By Diana Toma

Final product image

What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial you will learn how
to create four types of donuts in Adobe Illustrator. We’ll start with the base, which is a classic plain donut, and then we’ll use this one to create the four
variations: chocolate sprinkles, icing with chocolate chips, plain sugar, and strawberry
frosted. The great news is that we will also use the same Scatter Brush to
create all the decorations on the donuts. Let’s get started while they’re
fresh!

1. Start a New Project

Launch Illustrator and go to File > New in order to open a new blank
document. Type a name for your file, set up the dimensions, and then select
Pixels as Units and RGB as Color Mode. Next, go to Edit > Preferences >
General
and set the Keyboard Increment to 1 px and while there, go to Units
& Display Performance
and make sure that the Units are set as shown. I
usually work with these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process.

create new document

2. Create a Basic Donut

Step 1

First, grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an 187 x 187 px ellipse, and then
select a warm brown as the fill color. With the circle still selected, go to
Object > Path > Offset Path and apply a -2 px Offset in order to get a slightly
smaller shape. Fill the new circle with the radial gradient shown, and use the
Gradient Tool (G) to adjust the direction.

create basic donut 1

Step 2

To add some texture on the donut, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a
straight path as in the following image. Then stroke it with an Art Brush called
Chalk from the Brush Libraries Menu > Artistic >
Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil
. Increase the Stroke Weight to 4 pt and change the
color to warm brown. Then select Blending Mode Color Burn and 30% Opacity. Leave
the brush stroke like this for now, and we will mask it later.

add texture to donut

Step 3

Use the Ellipse Tool (L) again to draw a 54 x 54 px circle and arrange
it in the middle of the donut. Select
white as the fill color, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow and
apply the settings shown below. While this circle stays selected, go to the
Appearance panel, select only the Fill attribute and set it to Blending Mode
Multiply
. This way, the white fill becomes transparent but the Outer Glow
effect will still be visible.

create donut hole

Step 4

Now it’s time for the mask. Select the first brown circle and the circle
from the center, and Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F). Set both copies to
Fill-none, Stroke-none, and then bring them in front of everything by going to
Object > Arrange > Bring to Front (Shift-Control-]).

With the two copies
still selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8), and then
select everything on your artboard and go to Object > Clipping Mask >
Make (Control-7)
. The end result is featured in the next image.

Name the resulting group “Basic Donut”. This is what we’ll use to
create the other variations.

create basic donut 2

3. Create the Chocolate Sprinkles Donut

Step 1

Grab the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a shape like in
the next image. Select dark brown as the fill color, and then go to Effect >
Stylize > Inner Glow
and apply the settings shown.

create chocolate on donut 1

Step 2

Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) the chocolate shape, and then move it 3 px
down by pressing the Down Arrow Key on your keyboard three times. Keep the
existing appearances but set the Blending Mode to Overlay and you will get the
shadow.

create chocolate on donut 2

Step 3

Next draw a path as shown below and give it a 7 pt light brown Stroke.
Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a 6 px Radius, and then set this
path to Blending Mode Overlay.

create chocolate on donut 3

Step 4

To add some shine, draw a shape like in the next image and fill it with
the linear gradient shown, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Feather and apply
an 11 px Radius.

add shine on chocolate 1

Step 5

Draw a new similar shape on the bottom right side of the donut and fill
it with a basic black to white linear gradient, but use the Gradient Tool (G) to
adjust the angle. With this shape still selected, apply an 11 px Feather Radius
again, and set to Blending Mode Screen.

add highlight on donut

Step 6

Next, grab the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a few shapes
over the dripping chocolate similar to the ones below. After you are done, fill
them with the linear gradient shown.

add shine on chocolate 2

Step 7

Still using the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N), draw a few smaller
shapes over the ones from the previous step and fill them all with the color
indicated (1). To add more shine, draw a few more shapes and fill them with the
color indicated (2). Draw two more shapes as in the image and fill them with
white, and then set them to Blending Mode Overlay (3). The final result is featured
in the image 4.

add shine on chocolate 3

Step 8

Let’s create a Sprinkles Scatter Brush. First, draw a shape like below
and fill it with a medium gray. Use the Pencil Tool (N) to draw a random shape
at the bottom as a shadow, and use a darker gray as the fill color. Draw a
smaller shape at the top as the highlight, and use a lighter gray this time.

Now
select and drag everything to the Brushes panel, and choose New Scatter Brush.
In the Scatter Brush Options window, leave the settings as they are—just type a
name and change the Colorization Method to Tints and Shades.

create sprinkles scatter brush

Step 9

Grab the Pencil Tool (N) again and draw a few random paths over the
chocolate, and then stroke them with the Sprinkles Scatter Brush saved earlier.
With the paths selected, double click in the Appearance panel on the brush
stroke applied and change the settings in order to spread the sprinkles and to
make them smaller. Also, since the Colorization Method is set to Tints and
Shades
, you can select any stroke color for the paths to create different
colored sprinkles. I chose green, red, blue and pink.

apply sprinkles scatter brush

These are the settings that I’ve used—totally random.

settings for sprinkles scatter brush

Step 10

With the stroked paths still selected, go to the Object menu and choose
Expand Appearance. Now, delete the sprinkles that you don’t need by entering Isolation Mode (double click on one of the sprinkles in the group), and you
are done with the first donut.

sprinkles on chocolate donut

4. Create the Icing and Chocolate Chips Donut

Step 1

First, select and make a copy of the group “Basic Donut”. With the
Ellipse Tool (L)
, draw two circles with the dimensions 168 x 168 px and 74 x
74 px
, and arrange them over the donut as shown in the image below. While the
circles are selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Make
(Control-8)
, and fill the resulting shape with the color indicated. I will name
this the “icing shape”.

create icing on donut 1

Step 2

With the “icing shape” selected, go to Effect > Distort &
Transform > Roughen
, apply the settings from the image below, and hit OK.
Next, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply this effect using the
settings indicated.

create icing on donut 2

Step 3

Make copies of the two “highlight shapes” from the Chocolate Sprinkles Donut, and move them over the new donut in the same place. Select a black to white
linear gradient for both of them, and use the Gradient Tool (G) to adjust the
angle. Set them both to Blending Mode Screen (black becomes transparent). Then
go to Effect > Stylize > Feather and apply a 5 px Radius.

add shine on donut 2

Step 4

Next, grab the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a random path over the donut, and then stroke it with the Sprinkles Scatter Brush. Select brown as the stroke
color, and double click in the Appearance panel on the brush stroke applied in
order to change the settings. This time, also set the Rotation relative to
Path
.

create chocolate chips on donut 1

Step 5

Still having the stroked path selected, go to the Object menu and choose
Expand Appearance. Now, delete all the extra chocolate pieces that you don’t
need and also the path that you used by entering Isolation Mode (double
click on one of the chocolate chips in the group). After you are done, select
the new group of chocolate chips, go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow
and apply the settings shown. At this point the Icing
and Chocolate Chips Donut is ready.

create chocolate chips on donut 2

5. Create the Plain Sugar Donut

Step 1

From the Icing and Chocolate Chips Donut, select the “Basic Donut” group
and also the two “highlight shapes”, and then Copy and Paste (Control-V) them on
your artboard. For the two “highlight shapes”, keep the same appearances but
increase the Feather Radius from 5 px to 9 px.

shine on donut

Step 2

Grab the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a random path over the donut (I used
the previous one again) and stroke it with the Sprinkles Scatter Brush but set
the color to white this time. Open the Stroke Options window from the
Appearance panel and change the settings in order to get really small sprinkles
all over. The numbers were chosen at random.

add sugar on donut 1

Step 3

To add even more sprinkles, Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) the
stroked path, and then select Flip Vertical from the fly-out menu of the Transform
panel.

add sugar on donut 2

Step 4

At this step, we should clean up the extra sprinkles, but they are too
many this time so I decided to use a mask instead. Grab a copy of the compound
path that you have used before to mask the “Basic Donut”, and make sure that
this shape is in front of everything by going to Object > Arrange > Bring
to Front (Shift-Control-])
. Now, select the two stroked paths along with the
compound path (Fill-none, Stroke-none) and go to Object > Clipping Mask >
Make (Control-7)
.

add sugar on donut 3

Step 5

In the Layers panel, locate the mask that you just made and name the
resulting group “Sugar”. Open this group and select the two stroked paths, and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Now enter Isolation Mode and delete
only the two paths that you used from each group, and then Exit Isolation Mode. Next,
go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply the settings shown to both
groups. After that the Sugar Donut is ready.

add sugar on donut 4

6. Create the Strawberry Frosted Donut

Step 1

From the Icing and Chocolate Chips Donut, select the “Basic Donut” group
along with the icing and the two “highlight shapes”, and then Copy and Paste
(Control-V)
them on your artboard. While the “icing shape” is selected, change
the fill color to bright pink, open the Inner Glow window, and change the
color used for the effect. For the two “highlight shapes”, increase the Feather
Radius
to 9 px. Keep everything else the same.

create strawberry frosting

Step 2

Grab the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N) and draw two wavy paths
like in the next image. Set the Stroke Weight to 7 pt and select the Round
Cap
option in the Stroke panel (1). Choose Expand and Ungroup (Shift-Control-G)
from the Object menu in order to turn the two stroked paths into fills.

Use the
Direct Selection Tool (A) to move some of the anchor points to create thicker, uneven areas, because the more natural the better (2). If you don’t have enough
points, you can add more with the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). Next, select the
blue and green shapes, go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8), and fill the resulting compound path with the radial gradient shown (3).

create icing on strawberry donut 1

Step 3

To add some shine, draw a few thinner shapes along the wavy shape and
fill them with white.

create icing on strawberry donut 2

Step 4

To add a shadow, Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) the wavy shape,
change the fill color to pink, and move it 3 px down by pressing the Down Arrow Key
on your keyboard three times.

create icing on strawberry donut 3

7. Create Shadows for the Donuts

Step 1

First make a new layer under the “Donuts” layer and name it “Shadows”.
Now, locate the compound path that you have used to mask the “Basic Donut” in
the Layers panel, and Copy and Paste (Control-V) it in the new layer. Select
brown as the fill color, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and
apply the settings shown below.

add shadow to donut

Step 2

Repeat the previous step for the other three donuts using the same
settings, and you are finished.

donuts with shadow

Congratulations! You’re Done

Let me know if you liked this tutorial and if you learned some new
“delicious” techniques. Feel free to experiment with different colors and
settings to create your own unique donuts. Don’t forget to show me your
re-creations so I can enjoy them.

Are you hungry now?

final donut icons

Read more here:: Yummy! How to Create Delicious Donut Icons in Adobe Illustrator