Thanksgiving is around the corner and to help you celebrate I’ve put together a Thanksgiving Facebook cover image. I mixed the traditional cornucopia with fall pumpkins, apples, and leaves. I couldn’t find the right Illustrator brushes to make my leaves, so I also put together a fall leaves set of Illustrator brushes as a separate freebie.
Thanksgiving Facebook Cover
If you can’t wait and just want the image, scroll to the bottom of the page to download. If you are interested in how this got put together, read on!
Fall Colors & Background
One of the first things that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving and the fall season is the color palette. The beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, and greens just instantly bring in that fall feeling. To set the stage for this graphic I started by using those core fall colors. The sunset represents both the year ending and has the perfect mix of colors. The hills add a nice touch of green.
The background is a radial gradient applied to a large rectangle. The center of the gradient is where the two hills meet in the background. The hills themselves are simple curve shapes created from two ellipses that I altered the anchor points with the convert anchor point tool.
Since flat design is a big trend right now, I wanted to do most of drawing using flat color and outlines. So even though I do like gradients, I’ll refraining from using them on the objects (I couldn’t resist on the background).
The cornucopia is synonymous with Thanksgiving, I can’t see one and not think of Thanksgiving. A cornucopia is basically a cone shape. Cones are a triangle and a circle. To make it look a bit more like a cornucopia I modified the anchor points and changed the color of the circle.
Now that I have the base shape for the cornucopia, I’ll add a bright highlight to the top for more of a 3D effect. Next I’ll use a dark brown to highlight the edges of the shape. Then I will darken the center of the circle which will give the effect of a hollow object.
The cornucopia is starting to look a bit better, but cornucopias are not smooth, they have ridges. To add the effect of ridges I will add a series of curved lines that are tapered. That gives a pretty realistic design without being too cluttered.
Pumpkins are symbolic of fall and pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving favorite of mine.
To get started on the pumpkin, I just draw an ellipse. Then I modify the anchor points of the ellipse to look a little more pumpkin shaped. At this point, the pumpkin looks a bit like an orange.
Pumpkins have ridges which help to visually separate them from oranges. I use a darker orange to add curved lines to the pumpkin simulating the ridges. The lines are tapered to show the roundness of pumpkins.
To create the indent in the top of the pumpkin I use an ellipse the same color as the ridges. Then into the indent I add a green stem. The stem is a rectangle with modified anchor points. Then I add a dark green outline to the stem and an additional line to indicate depth.
That gives us a pumpkin! Now I just duplicate, reflect, alter the orange a little and resize to get my second pumpkin.
Another Thanksgiving favorite of mine is homemade apple sauce. My mom makes a really delicious one with cinnamon and nutmeg. Mmmm… Anyway, due to my love of apples I’m adding some apples to this Thanksgiving cover image.
The apples start with the basic shape of an ellipse. The anchor points are modified so that the ellipse has a fatter and squater shape. Next I added some dark green highlights. I used the pen tool to draw a dark green C shape around the left side of the apple and applied a tapered brush stroke to it. Then I did a smaller dark green line around the stem of the apple.
Next I added a light green highlight. The highlight was a rectangle that I modified the anchor points on and rotated. This gives the apple a more curved impression.
Lastly I added a simple brown stem. The stem is composed of a medium brown rectangle which was modified to give the impression of a stem. Then I added a light brown stroke to the left of the stem and a dark brown stroke to the right. This added a three dimensional aspect. Now I just duplicate it a few times and make a few of the duplicates red.
For the fall leaves I wanted a number of different shapes and colors scattered around the way real leaves fall. However, I didn’t find any existing brushes which were done in a simple flat style. I did find fall leaves from the Adobe Exchange, but there were not the right style. So I just put together my own collection of flat colored Illustrator fall leaves brushes. You can download it from the blog post.
Please download and enjoy. Also, we’d love it if you would share with your friends by tweeting or liking this post!
The graphics are free to use for personal or commercial purposes, but you can not resell them or claim them as your own.