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Tutorial Adobe Illustrator: How to Create a Realistic Vector Sand and Pebble Texture

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Illustrator Tutorials / Effects/ Comments: 1
Final Image Preview
 pebble texture

In this illustrator tutorial we will learn how to create random vector sand and pebble textures. It is not difficult to do if you have Phantasm CS - plugin for Adobe Illustrator. Of course, it could not be done without some magic, but I will generously share all the secrets with you. Find out more…

Step 1

Let’s start our tutorial with creating the texture of sand. Firstly, this tutorial is based in the RGB color mode File > Document Color Mode > RGB Color.

With the help of the Rectangle Tool (M) create a rectangle and fill it with a linear gradient, which consists of two shades of yellow.

a linear gradient, which consists of two shades of yellow

Now create another rectangle in the bottom of the background and fill it with grey color (black = 50%).

linear gradient

Step 2

Take the Mesh Tool (U) and by clicking on one of the sides of the grey rectangle, create 4 horizontal Mesh lines.

Mesh Tool Adobe Illustrator

Replace the color of the nodes a and b with a darker shade of grey, and color of the nodes c and d with a lighter one.

Mesh Tool Adobe Illustrator

With the help of the Mesh Tool (U) create 3 vertical Mesh lines.

Mesh Tool Adobe Illustrator

Moving mesh nodes with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A), transform the mesh to the view shown in the following picture.

Mesh Tool Adobe Illustrator

Step 3

Using the previous technique, create two similar meshes.

illustrator similar meshes
illustrator similar meshes

Select and group-up all the gradient meshes. Keeping this group selected, apply the Overlay blending mode to it.

illustrator gradient meshes

There was a good reason why I had the exact value of grey color in the first step. The fact is that the grey color (black = 50%) becomes transparent if we apply to the Overlay blending mode to the object.

Step 4

We proceed directly to the creation of the sand texture. Copy the group with the Gradient mashes and paste it in front (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + F). Open the Appearance panel and add a new fill, then apply the linear gradient from white to black to it. The gradient direction corresponds to the direction of the light.

illustrator tutorial sand texture

Apply the Multiply blending mode to the fill.

illustrator tutorial sand texture

You can read full version this tutorial on

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