How to Draw Christmas Presents in the Snow in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a vector Christmas background with a pile of gift boxes!

If you want to skip the tutorial and just use these presents along with some other awesome elements in your work, you can purchase Christmas Gift Boxes in Snow from GraphicRiver!

source image
Christmas Gift Boxes in Snow

1. How to Draw the First Present

Step 1

For our very first step, grab a red (#B33029) rectangle.

Proceed to Effects > Warp > Arc and apply the effect with the following settings:

  • Bend -28%
  • Horizontal 0%
  • Vertical 0%
bend the rectangle

Step 2

Go to Object > Expand Appearance, and modify the shape by bringing its edges up a bit.

Let’s begin using Mesh! Grab the Mesh Tool (U) and create a Mesh Grid like the one in the screenshot below by clicking where the nodes are supposed to be.

Once your Mesh Grid is done, begin coloring it by selecting the indicated column of nodes with the Mesh Tool (U) and changing their color to #F9E5D5.

Continue by coloring the nodes selected in the screenshot below with #D04640.

Finally, color the six nodes on the left edge of the shape with #941F17.

apply mesh

Step 3

Draw the lid of the box using the same technique and these colors:

  1. #D24741
  2. #D45458
  3. #FFE0D0
color the lid with mesh

Step 4

Create the bottom side of the gift box using the Mesh Tool and the following colors:

  1. #B12E27
  2. #FFEFDE
  3. #DD544E
  4. #941F17
  5. #EF8A7E
color the side with mesh

Step 5

Assemble the box out of the three parts we made!

assemble the box

Step 6

Let’s move on to creating the bow!

Create the first element with Mesh and these colors:

  1. #AE2C26
  2. #871910
  3. #3E0600
draw one part of bow

Step 7

Create the second element.

  1. #8F1D15
  2. #FAB7A8
  3. #721107
  4. #150100
draw second part

Step 8

Put both elements together to create the first piece of the bow.

join bow

Step 9

Create another bottom part of the bow with Mesh.

  1. #AB2C25
  2. #7A150B
  3. #120100
use mesh to draw

Step 10

Create the accompanying top part.

  1. #A0241E
  2. #D74F48
  3. #FADCCC
  4. #80170D
  5. #190200
draw more ribbon

Step 11

Again, put the last two parts together.

put together bow part

Step 12

Draw the first half of piece number 3.

  1. #B9352E
  2. #FFF7E6
draw mesh bow

Step 13

Draw another part.

  1. #C13C36
  2. #480700
color mesh bow

Step 14

Put together the third piece.

add mesh together

Step 15

Draw another part of the bow.

  1. #C7413B
  2. #691108
color mesh bow

Step 16

Draw this part out of two shapes, both colored with #C7413B.

  1. #C7413B
  2. #FFF7E6
  3. #4F0800
draw with mesh

Step 17

Join our final two parts together!

join final two parts of the bow

Step 18

Now put together the left half of the bow, as indicated by the numbers.

add four parts together

Step 19

Go to Object > Transform > Reflect, choose the Vertical option, and press Copy to complete the bow.

create full bow

Step 20

Draw a #100000 filled ellipse to serve as a shadow for the base of the bow.

draw black shadow

Step 21

Place it onto the base.

add shadow

Step 22

Add the bow on top of the gift box we drew earlier.

add bow

Step 23

Draw an ellipse filled with a Radial Gradient (#58342D to white) to create another shadow. Use the Multiply transparency mode.

draw shadow

Step 24

Add shadows on the base of the bow and under the box.

place two shadows

Step 25

Let’s create a new color variant of this box!

Proceed to Edit > Edit Colors > Convert to Greyscale.

convert to grayscale

Step 26

Go to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors and tweak the Black in the box by -14%.

change color

Step 27

Finally, return to Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors, only now choosing the RGB mode.

Tick Convert on the top of the window, and set the following parameters:

  • Red: -33%
  • Green: -9%
  • Blue: -9%
color to cyan

2. How to Draw the Second Present

Step 1

Draw the left side of the second gift box’s lid with Mesh.

  1. #D3CFB4
  2. #ABA485
  3. #817756
  4. #F7F5DF
draw side of box with mesh

Step 2

Draw the right part of the lid.

  1. #E8E5CD
  2. #C5BFA4
  3. #F7F5DF
draw another side

Step 3

Draw the left side of the box.

  1. #9E9676
  2. #695F3E
  3. #796F4D
  4. #E8E3CD
bottom of box with mesh

Step 4

Draw the right side of the box.

  1. #CDC8AC
  2. #695F3E
  3. #796F4D
  4. #E8E3CD
side of box

Step 5

Draw the lid.

  1. #F2F1DB
  2. #CFCAB0
  3. #E9E6CF
draw the lid using gradient mesh

Step 6

Put together the second box.

assemble the gift box

Step 7

Recolor a copy of the box with Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors and these settings:

  • Red: -60%
  • Green: -37%
  • Blue: -12%
recolor the christmas present

Step 8

Create another green box out of a copy with Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors:

  • Red: -45%
  • Green: -36%
  • Blue: -34%
color the box green

Step 9

Begin drawing the cyan bow.

  1. #3B7F92
  2. #9DD9CA
  3. #113C33
  4. #236072
draw cyan bow

Step 10

Draw the second element.

  1. #3B7F92
  2. #A0DBCD
  3. #0E3533
  4. #489397
  5. #285F64
draw another bow part

Step 11

Draw the next part.

  1. #1A4F63
  2. #05210B
draw another part

Step 12

Create the next element.

  1. #1E556C
  2. #89CDC4
  3. #27678B
  4. #154549
  5. #53A1AD
draw mesh bow part

Step 13

  1. #1D5268
  2. #7FC4BE
  3. #28698C
  4. #112F3F
Draw mesh ribbon

Step 14

Draw the final part of the bow.

  1. #28667A
  2. #5299A7
  3. #0D3A3F
  4. #66B9C4
mesh final piece

Step 15

Create a shadow for the bow by filling an ellipse with a #0B3330 to white Radial Gradient and Multiply transparency.

add shadow

Step 16

Add all the parts together.

assemble bow

Step 17

Let’s begin drawing the ribbon for the bow!

  1. #286372
  2. #79C5CD
  3. #61A9B6
  4. #0F2A30
draw cyan ribbon

Step 18

Draw the top part of the ribbon.

  1. #3C8395
  2. #153538
  3. #59A3B0
draw mesh ribbon

Step 19

Join these two together!

bring together ribbon

Step 20

Create another element.

  1. #2C6779
  2. #144349
  3. #5EAABA
  4. #93D8DB
draw another mesh

Step 21

Draw the last section of the ribbon.

  1. #5EAABA
  2. #16454C
last mesh piece

Step 22

Draw a pattern for the box.

Use two circles with a #408696 Stroke, which you would then Expand. Create a couple of different versions.

pattern

Step 23

Create a rectangular pattern out of the circles.

create pattern

Step 24

Create two copies of the pattern.

Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort and create a pattern for the side of the box.

free discort

Step 25

Grab the second copy and through Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort, create a pattern for the lid.

free discort

Step 26

Apply the pattern and the bow with the ribbon to the box.

add pattern to box

Step 27

Grab a copy of the pattern, and set it to Multiply and 60% Opacity before applying it to the blue box.

recolor

Step 28

Take another pattern, this time with Screen and 60% Opacity, for the green box.

recolor

Step 29

Recolor the bow and the pattern with Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors:

  • Red: 45%
  • Green: -47%
  • Blue: -41%
change bow to red

Step 30

Arrange the boxes we made into a pile.

create group of presents

3. How to Draw the Third Present

Step 1

Begin drawing the third box.

  1. #778C80
  2. #B6CCBC
  3. #363E2A
  4. #353C28
  5. #5B6B5B
side of the box

Step 2

Draw the lid.

  1. #B2CDBF
  2. #FEF9E7
  3. #95B0A7
lid with mesh

Step 3

Draw the side of the lid.

  1. #8EA59B
  2. #EDEFDE
  3. #708477
  4. #A1BCB3
  5. #515F4F
side of the lid with mesh

Step 4

Assemble the gift box.

put together present

Step 5

Begin drawing a bow.

  1. #90A29A
  2. #102114
  3. #C8D8C2
  4. #637568
bow part

Step 6

Draw the second part.

  1. #55675F
  2. #DBEAD4
  3. #798E87
  4. #D4352C
mesh piece

Step 7

Draw another element with mesh.

  1. #95A79F
  2. #ECFCDF
  3. #091B0F
3rd bow part

Step 8

  1. #8FA299
  2. #516156
  3. #CDDECD
draw with mesh

Step 9

  1. #A7BAB3
  2. #E9FCDD
  3. #75867C
  4. #112216
another part of bow

Step 10

  1. #112317
  2. #53655C
mesh part of bow

Step 11

  1. #7C9884
  2. #E5EDE3
  3. #224029
7th mesh part

Step 12

Draw the eighth element:

  1. #223B29
  2. #46614F

and the final part.

  1. #37513E
  2. #0E2312
  3. #893398
two final parts

Step 13

Assemble the bow!

put together bow

Step 14

Place the bow onto the box.

place bow

Step 15

Recolor a copy of the present into blue by using Edit > Edit Colors > Adjust Colors:

  • Red: -18%
  • Green: -7%
  • Blue: 15%
recolor box

Step 16

Apply Edit > Edit Colors > Saturate with -35% Intensity to get a light blue box.

desaturate box

Step 17

Add these boxes and the boxes made in the first section to the group.

create group

4. How to Draw the Background

Step 1

Draw the background with Mesh:

  1. #6C9F99
  2. #C4D7CA
  3. #99C0B8
  4. #D7E2D2
  5. #3F7D79
color background with mesh

Step 2

Add a drawing of snow.

  1. #EFF4E4
  2. #D1E0D5
draw mesh snow

Step 3

Combine the two.

add snow

Step 4

Place the group of presents on the snow.

Next, draw a rectangle and put it on top of the image. The rectangle should “frame” everything you want to keep in the picture.

Select all the elements, right-click, and choose Make Clipping Mask.

clipping mask

Step 5

To create some falling snow, refer to my older Christmas tutorial! Give it 60% Opacity.

add snow from older tutorial

Step 6

Our picture is finished!

final picture

Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!

What now? You can try any of my other tutorials from my profile, or check out my portfolio on GraphicRiver, as well as the original vector we recreated in this tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I would be super happy to see any results in the comments below!

source picture
Christmas Gift Boxes in Snow