Create Desert Pyramid Scene Illustration in Adobe Illustrator CC

ILLUSTRATOR TUTORIAL HOW TO CREATE DESERT ILLUSTRATION ARTWORK! | Learn to create a full desert scene from scratch in Adobe Illustrator CC in this tutorial!

Credit for this effect goes to: TushiT on Dribbble:

Desert Palm Tree Photo Download

Camel train Photo Download

Mosque Photo Download

Desert Castle Photo Download

Color Scheme Download: [LINK]

In this Illustrator tutorial, we’ll draw everything in this scene from the sky and desert sand to the ornate buildings on the horizon and the camel train traveling through the desert. You’ll learn how to create this entire scene, build out gradients and adjust colors, add a moon to the sky, use a transparent gradient to add glowing stars, using the Pathfinder panel about a million times to customize and trim shapes and so much more over the course of us creating this artwork! Thanks for watching!

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Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

  1. New doc @ 2560×1440 RGB
  2. Load in the swatches
  3. Create new rectangle 2560×1440 and align and fill with gradient using the sky colors
  4. Create new rectangle 2560×565 and align bottom/middle and fill with gradient using midground colors
  5. Draw three shapes using the Pen tool and fill top-to-bottom with ground gradients
  6. Draw the pyramid shape and fill with appropriate gradients and group the sides together.
  7. Duplicate 3x pyramids and down size them a little and re-arrange one off to the left that sits behind the foreground dunes
  8. Drag in the Palm Tree stock photo and do a rough trace and use Pathfinder to clump all shapes together and then resize to make the tree very small. Duplicate to place a total of about 6x trees.
  9. Bring in the camel train photo and use Live trace Silhouettes @ 50 Threshold and expand and then trim away the black areas using Pen Tool + Pathfinder to get the objects we want. Fill with the appropriate color and resize and place where you want in the scene.
  10. Drag in the pointy desert towers stock photo and use Live Trace again set to Black and White Logo (tweak in the Live Trace dialog if needed) and expand
  11. Ungroup and cut away as much of the foreground as necessary
  12. Drag in the temple stock photo and use the Pen Tool to trace half the shape that we want.
  13. Duplicate and flip and join the shapes together.
  14. Join this to the pointy desert towers artwork and trim and join to make it look decent.
  15. Fill with the color for the horizon buildings on the left and scale way down to stick this on the horizon and duplicate and adjust to get it in place and arrange so these fall behind the pyramids.
  16. Do the same for the buildings on the right side of our scene but use the correct color for over there.
  17. Create a 125×125 ellipse FILLED WITH WHITE! and duplicate the shape and make it a bit smaller and cut out a piece of the moon to make it more of the crescent-shaped moon and then fill with a radial white to transparent gradient and use the gradient annotator to adjust then gradient until it looks good.
  18. Set the shape to Soft Light blend mode.
  19. With that same gradient still set as our fill, start creating a few 10pxX10px ellipses for the sky and then click once and change the size to 6×6 and add some of those, then change to 4×4 and add some of those and then switch it to 3×3 and 2×2 and add a bunch of stars.
  20. Select one star and then go Select>Same>Fill & Stroke to choose all the other stars and then Group these together and set the blend mode to Soft Light.
  21. Add a mask overall to mask this whole layer within the artboard.