How To Make A Realistic Vector Wheel In Illustrator

Hi guys, today we’re going to make a realistic looking car wheel in our very own illustrator CS5. This tutorial is very easy to follow. Basically, you’ll learn the use of Ellipse tool of illustrator in this tut and how you can achieve various shapes and shades of things using gradients available in illustrator CS5.

So, let’s get started.

Program: Illustrator CS5

Difficulty level: Beginner

Time: 20-25min

Before beginning the tutorial let’s have a look at the complete image:

illustrator tutorial

Now we’ll start:


Start your illustrator and open up a new document of 800x800px. Select Ellipse tool and make a circular shape of W: 426.78px-H: 426.78px. Fill the circle with Pewter Radial gradient which you can find in swatches libraries under gradient->Metals. Stroke will be of black color#000000 and of 4pt.

illustrator tutorial


Make another circle slightly smaller than the first (W: 408px-H: 408px). Fill it with dark grey (follow the given image for color composition) and for stroke I’ve used a Scroll brush4 to give a bit of a pattern to our tire.

illustrator tutorial


Make 3rd circle (W: 385px-H: 385px) smaller than the first 2. Fill it with Steel Radial gradient with black stroke 1pt.

illustrator tutorial


Now we’re moving on to our 4th circle (W: 293.08px-H: 293.08px) smaller than the rest, you can see the given image for placement. Fill it with Smoky Quartz gradient to give it a metallic look.

illustrator tutorial


Make another circle (W: 270px-H: 270px) on top of it and fill it with #231F20 with no stroke.

illustrator tutorial


Make a smaller circle in the middle (W: 90.98px-H: 90.98px) and fill it with Silver gradient.

illustrator tutorial


Make another circle (W: 212.33px-H: 212.33px) in between the last small circle and the one before without fill and 16pt stroke of color# 6c6365 as shown below.

illustrator tutorial


Now make the petal like shape shown in the picture below with White color #ffffff Fill and black #000000 stroke of 1pt.

illustrator tutorial


Repeat the process 5 more time. There should be 6 petals in the wheel to show the vacant space.

illustrator tutorial


Now make a small circular shape in the middle (W: 51px-H: 51px), fill it with Steel radial gradient and Black stroke of 2pt.

illustrator tutorial


Now we are going to add some nuts to our wheel, to do that make a small circle (W: 14.32px-H: 14.32px). Fill it with the gradient shown below.

illustrator tutorial


Make another circle (W: 6px-H: 6px) in the middle; fill it with the same gradient and keep the stroke black and of 4pt.

illustrator tutorial


Give the base circle a drop shadow and make the settings according to the image shown below.

illustrator tutorial


Now make a narrow oval (W: 177px-H: 18px) with ellipse tool, fill it with black color #000000 and reduce its opacity to 65% and then go to Effect->Blur->Gaussian Blur. Keep the radius 6.0 pixels.

illustrator tutorial


Now we’ll add a reflection to our wheel. Go to Edit ->Copy->Paste in place. Give the copied wheel a slightly oval shape (W: 406px-H: 124px).  Now place it below the wheel, reduce its opacity to 48% and give the reflection Gaussian blur of 4.6 pixels radius.

illustrator tutorial

Now our vector wheel is ready:

illustrator tutorial

Hope you had fun making it with me. Do share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment box below. Until next time take care.


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