In this tutorial you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool and the Warp effects, all while creating a pair of realistic strawberries in a splash of milk!
How to Use Gradient Mesh to Create Strawberries in a Milk Splash in Adobe Illustrator
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1. How to Create Two Strawberries
Begin by creating a red rectangle and Filling it with the
Grab the Mesh Tool (U) and place a node in the top middle of the shape by left-clicking. Move the edges of the rectangle using the Mesh Tool by dragging them. Aim to create a strawberry-like shape.
Finally, create a couple more nodes with the Mesh Tool. There should be about eight rows and five columns of Mesh. Select all the nodes in the two bottom rows and color them with a darker color,
Continue by creating and coloring more nodes with the Mesh Tool, similarly to the last step.
The colors you will need for each substep are:
Finally, color the middle node in the fifth row with
Our mesh for the strawberry is done, so let’s move on to creating the seeds!
As in our previous steps, create and modify a shape filled with
#E7BD42, and then color the edges of the seed with a darker
Continue coloring the seed with Mesh.
The colors you will need are:
Create one more Copy of our result.
Take the first copy and apply Effect > Warp > Inflate to the shape with the following settings:
- Bend: 0%
- Horizontal: 0%
- Vertical: 22%
After applying the effect, go to Object > Expand Appearance.
Remember to do this after every warp!
Modify the seed by flattening it a little and dragging its tip to the right.
Create a copy of the shape we just finished. Scale the copy to about half the size of the original.
Let’s place our seeds onto the strawberry!
In the first substep, use the seed we finished in Step 5.
Next, use the one we created in Step 7.
Finally, finish the placement by using the seed from Step 8.
This should be your resulting strawberry!
Now, let’s start creating a half of a strawberry.
Follow the steps in the image below to color the shape with Mesh.
You will need these colors:
- None, shaping the strawberry.
- None—you will need to delete the columns of Mesh on the sides of the shape and create four other columns that are closer to the middle.
Add some seeds on the edges of our finished Mesh strawberry, and let’s move on to creating the leaves!
2. How to Create Leaves, Stalks, and Highlights
Let’s draw the leaf! Follow the substeps below.
Here are the colors you will need to use:
For the details of the leaf, draw three jagged lines with the Pen Tool (P).
Applya Stroke with the Arrowhead profile to the lines, and then change the color of the Stroke to the basic white-black Gradient.
Change the Transparency mode to Screen and Opacity to 30%.
Finally, select the paths and go to Object > Expand Appearance.
Place the lines on top of the leaf. I would suggest Grouping all of the shapes with Control-G.
Create two copies of the original leaf.
Grab the first copy and apply Effect > Warp > Squeeze with the following settings:
- Bend: -13%
- Horizontal: -55%
- Vertical: -11%
Don’t forget to Expand Appearance.
Next, draw an outline similar to the yellow path in the screenshot. Select both the outline and the leaf,right-click on the image, and select Create Clipping Mask in the drop-down menu.
Create two copies of the leaf we finished in the previous step.
Grab the first copy and modify it by Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors with the following settings:
- Red: -11%
- Green: -5%
- Blue: -15%
Take the second copy we made previously and modify its color by going to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors, now with these settings:
- Red: -14%
- Green: -14%
- Blue: -15%
Very similarly to Step 4, grab the second copy we made in thatstep and apply Effect > Warp > Arc with the following settings:
- Bend: 25%
- Horizontal: -26%
- Vertical: 0%
Don’t forget to Expand Appearance.
Next, draw an outline, indicated by the black path in the screenshot. Select both the outline and the leaf,right-click on the image, and click Create Clipping Mask in the drop-down menu.
Move on to creating the stalk.
Draw a light-green rectangle filled with
#E2E564. Next, bend it with Effect > Warp > Arc, using 45% Bend.Expand Appearance.
Bend the right tip of the stalk to make it rounder. Then, following the substeps below, color the stalk with Mesh.
You will need these colors:
Now that every element is done, let’s bring them all together!
Add the leaves according to the order they were created in, as indicated by the numbers below.
Now let’s add our new leaves to the whole strawberry! Place them behind the berry by sending them to the back with Shift-Control-[.
Do the same for the half of the strawberry.
We’re almost done with our berries! All that’s left is to create the highlight for our whole strawberry.
Draw a shape like the one in the screenshot, and then three round shapes. The round shapes should be bigger than the seeds we placed.
Next, move the round shapes on top of the original drawing, select all of them, and click Exclude in the Pathfinder panel.
Draw a half-moon shape and place them as shown in the screenshot. You can use your strawberry with the seeds for reference while doing this—the grey shapes should not touch the seeds, but instead they should be in between.
The same goes for the previous shape.
Select all the objects and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.
Next, Fill the resulting path with a Linear Gradient from white to
Change the Transparency mode to Screen and Opacity to 70%.
Move the highlight on top of the strawberry. If it doesn’t fit, don’t worry—you can modify the shape by dragging its nodes with the Direct Selection Tool (A).
Move the half next to the whole strawberry.
3. How to Create a Milk Splash
In this final section, we will draw a milk splash for our strawberries. Prepare your Mesh Tool!
Let’s begin by drawing the first little splash out of five.
Use Mesh to modify and color the shape. The colors you will need for this one are:
Create the next little splash with more Mesh.
Continue by creating the third splash.
The colors you will need for the fourth splash are:
Finish off by creating a milk drop.
This is how our little elements will be labeled later—don’t forget!
Let’s create our first big Mesh milk splash! You will need these colors:
- Nothing, just shaping the object
Add little elements to our big splash! Consult Step 6 if you’re not sure which is which.
Move on to creating the second big splash. This time, you will need these:
Add little elements to this splash as well!
Create the last part of the splash. Use these colors:
We won’t add any other elements to the last splash.
Let’s combine them! Green is the first splash we finished, red is the second one, and blue is the last splash.
We’re almost done! Let’s add some milk drops.
Create four more copies of the milk drop we made in Step 5. Modify the first copy by applying Effect > Warp > Squeeze with these settings:
- Bend: -35%
- Horizontal: -18%
- Vertical: 23%
Don’t forget to Object > Expand Appearance.
Modify the second copy with Effect > Warp > Inflate with these settings:
- Bend: 18%
- Horizontal: -8%
- Vertical: -40%
Make sure to Expand Appearance.
Apply Effect > Warp > Twist to the third copy.
- Bend: -34%
- Horizontal: 26%
- Vertical: 36%
For the last copy, simply drag it to flatten it a bit.
Use the different milk drops we made in these steps to create something like this:
When you’re happy with the little random drops, add them to the big splash and place your strawberries “inside.” They should be on top of the third splash part.
The final touch will be the addition of a shadow.
Create an ellipse, Filling it with a Radial Gradient from
#FFFFFF. Set its Transparency mode to Multiply.
Place the shadow under your milk splash, and you’re done!
Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and I will be extremely happy to see any results, feedback or suggestions in the comments below!