Create a flag from a brush stroke in Illustrator
2010 at 10.38 am posted by Veerle Pieters
Last week I talked about the logo design for Visit France. Looking at this logo again, I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain a bit more how I created the flag. No special tricks were involved though, a lot of Pen drawing and tweaking work was needed to get the result I wanted. It’s time to brush up your Illustrator Pen tool techniques.
Blue part of the flag
We'll be building the flag starting with the blue part, secondly the red part and last the white part with a 'ribbon' effect.
Starting with a brush stroke
I started from a Brush Stroke that I found in the Artistic Brush Library if I'm not mistaken. I've made it very tick and scaled it in the size that would fit perfectly for the size of the flag. I expanded the stroke via Object > Expand Appearance.
After duplicating the brush (so I have another one as back up), I drew a rectangle on top of the brush and moved it to the position so it covers the part of the brush I want to get rid off. I selected both and I chose Minus Front from the Pathfinder palette.
Deleting & recovering particles
I deleted all remaining particles and I also recovered the ones on the right that got lost while using the Pathfinder option from my original brush.
Apply blue gradient
I added a subtle blue gradient. The blue part is finished. I gave the layer the name Blue part.
Red part of the flag
I created a new Layer on top of the 'Blue part' layer and named it Red part.
Starting with a brush stroke
Then I pasted the original brush shape into this layer and flipped it vertically using the Reflection tool.
Here I did the same like before. I drew a rectangle on top of the brush and moved it to the position so it covers the part of the brush that I wanted to get rid off. Then I selected both shapes and chose Minus Front from the Pathfinder palette.
Add red gradient
I added a subtle red gradient.
Next I did a lot of tweaking with the Pen tool. This took a bit of time to get it perfect the way I wanted. First I deleted the vertical line that connects the top and bottom part of this shape and redrew this line by placing a lot of random points to make it very wobbly like the brush stroke. Next I also tweaked the ragged lines on the right to my liking.
White part of the flag
For the white part of the flag I created a layer that sits in between the blue and red part.
Draw a rough line
Just like with the red part I used a very rough line for the creation of the white part. This white part consists of 3 different shapes, starting with the back part.
Apply subtle gradient
To create the perfect depth, I added a subtle linear gradient going from white to 22% black.
Draw the in between part
Next I drew the middle part of the curl and I applied a radial gradient to create the perfect depth effect.
Draw the top part
Then I drew the last part to finish of the curl and I applied a subtle linear gradient. I moved the red part of the flag into position.
The flag is finished.
Want to learn more?
A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.