How to Create an Open Tin Can with Pieces of Fish in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator can be a little tricky to get your hands around, particularly after getting used to the workflow of applications like Photoshop. The differences between layer use and the creation of objects and shapes can be really strange at first hand.

How to Create an Open Tin Can with Pieces of Fish in Adobe Illustrator

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create an open tin can with pieces of fish in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to create the main shapes using basic tools (Rectangle, Ellipse tools, Pen…) along with vector shape building techniques (Offset Path, Pathfinder, Clipping Mask…). Next, you will learn how to add color, shading and highlights for your shapes using linear gradient, a bunch of effects, and the Transparency palette. Finally, you will learn how to create a simple background and add a subtle shadow for your tin can.

Final Result

Let’s see what you will be creating in this tutorial.

Create an Open Tin Can with Pieces of Fish in Illustrator - Final Result

Create an Open Tin Can with Pieces of Fish in Illustrator

Create a New Document

1. Launch Illustrator and then press (Ctrl + N) to create a New document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 940 in the width box and 770 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGBScreen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Create a New Document

Create the Body of the Can

2. Start with drawing a 545 by 314px rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). Keep the rectangle selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Round Corners… Enter a 105px Radius and click OK.

Create the Body of the Can

3. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the rounded rectangle created in the previous step and go to the Object > Expand Appearance… Fill the new rounded rectangle with R=130, G=102, B=63, then move it 30px down and hide it behind the yellow rounded rectangle (Ctrl +Left Square Bracket).

Create the Body of the Can

4. Select the yellow rounded rectangle and go to the Object > Transform > Scale… Check the Non-Uniform, enter a 94 in the Horizontal box and enter a 83 in the Vertical box, then click Copy. Replace the existing stroke color of the new rounded rectangle with red and then move it 19px down. Now reselect the yellow and the red rounded rectangles, then go to the Object > Expand Appearance and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the resulting objects. Keep the copies selected and open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder), then click on the Minus Front button. Next fill the resulting object with the linear gradient as shown in the third image and then fill the red rounded rectangle with R=35, G=18, B=2.

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

5. Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, simply click on your artboard and enter the data as shown below, then click OK. With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select two bottom anchor points of the rounded rectangle and remove them. Next use the Convert Achor Point Tool (Shift +C) to remove two lower handles (make them length zero) of the two bottom anchor points of the resulting object. Fill the new object with R=108, G=82, B=36 and set the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Multiply, then place it to the position like you see in the second image.

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

6. With the Pen Tool (P) create a curved path as shown below. Once your path is drawn, fill it with none and add a 1px stroke (R=193, G=133, B=84), then apply the Width Profile 4 for the resulting path. Now reselect two newly created objects and group them (Ctrl +G), then go to the Object > Transform > Move… In the Move dialog box, enter a 27px in the Horizontal box and click Copy, then press (Ctrl +D) ten times to get the results like you see in the third image.

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

7. Now, follow the sequence of images and repeat the same process as the step 5 to draw an object like you see in the third image below. Once your path is drawn, fill it with R=108, G=82, B=36 and add a 1px stroke (R=193, G=133, B=84), then place the resulting shape to the position as shown in the fourth image. Make sure that the new shape is still selected and go to the Object > Transform > Move… In the Move dialog box, enter a 27px in the Horizontal box and click Copy, then press (Ctrl +D) ten times to get the results like you see in the fifth image. Finally select all shapes created in this step and then set the Blending Mode of them to Soft Light.

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Body of the Can

Create the Pieces of Fish

8. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create an object as shown below. Once your object is drawn, fill it with the linear gradient like you see in the second image.

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

9. Continue with the Pen Tool (P) create three objects and then fill them as shown in the images below. Next make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the three newly created shapes, then remove the fill of the copies and add a 2px stroke (R=99, G=94, B=84) for them. Next apply the Width Profile 2 for the resulting objects. Finally reselect the left newly created object and replace the existing stroke color of it with R=131, G=92, B=53.

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

10. Now, follow the sequence of images and create some shapes similar to the ones from below.

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

11. Focus on the piece of fish in the first place. Select two shapes created in the step 10 of this piece of fish and group them (Ctrl +G). Next select the shape created in the step 9 of this piece of fish and make a copy of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the new group created in this step, then go to the Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Ctrl +7).

Create the Pieces of Fish

12. Likewise, repeat the same process as the previous step for the remaining two pieces of fish. In the end they should look like the image shown.

Create the Pieces of Fish

13. Select three shapes created in the step 9, duplicate (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) them once and bring the copies to front, then replace the existing color of them with R=38, G=38, B=37. Keep the resulting shapes selected and go to the Effect > Texture > Texturizer… Follow the data as shown in the second image and click OK. Next apply a 10px Feather for the resulting shapes then set them to Blending Mode Color Dodge and reduce the Opacity to 40%.

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

14. Select and group (Ctrl +G) all shapes of the piece of fish in the first place. Likewise, repeat the same process for the remaining two pieces of fish. Now select three newly created groups and set the Blending Mode to Hard Light.

Create the Pieces of Fish

15. We are going to start making highlights on the pieces of fish to give them a more realistic look. First pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a curved path as shown below. Once your path is drawn, fill it with none and add a 3px stroke (apply the linear gradient within stroke), then apply the Width Profile 2 for the resulting path. Next create other curved paths like you see in the third image. Fill these paths with none and add a 3px stroke (R=223, G=204, B=177), then apply the Width Profile 2 for the resulting paths. Now reselect three newly created paths and go to the Effect > Stylize > Feather… Enter a 2px Radius and click OK, then reduce the Opacity of the resulting paths to 50%.

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

16. Now, follow the sequence of images and draw some details similar to the ones from below.

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

17. Select the shape created in the step 8, make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it and bring the copy to front, then replace the existing color of it with new linear gradient like you see in the second image. Next set the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Color Dodge and reduce the Opacity to 20%.

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Pieces of Fish

Create the Lid of the Can

18. Before you continue, select the yellow rounded rectangle and bring it to front. Keep this rounded rectangle selected and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -10px Offset and click OK, then replace the existing stroke color of the new rectangle with green. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the yellow rectangle, then hold down the Shift and click on the green rectangle. Next open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Front button, then fill the resulting object with the linear gradient like you see in the second image.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

19. Before you continue, select the yellow rounded rectangle and bring it to front. Keep this rounded rectangle selected and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -7px Offset and click OK, then replace the existing stroke color of the new rectangle with magenta. Now pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 288 by 340px rectangle. Make sure that the new rectangle is still selected, hold down the Shift, click on the yellow rounded rectangle, release the Shift and then click on the yellow rounded rectangle again (to fixed its position). Next open the Align palette (Window/ Align), click on the Horizontal Align Left button and then click on the Vertical Align Bottom button. Then select the right-bottom anchor point of the green rectangle and move it 116px to the left.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

20. Before you continue, select the green object created in the step 19 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then hide this copy (Ctrl +3). Now select the green object and the magenta rounded rectangle, then open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Front button. Next fill the resulting object with the linear gradient as shown in the third image.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

21. Select the shape created in the step 20 and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -5px Offset and click OK. Next remove the fill of the resulting shape and then add a 1px stroke (R=220, G=201, B=181). Now reselect the shape created in the step 20 again and go to the Effect > Texture > Grain… Follow the data as shown in the second image and then click OK.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

22. Continue with drawing a 390 by 166px rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). Keep the rectangle selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Round Corners… Enter a 45px Radius and click OK. Make sure that the new rectangle is still selected, hold down the Shift, click on the bigger yellow rounded rectangle, release the Shift and then click on the bigger yellow rounded rectangle again (to fixed its position). Next open the Align palette (Window/ Align), click on the Horizontal Align Center button and then click on the Vertical Align Center button. Finally reselect the smaller yellow rectangle and move it 5px down.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

23. Select the smaller yellow rectangle created in the step 22 and go to the Object > Expand Appearance, then go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -10px Offset and click OK. Now reselect two small rectangles and open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder), then click on the Minus Front button.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

24. Press (Ctrl +Alt +3) to show the green object hidden in the step 20 and then bring it to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep the green object selected, hold down the Shift and click on the object created in the step 23, then click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder palette. Next fill the resulting object with the linear gradient like you see in the third image below. At this point your tin can should look like in the fourth image.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

25. Select the yellow rounded rectangle and bring it to front. Next change the stroke weight of this rectangle to 11px and then replace the existing stroke color of it with the linear gradient across stroke.

Create the Lid of the Can

26. Reselect the object created in the step 25 and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -7px Offset and click OK. Next replace the existing stroke color of the new object with R=0, G=0, B=6 and then change the stroke weight of it to 3px. Finally apply a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting object and then hide it behind the object created in the step 25.

Create the Lid of the Can

27. Reselect the object created in the step 25 again and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Next replace the existing stroke color of the new object with R=150, G=66, B=6 and change the stroke weight of it to 3px, then apply a 1px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting object.

Create the Lid of the Can

28. With the Pen Tool (P) create an object and then fill it with the linear gradient as shown in the images below. Make sure that the new shape is still selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data like you see in the third image and click OK. Next make a copy of the shape with shadow effect applied in this step, then open the Appearance palette (Window > Appearance) and click on the Drop Shadow section. In the Drop Shadow dialog box, follow the data as shown in the fourth image and click OK.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

29. Using the Pen Tool (P) create an object as shown below, then fill it with R=155, G=120, B=81 and apply a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting shape. Continue with the Pen Tool (P) create three objects like you see in the third image. Once your objects are drawn, fill two yellow paths with none and add a 2px stroke (R=155, G=120, B=81), then fill the turquoise object with R=247, G=240, B=224. Next select three newly created objects and apply a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for them. Finally reselect and group (Ctrl +G) four objects created in this step.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

30. Select a shape created in the step 28, duplicate it once and bring the copy to front. Keep this copy selected and open the Appearance palette (Window > Appearance), then remove the Drop Shadow section. Make sure that the new shape is still selected, hold down the Shift and click on the group created in the step 29, then go to the Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Ctrl +7).

Create the Lid of the Can

31. With the Pen Tool (P) create a path as shown below. Once your path is drawn, fill it with none and add a 10px stroke (apply the linear gradient across stroke). Make a copy of the newly created path, then change the stroke weight of this copy to 4px and replace the existing stroke color of it with R=200, G=179, B=156. Next apply a 2px Feather effect for the resulting path and move it 1px up, then move it 2px to the right. Finally select two paths created in this step and hide them behind the object created in the step 30.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

32. To give a more realistic look I’m going to be adding a shadow for the two paths created in the step 31. Now select a path created in the step 31, make a copy of it and then bring this copy to front. Next replace the existing stroke color of the copy with R=0, G=0, B=0. Next select the bottom anchor point of the resulting path and remove it. Then apply a 5px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting path and send it to back.

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Lid of the Can

Create the Background

33. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 940 by 767px rectangle. Next fill this rectangle with the radial gradient as shown below. Finally place all objects of the tin can into the newly created background.

Create the Background

Create the Background

34. Select the shape created in the step 3, duplicate it once and bring the copy to front. Remove the fill of the copy and add a 1px stroke (yellow color). Now select two anchor points highlighted with black and click on the "Cut path at selected anchor points" button from the Properties bar. This make the object becomes two paths. Select and remove the upper path. Now select the remaining path, replace the existing stroke color of it with R=0, G=0, B=0 and change the stroke weight to 2px. Next apply the Width Profile 1 and a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting path, then send it to back.

Create the Background

Create the Background

35. Select the shape created in the step 3 again and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data as shown below and click OK. We are done with the tin can for the moment.

Create the Background

Create the Background

Final Result

Here is what the completed design looks like. Hope you enjoy this tutorial.

Congratulations! You have completed the lesson. I hope you’ve discovered some useful things in this tutorial. The final result image is below. Enjoy!

Create an Open Tin Can with Pieces of Fish in Illustrator - Final Result

Conclusion

As difficult as it looks I’m very sure if you follow my tutorial you will find a lot of help using your skills and images to produce your own creation! Ones again Thank you for using our tutorial, we will be very happy to answer any questions that you may have, You can simply leave a feedback and or a comment below.

Download Result Source Files

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One Comment

  1. This was fun, thanks for the tutorial. Very awesome, I am not sure when I will need this but you never know. haha.

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