Illustrator Tutorial: Flat Illustration + Grain Texture Brush

In this Illustrator tutorial you’ll learn how to design a flat illustration inspired by the mushroom in Super Mario in just a few steps, including adding texture to it using a grain brush.

The first step is to start with a rough sketch in Procreate or on a piece of paper where you can explore your creativity.

If you want to follow along with this tutorial, you can download the exercise files which includes the sketch and the grain brush for Illustrator here:

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The second step is to design the shapes that make up the flat illustration.

Usually I tend to use the Pen tool for everything, but for this tutorial I’d suggest trying to use the Ellipse tool.

Keep in mind that the sketch is only there for guidance, you shouldn’t try to replicate it perfectly, it

The next step is adding dimension to the flat illustration, but for that we need to create a grain brush.

In the previous tutorial I’ve started defining it using three random shapes, for this one I will use four.

My preferred method of shading in Illustrator is pretty straight forward, apply the color of the shape that’s below the one you’re shading on, giving the impression that it’s blending. When you have a stronger color behind, it will look like a shadow, when you have a lighter color, it will look like a highlight.

Color scheme:
– Purple: 301069
– Darker Pink: cd376e
– Lighter Pink: f2a0a8

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this Illustrator tutorial and if you did, don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe for more.

About me // My name is Cosmin Serban, I’ve been a professional graphic designer for over 10 years and I’m currently working as Director of Design Services for Instapage where my awesome team is in charge of designing landing pages for high-profile clients.

If you’d like to say hello or if you have any design questions, then you can get in touch with me here:

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