Adobe Illustrator is an amazing tool. With its user-friendly interface yet astonishingly complex capabilities, it is an ideal program for professional and recreational illustrators alike. Still, to an individual who has never utilized this program before, opening up Adobe Illustrator for the first time is understandably intimidating. Much of it may look straightforward, but there’s only so much that one can figure out by poking around on their own. Illustrator’s most impressive capabilities tend to lie in places you wouldn’t think so look, and many of them involve performing a combination of keystrokes, or playing with a variety of settings.
Take a look at this collection of the Illustrator tutorials for beginners from around the web to get a quick start on effectively working – or playing – with Adobe Illustrator.
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1. General Tutorial from Adobe.com
This is a great video series from the makers of Illustrator themselves. Twenty-one concise but thorough videos show users how to perform the basic tasks involved in operating Illustrator. As the videos progress, the user is introduced to more advanced concepts. This tutorial will bring you up to the intermediate level and make you confident in your fundamental Illustrator tasks.
2. General Tutorial from NewThinkTank.com
Here is another series of video tutorials, for all of the visual learners out there. There are three videos in this series, each one anywhere from 7-10 minutes in length. Each video covers a new set of skills and teaches the viewer exactly the purpose of every tool you see onscreen. These videos let you know the specifics of every tool so that you’ll know exactly what to reach for the next time you have a task in mind to complete in Illustrator.
3. Vector Illustration Tutorial from Abduzeedo.com
This tutorial is more specific than the previous ones on this list. Abduzeedo.com’s tutorial, “Playing with Vectors in Illustrator,” walks users through the process of creating a vectorized image, starting from the initial sketch. Vector illustrations are becoming increasingly popular in the world of digital art, and can be found everywhere in the design world. If you’re interested in creating beautiful, detailed but minimalistic vector art, this tutorial is for you.
4. General Tutorial from VTC.com
VTC.com’s Illustrator tutorial is comprehensive and very much detailed. The tutorials are arranged by category, and each category has a handful of subtopics. If you have a specific inquiry regarding how to perform a particular task, or the function of a specific tool, or even the technical nitty-gritty such as the best way to save an Illustrator file, this is the place to look. This handily-organized tutorial is the next best thing to asking an Illustrator expert for help.
5. Creating and Using Brushes from VectorTutsPlus.com
Heading back into more specific tutorials, this page will show you how to create and utilize your own unique brushes in Illustrator to create a stylized image (in this case, a motorcycle.) This tutorial will walk you through the steps of not only creating your own brushes, but weaving and integrating them together to create exactly the effect you want in your piece. As we can see, Illustrator is a very versatile program that can be used to replicate virtually any type of media. This leads us into our next tutorial…
6. Capturing Watercolor Style Tutorial from DesignInstruct.com
Speaking of replicating whatever media your artistic heart desires, here is a great tutorial on how to create a watercolor-and-marker-style portrait. Rather than the stiff, cold feeling that many people tend to associate with digital art, this style produces a natural look that adds character to any piece. Note that this tutorial does not attempt to teach you to draw or paint; it is for users who are already fairly confident in their ability to draw, color, and shade.
7. Creating 3D Text Tutorial from DesignInstruct.com
Playing with the text in an image can be a lot of fun; not to mention, an image’s style of font can say a lot about its mood, intention, and the capability of the artist. This tutorial shows you how to create beautiful 3D text in Adobe Illustrator. It walks you thoroughly through the process, step-by-step, so that you’ll be sure to get it down. Once you do, you can mess around with the settings yourself and discover all sorts of great new text styles you may have never even thought to utilize before.
8. The Artist’s Process Tutorial from DesignInstruct.com
In this beautiful tutorial, a professional illustrator/designer walks you through one of her pieces from start to finish. This is as much an Adobe Illustrator tutorial as it is a fascinating look behind-the-scenes of an artist’s mind. If you’re an aspiring illustrator, or even a seasoned pro, you’ll be sure to find inspiration in observing how this artist plans, executes, and polishes her unique work.
9. Harnessing Color and Gradients Tutorial from DigitalArtsOnline.co.uk
This tutorial deals specifically with color and gradients, essential elements of a finished piece of Illustrator artwork. The artist teaches you how to pick the right colors for your piece, and then how to use the tools available in Illustrator to achieve exactly the effect you desire. Mastering the skills presented in this tutorial will prove to be extremely useful, as you’ll find any piece you create coming alive with depth and color.
The tutorials presented here are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of thorough and often fun Adobe Illustrator tutorials you can find on the web. These will give you all the tools, skills, and confidence you need to move on to more advanced Illustrator tasks. With these sources in mind – and of course lots of practice and patience – you’ll be on your way to writing a tutorial of your very own.