How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

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

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

If you’d like to skip this tutorial and wish to purchase the end result with a couple more elements, head over to GraphicRiver to purchase Beach with a Palm Tree and a Direction Sign.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

1. How to Create a Hat

Step 1

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 #EFE9D4.

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:

  1. #EFE9D4
  2. #D4C6AF
  3. #BCA88F
  4. #D8CCB5
  5. #F4EFDA

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 2

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:

  1. #D8CAB0
  2. #F0EAD8
  3. #ECE0BE
  4. #A28975
  5. #D0BFA6
  6. #EFE9D7
  7. #827666

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 3

Similarly, continue with another piece of the hat.

  1. #ECDEBB
  2. #F9F5E9
  3. #D1BA9E
  4. #FCFBE8
  5. #F0EAD8

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 4

Let’s create the ribbon! Draw a rectangle, filling it with #6B0B10.

Next, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Apply a -20% Bend to the object and move on to Object > Expand Appearance.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 5

Color the side edges with #49070B and create some highlights, colored with#920F16.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 6

Assemble the hat out of the parts we made in the previous steps.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 7

This should be the end result!

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

2. How to Create a Beach Chair

Step 1

Begin by creating and coloring one of the wooden parts of the chair. You will need these colors:

  1. #D9AA7C
  2. #E3C5A8
  3. #BB936C
  4. #B68257
  5. #C79869
  6. #E8C396

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 2

Add an end part of the wooden plank. Color it with #AF8058.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 3

Create and shape another plank. Fill it with #DCAD76.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 4

Color the plank. For substeps 1 and 3, you will need to color the whole length of the plank.

  1. #F9CDA2
  2. #8F6646
  3. #C89C6A

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 5

Add an #C79A6D end part to the object.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 6

Draw the third plank of the chair, using these colors:

  1. #D6AF7E
  2. #B2875B
  3. #996C46
  4. #E2C196

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 7

Add a #DEC19C shape on the end of the plank.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 8

Assemble the wooden structure of the chair out of the planks we made!

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe IllustratorHow to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 9

Draw a base for the cloth part of the chair. Fill it with #FEF1EF.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 10

Create a stripe, and fill it with #7191BF.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 11

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.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 12

Create another #FEF1EF shape.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 13

Draw the end of the stripe (#7191BF).

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 14

Similarly to Step 11, apply Blend to the stripes and Expand Appearance.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 15

Join both parts together.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 16

Attach the cloth on top of the chair.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 17

You’ll soon be able to consult an upcoming tutorial of mine (not released yet) on how to create a screw!

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 18

Add screws to the mobile joints of the chair.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

The chair is done! Now onto the flip flops.

3. How to Create Flip Flops

Step 1

Draw an outline of the shoe and fill it with #EB9221.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 2

Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude and Bevel to create a 3D version of our shape.

Use the following settings:

  • 16°
  • -1°

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 3

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.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 4

Now draw the strap for the shoe, filling it with #CCC15C, and place it onto the flip flop.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 5

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.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 6

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.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 7

Set the both objects’ Opacity to 50% and Transparency Mode to Multiply.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 8

Move the Mesh under the yellow straps. It should create a shadow.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 9

Group the whole flip flop, and then create a copy of it. You can Reflect the copy by right-clicking and choosing Transform > Reflect.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 10

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.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 11

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.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 12

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.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 13

Line up the shadows with our flip flops.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

4. How to Create the Background

Step 1

Draw a simple white rectangle, placing a Mesh node just under its middle, and color its top three nodes with #A4DBED.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 2

If you want to add clouds to the sky, check out this tutorial of mine and learn how to create clouds!

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 3

Let’s draw the sand using a mesh. You will need these color codes:

  1. #EBD9BD
  2. #F7E8D0
  3. #E2CFB3
  4. #F4E7CF

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 4

All that’s left is to draw the Mesh for the sea.

Use these colors:

  1. #EBD9BD
  2. #F0F5F8

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 5

Change the sea’s Opacity to 70% and the Transparency mode to Multiply.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 6

Place the sea on top of the sand, creating the illusion of a submerged island.

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 7

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!

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 8

Now place your vacation supplies onto the island, and you’re good to go!

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator

Congratulations, 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 image we recreated in this tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I’ll be extremely happy to see any results in the comments below!

How to Create a Summer Vacation Background in Adobe Illustrator