Illustrator CC Essential Training


Today we couldn’t get my computer to work so I had to use a different one for most of the class. I took the Brainbench Adobe Photoshop CS5 assessment and earned a certification. After that I started the Illustrator CC Essential training course on I finished the first chapter and learned the basics; going over the workspace, control panels, etc…


Today I worked on chapter 2 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on It was hard for me to concentrate today because I was so cold in class. I finished chapter 2 of the lessons. Again the lessons were just about the basics of illustrator, I haven’t actually done anything yet so no before and after pictures yet. I learned about navigating within a document which just showed me zooming in and out and panning the image. I learned about using rulers and setting guides and grids. I learned how to change the units of measurements from points to pixels. I learned about preview modes which showed me how to look at the outline of the design and to see the overview print (what the print version of the design will look like). I learned about creating and using custom views which showed me how to create instant shortcuts to various points in my document. I learned how to lock and hide my artwork. I also learned how to create and use artboards which allows you to have multi page layouts.


Today I started chapter 3 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on I learned how to use all the tools that I learned about in Adobe Photoshop but how to use them in illustrator instead. I learned about setting your selection preferences. in the next video I learned about the direct selection tool and the group selection tool. The direct selection tool lets you select a single part of your artwork while if you click once with the the group selection tool it selects one part and if you click again in the same place it selects the entire piece, click three times the whole group is selected. I learned how to use the magic wand tool. If you double click on the wand tool a preference box comes up where you change the settings of the tool. Dragging the tolerance level to the left makes it more precise and dragging it to the right makes it more broad. I learned how to use the lasso tool which lets me draw around the object I want to select. After that, I watched a video that taught me how to select objects by attribute. I can select an object go up to the select pull down menu and close same then fill color. This selects everything on the dartboard that are the same color. I can click on a color in the side panel and that will automatically change the colors of everything selected. After that I learned how to group objects by selecting a piece of artwork, then I held down the shift key and selected another object, then pressed cmd+G to group the two objects. The next video showed me how to ungroup an object by using isolation mode. I enter isolation mode by double clicking on the artwork. Then I double click on a piece of the group and change what I want on it. I learned how to evenly resize my artwork by pressing the shift key while I  drag the diagonal arrow. You can also click an anchor point and resize while holding down the shift key. After that I learned about rotating objects, which is pretty simple. After that I watched the distorting and transforming objects video. First I used the shape tool to make three stars then changed the colors of them.





I went to the tool panel clicked and held the warped tool then selected the twirl tool and checked and held on different part of the pink star. I selected the the yellow star, grabbed the pucker tool and drew points into the middle to create a flower-like object. I selected the green star, grabbed the bloat tool then clicked and held each point on the star.


Today I earned the Computer Literacy ( Win 7 ) brain bench certification. After that I worked on Chapter 3 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on

I learned how to repeat a transformation by selecting a piece of artwork, holding down the alt key while dragging the selection into a free space. If I press cmd+d it makes another automatic duplicate.



I went back to the original apple image and made it a little bigger. Then I went to the Effect pull down menu, chose distort and transform, then transform. In the dialogue box I went to copies and typed 10. I changed the horizontal scale to 75%, the vertical scale to 75%, the move horizontal to 60px, move vertical to 249px. I rotated it at 48 degrees. Then I pressed OK.





Today I finished chapter 3  and started chapter 4 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on


I opened an image of a single apple in Illustrator. I selected the apple artwork, then I click and hold the rotate tool and select reflect. With the reflect tool selected I got a little reference point as my cursor. I clicked where I want my reference tool then click and move the apple across the reference point.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.34.08 AM

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.39.22 AM

To make a reflected copy I hold down the option key while moving the apple.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.34.50 AM

Another way to do this is to right click, choose transform, then reflect. This would bring up a dialog box where you change the settings to what you want.

After that I learned about the shear tool which you can find if you click and hold the scale tool then go down and click shear tool. After selecting the tool just drag in the direction you want. You could hold down the shift key while dragging it so that its constrained, or you could hold down the option key and make a copy.

Click and drag:

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.47.42 AM

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.51.06 AM

Make copy:

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.50.39 AM

Skewing or shearing is just another way of transforming an object.

I opened another image in Illustrator:


I went to the window pull down menu and chose align. This brought up a little box with a bunch of different align and distribute options. I turned on align to art board option and selected all the circles. I clicked the vertical align bottom option and they all went to the bottom of the art board.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.07.03 AM

Then I clicked the horizontal distribute center option and they all spread out evenly across the dartboard.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.08.36 AM

Then I clicked the vertical align center option.


I go back to the original image. I select every circle. I click align to selection instead of align to art board. Then I click vertically align to bottom. This moves the circles down to the bottom edge of the lowest object that was in the set.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.21.36 AM

If I horizontally distribute them they’re going to do it based on this selection which means they won’t be as spread out as before.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.24.06 AM



Today I finished working on chapter 4 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on

I learned how to make spot colors. first I double click on the grey R, then I click again on it. I go to the swatches dialog box and clicked don create a new watch icon. I changed the process color option to spot color, and changed the name to Logo Grey. I did the exact same thing to the orange and purple A’s except I named them Logo Orange and Logo Purple. Then I changed the grey letters at the bottom to the exact same grey of the R.


After that I learned how to create new swatch groups. In the swatches dialog box I click the little manilla folder icon. I renamed it Branding Swatches and hit okay. I click on each colored circled and drag it to the folder of my color in order.

After that I learned how to work with color libraries.



First, I clicked on the artboard to select the image. I went to the swatch panel and clicked on the little stack of books icon in the bottom left hand corner. I open the one called earth tones. I clicked on one of the flower petal looking things, then I changed each color of the swatch to the earth tones.



I learned how to import and send swatches. But first I learned how to open states that have been sent to me. I opened the swatches dialog and clicked on the stack of books icon. I went down and chose other library, then I went to desktop, chose the exercise files folder, chose chapter 4, and opened brand_colors. To add these to my swatches panel I just click on the little folder icon to the left of the colors. I opened another document, went to window, swatch libraries, other library, went to desktop, exercise files, chapter 4, and color libraries. This opened the color libraries dialog. If I click on the folder icon they add the swatch group to my current swatch dialog.


After that I learn how to use the color guide panel.

I start off with this image:


Then I go to the color panel and move the color guide dialog onto the art board. I made the blue of the petal the active color and it made swatches of colors that would go well with that blue. I went to the drop down. I selected monochromatic, then went to color guide options from the color menu and changed the steps value to 7 and the variation to 50%. I removed the stroke component. I selected each petal and changed it individual color.




Today I continued working on chapter 5 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on

The fist thing I learned today was how to work with fills.



I selected the outer line of the left ear. I turned off the stroke and changed the color to a dark pink. After that I clicked on another part, turned off the stroke, and chose another color for it and so on until I colored all of it. The guy in the video used blue and black but I chose to use pink instead.



After that I learned about working with strokes.



When I moved my mouse into the starting image and clicked, there was the outline of a flower thing:

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 8.28.30 AM

I want to make it to where you notice the flower but the R is still the main focus. So what I have to do is add a stroke to the flower. What I have to do is go to the left panel and click stroke to activate it. Then I go to the swatches panel and choose a light blue. Its a little too bright and distracting so I go to the control panel, open the stroke panel, and take down the width of the stroke to .75pt.


I increased the stroke of the flower to about 2pt. I selected the circle in the background and used the same light blue of the flower stroke to the stroke of the circle outline. I took the weight of the stroke up to 10. I went to the brushes panel, went down and clicked the library icon, I chose bristle brush, then opened the bristle brush library. I selected the liner brush. I increased the weight to 3pts. I changed the stroke of the flower to the same brush. I changed the stroke weight to 0.5. I also changed the opacity to 50%.



After that I learned how to make dashes and arrows. I opened a new document and selected the rectangular marquee tool. I held down the shift key while drawing a square. I selected the line tool and made two different sized lines.


I selected the square and gave it a fill color of blue then I changed the weight of the stroke to 10pts.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.12.21 AM

I opened the stroke panel and clicked the option for dashed line. I changed the dash size to 30 pts.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.14.05 AM

I selected the first line and gave it a stroke of 5 pts. I went to the dashed line options and changed the values to 30, 5, 20, 5, 50, 5.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.18.51 AM

Now I want to add arrow heads so I looked right below the dash options and found the arrow head options. I chose arrow #5. I changed the scale to 75%. I clicked the option to extend the arrow head past the path. I added an arrow to the end of the path and made it equal to the first.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.25.21 AM

I selected the second line and changed the stroke weight to 10pts. I went to the stroke panel and selected arrowhead #20 for the left. I selected arrow #16 for the right and chose to extend them past the path. I went to the object pull down menu and selected extend appearance to gain control of the paths that make up the tail and head of the new arrow.


Next I learned how to create variable-width strokes.

I started with this image:


I selected the top left petal and changed the stroke to a dark green. I selected the width tool and went to the middle of the outline and dragged outward until I reached a width of about 20. I did the same to the other side.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.50.53 AM

In the next video I used the last image to learn to save a width profile so that I can use it for all the other outlines in my art. I selected the petal to the right of the one I’ve already changed. I changed the stroke to the dark green color. I clicked on the first petal, went to the stroke panel and clicked show options. I went to profiles pull down menu and selected add to profiles. I called the new profile green leaf and saved it. I selected all the petals, selected the dark green, selected profile and clicked green leaf. I changed the stroke to 20.


After that I learned about creating and editing gradients.

I started with this:


I selected the image background targeted the fill by clicking on it. Then I selected the gradient fill. I went to the gradient dialog and selected a radial gradient. I changed the color of there gradient by clicking and dragging color from the swatches and adding it to the white swatch of the gradient slider. I brought a different color to the black swatch. I double clicked on the left swatch and changed the red slider to 179 and the green slider to 208. I double clicked the dark blue slider and changed the green value to 110. I created a new middle color to the gradient by clicking on the middle of the slider. I changed the red to 143 and the green to 180. To get rid of a slider you just click it and drag it away from the slider.


If I wanted to add that gradient background to my swatches I’d just click it and drag it over to the swatches panel and drop it in. To name it I would double click it and name it. Then I’d be able to send the gradient out to use for other things.


Today I finished chapter 5 and 6 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on

I learned how to apply gradients to strokes starting with this image:


I selected the circle in the background. I added a gradient to the stroke by selecting the stroke in the left side panel and choosing a gradient from the swatches panel.I went up to the options panel and increased the stroke amount to 20pts. I clicked the gradient tab in the right side panel. I applied the gradient across the stroke. I moved the midpoint at exactly 50%. I took a light blue color from the swatches and dragged it onto the black slider. I added a light green to the other slider. I changed the opacity of that slider to 100%.



After that I learned how to apply and edit pattern fills starting with this image:


I started off by selecting one of the pieces of art work and I copied it to the clip board by pressing cmd+c. I created a new dartboard by selecting the art board tool and drawing out a new art board. I switched back to the selection tool, clicked on the new art board and paste the piece of art work to the new art work. I grabbed a few more pieces of art work and made a pattern that I liked:

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 8.58.29 AM

When I was done I selected the entire peace of artwork, went to the object pull down menu and selected pattern, then make. In the dialogue box I changed the dim copies option to 30%. I turned on the show swatch bounds option. I gave the swatch pattern the name flower pinwheels. I changed the tile type to brick by column. I chose 5×5 for the copies option. I clicked done. I selected the original artwork and deleted it. I se;acted the star shape and clicked on the pattern that I just made in the swatch panel.


I watched the videos understanding paths, understanding anchor points, and open and closed paths. These videos were just going over some basics and didn’t really have anything for me to do.

I learned how to join and average paths starting with this image:



Today I finished chapter 6 and started chapter 7 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on

I learned how to use the scissors and knife tools.

Then I learned a little about the drawing modes that are available in Illustrator. This taught me about stacking order.

I opened this image:


Then I started with the two circles:


First I went to the bottom of the tools panel and pressed shift+d. I chose to draw in normal drawing mode then drew another circle. it automatically went to the top of the stack.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.31.52 AM

I pressed shift+d to switch drawing modes, then drew a smaller circle on top of the one I just drew. It appeared underneath it because the drawing mode was set to draw behind.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.38.43 AM

Then I drew one in the back and it automatically went to the bottom of the stack.

5 circles

The last drawing mode allows you to place artwork inside of another piece of artwork. I selected the circle on the bottom left of my art board and switched to the draw inside mode. Then I zoomed out and clicked on the star shape and pressed cmd+c to copy it to my art board. I then clickd the circle and pressed cmd+v to paste in onto the circle.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.56.09 AM copy



Today I continued chapter 7 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on

The first thing I did was open the document. After that I selected the ellipse tool and I formed two circles. I changed the stroke of the circles to a blue color.


I made sure both circles were selected then I found the pathfinder tab in the right side panel and selected the option Unite.


I undid that and went back to just the original two circles. I selected them and went back to the pathfinder tab and chose the option to minus front. This got rid of the object in front.


After that I pressed cmd+z to undo. I then selected the original two circles again and went to the pathfinder tab and selected intersect. This eliminated everything outside of the point where the two shapes intersect each other.


I pressed cmd+z, selected both circles, went to the pathfinder tab and selected exclude. At first it looked like nothing really happened but then I reversed the fill and this is what happened:


After that I watched another video and learned how to work with the shape builder tool. I started with this document:


I zoomed in to the circles, selected them, then selected the shape builder tool. I clicked and dragged across the circles and by default this merged them.

circles merge

I pressed cmd+z to undo that. I selected the circles again and then selected the shape builder tool again, this time I pressed alt while I dragged across the front circle. This deleted what I dragged over.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 9.13.59 AM

After that I moved over to the flower shaped piece of artwork:

Flower start

I selected the piece of artwork then selected the shape builder tool. I held down the alt key while dragging over parts of the art that I wanted to remove.


After that I went over to the logo and zoomed in on it:

raa shape builder

I selected the  group, right clicked, and chose ungroup. Then I selected the R. I pressed shift and also selected the A. I selected the shape builder tool and dragged a line where the R and A intersect. This made the A a grey color.

RAA grey

Other than that it doesn’t really look like anythings changed but if I click the R and go into isolation mode you can see that the part where the R was behind the A is now gone.



Today I finished chapter 7 and started chapter 8 of the Illustrator CC Essential Training course on

I started off with learning about working  with the paintbrush and pencil tools. The video just had me draw a few shapes and lines and showed me how to adjust some of the settings for each tool.

After that I learned about smoothing and erasing paths. The video had me draw a flower using the mouse.


Then I selected the smooth tool and just drew around the petals of the flower, then the circle in the middle to smooth them.


After that the video told me to add a stem and some leaves to the flower using the mouse.


I grabbed the smoothing tool again and selected each leaf and drew around them to smooth them out. I also learned I could erase mistakes by using the path eraser tool.


After that I learned about the curvature tool and how it can manipulate shapes by changing, moving, adding and subtracting points.

After that I started chapter 8 and in this video I learned about the pen tool.

I started out with this image:


I selected the vase artwork, went up to the effect menu, and clicked 3D. I chose revolve and in the options I turned the preview on.


After that I learned about using the pen tool then fixing the shape using the direct selection tool. I used it to draw a star:

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 10.09.49 AM

After that I watched a video teaching me how to make curves using the pen tool which was very difficult. i made a fish/whale looking thing:

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 10.23.31 AM



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