adobe illustrator tutorial sketch vector

Adobe Illustrator Sketch to Vector

In Adobe Illustrator, Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorials, Wacom Tablet by Jason Secrest

ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR SKETCH TO VECTOR

This is the first of our Drawing for Illustrator series using a tablet to start from the initial sketch before we bring it over into Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator from Sketch will start from a traced stock image. This will be for those who just opened up their tablet and are looking to gain a little more practice getting down your lines. We are just kicking off this series and new playlist so we are starting from square one as we ramp up into more freehand sketching and drawing tutorials.

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HAND-EYE COORDINATION

There is an awkward blind contour feeling with the non-display tablets. The process we are showing you will work for tracing as well as when we move away from tracing to draw from a reference. The goal is to get more confidence with where you cursor is and how it applies to getting your lines down.

FROM SKETCH

Using a photo reference and pulling away from it as we adjust the opacity down from 50%-33%-16% after each step. I use stock images as a reference or starting point and then move away from the initial image to fit what I am looking for. This will be more obvious when stock images don't match your desired look/design.

THICK TO THIN MODEL

We are starting with a thick brush as we are zoomed out and we will shrink the brush as we zoom in and get more comfortable and confident with the lines we are drawing. The thicker brush will allow you to see the initial phases as we are fully zoomed out at 100%.

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Pencil Tool Options

Here are some of the Pencil Tool Options that I recommend. I will go through some of them so you can modify them depending on your drawing style.

The first slide bar is the Fidelity or Smoothing setting. This one is great for those of you who want to go fast and hate hitting Control/Command + Z (undo) all the time in other programs. This will clean up the line as you draw and will remove unnecessary anchor points.

The main 2 Options that I want to cover is the Keep Selected and Edit Selected Paths down at the bottom. This is so we can edit and join as we go. The ability to join helps a lot and allows us to get back corners that the smoothing will potentially round out. Notice the bottom and the within 0 (zero) pixels. This will remove the rewrite or auto correct which is pretty frustrating if you don't want it.

adobe illustrator pencil tool settings

TABLET SETTINGS

Tablet Settings

Follow the direction on your tablet for how to install the drivers and set up first. Look for their Properties or Settings. Most of the tablet settings that I can adjust have been turned off or disabled. All of the short cuts will come from the keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator not the tablet. If you have a rather large tablet that you can't reach your keyboard then I would set up your Express keys.

Brush Settings

Once you have installed the driver, Photoshop will automatically read your tablet and convert your brushes to pressure once it recognizes your tablet pen on the tablet. There are buttons at the top control panel that you can control with pressure the opacity and flow. Any brush can be used- just click shape dynamics in the brush setting and play around with the control panel brushes. This is all personal preference.

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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 so we can edit it later. This 2-Step Process allows for more control over your Line Variation compared to using your Tablet with Pressure.

adobe illustrator cartoon brushes
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

Editing using the Shape Builder Tool

Shape Builder is a tool that can be used to give an alternative to the Eraser Tool while Editing. In order to use Shape Builder, you will need to Expand the Brush Layer. Select All - Expand (or Expand Appearance + Expand). I do recommend duplicating a Brushes Layer to preserve a Live Brush Layer for future edits. Once the Brushes are Expanded, Select All + click on the Shape Builder Tool. The Alt/Option key will switch the Shape Builder Tool to delete mode. Simply Click or Drag through the stray or overlapped areas to delete. Remember to keep holding down the Alt/Option. You can also Turn On/Off the Highlighting by double-clicking on the Shape Builder Tool. The flashing gets irritating.

Expand Appearance: I do recommend Expanding your Brushes Layer before using Shape Builder. This will prevent bouncing of the Brushes and Line Variation. It will also move toward an efficiency model to save time so you are not stopping and editing while you are still building.

Select your All on Brushes Layer: In order to use the Shape Builder Tool, you will need to select an Object or All Objects so the Tool knows what it should interact with. You can modify what is selected by choosing smaller areas if selecting all becomes too overwhelming.

Hold Alt/Option: When you hold down your Alt/Option Key while using the Shape Builder Tool to Delete Mode. I do recommend turning off the Highlighting when in this mode. Drag or click on any of the overlapped or stray marks to delete using the Shape Builder Tool.

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
beginner adobe illustrator tutorial whale
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.
beginner adobe illustrator tutorial pug
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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