Ñam Ñam! Make a Delicious Taco Icon in 10 Simple Steps!

In this tutorial we’ll be cooking a yummy vector taco in Adobe Illustrator, using basic geometric shapes in order to preserve a simple flat style.

Let’s begin!

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Topics Covered: Shape Building, Live Corners, Pathfinder panel
  • Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes

Final Image: Delicious Taco

Step 1

Let’s start with a taco shell. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a 165 x 120 px yellow shape.

Step 2

Take the Direct Selection Tool (A), select both top corners of the rectangle and pull the circle marker of the Live Corners down to make the top part fully rounded. We can also adjust the Corner Radius manually by typing the exact value in the Corners window in the control panel on top.

Do the same for the bottom of the shape but this time, make the corners less rounded.

Step 3

Now let’s add some minor details to the taco shell. Copy (Control-C) the shape and Paste in Front (Control-F). Select the top shape.

Take the Eraser Tool (Shift-E). Hold down Alt and spread the selection over the top of the shape. Once you release the mouse button, the covered area will be deleted. Fill the remaining part with a slightly darker color, forming a shadow in the bottom of the shell.

Now let’s Copy (Control-C) the shell and Paste in Back (Control-B). Move the back copy to the left by pressing the left arrow key a few times and fill it with a lighter yellow color for the highlight.

Step 4

Let’s add some texture to it. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a 17 x 7 px rectangle. Make its corners fully rounded using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Live Corners feature.

Make more copies of the created shape and spread them over the surface to make the taco shell textured.

Step 5

Now let’s draw a filling! First of all, open the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and create a New Layer beneath the taco layer by clicking the Create New Layer icon in the bottom of the panel.

Take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a wavy shape for the salad. Fill the shape with green color.

Step 6

Draw another wavy shape on top of the salad and make its color a bit darker.

Step 7

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and let’s add some roasted pepper to the salad. Make a 45 x 45 px red circle and put a smaller and darker circle on top of it. Group (Control-G) both circles and add more copies, spreading them along the taco shell.

Step 8

Now let’s add a back part of the taco shell. First of all, open the Layers panel and drag and drop the taco layer over the Create New Layers icon (in the bottom of the panel) to duplicate the layer with all its contents. Move the created layer beneath the filling layer.

Now we can select the taco back group and use the Selection Tool (V) while holding down Shift to move it to the left.

Don’t forget to make the back taco part somewhat darker, adding depth to our illustration.

Step 9

Let’s make an onion ring. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a 55 x 55 px circle. Duplicate (Control-C > Control-F) the created shape and make the top copy a bit smaller (45 x 45 px).

Select both circles and use the Minus Front function of the Pathfinder to cut the top circle out. Now we have a perfect onion ring!

Step 10

Let’s finish up with our delicious taco by putting some onion rings inside, varying their size.

¡Qué Delicioso! Our Taco is Finished!

Here we have it guys, our perfect taco is ready to be eaten! I hope you’ve enjoyed following this tutorial and discovered some new tips and tricks to use in your illustrations. Go ahead and add some more ingredients there, I’m leaving it up to you!

Have fun!

Author: Yulia Sokolova
2D/3D artist and tutorial instructor, focusing on character creation, icons, lettering design and illustrations.

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