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Adobe Illustrator Tutorial using Shapes

In Adobe Illustrator, for Beginners, Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorials by Jason Secrest

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for Beginners

In this Beginner Adobe Illustrator Tutorial, we will be going through our anchor point guide to build our cartoon character using shapes. I have been getting a lot of requests for more tutorials on building characters using shapes.

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Building with Shapes

Shapes are a great way of building your characters especially as you gain experience with blend, warp, shape builder, and pathfinder to create unique shapes.

Adding Brushes

We will be adding our cartoon brushes to add line variation to our line width. These brushes are located in our resource folder and our easy to install as a new brush library.

Halftone Effects

We will be adding on an effect using the gradient tool and the color halftone pixelate effect. We will be also walking you through the live trace panel.

Zoom In

All of our initial preferences are designed to gain more control over what you are clicking on. The more you can zoom in and see your anchors and handles the better.

Smart Guides

Under VIEW make sure you have your smart guides turned on. Under your PREFERENCES (smart guides) you should definitely have your anchor/ path labels selected.

Anchor and Handle Size

In your (general) PREFERENCES there is a setting which can enlarge your anchor points and handles to make them easier for you to see before clicking.

Direct Selection Tool

The white arrow can grab and adjust the anchors, handles, and paths. All of the other settings are designed to let you know what you are selecting before you click and drag.

Adding on Line Variation using Cartoon Brushes

You will have more control over the placement and width of each of your lines using the Cartoon Brushes (Download + Install). The process will be a combination of using the Brushes to get down the initial thickness and stroke width. The second step will be modifying the placement of the variation using the so we can edit later. This 2-Step Process allows for more control over your Line Variation compared to using your Tablet with Pressure.

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STEP #1: DOWNLOAD BRUSHES. Many of you are jumping over from YouTube looking to download our Cartoon and Illustrator Brush Libraries. You can download all our 200 Adobe Illustrator Brushes to follow along with the Tutorials or use them with Your Own Vector Artwork. Our (Updated) 200 Adobe Illustrator Brushes are specifically designed for Illustrators and Cartoonists to speed up their workflows.
STEP #2: EXTRACT FOLDERS + SAVE BRUSHES. The first step is to download the Brushes Folders. They will come to you as a Zipped Folder. You can open them directly through your Brushes Panel or Save them for fast access in your "User Defined" by Saving Brush Library. Once you have Downloaded and Extracted the Brushes Folder, the Brush Libraries are Ready to Use in Adobe Illustrator.
STEP #3: FOLLOW ALONG. If you are following along on YouTube, I recommend starting with our 100 Adobe Illustrator Beginner Tutorials Playlists. This playlist will focus on Building Tools, Applying Brushes, Editing Options, and Basic Coloring Techniques. *I have included our Resources (as a free bonus) to follow along with the 100 Tutorials Playlist on YouTube and 50 Step by Steps on the Website.

ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES

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200 ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES. Our 200 Adobe Illustrator Brushes are specifically designed for Illustrators and Cartoonists to speed up their workflow. I have recently added more brushes and updated the Brush Libraries to allow for Pressure Sensitivity to use with your Tablet (tablet not required). Brushes can be used with Shapes, Pen Tool, Pencil Tool, and PaintBrush. Adobe Illustrator Brush Libraries include our 70 Cartoon, 100 Comic Strip, and 50 Vintage Mascot Brushes

DOWNLOAD BRUSHES
70 Adobe Illustrator Cartoon Brushes specifically designed for Cartoonists and Illustrators who are looking to speed up their workflows. Use Cartoon Illustrator Brushes with the Pen, Pencil or Paint Brush Tools to Apply different Line Variation to your Vector Artwork. Includes 70+ Cartoon Brushes (libraries include the Updated Cartoon, Cartoon 2, and Original Cartoon Brush Libraries).
DOWNLOAD BRUSHES
100 Hand Painted + Comic Strip Brushes to get a lived in feel back into your Vector Art. Comic Strips and Hand Painted are painted based on some of my favorite artists and cartoonists. These brushes are designed to look ready for the Sunday Paper. Includes 100+ Brushes (libraries include the Updated Comic Strip, Hand-Painted, Paintbrush, and Fine Liner Brush Libraries).
DOWNLOAD BRUSHES
50 Jittery Hand, Caffeinated Cartoonist + Rough Ink Brushes to Mimic Paper Bleed and Caffeine. Designed to be a little less stiff with your vector art. Use these Brush Libraries to get more of a distressed look or ink bleed back in your own Vector Artwork with heavy ink and a little more wobble. Includes 50+ Brushes (libraries include the updated Caffeinated Cartoonist, Rough Ink, and Jittery Hand Brush Libraries).
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

BRUSHES + RESOURCES

OR DOWNLOAD RESOURCE BUNDLE

STEP #1: DOWNLOAD + EXTRACT OUR ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR BMP TEXTURE FOLDER. The Texture Folders will come to you zipped. Extract All before using in Adobe Illustrator. The BMP Textures are ready to use once you have extracted the folder. There is no installation needed to use BMP Textures, simply file place over your finished design or artwork.
STEP #2: FILE + PLACE BMP TEXTURES INTO YOUR WORKING ARTBOARD. Place a BMP Texture over your finished vector artwork. Simple File-Place. I recommend scaling the texture to fit over your completed artwork before you export or save. Simply scale the texture file using the Bounding Box or the Properties Panel. You can scale the texture to fit over the asset or the entire artboard.
STEP #3: ADJUST TEXTURES USING THE TRANSPARENCY SLIDER. Adjustments to the texture file can be made in the Transparency Panel in Adobe Illustrator. If you are looking to Blend the Pattern toward your Background Color, you can simply click on a Color Swatch to Change the Color of the BMP Texture. Use the Transparency Slider to adjust the opacity for subtle texture overlays.
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Free Bonus: I have included the  Anchor Point and Tablet Friendly Guides (as a Free Bonus) to Follow Along with the 50 Step by Steps on the Website or the 100 Beginner Tutorials Playlist on YouTube to Learn the Basics of Building, Applying Brushes, Editing, and Coloring in Adobe Illustrator. Follow Along with the Tutorials or use the Brushes with Your Own Artwork.

ILLUSTRATOR RESOURCES

HOLIDAY SALE: EXTRA $25 OFF OUR ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR RESOURCE BUNDLE
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200 ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES. Our (Updated) Adobe Illustrator Brush Libraries are specifically designed for Illustrators and Cartoonists to speed up their workflow. I have recently added more brushes and updated the Brush Libraries to allow for Pressure Sensitivity. Follow Along with the Tutorials or Use them with Your Own Artwork. Brush Libraries include our 70 Cartoon, 100 Comic Strip, and 50 Vintage Mascot Brushes.
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70 ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR HALFTONES + PATTERN FILLS. Our Halftones and Patterns Fills are designed for easy application even if you are new to Adobe Illustrator. Halftone Fills behave the same as a Color Swatch so you can apply them quickly using the Blob Brush, Live Paint, or Basic Fills. Simply Paint in Halftones into your own Illustrations and Comics. Halftones include our Comic Strip Halftone Fills, Pattern Fills, and Halftone Value Scales.
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400 ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR BMP TEXTURES. Our BMP Textures are extremely easy to use even if you are a beginner to Adobe Illustrator. Simply File-Place the Textures over your finished artwork to use with the Transparency Panel for soft overlays. Use BMP Textures along with Opacity Masks for T-Shirt Distressing. BMP Textures include our 145 Cracks, 120 Grunge Distressing, 75 Paper, and 77 Paint Splatter Textures.
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

BRUSHES + RESOURCES

How to Color in Adobe Illustrator

One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through Live Paint. Live Paint Bucket is a part of the Shape Builder Tools which builds the shapes in the exact shape you need it. Select All. Go up to Object - Live Paint - Make. If you have a grayed out Make it simply means you didn't have anything selected. I do recommend Deselecting by clicking on your artboard before clicking on a Color Swatch. *Remember Everything is still Selected so it will Color the Full Selection if you click on a Color Swatch with everything selected. Click on the Live Paint Bucket (K) and Click to Dump Color. It will feel like the Paint Bucket in Adobe Photoshop. 

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