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Jan 13

Illustrator diamond flower

2009 at 10.18 am posted by Veerle Pieters

Not sure if my title describes exactly what I’ll try to explain in this tutorial, but it in the center of the shape I see a flower and the outside reminds me of a diamond. I’m sure there are a few different ways to create such a shape. It’s all pretty simple really. The hard part is choosing the right colors, right transparency value and transparency mode because you need to experiment a lot to achieve the result you want.

Final result of the Illustrator diamond flower

Draw a circle

Start by drawing a circle. Select the Ellipse Tool (L) and hold down the Shift key while dragging.

Draw a circle

Fill the circle with a color to your liking. My suggestion here is either to use a dark color and tone it back by adjusting the transparency, or you can choose a light color. Change the Transparency mode to Color Burn in the transparency palette (Window > Transparency).

Make sure rulers are visible. If they're not visible, hit cmd/ctrl + R. Drag a horizontal and vertical guide as shown in the image above. To make the guide snap to the points of the circle, turn on Snap to Point: View > Snap to Point. It's also suggested to turn on Smart Guides: View > Smart Guides. To switch them on and off use cmd/ctrl + U.

Draw a circle

Select the Selection Tool (V) and select the circle in the middle of the bottom right path segment. Now drag the circle 45° downwards until your pointer curser reaches the intersection point of the guides as shown in the image above. Use the Shift key while dragging the circle.

Rotate and duplicate circle

Select the Rotate Tool (R), hold down the Option/Alt key and click exactly on the guides' intersection point. Enter a value of 90 as degrees and click the copy button.

Rotate and duplicate circle

With the 2nd circle selected, hit cmd/ctrl + D twice to repeat the exact transformation. You should end up with a shape of 4 circles as shown in the image below.

Rotate and duplicate circle

Go to the Layers palette, select the layer with the circles and drag it onto the Create New Layer icon to duplicate this layer.

Duplicate and rotate circles

Lock your original layer, by clicking the empty square next to the eye icon in the Layers palette (see image below).

Duplicate and rotate circles

Select all circles of the duplicated layer and select the Rotate Tool (R), hold down the Option/Alt key and click exactly on the guides' intersection point again. Now enter a value of 45 as degrees and click the OK button.

Duplicate and rotate circles

Adjust colors and transparency mode

With the circles still selected, choose another color fill for the circles and choose Overlay as Transparency mode.

Adjust colors and transparency mode

Duplicate layers

Unlock the original layer. Select both layers and drag them onto the Create New Layer icon to duplicate them. Lock the 2 original layers.

Duplicate layers

Rotate duplicated layers

Makes sure all circles of both new created layers are selected. Select the Rotate Tool (R) hold down the Option/Alt key and click exactly on the guides' intersection point again. Enter a value of 22.5 (or for some of you 22,5) as degrees and click the OK button.

Rotate duplicated layers

I always check the Preview option to view the result upfront.

Final result

The final result should look similar to the image on the left. Though it all depends on the colors, transparency modes and transparency values you've chosen along the way. Chances are the result of the color combination is not to your satisfaction.

Final result of the Illustrator diamond flower

You can adjust the colors, transparency value and mode where needed adjusting circle by circle. On the right side you see my version after some tweaking.

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and 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.


25served

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permalink this comment Mark Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03.26 pm

That’s a nifty flower tutorial. Thanks for sharing amigo.


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permalink this comment Joel Sutherland Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04.12 pm

This is awesome!

It is the spirograph of 2009!


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permalink this comment Richard Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 07.31 pm

You are quite the Illustrator expert Veerle. Great techniques! Thanks for these tutorials.


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permalink this comment Chris Besett Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09.51 pm

I agree - always so clear and well done.


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permalink this comment Travis Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12.51 am

Great stuff once again Veerle - I also love how you encourage experimentation rather than creating just a straight “start to finish” tutorial. Thanks for sharing!


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permalink this comment Vasili Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03.43 am

Awesome effect! I’m going to make a wallpaper out of this for sure.

Do you mind telling me how you did the dotted white line?


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permalink this comment Samuel Bran Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 07.37 am

Nice tutorial, I’m a Photoshop user but I want to learn about Illustrator and this tutorial is very useful.


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permalink this comment bengie Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 11.35 am

nice one,
saw that you switched to AI CS4 !
any specific reason why you made the switch?


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permalink this comment Melanie Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02.31 pm

I’ve made thousands of this sort of flowers, by hand, when I was a kid.
I am looking forward to trying that later, as I’ve never thought about doing that with Illustrator.

Thank you so much for this tutorial! :)


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permalink this comment Veerle Pieters Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 11.20 am

Thank you all :)

Vasili said:

Do you mind telling me how you did the dotted white line?

I’ve duplicated the entire object (all layers), gave it a fill ‘none’ (square with red diagonal line) and a white dashed stroke of 1pt. Dashes can be set if you reveal the options in the Stroke palette: click the arrow on the top right of the palette and choose ‘Show Options’. I’ve also moved the dashed lines a bit.

bengie said:

saw that you switched to AI CS4 ! any specific reason why you made the switch?

I’ve been beta-testing CS4 since the very beginning and there are lot of new features I really like. One is the multiple artboards and 2 is the update of the gradient tool, 3 the new improved appearance palette…


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permalink this comment Amber Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 03.22 pm

It sure is easy to mess this one up. Did a walk through on the tutorial in Gimp and no using the right transparency really hosed this one up my first couple go rounds. Got to the point I had to whip the slate clean start from scratch. I wish I had the creative imagination to see the colors like do, because I must be the most awkward artist in the world - Thanks for this! Another fun tutorial to play around with.


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permalink this comment Corey Hart Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 12.01 am

Another way to get the same shape is to simply alt-click(with the rotate tool), on one of the first circle’s registration points(smart guides help here) and rotate by a factor of 360(in this case 22.5), copy, and repeat all the way around the circle.

This method is probably similar to how BP’s logo was made, but with a different angle of rotation.


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permalink this comment John Sat Jan 17, 2009 at 01.28 am

Cool tutorial, Thanks!


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permalink this comment Corey Hart Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 12.44 am

Instead of setting up guides and resizing the circle, you could use smart guides to rotate from an anchor point of the circle.

Also, I’m sure you already knew this, but if you play with the colors a bit, you could turn this in the BP logo!


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permalink this comment Aw Guo Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 08.27 am

Awesome tutorial! I never knew you can use a circle like this :)


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permalink this comment Amrit Ray Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 11.22 pm

Could not believe how easy it looked after going through your tutorial. Thanks for sharing.


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permalink this comment Maneet Puri Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10.22 am

Hey.. This is a neat flower tutorial. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to try…


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permalink this comment Veerle Pieters Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11.43 am

Amber said:

It sure is easy to mess this one up. Did a walk through on the tutorial in Gimp and no using the right transparency really hosed this one up my first couple go rounds. Got to the point I had to whip the slate clean start from scratch. I wish I had the creative imagination to see the colors like do, because I must be the most awkward artist in the world - Thanks for this! Another fun tutorial to play around with.

Actually I did redo and try things out like more than 10 times in a row, if not even more. So also for me, each trial or experiment comes with a surprise effect in the end :) Even though I understand the basic transparent modes (multiply, sceen etc.), most of the time I can’t predict the outcome. Creating a nice result is really time consuming… I believe it’s very hard to know the exact outcome. Sometimes I guess and it looks almost what I have in mind (if I use 1 mode only) but in a lot of cases it’s totally different of what I had in mind. It depends how complex I make it and how many different modes I’m using.

Corey Hart said:

Instead of setting up guides and resizing the circle, you could use smart guides to rotate from an anchor point of the circle.

Ah yeah, now that I think of it, maybe the first step with the guides and moving the circle probably wasn’t needed indeed. Thanks for pointing this out ;)

Also, I’m sure you already knew this, but if you play with the colors a bit, you could turn this in the BP logo!

That’s true indeed. If you break the shapes apart, you can delete the inside and achieve this effect. I have always trouble breaking the flower apart, because I end up with different objects stacked on top of each other. I wonder if this can be avoided. You can of course delete them, but then you loose your transparency mode effect. What I usually do is, delete the objects on top of each other, so I’m left with 1 object. Then I simulate the ‘mode’ effect by reapplying a color in normal transparency mode. So it looks equally the same only no special transparency mode has been applied to it. Of course this is very time consuming since you have to delete a ton of objects that are stacked on top of each other and then you have to re-apply the color piece by piece.


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permalink this comment stephen Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 05.24 am

I went through your tutorial and man did I have a tough time getting this to look like yours. I would have to agree if you lick this the first time you are either the albert einstein of the graphics world or you are lying. Although I did not successfully get mine to look like your I did play with some effects and slipped on a really fun design once I started adding a drop shadow and blended the colors a little more. Type a name across the middle of it and you end up with a pretty unique logo for a company. Interesting tutorial, just a difficult for me reach your level. FUn though!


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permalink this comment Nick Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 05.55 pm

You are awesome! great tutorial, it’s given me some great ideas.
Thanks


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permalink this comment Dean Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 11.34 pm

Not too dissimilar to the BP (British Petroleum) logo but great work all the same. Very glad I came across your site Veerle…


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permalink this comment Flower of Life Mon Feb 2, 2009 at 08.20 pm

Beautiful work.  looks like the Seed of Life and part of the Flower of Life


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permalink this comment BORABORA Wed Feb 4, 2009 at 12.06 am

Thanks for this nifty tutorial!
I really appreciate your efforts.
With regards


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permalink this comment Janine Salier Wed Feb 4, 2009 at 09.28 pm

i love this!!! its beautiful!!!
thanks veerle


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permalink this comment John Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 02.36 pm

Very good tutorials you got here, it’s very hard to find quality in this field on the web…



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