Tutorial on Adobe Illustrator.
Not only do I blog, but I enjoy drawing and illustrating. I hope to some day have a christian children’s book out. Adobe Illustrator is one of my favorite programs in the Adobe Creative Suite lineup. Adobe Illustrator is a powerful program for creating:
- Church Logos
- Church or Kids Church Set Designs
- Character Design
One of the main reasons that Adobe Illustrator is so great is it is a Vector design program vs a raster design program. Photoshop is a raster design program. The simple meaning, is that once the image is printed the raster image will be pixelated or have soft lines and edges. In contrast a vector image will be clean cut through and through. Unless you have a really high resolution image or images that your working with, the raster image is going to become pixelated. A vector image will never be pixelated. Now lets’s open up the program and dig into Adobe Illustrator.
Upon opening the program you will see the opening image, and right off the bat you can see the sheer power and capability of this program. The opening art is beautiful. This is no simple “paint program”. This is not paint by numbers. This is a world class, working mans tool, designed to help you create and visualize, the image you see in your minds eye, for the church logo, the ideal kids or adult service set design, or the ideal character design for your children’s program.
When you open the program you will be presented with this New Document window. Name the document and then choose the Profile. Under Profile you can choose, print, web, video, and other settings. Then choose the size of your document, and you can customize it to inches, picas, points, and more.
Here is the main page that you will see once the program is open. Now I have chosen Print as my Profile and have chosen a basic 8.5 by 11 page. My pallet is a pallet specifically designed for print. Which means it is based off of a CMYK ( Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ) system. To start off with, lets look at some of the basic tools.
The Primary Tools
My tool of choice when creating anything in Adobe Illustrator is the Pen Tool. The Pen Tool is the third tool on the left column. To use it, simply click where you want to start on the page and a node appears attached to a line. Then click where you want the line to finish and the line is completed. If you want to draw a curved line, click where you wan to start and then before you finish, hit the Shift key and click on the finishing point and drag the mouse. The line bends in a curve and then release the mouse to finish the line. You can make the line as slight or as round as you want. The image to the right demonstrates the two different types of line. The advanced art comes out of the understanding and manipulation of those lines. The Pen Tool takes some practice and getting used to, but once you master it, the more advanced and professional you can get your art work to look.
Below the Pen tool is the Type Tool. This is a very handy tool for adding small amounts of Type into your image. This is not a program for adding in paragraphs of text. This Type Tool can certainly do that, but it is placed in the tool pallet to be used for artistic purposes. Again, this is not a tool for writing a book, this is a tool for adding in letters, numbers, or small words or phrases to the art work. If you click and hold down on the Type tool you can see the sub options.
The Area Type Tool is used for small areas of adding in text. The Type on a Path Tool is for creating a shape of text. For example you can create a square or circle and then use this tool to type a word or phrase on that shape. The text follows the path of the shape. The other type preferences speak for themselves. They are just different variations of each other.
Across from the Type Tool is the Line Segment Tool. This tool is also designed to create straight lines. This is good if you want step and repeat segments to your artwork with line, or if you want to create a pattern.
Down one tool on the right is the Paintbrush Tool. This is a great tool for freehand style art. You can go to Window and choose a variety of brush styles to use. These are instrumental to creating custom, quality art. I love using the Bristle Brush Library, which gives some unique character to my art pieces. Simply click on the brush tool to activate it. Then go to Window, Brush Library, Bristle Brush to select it. There are several other great brush libraries to choose from as well. Try them all out to see how they look and will work for you.
Parallel to that tool is the Square Tool. This is a great tool for constructing a perfect square or rectangle. Click and hold down on the square tool to see all the other shape options.
These are great tools for creating perfect shapes and all of them are customizable to your needs and desires. I also enjoy the Flare Tool. It’s a fun tool for creating flares for when your dealing with objects that are supposed to have light coming out of them. It’s a nice tool to ad some pizzazz to your art. You simply click and drag and the flare grows to your liking. Once you release the flare is created.
Below that is the Pencil Tool. This is similar to the brush tool in that you can use it to do free hand art. But you can make a more precise and thinner line with the pencil tool. The next tool over is the Eraser Tool. This is pretty straight forward in what it is and how to use it. Simply click where you wan to erase and drag.
Let’s now go back to the top of the Tool Pallet and look at the Direct Selection Tool it is immediately across from the Selection Tool. This tool is valuable because you can select particular nodes in your art work. Say a shape you created did not turn out just right. You can select particular nodes and manipulate them to your liking without changing the entire image. This is so very important to you when your getting deep into your church logo and it’s not looking just right. You can use this tool to fine tune and customize to your liking.
In the next blog I will be going over the advanced tools and getting into creating some artwork in Adobe Illustrator.