Skip to main content

Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics

Lesson 8 of 9

Composition and Putting it all Together


Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics

Lesson 8 of 9

Composition and Putting it all Together


Lesson Info

Composition and Putting it all Together

so know what we're gonna do is that we're gonna we've started to get, like, some of these elements together. Um, you're going to start to think about who they come together as, um, the composition. Okay, so we have some trees, We have some Bush's. We have the star off, like some of the like, I guess. Like this skull you want to call it we're gonna do is I'm gonna build in some stuff for those to sit behind that loses to, um I would have put in some Hell's we're gonna put in some some bush's and some surrounding landscape that I lows us to them build and some depth and dimension to the illustration, our lows as to bring some elements to the front, saying some elements to the back, have some elements, like in the mid ground. We can start to build in a little bit a dimension. Okay, So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna start the Belden. Um, some hell elements that least can consent behind in the front. So this is gonna be super easy. We're just gonna create a bunch of circles. Okay? Take one ...

circle and again. I'm holding the, um the shift in the okey and I'm gonna build in, like, two or three different circle sizes. So these were going to be like the house that can run along the front and the back of the illustration. Okay? Building on, like, some different sizes just to get some visual interest. Okay, Now, what we're gonna do is we're going to select all of the ways we're gonna use our Pathfinder pilot. We're gonna marriage them together. That gives us that the star over shape known when they use the scissors. I'm gonna cut these apart. We're gonna get rid of that form. Sade, I have a cut. I've got a couple of little extra anchor points. Usually toe have everything like lined up exactly on the same the way that circle was. So that starts to be. It is something that starts to look a little bit like a whole right. So I'm gonna start, like, placing these It's gonna be, like, pretty random at the moment. What I'm gonna do actually do is a nisi way to create a little bit of interest without necessarily drawing the thing again. I'm probably gonna have a bunch of these, but I may end up only drawing three or four. So I'm going to do I'm gonna go into the transform menu. I'm going to reflect this, Which is gonna leave for reflect across the horizontal axis, the vertical axis. Click. OK, I'm gonna maybe scale without a little bit. So that gives me something that actually looks pretty different visually, even though it's to seem element of just, like, flipped around. Okay, so I'm gonna boat something. No, behind this section here, I'm gonna build another one, which is maybe, like, a little bit simpler. And so I'm just gonna let draw over the top off where we were, OK? So you can start to see. I don't like how who these elements were going to start to work together. Maybe I want to take that element me a little bit higher. This is really just trial and error, you know, does not really any late right or wrong answers. Um is just about trainer and making just fainting like war. What fuels? Right. Okay, so he did make the point where I'm starting to have some elements, like bleed off the state of the page, okay. And they can start to fuel like Macy pretty quickly. So what actually going to do? I'm going to start to, like, say, border for the stuff, Okay. Gonna put some sort of, like, strain there so that I can see a little bit more visually. Uh, really. Edge of the composition is gonna be So I'm gonna do is I'm gonna drag a box around the edges of the page. Okay? I knew because I have smart gay zone that that's gonna lock up there. I would, like, transformed this, Um um, what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna go into my path, man, You here. Okay, You know what? There's a lot of stuff in here, most of which we doing necessarily need. I'm gonna go toe offset path, okay. And what that allows us to do, um, is to create a copy off the path, and it is going to set exactly insead or over save. So if I offset that by Well, this is just like the default measurement. Click that and you can see who that Let's make a little bet. Bakers was more obvious. It shows your preview off realize gonna go is gonna like come who say that the page. What actually going to do if I change that value to a main ISS that is going to sit on the inside, click? OK, get rid of that same shape and actually gives me, like, quite a nace little border to the the illustration. Now what I'm gonna do, I think if I'm selecting all of these elements, it can get in the way a little bit. What I'm probably gonna do, just just Teoh keep it nascent. 80 as, um, I'm gonna go into my layers main year. I'm gonna create a new layer. I'm gonna co this, uh, border. Okay, so I'm gonna cut that out. I'm gonna go in here on. Do you see this piece? Remembers layers. Know what that means is have cut that she pope, even though I have the border were selected. If I apple f pissed her front is going to remember what we're that came from and it's gonna automatically piece itself back onto that layer. No, in this case, there's no why would. Because I want peace that into the border layer. Okay, so I go in and I'll make sure that paste remembers. Layers is de selected. Okay. And when I cut that out like two in the border menu pasted in place, you're gonna notice that goes on to its own earlier. Okay, No, we can go in here and we can double click, and we can change. Um, we can change, like the color that this shoes upon whatever you want. If you were using, like, a a green lane here, we may want to go in there and change that to read. So there's a little bit more visible than what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna drag that balloon the first layer. I'm gonna look that so that means that that's sitting when it's only or I can't interfere with it because I was locked up, but I can start to see, like, three of the age of the illustration is gonna be OK. Let's go back and select earlier one, which is the artwork that we're using. And so no, it can come back in and I can start to see visually where these elements are overlapping the age of the page, right? No une Zewe Teoh. What I'm probably gonna know is that certain point probably around about 1/3 of the way down the page. I'm gonna have some kind of like horizon. Okay, I'm gonna drag it a little bit belatedly or just a source so I can see it. All right. No, this is gonna let me to, like, arrange elements along the horizontal. Well, I'm actually gonna do is I'm gonna give, um we're gonna make this shape a path. Okay, I'm gonna do that. I know this is gonna set off the page, so I'm not necessarily worried about exactly that. Looks over here. But we're gonna give this a weight, Phil, The reason I'm gonna give us a walk Wait. Fell. Um, and the one that sits on top is that I can start toe, arrange these elements. I see object arrange. I can bring that in front, You see? No, I'm not worried about all of the space below. I'm gonna like all of this stuff. Oh, and make sure that so, um, that's lined up. I'm gonna just continue building and like, some of these elements, Okay, some of these, um, some of these hell elements. Okay, What I'm probably gonna want to do at this point, I start to think about the lane of this. Like SCO. She ate, perhaps. Okay, I'm gonna take the filet with that so we can see what we're doing. I'm gonna drive that to somewhere where it came. It looks like it may make sense. Okay, These trees are probably probably a little bit big. Let's just make him a little bit smaller. Must be the street. A little bit smaller as well. Okay, there we go. Now, this is gonna be kind of like there were, You know, I'm gonna wanna do is gonna eggs that instead of apple f which piece that would front. I'm gonna go Appleby, which is gonna piece that behind. So I'm gonna have a couple B and then you can see here in this section, you can start to see War is gonna haid some of the some of these elements behind each other. OK? And so know what I can do is that I can start toe draw in. I'm gonna make sure I give us a fell instant gonna piece the in the back. What's going to fill us in? All right, so we can start to build in some of these compositional elements. So they set on top of each other, like, quite nicely. Okay, so this is gonna be the next layer. Select those three. Piece them together. It takes that I'm gonna send out to the back. Okay? You can see, like, there's some of these elements. So it were start to get some layers and go up here, Maybe gonna do, like, one more. It was just, like, ends up like sitting off the page. Piestewa's together. Send those to the back. Okay. So you can see, Like, how these are, like, start toe suggest, like, some some depth and some dimension. I'm just gonna make sure that these elements are, like, just setting off the page. I can resize them. I can move them around, make make this one just a little bit bigger. Okay, For time sake, I'm just gonna, like, reflect these and copy these over to the other side. All right? And then what? I'm a do, um, is just They make another one. Which week? Six. On front. Here it is just gonna hate some of these elements. Um, it's gonna hate the boom of these trees. Okay, let's say so. I'm gonna copy in peace. That cross. And I'm gonna marry these together. You need them. Okay. So if I You can see, Like, who? Some of these starting to, like come together. Okay. If I just just to show you if I like meat that way because you can see, Like, who? Those elements are lying lying together there. You know, the thing that looks I think that looks pretty good. I think I'm probably gonna make tried this stuff just down a little bit, okay? And know what I can do is that I can take, um, some of the elements that have prepared before I'm gonna give these. Uh oh, wait, Phil. It's just weird. Owners were just selecting the hoops aid shape. Give the weight, Phil, and then the zero elements that we can start to let Dragon to the composition. Okay, so maybe that's gonna be a little bit big. So here we go the copy and paste out in front. We're just going to start dragon knees and bid in the main That the blue gate is kind of like we're my horizon. Lane is going to sit, if you want to call it that. So I'm gonna make sure apple eggs and apple half to bring the was in front of everything. I'm gonna make sure do that in all of these. Okay, So gonna make sure just apple eggs and up away if that way. I know. Anyway, I dragged these. They're always gonna sit in front of whatever's, uh, also on the page. Okay, So I'm just going to start toe, um, duplicate some of these elements, drag them around, resize them a little bit. Perhaps, You know, let's get some, like, sitting along along the front. Let's take one of the smaller ones that we have. These are actually gonna end up hopefully looking a little bit like teeth. So I'm going, maybe do, like, three or four of these. And again, I'm gonna come back, and I'm gonna isolate all of these. I'm gonna distribute them across the the holders onto this time. Okay, So their nation Jason lined up newschannel eight set as a group, so I'm actually gonna go apology and I'm gonna group lose together now. That means that any time I want to use them later or move him around, they're always gonna be selected together. Okay? on. What I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna make, like, some little adjustments. Like, as as I go through here again. Like when I placed these elements on the page and they were they were they were really just for for placement. You know, nothing was necessarily gonna be finalized. And so it's okay to, like, go in and like, just ease based on what you what you may be doing, you know? So I'm just trying to build in a little bit space for these elements, right? I'm just trying to give them making sure they work on the rule and making sure they have a little breathing room. You know, um, this is where we're starting to, like, bring the composition together. You know, um, really, these are the elements that were that were going to use. And it's just a case of, like, repeating these and peace in the piece in the men know you'll see like Well, I may want to do is have one here, which is a little bit bigger is actually gonna end up sitting, sit behind behind this. Okay, So I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select these elements and bring them in front. So up away example F. And so there you can see. Um, sure, we have that selected. You can see how I'm using my space. Barto, navigate around the page a couple weeks up a wave. Okay? And you can see who that We've moved that in front off the branch here, we can start to build in a little bit. A date mentioned. All right, so we take another copy of that, Actually, lets take a copy of this. Aunt. You re saying that we're going. What we're actually gonna do here is we're gonna dry trunk dead. See, that sits bang pretty nicely. Okay. It's copy a few more of those elements building up piece by piece again. I think what could be quite nieces that we do something which isn't necessarily symmetrical exactly on both sides. And I'm just, like, copy paste and using, um, with skill function toe building. Let's bring these to the front. Okay. This was gonna set off slightly to the Sade. Okay? And that's that. You start to look stunt. Look pretty good to me. What we may do is pieced one of these up to the top here so lined up. You know, I generally try and, like, toe have, um, generally lead to train, have each element have It's a win sense of species on his own sense of skill. So I'm trying to place this somewhere where the lanes aren't going to get lost there? No. Gonna like if I say, for example, I had this, like, placed here, it starts to feel like, you know, is part of the circle and no certain as its own element. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make sure this is far enough away from the other elements that has his own stance of place. Right. So let's copy one of two more. No, we also have, um we also have these other trees here, which are gonna be a little bit more than the background rate. So I'm gonna start copying and pasting news, and what I'm actually gonna make sure is that these said the back. I'm gonna apple eggs and Appleby, and that's gonna make sure that sits behind these elements. Okay. No worrying if they're overlapping a little bit, I'm just going to start copying and pasting these place in the morning, placing them down. This is like a forest. So it's gonna be like, pretty dance again. This this is just like sitting behind the bush's in the hills and the foreground. Um, and I'm just using a combination off apple F to piece them in the front, and that will be to piece them in the back. Okay, So, Appleby, that's gonna piss pained again. I'm just trying to give these or incense off policemen, mixing up the skill a little bit, all right? And then these can start to become like running. That's done to look, Pray interesting, right? Let's get one more. Let's get one more in here. Okay? Send out to the bike and then for quickness, a generally late to try and do the same process on the other side. And no, have a look exactly symmetrical. So I'm actually just going to reflect that the copy that No, what I can actually do is just like start moving some of the elements around again. There's gonna give me the opportunity to to make these look different with their having to go through the whole copy paste. Copy paste. Copy paste. Right. So these air like this is one little short cut that we can use. Select all of these driving down a little bit still like these and drag him up a little bit. So I'm just, like, trying to arrange some of these elements little so we can start to see that. Like it started to come together, right? You know, um, what we're actually gonna do is, uh there's a little bit waits based up around here, So I'm gonna copy one of these trees. No, I'm gonna stick up here. I'm gonna make it a little bit smaller. Probably. No. For me, it feels like it's hanging in mid air a little bit. Right. So we probably want to give it a little bit of context. So we're just gonna give it, like a species ground to sit on. We're gonna zoom in a little bit. We're gonna Elaine these elements up, we're gonna use our lane. We're gonna lay them along the holders onto already. He's gonna make thes like, look, little blades of grass. Okay, so they're just, like, obviously really simple elements. We start to suggest something. It doesn't need to be absolutely 100% realistic, right? So now I'm gonna select time and group it together. Never can. Copy and paste ease, right. Coping PC's around the top. A few teams fairly randomly. Just trying like space the most was that they don't look too uniform or too symmetrical. Maybe one more down here and then what I can actually train do is go in and just like just the sizes of these, so is that they start to feel a little bit more organic, you know, there know all the same. These are just like little tricks that you can use to like using the same elements, repeating them, but just like building in that little bit of radiation, that little bit differentiation, it makes them feel a little bit more organic, a little bit less copy paste. It's which is what we actually did. Right? So there we go. So those start to fear recon, See, like we have a little bit differentiation, but little bobo visual interest

Class Description

Artwork created in Adobe Illustrator has a sought-after and distinct style – the vector files Illustrator generates are small, clean, and look polished. In Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics, Stewart Scott-Curran will teach you how to create graphics using Illustrator, from start to finish.

Stewart is the art director at CNN digital and organizer and host of Creative Mornings in San Francisco. In this class, he will take you step-by-step through the process of using Illustrator to create original artwork. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Set up a workspace and develop a workflow
  • Use strokes and custom brushes
  • Work with the Pen tool
  • Source reference material to inform image-making
  • Use shapes and the Pathfinder tool

Making graphics in Illustrator is the building block for designing logos and creating icons. In this beginner-friendly class, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started.

Software Used: Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 (18.1)



What an absolutely amazing class! I saw Stewart's artwork and it immediately connected with me so I knew I had to register for this class! I LOVE how he guides the student through his creative process from beginning to end...his description of the poem he used for his inspiration absolutely captivated me! Aside from the expert guidance with all the Illustrator tools and working through his composition, his methodology for developing the brief and conceptualizing the artwork from beginning to end held my attention! His second course (Color and Texture) is absolutely essential as well! He inspired me to experiment with Illustrator and get over my fear of it! Thank you Stewart! I hope you'll return to CreativeLive and teach more courses!

Mary Thomas

I purchased a companion class to this one by Scott and I was very pleased with the content, so I purchased this one as well. Both classes were very well presented and did not duplicate what was given in the other. I have now purchased seven classes by CreativeLive and am very happy with all of them. I have watched others as well on the free days with equally as favorable results.

user 2b0aa5

Great class. Well presented and fun project. Signed up for his second class.