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.

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 withR=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 Verticalbox, 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 withR=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 withR=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 10of 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 a10px Feather for the resulting shapes then set them to Blending Mode Color Dodgeand 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 a2px 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 Dodgeand 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 theShift 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.

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