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Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: How to Illustrate a Vector Lighthouse

posted by: Alexander Egupov, in Illustrator Tutorials / Illustration/ Comments: 5
Final Image Preview

Do you want to illustrate a lighthouse? If yes then let’s get started!


You can download the source vector file for this tutorial



Tutorial Details:

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS3 – CS5
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2.5 hours

Step 1

First, you need to create the simple sketch of the lighthouse in Adobe Illustrator using the Pen Tool (P), and fill all the received paths with different colors. Take the Rectangle Tool (M), click on the workspace and set the values which you can see on the diagram below.

Then create two other rectangles. Follow the diagram below.

Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select all the rightmost anchor points of the rectangles,...

...go to Object > Transform > Move and set the values which you can see in the figure below.

After these actions you will receive the following picture.

Select these quadrangles, drag and drop them into the Symbols palette.

Step 2

The main tower of the lighthouse will be created using 3D rendering. Take the Pen Tool (P), change the Fill color in the Control Panel to white, and the Stroke color to None, and sketch the following path.

Then go to Effect > 3D > Revolve, and specify rotations around the axes to zero.

Click the "Map Art" button and superimpose the new symbol on the lateral surface of the tower.

You need to fit the image of the symbol in order to receive the acceptable form of the tower.

Step 3

Go to the Appearance palette and click there the reference to "3D Revolve (Mapped)" in order to edit effect.

Specify a rendering style of the surface to "No Shading." You need to do this in order to decrease the quantity of paths after the expanding.

Then go to Object > Expand Appearance. And go to Object > Ungroup twice.

Then unite all necessary parts and delete all unnecessary ones. After that you must color parts and have three green parts and one yellow part.

Step 4

Illustrate the lighthouse peak in the top part of the tower.

Now let's illustrate a projector. Change the Fill color in the Control Panel to white, and the Stroke color to None. Take the Line Segment Tool (\) and draw the following path.

Go to Effect > 3D > Revolve and set the items for the options as you can see them on the diagram below. Give heed to the offset from the revolve axis.

Sketch a contour of the projector's support.

Step 5

Let's now illustrate a background using the Vertical gradient.

Draw two ellipses on the top part of the tower. They will represent a balcony basis. Use the image below as a reference.

Step 6

Select the lower elliptical path, decrease the Opacity of it,...

...and go to Object > Transform > Scale. Set there the values so that the large axis of the ellipse may become equal to the width of the tower. Click the Copy button.

Specify the Opacities of the ellipses to 100%. Then select the tower path (yellow), copy it and paste in front (Command + C then Command + F).

Step 7

Select both: the small ellipse and the copy of the tower, go to the Pathfinder palette and click there the Divide-button. Go to Object > Ungroup.

Select both again: the small ellipse and the copy of the tower, go to the Pathfinder palette and click now there the Unite-button.

Select both: the lower ellipse and the tower, and click the "Minus Front" button in the Pathfinder palette.

You should have a picture the same as below.

Step 8

Now select the white ellipse.

And transform it to the following contour.

Step 9

The top of the tower is a straight line now.

It is wrong. So you need to grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and transform this line to the elliptical form. Do this.

Step 10

Add two paths (green and white) to the dome of the lighthouse.

Step 11

Let's now paint the spire of the cupola. Apply the linear gradient filling to it.

Then apply the Radial gradient filling to the top globule.

Step 12

How to paint the cupola? To use gradients here is a wrong decision, because we must form a hemisphere by distribution of colors. But what about using meshes? Let's make an attempt. First, take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw the following semitransparent path over the dome.

Place this rectangle under the cupola in the Layers palette.

Then select both: the rectangle and the cupola itself, and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command + 7).

Select the rectangle and change its Opacity to 100%. Then go to Object > Create Gradient Mesh and set there the values which you can see on the diagram below.

Step 13

Now take the Lasso Tool (Q) and select the mesh anchor points in pairs, and change the colors of them. (One of the pairs is bounded with a green line in the first image below. See it for reference. Besides, the Clipping path is invisible in the both diagrams for your convenience).

Step 14

Grab the Lasso Tool (Q) again and select the top mesh anchor points bounded with a green line in the image below.

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and set there the values which you can see in the image below.

Make the Clipping path visible in the Layers palette.

Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and transform the mesh to the following view. Form the hemisphere shape of the cupola by changing the colors of the mesh anchor points.

Step 15

Select the window of the lighthouse and fill it with the Linear gradient.

The windows are usually made from transparent glass, so decrease the Opacity of the window.

Step 16

Select the projector and expand it to the following two paths.

Then fill the rear path of the projector with white and the front path with the Vertical gradient filling.

Step 17

Now we need to create a ray of the projector. First, draw the following white path,...

...and the following violet path underneath the white one.

Change the Opacity of the violet path to zero and the Opacity of the white path to about 90%.

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the Spacing to "Specified Steps" and the quantity of steps to 200.

Then select both: white path and violet one, and go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).

From the physical point of view, glass has the optical diffracting characteristics. Thus, you need to make one more blend. Follow the diagram below.

Place now the beam of light under the front projector's path.

Step 18

Pay attention now to a gap in the ray (dark place bounded with a green line in the image below).

How to fix this problem? Select the ray, copy it and paste in front (Command + C then Command + F). Place this copy over the window of the lighthouse in the Layers palette.

And crop this copy of the ray with the following Clipping Mask.

Step 19

Paint the projector's support using the Linear gradient filling.

Step 20

The three-dimensional yellow surface of the tower is a catenoid. How to paint it? We will use meshes here too. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw the following path over the tower. (It is semitransparent for your convenience only).

Superimpose this path on the yellow one as exactly as possible using the Direct Selection Tool (A). The quantity of the anchor points in the resulted path must remain four.

Go to Object > Create Gradient Mesh and set the values which you can see on the diagram below.

Change the colors of the mesh anchor points.

Step 21

Now copy the mesh tower and paste it in front (Command + C then Command + F). Change the colors of the mesh anchor points to the red hues.

Select both: this mesh and one of green paths and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command + 7).

Repeat these actions with the other green paths. But pay attention to the shadow under the balcony. Follow the diagram below.

You should have a picture the same as below.

Step 22

Fill the ceiling with the Linear gradient.

Illustrate the lateral surface of the balcony using the Linear gradient.

Illustrate the bottom surface of the balcony using the Vertical gradient.

And illustrate the peak of the cupola using the mesh technique we used earlier for creating the cupola itself.

Step 23

Take the Ellipse Tool (L). Change the Fill color in the Control Panel to None, and the Stroke color to gray. and draw the elliptical path which will represent banisters.

Crop the banisters with the Clipping mask.

Sketch two paths.

And create the following elliptical path.

Then go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the Spacing to "Specified Steps", the quantity of steps to four, and the Orientation to "Align to Page."

Select those three paths and go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B). See the image below for reference.

Add two other paths.

Step 24

Let's draw a door. First, illustrate the next path. Fill it with black.

Then draw a path which represents the wall of the lighthouse.

Repeat these actions for creating the windows in the lighthouse wall.

Step 25

Let's now create stars using the Star Tool and Blends. You should have a picture the same as below.

Drag and drop it into the Brushes palette. Select the Scatter Brush option in the dialog box. Set the items for the brush as you can see them on the diagram below.

Take the Paintbrush Tool (B), select this Scatter brush and illustrate a certain path.

Crop the stars with the Clipping Mask. And you may expand the stars after that.


You can download the source vector file for this tutorial



Conclusion

Every lighthouse is an important landmark in the blusterous ocean of life. Keep the right direction!

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How to allocate flat objects on a sphere surface in Adobe Illustrator
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Total comments: 5
0  
1 Nick   (2012 Jan 12 04:08)
Great result! biggrin

Love the vibrant lighthouse set against the murky sky.

0  
2 Jonathan Patterson   (2012 Jan 12 09:32)
Nice work!
Sidenote, what's with this crazy looking comment section?! Looks like it's missing some CSS

0  
3 Umer   (2012 Jan 13 07:38)
Koi He jo mujhe privately adobe illistrator classes de sakta he.
To Plz Contact Me. (0315-2759957)

0  
4 skibikekayak   (2012 Mar 27 15:08)
I can not get the result you claim to achieve in steps 6 and 7. It is a poorly written tutorial for those steps.

0  
5 skibikekayak   (2012 Mar 27 17:44)
What the hell are you trying to say in step 9 ? Grab what points ?

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