Final Product What You'll Be Creating
In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a chair icon using gradient mesh, the pathfinder tool and the appearance panel. Don’t let this tut deceive you, with a bit of imagination you can create an entire collection of soft furnishing icons in minutes with a few easy tricks.
Open a new document and select the Rounded Rectangle from the Shape Menu. Create a similar rectangle to the one you see in the image below. You can change the radius when creating a rounded rectangle by using the arrow keys on the keyboard. To make this work, you have to hold down the mouse button while drawing the rectangle on the art board.
Fill the rectangle with a color of your choosing, I’m using red. Duplicate the shapes and using the Direct Selection Tool (D) make the copy taller than the other.
With the Scale Tool (E) taper the bottom of the larger rectangle by holding Command + Shift while scaling the transformation point. This will make the back of the chair.
Select the path points in the smaller shape and with the arrow keys (one side at the time), scale the shape so it looks like the image below. This will be the shape for the bottom part of the chair.
To make the feet, create two rectangles, one with a light brown the other with a darker brown. Make each shape the same height and different width.
Select the lower right path point and with the arrow key (up), move it upwards.
With the point still selected, move it to the left (left arrow key).
Select the shape beside the last shape and move it closer.
Select the lower right point and with the arrow key move it to the left so it aligns with the previous shape’s corner.
Select the left bottom point and move it up so it aligns with the outer right point on the neighboring shape.
The leg looks a bit wide. Select the outer points on the left of the left shape and scale it down by using the right arrow key.
Select the foot shape, group it (Command + G) and mirror it (O + Shift + Option, while moving the mouse).
Copy the two feet and scale them down. Now we have the feet for the chair.
Let’s add some depth to the chair. Select the Mesh Tool (U) and add a mesh line to the bottom shape of the cushions.
Add another mesh line by clicking on the outline of the shape. For now we just want horizontal mesh lines.
Add another mesh line so we have three lines altogether. Then add a vertical mesh line by clicking on the horizontal mesh lines one after the other. With the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the two Mesh Points and give them a light red color.
With the Direct Selection Tool (A), modify the mesh point handles and move them around so the mesh lines are not straight.
Add another vertical mesh line and select the mesh points, apply the same light red as before.
Repeat Step 17 and 18.
Add more mesh lines. Select the outer Mesh Points and color them dark red.
Repeat Step 20 and apply dark red to the bottom Mesh Points.
Select one of the outer Mesh Points on the horizontal Mesh Line and apply a dark red to it. Make sure you select a point that’s surrounded by at least one other line on both sides. We want to achieve a fold effect.
Repeat Step 22.
Your chair should look similar to the one in the picture below.
Repeat the previous steps and apply horizontal and vertical mesh lines, then adjust the handles and select mesh points to recolor them. You can see where I placed the highlights (mesh points with a lighter red). Move the mesh points around to give the chair a puffy cushion look.
Notice the darker mesh points on the sides and one or two in the middle. It doesn’t take many mesh points to achieve a certain look.
Play with the handles. It is up to your interpretation.
This is how the chair should look with the back and the bottom finished.
Create two dark brown rounded rectangles, this will make the frame of the chair.
Place them together, just like in the image below. With the shapes selected, click Unite in the Pathfinder Palette.
Select the middle point of the frame with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and move it with the arrow key to the right. Repeat this with the middle point on the other side.
The shape may be a bit small. Place it behind the chair and scale it up if necessary.
I changed the frame from dark brown to lighter brown and adjusted the width so that it’s sticking out on both sides.
Make a copy of the frame, scale it down and fill it with a linear gradient. Position the colors of the gradient so the left and right side have a light brown and the middle is dark brown.
Place the shape behind the red cushions and on top of the frame. Add a stroke to the shape. The gradient creates the illusion of depth.
Position the feet behind the rest of the shapes.
Create two identical ellipses, fill them with a light gray and apply a feather effect (Effect > Stylize > Feather) of 16pt.
Place the ellipses under the feet, these will make the shadows.
Create an outline from the chair. You can do this by clicking the shapes and adding an offset path of 0pt (Object > Path > Offset Path). This will get rid of the mesh object and leave an outline. You will have to unite them in the Pathfinder Palette. Add a pattern of your liking and set the blending mode to 65% Overlay.
If your pattern is too big, you can scale it down. Double click the Scale Tool in the Tool Bar, check Patterns in the Options section. Then reduce the size.
Place the pattern shape over the chair.
It’s easy to add different patterns and colors, just follow the last few steps in this tutorial with the settings of your choice. You can even try altering this design to make a sofa or pillow icon. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.