Illustrator for Beginners

Here we go…Adobe Illustrator time! Remember to have fun and play. And please make sure to watch the Lynda tutorials (I cannot stress this enough!).

Here are the settings for the homework:


Profile: corresponds to the type of work of your project. For example, if you are building a website, you will choose “Web” or “Devices” profile.
*”Devices” profile is for tablets and mobile.
separate pages that you’re going to create inside of a single document.

In the “Advanced” mode, you can choose the color mode: CMYK for printed documents and RGB for screen only.

View —> Rulers —> Show Rulers

By default they will be set to points (1280 x 800), but you can set them to anything you like:


Create Guides (I will demonstrate in class):

  • control and drag to pull guides from corner of the screen
  • can also pull guides horizontally and vertically
  • shift key to move incrimentally
  • center guides unlock, align, lock
  • guides snap your lines into place

Fill and Stroke (color):

  • Stroke = the color value of the path of the object
  • fill  = the color value within the object
  • shift + x = switching between stroke and fill
  • You can also use a gradient (will demonstrate)

– Tools –

There are two types of selection tools:

  • selection tool (black pointer, “V”) = allows you to select the entirety of the object
  • direct selection tool (gray pointer, “A”) = allows you to select a specific path/anchor of an object (use the shift key)

Create a rectangle using the rectangle tool (“M”):


Now Play! Use the direct selection tool (“A”) to manipulate the anchor points and/or create new points. Don’t worry about things getting messy, just get a feel for how that tool works.

The Pen Tool (“p”) :

P key = pen tool
point click – don’t hold (at least to make shapes etc)
can connect and modify paths
command + hold = add anchor point
hold command + drag anchor point

Working with the Pen Tool
Create a shape.
For a straight line: Select Pen tool> Point>Click>Move. Make a square by closing the path to the first point that you’ve made. See the little circle and “anchor”, that means the path is closed. For a curved line: Point>Click>Hold Shift key>Click and drag in the opposite direction you want the curve to go.

how smooth points work:
smooth transition between two neighboring curves
lumpy curves – wavy segments – solution – bring the handles in.

drawing smooth points:
dragging instead of clicking with pen
(option click to make new layer where you can color label)
click – spacebar – drag (pen tool) much easier
command option tab

Magic Wand tool (“Y”) :
double click the tool = options
selecting objects with similar attributes depending on the tolerance level
you can also do this by clicking –> select —>same —-> attribute


The Arc Tool:
egg shapes (eye shapes?!)

Anchor Point Tool:
shift + c = anchor point tool
You drag from a point to convert it to a smooth point.
You drag a handle to convert a smooth point to a cusp point.
And you click on a point in order to delete the handles and turn it back into a corner point.

Elipse Tool (“L”):
for making round shapes (under the rectangle tool menu)

Brush Tool: 

Brush libraries are available – lots of different variations!
*It will reset your point size each time you change the kind of brush you’re working with
You can use direct section tool to manipulate bath anchor points

Pencil Tool (“N”): 

Notes on drawing:

If you want to draw, go to the tools panel>”Shaper tool”. Hold and choose one of the tool.

If you have selected “Pencil tool” and you want your drawing smoother, click on Enter/Return in your keyboard. Then, on the top, drag the cursor to “smooth.”

Double click the pencil tool to get options menu.


Placing images in art boards for tracing:

1. file —-> place
2. select image
3. mark as template

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 4.45.01 PM.png


For practice, use this image and trace one or both of these eyes.07-eyebrows2What feelings do the image below evoke? How are the eyes working here?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s