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Design

How to Create a Line Art City Landscape in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

I'm excited to create this tutorial of Latvia's capital city Riga! I used this landscape to create a small motion graphic for a Dribbble meetup. And I want to share with you the process of making this illustration. I hope you will enjoy it, so let's get started!

1. Create the First Type of Building

Step 1

Lets start with the lower buildings. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 88 x 154 px rectangle, fill color #E0D2B1, outline 3 pt, outline color #1C3C55 (use this outline color for the whole tutorial). 

Create another rectangle 88 x 46 px, color #CCA597, and place both rectangles on top of each other. Using the Stroke panelclick on Align Stroke to Outside for both shapes—this will help us in the end, when we create shadows.

First building

Step 2

For the doors, create a 22 x 59 px rectangle (use the same color as for the roof), and place it on the bottom. For the windows, create a 23 38 px rectangle, color #E4EAE7.

Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw lines like in the picture below. To make sure the lines are exactly in the middle, use the Align panel. Select the line and the window, and click on the window shape again, to make it the shape you are aligning to. Click on Horizontal Align Center.

Align center

Step 3

Control-G to make a group. Now you can duplicate the windows by holding Alt and dragging your mouse. To make sure the windows are aligned to the center of the building, repeat the same steps as for the window, just using the building as the object to align your windows to. Also make sure you have selected Align to Selection. For example, if you want to align to the artboard, select Align to Artboard—this way your design will always be in the center of your composition.

Align to selection

Step 4

To create the roof window, create a 51 x 17 px rectangle, color #C3D8D0. Using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), click in the middle of the upper line of the rectangle and holding Shift click the up arrow on your keyboard. The result should look like this:

Roof Window

Step 5

Next, using the Pen Tool (P), create a window. To create flowers, using the Ellipse Tool (L) create small circles (hold Shift to make them perfect circles!) color #64A2CC. Make them overlap unevenly, and in the Pathfinder panel click on Unite.

Flowers Unite

Step 6

Create two white rectangles: one under the flowers, as you can see in the picture above, and one on the bottom of the building. Create a flag on the left side, by creating a 34 x 27 px rectangle, color #EDDDE3, and use the Pen Tool (P) and the Ellipse Tool (L) to create a flagpole. Great! We have finished our first building—hope you are following!

first building finished

2. Create the Second Type of Building

Step 1

For the second type of building, again create two rectangle shapes: the first 143 x 155 px, color #D3848D, and the second 143 x 44 px, color #9B757E. For the windows use the same tactic as before. The window's size is 34 x 46 px. Create a rectangle on the bottom of the building, using the same color as for the flag. The result should look like this.

Second building windows

Step 2

For the door use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create a 35 x 35 px circle, using the same color as for the roof. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom point of the circle you just created, and hit Delete. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the rest of the doors. Create a 10 x 14 px rectangle for the small detail next to the doors.

Door shape

Step 3

Create a 54 x 59 px rectangle for the roof window. As before, use the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to create the top and delete the bottom line. Use 29 x 34 px for the top window and 16 x 16 px for the circle window. Use the Pen Tool (P) to add lines for the roof and lights. Create the same pink line as for the bottom of the building, only 146 x 9 px.

Building lines

Step 4

To create a shadow, with the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the wall shape and drag it on the side. Now take the Pen Tool and draw a shape like the one in the picture below. Remove the stroke from both shapes and in the Pathfinder panel click on Divide.

shadow shape
Pathfinder Divide

Select the divided shape with the Direction Tool and drag it on the wall (hold Shift to drag straight). Turn down the Opacity to 30%.

Now we have the second building finished—nice!

3. Duplicate the Buildings

Group the first building (except the flag), hold Alt and drag it to the side of the second building. Change the wall to color #9FB4C1, flowers to #DD8AA4 and doors to #7E939E

Duplicate the first building again and place it next to the third building with some space.

four buildings

For the last building use the base of the second building, but with wall color #A18EAD.

last building

4. Create the Trees

Step 1

To create trees, let's use the same method as for the flowers. Create three circles: the first 54 x 54 px, the second 68 x 68 px, and the third 43 x 43 px. Place them all as shown in the picture below, and using the Pathfinder panel click Divide with all selected.

Step 2

Create the shadow the same way as for the building (don't forget to make a stroke). Create branches using the Pen Tool and Ellipse Tool. For the light, create a slightly smaller circle than the middle circle, and with the Direct Selection Tool select and delete unnecessary points. Group everything, and place the trees as in the picture below.

trees placed

5. Create the Churches

Step 1

Create a 110 x 349 px rectangle with color #AA7D83 for the church in the middle. For the windows use the same tactic as for the doors we created earlier, color #E5D1D6 for three windows and #996870 for the bottom. Use the Pen Tool for the lines, and don't forget to align everything.

church wall and windows

Step 2

Create a shadow as before. Create a 123 x 14 px white rectangle shape and place it on the top. For the roof, create a 107 x 107 px circle. With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the bottom point and delete it, and use the Pen Tool to draw the bottom down.

With the Rectangle Tool (M) create a 52 x 100 px rectangle and align it like this:

roof align

Step 3

Select both shapes and Divide them as before. To move the shape behind, hold Control-Shift-[. Again create a smaller shape in the same color and place it as in the picture below. Create shadow and light as before. Use the same window, just scale it smaller (make sure the stroke stays at 3 pt everywhere).

church roof

Step 4

For the top part, you will need to practice using the Pen Tool a bit. Use Shift to create more perfect lines and create a shape like this.

Select the shape, right click > Transform > Reflect, and click Copy.

Place both shapes together, select them, right click and select Join. Create 20 x 20 px and 10 x 10 px circles and join them using the Pen Tool (P).

Landscape so far

We are almost done! Use the same methods to create the second church. The wall color should be #BA9EA3, and the roof color #7D7582.

6. Add the Final Details

Step 1

For the basket, create a 37 x 32 px rectangle, color #DDC5A8. With the Direct Selection Tool (P) select the bottom points and drag the small circles up to create round corners.

basket corners

Create lines using the Pen Tool (P) and create small circles (the same colors as for the trees) for bushes, with white strokes for light.

Add some lines to define the street.

baskets finished

Step 2

For the clouds use the same technique as for the trees and flowers—create circles and use the Pathfinder panel to Divide them. Delete points by selecting them with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and add lines with the Pen Tool (P).

We Are Done!

We are done! I know this tutorial was quite long, but I really hope you followed through! Let me know in the comments.

Lansdcape of Riga
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