In today post I will present you a new tutorial from me. It’s a detailed tutorial of how to make a vector car from photo in Adobe Illustrator.

In this tutorial I will show you the basic techniques and some tips for making vector objects using pen tool in Illustrator. For this tutorial we’ll not draw directly, but we’ll draw with pen tool over a photo. Before we start let’s choose a good photo, I will use a stock photo from which you can find here:

Photo we’ll use:

Step 1:

Open the car photo in Illustrator and take pen tool. Select yellow color and start drawing with pen tool on a new layer. Look my work on the image:

Step 2:

Continue the work with pen tool and look carefully about the details.

Step 3:

Continue the work with pen tool and look carefully about the details.

Step 4:

Continue the work with pen tool and look carefully about the details. Here I use lower opacity, so I can see better what’s going on around.

Step 5:

If you’re following the tutorial step by step, look carefully at the points I make.

Step 6:

If you’re following the tutorial step by step, look carefully at the points I make.

Step 7:

And here we’re almost at the final. After we close the path of this shape we’ll have the basic shape for the car, but we’ll need to make some changes for it.

Step 8:

We will need the Pathfinder panel so if it’s not open go to Window menu and choose Pathfinder

Step 9:

We need to cut out the windows and the lights and also some other parts of our car. Let’s start with this light below. Begin to draw with the pen tool and make the exact same shape.

Step 10:

When you’re ready with the shape, select on both shapes, the both and the one for the light then click on Subtract from Shape Area button in Pathfinder panel

Step 11:

Using the same technique you can cut out the other parts. Below is the result you should have if everything is done right.

Step 12:

The next thing is to draw some of parts which are black and behind the body of the car. Do this on a new layer and move it below the 1st one.

Step 13:

Again on a new layer draw the windows shapes.

Step 14:

Next let’s continue with the wheels. Begin to draw the threads of the tire.

Step 15:

When you’re done with them draw the tire. It should be behind them so make on new layer again and move it below.

Step 16:

Use the oval tool and draw a shape. Then you can adjust it using free transform and direct select tool.

Step 17:

Copy and paste this exact shape and make it smaller. Then select both shapes and click on Subtract from shape area button in Pathfinder panel.

Step 18:

Using the same techniques let’s make the other wheel.

Step 19:

Also making of the rims can be done using same methods. This is the car until now.

Step 20:

Now make the sign for the car number using pen tool.

Step 21:

Lower the opacity of the car body start to draw the lines of the car, but use only border color here.

Step 22:

Continue that for all the lines of the car.

Step 23:

Make the light shade for the windows. Draw them choose white color and lower the opacity.

Step 24:

You can also use a gradient color for them. Here is how they look now.

Step 25:

Make the lights of the car using the same techniques and methods we have used until now.

Step 26:

Here’s a whole car preview again: Here I have add the handle for the door.

Step 27:

In that way you can add all the details you like for the car, it takes some time but at the end the results are better if you spent more time on it. Here I also played a bit with some colors and so on.

Step 28:

Now let’s make some shades of light for the car. There is very different methods for making this, you can use mesh tool or gradient colors. It depends on you, here I will show you simple way. Just draw the shape where you see most of the lights reflection are and choose white color for them.

Step 29:

When you’re done, lower the opacity a bit, as much as you like.

Step 30:

And here I also add a shadow beyond the car. Black color with lower opacity.


Here is the final vector car we have. I hope you like it.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you like it and you’ve learned something here. Or at least you find it a bit fun. In a separate post later I will give you the free Ai file of this vector car so don’t miss it. 🙂

Feel free to share this tutorial with your friends and you’re welcome to comment and ask any questions or to say you critique.

Photo we’ll use:

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (20 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +15 (from 21 votes)
Tutorial: Make vector car from photo in Illustrator, 8.0 out of 10 based on 20 ratings
Graphics designer and web developer from Bulgaria. Working as a freelancer from 2 years I have big experience in graphics design. In my spare time I make tutorials in my web site for tutorials: This is one of my hobbies. I also love Photography, sports and especially martial arts and free runing.

29 Thoughts on “Tutorial: Make vector car from photo in Illustrator”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge