Vector Landscape Silhouette

In this Adobe Illustrator project, you will learn how to create vector landscape silhouettes and use color values to add depth and dimension to your designs.

Vector silhouettes are a powerful design element that can add depth and dimension to any vector landscape silhouette project. With the help of Adobe Illustrator, creating vector silhouettes has become easier and more accessible than ever before. In this project, we will explore the process of building vector silhouettes in Adobe Illustrator, including the tools and techniques required to create stunning designs. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced designer, this project will provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to take your vector silhouette creations to the next level. So, let’s dive in and get started!

Building Atmospheric Perspective

An artist can build atmospheric perspective into an illustration by using color values. As objects are further from the viewer, their tones will get closer, fooling the viewer into believing there is an atmosphere in the distance. This means that objects in the foreground will have more saturated and brighter colors, while background objects will have less saturated and duller colors. Additionally, an artist can use overlapping, layering, and transparency to create the illusion of depth in an illustration. Using these techniques, an artist can create a sense of distance and depth in their artwork, making it more visually appealing and engaging.

Learning Targets

  • I can create and stack simple shapes to create the illusion of spatial depth.
  • I can use tints, tones, and shades of colors to create a feeling of depth in an illustration.
Vector landscape silhouette example

Creative Direction

In this project, you will build a simple vector landscape silhouette. Your image should have a foreground, middle ground, and background. You should sketch a rough idea on paper or digitally and place the image in the background. Or, create a Photoshop composite and then work over the image using vector tools. Ultimately, the goal is to create the illusion of spatial depth in a vector landscape silhouette illustration. You can use the videos below to help you understand how to build a simple landscape and then have fun creating your version.

Design Specifications

Document Setup

  • 12” x 8” (3:2 aspect ratio)
  • Landscape Orientation

Design Constraints

  • Only trace over images available on Free Stock Photography websites or Public Domain sources.
  • There are no raster images allowed in the final product.

Design Submission

  • Save a copy of your file as a PDF. Lastname, Firstname – Landscape.pdf

Use the following videos to help you understand the process.

tutvid. (2017, October 15). Purple polar bear silhouette vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator [Video]. YouTube.

tutvid. (2017, April 7). Animal silhouette moonlight vector illustration [Video]. YouTube.

mawdez. (2021, Apr 1). Hikers on a cliff adventure [Video]. YouTube.

mawdez. (2021, Apr 8). Night landscape view textured effect vector illustration tutorial [Video]. YouTube.


Grammarly. (2023). Grammarly (Dec 5 version) [Large language model].

Prompts I wrote

– “How can an artist build atmospheric perspective into an illustration?”

Tom Smalling
I bring over 20 years of design experience. Having worked in a myriad of roles, including production artist, graphic designer, web developer, and photographer. I have a unique skill set to bring to the classroom and many different insights and experiences. Combined with a master's degree in instructional design and technology, I'm constantly exploring ways to bring creativity back to education.