Create a Wintry Scene in Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator and designer Matt Carlson, also known as Plaid Mtn., works with a global client list from his home in Omaha, Nebraska. He draws inspiration from many sources, including nature. In this article, he walks us through his Adobe Illustrator CC process, via the creation of a cool wintry scene.
1. ROUGH SKETCHES
2. REFINED SKETCH AND VISUAL REFERENCES
Although this sketch is a bit more refined, I know that things will change or elements will be added. To me, this sketch is just a starting point to get things going. It’s also during this time that I like to gather some photographic references to help me get a better sense of some of the details such as lighting, depth, and how I might render certain elements.
3. GLOBAL COLOR
Since this is a winter scene, I decided to focus on a wintry blue color range to get things started. As I get further along in the render, I’ll start to incorporate a few accent colors to help give the image some more contrast and help play into the mood a bit more. When making an illustration in Illustrator CC, I always select global color swatches. (When you modify one instance of a global color, all objects using that color in your file will be updated. It’s an extremely efficient way of making quick changes to the colors in your illustration.)
4. COLOR BLOCKING
5. ROUGHEN EFFECT
6. ADDING DETAIL
Admittedly, I like to bounce around a lot and experiment until I am satisfied, so it typically looks a bit more chaotic than this, but overall the goal is to make sure everything feels balanced and fun.
7. SCATTER BRUSHES
And below is the final illustration! I hope you enjoyed following along as I created this winter landscape illustration.