Sign In  |  Join Now Become a member to add links and start earning points!

Cafe Style Coffee Art in Adobe Illustrator

In this Illustrator tutorial I’ll explain step by step how I created the "Delicious Coffee" illustration which was published in "1000 Restaurant, bar & café graphics" by Rockport Publishing.

The final image

This is what we will be creating:

Image Description

 

Photo of the illustration in the book:

Image Description

Step 1: Create a new document

Create a new document, since this is going to be a poster we need a large area to work with. Make it A3 size (297 x 420 millimetres or about 11,7×16,5 inches).

Image Description

Step 2: Create layers, background and crop marks

Before we start, it is very important to keep everything organized. So please make a few new layers and name them: background, saucer, shadow, cup and smoke. Now select the background layer, grab the Rectangle Tool, draw a rectangle bigger than the page size and lock the layer so you won’t accidentally move it. I used #CAD980 for the nice fresh green color.

Now make sure you have no objects selected and go to Object>Crop area>Make to create crop marks for your document. It’s a nice little feature which will help you during the export of your file to a different format. It will adjust the document area to the crop marks and ignore any objects outside the artboard.

Image Description

Step 3.1: Creating the saucer

Select the saucer layer and using the Pen Tool draw a line similar to the one in the picture, give it a white stroke with weight of 2 pt. It will be a basis for our saucer.

Image Description

Step 3.2

Go to Effect>3D>Revolve, to transform the line into 3D shape. Use settings from the picture below. Additionally you will need to setup the light points, and their strength. In my project each of the three light points have the same Light Intensity and Ambient Light value.

Image Description

Your shape should resemble this:

Image Description

Step 3.3

To make the stripes at the rim of the saucer we first need to draw 3 rectangles of the same width and height, align them like in the picture below, group them and drag the group to the Symbol panel.

Name the symbol as Stripes set its type to Graphic and click OK. By doing this we convert our three rectangles into a symbol, to be able to map that symbol onto our 3d shape in the next step. (Colors used: #BD127C – magenta, #A8C653 – lime green)

Image Description

Step 3.4

Select the saucer, go to the Appearance panel and double click 3D Revolve option. In 3D Revolve options panel select Map Art, go to surface 2 and select Stripes symbol from the drop down menu. The symbol will appear in the surface preview area. Click the Scale to fit button and check the Shade artwork option, so the lights we adjusted earlier will affect the mapped symbol.

Image Description

The saucer is ready, it should look like the image below:

Image Description

 

Step 4: Creating the cup

Now that we’ve created the saucer it’s time to create the coffee cup.

There are two ways to do it, you may draw the whole shape at once like I did, or you may take the "precision way" :-), and draw only half of the shape, duplicate it, reflect it, and join the two halves together.

Hide the saucer layer, select the cup layer, grab the Pen Tool and draw a shape like that, but don’t connect the highest and the lowest point.

Image Description

 

Duplicate the shape by copying it (Edit>Copy) and pasting it in front (Edit>Paste in Front). Reflect the new shape vertically by double clicking the Reflect Tool, and checking the vertical axis.

Image Description

 

Put the shapes close to one another so their end points overlap. Select the top points by dragging over them with the Direct Selection Tool, right click and select Join. Do the same with the two points at the bottom of the shape.

Image Description

Step 4.1

Take the Ellipse Tool, and draw two ellipses just like on the picture below. The gray ellipse will serve as an inside wall of the coffee cup, give it a nice gray color: #EDEDED. The second one will simulate the coffee and it should have a really dark chocolate/coffee type of color: #1D1C1D

Image Description

Step 4.2

Open the Pathfinder panel (Window>Pathfinder), select both ellipses that we just drawn and click Divide on the Pathfinder panel. The Divide command cuts selected objects in places where they overlap one another, so now you should have three separate shapes instead of two ellipses.

Since pathfinder automatically groups shapes press Ctrl+Shift+G to ungroup them. Then, select the bottom most shape and delete it, we won’t need it.

Image Description

Your results should look like this:

Image Description

Step 4.3

No we will use the gradient mesh tool to simulate the coffee foam. Select the coffee shape and convert it to gradient mesh by clicking Object>Create Gradient Mesh. Make it 6 columns, 6 rows with flat appearance.

Image Description

Step 4.4

Now take the Lasso Tool, make a selection as indicated on the screenshot below and give it a light brownish color. My color is #694E56.

Image Description

Step 4.4

Drag the indicated mesh points to the area outside the mesh:

Image Description

You should get something like this:

Image Description

Step 4.5

Now move the other points like this:

Image Description

Tweak the mesh a little, adjust the colors, your outcome should resemble the picture below::

Image Description

Step 4.6

The only thing our cup lacks now is the ear. Select the Pen Tool and draw the shape like in the picture below. Give it a light grey colour, like #EBEBEB. Remember to put it on the very bottom of the cup layer.

Image Description

Now use the Pen Tool to draw a few highlights over the ear shape just like that (don’t worry about the highlights sticking out of the ear shape we will fix it soon):

Image Description

Use the layers panel to bring the ear shape over the highlights:

Image Description

Select the ear and the highlights, and press ctrl+7 or go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make. Your ear shape will become a clipping mask for the highlights, and will become invisible.

Image Description

To make the ear visible again, find it on the layers panel and select it. Give the ear the same color as before (#EBEBEB). The effect should look like this:

Image Description

Step 5: Adding detail to the cup

Since the basis of the cup is ready, it’s time to add some detail to it. We’ll start with the striped pattern.

To get started draw a long green (#A8C653) vertical rectangle, and duplicate it by holding the mouse button with Alt and Shift while you drag it.

Image Description

With the duplicated rectangle still selected, press ctrl+D about 40 times to flood your screen with rectangles :-) Fill every other rectangle with bright pink color (#B94284).

Image Description

Step 5.1

Group all the rectangles, copy the main coffee cup shape and paste it in front (ctrl+F).

Image Description

Now select the shape and the stripes and go to Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Top Object.

Image Description

Select the pattern, go to the layers panel and put it below the coffee shape, and the inside of the cup. Next, go to Effect>Warp>Fisheye, set the Bend parameter to 50 and click OK.

Image Description

Keep the pattern selected and go to Effect>Warp>Twist. You will be notified that "This will apply another instance of this effect". Just click "Apply New Effect" because this is what we need to apply the second effect. Select the Horizontal option, and set the Bend value to 40.

Image Description

Now you can obviously see that the pattern is getting outside the cup, this is an undesired effect. To get rid of it we need to "lock" the pattern inside a clipping mask.

Once again copy the cup shape and paste it in front.

Image Description

Select the shape and the pattern and press ctrl+7 to put the pattern inside the clipping mask.

Image Description

Now create a white ellipse covering the top of the cup. It will cover the unnecessary parts of the pattern and give the illusion that our cup has thick edges.

Image Description

Find the ellipse on the Layers panel and put it inside the clipping mask that we created in the previous step.

Image Description

The effect should look like this:

Image Description

Step 5.2

In this step we will use the blend tool to give the cup some shading. Start with selecting the clipping path of the cup and the ellipse that we just made.

Image Description

Copy the shapes, paste them in front and click Divide on the Pathfinder panel. After doing this you will see a new group on the Layers panel. Expand the contents of the group and delete the first two objects.

Image Description

Now select the only shape that’s left inside the group and hit ctrl+shift+G to ungroup it. Copy it and paste it in front (ctrl+F), then scale the copy down and move it up over to the edge of the cup.

Image Description

Fill the bigger shape with black and the smaller shape with white. Double click on the Blend Tool and choose "Smooth Color" from the Spacing list. Now while having the Blend Tool and both shapes still selected click on the black shape and then on the white shape to obtain shading effect like on the picture below effect:

Image Description

This is certainly far from what we want our image to look so we have to tweak some settings :-)

Select the blend, set its blend mode to Multiply and bring the Opacity down to 25. It should look like this:

Image Description

Step 6: Creating shadows

This step is fairly simple.Turn off the cup layer, select the shadow layer and draw a shape resembling a shadow of the cup. Fill it with black. It should be similar to the one on the picture below. Pen or Pencil are the best tools for the job.

Image Description

Change the shadows opacity to 15% and go to Effect>Stylize>Feather. To slightly blur the edges of the shadow.

Image Description

Now turn on the cup layer and position the shadow so it aligns well with the cup.

Image Description

Step 6.1

Turn off the cup layer again. This time we will draw a shape that will be used as a dark shadow directly underneath the cup. Take the Pen Tool and draw a thick line just like in the picture below. Lower its opacity to 85%.

Image Description

Turn the cup layer on and position the shadow properly underneath the cup. You will probably need to tweak points and handles on the curve to make it look good.

Image Description

Step 7: Adding steam

Select the Pen Tool or the Pencil Tool and start to draw a steam-like organic object. Be creative :-) There is no automatic way to do it, you just need to imagine the shape and draw it.

The best way to do this is to start from the bottom and draw every "branch" as a single shape. You can connect everything later by using the "Add" option in the pathfinder.

Image Description

Step 7.1

Lower the opacity of the smoke object to 70%, copy it and paste it in the back by using ctrl+B or Edit>Paste in Back. Offset the copy a little to the left and lower it’s opacity even more, to about 30%.

Image Description

Step 7.2

The shape in the back is barely visible right now. We need to take care of that by making the shape in the back thicker. Thicker, not bigger so scaling the shape is out of the question.

Select the shape, go to Effects>Path>Offset Path and enter 6 px in the offset value field, leave the other options unchanged.

Image Description

Step 8: Background

To make the striped background, draw two really long lines with 0.75 pt white stroke outside of the artboard, and rotate each of them 45 degrees.

Image Description

Step 8.1

Select the Blend Tool and click on both shapes to make a blend from them. After this double click on the Blend Tool in the tools panel. From the Spacing list select Specified Steps and enter 100. The lines will be duplicated 100 times to form a striped pattern.

Image Description

This is the end of the tutorial. In case you had any problems with following the steps feel free to contact me.

Download the PSD (or source files)

59 Comments

  1. Add point Subtract point
    sachin (1 Point) March 28, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Very Nice Tutorial! Thank You!

    Flag as inappropriate
  2. Add point Subtract point

    Great tutorial, excellent detail.

    I too had trouble getting the stripe onto the saucer – and I used the same number of points as you, but perhaps the shape was slightly different? Anyway, I didn’t even know that feature existed and think it’s fantastically clever that you made the saucer just using that so kudos and keep up the great work!

    Flag as inappropriate
  3. Add point Subtract point
    Gebel Scarduzio (0 Points) June 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Download60s.com is a graphic designing website. photoshop tutorials.
    http://download60s.com

    Flag as inappropriate
  4. Add point Subtract point
    debbie (1 Point) May 19, 2010 at 12:54 am

    BTW: thanks so much for the tutorial!!!…lot of work explaining all the tiny detailed steps that make the difference between a flat piece of work…and one that has depth and looks professional!!!

    Flag as inappropriate
  5. Add point Subtract point
    debbie (1 Point) May 19, 2010 at 12:48 am

    working on this tutorial…but trying to incorporate the new CS5 features for practice: paste within….and the widen stroke feature…

    Flag as inappropriate
  6. Add point Subtract point

    Excellent tutorial! Thank you!

    Flag as inappropriate
  7. Add point Subtract point
    Andres (1 Point) March 25, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Very nice tutorial man, I did it, just had some problems with the Blend tools, but everything was very easy to understand. Thanks,

    Flag as inappropriate
  8. Add point Subtract point

    Hi, awesome tutorial . I love Ai. Thanks

    Flag as inappropriate
  9. Add point Subtract point
    carpier (1 Point) March 6, 2010 at 9:35 am

    The best tutorial of Ai: congratulations and thank.

    Flag as inappropriate
  10. Add point Subtract point
    Mike Griffiths (1 Point) February 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Great tutorial! I’m excited to use tools I never knew about!

    Flag as inappropriate
  11. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (1 Point) February 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Great post . Thanks153

    Flag as inappropriate
  12. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงฟรี (0 Points) February 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Great post . Thanks146

    Flag as inappropriate
  13. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 7:05 am

    great tutorial . Thanks

    Flag as inappropriate
  14. Add point Subtract point
    Deadman (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 3:07 am

    best Illustrator tutorial i have ever read

    Flag as inappropriate
  15. Add point Subtract point

    Looks very interesting tutorial, will definitely come back to this one later. Thank you.

    Flag as inappropriate
  16. Add point Subtract point

    Besides the uniform striping on the cup, I prefer to do those other types of effects manually with shapes and gradients. But I’ll give these fake 3D effects a look through and see how and when i can use them, good heads up.
    Ps and Ai aren’t rivals, they’re both great tools that perform different tasks. Open up your arsenal!

    Flag as inappropriate
  17. Add point Subtract point
    A Daniel (1 Point) January 24, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Great Tuutorial, but I had a couple of problems I couldn’t work around. 1 was that in the tutorial it says to put the symbol of the three stripes on the saucer on the 2nd plane, but my object had 9 planes when i put it through the 3d rotate. 2nd, was that the stripes didn’t look as clean and well distributed on he cup when i put them through the envelop option, other than that it looks good to me. Thanks

    Flag as inappropriate
    • Add point Subtract point
      Bartosz Oczujda (1 Point) January 25, 2010 at 7:36 am

      Probably your shape of the saucer is different than mine. It has to be built with as few points as possible.

      More points = more planes = less clean 3D object.

      I don’t really know how to help you with the second problem, but sometimes illustrators Envelope option behaves unpredictably and gives you weird distorted objects. The only solution is to delete the object and start again :/

      Flag as inappropriate
  18. Add point Subtract point
    Lestyle (1 Point) January 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    te goed gedaan en vooral om uit te leggen de stappen

    Flag as inappropriate
  19. Add point Subtract point

    Wooooow! The best AI tutorial ever!
    Thanks a Lot!!

    Flag as inappropriate
  20. Add point Subtract point
    3mer abo sahyoun (1 Point) January 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    vere vere good …………

    Flag as inappropriate
  21. Add point Subtract point
    3mer abo sahyoun (1 Point) January 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    vere vere good …………

    Flag as inappropriate
  22. Add point Subtract point
    Bartosz Oczujda (1 Point) January 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you guys for the words of kindness (and critique :-). This it my first tutorial ever and I didn’t expect to get such a positive feedback on it :-)

    I’ve got some more Illustrator tutorials coming up for you later so stay tuned :-)

    Flag as inappropriate
  23. Add point Subtract point

    the steam looks like a white tree growing out of the coffee.
    i wouldn’t want to create something like this, i don’t think it’s very interesting looking, but that’s just me.

    Flag as inappropriate
  24. Add point Subtract point
    Steve Martin (1 Point) January 20, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Nice Tutorial… Detailed explanation makes easy to learn… Moreover images explain themselves greatly… Really good work…Thanks for sharing :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  25. Add point Subtract point
    Elsa Lee (1 Point) January 20, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Interesting tutorial. I know and have used some of these tools, but not others. Hope to combine them into my next vector piece.

    Flag as inappropriate
  26. Add point Subtract point

    Fantastic IL tutorial man! Easily the best I’ve ever seen. I’m a die hard PSo phile my self. Never realized AI had so many automating options! I’m gonna make the switch. All the legacy tutorials of vector art, with its manual layers of shadows and highlights, wasted endless days of my time! I consider myself Born Again!

    Flag as inappropriate
  27. Add point Subtract point
    Vectorss (1 Point) January 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Vaoow very nice great detail tut. Thanks

    Flag as inappropriate
  28. Add point Subtract point
    KayRoseDesign (1 Point) January 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Love the outcome, very professional result. Great work.

    I’m really impressed with the detail overall.

    Flag as inappropriate
  29. Add point Subtract point
    Antoine Guédès (1 Point) January 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Awesome illustration!

    Flag as inappropriate
  30. Add point Subtract point
    Tom Ross (1 Point) January 19, 2010 at 7:34 am

    LOVE the use of the warp tool for this tutorial. Really cool stuff!

    Flag as inappropriate
  31. Add point Subtract point

    nice tutorial! learned some new stuff in this tut. thx for sharing it :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  32. Add point Subtract point

    Great tutorial, I love Ai. Any good designer should know how to use Ai as good as Ps. They are complementary but NOT similar applications.

    Flag as inappropriate
  33. Add point Subtract point

    like others above. i dont know much about AI, this will be a good guide to learn it.

    Flag as inappropriate
  34. Add point Subtract point

    I never really liked working with Ai – Ps is my thing. But I’ll give it a go.

    Flag as inappropriate
  35. Add point Subtract point
    HaNguyen (1 Point) January 18, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Awesome tutor! I’m not familiar with AI but I will try this very cool stuff!!! Thank you!

    Flag as inappropriate
  36. Add point Subtract point
    fattdesign (1 Point) January 18, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I’ve always used Ps, since I don’t like Ai. But I think I’m going to try this one in Illustrator.

    Flag as inappropriate