Illustrator ring shape via overlapping crescents effect
2009 at 10.04 am posted by Veerle Pieters
Today I have a very easy to follow step-by-step tutorial for people who just started out with Illustrator. This is another request from a reader who asked if I could explain how to draw this ring shape (see image on the left). Looking at this shape I can see it’s made of 2 overlapping crescents which are then rotated at 45 degrees. There is also this interesting overlapping effect which adds a bit of unrealistic depth effect which makes me think of the work of M.C. Escher. This time I thought it would be a good idea to work with screenshots again…
Draw a circle
Select the Ellipse tool and draw a circle holding down the Shift key.
Fill circle with linear gradient
Fill the circle with a linear, vertical gradient (90° corner), going from light green at the bottom (R197, G227, B38) to dark green at the top (R68, G134, B58), with the position of the gradient slider located around 70%.
Add a second circle
Select the Ellipse tool again and draw a smaller circle on top as shown in the image above.
Vertically center the 2 circles
Vertically center the 2 circles by selecting both circles using the Selection tool, hold down the Shift key to select the second circle. Go to the Align palette and choose the Vertical Align Center option.
With the 2 circles still selected, go to the Pathfinder palette and choose Minus Front.
Change opacity to Multiply
You should now have a crescent shape as shown in the image above. Make sure it is selected. Go to the Opacity palette and choose Multiply from the dropdown menu.
Duplicate rotate the crescent
Enable Smart Guides: go to View > Smart Guides or hit Cmd/Ctrl + U. We need to find the center of the circle, so we will end up with a circle shape again when we duplicate the crescent. Draw a vertical guide and a horizontal guide as shown in the image above. Use the points of the crescent so the guide will snap to it. Now select the Rotate tool from the toolbox. Alt/Option click exactly on the intersection point for the 2 guides. In the Rotate dialogue box enter 180° and click Copy to duplicate the original crescent shape.
A ring shape with a nice overlapping effect (because we use Multiply) should be the result. We are almost there now...
Rotate the ring 45°
The only thing left to do now it rotate the ring 45°. Select select the Rotate tool from the toolbox again and Alt/Option click exactly on the intersection point for the 2 guides again. In the Rotate dialogue box enter 45° and click OK. That's it! :)
This AI source file is for educational purpose only and is compatible with versions CS2 or later.
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.