adobe illustrator tutorial for beginners popsicle

Beginner Adobe Illustrator Tutorial using Shapes

In Adobe Illustrator, Building with Shapes, 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 focusing on the beginner using shapes. In this tutorial, we will be going through a simple process of building, aligning, and coloring using shapes. We will be going through our resource anchor point guide to build our character and practice using shapes, round corners, shape builder, and the align panel. We will also be adding on our BMP Textures to create a soft texture overlay. 

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial Beginner Popsicle
Building with Shapes

Shapes are an easy an effective way of building in Illustrator. Align ellipse and rectangles shapes with our resource anchor point guide. Use the align panel to align to selection and artboard to make symmetrical designs.

Round Corners

One of the coolest features to roll out in recent years. Select the corners you want to round and drag in using your white arrow. If you are using older versions of Ai this will be and stylize effect-round corners.

Shape Builder

Shape builder will be a new favorite, especially if you are struggling with pathfinder. Drag through the shapes you want to combine into a new shape and hold alt-option to subtract shapes.

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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.

Pathfinder Tips

Pathfinder Minus Front

1. Have 2 overlapping shapes selected. One shape will be in the front and this is the cut away shape. (I colored this one garbage green since it will be trashed after we click minus front). (Use fills only)

Shape Builder (alt/option) Delete

2. Have 2 overlapping shapes selected and click the Shape Builder tool. Hold down alt/option and click on areas you wish to be deleted. Wait for the shape to grey out. (Use fills only)

Pathfinder Unite

3. Have 2 or more overlapping shapes selected and click on the pathfinder unite button. The 2 shapes will merge together. (Use fills only)

Shape Builder- Combine Shapes

4. Have 2 or more shapes selected and then click on the shape builder tool. Click, Hold and drag across the shapes you wish to combine. Do NOT hold down alt/option.

Download + Extract All

1. Download + Extract Textures Folder. Textures are included our Illustrator Textures Bundle, Resource Bundle and Active Learning Curriculum.

File - Place in Texture

2. Just like we did for the Anchor Point Guide, you will need to place the BMP Texture in to the Artboard. Scale to Fit the Texture using Transform Panel or Bounding Box.

Change Color

3. . Change Color using Swatches or Eye Dropper Tool. The Color of the Texture should be the same as the Background Color. Adjust Transparency.

Blending Modes

4. Change the BMP Texture Color to White by selecting the White Color Swatch. Use a White Color Swatch to Use with Blending Modes Lighten, Screen, Overlay or Soft Light.

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.
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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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