Draw a Glowing, Vector Pocket Watch – Front and Back

Tutorial Details
• Program: Illustrator CS-CS3
• Difficulty: Intermediate
• Estimated Completion Time: 3 - 4 hours

Final Product What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial you will learn how to draw the front and the back side of a pocket watch from scratch. This tutorial is detailed and by the end you will know how to draw all kinds of shapes, like cog-wheels and small screws. You’ll learn to create the scatter brushes used for the designs on the watch and how to use some of the existing patterns and gradients in Illustrator’s library to your advantage.

Step 1

Open a new web document. Take the Ellipse Tool and draw an oval shape, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Make three more ovals like below, all with a 0,5 pt Stroke.

Draw two more ovals, select them both, then go to the Pathfinder Panel and click Subtract from the shape area to obtain the empty area on the lid where the glass will be. Now take the Pen Tool and draw the shape below for the bottom of the watch, or draw a large circle and just delete the upper point, then send this shape to back.

Step 2

Use gold gradients for each of the shapes by just changing the angle to get more reflections. You can use the gold gradients from the Swatches Library or create your own by replacing one of the colors from it with a different yellow tone like the one in the next image.

Now go to Object > Expand and expand the 0,5 pt Stroke (mentioned above) for each of the ovals. Then fill them with a gold gradient as well. The shape drawn as the screen is filled with a radial gradient from this color R=248, G=247, and B=244) to R=240, G=228, and B=203.

Step 3

Select the bigger oval used to make the lid, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path and make the oval that you see below somewhere in the middle. If you do not have copies of the original ovals used above, select the lid, Copy and Paste in front, go to Object > Compound Path > Release and just delete the fill to obtain the paths. Keep in mind, we will need these ovals later.

Now Copy and Paste in Front the lid shape, select both the copied lid and the oval you just made (that should be on top) and go to Pathfinder Panel > Subtract From Shape Area > Expand to obtain the second shape below. Change the fill to another gold gradient and send it behind the original lid shape.

Step 4

Draw the shapes from the next image. For the smaller oval you can use again Offset Path then select both ovals and go to Pathfinder/Subtract from shape area/Expand. Fill all the shapes with gold gradients, then Copy and Paste in back the ring shape, move it a bit down and to the left then change the yellow tones from the gradient with a light brown to obtain a bit of depth.

Step 5

Draw one more oval, then use Offset Path to make the rest of them using values like: -1 px and -2 px. Repeat the same steps, always selecting the last shape to make the next one. For each one drag (using the Direct Selection Tool) the upper and the lower points to fit the first oval as shown. Also change the angle for the gradients as you go to obtain different reflections. When you are done and you can’t make any more shapes, group them and place them behind the ring.

Next, rotate the group of shapes and place them behind the watch as shown.

Step 6

I made some personalized letters to indicate the hours. Choose a font that you like and using the Type Tool, then write the "I" letter and Expand it.

Now draw a small square, go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners, then select both and click Horizontal Align Center, and Vertical Align Center from the Align Panel. Now click Add To Shape Area and Expand from the Pathfinder Panel.

Now we’ll make another white square and apply Round Corners. Select the shapes, align them again and click Subtract From Shape Area, and Expand to create the empty space there in the middle. Now compose the rest of the hours as shown.

Step 7

Select the screen oval done at the beginning, copy and paste it, delete the fill and just give it a 0,5 pt Stroke. Then go to Object > Path > Offset Path, and set the Offset value to -1px or -2px depending on your oval size to obtain the first bigger oval that you see below. To make the smaller one inside, set the offset value to -3px, which will give us the size of the divisions later.

Next take the Line Segment Tool, select a 0,5 pt stroke and draw a line to follow the 12 o’clock direction, mine is the red line in the image. Select the line, go to Object > Transform > Transform Each and Rotate 6 degrees, then just press Command + D to repeat until you cover the entire oval.

Now select the bigger oval and all the lines (make sure the oval is on top of the lines, if not go to Object > Arrange > Bring To Front), then go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make then Object > Expand. Now click Divide from the Pathfinder Panel and Ungroup to obtain the third shape in the image below. But we will end up with some extra empty shapes (see the red selected one) that must all be deleted before we go on. Next make sure the smaller oval made earlier is on top of the lines, select both and click Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas and Expand from the Pathfinder Panel, then Divide and Ungroup again.

Now start deleting all the extra shapes (see the blue selected one) and you will end up with just the divisions that you need. Also give a 1 pt stroke to the divisions corresponding with the hours to make them more obvious, and let the minutes just be a black fill.

Step 8

To draw the hour-hands take the Rectangle Tool and draw a long rectangle as below. Next use the Polygon Tool to draw a triangle, flip it vertically and use the Direct Selection Tool to drag the lower point down. Next draw the tip of the hour-hands and place them all as you see below. I personalized them also to make them look like the hours, so follow Step 6 and do the same.

Step 9

Now place the divisions on top of the screen, then select only the ones that are on top of the lid, group them and send them behind it. Now rotate and place the hours and the hand-hours under a small circle in the middle of the screen. At this step my clock looks like the following image.

Step 10

Use the original bigger oval from the lid again and make the three ones from below using Offset Path, then do the same with the smaller one. Save some copies of these ovals because we will need them again later.

Expand them all and fill them with a gold gradient then set the Blending mode to Hard Light only for the three smaller ones. The colors I used for the gradient are: (R=195, G=146, and B=46), (R=255, G=251, and B=204), (R=193, G=144, and B=46), (R=236, G=212, and B=134) and (R=255, G=249, and B=202). Copy the lid shape and Paste in front, select both the pasted lid and all the ovals just made, and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

Step 11

Now select the smaller oval from the lid and the smaller oval from the ones that I mentioned to save above (see the image), then Copy and Paste both of them in front. Now click Exclude Overlapping shape areas and Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Go to Swatches Library > Patterns > Decorative > Decorative_Geometric 1 and choose Diamond Spirals Color to fill the shape, set the mode to Soft Light, and lower the Opacity to 60%.

Step 12

Take the Spiral Tool and draw a spiral, then stroke it with the brush from the image below found in the Brush Libraries. Copy and paste once more, flip it vertically, and place it as shown. Now draw the other shapes using the Pen Tool. Group them all and drag them into the Brushes Panel, and select New Scatter Brush. Draw a small black circle and drag it into the Brushes Panel also because we will need it later.

Step 13

Draw an oval and place it like below, then stroke it using the Scatter Brush we just made, and set the values as in the image. Then go to Object > Expand, fill the group of shapes with a gold gradient, set the mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 30%.

Do the same, but use the small black circle Scatter Brush from Step 12. The pocket watch looks like this now:

Step 14

To make the glass on the lid Copy and Paste In Front the smaller oval used to make the lid at the beginning, fill it with a linear gradient from gray to white, and reduce the Opacity to 40%.

Step 15

To add more glow, use the Pen Tool to draw the shape from the next image, fill it with a linear gradient from a light yellow to white, add a 1,4 px Gaussian Blur, set the mode to Screen and lower the Opacity to 60%.

Step 16

Copy and Paste In Front the oval made at the beginning of the tutorial, fill it with the same pattern used earlier, which is Diamond Spirals Color, and set the Blending mode to Soft Light.

Step 17

Now Copy and Paste In Front the screen shape and the divisions, then use the Scale Tool to make them smaller like below. Also Copy and Paste one of the hour-hands, make it smaller and then place 60, 15, 30 and 45 as seconds instead of the hours. Also Copy and Paste In Back the first two hour-hands, move them a bit down, give them a 1 px Gaussian Blur and reduce the Opacity to 20%.

We are done with the first part of the tutorial. Here is how the front side of the pocket watch should look like at this point:

Step 18

To make the back side of the watch, draw ovals just like for the front side, and fill them with the same gold gradient, also do the same with the 0,5 pt Stroke like at the beginning. Copy and Paste the ring group and place it behind the ovals as shown. Here is the outline view of what you will draw until the end.

Step 19

Take the Pen Tool and draw the red shape that you see in the image below. Don’t worry about the edges because you will make a clipping mask later using the circle to fit inside the watch.

Next draw the green shape, then Copy and Paste In Front (we will need the original shape again later). Select both the green shape and the circle, then click Subtract From Shape Area and Expand to obtain the second green shape below.

Draw the black circles, select them both (make sure the smaller circle is on top of the other) and click Subtract From Shape Area and Expand to create the selected shape in the image. Also, always save copies of every shape and circle you make because you will need them again later to create other shapes.

Now draw the shape shown, and use the same circle from above, click Subtract From Shape Area and Expand to create the selected shape below.

Step 20

Fill each of the shapes with gold gradients, just change the angle for some of them to not look the same. Also, now it’s the time to make the mask that I talked about earlier. Copy and Paste In Front the inside circle of the watch made at the beginning, the same used above. Select it and the shape that crosses over it and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

Step 21

Take the Ellipse Tool and draw the circles below, and then use Offset Path to make the smaller ones inside. To make the selected shape from the image, select both shapes that I placed in the right to see them bette,r and click Intersect Shape Areas and Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. Next, draw the other shapes using the Ellipse Tool and the Rounded Rectangle Tool, select them both, then click Add To Shape Area and Expand.

Step 22

The gradient I used to fill the shapes is Steel from the Swatches Library, set to Multiply, but you can use any metal gradient that you prefer. Also, the smaller ones on top are filled with a metal gradient, but set to Normal.

Step 23

Take the Ellipse Tool and draw a circle, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path to create the smaller one inside (save a copy of the smaller one because you will need it later). Select them both and click Subtract From Shape Area and Expand to obtain the first shape below. Now use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to draw a rectangle and place it as shown (the upper one from the selected group), then Copy and Paste In Front once more and move it down.

Group the two rectangles, go to Object > Transform > Transform Each and select rotate -20 degrees, then just press Command + D until the circle is covered all around. Ungroup all the rectangles, select them all (without the circle) and again go to Object > Transform > Transform Each and select rotate -20 degrees (see the third shape below).

Now select all the shapes again, including the circle, and click Add To Shape Area and Expand. Next place the smaller circle that I mentioned to save earlier as you see below (the red one), select both and click Subtract From Shape Area and Expand. This is the first type of small cog-wheel that we will use for the watch.

Step 24

Take the Pen Tool and draw the shape below or to make it symmetrical by just drawing half of it, reflect it, and then join the points. Now draw a circle, and then do the same as in Step 23 above, and place two of the shapes as below.

Group them and go to Object > Transform > Transform Each and select rotate 6 degrees, then just press Command + D until you cover the circle all around. After you’re done, select all the shapes and the circle, then click Add To Shape Area and Expand, then fill with a gold gradient.

Step 25

To draw the next type of cog-wheel use the shape made above and draw a smaller circle inside it, then select both and click Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas and Expand.

Step 26

Copy the shape made above again and fill it with a metal gradient, the one I used is Stainless Steel from the Swatches Library. Copy and Paste In Front again and change the angle of the gradient to 90 degrees, then set the mode to Lighten. Group the two shapes.

Step 27

Scale all the small cog-wheels if necessary, and place them as shown.

Step 28

Remember the two circles from Step 19 that I said you will need again? Select them both, and click Subtract From Shape Area and Expand (make sure the smaller circle is on top) to obtain the red shape below.

Now draw a circle, give it a 1,2 pt Stroke and Expand it, then select both shapes and click Intersect Shape Areas and Expand. Fill the shape with a gold gradient and place it like you see in the second row. For the larger gold circle all around the other shapes, draw a circle, give it a 1,3 Stroke, Expand it and then fill it with the same gradient.

Next take the Rounded Rectangle Tool, draw small rectangles and place them like below behind the circle. I wanted to add more texture, so for that take the Ellipse Tool and draw a small circle, go to Swatches Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures, find USGS 8 Sewage Disposal and fill the circle.

Copy and Paste In Front the circle, and from the Transform Panel select rotate 90 degrees to obtain the squares pattern. Group the two circles and lower the Opacity for the group to 20 %.

Place all the shapes made above as shown. Next Copy and Paste In Back one of the circles with the pattern from above, and change the fill to a radial gradient that goes from white to yellow.

Step 29

To draw the next four shapes just follow the image. Draw the shapes that you see and click Add To Shape Area and Expand to make them. To fill them go to Swatches Library > Gradients > Metals and find White Gold.

Step 30

Now place the shapes shown below, and make another clipping mask using the inside circle of the watch like you did before to hide the edges that pass over it. To add some shadows Copy and Paste In Back each of the shapes, move them a bit to the left, fill with black, add a 1,2 px Gaussian Blur and lower the Opacity to 35%.

Step 31

To draw the small screws take the Ellipse Tool and draw some circles, then using Offset Path make the smaller ones inside and with the Rectangle Tool draw the rectangle on top of them. For the last type of screws use three circles, fill the second one with the radial gradient using red tones as shown, and fill the third one with a radial gradient using white and light gray tones. Group all the shapes for each screw, and make more copies, also different sizes (see images from Step 33).

Step 32

Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to draw the rectangle below, then take the Direct Selection Tool and move the points as shown. Fill with a gold gradient, make more copies and place them behind some of the small cog-wheels.

Step 33

Up to this point, the back side of the pocket watch looks like this:

Step 34

For more depth you can add more shadows behind some of the shapes. Select one of the shapes below, Copy and Paste In Back, move it a bit to the left or right depending on the position of the shape you selected, and fill it with black, then add some blur and reduce the Opacity.

Do the same with all the shapes selected in the image. The Gaussian Blur values are between 1px -1,8 px and the Opacity between 25-45% depending on each shape. Also, add shadows behind each of the small cog-wheels in the same way for more depth.

The work is nearly done. The back side of the pocket watch is finished and looks like this:

Step 35

To add more glow, Copy and Paste In Back some parts of the watch. From the front side: the lid, the ring, the bottom and the bigger circle of the body (group them all). From the back side, select the ring and the bigger circle and group them. Then move all these selected shapes into a new layer.

Copy and Paste In Back all these shapes again, change the fill color to black, move them a bit down, then flip the lid vertically and flatten it. Select the entire layer by clicking the circle next to its name and go to Effect > Blur and apply a 3 px Gaussian Blur, then reduce the Opacity to 50% for the entire layer (see the “shadows” layer in the following image).

The Final Image

The work is done! Here is the final image of the pocket watch. Hope you found this tutorial useful and that you learned some new techniques.

Subscribe to the Vectortuts+ RSS Feed to stay up to date with the latest vector tutorials and articles.

• Niels

Awesome tut, very helpfull :D Nice outcome too

• Merineo

WOW!!! Awesome!

• http://icontut nabeel

Nice! Love the inside bit

• http://hbcreativedesign.com Hian Battiston

Great tut!

• http://sexidesign.com Melody

Very cool–I love pocket watches, and have one myself…I like how the final image also has the shadows for the time underneath..

• http://www.mischapiepers.nl Mischa

this has to be one of the best free tutorials I’ve seen. Very detailed and great look. Also some useful techniques. But you make it look so easy while it’s really hard to make from scratch without any example haha

• Sfit

WOW! This is brilliant! That’s the quality I expect from tuts+. Very very nice, and a lot’s of new techniques!

• http://vectorclub.co.cc hitesh

awesome man i will try this

• http://conceptgenius.com lukasz

Very awesome tutorial. look forward to seeing some more.

• Christian

Thanks for this very detailed tutorial! Really helpful! Thanks!

• http://logolitic.com/ logolitic

So many details, big quality very nice explained and new things learned. Thank you!

• http://www.designebookcover.com Designebookcover

it is just look great thanks a lot for the nice tutorial

• http://wieldtheweb.com MIchael

Im on Ebay as we speak salivating over pocket watches. Great tutorial.

• Yogitori

WOW~ Gorgeous!! Thanks for the tutorial!