Sketch Tutorial: Create a simple illustration of prescription bottle in Sketch

Abhijeet Wankhade
Nov 11, 2015 · 9 min read

Recently I used Sketch instead of Illustrator to create a simple illustration. You can check it out below:

So we I will take you through the process, I hope it helps you in understanding some of the techniques and tricks that you can use in Sketch.

1. Create an artboard

I created this illustration just so that I could put it up on Dribbble. Whenever I create stuff tailored for Dribbble I use a custom artboard. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, you can create your custom artboards easily.

Press ‘A’ on your keyboard or go to ‘Insert > Artboard’ and you will see a list of different artboards appearing on the right side panel. At very bottom you will see a plus sign like this:

As you can see above that I have created one for Dribbble with dimensions 800x600 px. Once you click on that you get a dialogue box where you can set the custom size for your artboard and give it a name.

Create custom artboard

2. Give background to your artboard

When you select the artboard you get an option to give colour to your artboard. If you don’t give any colour to your artboard it will be treated as a transparent layer when you export it as PNG.

There are two ways to do this.

  • You can change the colour of the artboard from the side-panel. Here you are limited to solid colours only. That means you cannot apply gradients.
Add background colour
  • Use a shape as a background. Here you can apply solid colours as well as gradients.

In my example, I’ve used a rectangle shape to give background colour (#0786FF) to the artboard and locked it using Cmd+Shift+L shortcut.

3. Start creating basic shapes

Check out the following image and follow accordingly. You don’t necessarily have to copy all the numbers, just get the basic shapes and proportions correct.

So you need rectangles to create Capsule, Container Lid, Container and Container Label; one for each. Don’t worry about positioning at this moment.

Select the Capsule rectangle and increase the radius slider till it starts looking like a Capsule. I usually take it all the way to 100.

Similarly, give the Container Lid a radius of 4 (this is my personal preference, you can choose anything as long as it does not look like the Capsule).

Now, lets give a corner radius to the Container. Since the Container Lid will be resting on top of the Container we will not be needing any radius for top-left and top-right corner of the Container. In our example I want to apply a corner radius of 10 to bottom-left and bottom-right corner of the Container. To achieve this I will type ‘0/0/10/10’ (top-left/top-right/bottom-right/bottom-left). It might sound bit tricky but if you are used to CSS border-radius property this will be easy to follow.

Next up is the Label. The Label will be extending from the right edge of the bottle, so all the corners on that side will be of 0 radius. That means, top-right and bottom-right will be zero. In our example I want the left side corners of my Label to be 4. So in the radius box what I will type in is ‘4/0/0/4'(top-left/top-right/bottom-right/bottom-left).

Let’s take a look at our shapes:

Tip: You can also give corner radius to a shape by double clicking on it and selecting one or multiple anchor points and changing the values.

Now that is done, let’s colour these things.

All the values are solid fills, no gradients in it.

4. Assemble the shapes

I moved my Label shape on top of the Container shape so that the right edge of the Container and Label both are aligned to each other. If you drag the shape slowly it will snap there automatically.

Another way could be, you select both Container shape and Label shape holding shift key and then press the left align which will align its left edge to then press the right align. Check below:

The final assembly looks like this:

5. Add more details to them

Duplicate the capsule (cmd+D) and divide the width of the shape by 2. Align this divided shape to the right side of the original shape and give it a colour (I’ve used #45DC50). Change the corner radius of left-top, left-bottom to 0. It will look like this:

We want to depict that there’s something written on the label, usually you use lines to portray that. To make straight lines I usually use rectangles instead of vector lines using pen tool (shortcut: V). Simple reason for this that I do not want too many controls on my shape. When you create a line using pen tool you get 4 co-ordinates (from X1, Y1 — to X2, Y2). Again, this is my personal choice and you are free to experiment.

Create a rectangle of width 60 and height 2. Give it a light grey colour (#E4E9F1). Now duplicate(cmd+D) these and create about 5 of them.

Great, now create two more rectangles of width 60 and height 4 and give it a pinkish colour (#FF9AD5).

Place these shapes in following style:

One more thing. Reduce the width of the third grey rectangle or the fourth line from top by say 20 from the right.

TIP: To achieve this, simply type -20L in the width box. This will reduce the width of the shape from the right side. To reduce it from the left side you can type -20R. To reduce it from bottom side you can type -20T in the ‘Height’ section. And to reduce it from top you can type -20B.

This is how it looks now:

6. Give highlights and shadows

This is a very crucial part. First you have to decide where the light is coming from. In our example the light will come like this:

From here it might get bit tricky to follow, but try doing this multiple times and you’ll get hang of it.

Create a small circle of size 10x10 (you can vary this) and put it on right-top edge of the capsule. Now duplicate the green side of the capsule (cmd+D). Select the green side and the small circle (shift+click). Now click on ‘Intersection’ operation on top toolbar and give that shape white colour. See below:

Now select this intersected shape and turn its blending from ‘Normal’ to ‘Soft Light’ from the dropdown next to fill.

Create a new rectangle of width 50 and height 4 and align it in centre of the main capsule shape. Give it same ‘Soft Light’ blending like above.

Let’s create shadows. Create two copies of the main capsule shape (cmd+D twice). So there will be three shapes now. Select the top most shape and move it 6px right (+6 in X position) and 6px up (-6 in Y position). Now select the moved capsule shape and other capsule shape below that (Make sure that the moved shape is on top) and click on Subtract operation. Give it a darker shade of grey (something like #D9D9D9) and set the blending mode to ‘Multiply’.

It will look like this:

Repeat the same thing as above for the bottle to create the shadow shape. Here I’ve moved the top most shape 12px right (+12 in X position) and 6px up (-6 in Y position). This time instead of using blending modes we will give darker shades of yellow (#F5B056). It will look like this:

Lets create some highlights. Create a rectangle of 8px width and 180px height (same as the bottle/yellow shape). Give it a very light yellow colour (#FEF792). Create another rectangle of 6px width and 180px height with same colour. Place them on top of the ‘Bottle’ layer and below the Bottle shadow layer. Something like this:

Create another rectangle of width 120px (same width as bottle) and height 12px and put it right below the bottle cap to create a shadow.

Use the same technique of Subtracting two shapes to create shadows for the bottle cap and give it same colour and blending mode as the capsule shadow. You can copy the capsule shadows style by Alt+Cmd+C and select the bottle shadow layer and press Alt+Cmd+V for apply the same style. Here I found that this shadow was too strong, I reduced the opacity of this shape to 70%. This is where we at now:

Now create rectangle of width 12px and height 24px. Copy the capsule shadow style and paste it on this rectangle. Duplicate this rectangle and give it a white colour and normal blending mode. Create another rectangle of width 6px and height 24px with white colour and normal blending. Put these shapes in following manner:

7. We’re almost there — Final touches

The only thing that is remaining now is the ‘Rx’ label. Use your preferred sans serif font and write ‘Rx’ with it. Put it in between the top pink rectangle. Create a copy of the pink rectangle and reduce the width of both the rectangles so that it creates a gap to accommodate the ‘Rx’ text.

To create a drop shadow for the container create an Oval of size width 180px and height 12px. Put this shape all the way below all the shapes but on top of the BG (Blue shape in this example). Give it a darker shade of blue (#1F76C8) and instead of centre aligning it keep it on one side. See below:

And voila! You’re done!

I hope this was fun to follow. If you are stuck somewhere or you just want to inspect how things are working can download the file from here. I’m always all ears for feedback, comments or something I forgot in between. Find me on Twitter, Dribbble and on Facebook. To learn more Sketch techniques follow me here on medium.

Sketch Tricks

Sketch Tricks is the place to learn about Sketch skills…

Sketch Tricks

Sketch Tricks is the place to learn about Sketch skills that pay the bills. From setting up artboards & grids, all the way to handing the assets off to a developer.

Abhijeet Wankhade

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Sketch Tricks

Sketch Tricks is the place to learn about Sketch skills that pay the bills. From setting up artboards & grids, all the way to handing the assets off to a developer.