In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a beautiful natural scene!
How to Draw a Nature Scene With Dandelions and a Butterfly in Adobe Illustrator
1. How to Draw the Side-View Dandelion
Let’s begin using the Mesh Tool (U) by drawing the first petal!
Grab a rectangle, filling it with
#FAF128. Next, use the Mesh Tool to create a Mesh grid inside the object by clicking on the preferred spots.
After you’ve created six rows and four columns of Mesh, use the Mesh Tool to round the object into a petal by dragging its edges and nodes. Use the screenshot below for reference.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to color! Select the whole left edge of the object and color it with
#B67810, and then color the second column from the left with
Continue coloring the object as shown in the screenshot below. You will need these colors:
You’ve finished the first petal! Now, create petal number 2 by simply stretching a copy of the first object.
Create petal number 3 by stretching another copy of the first petal.
The third petal should be longer and thinner than the second one.
For the fourth petal, make a copy that’s shorter and a bit thicker.
Grab a copy of petal number 4, stretch it a bit, and color a few nodes in its base with
For number 6, slightly recolor a copy of the first petal using Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors. Apply -5% Green.
Assemble the flower out of the petals you made.
Let’s create more petals! Make a bigger copy of petal 4.
Stretch number 1.
Enlarge number 4, and then color its left edge with
Begin creating the 10th petal with mesh.
Finish the 10th petal.
Create petal 11 by recoloring one node to
Draw the 12th petal.
Assemble the lower part of the flower.
Create an object by applying a stroke to a curved line, creating a reflected copy of it, expanding both objects’ appearance, and then using Pathfinder to Unite both objects.
Color the object with Mesh.
Next, turn the lowest row of mesh completely transparent.
Finish the flower.
Draw a leaf with Mesh.
Add the leaves to the dandelion.
Draw the stem out of three rows of mesh.
Add the stem to the flower!
2. How to Draw the Front-Facing Dandelion
Begin drawing the first petal for the second flower!
Create the fifth petal out of the first one.
Create the sixth petal.
Assemble the outer part of the flower.
Create a smaller copy of the flower, and then reflect it and add it inside the bigger ring.
Add an ellipse filled with
#FFB600 behind the petals.
Open the attachment to this tutorial, dandelion.jpg.
Drag it inside your work document in Adobe Illustrator, and then open the Image Trace panel.
Set the number of Colors to 30, adjusting the other settings to match the screenshot if they are different. Press Trace, and then Object > Expand Appearance.
Delete the outer yellow part of the traced dandelion.
Add the remainder inside the flower.
3. How to Add the Daisies and the Grass
To draw the daisy, consult my tutorial How to Draw Heart-Shaped Daisies in Adobe Illustrator.
This time, do not create a heart out of the middle, and go through the steps as if the middle was round.
After you’ve traced and expanded the middle, flatten it a bit.
Create a blend shadow out of
#FFFAD7, setting it to Multiply with 80% Opacity.
Place the shadow in the middle of the petals, and then place the flower in the middle.
To create grass, consult this tutorial of mine: How to Create a Grass Banner in Adobe Illustrator. Recolor it by going to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors and adding 6% Green.
To bend the straight blades of grass, use Effect > Warp > Arc with 50% Bend.
Create a scene out of the objects we’ve made so far.
4. How to Draw the Butterfly
Draw an element of the butterfly’s wing with mesh.
Add another part.
Draw the final element.
Draw an outline of a butterfly’s wing, fill it with black, and then add the elements we just made.
Draw another element for the wing.
Create different variants by bending the original shape.
Add the objects to the butterfly’s wing.
Add a new copy of the wing.
Begin drawing the body of the butterfly with legs and antennae.
Draw the body.
Assemble the body.
Complete the butterfly.
Create a Blend shadow out of
#FFFFFF. Set it to Multiply.
Add a Gradient shadow from
#FFFFFF, and set it to Multiply.
Add the shadows under the bush and the butterfly next to it.
Then, draw an outline, “framing” the picture. Select everything and Make Clipping Mask.
Awesome Work, You’re Done!
Thank you for following along, and please feel welcome to post your result in the comments. I’ll be looking forward to seeing it!
In this tutorial, you learned how to create beautiful photo-realistic flowers using the Mesh Tool.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned how to use some useful tools for the future! Check out some of my other vector tutorials on my instructor profile.
If you’re looking for more floral gradient mesh tutorials, let me recommend the following tutorials to try next:
Gradient Mesh ToolHow to Draw Heart-Shaped Daisies in Adobe IllustratorVladimir Galantsev
Gradient Mesh ToolHow to Draw a Wreath of Tropical Flowers in Adobe IllustratorVladimir Galantsev
Gradient Mesh ToolHow to Draw a Gradient Mesh Sunflower in Adobe IllustratorVladimir Galantsev
FlowersHow to Create a Pot of Daffodils With Gradient Mesh in Adobe IllustratorVladimir Galantsev