Illustrator tutorial: Summer cocktail poster

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In this detailed tutorial we will learn how to create a summer cocktail poster in Adobe Illustrator. First, we will learn how to create the beach with bright sunlight using some basic shapes and effects. Next, we will learn how to create a cocktail glass with a colorful drink and fancy decoration using the power of Illustrator. You’ll see how easy it is to create these objects using some basic shapes and tools that we normally use on a daily basis. Hope you will find this useful and inspiring to make other kinds of drinks or cocktails.

Create a New document

  1. Launch Illustrator and then press (Ctrl + N) to create a New document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 630 in the width box and 660 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

    Create a Background

    2. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 620 by 658px Keep the newly created rectangle selected, remove its stroke. Then fill this object with the linear gradient as shown in the second image.

3. With the Ellipse Tool (L) create a 164 by 164px black ellipse, then place it to the position as shown in the first image. Still having the black ellipse selected and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a 93px Offset and click OK, then replace the existing stroke color of the newly created ellipse with red. Keep the red ellipse selected and open the Offset Path dialog box again. Enter a 52px Offset and click OK. Then replace the existing stroke color of the newly created ellipse with soft cyan (# 78e4c5) and change the stroke weight to 4px.

4. Select the black ellipse created in the step 3, remove its stroke and fill this object with white (# ffffff). Still having the white ellipse selected and go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur… Enter a 15px Radius and click OK. Next select the red ellipse, remove its stroke and fill this object with white (# ffffff). Apply a 30px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting ellipse and then reduce its Opacity to 60%. Now reselect the soft cyan ellipse and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a 13px Radius and click OK. Replace the existing stroke color of the newly created ellipse with soft magenta (# d9a5d6). Then change the stroke weight of the resulting ellipse to 3px. Finally select the soft cyan and the soft magenta ellipses, then apply a 13px Gaussian Blur effect for them.

5. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 53 by 542px rectangle, then place it to the position as shown in the first image. With the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top-right anchor point of the red rectangle and move it 18px to the left. Next select the top-left anchor point and move it 18px to the right. Reselect the red object created in this step, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient as shown in the third image. Still having the white shape selected, pick the Rotate Tool (R), hold down the Alt and click on the center point of the ellipses created in the step 4. In the Rotate dialog box, enter a 15 degrees Angle and click Copy. Then press (Ctrl +D) until you will get the results like you see in the last image.

6. Select upper white shapes created in the step 5 and remove them. Reselect and group (Ctrl +G) all remaining white shapes. Keep the newly created group selected, open the Gradient palette (Window > Gradient) and change the colors of the gradient stops as shown in the third image. Finally change the Blending Mode of the resulting group to Hard Light.

7. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 66 by 66px ellipse, then place it to the position like you see in the first image. Next remove the stroke of the newly created ellipse and fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the second image. Still having the resulting ellipse selected, make two copies of it, then scale the two newly created ellipses as needed. Finally place them to the positions like you see in the last image.

8. Before you continue, select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created from beginning step 3 to this time. Now reselect the rectangle created in the step 2 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the group created in this step. Right-click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu. The background is ready and looks like in the last image.

Create the Cocktail Glass

9. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 78 by 288px red rectangle. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the red rectangle, then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with black. Next pick the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), click on the point highlighted with blue. This will add a new anchor point for the black rectangle. With the Direct Selection Tool (A), select and remove the bottom-left anchor point of the black rectangle. Now pick the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C), click on the bottom anchor point of the black object, hold mouse and drag it to the right while holding Shift. Keep working with the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C), click on the anchor point added in this step, hold mouse and drag it to the left and down. The resulting black object should look like the fifth image below. Now reselect the black object, then pick the Reflect Tool (O), hold down the Alt and click on the right side of the red rectangle. In the Reflect dialog box, check the Vertical and click Copy. Before you continue, select and remove the red rectangle created in this step. Next select the two black objects, then open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Unite button. The resulting object should look like the last image below.

10. Select and remove a top-center anchor point of the black object, then move the remaining top-center anchor point 3px up. Next pick the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C), click on the anchor point you just moved, hold mouse and drag it to the left. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the black object, then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with blue. With the help of the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 200 by 70px red rectangle, then place it to the position as shown in the fourth image. Now reselect the red rectangle and the blue object, then open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Front button. The resulting blue object should look like the sixth image below. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the blue object, then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with red. Keep the red object selected and go to the Object > Transform > Scale… Check the Non-Uniform, enter a 107% in the Horizontal box and click Copy. Then move this copy 6px up. Finally reselect the two red objects created in this step, then click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. The resulting red object should look like the last image below.

11. Select the blue object, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient like you see in the first image. Then change the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Hard Light. Continue select the red object, remove its stroke and then fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the second image. Now select the black object, remove its stroke and fill this object with very soft cyan (# bbe4ee). Then change the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Color Burn. Still having this shape selected and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Replace the existing fill color of the copy with white (# ffffff) then bring the resulting shape to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket).

12. With the Pen Tool (P), create two shapes like you see in the first image. Once your shapes are drawn, apply a 10px Gaussian Blur effect for them. Next change the Blending Mode of the resulting shapes to Color Burn. Finally hide these two shapes behind the first shape created in the step 11.

13. Select the last shape created in the step 11 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Keep the copy selected and change the Blending Mode to Normal. Still having the resulting shape selected, swap the Fill and Stroke colors by clicking the bent double-headed arrow next to the Fill and Stroke color swatches in the Toolbox. Change the stroke weight of the resulting object to 2px, then apply the Width Profile 5 for it. With the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Shift, select the two anchor points highlighted with magenta. Then click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties This make the white object becomes two curved paths. Select and remove the lower path. Next pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a slightly curved path like you see in the next to last image. Reselect the newly created path, pick the Eyedropper Tool (I) and click on the white curved path created in this step. Next change the stroke weight of the resulting path to 4px. Finally apply a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for this path.

14. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) create two objects like you see in the first image. Once your objects are drawn, reselect the blue object, remove its stroke and fill this object with white (# ffffff). Apply a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting shape, then change the Blending Mode to Lighten and reduce its Opacity to 90%. Continue select the black object, remove its stroke and fill this object with soft orange (# f5ac80). Apply a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting shape, then change the Blending Mode to Lighten and reduce its Opacity to 70%. Next with the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the two next-to-last images. Apply a 3px Feather effect for the newly created shape, then change the Blending Mode to Hard Light and reduce its Opacity to 30%. Before you continue, select and group (Ctrl +G) three shapes created in this step. Now select the last shape created in the step 11 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the group created in this step. Right-click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu.

15. Let’s create the stand for our glass. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 36 by 132px red rectangle. Next pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a black object like you see in the second image. Now pick the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C), click on the anchor point highlighted with yellow of the black object, hold mouse and drag it down while holding Shift. Keep working with the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C), click on the bottom-left anchor point, hold mouse and drag it to the left and down. The resulting black object should look like the fourth image below. Now reselect the black object, then pick the Reflect Tool (O), hold down the Alt and click on the right side of the black object. In the Reflect dialog box, check the Vertical and click Copy. Before you continue, select and remove the red rectangle created in this step. Next select the two black objects, then open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Unite The resulting object should look like the last image below.

16. With the help of the Pen Tool (P), create a red object like you see in the images below. Once your red object is drawn, reselect it and press (Ctrl +3) to hide it. Now select the black object created in the step 15, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient as shown in the third image. Then make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the resulting shape. Remove the fill color of the copy and add a 1px grayish blue stroke (# d1d3d4), then apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting object. With the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Shift, select the four anchor points highlighted with red of the grayish blue object. Then click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties This make the object becomes four curved paths. Select and remove the lower path. Now select the upper path, replace the existing stroke color with bright red (# df573a) and change the stroke weight to 2px. Finally apply the Width Profile 6 for the resulting path.

17. Before you continue, press (Ctrl +Alt +3) to show the red object hidden in the step 16. Still having the red object selected, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient as shown in the second image. Next apply a 4px Feather effect for the resulting shape.

18. To give a more realistic look I’m going to be adding some shadows and highlights on some key places. First, draw a slightly curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 4px dark grayish cyan stroke (# 9bb1b0) for the moment. Next apply the Width Profile 1 and a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created path. Continue with the Pen Tool (P), create two shapes like you see in the third image. Once your shapes are drawn, apply a 4px Feather effect for them. Finally, create a light grayish yellow shape (# f9f7f0) like you see in the last two images below.

19. Now we need a base for the stand. With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) and the Gradient Tool (G), create an ellipse like you see in the first and the second images. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the newly created ellipse, then move the copy 7px up. Make a copy of the newly created ellipse, then press (Ctrl +3) to hide the copy. Now reselect the remaining two ellipses created in this step and go to the Object > Blend > Blend Options… Follow the data as shown in the fourth image and click OK. Then go to the Object > Blend > Make (Ctrl +Alt +B). Before you continue, press (Ctrl +Alt +3) to show the ellipse hidden in this step. Keep this ellipse selected and replace the existing fill color with the radial gradient as shown in the sixth image. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the resulting ellipse. Then remove the fill color of the copy and add a 1px stroke (apply the linear gradient within stroke). Finally select all objects created in this step and then send them to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

20. We are going to start making shadows on the glass to give it more of a 3D look. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second images. Now pick the Selection Tool (V), double-click on the blended object created in the step 19. Select the lower ellipse and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Having the copy selected, press (Ctrl +X) to cut it. Double-click on the anywhere outside of the blended object. Then press (Ctrl +F) to paste the ellipse was cut in this step. Keep this ellipse selected and make a copy of it, then press (Ctrl +3) to hide the copy. Now reselect the original ellipse and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data as shown in the fifth image and click OK. Then send the resulting ellipse to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket). Press (Ctrl +Alt +3) to shown the ellipse hidden in this step. Next pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom anchor point of this ellipse and move it 26px down. Keep working with the Direct Selection Tool (A) along with the Shift, extend the handles of the anchor point you just moved. After you are done adjusting the shape of the resulting shape, replace the existing fill color of this shape with the radial gradient as shown in the next to last image. Finally apply a 5px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting shape, then send it to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

21. It’s time to draw the water drops. With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) and the Gradient Tool (G), create an ellipse like you see in the first and the second images. Make sure that the newly created ellipse is still selected, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 70%. Keep the resulting ellipse selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data like you see in the fourth image and click OK. Next draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 2px white stroke (# ffffff) for the moment. Apply the Width Profile 5 and a 2px Feather effect for the resulting path. Finally select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created in this step, then reduce the Opacity of this group to 50%. The water drop is done!

22. Likewise, repeat the same process as the previous steps to draw some water drops similar to the ones from below.

23. We will continue with other water drops. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create shape like you see in the first and the second images. Make sure that the newly created shape is still selected, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 70%. Next draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 4px white stroke (# ffffff) for the moment. Apply the Width Profile 5 and a 3px Feather effect for the resulting path. Next select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created in this step. We are done with another water drop for the moment. Continue to draw more water drops until you have something like in the last image.

24. Place the water drops on the cocktail glass like you see in the images below.

25. Using the Ellipse Tool (L) create a 134 by 134px black ellipse. Next pick the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) and click on the two points highlighted with yellow. This will add two new anchor points for the black ellipse. With the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the upper anchor point you just added and move it 1px up. Next select the lower anchor point and move it 1px to the right. Reselect the black ellipse and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -2px Offset and click OK, then replace the existing stroke color of the newly created ellipse with yellow. Keep the yellow ellipse selected and then open the Offset Path dialog box. Enter a -2px Offset and click OK. Then replace the existing stroke color of the newly created ellipse with red. Make sure that the red ellipse is still selected and open the Offset Path dialog box again. Enter a -5px Offset and click OK, then replace the existing stroke color of the newly created ellipse with blue.

26. Select the black ellipse created in the step 25, remove its stroke and fill this object with dark green (# 4c8d06). Next select the yellow ellipse and remove its stroke, then fill this object with strong green (# 7fcd21). Keep the resulting ellipse selected and apply a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for it. With the Selection Tool (V), reselect the dark green ellipse and press (Ctrl +C) to copy it. Then click on the strong green ellipse with blur effect applied in this step and press (Ctrl +F) to paste in front the copied ellipse. Still having this ellipse selected, replace the existing fill color with light grayish green (# dfedbf). Keep the resulting ellipse selected and go to the Effect > Sketch > Reticulation… Follow the data like you see in the fourth image and click OK. Finally apply a 10px Feather effect for the resulting ellipse, then change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 80%.

27. Select the red ellipse created in the step 25, remove its stroke and fill this object with light grayish yellow (# f2f5e3). Then apply a 5px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting ellipse. Keep this ellipse selected and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then replace the existing fill color of the copy with white (# ffffff). Still having the white ellipse selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data like you see in the third image and click OK. Having the resulting ellipse selected, open the Appearance palette (Window > Appearance) and click on the Feather In the Feather dialog box, enter a 10px Radius and click OK. Finally change the Blending Mode of the resulting ellipse to Multiply.

28. Select the blue ellipse, remove its stroke and then fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the first image. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the resulting ellipse, then remove the fill color of the copy and add a 2px very soft green stroke (# ceed86). Now with the help of the Pencil Tool (N) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the third and the fourth images. Then apply a 10px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created shape. Continue with the Pen Tool (P), create a very soft yellow shape (# f2f5aa) like you see in the next to last image. Once your shape is drawn, apply a 3px Feather effect for it.

29. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create some red objects like you see in the first image. Once your objects are drawn, reselect them and remove their strokes, then fill these objects with very soft green (# e1fbba). Keep the resulting shapes selected, apply a 5px Feather effect for them. Continue draw some slightly curved paths with the Pencil Tool (N) and give them a 2px very pale yellow stroke (# ffffd8) for the moment. Next apply the Width Profile 1 and a 2px Feather effect for these paths. Finally reduce the Opacity of the resulting paths to 70%. Likewise, repeat the same process to add these details on the remaining parts of the lemon slice. You should end up with something like in the last image below. Finally select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created from beginning step 25 to this time. The lemon slice is done!

30. Place the lemon slice on the cocktail glass like you see in the first image. Next hide it behind the first shape created in the step 11.

Create a Straw

31. Using the Line Segment Tool (\) create a black vertical line of length 125px. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the newly created line, then move the copy 16px to the right. Keep the newly created line selected and make a copy of it, then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with blue. Move the blue line 4px to the left. Make sure that the blue line is still selected and duplicate it (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F). Next move the copy 8px to the left. Now reselect the four lines created in this step and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of them, then move these copies to the right. Keep the newly created lines selected, open the Transform palette (Window > Transform) and set the transfer reference point to bottom-center, then change H to 290px. Now reselect the four shorter lines created in this step and go to the Object > Transform > Rotate… Enter a 45 degrees Angle and click OK, then place the resulting lines to the positions as shown in the last image.

32. With the help of the Pen Tool (P), create four curved paths like you see in the images below. Next select three paths as shown in the third image, right-click on the artboard and select the Join section from the drop-down menu. Continue select the three paths like you see in the next to last image, then press (Ctrl +J) to connect them.

33. Reselect the two black paths created in the step 32, right click on the artboard and then select the Join section from the drop-down menu. Next right click on the artboard again, then select the Join section. Keep the resulting object selected, remove its stroke and fill this object with slightly yellow (# c3cc8c). Still having the resulting shape selected and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -1.5px Offset and click OK, then replace the existing fill color of the newly created shape with very soft yellow (# fbf6ae). Finally apply a 6px Feather effect for the resulting shape.

34. Select the two magenta curved paths created in the step 32 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then replace the existing stroke color of the copies with black. Focus on the second image, select four anchor points highlighted with red of the two black curved paths. Then click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties bar. This make two black curved paths become six curved paths. Select and remove the two longer paths. Now select the two paths as shown in the fourth image, then press (Ctrl +J) to connect them. The resulting path should look like the fifth image below. Likewise, repeat the same process as the previous steps to connect the remaining black and blue paths.

35. Select four black paths created in the step 34, replace the existing stroke color with vivid green (# a4dd01) and change the stroke weight to 3px. Next select the two magenta paths and bring them to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). With the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Shift, select the two anchor points highlighted with blue. Then click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties This make the two paths become four paths. Reselect the four magenta paths, replace the existing stroke color with vivid green (# a4dd01), then change the stroke weight to 3px. Finally apply the Width Profile 2 for these resulting paths.

36. To give a more realistic look I’m going to be adding some shadows on some key places. First, draw five slightly curved paths with the Pen Tool (P) and give them a 3px grayish blue stroke (# bcbec0) for the moment. Next apply the Width Profile 1 and a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created paths. Still having the resulting paths selected and press (Ctrl +G) to group them. Now select the first shape created in the step 33 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep the copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the group created in this step. Right click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu.

37. Select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created from beginning step 31 to this time. We are done with the straw for the moment. Now rotate this straw an angle of about 18 degrees, then place it to the position like you see in the third image. Finally hide the straw behind the first shape created in the step 11.

38. Place the cocktail glass into the background. At this point your illustration should look like in the next image:

Create a Banner

39. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create two rectangles with dimensions: 100 by 56px and 290 by 56px. Next place the two newly created rectangles to the positions like you see in the third image. Now reselect the blue rectangle and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with red. With the Direct Selection Tool (A), click on the left side of the red rectangle, hold mouse, drag it to the right and up. Then place this side to the position as shown in the next to last image. Now pick the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), click on the center of the left side of the blue rectangle to add a new anchor point. Next reselect the newly added anchor point and move it 13px to the right.

40. Reselect three objects created in the step 39, remove their strokes and then fill these objects as shown in the first image. Now reselect the two smaller shapes and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Then drag the copies to the right and place them as shown in the last image. Don’t forget to hold the Shift key on the keyboard for straight dragging.

41. Now pick the Type Tool (T), open the Character palette (Window > Type > Character) and set the data as shown below. Next simply click on your artboard and add the text “VACATION”. Place this text on the banner created in the step 40. Now select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created from beginning step 39 to this time. Finally place the newly created group to the position as shown in the last image.

42. Type “SUMMER” with the Type Tool (T). Use the same color, but change the font to Algerian and decrease the font size to 94px. Next place this text to the position as shown in the first image. Now using the Line Segment Tool (\) create a horizontal line of length 364px, with a 1px white stroke (# ffffff) and no fill. Then place the newly created line to the position as shown in the second image.

Here is what the completed design looks like.

Download print version of Summer Cocktail tutorial for Illustrator

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