Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Did you know that it’s not just the USA that has an Independence Day in July? Algeria has one too! That’s why I decided to create this Independence Day illustration, and now I want to show you how to create it.

We will use basic shapes and warp effects. We will also use an option which allows you to repeat your last movement as many times as you want. You will learn how to create a new layer and lock it, as well as many other different things which could be helpful to you in your future projects.

If you like tutorials with a national note, you would probably like my tutorial about Oktoberfest. Or maybe you would like to browse some images about travel. PhotoDune has a good collection of such images.

Whenever you are ready, let’s start!

1. How to Create the Background

After creating a new document, we will start by creating the background. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and click on your artboard. In the new dialogue window, enter Width and Height 850 px and press OK. A big square will appear on your artboard, which is going to be the background. Make sure the background stays in the middle of your artboard and has no stroke color and the fill color shown below. You can set the color on the Color panel (Window > Color).

If you are afraid of accidentally moving the background, it’s better to lock the layer right where it is. Be sure the Layers panel is open (Window > Layers). Lock the layer where the background is (a lock sign should appear on the left side of the layer’s name), and create a new layer (press the Create New Layer button on the panel) where you will create everything else.

how to create the background

2. How to Create the Flag

The Algerian flag has green and white colors in the background. Hit the Rectangle Tool (M) again and create a green rectangle in the middle. The width and height don’t matter very much here—just make sure it’s not too big.

After that, while keeping the green rectangle selected, create a new copy of it in front (Control-C, Control-F). Using the Right Arrow, move the new copy to the right. Change its fill color to the one shown below. It is okay if the two rectangles slightly overlap each other, so you won’t have a gap between them.

how to create the flag

3. How to Create the Dove

Step 1

Let’s start to create the dove from an ellipse. Hit the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a small ellipse. Rotate it a little bit to the left.

Then, add a tiny brown circle as an eye.

how to create the doves head

Step 2

Now we are going to create the beak. Again, you need to draw an ellipse.

Grab the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) (or in the newer version of AI: Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C)), and click on the right anchor point of this ellipse. It will turn from a smooth side to sharp corner, and that’s what we want.

how to create the beak

Place the beak behind the dove’s head. For this, select the beak, cut it off (Control-X), and place it behind (Control-B).

how to place the beak

Step 3

On to the body. Start with a newly created ellipse and, while keeping it selected, go to Effect > Warp > Inflate. Enter the options shown below in the new dialogue window. Then press OK.

It’s very important to expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance) because if you don’t and then start to rotate the shape, it will turn into a weird shape.

how to create the body

Place the shape you just created on the dove’s head, as shown below. You actually don’t need the black stroke—I created it for you so you can see how the shapes have to be placed a bit better.

how to place the body

Step 4

Let’s create the wing. Again, you want to create an ellipse. While keeping it selected, go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Enter the options shown below in the new dialogue window. Then press OK.

Expand this shape: Object > Expand Appearance.

Add many small ellipses as feathers. Remember, you don’t need the black stroke—I created it just for better visibility.

Finally, group the whole wing (right-click > Group).

how to create the wing

Step 5

Place the wing on the dove.

Create a copy of the wing, and change its fill color. Now, place it behind the dove’s body.

how to place the wing and create another one

Step 6

The last thing we need in order to finish off our dove is the tail. Create a few ellipses and place them as shown below.

It’s better to group the whole dove: select it, and then right-click > Group.

how to create the tail

Transfer the dove to the left corner of the Algerian flag.

how to place the dove on the flag

4. How to Create the Banner

Step 1

Delete the fill color and set the stroke color shown in the image below. Grab the Line Segment Tool (/) and draw a line.

To create a triangle, you need to take the Polygon Tool and click on your artboard. In the new dialogue window, enter Sides 3 with any Radius, and hit OK.

Turn the triangle upside down and set a green fill color without a stroke.

While holding the Shift and Alt buttons together, start to move this triangle to the right. You’ll notice that you’ve just got a copy of your triangle perfectly aligned.

After that, press Control-D a few more times to fill up the brown line. The Control-D buttons repeat your last movement.

Using the Selection Tool (V), select every second triangle on the banner. Then, change their fill color to the one shown below.

how to create the banner

Step 2

Group the whole banner.

While keeping it selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc and, in the new dialogue window, enter the options shown below.

It is very important to expand your banner (Object > Expand Appearance) as you will rotate the banner later on.

how to warp the banner

Place the banner on the right corner of the flag, opposite the dove.

how to place the banner

5. How to Create the Moon and Star on the Flag

Step 1

To get a perfect moon shape, start with an even circle. To create an even circle, hold the Shift button while creating it using the Ellipse Tool (L).

Create a new, smaller circle and make these two circles overlap as shown in the image below.

Select both of them and then press the Minus Front button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). See the moon shape?

how to create the moon

Step 2

Grab the Star Tool and create a small star with the same fill color. Rotate it a bit to the right and place it as shown below.

how to create the star

Transfer the moon and star onto the flag.

how to place the star and moon

6. How to Create the Floral Decorations

Step 1

To create a flower, we will need the Polygon Tool again. So grab this tool and click on your artboard. Now enter 6 Sides with any Radius, and press OK.

While keeping the created hexagon selected, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat. Then enter the options shown below.

Finally, add a yellow circle in the middle. The flower is ready!

how to create the flower

Step 2

Make more flowers in a different color as they will be our decoration, so we need variety.

how to create more flowers

Step 3

Delete the fill color and set the stroke color shown below. Hit the Arc Tool and create a curve. I like also to check Round Cap on the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke).

To make the green stroke color the fill color, press Shift-X. Then, draw many small ellipses as the leaves, thus forming a palm leaf.

Group the whole palm leaf.

how to create the palm leaf

Give one palm leaf to the dove. Notice that the leaf is behind the dove’s beak.

Place the previously created flowers on the flag. Add the palm leaves behind the flowers. Feel free to play around with the arrangement if you like.

how to place the palm leaves and flowers

7. How to Create the Fireworks 

Step 1

Set the new fill color shown below and draw a star using the Star Tool. Add a tiny circle under it. 

While holding the Shift and Alt keys together, shift the circle down. Press Control-D once, and a new copy of the circle will appear at the same distance from the previous one.

While holding the Shift and Alt keys, move the star down. Then, make it smaller. Create a new line from the tiny circles using the same method as before.

how to create the firework

Step 2

Group the whole line of stars and circles. Take the Rotate Tool (R) and, while holding down the Alt key, click under the line. In the new dialogue window, enter a value around 30 degrees and hit Copy.

Press Control-D a few times to finish off the fireworks.

how to rotate the firework

Step 3

Using the same method as before, create another line of ellipses, circles and stars for the future fireworks. Feel free to create any shapes you want for it.

how to create the firework

Step 4

Using the Rotate Tool (R) while holding down the Alt key, create a new firework effect.

how to rotate the firework

Step 5

Make a few copies of the yellow fireworks. Change the fill color of few of them to the ones presented below. Be sure each set of fireworks is grouped separately.

different colors fireworks

Place all of them behind all the objects, but in front of the background. For this, you can select the fireworks together with the background, cut them off (Control-X), and place them behind (Control-B).

how to place the fireworks


Thank you so much for sticking with me until the end. I hope you learned something new and will share your experience with others. And, as always, make sure to check out GraphicRiver for more ideas, inspiration, art, and more.

Now that you know how to create this piece of art, you can create much more using the same shapes, warp effects, and tools that I showed you how to use. Hopefully you enjoyed this tutorial and I will see you in my next one! Bye!