Illustrator: Create Abstract Designs and share them on Instagram | Benjamin Halsall | Skillshare

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Illustrator: Create Abstract Designs and share them on Instagram

teacher avatar Benjamin Halsall, Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses

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

10 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Setup Your Project

    • 3. Draw with the Pen Tool & Duplicate Shapes

    • 4. Create An Abstract Blend

    • 5. Create a Bakdrop that Perfectly Matches your Blend

    • 6. Create a Curved Line Effect for your Shape

    • 7. Create a Custom Backdrop For your Shpe

    • 8. Wrap Your Image up For Instagram

    • 9. Upload to Instagram from your Computer

    • 10. Re-Cap of everything covered.

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About This Class

Learn some Illustrator skills and get your Instagram channel pumping!

In this class we create cool, classic abstract compositions using the Pen Tool, Blend Tool and some layer smarts in order to create some very cool designs.

Check out a little bit of what you will cover in the Animated GIF below:


Meet Your Teacher

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Benjamin Halsall

Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses


For the designer in you I create fun short lessons in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator & Adobe InDesign. I include some creative and technical tips in all my lessons which are always easy to follow. Check out my popular Banksy Yourself Photoshop Class, how to create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator or my Photoshop Drawing & Painting Fundamentals.

For Final Cut Pro X editors check out my course Learn Final Cut Pro X in 25 Minutes or learn how to put video inside type, create grunge style text or my basic and advanced split screen tutorials.

I look forward to seeing your projects and am always happy to answer your questions.

See full profile

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1. Class Introduction: Hi. There has been house with him. What? You can see up on screen states and examples what we're gonna be creating today. I'm gonna run through how to use a few different tools and illustrator to create in the gap to modify some of these designs that you can see here now. So we're gonna be using the pencil to draw some of these out. We're going to be in the blend tool to create this kind of repeating pattern shapes. And they're also going to look at how we use the pen tal and Diff'rent Strokes and outlines tickly using the dash line tool to get some of the spacing and stuff that you can see so we can take this room. So these simple examples that you can see here through some more complex examples when we're working with shapes that have been modified and multiplied and throughout its design Now the square design here is aimed so that you can take some these abstract designs on post them up onto instagram. So we're gonna look at how we export our J pig and that you can then upload to Instagram as well so you can see you can get some really nice, beautiful shapes and patterns and designs with these kind of simple techniques is kind of classic look. So let's go ahead and get started. Let's look at how we can make some of these abstract designs that will be incredibly terrible on Instagram I look forward to and rolling and see your projects up on the project . 2. Setup Your Project: Okay, so let's go ahead and get our documents up for our first project here. So we're gonna go to file and you We're gonna grab a brand new document because you want this. Be ready for Instagram. We're gonna do a couple of things here. We're going to make this 10 10 by 10 inches. Okay? And then we're also going to set the column. Oh, to RGB, which is a color mode you use when you're creating documents for the screen. Okay, so once that's done, we can go ahead and click, OK? 3. Draw with the Pen Tool & Duplicate Shapes: Okay, so let's go ahead and have a look at creating our repeat pattern. The first tour we're gonna use here is the pen Tal. Okay. And we're gonna go ahead and just create as the exact line by drawing from doctor dot Here . Okay. And when we get into this line, we've got this kind of hanging pencil here. If we press escape, will jump out the mental and just have the line there. OK? Now, we don't want any fill in this line, which we have at the moment. So you can see here if we look down to the toolbar on the bottom left. Here we have the feel set up. Just make sure you're Phil is in the foreground. You can toggle between the fill in the stroke here. You want the field of white Square that feel here right in the foreground. I'm gonna empty that and click none. If you have some different colors down here to switch to a black and white by using this little default filling stroke Bond then removed the feel from that. So now we're going to duplicate this guy. So we're gonna grab our selection tool. Gonna zoom out a little bit for this, and I'm just gonna drag this path up. I'm gonna hold down shift. I'm doing that. It's gonna constrain the proportions there. And then I'm gonna drag a copy of this down on to be on the bottom off my art board here. So I'm gonna hold on the Elke start dragging down, and as I'm dragging down, I'm gonna hold down shift as well. So I'm holding down. Hold now and then shift and just drag right, Right down to the bottom so it goes beyond the edge, okay? 4. Create An Abstract Blend: So what we're gonna do now is use the blend to another blend. Tool will perform different results, depending on which point here we map to the points in the bottom stroke we have here. So if we click on this point on the left and then click on this point, we're going to get a very straight kind of clean map from one shape to the other. Okay, now the blend tool will blend color or blend. Lots of different aspects of your shapes were just looking at how will blend the basic line here If we click on this side and then come down to the right, it's going to do a kind of twist between a between those two different points, which can produce some. Merson need effects. No, we're looking for here, and you can see if we click on different points, it's gonna continue to produce slightly different results that tries to blend between those two shapes. So let's just click on the left hand side here and then on the left hand point there. Okay, so before we move on and have a look, a couple of different things, we could do with shape just made. I just want to explore the blend, talk a little bit more So with the blend tool. We have some options and there's a couple of different ways of accessing those options. So we're using the blend tool here will select it in the toolbar across here on the left hand side, and we click from one point one shape as we looked at to the other shape. Now, what you can see here is that we've got a certain number that we're blending between those two shapes just going to take a step back. Now, if I want to change that number or change the orientation of the way that blend is working and if I double click on the mental here, then I can access some options here. Psycho options for smooth color for specified steps for the orientation of the blend and for ah, a number of different things. Okay, so we go to specified steps. I'm just gonna change this to 40. And now if I click OK and use the blend tool again, you can see we get many more steps and within our blend, and I'm just gonna take a step back and select these two lines and just take the fill off these two lines. Well, okay. And in order to look a couple other options, we're just gonna grab the selection tool here on select this top most. Ah, line that we have. And I'm gonna give the stroke here for this color, so I'm gonna make this a nice yellow orange. Okay? So you can see I've got a color on that stroke now. And for the bottom line, I'll set this to a nice purple. Okay, so now if I select the blend till, click on the top line and then on the bottom line, you can see it blends between those two colors nicely. So we get this nice effect. We're not going to use this in some of the examples that we've got here, but they didn't have a play around with this. It can really produce and nice results. I'm gonna undo what I've just done, okay? Just so we can have a look at a couple of other options. So I'm gonna grab my selection tool and then grabbed it, but mostly here. I'm just going to give this a little bit of a rotation, and I'll move it down to the left hand side there. And now, if I de select everything, so click away and grab the blend tool from the toolbar here. If I click here in a couple of spots, you can see we get his lines going from point a point. If we create the blame, then we can hold down the bulky and then click on the blood that we created on actually modify that blend life. So if I change the number of specified steps and turn on preview here, you can see Aiken just on what we're getting in the background there. We've also got options to specify a distance. Okay, so if we type in five inches will get blends that exactly not quite five inches apart and start and so forth, we can use the orientation, which won't really do too much here for the simple shapes. But we can also use things like smooth color, which will give us many blends as you need in order to get that kind of smooth color between the different lines that you're working with. Okay, there's a few options that you connect us. They're either before you make the blend by double clicking on the mental once you've got the blend life and you want to adjust on change that blend. OK, there's a couple of different different ways of changing this. Okay, let's jump back to our previous example, and we're gonna move this exercise forward, and I have you get a chance to play with some of these in your class exercise. Okay, so let's jump back to this exercise, and we're gonna go ahead and grab the selection tool. When we come back to our blend, we can see that it's select all in one. Go. Okay, so basically, the blend kind of sticks together, and if we look in our layers, we can see that that blend is being treated almost like a group. Okay, we'll expand the out so we can play around with and change some of these shapes on the orientation of shaped it. So I'm gonna go ahead with this selected and go to object on expand. Okay? You expand everything here for the object, and now you can see we can select this objects, but it's still set up a za group. So if I go to object on group I can now select these individual pass one by one. Okay, So what we gonna do now is we're gonna jump to the direct selection tools. We've got to selection tools up here. The selection tool and the direct selection talk. The selection tool will select an entire path of shape. But if we use the direct selection tool, it will allow us to drag around and select one point of that path. So you can see here when I drag around this point and move, it allows me toe move that path. Okay, Flight, come and drag a selection around all of these points. It's going to allow me toe manipulate all these points in one. Go. Okay. So basically, I repeat what I just did there. I'm gonna go to select on de select, Okay? Just clicking up here to the top left of this point, drying around it. Okay, All those points is selected, and now I can drag those around. OK, But we can also do is use the scale tool, the rotate all on. We can add a bit more interest to our shapes as we're doing this so far. Come across to my left hand side here and grab the scale tool. Okay, I can reposition this little light blue anchor that's in the middle Here are in a position This in the very bottom sickens. It's moved out here just by clicking once. That means now I can scale up okay. And I can actually kind of do a little bit scaring to the left and right off those at this point. So we get this kind of tapered effect whether the points of getting further apart if we grab the rotate tool here, What better Juster Selectees again? I just drag around his again spycraft for a tape tool position my anchor point down here and now I can rotate around that point as well. And you can see this when it starts to get really interesting thing that grabbed the next row. I'm along here on a scale, these guys down so kind of offsetting the scale on, Then I'll rotate them. It's of ah left here a little bit, some rotating around this pivot point here, and then we could just kind of keep going until we're kind of happy with what we've got. We can also just grab the direct selection toe, select a few parts and then moving around as well. So we can start toe kind of play around with what we have here. Okay, so let's leave this basic shape that we've created here now on gonna go ahead to file. So I go to file, save as I'm gonna say this file into the shapes. Thought I've prayed here. 5. Create a Bakdrop that Perfectly Matches your Blend: Okay, Lets just do one last thing. I'm gonna grab my direct selection tool and just delete a few of these shapes of the bottom . Okay? So to give it a bit of an edge at the bottom here, I could do the same at the top. Okay, so what I want to do is put a little bit of back drop in him, grab thes points and just pull them back in tow the canvas here on, just pull these ones down. Okay, So what I want to do is I want to create a shape that maps directly behind this shape. Andi, I have. So I'm gonna grab with my selection tool this time. The top most line here on the bottom. Most line holding down shift in a copy does gonna make a new layer. My layers panel across here on the right. Okay. I'm gonna go to edit Andi paste in place. Your cds have got a red outline to them, Okay? Basically, because they're on this new layer. Okay, So if I hired layer one here, minimize it and hide it, you can see I've just got these two paths. OK, so the exact top and bottom past that we had there. Never grab the pencil and just come to the end of one of these parts. You'll see, I get this little dash next toe. My pencil. Okay, That means I'm grabbing on to the end of that shape. And I can now bring it down to another anchor point again. I could do the same across here on the left. Okay? And now I've made one complete shape. So if I switch my stroke, my black stroke who to my fill, you'll see that I've got a black feel for that shape down, OK, so we can go ahead on Let's select that shape. We're gonna jump to the colors up here, okay? I'm just gonna pick out color here, and we'll jump to the hue, saturation and brightness. And I'm just gonna pull the saturation down a little bit and drop the brightness just a little bit, okay? We can swing the the huge her color that we're happy with. So now what I've got is my shape layer, but it's above delay with my line. So I just need to grab this layer to drop it below. And now you see we end up with this nice shape with Phil color within it. Now, if we create a brownie, lamb just gonna drop this down to the bomb. So I'm thinking the new layer burn here on the bomb, right? The last panel. Okay, gonna grab my rectangle to and just draw out a nice new rectangle here on, then pick up the same color we were drawing before. So I'm just gonna come up to my color here and drop the brightness. Hello? Just bump the hue a tiny bit. So we get this nice officer between the color in the background. All right, so that's our first shape when we could for sure, go and play with us. Love it more. But you can start to see how we're using some of the tools to make some of these these shapes that we're working with here, the rotation tool, the scale tool creating the lines. And now we're gonna go ahead and have a look how we accurately place a curve within one of these lines. How we create this kind of tapered look within the shape 6. Create a Curved Line Effect for your Shape: Okay, So this time, with our shape we're aiming towards, is this curved line within our lines. Okay, so we're gonna go ahead and create brand new protect him. Okay. 10 by 10 inches hard she be, and we'll call this shape curved. Okay, So brand new project. We're just gonna keep the lines that we create here nice and simple. So I'm just gonna go ahead here and create a line that moves across the right hand side there. Okay. Press escape one time at the end of my line here and then removed the Phil. Okay. And then I'm gonna grab the selection tour and just duplicate this guy. Write downs the palm here. Okay? Okay. What's have done that? I got that position. Gonna zoom out a little so I can see both those lines. And he's the blend tool from my toolbar down here. Grab one of those lines on grab the other one. Okay, so now we need to do sayings before we're gonna go to object. Expand, click OK, and object. One group. So one thing we're gonna do here now, as we're gonna use the pen tal to kind of draw a nice curved line across this shape. So I'm gonna grab my pencil. I'm gonna create its line of different layers so I can lock it when I want to lock it. So I'm creating new layer to hear clicking the new layer. But here. Okay, So I'm just gonna let this line flow across here on, and we'll finish up here and then press escape. Okay? Now, my curves are never perfect the first time, so I always need to go back in with the direct selection tour and just tweak these. And so I'm happy with what I've got, and that's looking pretty good. I'm just looking for the flow of the line, so they works nicely. Okay, so now I'm gonna go ahead and have a look at how far my lines are apart. So gonna basically take this line. Okay. I'm gonna go to my options here. So when you're in this stroke handle on the right hand side here, you've got some more options now that you can have a look at, like, 10 days on a dash line. Okay. So, basically, now I was gonna de select everything want to be doing is matching up these points to these different spots of the lines of the points of the dash line. Okay, so I've got a one point line, a one point dash, and then the moment of 12 point gap, but I want to increase that. So it's about the same width as this gap here. Okay, It's gonna make it easier to kind of work with the shape, so let's go ahead and increase this gap. Okay? So it looks like a 12 point gap on is about two of those. Now, let's just select the line. I think they got here is gonna be 24 points. Okay, that's looking pretty nice. So what I'm gonna do now as match these up, I'm gonna go to my layers panel. First of all, I'm using the I write selection tool here. I'm just gonna lock off now. This stroke, okay? I'm actually gonna gravel these middle points and just move them up a touch. It's gonna be easier to move them down to the right point up. Okay, So I'm just gonna grab his 1st 1 I'm gonna bring it down here, Okay? So I'm gonna just move this line across here, okay? So I'm kind of close to the points time matching up to it first. So basically, I'm gonna drag this guy until it matches that point. Okay? I just keep going with this. I'm moving each of these lives to the point. And what I've done as well is I've adjusted the increment of my curses. That step changes so that when I do need to kind of match these up just a little bit more to the point, it's using a finer increments. You go to illustrator preferences here on General, you can see we've got keyboard increments there. It's headed and preferences on the people PC. And you can see I've changed my increments toe. Not point. Not not 14 inches, which is no 140.1 points. I'm moving things by, so it's a nice kind of fine increment. So basically, now we can move these points, and you can see we start to get this nice kind of flow of the line if we assume now, starting to get a nice line flowing along. So let's keep moving with these. So go ahead, create your line with the blend. Great new layer, draw on your path. Head across to your stroke on set up the dash lines to hear the dash line. We just have a quick peek at it is set up as 1.1 point dashing 24 point gap. You may need to adjust. That is, you're kind of playing around with the shapes. And then I've locked off this second layer and so that I can't select it, remove it or accidentally mess it up. Okay, So basically, now my process is that I'm just dragging these points across these lines. I'm gonna go ahead and finished up. Go ahead and make your own project and we'll come back and look at how we finish this off in the next lesson. 7. Create a Custom Backdrop For your Shpe: Okay, So once we finish this off, now we need to do is turn off our mainly here. We just do Commander zero. So we can see we've got and you can see what's nice kind of curved line flowing through our image on. We could go ahead and play around with this, adjust in line and kind of move this a little bit further along. But for the moment, I'm pretty happy with this. So what we're gonna do now with this example is we're actually gonna use the fact that we have on this curve line in this layer to create backdrop for one side of this image. Okay, so I'm gonna go and unlock this layer, okay? And I'm no locked my background layer and just select this line. So now I'm gonna zoom out, grab the pento, and just close off the shapes. I drew the I connected to the top point there, and I could just close off this shape so that it is now a complete shape. Give that shape of Phil, and then now I can move this behind. Okay? We'll just grab the selection tool and jumped to the color on give us a color here. So in the jump between the color on the hue, saturation and brightness just to kind of drop this down again, looking for is kind of nice. A muted have a subtle colors. I'm here for this example. Okay. And now, for the other color on the left hand side here, I can simply use that same color. Well, just Brian up a tiny bit, a little bit more of the saturation out that I'm gonna go to object, arrange and sent back, and so you can see here. Now we've got it's nice pattern moving across the screen on. We could take it a step further. Lock this background layer, select all of these, change the color of the stroke and start to do something a bit more interesting with what we have here. Okay, let's drop this back to white. And now that we've got this kind of set up, one thing we can do is we can kind of accentuate a little bit the lines that we have here. So if I go ahead now and around the direct selection tool in the lock, my background layers here. Okay, I'm just gonna select these left hand lines. Grab the rotate so and then place my ankle up here. And if I wrote take this out, we're going to get a kind of difference in the lines. We can also use the scale tool as well to kind of scale these these lines out. So we get a little bit of a change in the distance here as we're moving down that shape. OK, it's going to the same with the direct selection tool for the right hand side here. Okay, so you consume just accentuating a few things there as we're working on this shape. 8. Wrap Your Image up For Instagram: Okay, let's wrap this image up for Instagram is Actually, what I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna unlock my background lab, okay? And I am going to select everything on both layers, OK? On with both players selected, um, it command a to do that. If I can't get blue, lay here and just drag that blue box down to the red layer. It's gonna move everything down that same layer. Okay, so we can use these boxes that are highlighted in layers to move things around. So what I want to do now is grab erecting a little, okay? And I'm gonna draw a rectangle around everything here just going to keep it at the default white. So it's gonna be a solid white shape bringing this electoral again. The case I draw my rectangle in front of everything. I'm gonna go to object clipping path and make again That's gonna wrap that whole shape up into one clipping mask. Okay, One other thing we could do here is we can use a different shape, so I'm just gonna take a couple steps back, and this time I'm gonna grab on the lips. Okay? Were drawn her lips from somewhere around about here holding down shift to keep in proportion. Okay? And I'm gonna send the fill so white and then just a line this to the center of the the canvas here. Okay, so with this highlighted, I'm gonna bring up my online mantel's. Okay, Show my alignment options up here, going online to the outboard. So when I use the A line or his until center here and the align vertical center is gonna move it right into the middle of my upward there. So now if I do commanded a select everything gets object clipping mask and make it's gonna wrap that shape up into this nice circle here, okay? No, I can do drop this layer behind. I grabbed my rectangle to again and we just drag out a nice rectangle and we'll give that a slightly different color here and just make sure you're working on the so Ross in the the strike like a tsai. Let's give it a nice yellow, But then let's just drop the saturation. Then I had a little bit, so it matches a little bit more. I kind of look and feel of what we've got here. already? No. There we go. Nice. The blue and the beige matches quite nicely. Okay, so next step. Okay. To get this on to Instagram is what we're gonna cover in the next lesson. 9. Upload to Instagram from your Computer: Okay, so let's have a look. Now how we get this on to instagram. Okay, so we're gonna go to file Export. We're gonna say this out of shape. Curved line. Okay? And we're gonna use the art boards. Now. It's important to check this. This is what's going to constrain the design that we have into the BR board itself rather than keeping the great clipping space on the outside. Okay, so if we click export now, you can see it's gonna crop it to the art board here. Okay, We'll leave the resolution high, and we'll click. OK, so once that's exported, we're gonna drag this into Google Drive. This is the way that I applied a lot my instagram content, and I'm gonna just bring up my finder. Okay? So my thing, that Google drivers, we could just drag it straight onto there. I'm uploading from an android phone and we'll look at how to do that in a second. Okay, So images that delighted we're not jump to my phone, have a look at how we upload this. Okay, so we're just looking at some screenshots of the phone here. First thing to do is to jump into Google drive. Okay, so we'll jump in here and then once we're in here, navigates the folder that you've uploaded your file to if you haven't got folder set up just going toe to recent. So that's gonna be the easiest way for you to find your files on Google Drive once you've uploaded them, and then we'll click on this image, pull it up. And now we're gonna go to the options up here on the top. Right? Which is gonna bring up this option down here to download to download the image. Okay. I want the files downloaded. Weaken, Jump back the finder on android and jump into instagram. Okay, once we're in there will go to upload. Okay, image that we've just download it on. Well, sharp. It's part of our gallery on our android phone. Okay? And now we can select that, make all the changes that we want to for our image in instagram at any new effects that we want to handle attacks on. Then go ahead. Select where we wanted to shared Facebook and Twitter for me on. Then hit the tick and your instagram image will be uploaded. Ah, Nice clean image there, Andi. Hopefully, we'll get some lights on that 10. Re-Cap of everything covered.: a case. I hope you enjoyed that class on creating abstract shapes in Illustrator. You learn something from the different tools that we're using. Obviously, you can take these tools and work with them as creatively as you want. Play around with them. Try and think about different ways in which you might wanna create shapes or create abstract shapes lining things up using the dash line. The lie until gives a lot of creative options investing time in the projects you're making , and I can't wait to see some of your projects up on the project board.