Trees in Illustrator
● Create a Tree and add a Shadow at the Bottom.
✓ Pathfinder Tool✓ Gradient Tool✓ Shapes Tools
• This tutorial is part of the Shadow Life Project.
Other People's Work:
Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.
Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~
✓ Make a New Layer for your tree.
Step #2: Ellipse Tool ~
✓ Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …
✓ … draw a perfect circle by holding Shift (⇧) while you drag.
Step #3: Fill Color ~
✓ Change your Fill Color …
✓ … and fill the circle with a tree color.
✓ You might want to turn off the stroke, too
Step #4: Duplicate the Shapes ~
✓ Using the Selection Tool hold the Alt (⌥)/Option key Click-and-Drag to make copies.
✓ Make enough copies to fill the outer shape of the tree …
Step #5: Pathfinder ~
✓ Select all the shapes by hitting the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+A …
✓ … then go to: Window > Pathfinder and click “Unite.”
Step #6: Inner Shape ~
✓ Now create a copy of the tree by hitting the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+C and paste-in-front by hitting Cmd(⌘)+F
✓ Get the Free Transform Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (e) …
✓ … then squeeze the copy a little making it slightly smaller.
Step #7: Gradient Palette~
✓ Now click the Gradient icon or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+F9 and select Radial as the Type …
✓ … and make sure "Fill" is selected as the foreground color.
Step #8: Gradients ~
✓ Drag a color from from the Swatches menu to your gradient …
✓ Do the other side too …
✓ … drag OFF any stops you don't need …
✓ Apply the gradient to your branches.
Step #9: Tree Trunk ~
✓ Get the Rectangle Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (m) …
✓ … and create the tree trunk shape.
✓ Right-click on the trunk and go to: Arrange > Send to Back.
✓ Now add a brown gradient to the trunk using a Linear gradient.
Step #10: Make a Circle for your Shadow ~
✓ Select the Ellipse Tool again (L) …
✓ … drag an oval circle around the base of the object, any color, for now …
✓ … send that behind the trunk.
Step #11: Shadow Gradient ~
✓ Now click the Gradient icon or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+F9 and select Radial as the Type.
✓ … hit Reverse Gradient … .
✓ … to make the darker part toward the inside.
Step #12: Aspect Ratio ~
✓ Lower the Aspect Ratio …
✓ … so the gradient is narrower.
Step #13: Opacity ~
✓ Lower the Opacity of the lighter side so the background will show through, especially if you have a background.
Step #14: Convert Anchor Point ~
✓ Get the Convert Anchor Point tool or hit the keybord shortcut letters: (Shift⇧+C) …
✓ … and, using the Convert Anchor Point Tool , grab the top corner anchor point and pull …
✓ … so the side of the tree is slightly curved.
Step #15: Add Sky, Apples, Sun, Grass~
✓ Add apples, birds, sky, anything to make your composition beautiful …
Last Step: Save and Attach ~
✓ Save your work as - FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME.ai]
✓ Attach it!
• ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:
• DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.
• NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.