| Now itís time to start drawing objects on the artboard and Russell starts with the simple tools for drawing basic shapes such as the Rectangle and Ellipse tools. The Pen tool is the most versatile tool in Illustrator. Russell begins by showing how to draw with the Pen tool by simply clicking on the artboard and how to have more control by dragging with the Pen tool to make a curved path. He also shows how to close a path and add/remove anchor points with the Pen tool. He finishes this section by demonstrating how to use the IllustratorR Pencil tool for freehand drawing and how to touch up your paths with the Smooth tool.|
Now that you have drawn some objects on the artboard, Russell discusses the Fill, Stroke and other attributes of objects. He demonstrates how to control these attributes with the Appearance panel. He also introduces the Eyedropper tool and color attributes as well as the Color and Swathes panels and the Color Picker. He demonstrates how to create a color in the Color panel and how to save it as a color swatch.
The Type tool is my favorite tool in all Adobe software. Russell discusses the Illustrator Type tool as he explains the difference between point and area type. He discusses the type attributes and how they can be controlled in the Character and Paragraph panels. He also covers one of Illustrator's special features for converting type to vector shapes.
Organizing and grouping objects is the next topic. Russell shows how to create a group and then how to edit the grouped objects in the Appearance panel. He also covers how to work in Isolation mode, which allows the user to work on a group without being able to access the other objects on the artboard.
Russell ends the course by discussing how to use the Arrange feature to move an object behind or above other objects and how the Layers panel works in Illustrator. Finally, he demonstrates how to save your work in the default Illustrator format, other formats such as .pdf and for previous versions of Illustrator.
This video tutorial course and supporting project files are free online at Digital-Tutors. Each video lesson ends with an optional quiz before moving to the next. Digital-Tutors has 55 Illustrator courses ranging from typography and product packaging to inking comic art. My readerís interested in childrenís book illustration will be especially interested in the course entitled Creating Narrative Illustrations in Illustrator.
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this article.
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