How To Create Watercolor Popsicle Illustrations in Adobe Illustrator

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Illustrator I've just been away on my summer holidays and we're currently in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK, which for us is sunshine for a whole week! All that nice weather has inspired me to create a tutorial showing you how to make your own tasty popsicles or lollipop graphics in Illustrator

We’ll use a range of handy tools to create the first colourful lollipop, then build upon each subsequent illustration with new additions which provide an opportunity to touch on different tools and techniques, then we’ll add some subtle texturing with my free watercolour circle textures So begin by drawing a rectangle on the artboard of any proportions you like Switch over to the Direct Selection tool and draw a selection around the upper two points Click and drag the corner widget icon to round off the corners to the max Do the same with the lower two corners, but adjust the widgets just a little to apply a smaller corner radius

Edit the fill of the shape by choosing a different swatch, or applying a custom colour, which in my example is an orange of #f08300 Activate the stroke setting and clear the default black outline Make sure you have Smart Guides enabled under the View menu, then draw another rectangle to represent the lollipop stick The smart guides will make it easy to snap it perfectly to the underside of the main lolly shape Change the fill colour of the stick to a light brown, then round off the bottom edge using the Direct Selection tool and the corner widgets

Move the stick into place centrally, using the Smart Guides to find the centre line Zoom in to the artwork and use the Pen tool to draw a triangle to represent a simple shadow Give it a black fill and alter the transparency settings to Multiply at 20% opacity Select the Arc tool and set up the appearance with a white stroke, no fill Draw a curved line that follow the curvature of the upper right of the lollipop

Press the F key to flip the arc while dragging out the path if it's flowing in the wrong direction Bump up the stroke weight to around 4pt and add the round cap option in the Stroke panel Vector artwork can look great with solid colours, but some subtle texturing can also produce an interesting art style Download my free Watercolour Circle textures from Spoon Graphics and open one of them in Illustrator using the File > Place command Scale the texture down to fit over the lollipop, then move it to one side for a second

We'll need a copy of the lollipop shape to use as a clipping mask, so go to Edit > Copy, followed by Edit > Paste in Front Bring this duplicate shape above the texture using the Arrange > Bring to Front command, then move the texture back into place Hold the Shift key and add that duplicate outline shape to the selection, then right click and choose Make Clipping Mask to trim the texture to fit inside the popsicle artwork Change the blending mode to allow the colours of the texture to interact with the base colour of the ice lolly, Overlay is always a good go-to choice, but we'll use some other modes later Draw a selection around all the shapes that form the lollipop illustration and move them to one side

Start from scratch with a new illustration using the rectangle tool again Make the proportions of this popsicle completely different Choose a fruity fill colour, then round off the corners with the Direct Selection tool Rather than draw the stick again, select and copy the existing shapes from the first illustration and position them on the new artwork Holding the Alt key while dragging the shapes is an easy way to duplicate them

Set up the Arc tool with the same white stroke and add a tiny highlight, then find a watercolour texture with complementary colours Place the texture and scale it to fit over the lollipop Rather than fit it to size exactly, you can use a portion of the texture that might have interesting colours or surface details Duplicate the lollipop shape with the CMD+C and CMD+F shortcuts, and move it to the front with the CMD+Shift+right square bracket key, then apply a clipping mask with the texture Set the blending mode to Overlay to blend the watercolour hues with the purple background, then move all the shapes to one side

Draw another rectangle to form a new popsicle, give it a nice bright colour such as red, then round off the corners This time, draw a stripe within the popsicle body, using the Smart Guides to snap to the edges Give it a contrasting fill colour, like an off-white of #fff3d2 With the Move tool selected, hold the Alt and Shift keys and drag out a duplicate to add another stripe Repeatedly press the CMD+D shortcut for Transform Again to apply a series of stripes to the popsicle

The original shape can be extended to even out the gap between the first and last stripes and the top and bottom edges The corner widgets keep the roundness intact Use the rectangle tool to add a couple of thin shapes to the bottom edge, these will represent drips Hold Shift and select all the red shapes, then merge them into one with the Pathdfinder's Unite button Switch to the Direct Selection tool and round off the corners of the drips, starting at the bottom, then also where they join the main lollipop

The use of the Pathfinder affected the order of the shapes, so use the CMD+left square bracket key shortcut for Send Backward until the stripes are visible again Duplicate the lollipop stick and move it into position, then choose a watercolour texture for this illustration Duplicate the red shape to use with the clipping mask, then instead of the Overlay blending mode, this time use Screen so this particular texture blends better with the underlying colours Draw another new popsicle with a whole new flavour This time use the CMD+C and CMD+F shortcuts to duplicate the main body, then give it a chocolately brown fill

Use the rectangle tool to draw a temporary shape that covers the lower portion of the brown shape, then with both shapes selected, use the Minus Front button in the Pathfinder panel to trim this portion away Add a couple of smaller brown rectangles just like the drips in the last illustration, but overlap them with the other shape Select the Shape Builder tool and select all the brown shapes by holding the CMD key to temporarily toggle back to the Move tool Also use Shift to add them all to the selection Hold the ALT key and drag from the first rectangle onto the other shape to delete this portion, then drag without the ALT key over the second rectangle to unite these shapes

Switch over to the Direct Selection tool and drag one of the corner widgets to the max to completely round off this new shape to form a drippy chocolate coating Finish off the illustration with a lollipop stick, simple highlight and a watercolour texture Sometimes a certain blending mode might work well for one colour, but not so much for the other In my example Soft Light looks nice against green, but the chocolate coating suddenly looks a little mouldy Use the Send Backward command to place the texture underneath the brown vector shape, then clip a new texture to just this shape, which allows you to choose a different blending mode, like Multiply

Let's take a look at a couple more handy tips and tricks for this last lollipop illustration Draw a popsicle shape with a bright colour fill with round corners, then draw a large stripe across the middle With both shapes selected, click the Divide button in the Pathfinder panel to split the shape into three individual portions Right click and select Ungroup, then give each one a different fill To create some stylized vector sprinkles, draw a short path somewhere on the artboard

Give it the 4pt stroke weight with round caps, with a pastel pink stroke colour Drag a duplicate to one side while holding the ALT and Shift keys, then use the CMD+D shortcut to add a few more Replace the stroke colour of each one to differentiate them all Using the Move tool while holding the ALT key, make duplicates of each coloured sprinkles and position them randomly around the lollipop graphic Alternate between each different colour and place each new sprinkle in some empty space

The easiest way to select them all is to draw a selection around the upper portion of the illustration, then hold Shift and deselect any unwated items, until you have a selection of just sprinkles Head to Object > Transform > Transform Each and enter 360 degrees in the Angle, then check the Random option Hit OK to have all the sprinkles randomised in a different direction The layout might need to be tweaked to evenly space out the pieces Since this last lollipop illustration has been split into three, make duplicates of multiple shapes then unite them back together to use them as a tool for the clipping mask, or apply three different textures to each portion

The final result is a selection of tasty lollipop illustrations with a simplistic flat vector style Experimenting with alternative colours and shapes allowed us to create a unique design each time Introducing additional techniques also helped us customise the illustrations with cool effects, such as the drippy chocolate coating and tasty sprinkles So I hope these tips and techniques come in handy for your future illustration work If you enjoyed the tutorial or learnt anything new be sure to Like the video

Subscribe to the channel to stick around for more, and join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics to get your hands on more free resources As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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