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Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics

Lesson 2 of 9

Document Setup & Basic Tools


Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics

Lesson 2 of 9

Document Setup & Basic Tools


Lesson Info

Document Setup & Basic Tools

starting from absolute scratch. We're gonna fire up illustrator on. The first thing we're gonna do is create a new document. Now, we have some options here, obviously. So what are we going to do with this fatal piece? Is it gonna be for Web? Is it going to be for print? We have. We have a lot of options here. You can see down here, we have a color mood to see him like a And that's because we have a pre selected on print. If we were going to create this for for the web, you can notice that that automatically changes Teoh rgb. So in this case, I think I'm gonna fancy, like, creating a poster. I'd love to see this screen printed at the end of the day. So So let's do that. What's there were documents. I is gonna be eyes pre selected a letter here. I'd actually like to change that because I think I want a poster to be, like, fairly large and like a standards poster former. So I can specify the size that my piece of paper is going to be. No. What I can do here as I can change the units that ...

we're gonna measure that to. To Ng's on a really nice poster size I feigned is eating by 24 inches. We don't necessarily need any bleeds. We're going to keep everything contained. And the illustrator document. Um, and we're just gonna give it as a real simple name that we can obviously to change later. So we're gonna call this poster version one and click OK on. There we go. So this is our canvas that we're gonna be using. Everything's gonna gonna come and hear everything is gonna be contained within this. But don't forget, we have a lot of space state of the page, state of the art board size that we can use to make sketches we can use to make nose. Um, a couple of things that I'm going to do here. The first thing is that I'm going to go into my view menu and I'm going to switch on my rulers. Um, and this could be really useful. Um, no orderly Teoh to see, to get a sense of, like, the size of the page. But we can actually use that to to drag gays onto the page. So if you click on hold on drag from the ruler, you can see you can bring down a gate and so that's gonna end up being pretty useful. So I'm gonna just undo that on will probably use those as and when we need them is really useful for Leighton Lane and things things up. Okay, I'm going to go into my preferences panel in general and just make sure that we have There's not really a law here that I want to probably change. Um, the keyboard increments I usually have se up to, like a fairly small a man. If I'm using the cursor keys, I do unnecessarily water. I'm jumping Lee really far, so I'm gonna leave that there. Um, my units, we have already changed t n cheese and I want to make sure my stroke with eyes said the points, because if we want to have that model lane weight stale, um, it's important that we use ah ah, unit that makes sense and is really easy to control everything. Here we have the gate's set up. We you can switch on a grid if you want. If that helps you. Elaine Elements on the page We don't necessarily need that right now on smart gates. You see what those mean? A little bit further on. But I want I usually like to make sure that their necks pretty color on that. They were sent in 19 and 45 degrees. Okay, so what I'm gonna do real quick is just walk through some of the some of the tools that were going to be using here. I'm not going to explain everything that the older, um, but I think when you first open up, illustrator and you're looking at the tools and the options here, especially if you're not necessarily used to use and they probably can feel a little bit overwhelming, but really, we're only going to be using a few of these. No. The 1st 1 is the selection to on, you know, as you can, as you can imagine, that's pretty simple. So let me just show you here how that obviously allows you to select something and move around. Okay, Basic. We're also going to look at these two selection tools. So if I click and hold the the selection tool, you can see I get some options. Those one sits behind and I can toggle through the was Well, I like to do is because I switched between those quite often. I like to go over Andi, Just hold the most over this little arrow, and that actually leads me. Detach those tools. So it's a lot easier to switch between those. There was the difference between these. So the group selection to it really acts the same as the as the selection to hear. I can click. I can drag and is going to select all of these anchor points at the same time. No, if I change to the day rates election to the difference. Heroes at lows me to select individual anchors on drag lose around to change the shape. If I go back to the group's elation to again selects the mold and I could move that runs Okay, what I was gonna be are we going to be using We're gonna be used in the pan to pan To is really powerful that really just allergic to draw blames so you can see every time I click and drag, it brings a new lane. If I click on, then drag will keep in the most pressed. It makes a curve and you can see the busier curves. They show you a little preview about where we're last gonna go. And again if we get up to the top and we click where we started, it makes like a full path. And again, we can move any of these elements around independently. We can click the handles on the curves and make those do all sorts of different things. This is really powerful. You can really create any shape you want. Okay, Well, I was Do we have in here again? I'm going to select the low arrow at the end to detach up was that I have really easy access toe all of these tools, the pen to that's what we've just been using. The ad anchor points does exactly about you would expect You can click anywhere on the lane. Another point, okay, and that follow me to go in and have even more control over those individual anchor points. The daily anchor point does exactly what you would expect you can, doing some of those out if you want to simplify your shape. If you want to smooth the curve, you can use the delete anchor point on the the anchor point to what this can actually do is change your change. Your angular anchor points to a curve. So if I click and hold, you can see I can change that to a curve. If I click back in, that is going to change it toe to untangle. So again, we have complete control over all of these anchor points who we used, um Khomeni. Often we use with, just, like, two or three tools here. This gives us everything that we need to make simple, beautiful and flowing vita graphics. Okay, Now we also have a lane too, which acts exactly as you would expect. I'm holding the chef key here to keep us in either 90 degree or 45 degree angles. If I released the Shefki I have complete control over were like where that goes and again, once I've drawn not lane, I can come back and I can add anchor points. I can change anchor points to a curve. Okay. And now you can see how you can start build, uh, elements on top of each other. Okay, what else do we have? We have this shape to so again behind here, you can see we have all sorts of options to draw automatically contained shapes so we could do a rectangle rounded rectangle and a lep switch, you know, circle or a polar going or a star. So we have all sorts of options here. Andi will come. Teoh, dive into these a little bit more as we get into the get into the illustration. But just assure you like the rectangle to for example, if I click and hold the shift key, that's going to draw me a square that I can skill. Teoh, any sales award if I release the shift key is gonna loamy toe rectangles of like any sheep. Okay, what else do we have here? We have the routine too. Again a loser's. Once we've drawn a ship, we can move that around again. If we hold the shift key, that's gonna move on either 45 degree or 90 degree angles. That's really useful when we're trying to create some symmetry and sitting behind that is the reflect to which I actually use really a lot. Um this alos me too. Create some symmetry and illustrations. A lot attains if I know the one Sade off the piece is going to be symmetrical. Another safe house. Just draw the whole left hand side and then just select everything and flip it over. And so how this works is that if I select the element and I want to I want to flip. I hold okey click. And I get this little, um, reflect dialog box. Know what I can do? You condone Flip over the horizontal axis, or you can flip it over a vertical axis. No, If I click preview, you can see how that's how that's gonna work. You know, if I click the horizontal, that's just gonna that's gonna mirror across across the center axis. You're not gonna notice much difference. If I do the vertical, you can see how that's gonna flip. Um, you know, if I click or key, that's gonna move the shape, it's gonna move it from one side to the other. If I can click copy, then that's gonna leave the original in the space that it was on and create copy mirrored across when I click the most. So that's really useful for repeating the elements. Really useful for making sure that one say is exactly symmetrical to the other side. I don't necessarily think toe worry about lane and everything up perfectly by hand or by I I I can let illustrate or do a lot of heavy lifting for me. And that's ultimately what I think a lot of these tools allow you to do. We don't necessarily need toe work. A lot of the stuff. Oh, and our heads ourselves. We can use illustrator to do a lot of the work for us. Okay, what else do we have? Are we going to look at we're gonna use, um we could use the woods to know you can see who we select if we have. Ah, we have a lane, and I click there and drag. You can actually make that lane thicker. You can meet that length center onda. That's very useful. For like, if you wanted to create something which you wanted to give the impression off like an actual brushstroke or something a little bit more organic than you can use that to, like, add some dimension. But that still stays and victor former so we can still move that around. We can still you know we still have control over that. Okay, The life paint bucket that is really useful. We're going to get to that a little bit later. But that's that's an incredible too the greed into again that's used for for add some color. We're gonna get to that later. The I drop or two, um is pretty interesting. And that is really useful. When I was going to see if I was a lot of work. If I have, If I went to color this shape, I can just select it when we can. Sure, all of the points are selected using the the group selection to I'm just going to click a random color here. I'm going to do the same for this Books on. I'm gonna just click another random color here. No, If I wanted to have, um this purple rectangle the green I don't necessarily need to figure out exactly what the color value is here. And copy that cross. What I can do is I can select the Purple Square used the I drop or two. And soon as I click on this, green is going to copy all of the properties across. And that's the color does this stroke weight? The stroke with is gonna matter all of those properties there. So if I controls the angle back that conceive you a lot of time, Especially if you want to, um, change the properties off a lot of elements at the same time, you don't need to go in and individual highly, every single element that can allow you to select all of those things at the same time and change it in one go the blame to we're going to use No, that's going to come in really useful. Um, a quick example of how that might work. If I draw away on, let me select. Don't. Here's your color palette. So I can I can change the fell on the straw color and they're here. I don't necessarily worn, um, fell. I just want to lay. So I'm gonna collect none on that. I'm going to select my lane. I'm gonna call P. I'm gonna paste. I'm gonna drag that down here. No, see, I wanted to repeat that lane. I could copy, piece, copy, piece copy, pieced a bunch of teams and then try and laying them all up or I could select on both had the blame to. And you see, when you move over that the 1st 1 changes to the little star shape, I'm gonna click once, and I want to go to the 2nd 1 is gonna change to the plus two. I'm gonna click again. There's gonna automatically put in a bunch of steps if I double click. The blame to is going to give me some options to choose the number of steps in between. So let's just five. And then that gives us a really beautifully space down, um, repeatedly, which we can then expand, break apart. And there are no individual elements that we can move around holding the shift key to keep everything. Everything. Elaine along that horizontal access. So that's a really powerful, too a really useful one. To be remained is the hand to you use that all the time. And so what I love is has to do is just move around. They are bored. Weaken. Drag that around any team anytime we want is one of the most useful, useful shortcuts to know if I'm clicked on any other tool. If I hold the space bardo, it automatically changes to the hand, and that's gonna be really useful for moving around the illustration. You know, I can click and hold the space bar. I can move, and that saves me like trying to find the right spot. We can move around like, really, really easily and also the ism to that as pretty self explanatory alos us toe to get right into the details and see exactly what's going on again If I click, click and hold onto loves me to move and they are boards as easily as we want. Okay, so I'm going to zoom in a little bit now if I click the zoom too. If the defoe is to is to zoom in So if I click Oh, Zuman. If I hold the okey, it allows me to zoom in. I don't hold the space bar and sent to that again as a mentioned real quick. We have, um, stroke and fell here. That kind of takes us over to the other side of the screen. Uh, which is our our palace. So we have some preloaded palace here. These can all be found in your window menu. Um, So, for example, if I go into a window and color. You'll see that pop. Okay, so this isn't like a nice quick we to access the color palette here, and we can, um we have complete control over the sea of my K values, uh, off of each color. You'll notice that when I when I change this, it also changes the fellow that I'm using. Okay, So when I click the green square, you can see as I change these values, the color here is gonna much. I can also click anywhere in this Pedram to choose any color. Or what I can do is I can go to my swatches and I have some preloaded colors here. We have preloaded primary colors. We have preloaded, um, accent colors. We even have a few preloaded patterns. And we have some preloaded Greece kill colors. And so, as you can see, let's move that way a little bit, as you can see, that we have some privileged in colors and that gives us a lot of control. Now we can also Korea ruin. We can also add to the sport pilot, say, for example, I chose this, uh, they really nice. Like purple color We don't have that here. What we can do as we can click and hold out, Phil and Weaken. Drag that in two R color palette, and it's gonna had that for easy access later. So that's gonna come in very handy. What else do we have in here we're going to use? Um, Let's go to window. We're gonna go Teoh Ingredient palette. We're going to use that. We're going to use our layers palette, which is really useful for just keeping the illustrator document or organized lows is to bree co elements with our other elements. Get in the week, weaken, build, like, imagine it like a stack of sheets of paper on top of each other. Um, that you can see through so we can use that to build up elements. And the illustration um, we could look some of these if we know that we're happy with some and we don't want to change it, we can look him up. Um, that's gonna be that's gonna be really useful for just, like, keeping ourselves organized. We're gonna use our links. So we're gonna use some reference imagery. Eso We're gonna be able to control those in the links pilot, um, on a really good one that we're gonna use is the pathway to power. This is super powerful for connecting sheeps for breaking shapes apart. Um, when we pull two different shapes together on, we collect tours and we make them when she we call that a cornpone shape so I can show you just quickly have that may work. If we have one shape and we want this to be collected into two shapes to be collected into one, we can select both who would in the shift key to select if we click once weaken slight between the wars. If we hold the shift key is gonna loan me to select multiple multiple shapes multiple elements within the illustration on this ship moods here, the 1st 1 here is united. And so if I click that that's gonna make it's gonna blame, do shapes together. So that's gonna be really powerful. Likewise, if I click both, um, I click debate that's gonna break. Were all of these shapes overlap? That's gonna break them up into individual Allen's. And so this is really useful when we start toe, um, a couple of generally a couple of different ways that who we create the elements for the illustration can use the pan to are. We can just use shapes on generally, when we just draw simple shapes, we can unite those together, we can break him apart. We have a lot of control over creating almost anything of just a variety of real simple shapes. So we're gonna begin into that is Well, okay, No, that's generally the basic tools that we're gonna use its not many. That's probably, what, 68 tools, You know, some of them have some a variety of options and there that we can play around with. And, you know, we can use a little bit of, uh, you know we can. We can just try different things. Weaken. Try something. See fireworks. Try something else. If it doesn't, we can use Hidden Miss. It doesn't matter. There's no state solutions for create any of this stuff. Um, there 68 two's on bat's gonna lose to Korea or entire illustration.

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.