I had already made a draft sketch to create my outlines over the top of, you can sketch using the Paint Brush Tool in Pixel Persona or add a sketch to your workspace that you’ve created elsewhere by selecting Place Image. This is your starting point.
Next I traced the outline of my sketch using the Pen Tool with the stroke set to 0.2 pt and colour set to black.
To create the leaf shapes I used the Rectangle Tool in combination with the Corner Tool to round two corners.
Shading and highlights
I then began to fill the shapes created using the Fill Tool and linear gradients. By using gradient fills on different layers, with different levels of Opacity and by clippling them to different shapes I created shading and highlights throughout the image.
Colouring the leaves
I used the linear gradient option once again to fill each leaf with two shades of green to create more depth.
The highlights on the leaves I created by drawing vector shapes with the Pen Tool in a lighter colour, which I then clipped to the leaf shapes and turned the Opacity down to 10%—you can go less if you prefer.
Two colour highlights
By adding magenta and cyan highlights to the edges of the illustration I enhanced the lighting effect, giving the appearance of it being lit with different coloured light from different angles. You’ll see I’ve repeated this effect throughout the image, from the plant pot to the glass and the leaves.
To create a glowing effect on different parts of the image I duplicated elements of the design and added a Gaussian Blur to them using Layer Effects.
Here I’ve hidden a leaf so you can see the Gaussian Blur layer which I have placed behind it to create a subtle glow.
By using subtle gradients and changing the opacity I created reflections of light in the glass. To give the appearance of beams of light reflecting off the glass I created a grey shape to overlay onto the dome and also rectangles of a darker purple colour which I clipped to that shape. With the Opacity turned down to 10% you get the effect of a sheen and rays of light hitting the glass dome.
I created individual lines in cyan and magenta to give the appearance of highlighted reflections in the glass dome. With Gaussian Blur applied to make them soft and with Opacity turned down to 10% they create a subtle but effective shine.
Shadows on the floor
Gaussian Blur is used once again to create shadows on the floor. By creating dark coloured oval shapes using the Ellipse Tool and applying a Gaussian Blur effect I created soft shadows. I used the same effect with dark coloured vector lines to create definition but retain the subtlety and softness of the shadows.
Glow behind the dome
Adding a subtle glow behind the main illustration gives more depth to the image. I created an area of magenta glow and an area of blue glow by creating shapes with the Pen Tool and again adding a Gaussian Blur layer effect and tweaking the Opacity for more subtlety.
The finished illustration
About the creator
Tribuvan Suthar is a Graphic Designer and UI designer based in Mumbai, India. He regularly creates designs for websites and brand identity, with an interest in abstract vector designs particularly for the web. When he isn’t busy using Affinity Designer to create his eye-catching designs he has a passion for photography and travel.