Adobe's Creative Suite 5 has recently arrived, and with it comes a new version of Illustrator, featuring some exciting tools. To give you a flavour of them, we asked Ben the Illustrator to put Illustrator CS5 to the test. He uses it to create a summery poster, as given free with the June issue of Digital Arts.

In this tutorial, Ben guides you through some of Illustrator CS5’s biggest new tools. There’s the new – and very smooth – Variable Stroke-Width tool, the tidied-up dashed-line functions, the improved shape-building tools, and most excitingly of all, the new perspective tools.

Taken together, it’s a powerful set of new features that will come in handy in all sorts of projects and graphics tasks.

Step 1 We’ll start off in a fairly standard way for an Illustrator image: draw your landscape picture on paper, scan it and took import it into Illustrator (File > Place). Then start tracing it: here, I’ve created the basic landscape using the Pen tool, with various planes on different layers. I’ve worked from the horizon (on the lowest layer) to the foreground (on the top layer) of the image.