In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a winter vector Christmas background!
1. How to Create the Background
Let’s begin by using Mesh for a bit!
Start by drawing a rectangle and filling it with
#9DC3C5 color. Next, create a Mesh grid for this shape by manually placing nodes with the Mesh Tool (U)!
Once your Mesh grid is done, begin coloring it by selecting the whole lower right corner of nodes (the light-blue ones) and changing their color to
Continue with this step by coloring the node selected in the third part of the screenshot below with
Next, color the top and right edge nodes (the ones selected) with
#76A5AB and finish by coloring the two middle nodes on the left side with
Let’s draw a snow hill!
Fill a rectangle with
#F1F7EC and create a fairly dense Mesh Grid (using the Mesh Tool (U).
Next, drag different Mesh nodes to create a curved grid like the one shown below. Finally, color the selected nodes with
Create another snow hill in a similar fashion—this one should be even simpler!
Use these colors:
Now, simply overlay the two hills onto the background.
For this step, you can either try to draw your own pine tree using the Pen Tool (P), use any other clip art, or refer to the attachment of this tutorial of mine to grab a ready outline of the tree!
In any case, recolor the tree with
#C0CCCC and place several copies of it to create a background forest.
You can add some snow to these trees by drawing two series of snow outlines, which you would then overlay on top of each other—the bigger one,
#99AAAD, on the bottom and smaller one,
#FDFAEB, on the top.
If you chose to draw these trees, add them to the scenery.
Now place the trees onto our background!
2. How to Draw the Santa Hat
Draw the base of the Santa hat using Mesh, just as we did with the snow piles before.
#D52A45 for the base color,
#882231 for the shadows in part two, and
#B5263C for the wrinkles in the last part.
Draw the second part of the hat using these:
Put the two parts together and Group (Control-G) them.
Use the Wrinkle Tool (under the Width Tool in the Tools panel) with a rather small radius and 20% Intensity to roughen the edges of the hat a bit, making them fuzzy.
Draw the rim for the hat.
Use the Wrinkle Tool again.
Draw the pom-pom!
Finish the pom-pom with the Wrinkle Tool.
Add all the parts together!
3. How to Draw the Wooden Sign
To create the texture, you will need to refer to Section 3 of my autumn leaves tutorial.
Your result should look like the wood on the left. Rotate the planks and space them out a bit, making the brown background more visible.
You can use your own texture as well!
Change the color of the planks with Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors and:
- Red: 1%
- Green: 6%
- Blue: 13%
Draw a rectangle, applying a
#0E0B0D Radial Gradient to it.
Change the Transparency to Overlay.
Put the rectangle on top of the texture.
Draw a decorative sign shape, and then place it on top of the texture. Select all elements and after right-clicking, choose Make Clipping Mask.
Let’s create a shadow! Create two shapes, one filled with
#562B0B and another with
Change the smaller shape’s Opacity to 0%.
Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set it to Specified Steps, 30.
Next select both shapes and choose Object > Blend > Make, creating a nice shadow for our sign.
“Cut” a frame out for the sign using a Clipping Mask.
Add all the elements together and set the blend shadow’s Transparency to Multiply.
Draw a plank for the sign with Mesh!
Draw a shadow for the hat by using Blend, as we did in Step 8.
The colors are
Add the shadow under the hat.
And add the hat to the sign!
Draw a highlight using a Transparency mask (like the one in the last section of this tutorial) and change its Opacity to 80% and Transparency to Overlay.
Add it on top of the sign.
Draw different variants of snow, as shown below.
Add snow to the sign!
Finally, place the sign on the winter background! If you want to add falling snow, feel free to refer to this tutorial of mine.
Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and will be super happy to see any results in the comments below!