Drawing in Illustrator CC: Essential and Advanced Techniques | Esther Nariyoshi | Skillshare

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Drawing in Illustrator CC: Essential and Advanced Techniques

teacher avatar Esther Nariyoshi, Published Illustrator based in the US

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.

      What to Expect


    • 3.

      Document Setup 2019 CC


    • 4.

      Moodboard + Colors


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Illustrating Part 1


    • 7.

      Illustrating Part 2


    • 8.

      Illustrating Part 3


    • 9.

      Illustrating Part 4


    • 10.

      Adding Texture


    • 11.

      Enhancing Sketches


    • 12.

      Thank You


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About This Class

This class covers some of the most essential and advanced techniques within Illustrator. This class is great for beginners who just want to have a jump-start in Illustrator, and it’s also really helpful for the seasoned artist, because she uses and compares different ways of drawing the same shapes, so you can really hone your skills and find out what’s best for you.

Topics covered

  • Working with colors
  • Creating mood board
  • Digitizing paper sketches and raster sketches
  • Best practice for sketching
  • Pen tool, pencil tool, and blob brush tool, etc
  • Curvature tool
  • Custom brushes
  • Vector Lettering
  • Enhancing paper sketches
  • Essential and Advanced Illustrator techniques
  • Adding texture and character to the artwork


Connect with Esther:  Shop Esther's Handcrafted Procreate Brushes | Portfolio | Instagram 

Follow Esther on Skillshare for her new upcoming classes on Illustration.

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Esther Nariyoshi

Published Illustrator based in the US

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1. Trailer: Hi there.This is [inaudible] I am a surface pattern designer, illustrator, and lettering artist. This class is for anyone who wants to improve drawing skills in Illustrator. In this class, I will cover the best practice of paper and digital sketching from illustrator's perspective and how to vectorize your sketches in Illustrator. I'll also walk with you step-by-step on how to draw native art in Illustrator using the essential and events tools. In addition, you will also pick up a few ways of adding interesting textures to your art. This class is great for beginners who just want to have a jump-start in Illustrator. It's also really helpful for seasoned artist, because I use and compare different ways of drawing the same shapes so you can really hone your skills and find out what's best for you. Awesome. I'll see you in class. 2. What to Expect: Before we jump into action, I think it'll be helpful to talk about common workflow. I know some of you are super talented and super comfortable working on paper and you like to do your initial sketches on paper, which is great. Some of you like to do your initial sketch on iPad and Apple Pencil, either through Adobe draw, which is a vector program or Procreate app, which is a raster program. Some of you who likes to draw natively inside Illustrator. These are three basic methods to work with Illustrator. In our class, we're going to cover all three categories. In the course of our class, we're going to cover the best practice of sketching and how to best prepare your sketches either from paper or from iPad to translate to Illustrator. Then we're going to cover how to vectorize your sketches, whether it's done in black and white or color. The next, we're going to spend a big chunk of our class talking about drawing natively inside Illustrator with the tools within the program. Finally, I will cover a few different techniques to help you add texture and character to your hard work. The goal of our class is to get you started in creating art in Illustrator and have fun with it. That being said, if you have a technique that you want to share with the rest of the class, please leave your comment under the community tab. You heard me talking about raster graphics and vector graphics before, but what does that mean? A lot can be said about these two types of graphics, but the main distinction is that vector graphics can retain its quality when it's expanded to a much bigger size. For example, in here, I'm going to enlarge it to three times as big as before. As you can see, the line quality remains the same. The line is still crisp and you still see the details that I created originally. But on the other hand, when you do the same thing to raster graphics, you will see this pixelation. As you can probably guess, Illustrator is a vector program. That's why I really love working with it, because no matter how small or big the size my artwork is, I don't have to commit to a particular dimension and I can always re-scale it later depending on the final application. But just to be fair, vector graphics can sometimes give you this super clean and computerized look that can be interpreted as lack of character, which we will address the problem later on in our adding textures section. I guess we are ready to roll. 3. Document Setup 2019 CC: The program we're going to be using is called Adobe Illustrator, and this particular version is CC 2019, CC stands for Creative Cloud. It is a subscription-based program, but I believe you can use it for free for 30 days, and there is additional discount available through Skillshare premium membership. If you haven't used it before, give it a shot and see if you like it. Once you have the program open, you will see at the very top, there is some templates for you to choose from. If that fits your needs, you can just click through one of them, any or create a new document for you right away. But for our purposes, we're going to create our own template. Below the area are a bunch of a recent preview of the recent documents that you have opened lately. You can also sort them by name and size and kind, which is pretty convenient that you can see a visual preview, and that was the view a lot of time digging through different files. If you have 10 or 20 minutes to spare, usually there are some pretty cool tutorials on the latest features that Adobe Illustrator offers, so you can check that out as well. For our class, we're going to create our new document. At the very top, you can still see some additional, like more elaborate templates that you can use. But like I said, we're going to make our own, so just going to give it a new name. The size really doesn't matter as much because you can change your mind later on. Since it's a vector per gram, it's pretty flexible. Over here on the right, you can choose the units that you want to work with, and again, you can change to different units later while you're designing, so it's not a hard commitment. I'm just going to go with the pixels. I'm going to start with one artboard, and under this advanced options, you can choose your color mode if you know what you're working with, otherwise, I'll just stick with the default. You can hit the "Create" over here, and it will give you a fresh document. On the very right, there are some pre-made swatches, what not, and brushes, and stroke, and symbols. I like to work without them because these colors tend to make me choose some over-saturated colors in my design, which is not really my style. I would go to Window and choose "Actions". There's a list of things that you can do among them. One of them is delete unused panel items, and you can just hit the "Play" button to do away with thing that hasn't been used, including swatches, and brushes, and symbols. This action is a pretty neat trick to declutter your workspace, but I want to mention that you want to do it before you actually have any artwork on your boards, because the last thing you will want is to accidentally delete something that's precious to you. Once you have a new document, it's a good time to do it, and it does save the black and white over here on the right. You can still choose from. By now my illustrator interface fits the size of my screen. There's still a little edge around it. You can just press Fs on your keyboard and will fit completely. It's nice to block out all the distractions that you may have. Illustrator has some pre-made workspace that you can work from. If you come to the upper right-hand corner, I really like to work from painting because a lot of tools that I frequently you're referred to is already available under that, and I will customize my workspace from there. I'm going to reset painting so my screen looks similar to what you have. Whenever you feel like you use one tool more frequently than others, you can't just stack them here. For example, I'm going to show you image trace. You can come to Window and click "Image trace". Now will give you this panel that you can just drag and drop over here. Another thing I tend to refer to is artboards panel as well. So come to Window and find artboards, I'd like to stack it right there. Some of you are working from really big screens and having to travel between large space to navigate the little icons can be really tricky. So this 2019 version has a really neat trick is to like change the scale of your UI. You can come to the left-hand corner and click, "Illustrator CC" and hit "Preference" and come to user interface. Over here, there's this option called UI scaling. UI stands for User Interface, and you can make it smaller as you want or bigger, it's your choice. Once you're happy with it, you can just click "Okay". Illustrator will tell you that you need to restart the program in order to have all the UI adjustments implemented, but I think it's worth trying. Also over here, there is this new option called Edit toolbar. I find it really neat because some of the tools, honestly, I don't really use them a lot. There's this little icon right here where you can click, you can reset your toolbar either from basic modes that has all the essential tools and you can drag and drop, or you can start with the advanced, which gives you everything. For the sake of our class, I'm going to have everything here and use the advanced option because you can easily see what I did by looking at the toolbar. But otherwise, in your design process, I think it's an option that may speed up your workflow. Once you're happy with how your interface looks like, you can actually create a new workspace by coming to the right-hand corner, drop-down menu and click "New workspace". You can name it whatever, I'll just Esther Skillshare. Now the interface is set up to your liking and I think it's a good time to save your document right now, even before you have any design on them, it will just save you some headache later. To do that, you can come to File on the left-hand corner and hit "Save". I'm just going to save it here, just for demo purpose, just hit "Okay". From now on, whenever you have a design, you can just hit Command S to save on the location that you chose. Now we're ready to go. 4. Moodboard + Colors: You might have heard the word, mood board before, but what exactly does it do? In my design process, a mood board can help me to be unstuck from my creative block. It can help me to refer back to the initial inspiration, the look and feel where I had, before I begin my work and remove that stumbling block. Sometimes, I can be way too inspired and I create work that is not coherent. In this case, I'd like to also refer back to my mood board because it reminds me of where to focus, it can be really helpful, especially if you're creating a body of work that is under one theme. A mood board can be a list of things, it can have images that really inspire you. Preferably, you took those images yourself, especially if you want to recreate the exact replica, and, it can be the color palettes that you've really fallen in love with, or individual motifs that you want to include in your body of work. Sometimes it can also be helpful to have the environment around, for example, if you want to create a flower, it's helpful to take a broader view of what's surrounded and what's the natural habitat this flower lives in. This gives you a greater context and can be helpful, say, if you are making a pattern collection, the environment motifs can be your blender prints. Sometimes it can be helpful to have the end products. Basically, where do you imagine your final artwork to live on? Is that on iPhone cases? Is that on curtains? Whatever final application that can kind of, keeps you going and give you motivation, and sometimes it can be typography or just plain keywords. Basically, it's anything you will like to reference back later, for your inspiration. This is a quick example of what a mood board can be. I took all these images during one of my recent trips, and by looking at them, I can remember how the temperature feels, the texture, even the humidity, and the color palettes. It's a simplified mood board, but it does remind me what I want to remember to document it in my art. It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. In this video, I want to just quickly show you how you can sample colors from your pictures. Over here, I have a bunch of dots, I'm going to start over and give it a different color, it can be, random color. In my other class, I have covered how to create some basic geometric shapes, it's called Make Geometric Shapes in Adobe Illustrator CC, which you can refer back to, so I'm not going to teach you in detail in here. Basically, I have these dots, I can sample the colors using eye dropper tool, its keyboard shortcut is I, and you can just click over here. Sometimes in the latest version it doesn't pick up the color from the image, if that happens to you, you can just double-click the Eyedropper Tool and make sure the appearance over here, on the upper left-hand corner, is unchecked, and that will fix it. When you look at this yellow textured wall, it's visibly uneven, so as you click different spots, it gives you a very vastly different color, in my opinion. To fix that or to help with that, you can click over here to the drop down menu instead of points sample, you want five-by-five average, the difference is that you will select area and sample the average color from that area. But if you want to fine-tune your result, you can come over to the color wheel, here on top, and just tweak your color from there. I'm more comfortable working with HSB, which stands for hue, saturation and brightness, but if you are more familiar with CMYK or RGB, you can click different color space and work from there. You can hit "V" to select another one, and, press "I" to pick a different color. You can also change the color later on, here it's just a very rough idea to get you going. Is this pink? Once you have a group of colors that you are happy with, you can select them all, and click here, new color group. You can name it if you want, I just leave it as it is. You want to keep the convert process to global, checked. It will make sense later on, but basically, it makes recoloring a lot easier. You can do that, and here is your color group right here. Depending on what industry you are most interested in, it may be helpful to keep in mind the ideal number of colors. Six is a very small number for a comprehensive collection, and I want to show you a really neat trick to expand your color palette, but keeping everything in harmony. For example, if you really like the last two colors and wish you could explore more options between the colors, you can use the blend tool to do that. First, you want to move this one apart from the yellow one and select them both, and come over to Object, Blend and Blend Options. In this case, I want maybe two additional colors in-between the two, so I'm going to click, "Specified Steps" and put a number to two. You can also increase the number if you want, and I'm just going to go with two, right now, and you want to come over to, sorry, come over to Object, Blend and Make or keyboard shortcut Command Option B, and it will give you this two additional color. Right now, Illustrator sees it as a graphic appearance, in fact instead of four actual dots, so you want to expand the effect by coming to Object and Expand, over here, and click "Okay" and from there you can add these colors to your color group. There's a quicker way of doing that, which is by, I'm going to just take these two colors, for example, move them apart and keep them selected, and you can come over to our toolbar and see this little icon here, it's called Blend Tool or keyboard shortcut W. You can just click and your cursor has changed to this little square with shadow behind it, and you can just click over here, I guess double-click. This is a great way to expand your color palette without branching out, so I thought you would enjoy knowing this little nugget. This color palette comes from my fabric collection with Cloud9 Fabrics, it's called Underwood Stories. The theme is pretty earthy and mushrooms, snails and stuff like that. But in general, in terms of colors, you want your palette to have something warm in them, something cool and something neutral to break it up. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you tips and tricks on how to best prepare your digital or paper sketches to Illustrator. 5. Digitizing: Let's talk about how to digitize your work. Some of you might be more familiar or comfortable working on paper, while others may want to do the initial sketches from iPad, which is great either way, when you bring in your scanned images or digital export, Illustrator is going to see your image as a photo. For example, let's look at here, we can look at the leaves and see clearly the lines over here. But as far as Illustrator is concerned, the program sees it as a picture instead of lines. That's why we're want to digitize your artwork here. As you can see, we have two leaves over here. The only difference is that the one on the left is much darker than the one on the right. I'm going to show you how to digitize your drawing in Illustrator to give you a perspective on how to best prepare your sketch in the future. Basically, you would want the line to have as much contrast as possible with the paper color. Just to mimic the messy process of art making, I also added a bunch of splatter on the page. Sometimes the best design just doesn't happen on a white paper. There you go. You can come over to window and click Image trace, because I already have it stacked over here during the workspace reconfiguration. I can just come over and click here. You notice that we have the image selected, but it's grayed out here. It's because there's like this weird masking situation going on. What you can do to fix that is, instead of using the selection tool, you can use the direct selection tool. You can just click over here and you will see the options are available again. I'm just going to go with black and white because I'm going to pretend what I need for this purpose is the outline of the leaves and expand the advanced options. I'm going to go with the default for most of them and click ignore white because I don't need the background to be part of the illustration. Then you can preview. As you can see it's fairly easy to pick up the content from the leaf on the left, because it's much darker. As you increase the threshold over here, you can graduate include, part of the yellow leaves. But, as you can see, the imperfection from the paper also get picked up. Technically you can just digitize from there and manually clean up all the little dots. But, a much easier way in terms of design process is to draw your line with very dark pen, even if you really love this color and you know for sure, this leaf is going to be yellow later. You still want to use the dark line to draw and then recolor it in Illustrator. Just because it's a lot easier for Illustrator to tell the lines from the background, if you're drawing with the darker line. If you do have the option of choosing our paper color, you want to keep it as light as possible, because that will also increase the contrast. Ideally, it would be nice to scan your art work instead of taking a picture. But, if all you have is a photo, I will also show you a way of increasing your contrast at the end of the class in the bonus video. Let's come back to our leaves over here, I'm just going to lower the threshold here to show this leaf. I like the result, because, it clearly shows the outline, but also retains the hand-drawn quality of the brush. You see the jagged edges, that's happening over here. If you're happy with your result, you can come over here to click expand and you will have a path of the leaf. Remember at the beginning, we did the direct selection tool. Sometimes it will leave this invisible, annoying outline over here. You can do is click direct selection tool and just get rid of it. Select one corner and just hit delete on your keyboard. It will give you the outlines of this leaf. You can change the appearance of the leaf by simplifying the path. What you can do is to click the leaf over here, come to object path and simplify. It gives you a slider to choose how you want your tracing result to be. This one is more abstract and give you a last anchor points. As you can see, there's real-time anchor points counts over here. It really depends on what is your artistic style. It can be super geometrical or super realistic. Just going to cancel it because I like this original look. Anytime if you don't remember where things are, you can come over to the help area on the top and just type, for example, simplify and it will show you how to get there. Now we have learned how to vectorize black and white sketches in Illustrator. Let's look at a different case, which is how to vectorize colors in Illustrator. This time instead of I'm choosing black and white, you want to come over to the mode and click color. You do have the option of limiting the color numbers to the exact. We're going to start with 10 to see how it does. You want to start with a lower number and in gradually increase, because the bigger the number is, the longer it's going to take Illustrator to render the result. I want to ignore white, which basically means that the background color will be ignored. You can hit preview to see how you like it. Not too bad. But obviously you can tell it lost the texture of the watercolor paper. That's another trade off that you have to deal with when you bring watercolor into Illustrator. But, if the number of color is not an issue, you can increase it to really big. Any helps you to retain a quality a little bit better. You can also play with the full tone, which restores the look on the maximum level. I think this is a pretty good. Once you're happy with your result, you can hit expand. You can see that we still have the frame available here, which means that it Illustrator didn't think this is white. It picked up the background color as one individual shade. You can select it, use the white arrow selection tool and delete it. That's how you vectorize colors. 6. Illustrating Part 1: Let's go back to our workflow chart and see what we have done so far. We have covered how to bring paper sketch and digital sketch to your Illustrator, and how to live trace them and make them vector shape. In the next section, we're going to learn how to either hand trace your paper sketch or how to draw natively inside Illustrator. All right. Here is the fun part. In this lesson, we're going to cover how to illustrate all these motifs inside Illustrator. For each one, I will cover two or three ways to draw so that you can learn and find out which one you like the best and maybe incorporate that as part of your work process. Let's start with drawing simple lines. There are quite a few ways to do that. We will cover some common ones. If you know that your line is going to be straight, the best tool is the line segment tool, which is the backslash on your keyboard, and you can also see here is highlighted. Whenever you see this parenthesis and has a letter or symbol, that shows what the shortcut is. If you want to change your default shortcut to a different symbol or letter, you can also do that in Illustrator preference. Once you have that selected, you can come to the art board and just click and drag. Right now the line looks invisible, that's because we don't have a fill color yet. Make sure the stroke is in front and just click whatever color you want it to be. If you want to change the line weight, you can come over to the Stroke panel and then change to whatever. This one looks okay. Whenever you want to draw horizontal or vertical line, you can hold down the Shift key to do that. Even if you want the angle to be divisible to 45 degree, you can also do that. You can see there is a snap to it, it's pretty convenient. You can also just use your pen tool, which is letter P on your keyboard. I'm just going to delete all these to show you how it works. You can click P. Each time you click, it will give you a node, but if you don't release it, it will let you draw a handle. Right now I just clicked and I start dragging. If this is your first time using Illustrator this doesn't feel very intuitive. It just means that you need to take some time to practice it and before you know it, you will have muscle memory of how to do these things. Once you're done, you can click on Escape key. If you just want without the curves, just want the polygon, you can just click instead of click and drag. To draw a closed shape, you want your end point to get close to your original point. You see this little circle right there, this is the point where you can close the entire shape. Another way to draw a line is to use a pencil tool. It's right here and the keyboard shortcut is N. That's what I used for these little mushrooms right here. This is basically great for free handing things. If you have a sketch you want to roughly draw what's over there, you can do that. The lines are pretty smooth. It works better if you're working from a tablet or even iPad through a third party app that lets you draw directly from a tablet but you can also do that with your mouse. If you want to draw a closed shape, just get close to the beginning point. You see this little circle that shows you once you release your mouse, it will close the shape for you. Sometimes your hand is just not accurate. You see that I intentionally left some uneven lines, but you will see that the pencil tool can do some smoothing for you. It looks a lot better than what I drew. I'll make it more obvious. This is apparently very jagged but watch this. See, it's a lot smoother. To change the setting, you can come over to the pencil tool and double-click and you will see this pencil tool options. On the very top is the fidelity setting. You can make your setting very accurate, which means that it will pick up all the little waves and little imperfections and it will be very close to your original trace, I should say, original path. But if you set the setting too smooth, it will smooth out the curve for you. Another thing I want to mention is that over here down the options, we see closed path when ends are within 15 or whatever pixels that you set up. This basically means that you will, like what we did originally. I'm just going to click Okay here. When you draw a circle or oval, it will close the shape for you right here. That's what those setting means. I'm just going to let go all of these and draw to recreate the mushroom here. I click Command Z to undo it. I'm happy with this shape. Right now we have stroke color but without fill color. I'm going to do another one inside. Yeah. Then I click them both and hit Shift + X, it will swap the fill color. Instead of we have the dark blue as stroke color, we'll have it as fill color. It's Shift + X and we want to color the inside of the mushroom a little bit differently. We want to bring the fill in front so that we're changing the fill color not the stroke color. Let's move it a little closer. I clicked command space-bar to zoom in to a certain area. Obviously the line isn't very smooth over here. It just look a little wonky. You can smooth out your line using the smooth tool. You don't really see it over here it's probably because it's tucked in somewhere. Yeah, I think right here under the pencil there's this smooth tool which I set it as Shift + 3. I can't remember if this is the factory setting, but again, you can go to the preference and define your own shortcut. I'm just going to click here. It doesn't look like it has made a lot of helpful changes. I'm going to undo it and come over to the smooth tool, double-click, and change to the setting. Right now I have the fidelity pretty accurate which means that the smooth tool won't do a whole lot, it will respect my original drawing. But because I want it to make bolder moves, so I'm going to move the tick closer to smooth. I'm going to click "Okay" and see what it does. See, then I go back and do it again so you will see the difference. All I did is to click one anchor point and it round out the shape for me. Right now I'm going to zoom back to the art board which is Command 0 will fit everything in. I have several of them over here and obviously they are pretty smooth and the style obviously it's made in computer. If you want to diversify the shape a little bit, you have the option of roughening the shape. You can come to Effect, and Distort, and Transform, and click "Roughen". Anytime you want to visit or you can't remember what things are, you can use the help area here and click "Roughen" and just hover over the suggestion, it will show you how to get there. I'm just going to come back to Effect, Distort, Transform, and Roughen. Right now you can't do anything, it's because you don't have anything selected. You have to define which part you want to run. I'm going to just zero in this one. What it does is, let me turn on the preview, it gives you some like random variation for the line. It doesn't look like. It's very computerized. This is obviously not what I'm looking for. I want those variation to be very little. While you can play with the slider, depends on what look you're going after or motive you're dealing with. You can make the line corner, which creates a polygon look or you can make it smooth. Just play with it and see whatever works best for you, then click "Okay" here. By now the roughing adds a little bit more character to it. However, at the moment illustrator sees this shape as a fact instead of a path. We want to expand that by coming to the upper left hand corner, Object and Expand appearance. There's this little trick you want to make your shape a little more dynamic. Let's do a quick preview on what we have learned so far, by creating this blue mushrooms right here. I'll just zoom in to show you what we've got. We have this rounded cap over here and we have stems and speckles on it. Let's try the pencil tool first. I'm just drawing, when you see the circle, selective field color and do the same thing for the stem over here and give it a different color. Obviously, we want to move the stem beneath, under this cap. We can do that by Command, Left Bracket or right-click, come over here and you will see a range and you can bring any object forward or backward. Let me just zoom in a ted and start drawing the little sparkles here. For some reason, even if I have the yellow field selected, when I release it, it still defaults back to no field, no color. I think it's just the bug. I'm just going to keep trying and fix it altogether later. Right now we want to color all the dots we drew with one color. To do that, I want to lock down the stem and the cap. We can select one and actually hold onto Shift and command to lock it. You have the cap and the stem locked. You can select everybody else and we get rid of color. We just move this guy a tiny a bit and you want to unlock it by pressing command option 2. We want this part of the dots to be cut off obviously. The easiest way to do that is to use the Shape Builder tool. You want to select them both and hit Shift, M. This is what it looks like over here. If you just press it, it will break it apart and you have to delete it afterwards. With the Shape Builder tool selected, whenever you click and drag, you'll actually join all the shape together. But whenever you hold onto Option key and click that portion of the shape, you will delete that portion. That's what we want over here. That's a little nice trick. You can also recreate this shape using Pen tool. It's over here in the toolbar or letter P. This one gives you more fine control. It doesn't have this freehand look and you have to mess with the curves a lot more. But I'm just showing you that there is another way of doing it. It might not be the best for my shape over here. It lost the charm of the hand-drawn look, but I do want to show you that you have that option and it may be best when you are doing like a simple trace, if you already have something underneath and you are tracing step-by-step on top of a paper sketch. I think Pen tool would be a really good choice. A newer version of Illustrator, it offers a great tool called Curvature tool to fix like a micro fix of an area of your illustration. For example, I have this cap selected and I can come over to the Curvature tool and just move my anchor points. As you can see, the movement is pretty elegant, in terms that it's very aware of the curves around it. It doesn't look very disruptive as opposed to you're moving one anchor point using the Pen tool. I thought you would like to know about that. If you're working on more geometric look, you can use a list of tools that is located over here. I have another class called Make Geometric shapes in Adobe Illustrator CC, which covers how to use these tools in more depth. You're welcome to check it out. 7. Illustrating Part 2: We have covered a lot of ground so far. I don't want to lose you so let's go ahead and practice how to vectorize this motif to Illustrator in three different ways. Let's take a look at the sketch over here. I've done the sketch on paper and enhanced it in Photoshop to make the contrast a lot more obvious so it's easier to trace. The first method we're going to use is to live trace. You can click the live trace panel. I'm pretty confident that we can get a pretty good line by just using the black and whiteboard and using the default threshold. I do want to ignore white because I don't want the Illustrator to think the background is part of the shape. I'm going to check that and preview the result. It looks pretty clean. I like that. I'm going to go ahead and expand the whole shape. By default, you have all the results grouped together so you want to ungroup that by pressing command shift G so that you can clean up. When I click this, obviously, we don't want to have shapes here. I'll just show you how you can color one of these tools by using live paint tool. You can press K or come over to the shape below tool group. This one is called live paint. You want to select the shape first so Illustrator knows what you're looking at. Click K to color. It even gives you the hint text, saying, ''click to make a live paint group''. I'm just going to click green and start painting. Also the top might be gray, a different color here. This one is pretty wonky, but it shows the hand-drawn quality. So it could be a look. Right now, Illustrator sees this shape as appearance so you will need to come over to object and expand the appearance so that you can fine-tune and edit each color as individual shapes. For example, if I want to delete the black outline, I can just direct select by pressing A and click the black line and then just delete it and zoom back out. Yeah, this is one look that you can go after and you can go ahead and do the rest of it. That's method 1 and let's go back to method 2. In this one, I would like to actually trace it in a sense that I will draw over it. First I want this layer to be locked down by hitting command tool and use pen tool by pressing P. I'm going to give it a little brighter color for the stroke color so that it shows better contrast, undo command Z. You want to go over the extremities of the shape, which happens to be like the up and downs if you know what I mean here. Just like the tips of the stars and once you find the tip, you can just click and drag and then, this one. Let's redo this and quote that up. The latest version of Illustrator has a curvature tool, which can be really beneficial in this case. You can come over here to click curvature and start drawing. But instead of click and drag, you can just click the extremity of these things and fix it later. It's really magical. I'll show you in a second, here and click add. Fix, drag, and fix. This is especially helpful if you are not familiar with Illustrator. I just feel it makes the drawing a lot more forgiving if the result is a lot more forgiving. That's two ways of drawing it. You can finish drawing with the same method. That's method number 2. Let's zoom back out and come to method number 3 and see how else we can create the same motif using different tool. First, we want to lock this one down, maybe a little closer, and this time I want to mimic how markers work using blob brush tool. You can come over to here or hit shift B. If you don't see this icon, it's probably because you have the paintbrush tool selected inside of blob brush tool. I can just click here, and obviously this one is a little too big. So you want to double-click and see two options you have. Like the pencil tool, you can choose how smoothly you want your curves to be and you can also choose the size of your brush. We want it to be a little bit smaller. You can change the angle and you can even change the roundness. I like to have it slightly oval so that it mimics the real brush a lot better. You can change the dynamics to random. It's a little unpredictable, but you're welcome to try it out and to see if it fits your style. You do have other options as well here. I'm just going click okay. If you want to change the size of your brush on the fly, you can hit left or right bracket tool to change it. Right now, I just want to give it a fill color and then you can just go ahead and start painting. This pretty therapeutic. Make sure it's connected and you can let go. To fill the shape in the middle, you can either just use the blob brush tool to paint over or you can use the shape builder, which is Shift M, by just dragging all the shapes that you want to combine and let go. That's easy [inaudible]. Well, since we have already talked about how to use blob brush tool, I think it would be fun to show you another core use and you can use this for lettering work. You want to pull up the menu to tweak the brush a little bit to mimic the brush pen. You want to change the angle of your brush to around negative 30 and squeeze the roundness to between 60-70. I like to turn up my fidelity level to smooth and you can just go ahead and write a letter. This is really cool because you don't have to vectorize from paper and whatever you write over here, it's already vector. That saves you a stamp, which can be very nice. There we go. There's another fun fact about Illustrator. 8. Illustrating Part 3: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to make these little cute snails over here. As you can see, I have some paper sketches scanned in. Actually, I just took a photo of it. The quality isn't very good. The lighting wasn't good, that contrast is very low. I know that you wouldn't trace very well, if I use live trace. The better way to do it is to draw on top of that. That's what we're going to learn. First, we want to lock it down so that we don't accidentally move it. Let me zoom in to this one area. It's the little pixelated, which is fine. It's still gives me the general outline. I'm going to use Pen tool, which is "P" on a keyboard. I can just drag and click around your shape. You don't have to be super precise because you can fine tune your curves using curvature tool later. Let me close the shape from here. Like I said, you can select the "Curvature tool" just to move things a little bit to make sure it looks good. Right now, my shape entirely covers my sketch. I can't see what's underneath. There are two ways of dealing with that. One is that you can switch you're fill in stroke by hitting, "Shift x" and you can shift it back later. Another way of doing that is to come over to the "Transparency panel" and change the blending mode to "Multiply," and you can lock it there and keep drawing on top of that. If we look at this line right here, we can either trace using Pen tool to trace it as a shape or in a better way, we can use the Width tool to deal with it. To use that tool, instead of tracing under both sides, we want to just trace the general direction of this line. You can go over here, that's fine. Instead of a shape which have a fill color, we want line here by clicking "shift X." I'm going to give it a different color. First, I want to press "Escape" to be done with the line. Come over here. Let me maybe use a brighter color. Before I do anything, I want to make sure the curves are pretty smooth. You see this long tail here just hit "Escape" to get rid of it. There we go. You can come over here to Width tool. It looks like a harp. The keyboard shortcut is "Shift W," when it's selected, you see this little white dot here and a plus sign, it lets you add a point where you can change the width. See, much better. But right now it will straighten our "C's." Another thing might be bigger to fix. The ending point of this line is [inaudible]. But I want it to be rounded. I want to give it a rounded cap. You want to switch that before you extend this to a shape. Right now, I want to expand the line to a shape. You can come over to "Object and expand appearance" and you can move it around. To rotate, you can hit "E" for Free Transform Tool and then do your rotation here. Right now, I think I'm ready to unlock everything. I would like to bring back the normal blending mode. I want to cut this part off by using "Shift M." Remember, when you don't click anything, it will just join the path. But if you hold onto "Option key," it will trim. There is that. Similarly, you can use the same tools we used before to create this snail over here. I won't go over how to do it step-by-step, but I do want to show you my layer structure. As the shell portion of the snail, actually, I do have three big shapes instead of just one. Am going to ungroup it, so you can see. I have this pink here and another one under. This one is on the bottom. When I created them, I made using shape tool to make like a shadow over here. I did another one and I trimmed all the address using shape [inaudible] tool. Then I just recolored everything to the same shade of pink. It gives you a sense of shadow over here without adding another color to the same. 9. Illustrating Part 4: In this section, we're going to learn how to use custom brushes to unify the look of your motifs. As you see over here, we have a bunch of mushrooms of the same kind, but have different length and different directions. Of course you can come in and create them individually, but it's hard to move them and make them fit snugly later when you assemble a pattern. I'm going to show you a simple way to create a custom brush that will make your process a lot easier. Before doing that, let's make some simple, basic mushrooms to work with. When I click "N" for the pencil tool to create three caps. They don't have to be perfect. Ideally, you want them to be around the same size. You want to deselect the stroke and you give it a fill color. In the next step, it might be a little hard to understand at this point, but basically, we want all the mushrooms to lay flat because we're going to make art brushes out of them. Let me give them a stem here and you can increase the stroke width. This is good. I'm going to give it a different color, bring it to the back. They can be the same length. That's no problem. For this particular look, I want the endpoint to be rounded. So I come over to Stroke and select "Round Cap". Now we can make our brushes. You want to select one unit and you come over to Brushes, panel and click "New Brush". You want to select the "Art Brush", click "OK". In the middle you will see three options for brush scale options. For our case, we want to stretch between the guides. Basically what it means is that when your line is super wrong, the middle portion would be stretched, but the tail and the head will be left alone. We'll make sense in a second. You want the colorization option to be Hue Shift. You can come in and do the same for the res, Art Brush, Stretch Between Guides, and just drag and Hue Shift. The same for the last one. Once they're made, you can delete them. Now you can just click pencil tool by pressing N and start drawing random lines. Right now they have the basic uniformed line applied to it, but once you have them selected and click the art brush you just made, it will turn them into little mushrooms. There we go. Make sure you click different kind of brush so that the cap doesn't look like they are all wearing the same hat basically. Then you can click one point to resize them. They still look relatively similar. Let me select the whole thing and rotate it by using free transform, which is E on your keyboard. You can also make a reflection, which is keyboard shortcut Alt, which will let you reflect. Or you can also right click and hit "Transform" and click "Rotate". This technique is helpful in many ways. For example, you want to draw mushrooms facing different ways, you can come in and draw just two lines facing different directions and click the custom brushes you made and it's already there instead of coming in to draw separate caps and re-scale them to the same size and put it into a different direction and rotation. If you're working with a bunch of them altogether and you want to change the width of the line, you can select them all and just change the width of the stroke because before you expand them, they're treated as lines. That's pretty quick to fix. Imagine if you have all these as shapes, you have to redraw the whole thing to make that simple change. Also, before you expand, you have the option of smoothing out the curves as well and you can come to the curvature tool and two, play with it. Even if you change it to a different direction, watch this, the cap of the mushroom also changes as you change the direction of the curve. See. It's a lot less editing for you and just everything looks more natural that way because sometimes we might forget to rotate the cap and it looks like it's off. This technique works best with long stretchable motif. It's very specific, but still I think it's worth to know. We just went over how to make a long stretchable custom brush to make your motifs more unified. I also want to show you another technique to make a different kind of brush to bridge the gap between your sketch and your final illustration. As you can see, this my original paper sketch. I'm not a great sketcher. In my mind, this is what I envision, but my pen just can't get there. I know there is some stacking and symmetry going on, but this is the best I can honestly do. You can use some illustrator tools to bridge the gap. I think what I did was to create a basic teardrop shape using the pen tool. You just click and drag and stop it at the end. It's fairly simple. You can probably do this a lot quicker using pen tool. I'll just give it a different color so you can see better. I want to lay this one flat and make a brush out of it. You can come over to brush panel and new brush. Like last time, we also want to do Art Brush for this one. But instead of stretch between guides, we want to stretch to fit the stroke length. You want to change the colorization method to Hue Shift as well. Once that's made, you can get rid of it. I'm just going to zoom in and use my pencil tool and start to draw and apply it with the new brush we just made. It looks like it's a little bit too big, I'm just going to make it a bit smaller. This is better. It's nice You can use eyedropper tool to pick up the brush kind. If it doesn't pick up exactly, we want to check the appearance over here to make sure all the check marks are checked and you can use it again. See. Then you can adjust a curve a little bit. You can make another one. I'm going to lockdown the sketch and select the single line and to pick up the brush appearance. It looks a lot better. Now I want to come to the width tool to fine tune the final look of it. You can click one individual anchor point to tweak it, to use curvature tool to massage it, make it look a little better. Go back to the width tool. I'm going to unlock this sketch until we're good. See, it's a lot, a lot better than what I have on paper. Eventually, it takes some time to create something like this, but all I did is to create one brush and then just use the curvature and the width tool to massage how it looks like and group this thing, and copy and paste and reflect it to a different direction. If you are not a great sketcher like me, don't worry, there are so many tools in Illustrator that can help you. 10. Adding Texture: I hope by now you have made some fun characters or illustrations and are ready to move on to the next stage. In this video, we're going to chat all about how to add texture to your motifs and illustrations. Over the years, I have accumulated a lot of third party brushes to add textures to my work. I will leave downloadable sheet for you to look at in the resource link as well. For example, I have a bunch of brushes over here. They look complicated, but if you zoom in, they are actually just straight lines where the different brush type applied to it. For example, this one is called drag strip and this one is to mimic the gouache edge shader, and this one is just a normal doodle and this one is gouache liner. This one mimics the look of acrylic paint. Yeah, they are just one simple line but to add that to your work, you do have to do one extra step, is to expand those into shapes instead of having it as appearance. You're going to come to Object and Expand Appearance, and this will be just different path that you can use for your motifs. I will warn you that if you have too many of those, it can slow down your illustrator, sometimes it crashes, but I think it's really worth it. Let's see how we can use those. For example, we have this circle right here, let me just make it a little bigger. How do we add more character to our circle here? First, we want to select the circle and give it the same stroke color and the fill color. It doesn't do much as of now because we have the uniformed basic liner selected. If you have some third party brushes or even you want to try out some illustrator brushes, you can come over here to the little bookshelf icon and click through the items over here. I'm just going to come over to User Defined and try the carpenters pencil brushes. It will bring out the whole library that you have, and each time you click, it will give you the result immediately. You can see already the edges looks fuzzy, that's what you want. I'm going to increase those stroke size a little bit. Yeah, depends on what kind of look you're going after, you can experiment with different brushes. Yeah, that's fun. As you see here, even if we have the same stroke color and fill color, because the hub brush was made, there is this little transparency brought to it. You can see the difference between the texture and the color. If that's the case for you, let me just close it real quick, you want to select them both and expand the brush two path and you can consolidate everything you selected and merge it into one entire path and it will give you one uniformed color. Let me just do a back out. That's a nice way to add texture. Another way you can do that, let me just make another circle, is to ruffinate but using not ruffian tool, which we already covered, but a different one. Actually all these ones work. I'm going to show you the wrinkle tool first. You can double-click to work through the different play with the different parameters to see what it does. I'm just going to go with whatever I have over here and you will see this little circle that indicates how big of impact your brush size has. Just have it like a trace it round the circle. Yeah. Like the name already indicates that it gives your shape wrinkles, which can be a nice effect if that's what you're looking after. Another way of doing that is to use clipping mask. Let me just give it a different color. Let's change. This time I want to make the fill color different. Happy. I want to have a big giant stroke across the shape. Maybe something like this, and I can give it a different color so that I can see how the overlapped area shows that. Increase the size a little bit. Yeah, this is nice. I want to have this stroke to be expanded as well, so there are paths. When I click the orange circle and bring it to the front, which is Command Shift, Right Bracket. Right now I want to select them both and right-click to make a clipping mask. You can also hit "Command 7" to do the same thing. Voila. Now you have a circle shape with texture. You can still see the shapes outside of the edges. You can just come over, select this tool and come over to the pathfinder and trim it or crop. That will give you only the overlapped area. Pretty neat. Let me just show you real quick what I have over here, so these are the two patterns that I worked in the past. As we can see on the left, it's basically just pattern brushes. It's super simple, but has a lot of characters. This one is hexagons, but inside them, there's this texture brush to upgrade the vector look a little bit. Yeah, that's how we can add texture to our work. 11. Enhancing Sketches: In the beginning of our class, we have talked about the best practice of paper sketching. The key takeaway was to keep the lines very, very dark and to keep the paper very white if you're able. Also when you take pictures, you want to have a sufficient light to enhance that contrast. But sometimes we do have to work with less than ideal photos. If that's the case for you, I'm going to introduce a few techniques to enhance your photos before bringing them into Illustrator. The program that I'm using is Photoshop. As you can see, the sketch is relatively clear, but the picture was taken under very low light and it has a yellow tint. To fix that, you want to come over to adjustments, and come over to levels. You don't have to exactly understand what it is over here. As you can see, there's three eyedropper over here. This one represent dark color, and this is gray, and neutral, and this one is white. That's what we want. We want to highlight the white and come over to your sketch and just click on wherever you think it should be white, which is the base color of the sketch paper. You see the difference? This is before and after. It's pretty dramatic. As far as illustrator is concerned, the program can read the lines in this version a lot better. Yeah, just that one simple trick. I can help you. Sometimes your sketches might be a little complicated and you can't necessarily produce good results by just recognizing the white. If that's the case, when I come over to the middle handle over here and just slide it to the left. You can also increase the lightness of your photograph. You want to play with the dark, go little bit, and narrow the white a little as well. On top of that, you can also use curves over here just to give it a general boost. Yeah, the lines are brown over here, but since the background is very clean, I think Illustrator will give it a good read. 12. Thank You: Thank you so much for taking my class. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Skillshare or Instagram, or if you have any future suggestions on new classes, feel free to let me know. Until next time, happy drawing.