I’m super stoked to have Denise of Denise Anne Studio today to share a blog post here. She’ll be detailing out how to illustrate rose buds in Adobe Illustrator. I’ve learnt a lot and I hope you do too. Happy reading!
I am so thrilled and honored to do my first guest post for Inkstruck Studio!
Recently, I was asked how to illustrate the florals I create to make hand drawn graphics and patterns. So, I thought today I would give you an inside look at my process, and do a tutorial you can follow along with to illustrate rose buds in Adobe Illustrator.
These are the finished rose buds we will create.
We will start from a sketch I did of the rose bud and use it as a guide for building the illustration. You should always start with a sketch, because it makes it so much easier to design your finished artwork. Just remember the sketch is only a guide, and you can deviate while creating your illustrations.
We are going to be using this color palette to illustrate rose buds, but you can choose your own colors too.
Ways to Illustrate Vectors
There are multiple ways to illustrate vector elements. You can vectorize sketches, and use many different tools to create your illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. The tutorial I am showing you here is just one way of creating vector artwork and graphics.
The main tools I will be using in this tutorial are ones I use all the time in Adobe Illustrator. They are my favorites, and I hope they will become your favorites, too.
Main tools and panels we are using:
- Blob Brush Tool
- Swatches Panel
- Layers Panel
- Pen Tool
- Direct Selection Tool
- Smooth Tool
To familiarize yourself where these tools are in Adobe Illustrator, go here.
My document for this tutorial is in CYMK color mode, and the size is 2000 x 2000 pixels.
Illustrating the Leaves
To illustrate the leaves, we are going to use the Blob Brush Tool. We want the leaves to curve around the flower rose bud. You can use the Pen Tool as well to do the leaves, but sometimes it is fun to use the brush instead since it seems more like painting.
Zoom in on the sketch by using the Zoom Tool (the magnifying glass shape at the bottom of the tools panel).
Next, access the Blob Brush Tool.
Double click on the Blob Brush Tool to access the options, and make adjustments to the shape of the brush. Select > Ok.
Select the light green color e5ddad from the Swatches Panel.
Then, follow the shape of the leaves with your brush, and be sure to connect the starting point with the ending point with your brush. You will get an outline of the shape.
Note: If you do not connect the lines with the Blob Brush Tool, you will not close the compound path. If that happens, just draw more with the Blob Brush and connect the path.
Select the path, then Right Click, and Select Release Compound Path.
With everything still selected, go to the Pathfinder Panel, and Select > Unite.
To even the path out, with the path selected, Select the Smooth Tool. It is a few tools deep in the menu. I use the Smooth Tool and Direct Selection Tool (second arrow on the tools panel) so often that I created my own keyboard shortcut for those tools. I set the letter A and W as my shortcut keys. To set your own keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator, follow these instructions here.
Drag the Smooth Tool over the area of the path you want to even out.
Next, we are going to draw another leaf shape directly over the first one for this two toned leaf.
Note: One of the properties of the Blob Brush Tool is it works like a paint brush. If you have the same color selected, and use it on top of the same color, the shape and line will merge into one shape. Sometimes, you want that to happen, sometimes not. So, if you don’t want to merge, then you must select a new color before drawing over the previous shape.
Select the mid tone green color b5a253 from your Swatches Panel, because we will use that color next.
Draw the new leaf shape over the first one.
We have one more two tone leaf to create on the other side of the rose bud, and on the far left, we have one leaf that is just the light green color. You will use the adjustments in the Blob Brush Options to change the orientation of the brush for the direction you are painting each leaf. Be sure not to connect leaves with the Blob Brush Tool.
Since using the Blob Brush Tool will unite same colors, we do the single leaf in a dark green color, then send the leaf behind the other leaves by reordering them in the Layers Panel.
Within the Layers Panel, drag that leaf behind the other leaves. You can use the Send to Back feature, but I prefer to reorder objects within my Layers Panel. There is more control over ordering your shapes.
Then Select the light green color from the Swatches Panel to fill it with that color. Now we have all the leaves done.
Illustrating the Rose Bud
If you feel comfortable with the Pen Tool, you can use it to illustrate rose buds shape. But, I am going to show this with the Blob Brush Tool here as well. We will use the Pen Tool a little later in this tutorial.
Referencing my already created rose bud, I am going to use the middle pink swatch, and draw the shape of the rose bud directly over the leaves, making sure I stay within the outside edges of the leaves. Then reorder the shape within the Layers Panel by dragging it below the leaves.
Next, use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + C for Windows or Command + C for Mac to copy the shape. Then use Ctrl + F for Windows or Command + F for Mac to paste the shape in place directly in front. Now you have a copy of the rose bud. I changed the color to the dark red color so you can see the difference as we delete anchor points.
Now Select the Delete Anchor Point Tool.
We are going to start deleting anchor points along the right side to expose the shape we have behind and modify this shape to be a petal.
Delete anchor points until it looks like this one. (If you delete too many or the wrong point, then just select Edit > Undo to get the point back).
Next, we are going to use the Direct Selection Tool to edit the top anchor point. Rotate the right handle down to form a point.
Then, using the Add Anchor Point tool, add another point along the right side, and manipulate the points until they look like the above image.
Using the Blob Brush Tool, we are going to add some petal curls to the right side. Just fill in with the brush. This is where we want the Blob Brush to unite with the shape, so use the same dark red color.
Smooth it out with the Smooth Tool and manipulate your anchor points with Direct Selection Tool to make little tweaks.
Adding Details to the Rose Bud Petal
Now that we have the base shape of our rose bud and petal done, we can add the finishing details that make the rose bud complete.
Creating the petal curl at the top
To create the petal curl, we are going to use the Pen Tool, and using the color e64554 from the Swatches Panel.
Draw the path with the Pen Tool by selecting and dragging starting from the top, and working your way to the first ripple. Then, back up and close the path with the pen. Use the Direct Selection Tool to manipulate your anchor points until it looks like the image above. You could do this with the Blob Brush Tool as well, but there are more steps involved.
Next, let’s zoom out and make some minor adjustments to our shapes. I brought in the petals, and did some minor rotating and adjusting to the leaves to fully cover the shape of the rose bud. I also moved the right leaf over a little bit.
Now add final details to the rose bud using the Blob Brush Tool or the Pen Tool. If using the brush, unite shapes as we did previously.
Then in the Layers Panel, reorder the shape behind the leaves.
Finally, add small lines with the Blob Brush in color be3e45 (the dark red) to finish off the flower.
With the rose bud completed, we can finish this up by creating the stem.
Creating the rose bud stem
Create the stem base using the Blob Brush Tool, with the darkest green color 978f56, and overlap the base of your leaves. Use Pathfinder to unite the compound path, like we did previously. Then using color b5a253, add detail lines.
Use the Pen Tool to create the long stem following the shape of the sketch.
Close the path at the top, and then smooth out the path with the Smooth Tool; or by adjusting your anchor points and handles; or adding anchor points to make more adjustments. Closed path shown above.
Turn off the sketch layer in the Layers Panel and see your finished rose bud stem!
Next, use the Selection Tool and Select a box around your rose bud stem. Then, Right Click, and Select Group to group all elements together.
To add variation, copy the artwork, redraw it, or make minor adjustments by adjusting areas with the selection tools. Recolor the rose buds with other colors, too.
I hope you have super fun trying to illustrate rose buds in Illustrator. Download the free graphics below.
Denise Palmer is an illustrator, watercolor artist, and surface pattern designer. She draws inspiration from her everyday adventures as a mom of three, and crafts a unique visual story that celebrates the moments where life’s greatest memories are born and shared. She founded her design studio to create illustrative resources, and to envision the joyful details found in each client’s beautiful journey.