The first step in creating a landscape image using Adobe Illustrator is to go to the File menu and choose New document, for example, A4, landscape format, and using the Colour mode of RGB. Next, we could import a reference image, either a photograph or a scanned sketch: File, Place, and browse to where the image is stored on your hard drive. Tick the Template check box in order to place the image as a traceable graphic. Note that you now have two layers: a locked, grayed-out image on the bottom of the layer stack, and a blank layer on top named Layer 1. This will be your main drawing layer, so double-click on it to rename it Drawing or Line Art.
You may need to unlock the bottom layer in order to scale it up or down, in order to fit better into the page. Make sure you re-lock the layer. It’s sometimes a good idea to copy the tracing image to one side or below as a reference for full colour. You can trace each element on the full colour, then simply move it into place on the grayed-out version.
It can be useful to block out the main areas of colour first, for example, the sky, hills, foreground and large objects. Select the Pen tool and change the colours to black stroke with no fill colour – this will allow you to see the object you’re drawing, for example, the sky. When the shape is complete go to the Eyedropper tool and click on the original image to sample a fill colour. Or sample some colours to create your own swatches. Clear out the original swatches in the Swatch panel by clicking and dragging them to the trash bin. Remember that you can also drag from either Swatches or the Foreground Colour from the toolbox onto the Gradient panel to create more natural colour blends.
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For organic objects like clouds where accuracy is not 100% necessary you could use the Pencil tool with a Smoothness of 15%. It can be useful to work from the background to the foreground, or vice versa. Use the command Object, Arrange, Send Backwards or Forwards to adjust their relative positions. Go to View menu, Show Rulers to see the rulers from which you may draw out horizontal and vertical non-printing guides. It’s important to remember, as you draw, that no line is definite – you can redraw lines or parts of lines with the Pencil tool, as well as move individual anchor points with the Direct Selection tool.
The image gradually builds up as we move from large areas to smaller and smaller details. Items like trees and houses can be saved as symbols by dragging them into the Symbols panel. These can later be dragged out into the scene, or loaded into future images. Patterns could also be created for grass and gravel textures, and applied as fill colours to objects.
The last part of the process is to create a Clipping Mask – this is usually a rectangular shape which frames the image and clips away any extraneous artwork. Create a rectangle which represents the frame, then select all objects. Then right-click and choose Make Clipping Mask. Objects may still be updated using the Direct Selection tool. As we can see, creating landscapes using Adobe Illustrator is a fun and rewarding process. Enrolling in Illustrator training course is a nice and professional way to learn AI.