Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Illustrator: Blending


To learn advanced Illustrator drawing techniques. To learn Illustrator's blending tools by recreating the following art by Precision Graphics:


This realistic illustration may look complicated at first, but it is essentially colored shapes blended together. Using the outlines provided, we will assign colors to each object and then create blends. The result is realistic only because the original illustrator used reference when creating the original shapes.


prepping illustrator

  1. download starter file
  2. open "" in illustrator
  3. practice Illustrator's navigation shortcuts (download Illustrator keyboard shortcuts)
  4. examine layers

general instructions

  1. start with the lowest layer ("sky"), fill the shapes with the colors indicated
  2. select objects to blend: objects > blend > make (cmd+opt+B)
  3. repeat with other layers
  4. hide "instructions" layer
  5. save


  1. layers with parenthesis in the name do not need to be edited
  2. to reflect: use reflect tool, opt+click vertical center guide, choose COPY
  3. for "exhaust" layer only: select all: objects > clipping mask > make


  1. file > save as (format=PDF)
  2. delete unused art
  3. add your name and the exercise number to the file
  4. print a b&w proof for grading
  5. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 4/10/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young