Now that we have the heart shaped gift box wrapped in our decorative paper, we are going to continue on with this Adobe Illustrator tutorial and add those finishing touches that really make the piece shine.

Applying Colors

We have to apply some nice colors in order to create the perfect heart shaped gift box. This means we have to expand the hearts (and turn the gift box into an editable object). Select them both and under Object select Expand. To separate the parts from each other we will Ungroup (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + G) the gift box.

Be aware that we will have to repeat that step more them once. Aside from that we will have to unite some parts. You will notice that some sides of the gift box contains two parts. To turn them into the one shape hit the Unite button under the Pathfinder Panel.

Make sure to do that with the other sides of the gift box as well. You can also open the Layer Panel and make a quick check if there are any parts you want to remove.

Try to select all the white dots on each side of the gift box and Group them (Ctrl / Cmd + G). This way we have separated the dots from the plain surface which we will color with some nice gradients.

There is another thing we can do to improve the look of the illustration. We can create nice edge highlights and shadows. It will give our illustration depth.

Select the upper shape of the cover and duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) twice. Nudge one of the copies for a pixel or two upwards. Select both copies and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Minus Front button. Set the Fill color of the new shape to #FCCCB9.

Now duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the lateral side of the cover and nudge it for the few pixels downward (use the arrow key on your keyboard to nudge it).

Set the Fill color of the new shape to #F38188 and make sure to place it underneath the white dots on the lateral side of the box we’ve duplicated.

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the lateral side of the box. Select the copy we have just created and the shape from the previous step, then under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Intersect button. It will trim the shadow.

Repeat this step for the left side of the gift box as well. Don’t forget to change the Fill color of the dots in the shadow to a light gray #F1F2F2.

Creating the Ribbon

One of the most important aspects of every gift is the ribbon. It gives the gift a special look. We will try to create a fancy one for this tutorial.

Grab the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool Panel and start drawing the shapes as they are shown below. Applying nice color gradients to all shapes.

There is no unique technique for creating the bow. Trial and Error is actually one of the best ways to do it (there will be lots of tweaking and adjusting until you reach the desired look).

Grab the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool Panel and draw the shape as it’s shown in the picture.

Apply a linear gradient.

This is the front side of the ribbon. Now, grab the Pen Tool (P) again and draw the back side of the ribbon.

We will apply a nice radial gradient, a bit darker than the ribbon’s front.

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the front side of the ribbon. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) from the Tool Panel, then select and remove these anchor points.

Now we have just the open path. Make sure to remove the Fill color and set the Stroke color to #FCCCB9. Under the Stroke Panel set the Profile to Width Profile 1.

You should end up with something like this.

This is actually everything we need to do in order to create the bow. The only thing we should keep in mind is that each part of the bow (ribbon) needs to have a different look. Don’t worry, no one is able to draw all the parts at once. You will need to use Direct Selection Tool (A) to move around anchor points and their handles. It will take some time to create all of the parts we need, but in the end it will pay off.

Let’s move on.

For the inner part of the ribbon use the same radial gradient.

Don’t forget to create the thickness for the ribbon

If you take a closer look, you will notice that the front part of the ribbon on the left is on the top, and the back part is between the front and back part of the ribbon on the right side. We will use this same placement and arrangement for each part of the bow as well. It will give our bow a more realistic look.

Keep going until you create all the parts of the ribbon. Just try out different angles and positions.

For the front part of the ribbon use alinear gradient.

For the back part of the ribbon use a radial gradient.

Now to address the thickness of the ribbon.

You can also use radial gradients for the front part of some of the ribbon loops. It depends on the shape that they take.

For the back part of the ribbon use the same radial gradient we used earlier.

Now create the highlight.

On the following pictures you can monitor how we’ve created the rest of the pieces of the bow.

We are almost done. The last two parts of the bow on the front we will create using a different technique. Grab the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool Panel and create the shape similar to yellow one in the next photo.

Now, create a smaller shape.

Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the red shape. Then select the yellow and one of the red shapes and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Minus Front button. It will create a hole in the yellow shape.

The other red shape we will use to create the inner part of the ribbon. Grab the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool Panel and draw the path as it shown on the picture below.

Select the path we have just created and the red shape and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Divide button.

Ungroup (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + G) the new shape and remove the upper part. You should end up with something like this.

Play with the linear gradient a little bit until you achieve a nice result.

And, don’t forget the edge highlight!

Now we need to reflect that bit of ribbon we have just created like it is shown below.

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) from the Tool panel, and create small shadows to place underneath the ribbon.

Group (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) all the elements and place them on the top of our gift box.

Now with just a few more shadows and a nice background with a linear gradient and our gift box is good to go!

Conclusion

Today we had the opportunity to work with Perspective again. When it comes to 3D illustrations, Perspective is the most important thing. 3D effects in Adobe Illustrator allows us to work fast and to create good looking 3D objects. There is another thing you have to be aware of. 3D effects are not perfect. You can end up with many unnecessary parts and anchor points. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to clean up an illustration like that.

Skilled Pen Tool users tend to use products of 3D effects as reference images. This way they are able to create the perfect shaped 3D object drawn with the Pen Tool and just a few anchor points. This is a good way to practice both your usage of the Pen Tool and your ability to draw 3D objects in Perspective. Thank you for following the tutorial, and be sure to stop by the comment section and leave us your thoughts. Happy Valentine’s Day!

(rb)