How to Create an Illustration of a Retro Kitchen in Adobe Illustrator
I really love retro style, and it so happens that it’s become very popular. So I decided to draw a retro kitchen. And of course, I will show you how it’s done!
Don’t worry, you do not have to be a professional to do this. We will be using simple shapes and some effects that will make this tutorial a breeze. You will be surprised by just how many things we can create using mostly rectangles and ellipses.
For more inspiration for retro illustrations, check GraphicRiver. They have a great selection of different images.
So, let’s get into a retro mood, and begin!
1. How to Create a Retro Stove
Start by creating a new document (File > New) with 850 px Width and 1100 px Height. First, we will create a retro stove with some drawers, where the coffee and the soup will be made.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a blue rectangle with no stroke color. To get the same color, type in the numbers shown below in the Color panel (Window > Color). Be sure that you have checked RGB on the options of the panel.
Next, create a second, darker rectangle, which should be much thinner. Now, place the darker rectangle on top of the lighter one. When doing this, make sure you are using the selection tool. Other tools can deform the shape, which is not needed in this case.
Let’s give our retro stove a few drawers. Draw a dark blue rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). The stroke color of this rectangle should be the same as the top of our stove, and the fill color should be left as it is. On the Stroke panel, make the stroke Weight around 3 pt for this rectangle. After you draw the drawer, add a handle. Just create a dark blue rounded rectangle. This is the first drawer.
Select all parts of the drawer and group them (right-click > Group). Holding the Shift and Alt keys, move the drawer down to get another copy of it. Now select two drawers and, while holding the Shift and Alt keys, move both drawers to the right side to get two more drawers.
Finally, to get a large drawer, make a copy of the small drawer, drag the bottom part down, and align its position and size with all the other drawers to get a result similar to the one presented below.
Let’s create the legs for the stove. First, using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a grey vertical rectangle. Next, we will apply the Flag effect to this rectangle. Go to Effect > Warp > Flag and use the options shown. Don’t forget to expand the final shape: while keeping it selected, go to Object > Expand Appearance.
Now let’s attach the leg behind our stove. Make a vertical copy of this leg: select it and go to Transform > Reflect, enter Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the copy of the leg to the right.
Finally, in this step, add two thin grey rectangles on top of the stove.
Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a grey rounded rectangle, horizontally aligned, and place it behind the right side of the stove as shown in the image below.
To get a rounded rectangle with very rounded corners, create a small rounded rectangle first, and then stretch it. Or you can go to View > Show Corner Widget and modify the corners by dragging them inside.
Next, attach a long vertical rounded rectangle and finally a shorter horizontal one. Our retro stove is ready!
2. How to Create the Soup Pot
Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a red rounded rectangle. Be sure you have checked View > Show Corner Widget. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the two upper anchor points of the rectangle. Drag them outside. You will notice that those corners become sharp.
Next, add a thin, dark red rounded rectangle on top. After that, create another dark red rounded rectangle, slightly rotate it to the right, and place it behind the pot. This is the left handle.
To make the right handle, make a reflected copy of the left one. For this, select the left handle, right-click your mouse, and select Transform > Reflect. In the dialogue box, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the newly created handle to the right.
To make the pot lid, take the Ellipse Tool (L), and draw a light brown ellipse and place it behind the pot. To finish the lid, add a dark red circle. To create an even circle, use the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding down the Shift key. Now let’s modify this. We’ll use the Fish effect: select the circle, go to Effect > Warp > Fish and enter the options below. Expand this shape: select it and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Our soup pot is ready!
3. How to Create the Coffee Pot
To create the coffee pot, we will start with a copy of the lid of the soup pot. Now, decrease its size and change its color as shown in the image below. Add a vertical rectangle for the body of our coffee pot. After this, apply the Arc effect to this rectangle: go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the presented options. Expand the shape (Object > Expand Appearance).
Finally, in this step, we will add the coffee pot handle. For this, we need to draw a triangle: take the Polygon Tool and click on your artboard. In the new dialogue window, type 3 Sides with any Radius. Then click OK. Set the necessary stroke color and remove the fill color (Shift-X). Finally, resize this triangle, turn it upside down, and place it behind the coffee pot body.
To create the spout of our coffee pot, we will start with a yellow rectangle. Next, we will apply the Flag effect: go to Effect > Warp > Flag and use the shown options. Expand the final shape. And finally, place it to the left of the coffee pot’s body.
Place the created pots on the stove.
4. How to Create the Shelf
To create the shelf, we will start with a blue rectangle. Make a copy of it behind: Control-C, Control-B. Then move this back rectangle down a bit and change its color so it is darker.
Behind these rectangles on the left side, create a set of different sized rounded rectangles as shown below. Of course, you can place them however you want. Just remember that the black stroke color is not needed; it is only there for better visibility.
After that, while keeping all the rounded rectangles selected, unite them by pressing the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). You will end up with a single shape. To add another piece on the right, select this shape and create a vertical reflection of it (Transform > Reflect, Copy). Move the vertical copy to the right.
5. How to Create the House Plant
Now, we will create the plant pot. First, create a grey rectangle. To deform the shape, go to Effect > Warp > Arc. In the new dialogue window, adjust the options as you see in the image below. Create a new dark grey rectangle on top of the previous one.
Let’s create the leaves for our plant.
Draw a green ellipse. Select this ellipse and, using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), make the top and bottom anchor points sharp by clicking on them. Make a few more copies of the created leaf, and slightly rotate them in different directions and place them behind the flower pot. To add a three-dimensional effect, change the color of half of them to the dark green as shown below.
6. How to Create the Cups
Using the Rectangle Tool (M), make a green rectangle and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. In the new window, enter the options shown. Expand the object: Object > Expand Appearance. For the handle, create a circle with green stroke color and no fill color (press Shift-X). Place this circle on the right of the modified rectangle.
Create two more copies of the cup and change their colors. You can use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to take the colors from the coffee and soup pots. Place them on top of each other. Be sure that the image of each cup on top is placed behind the bottom one.
7. How to Create the Plates
For the plate, we will use a green rectangle. Now, go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. In the new window, enter the options shown in the image below. Don’t forget to expand this shape.
Create another two copies of the plate, change their colors, and place them on top of each other, in a similar way to the cups in the previous step.
8. How to Create the Cake Stand
Let’s start with the scallops. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a green ellipse. Now, we will cut the top half of the ellipse: using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle and cover the top part of the ellipse. The rectangle will be used as a cutter; therefore its color is not important.
Select both shapes and press the Minus Front button on the Pathfinder panel. This action leaves us with half of the ellipse.
While holding down the Shift and Alt buttons, move the half ellipse to the right. Make sure the copies are attached to each other. Then, by pressing Control-D a few more times, create some scallops.
Finally, add a long rectangle on top of the scallops to get the top part of the cake stand.
For the cake stand’s leg, create a vertical ellipse and attach it to the cake stand’s top. Next, add four horizontal ellipses, followed by another vertical ellipse and a circle. On the bottom, attach one of the scallops, which should be stretched out. Our cake stand is ready!
Finally, place all the plates on this cake stand.
9. How to Create the Bowl
To start, make a copy of a scallop and change the color to grey. This will be the body of the bowl. On top of this bowl body, add a rounded rectangle for the rim.
For the handle, create a dark grey rounded rectangle, rotate it slightly to the right, and place it as shown below—on the left side of the bowl behind the body (Control-X, Control-B). To make the right handle, create a vertical reflection of the left one and move it to the right.
Add a rectangle on the bottom. The bowl is ready!
10. How to Place All the Objects Together
Place the kitchenware and plant on the shelf.
Hang the shelf with all the elements above the stove.
11. How to Create the Background
Add a light tan rectangle behind the objects. Hit the Rectangle Tool (M) and click on your artboard. Enter the Width as 850 px and Height as 1100 px. Place the background behind everything. Your entire scene is ready!
Awesome work, you’re done! I can even smell the coffee from the coffee pot. This kitchen will warm up those cold November days. I hope you’ve enjoyed following this tutorial. Have fun creating your own illustrations, and please share your creations in the comments below. See you again in my next tutorial!