Everything is Shapes: Building Your Dream Home in Illustrator | Alison Koehler | Skillshare

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Everything is Shapes: Building Your Dream Home in Illustrator

teacher avatar Alison Koehler, Creative | Graphic Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 2m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your Class Project

    • 3. Everything is Shapes

    • 4. Tool Kit: Build a Simple House

    • 5. Sketching: Laying the Foundation

    • 6. Tracing with Basic Shapes

    • 7. The Mood: Limited Color Palette

    • 8. Painting Your House

    • 9. Adding Details and Style

    • 10. Lighting and Shadow

    • 11. Final Adjustments

    • 12. Wrap Up

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About This Class

Are you a beginner to illustration or Adobe Illustrator? Do you look at complex illustrations and feel totally overwhelmed? Well this class is for you! In this class, you’ll learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator to build your own dream home!


In this class you’ll learn: 

  • How to break down complex forms into their basic shapes! 
  • The basic tools and techniques I use to get around in Adobe Illustrator 
  • How to use color effectively to make your illustrations pop 
  • An effective document setup to make working in Illustrator more efficient  
  • Techniques you can apply to any vector project!

The class is designed so that you can follow along with me as I break down the essential steps of illustrating in Adobe Illustrator.

By the end of the class, you’ll not only know how to illustrate with basic shapes but a deeper understanding of the elements that go into illustration so you can tackle any kind of illustration project!

So let’s get started - see you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Alison Koehler

Creative | Graphic Designer


I’m currently working as a freelance graphic designer. I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a graphic designer since I was 12 years old and now I’m living out that dream. I studied design at the University of Arizona and graduated in 2019. I've been working with the Adobe programs for over 10 years, worked professionally for 6 years, and have been working for myself for the past 2 years.

I love working with all different kinds of clients but my favorite projects to work on are large-scale branding projects with lots of opportunities to help the clients decide the direction and applications for their business. But whatever project I'm working on, they all have one thing in common: people first. The secret sauce of a... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Is illustration a complete mystery to you? Do you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to begin? Well, whether you're drawing from your head or from a reference image, a great place to start is with shapes. If you've ever drawn a triangle on top of a square and called it a house, you are ready for this class. In this class, you'll learn that everything is shapes by building your own dream home in Adobe Illustrator. Hi, my name is Allison, and I'm a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. I've been working with Adobe programs for over 10 years, and my work has been used for branding, packaging, and web. In my journey, I've learned that even the most complex drawings can be broken down into simple forms, and at this point, my brain just sees things and shapes, and you can train yours to do the same. For the purpose of this class, I will be working on three dream home illustrations because come on, I just couldn't make up my mind. But they will be a tiny house on wheels, a A-Frame in the woods, and a little apartment above a grocery store in the city. This class is perfect for beginner illustrators or beginners to illustrator. Illustrator is an amazing program that's perfect for creating architectural forms. In fact, one of its basic tools is the shape tool. Throughout those class, I'll teach you the basics of illustrator, how to break down complex shapes into their basic components, and how to utilize the color wheel to create dynamic color palettes. I've included some class resources below so that you can have those as a handy reference as you go through the lessons. By the end of this class, you'll be able to break down complex shapes into their basic components, craft an interesting composition with ease, and use color effectively to make your illustrations pop. With these fundamental techniques, you'll be able to tackle any kind of illustration project. If you're ready to build your dream house, let's get started. 2. Your Class Project: For your class project, you're going to be turning in an illustration of your dream home. It can be in any image format or dimensions that you want. This class is geared towards illustrators so that's what I'm going to be using but I have some handy class resources below that you can use if you don't feel like yet to memorize anything. You will definitely need a computer with Adobe Illustrator on it, some Some a pencil and optional would be some tracing paper which I find to be pretty helpful. This class is optimized for making an illustration for social media and web. So I will be using pixels in an RGB color space so just keep that in mind. If you feel like sharing what you've created on social media, please use the hashtag EverythingIsShapes so that I can take a look. With all that being said, let's get started. 3. Everything is Shapes: For this first lesson, I'm going to show you what I mean by everything is shapes. Think back to the first house that you ever drew when you were a kid. What is it made out of? Probably a square and a triangle and a rectangle and some smaller squares if you wanted to add a door and a window. The same principles that you apply to that house when you were a kid are the same principles that we're going to be applying to our more complex illustrations. For instance, take this photo of a house. The sides are made up of rectangles and the roof is made up of a rectangle that you can easily manipulate with the Pen Tool. The windows are rectangles that are made above, even smaller rectangles. There are some decorative elements to this facade as well, including this circle on the top portion of the building. That was a pretty simple example, but that's how I want you guys to be thinking when you're building your own illustration. For the purpose of this class, I'm defining six basic shapes that you can build with the shape tool. Then there is one one shape that you can create with the Pen Tool. Those shapes are a circle, a square, and a triangle, an oval which is just a stretched circle, a rectangle which is a stretched square, and a diamond, which is two triangles put back-to-back. The polygon shape, which for this class I'm defining as basically anything weird. There are many different ways of approaching this idea that everything is shapes. I'm going to share a few of my favorite illustrators who use these same techniques. George Townley is an illustrator from the UK. He does illustrations of Los Angeles landmarks. His illustrations are more naturalistic in appearance, staying more true to reality. He uses a warm color palette and you get a sense that he's romanticizing the city. Jenny Lelong is an illustrator from France, and she does these playful illustrations of different facades in many she uses a very flat style and does it include a background instead going for a light pastel color. In many of her illustrations, her buildings are inhabited by these very friendly looking animals that I really adore. Coen Pohl is a Dutch designer who does these illustrations of buildings that really feel like they have a way to them. He uses a very limited color palette of contrasting colors, which makes his illustrations really pop. He does a variety of styles, including isometric, flat 3D and this simple block style. Mark Conlan is an illustrator from Ireland, and he does these illustrations of buildings that are almost abstracted in appearance. His backgrounds make you feel like you've almost entered a different world, and they're populated by these very simple characters who add a lot of life and mystery to his pieces. He uses a very subtle but powerful use of texture. Malika Favre is a French illustrator who uses a very simple style. Her illustrations only contain what is absolutely necessary to understand the piece. Half the time her subjects almost blend into the background. Her use of elegant shape, building, and curved lines guides your eye through her composition, making you feel exactly what she wants you to feel. Hoodzpah Design is a design studio run by Amy and Jenn Hood. They use a very retro style using dusty D saturated colors and varied linework. They also employ this other very flat style that's in black and white. They frequently use patterns which abstract some of their forms, but still give you a sense of weight. These illustrators are just a few examples of the fantastic illustrators that are out there that work in this style. When you look at these different illustrators, I want you to notice the way that they use color and shape and lines. Are their illustrations flat? How are they representing light and shadow? The things that you are attracted to in these other illustrators are decisions that you can make for yourself in your own illustration. In this lesson, you learned what the 6 1/2 basic shapes are. How to start breaking down complex buildings into their simple components. Some different illustrators that demonstrate the different ways that you can approach this project. For the next lesson, I want you to take a look at some different buildings and see if you can start to identify those basic components. Go ahead and take a look at that list of illustrators and see if there's any style that you particularly like that you might want to implement into your own illustration. In the next lesson, I'm going to be showing you how to illustrate a symbol house so that you can start to learn the techniques I use to build these more complex illustrations. 4. Tool Kit: Build a Simple House: In this lesson, I'm going to show you the basics of Illustrator, how to get around, and how to start building your dream house. I'm going to focus on four different sections; tools, basic shapes, how to modify shapes, and how to create custom shapes. Don't worry about starting your project in this lesson, it's just to play around with the program and get familiar with the tools. Over the course of the class, you will be creating your dream house. This lesson is just to encourage you to play around with Illustrator and demonstrate some of the capabilities. The first tool is the Shape Tool, which I use to make simple shapes. The second tool is the Shape Builder, which I use to build more complex shapes. You can either weld shapes together or subtract them. The Pen Tool I use for custom shapes. You can either click each point and make straight lines or you can click and drag to create curved shapes. Each point that you click with the Pen Tool, you are creating a point, or it's also sometimes called a node. I will probably be using those terms interchangeably throughout the lessons. The Stroke Tool can be used on shapes or lines, and you can access that through these Stroke Options menu, which is off to the right. You can also access some options from above as well. There's also the Width Tool, which is on your left toolbar, which has some really awesome options where you can customize your lines. The Selection Tool is your default tool. You can move stuff around with this. Your Direct Selection Tool, which is right next to it, allows you to move at specific points or nodes around. Your Eyedropper Tool I use to color. Some other features that I use pretty often are the rounded corner features. The Offset Path options, which you can use to create bigger or smaller versions of custom shapes. The Expand Function, which you can use to make lines into shapes themselves. The Simplify Path Tool, which is great for when you have a shape with a lot of points on it. You can use this tool to get rid of some of those points so that you can edit that shape a little bit better. I'm going to build on this illustration from the previous lesson. We are going to focus on three things; the basic shapes, how to modify shapes, and how to create custom shapes. The basic shapes in this structure are a square and a triangle, which we can make with our Shape Tool. My shape is automatically lock into place. If yours do not do that, the way to fix that would be in the View Panel, and then go all the way down to Snap to Point, and then it will do that. This triangle is centered over the square and I want it to match each corner over here. Holding Alt or Option, if you drag out one of these handles on the side, it will do the same thing on the other side. I want to extend the structure and give it a wall. I am going to hit "Command C" and then "Command F" to paste that square on top of itself. I will make it a different color. Then I can just grab the side side right here and drag it out. I have a wall that is the exact same height as the front structure. I'm going to do that again to get the roof. In the next section, I will show you how I'm going to modify the shape to make it look a little bit more like a roof. But first, I'm going to add some decorative elements. I have some basic structures on my house. I want to modify a couple of them so that they fit a little bit better, starting with the roof. The way that I am going to modify this roof is by hitting the "Direct Selection Tool". You can click and drag over those two pieces, or you can click on one and then hit "Shift", and select another one to select multiple or my preferred way of doing things. You can double-click the shape to enter Isolation Mode, and then click and drag over the points that you want. This isn't necessary for this very simple illustration, but when you have a lot of overlapping shapes, entering Isolation Mode can just help you stay organized when you are editing one specific piece. Then you can just start to drag, and then hit "Shift", and then wait till it locks into place. Then you have a roof that's perfectly in line. For these windows, I want to go with an arched look. I'm actually going to select all of these top points right here and then use my rounded corner options to drag those in. I actually want them to have a frame, so I am going to select one and then use my Offset Path Options and use a negative value. Then if you change the color, you can see that there is a smaller shape that's perfectly centered in there. If you start to drag while hitting "Shift" and "Option" or "Alt", you can click and drag a copy over. It's actually under this other object. If you hit "Command" or "Control" and then your "Bracket Tools", you can actually change where they are in the arrangement. What I'm going to do to create some window panes is actually copy the shape first so that I have a copy of it. Then go to Object Path and then Split Into Grid. Then if I hit "Preview", you'll see that it turns it into a square. If you have a custom shape, this will actually just change it into a rectangle. It's good to have a copy of the shape that you want to be split up so that you don't lose it. Let me group that, enter Isolation Mode, and paste my circle back there. If I select everything and then use my Shape Builder Tool, I can create a circle window that has some window panes. As you can see, there's actually two shapes here. You can just delete the original one. I I to create the chimney. With a chimney, I want it to look like it's sitting on the roof. If I do a chimney like that, it looks like it's on the roof, but it's missing that angle from the roof. What I'm going to do is hit "Shift" and "Option" or "Alt" while dragging this roof piece and zoom in so you can see what you're doing. You can move that into approximately where this level joint is right here. Then if you want to see how precise you are, you can go into View and Outline Mode. As you can see here, I'm not quite on the right spot, so I can just drag until I'm there. Then to get out of this view, you can go back to View and then Preview. Then I can select the roof piece and the side of the chimney. Using my Shape Builder tool, I can delete that extra piece and create a chimney that looks like it's sitting on the roof. In this last section, I am going to show you how to create some custom shapes. You can absolutely do this with the Shapes Tool and then just Shape Builder a couple of shapes together, like so. Then you can round out the corners. But I want to show you a different way of approaching this as well. With the Pen Tool, if I click around, I can create some smoke this way. You can also create some smoke by just clicking around. Then you can use those rounded corner options to just round out those jagged edges. You can either change the opacity of this or you could use your gradient options and create a gradient that blends into your sky. If I change these both to white and then change this one to zero percent, then you could see, I have some smoke that fades away into the sky, like natural smoke would. Now that you've seen some of the capabilities of what Illustrator can do, I want you to play around with the program and get a little bit more comfortable with it. In the next lesson, we are going to be sketching our dream houses on paper. Look around on the Internet and see if there's any photos or anything else that you like that you might want to use as a reference image in the next lesson. 5. Sketching: Laying the Foundation: In this lesson, we are going to be sketching our dream house. You can do it on any paper that you have around, but I'm going to be using some sketchbook paper that I ripped in half. Then I also have some tracing paper here because I don't like to put a lot of pressure on myself when I'm first starting the sketch because I can always revise and edit down in the revisionary rounds. When I'm approaching these illustrations, I like to start with the largest block shapes first, and then I will add in the surrounding details after that. It's also important to keep in mind what feels like home to you, what will make this your dream home? When I'm sketching, I'm not too worried about the environment that my house is going to be in. I just want to start getting the basic forms down. For this illustration, I decide to go with a tiny house on wheels. I needed a reference image for this station wagon. This is the reference image that I used, and I'm just breaking down this car into its basic forms. It's like a puzzle. You're just trying to figure out which shapes fit into this larger form, and how you can build it up from those basic components. When I'm doing these illustrations, I'm not too worried about getting it exactly correct or worrying too much about making my lines perfect and straight the first time because I can always go back and trace over it again. The first time that I drew the car, I drew it pretty close to its original form. But then when I went over it, I decided that I wanted to exaggerate the features a little bit and make it a little bit more blocky and cartoon-like. That is honestly just a personal preference and I enjoy making illustrations that look like that. That's completely up to you for what you want to do. I decided to go with a tiny house on wheels for this illustration. Of course not everyone is going to be doing that, everyone has their own dream house. When you're first starting to conceptualize what you want to do, I would absolutely like reference a photo of a house that you like. Then as you reiterate, you can put away your reference image and start to add details or a really cool decorative piece or windows or whatever you like. You can add those in yourself, and you don't have to worry too much about what the original photo looked like. When you're tracing over your image, you can start to make a little bit of a heavier mark and try and draw a little bit more of a confident line. I did not use a ruler for any portion of this because I know that I can go back on the computer and make it a perfect shape. I'm not too worried about that, you can use a ruler if you want but it's not necessary. In our illustration we're going to use a simple composition to practice creating the main building. The composition will be made up of a foreground, midground, and background. The foreground is everything that is close to the viewer, the midground is everything that is in the middle of your composition, and the background is everything that is far away from you. For our purposes we are going to fill the foreground with some basic environmental elements that help set the scene. The midground is where our means structure is going to be and therefore is going to be the most complex. The background will have more elements to help set the scene. For example, I'm going to fill my midground with the road and the guardrail. The background I want to be a mountainous scene so that it feels like we're on a road trip. The foreground I'm going to fill with some bushes and other natural elements so that it feels a little bit more dynamic. You don't have to create these elements right now. You can do it after you finish your main structure in the next lesson, but it's always good to keep in mind what you're planning on doing around your structure. Now I have done a couple of iterations of my design, I did a few more just to refine it to my taste. Now I'm going to take a picture of it and bring it onto the computer. In the next lesson, we are going to start tracing our illustration on the computer. Take a picture of your illustration and make sure that you have that ready. In this lesson, you learned the basics of composition and now we are ready to move on to tracing our illustration. 6. Tracing with Basic Shapes: In this lesson, we are going to start vectoring our illustrations. The most important thing to keep in mind is that organization is key so I am going to show you how I set up my illustration documents with layers so that you can stay organized and not get overwhelmed while you're working. I set up my documents in a specific way so that I don't have to worry about that so much and I can just lock layers as I go and toggle visibility on and off so that I can check in to see how I'm doing with certain things. The basic way that I set up my documents is layer 1 right here is my sketch layer. I have it locked right now, I brought my image in and then used a clipping mask to cut off the edges and make sure that it was really clean. Then the layer above that one is my background layers. That is going to be the ground line and any scenery in the background and the sky and all those kinds of details. Then the third layer is my base layer, and that's where I am building out the actual illustration or the actual house. That's where I'm usually working about 75 percent of the project. Then above my basic shapes, I have the details. Above that I will have my overlays, so my color overlays and any other final adjustments that I want to make. Now, you might be thinking, what the heck, that does not look like a square or a triangle or anything like that? I am here to tell you that this illustration can still be made of the same basic shapes. I am just going to click and drag out a rectangle here with approximately the same width as the car. Now, I'm going to use my Pen Tool to add some points to the top of the shape. I am going to add a one for basically every joint that is not represented. There's one joint right here for the top of the hood, there's one at joint right here for the top of the car, there's another one right here. I'm going to add one here, here, and here. With my Shift selected, I'm going to select both of those points, and I am just going to drag them up. Then I'm going to hit this one and adjust it a little bit by hitting Shift so it stays perfectly in line with the other one, I'm going to move this point up just a little bit and this one down. All of a sudden you see we have a much more car-looking shape. To create the wheels, I just did a Circle Tool while hitting Shift and Option to drag it from the inside. Then I am going to go into "Object" and then "Path", "Offset Path", and then do maybe negative 10 to give it a little bit of definition away from the main bulk of the car, I'm going to do that for this one too. Then selecting the bigger circles and the shape of the car, I can hit Option and then just delete those points. Now, I have the basic shape. Then using the Pen Tool, I'm going to start building the shape of the doors. I'm just following the lines that I already put in place, hitting Shift, I can put this line over here directly in line with the other node, click down here. You might think now how the heck am I supposed to get that perfect line in with the wheels? What I do is actually click outside of the shape, and then if I hit a different color, pink, you can see what's happening, hit both of them, and then using the Shape Builder Tool, I can hit Option and delete that shape so it follows perfectly in line. Now, I want to get those two inner windows. The way I'm going to do this is with the same techniques, "Object", "Path", and then "Offset Path". Now, I want to use a Rectangle Tool and drag along that line. Then I'm going to use the Shape Builder Tool to delete the bottom portion of that window. Now I have this shape that is generally the shape of the windows. Now, I want to split it in two and add that door line. I'm going to select the shape, click and drag over to approximately where I want that line to be, and then I'm going to do the same for the back window. Now, I have three different shapes and I am going to select all of them and then use my Shape Builder Tool to delete those other pieces. Now, I want to get that inner line and I want it to be exactly parallel to my two pieces of my windows. How I'm going to do that is I'm going to isolate this first window and I am going to use my Direct Selection Tool to select the two points on this one side. Then if I hit Control C and Control F, we have no longer a completed shape, but just the line. If I delete this point right here, and this point down here, I have a line that is exactly parallel to the other lines. Then using the Shift and Option keys, I'm going to click and drag. It is going to scale it up if you have the scale functions on. But if you hit the Eyedropper Tool, then you can fix that pretty easily. Then you can select that line and the door shape and then Shape Builder the excess away. I am going to use those same techniques to build out the rest of the illustration and then I will check back in with you at the end. In this lesson, you learned how to utilize layers so that you don't get overwhelmed when you're starting a large illustration. In the next lesson, we are going to be focusing on color and how that can affect the mood and feeling that your illustration evokes. I want you to start thinking about the mood that you might want to utilize in your design. 7. The Mood: Limited Color Palette: In this lesson, we are going to be talking about colors, what they mean, and how to create the best palette for your project. Color theory is honestly a giant topic and could probably be its own class, but for the purpose of this class, we are going to be talking about the basics of the color wheel, color psychology, and the different moods that different color palettes can exude. The color wheel is just a handy tool to talk about the different relationships between colors. The classic color wheel is made up of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. The secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. Orange of course, being created by mixing red and yellow, green being a product of mixing yellow and blue, and violet being a product of mixing blue and red and then going a step beyond that, you can mix all of those colors as well to create tertiary colors. The tertiary colors are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, and yellow-green and then with this knowledge, you can start to build your color palettes. It's really important to keep in mind that people see in contrast, coupling that with the idea of foreground, midground and background will help you create a dynamic composition with color. For example, in the foreground, colors will often be darker than in the background where you get towards the horizon, and things get a little bit blurry and colors get lighter. Of course, you can play with this concept in interesting ways, but it's good to know the rules before you break them. There are a few different ways of creating color palettes with the color wheel and these include monochromatic, analogous, complimentary, triad, and square. Monochromatic color pallets are made up of variations of one color, so that could be red and then using light and dark versions of that shade of red. Analogous color pallets are created by choosing three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Triad colors are taking a step beyond this by choosing colors that are in opposite three corners of the color wheel, and square color pallets are the same as triad colors, but choosing four instead of three. Now you may ask yourself, how many colors should I choose? For our project, we are going to choose 5-6 colors. I find that when you limit your color palette, you come up with creative ways of coloring things and you're not so constrained by making something look naturalistic, you can make something look a little bit more abstract. Beyond the color wheel, we also associate different meanings and moods with different colors. Color psychology can also depend on where you are in the world. It's really good to look into colors and what they mean before you start a new project. For example, red is associated with passion, energy, and love. Orange is associated with being friendly, bright, and playful. Yellow is associated with happiness, positivity, and energy. Green is associated with creativity, growth, and abundance. Blue is associated with being dependable, calm, and peaceful. Purple is associated with wealth, being sophisticated, and sentimental. Brown is associated with being earthy, rugged, and honest. Black is associated with being formal, sophisticated, and neutral. White is associated with being modern, sterile, and neutral. Gray is associated with conservative, formality and maturity, and the color cream is associated with being earthy, and inviting, and warmth. Even beyond color psychology, different colors can be associated with different moods or times of day, or even times of year. For example, if you wanted to do a sunrise scene in your illustration, you might use light unsaturated colors to make it feel a little hazy. If you wanted to do a sunset scene, you might use warm saturated colors, and if you wanted to do a night scene that you might use dark saturated colors such as jewel tones. As always, different colors mean different things to different people. For example, if I wanted to create a summery illustration, my idea of what summery would be might be different than how you experience summer. Now I'm going to show you a couple of different resources that you can use to build your color palette and the really easy way that I use to build color palettes really quickly in Illustrator. This website is called coolors.co, colors with two o's. It is a great website to either generate a random color palette or to explore what other people have created. By hitting the space bar, I can just create an infinite amount of color palettes, and then I can lock any colors that I like, and it will just generate more colors. That's a really good way to create a color palette if you're feeling stuck and just need some colors to react to. It's totally okay if you feel a little bit overwhelmed by the process of picking colors and you just want to explore. Everything in design is iterative so you can always go back and change things. One of the other tools that I use is Adobe Color and Adobe Capture and you can just go through and you can pick different colors and you can pick those different options of the color wheel. You can experiment and move things around and honestly just have fun exploring. Now let's say I found the perfect color palette and now I want to build that into Adobe Illustrator. I am going to take my Rectangle tool and just drag out a long rectangle and then I'm going to use Object, Path, Split into grid, and then I'm going to create five different columns. Now I have five evenly spaced boxes to work with and I can pick any colors that I want. This is the color palette that I am going to use for my illustration. It has three analogous colors, which are the red-orange, the peach, and that light orange-yellow and then opposite on the color wheel, I have a green and a blue to act as complimentary colors. Finally, I'm using a six color. I am going to use a cream for my light shade. I find that if you have too many saturated colors with no light shade in between, the composition can lose a lot of the definition, so I like to use the cream color as just like a resting spot for your eyes and it guides your eye around the composition. In this lesson, you've learned the basics of color including the color wheel, color psychology, and how different color palettes can influence your mood. Before we move on to the next lesson, I want you to pick your color palette and move it into Illustrator in the way that I did. In the next lesson, we are going to be painting our house by using the Eyedropper tool to color our illustration. 8. Painting Your House: In this lesson, we are going to be painting our house. We will discuss the eyedropper tool and the recolor tool and a little bit about light and shadow. Although we will not be adding shadows in this lesson, it's important to at least note a little bit about it when you start to color in your illustration. The first thing that you need to consider when coloring in your composition is deciding where the light is coming from. For example, if you are doing a daytime scene the sun might be coming from directly above, so the roof might be in sun, but some elements on the ground underneath trees or anything like that might be in shadow, or if you're doing a sensor image, the sun might be coming from behind your structure, so everything that you see would be in shadow. Finally, if you're doing a night scene, obviously there's not going to be any sun to light the image, but you might want to add some light from the moon or lighting inside your house or fireflies or other sources of light. Again, it's important to keep in mind that everything in the foreground is going to be darker than what is on the horizon. I have my second example illustration here and oh boy does it look like a mess? This is where the different color fills and layers comes in handy. Let me hide everything, but just the main structure. We're going to start with that and then we'll do the background and details later. The first thing I want to do with this A-Frame is to color in the roof. I already know that I want this to be the resting spot or the focal point for your eyes. I am going to make this my light cream color. In my composition, the sun is probably coming from the top. I am going to assume that the eve under the roof right here is in shadow. That is going to be my darker pink color, and then the actual building itself will be the red color. This tool that I'm using right here is the eye dropper. You can just select a color. Even if you're in isolation mode, and then you can bring it over and hit the option key on your keyboard and it will drop the color directly into where you want. Now, I want all of the windows to be this blue color. My general rule when I'm doing this is to move down the color pellet from lightest to darkest when I'm coloring things in. The roof is this light cream color. I'm going to use the peach color to color in the detail of the roof. The way I color in the main structure is any plane that is facing the same way, I will color in the same. This wall over here is this peach color, so I'm coloring in that portion of the chimney the same color and the same goes for the side. With my railing, I wanted it to pop out from the house and I knew that I already used the peach tone on the side of the wall. I made the railing the cream color and then the side that is in shadow is in the pink. Then for the baseboard, I went for the same color way as the house, doing peach facing outward and the red color facing us. Now I have everything colored in and I want to work on the colors and see if I might play around with anything or just generally switch things around. I've selected everything here and I'm going to hit this color wheel icon at the top, it's called Recolor Artwork. As you can see, here is my illustration and it's showing me all the different colors. You can mess around with things here and they can get crazy pretty quick. But if I go into my advanced options, you can see all the colors I have used here and you can slide those around and experiment as much as you want. As you can see, things are getting like pretty unusual in my illustration. You can also make these different colors or whatever you want. It's a really great way to globally change colors and not have to mess around too much if you like where the individual colors are placed. I'm actually pretty happy with my color palette, so I'm going to keep it the way that it is. But that's a really good way to experiment with your colors and play with different options. In this lesson, you learned the basics of lighting and how to color in your illustration with the eyedropper and recolor tools. In the next lesson, we are going to be adding some details to our composition. Start thinking about what small details that you might want to add that will make this really feel like your dream home. Before you move onto the next lesson, it will be a really good idea to have your main blocks already colored in. 9. Adding Details and Style: In this lesson, we are going to be adding in the small details. This is what's going to make your illustration really feel like your dream home. This is where we are going to add in the elements that make the house feel lived in. These objects could be trees or windows or lawn chairs or festive lights in June, whatever makes this feel like your home is what I want you to include. I'll show you how I add details to my own illustrations and then my challenge for you will be to add 2-3 objects to your own illustration and really think about how you're going to break down those objects and their forms into basic shapes. In this illustration, I have an apartment which I'm imagining is above like a grocery store or a neighborhood market or anything like that. My goal for this is to add some character to this building. What I want to do first is to add a decorative piece to this building so that it looks like it's made out of stone. What I'm going to do is drag out these two top pieces a little bit, which already helps to not make it just like a rectangle, but more of like a decorative rectangle. I want to add a stroke to this and then I'm going to do an offset path on this. That looks pretty good to me. Now I'm going to do the same thing to this side. Now I have this interesting decorative piece at the top. Now I want to complete that stone look by adding some brick patterns. Adobe Illustrator just added this fantastic new feature which is called Repeat Grid. I'm going to show you how to use that. The way that I do bricks is by just making a little line here and then I just add another little piece in the middle to create the joints between the bricks. I want to make a bunch of copies of this, and I can definitely do that by hand, but this new feature makes it really easy. You go into Repeat and then Grid, and you get these little handlebars, and then you can move these options as well. I just want two here, and then I want to bring it down and that's a lot of bricks. Then I could spread that out as well. That looks good to me. Then where the interesting part about this comes in is you can go into your repeat options and then you can play around with these different options here. You can vary the way that the bricks are facing so that it looks a little bit more custom. Then I can just expand this and it's in a clipping mask, so you just need to go ahead and delete that clipping mask. But now you have all of these objects that you made in two seconds. They look varied and interesting. Then you can just move on behind the window. Now it looks like you can have a brick building. I am just going to finish up that pattern and then I will show you guys how to make a few extra little details to hopefully inspire you to think outside the box when thinking about your own objects and details in your own illustrations. The first thing that I wanted to do was to create some posters that looked like they were in the window. The way I did this was just by creating some rectangles and rotating them a little bit and moving them around. To make them look like they're inside the window, I just turned down the opacity. I also wanted to include a little box outside where there might be some fresh produce. I started with a rectangle and I just moved one of the nodes down to create an angled box. I made it the same color as the plane facing outwards, and I added some more of the shape to make it look like there were dividers. I just use circles to create a little bundle of oranges or something. Even though these details are simple, I can start to imagine myself coming down, going to work on my commute or something, and I can grab a coffee and an orange from this little grocery store. That's how I want you guys to be thinking about your illustrations. I want you to really feel like you can imagine yourself living here because honestly, it just makes everything a little bit more fun. You saw me use this trick for the smoke in the simple house lesson. I am just creating a shape with a bunch of points with the pen tool, and then I just round them out and it just looks like a bush. Now this is one of my favorite tricks. I am creating two circles here and I am going to go into the Effects panel and then down to zigzag and I'm going to create some abstract little flowers to go on the greenery in the flower box. Probably my biggest tip here would be to explore these different options. You can create a lot of really fun and unique looking pieces just by playing around with this stuff. All right, in this lesson, you learned how to break some of those small details into their basic shape components and now we are going to move on to lighting and shadows. 10. Lighting and Shadow: In this lesson, we are going to be focusing on adding lighting and shadows. This is going a step beyond just coloring in the block elements, but now we are going to add some shadows to the buildings and other objects and really dial in that lighting to make it look a little bit more dynamic. Let me show you how lighting works on a cube and a circle. This is basically drawing 101. But when you have a cube and you can see three faces of that cube, each face will have a different level of light to it. When you're drawing a sphere, the lighting usually hits one side of that, and then it slowly gradates over the surface and then usually has a little bit of a backlit on the other end from the reflection. Now we are working in a very flat style. You might think, "How the heck can I achieve that spherical look on a flat object?" Well, you can basically just break it down into a couple of steps rather than a gradient. You can just break it into maybe one or two levels of shadow, and then you can apply that to any rounded objects in your composition. Now I'm going to approach the lighting and shadows, and there's a couple of key places that I already know that I want to add shadows. In this illustration, the lighting is coming from the top left. Keeping that in mind, I want to add a little bit of a shadow to that decorative piece at the top, just to give it a little bit of dimension, add a shadow underneath, and then I want to add a shadow to the bottom level as well. The way I do this is I just use the pen tool and connect to the different points where I want the shadow to start and end, and then I'm going to use my dark red color, as that is one of the darker colors that I have in my palette. Then I can just adjust the opacity to whatever feels right for the composition. The shadows, I'm adding to the base layer because I want that shadow to be underneath that like little shade structure, and it's totally okay to layer it how it needs to be layered and not follow the structure of the layers exactly. Now I want to add some shadows to those oranges down there. I'm actually going to delete what I have made and just recreate them so that I can copy and paste. What I'm going to do is copy my original orange shape and then copy again and move it up towards the top left corner, and then delete all of the shapes except for the small sliver that's left. Then I can paste my original orange shape behind that shadow, and then I have a nice curved shadow that follows that same curve of the orange. Then I'm just going to copy and paste that over and play with the arrangement of the oranges and just make it feel natural and a little bit jumbled. By just adjusting things a little bit, you can make it seem really natural and a little bit more custom. Now you have learned at the basics of lighting and shadows. I want you to add any that feel appropriate to your composition. In the next lesson, we are going to do all of our final tweaks and finishing up our illustration and exporting it for the web. 11. Final Adjustments: In the last lesson, we are going to be taking a look at our final composition, our colors, everything, and seeing if there's anything that we need to tweak before we finalize and export our illustrations. Just a couple of tricks that I like to do. The first one is to flip my composition, either vertically or horizontally, just to look at the basic forms, and see if the composition feels balanced. If it doesn't, then I usually like to tweak something at this point. The second tip that I have for you, is to look at your composition, and see where the focal points are, see where your eye is being drawn, through the composition. In graphics, they teach you that you should start the eye at the top left corner, go to the bottom right corner, then at the bottom left corner, and then move out of the composition, through the top right corner. It creates an egg shape, and it helps to guide the viewer's eye up through the whole composition, and cover the most information. Some other things to watch out for in your illustration are; are there two colors that are sitting next to each other that are too close in value to where the definition is getting lost? Are you conveying the mood that you want to set? Are there any lighting inconsistencies in your composition? These are all really easy things to fix once you recognize them. I'm just going to challenge you in this lesson, to take a look at your composition again and see if you can tweak anything. I will also be showing you how I use color overlays, and blend modes, and how I use the export for web function, to export my illustrations. Color overlays are a nice thing to play around with at the end of your process because it can help melt everything in your composition together, especially if you're going for a certain mood or a lighting, this can really help you out. I will show you how to do that. For the final adjustments, I just want to add a color overlay, to blend everything together and give it a little bit more dimensionality. Then I will be done. With the color overlay, I'm going to add a rectangle, that is the same size as the artboard, and then I'm going to add a gradient to it. I moved the center of the gradient up towards the upper left since that's where my light is coming from. Then you can open up your opacity menu, go through these options and play around with it. You can see that it really affects the way that your illustration looks and can really make it pop. Once I'm happy with that, I'm going to export that. That is under File, Export, and then Export for Screens, you will see all of the artboards that you have in your document, and you can name that. Then you can choose which folder you want to save it to. Then this format menu down here is really awesome, because you can save it in multiple formats at one time. I just added a suffix. It says web at the end, and I am saving it at 72 PPI because that is standard for web. Then you hit Export Artboard, and you're done. In this last lesson that you learned some tips to help you finalize your composition and how to export it for the web. Now we are done, and I'll see you in the wrap-up. 12. Wrap Up: Congratulations, you've made it through the class, and now you have a beautiful illustration of your dream home. You've learned many things along the way, including the ins and outs of Adobe illustrator, how to break down forms into their basic components, how to set up your illustrator documents for a success with layers, some basic color theory so that you can build color palettes that exude the mood and feeling that you are trying to convey, how to make your composition pop with lighting and shadows, and the final adjustments and exporting of your artwork so that you can share it. I would love to take a look at the illustrations that you've created. So please share them below in the Project tab and on social media with the hashtag EverythingIsShapes so that I can take a look. Thank you so much. I'll see you next time.