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Easy Adobe Illustrator CC Tutorial for Beginners

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

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for Beginners: How to Apply Cartoon Brushes

In this Adobe Illustrator Tutorial, we will be going through a simple process of inking using Shapes and the Pen Tool. Our primary focus will be building in Adobe Illustrator so you can be applying the Tools and Settings, and then add on our Cartoon Brushes so you can Apply and Edit them using the Shape Builder Tool. In this tutorial, we will only cover the Shape Builder method and not the Eraser Tool.

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Vector from Rough Sketch

Rough sketch drawings are a little different since they do not include the line variation and have a little more wiggle room on where the final line will go. There is a little more editing as you add on the thickness to each line.

Getting Down Anchors

The goal is to get down your lines first. You will find that there is so much editing and moving of the initial anchors and handles that the placement of your anchor points should cause little stress.

Connect the Dots

We will be using our 2 step approach to using the pen tool. The first is using straight lines to just get down our anchor points. Look for the start and end of each line. If it breaks, curves, and changes direction put in an anchor.

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 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.

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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. Our (Updated) 200 Adobe Illustrator Brushes are specifically designed for Illustrators and Cartoonists to speed up their workflows. You can download our 200 Adobe Illustrator Brushes to follow along with the Tutorials or use them with Your Own Vector Artwork.
STEP #2: EXTRACT FOLDERS. The first step will be to download and extract the Resource Folders. The Folders will come as a Zipped Folder on Teachable. Once you have Downloaded and Extracted the Folders, they are ready to be used in Adobe Illustrator. Follow Along with our Resource Guides and Tutorials to practice applying and editing Brushes + Halftones + Textures.
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 to follow along with the 100 Tutorials Playlist on YouTube and 50 Step by Steps on the Website. 

DOWNLOAD BRUSHES

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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).
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BRUSHES + RESOURCES

OR DOWNLOAD RESOURCE BUNDLE

Opening Color Swatches

Open the Swatch Window. On the bottom left hand corner you will see the Open Swatch Libraries icon. At the bottom of the drop-down menu you will see Open Other Library. Go to our resource folder in the Color Palettes folder to Open ASE files. The ASE files have been created to make your life easier while going through the Challenge Series. Once you open the Library- click on the folder icon next to the swatches to move them from the library to the swatches.

Coloring with Fills

One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through using Fills. The main thing to look for is enclosed shaped. We have done nothing but build with Shapes so coloring is super easy. Keep this in mind as you are going through the other tutorials where we don't have any shapes.

Gradient Panel

Select each color using the Magic Wand Tool (Adjust to Tolerance 5) each color. Add on a Radial Gradient to the frosting layers (3). Use the lightest and Darkest Color Swatch from the color set of 3. Adjust the slider to control where the values hit. Troubleshooting: Double check your fill is in front and not your stroke.

Gradient Tool

You can use the Gradient Tool to gain some control over where the gradient hits on your shapes. The tool will control the same features that are in the panel. I use the tool when I don't want to guess and check angle degrees or aspect ratio percentages.

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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