How to create a Friday Banner Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

By Ivan Petrusevski 3 years ago

Friday is possibly the best day of the week. We all are waiting for it with anticipation and joy. Also, Friday can be very inspirational for us, creative people. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a fun Friday themed illustration.

Tutorial details: How to create a fun Friday themed illustration in Adobe Illustrator

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Topics Covered: Tracing a sketch, Pen Tool abilities, Pathfinder abilities, Character design
  • Estimated Completion Time: 50 Minutes

1. Draw a sketch

Step 1

Create a new document. Set the width to 1500 pixels and the height to 790 pixels.


Step 2

We will use only one half of the artboard, do the design on it and then mirror it on the other half. First we will do a sketch at the middle of the artboard. Draw a cup of coffee and write “FRIDAY” over it. You can sketch directly on the art board, or import a scanned sketch.


Step 3

We will need few smaller drawings on the left side of the coffee cup. Try to keep the composition flow going from the cup outwards. I did few objects – an ice cream, a photo camera, a cupcake, a slice of pizza and 3-D glasses.


2. Define a color palette

Before we start, we need to have a vision, an idea of the color palette we are going to use. When it comes to illustration, the colors are sometimes crucial so we should carefully build our palette. I would suggest not more than 6 pastel colors. I chose 3 shades of cold and 3 shades of warm colors.


3. Start tracing the sketch

To build our illustrated elements, we will use mostly the Pen Tool (P). The Pen Tool is one of the best things that ever happened in the digital arts. It allows us to trace any shape we want with high accuracy. It might be difficult to adjust to it at first, but trust me – once you get used to it, you can do wonders.
Select the sketch, drop the opacity to 50% and lock it (Control + 2). This way the sketch will be faintly visible, allowing us to easily trace it.

Step 1 – Text
Let’s start with the text. Start tracing letter by letter. You don’t have to follow the sketch 100% accurately. Just try to get the same or similar line work as the sketch.


Step 2

Once you are done with the outlines, you can switch the stroke for a color. From out already defined color palette, choose 2 shades of blue and apply them on the letters.


Step 3 – Coffee cup

Let’s trace the coffee cup. Start with the bigger parts and leave the details last. Color it beige, with orange and dark blue details.


Step 4 – Ice cream

Let’s trace the ice cream sketch. We can start by tracing the bigger parts and move on to details such as the face and the melting drops. When coloring it, use beige for the face and orange for the frosting.


Step 5 – Photo camera

Again, start tracing the larger parts first – the body, the lens and then move to the details. Color it blue.


Step 6 – Pizza

Pizza anyone? Start tracing the crust. Move on to the salami by drawing few circles. Select them all and merge them by using the Unite command from the Pathfinder’s panel. Also, make a Compound path by selecting them and using the shortcut Control + 8.


Step 7

Copy the triangular dough part, select the circles and paste it in front of them (Control + F). Then select the pasted triangular shape and the circles together and use the Intersect command from the Pathfinder’s panel.


Step 8

Now the salami is perfectly aligned to the dough. Color the pizza in its recognizable colors. If you want to add some more details, add tiny orange circles between the salami.


Step 9 – Cupcake

Moving on to the cupcake drawing. Trace the baking cup and the frosting first. Add face and legs, and finally add the line details on the baking cup. I encourage you to trace freely and not sticking 100% to the original sketch. This way you will feel more relaxed and the illustration will look more natural. Color it.


Step 10 – 3-D Glasses

This one should be easier. Trace the front frame and the temples first, then the two lens. Color the framing blue and one lens in orange, other one in dark blue.


Step 11

Aside from the main objects in our illustration, we will need some details. Let’s draw some old-fashioned stars by combining few lines together. Draw one vertical line shape. Duplicate it 3 times and rotate those parts with a central point of collision. Color them dark blue. Voila, we have a nice old-fashioned star!


Step 12

We left these final details from our sketch. Trace the speech bubble with the heart, then two glow stars and two thunder bolts. Color them.


4. Arrange the elements

Step 1

Now, unlock (Alt + Control + 2) and delete the sketch layer. It should look like this.


Step 2

Add the old fashioned star. Multiply it as much as possible. Resize it and try to fill some bigger gaps between the objects.


Step 3

In order to cover even more gaps, draw a circle, multiply it few times and arrange it across the left side of the drawing, covering even more gaps. This way the drawing will look more complete and will keep our eyes busy and entertained.


Step 4

Now, let’s do some magic. Select the left side of the drawing (without the title and the coffee cup). Group it (Control + G) and Copy it (Control + C). Paste (Control + V) the group and do a right click on it. From the menu select Transform>Reflect.


Step 5

From the Reflect dialog box, choose Vertical Axis and click OK.


Step 6

Position the mirrored group to match the opposite side exactly. You will notice that the thunderbolts are covering the mug’s handle, due to the asymmetry of the mug.


We can easily fix this by resizing and repositioning the details around the handle – the two thunderbolts. My last advice would be – try to change some tiny details on both sides. Like for example, I made one of the ice creams happy and the other one sad. It breaks the symmetry but also it is not noticeable at first.



Congratulations, you just did your Friday illustration. As we worked hard on the left side, we got the right side quite easy by mirroring and adjusting the left side. The final result is a simple yet complex illustration that keeps our brain and eyes busy as we browse through it. I am also sure you can find some great use of it – whether it will be a t-shirt print or a banner for your website.