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Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorial with Wacom Tablet

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

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial using Wacom Tablet

In this beginner Adobe Illustrator Tutorial using Wacom Tablet, we will be going through a simple process of inking using the Wacom Tablet, Pencil Tool, and Comic Strip Brushes. This will be a hybrid of the same process of inking, adding brushes, and coloring we have been using to get you familiar with the tablet before adding pressure sensitivity. 

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Wacom & Pencil Settings

Double Click on the Pencil Tool. I prefer to turn off keep selected, fill new strokes, and close paths options. If you are noticing lines connecting or bouncing, definitely turn off keep selected.

Using Pencil Tool

Your goal is to find a happy medium of efficiency for how fast you can apply lines as well as how far you should be zoomed out. I prefer zoomed out for longer lines and zoomed in for shorter ones.

Prepping for Live Paint

We will be adding in simple segments to act as stoppers for our Live Paint Bucket. These segments should have no fill or stroke. Place them in areas where you have open or broken lines.

TABLET SETTINGS

Tablet 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.

Pencil Settings

Turn your smoothing (fidelity) all the way up. This will keep your lines extremely smooth. I would also have the fills turned off. The keep selected box will be on for this tutorial since we are working on joining paths, especially sharp corners.

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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

Adding on Line Variation using Cartoon Brushes

You will have more control over the placement and width of each of your lines using the Adobe Illustrator Brush Libraries. 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

STEP #1: Download the Adobe Illustrator Halftone Folder. Downloading our textures is a straightforward process. All you have to do is Download and Extract All before using in Adobe Illustrator. Our Halftone Patterns are Adobe Illustrator Documents, so there is not any fancy way of opening up the file. Just double-click directly from the Folder or Open from Adobe Illustrator.
STEP #2 Copy-Paste Halftones into a Working Artboard: The goal of this step is to get the Halftones into your design so they populate into your Swatches. All you have to do is Copy and Paste them over into the Artboard you are currently working on. The Halftones will automatically populate into the Swatches Panel for use.
STEP #3: Apply Halftone using Basic Fills, Blob Brush, or the Knife Tool. The Halftones will act just like any other Color Swatch. You can simply Select a Shape to apply a basic Fill. If you are new to Adobe Illustrator, I will recommend using the Live Paint Bucket to apply your Flat Color Layer first. The next step will be to duplicate the color layer to apply Halftones.
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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.

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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