In today’s Adobe Illustrator tutorial we’re going to create a cute cartoon style space scene illustration using simplified vector shapes and solid bold colours. We’ll be using a variety of tools and techniques which makes this a great tutorial for Illustrator newcomers. See how complete illustrations are built by combining lots of individually drawn elements.

Vector space scene

The illustration we’ll be creating features a flat cartoon like style with all the planets and moons being decorated with bold patterns. The process for creating this illustration involves lots of different processes to design each pattern and trim the various shapes to size, which are all crucial techniques needed to master Adobe Illustrator.

Vector space scene

Create a new document at any dimensions and go to View > Hide Artboards. Vector artwork can be scaled to any size, so unlike Photoshop the initial document size doesn’t matter too much. Select the Rectangle tool from the toolbar and drag out a shape onto the artboard. Hold Shift to constrain the dimensions into a perfect square. Add a deep blue as a fill colour by selecting a swatch, eyedropping a colour or adjusting the CMYK sliders.

Vector space scene

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  1. Good tutorial, thanks for sharing. You used a couple commands that I wasn’t aware of, like CMD+D to Transform Again. Also the vector texture is a good resource. Thumbs up :)

  2. Dear Chris,

    May I have your permission to use the completed vector space illustration for a public poster?

    Hope to hear from you.


  3. Chris,

    I haven’t tried this one yet, but my wife has been itching to learn Illustrator. So, this should be a good introduction for her.

  4. Thank you so much Chris! I’m starting this tutorial right now. Let’s see how I tread through Ai waters! Thanks again! It looks super fun! :)

  5. Another great tutorial. However, can you tell me how you export your images from illustrator to look so crisp and smooth? When I use the save for web option text in particularly looks jagged even though I am using type optimised. Do you have a particular method you use when exporting for the web?

  6. This was excellent. Easy to follow… touched upon just the right amount of illustrator skills without being overwhelming or too easy.

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