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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Sketch
Design

How to Create a Windmill Illustration in Sketch

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial I'll show you how to make Windmill illustration using Sketch, an amazing vector design tool. This tutorial will teach you a lot of techniques required for creating custom illustrations with Sketch. Let's get started!

1. Set Up Your Document

Let's begin by creating our artboard. To do this, press A on the keyboard and draw an artboard sized at 1200 px by 900 px.

New Sketch Document

2. Create the Sky

Step 1

Select the Rectangle tool from the Insert > Shape menu in the top toolbar, or just press R on the keyboard and create a rectangle.

Create Rectangle

Step 2

Use the Inspector Panel on the right to uncheck the Borders, and then click on the Fill button and switch to Linear Gradient.

Rectangle with Linear Gradient

Step 3

Select the color stop on top—you will notice that it will become bigger when selected—and change the color to #052138.

Change the top color in Gradient

Step 4

Next select the color stop at the bottom, change the color to #3B749E, and move it upwards. Use the image below as a reference.

Change the bottom color in Gradient

3. Create Stars

Step 1

Pick up the Rectangle tool by pressing R on the keyboard and draw a rectangle 10 px by 10 px. Change the color to #4F89BA and uncheck the borders using the Inspector Panel on the right.

Create basic star

Step 2

Choose the Rotate tool from the top toolbar and rotate the rectangle 45° clockwise, and then apply Gaussian Blur with Amount of 1 px using the Inspector Panel.

Rotate star and apply blur

Step 3

Add more stars by duplicating (Command-D) this rectangle. Use the image below as a reference.

Create more stars

Use #061C2E color for the darker stars and #DBF0F0 for the brighter ones. Select all the stars and place them into a group using Command-G. Name this group "stars".

4. Create the Moon

Step 1

Press O to invoke the Oval tool and make a circle. Turn off the border, change the color to #224E6F, and apply Gaussian Blur with the Amount of 1px.

Create moon - create circle

Step 2

Duplicate the circle (Command-D) and change the color to #E0FFFF.

Create moon - duplicate circle and change color

Step 3

Duplicate the circle one more time, change the color to #20E6E6, and move it 13 px to the left.

Create moon - cyan circle move to the left

Step 4

Select these two circles by holding Command on the keyboard and clicking on these layers in the Layers List on the left, and then click on Subtract in the top toolbar to create the moon shape.

Create moon - subtract circles

Select the circle and the moon shape, group them, and give this group the name "moon".

5. Create the Distant Mountains

Step 1

Press V to choose the Vector tool and draw the shape of distant mountains.

Create distant mountains shape

Step 2

Turn off the border and change the color to #215178.

Finished distant mountains

6. Create the Closer Mountains and Trees

In this section we'll be creating mountains and trees that are just behind our windmill by using triangles.

Step 1

Choose the Triangle tool by pressing T on the keyboard, and create a triangle as in the image below.

Create mountain using triangle

Step 2

Change the color of the triangle to #23567E and turn off the border.

Change color of the mountain

Step 3

Create another rectangle, and for this one use the color #275B85.

Create second mountain

Step 4

Then another one. For this one use the color #29608C.

Create third mountain

Step 5

And finally create one more rectangle and color this one with #24567E.

Create fourth mountain

Step 6

It's time to add some trees on our mountains. Use the Triangle (T) tool to create a tree shape.

Create a tree

Step 7

Change the color of the tree to the color of our mountain.

Match tree and mountain color

Step 8

Duplicate a couple of times and move the shapes around our mountain, as in the image below.

Add more trees

Step 9

Repeat this process for all other mountains.

Finished mountains and trees

Select all mountains and trees and nest them inside a group by pressing Command-G. Name this group "mountains and trees".

7. Add Clouds

Step 1

Let's add some clouds to our illustration. Pick up the Vector (V) tool and draw a cloud shape. For the color, use #FFFFFF.

Create cloud

Step 2

Set Blending to Soft Light and Opacity to 20%.

Cloud - adjust blending and opacity

Step 3

Draw another cloud.

Create second cloud

Step 4

Change Blending to Soft Light and Opacity to 15%.

Adjust blending and opacity for second cloud

Step 5

Finally create one more cloud just over the moon.

Create third cloud

Set Blending to Soft Light and Opacity to 10%.

Adjust blending and opacity for third cloud

Select all the clouds and group them together. Give this group the name "clouds".

8. Add the River

Step 1

Draw a rectangle using the Rectangle (R) tool, and place it at the bottom of our artboard.

Create river shape

Step 2

Click on Fill in the Inspector Panel and select Linear Gradient. Color the stop on the top set to #0F273F.

River - gradient top color

Step 3

Color the stop on the bottom set to #070C1F.

River - gradient bottom color

9. Create the Windmill Tower

Step 1

Create a rectangle using the Rectangle tool (T). For the color, use #E0E0E0 and turn off the border.

Create windmill tower shape

Step 2

Press Enter on the keyboard to start editing the rectangle. Select the round point in the bottom left corner and nudge it 36 px to the left using the left arrow on the keyboard. With the arrow keys you can move the selected points 1 px, and by holding the Shift key you can move them 10 px per click.

Editing windmill tower shape

Step 3

Next, select the round point in the bottom right corner and nudge it 36 px to the right using the right arrow key.

Finished editing windmill tower shape

Step 4

Let's add depth to our tower. Grab the Vector (V) tool and draw a shape as shown in the image below. For the color use #FFFFFF, turn off the border, and set the Opacity to 60%.

Tower shape highlights

Step 5

Duplicate this shape (Command-D), Flip Horizontal using the Inspector Panel on the right, and move it to the right side of the tower.

Tower shape shadows

Step 6

Change the color to #000000 and the Opacity to 10%.

Tower shape shadows - change color

Step 7

Next, select these two shapes that we've just created, and the tower shape, by holding down Shift and clicking on the layers, and then choose Mask in the top toolbar.

Tower shape highlights and shadows - masking
Windmill tower shape finished

Again, select all the shapes that we've created in this step and place them in a group. Name this group "tower shape".

10. Add the Door and Windows

Step 1

To create a door, draw a rectangle as in the image below, and set the following properties in the Inspector Panel:

  • Fill: Unchecked
  • Border color: #676767
  • Position: Inside
  • Thickness: 3 px
Create door shape

Step 2

Next, draw a smaller rectangle, turn off the border, and set the color to #676767.

Finished create door

Select both rectangles and place them into the "door" group.

Step 3

Let's create a window. Draw a square using the Rectangle tool (R) and holding down Shift. Apply the following properties to this square:

  • Fill color: #BEBEBE
  • Border color: #676767
  • Position: Inside
  • Thickness: 3 px
Create window shape

Step 4

Choose the Line (L) tool, and draw two lines over the window shape: one horizontal and one vertical. For the color, use #676767 and set the Thickness to 2 px.

Finished create window

Select the square and the two lines and press Command-G to nest them inside a group. Name this group "window".

Step 5

Duplicate (Command-D) the "window" group three times and place it as shown in the image below.

Windows in place

Step 6

Select the top window, and change the color of the rectangle to #FDF485.

Change the color of top window

Select "tower shape" and all "window" and "door" groups, and put them in one group. Name this group "tower".

11. Create the Cap of the Windmill

Step 1

Use the Oval (O) tool and hold down Shift to create a circle. Set the color to #D71A03 and turn off the border.

Create windmill cap shape

Step 2

Press Enter to enter shape edit mode, and then select the Scissors tool from the Layer > Paths menu in the top toolbar, to cut away lines from our circle to get a hemisphere.

Windmill cap - create hemisphere

Step 3

Go to Layer > Paths and choose Close Path to close the path.

Finished create hemisphere

Step 4

Let's add some highlights and shadows. Create a rectangle over the left side of our hemisphere, turn off the border, and set the color to #FFFFFF and the Opacity to 20%.

Hemisphere highlights

Step 5

Duplicate this shape, change the color to #000000 and the Opacity to 15%, and position it over the right side of our hemisphere.

Hemisphere shadows

Step 6

Select both shapes and the hemisphere by holding down Shift and clicking on the layers, and then choose Mask in the top toolbar.

Hemisphere finished

Step 7

At the end, create a rectangle that is a bit bigger than the gap between the cap and the tower. Set the color to #EFEFEF and apply Shadows using the Inspector Panel.

Create rectangle between hemisphere and tower

Select both shapes (hemisphere and rectangle) and group them. Give this group the name "cap".

12. Add the Sails

In this step, we will create the final part of our windmill: the sails. So let's begin.

Step 1

Pick the Vector (V) tool and draw a shape like the one in the image below. Set the color to #070640 and turn off the border.

Create basic sail shape

Step 2

Use the Line (L) tool to create the horizontal and vertical lines that are part of our sail. For horizontal lines, set the color to #070640 and the Thickness to 2 px.

Sail - create horizontal lines

Step 3

For vertical lines, set the Thickness to 1 px and the color also to #070640. It should look like this.

Sail - create vertical lines

Step 4

Select all the lines (horizontal and vertical) along with the basic sail shape and group them. Select Rotate from the top toolbar. Click and drag the crosshair marker as shown in the image below to rotate around that point.

Rotate sail

Step 5

Rotate the sail. Use the image below as a reference.

Rotate sail finished

Step 6

Duplicate the sail, select Rotate, click and drag the crosshair marker as we did in the previous step, and rotate the sail.

Create and rotate second sail

Step 7

Repeat the previous step twice more to add the two missing sails.

Third and fourth sails added

Step 8

Create a white (#FFFFFF) circle on top of our sails using the Oval (O) tool. Set the following properties for the Borders:

  • Color: #070640
  • Position: Center
  • Thickness: 4 px
Sails finished

Step 9

Select this circle and all sails and place them in one group using Command-G. Name this group "sails".

Then select the "tower", "cap" and "sails" groups and nest them inside the "windmill" group.

13. Create the Reflections

Step 1

Select "windmill" and "mountains and trees", duplicate them (Command-D), group them into the "reflections" group, and Flip Vertical using the Inspector Panel on the right.

In the Layers Panel, put the "reflections" group just below the "windmill" group.

Create and flip reflections

Step 2

Move down "reflections" as shown in the image below.

Move reflections in place

Step 3

Finally, lower the Opacity of this group to 5%.

Reflections finished

And You're Done!

Your windmill illustration is now complete!

I hope you had a great time working on it. I'd love to see your versions of the windmill, so please go ahead and share what you've created in the comments below.

Thank you for your time!

Finished Windmill Illustration
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