Create a Magical Vector Landscape Using Illustrator

Today, we have another Vector tutorial, Learn how to paint imaginative landscapes in vector. Today, Zzanthia shares her workflow with us.

If you’re looking to create unique vector illustrations, with an exotic feel, then this tutorial is a must read.

Tutorial Details
  • Applications Used: Adobe Illustrator CS2 – CS5
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Estimated Completion Time: 3h +
  • Updated: December 14,2013

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Final Product What You’ll Be Creating

Step 1

To set the mood for further work, I’m creating a color sketch. You can do this in any raster editor. I use Photoshop and the Wacom Graphics Tablet for these purposes. You can use any brush, usually I use a standard brush with soft edges. It’s easy to mix colors with this kind of brush as it is half-transparent on the edges.

A raster editor allows us to have unlimited control over light and color. For example, for a sketch that is already done you can apply a filter, change the balance of colors in the shadows, increase or decrease the brightness and contrast, etc.

In this work, I was using a texture brush made from a standard set of brushes, just because it was helping me to get myself ready psychologically and convey the necessary mood. While working in Adobe Illustrator I was looking at the color sketch and kept saying: “I want the same feeling from the completed work”.

Now I can only pick a color with an Eye Dropper Tool (I). Therefore, I will be drawing in a random order further on. I paste the color sketch in a separate layer of Adobe Illustrator, and lock it.

Step 2

Very often in the process of work I have to take the color with the Eye Dropper Tool (I) from a certain point. And at this point it is often already a bunch of objects with raster effects. In order not to adjust the Eye dropper Tool (I) in the process of work, I paste a totally white raster image into the workspace of the document and place it above all the objects.

Now you need to set the Multiply Blending Mode for this object.

If you turn off the visibility of the object in the Layers Palette, the Eye Dropper Tool will be choosing the object properties, and if you turn on the visibility, you can only choose the color of any point of the image.

Creating Texture Brushes in Photoshop

Step 3

I would like to achieve painting effect in my artwork, that’s why I will be using texture brushes. Let’s see how to make them. Create a new file in Photoshop (File > New). You can create brushes directly on the background layer. Take the Brush Tool and open the Brush panel.

Now open the Present Manager window and download the Dry Media Brushes.

Choose the Chalk Brush # 36 or any other one that you like and click on the “Done” button in the dialog window.

Step 4

Now configure the selected brush. Set the Spacing parameter equal to 50%.

Tick Shape Dynamics and move the Angle Jitter slider so that the original shape of the brush rotates around its axis.

Tick Scattering and Transfer options. Set Opacity Jitter other than zero in the Transfer settings.

In this case, the brush will be heterogynous. Now create an arbitrary shape with this brush.

Step 5

I guess you understand the principle of creating a brush, now you are only limited by your imagination. Create another brush and add a few white strokes to the created shape, then add hatching with a standard round brush 2-3 pixels in size. To increase the contrast, go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast…

The contrast should be increased, since all the gray areas will disappear after tracing in Adobe Illustrator. Pay attention to the “silhouette” of the created shapes – shapes with a ragged and complex edge will be easier to achieve the desired effect. Here are some examples of such shapes.

…and that’s the end of the preview!

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