Today, we’re going to take a look at creating this happy, little fire illustration. Because, I don’t know about you, but when I think about fire, I think about happiness. I’m aware that makes me sound like a pyrotechnic – no, not a pyrotechnic, a pyromaniac, would be the correct term. But it’s just a nice, little, happy fire, you know? He looks kind of cool.
It’s inspired by the artist MBE is their username over on Dribbble. And I’ve got a link down in the bio, where you can check it out. If you do enjoy this video tutorial, make sure you subscribe, so you never miss any Adobe Illustrator tutorials in the future. Let’s jump into Illustrator now, and check this thing out! Okay, here we are in Adobe Illustrator, and the first thing I’m going to do is create a new document.
And this new document is going to be, as you can see here, 2560×1440. And I’m going to go with the CMYK color mode. Don’t worry the warning triangle there, we’re going to stick with CMYK. And with this new document, what I’m going to do, is click on my rectangle tool. Click a single time to create a background. I’m going to make it the size of my document, 2560×1440. I’m going to select the stroke here in my toolbar, or toolbox, I should say, and set it to none. And the fill, I’m going to use my color panel up here, which is set to CMYK, and I’m going to fill this with the color cyan 100. We’re going to go magenta 80. We’re going to keep yellow at zero, and we’re going to jump the blacks to 80, as well. So just this very, sort of, rich blueish/purplish color. And I’m going to align this to my artboard, using my align panel, right here. I’ve got it set to align to artboard, I’m going line horizontally, vertically – whoop, there we go, something like that.
That looks good. I’m going to use the little flyout menu here in my layers panel, as well. And go panel options, and I’m going to make my thumbnails quite a big larger. So you can see them a bit easier. I’m going to name this layer “bg” for background. I’m going to lock it up, and I’m going to create a new layer to begin creating our actual flames artwork. Alright, so this begins with the ellipse tool. We’re going to click a single time, and I’m going to create an ellipse 350×350, I’m sorry if I’m kind of speeding through it. I don’t want to – you know, I don’t want it to take 2 hours to create this, let’s get through this nice and quickly. You can always pause and slow down the YouTube video, and that way, we can all follow along at our own good pace.
I am going to just fill this white, just so we can see it. We’re going to change the color in a little bit. I’m going to grab the rectangle tool, and I’m going to create a rectangle, which is 350 wide, by, let’s go with 700 tall. We’re going to go something that’s pretty tall here. And what I’m going to do, I’m going to select my little circle here. I’m going to align it to the center of my artboard. And I’m going to do the same with my rectangle. So I’ll line that sucker to the center, just like that. I’m also going to move it so it’s beneath the circle that I just created. So, if I just make this slightly pink, you can see here, in the layers panel, it’s above our ellipse. And if I drag it below, well, obviously now, it is below. Once again, I’m going to fill this white, I’m just hitting that little white swatch up in my color panel while the shape is selected.
And by the way, the fill is what is selected, not the stroke. If I had the stroke selected, it would just give it a white stroke. So I’ve got the fill selected, and I can adjust the fill. I’m going to select both of these shapes by dragging a selection over them. I’m going to open my path finder panel here, and I’m going to choose this option here, the divide function. Divide, and it’s going to drop everything into a group. And I want to ungroup this, so I’m going to go Object>Ungroup.
And then I’m going to select this little bit here on the bottom, and just get rid of it. So, we have this shape. And it’s two shapes really, but they combine to make this one shape. In fact, to really make sure they’re combined, we’re going to use our path finder once more, and choose the merge option. There we go. And now, it is actually, factually, one shape. Now, we want to begin cutting this out. Remember, we made this 350 pixels wide, so we want to divide that by something.
Now, I know 35 divided by 7 is 5. So, 350 divided by 70 would be 5. But I actually want more, sort of, bits sticking up. So I’m going to divide it by 50, which is going to give me 7. And I’m aware, this is not a math channel, this is a graphic design channel. So chill out with the math. Here, just follow along. We’re going to go with a width of 50, and a height of 500, and a corner radius, just to blow it, blow it’s kingdom come, a corner radius of 100 is going to be perfect for us. So there we go, we’ve got that. That looks great. I want to go ahead and make sure under view, my smart guides are turned on. This is really going to help us here with what we’re about to do. And then, I’m going to go ahead. I’m going to just slightly color this gray, so we can see what’s going on. I’m going to drag this over, just until it kind of snaps into place. I want it to snap to the edge of my shape.
I’m going to hold down ALT/OPT and while holding down SHIFT, as well, just to keep dragging copies of this straight over to the right. Just like this. And once I have these lined up, I’m going to just ALT/OPT drag an extra copy out here. We’re going to use that in a little bit. So, now what I want to do is select rounded rectangles 2, 4, and 6. So, I’m going to begin with 2, and I’m just going to nudge it downward. To right about there, maybe. This one, I’m going to leave right where it is. And then this, this one, I’m maybe going to nudge upward a little bit, like that. And next, what I’m going to begin doing is selecting one of these shapes at a time. I’m going to start with shape number two here that I pushed down.
And hold down SHIFT and select the underlying shape, and then using the path finder panel, I’m going to choose minus front, and that’s going to just cut a hole right in that shape for us. That’s great. Then I’m going to do the same thing here with the second rounded rectangle. The fourth, I’m sorry, I should say. The fourth in.
Grab both of those shapes, use minus front, there we go. And then I’ll do the same thing here with the sixth one, I’m going to nudge this up, just a little bit more, I think. Something, maybe kind of like that. Select both those shapes minus front. So, we’re beginning to kind of build out the shape. We still need to do a little bit more for it. But, we’re getting there. Next, what I need to do is select the remaining rounded rectangles. I’m going to fill them all with whites, you can see, there we go. We’ve got that. Then I’m going to select all of the shapes. Well, just these. Not the extra rounded rectangle over there. But I’m going to select all these, and I want to merge them together using the path finder. But the problem is, when I do this, if I just hit merge. And then I select this with my direct selection tool, you can see here, I have all these extra anchor points here.
And those anchor points are there, because that’s where the edge of the old shape was. So the anchor points kind of stay. Little trick here, in the path finder panel, we can go to path finder options, and just check on remove redundant points. Remove unnecessary, extra, additional points. I’m going to hit OK. I’m going to merge this once more, and now, you can see, we don’t have any of those extra points. And what that means, is, when I say grab all of these anchor points here – by the way, I’m using the direct selection tool, it’s the white arrow. I’m drawing a selection over the top of this rounded rectangle, holding down SHIFT and nudging down with my down arrow key, something like that, to move that little finger of the flame down. And then, nudging this one down a little bit as well. When I do that, I’m not going to bump into those points, which would then drag these streaky-looking white lines up my illustration.
So, it’ll really just help alleviate that issue. I’m going to nudge this one down here, something like that. And then we’ll grab this one here on the edge and we’ll nudge this one all the way down. I’ll make this one kind of low, or maybe not crazy low, but lower than the rest. Something like that. So, now we have the base shape of our flames hanging out for us, perfectly in the middle of our document, just like so. I’m going to grab my regular selection tool, I’m going to grab our extra piece, and I’m going to duplicate this by ALT/OPT dragging out a copy of it. And again, smart guides are going to allow me to just align it perfectly with the leftmost edge of our flame. I’m going to nudge upward, upward, upward, upward. Kind of – I guess, kind of right about there.
And then I’m going to grab my direct selection tool once more, select the top bit of this. I’m going to nudge this down, and I’m going to make this, I don’t know. Just kind of go with something that looks good to you. I’ll probably go with something that’s about that size. I’ll nudge it a little bit closer to the body of the flame. And I’m going to make sure I fill it with white, so it matches what we’ve got going on. Ooh, that’s a little bit too close, let me move it away. Something like that, I think will work. Eh, you know what? I might even want to stretch it out, make it a little bit taller. Something like so. I think, looking at this, I want to stretch out the top piece of the flame right there. Just make that one a little bit taller, and make this one a little shorter. Eh, maybe something like that. That, I think, looks kind of cool. Now, what I want to do, is create a second layer of flames.
So I’m going to ALT/OPT drag out another copy of my rounded rectangle here. And this one, I’m going to drag in to about right there. So, I basically, I’m aligning the round between the top of this little pill shape, and the top of this bit of flame. I’m going to ALT/OPT click another copy, and this one I’m going to have shooting way up in the middle. Something kind of like that. You know what? I’m going to select this little pill shape, I’m going to bump it up a little bit more. That way, I can bump this shape up a little bit more, and just give that a little bit more evenness, if you will.
And then I’m going to duplicate an additional copy of this, and snap it into place right down over here. If it’s not snapping into place, try dragging it in again, something like that. I think that looks cool. And now, I’m going to drag one more copy. And I don’t need to duplicate it anymore, so I’m just going to use this. I’m going to drag this and place it somewhere right about there. So this is going to be shooting way up, and I’m going to move this behind. So, I’m going to make this a little bit darker here, you can see – oh! it’s already behind.
So, there we go. I just wanted to make sure that it was definitely behind this rounded rectangle shape there. And it is. So that’s great. So what I want to do now, is trim all these shapes, so that they’re – these two, for instance, aren’t sticking out beneath our flame shape. So I’m going to grab this gray shape here. And I’m going to SHIFT click the main fire shape, and I’m going to choose the divide option. I’m going to ungroup, CMD/CTRL+G, and I’m just going to select the pieces that I don’t want. I don’t need that. Well, actually, I do need that. Because I need it to be part of my flames. I’m going to fill it with white. And I’m going to select those three pieces by SHIFT clicking them, and just merge them all back together.
And now, I just have this nice, gray pill that’s perfectly set right there, in the crotch of the fire, if you will. I’m going to grab this shape, I’m going to SHIFT click the main body of the flames. Once again, I’m going to divide this, CMD/CTRL+SHIFT+G to ungroup. Delete this little bottom piece sticking out. And SHIFT click all three remaining pieces of the flames, and merge them together. And you can see now, we’re cleaning this up. We’ve got to add color, and some opacity stuff to really give this some life.
But we’ve built out the essence of the base of our shape. Let’s create a couple, little, crackley sparkles that are jumping off of our fire. Use your rounded rectangle tool once more, click a single time, and I’m going to go with a rounded rectangle that is 50×15, again, just with a massive corner radius, that’s fine. It’s going to give us this little plus icon, like that. I can zoom in on it a little bit, and what I want to do, is I want to duplicate this plus icon, CMD/CTRL+C, and then CMD/CTRL+F to paste in place. Hold down SHIFT, and rotate it around to create this little plus. Drag a selection over both, and just merge them together. So now, we have this nice, little plus icon. I can actually size it down, a little bit smaller, maybe. Make it something that’s a little bit more manageable. And if the anchor point handles are annoying, you can go view, and choose to hide the bounding box; just for while we’re working on these. That way, we can just quickly ALT/OPT drag out copies of this plus.
You see this? We can just drag these. It could be like stuff that’s popping off of the flame. Again, it doesn’t look a huge amount like a flame, because we haven’t added color yet. But we’re getting there. I think I want to drag a fourth one of these out over here. Just want to kind of mix them up, maybe I’ll drag a fifth one out over here. Something like that. I think that kind of looks good. Like that. And now, I’m going to begin resizing them. So, I’m going to select one, and I’m going to go Object>Transform>Scale. And I’m going to say, yeah, we’ll go uniform, and we’ll give this a 50% scale, let’s see what that looks like.
I’ll select this here, and just hit CMD/CTRL+D, it’s going to downscale this. But it’s going to downscale it based upon the other one. So I’m going to just drag it back into place, and then out here, I’ll probably hit CMD/CTRL+D twice to make one that’s really tiny. And I don’t know if you saw what just happened, it just moved down because I actually moved my shape.
So we’re going to go Object>Transform, we’re going to once again, choose scale. And I’m going to hit OK. And then I’ll probably scale it even smaller. There we go. Something like that, so it’s really tiny. And we’ll do the same thing over here. CMD/CTRL+D, and I’m going to fall for that trap again, and drag that over. I’m going to go with this guy here, we’re going to go Object>Transform>Scale. Down 50%, that’s great. And then over here, hit CMD/CTRL+D, as well. Drag this one in a little bit. And then, I think, this one I’m going to make really tiny, as well. So once more, Object>Transform> Scale. And I’m going to scale this 75% of where it is.
So, we just have a fairly small, little plus out there. The idea being, that as embers get further away from the fire, well, they get a little bit smaller, right? And what I think I’ll do, just to fill this out a little bit more. I’m going to grab my ellipse tool, and I’ll just throw a couple little 10×10 ellipses. Maybe a 15×15 in over here. Something like that. I’ll go with a 6×6 over here. And something, like, yeah, another 6×6 there. And then up here, I’ll go with a 9×9. Something like that. So just a few additional ellipses, just to build out what we’ve got going on here.
And then you can come in, and just tweak and adjust. And make everything, just make everything as perfect as you want it to be. Alright, so now we’re going to begin adding some color since we’ve got our basic shape. I’m actually going to grab this whole thing and just shift it downward a little bit. So it’s a little more centered in our document, something like that. And we’re going to begin creating some swatches. So, what I’m going to do is set my color panel here, to the CMYK mode. And maybe, we won’t actually create them here in CMYK. I think what I’m going to do, is just use the swatches panel. So, I’m going to hit the new swatch button here. And it’s going to say, look, we’re creating a new swatch; what do you want me to be? Number one, I want you to be a global color, so I can quickly and easily change you later. But the first swatch, I want cyan zero. I want magenta at 15. I want yellow at 100. I want this to be a very bright yellow color. I’m going to hit OK.
And there’s my color, right there, that yellowish color. I’m going to create a new swatch here. I want this to be cyan zero. Again, we’re going with global color. Cyan zero. This one is going to be magenta 100. Yellow 35. And again, black at zero. So just a very hot pink color. Now, what I’m going to do is use these two colors to create a gradient that’s going to effect my – the base flame tear drop shape here that we have, that we first created. So I’m going to open up my gradient panel, I’m going to click once to fill it with a gradient. And I’m going to drag the yellow gradient over here onto the white point. And I’m going to drag the pink gradient over here, and drop it on the black point. I’m going to set the pink gradient’s location somewhere around, I don’t know, 75, or so, percent. And I’m going to set the angle of this whole thing to 90 degrees. You can see here, we’re starting to get a little bit of that flame-y vibe. Let’s create some more colors here. I’m going to create a new swatch and see what’s happening here, is it knows I’ve got a gradient swatch.
I don’t want to create a gradient swatch here. We’re going to go back to just a solid color. I’m going to click create a new color here, and we’re going to, again, work with a global color. I’m going to set this to cyan 85. I’m going to go with 100 in the magenta department. 25 in the yellow department, and 40 for our black. So, it’s just this very dark, blueish/purplish color. I’m going to hit OK. There it is up there. I’m going to go ahead and create another new swatch. This one is going to be cyan 35. It’s going to be magenta 100. Yellow, 45. And only about 10 in the black department. So, this is going to be a very heavy magenta, if I had to describe it.
Now, this – these two colors are going to make up a gradient that are going to fill in the flames licking up from the back. Before I do that, though, I want to select this pill shape here, that we have floating up. Hit the eyedropper tool, where is it? Right there. And just sample the gradient that we placed in the tear drop shape. Make sure we set that to about 90 degrees, and just fill that in with the same gradient that we have. Alright, so I’m going to select one of these just middle shapes, fill it with the gradient.
And we’re going to immediately adjust the gradient, we’re going to go with our dark blue. Kind of dark blue/purple color, I’m going to fill that into the yellow. And then this sort of pinkish color is going to replace the other color stop. And I’m going to set this to an angle of 90 degrees, as well. And there we go. We have that.
Now, what I can do, is select the other shapes, hit the letter ‘i,’ sample off of that single shape. I can set the gradient to 90 degrees. And they all are going to have that same, exact gradient. And at this point, we can select any of these. We could change the color handles a little bit, if we feel the need. We can boost one of these up. Just you know, add a little bit more shadow, if you will. Not that there’s much shadow in fire, but you can go ahead, and just tweak and adjust these things to, you know, make sure you’re showing the level of purple and pink and everything that you want. Maybe I’ll boost this up to add a little bit more darkness back there. And I think I’m going to select this, and drag the pink point all the way up. It looks a little funky the way it is. Something like that is kind of cool. Maybe I’ll just have it fade down a little bit heavier.
Something like that – it’s a little too much, though. Something more like that, I think, is nice. And I think what I’ll also do is select this shape here in the back, go to my transparency panel here, and I’ll just reduce the opacity of this to 50%. Something like that. Just to really make sure it looks like it’s set off in the back. 50% might not be enough. Let’s take it down to 35. I think that’ll work for us. And again, we can always come back and adjust this later, if we absolutely need to. Alright, we’re going to now grab the rounded rectangle tool.
I’m going to create a new rounded rectangle. This one is going to be 20 pixels wide, by, let’s go with 5 pixels high. Again, a corner radius of 100, just to destroy it. That’s great. We’re going to fill this with white. So, I’m going to hit the little white swatch up here in my color panels. I’m going to white for the fill there, great. And I’m going to in my transparency panel, set this to the blend mode of soft light. And I’ll probably even reduce the opacity to 65. And then I’m going to take my selection tool, and I’m going to drag this over, I’m going to put it over here, as if it’s a highlight here for part of the flames.
Something like that. Maybe I’ll just shift it to one side a little bit more, maybe move it down a little bit. And then I’ll ALT/OPT click and drag up, while holding down SHIFT. Something like that to really select that. I’ll use my direct selection tool here, maybe I want this top shape to be a little bit more like a circle. Something kind of like that. And then use my black selection arrow and just nudge that down. Actually, you know what? I’ll nudge that upward a little bit. Kind of like that. And then I’ll nudge this one up to be up beneath it. And now what I can do, is I can just ALT/OPT drag this over, maybe place it here on this piece of fire. And I’ll take the little circle, and I’ll drag it right up here to be up at the top of this guy. I’ll drag another copy right over here to be up there. I think that looks pretty good. I’m going to back this out a little bit. And let’s add some colors and gradients that we’ve already been using to these sparking tinders. I’m going to grab a bunch of the pluses.
Let’s grab these in here, maybe this one here. This one. And then, these shapes. And I’m just going to hold down – or press the letter ‘i,’ excuse me, to grab my eyedropper tool and just sample this shape down here. So you can see, we’ve got those nice colors in there. And then I’m going to select the rest of the shapes, just like this. I’m just holding down SHIFT while I drag a selection. Hit the letter ‘i’ to grab the eyedropper. And fill these, with the remaining gradient that we have. So, we just have some nice colors mixing and sparking off of our fire.
And they all blend in with the color scheme that we already have established here with our little flame. Let’s create a little face to put on this fire. So, what I’m going to do, I’m going to do this, actually, beneath here just so we can build out the face. And then we’ll drag it into the middle of the flames, wherever it needs to go. I’m going to click a single time, and I’m going to create a 20 pixel by 20 pixel ellipse. I’m going to zoom in a little bit here. Let’s just fill it with that dark purple-y/blue color that we had.
I’m going to duplicate it by going Edit>Copy, and then Edit>Paste in Front. I’m going to switch to my selection arrow here. I’m going to shift and nudge it over to the right, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. That’s going to nudge it over 50 pixels. So, we’re holding down SHIFT and tapping the right arrow key. Alright, now let’s create his little, smiling mouth. We’re going to duplicate the same shape, CMD/CTRL+C. CMD/CTRL+F to paste in place. I’m going to nudge it to the middle between his eyes. So I’m going to go 1, 2 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Just like that. So I held down SHIFT and tapped the left arrow key twice, and then, let go of SHIFT, and tap the left arrow five times. That moved it over 25 pixels. And then I’m going to nudge downward. Just SHIFT and hit the down arrow key once.
Then I’m going to grab my direct selection arrow, and I’m going to select the top middle point right there, and just delete that. Now, I’m going to make sure I select this shape with my selection arrow. And I’m just going to swap the fill and the stroke by hitting the little swappy-swap arrows there. And then here, in the stroke options. I’m going to bump this up to probably, maybe something like five. That looks pretty good. And if we want, we can hit the word stroke, we can add some rounded caps to that, as well. That might look kind of nice. We might need to push it down just a little bit more, if we do that though. And maybe we’ll even select this, and make it just a little bit smaller. Maybe I want the width, instead of being 20 pixels wide, to be 15. So, I’m going to nudge this down to about 15, something like that. Just a nice, smaller amount I think it looks a little cooler. Alright, let’s grab all three of these shapes, and we’re going to group them. Object>Group. And we still need to add a little bit of blushiness for the cheeks.
So I’m going to grab my ellipse tool, once more. I’m going to just swap my stroke and fill color. So I’m just working with an ellipse that will have a fill. And I’m going to create a 20 pixel by 20 pixel ellipse, and you can see, it’s the same size as the eyes. I don’t quite want it to be that big. So, instead of making it smaller, I think the eyes and mouth are going to need to be a made a little bigger. So, I’m going to just use my transform panel here, I’ve got a width and height parameter that I can change. And what I’ll do, is I’ll change this so it’s 100 pixels wide. And I’m going to unlink width and height, and I think I’m going to set the height to 43.
Eh, I don’t like that. I’m going to leave it at 50. I think 100×50 works just fine. And now, you can see these little, what would be spots on his cheeks, or – they’re a little bit more in the size department, where I want them to be. So, what I’m going to do, is I’m going to fill this. I’m going to change the CMYK fill here. I’m just going to hit this little button right here, the CMYK, click to convert. And I’m going to set this to cyan zero, magenta 100, yellow 100, and black zero. So, it gives me this flattish, reddish color. And I’m going to center this below the eye. Just like that. It can be wherever you want it to be. And I’m just going to nudge it 25 pixels to the left. So holding down SHIFT, tap the left arrow key once, twice. And then, let go of SHIFT, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, with the left arrow key.
ALT/OPT click, drag this over until it’s center beneath the next eye. And then we’re going to go 25 pixels in the other direction, just like that. So, now he’s got a little bit of blushiness on his cheeks. I’ll select these both. Let’s reduce the opacity, maybe they look a little too heavy. We can have a little bit of the color show through with them. And then, I’ll select this – select all of that, I should say. And go object, and choose to group it together. I’m going to zoom out, just a little bit here. And I’m going to drag the face up onto the fire. Kind of, sort of, right there. Center it up, maybe drop it down a little bit lower. Now you can see, we’ve got a nice, little smiling face on our fire. And he’s got his little cheeks and everything. You can select any of the shapes, obviously. If you think the cheeks need a little more color, go in, boost the opacity.
Boom! You’re done. Now, what I’m going to do, I’m going to grab my ellipse tool. I’m going to click a single time. – And we’re going to wrapping this thing up shortly here. – We’re going to go with a width of 350, and a height of 50. This is going to be the shadow beneath the flame. And I’m going to just position it over – you can position it as near, or as far, from the flame, as you want it to be.
We’re going to change the CMYK values to cyan 100. Magenta just a mere 70. And yellow, zero. And then K will be 90. So, that’s going to give us our nice darkness. And you can see, we just have a clean, sharp shadow beneath our little fire effect. And that, ladies and gentlemen, that, is the completed effect. Let me just – whoa, hello, let me just collapse my swatches panel here, so we can get a look at this sucker in it’s full glory. I guess I could’ve just tabbed everything away like that, right? There is the final, finished, completed effect creating a little, happy fire illustration in Adobe Illustrator. Yeah, there you have it. That is pretty much it, creating that piece of artwork. Now, if you enjoyed it, number one, subscribe to my channel, of course. But, more importantly, if you did follow along the tutorial, and you created this. Upload it to Instagram, and tag me in it. My Instagram handle is @tutvid.
I would love to see what you create, give you a little love over there. Drop a comment, drop a like. You know? The normal. If you tag me in something that you create from one of the tutorials. So I’d love to see it over there, that’d be great. If you are into Discord, you can check out our Discord server, discord.me/tutvid, where the conversation just continues on and on and on. Ladies and gentlemen, for taking a look at creating shapes, and using gradients, and the path finder panel to cut stuff out, and mix things up, and match things up, and create this little, happy fire graphic design effect in Adobe Illustrator, that’s it!