A Sun Illustration – How to Create One & Where to Use It

Oct 23, 2019
  1. Where should you use Sun and Moon illustrations?
  2. Importance of vector and PNG file formats
  3. Web design and sun-like elements
  4. Templates to speed everything up
  5. Creating a nice sun illustration


The sun has always been a great design element. Even in the middle ages, people used the sun in their designs. Nowadays, a good sun illustration can be a good design solution for various products, ranging from a nice piece that you add to a flyer, to a web-page element.


However, a sun can’t be used everywhere.

sun illustration

Of course, there are numerous ways to create amazing sun designs, and the way you choose will depend on whether you intend to design something cartoony or something that contains pixel-art.

Where should you use Sun and Moon illustrations?

You need to answer two simple questions:

  • What do people associate the Sun with?
  • What do people associate the Moon with?

Here’s a simple and short answer:

  • The sun is always associated with something warm and calm (people always draw the sun using warm colors like orange, yellow and red).
  • The moon is associated with something cold, dark and somewhat eerie (people draw the moon using blue or grey colors).


Now, when you know what we associate the sun and the moon with, you can use these elements in your design to create the overall atmosphere.


A nice summer sunset background would be a great option if you want to create a warm, calm atmosphere and show people a place where they can have a nice time. This would be a great choice for various flyers that promote tours. It could be used as a web-page background as well.


However, a nice vintage sun illustration is great if you have something to do with the medieval period. This design could be used to promote a game that has a medieval setting. Such illustrations can be used with flyers that promote a medieval festival, as the sun element was used frequently back then. You can also add a vintage moon illustration to make the design balanced.


Overall, the sun illustration makes the whole design warmer and comfortable. It should be used when you want to tell people that you can create a nice, warm, relaxing atmosphere.


The moon illustration is cold and somewhat evil. This element is perfect when you create a flyer that promotes a Halloween party. The cartoony moon illustration would be great if you have a shop (an online store) that has a special Halloween offer. Combine a pumpkin, the moon, spiders and spider webs, add some tombstones and you will have a nice banner to promote goods for a Halloween party.


Overall, the moon is the opposite of the sun. The moon is cold. However, these two elements can complement each other and make your design complete. Such elements are rarely used as central elements; they just add a nice touch. But sometimes, you can make them a central element. Some companies use the sun or the moon as their logos.

Vector Illustrations for Awesome Printables


Importance of vector and PNG file formats

Since the sun illustration you’ve created is vector, you can scale it up and down without losing any quality. We use several layers, so we can easily introduce various changes. We can easily change any element without breaking the whole composition. We can also add new elements. Another great thing about layers is that we can export the Sun illustration PNG file and preserve its transparency. However, when you save as a PNG file you convert (rasterize) your illustration and won’t be able to scale it up without losses. Therefore, it’s important to know the illustration target size beforehand.

Web design and sun-like elements

The sun would be a good option to show that you can help people to visit nice places. The sun illustration is great if you offer nice tours. You can use sun-like elements for various promotion materials like flyers or banners. It would look amazing if you combine the sun with sea waves so that people can associate it with a relaxing atmosphere. The sun may become a logo of your company—a stylized illustration can be associated with tours and warm countries. Therefore, you can use it to create a web-site icon. A nice sunset background will also make it clear that you offer tours.


A vintage sun illustration (it may have a face) would be a nice option if you need to promote a medieval festival or something medieval-related (a game or a product). Add an illustration to the background. Consider checking the piece called “The Crucifixion” created by Albrecht Dürer (the theorist of German Renaissance) and you will see the sun and the moon illustrations in the top left and top right corners.


Templates to speed everything up

Creating an illustration takes some time and is quite challenging if you aren’t a designer or you don’t have the necessary software installed. This is the case when you should consider getting a template to use in your design. The great thing about templates is that you can get many illustrations (usually, illustrations come in sets), modify them and create something you need. The illustrations can be scaled up and down to match the necessary size.


TemplateMonster has hundreds of illustrations sets to offer. You can find everything you need here.

21 Crystals and Gems Illustration

21 Crystals and Gems Illustration

The Crystal and Gems set includes amazing gemstones illustrations. This pack features: 

  • 21 gemstones of different shapes and colors.
  • Fully customizable.
  • Can be used in games as item icons, web design or printing.

78 Musical Illustration

78 Musical Illustration

If you need to promote a music store, then this bundle is for you. All the elements are stylized and look very natural.

  • 78 themed elements, which include music notes and instruments.
  • Professionally made elements (slightly smoothed) that can be scaled or customized.

42 Spooky Halloween Elements Illustration

42 Spooky Halloween Elements Illustration

Creating a flyer can be challenging as you may need some elements to make it look amazing. Get this Halloween bundle.

  • Includes 42 themed elements—you have everything for Halloween, like pumpkins, skulls, bats, black cats, cauldrons, the moon, a scythe, etc.
  • All the colors are chosen carefully, but you can change them as you wish.
  • Great for web design and printed materials (like flyers).

19 Forest Woodland Illustration

19 Forest Woodland Illustration

Saving nature is important and if you create a website that provides people with important information, you should add some nice illustrations. This woodland pack will help you.

  • Includes 19 detailed elements that include owls, deer and rabbits.
  • All the drawings can be scaled up without losing any quality.

125 Christmas Holiday Illustration

125 Christmas Holiday Illustration

This Christmas pack is great when you want to create something special.

  • It includes 125 elements—Christmas trees, candies, bells, snowmen, gifts, etc.
  • These elements are great for web design or printing.

Templates are extremely helpful; they exclude the necessity of drawing anything. You can just take the bundle and combine all the elements you need to create the design you want. These bundles are great whether you create a website or prepare a flyer. However, you should remember that you need software to use these bundles.

Creating a nice sun illustration

There’s nothing difficult about creating a nice sun vector illustration. We’ll create a warm sunset scene. Keep in mind that vector allows you to scale an illustration up and down without losing quality, which can be especially important if you create an illustration that will be used for printing.


The idea is quite simple and involves several simple steps. You need a vector editor (usually, designers use Illustrator provided by Adobe or Corel Draw).

Step 1.

Create a new canvas. We will have several layers that will help us to make a transparent background (it’s important to be able to export the sun illustration PNG file preserving transparency).

Step 2.

The sun is a sphere, so we start by adding a layer and a circle. Then, you should use gradient filling (a gradient is a smooth transition from one color to another and may have more than two colors). Use the yellow-orange gradient and make sure that the gradient goes from the yellow color at the bottom to the orange one at the top.

Step 3.

Now we need to create the glow effect. Just duplicate the sun you’ve created and scale it down a bit. Fill it with the orange color and set its opacity to 40-50%. Then duplicate the smaller circle one more time, scale it down a bit and set its opacity to 35-45% (the opacity level should be lower than the opacity we used for the bigger circle).

Step 4.

Duplicate the smallest circle, scale it down a bit, and fill it with the saturated orange color—that would be the central element. Make sure all the elements are aligned perfectly. The sun is ready. Now we proceed to creating the horizon and the sea.

Step 5.

Add a rectangle that covers the sun in the middle. Fill the rectangle with a dark-light blue gradient. The dark blue should be in the bottom and the light color should be in the upper part. You can also duplicate the largest circle and use it as a clipping mask to delete everything outside the largest circle.

Step 6.

Now it’s time to add some reflection on the water surface. Add some rounded rectangles (two or three) and distribute them horizontally. They should go under the central part of the sun. The lower you go, the narrower the rectangle should be. Pay attention to the space between them (let’s say, the space is forty pixels). Then add some rectangles to fill the gaps between those rounded shapes.

Step 7.

Shape the reflection. Add some circles (their radius should equal the space between the rounded rectangles used before—our gap is forty pixels). Place the circles on top of the rectangles used to fill the gaps between the rounded ones. Make sure that the center of the circle is aligned with the vertical edge of the filling rectangle. Now use the subtract shape feature (“minus front shape”). Now you will have a nice rounded reflection.

Step 8.

Consider adding some smaller rounded rectangles to make the reflection look more natural. Fill the reflection shape with a blue-light blue gradient—the light blue color should be in the upper part of the shape. You can also duplicate the shape and scale it down to make it more interesting.


That’s it. It isn’t very difficult and it shouldn’t take too much time. You can also add some extra elements. Consider adding a rock or a yacht, birds, an island, a palm tree—don’t limit your imagination.

Read Also

How to Design a Logo: 40+ Tutorials from Zero to Hero

40 Autumn Illustration Sets That Will Take Your Breath Away

15 Awesome Christmas Illustration Sets to Boost Your Creativity

Illustrate Your Love Story: 10 Best St. Valentine’s Day Illustrations

Zelenovskaya Nastya
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Last Updated : Oct 23, 2019

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