Illustration: Create a flat style bus

Beginner level Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator

New Document and Set Up

Step 1

Press Control + N to create a new document. Change the Units to Pixels and set up a 1200x500 px artboard. Then, in the Advanced options, choose the RGB color mode and the Screen (72 ppi) raster effects. 

Go to Preferences (Control + K) and enter a value of 1 px for Keyboard Increments. Press OK.

You can turn on the Info panel (Window → Info) to have a preview of the size and the position of all your shapes. Remember to change the unit of measurement to Pixels in Edit → Preferences → Units. This will speed up your work.


How to Create the Transit Bus

Let's start by drawing the bodywork of the bus.

Step 1

Draw a rectangle on the lower part of the artboard using the Rectangle Tool (M). Use #545454 as fill color.


Step 2

Now, draw another rectangle of 622x168 px (#DEDEDE) and move its top-right corner to the left using the Direct Selection Tool (A). Then, round all the corners using Live Corners with the Direct Selection Tool (A).


Step 3

Create two ellipses of 50x50 px (#000000) using the Ellipse Tool (L) and copy both of them (Control + C). Minus both ellipses from the rectangle by clicking Minus Front on the Pathfinder.

After that, paste the ellipses on the same place (Control + F) and change their size to 46 px on the Transform panel. Round the corners next to the tires slightly.


Step 4

Draw two ellipses inside the tires and fill them with the colors #3E3E3D and #000000.


Step 5

Draw two rectangles (#C5362E) and rotate them to place them on the bodywork. Minus their shapes from the bus using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M).


Step 6

Now, draw the doors using a 68x142 px rectangle (#222221). Round the top corners slightly. Then, draw two rectangles inside with the Rectangle Tool (M) (#3E3E3D) to make the windows on the door. Round their outer corners. Duplicate them (Control + C → Control + F) and place them next to the originals.


Step 7

Continue by drawing a rectangle below the door (#2A2A2A). Then, with the Rounded Rectangle Tool, draw two rectangles and rotate them before placing them on the windows of the door.

Finally, group the door (Control + G), create two more copies (Control + C → Control + F) and place them in the middle part and the back part of the bus.


Step 8

Draw the front window using the Pen Tool (P). Apply #222221 as fill color and minus off the shape using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) to get the window. Later, create a copy of the shape (Control + C → Control + F) and apply a -3 px offset by going to Effect → Path → Offset Path. Expand the shape (Object → Expand Appearance) and change its fill color to #3E3E3D.


Step 9

Keep using the Pen Tool (P) to draw the headlights area, and then draw two ellipses for the lights themselves. Remember to use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) to minus off the shapes from the bus.


Step 10

Let's repeat the same process on the back. Draw a couple of rectangles (#3E3E3D), one for the rear window and one for the tail lights. And draw a couple of ellipses for the lights themselves.


Step 11

Let's create now the windows of the bus. To do that, draw a 73x84 px rectangle (#222221) and round its corners slightly. Then, make a copy (Control + C → Control + F) (#3E3E3D) and apply a -3 px offset by going to Effect → Path → Offset Path. Expand the shape (Object → Expand Appearance).

Draw two thin rectangles and minus them off the inner rectangle to create the separations on the windows.


Step 12

Make a copy of the window (Control + C → Control + F) and place it next to the original. Then, make two more copies and reduce their height by selecting their lower anchor points and dragging them up. This way, we'll get smaller windows.

Draw the last window (#222221) using the Pen Tool (P). Make a copy of this shape too (#3E3E3D) with a -3 px offset applied (Effect → Path → Offset Path).


Step 13

Let's draw the AC (#9F2D27) using the Rectangle Tool (M). Round the top corners using the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Then, with the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an ellipse (#CDCDCD) and send it to the back (Shift + Control + [). After that, make two copies (Control + C → Control + F), move the last copy and minus it off the previous one by clicking on Minus Front on the Pathfinder. Finally, change the fill color to #BDBDBD.


Step 14

Draw a trapezoid (#3E3E3D) and an ellipse (#DD4F12) for the turn signals. Duplicate (Control + C → Control + F) and flip them (Shift + O) horizontally. Place the second group on the front part of the bus.


Step 15

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw some stripes (#9F2D27) on the bodywork. Minus the shape off with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M). After that, take the Pen Tool (P) and, with a 2-px thick stroke (#9F2D27), draw some details on the bodywork.


How to Create the Background

Step 1

Now it's time to create the bus stop and the city at the background. Start by drawing rectangles (#76B4DB) with the Rectangle Tool (M) to make the bus stop. Then, send all the rectangles to the back (Shift + Control + [).


Step 2

Draw a pole using a rectangle (#76B4DB). Move its top anchor points until you get a trapezoid. Keep drawing rectangles to complete the shape and then draw an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L).

Group the street lamp (Control + G) and make a copy (Control + C → Control + F) to place it on the other side.


Step 3

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw the skyscrapers (#8DCEF2). After completing the shape, send the skyscrapers to the back (Shift + Control + [). Finally, create a 1200x500 rectangle (#A4DAF8) for the background.



Well done! You've finished the tutorial. I hope you got a nice result. As you can see, it wasn't so difficult, was it? Using simple shapes, we can do anything, like this transit bus.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and you learned new things along the way. If you have any question, please type it in the comments.


What do you think of this tutorial?


5 months ago

Again, great tutorial. I was able to see it through even though it took a while to finish. Quick question: Did you sketch this on paper before drawing? How did you choose the color for this project? (PS I'm new to this and my drawing skills are very limited). Thanks Again for this, Hector.

Is your only relaxing time when you're sitting on the bus home? Pay homage to that travel buddy with this simple tutorial in which you'll learn to create a flat style illustration of this vehicle to flood your social media with and drive your skills to the next level. So if you're ready... Hop in!

Tut Details

Beginner level 40m 8,679 views