Create A Nautical Buoy
written by: ryan coughlin
I have been seeing the circular buoys on various stock photo sites while I was trying to get some ideas on what to design, I finally tried making a stab at it and in the long run, it was not half bad. So lets get cracking, fire up Illustrator and set up a new document.
1. We are going to start by drawing a circle with the Eclipse Tool (l) and create an even circle by holding the Shift Key. Then copy and paste that shape on top by pressing CMD+C then CMD+F to paste in front, then change the top layer to white and shrink it a bit so it looks like the following image (RGB:240,70,35) – Drag this to create a swatch in your palette, it will make it easier to access later:
3. Now that we have the outline of the shape that we need to make the sections that go around the floatie. We will do this by creating triangles and copying them four times. I made the color green for it will be easier once we lay it over the circle, we will change it later. Create a rectangle and then bring it each of the top left and right points to create:
5. Now we need to make this one shape, we can achieve this by using the Pathfinder -> Add To Shape Area. Then Expand the selection. The four objects should now be joined as one.
7. Now lets hide those edges and wrap this tutorial up. Now we can start to change the color of the orange circle. Create this gradient.
Then apply the gradient above to the orange outer circle and set the cross to the orange we previously used (Remember we created a swatch for it!) Now you should have something like:
8. Now create a copy of the outer circle by pressing CMD+C and we are now going to use the Pathfinder to generate the sections of the floatie. Select both objects and go Pathfinder -> Intersect. Now paste the object in front by pressing CMD+F and send it to the back by pressing SHIFT+CMD+[.
9. Finally, we are getting there, one more quick step! Create a stroke on the outer cirlce, I used: 1PT Oval with 40% black as the color. Then lets create some gradients for the orange sections, the inner will be the orange we see now and the outer will be a tad lighter.
You are going to need to click inside and set the gradient for each. Then adjust the degrees for the gradient:
- Top: 90
- Left: -180
- Bottom: -90
- Right: 0
That should result in the following image:
Boom! There you have it, how to create a nautical buoy. You can build off this and work in rope and other knots, give it a shot. So what do you think? Have any questions? Post them. Enjoy