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Digital Illustration: Creativity, Style and Efficiency in Adobe Illustrator

Chris Leavens, Vector Illustrator and Artist

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27 Videos (2h 43m)
    • Trailer

    • Intro and Gathering References

    • Getting First Ideas on Paper

    • Breaking Your Routine

    • Reference Sketch Part 1

    • Reference Sketch Part 2

    • Critiquing and Annotating the Sketch

    • Setting up Your Document

    • Blocking In Shapes

    • Appearnce Panel Overview

    • Pen Tool Tips and Blocking Adjustments

    • Layering in Illustrator

    • Setting Swatches and Graphic Styles

    • Drawing Inside Objects

    • Dealing with Draw Inside Mode's Funky Behavior

    • More Masking!

    • Drawing Basic Details

    • Adding Details Using Strokes and Custom Brushes

    • Making Sure Composition and Color Tell a Story

    • Adding in Finer Detail 1

    • Adding in Finer Detail 2

    • Suggesting Volume with Subtle Gradients

    • Creating Interior Shading

    • Creating Cast Shadows

    • Homespun Vector Textures Part 1

    • Homespun Vector Textures Part 2

    • Exporting and Parting Words


About This Class

I am an illustrator who has been creating artwork professionally for fifteen years. Throughout my career, I have assembled an arsenal of techniques to help improve my creativity, efficiency and style as an illustrator.

I create my work in Adobe Illustrator from start to finish... and I am going to walk you through my creation process. Illustrator is an incredible tool to use to develop yourself as an artist, and by following along with my process, you will develop a more grounded, organized and efficient way of working. I take full advantage of my computer's resources to execute my vision.

What You'll Learn

You will learn vector-based illustration using Adobe Illustrator's most essential tools. I will help you hone in on a whimsical illustration style. We'll cover:

  • Generating ideas. I will encourage you to go somewhere you are inspired by to collect imagery and resources.
  • Reference sketching. We will compile your inspiration into reference sketches for your illustration.
  • Blocking in your shapes in Illustrator. You will start your illustration by blocking in shapes and colors, suggesting the composition of your piece.
  • Vector drawing. We will begin by drawing in your characters and working with the shapes.
  • Layer and label organization. I will share with you best practices in organizing your layers and labels to maximize your workflow.
  • Masking. I will show you how to use masks to make a complex illustration more manageable.
  • Shading & volumizing. You will bring your sketch to life with sketching and volumizing teachniques.

What You'll Do

You will Illustrate your favorite scene, and will finish the class with a final illustration piece created entirely in Adobe Illustrator. I will teach you how to develop a whimsical illustration out of real-life inspiration. You will develop your scene and characters using rendering techniques in Illustrator. By completing this project, you will walk through every tool necessary for an efficient and creative illustration process. This will hone in on your design skill, and you will notice a great improvement in your work.

334 of 337 students recommendSee All

As I said in the discussion section, I love your artistic abilities and the illustrations that you make!! It was interesting watching the whole process, specially because I work a lot in AI too, but in a totally different way :) The things I liked most was the talk about color....knowing what to put where in order to emphasize what you want and use the color for your story! And what I learnt and want to try incorporating it in some of my projects was the brush thing.....all of them, the leaf brush & the texures. Never have done that....loved it!! Thanks for the class...and again, consider me a fan of your work :) .....stay amazing, Em B-)
So far it is the best course I have take. Chris knows extremely well all details, tricks and shortcuts from illustrator.
Very nice, in depth, and practical explanations. Draw inside is great. Thanks for that tip.





Chris Leavens

Vector Illustrator and Artist

I create story-rich artwork, surreal landscapes filled with bizarre monsters and fantastical characters. Heavily inspired by the outdoors, I bend the beauty of the natural world through a prism of humor and absurdity, resulting in whimsically-twisted, highly-imaginative images. I use a variety of media to create my work, but I'm best known for my colorful, detailed vector illustrations. My art has appeared in art galleries, computer games, books, magazines, TV shows, and feature films ...

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