Creating a Textured Illustration in Adobe Illustrator | James Olstein | Skillshare

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Creating a Textured Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar James Olstein, Editorial illustrator & cat enthusiast

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Making Brushes


    • 5.

      Setting Up Your File


    • 6.

      Creating the Vector


    • 7.

      Illustrator Brushes


    • 8.

      Adding Your Textures


    • 9.

      Filler Texture


    • 10.



    • 11.

      The End


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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to create a textured illustration that you can easily scale for both print and social media? In this class we will work along together to create the following...

  • a set of texture brushes
  • a large filler texture using just AI
  • a final textured illustration for print or sharing on social.

This class is aimed at beginners, but has some different techniques that more experienced illustrators may find useful.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

James Olstein

Editorial illustrator & cat enthusiast



Hello! My name is James Olstein. I'm an author and illustrator from Philadelphia. I work mostly in the field of editorial, brand and book illustration. I enjoy drinking coffee, listening to records and getting messy from screen printing. I have worked with clients such as the BBC, Monocle Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Scientific American, Bob's Burgers, Little White Lies, the Boston Globe, Creative Mornings, Sony Music and the National Constitution Centre.


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See more work at


My book series Odd Science.



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Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hi, my name is James Olstein, and this is my class, Creating a Textured Illustration Inside of Adobe Illustrator. Mostly, this class is aimed at beginners. If you have some some with Illustrator, you may find some of the tips and tricks helpful. I started my own illustration studio in 2016, and since then I've done work for the following clients. In this class, we'll be creating a textured illustration together, as well as a set of custom brushes that you'll be able to reuse. You don't really need many materials for this class besides a copy of Adobe Illustrator. We'll be using markers and pens to create our own brushes and then taking them into Illustrator. At the end of the class, you'll be able to take your final image and add it to social media, or even save it at a high enough DPI that you can make it into a print. I'm excited to be teaching this class and I can't wait to see your final textured illustrations. Well, let's get started. In the next section, we'll go over the materials that you'll need for class. 2. Materials: For this course, you're going to need the following supplies, just a copy of Adobe Illustrator for either Mac or PC, then you're going to need some things to create brushes with, so the first thing on the list is markers. I'm going to use this marker. It's a Micron 08. It's more of like a fine line to get some of those nice brush edges. It's a little bit of a thicker tip than some of the smaller Microns. I'm also going to use a brush pen. These are typically used in calligraphy. You'll see comic book artists use them for inking. You can get this one and the other pen at your local art supply store. They're pretty common. I'm going to have a ruler to get our brush lines nice and straight. Using the ruler, it'll save you some work later on once you get them into Illustrator. I'm using a small notebook for my brushes. You're going to have to photograph with either your phone or scan whatever you draw for your brushes so a smaller one is going to be easy to capture everything with, as opposed to a larger one that might not fit on a scanner or not get the entire way into the phone's photograph. Then once you have those things, we can move on to the next step, which is sketching. 3. Sketching: In this section we're going to be sketching the art that we want to vectorize. For sketching, you can do this on a piece of paper but I'm just going do my sketching in Procreate. Basically, I'm going to go to the plus sign up here. We add this all folder to create a new guide. Hit "Inches" and make this paper size 11, 72 DPI is cool. That looks good, create. Shrink that down a little bit and there's our canvas, and for the brush, I just have a dry ink brush. I like that pencil feel when I'm sketching. The art we're going to do today is just a little plant drawing. [inaudible] leaves. You can pretty much draw whatever you want. I would keep it fairly simple for this tutorial if you're just getting started because we're going to be blocking all of these things into Illustrator. [inaudible] in here just to make this a little more fun. Again, you can draw what you want. You can work along with me. Sure, if you looked at my Skillshare profile, you're not surprised I'm adding a cat. Get your sketch in there. Some cat, a few little details to this. You can work along and just take as much time as you need to get the sketch where you want it. Then I've got my sketch. I'm going go over here to the wrench. I'm going to go to "Share", hit "PNG" we just need a flat image for this. Hit "AirDrop". There's my computer. It's going to drop over there, just popped up on my computer screen. We are all done sketching. If you did this on paper, you're going to need to scan it or take a photo just so long as you have a flat image file to bring it over to Illustrator. Now that you have your sketches, we're going to move on to creating your brushes inside of your notebook. 4. Making Brushes: For this section, we're going to get our markers, our ruler, and our notebook out. We're going to start making some brushes. Now we're going to get our notebooks out and we're just going to make some brushes. The first brush I'm going to do is the micron. Basically, I'm going to use this to make two brushes. Let me use it to make some nice lines. Here's a nice thinner one. A second one. I'm going to try to make this one thicker. There we go. Keep them about that size. Here in Illustrator, you'll be able to stretch them out a little bit. So this isn't a big deal. Try to get a nice even one, since it seems like this one here kind of goes from like a thick to thin. This little thin part in the middle might be interesting. Just to be safe though I'm going to make one more. You go quick sometimes you get a nice line too. I have my micron out, I'm going to make another brush. We're going to do our shader brush, the stippling. For that, you can do a couple of dots and a nice little cluster. I use shading brushes a lot in my work. It's nice when you get one that you can use at a small size or at large size. I'm going to do a few outside the line to give it a nice edge. Your center clustered. That's good. I'm going to make two, this time. I'm just going to take the pen straight up and down, a random one. Remember more towards the middle than towards the edges. But if you do get some towards the edges, that is cool. You're going to be able to clean these brushes up a little bit when you get in there. I'm only using this one tiny section of the paper. You can go as big as you want, as long as you have a way to take this image and put it onto your computer. Either you're using your phone or scanner, just have to be able to get it as an image file onto your computer. From where we upload it. I like these three. I'm going to move on now, and just go to the brush pen. I'm actually moving pretty quick. I encourage you if you feel like playing around, go ahead and play around. Make a couple of marks you like. But remember, these are going to be lines. That's awesome. Look at how dirty that it is. But any accidental texture you get, don't be bummed out. It'll only make your brushes more your own. Great, now that I've got that I've got these, I'm just going to take this piece of paper and photograph it with my phone. Then I'm going to put it onto my computer so I can have it inside of Adobe Illustrator. Now that we have our brushes in our notebook, we can move on to our next step, which is setting up our Adobe Illustrator file. 5. Setting Up Your File: Now, let's set up our document in Adobe Illustrator. I'm just going to open Illustrator. I'm going to get to "Create New". I want letter. If you don't see letter in your recent items, you can hit "Print" and there's letter there. The only thing I'm going to do is I'm going to switch it to inches. I'm in the US. You can switch it to whatever system you're comfortable with. You want to make sure your color mode is set to CMYK. You want to make sure that your raster effects is set to 300. We're going to hit "Create". Then up in Windows, go to "Workspace". Make sure the layout is selected so that way you and I are working off the same workspace. Hit these layers to shrink this a little bit. You can close your expand here. Let's see how big it is. The next thing I want to do is bring my sketch in. I'm just going to minimize Illustrator for a minute. I take a photo of my sketch and it is on my computer and I have it inside of a folder entitled, texture-illustration, if you haven't started a new folder for your project. I recommend doing that to keep your files organized. Let's try this over so Illustrator opens right onto the desktop. There is. Hit this black arrow and make sure that your sketch is selected and then you'll notice up here, there's alignment tools. So make sure you're aligned to art board. Section here's the art board. I'm going to hit the "Horizontal Align" and then "Vertical Align" that's right in the middle. This is a good size for the piece of art that we're making. But I think I want it a little bit bigger. So I'm going to hit "Transform". I'm just going to use the arrows to size it a little larger. If you hold in Shift and hit the arrow key, this is a pro tip, and I'll skip by five increments to see how big it is now. Let's click off there and align them again. Skim a little sketch and name this layer, Sketch. I'm going to lock it. I'm going to add another layer and name this layer Arts. We'll need that when we start drawing. When you have your sketch where you want it, you can hit "File", "Save". You haven't yet make a folder for your illustration. Let me call this skillshare-texture-illustration. Hit "Save". Okay. That's it for setting up your Illustrator file. Now that you've set up your Adobe Illustrator file, we're going to move on to creating the vector outline of your sketch. 6. Creating the Vector: Now, we're going to get started in Illustrator. Now, we're going to outline our art. Make sure that you have in your layers, you selected on the art. We're going to go over and just use the pen tool. It's over here in this toolbar, or you can just press P on your keyboard. I'm going to outline this first leaf. If you notice it's covering up my sketch with this black and white palette, just filling in with the pen tool. Just click that last run to join it together, I'm going to click the black arrow shortcut V, and we're going to go over here to our palette, and you'll see this first block is the fill. That's what color it is inside and hit this little red bar, so that disappears, and then this black one is what the outline is. Now, I don't really need a black outline, I need to be able to see this. I'm going to do orange. This doesn't mean that your illustration has to be orange. You just have to be able to see this outline while you're working on it. Click on the stroke here and I'm just going to make it a little bit thicker. Now, because you've done this and it's highlighted when you go back to the pen tool and you do your next leaf, it just copied your settings. Now, I'm just making a little boxy leaves, draw the stem. You'll notice things aren't perfect. I'm just doing this to get everything blocked in. When you draw a line and you're done with it, but you haven't gone back to click with the pen tool to join it, just hit P, and it turns it off. So you can do that line. Otherwise, when you go and you're filling in a shape, when you get to the last one, you align it up so that way you have like a filled space and not just a broken line. See how that changed when you hit that and it's joined. This leaves hidden by this one, so I'm going to fake it a little bit. Then this looks boxy and I like the sketch, but we're going to adjust that. So keep using the pen tool to fill in your artwork, and we're going to do that Skill-share fast-forward thing where zippy music play is, and you watch this come to life at a breakneck speed. Now, if you notice, I didn't do the kitty's face, I didn't do the vase or the pot. The reason for that is I want to get a little more just like liveliness into these marks. I'm going to go over to the brush tool or it can it be under keyboard and draw a little eyeballs for the kitty and draw the tail and I didn't fill it in, I just made one mark. We're going to use the illustrator tools to build that tail out a little bit. So here's P. To get the nose, now for the pot, I can make this a nice square, so I'm going to use the rectangle tool, shortcut M. It's going to draw the pot this way, draw the pot this way, and then for the curvy lines, I'm just going to put straight lines here because I want to show you how to use the zigzag tool, which is actually pretty fun. I have one line here. I'm just going to hit "V" to turn it to an arrow holding option and drag it and it'll copy that line. Now, if we turn this sketch part off, you'll see we have a square version of our illustrator image. I'm going to turn the sketch back on and get continued just working on this, what I'm going to do is, you hold on to the arrow, there's an anchor point tool which is also Shift C, you can use that. Now, it looks like this little arrow. Go over to one of your points that you just drew. Shift C the tool, and stretch it out, and make it nice and round. Just takes a little practice. You may have to hit "Z" and zoom in to get close. So you can really see what you're doing using this to make these little shapes. I can drag this a little bit. Here's a point tool. If you grab the middle of the line, you can just bend the plant stems that way. It's like these guys, and just working around. Just like the plant stem, you can give your leaf a more natural curve that way, same with the stems, and we get more into adding the textures. We're going to be grouping all of these. Don't worry that you have a lot of lines going on right now, because we're going to clean this document up. Also, when you do the pen tool and you do these lines, they always say less points is better. To make shape more editable, there we go. Stretch this stem up there, let's keep working around, we can do the cat. If you hit "Command Plus" you can zoom in, and it's spacebar turn it to a hand and drag it around your screen. Just doing the cat shape, wait to do the cats eyeballs, because I'll show you a cool technique for that. Now because we use the brush tool, you'll notice that up here it says five-point round where all your other marks are marked as basic. Something that we can do right now that'll get everything on an even field is just highlight everything. You can either click and drag the black arrow or you can hit Command A to select everything. You're seeing mixed right here, just click that and turn it all to basic. Then turn it all to, let's do a two-point line so you can see it. Yeah, you can still see that pretty well. So we're going to hit Z to get the magnified and just zoom in on the face here. Kitty is little nose and mouth, they are connected. Get those together. I want to get the eyeballs. Select both the eyeballs and then you go over to your Stroke panel that we have open down here in profile. You can select this and hit this arrow. It makes a nice little cat eye. Looking pretty good. We're going to do the pot. This is a fun tool, so just click on the box with the arrow tool just needs little handles to size it. Then you'll notice these little circles come up. If you just pull these, it'll round the edges. I don't want around it a lot but I do want to give it something a little more specific. Then just flat, easy to do corners. Then I'm going to select this box right here, and press E. You get this tool, the free transform, the one I want is free, not Free Distort but Perspective Distort. Click that and to the bottom and drag it towards the middle of your art. It creates a trapezoid. If you Shift C to get this arrow again, you can drag a little around. I'm going to hit A select this point, hold Shift, select this point. Here a little circle friends came up, but they're only here at the bottom for these two. Let's get some just going around the edges of this pot just a little bit. I've got an outline now. For the next step we're adding textures. I'm going to just start picking colors in grouping my art together. I'm going to turn off the sketch. If you have anything that looks like this up here, just take A get the handles twisted. I missed that that happened. Look and Shift C. Even this guy too. Touch the outlines a little bit. Now I typically like a limited color palette. I'm going to make this illustration two colors. You are welcome to do whatever you like. Whenever you feel. We're also going to be grouping things together now. If you go over to your Layers panel or open it up, window layers, hit this little arrow to expand it. Had to close a mere other panels to be able to see it. This way you can see all of your art where it's at. I'm just going to select the stem holding Shift and select the leaf. Then I'm going to hit Command G to make a group, so you see I just made a leaf group. Repeat that process. You can double-click over here and name them. Let's call this one Week 2. If you name things, it's only going to make it easier on yourself when you are trying to find the pieces that you want to work upon. Kitkat, I don't know if I'm super happy with the kitty right now. Now fix those ears a little. Hit this with the white arrow, you know A for the shortcut. See little circle comes up and you can drag it out and give him a little more of a neck, a little more of a jib. Maybe string this eyeball out a little bit and make them bigger. Can I select them both with the V, turn the stroke up a little bit. I'm not crazy about that ear. For the kitty's tail, you can select it. Remember that profile over here where we use the shape, just like this one. Try and give him like a nice thick tail. Now you know that looks odd. If you hit this, it actually reverses the flow. That still looks odd. I love that. Another thing you can do is hit and this one, and if you hit Shift W, you get a width tool that you can use to stretch out your tail a bit. See how it does that nice taper at the bottom that looks more like a nice fluffy cat tail. You'll notice the line here kitty's bottom. It's 100 percent lined up. Just going to hit V to select all the kitty parts, group them. Let's turn the cat off for a minute and I'll start coloring things. We're going to start with the top of the pot. Let's look at some swatches to look at. For today's tutorial, I'm going to work in green and black, I feel like lime green. The inside I want it to be lime green, the outline for this I want it to be white. You'll find out why I like it that way in a minute. Green outline, green inside. These little marks, we're going to make them white. I'll thicken them up. In case I want to make this a zigzag, I'm going to go to Effects, Distort & Transform, hit "Zigzag", make sure this Preview box is checked. Now I can do this geometric or I can smooth it. I can add more. That's a little goofy. There we go. I'll hit "Okay". Turn right to touch those yet as we're going to be messing around with them. I'm going to hit "A" for the Direct Select white arrow. I'm just going to select these bottom points and we can use the keyboard arrows to scoot it up a little bit. Then I'm going to hit the Selection Tool or the black arrow, keyboard shortcut V so it stretches out a little more, and load the shape of the pot. Then again, I can select this with V. Press "E", use the Perspective Distort, and maybe get a little bit of that. Press "V" again. Scale it up a little bit. I'm just going to use this Black Arrow tool to get the pot to a place that I'm happy with it. Again, these zigzags, we're going to do some fun effects with. It's even how they are. Let's zoom out a little bit. There was a kitty cat. I'm going to hit "Command Shift" and then the right parentheses, and it'll scoot the kitty cat to the top of your line. You can also just grab it and drag it up there. To make the kitty black, you can double-click inside of the group and then it opens up and you can just edit the group. Outline, give him black outline and a black fill. If you're not crazy about the shape, you can keep editing them. Because this is Illustrator, it's pretty easy to make changes, so you can just keep going and make sure that he has a stroke on him though. Then select his little nose, and we hit green, maybe. We will not have an outline until it's smaller, his little mouth green, give him green eyeballs. With Illustrator you can just really play around and tweak things until you have it where you like it. It's one of the reasons I use it, more than Photoshop or other tools. I tend to be pretty picky. I go to the Strokes, hit Profile, this little triangle one. How's the outlook? I like that. That's fine. It's acceptable. I'm just selecting points to smooth out the kitty cat again. Don't worry. When we add textures, you'll still be able to make these little edits. I'm selecting all the points and I can drag this whole ear using that white arrow Direct Select. To get out of the group, you can either go back here to the arrows and select till you're back on your layer, or you can just click off of it until you're back onto your main artwork. Let's turn on the leaves. I did forget to group the pot, so I'll just select all those things together, "Command G". Make sure it's under the cat. I'll select this one right up front. "Shift C", I'm going to fix that little one there, Swatches and give it a green outline and a green inside. The outlines are going to become rough textures later. Hit double-click. These plants need much thicker stem, so I'm just going to turn the stroke up to five for these front ones. I'm going to show you a technique to make those stems stand out, so don't worry about it being lost in the fill of the leaf right now because we're going to come back and correct that when we do all the textures. Again, I'm just cleaning up things as I see errors or things I don't love. Some of these shapes are going to change a little bit when we add textures onto them too. This leaf, I'm going to double-click. Let's make this a big one. If you want to squish your shapes, you could just use the black arrow. Scoot things around, same as we'll make this guy green. He's a little further back, so I'm not going to turn him up as I [inaudible] this stem with the kitty cat. Well, you lose it a little bit. It's going to be behind the cat, but again, like I said, we're going to show you some techniques to make that stand out. Now I'm just going to do these other ones. As these leaves are overlapping, I know they get lost. We're going to add some texture shadows there so it's okay that they're blocked in like that. I'm going to the Layers. This leaf here, I can drag that up in front of the kitty cat, and really bury him in there. Since it is a vector, you can adjust the size of things, skew the shape a little bit, and get it where you want it. All your pieces are over here. You should have them all named. I forgot to name the pot, File and Save. There we go. Now that we have our vector, we're going to move on to the next step, which is creating our first brush. 7. Illustrator Brushes: Now we're going to create our brushes. So we're going to go down to open Illustrator. If you have it closed. I still have it open from before. So there's my kitty cat, but I'm going to create a new folder, file, new, and keep it at letter size. Again, inches, CMYK. Raster effects high 300 and hit Create. This is set up, we're just going to collapse it. We're going to go ahead and get your brushes that you made. If we took a better scan them, go ahead and put them inside your project folder, and just like you did with the sketches, we're just going to drag it over to Illustrator open. We're going to drag it right onto there and you're going to notice that's quite a bit larger. Transform and get this down to 8 1/2 inches. I did a couple of these for the tutorial. Now let's resize to fit. What we're going to want to do is we live trace it, which you go to Window, Image Trace. See the image trace here. [inaudible] a box, you're just going to click the error [inaudible] advanced opens. Make sure Ignore White is checked. Make sure preview is checked. This may take a moment on your computer. There we go, and I like to make sure the preset is on black and white logo. Good. Looks like some real brushes. So if you go up here, see this button that says expand. You just hit Expand. Now you'll notice that you have some vector art, and just select everything and go to Object, Ungroup, and it just double-check, go back to object and make sure it is ungrouped, for some reason with Illustrator sometimes had to do that a couple of times. If you look over at your layers, you'll notice that you have a lot of little pieces. You don't need to image trace panel, so I'm going to close it. But you'll notice you have a lot little pieces. Using the black arrow, the selection tool, just click on the things you don't want, so this like little shadow. I don't want that, so on down here. I don't want that. This is nice. This little happy accident that happened there. If I hold down shift and select him [inaudible] he's got some different textures there. I'm just going to group that, in there that'll be a brush or not, but you can save it if you get anything like that. It's awesome. you can always leave it for later. It's going to turn off the visibility. I'm going to make sure that my little brushes are grouped. This grain brush enter into grain. Just group it and make it a grain brush Number 1. Double-clicked on the layer in this popped up, and you can do the same with these guys. Command G. [inaudible] two. Think it's this one. These are mostly nice long pieces. Some of these might have some little dots or artifacts with them. What you can do is just select the ones you want, just need that Brush 1, Brush 2. Try and do this with all of your marks. For some of them like this one, there's lots of little pieces. You can select it and group it and get all those little details there. This is Brush 8. Some of these ones that were made with the brush pen, they got some nice little grains at the edges. I like those little smudges. [inaudible] too clean. [inaudible] you'll notice that we still have some random little paths. If you just turn off all your brushes, everything you have named, shut it off for a second. The Command A, notice all these little extra pieces you have, just delete them. They're so small. It may look like something's there, but it might be too small to use, and just order to disrupt what you're doing with the other stuff. Let's turn all these guys on. Great. Now we're going to make some brushes. Let's start by making these markers into a brush. I'm going to select one of the micron marks. I'm going to go over to this icon which is brushes. You can also go Window, Brushes. I'm going to pull this panel out, because we're going to be using this. I want you to be able to see what we're doing. Brushes, go over to these little the collapsible menu. I always call these hamburgers. Go to the hamburger [inaudible] hit New Brush. For these line ones, we want art brush hit, Okay. Now you can name this brush whatever you want. Art Brush 1 is fine for what we're doing. Width keep it fixed. Stretch to fill strokes totally equal. The one thing you want to make sure you do. Here it says method. Again I want to make sure it says tints. So colorization method to tints, key colors just black. Hit, Okay. So in your brush panel you'll notice that Art brush 1 showed up and test it out. Here's the brush tool. Hit B, just draw, and then select our new brush. Turn up a little bit so you can see the details. Hit the "Swatches" and try it in a different color. Oops! That was on the "Fill". Here we go. Ensure this stroke is selected. That's a nice plain little brush here, these nice little bumps in there are good for you, and there's your first art brush. I'm just going to repeat the process with these other ones, I'm going to keep going until I have all nine of these brushes done. If you create a brush and you don't like something about it or you just feel like it could be a little better, just double-click on it here in the "Brushes" panel and you can go back to editing at anytime, mess with the curve a little bit, maybe nice preview, it'll show you what you're going get. "Apply to strokes" and it'll go through. Now we add three brushes. We're going to do all of these as brushes. You get to the ones made with the brush pen, you start to get some weirder stuff, which is cool. Now you'll notice you have this weird mark. Check it out. Make for some like cool drawing, if you just try it out a little bit, then get back to making more brushes. Now that we have got a bunch of brushes, we're going to go ahead and make our green brushes as well. Just click on one of your little blobs, set of dots and you're going to go over to the hamburger "New brush". This time you're going to go "Scatter brush" and hit "Okay". Take a look at everybody. Go to. "Method Colorization". Make sure it's as tints hit "Okay". Now you'll notice, whereas these long brushes are down here, the scatter brushes up here. So if I just click on this little path that we made to test everything, and I hit the "Scatter brush", there we go, our scatter brush. This is not great so you'll probably never use a brush like this with all the spaces. So we need to edit this brush, double-click on it. Look at the brush options and make sure that "Preview" is selected, or we're just going to mess with a couple of things here. Fixed spacing, maybe bring this down a little bit. There we go. It's a little bit more of what we want. "Size", you're probably are right there. "Scatter", if you pick "Random", and then turn it up a little bit, turn it down, can get some interesting effects there, there it goes. If you're too over the line, it's not going to be as accurate when you work on it. "Rotation", I like to have this one as "Random", because when you get into those nice outside dots, those become more random. You get more little stippling grain texture. If you want to make a thicker brush, turn down your spacing, or you want to make a lighter one, turn up your spacing. Now you're in that sweet spot. I'm going to make a thicker one because I find that the thicker ones come out nicely. Again, you can always edit these, "Apply to strokes", and you'll see how it's going. Cool. I like that little green brush. Let us make another one. It turned these two into green brushes as well. There we go. We should have a nice little brush set over here and our brush pallets. Before you save it, we have some of these extra brushes that Illustrator comes with that aren't the ones that you made. I can delete those out. This sounds like a proprietary. You don't need that, so it's just yours. Just save your file. Now if you still have your art open, if you don't open it up again in the "Brush" panel, you're going to get to the hamburger, hit that, "Open Brush Library". Hit "Other Library". Go to your project folder, select "skillshare-brushes", and hit "Open". There they are, look I'm done, they look great. Then to save your file, and it will remember that you want to use those brushes. Now we're going move on to the next step, which is adding the grainy and texture brushes to your illustration. 8. Adding Your Textures: Now it's time to add our textures. We're just going to make sure that we have our brush panel open, and that all the brushes you just made are in there. We're going to get started with the leaves. Let's click with this back leaf here. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to just copy and paste it. Now we have two of them. This one we just pasted, that's going to end up being our clipping mask, which I'll show you how to do. Turn that off for a second and just click the bottom one. I'll take one of our new brushes for the outline. Create a nice texture to it. See which one of these we like. I like this one. If we go over to the strokes, you can select one of the different width profiles, get a nicer effect with it. I want one that's going to be grimy. If you get that little edge like you just saw, sometimes you have that, sometimes it's cool. For whatever you're doing, we can use these little variable widths. Then we have this nice edge and that spot right there. Let's try. Let's see what this looks like. You can also pick your other ones and just increase the stroke, until you see your dirty details that you have. There we go. I like that little blob there. Cool. What I'm going to do is turn this layer back on. The mask, you're going to select it. You're going to select it, and you're going to hit "Shift D." You may have to hit it twice, and now it's become a clipping mask. Your top one is going to be a place where you can hide your texture. I'm going to switch to brush. I'm going to pick one of my new grain textures. Then for my brushstrokes, I'm just going to leave this as black. I'm going to make this white one disappear. Let's try the black one. As I draw it on the leaf, there we go. Little texture on there. In the strokes I can shrink that. Can use your arrow keys to scoot it over a little bit. I like how this brush came out. I'm going to do that. Although I might make it white. Like I said before, I'm a limited palette. I have one of the limited palette. If you feel like doing more than one color, there's lots of awesome artists that do the grains in a nice, big palette, nice variety. I mean, feel free to. I'm not crazy about how the stems get lost. I'm actually going to select the stem. I'm going to copy and paste it. See how the square's still around it, means it's still a clipping mask. I just pasted this into the clipping mask. If I look inside my clipping mask, and I select right there, there's our big brush stroke. When I go to Swatches, hit "White," and look, it gave us that nice little line there. If I hit the arrow key and I select "Off," double-click off of it. There we go. There's our little leaf. There's this section here I'm not crazy about. I'm just going to double-click. What I'm going to do is hit "A" for the direct select arrow. I click on the clipping mask, and I'm just going to drag this point down some, to where it looks a little more intentional. That's a little better. Inside here, if you want to even click on this, you can switch the profile width, like we did with the other things, to make it more of like a triangle line. To turn the stroke up. Like that. What I'm going to do is just be simple. I'm just going to click this little, round your edge line there. Just click off of it. There we are. Snap back to the artboard. This one is up front. So with this other leaf on top of this, I'm going to adjust the gradients just a little bit. I'm using the direct select tool. I'm going to switch to the selection tool, and double-click to get back inside of the clipping mask. You can select one of the brush textures, then hit "B." Now bring that one up for you. There we go. Coming along. Like I said before with Illustrator, you can select and tighten your stuff up at anytime. Switch things around a little bit. I'm just going to do the same thing for the rest of the leaves. Then I'm going to come back and put some textures on the cat and the pot. Cat in the pot. The pot cat. I've just finished filling in all of the brushes onto the leaves. What I notice is some of these are a little smaller than the others, I don't know if I'm crazy about that. I'm going to hit Select, Same, Stroke Weight, and select all the ones that are at 0.75 and I'm just going to click it up to one and get more of a gradient on there. I like that a little bit more. You know you can add and remove to really make your stuff stand out. We also encourage you to like play with positioning as you go. Get things where you want them so you can still make that out. Like, some of the gradients, I'm just going to tune down a little bit. Make a little less obvious, there you go. Cool, so the next thing I'm going do is I want to add some grainy texture to the cat into the pot. What I like to do is I like to mark in where I'm going to put the textures at sometimes. I'm just going to select the brush tool and I'm going to make it a color that I'm not using. In this case, purple, and abuse in this purple for blocking things in a lot, because it's not a color that I naturally use. We want some grain right there on the pot. Maybe under this line, maybe at the bottom. Then we want like a little spot on the kitty here. Maybe the kitty is going to have some on his ears. So we get in there to texture him. What I'm going to do is I'm going to select these ones that are on the kitty shift, clicking with this selection arrow and it cut them and double-click to get inside for the cat group. I just can duplicate the cat, post on top, and then Shift D, D. Take all these little paths and just drag. You can just drag them. Sit there by the cat and you can cut, hit Command X. You had to select all three of them, hit "Command X" to cut them, hit "Command V" to paste them. Now we've got a little texture on the cat We're trying to turn it down a little bit. Switch to an arrow tool and scoot some of these around. I do like a smaller texture and the kitties ears like 0.5, I'm checking this brush out. I maybe it's this a couple times, I might check out my other brushes I made, and try this on. See now that looks a little more extra. Coming off of that one, I kind of like that. We will check out how that's going on the whites and take this one to 0.5 and just have it be a little bit of a gradient and you can hit "A" and select one of the points and twist this line to get a little more of like I burst, little arc to it. Hit "Shift D," there we go. Cool, so now we're going to look at the layers, I'm just going to drag this little kitty down, it's behind there. Then behind the cat, select the od one, and what I'm going to do what I did with the plants and give them like a little bit of a bumpy outline. See which one of these is bubiest like this. Like I did before. Taper the edge off a little bit and then you get that nice. You see how that unevenness on his backside. Somebody likes with his eyes white, so I'll knows what it is. Well, here's the cool thing, I'm going to give him some whiskers, so I'm going to go to the brush and select the color I want, I don't need a fill, I get the whiskers green. Click on these brush pens to draw with. I know that doesn't look great, but one of the written depth there. This isn't all great, but what I showed you before, it's a variable width. You can turn it into more of a stroke. You get that down as eyes. Can even cheat a little and copy one and just switch it a little bit. While that's selected, hit brush and you can go back down to low eyebrows. You know maybe he's got a little mouth, you know. Is he unhappy? Maybe he's unhappy, maybe a long day. Maybe it doesn't want to be in the plant. Maybe he wasn't ready to be drawn. We don't know what's going on in this cat's mind. While I'm here, I'm going to draw some nice details. Like a nice little line for another paw. Maybe he needs a back leg. You can just draw back leg and I get that white line you could get the fill, fill that in a little bit. Then you know, your kitty texture is only on one side. Let's play with it a little bit to just have it honest like his belly and you could draw a little kitty and draw a texture on his back too. Then put that inside the clipping mask. What I can do is I can actually select it and drag it down to this layer here as a clipping mask. Turn up or turn it down a little bit. I can also try my other brush. I like how dense this one is. There's our little kitty cat. Do you like that other brush? I'm going to actually select using the direct select tool, the white arrow shortcut A. It's like these textures. I'm just going to click and switch them over to this brush. Then this bottom one, make it look a little bigger. Like I said before, just keep adjusting things until you're happy with it. That's the nice part of Illustrator besides being able to make a vector any size. Now, what I want to do is have his bottom lines of his paws hidden. But I want to have his tail coming out over the edge. What I'm going to do is just double-click, select this tail, and hit Command X to cut it so I can paste it somewhere else. Now when you're moving things to affect the shape, remember you have a clipping mask on top of your shapes now. I got mine to fix that paw but I had to move the clipping mask first. You have an extra invisible layer you have to watch out for when you're editing your image. Just keep that in mind and you won't have any problems. There's kitty cat, I'm going to take him and move him behind the pot. So he is still in front of the leaves and then we hit Command Shift V to paste his little tail back into place. His tail is a little boring looking so I'm going to hit Object, Expand. Now it's no longer a stroke. Now what I can do is add one of the brushes we made to it. I like that a lot because it gives him a nice pointy tail and this nice part down here. Since he's inside of the plants what would he look like with green textures. It's fun. Add a little green to the laid out lines that we did. Have it a little more hidden. Hey little buddy, kitty cat, maybe you're drawing a dog in your plant, ferret, mongoose, tiny horse, it's up to you. Let's zoom in and take a look here. Good. I like where this is going. I'm going to take these purple textures that I blocked in the selection tool holding shift and select them and then hit Command X. I'm going to double-click to edit the pot, Command Shift V, paste those back. Now the first thing I want to do. Not crazy about this white line around the pot. I put it there to keep track of things before but I don't need it anymore. Give it a little texture. Now what I want to do is take this texture. I want to put it under that rim. Let me shrink it in a little bit. I just want a slight white texture there. Give us that edge. I'm going to copy this Control C, Control Shift V. Another way to create a clipping mask is you can hold Shift and select what you want masked, and hit Command 7 and that's another way it'll create a clipping mask for you. It's really up to your preference. I like that shift D option because it's easier to throw things in there and keep adding to it as you go along. Let switch to this other little brush that I like and dig in. It's fun when you get these brushes because you might not know what they can do yet. You can try a couple of things, make it look good. I like that. That's like a gouache line you would get back in the day. Then maybe I'll go back to this. I like that better. All right. I like that better for this too. Here is the direct select tool. You can sketch your texture with the arrows. Make a little fun. Copy the bottom of the pot, paste it. Select the two zigzags that we threw in there and the texture. Then you hit Command 7. The alternate way to make a mask. I didn't skip this texture down there. Here's a cool thing you could do, select both of these lines, holding Shift and hit them with the arrow key, and then pick one of your really dirty brushes. Yeah, I like this one. Let's make them a little different. Select them both. Even them out because they are not the most even brushes. It's more of a hand-drawn feel to it. It's like this back one and see if adding a little texture does anything. A little a brush stroke and see if that looks good. Pop it off a line. I take that little divot there at the bottom. Remember you can always select your clipping mask and use the direct select tool to move where that barrier is then it looks nice. Look here where you have the corner. This is not the top guy. Just play around and get this exactly where you want it. Feeling good about it. Cool. There's a couple of other things I'd like to do to this. Just now take your time. Try out some different stuff. Maybe having something like black on the leaves would be cool or even going like a step up in color. Then white. That might look really nice. Try a couple of things. One more thing I want to do before we move on to the next step, which is recreating a background filler illustration. We don't need the notebook because we're going to do it right inside the Illustrator. But I'd like to make a little shadow here. What I'm going to do is draw a box at the bottom. There we go, just the box. Now, when you draw a box and you start using it as a clipping mask, whatever the outline is, for whatever reason, Illustrator makes it disappear. I'm going to hit Shift D. There's an outline on there. I'm just going to draw a little line. I pick black. There we go. Give myself a little texture. Gets cold, change the width of your texture, but leave the clipping mask larger so you can get that look you want. Then I'm just going to take this, skewed it to the back. Keep working on that and then we're going to move on to the next step. Creating a filler texture inside of Illustrator. 9. Filler Texture: Now we're going to create a nice big texture using only Adobe Illustrator. Basically what we're going to do is add just a little bit of some dots to make these faky holes in the more solid color parts. Like if you were to screen print, you will get little air holes, this is like faking that effect. We're going to go File, New and just keep the Letter. Everything looks cool in here. Make sure it is CMYK. What I'm going to do is, you're just going to draw a square. The square tool or n. What are we going to do now is go to the Swatches. I'm going to remove the stroke and I'm going to make the fill color a darker gray and the more dark the gray is, the more texture you'll get. I don't want a lot of texture, so I'm pretty happy with this. Now what we're going to do is we're going to go to Effect. We're going to go down to Texture, and we're going to go to Grain and it's going to give you this screen. It does not look like what you want, but that's okay, so hit "Okay." What we're doing is we're going to live trace this and it's going to give us something like natural, not like pixelation, but like distortion that we'll be able to put over top of our illustration to get the effect we want. The first thing we want to do with this is we hit "Object" and "Rasterize." Make sure it's CMYK, make sure it's High. All this stuff is all right. Hit "Okay." Now we're going to go Window. I'm going to go to Image Trace. This is selected with the black arrow. First thing we're going to do, I want to see the preview. I want to ignore white. We'll make sure your mode is black and white, so already you see we're getting a little bit of that texture that we want. Your threshold, if I turn this down to about 114, that's going to get me a little more of what I want, like 115, 116. But like the higher I go, the more your computer has to think. See that Boundary Refinement. Now it's doing that. You get more of a pattern. I love using patterns like this in my art too. Just for this one though, the little cat in the potted plant, [inaudible] cat to chill. There we go. It doesn't look like much. Threshold's at 114. I like the way this is, so your Paths and your Corners [inaudible] you don't have to really mess with. Normally with the Paths, I'll turn it down to like one percent and I'll turn the Corners the whole way down and I'll keep the Noise around the 25. But just luckily this time the way it rendered, just touch that up a little bit. There we go. I like that. There's something bigger chunks there. Some smaller chunks. Everything's looking good. Just play around with this until you're happy and then you're just going to hit "Expand." Should look like this. Now if we get the whole area over here, close Image Trace, close the Swatch panel. You'll see it's a group. There's a bunch of tiny pieces. You just want to select the whole group. I'm just going to copy it and then we go back to our illustration we are working on. I'm going to add a new layer and call this top texture. I'm going to hit "Edit." Paste it in place. See how that comes out. I've used the black arrow, if you hold Shift, you can like constrain proportions. I'm just scaling this, so it goes over top of my art. I want do is have the solid be a white and now if I click off of that, you'll see there's lots of little stippling in there. The thing is that this isn't exactly very noticeable. What I can do is just add a stroke and it pops it up a little bit. The other thing is, you can double-click on this and now you've got all your little individual pieces that you can select. If you go to the Direct Select Tool A and you just draw around some of these spots and then switch to V to select tool, drag those little spots over and drop them onto your pot. Drop them anywhere you feel like and you need some more. There's not a lot on the cat. Then you'll get some like this, maybe stretched out by accident. Just select it with the A arrow, Direct Select and just delete it. You don't need it. Select a couple, play around. Get this texture where you want it. I always do this. It's just a nice little, adds a little without being obvious. I like a little subtlety. Especially when all the other grain textures in that are still over the top. It's going here. Good. [inaudible] of it. Double-click to get back to our other one. Now look at that. We went from having this with no texture over to having this that nice stipple shading on top of it. We're just going to hit "File" and Save. 10. Export: Now it's time to export our file. We're going to export your file so you can share it on Instagram or even Dribbble or Behance, whatever you like. Basically we're just going to go File, Export, Export As. Make sure you're in your project folder. I'm going to name this, cat-finished. We want a PNG, click on file format. Use artboards that'll trim it to your image, hit export. If you want to print this out either at home, or make a nice print like a Kinko's or FedEx or something like that, you can keep it at a high 300 DPI. If you want to post it to Instagram, 150 is cool. That way it'll allow your details come through. Screen 70-72 DPI. That's the bare minimum DPI for posting an image on the Internet, and it's not great to print an image with that DPI. We just need 150. Done here, we're just going to leave anti-aliasing, none background color white. You can do transparent if you wanted to, like if you were doing a GIF, I'm just going to stick with white for now and click Okay. There we go. I'm just going to shrink this down. Click on my folder, cat-finished, and there's our little guy. Sign out this [inaudible] just to make sure you save it. There we go. Next, we just have a few final thoughts. 11. The End: Thank you so much for taking my class. Hopefully, you found it helpful in creating your own textured illustrations, and feel free to keep adding to them to make them more distinctively your own. When you're finished, please post your final PNGs and leave a review below. Also, let me know if you have any questions about the course in the discussion. If you post your PNGs on social media, please tag me @jamesolsteinillustration. I also have a few other classes here on Skillshare, so check those out. Of course, you can always find my illustration work at Good luck with your illustrations.