In this tutorial you will learn how to create a pair of Scandinavian mittens. These will definitely get you warmed up for winter! We will be using basic shapes, effects, and tools.
This tutorial is broken down into parts to make it easier for beginners. The first part of this tutorial will show you how to create the basic mitten. The second part will show you how to decorate the mitten. And the third part of this tutorial will show you how to finish up the mittens and create the background. If you have used Adobe Illustrator before, then this should be easy for you.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. How to Create the Basic Mitten
After opening Adobe Illustrator, create a new document with 850 x 850 px Width and Height.
Let’s start by creating a light grey rectangle with the help of the Rectangle Tool (M). Set the fill color as shown in the image below. Next, using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a light grey rounded rectangle. Now, rotate the rounded rectangle to 45 degrees. To do so, select it, and while holding down the Shift key, rotate it. For the next step, make the two shapes overlap as shown in the image below.
Add another rounded rectangle and place it above the regular rectangle. Now let’s modify this rounded rectangle. We will use the Fish effect: while keeping the rounded rectangle selected, go to Effect > Warp > Fish and enter the options below.
To add a slight shadow, create a darker grey ellipse and place it behind the basic rectangle (Control-X, Control-B), making sure to keep its right side slightly visible.
Then create another rounded rectangle, rotate it slightly to the left, and place it behind (Control-X, Control-B) all of the created shapes. This is the finger of the mitten. To get this rounded rectangle with very rounded corners, create a small rounded rectangle first and then stretch it. Or you can go to View > Show Corner Widget and modify the corners by dragging them inside.
Unite these three shapes (the basic rectangle and the two rounded rectangles on the top and bottom) by selecting them and hitting the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). Make sure to keep the darker grey ellipse and the finger separate from this united group.
The basic mitten is ready!
2. How to Create the Mitten Decoration Patterns
Using the Rectangle Tool (M), make the very narrow grey rectangle. Holding the Shift and Alt keys, move this dark rectangle to the right to get another copy of it. Press Control-D and you’ll get another copy of this rectangle on the right, at the same distance as it was between the first and the second. Keep pressing Control-D until you have filled the whole top of the mitten with stripes as shown in the image below.
To create an element of decoration, start with the blue rectangle. Next, draw two lines on the rectangle by using the Line Segment Tool () as shown below. Don’t forget to remove the fill color and set any stroke color. The color and thickness of these lines don’t matter.
Now select the rectangle and the two lines and press the Divide button on the Pathfinder panel. After that, right-click your mouse and hit Ungroup. Your rectangle will be divided into three parts in the places where you put the lines. And finally, delete the top and bottom parts of the rectangle.
Let’s create a mirror reflection of the shape from the previous step: while keeping the object selected, right-click your mouse and select Transform > Reflect. Once you get the dialogue box, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the other part to the right. Group these two shapes together (right-click > Group).
Keep the two shapes selected and hit the Rotate Tool (R). While holding the Alt button, click with your mouse right below the group. In a new dialogue window, enter Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. To finish the flower, press Control-D two more times.
Place the flower in the middle of the mitten. Make a smaller copy of the flower and place it on the left side of the larger one. Be sure to hold the Shift button to resize it evenly.
To create a second copy of the flower, hold down the Shift and Alt buttons together and move the small copy to the right. At the end, you should have one big flower and two smaller ones.
Let’s create a snowflake. We will start by creating a very narrow vertical rectangle. On top of the rectangle, place a circle: for an even circle, use the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding down the Shift key.
Now, create a small rectangle. While holding the Shift key, rotate it by 45 degrees. Then, create a small circle and attach it on top of the rotated rectangle as shown below. Group the rotated rectangle and the small circle together (right-click > Group) and make a vertical copy of this group: while keeping the group selected, right-click your mouse, select Transform > Reflect, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the copy of the group to the right.
Select your created shapes and again right-click your mouse, select Transform > Reflect, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the created copies down.
When we have the base of the snowflake, group all its parts together and while keeping it selected, hit the Rotate Tool (R). After that, press Enter, and then enter 45 degrees in the new dialogue window and press Copy. To finish the snowflake, press Control-D two more times.
Place the snowflake below the flowers. Next, select it and while holding the Shift and Alt keys, drag it up above the flower. This way, you’ll create a second copy of the snowflake, which will be vertically aligned.
Now, create an ellipse which should be the same color as all the details. Select the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the right anchor point of the oval. Then select the top and bottom anchor points of the oval using the Direct Selection Tool (A). Move them to the left. We will end up with a petal-like shape.
Rotate this shape to the right. Place a blue circle on the left side of the petal-like shape. Now, make a horizontal copy of the petal-like shape just as you did for the vertical copies, but this time, create a horizontal one.
Next, we need select these three shapes and while holding the Shift and Alt keys, drag them to the right. This way, you’ll create a second copy of this group, horizontally aligned. Finally, press Control-D ten to twelve times to get a straight ornamental line.
Select the whole ornamental line and group all its details together. While keeping this group selected, rotate it by 45 degrees while holding the Shift button. Next, make a vertical copy of the line. Move the newly created line to the right.
Now select the lines together and make a horizontal reflection. Move the created copy down.
Place the ornament around the top snowflake of the mitten. Do the same for the bottom snowflake. For the middle one, place the diamond shape in the middle. As it is too small to be around all three flowers, select the right two lines and move them to the right. Do the same for the left two lines of the diamond-like ornament. Finally, add one horizontal ornament line on top of the mitten.
For the pompoms, create two blue circles. Transform them by going to Effect > Distort and Transform > Roughen. You can play with the options for the rough effect (Size and Detail) to get a result which will satisfy you. To connect the pompoms with the mitten, create two arcs using the Arc Tool, but don’t forget to delete the fill color and set the stroke color.
3. How to Create the Background and Finish the Mittens
Make a vertical reflection of the whole mitten. Rotate both copies slightly towards the center and place them as shown below. Now we will connect them with a rope. Let’s begin by creating a curve using the Pencil Tool (N). Make sure that you have blue stroke color and no fill color.
It’s easier if you can see the whole artboard (Control-0). To make the drawing part even easier, double-click on the Pencil Tool, and move the slider to Smooth and press OK.
For the background, create a light blue square behind the mittens, with 850 px Width and Height. To make the square, select the Rectangle Tool (M), click on your artboard, and then enter the options.
To finish the illustration, make a few copies of the snowflake, resize them, and change their color to light grey (the same fill color as the base of the mittens). To take the color from the mittens, use the Eyedropper Tool (I). Distribute these snowflakes on your illustration. And you’re done!
And we are done and ready for the cold winter! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned some useful tools for your future illustrations. With these mittens, you will surely never be cold again!