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Design a flower in 5 easy steps

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Want to give a floral theme to your posters, cards, brochures, and more? Let's learn how to create a flower with heart-shaped petals using the basic features of Illustrator.

Before you proceed with designing a flower

Set the following options:

Step 1: Create the first petal

Use the Ellipse tool

Let's create a circle with the Ellipse tool.

Press to use the Ellipse tool, or long press the Rectangle tool () and then select the Ellipse tool () from the drop-down list.

 To create a perfect circle using the Ellipse tool, press the Shift key and then draw the circle.

Create a circle
A circle created using the Ellipse tool

Design journey of a petal

Duplicate the circle

a.

Press Alt+Shift (Windows) or Option+Shift (macOS) and drag the first circle from its center to create a duplicate.

Merge the circles

b.

Merge the two circles using the Unite shape mode in Pathfinder
(Windows > Pathfinder).

Remove extra anchor points

c.

Remove extra anchor points from the bottom of the circle using the Delete Anchor Points tool.

Create a heart-shaped petal

d.

Press the Shift key and drag the handles of the bottom-most anchor point to form the heart-shaped petal.

Watch this animated illustration to see how these steps work:

Watch the design journey of the petal in action
Creating a petal in heart shape

If you are working with Illustrator 24.1.2 version, press the Shift key when you delete anchor points, else the path shape will change.

Step 2: Create the flower structure

Use rotate and duplicate features

Rotate the petal by 90 degrees and create duplicate petals
Creating the flower structure by rotating and duplicating petals

  • Select the first petal using the Selection tool.
  • Click the Rotate tool from the toolbar.
  • Hold Alt and click right below the petal shape to open the Rotate settings dialog.
     To maintain symmetry in the petal arrangement, ensure you click vertically below the center of the shape.
  • In the Rotate dialog, specify the angle as 90 degrees and click Copy.
  • Now, press Ctrl+D or Command+D to create duplicate shapes.
Flower structure
Flower structure

Step 3: Create components of the flower

Create fold lines

Fold lines

Create pollen

A Pollen

Create a sepal

A Sepal

Create fold lines for petals using Rotate and Ellipse tools
Creating fold lines for petals using Rotate and Ellipse tools

  1. Create a straight line using the Pen tool and then select it using the Selection tool.
  2. Choose Width Profile 1 (leaf shape) and change the Stroke to 5.
  3. Click the Rotate tool. Alt+click at the bottom point on the line to open Rotate settings. Specify Angle as 12 degrees.
  4. Press Ctrl+D or Command+D to form a circular pattern.

Convert strokes to path

We have now got a collection of strokes and now will expand appearance to convert your strokes to a path. To do this, select all strokes and choose Object Expand Appearance

Note: Alternatively, if you don't want to convert strokes to a path, set the General > Scale Strokes and Effects preference.

Convert strokes to path
Converting outlines to a shape

Create pollen using Rotate and Ellipse tools
Creating pollen using Rotate and Ellipse tools

Create sepal using the Star tool
Creating sepal using the Star tool

Sepal is a green leaf-like support on the base of the flower.
  • Select the Star tool from the toolbar. Press Alt and click to open the Star settings. As we have 4 petals, let's create a 4-point star with Radius1 as 25px and Radius2 as 100px
  • Use the Ellipse tool to create a small circle at the center of the flower shape.

Step 4: Add color to flower components

Add color to the flower and its different components using the Color panel.

Add color to petals

Add color to sepal

Add color to fold lines

Add color to pollen

Step 5: Arrange the flower components

Prerequisites

Before arranging the components, do the following:
  • Create a petal group: Select the petals and then right-click and choose Group.
  • Create a compound path:
    • Select the petal group and create its copy. Keep it aside.
    • Choose Object > Compound Path > Make or press Command+8 or Ctrl+8.
      See also: Combine objects.
    • Select the fold lines and the compound path. Align them using the Align panel (Horizontal and vertical Align Center). Ensure that Align to key object option is enabled. Ensure that the petal comound path is on the top. 
Create a petal group, create a compound path, and align fold lines and the compound path
Creating a petal group and a compound path

Create the clipping mask to clip the fold lines inside petals: 

  • Select the petals and flower folds and choose Object Clipping Mask > Make.
    See also: Edit clipping masks.

 To control the visibility of objects, right-click the objects and choose Arrange Send to Back or Bring to Front.

Create a clipping mask to clip the fold lines
Creating clipping mask to clip the fold lines inside petals

To derive the final shape for the fold lines, trim the clipping mask using the Trim option in Pathfinder.

See also: Cut, divide, and trim objects

Trim the clipping mask using the Trim option in Pathfinder
Trim option in Pathfinder

Clipped fold lines
The trimmed art

Arrange the components to form the flower

Arrange flower components to form the flower
Order in which the components are to be placed

Select all the components and align them using the Align panel (Horizontal and Vertical Align Center). Ensure that Align to Selection option is enabled.

The final artwork. You did it!

The completed flower design

Recap of tools and features used

Try it yourself

Download the sample files to try out this creation at your end.


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