In today’s tutorial we are going to get into summer vibes while creating a lonely beach guard tower on a seashore in Adobe Illustrator. We will use simple tools and techniques.
1. How to Create a New Document
First, set up a New Document (File > New or Control/Command-N) with these settings:
- Number of Artboards: 1
- Width: 1200
- Height: 1200
- Units: pixels
From the Advanced tab:
- Color Mode: RGB
- Raster Effects: Screen
- Preview Mode: Default
- Uncheck Align New Objects to Pixel Grid
2. How to Create the Top Section of the Tower
Let’s start simple by creating a 127 x 127 px rectangle and filling it with
Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select both top anchors of the rectangle. Press Enter to open the Move window. Set the Horizontal value to -32 px and the Vertical value to 0 px and press OK, moving our anchors to the left.
This angled rectangle will act as a main front wall.
Select the shape and Copy it, using Control-C. Click Control-F twice to get two copies on the top of the rectangle, and move the top copy to the right by about 60 px.
Add the second copy to the selection and use the Minus Front option of the Pathfinder panel.
Select the resulting shape with the Selection Tool (V) and reduce its size by Shift-dragging one of the top corners of the Bounding Box blue area to the center.
Set the color of the shape to
#48A987 and position the shape in the middle part of the wall. It will act as a doorway.
Copy (Control-C) the doorway and paste two copies in the front by pressing Control-F twice.
Move the top shape slightly to the right, add a second copy to the selection, and press the Intersect button on the Pathfinder panel. Change the color of the new shape to
#225443, forming the inner shadow part of the entrance.
Now we are going to add a shadow to the entrance wall. Make two copies (Control-C) and paste them in front of the shape (Control-F twice), and move the top copy to the left and down.
Add a second shape to the selection using the Minus Front option of Pathfinder, getting an angled shape.
Since it will act as a shadow, change its Blending Mode to Multiply while lowering the Opacity to 40% in the Transparency panel.
Let’s add a highlight on the right part of the wall.
Create two front copies of the wall again and move the top copy to the right. Add another copy to the selection while using the Minus Front option of Pathfinder, making sure to change the resulting shape’s color to white (
Time to add outlines to the shapes.
Select the main rectangle and copy it. Then click once on the shadow doorway part and press Control-F, getting a copy of the wall in front of the entrance.
Set the Fill of the copy to None, the Stroke color to
#3d342d, and the Weight to 6 px.
Give 6 px thick outlines (
#3d342d) to the doorway parts.
Build a 152 x 127 px rectangle (
#6ebea2) for the side wall, placing its top-left anchor behind the top-right anchor of the front wall and hiding it behind the previous section.
As we did with the previous wall, give the current one a shadow part by making two front copies, moving the top copy to the left and bottom and using the Minus Front option of the Pathfinder for the two shapes, making sure to change the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Multiply while lowering the Opacity to 40%.
Working the same way, add one more side shadow on the wall.
Let’s add an outline to the side wall. Copy (Control-C) the side wall, click on the upper shadow, and paste the shape in front of it with Control-F. Remove the Fill while setting the Stroke color to
#3d342d and the Weight to 6 px.
Add a 210 x 16.5 px rectangle (
#6ebea2) on the top of the side wall and align it to the center of the shape.
As we did for the previous sections, give the current rectangle two shadows and a 6 px thick outline (
Form a 129 x 16.5 px rectangle (
#98d2be) on the outer left side of the previously created shape.
Using the same methods, build a highlight on the left part and a shadow on the right side of the stripe, followed by a 6 px wide outline (
Group (Control-G) all the parts together.
3. How to Create the Bottom Section of the Tower
Let’s start working on the bottom section of our tower by forming a 290 x 16.5 px rectangle (
#48a987) below the upper section, aligning it to the right edge of the roof.
Make one more 230.5 x 16.5 px stripe of the same color under the first one.
Rotate the rectangle by 30 degrees by Alt-clicking on the bottom-left anchor with the Rotate tool (R), setting the Angle to 30 degrees.
Attached the angled shape to the left side of the horizontal one, positioning its top anchor on the top-left anchor of the horizontal rectangle.
Select the angled rectangle and press Enter to open the Move option window. Set the Horizontal value to -100 px and the Vertical value to 0 px and press Copy, getting a duplicate on the left side.
Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag the bottom-right anchor of the duplicate onto the top point of the original angled shape.
Then select the bottom-left anchor of the left angled shape and position it on the top-left anchor of the original rectangle.
Set the color of the resulting shape to
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and add a small rectangle (
#48a987) under the bottom side of the large angled shape, making sure to place its lower edge on the same level as the bottom anchor of the right angled stripe.
Select the lower edge of the created figure with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag it to the right, positioning its right side on the left edge of the neighboring angled stripe.
Now let’s work on the highlights.
Make a larger copy of the side angled rectangle. Select it together with the original shape and the horizontal rectangle and cut off the outstanding part by Alt-clicking on it with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M). Change the color of the resulting shape to white (
Using the Pathfinder method, as we did before, add a second highlight to the slope.
Give shadows to the horizontal side stripe and the slope.
Select the angled rectangle and horizontal stripe and unite the two into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.
Add 6 px thick outlines (
#3d342d) with a Round Join to all the bottom pieces.
Start working on the fence by creating an 11.5 x 29 px rectangle (
#6ebea2) for the post, giving it a shadow followed by a 4 px thick outline (
#3d342d). Group (Control-G) all the parts together and place one copy of the post on the top of the slope.
Select the original post, open the Move option window (Enter), and set the horizontal value to 65 px. Click on the Copy, getting a duplicate of the post on the right side. Keeping the duplicate selected, press Control-D two more times, getting two more copies.
Group (Control-G) all four posts together and rotate the group by 30 degrees using the Rotate tool (R).
Attach the post group to the left edge of the slope.
Now we need a rail sitting over the posts.
Copy the slope’s black outline and drag it onto the side row of posts, making its left edge sit on their top as shown in the image below.
Delete the right and bottom edges of the outline.
Drag its end points with the Direct Selection Tool (A), placing one of them on the left edge of the cabin and another on the top-left anchor of the left post. Set Round Cap for the rail.
Doing the same manipulations, copying and dragging the posts and the rail, create another fence on the right side of the tower.
Let’s create bearing piles supporting our cabin.
Build a 14 x 113 px rectangle (
#48a987) on the right side below the cabin. Give it a shadow followed by a 6 px thick outline (
Group (Control-G) all the parts together and make a duplicate on the left.
Draw two 6 px thick horizontal lines (
#3d342d) going from one pile to another, making the left endpoints slightly overlap the left post.
Group (Control-G) the bearing piles construction and create a copy, moving it to the left and hiding it behind the tower, as well as making the color darker.
4. How to Make a Windsock and Add Details
Let’s add a flowing windsock on the roof of our beach tower.
Form a 62 x 24 px rectangle (
#d65428) for the main windsock shape.
Then add one anchor point on the middle of the right edge with the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). Delete the top and bottom anchors, getting a triangle, and make its right corner rounded by pulling the Live Corner indicator to the center with the Direct Selection Tool (A).
Add a 15.5 x 24 px ellipse (
#a8411f) on the left part of the triangle.
Select the ellipse and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter 10 px into the Offset value field and press OK, getting an outline.
Keeping the outer ellipse selected, use the Offset Path again, setting the Offset value to 5 px.
Select both outer shapes and go to Object > Path > Offset Path again. Set the Offset to 20 px, getting two more outer shapes.
Select the cone shape, get one copy in the front, and select the copy together with the four outer ellipses using the Divide option of the Pathfinder panel.
Delete all divided pieces except the two stripes, changing their color to
Give the shape that we’ve just created a highlight followed by a 4 px thick outline (
#3d342d) with a Round Join. Add the same outline to the ellipse.
Create two ropes attaching our windsock to the pole. Use two 4 px thick lines for the ropes and a 6 px thick line for the pole.
Group (Control-G) all the sock parts together and position it on the roof of the tower.
We are nearly done with the beach guard tower.
Give our tower a more interesting and stylish look by opening some of the outlines. To do it, just use the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to add additional anchors on the outlines and then Delete paths between these anchors, making sure to set the Cap of the remaining outlines to Round from within the Stroke panel.
Take your time, and once you’re done, add some additional 4 px thick lines near the edges of our illustration.
Finish the tower by adding a few lines below for the ground level.
5. How to Create a Tropical Beach Background
Let’s place our beach guard tower on a tropical paradise by creating a seaside landscape on the background.
Form a 1200 x 1200 px rectangle (
#fb9f31) behind our building for the background.
Add a few 6 px thick lines of
#f8cc6b color below the tower to imitate the surface of water. Make them more interesting and lively by adding some dashes and varying their sizes.
Add a 300 x 300 px circle (
#f37f10) for the setting sun and two outer circles for the sun’s glow. Use white color and Screen Blending mode with 30% Opacity for the glow.
Delete the outstanding lower part of the outer circle by selecting it and Alt-dragging over the outstanding part with the Eraser Tool (Shift-E).
We need a few additional elements to finish the composition.
Create a simple palm made from a few leaves and a rectangular trunk. We can get a leaf by using the Intersect option of the Pathfinder panel for two overlapping ellipses. Then attach a rectangle for the trunk and form a crown by copying and moving the leaves. Use
#f37f10 for the color.
Then make a cloud consisting of overlapping circles and a rounded rectangle. Just remove any unwanted pieces with the help of the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), merge all shapes into one with the Unite option of Pathfinder, and set the color to
Spread the palms and clouds over the scene, creating a balanced composition.
That’s It! Our Beach Guard Tower Illustration Is Ready
Congratulations! Our flat-style Baywatch house scene is finished.
I decided to add two seagull silhouettes on the background to enhance the atmosphere of the seaside sunset. Can you now feel the summer breeze and the sea surf splashing on a tropical coast? Our lesson is ending here, and new adventures are beginning.
I hope you enjoyed the process and discovered something new and helpful along the way.