Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for your projects - Sunbursts, Halftone, Blends & Brushes | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for your projects - Sunbursts, Halftone, Blends & Brushes

Helen Bradley, Illustrator for Lunch™ & Photoshop for Lunch™

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for your projects - Sunbursts, Halftone, Blends & Brushes

Helen Bradley, Illustrator for Lunch™ & Photoshop for Lunch™

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5 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Introduction

    • 2. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 1

    • 3. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 2

    • 4. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 3

    • 5. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 4

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About This Class

Illustrator for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn how to make backgrounds to use for logos and elements you create in Illustrator. You will see how to make a sunburst, a halftone gradient and a custom blended line background with highlights.This is one of the backgrounds we will make:


More in this series:

4 Illustrator Shading Techniques - An Illustrator for Lunch™ class - Simple Highlights & Shadows

5 Hexagon Patterns in Illustrator - an Illustrator for Lunch? course

Create Color Schemes in Illustrator for Using, Sharing & Selling - An Illustrator for Lunch? Class

Create Patterns in Adobe Capture for Illustrator & Photoshop

Create Wreaths & Other Floral Designs - An Illustrator for Lunch™ Class

Designing with Spirals - An Illustrator for Lunch™ Class

Doodle Flower Design & Pattern in Illustrator - An Illustrator for Lunch™ Class

Draw a Hot Air Balloon in Illustrator - Fun with 3D! 

Illustrator - Design in Black and White - Create Positive/negative images

Illustrator for Lunch? - 10 Interface and Setup tips too Speed your Workflow

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 10 in 10 - 10 Align tips in 10 minutes or less 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 10 in 10 - 10 Type Tips in 10 minutes (or less) 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 10 in 10 - Ten Top Illustrator Tips in 10 Minutes 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 10 Layer Tips in 10 minutes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 10 Pattern tips in 10 Minutes 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 10 Pen tool and Path Tips in 10 Minutes or Less 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 20 Appearance Panel Tips in 20 minutes or less

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 20 Color tips in 20 Minutes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 20 Gradient tips in 20 minutes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 20 Pathfinder, Crop and Cutout tips in 20 minutes or less

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 20 Recolor Artwork tips in (around) 20 minutes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 20 Reflect and Rotate tips in 20 minutes or less

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 20 Things New Illustrator Users Need to Know

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 3D Extrusion Effects - Text, Shapes, 3D

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 3D Perspective Cube design and Bonus 3D star

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 4 Exotic Patterns - Quatrefoils, Moroccan Trellis, and Layered Diamond 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 4 Handy Patterns - Diagonals, Plaid, Colorful Dots, Chevron

Illustrator for Lunch™ - 5 Cool Text Effects

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Abstract Ombre Background - Color Scheme, Blend, Transform 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - All you need to know about Brushes in Illustrator

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for your projects - Sunbursts, Halftone, Blends & Brushes 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Banner and Award Badges - Appearance Panel, Masks, Warp 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Blends and Gradients - Blends, Blend Modes, Gradients 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Braids, Rick Rack and More

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Circle Based Patterns - Rotate, Blend, Multi-Color Dots

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Clipping Masks, Opacity Masks & Layer Masks

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Complex Block and Half Drop Repeat patterns

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Complex Rotated Repeating Patterns Made Easy - Using MadPattern templates 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Floral Alphabet character

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Nighttime Cityscape Image

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Plaid or Tartan Pattern

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Range of Triangle Patterns

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Retro Landscape Illustration

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Textured Dot Pattern - Transform, Vector Texture, Patterns 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Wave Pattern 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create a Whimsical Tree

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create an Ikat Inspired Pattern

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create an Isometric Cube Pattern - Shape Builder, Align, Pattern Make

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create Complex Art in the Appearance Panel

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create Diamond, Harlequin and Argyle Patterns

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create Guilloche Effects

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create Hi-Tech HUD rings

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create Perfectly Overlapped Rotated Shapes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create Seasonal Ornaments - Learn new skills while making seasonal art

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create Stitches and Sewing Elements

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Create with bends and blends - techniques for icons, logos and more

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Creative Half tone Effects

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Custom Corner Tiles for Pattern Brushes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Cute Furry Creatures

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Cutout Text Effects - Photos, Pathfinder & Text

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Designing with Symmetry

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Doodle-Style Heart - DIY Brushes and Nested Shapes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Draw a Retro TV - Shapes, Texture & Sunburst

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Draw a Vintage Birdcage - Shapes, Transform, Texture

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Faux Tissue Paper Collage - Blending, Texture, Transparency 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Flat and Dimensional drawing techniques

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Fun Effects with Graphic Styles - Appearances, Brushes, Styles 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Fun with Scripts - Download, Install, Run

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Get Creative with Blends and Brushes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Get Export File Sizes and Resolution Correct

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Going in Circles - Brushes, Blends & Transformations

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Gradient Background Effects - Find, Adapt, Create & Use

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Houndstooth & Rose - Vector Halftone Tracing & Houndstooth Pattern 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Illustrating Cacti with Custom Made Brushes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - I'm Seeing Stars - Fill, Warp, Clip & Crop Shapes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - In the Frame - Shapes, Fills, Strokes & Color

Illustrator for Lunch™ - In the Kitchen - Cartoon Art with Live Paint 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - In Your Face - Pen Tool Practice 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Layered Paper Style Collage - Gradients, Graphic Styles, Transform 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Let's Go Steampunk! - Shapes, Rotation, Textures 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make a 2017 Calendar from Scratch - Grids, Layouts, Text, Patterns & More 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make a 3D Y Shape Pattern - from paper illustration to digital design

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make a Lace Pattern Brush - Stroke, Blends, Pattern Tiles, Rotation 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make an Organic Spiral Pattern

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make Art Brushes - Configure, Color & Scale

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make Art Using Other People's Art 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make Custom Organic Patterns - Transform, Scissors, Align, Pattern Swatch 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make Retro Shapes - Pathfinder, Scripts, Rotation

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make Scrapbook Papers to Sell - Patterns, File Formats, Marketing Materials 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Make to Sell Printables - Stripes, Grid, Lines & Isometric Grid

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Mastering Live Trace - Turn Bitmaps to Vectors

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Meandering Hexagon Pattern

Illustrator for Lunch™ - More fun with Scripts - Text to code, more scripts, more fun (trees too!)

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Multi-Color Faux Pattern - Patterns, Transform, Expand 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Neon Effect - Appearances, Graphic Styles, Fonts

Illustrator for Lunch™ - On (a pattern making) Safari - Repeating Patterns 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - One Design Concept - Many Variations 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Pattern in a Pattern - Achieving the Impossible in Illustrator 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Pattern in Pattern & Irregular Repeating Patterns

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Pattern Know-how - Install, Transform, Recolor

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Pattern of Lines and Dots

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Pop Art Style Star Pattern 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Real Time Mandala Design

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Real Time Mirror Drawing - Symmetrical drawing

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Road Trip - Custom Brushes and Live Paint

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Roaming Square Pattern

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Seamless Repeating Texture Patterns

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Season's Greetings - Shapes, Brushes, Texture 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Semi Transparent Flowers - Scatter Brushes, Opacity, Blend Modes 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Sharing and archiving files - troubleshooting the pitfalls

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Sketchy Image Effect - Image Trace, Swatches, Sketchy Effect

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Something's Fishy - Appearance Panel Tips & Tricks 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Stipple Texture Effect - Grain, Gradients, Blends 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - String Art Inspired Designs

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Stylish Doodles to Make and Sell

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Type on a Path - Type, Paths, Shapes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Using & Troubleshooting Bounding Boxes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Using Photoshop Objects in Illustrator - Images, Shapes, Patterns and more

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Vector Textures - Vectors, Clipping Masks, Pathfinder

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Warp Shapes & Text - Envelope Distort, Warp, Gradients 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Watercolor Magic - Type, Downloaded Patterns & Brushes 

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Watercolor stripe seamless repeating pattern

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Whimsical diagonal line patterns

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Whimsical Scrapbook Paper Designs to Sell or Share

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Whimsical Text Effects

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Whimsical Textured Drawings Using Hand Drawn Brushes

Illustrator for Lunch™ - Zentangle® Inspired Pattern Brushes - Shapes, Effects, Brushes

Make Ditsy Patterns in Illustrator

Pattern Design in Illustrator Masterclass

Piping Effect in Illustrator - An Illustrator for Lunch™ Class

Rainbow Gradient Shape & Text Effects in Illustrator - an Illustrator for Lunch™ class

Terrazzo Patterns Without Drawing a Shape! - An Illustrator for Lunch? Class


Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Illustrator for Lunch™ & Photoshop for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Illustrator for Lunch™, Photoshop for Lunch™, Procreate for Lunch™ and ACR & Lightroom for Lunch™ series of courses. Each course is just the right length to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. The projects are designed to reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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

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1. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this episode of Illustrator for Lunch, Create Project Backgrounds. Illustrator for Lunch is a series of illustrated classes each of which teaches a range of illustrated techniques. You'll get plenty of opportunity to practice your new skills in the projects that you'll create. Today we're looking at creating backgrounds that you can use for your own projects in Illustrator, and we're going to create a range of four very different backgrounds. As you're working through these videos, you might see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, give it a thumbs up. These recommendations help me get my classes in front of more people who, just like you, want to learn more about Illustrator. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready now, let's get started creating some backgrounds for your projects that you can use in Illustrator. 2. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 1: The first of the background effects that we're going to create, is going to be a sunburst. I'm going to create a new document, of 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels RGB color mode. I'll click "okay". Now I'm going to use a triangle for this. I'm going to make it a filled triangle with no strokes and it's going to set that up ahead of time. I'm going to the polygon tool, I'll click once on that and then click once on the document. I'll set the sides to 3, which is what you need for a triangle, and I'll just set the radius for 200 and a need to resize it anyway, so click "okay". I'm going to the Selection tool, I'm just going to click on that and drag the bottom of this triangle out, and I want it to be well over the edge of the art board and probably a little ways in as well. Just reshape that. Now if I want to center this on the art board, and nice way of doing that is to select this triangle, and then there's nine little boxes up here, you want to select the one on the top row in the middle, and that's this point here. If you want that in the middle of a document that is 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels, it's x and y values want to be 500h, I'm just going to click in here and type 500 and 500. That will make sure it's dead center in the middle of the document, not technically native for this right now, but I just thought you might like to see that process. Then we're going to rotate this triangle around, we're going to choose Effect, distort and transform. I'm going to turn preview on, and I want to rotate this triangle around this same point that we just aligned with the middle of the documents, here are the same nine boxes, and again, we're going to click the one in the middle at the top. Next up, I'm going to select copies, and I made to determine roughly how many triangles I want at this stage, although we can change it later on. I'm thinking if I had 20 triangles all the way around, then I need 19 copies plus my one original is 20, and then we have to rotate them. What I'm going to do here is I'm going to type 360 because that's the number of degrees in a circle, and I've got 20 shapes, so I've got one original, 19 copies, I'm going to press the forward /k, which is the divided by k, and we're going to talk 20 and just tab away. Illustrated goes, "Oh, do you want me to do the math for you?" Well, if you want 20 around the circle, they each need to be rotated 18 degrees. Now, I did choose a number of spokes and number of triangles that would evenly divide into 360, that's pretty much the trick here. If you want them to be dead even is use a number that divides into 360 and doesn't leave any remainders. Things like 50, 45, 30, 15, 10, 20, they all divide very evenly. If I want less triangles, I could change this at this data, could change the angle. But in actual fact, I'm pretty happy with this because while I can also do is I can change my starting triangle if I want to. Let's just click "okay" to do that. Now everything at the moment is attached to this one triangle. If I move it or do anything to it, all these other triangles are going to be moved or changed in exactly the same way. I still have my selection tool selected, I'm going to hold down the Alt key this time, and I'm just going to drag in on this side handle. What that's going to do is leave my triangle in the center of the document, but it's just going to resize it, that gives me more even spokes all the way around, and I can continue to do that until I'm happy with it. We go to the appearance panel, this is our path, this is a triangle, it has no strike, it has a fill and it has a transform effect. That's this one here, right now it's not actually baked into the triangle, it's just an effect applied to it. If we want to break these triangles out to separate triangles, we need to expand this object, I'll choose object and then expand appearance. Now, you might say expand, you might see expand appearance, don't worry about the difference between these two because only one will ever be available, and you just choose the one that's available. It's actually a pretty weird thing in illustrated that it actually has two options there. There's some logic to it, but essentially you'll just pick the one that is available at any particular time. Now if we go to the Layers palette, we're going to say that we have a group with lots of little triangles in it, but it's a little bit of a mess because each of these triangles is in a group of its own. Let's just go and select everything on this last pallet, and let's un group it. Object Un group, and again, object Ungroup. I'm going to do that until there are no groups here, until I just have a whole series of triangles, and there will be 20 of them, one original and the 19 copies that we made. Now if I want to, I'll describe them back together again, I really like to keep my layers palette as tidy as is possible to keep it because it just can get out of control really a slight. We have our sunburst and at this point if we wanted to, we could actually move it off center, you want to take the whole group and you want to move them with the selection tool to wherever you want them to be. That's really why I made these triangles so big in the first place was that I would have some flexibility for perhaps moving them around if I wanted to. They can also be re colored, again with that group selected, we can select the fill color and we can go and select a color to fill them with. I'm going to fill them with a orange color. It's also possible to apply some sort of a texture to them. Let's go to the appearance panel because we have always group of objects selected and let's double-click on contents. That opens up the appearance for every single one of these shapes. Again, no stroke and a fill which is this orange color. Well, let's add a novel fill, so let's click here on add new fill. Now we can change the new fill that we've added, I'm going to open up this panel and then click here on the fly out menu. I'm going to Open Swatch Library and I'm going to patents, and I'm going to basic graphics, and let's go to Basic Graphics textures, and these are textures that we can use as additional fills for our shape. Any one of these that we click on is then going to be applied to the shapes. Now if you see one that you like in terms of the texture that it applies, but if you don't like the fact that it's like a black texture of your color, well, you can open up this fill panel here and you can change the blend mode. There's an capacity setting here, Click on the "opacity" and say here we have normal blend mode. Well you might want to, for example, use something like screen blend mode. Well, that hasn't actually worked here, but let's go and say we can find something else, that will give us the impression of the texture, but without the black color will color burn, will do that. In this darkening area. Color burn is one of those that will work here. There's a chance that something in this group will to overlie. Soft light, and hard light are also options that you can use. My tree going to use color burn, and so here we've managed to add a texture to sunrise, and we've also blended that texture in, and all of this has been done in the appearance panel. Let's just click away from this shape and I'm just going to clean up my panels here, and let's go and crop this, I'm going again to the shape tools, I'm actually going to choose a rectangle is time click once in the document. I'm going to make a rectangle that is 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels, which is the size of my art board now, to come in filled with this pattern that we just used, but I don't want it to have any fill or any strokes and then turn those off. Going to the align option here, I'm going to open this fly out menu, click Show Options, and just make sure that this is set to align to art board. Because I want to click them on Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center to put this rectangle over the art board, it's exactly on top of the outboard. Let's go back to the last panel. Here we have our rectangle and here we have our group of shapes. I've selected the rectangle and the Gropius shapes. Let's go to the pathfinder palette. You can get to the pathfinder if it's not visible here by choosing window and then pathfinder. But we're going to pathfinder palette, and I'm just going to open that again and click here once on crop. What crop does is that crops any excess of the shapes that falls outside that rectangle. If we go to the last pallet, you'll see that we're just left with this group and they're all crop shapes, the rectangles gone because its purpose is now done with, we don't need it any longer. To finish off this background effect, let's go and get an image just to place on top of it, and have a color coordinated version of my Volkswagen here. So I'm just going to select it, choose Edit copy, switch to my background sunburst and just paste it in. There's the first of our background effect. 3. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 2: The next effect we'll create is going to be a halftone effect. I'm going to create a new document and this time I'm making my 1920 by 1080 pixels in size, RGB color mode. This is the HD image size. I'm just going to click ok. You can make your image any size that you like. Just make sure that you make a note of it because in the next step, we're going to be creating a rectangle that is the size of this document. You'll need its width and height. Now they're already in my box, 1920 by 1080. I open up the align panel here, I'm going to click show options. Make sure I have aligned the artboard selected. I'm going to click horizontal align center, and vertical align center so that the shape is placed immediately over the top of the artboard. I don't want any stroke, but I do want a fill. I'm going to click here to fill it with a gradient. But the gradient is going the wrong way. I want it to be white at the top and this gray black at the bottom. I'm going to need to rotate it and I know that it needs to be rotated to minus 90. I'm just going to set it to minus 90. Next up, I want to turn this gradient into a halftone effect. Now, there are a couple of ways of doing that in Illustrator and I'm going to show you just one of those. The one that works particularly well for this document. I'll choose effect and then pixelate, and I'm going to choose color halftone, even though we're working with a black and white or gray scale image. Now, the radius is the size of the dot. If you want larger dots, you can set a larger radius. I've got 15 selected right now, and that's going to be a good value for this document. The next settings you have are screen angles. If you want just black and white as your halftone, then you should set all of these angles to the exact same value. It doesn't matter however, what value you use. If you use different values, you'll find that the angle of the screen actually works a little differently. If you set them to 45, each one of these values to 45, you're going to get a halftone that goes from the bottom to the top of the image and it's very vertical. It's actually a very neat and tidy halftone. I'm just going to click ok. You can see that we get this nice even halftone effect and that was what I was looking for. Right now, this is just an effect over our rectangle so if we were to go to the appearance panel, you'll see that we've got our rectangle here and the color halftone effect is just applied to that rectangle. To fix it into this shape, we're going to need to expand its appearance with object expand appearance. Now, if we go to the last palette, what we have is a shape. It's actually a bitmap shape. We've gone from vector into bitmap and if we want to give it back to a vector, we're going to have to trace this image. Illustrator already knows this. It's already just actually thrown up all these image trace settings into the tool options bar. What we're going to do is just click on image trace and we're going to set off the tracing process. Next we are going to go and get this dialogue here which is the image trace panel. This is going to allow us to adjust some settings for our trace. Now the settings I've got here are pretty good, but let's have a look and see what happens if for example, we decrease the paths. That the moment the path is set to 50 percent, there's an advanced panel here, so if yours is not open, just go and open it. I'm going to set paths to a low value and just watch what happens. Every time you change one of the values in this dialogue, Illustrator's going to go back and retrace your image. Now, this is a really interesting effect, will particularly from this line up. If you like that effect, you may want to trace with a really low value. It's not a traditional halftone, but way into making interesting background effects. It doesn't matter that it's not a traditional halftone. If you do want a more traditional halftone, then you're going to set this paths value a little bit higher. If you don't want Illustrator to keep tracing every time you make a change to your settings, just turn preview off. Now I'm going to bring this back to 50 percent. I've got corners set to 75 percent and noise set to 25 percent. This works pretty well. However, I do want to ignore white. So I want to drop out the white and just have the black shapes. When I'm ready to go ahead, I can just click Trace because I don't have preview turned on, Illustrator is not tracing this as I go, but I will need to force it to do the work. I'll click Trace. It has now traced this. If I wanted to make changes to this, I can go ahead and still make changes. Every single change will force a retrace. But once you're done, you can just click to close this dialogue. Now this is a traced image. It's not burst out yet into vector shapes. To burst it back out into vector shapes, we need to expand it. I'm going to click here on expand. This is the same as choosing object expand is just that Illustrator knows if you're tracing an image, probably the next step you'll want to take is to expand it. In the last palette, we have a group, and the group has all these little shapes in it. Every one of these shapes is one of the shapes from our halftone pattern. It's wise to check the very last shape because if Illustrator hasn't dropped the white out, this last shape is generally the last shapes in this box are generally white filled and so you can easily identify them and get rid of them. But as you can see here, the last shape is not a white filled shape. It's got some color in it. So far so good, we have a whole series of shapes right now. They're all selected and they're all filled with black. Well, we can fill them with anything we like, including a gradient. I'm going to click here on the gradient option and now they're going to be filled back with the black to white gradient. But I don't want that. I want something a little more interesting. I'm going to the swatches panel, I'm going to click on that and I'm going to open the fly out and choose Open Swatch Library and then go to gradients. Now, I know the gradient I want to use is the sky gradient. So I'm just going to click on sky and looks like I was a bit enthusiastic there with my clicks. I've made my panel options so that these little diagrams are very big. Well as big as they can be. I'm going to click on sky 1. When I do that, you can say that the gradient has actually been added to the swatches panel. As soon as you use a gradient, it will actually be added to the swatches panel. Now, I'm going to the gradient option here where I can see my gradient and I want to apply it from the top down to my selected shapes. Again, I'm going to the gradient tool and I'm going to draw my gradient. I didn't see the gradient across the document because of the way it was being applied previously. Now I'm just going to draw it across all the selected shapes as a single group. Now, when I click to one side, you'll see I've got yellowish dots at the top and they fade down through this mid blue in the middle to a purple blue at the end. Now, if you like that effect, you can just go ahead and save that document and use it. But if you want to, you could also fill the background of this document with a different color and play the colors off against each other. I'm going to click on the rectangle tool, click once on a document and add another rectangle. Now, it comes in with this gradient already in it. Let's just center it up over the artboard and we'll want to move it behind the group of dots so I can just drag it underneath that group of dots. So the rectangle is at the back and the dots are on the front. Now there is an interplay of colors here that you can see in this effects. Again, that's a different effect that you can create. If you wanted to, you could grab this rectangle, the one behind, and we could look at the gradient that is applied to it and for example, we could take the gradient the opposite direction. I'm going to drag from the bottom up. Now we get a different play of colors in our gradient. It's also possible to go to the swatches panel and try a different gradient. It's going to open my swatch library and go to my gradients. I'm going back to sky because I wanted to show you a way of finding interesting gradients. If we were to go to the sky collection and say, well, yeah, that's fine, but there's nothing really that I want to use right here. What we can do is click on this arrow here and we can navigate back through the gradients that are shipped with Illustrator and there are a whole series of these gradients. You can also go in the other direction to the bottom of the gradient swatches panel. But this is going up and there are more in the up direction than they were in the down direction. Color harmonies is pretty interesting color combinations. Let's choose a different color combination. Whenever we select a color combination, it's going to be added to the swatches panel and of course this is an editable gradient. These are the stops of color that are in the gradient. If there's a color that you don't like and want to remove, you can do so. You can also move these colors around so you can get less yellow and more of this patchy orange if you like. This is the point at which the colors transition from this color to this color. If you want to transition more quickly, you can grab this slider and put it closer to the color where you want the steeper transition. This is a more gentle transition. Now, we're going to get more of this color and have a really quick transition to this one here. You can easily edit your gradients. If you don't like a color, just dump a different color on top of it. I'm actually going to take the colors from this gradient, but just worry work it a little bit to better suit my image here. I'm going to click away from it once I'm done. Now you can see that the halftone gradient ran out before we got to the top of the documents so I may want to just increase its size. Probably because there's not very much extra size to add here, I'm not going to get too much distortion of my dots. I probably don't need to size it in proportion, but you can make a choice yourself as to what you want to do. Let's just close down these panels. Let's have a quick look at the layers palette. Just going to select this group which is the gradient filled halftone effect and when we go to the appearance panel, you'll see that this group can be blended in with the gradient underneath. You get a lot of options here for this particular top halftone gradient effect with blending it into the image underneath. There's color dodge for example. Let's look at color burn. You get some interesting things happening around the overlay, soft light, hard light area. There's plenty to play with here in terms of not only creating an interesting halftone effect, but also adding a gradient for example, underneath it and then even changing the blend mode between your halftone effect and the gradient filled layer or even solid color fill layer underneath. There is another potential background effect. 4. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 3: For this next background effect, I have a document already created which is 1920 by 1080 pixels in size, that's HD video size and its RGB color. I'm going to add a rectangle that is the exact same size, 1920 by 1080, I'll click "Okay". I'm going to align tools. I'm just going to make sure that I have my options visible. I'm going to align to the art board. We're just going to align this rectangle to the art board, and I'm going to fill it with a color. I'm just going to go to my color palette and choose a color which I think is going go okay with the design that I'm going to put on this shape. I don't want it to have a stroke, so I'm going to turn that off. I've got a fill but no stroke. Right now, I'm going to the shape and I'm just going lock it down so that it's not going to move. Just going to move the art board out of the way because I want to create a very quick pattern. Going through the rectangle tool, I'm going to just drag out a square, so I'm holding the "Shift" key as I drag out a square. The fact that it's a square is important, everything else is not. Just going to give it a black stroke temporarily and no fill. This is going to be the placeholder for my pattern. Let's go back now and drag out a small rectangle. I'm going to make it filled but no stroke, going to select the direct selection tool. I'm going to select over just these two points and just hold "Shift Key'' as I drag upwards. Its going to make make a mini chevron. Going back to select over this shape, Object, Transform, Reflect. I'm going to reflect it over the vertical and I'm going to make a copy. Now I've got two little shapes here, I'm just going to line them up to each other. Select either the two of them. Let's just make sure that they are aligned correctly. I'm going to do align to selection for this. I'm going to align them, their tops the same, and let's go the Pathfinder and click" Unites", so they're all one shape now. Let's go and get a color that's going to work with our background. I'm thinking probably just a slightly darker color, maybe it needs to be something like this. I'm going to shrink down my shape. I'm going to place it at the very bottom middle of this square. I'm making sure that it's positioned right at the very bottom middle of the square. Now, I am going to take a duplicate, Alt drag a duplicate away. I'm just going to line this up here. I've got at the bottom of these nine little boxes selected, which means that the bottom middle of this shape should be aligned with the center of this square. I'm going to again select this, hold the "Alt Key'', but also the "Shift Key'', and just drag this over so it snaps in position on the other side of the square. It's really important that these two are exactly in position or this little pattern is not going to work. Now, let's go to our last palette and we've got to lock down paste, here's our rectangle and here are three paths. Well, this isn't the correct order because we want the rectangle behind the three paths, but the rectangle should not have a stroke or fill. Let's go now and turn the stroke and fill off. We can select either all of these objects, the three chevrons, and the no fill, no stroke rectangle, lightening up the Swatches' palette here. I'm just going to drag and drop this into the very top row of the Swatches palette. That's now defined our pattern. We don't need this at all, so we can just delete it. Select it, press "Delete". Let's go back to our rectangle and our art board. To get back to out art board, I'm going to press "Control" or "Command 0'' that squares it up so that we can see what's going on. I'm going to unlock my rectangle. Select it, I'm going to open up the Appearance panel because the pattern that I just made just has little chevrons in it, but it doesn't have any fill, so I'm actually going to use my existing fill. I'm going to add a pattern on top of it inside the same rectangle. I'm going to click here on Add New Fill, and then I'm going to click here on this drop down list and go, and select my pattern. Now, I have my little mini Chevron pattern in the middle of my rectangle. The problem is, it's just way bigger than I want it to be. I want it to be really subtle, and it's not very subtle at all right now. Let's click on the Fill Layer that has the pattern, that's really important because this is the one we're going to adjust. With this selected Object, Transform, Scale. I'm going to disable Transform Objects. I don't want to transform the object, I just want to transform this pattern. I think 10 percent is a little too small, so let's try 20, probably too big, let's try 15 percent. I'm not worried about the darkness of the pattern right now, just the size of these elements. I'll click "Okay". Here we have our rectangle with a little pattern in the background. If I think the pattern is too intense and I want to make it more subtle, all I need to do is to go to the fill for the pattern, and when you open this little triangle, you get to select the opacity for this fill, not the opacity for the whole shape, not the opacity for this fill here, just the one for this pattern. What I can do is just open that up and dial it down a little bit. The lower the opacity on this pattern, the more it blends into the fill and this last one becomes a subtle effect, not in your face. I've taken it down to about 44 percent. Here's our background. Now we can go and get our element that we're going to put on the background. For now, I'm just going to lock down the background, so it's not going to move. Now, I have some type on a banner from another of my classes here at Skillshare. I'm selecting over all of these elements here and think I've got a top element there that's not appearing. Let's just make sure we've got everything. I'm going to do, Edit Copy. I'm going to my document here, and I'll choose Edit, Paste in Place. I'm not going to move it so that it is pretty near centered on this background. Before we finish this up, I'm going to put a glow behind this shapes. I'm going to click on the background rectangle because that is at the very bottom of this layer and all of these other objects are on top of it. Well, I want the next shape to be right on top of this rectangle. What I want is another rectangle, so I'm just going to take this one. I'm going to drag and drop it onto the new layer icon, so I've got two. I'm going to disable the lock on the topmost one, so got my bottom one still sitting here, it's not going to change. I am going to change the top ones. I'm going to select it by clicking here. I'm going to the Appearance panel and I'm going to get rid of the fill and this fill here. This rectangle now is a no fill, no stroke rectangle. I'm going to now fill it with a gradient. You can see fill is in the front over here and let us click on the gradient to fill it with a gradient, and the default gradient is a black to white linear gradient, and it's not helping this image at all. But it's very easy to make changes to it. First of all, I want the gradient to be right, and so I wanted to be circular, and we can say that the white area is in the middle here and the black area is at the edge. Well, I want the black area to be white but transparent. Let's go here into the gradient, we know exactly what we need to adjust, and it's this setting here. I'm going to double-click on it to open this dialog. If you don't see the K slider here, just click here on the drop-down list and choose gray scale. It's just easier to adjust this when you're only adjusting between black and white. I'm going to take this slide all the way across to make the outside edge of this gradient white, and this is the opacity of it. Right now, this is a solid white gradient. It's solid all the way across this document. Well, I want the white at the very edges of this document to be invisible. I want it to be fully transparent, so I'm going to set the opacity to zero percent. Let's look at our gradient, we've got white in the middle, solid, 100 percent, opaque, white, and on the outside, we've got white, but it's opacity is zero percent, so it's pattering out across the image. If you don't see enough of lightness around the outside of this shape, then you can adjust the point at which this gradient transitions from white to nothing. If you want more white, you'll drag over towards the right so that you're getting this halfway marker closer to the transparent end. If you want less white, then you'll drag it to the left so that you're forcing the halfway transition point closer to the middle of the document, so it's going to peter out more quickly. I think I want mine to be at about 60, well, I think that's probably a little bit much. But definitely, I do want a glow effect here. The rectangle that we're working on now is above the background, and all it has in it is a white radial gradients, so it's giving a glow effect to the entire illustration. You can adjust it using the Appearance panel at anytime. You could of course have just added a fill on top of this rectangle. If you really familiar with working with the Appearance panel, you know that you could have saved making that second rectangle and you could have just added another fill, that's another possibility for this solution. There's an additional way of presenting a piece of art just using a very light pattern and then adding a glow around it. You'll see that the glow really helps bring out the image on the background. 5. Illustrator for Lunch™ - Backgrounds for Your Art - Part 4: For our final background I'm going to create another new document which is this HD video size 1920 by 1080 RGB color mode. I'll click "OK". I'm going to zoom out a little bit so I can see outside the edges of the art board. Going to the Pencil Tool, I'm going to select it. I'm going to double-click on it, make sure that fidelity is set to smooth. We want this lines that we're about to create to be really smooth. I've got all these other options disabled. Let's start by drawing a line across the top of the art board, outside the art board. Now I'm going to draw some lines that go from the top left corner across the document. I want to space them out in interesting ways because the distance between these lines is going to affect how everything looks later on. I'm going to put an extra one in here just for interest. It's really important that these lines are individual lines. If you break a line or if you mess up with your mouse and it ends up with two lines, you need to undo them. Each of these needs to be one line. In our layers palette we should have 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 lines. We can just check that here, 4,5,6,7. Every one of these is an individual line. I'm going to the blend tool now, and I'm just going to select it in the tool palette here. I'm going to click on each of these lines. I'm waiting for when I've holding my mouse over the line for that little plus sign to appear to tell me that Illustrator is recognizing the line I'm about to click on. Now, I've had a few issues in this most recent version of illustrator with some lines bending and really peculiar ways. If you found that a line bends really, really strangely just undo it and start over again. You may have to start over redrawing your lines. I don't known what the problem is, but it seems to have occurred probably about one in every three or four times I make a blend like this. We double-click on the blend tool and turn preview on. Turn this from smooth color which is the default into specified steps. I'm going to start increasing the steps. What I want and why I drew these lines as I want some interesting things to happen here. I want some bits to be squashed up and some bits to be separated. I think 30 is too many steps here. I just want something a little more interesting, I'm a bit worried that this is going to be too intense. I'm just going to wind it down to probably about 17 or 15. I think 15 looks pretty good for this. I want some separation. I just want something interesting happening. I'll click "OK". I'm going to open up the last pallet here and I'm going to open this layer that I have, and open up the blend. Because what I've got here is seven lines and in the most recent version of Illustrator I've got this path, this spine showing up here. I'm going to get rid of the spine. You can get rid of spine. You don't have to have it there. I'm just going to grab it and trash it because it's really in my way write now. Having got rid of that spine, you can now select the blend and you're able to get access to the stroke color, the line color and so I'm going to change the color of my line to a bright yellow. Now I am going to put a rectangle over the whole document. I'm going to click on the Rectangle tool, click once on the art board. I'm going to set it to 1920 by 1080, which is the size of my art board. I'm going to fill it with this orangey color. It has no stripe, but it has an orange color. I'm going to the Align Tool just to make sure here that the align is set to align to the art boarded which it is. With the selection tool selected and my rectangle selected, I'm going to align it to the art board. Again opening the last pallet what's happening here is we've got our blend on the bottom, our rectangle on the top. I'm just going to reverse them. Now the blend is over the top of the rectangle. At this point you'll want to make sure that you've got lines everywhere so that you've covered the art board with lines. What you don't want to happen is something like this. You don't want this empty area to appear. If you need to just go and select your blend and with the selection tool, just drag it so that it fills the entire art board and just watch each of the corners to make sure it's gone as far as it needs to go. Now we're going to clip these shapes because I don't want to say this extra stuff happening outside the art board. To do that again click on the Rectangle tool, click on the Document maker 1920 by 1080 rectangle selected with the selection tool and then make sure that it is centered over the top of the entire art board. Once you've done that, you can select all of these objects and you can right-click and choose Make Clipping Mask, and that just clips away the excess around the edge of the art board. So we're left with the image that we're working on. Now I'm going to go and create a circle. So I'm going to the Rectangle Tool. I'm going to click on the Ellipse Tool. I'm coming out hear just into sum empty space, going to just drag out a circle. I'm going to increase the stroke weight on that circle. So it looks a little bit like this. Maybe that's just one pixel to big. So this is the kind of circle that you want. I'm going to select it, and I'm going to make sure that it's stroke and its fill are both set to the same white color. So I think that's a better white. So let's go and get that. Let's set the stroke and fill to the same color so you won't seen the stroke anymore because the stroke and the fill are the same, select the shape, go to the appearance panel and locate the fill. What we're going to do with the fill is we're going to reduce the opacity on it. So it's going to be a lighter color in the middle. I'm still thinking that my stroke is to wide, so I'm just taking that down a little bit. So this is the shape that I am going to use in a minute, but I think it is over all a little bit too opaque. So what I'm gonna do is make it a bit transparent. Select it from the opacity for the entire shape, which is the bottom opacity setting. I'm just going to wind that back down two probably about 50 percent. This is our shape. We're going to make a brush from it, so I'm going to select it, I'm going to click on the brush option, I'm going to click on the flyout menu, choose New Brush, and it's going to be a scatter brush, and I'll click Okay. This is our scatter brush, and all I'm going to do at this stage is just click Okay. I'm going to the brush tool, I'm going to make sure I have my scatter brush selected over here, and I'm just going to paint down one of these lines that I've created. Now, the brush looks pretty awful at this stage, but that's fine, because all we need to do is to go out and select the line that it's on, and we're going to come up here and double-click on the scatter brush. This is going to allow us to change the scatter brush. Things that we can do, for example, are to reduce the size. Well, what we really want instead of a reduced size is we want random sizes. We want to run from small values through to much larger values, probably, not that large. Spacing, again, I want that random. I want my spacing to be a little bit expanded. But again, it's going to be random. We want it to be a little bit tighter in places and a little bit looser in others. You may also want to adjust the scatter. Rotation won't be any use at all on this brush because they're circular objects, but scatter will be. So we can scatter a little bit of this line underneath it and a little bit over the top of the line. We've got something that's running through our illustration, but it's not quite sticking to the line. If you need to, you can just make adjustments at this point. I think the brush elements are a little bit big. Once I'm done, I'm just going to click Okay, and I'm going to click to apply to strokes. I'm going back to the brush tool and I'm going to add another one. Again, I'm trying to in general, follow the lines of the illustration. If I don't like what I've got, I'm just going to press Control or Command Z to undo it. For this one, I think that the brush is too big, so I'm going to come back here and just select this line, but instead of double-clicking on the scatter brush itself, I'm going to click here on options of selected object, because this is going to allow me to change this set of brushstrokes but not the other one. So I'm going to bring down the size here. I just think everything is too big, but let's turn the preview on so we can see what we're doing. Then I'll click Okay. That's a way of adjusting the brush itself when you click on the brush to change it. But if you just want to change how the brush behaves on a single line, then you'll select the line and then click this icon here. Now, let's go to add two brushstrokes, and here they are. I've selected both of them. I'm going to the appearance panel because I want to blend this in. For each of these paths, I'm going to select the opacity, and I'm going to blend them with something like lighten or screen blend mode. We'll perhaps color dodge. Well, now I'm thinking screen blend mode is probably what I want, and I'm just going to adjust down the opacity a little bit. Now, I've got my brush shape up here, I don't need it, so I'm just going to select it and remove it. I also have my clipping mask in here and you'll see that the two paths are not inside the clipping mask. Let's just open up with a clipping mask. Let's go to the last panel here and just size so that we can see it more clearly. I'm going to take these two paths, which are the two brushstrokes, and I'm just going to drag them and drop them in above the blend, but under the clipping rectangle. Now, they're clipped to the art board as well. I have an image I want to put on this. I'm just going to go open it now. It is my blue Volkswagen that I have sitting here. Let's just select it and copy it, and let's go back to our image and choose Edit and then post in place. We'll just move it probably around here. Now, it's pretty obvious that the colors are very opposite here. I've got blue and orange, which is fine if I want it blue and orange, but what if, for example, I wanted to match the background to the car a little bit better? Well, it might seem as if I've done a lot of work which I'm now going to have to start over and do again. Well, that's not the case. Let's go to the orange bit and it's here in the last palette. This is everything that is on the background of that document. I'm going to select that so that whatever I do next is going to bee immediately above it. I'm going to add a rectangle. I'm just going to click here another 1920 buy 1080 rectangle. I'm going to click Okay. It's not in the clipping group, it's actually outside the clipping group. It didn't go where I expected, so I'm just going to drag it into position. I'm going to fill it with a blue color. I'm thinking a blew color similar to what's in the car. I'm going to center it on art board. What I want to do is I want to use this blue to color the background. With these blue rectangle selected, I'm going to the appearance panel. I'm going to the very last of these opacities, the three opacities, one for the stroke, one for the fill, and one for the overall rectangle. I'm going to click on that. From the blend mode list here, I'm going to choose color. What color does is it says, "Okay, you've got a whole heap of things happening on lower layers, and they're all different colors. What I want you to do is use the color from this layer to color what is happening below". We're borrowing the color from this layer and having it applied to the image that we just created. So we don't have to re-create anything. We've also got a live effect here in that if we don't think that this is the right blue, we can just open up the fill in the appearance panel and just dump into it a different blue, and each of these blues is going to have an effect on the underlying shape, all of shapes, all of blends and all of brushes underneath. You can create your own custom color or you can just click on any color to have that applied to the image underneath. That's a really handy way of re-coloring things in Illustrator, particularly when you put a lot of effort into creating a background, and if it's not the exact color that you want, well, don't toss it out and start over, just slap a rectangle over the top of it, add your color to it, and then blend it back into the underlying image using that color blend mode. Now, your project for this class is going to be to reproduce some, one, or all of the effects that I've shown you in this video. Use an element that you've created or I will give you the Volkswagen that you can play around with. I'll give you a link to download that in the class project area so that you can use that if you wish. When you finish your project, post it in the cost project area. I hope that you've enjoyed this class and that you've learned sum tips and tricks for creating interesting backgrounds that will allow you to showcase the work that you do in Illustrator. As you're working through these videos, you will have seen a prompt to recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, give it a thumbs up. These recommendations help me get my classes in front of more people who, just like you, want to learn more about Illustrator. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. I'm Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this episode of Illustrator for Lunch, Create Backgrounds for your projects. I look forward to seeing you in another episode of Illustrator for Lunch soon.