Vector Illustration For Beginners | Jeremy Mura | Skillshare

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Vector Illustration For Beginners

teacher avatar Jeremy Mura, Graphic & Brand Designer, Youtuber

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

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

    • 1.

      Class Trailer


    • 2.

      What is Vector Illustration


    • 3.

      Illustration Styles


    • 4.

      Finding Inspiration


    • 5.

      Adobe Illustrator Workspace


    • 6.

      Anchors & Paths


    • 7.

      Making Selections


    • 8.

      The Shape Tool


    • 9.

      The Pen Tool


    • 10.

      Colour Swatches


    • 11.

      BONUS: 10 Vector Illustration Tips


    • 12.



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About This Class

About This Class

Illustration can look scary to beginners especially with the amount of tools to use, with the right techniques you can create amazing illustrations. In this 50 minute class, I'll explain design principles, tips, tools and techniques to mastering vector illustration.

The lessons cover:

  • Adobe Illustrator Basics
  • Design Fundamentals
  • Understanding Vector Illustration
  • Mastering Tools for Effective Workflow
  • BONUS Vector Tips & Tricks

All you'll need for this class is Adobe Illustrator (Free Trial), I'm using CC but other versions is fine.

You'll learn great tips to get you started creating your first illustration.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jeremy Mura

Graphic & Brand Designer, Youtuber

Top Teacher


About Jeremy

Jeremy Mura is an award-winning brand identity designer, Youtuber and creator from Sydney, Australia.

He has been in the design industry for 10 years working for both small and big brands worldwide. He has worked for brand names such as Disneyland Paris, Adobe Live, Macquarie Business School, American Express and Telstra.

He has over 6M+ Views on Youtube with over 650+ videos uploaded, has taught over 80k+ Students on Skillshare and has grown a following of 100k+ on Instagram.

Jeremy has been featured on Adobe Live, LogoLounge Book 12, Skillshare, Conference, Creative Market.

You can follow him on Youtube, Instagram or get free resources on

See full profile

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1. Class Trailer: Hey, it's Jeremy Mura here. I'm a designer and illustrator from Sydney, Australia. Today, I want to be doing an introduction to vector illustration. This course is going to be for beginners. We're going to go through different programs, certain styles of illustration, as well as going through the Shape tool, the Pen tool, and going through the layout and how to use Illustrator. We're going to be going through my process and how I design things, and what you can actually use vector illustration for. You can use it for branding, poster design, illustration work, logo design. You can use it for a range of different projects and even clients. So it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm going to show you a bit of my process and how we can use the tools in the most efficient way. I hope you guys enjoy the class. Don't forget to enroll, and I'll see you guys in there. 2. What is Vector Illustration: The cool thing about vector illustration is that when you create an art or a design, it actually uses a mathematical equation. It uses paths. With Illustrator, the good thing about this type of illustration is that you can actually scale the object as high as you want. That's how people use vectors for creating logos or branding, because if you create a little logo and it goes in a business card, you can actually scale it up to a billboard and it won't lose its quality. That's why doing vector illustration is very flexible and it's more easier when you're doing that. You'll be able to put on more items or objects and it gives you more opportunities to create different art for certain projects. That's why I love vector illustration. But you can see here I've got an example of what vector is in raster. When you use Photoshop, raster pretty much means pixels. So Photoshop uses pixels. But if I zoom in here, you can see I've got the shape here. If I zoom in, it's straight. It's not going to pixelate. You can see, if you zoom in really far, it might look a bit off, but it's actually a vector that's all mathematical, and that's the way Illustrator works. You can see here, I'm just dragging an anchor point. It's all just shapes and paths. This is just paths and it reads it as a path. Because this is a closed shape, you can create a column. If I zoom in, you can see how it's scaled up. It doesn't lose its quality, it stays like that. It uses the anchor points and it uses paths, which is a cool thing about vector illustration. Then raster as you can see, if I zoom in, you can see if it's scaled up, it pixelates. That's what rasterize does. It pixelates, you can see that. So it loses its quality. You can't scale it up, and it's not as flexible as you think. People who do cancel that, they'll save at like 10,000 pixels by 10,000. So they'll save in higher resolutions. Then when it's actually scaled down or a bit higher, then it won't lose its quality. That's the difference, and that's why it's awesome to do vector illustration. Here's just a short example of a few axes here. You can see here it looks complicated, but it's actually just all shapes. If I select it, you can see all the paths and all the strokes just like that. If I go into outline mode as well, I'll press Control Y and you can see I'm in outline mode. You can see that it's just all anchor points and paths and they're all just shapes. That's how Illustrator reads it. It's really cool and that's amazing. We're going to go there and I'll just break it up. You can see it's about five different shapes, we got circle, rectangle, and a square pretty much, and then these are just strokes. This wood grain type of effect is just a stroke. You can actually make that with a pen tool, just like that. It's very simple. Vector illustration is fun, it's awesome and you can create so much different types of work with it. 3. Illustration Styles: Three basic styles when you're doing some Vector illustration. The first one is the simplest one, and that is just a flat design. Flat design is great for simple illustrations, more like shape-based, great for icons as well, and for web pages. You can see they are just basic shapes, really simple and really flat, not much detail and then if you want to go for a more realistic approach, then you can do a more stylized look as you can see here. It's a more realistic character at a more detail, more human characteristics as well, to give that feel and make it a bit more stylized in the specific character you want to give it in your personality. Then the third one is an Isometric style, which is pretty fun and this is just a simple one I did really quick and you can see it's very blocky. So an Isometric style, looks like a bit like a Minecraft's type of feel like when you look at games or stuff like that, that have cubes and it looks like 3-D. Isometric view is good for that. So this are three some basic styles that you can experiment with and practice and I recommend starting off with these and especially learn through the flat one first and then focus on doing more detail and playing around with these styles. 4. Finding Inspiration: There are so many ways to find inspiration for some vector illustration. I love going to sites like Dribbble. You can see here I've just typed in illustration and it gets a lot of cool work, very polished about people post up work in progress. There are so many different artists in different styles, so it's really good to get up here and see the quality of work, and try and learn off other designers as well as much as you can. But get inspiration and there's so much cool stuff in here, but you don't want to look at it too much because it's going to actually cloud your mind and you'll end up copying too much. So I recommend don't look at Dribbble too much, but it's really good when you need a bit of inspiration. Behance is also good as well, and they've got a lot of in-depth projects and products that a lot of people post, that people put a lot of effort into it and they look awesome. I sometimes come to it to get some inspiration but as again, I try and avoid Behance as well because I don't want to copy too much of other people's work. Pinterest is also awesome. I try and read books and go out and take photos when I'm hanging out with friends, and start building out some boards. Because you want to get inspiration from your own world and you experience instead of always going online. But you can see here it's easy to add boards, I got all these boards here, so much different type of stuff. You can see Pinterest is pretty useful. I can just put an illustration board of favorite artwork, when something catches my eye I can just go look at it. You can see here some examples of stuff I like, and it doesn't always have to be one style, it could be different. Sometimes it's a bit more concept art, sometimes it's flat design, sometimes it's a bit more textured work, more stylized, which I love looking at. Another good site is Illustration Age as well, it's specifically for illustrators it's got classes, resources and they premiere other people's work and podcasts as well. You can see here it features new work and it helps you out, they have articles that give you tips. You can get inspiration from other people's projects as well, and you can see that they've got a fancy page and all this cool stuff. If I scroll down you can see they got daily inspiration on things that are popping up, new projects people worked on, and it's really awesome to get some inspiration on here. Another quick one is Inspiration Grid, there are so many blog sites as well. It's always good to go and blogs and search it out and check what's there. This is pretty sweet, a lot of different artists on here different styles that is featured. Some cool artists who is illustrators and sometimes I just come in here to see what's happening and get some inspiration here as well. Another good one is Creative Bloq as well, this is a very more educational site. They have advice, inspiration, tutorials, they give you tips, and they got other categories not necessarily Illustration, but they've got Web Design, Graphic Design as well. Digital art and I learned a lot from digital art and concept artists as well, and it's cool because they give you advice of tools and tips, and what's new, what's the best programs to use, and it's great for beginners. You can see it looked 10 of the best illustrators tools is much. You can get insights into what's trending, what's working, and things that are going to help you even if you're a beginner. So I really love Creative Bloq and they have awesome blogs on here. 5. Adobe Illustrator Workspace: I'm going to show you a bit about the workspace of Illustrator CC. It might look a bit different if you're using a previous version, but I'm going to show you from the viewpoint from Illustrator CC. This is the first thing you'll see when you start up. You can see I've got a menu, it just shows my most recent files, which I can change the grid if I want to, and you can see that. You can also create new files here or open files, as well as do that in the file open, file new, which can do that. So I'm just going to create a new document. This is your presets when you create a new document. You can go print or web, whatever you're designing for. I'm just going to go to recent, and you can choose some of these. I'm going to make my own, so I'm just typing, Vector Illustration. All these settings are fine, so I'll leave that and just press, "Create." When you start out, you'll see that it looks very busy. Illustrator, it can be really confusing, but once you get familiar with the layout, you'll get used to it. So on our main section, we have our menus on the top left. So we got file, edit, object, types, select, effect, view, window, and help. You've also got some options here as well if you want to change the layout or open other programs such as breach. You can also change your workspace at the top here as well. You can see I'm using a custom workspace. If I actually load up another workspace, it will load that in. You can see how it's changing all the tools, and bars, and stuff, but that's why it's good to make your own workspace. This is what I use on a regular basis and I feel this works for me. On your left-hand side, we've got our tools. We got our shape tools, the pen tool, type tool, with tool, you got everything here. You can control all your items by these tools here. We've got a fill and a shrek. Then on our right-hand side, we've got our Windows. Well, sometimes they call them panels, and these are really awesome. These are all our other tools that we use. So we got our colors, swatches, you got your type stuff, actions, brushes, symbols, graphic styles, and then your main layers, and your artboards. These are all cool. You can move these around, you can take them off, you can double-click to open it up like that or close it, drag it back in. You can also close in with these little arrows. This is really handy. This is your main workspace when you're working with Illustrator. You can also turn it off by pressing tab, as well as pressing F if you want to get rid of just the full screen so you can actually see your illustrations or your work you're doing and zoom in there. As you can see that, I'm just holding optional and just scrolling out, which is pretty handy. Then at the top, you got like a top bar. Sounds you could select certain tools. You see just like the top tool. You'll get some more tools on top right here. You can get your opacity, your stroke as well. It's like a quick bar where I can just go in here and edit my tools. Just like that. Really simply. The main tools you'll use when you're doing vector illustration, you'll be using objects mainly and effect. You can see you got illustrate effects. Try and avoid Photoshop effects as well. Just stick with these ones. Here goes Photoshop effects eraser. Object, you'll see you've got your transform, you grouping, and then you always effect so you can see these tools will really help you when you're doing illustrations. Then if you want to edit programs or keyboard shortcuts, saving, column modes, and setting up a document, file and edit are the main categories to go. You can go through here and look through these options here, as well as edit. If you ever have problems, you can go look at the keyboard shortcuts in edit down here, and also preferences if you want to change certain aspects of your illustrator program. Then you've got select to make selections. The type tool, this is mainly to do with the typography, particularly fonts and stuff, which is pretty fun. I like that. You can see some of my fonts there. Then we've got view, which controls the view, how you see the way you are working, and something like that. So you got bounding boxes, the op-eds. If you want to hide edges, if you're printing, you can do this every print preview and prove setup as well like that. Turn that off. You can also go into outline mode as well from here. So different view modes. I'm just going to put the pass it back on that, and you can play around with those an even add your views. Then we've got Windows. These control our panels on the right here of the Windows. So if I open these, it's going to open new ones as you can see here. I can right-click and closes off. These control your libraries as well. This is very important. If you ever need help, you can also go he as well, or just go on YouTube, or some of my tutorials, which will help you out. So yeah, this is how we build up the workspace and the workflow and I hope you get used to it. 6. Anchors & Paths: Here are a few basic terms that you need to know when you're working with vector illustration. Sometimes people get confused but it's important to know these. On the top-left, we're going to go for the first one which is an anchor. If I zoom in here, I'm just going to go into outline mode so you can see. If we look at the end of this path here, you can see there's a little cross on the end, that's called an anchor point. It's the end of a path that would be an anchor point so this side is the end, then this side is the end. Don't worry about these circles, they're just there to help you but if I get my direct selection tool and click on this red path, you can see there's a square there, it says anchor, so that's an anchor point. So we can actually move these anchor points. You can create anchor points as well with the pen tool and click on the path and make another anchor point like that. You can see that and you can click, and now we're just made more anchor points there. That's what an anchor point is. The next one is a handle. What a handle allows you to do is to edit a path. What we have here is three anchor points making this ellipsoid. So we've got one, two, three, that's making this half ellipse. You can see we can move that, and if I zoom in here again, you can see that an anchor point is in the center here. When we select an anchor point, I'll just lock this here and I'll lock these two strokes, as I select this path, you can see these handles popping up. We can actually move those handles. You can see here is a handle. We can actually move that and it's actually going to affect this path. I will just get rid of this yellow part and I'll select it again. You can see here, I'm selecting the path and its going to be handles. So what handle does is allow you to manipulate the path of the stroke to where you want and you can see there's handles on both sides. If you want to move one handle, you can hold "Alt" and actually just drag that around and you can do it with the other side as well. But you got to make sure you're using the pen tool or the direct selection tool. That's what a handle is. A handle allows you to manipulate it, allows you to make smooth curves and that type of thing. The next one will be a fill and a stroke. This is a fill and this is a stroke. You can see these are two shapes or closed paths. When you go to the left-hand side, you can see on the red is what we have. You can see on the left-hand side we've got this red part. You can see if I click there is no stroke on it. The red line with a red line means there's no stroke, it's just a fill. If I select the stroke now, you can see that there's no fill, it's got the red line and there's a stroke there. That's the difference between a fill and a stroke. An open path is just pretty much a path. If I press "Ctrl Y" to outline mode, you can see it's just a path, and if I put a mouse over it says path. That's what a path is. It's pretty much just an open path, It's not closed, it's not a shape, it's not an object, is just pretty much a path, also known as a stroke. You can see now, this one is a closed path. So if I select this, and if I press "Shift X", I can actually switch the stroke to an actual fill and I can actually color it. You can see it's a closed path. But if it wasn't closed, then you can see how the fill still works, but it's not closed path. So it's actually going to have a weird effect. The sixth one is the gradient. This is what a gradient is. Most people know what a gradient is, but I thought I might chuck that in. Gradient is pretty much a smooth transition of a hue or a color to another one. You can see it's got the yellow to the red and you can see on my right hand side I got the gradient tool up here and if I move this, you can actually adjust this gradient like that. These are just some basic terms that can be helpful when you're doing some vector illustration. 7. Making Selections: There's a few different ways you can actually make selections within Illustrator. There's four main ones that you can use, which I'm going to show you now. The first one is the Selection Tool. The Selection Tools are located at the top left-hand corner on your toolbar. You can see about one, two, three, four. First one is Selection Tool, and one next to it is the Direct Selection Tool, the one below it is the Magic Wand Tool similar to Photoshop, and the fourth one is a Lasso Tool. These ones are pretty much used in Photoshop as well, so Illustrator is used the same way. With this Selection Tool, you can see it's a black mouse. If I put my mouse over the objects with the shapes I have here, you can see how it shows the part, and if I just left click once, it's going to select the one object I want, and I can click and drag and move it around. Click once, and I can drag them around just like that. That's with the Selection Tool. You can see when you use the Selection Tool, if you select it, it's going to show up the bounding box and you can actually transform that shape and I can actually drag it like this. I can also go to the corner and actually rotate the shape as well. You do have some capabilities to manipulate the shape like that. That's a Selection Tool. The second one is a Direct Selection Tool. The Direct Selection Tool is a white mouse, and you can see it allows you to select specific anchor points. You can see if I put my mouse on the object, I can still select it normally, but instead of having a transform bounding box around it, it's going to show up the anchors. You can see I can go directly move the anchor points, I can actually edit the handles as well, you can see there, and you have a lot more capabilities when you use a Direct Selection Tool. You can always play around with the Direct Section and the Selection Tool at the same time. They are very similar, but they do have different properties and ways of using them. You can see that it was editing all the anchors and the handles really easily, and I can just click off that and I can also move it around as well, which is really simple. The third one is the Magic Wand. You can see the Magic Wand, I'm going to click that up there, and you can see it selects objects with the same color. If I click on one object with this color, I'm going to select it and you can see how it selected all these circles together. You can see down here, it's actually selected these circles too. You can see when there's an object that has the same color or same new gradient or style in it, it's going to select. That's what the Magic Wand does, so it saves you time and it's quick. In case you have a lot of shapes in your artwork, you can just select one of them and it's going to select them all, which saves you time. Number four is the Lasso Tool. If I click on the Lasso Tool, it's like Photoshop. I can actually just click and drag and draw an area of selection and as soon you select those objects within that area. You can see it just selected these three objects here. I can do the same for the red side as well. I can select whatever I want and it's going to make that selection. Then I press V for the Selection Tool, or you can press A for the Direct Selection Tool, and I can go ahead and move these together just like that. These are four Selection Tools to use and it's really awesome. Another cool trick as well is, if you go to the top corner on your menus, you can actually press select and you can select all by going control A, even all in the artboard. You can inverse, you can also select Same Appearance. As the Magic Wand, you can select the same objects if they have Fill Color, the same Opacity, Stroke Color, even the same Blending Mode. These are really handy. If I go Fill Color, you can see it's selecting all the objects that are red now, as you can see that. That's another handy tool as well to use. 8. The Shape Tool: The two most common tools that you're going to use when you're doing some vector illustration is your pen tool and your shape tool. I'm going to show you how to use the shape tool now and we'll go into the pen tool a bit later. But you can see here, I've just made a sword and I broke it down. I just created these dashed lines so you can use it as a guide just so I can show you as an example. Then you can see here, it has three shapes like that. I went through, added a bit of shading, and then I added some highlights. You can see here, I added the light there. Let us put that there so you can see that it's coming in this direction from the left. That's why this highlight is on this side and the shadows are more on the right side and under the handle there. So that's pretty useful. So we're going to recreate this now and going show you how to use the shape tool. If you don't know how to move the board, you can hold spacebar and click and drag, just left-click, drag whilst holding the spacebar and you can move it around like that, really simple. If you want to zoom in really quick like this, you hold Option or Alt if you're on a PC and we'll use the scroll wheel up and down like that. Really simple. So I'm just going toy zoom it out there and we're going to start using the shape tool. Your main tool is on the left-hand side, you can see your shake tools here with a little rectangle. Keep in mind that, you've got direct selection tool here, the white one, and your selection tool is V. So that's V and this is A. This tool, we're going to be using to make selections. So you shake tool here back to the rectangle. I'm going to right-click on that. You can see how it has a menu. What we're going to do, we're going to click this little arrow here and it's going to bring up this box. So now, we can see that you've got the rectangle, the elipse tool, pentagon, star, and the lens flare. We can use any of these. What we can do is just click and then you can actually just drag it out like that. Really simply. For the rectangle tool, shortcut key is M, and for the ellipse tool, it's L. Like that. So keep that in mind. If you want to keep the restraints on a shape, you can make sure the shape is selected and you can hold Alt and Shift and it's going to keep it like that. If you didn't hold it, it's just going to make it and it's going to go wild like that. So that looks a little shapes. So what we're going to do, we're going to stop bidding up these shapes. So I'm going to press M number, and I'm just going to drag these up. You can see how it's connecting to the dashed lines. That's because if I've got a view, you can see my smart guard is on, so make sure that it's turned on and it's going to help you out. It's going to snap to the point. So I'm just going to press V to get out of that selection and I'm just going to go out. I'm just going to change the color so you guys can see it, just like this. Then to do this N-bit, what we're going to do is we're going to use the pen tool, press P, and then we're going to click and add an anchor point onto the path. What I'm going to do, I'm going to press A for the direct selection tool. Select these. I'm just going to drag this up. Make sure it's actually on the strikes. Right now, we're going to use the pen tool. What I'm going to do is I'm going to select this strike. I'm going to press the direct selection tool with the A button, a shortcut. Select the strike, press P for the pen tool, find the center point. You can see there the guy helped me up. I'm going to click. So what that is doing is it's going to add an anchor on to this stroke for that path. What I'm going to do, I'm going to select this anchor point, and then I'm going to bring this up like this to add that section there. Now, you can see, you got that shape. It's pointy and it's just one shape now. What we're going to do is I'm going to add this part to the handle now and we're going to fix that up. I'm going to press M, I'm going to hold Option or Alt and drag this out like that. You don't have to hold shift, you can just hold Option. Then what I'm going to do, I'm going to press A for the direct selection tool, I'm going to select this side and hold Shift and select the other anchor points. So you can see, we've got all these anchor points. Now if you're in CC, you'll get this new feature. It's like a little white ball there. I can actually click that and drag it in and it's going to round off the corners. You see how it did it on both sides, just like that. Then I can make it less round if I wanted to, we'll make it really round. That's a handy tool. You can also edit the corners from up here as well just to make sure the points is selected. On the top toolbar, you can see it says corners, and I can edit those. So you can press down and hold Shift and it will go up by 10, and it will round that off. So that's pretty cool. Now, I'm going to make another rectangle. So make sure to click that. We'll press M and we'll do the same here. I'm going to use the direct selection tool, which is the white mouse, and then drag this up. Now, rounding that off. So you can see, you've got three shapes. If I align them, you can see 1, 2, 3. Just simple shapes, just using the rectangle tool pretty much. What I'm going to do, I'm going to select all these with the selection tool, just the black one, and I'm just going to hold Option or Alt, drag it across like that. What I'm going to do is it's going to color these shapes. So I'm going to select this, which is a gray. To switch it over from a stroke to a fill, you see this in the left-hand corner, you can just switch it, click this little arrow here or press Shift X. Then we'll select these ones and we're going to choose these brown colors. To get rid of the strike as well, go to the left bottom corner and just click this little red line there and it'll get rid of it. I'm going to select that and then get rid of that. So now, we have a saw like this and we're going to copy it again, select it all, copy it across. Now, we're going to add some shadows like that. Once again, we're going to use a rectangle tool. I'm just going to select that. You can see how it's snapping to the point, just like that. What I usually do for this is I can use the shape builder tool. So if I select these two shapes, I can just press Shift M. So press Shift M and you'll be in the shape builder mode. As you can see here, this tool here, if I right-click, you'll see that, it's like a mouse of two circles. What I can actually do is if I hold alt option, it's going to minus the outside shape. So you can see, all the shapes you've selected are [inaudible] , and I can hold Option or Alt and a minus will pop up. If I click that shape or minus it off, like that. Now, it is stuck with this shape like that. So what I can do is go to my transparency now, I'll drag this out so you guys can see. What I can do is change the blending mode to multiply. I'm just going to change to a gray color, like that. So multiply multiplies the color on top of it so you can see, it becomes see through and it just adds a nice tone. I'll do the same for the handle. So for the center point, do that, select the two shapes you want, Shift M, hold option which will minus. You don't press option if you don't want to minus, you can just plus shapes together. So once again, I'll select this brown color, and I can do multiply, or we can even just select this color without pressing multiply, we'll just leave it like that. Then I'll do the same for here, rectangle again, select this. Then for this one, I'm going to do multiply because I wanted to be darker here. So now, you can see you got that sold there. Really simple. Then I'll copy it once again. So all we're doing is using basic shapes. It's not complicated. Now, we're going to add some stuff here. So what I'll do, use the rectangle tool and I'll minus this off, and then I'm going to use the direct selection tool and get these anchor points and just move this up like that. Then I'll multiply that, and then I'll just do the same for this side. This time, we're going to go onto screen to get that effect. So it looks it's a double-edged sword and it's pointing up the top. Then we'll use rectangle again. Make sure it clicks in. Select the two shapes, minus it out, and then select this point here and I'll round this section off. Then once again, create a screen like that. You can also put the opacity down here if you want it to be too bright. Then this last section, do this rectangle again, and then set the point, bring that down. So it's like the light is hitting this and coming outside of it because it's a long handle. Once again, go select screen, and then drop it, pass it down a little bit. So there we have it. Just by using the rectangle tool, you can create a sword really simply. We're using a few other tools as well. Next, we're going to be showing you how to use the pen tool. 9. The Pen Tool: This time we're going to use the Pen tool in more detail. If you go on the left-hand side, you can see it's up too from the Shape tool, it's right here. If I right-click there, you'll get some options. So you get the Pen tool, Add Anchor Point tool, Delete Anchor Point tool and the Anchor Point tool. So we can actually bring this out, again with the little arrow and we'll bring this cell like this. So the shrug off of the Pen tool is P. Both either if you're on a Mac or PC it's the same. You can see how your mouse changes to like a little pin nib. What we can actually do is start creating these strokes. I'm going to press orange and make sure it's on your stroke, not your fill. Because with the Pen tool, it makes a path and it makes anchor points like we spoke about before. What I'm going to do, I'm going to make sure that's locked. I'm going to press Pen tool and start going through here. I'm going to click on this corner here, and you can see when you click it as an anchor point, and from the anchor point, wherever you click next is going to add the next anchor point for your path. I'll click there and you can see now it's just added that path like that. What we can do now is, with the Pen tool, we have to make a curve. You can see how this is curved and we don't want to just click like this because then it's going to be weird. We want to make sure that it's a smooth curve. What I'll do with the Pen tool is you want to go to the furthest point, and if we left click and hold it and just hold Shift, it will do a curve like this. When you hold Shift, it's going to restrict it to 90 degrees, 40, or 45 degrees, like this. You can see I'm moving my mouse around like this, and it's changing in that direction. I'm just on which you can keep it at like a horizontal side, and I'm just going to drag out, and then what I'm going to do is let go. You can still see now that the stroke is not as curved on the right curve as you want it. I'm just going above this strike a little so you guys can see it. You can see how the curve is messed up now. What we can do, if you pressed up the Pen tool, and you want to make sure you see how I clicked back on that last point, that's how you continue from that last point. You can see we have this little handle here. So what handles do, is they control the path on one side, or both sides, so you've got this side and this side. You can see that we can actually move it. What I'm going to do, I'm going to click on this anchor point, Convert Anchor Point tool here, and you can see, I can actually drag this handle up, like this. I'm going to move it to get a better curve. So we can see just by moving the handle in an upward direction, it has actually fixed the curve. It has actually made it nice and smooth, just like that. What I'll do, I'll press P the Pen tool, and because it's not selected, I'll left-click once back on that point, and we'll try do the other side now. I'm going to select this point, I'm going to hold Shift and just drag down. You can see [inaudible] but let go. You can see that it's done a nice curve and it has hit the mark straight away. So you can see now we've got this big handle there, but if we click, you can see how it's starting to curve it off. We don't want that. What you can do to cancel this off, we can actually just left-click and it will delete that handle, or you can go up to the handle, and if you press the Convert tool, you can actually move this handle this way. Another shortcut to remove the handle is, if you have the Pen tool selected, you can hold Option, or if you're on a PC and you can actually click and move the handle in the direction you want. So you move in direction you want. Now if I click back on here, we can just start again, and just left-click. So that's a [inaudible] in the handles. Then once again, I'm just going to hold Shift and get that nice curve, and the handles are already in that nice position so I can leave it there. So now we've got this shield here. So you can see now that we have this shield, and we're going to build these out, so I will just drag this down. I'm just going to hold, copy this across, press Shift X and we'll select a color, like that. I'm just going to leave it, and then press P for the Pen tool and we'll do a cross now. So left-click, I'm just holding Shift and left clicking. If you want straight lines all you have to do is just click once, left-click. But if you want curves, you click and drag with the Pen tool. Because you just want this little cross, we don't need curves. But if you want curves, you click and drag. That's how you make curves. If I shifted to a straight, you can see we have a path with all these anchor points in it. So you can see, one, two, three, four, five, six anchor points on that one path, like that. I'm just going to delete that. We have our shield, I'm just going to select these and copy it across. Now with the Pen tool, we can actually make this shadow here, as you can see. So I'm going to press P, I'm going to click once, find the spot on the left-hand side, left-click and drag, and then I'm just going to drag across and close off the path. So if you want to make a shape, you have to close off the shape, or close the path off. I have to end back on that last point. Now you can see this is one shape and now I can color it properly like this. I'm just going to select the gray. I'm going to select these two shapes, and once again use the Shape Builder tool, Shift M, hold up Option or Alt and minus the outside. Now we've got this and I'm going to go back to my Transparency panel, I'll drag it out so you guys can see. I'm going to go to Multiply, and now we have that cool shadow there. Now I'm going to copy this across, and we'll do the same for the highlight, and just imagine the light is coming from this way, I'm going to select it, I'm just clicking and dragging it to get a curve. You can see the handle is pointing this way, so it's going to make a nice curve down here, it will go all the way down here. You always want to do as minimal anchor points as you can, to get the best curves. I'm going to select this Shape builder, minus it off, select this and go to Screen, and there we have it. We've got some nice highlight there, and a shadow without shield in the last cross. So that's how you use the Pen tool. There's a lot more that goes into it. You just got to practice and get better with it. It takes a bit of time, but you can do so much with it. You can see we've got the minus and plus. If you on the shape, we can actually go back to this shape here. I shall go back to the original. You can see if I press minus and I click on anchor point, it's going to minus that anchor point, like that. Just like that, I'm left clicking once and it minuses. But you can also add anchor points. So you can see the plus sign there, you can actually go to the line and make sure you click directly on the path, and you can see that this elevated on the anchor point. Now I can play around with that. I can click that and plus it. So all it is just using the Pen tool. You can even do with a normal Pen tool and click on the paths and it will move it, just like that. Maybe we want like a spiky. You got to make sure it's on the path or sometimes you can miss it. Click the plus, go in the Pen tool at the points. Now if you've got like a rough shield there. That's how you use the Pen tool, and I hope you learned something about it. 10. Colour Swatches: Color is so importantly doing vector illustrations. It's going to create an atmosphere, a mood, and it's going to ultimately spike emotions and make your illustration look good or bad. You don't want to have muddy colors and muddy tones. You always want to make sure that it's enough contrast and there's enough interesting colors so people's eyes will focus on it and draw near to it. On this a little illustration I quickly did, you can see I've been using five colors. There's a red, and then I've got some light gray blue tones. It's good to have some cool tones and then warm tones, which is this red. There's like an icon contrast. You can see here just by using the red, you can see this is a lightening in the background and then by just using these dark of blue typically tones, you can see that some contrast, some effects, even in some details in then, a little bit of shading is so we can see. I just use the pen tool and the shape tools. You can see we can create some nice effects. Color is very important and it's going to ultimately make your work look good or bad. I'm just going to show you what I use to find some color palettes. Before we get stuck into the swatches panel, I usually go online and go to low colors, is a good one, as well as Color Hunt is another site that's pretty cool and Adobe Color. You can see he does all these pallets and it's awesome. There's plenty of other sites like Pinterest and you can also go and dribble and look at other people's color palettes and even experiment with those because no one has called grabbed the colors you can play around with what you want and it's going to work. Sometimes I guess going local is I'll look for a nice palette that I like. Then what you can actually do is actually select it and put your mouse over it. You can just select the hex code. The hex code is pretty much the code for the RGB on a color and you can just copy, paste that in.. Now if I go back to illustrate up, I'm going to select this gray tone. You can see we have our swatches panel. In Illustrator, you swatches panel is way you use your colors. If you've got a window down two switches, it, then this is how you open this box. It's a bit messy now, but also when the default colors will be different than this. But you can always delete them by going Select all unused and you just delete them like that and press the Pin buttona and then we'll ask you to delete. That's how easily cleaned my boxes up. There's always other options. If you need help, you can express in the drop-down menu here. You can create daylight swatches, creates watches, change the actual view of the swatches as well. If you want to go large thumbnail view, make it really big or you can go back and make it into a list if you want, and turn it into a list like that. But I prefer to just leave it on medium or small, which is pretty handy. What I'm going to do is I have the shape selected. I'm going to double-click on this fill here. That's your fill and this is the stroke. So make sure it's the field. Double-click on it. What I'm going to do is post that hex code in control V. You can see there. If I click on that, it should change. As you can see, remember how we selected this green color here on the left. Now it's recognizing that code and selecting that color, the we going to press Okay. Now you see we have this color now. What we can actually do with this color is create a swatch. You can see how some of these swatches have a white bar on the bottom and some don't. This means that these ones are global colors and these are just normal default swatches. The reason why we do this is I'm going to show you in a minute. We're going to press this little button here on the right bottom corner. Looks like little document. See how we click global color here. The reason why we do that is so that if you have multiple objects or shapes that have the same color, you can just change that one color and it's going to affect all the elements in your document or artwork with that same color. If you don't do global colors and you're going to have to change each individual shape or object and change the color manually, which is annoying. So clicking global colors is going to save you time and energy. So you want to do that. Then as well you can click spot color, but don't worry about that sleeve on process because none of you are going to be doing crazy printing stuff phobic clients. Then you'll color mode. You can change the RGB or CMYK. I prefer to work in CMYK, just in case I'm going to print something off. It gets that nice look and that's going to be fine to look at the inks. They can actually edit these bases as well. If you want to edit those. You can even customize the color further if you want. Which is pretty handy. But we'll just go back to that green color and then we'll press Okay. Now you can see must watch panels actually added it to the bottom. You can see how it's added it. I can also make a new group and call it new. Then it's going to add that new color, cause we have this object selected into this new group down here, you can also drag the colors here. But I'm just going to go drag into being because we have duplicates and you can drag the things into the new group as well. Maybe I want to make a palette with some oranges and yellows, and now we have this new group color. Now if I click on this object, I can go and click on that new color, we made it. I can also go and just click on other swatches as well to change the color. So it's actually very easy to use. You just click on them as well, changing color. You can see that we have this new global colors. We've got this green and this orange, which is pretty awesome. We can make new swatches by pressing this button, by selecting objects, creating new swatches. We can create new groups by pressing the folder here. You can also look at other options as well. If you have patterns or gradient swatches, you can actually select just to see those ones. You can see I don't have any set weren't pop up. But you can actually do that as well. What we're going to do now is use the eyedropper tool to create some new swatches as well. I have an image, if you do photographer or you have images, or you can take around things around your house. You can actually use those photos and color palette from it. If you press I also on the left-hand side, you can see the eyedropper. We can actually go select these colors. But first, and you can see the, how the mass changes. I'm going to first select this first object down here, and I'm going to press I so what we're going to do now is click on anywhere we want on the photo and get that color, which is really awesome. Maybe you want some of these lime colors. I'm going to set this other shape. I can zoom in. Get rid of these, see how it's pixelated because it's a photograph, I can select a nice green tint. Now we have that color. Then maybe we can go, get like a nice yellowy brown there for that. Then we can have a red tone, a blood orange tone there. Then I can just copy that by holding out. I can go maybe get another color there. So just like that, in like 10 seconds, you've just created a new color palette with just a photograph. It's really easy just using the eyedropper and you can create some nice swatches. Now a cool trick, I'm going to select all these colors. Click on the Group button and you get some option C. You can tick the first-line, but I take the bottom one and then convert to process color. So we convert these colors to a global and you can leave includes what is obtains and then you can name it Orangey. Now I'm going to create a whole new group with all the swatches that you just created. 11. BONUS: 10 Vector Illustration Tips: So I'm going to give you 10 tips for vector illustration that I use in my own personal work. I believe it's going to help you out. Number one is perspective. Play around with the foreground, the background, and the middle ground, and use different angles, especially if you're using isometric or you have an isometric type of design. You're going to have different angles of perspectives. So there's a vanishing point that goes off in the distance and you've got to create that illusion. Even when you're working on a layered piece, if you want to create a sense of scale, perspective is a good thing. Sometimes my pieces I would add big dark boat shapes in my front, which is the foreground and then in the background, I'll add smaller-scaled objects which makes it give that nice scale and looks like the things are in the distance. So it's very important to use perspective and it's going to capture your viewers' eye. Number two is color. Always experiment. Don't use the default pallets in Illustrator. Experiment with different palettes. Pastels, warm colors, complementary colors, monochromatic styles. There is so many different types of colors. I always go on Pinterest or Dribble or Callahan and other sites and create some tonal families from those. You can copy other people's pieces and their color palettes because no one has copyrights of a color. Unless you're like Coca-Cola or something. But you can use other people's color palettes, experiment, change it up, mix it up, and get some nice colors. The good thing is that, certain colors you use will evoke emotions. Like yellow is joyful and happiness, and then red represents blood danger and anger. It's going to create the whole atmosphere. So color is very important. Number three is sketching. Don't just jump into Illustrator straightaway. Always sketch concepts beforehand. The more work you do sketching, the less time it's going to take later on when you got to vectorize your work. Practice every day, an hour. Just do doodles or scribbles. You don't have to use crazy tools. You can just use a normal 2B pencil and some piece of paper and that's all you need. This is key and you make sure you need to do it. Number four would be contrast. Use shape, form, tone to create contrast. It's very important you use these elements because sometimes things will look uneven or wonky and there's not enough contrast between your main character and your other characters if you're doing character design. Or if you have just an artwork where you got a nice backdrop, and then you have your main topography in the front, you want it to have contrast. If the topography has to be big compared to the little topography depending on what's important and what's not. Use shape and form and even hierarchy as well, to help you out with that. Texture is awesome as well. Use grains, brushes, halftones, vector textures, inks, whatever you want. You've so many different elements you can use for texture, but I recommend texture is the best thing because it adds realism to your pieces. It gives a bit of a grunge effect, a bit of a real effect to it. Especially if you're working with clients, they're going to want it to be very detailed. Make sure you're using high-quality textures. Number six is focus. If you have a focal point within your piece, it's going to draw your viewer's eye. So if you have something in the center or you want somewhere on your art board for the viewer to focus on, you want to make that spot to be bright. You want it to have high visibility and you want it to be legible. You want to draw the viewer's eye. The brain works like this. The eye reads from left to right, most English people that's how it is, and it reads from top to bottom. Most of the time, the reader's eyes it would go from left to the top corner and go down. So depending on your focal point, it's going to draw the viewer's eye to that second point. It's very important. Number seven is balance. Don't overuse effects. Use hierarchy. Now, I see this a lot where there's not enough balance. There's too many elements together bunched up. That's not working well, obviously depends on the project you're working on, but balance has to be key. Especially if you're using iconography, you have to use grids to make sure it's all even and it's all cohesive together. So make sure you're using balance. Obviously if it's a vector art, it's obviously can go for a cool style. Obviously, if it's just a vector art piece for personal projects, then you can play around and you can break this rule. Number eight is value. Don't have your piece muddy. You got to have enough light and dark value tones. So what value is the brightness or the saturation of your color, your tones. Maybe you want your background, you want it to be night, and your background's dark and you want the front to be light, you got to have the right tones. If the tones are too similar, within the color and the light and the shade, it's going to mix up and look muddy and there's not going to be enough contrast in it. So make sure you have the right tonal values, and it's going to make your piece look more coherent and look a lot smoother. Number nine will be style. Experiment, different styles. Flat, geometric, isometric, stylize, realistic, whatever it is, experiment. I always try and do different projects, even personal projects and work on different elements. I don't want to stick with one style but I want to be able to do different styles. You might get a client that wants a children's book or you might want a client that wants to do magazines. So it all depends what type of illustration you want to go down. Focus on that style and work hard and be consistent and do the work that you want to do. Number ten would be tools. So if you have to buy products, buy products that help you speed up the process. Some products [inaudible] that I put out there is like a brush pack, texture pack, and even a [inaudible]. So it's going to speed up my process it's going to help me throw on those extra elements like textures so I don't have to go and waste too much time trying to build it myself. It's already done for me, so it's going to speed up my process and I can focus on my concepts and focus on pleasing my client or doing really good work. 12. Thanks: Thanks so much for enrolling in the class. Go to the top left corner and press the follow me button, that will keep you up-to-date with new classes and discussions I've posted. Don't forget to leave a review as well and any feedback is welcome, so I really appreciate if you can do that. Make a thumbs up, and I look forward to creating more classes for you.