02. Once you’re happy with the sketch, scan it and don’t worry about adjusting the brightness, as long as the image is clear — it will only be used as a guide in creating the image. Next, place it on the bottom layer of a new Illustrator document as a template by double-clicking on the layer, then ticking Template in the dialog box. Then name and save your document.
03. Trace the outline of the isometric landscape using the Pen tool: click on the artboard with the Pen tool, and click again on a second point. Hold down the second point as you click and drag to make a curved line. Click the second point again to close one of the handles. Repeat this to create a complete shape, joining the last point with the first. Use the Direct Selection tool (A) to tweak the shape by clicking on the points and handles.
04. The Divide button in the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) is great for slicing bigger shapes into smaller shapes; this saves time by avoiding the need to create smaller shapes separately. To divide a shape, draw a line or another shape with the Pen tool across a shape; this will be the cut-line. Next, select both and click the Divide button. Ungroup the object (Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + G) and there are now two newly sliced shapes. Nearly every complex object with a neat edge was created this way.