Landscape Backgrounds in Illustrator
● Create a Bucolic Background using Illustrator's Vector Tools.
✓ Warp Tool✓ Gradient Color Picker✓ Send to Back✓ Filters✓ Paintbrush Tool
Other People's Work:
Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.
Step #1: Open your Project in Illustrator ~
✓ Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator …
… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …
✓ … make a New Layer, and lock your other layers.
Step #2: Make some Grass ~
✓ Drag the New Layer below all your other layers.
Step #3: Make some Grass ~
✓ Set your fill color to green and stroke color to none.
✓ Use the Rectangle Tool (M) and create some green grass or brown dirt or red lava, whatever you need.
Step #4: Make some Grass ~
✓ Get the Warp Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letters (Shift⇧+r) …
✓ … click and drag to raise the horizon line.
Step #5: Mesh Tool ~
✓ Get the Mesh Tool by hitting the keyboard shortcut letter (u) …
✓ … click on your grass and create rows growing further apart as they reach the foreground to simulate distance.
Step #6: Select Multiple Points ~
✓ Now, get the Direct Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (a) …
✓ … hold shift, and select each point along the top row.
Step #7: Double-Click Colors ~
✓ After selecting several points, Double-click your fill color …
✓ … and make it slightly darker.
Step #8: Continue Changing Colors ~
✓ Continue darkening and/or lightening each mesh point all the way around to create an interesting image.
Step #9: Background ~
✓ Select the Rectangle Tool again …
✓ … and create a rectangle covering your artboard.
✓ Right-Click and send to back.
Step #10: 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 #11: 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 …
✓ Now get the Gradient Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (G) …
✓ … and adjust the gradient properties.
Step #12: Sun Spots ~
✓ Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …
✓ … create a white circle near your grass …
✓ … Right-Click and select "Send backward" and put it halfway behind the grass.
Step #13: Clouds ~
✓ Get the Pencil Tool, or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (n) …
✓ … sketch some a clouds.
Step #14: Duplicate your Cloud ~
✓ Select the cloud with the Selection Tool while holding Alt (⌥)/Option, drag the cloud shape to make a duplicate of it.
✓ Repeat this several times. Bring some of the clouds in front of the other two and change the coloring of the front clouds to another color that compliments the sky.
✓ Also add Drop Shadow to the clouds.
Go to: Effects > Stylize > Drop Shadow.
Step #15: Trees ~
✓ Use the Pencil Tool again and draw a tree shape.
✓ Draw a brown gradient for a trunk and add a green gradient similar to the hills on the tree.
✓ Send the Tree Trunk behind the branches by right-clicking on it and Send Backward.
Step #16: Group the Tree ~
✓ Select both the trunk and the tree, group them together by going to: Object > Group or hitting the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+G, select it, hold Alt (⌥)/Option, and make copies the trees over the landscape. Use the Transform > Reflect option on some of the trees too.
Step #17: River Flowing ~
✓ Draw a river going off into the horizon with the Paintbrush Tool. Then apply a gradient to that.
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.