Work Smart in Adobe Illustrator: 5 Tips for a Better Workflow | Kyle Aaron Parson | Skillshare

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Work Smart in Adobe Illustrator: 5 Tips for a Better Workflow

teacher avatar Kyle Aaron Parson, Graphic Designer and Illustrator

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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

9 Lessons (60m)
    • 1. Class Promo

    • 2. Welcome to Class

    • 3. Live Shapes

    • 4. Time Saving Keyboard Shortcuts

    • 5. Edit Colors

    • 6. The Curvature Tool

    • 7. The Blend Tool

    • 8. Bringing It All Together

    • 9. Thank you

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About This Class

Work Smart, Not Hard! Speed up your illustration workflow in Adobe Illustrator with 5 fantastic tips! Perfect for those just getting started or those just wanting to speed up their current practice. These tips will allow you be more efficient in what you do, so you can create more!

What we will cover:

  1. Live Shapes - how to easily customize the basic shape tools in Illustrator to create complex illustrations
  2. Keyboard Shortcuts - get to know some of the most useful keyboard short cuts when creating artwork.
  3. Edit Colors - Working with colors has never been easier than it is now with Illustrators edit colors function.
  4. Curvature tool - quickly and easily create organic paths without having to constantly fiddle with Bezier handles
  5. Blend tool - create complex paths repeated shapes, drop shadows and even add depth to your illustrations with the blend tool!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kyle Aaron Parson

Graphic Designer and Illustrator


Hi, I'm Kyle Aaron Parson, I'm a Graphic Designer and Illustrator from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A bit about myself, I Upload my first class to Skillshare in 2021 and in that same year I became a proud dad to my Incredible son Timothy. Truly a great gift in my life. 

I've been creating Illustrations for the better part of my life, everything from coloring books to event banners. Through out my career I've relied on Videos like the ones on Skillshare to guide me in learning new ways of creating. The Classes I teach are a summary of the most valuable tips and tricks that I learned over years of study. I do my best to put only the most valuable information that will help you grow in your creative journey.

If you are interesting in learning Illustration and other creati... See full profile

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1. Class Promo: Hey guys, my name is Kyle Aaron Parson. I am a graphic designer and illustrator based in Edmonton, Canada. As a graphic designer, I spend a lot of my time working in Adobe Illustrator. Over the course of my career, I've discovered and found ways to speed up my workflow. I want to share these tips with you. Through the course of this class, I'll show you five of my favorite tips that will allow you, like me to be more efficient in Adobe Illustrator in your design and illustration process. What we'll cover in the class is how to work with shapes, how to manipulate shapes, how to manipulate and control the colors in your illustration, as well as how to quickly put down lime work, as well as use the blend tool to create dynamic illustrations with three-dimensional form. These are some of the things that I found really helpful when I first started in Adobe Illustrator, and I hope they will help you too. If you're a beginner, just getting started in Adobe Illustrator, or if you're someone looking to speed up your current practice, this class is for you. If you're ready to work smart in Adobe Illustrator, I'll see you in class. 2. Welcome to Class: Hey, guys. Thank you for joining me for Work Smart in Adobe Illustrator. Through this class, I want to show you five of my favorite tips that I use in almost every illustration. What I've found whenever I work in Adobe Illustrator and create illustrations, it always comes back to basics. The amount of time I put into an illustration varies from project to project. However, whenever I make a project, I use my time as efficiently as possible. The only way I do that is working on the basics. Through this class, I want to walk you through five of my favorite tips to develop those basics to allow you to make illustrations in a very timely manner. The first thing that we're going to cover is how to work with shapes, then we're going to cover how to use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow in manipulating the shapes, and then we're going to cover how to manipulate colors very quickly and easily in Adobe Illustrator. Forth, we're going to cover how we can use the curvature tool to put down line work quickly and efficiently. The fifth one is we're going to use the blend tool to create drop shadows, create three dimension, and also a very interesting pattern stroke. All these things we'll cover throughout the class, and we have a working practice sheet that you can follow along with. Your project in this class at the end is to create an illustration using the tips and tricks described in this class. It doesn't mean you have to use every single one, but see how you can apply them in your own work, and I can't wait to see what you guys create. If you're ready to work smart in Adobe Illustrator, I'll see you in the next class. 3. Live Shapes: Welcome to tip number 1. Tip number 1 is the live corners feature in Adobe Illustrator. So many times we come to use the pen tool to make curves and unique shapes. However, you can actually make all these unique shapes, or many unique shapes using the simple shape tools in Adobe Illustrator, combining them with the live corners function. Let me show you how that works. If we bring out all our Shape Tools here and we start building stuff, maybe with the rectangle tool. What happens is that it brings up these little corner widgets. These are live corners. It means that I can click and drag them in and they will instantly round the corners for me. That's pretty cool. I can go from a simple shape to a very more complex shape in a matter of seconds. Before I may have used the pen tool to try and create these curves. However, I can create them easily with the live corners feature in Adobe Illustrator. A cool feature of the live corners function is that you can actually change the corner type. You can change it from a rounded corner to an inverted round corner. If you bring that all the way in, you can make a very unique star-shaped very quickly and easily. Second thing, is you can also create a chamferter edge or the third type of corner is the chamferter edge. You can get a full corner, you can get a chamferter edge, you can get a rounded corner, or an inverted round corner very quickly creating very unique shapes. But if you use the direct selection tool a on your keyboard, you can select only one of these points at a time and create very unique shapes together. In a matter of seconds, we created very cool shapes, test by manipulating the corner widgets, the live corner function. That's pretty cool. We can also use widgets with the Ellipse Tool. With the Ellipse Tool, it has an extra handle here that allows us to actually create a pie. We can create some angle with the Ellipse Tool with ease. You don't have to cut it out, it will actually allow you to cut it out just by using the widgets built into the shape tool. That's pretty cool. Then if we make polygons, polygons are pretty fun to work with, and if you need multiple-sided shapes, you can use this and create them very quickly. It comes off as a hexagon. But if you look at the side widget here, you can actually adjust the amount of sides with ease. You can decrease the amount of size to make it simple triangle, or you can build it up to an 11 sided polygon very quickly. If you click the direct selection tool, you can apply the live corners to all the corners at a time. You can make complex shapes with ease, all right, and then the Star Tool. The Star Tool, you can actually manipulate it to create many different types of stars. However, when you're building with the Star Tool, what you have to note is that you can only manipulate the Star tool as you are creating it. How do we manipulate it as we're creating it? As we use the up and down arrows to increase or decrease the side are the amount of star points. Then if we hit Control and Hold, we can drag out the distance of the outer points. We can create a very shallow star or a very deep star like that using Control and then increase or decrease the amount of stars. What's cool about these live shapes is that we can use the direct selection tool and use the live corners. Now, I can build up even more complex shapes by changing the corner type, by holding Alt, and Clicking the corners. We can change them into even complex gear shapes. Things that would have taken us so long with the pen tool actually have taken no time at all with the live corners feature in Adobe Illustrator. The project for this first class is to play around with the live corners feature in Adobe Illustrator and create some very unique shapes. I can't wait to see you in the next class. 4. Time Saving Keyboard Shortcuts: All right, guys. Welcome to tip number 2. The Rose Keyboard Shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are awesome. The reason why they're awesome is because they immediately speed up your workflow. Why? It's because something that might take you a few seconds to go to the corner, select the scale tool, and then apply it to your object can take you a matter of seconds by just hitting the S key on your keyboard or for the rotate function, R on your keyboard. Instead of always constantly moving back between the side panel and your shapes, you have it all at the accessibility of your fingertips. What I want you to try to do is try to implement these keyboard shortcuts. Use them as often as you can so that it comes second nature. If you can shave off a few seconds at a time as you're creating your illustrations, actually, in the long run, it's going to save you minutes and hours working on projects. Try to get used to using keyboard shortcuts. My four favorite for manipulating shapes are rotate, reflect, scale, and transform. These are the four I always use in Adobe Illustrator when manipulating my shapes. Just remember rose and you'll be able to access them very quickly. What's the first one? R. R on the keyboard is the rotate tool. One thing you can do with the shape as the shape is selected, you can actually rotate it just by having it selected. However, what if you want to rotate it around some other point? If I hit R on my keyboard, this little blue icon in the center turns up and that's called the anchor point. Wherever that is placed, that's where the transformation is going to happen from. Since it's in the center, it's going to rotate around the center. If I drag my object now with our tool, it'll rotate around that anchor point. But I don't want that. I wanted to rotate maybe around this grid here. How do I do that? If I select my object, hit R, now I have the option to select anywhere on my artboard, anywhere on my workspace, and decide where the anchor point goes. I want it right in the center of these crossed lines so I can hit right there and the anchor point now moved right to that section. Now if I click and drag with my object, it's going to rotate around the anchor point there. That's pretty cool. We'll just reverse that. Now, what if I wanted to duplicate this object around the whole thing so there's multiple objects around. If I hit R and I hit the anchor point to go down there and I hit Alt, now you can see that a double arrow occurs. What that means is that it's going to duplicate the object that I selected as I drag it. You can see one copy remains there and one copy is dragged with my cursor. I can hold Shift to lock it in place and now an exact copy was placed 90 degrees. Now what's cool is that I just made a transformation. Now the computer system remembers that transformation but what if I want to repeat that transformation again? All I need to do is hit Control and then D, that will repeat the last transformation. If I can Control D two times like that, it can work for me and create four duplicates wrapping around the center point. That's pretty cool. Now I can select all four of these if I wanted, hit R, have the anchor point right in the middle and now I can control and I can rotate all four of them. Holding Shift to constrain the proportions, it allows me to create a duplicate at 45 degrees. What if I wanted a different angle or more specific angle rather than 90 degrees or 45 degrees and I wanted it to be exact. What I can do is I can hit R on my keyboard. Let's just first delete these other ones. If I hit R on my keyboard when it's selected and select my anchor point area and let's say I wanted to rotate it five times around this circle. I hit R and then as I'm placing my anchor point, I hit Alt and then click to place my anchor point. That opens up the rotate menu, it allows me to place an exact degree inside here. You can see I can choose whatever I want, but maybe I don't know the exact degree I want, but I want it to go around five times or five copies of it. What I can do is I can actually do some math in Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator is very smart. You can actually do some math right in here. If I wanted to go all the way around, it would be 360 degrees, but I only want it to go basically 1/5 around. I can go 360 divided by five and then it'll calculate for me how many degrees that is and it would be right there. Now I can make a copy of this and then it's exactly the correct amount so if I duplicated it four more times, I get exactly five copies over top of each other, rotate it around the center axis. That's how I can use the Rotate keyboard shortcut in Adobe Illustrator. Instead of going all the way back and forth from the side panel to the middle, it's really easy right at my fingertips. What's the next one? The O key, that is actually the reflect tool. How would I use the O key in Adobe Illustrator? I hit O, and just like the rotate tool, it has an anchor point. I know that I can select a point to place my anchor point so I want it right in the center and now, just like the rotate function, you can Alt and drag it and it'll make a reflection of it. If I rotated it, it would be upside down on the other side but since it's a reflection, it's actually an exact mirrored image of the previous shape. I can shrink these both down, bring them both up, select them both, hit O, click on the bottom because I want to reflect them underneath, and make an exact mirrored image directly underneath each other. The was pretty awesome, pretty quick. The next one I like to do is scale. Scale, I like to use for a specific purpose. You can use it for other purposes, but the specific purpose I use is if I wanted to create shapes with a little bit of form like this pen tool here. How I would go about doing that is I have a base shape, which is this top section here and then I will duplicate the shape, bring it down and I want to bring out this end, only this bottom and I want to bring out. How I would do that is I use my direct selection tool, grab the bottom anchor points, hit S. Now the anchor points were in the middle. That's perfect for me. I'm going to grab one end and I'm going to drag it out. Since I only selected the bottom two points, those are the only things that are scaling in my scale function. I can bring those out. Now what I can do is I can copy and paste this on top and drag this down to the other side and now I want this one a little bit thinner so I'm going to select these bottom ones, hit S on my keyboard, and bring them in like that. I'm making that pen shape. Now I can make a rectangle right in the middle. Give it a yellow and now I created a very simple head of the pen really quickly, really easily with the scale tool. I use it specifically, mainly for this purpose of scaling just one end so I can make a tapered edge. That's how I like to use it. You can find some other ways to use it, but that's how I work efficiently in Adobe Illustrator to make these shapes. The last one is the E key. The E key is the transformation key or the transform tool. There's actually three tools that come up so if I select an object, hit E, it brings up this little menu here. This is the transform menu and it has free transform. It has perspective distort, and it has a free distort. The free transform allows us to move any end of the shape or complex shape, the bounding box here. Anyway, it has these two, the edge widgets that allow us to grab that edge and just move that edge and everything else stays perpendicular to the other line. That might be pretty useful for making isometric illustrations and giving it a little more dimension rather than just a flat edge. What's the next one? If I select and hit E, we've got the perspective distorted. Similar, but it's going to give me a perspective like that. Drags it out, gives it a little more perspective and the last one is the free distort. This one allows me to grab one of the corner widgets and I can drag this single-point anywhere I want. This one is probably my favorite for working in Adobe Illustrator because it allows me a lot of control to create my own three-dimension and perspective. I can create a vanishing point and make a perspective grid like that. Play around with these keyboard shortcuts and get you used to using them on the keyboard because in time as you become more efficient with the keyboard shortcuts, you're going to save a lot of time when you're working in Adobe Illustrator. Practice these little things and I'll see you in the next class. 5. Edit Colors: Hey, guys. Welcome to class Number 3, where we'll touch on how to work efficiently with colors in Adobe Illustrator. To work with colors in Adobe Illustrator, let us understand something called a global color. A global color is basically a swatch that if you apply it to various shapes, if you change that swatch in your Swatches panel, it'll change in every insistence where you applied it in your artwork. I'll show you how I do that. I'm going to use this little square here. If I hit this square and make a new swatch out of it, you can see that it has this selection make global color, and I want that on. I'm going to hit "Okay." Now you can see my Swatches panel, I have this color, and it has this little tag here. It means it's a global color. Now if I select a piece of my artwork with the direct selection tool, so here, and I give it this color, apply that swatch to it, now I have that swatch applied to this little square here as well as that. If I go into my Swatches panel and I change this color and I put on preview, you can see that it's actually changing every insistence where that swatch was applied. If you have a bunch of shapes in your illustration, and they all have the same global color, you can edit them with ease. You don't have to go in and correct each shape or select by color, you can just change the color in your Swatches panel. I'll just cancel that. The next thing that I want to show you is just how to quickly change colors in Adobe Illustrator. If I select all my artwork here, and I go up to Edit, I can go to Edit Colors and Recolor Artwork. However, there's a quicker way. Remember we're thinking about efficiency here. Actually right up here in your top toolbar, you can see that there is a little grayscale color wheel. It is the Recolor Artwork button. It's the same as if you went into the drop-down menu. We're going to click on that and this menu comes up. Now what we can see is that every color that was applied in our artwork is in this panel here. Now if we go into the Edit Colors function, we can actually adjust each of these colors. I can click and drag them and pull them wherever I want or if I link harmony colors, I can actually drag all of them at the same time or use the hue slider, and they all change automatically like that. Now I can easily adjust all colors in my artwork. If I want to change it to a monochromatic tone, I can change them like that. That's pretty cool. I can give it more of a opposite thing like that. That's pretty cool or I can just make it very unique color scheme there. You can play around with that, and you can adjust the brightness, saturation. You can adjust them all at the same time if you wanted. But yeah, you can play around with that, and this is an easy way to manipulate your colors in Adobe Illustrator. The next thing that I want to show you is sometimes when you're always, constantly applying color to your artwork and using the color panel and just clicking in here, let's use my direct selection tool and select an object. I click in here, and I've tried to find a color that's very similar to what I want. Let's say, like that. It's a dark blue. This one also is a dark blue, and this one's also a dark blue. I'm trying to get the same color, but they're not exactly the same. What I can do now is I can select and open my Recolor Artwork and this panel comes up. Now you can see that actually instead of having four colors like our original artwork, there's actually multiple colors. But all of these colors down here are colors that I actually wanted to be the same. Instead of clicking on each of these individually and applying a swatch to it, what I can do is open my Recolor Artwork panel, and all I need to do is drag this color to meet the one that I wanted to change to. Everything in this panel here will change into this color over here. I'm going to collect and drag all of these colors that I want to change into this one color, and it'll automatically change to that color. But if you can see in this little bar, it's actually making different shades of this one tone, but I don't want that. I want to go and make it all the exact same color, so I click "Exact." Now, every time these colors are implemented in my artwork, they're all going to change to this single color. Now if I hit "Okay," you can see all of it is actually very uniform now. If I select everything and I go to Recolor Artwork, you can see that it condensed my colors in my artwork to only those four colors. If you want to condense your artwork and all the colors in it, use the Recolor Artwork, drag it to which color you want to change it to, and make sure you click "Exact" so it's not creating multiple shades of it, it's only changing to that color. The next thing that I want to show you is, what if I have some artwork, but I want to apply a specific pre-made color palette to it? What I can do is I can either select each of these pieces individually and try to match them or do ink drop this one, ink drop that one. But there's a faster way to do it. Actually, it's by using color groups. In our Swatches panel, you can actually create folders. Over here, I want to select all of my colors here, and I want to create a folder. This is a new color group. I hit "Okay" and everything's okay. Now in my Swatches panel, I have a color group. When I edit my colors, I now have the ability to choose a color group to apply to this artwork. Let's see this. If I go to Recolor Artwork. Now you can see in the side panel it says Color Groups. Now I have the ability to click on this Color Group, and it applies those colors to my artwork. However, it doesn't look exactly right. The reason why is it randomly placed all my colors onto different areas of my existing colors, which I want specific colors to go in specific places. I need to drag these new colors to find where I want them. I wanted my yellow there, so that works. Where do I want that blue? I don't want my blue there. I want that there. Good. No. There we go. No. These two. There we go. We figured it out. I matched the colors that were originally there, and I dragged the new colors that I want them to change into. Now it perfectly matches the color scheme that I wanted. That's how you can apply an existing color group to your current artwork. If it's not the right colors, you can create a color group and apply your color group with the Recolor Artwork tool in Adobe Illustrator. I hope that helped you guys figure out your colors in Adobe Illustrator. I'm going to save those swatches because I want that to be my final artwork there. All right, guys, so play around with the Recolor Artwork function in Adobe Illustrator. Apply new color groups, create your own, and apply it to the little pen tool label. I'll see you in the next class. 6. The Curvature Tool: Hey guys, welcome to tip number 4 in the class. It is the curvature tool. At first, I didn't like using the curvature tool. However, as I've learned how to use it, honestly I love using it for quickly putting down line work in my illustrations. If I'm trying to make an outline of a specific object or trace an element or something like that, I usually use the curvature tool. Why? It is because with the pen tool, you have to click and drag out the bezier handles to create your curves. The curvature tool automatically tries to create the curve for you. All you've got to do is click. You don't have to click and drag, you just click and it makes it really easy and the computer does the work for you. Let me illustrate how the curvature tool works. It's very simple. You just go up here. Right beside your pen tool you have the curvature tool. The curvature tool, there's basically two things you can do with it. You can create a curve like that, or you can create a corner like that. Similar to the pen tool. However, I don't have to deal with the bezier handles. I can click and drag out the points that I made and it automatically forms the curve like that. How did I create those curves and those corners? Very simply, to create a curve, all you got to do is place down a point. You place down a point to where you want the peak of the curve to be, or roughly where it wants to be, and then a new point at the end. The computer will adjust and make the curve for you, as you can see here. I can just drag it out, clicking one point at a time and it's going to automatically create the curves. I can go back into it and I can manipulate the curves. You can see that it adjusts all the other curves as well. They work together. Second part is, I can also create corners with this. All I need to do is double-click with the curvature tool and it creates a corner. I can also go in and change the curves to corners, just by double-clicking. I can create curves, I can create corners with the curvature tool. Quick exercise, play around with the curvature tool. What you can do with that. As you can go into this document and you can just try to trace this. You can try to trace the light bulb. All I would do is find that point. Click where I want the top of it. Click where the peak is, like that. Then I might have to move around these corners. I might have to add in a point to get the curve how I imagine it. But quick and easy. I can end the curve there, so I can give it a little stroke, give it some stroke weight, and there you go. A very quick and easy curve is not perfect. It wasn't made with shapes. It was made with curvature tool, but is very quick and easy and not too bad, maybe good. You can also try and do the same thing with the bottom. The bottom is a little different because it has straight edges. You double-click to make a corner point, and then a corner point here. Then there is a curve there and a corner point there, corner point here, double-click. I can go all the way up to their double-click for the corner point. I can add a stroke there and just make it round. Double-click for a corner point and go down here. Corner point, corner point. Put one corner there just a regular click. Corner point there, corner point there, corner point there, corner point there. There we go. That was already a corner point. There we go. We can maybe reduce that stroke a little bit. You have that done. Give that a try. Try and build these objects with the curvature tool or make your own shapes. Any practice is good practice. Play around with it. If you like it, you can use it. If you don't, always go back to the pen tool and use those bezier handles to really refine it. That's fine with me. We have one more tip coming up, that is the blend tool. I'll see you in the next class. 7. The Blend Tool: Now we're on to tip Number 5, the blend tool. How I like to use the blend tool is for a few different cases and a few different reasons. Number 1 is to create a drop shadow very easily and it's editable. Number 2 is to create some dimension to my artwork, give it some 3D form really easily. Third, is to create a pattern stroke a interesting stroke and manipulate the blend tool a little bit and customize it. I'll show you those three techniques very quickly. We are on the first little light bulb here and what we want to do is we want to create a drop shadow. How are we going to do that is we're going to select our art work, we're going to copy and paste it in front. Control C, Control Shift V, or Control F to paste in front. The next thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to Object, Expand Appearance and Object, Expand. This just gets rid of any of the strokes that are applied to my artwork. What I'm going to do is I'm going to merge it all into one shape using the unite tool in the Pathfinder panel. Now it's all one shape and it is a dark blue. This is what I want because I want my shadow to be the dark blue. Now, I'm going to just offset the path a little bit. I'm going to go to Object, Path, Offset Path and I'm going to do just a small amount, maybe five pixels. Preview that, it looks pretty good. The next thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to make a duplicate. Right now it created a duplicate, I'm going to get rid of the top one. Now I only have the one offset path that I created. I'm going to Alt and drag it down to the left. Like that. Now we're going to apply the blend to it. We're going to click both of them. We're going to click our original and our copy. We're going to hit W on our keyboard or if you want to go to the side panel, you can find it here. But again, we're trying to work efficiently so we want to use the keyboard shortcuts. W click one of the objects, then click the second object to create a blend between the two. Now what we're going to do is, this doesn't really look like a drop shadow. We have to make this blend increase in value. How we are going to do that is we're going to bring up the blend options. One way you can do it is you can go Object , Blend, Blend Options. But again, we're working efficiently in Adobe Illustrator. We're going to be speeding up our workflow, we're going to hold Alt and with the blend tool selected and objects selected, hold Alt and click on them and that will bring up our blend options. Just save you a couple seconds of going into the toolbar, opening up the blend tool options and stuff like that, just click Alt and it's there. What we want to do is we want to increase the amount of steps in between one to the other so that it looks like a solid stroke. How do we do that? We bring down from smooth color, we want to go to specified steps. You can see that the specified step right now is only one, which is not really what we want because it doesn't create what we're looking for. We want a really large value. We can increase this number to maybe 500, really big. Now you can see that it fills up that entire area so we can hit, Okay. What that did essentially is it made 500 copies or in-betweens from one object to another. If we zoom in really close, you can see that it gives it a little of a jagged edge because these are the copies one after another. But since we're out so far, we don't really see that and I am okay with that. Now what's cool is if we select our blend and we go Control, Shift, left square bracket, it brings it to the back and it brings it behind our shape. Now you can see we have a drop shadow. But since we used the blend to create this, we can actually manipulate this with these. If we use the A key Direct Selection Tool and we select this second blend or the second object in our blend, we can actually drag that to wherever we want. If I wanted it to go upwards, I could if I wanted to go longer, it could, I can go any way I want. Maybe I want it down here. What's the second way I like to use the blend tool? Is to create some three-dimension to my shapes. The first thing that I want to do is I want to give it some perspective. I'm going to hit the E key and I'm going to use the free distort function. I'm just going to drop it down a little bit and give it some perspective. That looks pretty good. Little perspective there. Now just like my first object, I'm going to go to edit or I can copy this first copy and paste in front and then I'm going to go Object, Expand Appearance, Object, Expand. Now all the strokes are made into fills. But I don't want to unite this, I want all the colors to remain the same. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to drag this top one, bring it down behind like that, and I'm going to go Control, Shift, left square bracket to bring it to the back. Now I have this copied image and this bottom image. I can select both of them. Hit W and click both to create a blend. Hit Alt to bring up the Blend tool options, specify steps, let's go 250. Let's see what that does. It looks like a pretty solid blend there. Now what I can do is I can hit Okay. With these two selected now, you can already see it has some dimension, but I want to make the blend a little darker than the top layer. It gives it a little shadow. I can select it, go to Recolor Artwork and then I can go to Edit. I want this white to change color. I want it in to be assigned a new color. I'm going to bring everything darker. Everything a little darker, just like that. We made everything a little darker. Let's select everything and go Control, Shift, square bracket and bring it to the back. Now you can see that it has a three-dimensional look to it. If I want to adjust the depth of this, I can double-click into my blend and I can select my bottom one and I can bring it up, just like that. Let's see the third way I like to use this blend tool is to create some very unique pattern strokes. How do we do that? To keep this as it is, I'm going to Alt, click and drag it and then I'm going to click both of them and W, click to create a blend. Then I'm going to hit Alt and click to bring out the blend options specified steps. I'm going to increase this to maybe let's say 40. This increases to 40 and hit, Okay. Now you can see that I've created some interesting stroke. What's really cool about this is that you see in the blend, there's a line in the middle, there is a path that connects the two objects. This is the blend path. You can actually manipulate this blend path. You can hold Shift, C and this brings up this tool here, the anchor point tool. What that allows me to do is that change this from a straight path to a curved path. Now I can actually bring up these anchor points here of the path itself and I can adjust the path. Now I can create some really cool like it's popping out and coming towards us, very interesting pattern path here. Another option you can do is if I hit W hit ALT, bring up the path options, I can actually change the orientation of this object to curve with the path instead of staying vertical like that. You can try that out, play around with that and see what you can come up with. Again, you can change the orientation. You can spin it around like that, you can do something like that, some fun things. Play around with the blend tool, see what you can come up with. You can do a drop shadow, create three-dimension, and you can create a very interesting path. Then we're going to combine all of these tips and tricks and we're going to do one final illustration. Now, your project for this class is to take these tips and tricks and apply them to your own illustration. You can follow me with the illustration that I'm going to do, or you can do an illustration of your own. I would really love to see how you apply these things in your illustrations and what you can come up with. Because these are some of my favorite things that I've acquired while working in Adobe Illustrator, but there's probably so many more things that I have yet to learn and I would love to learn from you guys too. I'll see you in the next class where we'll do a demonstration of how I apply these and create an illustration of our own. I'll see you in the next class. 8. Bringing It All Together: Welcome to the final class where I'll show you a quick demonstration of how I would use these tools in tandem to create an illustration of some sort. I can't wait to see what you guys create. If you want to create something different, if you want to create the same thing or try to replicate what I'm creating here, everything will be provided as a resource in the project panel, you can use this sketch and follow it as you will or you can create your own sketch and put it into the project panel and illustrate your own. Let's get to that. Let's do some illustrating in it. I'm really looking forward to this. I'm going to start off with the light bulb. I know the light bulb is a simple circle here, well, but it has no color. I'll give it the yellow like that, and then it has a base here, which is a box. If I line these up and then I merge them together to make one shape, what I can do is I can select these two anchor points and I can round them with ease. Look at that, pretty easy. The next thing is this bottom section, and I can use the M-tool to create the base, I can round the corners in a little bit. I'll give it a dark blue like that, or maybe the light blue like that. Now I wanted to create some smaller ones, these ones, and use the A-direct selection tool and I'll create some of these ridges. I'll increase the size of bits so it goes all the way across A, just make those rounded as possible and make a couple of duplicates. I'll bring one up like that and one below like that and just hit A, select these bottom ones and bring these over here and select these bottom ones and bring those over there. Perfect. We made top of our light bulb very easily with the shapes and the rounded corners. Next we're going to build up this pen at the bottom here. We're going to use M to make the bottom part of the pen. Then I will copy and paste in front that one, and I'll bring it down like that about that size. Hit "A" select the bottom, hit "Scale" and bring it out a little bit. I'm going to select everything, then copy and paste, then I'm going to drag this one down to the bottom, hit "A", select the bottom ones, and then I'm going to hit "Scale" and bring it in to where I see fit. Now what I want do is I want to curve them a little bit. I'm going to hit "Shift C" and I'm going to curve these in slightly, just like that. Now I'm going to hit "M", make a little indent there. Let's give that a yellow for now and before I do that, I'm going to select these three and I'm just get them named. Now what I'm going to do is, I'm going to select it with the V selection tool, everything is nice and aligned. I want this one to have a circle at the end, so I'm going to put that back in the center and I'm going to create a circle right in the middle like that. We select both of those go to pathfinder minus front, and now we make our pen. We're going to bring that to the back "Control Shift" square bracket and left square bracket, now we've got our light bulb. Let's group that, that's looking pretty cool. Now, I want to create some sort of flares that's coming outside this light bulb, I can do that at the top can hit "M" and I can bring those in with this scale and bringing it in like that and give it that color. I'm going to line it up and now I want to rotate it from around the center. I feel like that's the center drag and maybe about there and Control D, D, D, D, right to the bottom there. Now what I want to do, is I'm going to select all of them, group them together, and hit O on my keyboard. I want it right in the middle of this path there, we're right in the center and reflect to the other side. Boom, I select both and I'll group those together. Though I have my little pen tool light bulb , that's pretty fun. Now let's create some of these paths down here. I can use the curvature tool shift squiggle. Don't know what that squiggle is actually called, but it's awesome. Just play some points and those ones don't need to be perfect and a corner point at the top there. It's not exactly how I want it, so I'm going to add one more point to round out that curve and bring that in maybe slightly. Good enough. Let's create a second one and corner points there. Just quickly making these paths, make that a corner point and corner point there. Again, very quick and easy with the curvature tool, maybe I want this to be the dark blue, light blue. These two can be dark blue and this one can be a light blue. Very cool, very quick and easy. Bring these in slightly and bring that one over there like that. Perfect. I can create some of these stars. I get hit M on my keyboard and then I can use the rounded corners function, live corners, and then create inverted quarters and I need a quick start. Now I can do that. I can make this star yellow or maybe orange and I can duplicate it and make it yellow, orange, yellow make it bigger over there. We made some stars. I wanted to create a color palette, but it's a three-dimension. I'm going to just go up and grab my color palette that I had there and I'm going to copy it and bring it down here. I wanted it a little bit bigger. Now what I'm going to do it, this one is I really want to create a lot of dimension with it. I want to create it into a group and now I want to copy it. Now that I have my two copies, what I'm going to do is I'm going to bring one over for a second here, and I'm going to give it a little more dimension. How I'm going to do that is I'm going to use the pen tool very quickly just for one line, to make separation between these two sides I'm going to duplicate that. I'm going to click and drag and duplicate that right to the next one. Duplicate and now I'm going to select all of those and I'm going to hit ''Divide''. Now what that did is it separated this one shape into two shapes. Now I'm going to only select the bottom shapes of each and I'm going to recolor that artwork. I'm going to give the white, I wanted a new color and because I wanted to darken and I'm going to link color, harmony and darken all the colors at once, just a little bit like that so now they're all dark. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to bring it back over on top of my previous shape and I'm going to select everything and I will use my E key to bring up the transform function and I'm going to give it some perspective. I'm lining it up, I want to make it look like it's really popping out of the screen, really coming towards us like that. Now you can see that I still have, I'm going to ungroup. Now I have my top layer and my bottom layer. I had to ungroup it after I transformed it. Now I'm going to bring a copy down below and bring it to the back. I'm going to slip my top copy and my bottom copy hit W to create a blend between. I want it to be a pretty big blend so I wanted more than 40, maybe 100 and I'll preview that, that looks pretty good. Now with my blend selected, I'm going to recolor my artwork again. Now I'm going to hit ''Edit'', recolor everything and sorry, that side, there is one color that the white, I wanted to also darken. Link color harmonies and darken all the colors. Now what I can do is I select that blend and bring it down underneath my top layer. Now you can see that it actually gave it a lot of dimension, there. Now for this one, I'm going to rotate it slightly. That's looking pretty good. It's really looking like it's popping out of there. Now I'm going to group all of those together and I want to reflect it on the other side. I'm going to hit ''0'' right in the center of my illustration and let it pop out. Next thing that I want to do is I wanted to make some gears and I wanted to make them fly out of the illustration. How do I do that? I'm going to use the Star Tool. I'm going to bring it the Star Tool and I'm going to maybe increase the sides, hit'' Control ''and bring it down. I'm going to hit ''A'' on my keyboard, I'm going to bring down those, hit ''Alt'' and I made a gear. Now what I want to do is I want to make this into a three-dimensional shape. For this one, I'll just transform it like that. That's looking pretty good to me and I'm going to copy this and bring it down and drag one down. I'm going to make them both orange and I'm going to make a blend out of them. If I bring that blend behind my top one, now you can see that it is a three-dimensional cog in gear in the wheel. Very cool, very quick now what I can do is I can group it, click and drag, I can rotate it so that it's flying out. If I wanted to, I can use the direct selection tool and I can give the top one a different color and I can click my blend and there we go. That's pretty cool, now I have my two blends and I want to mirror them. What I want to do is select them both hit'' 0 ''and reflect them on the other side flying out of my illustration like that. I'm going to create a box around the whole thing, make it blue, and bring it to the back. What I want to do is I just want to create a gradient from the colors that I had. I'll make this a gradient and I'll just drag in my colors 1, 2, 3 and 4, and leave black there and I want to radial gradient and I'm going to do it from the front. It didn't go over gradients too much in the class, but I just wanted to apply the colors to a gradient. Maybe I'll put that one over here and I went in there and really make this glow nicely. One final touches that I might want to do with this illustration and didn't go over it in the class too much. But I'll add an effect, maybe an inner glow, stylize it. I'll have an inner glow and I want it to be normal, and I want it to be pretty large, 40 pixels. Just so I can see it give it a little glow there, that looks pretty good now. All right guys, we made our illustration using some of the tools that we learned in the class. If you want to try and replicate this style of illustration feel free. If you want to create your own illustration, I would be more than happy to see what you guys create time, always love and I'm inspired by all your work. Upload your project in the project panel and I would love to see it and give you any feedback. If you have any questions regarding anything that we discussed in this class, just leave a comment in the discussions panel and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. We have one more class, I just want to say thanks and I conclude the class. Thank you so much guys see you in the next class. 9. Thank you: Hey guys, I just want to thank you once again for taking this class. As a teacher, I'll try to give you as much value as I can in this short period of time. If you have any suggestions to help improve my classes or if you have any suggestions for future classes, let me know. I would love to hear all about them and don't forget, post any projects you do in the project panel so that we can all learn together. I'll love to see what you guys create. If you have any questions regarding any subject in this class or in design in general, feel free to leave me a message in the discussions panel, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. If you're interested in more illustration design tips, feel free to look at some of my other classes here on Skillshare or you can follow me at [inaudible] on Instagram. Lastly, if you learn something from this class, or you enjoyed it, please consider leaving a short review so that others can find this class in the future. Until next time guys see you later.