Olivia M Design

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Testing Your Illustrator Skills

It’s time for another Saturday Skills blog post! This week is going to be super fun because I have a couple projects for you! Last week we learned some basics of Illustrator, so today we’re going to put those skills to the test. If you haven’t read last week’s blog, make sure to go back & catch up here.

Like anything else, you’ll need a lot of practice to master Illustrator, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. So this blog is going to be a couple of fun assignments to get you feeling comfortable with some of the Ai tools. You can do one project or do them all!

Project #1

We’re gonna start out nice and easy, don’t worry. For this first project, open a new document and make it 10”x10” and make the color mode RGB. Now, using the shape tool, make eight perfect circles, all different sizes and colors. (If you can’t find the circle, go to the “rectangle tool” and hold down, the other shapes will pop up.)

Now make a square the same height and width as one of your circles and put it behind it, centered. Make it a different color than the circle. Now do the same thing but with a rounded square, then a polygon, then a star. With the remaining four circles, stack them on top of each other like a snowman in order from smallest to largest.

And that’s it for project #1! Easy? Let’s keep it going.

Project #2

For this project, you can either select and delete everything on your artboard if you just did project #1, or create a new 10”x10” document. We’re going to use the line tool to make a ladder shape. So two vertical lines with horizontal lines between them. You can make it as large you as small as you want, but try to line everything up and make the rungs equidistant from each other. Now group the lines together.

Next, make a shape bigger than the whole ladder, and send it to the back. Make the shape black and the stroke on the lines of the ladder white and 4 points wide. Now, center the ladder in the middle of the shape. We’re going to join the lines of the ladder to become one shape, so select all those lines and click Object>Expand. Make sure Fill and Stroke are check and click OK.

Next, go to Window>Pathfinder. With the ladder still selected, click “Unite” under Shape Modes. Now your ladder is one piece. Lastly, select the ladder and the shape behind it, and under the Pathfinder window, click “Minus Front” under Shape Modes. Now the ladder is cut out of the shape! You’ll see what I mean if you pull the shape off the artboard and onto the gray part of the screen. You can now see the gray through where the ladder used to be. Tada!

Project #3

This one will be easy, but make it as fun as you can! Start with a 10”x10” artboard, and type your name out. Pick your favorite font and then, using shapes, the brush tool, and whatever else you want, decorate it! Maybe you pretend like it’s your logo, or just a fun name tag. Be creative and try any technique you want. If you get stuck, go back to last week’s blog and look at the video, or get on YouTube yourself and look some tips up!

Project #4

Ok last one! Make your 10”x10” artboard, and this time you’re going to copy one (or all!) of the images below. Try the pen tool, shape tool, brush tool, and anything else you need. (I got these images off google, so they're not mine.)

So, how'd you do? Too easy? Too hard? Let me know in the comments! And send me some of your work!