Adding Textures to Illustrations
The next thing I want to talk about is adding texture to your illustrations. You are able to make your own textures but there's a huge market for them online. You can purchase your own textures and brushes. So I want to show you what I'm gonna be using today and then walk you through the steps on how to install those on Illustrator.
We actually have a question that we can talk about. This question comes from Holly Tanner Strauss but we had a few other people in the chatroom asking similar things but a lot of people are curious to know how you work with gradients. Now specifically Holly wants to know would you ever color using the gradient tool? Now do you ever use gradients for your design or do they not work when you're printing out in certain materials?
I personally don't use gradients. Not in my design work because choosing a gradient will automatically make you increase the number of colors that you're working with dramatically. A gradient will put in like hundreds if not 1,000...
colors in your document and I usually always have to work with a particular amount. So I don't end up using gradients very often. But if you do for your work, if it's print you're able to do that probably with no problem.
Great, thank you.
Yeah, yeah. So I just want to pull up one more here. Okay, we got 'em up. So what I want to show you is Creative Market. Not sure if you've heard of 'em, are you guys familiar with Creative Market? It's a wonderful website where you can go purchase things like brush packs, textures, illustrations. People have their own small shops on here, so these are all handmade textures and so rather than, you can make your own and there are some resources online to show you how do to that but if that's not your thing and you just want a quick way to have some really high quality brushes or vector textures, then Creative Market is always my go-to place to get those. So what I am gonna be using today is the RVC Vector Brushpack Bundle. You can find it on Creative Market, it's $10 and it's by Ryan Clark. Just wanted to show that and I will show you how to install those just shortly. And then the Vexture Kit is another one that I use, it's great. It's also on Creative Market and it is by Gerren Lamson. So you can just see, I'll open these up for you shortly but they are little bits of Vexture textures that you can layer over your illustrations to kinda give them that vintage feel or a more rough feel, take away a little bit of the harsh Illustrator look that they have. So those two you can find on Creative Market. Yeah?
So they are okay to use for commercial, so you have the license to use them? This is something that we'll probably be talking about in segment four but you have to have the license in order to use it and sell it commercially, right?
You can't resell it, but you can use it.
Correct. So I looked in, I actually had a conversation with Creative Market about this recently and their policy is that basically as long as the work is very different, you know if you've just used this in your work to add depth to it, you're totally fine. What you can't do is resell this in its exact package or something like that. But you can absolutely use these in your own illustrations. Yeah, but if you want to create your own, I'm a huge advocate of that, then like I said, just with your photographs, you know that you've created every little bit of this through and through. I'm just not covering that in this course but the way you do that is really fun. You use all kind of like pencils and erasers and you scan all those bits in and create your own textures that way. So if that's something that speaks to you, definitely look into it and learn how to do that. It's tons of fun.
And then you can sell those?
You could sell those, you could absolutely sell. If you make your own, you could absolutely sell those on a place like Creative Market, yeah. A new job opportunity for you. So I have both of those already downloaded. I'm gonna pull 'em up for you right here in the Dropbox. Okay so I have the Brush Pack Bundle and the Vexture Kit down here. When you download it, you will be able to look at it just like this in your Finder or your Folder. So the way that we have to, now we have to get these into Illustrator. So to do that, I'm gonna open up a new Finder window and you just right-click on Finder and select New Finder Window. What we have to do is find Illustrator. I am working in Adobe Illustrator CS6, so I double-click on that and I believe it is under Presets. En_US and you're gonna open up the Brushes folder. Then all you have to do is drag and drop these inside. I'm gonna create a new folder just to make it easier for us to find it once we're in Illustrator. So I'm just gonna select New Folder, I'm gonna do Creative Live and open up that folder and drag and drop all of these into here. Okay so they're in Illustrator now. I will go show you how to find them. To get your brushes, the first thing you need to do is head up to View, I'm sorry Window and make sure that there is a check mark beside Brushes, so that opens up the Brushes panel. To install a new brush or to find the brushes that you just installed, you come to the flyout menu, Open Brush Library, scroll down to Creative Live, that's the folder that I just created and all of our brushes and texture kits are here now. So, let's see, I will open this one. I'm just gonna open all these really quick here and the second one. Okay. Okay, that's all I need open for that and then let me make sure that we need these textures. Go back to Creative Live, then the Vexture Kit. Yes. Okay. So have you guys ever used brushes before? Yeah a little bit, so let's talk about how these work. I don't need my Brushes panel open anymore, so I'm just gonna bring over this panel that has the brushes in it that we just used and this is one time I really like to use the Pencil tool. So if I come down here and draw a line with my Pencil tool, give it a stroke, I can click through these brushes and see what they're gonna look like. Okay and so in a second we're gonna be using these on top of our illustrations to add dimension and texture. A couple more over here, so I believe too if you can change the color of these just like you would a regular stroke. Okay and the other thing that I want to show you are the textures and I actually need to find those again, hold on. We'll go to Brushes and Textures. So these texture kits, I shouldn't have installed those. You only install your brushes into the en_.US. The Vexture Kits are Illustrator files in themselves, so all you have to do is open them in Adobe Illustrator. So, I am going to open them with CS6. Just click Yes if you get anything like this. Okay so this is what these textures look like. They are basically just, you can kind of understand how they got to this because they probably scanned in some kind of a texture and so they are just bits of vector texture. So in order to start layering these, I'm gonna grab some of the artwork that we made earlier today. I think this paintbrush and paint tube, I'm just gonna select those, copy 'em and come over and paste 'em to the document that we're working on now. So I want to add some texture to this paint tube. So I'm gonna come in with the Pencil tool, the keyboard shortcut for that is N, and just start kind of layering something right here and I'm gonna take the stroke away and just have a fill. Let's see. Okay, I'll add that back. So I think let's do a stroke of orange for this and I just want to make sure that it's on top, yeah that's perfect. So only look at the texture that's on top of the illustration. It's not gonna be a problem to get rid of anything that's flowing over the edges and I'm just gonna run through some of my options here. Like some of these look like paint splatters which is kinda cute. This one, I don't know what that looks like and then if I come back over here, I'm thinking that one is pretty cute for this application and then this could be kinda neat. So the way, one easy way to change kinda the density of your brushes is just to change the weight of it. You can change your weight right over here under the Stroke panel. So if you increase the weight, these guys are gonna get big and if you decrease the weight, you can manually type in something under one point. So if typed in like 0.2, it's gonna be really really small. Or maybe 0.5, it's gonna be a little bigger. But I think I like where we're going with just one. Okay so I want to add this kinda orange texture just to the side of the bottle. So from here, what I'm gonna do is expand this so that it's no longer an editable line. I just want that artwork to be expanded and available to me to edit independently. So I have it selected, just gonna go up to Object and Expand. So now I have all these things expanded and you can see kinda how this brush was created was in tiles. I don't need this tile right here. It's no Stroke and no Fill, so I just want to get rid of it and so to do that I select one, come up to Select, Same and Fill Color and I'll just hit the Backspace key. So now these are all grouped together, I'm gonna ungroup them and they are also grouped in tiles, so I'm gonna ungroup those but if it's like maybe a little, it's too dense down here, so I can just delete that whole square. I think I need that one but maybe, maybe this square I don't really need, okay. And I'll bring this one up here. So we kinda have like a double line down here but I'll just bring it down. So I think as far as the texture on top of the bottle, I think that looks pretty good. There's a couple of options on how to get rid of these over here. The first thing I'm gonna do is just with my Direct Selection Tool I'm just gonna kinda roughly gauge all the ones I don't need and delete them that way and then next I'm gonna create a clipping mask from this body of the bottle to enclose this texture. So I first need to ungroup all that and I'll make a copy of this, that's Command + C, Command + F, right-click Arrange and Bring it to the Front. I need to group all of these little orange bits together, so I'm gonna select everything and then holding the Shift key down, I can deselect all the other elements and hit Command + G to group those. So with my top shape selected and the texture beneath it, I can create a clipping mask by hitting Command + and this is still all available to me. I can come in and maybe change the rotation of that a little bit. I think that looks a little more natural maybe. But when I am happy with that, I am going to use the Pathfinder Trim tool to make these all individual objects that perfectly align to the edge. Okay. I think I can also add maybe some splatters out here and I'm gonna just take the Pencil tool which is keyboard shortcut N and maybe add like, that definitely looks like paint, don't you think? Something like that just to play with a little bit. I like that. So that's too many, too many splatters. So I'm gonna do the same thing, Object, Expand it. You can see how they created this one. So it's in tiles that randomly rotate. I'm gonna select just the No Stroke and No Fill. Come up to Select and select the same Fill Color and delete all those bits. So now I have this, it's all grouped together. So I'm gonna ungroup it and I can just kinda come in and start deleting things that we don't really want. I still think that's too many. So I can also just grab the Eraser tool, that's Shift + E and increase the size by hitting the Right Bracket tool and just kind of select which ones I want to delete from this, just to make it a little more sporadic looking. And with my Direct Selection tool, I can grab like just this big guy and decrease its size a little bit and maybe bring it over here. I kinda like that. So I'm gonna group all that together and I believe I already grouped this together. No, so I need to group all that together. So that's a really fun way to use brushes. You can just have fun all day with that and let me show you this too. I'm gonna show you a little bit about this when I use the textures but if you want this to be more subtle, so if I want all these orange bits to just be really subtle on this brown background, you can select this taupe background, okay, and that brings it up over here in your color toolbar. Just double-click on that and start playing with the color just a little bit. So if I wanted it just a little darker, I'm just gonna bring it down just a tad and select Okay. Let me undo that and what I, okay what I want to do is not change its color but I just want to save the new color. So this color is also right here and so I want to double-click on it right here and I think this is gonna do what I want it to do. So just deepen the color just a little bit and hit Okay and now this color is here. I didn't have this selected, so it didn't change the color of the tube itself. So this color is ever so slightly deeper. To save a custom color like that into your Swatches panel, all you have to do is grab the color and drag and drop it right down to your Swatches panel. Okay? So now I can bring my edges back, ungroup this and select these orange bits and then select the color that I just had. So that's just like a really subtle texture. It's currently selected, I'm just hiding my edges. So now if I double-click on this color in my Color Panel, I can play with maybe lightening it up a little bit. If I select Okay, it does automatically change. Maybe a little lighter. Something like that. But that is a nice way to just add a really subtle texture. I kinda like the bold orange though I think.
Can you play with the opacity with that too?
You can absolutely play with the opacity. I have it selected and I'm just gonna hide my edges. So if I take it down to 50%, it's less, yeah. The only thing you have to be careful about when using opacity is your end product. So if you're working with Pantone colors, you always want your Pantone colors to be at 100%. But if you are printing this for personal reasons or you're using your own printer, you can absolutely work with the opacity and that's a great way to make a subtle change as well. I'm gonna go back to the document that we were working with in segment two and I think I want to grab the flowers we were working on. Let's see. I'll grab this guy. So I'm just gonna copy it and paste it over onto our document that we're working on here and play with adding some texture to its leaves using the Vexture Kit. So this is the Vexture Kit that I purchased from Creative Market and it comes with several different options. I've got this one and I think we have, yeah, this option here. So this is really kinda trial and error. I think I'll start with this one. So I'm just gonna grab it. This is exactly how your Illustrator file will look when you open it. So I'm just gonna copy and paste it over on top of the flower that we're working on. So here is and I'm not sure if I've introduced the Eyedropper tool to you yet. It's something I use all the time. It's right over here in your toolbar and the keyboard shortcut for that is I. So I have this texture selected and if I want to match it to some color that I have on my Art Board and I don't want to mess with my Swatches Panel, all you have to do is hit I and select the color that you want to match it to. Gonna hide my edges. So say I want it to be this like deep color, you can already see how that adds some really nice texture on top of the pink petals. Can you see that okay? So you can reduce the size to increase the density of that. Maybe rotate it a little differently. So that has added all of this texture to these leaves, which you know this illustration is pretty textured already but I think this adds just like a really nice kinda splattered, vintage feel to it. So I think I'm happy with that and I want to make a clipping mask of this as well. So, to do that we need to grab this flower. I am gonna make a copy of it and bring it to the front. So there are two copies there now.
Can I ask you why, you've done this a lot but why do you make a copy and bring it to the front, what does that do?
Because when you make a clipping mask, the object that you want to use as your mask has to be brought to the front. So it's gonna clip anything that's underneath it that you select but the mask itself has to be on the top layer, yeah. So with that selected, I can't use that as a clipping mask as it is, it needs to be one solid shape. So I'm gonna make it one solid shape by using the Unite feature in the Pathfinder Tool and you know this is just a good example of how sometimes things are gonna be a little time-consuming. You can see that this has all these little bits inside of it, do you see that? And I don't want to make a clipping mask out of all those little tiny bits because it's gonna slow my document down. I just want a really nice, simple thing, so I'm gonna try to find these. Are they there? They might not be there. They're not there now, so maybe that is, oh they're over here, perfect. Okay, so I moved this away and all those bits are left over here and I'm in Isolation Mode, so nothing in the background can get selected. So all I have to do is select all of those and delete them. Okay? So I can move this back over here and line it up. Exit Isolation Mode by double-clicking anywhere on your Art Board. So I need to bring that to the front. So I will right-click, go to Arrange and Bring it to the Front. Then the thing that I want to clip is this texture behind it. So I'm gonna select it and with Command + 7, I made a clipping mask. You know what I'm gonna do next is trim it. So the clipping mask makes it look nice but if you're happy with it, there's no reason not to go ahead and trim this guy. So under Pathfinder, I select Trim and that gets rid of all of the extra little bits. So that has given us some really nice texture added on top of this flower piece, okay? How are we doing online?
We're doing well, we had a few questions come up regarding layers. So now may be a good time to touch on those. Eragon was saying that some of the images that you had were on the Sketches layer and not on the Working layer. How do you move those from one layer to the other?
Great, so that is over on our other--
Art Board here. I believe it's, is it this one? It is... Well I can create some layers really quick and show you how to do that, that's a great question. So, say I have my little tube of paint. I'm gonna group that and I think this is already grouped. If I have those on two different layers, she wants to know how I can move those around.
Okay. So I'm gonna create a new layer over in my Layers panel by selecting Create New Layer and I can double-click on this to name it. I'll name this Paintbrush and if I create one more layer and name it Paint Tube. Right now both of these elements are in layer one. So, if I select this, I can find it by this little blue square in the Layers panel and all I have to do is drag and drop it up to Paintbrush and when it's highlighted with that gray, I can drop it and it's now on that layer. I can do the same thing with the tube of paint. Once I select it here, you can either select it on your Art Board, so when I click on it on the Art Board, it shows me where it is over here. If you prefer to find your elements over in the Layers panel you can just click on this circle and it will select it in the Art Board for you. So you can select it from either destination and all you do is drag and drop that up to Paint Tube and now they are on their separate layers. Now that means that if I layer these, like the paint brush is gonna be beneath the paint tube. If I want to reverse that, I can grab the layer that has the Paint Brush on it and just bring it above the Paint Tube and alternate it like that.
Yeah, we had one more question kind of on a similar line. This one's from Dez and they want to know would you recommend doing different toning of your elements on layers? Also does using layers ever come into play for the printer when you're making color adjustments to particular images that you're planning on printing?
Okay so I personally would not use layers when I'm working with textures. I bet that she's a Photoshop gal and when you work in Photoshop, it's all about layers, layers, layers, layers. In my opinion in Illustrator, the layers get in the way when you're working with small elements like that because you'll want to draw something and you won't be in the correct layer and it's just gonna go somewhere else and it gets confusing. It's just not really necessary. So I tend to work in groups by grouping my illustrations together rather than by working in layers. My favorite way to work in layers in Illustrator is like when we were working with the photograph for the sketches, I put them on the bottom and I can lock them and unlock them quickly and easily. Sometimes when you set up a file for a mill or a printer, they'll specifically tell you that they would like the background color on a bottom layer, the artwork on a middle layer and say the Pantone colors you're using on a third layer and they want 'em all labeled. But you know how to do that now and you will have exact instruction on how to do that from whoever you're working with. So that's the primary way that I work in layers.