Create a Flat Notebook Illustration

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple notebook illustration using Graphic's tools and effects.

Step 1

For this tutorial we'll create a new 600 x 600 pixel document. Choose File > New (Command + N) to bring up the New Document pane. Select the Grid document style, set the document units to pixels, and set the document dimensions to 600 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.

Next, we'll set up the document grid. Switch to the Grid pane in the Properties pane. If the Properties pane is not currently visible, you can click on the orange ruler icon above the Layers pane to show and hide the pane. Change the grid X Spacing and Y Spacing to 5px, set the Subdivisions to 0px, and enable Snap to Grid (Command + Shift + ').

Step 2

Focus on the Toolbar and you will notice that by default your fill color is set at white while the stroke color is set at black. Simply click on the fill color and replace the existing color code with R=65 G=85 B=115 then click on the stroke color and drag the Alpha slider at 0% which will simply make it invisible. Pick the Round Rectangle Tool (Shift + M), focus on the Titlebar and set the Corner Radius at 5px. Move to your canvas and simply create a 155 x 195px shape. The grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

Step 3

Set the fill color at black (R=0 G=0 B=0) and grab the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 5 x 195px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image. Using the Move Tool (V), select this new rectangle along with your rounded rectangle, focus on the Properties pane, activate the Path Tools section and click the Subtract button.

Step 4

Make sure that your shape stays selected, focus on the top side of the Layers pane and simply click on that blue, info icon to open the Appearance pane. Activate the Effects section and select the existing stroke. Set the Width at 1pt and the Position at Inside then simply click on the color box that stands for your stroke and set it at R=59 G=80 B=110.

Step 5

Make sure that your shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and simply check the little box that stands for the existing Drop Shadow. Enter 1 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes then click the color box and set it at R=45 G=65 B=95.

Step 6

Make sure that your shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a second Drop Shadow using the plus button from the bottom, left corner of the pane. Enter 2 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes then click the color box, set it at R=34 G=54 B=85 and drag the Alpha slider at 15%.

Step 7

Make sure that your shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a third Drop Shadow using that same plus button. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 8

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 145 x 185px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that it stays selected and focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane. Focus on the Fill and select Linear Gradient from the Type drop-down menu. Set the angle at 0 degrees then move to the gradient sliders. Select the left one and set its color at R=245 G=245 B=242 then select the right one and se its color at R=235 G=235 B=232. Keep focusing on the Appearance pane, simply right click on one of the existing effects and click Remove. Use the same technique to remove the stroke and the other effects. This is not something that will change the look of your shape, but it will help you keep the effects to come a bit more organised.

Step 9

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a Drop Shadow using that same plus button. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 10

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a second Drop Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 11

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a third Drop Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 12

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add an Inner Shadow using that same plus button. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 13

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a second Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 14

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a third Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 15

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a fourth Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 16

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a fifth Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 17

Make sure that the rectangle filled with the linear gradient stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and add a sixth Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 18

Grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool (Shift + M), focus on the Titlebar and set the Corner Radius at 1px. Focus on the top, right corner of the existing shapes, create a 5px rounded square, set the fill color at R=65 G=85 B=115 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Move Tool (V), hod the Alt button from your keyboard, simply click on your rounded square and drag it 10px down as shown in the second image. Make sure that your newly created copy is still selected and simply hit Command + D to easily create another copy. Repeat this technique until you get the column of squares show in the third image. Once you're done, select all these squares, focus on the Path Tools section from the Properties pane and click the Make Compound Path button. This will turn your set of squares into a simple compound path that you can easily select/move whenever you wish.

Step 19

Make sure that your compound path is still selected, focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane, activate the existing Drop Shadow and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 20

Make sure that your compound path is still selected, keep focusing on the Effects section from the Appearance pane, activate the existing Inner Shadow and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 21

Using the Pen Tool (P), create a 110px, horizontal path and place it as shown in the following image. Holding the Shift button will make it a lot easier for you to create a perfectly horizontal path. Make sure that this new path stays selected and focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Make sure that there is no color set for the fill then select the stroke. Drag the Width slider at 1pt and set the color at R=31 G=120 B=181.

Step 22

Keep focusing on your horizontal path as you will understand what's the use of that Align stroke to pixel grid option from the Preferences pane. First, go to iDraw > Preferences (or hit Command + , ) to open the Preferences pane and simply uncheck that box. Next, go to View > Show Pixels (Alt + Command + P) and notice how your horizontal, blue path gets a bit pixelated. The Align stroke to pixel grid options, simply makes sure that all your shapes, new or already created, snap to the pixel grid which leads to solid, straight edges. So, return to the Preferences pane (Command + , ) and recheck the Align strokes to pixel grid box. Also, don't forget to disable the Snow Pixels option (Alt + Command + P) because you won't need it anymore.

Step 23

Duplicate your horizontal path and drag the copy 10px down then use that same Command + D shortcut to add a bunch of new copies as shown in the first image. Once you're done, select all your horizontal paths and turn them into a new compound path. Simply focus on the Path Tools section from the Properties pane and click the Make Compound Path button. Make sure that this new compound path is selected, focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane and drag the Opacity slider at 30%.

Step 24

Using the Pen Tool (P), create a 170px, vertical path and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this path stays selected and focus on the Effect section from the Appearance pane. Drag the Opacity slider to 50%, make sure that there is no color set for the fill then select the stroke. Set the Width at 1pt and the color at R=255 G=85 B=84.

Step 25

Using the Move Tool (V), select all the shapes made so far and simply hit Command + G to Group them. Select this new group and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + Shift + V). Focus on the Layers pane, make sure that only your group copy is selected and go to Modify > Rotate and Transform > Flip Horizontal. Next, you will need a grid every 1px. This simply means that you need to return to the Grid section of your Properties pane and enter "1px" in both Spacing boxes. Reselect your group copy, drag it to the right while holding the Shift button and make sure that you leave a 3px gap between your two groups. Once again, the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

Step 26

Focus on the Layers pane and open your group copy. Select the rectangle filled with the linear gradient and focus on the Effects section from the Appearance pane. Select the existing Inner Shadow effects one by one and simply inverse the existing Y Offset attributes.

Step 27

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 600px square and set its fill color at R=169 G=198 B=217. Make sure that this new shape covers your entire canvas then simply hit Shift + Command + [ to send it to back.

Step 28

Focus on the top rounded squares and grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool (Shift + M). Create a 21 x 1px shape, set the fill color at R=45 G=45 B=50 and place it as shown in the first image. Duplicate this thin new, rounded rectangle, select the copy and drag it 2px down as shown in the second image. Reselect both shapes made in this step and simply turn them into a new compound path. Select this new compound path and drag it 10px down. Once again, use that Command + D keyboard shortcut to create a bunch of new copies of this dark compound path as shown in the third image. Once you're done, select all the shapes made in this step and turn them into one compound path.

Step 29

Make sure that the compound path made in the previous step stays selected and focus on the Effects section from the Appearance panel. Activate the existing Drop Shadow effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Finished Design

Congratulations, you've finished the tutorial!

iDraw File:
FlatNotebook.idraw