CREATE LOW POLY TREE SCENE ICON IN ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR! | Check out how to use the Pen Tool and draw triangles auto-clicked together and then build out a color scheme quickly to create a compelling piece of artwork.
In this Illustrator tutorial, we’ll begin with a simple sketch I made of something as similar to the app icon for an app called Namoo. We will then use the Pen Tool to draw a grid of triangles and then we’ll move and stack the shapes to create full shapes and then develop a full color scheme that we will apply to our shapes. We’ll work with greens, tans, browns, and some orange colors to colorize the leaves, the trunk/branch, create multiple shadows to add depth and shape to the low poly artwork that we’re creating.
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Site Exclusive 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.
- Drag the sketch into place
- Set stroke to a color and get rid of the fill
- Turn on Smart Guides
- Use the Pen Tool and start drawing triangles.
- Break down the sketch into ground, tree trunk+branch, tree leaves, and the little nodes/bushes
- Create a new layer for the triangles for each of these ground. I will begin with the ground so I created a layer called “ground”
- When drawing triangles for each of these areas begin in the middle with large shapes and work your way toward the edges while simultaneously making the shapes smaller and smaller. (this will give our low poly look some depth and dimension)
- Create the low poly grid for the leaves, truck/branch, ground, and little nodes
- To add color, let’s first build a quick color scheme. SAVE SWATCHES:
- The greens in our artwork will be #d2f440 and #03280c
- The trunk browns in our artwork will be #d68a45 and #6b472f
- The branch colors will be #543a29 and #2d231a and #140b04
- The node colors will be #f68523 and #6a2f17
- To colorize the leaves, select all the triangles up there and copy and paste them in front and use the Pathfinder panel to merge all these shapes together
- Create a green gradient that runs from #d2f440 to #03280c and then use the Gradient tool and apply a radial gradient with the light coming across the scene from left to right.
- Select this gradient shape and go Object>Expand and choose to expand the fill to 255 objects.
- Object>Arrange>Move to Back to get this gradient pushed behind our grid artwork we drew.
- Start selecting objects and use the eyedropper to change our stroked triangles to filled shapes by sampling the gradient color below that triangle.
- Add colors to the trunk and branch to create the illusion of the shadow from a top left light source.
- Use the Pen tool to create small triangular shadows near the top of the trunk and use the same colors as the trunk but make them a little darker.
- Add the greens to the ground as well.
- Create an object with a gradient that runs #f68523 to #6a2f17 and expand the colors so we can sample them.
- Also add orange/brown colors to the nodes and keep the lighter colors on the left sides of our shapes
- Create a square filled with a gradient that runs from a hot pink that’s been desaturated a little to tone it back a little to a deep, deep blue as the top of the sky.
- Group all the low poly tree stuff and use that background shape to mask it within that square.
- Use the Pen Tool to draw little shadows for the nodes and rocks. Fill them with a very dark brown and reduce the opacity to 15% for shadows on the left side of the artwork and up to 35% on the right side of the artwork.