This Adobe Illustrator tutorial will show you how to create an abstract art that can be used for wallpaper, website header or background images. It is fun and easy. You will learn how to use the Warp and Twirl tool to create abstract vector art in minutes. Users with basic skills should be able to handle this tutorial. To continue on this tutorial, you need Adobe Illustrator CS or above.

View Final Artwork

Understanding The Tools (Warp and Twirl)

Run Illustrator and create a new document, 8 x 10 inches, CMYK color mode. Double click on the Warp tool icon (on the toolbar) to activate the option panel. The setting I have is: width 1.4", height 1.4", and intensity 50%.

warp options

We will be using the Warp tool a lot, so tear off the tool set for quick access. Click and hold on the Warp tool icon until you see a dropdown panel, click on the Tearoff icon.

tearoff

Warp Tool

Draw a box with the Rectangle tool. Select the Warp tool and the box. Drag your cursor above the object. Notice how the object warped based on your mouse movement.

warp

Create another box. Now, go crazy and keep on spinning your mouse around the shape.

spiral warp

Remember: your result will look different than mine due to your settings and mouse movement.

Twirl Tool

Draw a rectangle box. Select the Twirl tool. With the box selected, press and hold your cursor above the box. It will twirl the object continously.

twirl

Create another box. This time, quickly drag the mouse in zig zag movement.

zig zag twirl

Let's Begin

Delete all the test objects. Create a big rectangle shape to cover the document canvas. Fill it with blue gradient. Lock this layer.

background

Create a new layer. Draw two long rectangle shapes. Fill one with black color and another with magenta gradient. With both rectangle objects selected, use the Twirl tool and quickly spin the mouse across.

Rotate the object in 45 degree and place it in the upper right corner.

preview

Draw a red circle. Select the Twirl tool. Press and hold on the object until you get a sun-looking circle. Place the circle in the back.

preview

Draw another circle and fill it with red-orange gradient. Select the Twirl tool and quickly drag on its edge and place it above the sun shape.

orange circle

preview

Glowing Effect

Create a circle and fill it with radial gradient. In the gradient slider, select yellow for one end and black for another end (make sure the black is C=100, Y=100, M=100, K=100). Set the blending mode to Screen.

glowing effect

Duplicate the glowing circle. Shrink it a bit and shift it up. Change the yellow color to white.

glowing effect

Smoke-Like Shape

Create a rectangle shape. With the Twirl tool, randomly drag and spin the mouse back and forth to create a smoke-like shape. Fill it with white color.

Fire-Ball-Like Shape

Randomly draw 4 circles in different sizes. With the Twirl tool, drag the mouse in spiral movement.

fireball

Create another set of twirling shapes with the Twirl tool. Then fill it with orange-red gradient.

fireball

Electric-Like Strokes

Create a thin long rectangle shape. Use the Twirl tool, quickly drag the mouse across the shape in zig zag movement.

electric stroke

Then fill them with various color.

electric stroke

Overlay Circles

Draw various size of circles and send them to the back. Fill them with gradient and set the blending mode to Multiply.

overlay circles

Dark Glowing Circles

Create two circles and fill them with blue-white radial gradient. Send them to the back. Set the blending mode to Multiply.

dark glowing circles

Touch-Up

Look around the artwork, find the un-smooth shapes, smudge it with the Warp tool. Make them look rounded and liquified.

touch up

Final Remarks

I have only used the Warp and Twirl tool in this tutorial. Don't forget to try out the Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tool. Play around with the tool options and shapes. You don't have to start off with the rectangle shape, try the star or irregular shapes. They can also be used for creating texturized patterns.

remarks