create depth in youidraw

Shading and Depth in YouiDraw

In this tutorial we will try out some techniques to add depth to our YouiDraw vector art.  I got this idea for my students from Creative Bloq and though we have far fewer options than they do, I think we can create a pretty cool piece of art.  Adding depth in YouiDraw:

  1. To start, open a new document in YouiDraw.  Go to and click on the DRAW icon.  Then click “start from blank”.
  2. At the top right click the grid icon and check Show Grid & Snap to Grid.  Then close that box.
  3. Make your document 640 x 800 pix in the document setup tab (larger if you plan on printing this).  Then click the zoom percentage at the top right and select “Fit on Screen”.
    shading in youidraw
  4. Now you are going to draw a mountain scene that looks something like this:
    youidraw depth tutorial
  5. First draw a blue box at the top as the sky.  Uncheck the “stroke” box so that there is no border.
  6. Create the individual mountains by using the Convex Tool.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 7.46.55 PM
    Change the number of sides to three, uncheck the the stroke box, change the fill to grays to start out with.
    youidraw shading
  7. Copy and paste the triangle then draw a rectangle over the second triangle intersecting in the very middle.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.52.03 PM
    Next select both the second triangle and the rectangle and click the “subtract” button at the top of the art board.  This is what you get:
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.52.21 PM
    Now place the half triangle over the original one and make the color slightly lighter.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.52.41 PM
    Select the darker triangle that is in the back and open the effects (feather) tab in the Properties panel.  Check inner shadow and make your shadow appear on the left outside edge of the triangle.  My settings are shown here:
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.54.13 PM
  8. Now just copy and past that mountain to create another one.  Change the shape, size, and color of this one.  To select the individual pieces of the group to change the color you will use the layers pallet and the drop down menu next to that group.  Select a single layer there and change the color in the properties > shape tab.
    After you create a few mountains across the back you’ll notice that you are now on the other side of the art board and the sun will be on the left of it.  This means you need to switch the mountain around so that the shadow is now on the right.  Simply grab the right edge of the mountain and drag it to the left to flip it around.  Click the pencil and save!
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.28.36 PM
    Now you will need to change the angle of the shadow as well.  Select the back triangle in the layers panel and change your settings to look like this:
    tutorial for youidraw
  9. Start at the back and work your way forward.  Grays at the back and greens to the front with a big sun in the middle.  Remember that the sun (the source of light, and the reason for shadows) is in the middle so the shadows will be all around the edges of the artwork, away from the sun.  Copy and paste the original triangle for the mountains on the left side and the flipped one for the mountains on the right side
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.49.30 PM

    1. Keep adding mountains and the sun.  Use lots of shades of green and gray.  SAVE YOUR WORK!
      adding depth in youidraw
    2. After you finish you will notice that you can see everything that hangs over the edge.  Zoom out and add a dark gray frame of sorts so that you can see where your drawing ends.  I just used one rectangle and copied it three more times.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.37.01 PM
    3. Nice!  Now we will add a gradient to the sky.  Select the sky.  Click on the fill swatch at the bottom left.  Select Linear Gradient.  Move the little black dots with number 1 and 2 in them to the position as shown.  Click on the color drops at the bottom to make sure the colors are blue and white, with white at the bottom.  Click OK and save the file.
      youidraw tutorials
    4. Now give the sun a little depth by adding an inner shadow to it with the following settings.  Choose a yellow color that is just slightly darker.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.39.59 PM
    5. Next create three little triangles using the Convex tool (change the sides to 3!).  I zoomed in a lot to do this.  Make them white without a stroke.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.03.28 PM
    6. Now use the Pen Tool to draw random shapes that are similar in width to the bottom of the triangle.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.03.47 PM
      Get rid of the black stroke and you have awesome snow caps.  Might be a good idea to select the two pieces of one snow cap and group them.  Do the same for the other two.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.04.06 PM
    7. Add a few snow caps to some of your gray mountains.  You may have to make them skinnier or wider and maybe even move them around in the layers panel so that they are in the right position.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.15.50 PM
    8. Now save the YouiDraw file and you are done!

adding depth in youidraw


One thought on “Shading and Depth in YouiDraw”

  1. Thank you so much for this set of lessons, I have finished all the tutorials, now I have an idea of what vector is and I have more confidence in my pen tool! you opened my world to a whole lot of new possibilities, thaaaaaanks!

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