Create a Sprinkled Donut Icon in Illustrator and Photoshop

January 17, 2013 by in category Illustrator, Photoshop, Tutorials with 1 and 0
In this Tutorial, We’ll create a Sprinkled Donut Icon in Illustrator and Photoshop creating brushes, patterns and using a lot of layer styles.

A few weeks ago I created a pattern with sprinkles, I thought it could be nice to add them on a donut icon. this tutorial will be in 2 parts, first creating the donut and sprinkles in Illustrator then adding some nice shading and highlights in Photoshop.


Part 1 – Illustrator

Step 1 – Donut Icing Brush

Create a new document in Illustrator, mine is 500x500px, select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a black horizontal stripe in the centre of the canvas, with a height of about 75px.

Let’s make this stripe less perfect, select the Warp Tool (Shift+R) and click on the canvas to open the options, enter those parameters then modify the stripe.

The icing on donuts is never perfect so let’s add some drops on the top of the stripe using the Pen Tool (P). when you’re done select all the shapes (stripe+drops) and group them, Object – Group. Then change the colour of the shape to pink, #F39AAC.

We’re going to use those shapes to create a brush, make sure the Brushes Panel is open, Window – Brushes, select the group of shapes we just create and drag it into the brush panel, select Art Brush and enter those parameters. we’ll use this brush later in the tutorial.

Step 2 – Donut

Now the icing brush is done, let’s create the donut itself, select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create a 190x190px perfect circle (hold Shift while creating it) with a 90px black stroke and expand this shape, Object – Expand.

Select the Warp Tool (Shift+R) again, change the parameters to those below and modify the shape clicking and dragging around it.

Let’s add some colour to this donut, apply a Radial Gradient to it using different light beige colours.

Create an other perfect circle in the centre of canvas using the Ellipse Tool (U) with no fill or stroke. Select the brush we created in Step 1 and now we have a circle icing. Expand this shape, Object – Expand.

To add some highlight on the icing, let’s add a radial Gradient with a some pink and white tone colours.

Duplicate the Icing circle shape, make sure the duplicated shape is selected, go to Effect – Effect Gallery, in the Effect Gallery go to Artistic – Plastic Wrap and enter those parameters and change the Opacity of this shape to 10%.

Step 3 – Highlights

Select the Pen Tool (P) and create a few curves on the drops on the icing with a 1px white stroke, when you’re done select all those curves, group them, Object – Group and change the opacity of the group to 50%.

Step 4 – Sprinkles Pattern Part 1

Let’s now create the sprinkles, we’ll create a pattern so you can add more or less and change the size easily. Hide all the shapes we created and select the Ellipse Tool, create two similar circles on the canvas one on each side.

Select the Rectangle Tool and create a stripe going from a circle to the other.

Select all those three shapes and unite them using the Unite option in the Pathfinder, Window – Pathfinder.

Make sure this new shape is selected, go to Object – Path – Simplify with a 50% Curve Precision.

Now just go crazy and duplicate this shape about 50 times, rotate the shape and place them on the whole canvas. before creating the pattern make sure to place the same shape on each corners and if you placed a shape on the right border, the same shape must be on the left border same for the top and bottom borders.

Step 5 – Sprinkles Pattern Part 2

Now the shapes of the sprinkles are placed on the canvas, add some nice colours on those shapes. when you’re done select all the sprinkles shapes and group them, Object – Group. Duplicate this group, change the colour of the sprinkles in the new group to black, place it behind the original group, move the black shapes a little down and change the opacity of the group to 20%.

Select the Blob Brush Tool (Shift+B) and with white paint a few highlight on those sprinkles.

Before creating the pattern, create a square on the whole canvas without stroke or fill and place it behind all the sprinkles shapes, this will set the boundaries of the pattern. When that’s done, select this square shape with all the sprinkles shapes, shadow and highlights we created in Step 4 and 5 and drag them into the Swatches panel.

Now the donut is done and we have our sprinkles pattern, let’s jump into Photoshop to give more details to this icon. Make sure to save your Illustrator file.

Part 2 – Photoshop

Step 6 – Donut Highlights

Create a new document in Photoshop, mine is 1000x1000px. Fill the Background layer in white. Go back to Illustrator, select the Donut Shape (the one with the light beige gradient), copy this shape, Edit – Copy, then go back to Photoshop and Paste it.

Let’s add some nice Layer Styles on this shape, double click on the donut layer or go to Layer – Layer Style, apply those parameters:

Step 7 – Icing Highlights

Go back to Illustrator, select the Icing Shapes (the one with the pink colours gradient), the same shape but with the Plastic Warp effect and the curve highlights group, copy those shapes, Edit – Copy, then go back to Photoshop and Paste them.

Add some Layer Styles on this shape with those parameters, try to play with the parameters, you could have a nice result.

Step 8 – Sprinkles

Go back to Illustrator, Create a new square shape using the Rectangle Tool, about 1000x1000px and apply the sprinkles pattern on it. Copy this square shape with the sprinkles on it, go back to your Photoshop document and paste those sprinkles.

Create a Layer Mask on the Sprinkles Pattern layer, and with the Brush Tool (B), a Rounded Brush and black for the colour, paint on the layer mask to hide the sprinkles around the donut.

Here’s an other example of the donut with different sprinkles, you can find both Sprinkles Patterns in a Free Pack here: Free Sprinkles Illustrator Patterns Pack

I hope You enjoyed this Tutorial, the Brush Tool and Patterns can be very useful is Illustrator. This tutorial is just an example on how to use those tools. Feel free to leave a comment and also share you yummy creations.


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