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Creating trees in Illustrator

As a child, no doubt a tree was one of the first things you drew, with a brown rectangular block for the trunk and a big green scribble for the leaves. But with companies increasingly keen to shout about their ecological credentials, now's a good time to learn how to create a tree with a computer instead of crayons.

In this tutorial you'll start by taking a photograph of a tree, then trace its natural form and add your own creative touches to produce an eye-catching, contemporary illustration. You'll use a range of Illustrator tools, including the freehand drawing tools, the shape tools and the Layers palette.

Of course, the methods I'll show you can be adapted for any project you have to hand. You can create your own atmosphere using a different colour palette, a different type of tree and different surroundings. Your final illustration can be bright and colourful, dark and magical, psychedelic and surreal, or wholly realistic - it's entirely your choice.

Click here to download the support files (1.7MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free