How To Create a Fun Vector Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial Today I wanted to show you an example of how super cool artwork can be created in Adobe Illustrator with just a handful of basic tools, simple shapes and flat colours

Abstract vector illustrations like this can be applied to anything, it could be printed on the back of a business card, applied as a skateboard deck or even made into a vehicle wrap! That's the power of vector graphics, their infinite scalability and crisp lines makes them really versatile and ideal for printing In this video tutorial I'll take you through the process of creating this artwork that uses a limited colour palette and various shapes to build up a fun composition I'll show you the techniques you need, then it's up to you to experiment and just keep adding elements to build up the design until you're happy with the result So begin by opening up Adobe Illustrator I'm just creating a basic landscape A4 document

The beauty of vector artwork is if I decided I wanted this applying to my office wall, I could quite easily scale it so it could be printed onto wallpaper or plotted out of vinyl stickers Unlike in Photoshop where you have to make sure you get the size and resolution down in advance Working with a limited colour palette helps keep things simple while adding to the stylised look I like to find cool palettes from ColourLoverscom, like this one named Brr!!!gght

Take a screenshot and paste it into the artboard, then draw a circle with the ellipse tool Grab the selection tool then hold the ALT and Shift keys while dragging the shape to create a duplicate Press CMD+D, which is the shortcut for Transform Again, 4 times to create a total of 5 circles Select the Eyedropper tool, make sure the fill icon is active in the toolbar, then Shift-Click the colours from the screenshot to apply them to the circles Quick Tip: You can toggle between the selection tool and eyedropper by holding the CMD key, which helps you quickly select each circle in turn

Go to View and turn on Smart Guides, then select the Rectangle Tool Hold CMD to temporarily switch to the Selection tool in order to click the first circle, which loads its fill colour so it's ready to use with the rectangle tool Use the Smart Guides to snap to the corner of the artboard, then drag out a large rectangle to cover the whole area Press CMD+2, or go to Object > Lock > Selection so you don't accidentally move this element out of place Grab the Line tool, then draw a short horizontal path somewhere on the artboard

Select the Eyedropper tool, then activate the Stroke icon from the toolbar Shift+Click a colour from the circles, then increase the stroke weight to 10pt Switch back to the Selection tool, then hit the Enter key, which is a shortcut to bring up the Object > Transform > Move window In the vertical option, enter 10 followed by P T for points Illustrator will automatically convert the units into whatever the document is set to

Press the Copy button to make a duplicate of the stroke aligned perfectly with the original Press the CMD+D shortcut twice to Transform Again and create two more copies, then use the Eyedropper tool and change the stroke colours Remember to hold Shift while clicking, otherwise Illustrator will copy the exact appearance and apply the colour as a fill Since we're using the darker colour as the background, add the leftover colours to these paths Draw a selection around the stripy paths then click the New icon at the bottom of the Brushes panel

Select Art Brush, then hit OK on the settings Select the Pen tool then hold Shift while clicking at either side of the artboard to create a diagonal line Click the new brush from the Brushes panel to apply the stripy effect Hold CMD and click anywhere on the artboard to deselect the current path, then draw a new path, this time with a corner somewhere in the artboard Remember to hold Shift the entire time to keep the angles restricted

Draw a third path, this time getting a little more adventurous with two corners, then draw a fourth but leave an open end within the artboard You can always adjust the paths using the Direct Selection tool Click and drag the straight lines, or individual points to adjust their shape Keep holding the Shift key so they don't go out of line Draw a selection around all the stripy lines, then go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners

Turn on Preview and enter a figure like 30mm that generates nice flowing bends You can enlarge the stripes by changing the stroke width Up the weight to 2pt for all strokes, then select a couple of individual lines and make them slightly smaller at 15pt The stacking order of elements can be adjusted by right clicking and heading under the Arrange menu

Take a moment to learn the shortcut for these commands because they'll really help you out later Send the second line we drew to the top so it sits above the other lines Ideally this line would overlap the lower line, but flow under the upper one In order to do this the path needs splitting into two pieces Select the Scissors tool and click to snip the path

The second portion can now be adjusted with the CMD+[ shortcut until it sits under the other objects Send the last line to the bottom so the lines weave under and over each other Select the path that has an open end within the artboard and go to Object > Expand Appearance Zoom in then move each end point with the Direct Selection tool to stagger their positions Select the Ellipse tool and draw a circle in some empty space

Do a quick test by scaling the circle to see if the stroke changes size If it does, you'll need to turn off Scale Strokes and Effects in the preferences Select and delete two of the four points that make up the circle to leave a quarter circle Rotate this path by 45 degrees and position it on the end of the first extended stripe Use the Eyedropper tool to match the colour to the existing line

Switch back to the Selection tool then hold ALT to drag out a copy Position this shape on the end of the next line Turning on Outline mode can really help you snap these points together Add bends to the other two lines and colour match them with the Eyedropper tool The position of these bends can be adjusted by moving them with the Selection tool while holding shift, then use the Direct Selection tool to snap the end point back again

You can also extend the line after the bend with the Pen tool Click the open end point to continue the path, then hold Shift and click CMD+click on the artboard to deselect the shape before making adjustments to the next one, otherwise it will try and continue the current path Draw a small circle in some empty space, followed by a square that surrounds it Clear out the fill of the square so it's invisible, then make sure they're aligned centrally using the Align panel

Select both shapes then drag them into the swatches panel Change the fill of the circle then drag in a couple more swatches Use the Pen tool to roughly trace around an empty space in the composition Keep the outline overlapped within the stripes, but make sure you don't click on any open points Apply one of the circle swatches to add a cool dotty pattern

Use the Arrange shortcuts to send the dot pattern below the stripes to hide its outline It's quicker to send them to the back with CMD+Shift+[, then step back up with CMD+] multiple times Repeat the process in a couple of other empty spaces to make use of those different coloured dotty patterns Select the Rectangle tool and draw a long thin rectangle in some empty space Give it a fill using one of the colours from the palette

Hold the ALT and Shift keys and drag out a copy, leaving a small gap between the original Press and hold the CMD+D shortcut to create a series of evenly spaced lines Draw a selection over these lines then right click and select Make Compound Path Draw a circle over these rectangles, then select all the objects and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel Rotate the resulting shape by 45 degrees so the lines flow diagonally, then scale and position it into the composition

You can make copies of this shape, and rotate and change the colour to fill out other areas of empty space Alter the stacking order with the CMD+[ and CMD+Shift+[ shortcuts Cool effects can also be created by simply building up areas of colour using basic circles Hold Shift and draw multiple overlapping circles near a stripe of the same colour Select all the shapes and adjust the stacking order so they sit underneath the stripe lines

Keep building up the composition by placing circles of various colours from the palette across the design The more elements you add, the more detailed the artwork becomes If you see an area that looks a little sparse, just adding in a basic shape can quickly fill it When your design is complete, draw a rectangle across the entire artboard Select everything again, then right click and select Make Clipping Mask to hide the elements that extend beyond the edge

So that finishes off my tutorial on how to create fun vector illustrations using basic shapes and colours If you enjoyed it or learned anything new a share with your friends would really help out If you want to see more tutorials from me be sure to hit the subscribe button on YouTube, or join my mailing list to receive all my free design resources and tutorials straight to your inbox So as always thank you very much for watching and I'll see you in the next one

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