This tutorial will teach you how to create a beautiful maple leaf tree from scratch using Illustrator. We will use the Pen tool to create the leaf and create a custom brush to make many leaves of different sizes.
Program: Illustrator CS5
Estimated Completion Time: 45 Minutes
The following steps will help you create the final output for the maple tree, as shown in the figure above.
1. Choose the Pen Tool from the Tools panel on the right in Illustrator. Use the selected Pen Tool to create the following shape of the maple tree.
2. Select the Gradient Tool from the Tools panel. Double- click on the Gradient Tool icon in the Tools panel; the gradient tool properties are displayed, as shown in Figure below.
3. Choose Radial from the Type drop-down list and add the following RGB values to the left and the right node.
Right node: 240,88,34 Left node: 251,174,23
4. Apply the gradient in the maple leaf to get the effect as shown in the Figure below.
5. Next, use the Pen Tool and create the step and the leaf stroke as shown in Figure below.
6. Press CTRL + a to select all the objects created on the stage area and then press CTRL + g to group all of them together. Next, create multiple copies of the leaf and add different color shades to them to get the effect, as shown in the figure below.
You can add gradient to the leaves to make it look more realistic, but for this tutorial we will be using solid colors for the tutorial. Add solid colors to the leaves to get the effect as shown in the figure below.
7. Choose CTRL + a to select all the objects on the stage area and then CTRL + g to group them together. Scale the leaves to 20% of its original size.
8. Select the leaves and choose Window > Brushes from the main menubar; the Brushes window is displayed, as shown in the figure below.
9. Choose the inverted triangle icon on the top right hand corner of the window; a flyout is displayed. Choose New Brush… from it; the New Brush window is displayed.
10. Choose Scatter Brush radio button and next choose the OK button; the Scatter Brush Options window is displayed, as shown in below.
11. Add the following parameters in the Scatter Brush Options dialog box.
Size: Random between 76% – 134%
Spacing: Random between 65% – 119%
Scatter: Fixed – 6%
Rotation: Random between 41° – 110°
Enter all these values to as shown in Figure below and choose the OK button.
Note: You can also set these values as per your need and requirement.
12. Next, choose the Pen Tool from the Toolbar and draw the trunk of the tree as shown in Figure below.
13. Next, create a new layer to make the leaves for the tree and choose the Brush Tool from the Toolbar. Next, select the leaf brush pattern that you from the BRUSHES panel and draw an outline of the leaves selected to as shown below.
14. Next fill in the empty space in the between to fill in the leaves as shown in the figure below to get your tree completed.
15. You can now use this tree to create a wallpaper image using your skills and creativity similar to the following image in the Figure.