Draw a Christmas Tree in Adobe Illustrator

Draw a Christmas Tree in Adobe Illustrator
In this tutorial for IllustratorR CS3, we will draw a Christmas tree on an Artist Trading Card but you can use the same steps for a greeting card. We will use the Pen, Star and Line tools to draw the basic shapes for the tree and then finish the tree with the Blend tool and Ornamental Border brush.

  1. Start a new document with the dimensions of an Artist Trading Card. The Width should be 2.5 inches and the Height 3.5 inches. If you are making a greeting card, adjust as you need for the printed size of the card. In the New Document dialog box, keep the Color Mode set to RGB and the Raster Effects set to High 300 ppi.

  2. The first thing that I like to do when starting a new project is to clear the Swatches Panel of all those color swatches that I do not need for the project. Click on the small black triangle at the top right corner of the panel to open the menu. Choose Select All Unused from the menu. This will highlight all of the swatches. From the menu again, choose Delete Swatches. Now we have room to add our custom colors to the Swatches Panel.

  3. From the Swatches Panel menu again, choose New Swatch to open the New Swatch dialog box. Set the RGB color values to the following and name our custom swatch "ChristmasDarkRed".

    ChristmasDarkRed
    R 69, G 0, B 3

    Repeat this for two more custom swatches.

    ChristmasLightRed
    R 169, G 7, B 28

    ChristmasWhite
    R 255, G 237, B 234

  4. Now we can create a custom gradient using our two red swatches. Go to the Gradient Panel and click on the Gradient Slider (the horizontal bar) to display the Gradient Stops. Keep the Type set to Linear and set the Angle to 90 degrees. Next, we will drag the red swatches from the Swatches panel to the Gradient Stops. Click on the ChristmasDarkRed swatch and drag it to the right Gradient Stop. Click and drag the ChristmasLightRed swatch to the left Gradient Stop.

    Finally, we will add this custom gradient to the Swatches Panel. From the Swatches Panel menu, click New Swatch. When the dialog box opens this time, all of the controls are unavailable. All we need to do is give our gradient a name. Let's call it "ChristmasGradientRed".

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This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.