It's easy to create stunning looking landscape art using Adobe Illustrator. First create a new document of A5 landscape size, for example, with a color mode of RGB for digital printing and web or screen artwork.
Then create the hills of the landscape with the Pen tool and a green fill colour (no stroke). You could do this by clicking in six locations to create a jagged hill shape. Then press the Alt key (Mac: Option) and drag on the two middle points to smooth them out into hill shapes.
To apply more interesting gradient colours to the hills open both the Swatch and Gradient panels. Then apply light green and dark green colours by dragging swatches onto the gradient panel. Select the hill object with the Selection tool (V), then copy and Paste in Front. To reflect the copy go to Object > Transform > Reflect > Vertical, and move the first hill up a bit or adjust its anchor points with the Direct Selection tool (A). Change its gradient fill to add some variation and contrast.
Now create a rectangle for the sky, adding a blue to white gradient fill, and Send to Back. The Sun object is created with the Ellipse tool, pressing Shift to draw proportionately thus creating a perfect circle. Add a yellow-orange gradient fill and send behind the hills. Then copy and paste behind as before.
We now use the Crystallize tool to create the sun's rays. Double-click on the Crystallize tool to change the Width and height to 70mm. Last of all we press the brush on the middle of the sun to create the rays.
The clouds are also created with the Ellipse tool, but this time not constrained proportionally. Their fill colour is white; make the large ellipse first, then the others. Select all the ellipses and go to the Window drop-down menu and choose Pathfinder. Click on the Add button then the Expand button. Then copy this cloud-shape several times, scaling and rotating to add variety, as well changing the opacity.
The road is made using the Pen tool; click on four points to create the road. To add curvature to the lines select the Anchor Point tool, then click and drag on the top anchor points to create handles. Then adjust these with the Direct Selection tool (A). Alternatively press Alt (Mac: Option) and drag the handle point to break the handles, allowing you to manipulate one at a time.
The Pine Trees are made from a triangle with the Pen tool, then an effect applied in: Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Then go to Object > Expand Appearance in order to copy and scale it. A green gradient blend is added and we press Alt to copy the triangle three times. These are then scaled and grouped and dragged into the Symbols panel. The trees can then be dragged into the scene as needed.
The man in the car is created as follows: File > Place > and browse to a car photograph. We then use the Pen tool to draw around the car, adjusting the anchor points later with the Direct Selection tool. We then select both the car and path and right-click to make a Clipping Mask. Repeat this process with the man's head. We also added a white stroke and drop shadows to both the head and car. Finally use the Flare tool to add the car's headlights.
Tom Gillan has been training AutoCAD 3D to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. If you like to know more about AutoCAD 3D, visit Design Workshop Sydney for more information.