Welcome back to our Diversity in Design series on Envato Tuts+. Discover four talented artists with inspiring styles you’ll love.
4 Artists You Should Know: Diversity in Design
the work of these extraordinary artists. Each with their own unique
background, they draw inspiration from their culture and surroundings to
create phenomenal illustrations.
Ndumiso is a motion graphic designer from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Film and design are his passion, and Ndumiso’s work features Afrocentric illustrations with brilliant colors and geometry. See more in his portfolio, or follow him on Instagram @ndumiso_nyoni.
I’m a Johannesburg based Illustrator and Motion Designer and I make
contemporary African art. My art is a combination of vector
illustration, bold line work with vibrant colors and a touch of light
and shadow effects.
Almost all my work is inspired by Africa and its beautiful people.
It is a continent that is filled with rich textures, bold colors,
carefully crafted shapes and diverse cultures. My goal is to celebrate
Africa with each artwork and portray it as the positive, fertile and
vibrant continent we know and live in.
Nomaqhawe (Mother of Heroes)
I Am Not My Hair
I’m a huge fan of traditional Ndebele patterns, so naturally Esther
Mahlangu’s work has inspired a lot of my art. I learnt about Bauhaus at
university and that has also influenced how I conceptualize my art. Some
of my favourite artists include Esther Mahlangu, Malika Farve and
Joanne is a fine artist and painter living in LA.
Her paintings are dreamy and ethereal, featuring scenes that pull you in with incredible little moments. See more in her portfolio, and support her work on Pateron @joannenam.
I was born in Korea and moved to America in my
teens. I’m currently based in Los Angeles, and I love to paint based on
my experiences and emotions.
My inspiration comes from my
childhood. I used to live in a forest so it was an interesting subject
to daydream from time to time.
Current life experiences and relationships
between people and myself change the mood of my art. Even a cup of tea
changes my mood and it affects my art.
As I grow as an artist, I’ve
learned how to control my emotions and energy. I sometimes do certain
things to change my mood when I paint.
For example, I go to the gym to put confident bold brush strokes in my paintings. Then I listen to
delicate music to dig into the details.
Our next artist is Alex, a children’s book illustrator living in Mexico.
He tells inspiring stories of triumph and tradition, and his work features lovely illustrations with mythological themes and more. See more in his portfolio, or follow him on Instagram @alexherreriasilustrador.
El Aprendizaje – The learning
I am a professor at the School of Arts
and Design of Unam and I have become a father for the first time this year. My work is currently published in different parts of the world.
El Hombre Que NuncaReía
I am working on my own graphic novel and I enjoy every project I do. I try to create a very comfortable work environment, with music, coffee and lots of sunlight.
The Surfing Luchador
Drawing in my notebook is of the utmost importance, I try to be very dynamic and honest with each idea.
For my process, I read books, see references and listen to music concerning it. Each illustrated project brings me a lot of personal learning.
draw the first ideas in my notebook and a larger final sketch before I send it to the client. The tools I use are usually: a pencil, notebooks, a Wacom Intuos and Adobe Photoshop.
Yifan is an editorial illustrator living in Baltimore, Maryland.
Her work is unique and profound, with beautiful subjects that will make you think. See more in her portfolio, and follow her on Instagram @icyfeetpie.
Let the Moonlight Soothe Your Soul
I am a visual artist and storyteller. I enjoy nature, funk, indie rock, dancing, reading and intellectual conversations.
Watercolor – What Is Reading to Me
A lot of my work is inspired by nature, life and fantasy stories.
There are also other pieces that express my quirky sense of humor and
get inspired from Kafka’s novels, 60s Polish animations, and illustrators
who do brilliant conceptual work like Saul Steinberg and Roland Tapor.
Making art is my way to escape from nihilism and connect to the world by
raising questions for my audience to think. I believe that artists
should take on the responsibility of providing a clearer and deeper
insight into the world.
Celebrate Diversity! Send Us Your Favorite Artists!
Help us find more incredible artists from different backgrounds to share with our audience! Tweet me your recommendations at MelloNieves or use the hashtags #artforall and #tutsplusdesign on Twitter and Instagram. You never know, we may just feature you in our next article!
like to extend a warm thank you to all the artists who participated in
this feature. Feel free to see more of their work in the links below:
Oliver Newbery is the creative director at one of Melbourne, Australia’s leading digital design agencies, Webplace. Oliver has helped lead, create and deliver award-winning websites, creative campaigns, and various other applications for brands such as the AFL and Telstra. Here he tells us why they ditched Photoshop for Sketch and InVision.
It was in late 2016 that our agency first made the switch to Sketch from Photoshop. Changing tools and processes requires not just team buy-in, although company-wide acceptance too. You just have to ensure that these changes will meet client project deliverables.
Quite often, Photoshop source files are handed over to the client. We had to ensure that Sketch files would be acceptable, and for developer hand-off. Traditionally, they will have received PSD’s. We were trying to make behavioural changes, and that’s always difficult to get traction with.
There are some key advantages over PS that make this User Interface design tool more effective. Although our team didn’t use PS solely for our digital design process (we used Illustrator also), these just aren’t tools built for designing apps and websites exclusively – whereas, Sketch is. This means Sketch isn’t bloated with options the UI designer will never use.
What are Sketch and InVision?
Available exclusively for Mac, the Sketch App has been built for digital designers. The app gives designers the capability to create fully editable symbols which allow you to be very flexible, especially with rapid changes, which make creating resizable responsive artwork a breeze.
The InVision App enhances the functionality of Sketch, and makes the design ready for presentation to the client, and then for the developer to start coding.
Benefits of the technology
There were various benefits for Webplace in implementing each application into our workflow. If I had to narrow it down to three key improvements, they would have to be the use of advanced gestures and transitions, more collaboration, and also efficiency.
Let me explain:
Advanced Gestures & Transitions
Advanced gestures and transitions are available out-of-the box, enabling us to construct high-fidelity prototypes with static designs. This helps the design team creativity with the user experience and user journeys.
When working on a project, collaboration is such a key component of a successful design. The capability for shared libraries so that team members can access and update the same assets, along with developer handoff with InVision Inspect or the Zeppelin extension is far more effective.
The prospect of improved efficiency was a major contributor to why our team have made the switch. Achieving an even better result in a shorter amount of time has benefits for all parties involved in the project.
Why we chose to implement
Our team is always looking for new opportunities to improve our design workflow. With our UX team working in Axure, and the design team in the Adobe suite, there was always a disconnect with handover between the two teams.
With both the UX and design teams switching to Sketch, we saw immediate continuity returns by being able to pick up the same files. We used our internal website – webplace.com.au – as a project to learn with. A lot of the app tools were very familiar, so it didn’t have the long teething process that could have potentially been a roadblock.
Expectations play a part too. You can’t be a master overnight, so we were realistic that it was going to take time to get short term gains. But I was always confident that it was beneficial to be an early adopter. Internal presentations to the client-facing producers were necessary, so that they felt comfortable in introducing it to the client.
Ultimately, it must be easy for the client to get to grips with, as client stakeholders are obviously an integral part of the feedback process.
A few months on
Seamless syncing of shared assets between team members remained a long term goal when we made the switch to Sketch. The latest release now has a shared library function which has enabled our team to push and pull changes between libraries and artwork really easily.
I’d be interested to hear the feedback from larger teams who are working on enterprise-level projects whose experience with this feature might be quite different.
Integration with animations and transitions – especially HTML5 and SVG – would be high up on my wish-list. Using Adobe After Effects is akin to replicating the same problem that web designers were experiencing with Photoshop – employing complex, powerful software for a scenario it wasn’t built for.
Although producing responsive artwork for different device sizes is a lot easier, there is still a disconnect.
A final word
These observations and gripes could be answered very soon however. Available next month (Jan 2018), comes InVision Studio, with the promise of being ‘the world’s most powerful design tool’.
It offers super-quick prototyping and full control over transitions and gestures and what looks to be a very interesting approach to responsive design.
Having switched software so recently, I’m loathe to entertain the idea of swapping again, so it’s going to have to be a compelling argument to convince me. InVision Studio is definitely worth keeping an eye on in the first half of 2018 to gauge industry reaction however.
If you’re new to digital design, and learning the tools, the future looks bright.
Once upon a time in the frozen Arctic lived a polar bear. He was standing alone on a glacier, waiting for fish…
Today, you are going to learn how to create this animal in Adobe Illustrator. If you want more inspiration, then check out GraphicRiver. You will see tons of amazing images of polar bears!
Some images there might look complicated, but here, I will show you how to create a polar bear using basic shapes. We will also use Warp effects and the Pen Tool. To use the Pen Tool and not have to worry, we’ll use the Smart Guides, which will help us.
Let’s get started!
1. How to Create the Scenery
After opening a new document (850 x 850 px Width and Height), we will start by creating the background. Let’s create a blue square: hit the Rectangle Tool (M) and click on your artboard. Enter Height and Width 850 px, and press OK. Set its fill color as shown in the image below.
Next, we will add a darker blue rectangle on the bottom part of the image. Select the background and create a copy in front: press Control-C and then Control-F. Then, using the Selection Tool (V), narrow it down. Change the fill color. This will be the ice-cold ocean!
Now we will create an image of mountains. To start our mountain, we will use the Pen Tool (P). Select the Pen Tool (P) and set any stroke color you want and no fill color. We will change the color later on, so go ahead and choose any stroke color to start with.
Now, simply start to click on your artboard. You will see that the points will be connected by a line.
Once you reach the beginning of this shape (the first anchor point), you will see that there is a small circle there, near the Pen Tool (L). Now click on the first anchor point, while you still see this circle, to close up your shape. If you have never used this tool before, then I would recommend messing around with it first just to see how it works.
As soon as you close up the shape, you can change its color to a darker blue and remove the stroke color.
In this step, we will continue working on the mountain image. But first, in order to the draw the lines with more precision, we need to enable the Smart Guides. So let’s go to View > Smart Guides (Control-U). Select the Pen Tool (P) and make the lighter part of the mountain.
Do the same thing with all the other mountains. Try to end up with a result similar to the one below.
Using a similar technique, create another set of darker blue shapes. Make sure you have this order: light blue part, middle blue part, and then the darker blue part for each mountain.
These will be our mountains!
Finally, using the Pen Tool (P), create a glacier on the bottom of the image, where our bear will be standing. The Smart Guides will help you not to go beyond the boundaries of the background.
Now we will create some clouds! To do so, create a bunch of rectangles, and then place them close together. Now simply create some more clouds to finish it off.
To smooth the shape of clouds, select one and unite all of the rectangles making up the cloud by pressing the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). To smooth the clouds, select all of them and go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners… In a new dialogue window, enter Radius 10 px.
We just created a place for our polar bear to live!
2. How to Create the Polar Bear
To create the bear, we will start by forming the shape of the body. Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a white rounded rectangle. To get a rounded rectangle with very rounded corners, create a small rounded rectangle first and then stretch it. Or you can go to View > Show Corner Widget and modify the corners by dragging them inside.
Now, create a smaller white rounded rectangle and attach it to the larger one on the upper left side. This is the head. To create an eye, add a dark grey or black ellipse, using the Ellipse Tool (L).
For the neck, add a white rectangle and place it between the head and the body. Next, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), move its anchor points to connect the head and body.
Now we will add the ears. Create three ellipses—two larger and one smaller ellipse—and place them as shown below. Change the fill color of the left and middle ovals to make them a little darker. Be sure the left ear stays behind the head (Control-X, Control-B).
For the muzzle, create another white rounded rectangle and attach it to the left side of the head.
Then we will deform this shape by applying the Warp Effect: go to Effect > Warp > Arc and adjust the necessary options. Expand this shape: select it and go to Object > Expand Appearance.
We will create a nose from an ellipse. Create a black ellipse and, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), move the left and right anchor points up.
Attach the nose to the muzzle of our bear.
For the tail, create another small oval. Attach it to the upper right side of the body and rotate it to the left as in the image below.
Let’s create the bear’s legs. First, create a white rounded rectangle. Then transform it: go to Effect > Warp > Arch, and enter the options shown below. Expand this shape (Object > Expand Appearance).
Attach this leg to the body.
For the paw, create a small white ellipse. Now we will cut away the bottom part of the ellipse. For the cutter, create a rectangle with any fill color you want. Make sure that the rectangle overlaps the bottom part of the ellipse. While keeping these two shapes selected, press the Minus Front button on the Pathfinder panel. We will end up with the top part of the ellipse.
Attach this part to the bottom of the leg as a paw. The back leg is ready!
Make another copy of the leg and attach it to the right side of the body as a front leg.
Now create a copy of the front and back legs behind (Control-C, Control-B). Make them darker (use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to take the same color as the darker ear) and slightly shift the legs to the left.
Make sure the new darker legs are behind the whole body.
Our bear is ready!
And you are done! Great job. I hope you get used to this tricky Pen Tool and now will use it a lot. Or maybe you know already how to use it and just had some good practice. Anyway, I’m happy that you were with me through the whole tutorial!
Vector illustration is very versatile and beautiful, but for many artists it’s too mathematical and unintuitive to create. Drawing with Bezier curves doesn’t feel like drawing at all!
However, the newest update to Photoshop CC has solved most of the problems you could have with the Pen Tool by adding a new variation of it—the Curvature Pen Tool. It’s very intuitive to use, and it’s still as powerful as its classic counterpart. Let me show you!
1. How to Prepare the Background for a Vector Illustration
Before you create anything in vector, it’s good to have a sketched background that will be your reference for the whole process. You can use my butterfly from the tutorial below:
Copy the image of the butterfly and open a New File(Control-N) in Photoshop, using your clipboard as a template.
Lower the Opacity to make the reference barely visible.
Go to View > Rulers. Click and drag the vertical rule to place it along the middle of the butterfly’s body.
Go to Image > Image Size to make the file bigger and easier to work in (later you will be able to make the image as big as you wish, because vector images resize losslessly).
2. How to Create the Vector Butterfly’s Body
The reference is ready, so let’s start creating! Click and hold the Pen Tool to find the Curvature Pen Tool.
Place a few points around the thorax of the butterfly. The shape will be estimated automatically.
If you want to change the color of the shape, just double click its thumbnail.
Create the abdomen the same way.
Photoshop tries to read your mind when you use this tool, but it’s not always successful. You can adjust the shape on your own by simply clicking the path and dragging it. You can do this to any other point as well.
Use this method to create the head. Use a different color for the eye to make it stand out, and place it under the layer of the head.
You can also draw lines with this tool. Just draw the start and end points, and then adjust the curve.
To turn the shape into a line, remove the Fill and add the Stroke. You can also adjust the thickness.
Add the tip of the antenna.
3. How to Create a Butterfly’s Wings in Vector
Before you start drawing the wings, create a New Layer under the body (you can Group the layers of the body to keep order) and lower its Opacity to see the reference below. Outline the upper wing with a few points.
Adjust its shape by adding more points and dragging them.
Create the other wing the same way.
The pattern will take a lot of layers, and we don’t want to change the Opacity of all of them separately, so Create a new Group and lower its Opacity.
Outline the big cell first. Use a bright, neon color for it.
Add another cell and adjust its shape to keep a thick border between it and the other cells.
Use this method to create all the other cells. The lower wing may need another group placed under the upper wing.
When you’re done, change the Opacity of all the layers back to 100% and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the half of the butterfly. Copy it as a whole with Edit > Copy Merged.
Paste the copy and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and place the half next to the other. Keep in mind that this copied part is not vector—if you want to make the image bigger, repeat this last step afterwards.
Do you want to create other beautiful butterflies with this method? Try my tutorial about butterflies to find the steps to create four different species, as well as your own wing patterns:
Most stock libraries offer a small selection of free images, as a taster of their offerings – and a way to get you to hand over your email address so they can market to you later.
These images are constantly changing, and the quality of these images can be variable – some are reasonable, a few can be really great, and some are so bad as to make you wonder how they would make you think that the library behind them had anything to offer the competent designer. Maybe it’s reverse psychology to lure you in with poor free stock images, convince you that free images are just awful and that you’ll just have to go buy stock images instead.
This is the approach favoured by stock search engine Everypixel, which lets you search the likes of iStock, Shutterstock, BigStock, Offset, Depositphotos, Dreamstime and more (thought not Adobe Stock). Everypixel’s has created a newsletter that you can signup to discover what’s new and free from those sites. You can sign up for it here.
Everypixel is upfront about the quality of these images, calling them ‘weakly’ rather than ‘weekly’ and saying “Sometimes it’s looks nice. Sometimes not so, but it’s still free anyway. You don’t lose anything.”
Instead, Everypixel would prefer you to search through the paid libraries it works with, for which is takes a cut of every sale made (full disclosure: so do we from links to iStock, Shutterstock et al – it doesn’t affect our editorial judgement as we likely get a cut whichever library you go to to purchase).
Talking down free images might seem a little odd from a site that also lets you search 22 free image sites. But most of these have a lot of rubbish on them too.
Push the limits with this stunning Astronout typeface. This sleek font features a distinct signature style with realistic finishes. Use it as your official signature on personal documents, brand stationery, and more.
Or check out this awesome Fusioner typeface with cool graffiti elements. This epic typeface merges street style details with futuristic design. Get access to a full set of letters, numbers, and punctuation in this download.
Reflect that vintage era you’re going for with this retro Parlour typeface. The old-fashioned design features all capital letters along with punctuation and special glyphs. Add a bit of grunge to your work with a subtle typeface.
Brush scripts give you the best aspects of handwritten design without all the fuss. This Burelom typeface features a natural brush style with a mix of smooth and rough edges. It captures the essence of rugged design while maintaining a nice rhythm. Try it out!
Lure all your customers with this gorgeous Honeycomb font. This modern design features a lovely calligraphic style with fat to thin brush strokes for more appeal. Download this font pack to get full letters and punctuation, as well as international support.
Marker stains are permanent. Avoid the mess that comes with traditional art tools by downloading a graphic graffiti font like Crazy Marker. This handwritten font features 376 glyphs including letters, numbers, and stylistic alternates.
There’s nothing better than a great font bundle. This Douglas collection features 12 of the finest handmade fonts you’ll want to include in your arsenal. Equip yourself with the ultimate font and vector shape combo to transform your workflow.
Created by our very own instructor, Yulia Sokolova, the playful Bananito font features beautiful curves and quirky details. The design combines common cheery elements with a sleek minimalist style to make your work look fresh and creative. You’ll love this font!
Designers are keeping traditional calligraphy styles alive with digital font types. Check out this Letter Craft font, for example. The design features a modern, trendy look that is suitable for many projects.
Launch your dream with a compelling logo. The incredible Masto font features a unique calligraphic design with fluid brush strokes. Get that authentic, hand-crafted feel with a brilliant typeface that looks as if it was just written.
It’s always good to keep a few signature fonts on deck. Try this Arion signature, for instance. Test out your name using the easy-to-use text preview to see how it looks. A great deal for designers, this pack gives you two amazing fonts for one price.
Some of your favorite fonts have incredible back stories to them. This Metropolis font family was originally inspired by a 1927 Fritz Lang movie and influenced by its classic style. It revives the classic elegance of traditional serif typefaces while maintaining some modernity. Give it a try!
Futuristic fonts are always sleek and minimal. And this Cebo font doesn’t disappoint. This font package features five professional typefaces with several styles to choose from. Use it for headers and logos, or even on a t-shirt design.
Billy Ohio is a dry brush style typeface that is hard to miss. You’ll love the mix of elegant swooping letters with rough brush accents for any creative endeavor. Download it today to get a full set of numbers, letters, and stylistic alternates.
Clean and condensed, this Maxwell Sans Bold Typeface is inspired by similar font styles from the 1950s. Incorporate a bit of vintage nostalgic into your work, with a font that is sure to enhance your designs. Test it out!
Display fonts are best suited for fabulous design. And you’ll want to dive into the next incredible adventure with this Zalora typeface. Featuring eight unique display fonts, this pack includes both grunge and inline versions.
Create the perfect postcard of your memories. Download a font like Amsterdam to satisfy the travel lover within you. This collection features four stylish signature fonts with lowercase and capital letters. Enjoy!
There’s nothing grotesque about this Zenzero Grotesk typeface. Featuring a mixture of sans serif and slab font styles, this typeface will set your work apart from the rest. Download it today to use it in endless design projects.
Selfish is a cheeky, flirty font that will make you feel a little guilty. Enjoy the stylish design with simplistic letters that are absolutely charming. The best part? You’ll be able to use this font in multiple languages, making it an essential asset for everyone!
Cursive scripts are elegant and romantic. This Brightshine typeface features 313 glyphs with tons of alternate characters. Add it to a Valentine’s Day design or incorporate it into a lovely greeting card to make someone’s day!
Without risk, there’s no reward. The Risk is a tough, handmade typeface featuring a compelling, casual design. Start your next journey with a trendy aesthetic that is both modern and textural.
This list features exciting
resources for the avid designer
familiar with type design. For
additional help with your font needs, enlist the skills of a talented
professional by choosing one of the amazing designers from Envato Studio.
with loads of fonts available at your fingertips, chances are we’ve
missed a few to add to your personal collection. Be sure to browse Envato Market and Envato Elements for more resources, and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
In this tutorial we’ll be creating a cozy
winter forest scene in a trendy flat style. We’ll be using various basic shapes
and Pathfinder operations of Adobe Illustrator, building a lovely scene that
can be used as a header for your blog or website, as a greeting card or an
illustration for print. The process is very easy and comprehensive.
Flat vector scenery has become a very popular design
element that is widespread in advertisement banners, website layouts and brochure
templates. You can find plenty of it on Envato Market and combine several
different concepts into a series. In this tutorial we will make one piece of such a set of scenes: a flat winter forest.
If you’re interested, you can purchase the end result and the different variants of this flat style forest vector illustration, you can buy it on GraphicRiver.
1. How to Make a Flat Fir Tree
Let’s start by making a trunk for our first
tree. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and
make a thin stripe of 7 x 90 px size.
it with brown color. Use the Live
Corners feature to make the corners of the stripe fully rounded by pulling
the circle markers to the center. If you’re using an earlier version of Adobe
Illustrator, feel free to use Effect
> Stylize > Round Corners.
Add another thin shape with rounded corners
of 7 x 60 px for the fir branch, and
fill it with light-blue color.
Hold Alt-Shift and drag the created blue shape to the right to make a copy. Press Control-D a few times to make more copies. And let’s add some
diversity to the branches. Copy the
first one and Paste it inFront
(Control-C > Control-F). Squash the shape, making it shorter, but
preserving the initial width of 7 px.
Make each stripe a bit longer then the
other by selecting their bottom anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and dragging them down. Leave the width
the same for all the shapes. Add shorter copies on top of each stripe.
Recolor the stripes, gradually darkening the lower shapes, as shown in the
(Control-G) the pieces of each stripe to form the branches, and place our
stripes vertically. And now let’s select the upper branch and double-click the Rotate Tool (R) to open the Options menu. Set the Angle value to 30 degrees and repeat the same action for every stripe, rotating it
at the same angle.
Place the rotated branches on the left side
of the tree, Group (Control-G) them
and double-click the Reflect Tool (O) to open the Options menu. Select the
Vertical Axis and click Copy to flip the mirrored group to the
other side of the trunk.
Finally, let’s make the trunk a bit more
detailed. Copy the trunk shape and Paste it in Front (Control-C>Control-F). Make the copy a bit lighter.Take the Scissors Tool (C) and click the top and bottom anchor points to split
the shape into two halves. Delete the left half of the copy.
Wonderful! Our first tree—the winter fir—is ready! Let’s move on to the next one!
2. How to Render the Second Tree
Let’s make the second tree taller. Start by
forming a two-colored trunk. You can make a new shape, changing its length and width to your liking, or
just copy the trunk from our first tree and make it taller.
Take the Rounded Rectangle Tool and make two small light-blue shapes on top
of the trunk, forming a stylized crown of the tree.
Select the blue shapes together with the
trunk, and use the Align panel to
align the shapes, selecting Align to Key
Object and clicking Horizontal Align
Duplicate both blue shapes (Control-C > Control-F) and make their color a bit darker.
Then use the Scissors Tool (C) to
split the upper copies apart by clicking their side anchor points and deleting
the unneeded halves.
Here is how the second tree should look in comparison with our first tree. We make it taller in order to make the whole composition more diverse.
And let’s add a couple of branches to this
tree as well. First of all, duplicate one of the rounded pieces from the crown
and place it at the right side of the trunk. Then take the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment
Tool (\) and make a squared shape.
Set the Stroke color to brown in the Color panel, and head to the Stroke panel.
From here, set the Cap and Corner to the middle positions, making
the corner and the ends of the line a bit rounded. And set the Stroke Weight to 3 pt.
You can make the corner even more rounded
using the Live Corners feature.
Let’s add some more branches here.
Duplicate the one that we’ve made and vary the sizes and positions of the
copies. We may need to make the tree even taller to have more space for the additional branches.
Let’s add a small, rounded bush, consisting
of two circles made with the Ellipse
Tool (L). Attach a dark-brown trunk. This little fellow will help us to fill in some blank spaces of our illustration.
3. How to Make a Bushy Oak
We’ll start by making the crown of our oak.
Form a 90 x 45 px rectangle of a
light-blue color and make its corners fully rounded. Make two more rounded
rectangles of a smaller size and form a pyramid, placing one on top of the
(Control-G) the shapes and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-F), making the
top copy a bit darker. Keeping the top group of shapes selected, take the Eraser Tool (Shift-E), hold down Alt, and stretch the selection over the
right half of the tree-crown to delete it.
Add a dark-brown tree-trunk in front. Take the Polygon Tool and set the Sides value to 3 to make a tiny triangle. Copy the created triangle and spread
the copies over the left side of the crown and over the trunk, making the tree
4. How to Make a Fancy Pine
Let’s use the very first tree that we made in this tutorial—the fir—to form a tall, detailed pine. First of all, make its
trunk much taller, dragging its bottom anchor points down with the Direct Selection Tool (A).
Then select all the branches,
except the top ones, and press Enter to open the Move window. Set the Horizontal value to 0 px and the Vertical value to 10 px in order to move the selected group of branches 10 px down.
Deselect the upper branches from the group
that we’ve just moved and repeat the same action, moving the rest of the branches 10 px down.
Now recolor the branches, applying a brown tint to make them fit the trunk. And let’s start forming the pine
needles. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to
place a tiny vertical shape at the left side of the upper branch.
Move the created needle beneath the branch (Shift-Control-[). Hold Alt-Shift and
drag it to the right and up a bit, making a copy. Press Control-D several more times, filling the upper branch with stylized needles. Vary the
shades of blue, making the branch more diverse.
(Control-G) the needles that we’ve made for the
upper branch, copy the group and paste it multiple times to fill all the empty branches. Make
the bottom needles a bit longer by selecting their bottom anchor points with the Lasso Tool (Q) and moving them down with the Down Arrow key.
You can make the left side of the pine a
bit darker to make it look more detailed. And let’s move to our last tree!
5. How to Make a Stylized Fir
Finally, let’s make another needle-leaved
tree, but this time it will be very simple and stylized. To start with, make
three triangles, using the Polygon Tool.
Vary the size and the color of the triangles, making the top one small and
light blue and the bottom one large and dark blue.
Combine the triangles, placing them one
beneath the other, forming a pyramid.
Add a trunk and Send it to Back
(Shift-Control-[). Finally, make a set of tiny dark-blue triangles and
speckle them above the blue shapes of the fir-tree, adding a textured touch.
6. How to Make a Winter Forest Scene
Let’s place our trees in a row, duplicating
some of them and varying the sizes to form a well-balanced composition. Add a long horizontal stripe with the Rounded Rectangle Tool at the bottom of the forest, forming the ground.
rearrange the trees, placing one object above the other by using the Control-[ and Control-] key combinations.
Select all the trees and head to the Align panel. From here, select AligntoKey Object and click Vertical
Now all the trees are aligned evenly to the ground!
Let’s add a light-beige rectangle for the
background beneath the trees so that we’ll be able to make some white, snowy
details. Recolor the horizontal ground to white and add a small white
circle at the left side of the ground shape. Press Alt-Shift and drag the white circle to the right, making a copy.
Press Control-D several times to
create more copies, covering all the ground shape with circles.
Keeping the circles selected, Unite them in Pathfinder. Take the Eraser
Tool (Shift-E), hold Alt and drag the selection rectangle over the bottom half
of the circled shape in order to delete it.
If you combine the circles with the ground
stripe, it should look like this.
And now let’s add a few finishing details
to the sky to fill the empty space of our composition. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to form a 50 x 15 px shape. Place a smaller shape on top, moving it to the left
and thus forming a stylized cloud.
Make more clouds and distribute them at the
top part of our illustration. Now it looks complete!
Congratulations! Our Winter Forest Flat
Illustration Is Finished!
Great job, everyone! Our flat-style winter
forest scene is ready! We’ve added a tiny finishing touch here: snowflakes
falling from the clouds to make the illustration look more detailed. I hope you’ve discovered some new tips and tricks that you can use in your future work.
You can get the source file for this flat winter forest vector illustration to check out how it was made and see what other color schemes you can apply to it in order to make the image more diverse and to expand its field of use. Following this example, you can try recoloring the image, depicting various seasons of the year or different lighting, or showing day and night scenes.
For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to easily add or remove anchor points from a path. Moving on, you will learn how to add text on a path, how to stylize it, and how to easily mask it. Using basic stroke techniques and the Rounded Corners effect, you will learn how to create most of that wheelchair logo. Finally, you will learn how to add a simple background, some subtle shading, and a smaller piece of text on a path.
For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final text effect, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.
1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid
Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width box and 860 in the height box, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click Create Document.
Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 10 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-“ keyboard shortcut.
You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don’t forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.
2. How to Create the Wheelchair Wheel
Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the fill and then select the stroke and set its color to R=37 G=170 B=227. Move to your artboard and simply create a 300 px circle—the grid and the Snap to Grid should make it easier.
Make sure that your shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), and set the stroke weight to 60 px.
With your shape still selected, go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points twice. Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the seven anchor points highlighted in the first image, and remove them using the Delete button on your keyboard.
Make sure that the resulting path remains selected and return to the Appearance panel. Click that “Stroke” piece of text to open the Stroke fly-out panel, and then check the Round Cap and Round Join buttons.
3. How to Add Text on a Path and Stylize It
Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 330 px circle, and place it exactly as shown in the following image. The color attributes are not very important.
Make sure that your 330 px circle is still selected, pick the Type on a Path Tool, and simply click on the edge of your selected shape. This will allow you to add text along your path.
Add the “INCLUSION MATTERS” piece of text, make it white, and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Insaniburger font, and set the Size to 45 px and the Tracking to 75.
Next, you need to adjust the position of your text. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and simply drag that middle bracket from the outside to the inside of your circle. This should move your text inside the circle. Use that same bracket to move your text along the path as shown in the following image.
Make sure that your text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select it and set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88.
Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill, drag it below the existing one, and select it.
Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 30%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag both Scale sliders to 101% and set the Move-Vertical slider to 0.2 px, enter 1 in that Copies box, and then click OK.
Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill, drag it below the existing ones, and select it.
Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 30%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click OK, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3 px Radius and click OK.
Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fourth fill, drag it below the existing ones, and select it.
Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 15%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.
Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fifth fill, drag it below the existing ones, and select it.
Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 20%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.
Select your blue path, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F), and bring it to front (Shift-Control-]). With this copy still selected, go to the Appearance panel and set the stroke color to white.
Select this white path along your text on a path, open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency), and click the Make Mask button. In the end, things should look like in the third image.
4. How to Create the Background
Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 870 x 880 px shape. Fill it with R=27 G=34 B=88, send it to back (Shift-Control-[), and make sure that it covers your entire artboard.
Reselect your blue path and replace the blue with white.
5. How to Create a Human Silhouette
Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a simple path about as shown in the following image. Once again, the grid and the Snap to Grid will help. Add a 60 px stroke for this new path, make it white, and don’t forget to check the Round Cap and Round Join buttons.
Make sure that the path created in the previous step is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 30 px Radius and then click OK.
Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\), create a 120 px horizontal path, and place it as shown in the following image. Add a 60 px stroke for this new path, make it white, and don’t forget to check the Round Cap button.
Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 100 px circle. Fill it with white and place it as shown below.
6. How to Add Subtle Shading and a Second Text on a Path
Reselect your white circle along with the three white paths and Group them (Control-G).
With your group still selected, apply the three Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image.
Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 220 px circle, and place it exactly as shown in the following image.
Make sure that your 220 px circle is still selected, pick the Type on a Path Tool, and add the “DECEMBER 3RD” piece of text along your selection. Make it white, use the text attributes shown below, and use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to adjust the text location as shown below.
Congratulations! You’re Done!
Here is how it should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Don’t hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.
Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your design.