Adobe Illustrator Basics: From Sketch To Digital Using The Pencil Tool | Alice Potter | Skillshare

Adobe Illustrator Basics: From Sketch To Digital Using The Pencil Tool

Alice Potter, Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator Basics: From Sketch To Digital Using The Pencil Tool

Alice Potter, Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator

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10 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Sketching

    • 4. More Examples

    • 5. Exporting Sketches To a Computer

    • 6. Setting Up The Artboard

    • 7. Digital Drawing

    • 8. End Of Lesson

    • 9. Bonus - Make A Bold Pattern

    • 10. Wrapping Up

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About This Class


I'm Alice, a freelance illustrator and surface pattern designer from London, UK. 

I have been an illustrator for almost 10 years and have been lucky enough to work with clients like American Greetings, Harper Collins US, WH Smith, Ted Baker, Charlesbridge Publishing, Auzou, Cbeebies magazine and many more. 

My designs have been licensed onto products including cards and gift wrap, and I know get to illustrate children's books full time.

In this class you are going to take your own unique floral sketches from your sketchbook and digitise them in Adobe Illustrator using the pencil tool.

You will be guided through the following:

Sketching - time to grab a sketchbook and get drawing

Examples - I'll show you some examples of how I use flowers in my work

Exporting Sketches To A Computer - If you have a phone this is super easy

Setting Up The Artboard - We will get ourselves ready in Illustrator by setting up the artboard

Digital Drawing - Using the pencil tool, we will trace around our sketches to create beautiful art

Class Wrap Up - Well done for getting here!

Bonus - I couldn't bear to leave it there, so I turned my flowers into a pattern, and I show you how in this quick video.

Wrapping Up - a short thank you for taking my first ever class here on Skillshare. 

P.S. Don't forget to post in the class gallery!


Meet Your Teacher

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Alice Potter

Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator


Hello, I'm Alice. I'm a London based freelance children's book illustrator and surface pattern designer. I have been working for myself for almost 10 years now, and in that time I have been lucky enough to work with some great clients including Abacus Cards, American Greetings, Cico Books, Lonely Planet, Mollie Makes, Quarto Books, Papercrafter Magazine and WHSmith. I also run The Nursery Print shop where I sell prints and home decor for little ones.

I'm also the illustrator behind Dream Big, Little Scientists written by Michelle Schaub which you can find online and in bookshops throughout the USA.

I'm passionate about creating fun and playful art and making a living doing exactly what I love. Being a mum means I need flexibility and as an illustrator,... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to this skill share class Adobe Illustrator basics from sketch to digital using the pencil tool. My name is Alice Potter and I going to be taking this class with each day. I'm an illustrator and surface patent designer with almost a decade in my experience. I've worked with a variety of clients in that time, including within editorial, publishing, advertising. And now most recently I do a lot of heart licensing and children's books. 2. Class Project: For your class project, you are going to be drawing a set of flowers. I'm, I'm going to be drawing just for, for this class. But you can do as many issue like and they can be real or imaginary. Okay, so we're going to draw these in our sketch book, and then we're going to redraw them again in Adobe Illustrator using the pencil tool. Okay, and I also want to stress them. It's really important if we will post our work in progress in the class gallery and encourage each other and comment and support each other in this class project that we're doing together. And I really want to see what everybody is doing. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all if you are new to me and building up a community with you all. In the next lesson, we're going to introduce some sketching in our sketch books, have flowers. And I can't wait to see what you create. 3. Sketching: Before we start the lesson, I just want to show you some examples of flowers in my sketchbook. I've always been a fan of joining flowers and do them in a variety of different ways. These ones here are quite realistic and were actually inspired by some fitting vintage stamps that I bought from the market in Paris. And they end up becoming quite lot of different things in my work. So I do patent designs with them. I've turned them into products like these notebooks here. And I also do a lot of greeting cards as well. And in this example, in this notebook, and you can see that I also do a lot of stylized work. Ok, and why I want you to think about is how you yourself can enjoy your flowers. In this class. I want you to think if you want to do something realistic or more imaginary. Okay, so let's get drawing. Okay, if you haven't already, go ahead and grab your sketch book and pencil, and let's get started. If you have any reference material like a bubble photos, use these as a guide for drawing. And if you are using your imagination, keep in mind some of the basic elements of flowers, petals, the center of the flower, stamen, etc. Remember to keep your lines loose as well, and to capture the nature of flower. The flower if you are drawing a more naturalistic, realistic style. At this stage, I also want to encourage you to post your drawings in the class gallery. I'm really keen to see your work in progress and to see how you're getting on. And if you have any questions, please pop them there and I can get back to you. Right? Okay. Okay. 4. More Examples: Here are some more examples of fluid flowers in my pool failure, including fan pattern designs. Still lives. Decorative elements, design elements, and greeting cards including Christmas. 5. Exporting Sketches To a Computer: Okay, so now we're going to send some photos to computer. So you can either scan these in, take a fighter with like an SLR camera, or use your file. I'm using my phone for this, just a standard iPhone. And I'm going to use the add drop function to send them over to my computer. You can also select the fighters and email them to yourself. 6. Setting Up The Artboard: Okay, so now we're going to open up Illustrator. And we're going to do File New and set a new outboard at 11000 pixels by 100 pixels. I just like to work Square personally because it allows me lots of options and I like this size. So go ahead and press save. And that will open up your new document, which we will use to add in our sketches. So in the layers panel, if you press New To get a new layer and go to File, Place and find your sketches in your files. Will be able to drag and drop the files into this new layer. Ok, that they might need resizing as mine do. So just go ahead and select them and drag them to a size that works for you. And position them onto your canvas. Ok, now go ahead and select all of your sketches and head to the transparency panel. And we're going to set the opacity to around 40% so that we can walk underneath and a new layer in the next lesson. 7. Digital Drawing: Okay, so now you're in your JB illustrates file. Let's add a new layer just underneath the drawings from your previous class. Head up to the Tools panel now, and let's select the pencil tool, which is the one at the bottom of that menu. And now we're going to start drawing our flowers on that new law. We're going to draw the center of the flower. Just trace around it. As you see it. It doesn't matter if you're a bit wobbly. That's all fine with the pencil tool. And we've talked, just colored it a brown color, just some with some colleagues on using k. So on another layer just underneath that one. And re selecting the pencil tool again and a new color. I'm gonna use this really nice lilac. We're going to go back to that drawing, and now we're going to draw all of the petals all the way around. Okay? Okay, now, let's make a copy of the essay. If you select the center of the flower and hit edit, copy. Um, and then paste in back. And make sure you do the same process for the petals as well. Okay, so now it's time to add some details to our petals. So if we select one of the petals and what we're going to do is hit the drawer inside and button, which is at the bottom of your tools panel. And select the pencil and set it as a stroke and make sure that transparency is set to multiply. I've also added the strike to two. And now we're just going to draw a simple line down the middle. So we might have to reset the transparency to multiply just to make sure that set correct and click outside to make sure that that is all done and navigating to repeat that process on every single patterns. Okay? Okay. Okay. Okay, so let's just finish up the last couple of petals on left here. And then we can start adding some details into the center of the flower. Okay, let's just select a new color I'm using and cream. And now we're using the blob tool, which is just one of the basic brushes that come with Adobe Illustrator. And set the size to whatever I'm using. No 0.75. We're just going to add the dots in the center of the flower. So as I say, this is the basic brush that comes with Illustrator. I'm not using anything in this class that has to be bought. These all things that come in the program. And now that flower is finished within a Select All and grape the whole flour together so that we can move it around easily. And now we're going to do the same thing on the other full flowers. So I'm going to speed up the video for you that. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. I'm just going to select this one and group it together. And as you'll see, I now have full theory, different finished digital flowers. 8. End Of Lesson: Ok, you made it, you made it to the end of this class with me. Congratulations. You have successfully digitized your floral drawings from your sketch bird onto your computer using the pencil tool. I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope you can see why I love the pencil tool so much. I really am compliments my style of drawing in my sketchbook. And that's why I wanted to share this class with you today. If you haven't already, make sure you post your final project in the class gallery below so that we can all have a look and comment on each other's work. And now as a bonus lesson, I'm just going to quickly show you how to turn those flow roles, those digitized flow drawings that you've got in Adobe Illustrator into a beautiful, bold floral pattern. 9. Bonus - Make A Bold Pattern: To make a new pattern, we first need a new document, so let's head to file new. And in the boxes on the right, we'll change it to pixels and pop in the width, 100 by 100 pixels in the High. And I'm just going to add five pixel bleach just because I like to have a little bit extra and press Create. Okay, so now we've got your flowers in your new document. So we're just going to select them all and just drag overfishing and expand everything. I'm OK. And on the bottom layer, we're going to just add a rectangle of size 1000 by 1000 for our background layer. So I've just picked the nice cream color. So now let's just lock that layer and just title IT background so that we know what we're dealing with. And now it's time to stop placing flowers into a patent design. And so I'm just going to move these out of the way onto the side of the canvas so that they're ready to use and take this purple Daisy. And I'm just going to place it on the top. Okay? And as you can see, I'm not really thinking too much about the design right now. I'm just grabbing flowers and I'm placing them together. This is pretty much how my patent design always is. With my work is quite organic. So just play with your compositions and your colors and see what you like and what you don't like. He's open to, just grab it. This I really like this brown flower, but just make it a bit smaller. Change of scale would be nice. And we can probably change the color of that as well. So that's pick pick the yellow here. I didn't, that looks really cute. Now we can use that as a, as a so different scale flower which sometimes you know, to vary the design is nice to have big flowers and little flowers. And just addressing the colors of the insights as well on this one because currently it's more of a Pink. I'm just gonna do it. And in this place, and bring in that nice little pink flower on the stems. Because that's completely different to the others. And I think it looks really pretty sitting behind flowers, poking out like you would get in a bouquet or something. And we'll do the same with the yellow daisy as well. Just bring that in and I'm going to place it in a nice position next to these brown flowers. And as you can see, things are popping off the edge of the canvas. We're gonna take this purple Daisy, Okay? We're going to copy it, copy and then paste in place. And then we go to the Pathfinder and the Negro to transform window and go to y axis. And we're going to add in the end plus 11000 K. Now that's in copy down into the bottom, so it grab the yellow flower, copy that and paste in place. And we will do plus 10000 in the y axis. And that copies out on the right-hand side of the canvas. So it just be mindful of when you're making your patents that everything on the top needs to repay. On the bottom, everything on the left needs to repeat on the right. So now I'm just going to speed up the last part of this video and you can just watch me making this pattern and just enjoy the process. Okay? Okay. Okay. Looks like ways of coming to the end of this patent now is getting quite full. And I'm sort of getting happy. And to this date or I think it looks really pretty. Okay. It's just gonna do one last check. Make sure everything's expanded. So objectives band k. Okay, here's scrapped the background Command C, edit, paste him back. And now we're just going to make sure that that's got no fill and stroke and it's in the background. And just do a quick test. So let's grab the whole pattern and drag it all the way up to the swatches panel. And then just close that and grab your marquee tool and make a large rectangle next to your canvas. And press your patent in your swatches panel and it will automatically fill that. And this is a great way to just see if your patent is working as you're going along to make sure that you've not made any mistakes because you immediately say, if you have, you'll get strange lines or Carl flowers where you've missed bits. Okay, and here's my final pattern. And these are some mockups I've done with my pattern, including chairs, cushions, and covers. 10. Wrapping Up: Okay, thank you so much for joining me in this class on skill share. I hope he loved drawing your flowers and learning to use pencil tool in Adobe Illustrator. And I hope you learn a few new techniques along the way. And tie influences or helps you in your art practice in the future. And I really hope to see you in my next class.