In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a vector evening winter background!
1. How to Draw the Background
Let’s begin by using Mesh for a bit!
Start by drawing a rectangle and filling it with
#4B6471 color and create a Mesh grid for this shape by manually placing nodes with the Mesh Tool (U).
Once your Mesh grid is done, begin coloring it by selecting the bottom row of nodes and the bottom middle node and changing their color to
Continue this step by coloring the nodes on the top and on the sides with
#253B4B and the middle nodes of the second row from the top with
Finish by changing the color of the bottom nodes to
Let’s move on to drawing the snow hills!
#F6F7F2 rectangle, and then place some Mesh nodes with the Mesh Tool (U). Move said nodes to create a wavy shape out of the rectangle, trying to recreate the screenshot below.
Finally, color the selected nodes with
#D0DFE4. The first hill is done!
Draw the second hill following the same instructions as before and using these colors:
Finally, draw the third hill in a similar fashion.
Place the hills on top of each other, with the first one being in the front and the third one being in the back.
Make them overlap to match the screenshot!
Place the hills on the bottom of the background!
2. How to Draw the Lamps
Let’s move on to drawing the lamp.
Draw half an outline of it by using the Pen Tool (P), and then use Object > Transform > Reflect and click Copy to obtain the second half. Move them close to each other for now.
Select the two halves and use Unite in the Pathfinder panel to create a united outline for the lamp.
Using the Pen Tool (P) and some small ellipses (Ellipse Tool, L), draw the transparent surfaces of the lamp.
Lay the shapes on top of the outline, select all, and use Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel to “crop” them out.
Select the result and apply a Linear,
#2A1800 Gradient to it.
Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a decorative swirl as can be seen below.
In the Stroke panel, change the Stroke Profile to the one below.
Draw a little ellipse and add it to both ends of the curve.
Selecting the curve, go to Object > Expand Appearance, and then select all objects and Unite them in the Pathfinder panel. Change the result’s color to
Attach the lamp to our decorative part.
Let’s draw the lamppost! Use Mesh, just as we learned before.
Draw the second part of the lamppost similarly.
Draw the base.
#110600 rounded shape, and then bend it with Effect > Warp > Arc, using -20% Bend.
Go to Object > Expand Appearance.
Color the shape with Mesh.
Resize copies of the shape.
Put the post together and add the rings we just created.
Finally, attach the actual lamps to the top.
3. How to Light Up the Lamps
Now that we’ve drawn the outline, it’s time to put lights in these lamps!
Begin by drawing a narrow ellipse and adding a Radial,
#000000 Gradient to it.
Put another copy of that ellipse on top and tweak the Transparency options, selecting Screen and 79% Opacity.
Create a copy of the result, rotate it, and make it smaller.
Draw a very narrow ellipse with the same Gradient as before.
Add a copy on top, creating a cross. Change its Opacity to 61% and Transparency to Screen.
Draw a circle, using the same Radial Gradient. Again, use Screen, now with 95% Opacity.
Create a flare by placing all the elements on top of each other.
Draw a final ellipse for the light, using Screen and a Radial Gradient from
Place the first flare behind the lamp outline and the final ellipse on top of it.
Add the lights to both lamps.
Create a few copies of the lamp for the upcoming landscape.
4. How to Add the Trees and the Snow
Let’s begin drawing the trees!
Learn how to draw the branch we will be copying in the second section of this tutorial. Now draw the trunk, fill it with
#544E48, and start adding copies of the branch to it as shown below.
Add more branches to complete the tree.
Create a copy of the branches without the trunk and draw another one.
Add more branches to the second tree.
Draw a highlight with a
#000000 Radial Gradient, change the Opacity to 70% and Transparency to Screen.
Create copies of the trees and add the highlights behind them.
Place the trees and the lamps onto the background.
Draw two identical circles. Fill one with
#ACB99A and the second with a
#020200 to white Radial Gradient.
Set both circles’ transparency to Screen.
Place the green circle under the gradient, and then select both and use Make Mask in the Transparency panel. Check both Clip and Invert Mask.
Add these highlights on top of the background.
To add snow, refer to this tutorial.
Draw a rectangle on top of everything to “frame” all the content you want to be seen in the final picture.
Select all elements and right-click, after that selecting Make Clipping Mask.
Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I would be super happy to see any results in the comments below!