1. Design & Illustration
  2. Gradient Mesh Tool

How to Draw a Festive Winter Landscape With Glowing Lamps in Adobe Illustrator

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a vector evening winter background!

If you want to skip the tutorial and just use this background with some other awesome elements, purchase the Christmas Evening Winter Landscape from GraphicRiver!

Christmas Evening Winter LandscapeChristmas Evening Winter LandscapeChristmas Evening Winter Landscape
Christmas Evening Winter Landscape

1. How to Draw the Background

Step 1

Let's begin by using Mesh for a bit!

Start by drawing a rectangle and filling it with #4B6471 color and create a Mesh grid for this shape by manually placing nodes with the Mesh Tool (U).

Once your Mesh grid is done, begin coloring it by selecting the bottom row of nodes and the bottom middle node and changing their color to #8A9BA2.

Continue this step by coloring the nodes on the top and on the sides with #253B4B and the middle nodes of the second row from the top with #385260.

Finish by changing the color of the bottom nodes to #D2DAD9.

draw mesh backgrounddraw mesh backgrounddraw mesh background

Step 2

Let's move on to drawing the snow hills!

Draw a #F6F7F2 rectangle, and then place some Mesh nodes with the Mesh Tool (U). Move said nodes to create a wavy shape out of the rectangle, trying to recreate the screenshot below.

Finally, color the selected nodes with #D0DFE4. The first hill is done!

mesh snow hillmesh snow hillmesh snow hill

Step 3

Draw the second hill following the same instructions as before and using these colors:

  1. #E1EBEC
  2. #C0D1D8
  3. #F6F7F2
draw mesh snowdraw mesh snowdraw mesh snow

Step 4

Finally, draw the third hill in a similar fashion.

  1. #CBD8DE
  2. #F4F6F1
draw snow hilldraw snow hilldraw snow hill

Step 5

Place the hills on top of each other, with the first one being in the front and the third one being in the back.

Make them overlap to match the screenshot!

arrange hillsarrange hillsarrange hills

Step 6

Place the hills on the bottom of the background!

place hillsplace hillsplace hills

2. How to Draw the Lamps

Step 1

Let's move on to drawing the lamp.

Draw half an outline of it by using the Pen Tool (P), and then use Object > Transform > Reflect and click Copy to obtain the second half. Move them close to each other for now.

draw halfdraw halfdraw half

Step 2

Select the two halves and use Unite in the Pathfinder panel to create a united outline for the lamp.

reflect the lampreflect the lampreflect the lamp

Step 3

Using the Pen Tool (P) and some small ellipses (Ellipse Tool, L), draw the transparent surfaces of the lamp.

Lay the shapes on top of the outline, select all, and use Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel to "crop" them out.

crop out the lampcrop out the lampcrop out the lamp

Step 4

Select the result and apply a Linear, #2A1800 to #DFCFD9 to #2A1800 Gradient to it.

gradient gradient gradient

Step 5

Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a decorative swirl as can be seen below.

In the Stroke panel, change the Stroke Profile to the one below.

change stroke profilechange stroke profilechange stroke profile

Step 6

Draw a little ellipse and add it to both ends of the curve.

Selecting the curve, go to Object > Expand Appearance, and then select all objects and Unite them in the Pathfinder panel. Change the result's color to #453A2E.

finish curvefinish curvefinish curve

Step 7

Attach the lamp to our decorative part.

add curve to lampadd curve to lampadd curve to lamp

Step 8

Let's draw the lamppost! Use Mesh, just as we learned before.

  1. -
  2. #100804
  3. #7F7460
  4. #5A503E
draw lamppost with meshdraw lamppost with meshdraw lamppost with mesh

Step 9

Draw the second part of the lamppost similarly.

  1. -
  2. #100804
  3. #362C1B
  4. #796F5A
more meshmore meshmore mesh

Step 10

Draw the base.

  1. -
  2. #100804
  3. #665B48
  4. #3B2E22
base of post with meshbase of post with meshbase of post with mesh

Step 11

Draw a #110600 rounded shape, and then bend it with Effect > Warp > Arc, using -20% Bend.

Go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warp objectwarp objectwarp object

Step 12

Color the shape with Mesh.

  1. #413629
  2. #6F6452
  3. #54493A
mesh mesh mesh

Step 13

Resize copies of the shape.

three copiesthree copiesthree copies

Step 14

Put the post together and add the rings we just created.

join lamppostjoin lamppostjoin lamppost

Step 15

Finally, attach the actual lamps to the top.

add lampsadd lampsadd lamps

3. How to Light Up the Lamps

Step 1

Now that we've drawn the outline, it's time to put lights in these lamps!

Begin by drawing a narrow ellipse and adding a Radial, #FFFF7F to #000000 Gradient to it.

draw ellipsedraw ellipsedraw ellipse

Step 2

Put another copy of that ellipse on top and tweak the Transparency options, selecting Screen and 79% Opacity.

Create a copy of the result, rotate it, and make it smaller.

more ellipsemore ellipsemore ellipse

Step 3

Draw a very narrow ellipse with the same Gradient as before.

another gradient ellipseanother gradient ellipseanother gradient ellipse

Step 4

Add a copy on top, creating a cross. Change its Opacity to 61% and Transparency to Screen.

add one moreadd one moreadd one more

Step 5

Draw a circle, using the same Radial Gradient. Again, use Screen, now with 95% Opacity.

gradient circlegradient circlegradient circle

Step 6

Create a flare by placing all the elements on top of each other.

join flarejoin flarejoin flare

Step 7

Draw a final ellipse for the light, using Screen and a Radial Gradient from #FFFFFF to #FFB500 to #000000.

gradient ellipsegradient ellipsegradient ellipse

Step 8

Place the first flare behind the lamp outline and the final ellipse on top of it.

place lightplace lightplace light

Step 9

Add the lights to both lamps.

both lampsboth lampsboth lamps

Step 10

Create a few copies of the lamp for the upcoming landscape.

add copiesadd copiesadd copies

4. How to Add the Trees and the Snow

Step 1

Let's begin drawing the trees!

Learn how to draw the branch we will be copying in the second section of this tutorial. Now draw the trunk, fill it with #544E48, and start adding copies of the branch to it as shown below.

add branches to treeadd branches to treeadd branches to tree

Step 2

Add more branches to complete the tree.

finish treefinish treefinish tree

Step 3

Create a copy of the branches without the trunk and draw another one.

another treeanother treeanother tree

Step 4

Add more branches to the second tree.

add more branchesadd more branchesadd more branches

Step 5

Draw a highlight with a #FCFC98 to #000000 Radial Gradient, change the Opacity to 70% and Transparency to Screen.

gradient highlightgradient highlightgradient highlight

Step 6

Create copies of the trees and add the highlights behind them.

copies of treescopies of treescopies of trees

Step 7

Place the trees and the lamps onto the background.

add to backgroundadd to backgroundadd to background

Step 8

Draw two identical circles. Fill one with #ACB99A and the second with a #020200 to white Radial Gradient.

Set both circles' transparency to Screen.

two circlestwo circlestwo circles

Step 9

Place the green circle under the gradient, and then select both and use Make Mask in the Transparency panel. Check both Clip and Invert Mask.

transparency masktransparency masktransparency mask

Step 10

Add these highlights on top of the background.

add highlightsadd highlightsadd highlights

Step 11

To add snow, refer to this tutorial.

add snowadd snowadd snow

Step 12

Draw a rectangle on top of everything to "frame" all the content you want to be seen in the final picture.

draw outlinedraw outlinedraw outline

Step 13

Select all elements and right-click, after that selecting Make Clipping Mask.

make clipping maskmake clipping maskmake clipping mask

Step 14

You're done!

final picturefinal picturefinal picture

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

What now? You can try any of my other tutorials from my profile, or check out my portfolio on GraphicRiver, as well as the original vector we recreated in this tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I would be super happy to see any results in the comments below!

Christmas Evening Winter LandscapeChristmas Evening Winter LandscapeChristmas Evening Winter Landscape
Christmas Evening Winter Background
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