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Summary:

Trees in Illustrator

    ●   Create a Tree and add a Shadow at the Bottom.


Learn About:

Pathfinder ToolGradient ToolShapes Tools

  •   This tutorial is part of the Shadow Life Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

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Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Make a New Layer for your tree.

new layer


Step #2: Ellipse Tool ~

Select the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …

… draw a perfect circle by holding Shift shift while you drag.


Step #3: Fill Color ~

Change your Fill Color …

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… and fill the circle with a tree color.

green circle

You might want to turn off the stroke, too

stroke-none-fill-black-ai.png


Step #4: Duplicate the Shapes ~

Using the Selection Tool selection tool small hold the Alt (⌥)/Option key alt option key Click-and-Drag to make copies.

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Make enough copies to fill the outer shape of the tree …

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Step #5: Pathfinder ~

Select all the shapes by hitting the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+A

multiple circles selected

… then go to: Window > Pathfinder and click “Unite.” 

pathfinder - unite green circles


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) …

transform tool

… then squeeze the copy a little making it slightly smaller.

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Step #7: Gradients ~

Now get the Gradient Tool

… select Radial Gradient …

radial gradient

… select one of the sliders and change the color.

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Do the other side too …

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Apply the gradient to your branches.

example


Step #8: Tree Trunk ~

Select the Rectangle Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (m) …  

rectangle

… and create the tree trunk shape.

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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 #9: Make a Circle for your Shadow ~

Select the Ellipse Tool again (L) …

ellipse tool

… drag an oval circle around the base of the object, any color, for now …

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… send that behind the trunk.

send to back


Step #10: Shadow Gradient ~

Click Gradient on the palette menu or go to: Window > Gradient

… select Radial

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… hit Reverse Gradient … .

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… to make the darker part toward the inside.

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Step #11: Aspect Ratio ~

Lower the Aspect Ratio

egg example

… so the gradient is narrower.

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Step #12: Opacity ~

Laslty, lower the Opacity of the white side …

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… so the background shows through.


Step #13: Convert Anchor Point ~

Get the Convert Anchor Point tool or hit the keybord shortcut letters (Shift + C)

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… and, using the Convert Anchor Point Tool convert-anchor-tool, grab the top corner anchor point and pull …

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… so the side of the tree is slightly curved.

example


Step #14: Add Sky, Apples, Sun, Grass~

Add apples, birds, sky, anything to make your composition beautiful …

example


Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as - LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME-PROJECTNAME.ai]

Attach it!

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  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:
LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME-PROJECTNAME

  •   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.


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