Watercolors with Type & Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Watercolors with Type & Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Watercolors with Type & Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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7 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Watercolor with Type and Brushes in Illustrator Introduction

      1:17
    • 2. Watercolor Magic Part 1

      4:34
    • 3. Watercolor Magic Part 2

      2:21
    • 4. Watercolor Magic Part 3

      5:13
    • 5. Watercolor Magic Part 4

      3:19
    • 6. Watercolor Magic Part 5

      2:28
    • 7. Watercolor Magic Part 6

      3:50
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video lessons you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn to make two watercolor text effects using free downloadable brushes, textures and fonts. You will learn to create white text on a watercolor splash and then how to fill text with a watercolor pattern. You will also learn to use the Touch Type tool to move text around while still ensuring it is editable. I've included an additional video at the end for anyone who uses Illustrator CS6 or earlier as you won't have access to the Touch Type tool. This video shows a way that you can achieve a similar effect using the tools in your version of Illustrator. 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Watercolor with Type and Brushes in Illustrator Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class; Watercolors with Type & Brushes in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. The first thing we're going to create is a watercolor background splashes. If somebody has just painted a watercolor splash across the page and some white ticks that looks as if it's been painted, for example, with resist so that the watercolor has been resisted by that text. The second effect we're going to create is the exact opposite. In this case, we're going to take some ticks and we're going to fill it with a watercolor texture. Now one of the tools we're going to be using in this video is the touch-type tool which was new to Illustrate CC, so it's in CC 2014 and 2015. Now if you don't have those versions, I'm going to do a supplementary video at the very end, so look out for that. That's going to show you how you can do some fancy things with your type if you don't have the touch-type tool. But of course, if you're using Illustrator CC or later, use the touch-type tool because it's just an awesome tool. Let's get started on our watercolor magic. 2. Watercolor Magic Part 1: Now to get started with the first of our watercolor effects, we're going to download a set of watercolor brushes from the web. This is the site that they're at. I'm going to give that to you here. There are 90 brushes in this set. The problem with this browser right right is that it's not actually showing the brushes, but believe me, that's the set that we're using. You'll want to Click here on Download attachment and that will download those brushes. Now, I've already done that, so let's just go into my Downloads. This is the brush set that you are going to get. I'm just going to Click show in folder. We can see it here in my Downloads folder so you're just going to double-click to open it and then you'll want to extract those files now depending on what operating system you're working with, if you're on the Mac, that's probably going to happen for you automatically on the pay say you might need to do that yourself. Now, inside this folder is the watercolor brushes AI file, and we're just going to open that. Let's just close that down because I've already done all of that and I'm just going to go File Open and then you would go and open the file from wherever it is you extracted it to. Now, I've already opened it, so let's go here, and let's go and grab the file. Now, it's a huge file, so don't be surprised on all the machine if it takes a little while to open, and don't be surprised too if once you open you don't see anything. It's a CMYK document and only action here is in the brushes palette. I'm just going to open up the brushes palette, which we would get to by choosing Window Brushes. Now, I don't actually need all of these brushes. I've actually determined that I really only want a handful of them, so what I'm going to start by doing is selecting the brushes that I don't want and I'm just going to delete them. When we Click on this one and Shift Click on this to select these three. I'm going to drop them onto the trash can. Now I know at the very bottom, I don't want really any of these brushes. I'm just going to Click, Shift Click and dump in the trash can, anything that I don't want. I just want to work this down to a smaller subset of brushes that potentially I may want to use. Now I've got the file still on my computer. If I ever wanted to come back and open it, I could do so and get access to these 90 brushes but for now, really all I want is a paired down set of brushes and I'm thinking that that's more than enough. Now what I want to do is I want to save these watercolor brushes because I've determined that they are the ones I'm most likely to want to use in future. From the brushes palette here, I'm just going to Click here on the menu and I'm going to choose Save Brush Library, and let's just go and get the folder that's open here. You can see here that I'm opening up in the folder that illustrator expects to save my brushes in. I've already saved a set, but let's save this as set too so we can identify it in a minute. Okay, here is set two, and just Click Save. Now, once these brushes are saved, they are saved for all time so you can just get rid of these documents. We don't want it anymore, so I'm just going to close it and I don't need to save it. I don't actually want to save it because it's had that paired-down set of brushes in it. I don't want to lose those brushes, I just don't want them here right now. Now we're ready to go ahead and use the brushes. I'm going to choose File and then New, and let's create a document. Now, this is fine, it's 960 by 560.That will be good for now so I'll just Click Okay. Now I need to go and get my brushes because they're tucked away so let's go to the brushes palette. Let's open up the menu here. Open Brush Library, user-defined watercolor brushes set two. This is how you get back to the brushes that you've previously saved. I open up the brushes menu, choose Open Brush Library user-defined, and your set will be enhanced. I'm just going to click here to open it. Here is the scaled down set of brushes that I saved. Now it's a much smaller file, so it's going to be quicker to open and you might say that your machine is missed to crash because you have done so. I'm going to click the paint brush tool. I'm going to click on this brush and I'm just going to paint it in to my document. Now I can enlarge this by selecting the selection tool, select over the line because this is just a brushstroke and I can just increase the point size and I can just stretch it out should I wish to do so. There's our watercolor background and then I'm going to put some watercolor text on top of it. 3. Watercolor Magic Part 2: Now, for our watercolor text, we're going to need a font that's going to look something like watercolor. Now, I've found a good font to use and it's called Master of Break. Here's the site I'm going to send you to, it's dafont.com. Now, this font is free for personal use, and it's $39 if you want to buy it. If you want to use it for commercial use, you can buy it. Now, this particular design has a couple of fonts that I really like. One of them is this Master of Break font, and they also have a font called Bakery, which is also easy to use for this kind of application. You want to come to the site and click to download it now. Again, I've already downloaded this font, so let's go and see what we get. Well, when you open up the folder, you'll see that you get an OTF, a PNG, and a TTF file. Well, it's the TTF that you're going to want because that's your font file. On a Windows machine, I'm just going to double-click this file to open it. It's going to open in a window. I'm just going to click "Install" to install it. Now, I've already installed it, so I'm getting a message saying you've already installed. I don't want to replace it, but you probably won't already have it installed and so it install just fine. Now that we've done that, let's go ahead and use this font. I'm going to click on the "Type" tool here. I'm going to click over the top of my watercolor background, and I'm going to type the word watercolor. I'm going to select the text, and I'm going to make it white. When I double-click on this, I can just go up here and make sure I've selected ffffff, which is pure white, and click "Okay". Now, it needs to be a bit bigger. I'm going to click in the font size dialogue here, and I'm just going to Shift up arrow because that increases it by a larger amount each time, because I want it to get up pretty big. Now, I want to select my font, which is Master of Break. Now, if you don't see it in the font list, you can always just start typing its name and it will appear. Let's stop that. Master of Break, here it is. I'm clicking on it. Now my type is formatted with that font and font size. We're ready to go ahead and create something a little bit more interesting still, than what we have here. 4. Watercolor Magic Part 3: The feature that we're going to use next was new in Illustrator CC so if you have the newer Illustrator CC, you're going to have this feature. If you don't have it, I'm going to show you in another video what you can do, but if you've got CC, this is the tool of choice. From the text options here, we're going to select here the "Touch Type Tool" and now when you click on your type, you'll see that each letter has a bounding box on it. But in actual fact, this is still editable type. It's just that the Touch Type Tool allows us to do things with our type. This icon here allows us to rotate the letter so we can rotate this letter, but leave all the other letters intact. This one here allows us to horizontally scale this particular letter. You can say that it just got a whole lot wider. This one is the baseline shift so I can use it to move the baseline of this character, leaving the rest of the text aligned exactly as it was originally. This one is a vertical scale so I can use it to vertically scale my text, and here I can scale my text both vertically and horizontally. You are taking this one character at a time. First, I'm just going to rotate this W. I'm going to move it over here a bit. I'm pretty happy with the W right now. I'm going to click away from it. I'm going to go and get my A and I'm going to move my letter A so I can just pull on it. That's all I need to do. I think I'm going to make it a little bit bigger. What I'm intending to do here is to just make this text look a little bit less like a font and a bit more like it could possibly have been hand-drawn. I'm having a little bit of trouble getting at T, there we are. This font, you can see here that it's got lines that allow you to make it look like it's joined up. When you are moving your characters, you probably want to move them so that they are over the joined-up blind from the character before so you keep this look of it being a joined-up font. Let's go and get our A, I just want to place that here. I think I'm going to make my E a little bit bigger then perhaps rotate it a little bit and just move it back into position. My R has moved out of position in relation to the A but that's fine because I can just select it. I'm also going to make it a bit bigger. I'm going to rotate it a bit because it really is a beautiful character, this R. I'm just going to line it up so again it looks like it has been drawn. Let's go and get this C because I have a lot of possibilities with this C. I'm going to make it quite a bit bigger and I'm going to rotate it so it just tucks in here into the R. I think I've made it a little bit too big, but I'm going to give it a bit of a flourish so it's sitting in alongside the R. Let's go to the O. Remember that what we're doing here is we're just trying to make this font look a little bit less like it was a downloaded font and a little bit more like potentially it could have been hand-drawn or brush-drawn. This is a really good exercise for playing around with the Touch Type Tool because there's a lot you can do with this font to move it around and resize it and just give it a bit of a flourish. Having done this, you can go back at any time and just alter this font. You can see that it's just a regular font so we could change the letters in it, we could retype the word. It hasn't changed the fact that this is editable type. It's just moved things around. I'm going to select the "Selection tool", I'm going to select the "Font" and what I want to do to finish off is to slightly roughen the edge of this font. That's going to reinforce the impression that we have that perhaps this font actually was drawn with a watercolor tool. Let's go and choose "Effect", "Distort", and "Transform", and then "Roughen". I'm going to turn preview on and you're going to see what you don't want. This is way too much of an effect, but you can dial this down quite a bit. Firstly, I'm going to choose "Smooth", and then I'm going to set the per inch setting to just one. I want it down very low. That's not quite one. There's our one and then this is the size percentage. I want it to be very small so I'm going to type 0.5 percent. Let's just test that. If you have a look closely, you'll see that the text has just started to lose its fine shape and it's actually bent a little bit, giving it a bit more of a hand-drawn look. I'm just going to settle for this sets on the size, 0.5 of a percent and the data, one per inch point as smooth and just click "Okay". There's the first of our watercolor effects. In this case, we've got white text with a watercolor-style background. Now we're going to flip it. We're going to add the watercolor-style background inside the text. 5. Watercolor Magic Part 4: Now for this next effect, we're going to need to find something that we can use as a watercolor background. Now again, I've found something for you to download. We're going to a different site this time, and we're going to download this particular watercolor background. This is free for personal use and you can use it for commercial use with attribution. With attribution, you're just telling everybody that this came from freepik.com. Go to this side and click here on the Free Download. Once you've downloaded it, let's just open up My Downloads, and here is the download. It's a zip file. I'm just going to open it. You can see inside the zip file is an AI, a JPG, and an APS file. Well, you want the AI file, so we're going to click on "Extract all files", and extract everything to a folder that you can find later on. Then you're going to go and open this file. Now again, I've done that before, so let's just go back to Illustrator. Let's just go and open that file with File. I'm going to Open Recent Files because I've got it sitting here. Now, when you open it, chances are you won't have a font that's been used in the file. But that doesn't matter because you're going to delete it anyway. Don't go to Find Fonts, you just want to click "Close". Now we're going to open the Layers pallet because it's really important for us to get rid of the bits we don't want. If you can't see your Layers palette, choose "Window" and then "Layers" to view it. Now, the top piece is 800 by 800 pixels. You don't want that, so you're just got to take that entire layer and drop it in the trash can. Then you're going to open up this 1,200 by 800 pixel layer. You've got three groups here. You've got one that looks like it's got nothing in it, another that looks like it's got nothing in it. Well, what they are are these pieces of text here, these objects. When I turn them off, you can see that they disappear. We'll just grab those and put those in the trash too. Having done that, you want to open up the Swatches panel. There shouldn't be really any swatches here much at all because the swatches that you're seeing here are the ones that came with this document. What we're going to do is we're going to get the selection tool and we're going to select over absolutely everything. Then we're going to drag and drop it into the Swatches panel here. Having done that, we're going to delete it from the document. We can just press Delete at this stage because that's going to speed things up a bit. Now in the Swatches panel, what we want to do is save this as a swatch. I'm just going get rid of my white and my black swatches so I've really only got this swatch here. I'm going to open up the little fly-out menu for the swatches. I'm going to choose "Save Swatch Library as AI". I'm going to save this, I'm going to call it watercolor and just click "Save". Now that's saved as a swatch that I can use anytime in future. I can go ahead and close this file. I don't want to save it because I don't want to lose that texture because I've deleted it from this file. I just want to trash this file at this stage, so I'll click "No". Now that we've got our watercolor patent texture that we can use, we're ready to go ahead, and to take the text that we already have and fill it this time without our watercolor texture. 6. Watercolor Magic Part 5: Now, I've already gone ahead and saved this version. I've just called it white text blue background. I'm going to reuse the text because I've gone through all the trouble of creating this text effect that I'm just going to continue to use it. What I'm going to do is save this again. I'm going to choose File, Save As, and this time I'm going to call this watercolor text because that's what I'm about to create. I'll click "Save". Now having done that, I can get rid of the element here, this watercolor element because I don't need it any longer, but, of course, right now I can't see my text. I'm just going to color it any old color for now just so that I can see it on the screen. I'm just giving it a green color. We're ready now to go ahead and to fill it with our watercolor texture. To do this, we're first of all going to have to go and get our watercolor texture. I'm going to click here on the Flyout menu, I'm going to Open Swatch Library, I'm going down to User Defined, and I'm going to select watercolor, because that's the swatch library that I just saved. I'm just going to click on it to open it. It's gone over here onto my other screen. Here is my swatch. All I need to do now is to select over my text, make sure that my foreground color is selected here, and I'm just going to click on my ''Pattern Swatch''. What that's going to do is to fill the text with my pattern. There it is. The watercolor pattern has now been used to fill the text, and that's what we've ended up with. Now we could probably finish off this illustration by dropping in a texture behind it. Perhaps a watercolor texture might look good behind it, or some other element that is colored using this watercolor effect, but there is the basics of creating watercolor text effects yourself in Illustrator. One is a white text with a watercolor background, and the second one is the watercolor text with a white background. If you enjoyed this video training and if you think others would as well, please give it a thumbs up, and I always love to hear what you think about the classes so if you want to give me a comment there as well, I'd really enjoy reading it. My name's Helen Bradley, thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch. I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon. 7. Watercolor Magic Part 6: This is the addendum video for anybody who does not have the touch-type tool in their version of Illustrator and if you want to see how you would have managed this project without having access to the touch-type tool. What I've done, is I've just typed this type into Illustrator and we're at the point where in the earlier video, we went and used the touch-type tool. If you don't have that, what you're going to do is to select your type using the selection tool and then choose "Type" and then "Create Outlines", because what this does is it converts your type into outlines. Now, the upshot of this is that your text is no longer editable, so you can't come in and change it. You can't alter the spelling, for example, if you needed to spell a word a different way. You probably need to go back to the start, where you need to remove a letter that you didn't want and replace it with something else. But you really need to assume that this is no longer editable text. It's also a group, so for us to be able to work with these individual objects, we need to choose "Object" and then "Ungroup". Now, each of these letters is a separate object and we can do things with it. Just as we did with the touch-type tool, we can re-size our letters by selecting on the letter and then dragging any of these handles to re-size it. I can also move it around. Let's go to this letter a, and let's go and re-size it, and I can move it. Here again, I can re-size letter t. I can rotate it by dragging here on the outside of a handle when I see that little bent arrow that tells me I'm able to rotate that letter. We've got pretty much the same effect that we can create using this type, using the outlines, it's just not quite as convenient as it was using the touch-type tool. If I need to push these letters out, I need to pick up all of them and then just push them out of the way. They don't move as a single element because they're no longer letters that are associated with each other in the same way as they would have been had we been using the touch-type tool. All I'm doing here is just re-sizing and re-positioning these letters pretty much as I did earlier, but just working with shapes instead. I can pick up multiple letters, click on one, Shift-click on the others to then select all of them and move them all at one time. Then I'll come back and select them individually if I need to, to make changes to them. Again, all I'm looking for in this project is to create something that doesn't look as if it came from a font, that there's a potential that these could have been created using handwriting. It could have been a scanned project. It has a slightly more hand drawn look to it. Now if I want to apply the rough and filter to this, I'm going to move that o, it's just not quite covering up the element it's supposed to be attached to. That's looking pretty good. Let's go to the layers palette. It's going to open this up. I'm going to lock down the watercolor layer because I don't want it to be roughened, but I'm going to select over everything else so that's all the text, then I'll choose "Effect", "Distort and Transform", and then "Roughen". The settings that we were using was 0.5 percent on size, one per inch on detail and smooth. I'm just clicking "Preview" and let's click "Okay". Then we've got this slightly roughened effect on our letters, giving us a little bit more of the impression that this has actually been hand-drawn. That's how you would deal with the absence of the touch-type tool if you're using Illustrator CS6 or earlier, and also if you want to see how it used to be done in Illustrator.