creating a hat! I will walk you through the process of using Mesh for the first time in this tutorial.
First, create an ellipse, filling it in with
Next, grab the Mesh Tool (U) and create a Mesh grid on the ellipse by clicking where the nodes are supposed to be. Using the color
#D4C6AF, color the nodes selected in the screenshot below.
Continue by adding more nodes and coloring them as in the image below. You will need these colors:
Congratulations, we’ve made our very first Mesh object!
Make another part of the hat in a similar fashion. You can also modify shapes with Mesh, dragging the nodes around, as indicated in the image below.
You will need these:
Similarly, continue with another piece of the hat.
Let’s create the ribbon! Draw a rectangle, filling it with
Next, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Apply a -20% Bend to the object and move on to Object > Expand Appearance.
Color the side edges with
#49070B and create some highlights, colored with
Assemble the hat out of the parts we made in the previous steps.
This should be the end result!
2. How to Create a Beach Chair
Begin by creating and coloring one of the wooden parts of the chair. You will need these colors:
Add an end part of the wooden plank. Color it with
Create and shape another plank. Fill it with
Color the plank. For substeps 1 and 3, you will need to color the whole length of the plank.
#C79A6D end part to the object.
Draw the third plank of the chair, using these colors:
#DEC19C shape on the end of the plank.
Assemble the wooden structure of the chair out of the planks we made!
Draw a base for the cloth part of the chair. Fill it with
Create a stripe, and fill it with
Create a copy of the stripe and place both stripes on the sides of the cloth base. Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set it to Specified Steps, 4.
Select both stripes and apply Object > Blend > Make. Use Object > Expand Appearance on the result.
Draw the end of the stripe (
Similarly to Step 11, apply Blend to the stripes and Expand Appearance.
Join both parts together.
Attach the cloth on top of the chair.
You’ll soon be able to consult an upcoming tutorial of mine (not released yet) on how to create a screw!
Add screws to the mobile joints of the chair.
The chair is done! Now onto the flip flops.
3. How to Create Flip Flops
Draw an outline of the shoe and fill it with
Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude and Bevel to create a 3D version of our shape.
Use the following settings:
Select the result and use Object > Expand Appearance to divide both parts of the shoe.
Ungroup it to select only the side, filling it with
#C15B25. Fill the front with
#EB9221 if it has changed color. You can Group both parts together afterwards.
Now draw the strap for the shoe, filling it with
#CCC15C, and place it onto the flip flop.
Let’s draw a shadow! Create a rectangle with 6 columns and 6 rows of Mesh and use Effect > Warp > Arc with a 16% Bend to distort it.
Expand Appearance of the result. Next, color the whole rectangle white, changing only the middle column of mesh to
#7A5422 to create an illusion of a shadow.
Create another copy of the shadow and arrange it so that it will fit under the strap of the flip flop.
Set the both objects’ Opacity to 50% and Transparency Mode to Multiply.
Move the Mesh under the yellow straps. It should create a shadow.
Group the whole flip flop, and then create a copy of it. You can Reflect the copy by right-clicking and choosing Transform > Reflect.
We will “bury” our flip flops in the sand, so for that draw a rectangle with a slightly jagged edge on the bottom. Make sure all of the top parts of the shoes fit into your shape.
Place the outline over the top of the flip flops, select everything and Make Clipping Mask after right-clicking.
Finally, draw the shadow our flip flops will leave on the sand.
Create an ellipse, filling it with a Radial,
#C8C4AE to white gradient. Change its Transparency mode to Multiply.
Create a copy and place it on the original ellipse, slightly off center. Draw another outline, the top part lining up with the bottom of the flip flop.
Place the outline into the circle, the top of the outline being in the middle of our shadows. Make Clipping Mask.
Line up the shadows with our flip flops.
4. How to Create the Background
Draw a simple white rectangle, placing a Mesh node just under its middle, and color its top three nodes with
If you want to add clouds to the sky, check out this tutorial of mine and learn how to create clouds!
Let’s draw the sand using a mesh. You will need these color codes:
All that’s left is to draw the Mesh for the sea.
Use these colors:
Change the sea’s Opacity to 70% and the Transparency mode to Multiply.
Place the sea on top of the sand, creating the illusion of a submerged island.
Arrange a scene out of the objects we created before. If you want to add a suitcase just like in the picture below, check out this tutorial!
Now place your vacation supplies onto the island, and you’re good to go!
Congratulations, You’re Now Done!
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I’ll be extremely happy to see any results in the comments below!