As July ends and the dog days of August approach, nothing feels more appropriate than a slice of ice cold watermelon to break up the summer heat.
However. Truth be told, I don’t really like watermelon much, but I needed a segue into this Adobe Illustrator tutorial. And as we transition to the next paragraph, let me throw a few more words out there: covid-19, quarantine, virtual watermelon.
That’s right, there’s a global pandemic, people. So obviously we are connecting today over virtual watermelon, not over actual fruit shared at our neighborhood backyard bbq. And also because this is a graphic design blog.
By the way- don’t you get so annoyed when you click on a recipe blog to get a recipe and then have to read eighteen paragraphs about the blogger’s kitchen renovation before you can find out how to make the freaking chicken artichoke zoodle recipe? I *swear* that very specific situation didn’t happen to me today. But this blog post is totally turning into that. Wonder why bloggers do that? It’s because Google likes long-from content, my friends. And there’s only so much you can say about chicken artichoke zoodles.
Anyway, I can do better than that. This vector watermelon illustration tutorial might actually come in handy when you want to create fan art for Harry Styles’ new single Watermelon Sugar. That’s something I can totally see myself doing. I should host a contest on behalf of Harry for who can create the best concert poster based on Watermelon Sugar. Sign up for my email list if you’d be interested in that.
And now, let’s get down to business!
Today I’m showing you how to make a vector watermelon illustration in Adobe Illustrator. The significance of vector, you ask? Check out this blog post if you want to learn more about it. Otherwise, no worries. Fire up Illustrator, and let’s get started.
Step 1: Make a Diamond Shape
You can make your new Illustrator canvas any size you’d like. In the spirit of creating images for this blog, and for reference: mine is 800 x 800px and 72dpi.
Grab your rectangle tool from the toolbar and hold down the shift key while you drag out a perfect square. As you can see in my example below, I have a sweet watermelon-esque color gradient going, but you fill yours with whatever color you want. A blue watermelon? Sounds delicious.
Rotate your square 45° to make it a diamond. Again, holding down the shift key while you do this will get you the perfect 45° angle.
Step 2: Direct Select the Bottom Point
The next step in creating our watermelon is to get that nice rounded rind at the bottom of our wedge. To do this, use the direct selection tool. You can also bring it up by pressing A on your keyboard.
Select the bottom point and instantly a little white circle with a blue dot appears in the corner of the point. Hold down on that little point and drag it all the way up to round out the bottom of our diamond shape.
Step 3 Create the rind with the Pathfinder Tool
Now we have the basic shape of the watermelon wedge. This shape is going to be our “meat” of the watermelon, if you will. And we’re going to make an extra piece to be our watermelon rind.
If you still have your direct selection tool selected, make sure you switch back to the regular selection tool by pressing V on the keyboard.
Duplicate the watermelon wedge by pressing Ctrl + C (PC) or Command + C (Mac), and then press Ctrl + V or Cmd + V twice to paste two copies onto the canvas. Drag one of the watermelons off the to the side so it’s out of the way.. we’ll come back to it in a minute.
Now we’re going to break out the Pathfinder Tool. This tool is crucial to creating and manipulating basic shapes in Illustrator. Your pathfinder tool may already be open on the right-hand side of your screen, but if you don’t see it, head up to Window > Pathfinder.
Let’s rubber band select our two watermelon shapes. This simply means drag your mouse over both shapes to select them both at the same time. In the top panel of Illustrator, click the proper icons to align these two shapes both horizontally and vertically center. If you don’t have the align panel, you can open it from Window > Align.
The two shapes are now one on top of the other. Click your mouse off to the side to deselect the shapes. Then click once on the shapes. Now you have just the top shape selected. Hold down shift and drag this shape up to reveal the bottom of the shape underneath. Drag it up until you have a height that you like for the watermelon rind.
I’ve changed the colors in my example to help illustrate this step better.
The next step is to drag over both shapes with your selection tool to select both shapes. Then in your Pathfinder Panel, click on the second option under Shape Modes, which is Minus Front.
The result should be that you have just the rind leftover.
I took this a step further and created another sliver of a rind to add more detail to my watermelon, but this step is optional. This time, I used the third option in my Pathfinder Panel, Intersect to cut out the little lighter-colored part of the rind that’s closer to the “meat”.
Step 4: Assemble Your Melon
The final step is to assemble all the pieces together. Remember that original melon piece we moved off the to the side? Let’s bring him back onto our canvas and position our new rind pieces on top.
Your smart guides should allow you to line everything up pretty easily, but you can also make use of the align panel if necessary.
Finally, choose some new colors for your pieces. You can get fancy with gradients or keep it flat.
At this point, we have a seedless watermelon, which is totally the watermelon we all prefer. But if you want to be extra, add some seeds for additional detail. The difference between good and great is always in the details!
Step 5: Add Detail – Watermelon Seeds!
I’m not going to fully demonstrate how I created these seeds, because I used the same exact technique I used to create my easiest water drop ever. So head to that blog post if you want to know how.
Ironically, you can probably figure it out based on the steps we used in this tutorial to create our watermelon wedge. Hint: use a triangle (3 sides with the polygon tool) instead of a square.
& Voila! I hope you enjoyed this watermelon illustration tutorial. If you did, I have a feeling you might enjoy some of my other Illustrator Tutorials, like:
- Perfect Heart in Illustrator
- Chevron Pattern in Illustrator
- Wavy Lines (Ric Rac) in Illustrator
- Water Drop in Illustrator
- Zig Zag in Illustrator
I also have a completely FREE ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR COURSE that’s perfect for beginners wanting to get started with graphic design.
Don’t forget to pin this image so you can come back to this tutorial later!
If you have any questions about this tutorial, be sure to leave a comment below so I can help you out! Or just let me know what you’d like me to make next.