Illustrator Tutorial: Create a Colorful Water World with Fish and Sea Weed



This tutorial shows detailed step-by step guide to create three different kinds of colorful fish, sea weed, vector bubble, and nice background full with glowing rays.

To make all the elements of Water World image you’ll need Adobe Illustrator. After being designed in that Vector Program, all sea creatures, bubbles and rays will be arranged and processed in Adobe Photoshop.

Any CS version of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator is applicable to accomplish this tutorial. The Photoshop part includes mainly Layer Styles, Blend Mode and Gradients. As for the Illustrator, we’ll be using Mesh Tool, Clipping Mask, default Patterns, Blending Object, Transformations and lots of Gradients and effects.

Hope that you won’t be repelled by these a bit more than hundred steps. Actually this is 5 in 1 tutorial as it could be divided into five parts- each of them a separate tut, i.e. one tutorial for glowing rays drawing, three tutorials dedicated to fish drawing and one tutorial on making bubble and sea weed.

Well, let us start to follow the steps of our 5 in 1 Water World tutorial.



End result:
Create a Colorful Water World with Fish and Sea Weed Final Image

Author:
avatar CorneliaMladenova

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Practice tutorial

Step 1

Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document of 4000px width and 3000px height, RGB Mode. Name the file “Background”.
Take Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle covering the whole art board. With this rectangle selected go to Window, Gradient, choose Radial Type in Gradient palette from the drop down menu. Change the first Gradient Slider to white (R=255; G=255; B=255) and the second Gradient Slider to light violet (R=218; G=162; B=255).

For your convenience, while the background rectangle is still selected, go to Object, Lock, Selection. This will prevent you later from accidentally selecting the rectangle.


Step 2

Deselect the previously created gradient rectangle, take Rectangle Tool again and this time draw a small square shape- Width 196, Height 196px. With the square selected, go to Window, Swatches and when this palette appears on your art board, click on the Swatch Libraries menu icon at the bottom left of the palette. Select Gradients, Gems and Jewels and choose the last Turquoise gradient. In Gradient palette change the Angle to minus 45 degrees.


Step 3

Deselect everything, take again Rectangle tool and this time draw a smaller square shape- Width: 144px, Height: 144px. The bottom left angle of this square must coincide with the bottom left angle of the bigger square drawn in Step 2. Navigate to Gems and Jewels gradients and this time choose the last but one Tanzanite Gradient, set its Angle to -45 degrees.


Step 4

Take Direct Selection Tool, click twice on the bottom left anchor point of any rectangle and drag it in bottom right direction. Select the down left anchor point of the other rectangle and repeat the process. As you see on the screenshot, both end points of the new rectangles should coincide.
Select both shapes with Selection Tool, go to Object menu and select Group (Ctrl+G).


Step 5

While the shape is selected, pick Rotation Tool and click on the end point. Thus we selected the starting point of rotation and transformation which we’ll perform in the next step.


Step 6

Hold down Alt key and move the cursor to the upper wider part of the shape (you’ll see how the cursor turns into a black arrow). Move this black arrow in right direction (don’t forget to hold Alt) to duplicate and rotate the shape until you see minus 15 degrees angle of rotation to appear on your art board. Now you should have two shapes like those on the screenshot.
While the duplicated and rotated shape is still selected, press Ctrl+D twenty two times.


Step 7

Select all rays shapes with selection tool, go to Object, Group then call Align Palette (Window, Align) and click on Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center icons to place this bunch of rays centrally on the art board.


Step 8

Select the group of rays and increase its size by holding Alt+Shift (to keep the proportions) and drag any of the anchor points with Selection Tool. Try to make any ray going out of the art board borders.


Step 9

Deselect the rays, take Rectangle Tool- the choice of color and stroke does not matter as we are going to turn it into a clipping mask (I used black Color Stroke and disabled the Fill color so that the rays to be visible on the screenshot).
Hold down Shift, select the last created rectangle together with the rays group, right click with the mouse and choose Make clipping mask.
Now the Rays background is ready. Go to File, Export, choose PNG and give the file some name. I chose “Background” again. Then close this Illustrator file.


Step 10

Create a new Adobe Photoshop document (.psd file) of 3000px Width and 4000px Height. Click twice on the Background to turn it into an editable layer. Call this layer Gradient, set Foreground Color to #B7D1EA and Background Color to #316283 then grab Gradient Tool, Radial type, Foreground to Background and drag from upper to bottom part of the canvas.
With this Gradient layer selected, go to Layer menu, Group and call the new group Background.


Step 11

Move the rays background PNG file into your Photoshop document, use Edit, Free Transform and Rotate at 90 degrees clockwise.
Name the new layer Rays and place on top of Background group.


Step 12

Change Blend Mode of Rays layer to Overlay and reduce its Opacity to 22%. Thus the rays will nicely blend with the background gradient.
Name this Photoshop PSD file “Water World” and close it for now. In the next steps we’ll be working in Adobe Illustrator again.


Step 13

Open a new Illustrator (.ai) document (1000x1000px size) and name it Fish 1. Take Ellipse Tool then draw a big, vertically narrowed ellipse.
Select Add Anchor Point Tool (from Pen Tool fly out menu) and add three new anchor points as you see on the screenshot.


Step 14

Use Direct Selection Tool and move some of the anchor points to reshape the ellipse and turn it into a fish body- click twice on a chosen anchor point to move it in a desired direction. For example, click twice on the upper right anchor point and move it slightly downwards then select the bottom right anchor point and move it upwards. You should achieve a similar result to what is shown on the following screenshot.


Step 15

While the fish body is selected, go to Window, Swatches, click on Swatch Libraries Menu icon, navigate to Gradients, Fruits and Vegetables and select Avocado. In Gradients palette set its angle at 162 degrees.

Add also a thin Stroke (0.25pt) of Green Color (R=34, G=181, B=115).


Step 16

We’ll continue to add more elements to the fish body in the next steps.
Take Pen Tool and draw the first part of the fish tail with any Fill Color. Send this tail shape to back (Object, Arrange, Send to Back)- the fish body must be above it. Now change the Fill Color of the shape with Linear gradient, Angle 30 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=63, G=98, B=46
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 4.5%, color: R=85, G=124, B=62
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 8%, color: R=169, G=195, B=88
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 21%, color: R=227, G=207, B=33
Fifth Gradient Swatch: Location: 94%, color: R=147, G=39, B=143

Add also 0.25pt Stroke and choose R=85, G=124, B=62 for Stroke Color.




Step 17

Draw the second tail part using Pen Tool and the same Green Stroke of 0.25pt size. Fill the shape with Linear Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=63, G=98, B=46
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 4.5%, color: R=85, G=124, B=62
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 21%, color: R=169, G=195, B=88
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 56%, color: R=251, G=176, B=59
Fifth Gradient Swatch: Location: 76%, color: R=193, G=39, B=45, set Opacity of this Gradient Swatch to 60% to give the fish tail some transparency
Sixth Gradient Swatch: Location: 94%, color: R=193, G=39, B=45

Note: To change Opacity of a Gradient Swatch, simply click twice on the respective swatch and when the Color and Swatches box pops up, move the Opacity Slider.


Step 18

Select the Body shape, duplicate it (Ctrl+C) and Paste it in Front (Ctrl+F). With this copy selected, open Swatch Libraries drop down Menu (Window, Swatches), select Patterns- from its fly out menu choose Nature, then Nature Animal Skins. Click on the last pattern swatch- Zebra.
In Transparency panel set the Blend Mode to Soft Light and reduce Opacity to 13%.


Step 19

Duplicate the shape processed in the previous step and Paste in Front (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F), fill it with Linear Gradient, Angle 0 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=0, G=255, B=255
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=147, G=39, B=143

In Transparency pane change the Blend Mode to Soft Light.


Step 20

Draw the upper fin using Pen Tool and the same dark green 0.25pt Stroke. Fill this fin shape with Linear gradient, Angle-130 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=41, G=171, B=226
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 42%, color: R=199, G=178, B=153
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=251, G=176, B=59


Step 21

Use again Pen Tool with the same dark green 0.25pt Stroke to draw the second fin. When ready, fill this fin with the following Linear Gradient, Angle 95 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=217, G=224, B=33
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 42%, color: R=199, G=178, B=153
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=247, G=147, B=30


Step 22

Grab Pen Tool again and draw the small fin with dark green Stroke of 0.25pt size.
Fill the shape with Linear gradient, Angle -24 degrees:
First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=63, G=98, B=46
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 4.5%, color: R=85, G=124, B=62
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 21%, color: R=169, G=195, B=88
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 56%, color: R=227, G=207, B=33
Fifth Gradient Swatch: Location: 94%, color: R=147, G=39, B=143


Step 23

Take Ellipse Tool and draw a small ellipse (Stroke Color disabled) placed behind all body shapes and above the tail parts.
Fill the ellipse with Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=102, G=45, B=145
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 31%, color: R=180, G=58, B=228
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 78%, color: R=80, G=0, B=115
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=66, G=39, B=143

In Transparency panel change Blend Mode of the ellipse to Overlay and reduce Opacity to 92%.


Step 24

Select the upper tail part, duplicate it and paste it to front (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F). Draw an ellipse of any color so that to be visible only the left part of the duplicated tail shape. Select the ellipse together with the copied shape, go to Pathfinder Panel (Window, Pathfinder) and click on Minus Front Icon. Don’t change the gradient fill of the shape, only move the Third Gradient Swatch to Location 21% and the Fourth Gradient Swatch to Location 56%.
Change the Blend Mode of the resulting crescent shape to Difference and lower Opacity to 18%.


Step 25

Duplicate the bottom half of the tail (Ctrl+C) and Paste in Front (Ctrl+F). Draw an ellipse, select both ellipse and tail part and press Minus Front button in Pathfinder panel. Fill the new shape with Linear Gradient, Angle -156 degrees. Set the gradient swatches as following:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=63, G=98, B=46
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 4.5%, color: R=85, G=124, B=62
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 21%, color: R=169, G=195, B=88
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 56%, color: R=251, G=176, B=59
Fifth Gradient Swatch: Location: 76%, color: R=193, G=39, B=45
Sixth Gradient Swatch: Location: 94%, color: R=193, G=39, B=45

With the shape selected, navigate to Transparency panel and reduce Opacity to 28%.


Step 26

In order to make the fish tail more colorful and to give it relief, grab pen tool and draw a wavy shape- placed in front of bottom tail part and behind upper tail part. Don’t change the green Stroke Color (0.25pt Stroke Size), also add the following Radial Gradient Fill:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=251, B=204
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 37%, color: R=238, G=214, B=136
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 69%, color: R=235, G=187, B=16
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=241, G=90, B=36

With the wavy shape selected, go to Transparency panel, change Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 30%.


Step 27

Create another wavy shape to place it in front of the upper tail half. Color it with Radial Gradient Fill:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=251, B=204
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 37%, color: R=238, G=214, B=136
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 69%, color: R=235, G=187, B=16
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=0, G=169, B=157

In Transparency Panel set Blend Mode to Multiply and lower Opacity to 17%


Step 28

Take Pen Tool and draw three wavy paths. Stroke the first path with Tapered Stroke Brush (Stroke Size 9 pt, Stroke Color R=217, G=224, B=33). Change Blend Mode to Color Burn in Transparency pane. Place this wavy shape on the bottom tail part in front of the shape created in Step 26.

Select the second path and stroke it again with Tapered Stroke Brush (Stroke Size 2 pt, Stroke Color R=247, G=147, B=30). Place this curve in front and in the middle of the previously created.
Go to Transparency pane, change Blend Mode to Color Burn and reduce Opacity to 50-52%.
Select the third Pen Tool path, stroke with the same Tapered Stroke Brush (Stroke Size 5 pt, Stroke Color R=230, G=230, B=230). Place this grey wave to the right of the previous shapes.
In Transparency panel set only the Blend Mode to Color Burn and don’t change Opacity option.


Step 29

To complete the tail, add some blue curves on both sides of upper and bottom tail part. Draw them by means of Pen Tool paths stroked with Tapered Brush, 1pt Stroke Size, color R=0, G=113, B= 188.


Step 30

We should not leave the fish mute and blind so in the following steps our task is to add eye, mouth and gill cover.

Let us start with the eye. Draw a circular shape with Ellipse Tool and add Gradient Fill with three swatches:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=225, B=138
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 55%, color: R=255, G=205, B=3
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=226, G=177, B=36


Step 31

Draw another circular shape in front of the one created in Step 30. Make it a bit smaller than the first and the upper part of the first ellipse should be visible.
Fill the new shape with this Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=254, B=238
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 75%, color: R=215, G=218, B=222
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 88%, color: R=220, G=216, B=212


Step 32

Draw a third smaller circle and use for it the following two-swatch gradient fill:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=254, B=238
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=138, G=244, B=185.


Step 33

Draw a narrow ellipse for the eye pupil and fill it with grey shaded radial gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=196, G=198, B=200
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 30%, color: R=188, G=190, B=192
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 70%, color: R=167, G=169, B=172
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=155, G=157, B=160


Step 34

In this step we are going to add the mouth. Draw a crescent path with Pen Tool. Disable Fill color, set Stroke Color to R=198, G=156, B=109. Choose 3pt for Stroke Size and stroke the path with Tapered Brush.


Step 35

Draw another crescent shaped path with Pen Tool for the gill cover. This time set the Stroke size to only 1pt and choose orange for Stroke Color.


Step 36

Take Selection Tool to select the Mouth Shape, press Ctrl+C then Ctrl+B to Send the duplicated shape in Back, then hit Up Arrow Key five times. While the duplicate is still selected, navigate to Transparency Panel and lower Opacity to 58%.

Repeat the upper described method on the Gill Cover- select and copy it Ctrl+C then Send in Back the copied shape (Ctrl+B). Press Right Arrow Key six times and lower opacity of this duplicate to 31%.


Step 37

This step is optional. I just decided to add more details to the fish head. If you like to repeat it, draw two curved paths with Pen Tool, one above the other and stroke them with Tapered Stroke Brush, choose 4pt for Stroke Size and orange (R=251, G=176, B=59) for Stroke Color.
Place both shapes on the upper part of the fish, set their Blend Mode to Color Burn and lower Opacity to 17%.


Step 38

Draw a small circle with Ellipse Tool and fill it with Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=242, B=219
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 30%, color: R=215, G=177, B=137
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 78%, color: R=141, G=80, B=39
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=84, G=21, B=19


Step 39

Keep the previously drawn circle selected and change its Blend Mode (in Transparency pane) to Soft Light. Use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste the circle a few times then arrange the copies on the fish body and change their size with Selection Tool. When satisfied with this spots added to the fish, hold down Shift and click with Selection Tool on the circles spread on the body and reduce their Opacity to 45%. The same way select the spots around the fish tail and lower their Opacity to 35%.


Step 40

In the next four steps we’ll add some final touches to the fish fins. For the purpose grab Pen Tool of 1pt Size, Tapered Brush for Stroke, disable Fill Color and start drawing to cover the whole Dorsal Fin with wavy blue stroked paths. I preferred color R=0, G=169, B=157. At last, select all blue waves and group them (Ctrl+G) then change Blend Mode to Soft Light.


Step 41

Use the same method to give the Pelvis Fin more color and relief. This Time select R=255, G=0, B=255 for stroke color and choose from 0.5pt to 0.25pt Stroke Size. When ready, select all pink curves and group them (Ctrl+G) then go to Transparency panel and change Blend Mode to Overlay.


Step 42

Using Pen Tool again, cover the small Anal Fin with wavy lines too. As the fin is mainly green shaded, use darker green for Stroke color- R=0, G=169, B=157 and choose Tapered Stroke Brush. For most of the paths choose 0.25pt Stroke Weight. As for the smaller paths at the upper 1/3 of the fin, use Stroke of 0.14pt Weight (with the respective path selected, enter 0.14pt in Stroke Weight field and press Enter.


Step 43

If you have accomplished all previous steps in a proper manner, your fish should look mine shown on screenshot for this step.
The only detail to be added is a small Pectoral Fin- draw it with Pen Tool (no Stroke Color) and fill with Brass Radial Gradient (Gradients, Metals, Brass Radial). In transparency Panel change Blend Mode of this Pectoral Fin to Overlay, Opacity: 60%.
Keep the fin selected and go to Effect, Stylize, Drop Shadow- the only thing to do is to move the Opacity slider to 20%.
The first fish is ready. It was the easiest one. We are going to apply more complicated techniques on the next two water creatures.

Don’t forget to go to File, Export and save Fish 1 file as PNG format. Later we’ll move it into our Photoshop document.




Step 44

Create a new Illustrator (.ai)document (3000x2000px width to height, RGB color mode) to draw the second fish. I entitled my file Fish 2.

Take Ellipse Tool (White Fill Color, Black Stroke Color, Stroke Weight 1pt) and draw the base which we’ll be using to shape the fish body.


Step 45

While the Ellipse is selected, navigate to the Tools Bar and select Add Anchor Point Tool (from Pen Tool fly out menu).
We need to add seven new points so click with Add Anchor Point Tool on the places of the Ellipse borders indicated on the screenshot.


Step 46

To turn the ellipse into a fish body shape, take Direct Selection Tool, click twice on a chosen anchor point to move it in a proper direction. For example, click twice on the upper left anchor point and move it slightly downwards then select the bottom left anchor point and move it upwards. You should achieve a similar result to what is shown on the following screenshot.


Step 47

If you are ready with shaping the fish body, select it, remove the stroke color and fill it with grey: R=224, G=217, B=255.


Step 48

Duplicate the fish body shape (Ctrl+C) and Paste in Front (Ctrl+F). While the copied shape is selected, change its fill color with this Linear Gradient with Angle 80 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=150, G=207, B=241
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=252, G=196, B=145

In Transparency panel change Blend Mode to Darken.


Step 49

Duplicate the previous shape already filled with gradient and paste in front. Select Mesh Tool and click a few times to create a “net” as you see on the screenshot. Then start to select the
side anchor points one by one (I have marked them in green) and for each of them choose dark color swatch. I used colors like R=0, G=7, B=63 and R=3, G=0, B=31.

For the middle anchor points I chose these colors (from left to right clockwise):

1. R=223, G=159, B=255

2. R=166, G=118, B=190

3. R=0, G=19, B=63

4. R=81, G=58 G=93

You should achieve a result resembling my screenshot unless you prefer to apply different color swatch to each anchor point.


Step 50

Navigate to Transparency Panel and change blend mode of the meshed shape to Overlay.


Step 51

Pick Pen Tool from your Tool Bar and draw the fish mouth. I used Stroke Color (R=46, G=49, B=146) and disabled the Fill Color.
Stroke the thicker part with 2pt Tapered Stroke Brush and for the thinner part of the mouth choose 0.75 pt Stroke Size.
Select both objects shaping the mouth and press Ctrl+G to Group them.


Step 52

It is time to start drawing the fish eye. Firstly select Ellipse Tool, choose Black Stroke Color of 3 pt Size and Fill Color: R=0, G=113, B=188. Thus draw the base of the big fish eye.


Step 53

Draw a second ellipse a bit smaller than the base and move it slightly to the left and down direction. Fill the ellipse with Linear Gradient, Angle 28 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=53, G=81, B=125
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 38%, color: R=186, G=205, B=234
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 60%, color: R=222, G=230, B=245
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 81%, color: R=122, G=165, B=216
Fifth Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=23, G=77, B=107


Step 54

Draw another smaller ellipse above the two eye shapes. Fill it with Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=208, G=239, B=255
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 52%, color: R=173, G=174, B=176
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=0, G=115, B=101


Step 55

Draw the next eye circle- shape smaller than the circle we drew in Step 54. Fill this circle with Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 70%, color: R=0, G=115, B=101
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=229, G=226, B=223


Step 56

Draw one more circle (smaller than the previous) to complete the eye. Fill it with Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 52%, color: R=173, G=174, B=176
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=70, G=80, B=83
While the circle is still selected, navigate to Transparency Panel and change Blend Mode to Overlay.


Step 57

This is the final step of our work on the eye. Draw three small circles at the upper part of the eye as you see on the screenshot. Select them and fill with Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white)
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=162, G=246, B=255

Select the three circles together, change Blend Mode to Soft Light in Transparency Panel.



Step 58

In this step we are going to make the Gill Cover with three Pen Tool crescent paths.
Draw the first path and stroke it with Tapered Stroke Brush, White Color and 4pt Stroke Size. In Transparency Panel change Blend Mode to Soft Light and reduce Opacity to 38%.
Draw the second crescent path in front of the first one and stroke it with the same Tapered Brush, 2pt Stroke Size and Grey Stroke Color. Change Blend Mode to Color Burn and Opacity to 60%.
Copy the second path and place in front. With the crescent selected change the Stroke Color to Dark Blue and choose 1pt Stroke Size. Leave the Blend Mode to Color Burn and Opacity to 60%.


Step 59

We are close to completing the fish body. Draw five vertical crescent paths with Pen Tool and stroke them with Tapered Stroke Brush, Stroke Color R=27, G=20, B=100. Now select the first (from left to right) crescent placed before the fish eye and set its Stroke Size to 4 pt. Select the second crescent and choose 5 pt Stroke Size for it. When ready, select the third crescent which is in the middle of the fish body and change its Stroke Size to 6 pt. Change the Stroke Size of Fourth and Fifth crescent to 4 and 3 pt respectively.
The only thing left to be made in this step is to group these crescents. Select them all and press Ctrl+G (Object, Group).


Step 60

Select the grey fish body shape we created in Step 46. Copy it, Paste in Front and Bring to Front of the already grouped dark blue crescents (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F, Shift+Ctrl+]). Select both the crescents and the grey shape, right click and choose Make Clipping Mask. Now the crescents will perfectly fit the fish body but they still look flat. Keep them selected, go to Transparency Panel and change Blend Mode to Overlay.


Step 61

To add more decoration, draw an Ellipse (No Stroke Color) at the right end part of the body and fill it with Brass Radial Gradient (Gradients, Metals, Brass Radial). When ready, with the ellipse selected, go to Transparency Panel to change Blend Mode to Luminosity and Opacity to 38%. Deselect.
Around the ellipse draw three curvy lines following the fish body shape. For the purpose use Pen Tool (no Fill Color), stroke with Tapered Stroke Brush (0.5pt Stroke Weight), for Stroke Color Choose: R=147, G=39, B=143.


Step 62

Grab Pen Tool with any Fill Color (we’ll change it later) and disable the Stroke Color. Draw a big fish tail. When you are satisfied with its shape (not necessary to be the same as on the screenshot), change the Fill Color with this Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=233, G=229, B=185
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=155, G=63, B=151

Select Gradient Tool from the Tool Bar and move the applied gradient so that its lighter part is at the middle right side of the tail.

In Transparency Pane lower Opacity to 60%.


Step 63

Let us add a slight relief and texture to the tail. Select the fish tail, Copy it and Paste in Front. Navigate to Swatch Libraries (Window, Swatches) to call Swatches palette. Click on Swatch Libraries Menu Icon at the bottom left part of the palette and from the drop down menu choose Patterns. Click on Decorative, then choose Decorative Geometric_1 and select Deltoids.
To make the pattern less visible, go to Transparency Panel and reduce Opacity to 4%.


Step 64

There is still more work on the tail to be done. Pick Pen Tool, remove Fill Color and choose vivid orange (R=251, G=176, B=59) for Stroke Color. Draw two curves on the upper half of the tail as shown on the screenshot. Stroke them with Tapered Stroke Brush, Stroke Size 1pt.


Step 65

Select both curves we previously drew and go to Object, Blend, Blend Options, from Spacing drop down menu choose Specified Steps and enter 8. Press OK button. Then go to Object, Blend, Make.
Change Blend Node of the selected curves to Overlay and bring down Opacity to 55%.


Step 66

Repeat the same method on the bottom half of the tail. Draw two curves with Pen Tool and stroke them with our well known Tapered Stroke Brush, 1pt Stroke of vivid yellow color. Navigate to Object menu, Blend, Blend Options, Spacing-with 8 Specified Steps and press OK. After that go to Object, Blend, Make to apply the blend steps.
Select the blended curves, change their Blend Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 30%.


Step 67

In this step I switched off the previously created tail pattern not to distract you. Take Pen Tool and make two lines placed on the upper and down side of the tail (the area where the tail meets the fish body).
Stroke the lines with 2pt Tapered Stroke Brush, color R=147, G=39, B=143.
Select this pair of lines, go to Object, Blend, Blend Options, enter 10 for Specified Steps in Spacing field press OK. After that go to Object, Blend, Make.


Step 68

Keep the lines selected, navigate to Transparency Panel to change the Blend Mode to Overlay.


Step 69

This step is optional. I decided to add more glow to the fish tail.
Draw a few shapes with pen tool and some tiny circles with Ellipse Tool. Place them as you see on the screenshot and fill them with the following Linear Gradient, Angle 53%:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=83, G=111, B=85
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 8.4%, color: R=46, G=126, B=107
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 38%, color: R=146, G=133, B=86
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 56%, color: R=162, G=180, B=124
Fifth Gradient Swatch: Location: 66%, color: R=215, G=177, B=137
Sixth Gradient Swatch: Location: 95%, color: R=73, G=119, B=117

Group these tail glows (select them all and press Ctrl+G) and change their Blend Mode to Overlay.


Step 70

Draw the fins using Pen Tool. Not necessary to make them look exactly like those on the screenshot.
Fill the Dorsal fin with Linear Gradient, Angle -84 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=150, G=207, B=241
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 69%, color: R=231, G=160, B=107
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=182, G=121, B=102

In Transparency Panel reduce Opacity of Dorsal Fin shape to 80%.

Now we are going to add lovely gradient fills to the fish belly fins.
Firstly select the Pectoral Fin (i.e. the small fin below the eye and gill cover) and choose for it two swatches Linear Gradient Fill of 95 degrees like this:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=246, B=132
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=46, G=107, B=255

In Transparency Panel lower the Opacity of the selected Pectoral Fin to 74%.

Select the Pelvis Fin and fill with the same Linear Gradient we already applied on the Pectoral Fin, only change the Angle to 85 degrees. In Transparency Panel change Opacity of this fin to 80%.

Select the Anal Fin, and Fill with Linear Gradient, Angle -60 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=69, G=92, B=255
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=252, G=196, B=145

When ready, with the Anal Fin selected, navigate to Transparency Panel, change Blend Mode to Luminosity and Opacity to 74%.


Step 71

This is the last but one step to be done and the second fish will be ready. We need only some final touches on the fins.
At first select the Dorsal Fin, Duplicate it (Ctrl+C) and Paste in Front (Ctrl+F). Fill the duplicate with Deltoids Pattern (Window, Swatches, Swatch Libraries, Patterns, Decorative, Decorative Geometric_1 and select Deltoids.
Change Blend Mode of the duplicate to Soft Light and set Opacity to 18%.
Add subtle patterns to the Pelvis Fin and Anal Fin too.
Select, duplicate and paste in front the Pelvis Fin. With the duplicate selected navigate to Swatch Libraries, Patterns, Decorative, Decorative Geometric_2 and select Triangular Arrowheads Color. Change Blend Mode of the already patterned duplicate to Luminosity and bring down Opacity to 7%. Certainly you can choose higher value for Opacity if you prefer the pattern more apparent.
At last select, copy and paste in front the Anal Fin. Keep the copy selected, navigate to Patterns palette and select again Triangular Arrowheads Color. Change Blend Mode of this copy to Soft Light, reduce Opacity to 32%.


Step 72

To add the final touches on the fish we could add some colorful lines on the fins. For the Dorsal Fin I used Pen Tool Paths (no Fill Color) with Stroke Weight 1pt (Tapered Stroke Brush), colors blue and orange, then grouped all Dorsal Fin Lines (Ctrl+G) and changed Blend Mode to Soft Light in Transparency Panel.
Use the same method to add wavy lines to the Pelvis Fin with Pen Tool and the same Tapered Stroke Brush, only change Stroke Weight to 0.25pt and use Light Green Color Stroke (R=217, G=224, B=33). Don’t forget to select together all Pelvis Fin Lines, to group them (Ctrl+G) and to set Blend Mode to Soft Light in Transparency Panel.

And one more detail: duplicate the Pectoral Fin, Paste in Front (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V) and holding down Alt+Shift make the duplicate a bit smaller.


Step 73

The second fish is ready. As you can see on the screenshot, I have copied the Pelvis and Anal Fin, pasted and sent them to back ( Ctrl+C, Ctrl+B, Shift+Ctrl+[ ) and moved to the right with Right Arrow key. After that reduced Opacity of both copied fins.

To save this fish, go to File, Export, leave the name Fish 2 (if you have called your Illustrator file like this) and from drop down menu of Save as Type choose PNG.


Step 74

Create a new Illustrator (.ai) file (3000px width, 2000px height) called Fish 3 for example.
Start to draw the third fish.
If you are good at using Pen Tool, draw it at once with the help of Add Point Tool, Convert Point Tool and Direct Selection Tool as we started to draw the previous fish.
If you don’t fancy Pen Tool, use the following “trick”. Firstly draw the first half of the fish with any fill color (stroke color switched off). Then Copy and Paste in Front the shape, and while the duplicate is selected, go to Object, Transform, Reflect, Horizontal. Thus you’ll create the bottom half of the fish. Move it to fit the first half, then select both shapes and Group them (Ctrl+G).


Step 75

Take Pen Tool and draw a small triangle of any color on the place where the mouth should be. Then select both objects- the fish body and triangle and go to Pathfinder pane (Window, Pathfinder). Click on Minus Front symbol. Thus you’ll make the Mouth Opening.


Step 76

Let us add more color and volume to the fish body.
Fill the Fish Body with Avocado Gradient (Window, Swatches, Gradients, Fruits and Vegetables, Avocado). Now the fish looks sweet and yummy but a bit flat. So go to Effect, Stylize, Inner Glow and change the settings: Blend Mode: Soft Light, choose #3A440 for Inner Glow Color, Opacity: 75%, Blur: 126px, Edge.


Step 77

Draw three thick lines with Pen Tool (no Stroke Color), select them all and fill them with Linear Gradient, Angle 92 degrees:
First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=188, G=215, B=221
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 73%, color: R=214, G=229, B=233
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=141, G=193, B=215


Step 78

Keep selected the three lines we created in the previous step and group them (Ctrl+G). Now select the fish body, duplicate it (Ctrl+C) and paste it in front of the blue gradient lines (Object, Arrange, Bring to Front). Select both the duplicated fish body and the group of gradient lines, right click and choose Make Clipping Mask.
With the masked object selected, go to Transparency Panel and Change the Blend Mode to Luminosity.


Step 79

Take Pen Tool (switch off Stroke Color) and draw the Dorsal Fin. When satisfied with the fin shape you have drawn, fill it with Linear Gradient, Angle 109 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=245, G=225, B=154
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 50%, color: R=155, G=177, B=0
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=191, G=235, B=255


Step 80

Grab again Pen Tool and draw the Pelvis Fin (Stroke Color switched off). Fill it with the same linear gradient we already applied on the dorsal fin, only change the Gradient Angle at minus 77 degrees. In Transparency Panel reduce Opacity of the fin to 65%.


Step 81

With Pen Tool draw the Pectoral Fin, placed to the left of the fin we drew in the previous step. Now we need to transfer the gradient applied on the Pelvis Fin. Keep selected the newly created Pectoral Fin, grab Eyedropper Tool and click on the Pelvis Fin. Now you’ll see that the Pectoral Fin got the same gradient. We’ll adjust only its Angle to make it smoother, so go to Gradient pane and change the Gradient Angle to -61%. In order to make the fin transparent, reduce Opacity to 65%.

Let us make the small Anal Fin of two parts with different gradients to add more color (I have numbered both parts with 1 and 2 on the screenshot).
Draw the first part with Pen Tool trying to resemble a tear drop shape. Fill it with three swatches Linear Gradient, Angle 138 degrees:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=245, G=225, B=154
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 50%, color: R=204, G=162, B=255
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=183, G=208, B=0

In Transparency Panel reduce Opacity to 68%.

Draw the second part of the fin and give it different color shades than the first one- fill it with Linear Gradient, Angle- minus 172 degrees, swatches:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=245, G=225, B=154
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 50%, color: R=162, G=243, B=255
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=208, G=208, B=0

Change Opacity of the shape to 75%


Step 82

In the following steps we are going to improve the fish tail and body adding more beautifying elements.
At first draw with Pen Tool (Fill Color switched off) two curves at both sides of the upper half of the tail. Stroke them with 1pt Tapered Brush Stroke, choose R=193, G=39, B=45 for Stroke Color.
While both curves are still selected, go to Object, Blend, Blend Options, from Spacing drop down menu choose Specified Steps and enter 10. Press OK to close Blend Options dialog box, then go to Object, Blend, Make.


Step 83

Keep selected the blended curves and in Transparency pane change Blend Mode to Luminosity, also reduce Opacity to 25%.
As we made this fish symmetrical, it will be easy to make the entire tail pattern without many transformations and adjustments. Simply Copy the upper tail lines and Paste them In Front, go to Object, Transform, Reflect, check Horizontal and move the blended curves to fit the bottom half of the tail.
If you like, you can group the upper and bottom tail curves- after selecting both objects press Ctrl+G.


Step 84

Take again Pen Tool (Fill Color switched off) and draw two curves at both sides of the fish body, following the body shape. Stroke them with the same Brush and Stroke Size: 1pt Tapered Brush Stroke; R=193, G=39, B=45 for Stroke Color.


Step 85

While both dark red curves are selected, navigate to Object menu, Blend, Blend Options, from Spacing drop down menu select Specified Steps and enter 20. Press OK to close Blend Options box, then go to Object, Blend, Make.


Step 86

While the fish body pattern made in the previous step is selected, navigate to Transparency Panel, change Blend Mode to Luminosity and lower Opacity to 3%.


Step 87

As the fish mouth still looks too rough we should add a nice gradient shapes to give it some volume. Take Pen Tool and draw lip like shape along the upper side of the mouth (see the selected shape on the screenshot). Fill the shape with gradient which colors correspond to the body gradient fill. The parameters of the Linear Gradient are as following:

Angle: 0 degrees;

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=240, B=208
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 50%, color: R=255, G=229, B=162
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=255, G=181, B=92

When ready with the upper part of the mouth, Copy the shape (Ctrl+C) and Paste it In Front (Ctrl+F), go to Object, Transform, Reflect, Horizontal and move the shape to fit the down side of the mouth.


Step 88

Now we are going to make some improvements on the fins. Take Pen Tool (only Stroke Color, remove the Fill Color) and draw some random wavy lines on the Dorsal and Pelvis Fin. Choose 1pt for Stroke Size, dark red (R=193, G=39, B=45), and of course, stroke with our almighty Tapered Stroke Brush.
With all fin lines selected, go to Object, Group, then navigate to Transparency Panel, change Blend Mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 10%.

Select Pen Tool again and draw three curves between the body and tail. Choose 5pt for Stroke Size, stroke with Tapered Stroke Brush of any color because in the next step we are going to change the single color fill with gradient.


Step 89

Select the three curves we drew in the last step, group them (Ctrl+G) and fill them with Radial Black to White gradient (one of the default gradients offered by Gradient pane). Change Blend Mode of this group of lines to Soft Light and reduce Opacity to 30%.


Step 90

Grab Ellipse Tool and cover most of the fish body with tiny ellipses of different sizes. When ready, select all of them and Group them (Ctrl+G), go to Swatch Libraries, choose Gradients, Gems and Jewels and click on the shiny Pink Tourmaline Gradient.


Step 91

With the group of ellipses selected, go to Transparency Panel, change Blend Mode to Luminosity and Opacity to 26 %.


Step 92

To make the Gill Cover, draw a crescent shape with Pen Tool (no Fill Color), stroke with the Tapered Stroke Brush, Stroke Color R=166, G=124, B=82, Stroke Size 4pt.
Lower Opacity of the selected crescent shape to 38%.


Step 93

Duplicate the previous crescent shape (Gill Cover) then Paste in Front and with the duplicate selected, change the Stroke Size to 2pt. In order to add slight relief to the Gill Cover, while the copied crescent is selected go to Object, Expand Appearance. Fill the expanded shape with Citrine Gradient (Window, Swatches, Swatch Libraries menu, Gradients, Gems and Jewels, Citrine).
In Transparency Panel change Blend Mode to Normal and Opacity to 56%.


Step 94

Now we are going to add a nice fish eye. On the Screenshot given to this step I have numbered all eye elliptical parts and here they are as following:

1. Draw the eye base with Ellipse Tool, Dark Blue Stroke Color (R=0, G=113, B=188). Fill the ellipse with Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=247, B=208
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=162, G=122, B=0

In Transparency Panel reduce Opacity of this first ellipse to 85%.

2. Draw the second elliptical eye part (a bit smaller than the first) with Ellipse Tool, Dark Blue Stroke Color (R=0, G=113, B=188). Fill the ellipse with Sharp Black Vignette Gradient (Gradients, Vignettes, Sharp Black Vignette).

3. Draw the third elliptical eye part (a bit smaller than the previous) with Ellipse Tool, Dark Blue Stroke Color (R=0, G=113, B=188). Fill the ellipse with the same Sharp Black Vignette Gradient (Gradients, Vignettes, Sharp Black Vignette). With this Ellipse selected, go to Transparency Panel and change Blend Mode to Soft Light.

4. Draw the fourth elliptical eye part (a bit smaller than the previous) with Ellipse Tool, Dark Blue Stroke Color (R=0, G=113, B=188). Fill the ellipse with two swatches Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=233, G=231, B=255

Keep this last drawn Ellipse selected and go to Object, Arrange, Send to Backward. Thus the ellipse will be moved behind the previous Soft Light Vignette.


5. Draw the fifth elliptical eye part (smaller than the previous) with Ellipse Tool, Dark Blue Stroke Color (R=0, G=113, B=188). Fill the ellipse with four swatches Radial Gradient:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=0, G=0, B=0
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 22%, color: R=0, G=43, B=22
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 53%, color: R=0, G=54, B=28
Fourth Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=0, G=255, B=131


Step 95

The third fish is ready. Export it as PNG file format.


Step 96

Create a new Adobe Illustrator (.ai) file and name it Bubble.
Pick Ellipse Tool with any Fill Color (no Stroke Color) and holding Shift draw a circular shape on the art board.
Navigate to Gradient panel, from Gradient Fill drop down menu select Linear Gradient and change the color of both swatches as following:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=212, G=237, B=245
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=92, G=112, B=255

Set Gradient Angle to minus 70 degrees.

Move to Transparency Panel (certainly keep the circle selected), change Blend Mode to Color Dodge and bring down Opacity to only 7%.


Step 97

Now Copy and Paste in Front the circle (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F), in Transparency Panel change Blend Mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 25% then fill with Radial Gradient with these swatches:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white)
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 58%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white)
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=41, G=171, B=226


Step 98

Duplicate the previous circle (Ctrl+C) and Paste in Front (Ctrl+F). Firstly change Blend Mode in Transparency Panel to Overlay and Opacity to 15%.
Change the Radial gradient fill like this:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), reduce Opacity of this particular color swatch to 0%
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 80%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), reduce Opacity of this color swatch to 45%
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), reduce Opacity of this color swatch to 76%


Step 99

Duplicate the last circle (Ctrl+C) and Paste in Front (Ctrl+F). Leave Blend Mode in Transparency Panel to Overlay and increase Opacity to 56%.

Change the Radial Gradient swatches as following:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 43%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), set Opacity of this color swatch to 44%
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 78%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), change Opacity of this color swatch to 0%
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), Opacity of this color swatch-76%


Step 100

Duplicate the last created circle (Ctrl+C) and Paste in Front (Ctrl+F). Change Blend Mode in Transparency Panel to Overlay and bring down Opacity to 34%. While the circle is selected, hold down Shift and move one of the anchor points of Selection Tool to the inside in order to resize the circle a few pixels.
Deselect the circle and draw another ellipse (with Ellipse Tool) in front but make sure a crescent at the upper right side of the transparent circle to be visible. When ready, select both circles, go to Pathfinder Panel and press Minus Front Icon.
Don’t change anything in Gradient Panel this time but if you like to make this crescent smoother, while it is selected, go to Effect menu, select Blur, then Gaussian Blur and when Gaussian Blur dialog box pops up, move the slider to 5px.


Step 101


We’ll continue to add more details to our vector bubble. In this step we should make two crescents at the upper and down part of the circle. I created them with Pen Tool.
Select the upper crescent and fill it with this Linear Gradient with three white swatches:

Set Gradient Angle to 73 degrees and change swatches:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), set Opacity of this color swatch to 0%
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 44%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), change Opacity of this color swatch to 28%
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), Opacity of this color swatch-100%

With the upper crescent selected go to Transparency Panel, change Blend Mode to Color Dodge and Opacity to 20%. Go to Effect, Blur, Gaussian Blur, move the slider to 3px.

It is time to select the bottom crescent and make it transparent and shiny. Firstly, apply to it the upper described gradient, change only the Gradient Angle to -117 degrees. Secondly, in Transparency Panel change Blend Mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 28%.

Again navigate to Effect, Blur, Gaussian Blur and move the slider to 5px.


Step 102

Take Pen Tool (White Stroke Color, no Fill Color) and draw an arched curve- stroke it with Tapered Stroke Brush and choose 30pt for Stroke Size. Place the arched shape at the upper part of the bubble and reduce its Opacity to only 11%. With the curve still selected, go to Effect, Blur, Gaussian Blur and move the slider to 23px.

Add more glow to the bottom part of the circle. Take Paintbrush Tool, choose Tapered Stroke Brush again and change Stroke Size to 8pt, White Stroke Color. Remove the Fill Color. With one move of your hand draw a white arch lower curve as you see on the screenshot. Reduce its Opacity to 25%.


Step 103

Take Ellipse Tool and draw two squished elliptical shapes as shown on the screenshot. Place the bigger one at the upper part of the bubble and the small one at the down part.
Fill both ellipses with this Radial Gradient with three swatches from transparent white to solid white:

First Gradient Swatch: Location: 0%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), Opacity of this color swatch - 0%
Second Gradient Swatch: Location: 76%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), Opacity of this color swatch to - 36%
Third Gradient Swatch: Location: 100%, color: R=255, G=255, B=255 (white), Opacity of this color swatch-72%

The only thing left to do is to go to Transparency Panel. Change Blend Mode of the selected bigger ellipse to Color Dodge and Opacity to 13%. After that select the smaller ellipse at the down part and set its Blend Mode to Soft Light, also lower Opacity to 44%.


Step 104

Take Ellipse Tool and holding down Shift key draw a circle with diameter a few pixels smaller than the diameter of the bubble. Fill the circle with the gradient from the previous step and reduce its Opacity to 17% (Blend Mode- Bormal)

The bubble is ready. Switch off the dark background as we need transparent background for our PNG file. Go to File, Export, in File Name Field call your file Vector Bubble, from the drop down menu of Save As Type, choose PNG. In PNG Options Dialog Box leave the default 72 ppi Screen Resolution and Color: Transparent for Background then press OK. After saving this PNG file, switch on the dark background and save also your original Illustrator Document.


Step 105

In these last four steps we are going to create Sea Weed for our beautiful underwater scene.
Create a new .ai file and call it Sea Weed.
Take Pen Tool with dark green stroke color (R=0, G=104, B=55), disable Fill Color and start to draw the first sea weed. See the screenshot as a guideline. Set Stroke Size to 1pt. Does not matter what brush you’ll choose for stroke type as we are going to change it in the following step.


Step 106

Select all objects (the sea weed parts) and go to Object, Group. Let us “betray” our favorite Tapered Stroke Brush and replace it with more attractive brush stroke. For thee purpose, navigate to Window, Brushes, click on Brush Libraries Menu icon (at the down left side of Brushes Palette), select Vector Packs, then from the fly-out menu click on Grunge Brushes Vector Pack and finally choose Grunge Brush Vector Pack 01 (the first brush in the pack). Keep the Stroke Size at 1pt.

The first sea weed is ready. We have to create two more.


Step 107

Now shape the second sea weed. It is enough to draw three curves with Pen Tool, stroked with Grunge Brush Vector Pack 01 (the brush used in the previous step), plus Dark Green Color Stroke, 3pt Stroke Size.


Step 108

At last we are going to add more detail to the sea weed we made in Step 104. Take again Pen Tool, change the Stroke Size to 1pt and choose again Grunge Brush Vector Pack 01, this time change Stroke Color to Grass Green: R=57, G=181, B=74. Draw three wavy lines tracing the curves of the previously drawn sea weed.

Well, we are off with our work in Adobe Illustrator. In the following steps we are going to move all our PNG files into our PSD file to create the beautiful water scene.


Step 109

Open up your “Water World” PSD file. Firstly move the bigger sea weed we created in Illustrator. Use Edit, Free Transform to resize it and place it properly at the down right side of the image. Go to Layers Panel, change Blend Mode to Vivid Light and Opacity to 50%.

Duplicate the weed, resize more, place the duplicate to the left and change its Blend Mode to Luminosity, keep the 50% Opacity.

Now select a chosen part of the sea weed, duplicate it twice (Ctrl+J twice), use Edit, Transform, Warp to change the shape of both duplicates and place them as you see on the screenshot.

Set their Blend Mode to Normal, Opacity: 47% and Overlay, Opacity: 45% respectively.


Step 110

Move the thinner sea weed into your PSD file, place it to the left of the image. Duplicate its layer (Ctrl+J), use Edit, Transform, Warp to reshape the copy and move it close down to the first weed. Set Opacity of both weeds to 46% and don’t change the Normal Blend Mode.

Select all Sea Weed layers and go to Layer, Group Layers (Ctrl+G). Call the new group Weed and place it above Background group.


Step 111

Now move all Fish 1, 2 and 3 PNG files into your Photoshop Document, use Edit, Free Transform and Edit, Transform, Distort to resize them. Your result should resemble my screenshot unless you prefer to arrange differently these water creatures.


Step 112

In this Step, just make duplicate of each fish and change its Blend Mode to Multiply and reduce Opacity to 30-40%. Use Eraser Tool or Layer Mask to get rid of the too dark areas.

Select all Fish layers and press Ctrl+G to group them, then name the group Fish- placed above Weed group.


Step 113

Now comes the fun bubbly part. Move Bubble PNG into your Photoshop document. Duplicate the bubble layer and switch off the original for now as we’ll process it later. Call the duplicated layer Bubble and while highlighted, go to Layer, Group Layers and call the new group Background Bubbles. Place this group between Background and Sea Weed groups.

Use Edit, Free Transform to make the imported bubble tiny, then duplicate it five times. Use Free Transform again to change the size of each bubble. To make them of various shades, use Blend Mode changes. I preferred Screen, Overlay and Soft Light Mode with Opacity not higher than 55%. It is up to you what Blend Mode and Opacity to apply on each bubble, you may prefer them more apparent, in that case use higher Opacity percent.


Step 114

Now switch on the first bubble layer you moved into your PSD file. Move it above Fish group and while selected press Ctrl+G to place it in a Group. Call the group Front Bubbles.
Duplicate the first bubble in the group as many times as you like. Use Edit, Free Transform (Ctrl+T) to change the size of each bubble and apply different Opacity and Blend Mode. On the screen shot I have shown the possible arrangement of the bubbles as well as Blend Mode and Opacity of four of them. I preferred to use Overlay, Soft Light, Luminosity and Lighten Color. As for the Opacity- 100% for bubbles with Soft Light Blend Mode and lower percent for the bubbles with Blend Mode Overlay, Luminosity or Lighten Color.


Step 115

This Step is optional. Go to Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Photo Filter, from Filter drop down menu choose Underwater. Change Blend Mode of this Adjustment Layer (placed above Front Bubbles group) to Soft Light and lower Opacity to 10%.

Navigate again to Layer, New Adjustment Layer, this time choose Black and White. Leave its default settings, only change Blend Mode of the layer to Multiply and bring down Opacity to 15%.


Step 116

If you have followed this tutorial step-by-step, your resulting image should look as the following screenshot.

Thank you very much for reading and good luck.



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14 Comments:

avatar George55
George55 says:

Good tutorial, well explained and cute. I have not done much in Illustrator, your tutorial gives me the input to use other programs rather thatn PS. Thank you for sharing it with us, and good luck, my friend.

(2 years and 364 days ago)
avatar CorneliaMladenova

Thank you for the kind words, my friend. I tried to explain everything for beginners level that's why used so much the commands Copy and Paste in Front. For intermediate and advanced level is preferable to add colors and strokes in Appearance pane but it would have made my tut more complicated

(2 years and 364 days ago)
avatar nishagandhi

cute fishies Cornelia! nicely explained!

(2 years and 355 days ago)
avatar CorneliaMladenova

Thank you very much for the support, Nisha

(2 years and 354 days ago)
avatar Dubhy63
Dubhy63 says:

Fantastic tutorial,I love all the details that are put into it,very useful for a beginner like me

(2 years and 352 days ago)
avatar CorneliaMladenova

Thank you very much for the kind words, Bart Hope you'll have fun with this tut

(2 years and 351 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Really neat! I'm going to get it a shot.

(2 years and 350 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

thank u for share , excellent work.

(2 years and 301 days ago)
avatar renchisam
renchisam says:

very fantastic tutorial with all details. I appreciate your talents.
It is very much helpful to me in this filed.

(2 years and 192 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

How wonderful!

(2 years and 140 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

very fantastic tutorial think you

(2 years and 6 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thanks!
Very nice.

(1 year and 307 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Great tutorial!
It took alonk time but the result is phantastic.
Thank you very much!

(1 year and 290 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

I LIKE VERY MUCH.............

(1 year and 287 days ago)


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