Vector metallic heart
Credit: Jared Davidson

How to Create a Vector Heart

This is a simple Adobe Illustrator tutorial for beginners which shows how to make a cool vector heart with a metallic rim and a puzzle piece missing.  No advanced techniques are used and you do not need to have a lot of experience with Adobe Illustrator.

Step 1: Create a new artboard.

Click File > New

You can leave the defaults for this tutorial.  No special settings are needed.

Step 2:  Use pen tool to draw the heart.

Select the pen tool on the left side of Adobe Illustrator or press the P key on your keyboard to select the pen tool.  Draw one half of the heart.  Remove the stroke and give the heart a solid color.

Step 3:  Copy half of heart and duplicate.

Use the selection tool to select the half of the heart.  Press V to select the selection tool.  Select the heart by clicking and dragging across the object.  Press Ctrl + c to copy and then Ctrl + v to paste.  You will not have 2 copies of half of the heart.

Step 4:  Reflect the second half of heart.

Make sure one of the two pieces is selected.  Click on object > transform > reflect.  Select vertical and leave the angle at 90%.  Click OK.  You should now have two half heart pieces reflecting each other.

Step 5:  Unite the pieces together.

Move the pieces together and live them up.  After they are lined up completely select both objects.  Go to the pathfinder palette and click the button to Unite.  Both pieces will become one solid heart.

Step 6:  Make a duplicate copy of the object.

Select the heart and press Ctrl + c then Ctrl + v.  This will make an exact copy of the heart.

Step 7:  Add a gradient to the heart.

Select the original heart.  Click the gradient tool or press G on your keyboard to select the tool.  Click the heart and a gradient slider will appear.  Click several times on the slider to add additional color nodes.  Pick several different shades of black grey an white for each of the nodes.  This will give a metallic appearance.

Step 8:  Change color of second object.

Select the second heart and change the color of it to red.

Step 9:  Resize.

Select the red heart.  Hold shift to resize it proportionally.  Make it slightly smaller than the metallic.

Step 10:  Move object.

Move the red heart on top of the metallic one.  This should give a 3d feel to the object and make it look metallic.  

Additional Steps

Step 11:  Create puzzle piece.

Move the red object away from the metallic one.  Create a rectangle.  This will be the base of your puzzle piece.  Use the pen tool to create the teeth of the puzzle piece.  Once you have made the tooth, make two or three more copies of it.  Transform the teeth so that they are slightly different.  A single puzzle piece does not usually have several of the exact same teeth on them. Move some pieces to the outside of the rectangle and unite them.  Move other pieces to the inside of the rectangle and exclude them.  This will create a nice puzzle piece.

Step 12:  Make copy of puzzle piece.

Select the puzzle piece and press Ctrl + c then Ctrl + v to make a copy and paste it.

Step 13:  Remove puzzle piece.

Place one of the puzzle pieces on the red heart and click exclude.  This will remove a portion. Change the other puzzle piece to the same red color by using the eye dropper tool and clicking on the red.