Digital Illustration: Creativity, Style and Efficiency in Adobe Illustrator Premium class

Chris Leavens, Vector Illustrator and Artist

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27 Videos (2h 43m)
    • Trailer

    • Intro and Gathering References

    • Getting First Ideas on Paper

    • Breaking Your Routine

    • Reference Sketch Part 1

    • Reference Sketch Part 2

    • Critiquing and Annotating the Sketch

    • Setting up Your Document

    • Blocking In Shapes

    • Appearnce Panel Overview

    • Pen Tool Tips and Blocking Adjustments

    • Layering in Illustrator

    • Setting Swatches and Graphic Styles

    • Drawing Inside Objects

    • Dealing with Draw Inside Mode's Funky Behavior

    • More Masking!

    • Drawing Basic Details

    • Adding Details Using Strokes and Custom Brushes

    • Making Sure Composition and Color Tell a Story

    • Adding in Finer Detail 1

    • Adding in Finer Detail 2

    • Suggesting Volume with Subtle Gradients

    • Creating Interior Shading

    • Creating Cast Shadows

    • Homespun Vector Textures Part 1

    • Homespun Vector Textures Part 2

    • Exporting and Parting Words


About This Class

I am an illustrator who has been creating artwork professionally for fifteen years. Throughout my career, I have assembled an arsenal of techniques to help improve my creativity, efficiency and style as an illustrator.

I create my work in Adobe Illustrator from start to finish... and I am going to walk you through my creation process. Illustrator is an incredible tool to use to develop yourself as an artist, and by following along with my process, you will develop a more grounded, organized and efficient way of working. I take full advantage of my computer's resources to execute my vision.

What You'll Learn

You will learn vector-based illustration using Adobe Illustrator's most essential tools. I will help you hone in on a whimsical illustration style. We'll cover:

  • Generating ideas. I will encourage you to go somewhere you are inspired by to collect imagery and resources.
  • Reference sketching. We will compile your inspiration into reference sketches for your illustration.
  • Blocking in your shapes in Illustrator. You will start your illustration by blocking in shapes and colors, suggesting the composition of your piece.
  • Vector drawing. We will begin by drawing in your characters and working with the shapes.
  • Layer and label organization. I will share with you best practices in organizing your layers and labels to maximize your workflow.
  • Masking. I will show you how to use masks to make a complex illustration more manageable.
  • Shading & volumizing. You will bring your sketch to life with sketching and volumizing teachniques.

What You'll Do

You will Illustrate your favorite scene, and will finish the class with a final illustration piece created entirely in Adobe Illustrator. I will teach you how to develop a whimsical illustration out of real-life inspiration. You will develop your scene and characters using rendering techniques in Illustrator. By completing this project, you will walk through every tool necessary for an efficient and creative illustration process. This will hone in on your design skill, and you will notice a great improvement in your work.

254 of 257 students recommendSee All

All I can say is WOW!!! Great class with so many tips and tricks that were new to me. Gets me excited to do some illustration. Would love to see you teach another class. Thank you!!
Wow! Learned so much and really enjoyed his thorough teaching style.
Rhonda Baldwin

fiber mixed media art

Amazing class!! thank you Chris!!!





Chris Leavens

Vector Illustrator and Artist

I create story-rich artwork, surreal landscapes filled with bizarre monsters and fantastical characters. Heavily inspired by the outdoors, I bend the beauty of the natural world through a prism of humor and absurdity, resulting in whimsically-twisted, highly-imaginative images. I use a variety of media to create my work, but I'm best known for my colorful, detailed vector illustrations. My art has appeared in art galleries, computer games, books, magazines, TV shows, and feature films and I've written contributions for numerous vector-art publications, including Sharon Streuer's excellent "Adobe Illustrator CS5 Wow! Book".

I am currently a senior digital designer at Disney Publishing Worldwide.