Learn how to create a simple palm tree clip art that is visually appealing, but also quite fun to illustrate. Don't be fooled by the complexity of this image because in fact it is very easy to create. Even beginners that are able to use a vector software can end up with a result like this one by following all steps available below. Let's start with the creation of the shapes that are used to build the tree ...
First, we can draw a basic template using several oval shapes and one long rectangle as shown below. As you can see (and for artistic purposes only), the tree is slightly inclined towards the right. All leaves are represented by long oval shapes that are all converting to a single point on top of the tree. Now that we have a simple guideline to follow, let's draw the subject using solid shapes.
Leaves that are on top of the palm tree clip art are made from one long curved line. The bottom of each leaf is cropped with triangles. For leaves that are located on the bottom of the subject, both sides are filled with holes. The trunk is large and made from long curved lines. The bottom is flat, but made from round corners. Cool! It's now time to add colors!
All leaves are filled with a bright green color. The leaf found on the bottom is located behind the tree and must be darker. The trunk is simply colored in brown. In this tutorial, no color gradients are used.
We will create all effects on the tree (highlights and shadows) using only solid shapes that are partially transparent.
On the trunk of the palm tree clip art, sketch a few curved lines made from pointed ends. These lines are currently shown in blue below (but will be filled with a dark brown color for the rest of this lesson). That's it for this step! Let's proceed with the addition of those very special effects on the subject!
On the bottom of each leaf, draw a darker shape as shown below. These new elements must be partially transparent to create the proper digital effect. Notice how the shadow found on the leaf located behind the tree has a different shape (and a darker color). Don't forget to draw an additional shadow on the trunk to complete this fifth step.
Now that we have drawn darker shapes to create shadows on the bottom of each leaf, let's draw a brighter shape on top of these leaves to create highlights (or reflection). Once again, don't hesitate to play with the opacity of these new elements to end up with a subtle result. A long bright shape can also be added on the trunk.
Here you can see the final version once all shapes are filled with beautiful shadows and highlights. Below you can see an illustration with all steps required to draw this palm tree clip art.
Don't hesitate to use these tips and techniques to create more trees like this one. Be creative and try new shapes, new leaves, new trunks and even draw branches. This is just one example ... possibilities are endless! You can see a few more examples below. Enjoy! :)