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Landscape Plan in Illustrator


Senior Member

So I want to create plans for a landscape design and I would like it to be vector-based if possible.

I have outlines of trees as shown below (ArchiCAD) but I'm not sure of the technique to make the grass look how it does and how to make the trees look that way (apart from drop shadow);

I also want to create gravel (stone) pathways but these will 'spill' over the grass (image 2)

Thank You



Senior Member
Bit vague this mate, can you provide some more info. Are you asking for us to explain techniques for you? You might need to be a bit clearer and give us some more info.


Senior Member

Well the site I'm creating a landscape plan for is around 60% grassland, so I want to use the same effect on the first image to represent grass (rather than a solid colour). The next biggest element of the site is trees, around 20% in various sizes, so I want to re-create the trees as shown in the first image. I have Vector outlines for the trees (From ArchiCAD) but I need to apply some sort of style to achieve the effect as shown above.. The other main part of the landscape is limestone pathways, which are very 'rough' i.e merge into the grass, like on the second image.

What I'm asking is techniques in Illustrator to basically re-create the first image, and add some limestone pathways... I can't really give you a plan because it's basically just grass and a few trees... I have to plan the landscape for a project.

The overall 'theme' for the plan is 'sketchy' If that helps

Thank You
Maybe I can help.
Please view my website or PM me.

I work on similar projects and a sketchy style with colour wash works well.
Not too tight with the colour washes and tones.


Staff member
Like most things with illustrator, there are a number of ways to create an illusion depending on the look you're after.
It takes a little trial and error but the best approach is not to think you have to include every detail, just a suggestion.

From the photograph you'll see that the only real "spill over" from path to grass is in the foreground and in the distance it becomes more of a hard edge.

May be worth experimenting by drawing in the path as a simple solid shape and then adding gravel detail in the foreground and blending it out.
Simple ellipses could be used for this and if you use the symbol sprayer tool it should make it quick and easy.
If you double click the symbol sprayer tool there are lots of options for re-sizing them to give that perspective feel.

To give the grass a little texture you could just draw a few small tufts and make symbols of them and use the same technique as before.


Staff member
no wonder the first post confused the hell out of me, you're not trying to do plans, this is more towards the architectural visualisation side of things.

Unless it's required to use illustrator you'd be quicker doing the grass and gravel in photoshop with layers etc, you'd need to play with perspective etc if you use a top down image. You could use noise filter to give a rougher appearance to the grass and gravel.

If you need 'sketchy' you can play with the filters in photoshop, this is one of the times when it's actually ok to use them lol

I also wouldn't be surprised if the brief is saying sketchy that they actually want you to do a 'watercolour' type piece.

edit: note I'm working without the tree image so I'm assuming it's like the picture.


Senior Member

Yes It is architectural Visualisation - I'm studying Architecture.

The brief does not require any sort of sketch, we can present how we want but I think that because my site it 'natural' and the project is about sustainability etc. that the more 'free' sketch style presentation will work better. i.e. plain black line against landscape images won't work together as well.

Thank you.