Drawing a honey pot in Illustrator

Honey potThis morning I started on the last component of the Baby Bee baby shower paraphernalia. The other bridal shower organizers decided on getting inexpensive “honey stix” for favors. My job was to figure out a cute way of packaging them. I’ll have to post the results later on, but as part of my project, I wanted to draw a honey pot in Illustrator and decided to turn it into a step-by-step tutorial while I was at it. You can see the completed honey pot, now for the step by step…

First: Using the pen tool, I drew an outline of a honey pot shape. This shape will form the outer “stroke” of my drawing. (Note — this is not a tutorial in how to use the pen tool. Luckily, I’ve already written a tutorial on SitePoint about creating vector shapes in Illustrator.)

Honey pot outline

I want to copy and shrink the shape slightly to form the “inside” filled portion of the honey pot. One way to do this is to choose the scale tool. Click and drag to shrink the honey pot — but hold down the Alt (PC) key while doing it. This will create a duplicate of the shape while you shrink it. Release the mouse to see your new shape on top of the original one.

Copy and shrink shape.

I filed the inner shape with a different color to make it easier to see. (If you have the shape selected, make sure your “fill” color patch is selected from the toolbar, then click on a color swatch to fill the shape with the color.) Using the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow), click on each vector point to move it. You can also drag on the control handles to adjust the curves.

Adjusting shape outline.

Here is my edited shape:

Adjusted shape.

Now I want to add a little “line” to help define the shape of the pot. To do this, I want to tweak the yellow shape so that more of the brown background shape shows. I select the “add points” tool (hidden behind the pen tool) and click twice to add two more points. You can see where I clicked in the diagram below.

Adding points.

I click on the original point and drag it to the right. This tweaks the yellow shape so that the brown shape shows through. (I then tweak the direction handles slightly to get a smoother effect.)

Adjusting points.

With the yellow shape still selected, I choose the Knife tool. The Knife tool can be used to “cut” a shape into multiple shapes. Using the knife, I draw the line shown below:

Using knife tool.

When I release the knife tool, Illustrator automatically separates the original shape into two separate vector shapes.

Result of knife tool.

I fill the two shape with different colors. Again, you want the fill color patch selected, and then you can use the Swatches or Color palettes to define your colors.

Coloring shapes.

Next, I draw a blob for “honey” that is spilling over the edge. I use the dark brown so that this can be my “stroke” color.

Drawing honey shape.

Using the Scale tool again, I shrink and copy the honey shape by clicking and dragging whil holding the Alt key.

Copying and shrinking honey shape.

Here are some diagram-less steps. The purpose is to get a “cut-out” of the stroke. Unlike the honey-pot where the brown “stroke” is really a solid shape behind the yellow shape, I want a see-through “stroke” for the honey, which means I’m going to make a copy of the inner shape and then use it for a “cut-out” of the larger shape.

  • Adjust the points using the Direct Selection tool (white arrow), similar to how I did it for the honey pot.
  • With the inner shape selected, go to Edit > Copy and then Edit > Paste on top. Now I have two of the inner shape, exactly the same size, one on top of the other.

Now, using the black arrow tool, click on the top inner shape and then Shift-click on the outer edge of the bottom shape to select both of them. Open the Pathfinder palette and click on the fourth shape mode (highlighted in blue in the diagram) to get the path intersection.
Combining shapes.

Initially it may seem like nothing happened, but if you click and drag on the inner shape and move it away (I colored it yellow for demo purposes — this is the “original” inner shape), you can see that the inner and outer shapes have been combined to form a cut-out of the stroke. (If you really did move the inner shape aside, undo to get it back to where it was.)

Shape cut-out results.

Use the knife tool again to make a “highlight” for the honey. I made a curvy sort of shape.

Using knife tool agai.

I colored the highlight part a light yellow. For the lower honey part, I kept it a golden yellow color and then lowered the Opacity in the Transparency palette.

Coloring shapes.

Now, type some text (or add some other kind of symbol) over the honey pot.

Adding text.

Switch to the black arrow tool and select the text. Type Ctrl-[ a couple of times until the honey glob overlaps the honey text. Ctrl-[ and Ctrl-] are keyboard shortcuts for moving objects backwards and forwards (think of them on different layer). Since the honey glob is transparent, you can see the text behind it.

Reordering objects.

Again, here’s the completed honey pot:

Final honey pot graphc.

Hope you enjoyed that tasty tutorial!


9 thoughts on “Drawing a honey pot in Illustrator

  1. Doodah – thanks for the propz regarding my skillz.

    Minor rant: Why is it that they have to be called “honey stix” instead of just “honey sticks?” They might as well have gone the extra step of spelling ridiculousness and called them “Hon-E-stix.”

  2. Love the tutorial on the pot. Just got to show you how creative (eh eh) and artistic you are. Oh and can’t wait to get my Corrieized Hon-E-stix favor on Saturday!

  3. oops.. my comment is incoherent.. maybe because it’s late or because I’m tired. Or maybe I just can’t spell good (ha lol.. I know, it’s supposed to be well).

  4. Hi Corrie,
    can read your blog descriptions but can’t see illustrations of the steps.
    thanks, Mary

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