Christmas is approaching fast and the Christmas wreath is a staple design element for all kinds of projects. Instead of spending a lot of time, I thought it would be useful to have a base, simple design that I could tweak as needed later. In this tutorial we will create a base leaf pattern, convert it to a scatter brush, and paint a wreath.
You can customize this as much as you want with various leaf shapes, colors, and textures. But if you need a quick Christmas wreath in vector format, here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Basic Leaf Shape
Use your favorite tool, but I used the Line Segment Tool to quickly make an ugly leaf shape. Just make sure the ends of each line touch so we can join the shape in the next step.
Step 2: Joining the Lines
Using the Selection Tool, select the entire shape, right-click and select Join:
Step 3: Create Some Curves
Now, grab the Convert Tool (in the Pen Tool menu). On each of the corners where the leaf points meet, click and drag to create a curve. This is optional, but it’s an easy way to give the leaf a little more realism.
Step 4: Fill Colors
With the shape selected, choose a lighter green than your stroke color for the fill:
Step 5: Veins
Grab a basic brush shape (F5) and use your darker green to paint veins:
Step 6: Create a Scatter Brush
With the entire leaf selected, open the Brushes menu (Windows -> Brushes), click the New Brush button and select "Scatter Brush":
Step 7: Scatter Brush Settings
Use these approximate settings:
Step 8: Make the Wreath
Using the Ellipse Tool, draw a circle on your Artboard and click the new Scatter Brush you created in the Brushes menu:
Step 9: Add Density
At this point it’s up to you to create the density and size of your wreath. Create a new layer and use the Paintbrush Tool to paint more leaves around the wreath:
You can create more leaf shapes/brushes, add embellishments such as berries and ribbons, and basically tweak away from here. Hopefully, though, this quick wreath design should just take a few minutes to set up and give you plenty of tools for continued playing room.