Create Awesome Artwork Using Gradient Strokes in Illustrator

Create Awesome Artwork Using Gradient Strokes in Illustrator

Using Gradient Strokes in Illustrator If I had to vote on my favorite new feature in Illustrator CS6, it would have to be the addition of gradient strokes. Gradient strokes in Illustrator Cs6 allows you to quickly add dimension to your work. Creating thin, rounded cylindrical objects and fine details is a breeze now with this new feature. Before, you would have to create a compound path and use a radial gradient to get the same effect. You might have also tried to use the mesh Tool as well, which is another awesome feature, but not for fine details. It is meant more for larger areas of color. How Gradient Stroke Works This is cool, and you will love this! It is really easy, but you have to know where to look. First, draw the shape of your choice. I am creating a spoke wheel, so we will start with 3 circles: an outer circle, and middle circle, and one that might be detailing for the middle hub. You can make the stroke as large or small as you wish. I am leaving the fill off for now, so that we can focus on how the gradient stroke feature works. You might think that because we are applying a gradient to the stroke, that we would find the options to handle the gradient stroke feature within the Stroke Panel. However, that isn’t where we actually decide how the gradient will be applied across the stroke. You will find the options under the Gradient Panel. Let’s add spokes to our wheel first. Create a vertical stroke from the top center...
8 Best Websites to Learn Illustrator

8 Best Websites to Learn Illustrator

Websites to Learn Illustrator It seems like there are a million places online dedicated to Adobe Photoshop. You can find tons of free Photoshop tutorials, and anything else dedicated to Photoshop. However, when you try to find quality tutorials for Illustrator, it can seem like a tough task. You end up finding more sites that give you free vector shapes, rather than finding sites that teach you how to make them yourself. Below you’ll find the best websites to learn Illustrator. Veerle’s Blog Veerle’s blog is an excellent source of absolutely fantastic Adobe Illustrator tutorials. With a great mix of different design styles, you’ll always find something new and unique that you are looking for. Also, there are tutorials for all type of different difficulty levels. AiVault I personally hadn’t looked into Ai vault until just recently, but they do a great job of sharing everthing to do with Illustrator, including tutorials and valuable resources. Layers Magazine Even though it hasn’t been updated recently, Layers Magazine is another ace up my sleeve, and has been for years. When I first started learning design software years ago, Layers Magazine was a site I visited on a daily basis. With high quality free tutorial videos, you’ll be up and running in no time. Vector Tuts Vector Tuts+ is another excellent source of high quality free tutorials for Adobe illustrator. With a wide variety of styles and different subjects, you can learn how to do almost anything with Illustrator from Vector Tuts+ Adobe TV Who better to learn Illustrator tips and techniques from than the ones who created it? With high quality...
Perspective using Illustrator

Perspective using Illustrator

How to Draw in Perspective using Illustrator When creating an illustration or design using a perspective view, it is much easier to draw in perspective using Illustrator rather than Photoshop. You seem to have a lot more control, and the tools are quicker to use and help you to get the job done easier. Also, you can go outside of the document restraints if your vanishing point is of the edge of the page. You can make all sorts of guide lines to help you properly alight your elements. Here, I created a mock theatre design based off of dozens of photos that I compiled from the internet. With these, I took elements from different theaters that I likes and created my own. This doesn’t exist in real life. Using the Perspective Tools in Illustrator Illustrator has a couple of built-in tools for creating artwork in the proper perspective. The perspective grid tool helps you to place objects in the proper perspective. When you select the Perspective Grid Tool, the default grid comes up, and each handle controls a different parameter of your perspective settings. The diagram above shows what each point does. This will enable you to set up your design in perspective using Illustrator just how you need to in order to get the look that you want. The two points labeled Vanishing Point Will enable you to change the overall perspective angle of each face. You can move the Horizon lines up or down using the outer left and right points. You can make the grid taller or shorter by using the top and bottom grid...
Free Learning Icons From Vector Portal

Free Learning Icons From Vector Portal

Free Learning Icons This week I have an exclusive set of free learning icons, provided by Vector Portal. They have a ton of awesome free vector graphics on their site. The site you see in this collection is centered around learning and science. If you’ve ever had to stay up late studying for school, you’ll identify with these icons.Take a look at this exclusive set of free learning icons, shown below. My favorite icon in the collection would have to be the desk lamp. I used to have an articulating desk lamp just like it when I was in school. It was perfect for reading and studying my notes. It was also perfect for shining light on my sketchbook during late night drawing sessions. Other icons include a basketball, a timer (I hated timed tests), a book, notes, an art set, a graduation cap, and more. All of these make me think back to those years where my life revolved around learning and curriculum. Each icon has a long shadow applied to simulate depth. Each icon is crystal clear, while also providing a crystal clear meaning that is easy to understand. These aren’t the only only vector graphics available from Vector Portal. If you visit their site, you’ll find a library of great vector graphics, vector concepts, icons, and more. It’s definitely a resource you should add to your library. They’re always adding new stuff, so be sure to check back regularly. Download Free Learning Icons These free learning icons are available in both Ai and EPS formats. This makes it easy to drop them into Adobe Illustrator and...
Make Geometric Patterns in Illustrator

Make Geometric Patterns in Illustrator

Make Geometric Patterns in Illustrator Creating geometric patterns in Illustrator can be difficult to make in most design programs. If you want to make spiral patterns and geometric repeating patterns, it can take hours to align everything by hand. However, Adobe Illustrator makes it easy with a simple trick to control position and duplication. Create a new document. I created mine at 1024px x 768px. Select the Ellipse Tool and draw a portrait ellipse. Center it perfectly on the canvas horizontally. Vertically, make it more towards the top. Next, Select the Rotate Tool. When you first select it, you should see the rotation axis icon in the very center of the ellipse. Hold down the Alt/Option key and click on the bottom anchor point of the ellipse. A dialog box should come up. In the dialog box, dial in any number that is a multiple of 360°. In other words, you can use any number that you can multiply by X to get 360. This could be, 36, 18, 9, 40, 30, 120, 180, 10, 5, etc. The number you choose will determine how many ellipses that you have in your geometric pattern. If you want a lot, choose a low number. If you want just a few, choose a high number. Choose Copy, and a 2nd ellipse will appear at a distance equal to the number of degrees that you dialed in. To complete the symmetrical geometric pattern, all you have to do is hit the Command/Ctrl Key + D. This will duplicate the last action. It creates a new copy X amount of degrees from the last...
Create Vector Texture From a Photo in Minutes

Create Vector Texture From a Photo in Minutes

Create a Vector Texture One thing that has always been a challenge is rendering certain things as vector graphics. You can draw just about anything using the Pen Tool, or by combining shapes. The problem comes in where you try to add texture to a vector graphic to give it a vintage or distressed look. You just can’t draw that by hand and make it look natural. If you try to overlay a photo, it has its limits as to how far you can stretch it until the texture becomes pixelated. So what do you do? In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to turn any texture photo into a vector texture in a few easy steps. First, lets start off by finding a texture photo. I use GraphicStock, who has a huge library of everything I am looking for. You can sign up for a free 7 day trial, allowing you unlimited downloads. Sign up for your free 7 Day Trial If you don’t want to be billed, just remember to cancel before the trial is over, and you won’t be charged. If you want to follow along with the tutorial, you can download the photo I am using from here. A Little Prep Work Before we vectorize our texture, we will need to make a few preparations. It doesn’t matter what color the texture is, because we are going to convert it to black and white. Open the texture in Photoshop. I am going to keep the photo at full size, because we can always shrink it down later. Go to the Layers Panel and click on...