In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool and Blend in Adobe Illustrator to create a professional office desk background!
1. How to Draw a Cup of Coffee
Let’s begin by creating a base for all of the circular shapes in this tutorial.
Because I want the Mesh to be easy to manipulate and precise, I don’t apply Mesh to a circle, but instead to a rectangle, which I then bend into a circular shape.
As the latter is pretty tricky to do, I am attaching a base for you to work with in this tutorial (press the Download Attachment button on the left of this article). Create a few copies of it for further use.
Once you have made your own circle or downloaded mine, grab the Mesh Tool (Control-U) and by clicking inside the shape, place mesh nodes as indicated in the screenshot below.
Next, select the outer edge of the circle and color it with
Proceed by coloring more nodes (selected in the image below) with
Let’s create our first Blend!
We will need two circles, slightly different in size, with the bigger one being white and the smaller one colored with
#44392F. Place the brown circle on top of the white one and change the bigger circle’s Opacity to 0%.
Proceed to Object > Blend > Blend Options, and select Specified Steps, 30.
Next, select both circles and go to Object > Blend > Make, creating a transparent shadow.
Change the shadow’s transparency mode to Multiply.
Grab a copy of the white Mesh circle from earlier, and then color its edges with
#CAC6C3 and its middle with
You will need another copy of the mesh circle. This time, color the whole thing with
#695C45. Then make the middle
#0C0706 (follow the selected nodes), and finally color some nodes with
Create a foundation for another blend, this time using two shapes filled with
#010101. Make the bigger shape transparent.
Use the same settings as in Step 3 for Object > Blend > Make.
Change the shape to Screen with 80% Opacity.
Create another Blend using the same method as before. You will need the same colors as in Step 7.
Don’t forget to apply Screen to the resulting image.
Place the highlights on top of the coffee base.
This Mesh is a bit more complicated, but all you have to do is follow the screenshots closely. You will need these colors:
Finish drawing the handle of the cup in three more steps.
Create another Blend out of
Apply Multiply and 30% Opacity to the result.
Assemble the cup out of the elements we’ve made so far.
Let’s draw bubbles! You will need to grab one more copy of the Mesh circle for this.
Make the edges transparent.
Grab another copy.
Make the edges transparent.
Create a semi-circle out of the bubbles.
Finally, add them to the surface of the coffee.
2. How to Draw the Pen and Pencil
Draw the base of the pencil with Mesh.
Stretch the Mesh to make it long enough for a pencil, and then create a jagged left edge.
Draw the tip of the pencil.
Add the tip.
Draw another Blend—you will need a
#535353 shape and a
Make the Blend with the usual settings.
Add the shadow under the pencil.
Draw the base of the pen.
Bend the end of the Mesh into a triangle.
Draw another part of the pen.
Draw the tip.
Assemble the pen. Add a copy of the shadow we used with the pencil.
3. How to Draw the Notepad and Tablet
Draw a shape and apply a Linear Gradient to its Stroke. (
Select the result and go to Object > Expand Appearance.
Modify the Mesh of the shape a bit, and then add a new shape at the lower edge.
Create a row of these.
Draw a sheet of paper.
#313131 cover for the notepad.
Make a Blend shadow, using a
#191717 rectangle. Set the result to Multiply.
Assemble the notepad.
Add the Blend shadow under the sheet of paper, but set its Opacity to 50%.
Draw the tablet out of two shapes—one white and one black.
Create another Blend shadow, using a
#505050 shape and a
Add the shadow under the tablet.
Assemble all elements on a
Draw a rectangle, outlining what you’d like to keep in your background.
Select everything, right-click, and press Make Clipping Mask.
Enjoy your office background!
Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I would be super happy to see any results in the comments below!