# How to Create A Realistic Chef’s Knife in Illustrator

If you love cooking, then this tutorial is just for you! Learn how to create a realistic chef’s knife by using simple paths and gradients. We’ll use relatively easy techniques to give an object volume, control the lighting, and make it look super sharp. Let’s get started!

### Final Image Preview

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#### Tutorial Details

• Difficulty: Easy
• Estimated Completion Time: 30 minutes

### Step 1

We want to create a chef’s knife in perspective view to incorporate in an illustrated recipe. First read up what Wikipedia has to say about this type of knife. Now fire up Illustrator, hit Command + N to create a new document and choose A4 with landscape orientation. Imagine a big chef’s knife lying on the cutting board at an angle, then draw the following shape using the Pen Tool (P).

### Step 2

That will be the blade. Make sure it’s a closed shape. Get rid of the black stroke and fill it with a soft medium-to-light gray gradient, making sure it’s aligned with the blade so the tip will be lighter. From now on let’s assume that the light comes from the left so the right side will be darker.

### Step 3

Let’s draw the cutting edge. With the blade selected copy it (Command + C) and paste it in front (Command + F). With the Direct Selection Tool (A) slide the bottom right vertex close to the edge, then reshape the edge’s curve by manipulating the handles of the top left vertex. You should get a thin shape as shown.

### Step 4

Shade the cutting edge with a Linear Gradient from medium gray (top) to white (bottom) – nice and shiny!

### Step 5

Draw two arched rectangles across the blade to simulate reflections. Always use Smart Guides (Command + U) to make sure the anchor points snap to the paths. Make the bottom vertices to overlap the cutting edge a little.

### Step 6

Shade the reflections with standard, white to black gradients aligned with their direction. The manipulator in the next image, available only in Illustrator CS4, shows you the gradient’s direction.

If you have an older version of Illustrator just grab the Gradient Tool (G) from the toolbar, then click and drag on the object to orient the fill. We want to make the reflections fade as they recede from view so put the black color on top. Now in the Transparency panel, select the Screen blending mode from the pull-down menu and reduce the Opacity to 60%.

### Step 7

Draw the bolster now. Make the right part stand out from the blade’s profile, but snap the left anchor points to the cutting edge, so the bolster will look thicker at the top and tapered down at the bottom.

### Step 8

Shade the bolster with a linear gradient. Always maintain consistency with the light’s direction by applying the lighter shade to the left side.

### Step 9

Add thickness to the bolster by drawing the following shape. Again use Smart Guides for precision.

### Step 10

Fill this shape using a gradient with three shades to emphasize the curve.

### Step 11

Draw the top of the handle with a single closed path.

### Step 12

Fill it with a very dark gradient and make sure the left edge is slightly brighter. For the orientation refer to the following image.

### Step 13

Create a copy of this object, right-click on it and select Arrange > Send to Back, or use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + Left Bracket key. Then move it down and snap it to the bottom of the bolster’s thickness.

### Step 14

Erase the topmost anchor point then draw vertical connection lines:

### Step 15

Now grab the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the bottom curve where the vertical connection line touches it (15a). Erase the little path that sticks out (15b). Now with the Direct Selection tool (A), draw a window around the new anchor point. Hit J to Join the two paths, choosing the Smooth option (15c).

### Step 16

Join the leftmost segments as in the following image.

### Step 17

Duplicate the top curve and hide it. We’ll combine its copy with the bottom curve to create the side of the handle. Lock the middle connection line, then use the Scissors Tool (C) to cut both the top and bottom curves where they intersect with it. When you’re done, erase the S-shaped segment between the two curves. Refer to the image below.

### Step 18

Join the new paths to create two shapes for the side of the handle. Follow the instructions in the next image.

### Step 19

Let’s shade the side of the handle. Again use gradients that help define the shape, remaining consistent with the light’s direction.

### Step 20

Create the tang of the blade, the thin metal strip enclosed in the handle, by copying (Command + C) and pasting in front (Command + F) the two side shapes.

Lock the original shapes to avoid selecting them. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), move the top anchor points down and the bottom points up, effectively creating a thin, centered slice of the side shapes. Shade the tang with light gray gradients, simulating both the rounded shape and the reflections.

### Step 21

Create the handle’s rivets with three simple ellipses. Align and position them correctly by using a perspective guide. Make them bigger as they get closer. Shade them with linear gradients from white to light gray to simulate subtle ambient reflections. Our chef’s knife is now finished!

### Conclusion

Even if you don’t possess advanced Illustrator skills you can still create realistic objects by paying attention to volume, perspective and shading. I hope this tutorial inspired you and made you hungry for more!

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• massafakka

ups first thx :)

thx for the tut… i love it and ill definately try it out…

nice…

• http://www.milk-clothes.com Cam

just guessing…wouldn’t you skip several steps if you would use the 3D effect on the handle and then expand it…anyways grate tutorials you guys always help me so much!

• http://simon.vansintjan.org Simon

Not necessarily realistic (maybe it’s a bit too clean, hah), but definitely pretty.

Let’s say it’s a newly purchased knife.

Thanks, there are some handy tips here.

• buzz

pretty sweet, I like it. Simple, clean, nice idea. Perhaps I will try this. I liked the wacom tablet which i did and learned a few new things.

• matek kowe

HOHOHOHOHO….

• chuck

• http://www.behance.net/Modisana Modisana

that is awesome.. love the process.. great tutorial

• http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ Oliver

Another great tutorial and very easy to follow. I will have to try this tutorial as well as I already did the wacom tablet one, which taught me some new techniques. Thanks for this.

• Jon

I think I’ll take a stab at it…. ba dum dum.

• http://www.seventhfury.com Matthew Johnson

Great work, this is a nice and quick tutorial that pays off well.

• bill

• http://www.cutelittlefactory.com Andrea Austoni

Bill,

for Step 15:

Lock the vertical straight line.
With Smart Guides active grab the Scissors Tool and click on the point circled in 15a. The curved line will be split at that point.
Select and erase the top segment as in 15b.
Now unlock the vertical straight line.
Window-select the point you clicked on. There 2 points there on top of each other . Hit Ctrl+J to join them, choosing the Smooth option (15c).

Is that clear enough?

• bill

Andrea Austoni, all clear, thx tut and answer.

• http://www.dsaportfolio.com.br Diego SA

The realism gonna make this knife pop up from the monitor and stab something… or someone. Kidding. A texture would make this knife looks even more awesome! But nice tutorial.

• http://spotdex.com David Moreen

This tutorial is great, you lost me at Step 15 though.

• Jeff S

Step 15 was not clear enough, but got it working after your response. Nice tutorial!

• http://www.nelutu.info nelutu

thanks for tutorial

• http://www.awalkinmyshoes.com Melody

Very nice, clean, vector image….liked the angle you made it at…

• Kim

I had a lot of trouble with steps 15 – 18, I don’t get a dialogue box when I press command J

• Foi

I am having problems with the erasing part.
Help! anyone?

• http://www.berndartmueller.at Bernd Artmüller

pls can somebody explain step 15 and following..they are really confusing

• jared

same here step 15 totally flew over my head.

• http://andhiirawan.net Andhi Irawan

just one word : amazing!
thanks for the tut
great job!

• bemnet

it is a titorial that is simple but help full
thank’s

• Greg

Nice Tutorial. You lost me at line 14 in similar manner with another tutorial at another site.

Suggestion: Keep your figures with your text even when broken down. Stacking them causes some people to have to look back up, look at figure further down the stack like read 15 and then jump back down to 15b or 15c.

I’m going to read your reply to someone earlier to figure it out I hope, because it is critical to continue from that point on. I have to determine if the wording in step 14 is a summary of what is to follow and then followed by steps OR and actual action item.

Still a good tutorial and hopefully you will understand my suggestions and why. Some of us are not that good with the application so we might not understand what appears simple to you.

Thanks again and I hope to find more.
I really want to get up to speed with the various functionalities to possible create my own as well as become very naturally productive with the Illustrator.

• Greg

Ok. I figured it out, but I did it in a different order. I made the vertical lines first. I didn’t do anything to a topmost anchor point, which was no pointed out.
Then I cut away the hidden line underneath.
Then I joined the segments.

So I’m okay now. Great tutorial!
Tutorials like this I’m sure everyone will agree really helps us to understand how Illustrator works.

Thanks again!

• http://www.welogodesigner.co.uk/ welogodesigner

real good tut. what a realistic knife finish at the end. Cool!