From Sketch to Vector: Create Unique Handmade Textures for Adobe Illustrator | Di Ujdi | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

From Sketch to Vector: Create Unique Handmade Textures for Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Di Ujdi, Illustrator & Art Explorer

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

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

7 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Create Unique Textures

    • 4. Scan or Photograph the Textures

    • 5. Prepare the Textures in Adobe Photoshop

    • 6. Use the Textures in Adobe Illustrator

    • 7. Thank You

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class, I want to show you how to make your own amazing and unique texture and use them directly in Adobe Illustrator.


It’s incredible how much texture can change the overall vibe of a digital illustration. It can really give it that organic handmade vintage look.

Adobe Photoshop already has so many brushes and textures that you can use, but if you are creating your illustrations in Adobe Illustrator like I do, it can be a bit challenging to constantly switch in between these programs. 

We will make our unique textures on paper using what we have at home, and we’ll quickly prepare and edit them in Adobe Photoshop and then we’ll create our illustration and apply those handmade textures in Adobe Illustrator.

Also, this class is beginner friendly, so just the basic knowledge of these 2 programs will be enough.

You already have everything you need, just bring your creativity and willingness to experiment and let’s start our little art exploration!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Di Ujdi

Illustrator & Art Explorer

Top Teacher

Hey! I'm Nina, even though most people know me by my artistic name Di Ujdi. I'm an illustrator and surface pattern designer.

With a big love for all things floral and natural, I enjoy depicting the world in a colorful, fun, and naive way. As an artist, I’m known for stylized illustrations and bold floral patterns. Besides spending time reimagining the world and finding new color palettes, I’m also proud to be a Skillshare top teacher and share my knowledge and passion with others. 

I was instantly drawn to Skillshare and its wonderful community. My biggest wish is to get to know more of you, share what I learned, and continue learning.

I hope I can encourage you and help you out on your creative jo... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hey there and welcome. I'm Nina, even though most people know me by my artistic name [inaudible] I'm an artist, illustrator, and pattern designer. I don't know if you've thought about this, but isn't it incredible how much a texture can change an overall vibe of an illustration. It can give it that organic, handmade look and it can make it a bit older and vintage. Adobe Photoshop already has a lot of brushes and textures that you can use. But if you are creating your illustration in Adobe Illustrator like I do, it can be a bit challenging to constantly switch in between these programs. In this class, I will show you how you can make your own handmade amazing textures that you can directly use in Adobe Illustrator. We will make our textures on a paper using whatever we can find at home. Then we will quickly edit them in Adobe Photoshop, and then we'll create an illustration and apply those textures in Adobe Illustrator. This class is beginner friendly, so just the basic knowledge of these two programs will be enough. Don't worry, everything that I'll show you is going to be super easy. By the end of this class, you'll have your own collection of textures and you will learn how you can use them directly in Adobe Illustrator to achieve that handmade quality for your illustrations. So bring your creativity and willingness to experiment, and let's start. 2. Project: For this project, you'll be creating your own handmade textures and later applying them on your illustration. To make the textures, you'll need a regular A4 printing paper, it's good to have a lot of it, some black paint, whatever paint you have at home, we'll be fine. It can be quash, ink, tempera, acrylic, also charcoal, pastels, pencils, and you will need something to create those textures. So, here is where you can go crazy, and curious, and search your house to find some everyday objects that can possibly create textures. Options are endless. So, the more interesting objects you find, the more unique textures you'll get. Also, for preparing and using those textures, you'll need a scanner, which is the best option, or you can use your digital camera or a phone. Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator is also what you'll need. As I said, we will be using Photoshop just to clean, and prepare textures, and will make the final illustration and apply those textures in Adobe Illustrator. I know that you can find already made textures online and download them, but it's so much more rewarding when you do it by yourself. Having your own original textures will just help you level up your creativity, and the quality of your artwork. Also, once you learn how to do it, you'll easily create custom textures for your illustrations whenever you need them. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? 3. Create Unique Textures: Here you can see some of the things I found at home and outside that I will be using to make some unique textures. I have a bunch of A4 printing papers, a sandpaper, some leftover air bubble sheet. I have a sponge, a toothbrush, a plastic bag, and I also have this little thing that I call broom brush because I made it by cutting a part of my broom and gathering it at the end with some super sticky tape and the results were amazing, you will see. I also made this slow rise ball. Let me show you quickly how to make it. Just grab a leftover lightweight fabric that you have and on the center add some rice, add more or less rice to get a smaller or bigger ball, twist it like this and close it with a rubber band. This also makes very nice textures. Also, I found some helicopter seeds in a park and some leave that is not completely dry. Regarding the paint, I have a black ink, a black acrylic. My recommendation is not to waste your quality color on this. I am using this one just because that's the only one I have at home right now. I have some charcoal and soft pencil, this one is for B. This will make a mess in your work area, so don't forget to cover your table with something like newspapers or some old paper. Remember there is no right or wrong here, so try not to think. Enjoy messing around with everything you have and create as many as you like. You will later pick the ones that you like the most. Let's start. I'll show you now some of the examples of the finished textures and share with you some useful tips. This one I made with a toothbrush and ink, you can get wonderful color splitters like this. Put some more ink on the toothbrush for the boulders pleasure marks, or less ink for more subtle texture. These ones are super nice to use on the background of your illustrations. These ones were made with my broom brush and I think I like them the most. If you have some very old brush, you could also get some similar results. This one is made with ink, and this one with acrylics, and this one also turned out to be very, very interesting and unique. These textures were created by using sandpaper underneath the paper and they have that rough, a bit rusty feel. If you use the charcoal to make some of your textures like I did here, there is one trick I learned in my art school. So when you finish, just spray it where the regular hairspray, so all the charcoal particles stay in place. This rice ball texture is really incredible. One tip when making textures like these, so if you don't want to have excess paint on some parts, like you can see here, just dip this balling paint and then make a few test marks on additional paper before starting to work on your main paper. I'm going to let everything dry completely, clean the mess I made and I'll see you in the next video. 4. Scan or Photograph the Textures: Now that I clean the mess I made and washed my hands, we can move on to scanning the textures. As I said, there are two options. You can either scan or photograph your textures. From these two options, scanning is something that I would definitely recommend because you can scan your textures in a high-resolution, get an overall sharp quality, and it will be also easier to edit them later. If you don't have a scanner, you can maybe borrow it from a friend or just visit a local print shop to scan your textures. It's very cheap. In case, you don't have any access to the scanner, the second option is, as I said, to photograph it. It will be better if you photograph it with a good digital camera, but if you don't have it, you can also use a mobile phone. Just make sure that your phone or camera is parallel to the surface you're photographing. Also make sure that the light is good, and that it is consistent on the whole area so you don't have any shades. The only problem with the images taken with your phone is that the resolution is not going to be as good as the resolution that you can get on your scanner. That can be a bit of a problem in case you want to maybe print your digital illustrations. Anyways, all in all, it can be good to use it so you can test out the process. Let me show you my scanner settings. I'm using a MacBook, so I opened the scanner settings by going to System, Preferences and then clicking on "Printers and Scanners". You'll have some similar settings on the computer you're using. First of all, let's set the kind to black and white. I will set my resolution to 600 DPI. You can also set it higher up to 1,200 DPI if you want. But 600 is perfect for what we need. The only suggestion is not to go lower than 300 DPI. Regarding the type of file, you can save it as a TIF file for the better quality since DIV has no compression. Or you can save it as a normal JPEG, like I will. Just for the record, the files, since they don't have a compression, they will be much larger than JPEG files after you save them. So for the results we need, JPEG is totally fine. To complete, just click "Scan" and choose the same settings for all the textures you decided to keep and use later. As you know, practice is the key to learning. In the class resources, I will leave a few scan textures that I made. In case you haven't got the time to get your hands dirty or you need to wait to get access to the scanner, you can just use mine to simply learn and memorize this procedure. 5. Prepare the Textures in Adobe Photoshop: Welcome to Adobe Photoshop. Displays the scanned image of your texture and unlock the layer by clicking once on this little lock here. First thing is to set the Image Mode to Grayscale. Just go to "Image," "Mode" and then select "Grayscale". Because I scanned my textures in the black and white format, my Image Mode is already set. Now, our ultimate goal here is to change this image into Bitmap Color Mode. But since bitmap mode uses one of two colors, black or white to represent the pixels in an image, which means, it doesn't recognize gray, what we would get here is basically nothing and I will show you this quickly now and explain it in details later. As you can see, because our texture has a lot of gray tones, we need to turn these gray tones into black tones before we change the Color Mode to bitmap. What we need to do is to adjust the levels on this Image. Just go to "Image", "Adjustments, and then select "Levels". With the Levels tool, you will be able to proportionately change the tones in your image. Since we are in the gray channel, we can change black, gray, and white. What we need to do is to have more black. We can just drag this and to have more white. You can play around with it until you're satisfied and just click "Okay" to apply it. Also, crop this image so you don't have this extra white negative space. Now, let me show you another example and some other ways in which you can edit your texture. Let's unlock it again and go to Levels. My recommendation is to always make your background very white. Then you can play with black tones. You can add more black to get a stronger texture or less black to have more settled texture. Also, now, is the time to make the final edits. If you have some particles that you want to clean, you can just clean it with the Eraser tool. Set the size of the Eraser tool by holding the right or left bracket to make it bigger or smaller. Also, a very good trick in case you want to fix some things inside your texture, for example, some stains you made with your fingers while the paint was still wet, or some bars that you don't like, you can use a Clone Stamp, which is also in the toolbar. Select it. You can set the size for the Clone Stamp the same way you set aside for the eraser or a brush by holding right or left bracket. For example, let's say we don't like this part and to use the Clone Stamp, just hold out and click on the part you want to clone. For example, this one. This is basically copied to this part and you can put it here and click to change. You can also click and drag to change a larger part you want to fix. Now, that everything is ready, we can go to "Image", "Mode", and select "Bitmap". Just click "Okay". By the way, the main reason for using the Bitmap Mode is that we can later recall this image in Adobe Illustrator. We will set the output to 300 and we will use the method 50 percent threshold. Click, "Okay" and that's it. Our texture is now rasterized. All we need to do is to save it as the File. Go to "File", "Save As", and select "TIFF". Leave these settings as they are, and click "Okay". Just do the same procedure for all of the textures you decided to keep. In the next video, I will show you how to apply these textures on your illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. 6. Use the Textures in Adobe Illustrator: We are finally in Adobe Illustrator. I'll show you now how to apply the textures we prepared on a simple example and then we'll be ready to start creating an illustration and using the textures on it. I just open an onboard in the size of 2,000 by 2,000 pixels and since I like to work without these boundaries, I will just hit Shift Command H and everything will be white. The way I applied these textures on my illustration is by using a clipping mask. I will show you everything on this simple example. Let's make a little circle and let's bring the texture we made.These are all the files so we can just also drag it and bring it here. As you can see, your file will be made out of black pixels and what was white will be transparent, that's because we changed it in a bitmap color mode in Photoshop and as I said before, you can now also change the color of it. Now, if our object is at the bottom and architecture is on top and select them both like this. Do the right-click and select make clipping mask. You will see that it is not possible to make a clipping mask because our object needs to be on top. Let's do that. Let's place the texture on the bottom, Shift Command, Left Bracket. Let's select them both. Right-click, make flipping mask. Now it works, but it's not what we wanted because we are left with just the texture inside the shape of our object, but the color we selected for the background has disappeared. Let me show you what we really need to do. Place your object on the bottom. We have the texture on top. You can see here, by clicking here, we can select the object is on the bottom. We will copy it, Command C, and then, Command F, to place it in the same position. While it's still selected, hit Shift Command, Right Bracket. Now you'll see that we have a low sandwich here. One circle is at the bottom, the other one is on top, and in between is our texture. We need to select the upper object, hold Shift and then select the texture. You can see here, I have them both selected. Right-click, make clipping mask. That is basically what we need to achieve. Now we have the object that is acting as a background at the bottom and we have a clipping mask on top of it. If you finish adjusting everything, you can just simply select them both and then group them so when you're working, you do not accidentally move them. Also, another thing very good to know is that you can access your texture by clicking a few times until you go into isolation mode and until you see your texture. You can see here that we are now we selected our Diff file. Now you can change the color. In the transparency window, which you can open by going to Window. Then selecting transparency. You can change the opacity. These are basically the settings that I use more often when I play with textures and blending modes. I just loved blending modes, because when you try to make your textures smooth in combination with your illustration, these blending modes will come perfectly but for what you need, just play until you're satisfied with the results. Then to exit the isolation modes, just click a few times outside your object. That's it. This is how you use a clipping mask with your textures in Adobe Illustrator. Now we can move on to making our illustration, choosing from a wide range of textures we have and then playing with them in our illustration. I made this sketch and I will now just quickly vectorize it using the image trace, Direct selection Tool, and the shape Bueller tool. I'll speed this up. But if you want to learn how to use this method for converting your sketches into digital illustrations in just a few steps. I explained everything in detail in my other skill shared class called, from sketch the vector, digitize your sketches with shape Bueller Tool in Adobe Illustrator, so make sure to check it out. You will find that link in the project description on my skill share profile. I'm back. I finished my illustration and I'm very happy with how it turned out. I can now bring the textures there to blind them and make some adjustments. I'll now go back to the artboard view, just click Shift Command H and I will make a background. I will also duplicate this artboard. You can see the difference in these two illustrations once we finish. To duplicate an artboard, if you want to do it, is you need to go to the toolbar and then just click on the Artboard Tool, press out, and then just drag this. Let's just group this and add it to a new layer, so you can see what I'm doing. Then I'll just ungroup it. I will also group the background. Lock it because I'm not going to work on it right now. As you saw, it's very easy to work with clipping mask, but the only thing that makes it a bit complicated is to organize your shapes and to know which is which, so you don't get lost when adding all these clipping mask. I like to name them, I like to constantly group them and to log the ones we've finished working. I have some tricks are used that I will also show you. Let's start with, depot as you can see, I named everything here, so you can also look here and follow what I'm doing. Let's bring the texture. I think I'm going to use this one for a depot. So I'm now looking to see where I can fit this, so it looks good when I combine it with a part, and I think this is going to be great. I want to add it now in some color. Let me show you quickly how I like to use the colors before we proceed. Let me just hide this. What I like to do is to grab the colors I used on my original illustration. You can just select the illustration and then go to swatches and click on new color group. You can name. Here you can see it's creating it from a selected artwork. Now we have color group. Let's bring the texture back, and I think I'll start from this color and then I will find some similar tone here in the color guide. Let's try with this one and I'll think I'll play with blending modes, and lets maybe try multiplying. This one looks very nice. So what we need to do now is the same thing we did, when I show you the basics with a simple object. So the thing is that what I like to do is to basically select my objects here because I cannot reach them here. So you can just click on the box, click copy to place it in place, command F, and then shift command, right bracket. Select the upper part and the texture and right-click to make a clipping mask. Now you will see that it is totally on top and I don't want it to cover these flowers. So I can just simply bring it down. So it's right on top of the bottle. I'm not sure if I like this one so maybe I'll put it a bit lighter. This one looks great. So let's do the same process for each of these objects. I will now add texture to the inside of the part. I thought I'll make it with these lines. This will be perfect. I want to make it a bit scratched, so it looks a bit older. Do the same thing, copy, command C, command F, shift command right bracket, select, right-click and make clipping mask. I forgot to show you this regarding the clipping mask. So let me show you now quickly. If you have, for example, let me just copy this here. If you have a group, this is a group made of these flowers and these leaves. So what happens here? Let's bring a texture. So if you want to make a clipping mask right now and you select this, you will see that you are not able to make a clipping mask because you cannot make a clipping mask with the object that is grouped. So what you need to do is just to go to object, compound path and then make this into a compound path. This will make a mess of your illustration because this object that I'm showing you now will be basically on top and the one will be at the bottom that you will not convert to a compound path. So that's the trick with the objects that are grouped, just leave the original one underneath and the one that you copy on top and just convert it into compound path. So object, compound path, and then make. So here I'm not going to have that problem because I'm not going to place the texture on top of the flowers, but I'm going to place it in this oval. So let's add a bit of texture to these flowers. l will also use these lines for it. Also, since these lines are not going to look as I want them to look if I make them a bit bigger, what I'm going to do is just to duplicate this. Then I will group it. So let's find the oval, it's here, command C, command F, shift command, right bracket, select the textures and make a clipping mask. So let's try with this, maybe a color burn. So just so you know, my decisions about these blending modes and colors are not definite. I like to taste them out and try different options until I'm satisfied with how everything looks. So I will place them, adjust them. Then when I have everything placed, I will basically adjust them again because I can see how they work together. So my recommendation is to test until you find what works for you and for your style. What I would like to do now is to maybe finish everything with this color splatter that I made with ink. I'll add it also in the color burn. So as you can see, I'm working here in the color guide because I have all these nice stones. Then I can see the slight changes in the colors that I choose. I think it's very handy, so you don't need to go and pick the colors. You can just work it from here. That's it. You can see how different these two illustrations look. The one on the left is flat and digital, and even though it has a bit of a handmade touch because they made it directly from a sketch, it's still flat. While the other one on the right has that handmade vintage charm. For me the best part about this is that everything that you can see in this illustration is something that was originally made from scratch and now can also exist in the digital form. One little note when it comes to saving your illustrations is that sometimes when I use a lot of these textures like I did here, Illustrator doesn't want to export my illustrations correctly when I try to save them as a PNG. One way to fix this is to first save it as a PDF and then open it in Adobe Photoshop and just save it as being PNG there. 7. Thank You: I hope you enjoyed this class and got inspired to make your own texture collection and achieve that beautiful handmade look in your digital illustrations. As you've seen, this process is very simple and you just need to go through it at least once to remember it and start using it in your work. Test it out, practice and share what you've made. Skillshare is basically the best place where you can share your progress, connect with your fellow classmates, and get inspired. Also to get notified about my next classes, you can follow me on Skillshare, I'm making now another class that is going to be about creating handmade custom brushes for Adobe Illustrator so stay tuned. Also to stay in touch, feel free to follow me on Instagram @DOD. Of course, if you have any questions regarding this topic, do not hesitate to ask. Kisses and hugs for all of you and see you in the next class.