It’s easy to associate vectors with flat shapes – but creating Illustrator images with real depth needn’t be a headache. In this tutorial, Thomas Burden (who works under the name ...There Will Be Unicorns) shows how you can create striking, vibrant work in Illustrator using a simple colour palette and basic blur effects – particularly Illustrator’s built-in Gaussian Blur effects.

Along the way, you’ll also learn how to bring simple shapes to life, and how to create charming characters and elements, using only basic Illustrator and Photoshop.

Shading elements in Illustrator with the Gaussian Blur leaves your objects completely editable. Once you’ve scaled these elements to the right size, you can import them into Photoshop for a quick brightening up and some tweaks to layer blending modes and styles.

The net effect is fresh, clean and irresistibly cheerful.


Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop

Time to complete

3 hours

Project Files

(it’s free!)

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