In this tutorial I will show how to make a vector tomato using gradient mesh tool. It’s a very colourful. We used Photoshop method and colour adjustment to create this tutorial. So let’s get started….
Program: Adobe Illustrator CS3 – CS5
Estimated Completion Time: 2 hours
Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create the following path.
Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and change the path. You should have a picture the same as below.
Take the Pen Tool (P), add the anchor point, and transform the path to the following form.
Fill this path with dark red.
Let's now make the Mesh. Grab the Mesh Tool (U) and add the mesh anchor point in the center of the tomato form. See the diagram below for reference.
Then move this anchor point downwards.
Add the next mesh anchor points.
Then convert the anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) to the following form in order to represent a globular shape of the tomato.
Repeat these actions for both: the top part and the lower part of the tomato.
Add more mesh anchor points.
Select one of the anchor points and change the color of it.
Change the color of the close anchor point.
Add the distribution of light to the surface of the tomato.
Continue to change the colors of the anchor points. See the diagram for reference.
Illustrate now two concentric elliptical paths in the lower part of the tomato. The big ellipse is filled with white and is located under the small ellipse.
Change the Opacity of the white ellipse to zero.
Then go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the Spacing to "Specified steps" and the quantity of steps to 100.
Select both concentric ellipses and go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B). Send this blend to back. It will represent shadow.
Complicate the mesh in order to show the photo-realism of the tomato's surface.
Let's now create a stem of the tomato. Draw the first leaf. And fill it with any color.
Draw other leaves.
Illustrate the central branch.
Make a lateral surface of the leaf.
Repeat these actions for the other leaves.
Fill a lateral surface of the leaf with a Linear gradient. You need to achieve the following result.
Do the same with the other leaves.
Fill the cut section of the branch with the Linear gradients.
Draw a triangular path.
Drag and drop it into the Brushes palette. Select the Art Brush option in the dialog box.
Set the items for the brush as you can see them on the diagram below.
Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw the next path. Then apply the Art brush to it. Change the color of the path and change the Stroke Weight, if necessary.
Create another similar path.
Then draw the following path.
Select the first red path drawn one step earlier, and go to Object > Expand Appearance, then go to Object > Ungroup. And fill the path with the Linear gradient.
Fill the other red paths with the Linear gradients.
Select the wine red stem, take the Mesh Tool (U) and convert it to mesh. See the diagram below.
Paint it with green hues.
Add dark green colors to the stem.
Place the tail over the tomato. Change the dimensions of the tail, if it is necessary.
Make an Art brush which is shown in the diagram below.
Then draw the next path in the top part of the tail using this Art brush and fill it with the Linear gradient.
Illustrate the shown below elliptical path filled with the Linear gradient too.
Let's illustrate shadow from the leaves. Draw the path filled with the following Linear gradient.
Repeat this step for the other leaves of the tomato.
Draw the next small path looking like a tangerine segment. Fill it with tangerine. Its size in across-track direction must be several pixels only.
Then drag and drop it into the Brushes palette. Select the Scatter Brush option in the dialog box. Set the items for the brush as you can see them on the diagram below.
Illustrate two paths shown below on the surface of the tomato.
Apply just created Scatter brush to them.
Produce the next scatter brush filled with dark olive green.
Sketch the paths over the tomato tail.
And apply the new scatter brush to them.
Let's illustrate drops on the tomato. First, outline the next path under the tail on the red surface of the tomato.
And now create the path filled with the Radial gradient.
Sketch the following contour filled with the Radial gradient where the second color-stop (pointed by an arrow on the diagram) has the zero opacity.
Repeat this action for another path.
And repeat again.
Illustrate as many drops as you want.
Hope you can learn something new from this tutorial.
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