Illustrator Tutorial: Coffee Flat Illustration Design Process

Hey, what is up guys my name is Cosmin
and in today’s video i’ll show you how to create this flat illustration inside
Illustrator in just a couple of steps, if you’re new to this channel this
is a place where every week I’m trying to help graphic designers get better by
sharing my own creative process. I needed an illustration that showed how comfy a
cup of coffee can be, so I’ve sketched out three simple ideas, you can
watch some bits of the process here and in the end I’ve chosen this one. I’ll
first need to start with creating a new document inside Illustrator, so let’s
name it coffee illustration and hit create, let’s add the at pathfinder window
you can find it here and make sure that under View you have smart guides
enabled and disabled snap to pixel, I just don’t like when my paths are not
exactly where I want them to be and I’ll need to add a sketch inside the document
so you can either drag it directly to your canvas or if you have it inside
Photoshop just like me, you can hold the layer clicked
while switching between the apps and place it wherever you want. I’ll just
select and transform it, make sure you’ll hold down the Shift key to keep
everything in the same proportion and don’t disort the illustration. I want to have
it in this corner and lock it up there so let’s head to our layers window and find it there, I’ll rename it to image and I’ll want to lock it in so I can’t move or
select it anymore, just hit that and once I am zooming in I can start using the
pen tool, let’s select it and I want to choose a color for the outline, blue is
not so good maybe maybe an orange here at this one, increase the weight a bit of
the outline and just start tracing each line that makes the composition I’ll
start with something on the inside like the hand. Once I’ve traced everything I’ll quickly
switch to outline mode by holding down command or control and the letter Y and
this will help us see if there are any paths that are too long you’ll want each
end to intersect with another path and not have it go over it, I’m looking very
closely but I think that is the only one I honestly really like going into outline
mode because you have a clear view of the composition. I’ll switch back and
once I’m happy with the result let’s just click and select everything and
while holding down the Alt key I’ll create a duplicate and move it to the
right. I immediately want to make it a bit narrower so to do that I’ll select
everything and drag that anchor from the right a bit to the left, now I’m not sure
about the hair so I’ll try and use it to fill up the space on the right and give
it more volume, so let’s adjust it, using the pen tool I’ll start adding more
anchors and have that path connect with the leg. Now try to avoid having too many
paths intersect or have any that really close to each other, that way your flat
illustration won’t have any visual tension and have a clean look, I’ll want to
start smoothing out the path I have initially created, so for that i’ll use
the smooth tool and select everything and you can find it there and select the
path you want and just click and drag on top of it to make it look more natural
or to at least adjust the curvature. I’ll want to create some very basic shading,
so select the lines which are now expanded, copy and paste them in front
and hit the merge button, using the eyedropper tool I’ll sample the blue
color and I will fill everything up I’ll just want to keep the face, neck,
arms and feet and apply white on them so I’ll double click to enter the group and
select just those elements by holding down shift, release and hold shift again
and do another selection which will include the other elements and remove
them. To create the shadow effect I’ll just hold down the Alt key and drag the
whole group to the side and create a duplicate, you’ll want to apply a different
color to get a better look maybe this red and you can adjust the positioning
of these elements using the arrow keys. Let’s zoom out and I can see I’ll need
to do some adjustments with the shape at the feet that’s because it overlaps the
arm. Using the direct selection tool and move those elements out of the way so
they don’t intersect with the hand because I’ll want to merge them, just
click on each individual one and move them or use the handles. Once that’s over
I’ll select both of them both groups by holding down the shift key and
eventually merge them. I only want to have the white elements left, so double
click in the new group and select them and remove the other ones now I can
simply just apply a color I’m not sure what I’m going to use maybe the dark
pink, but it came out pretty cool. I’ll want to do a quick preview of the
outline so you can see how simple this illustration really is, honestly the
hardest part was to keep it simple during the process I found myself
wanting to add more details, but that’s pretty much the opposite of what you
should be doing, now in the end of still experimental for a bit and did a couple
of variations you can find the links in the description below you can download
them for free and hopefully you’ve learned something new today. If you’ve
enjoyed this video don’t forget to hit the thumbs up button and subscribe for
more, until next time, take care guys, bye!


  • Skillthrive

    Nice, Cosmin! I liked the way it turned out. Illustrator is definitely a program I need to sharpen up on. Thanks for sharing!

  • Designer Yash

    Awesome Tutorial

  • Angelos A.

    again amazing 😀 Love your videos so far!

  • Simple Designer

    Amazing 😀

  • Alexander

    Awesome lines and process. Good job, Cosmin!

  • Dianne Dorsey

    That was amazing!

  • Paweł Onorin

    do you use tablet or just a mouse

  • Parham Marandi

    Looks great man. Thanks!

  • Cristian Ilinca

    Random romanian comment appears 😀

    Imi plac foarte mult genul asta de videoclipuri, mai ales felul in care faci design-ul, culori atractive… totul! Ma ajuta in a intelege mai bine toata treaba asta cu Adobe Illustrator. Keep it up !

  • Алмаз Зиннуров

    Oh man, thank you so much 🙂 the way you making your videos is so relaxing, interesting and simple, it's really nice to study from these… Also thank you for your pronunciation, 'cause I'm not fluent speaker, but still I understand all the advices you give:)

  • Fatma Hamdy

    I like it , so creative and simple at the same time.

  • Veronika Morozova

    awesome! I like it!

  • Mariam Apd El-Nasir

    Hey, um trying to learn this style of flat art, and I will appreciate it if you post more of the like of it

  • 刘陶


  • mostafa raouf

    So creative ,keep going

  • Julia Burja

    Really cool and simple, thank you!

  • Faiz Shariff

    I'm your 1000th subscriber haha!!! Love your videos Cosmin… thank you for sharing!! Love from India!!

  • Natisha Engel

    Thanks for this! It's really good for practicing and exploring new creative ideas. Keep up the great work

  • yeee haaw

    Oh my god I had no idea about the smooth lines tool. I can’t wait to get home and try it out! Thank you!

  • FreakeeBeats

    Hey man! I was wondering how do you create these <Path> sublayers (or whatever they're called)? And how do you make a path end in the left side and then start on the right side without the pen tool drawing a line all the way from left to right? Hope you can help 🙂

  • Ashley Dsouza

    The pencil sketch itself was great and the digitized vector tuned out even better.. Loved it!

  • Kodegems

    Brilliant video !

  • Семен Любас

    It does not work out how the 4.55 part remains white when casting. What could be the problem?

  • Jace


  • Aisha Sultan

    totally loved it, followed you step by step. Will animate it soon and show you 😉

  • Дима

    Hi, gj. Very good tutorial. Wish u more subs this year!

  • Raluca Daniela

    Ador acest stil și îmi place foarte mult cum ți-a ieșit! Însă eu am rămas blocată la minutul 5:00, nu pot elimina celelalte elemente🙈 sper că mă poți ajuta

  • Boi

    Holy shit thats great content

  • Amy Smulders

    Thanks for the inspiration! I made my own version and posted it on dribbble if you want to check it out —>

  • Duong Le

    I don't even know there's a smooth tool!!! Thank you for the video.

  • William Silva

    Bem legal !


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *