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Best of Adobe Illustrator Tutorials

October 12th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Over years Adobe Illustrator has become the standard application when it comes to illustration design. Artists, illustrators and graphic designers use Illustrator to create vector-based graphics which — contrary to raster-based editors such as Adobe Photoshop — can be easily rescaled without the loss of quality. E.g., Illustrator is often used to quickly transform hand-drawn sketches on a sheet of paper into lively and colorful digital images.

However, to master Adobe Illustrator isn’t easy; and the creating process of professional illustrations requires both time and patience. Therefore tutorials can turn out to be real life- and time-savers as they show exactly what needs to be done in order to create professional illustrations and how masters of illustration actually manage to do their magic. One year ago we’ve presented a hand-picked collection of Illustrator tutorials. Now it’s time for a fresh portion of healthy and creative Illustrator material.

In this post we present a collection of excellent Adobe Illustrator tutorials for beginners and advanced designers. The new selection isn’t enormous, but big enough to provide you with some good starting points.

Please notice that

  • we’ve selected only those tutorials which haven’t been featured last year or were released after the article was published.
  • you might also be interested in Adobe Photoshop Tutorials – Best Of we’ve presented few weeks ago.

Illustrator Tutorials

Creating a Crazy Cool Logo
In this post I will show you how we created the logo. I will skip the drawing parts, yes there were tons of drawings before going to the computer, because when they stole my computer and backups in 2006 they took all my photos of the drawings.

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Spice up Pie Charts
For some charts you might only want to spice up the most important slice or the biggest one. Although most topics aren’t as fun as mutations, any sort of added graphics make boring charts look a lot better.

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Wolf Drawing Tutorial
Learn how to create an illustrated wolf from the hand-drawn paper sketch to final product with Illustrator and Photoshop.

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Skull Tutorial
An alien skull tutorial. Editorial illustration.

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How I Do Stuff Tutorial (Video-tutorial)
It’s just a speed-up video of how one can go from a sketch to a mediocre illustration using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

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Test Your Creativity
“Using a provided set of basic shapes I have to compile them to create my illustration. The theme is up to me but there are some ground rules such as you cannot edit the shapes or distort them, you however can subtract from them using any of the shapes in the provided set.”

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Vintage T-Shirts
It’s easy to create authentic collegiate T-shirt designs using Illustrator, Photoshop and a good old-fashioned iron. In this tutorial, illustrator Derek Lea reveals how combining both applications can create stunning results.

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Gigposter Design: The New Sex
Learn how to create an impressive gig poster design with Illustrator.

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Pirate cartoon tutorial
Learn how to create a vector pirate cartoon character from a hand-drawn sketch.

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Pixels and Vectors Tutorial
The gap between working with pixels and vectors in Photoshop and Illustrator is closing rapidly, thanks to Smart Objects. Derek Lea explains all while creating a highly textured yet vector-sharp masterpiece.

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Comic Book Style Tutorial
Learn how to create illustrations and turn them into flyers or posters. The end product will be a flyer which was created for an art show.

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Creating Road Maps in Adobe Illustrator
Sooner or later every designer comes across the exciting job of producing a map, whether it’s on a leaflet or website the overall aim is to visually document a particular area of land to allow for people to find their way to a place of business or event.

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Cutaway Car Illustration Tutorial
In this lesson you’ll learn how to create a 3-Point Perspective-view drawing of a generic car, working from plan and elevation view reference only.

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White Tiger Tutorial
A cartoony white tiger tutorial. A poster illustration.

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From Sketch To Vector Illustration
A technique of vector illustrating that takes a little bit more skill is starting with hand-drawn sketches. This tutorial captures the whole design process — from scratch.

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Retro Car Tutorial
All you need is Illustrator, some inks and some brushes to turn a photograph of a car into a vector illustration.

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Intricate Patterns In Illustrator Tutorial
This tutorial will show you how to create intricate patterns in Illustrator super quickly. Stuff that would take you hours to draw manually with the Pen Tool takes just seconds when you use this technique. Video-version is also available.

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Not as easy as it looks: A beveled star
A simple and effective tutorial on how to create a beveled star — in 7 steps.

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Tutorial: Transform, Style, Blend
Do you like things to have a bit of randomness, an element of surprise? Me too. Learn how to create random swirls in Illustrator with few steps.

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Tutorial: Transform, Style, Blend
In this video tutorial you’ll learn how to illustrate an iPod Nano from scratch using the 3D Effect in Adobe Illustrator.

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Ellipse Drawing Tutorial
Creating a Circle in Perspective with Adobe Illustrator. More excellent tutorials for beginners.

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How To Make 3D Vector Vintage Stars
I’m going to walk you through a technique to create vintage looking 3d stars in Illustrator. You guessed it, 100% vector.

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Poster Illustration: Go Forth and Create
Suffice it to say this tutorial is my personal switcher story from FreeHand to Illustrator and contains the good, the bad and the ugly details of both apps. Tutorial Includes Notes in both ‘English’ and ‘Español’.

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Create a Vector RSS Icon with Illustrator
Probably one of the most popular and recognisable icons in the web universe; the RSS icon is displayed on many website to indicate the availability of a subscription feed. There are pre-made icons you can download and place on your website, however this tutorial cover the process of creating your own custom vector RSS icon in Illustrator.

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Vehicle Vector Tutorial
Learn how to design a vector vehicle with Illustrator.

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Fertile Mind Tutorial
This tutorial will walk you through an illustrative banner for the Portland Oregon AIGA chapters ‘Urban Forest Project.’

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Face, Hair, Clothing Illustrator Tutorial
Learn how to create real-looking human face, hair and cloth.

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Illustrator: Golden Selection
Have you ever wondered why a profound piece of art is so compositionally pleasing? The artist probably employed the use of the Divine Proportion, which is a phenomenon that suggests that there’s a mathematical equation that’s consistent with the aesthetics of good composition.

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Tropical Transparency Effect
Learn how to create a bouquet of Tropical Flowers. This tutorial is a breeze. You’ll blow through this really fast.

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Complex Circular Design Techniques
Creating intricate circular designs and patterns may look difficult because the shapes can be very complicated, but you will be surprised at just how easy making these shapes can be. I will go over some neat tricks, tools, techniques, and settings that will have you pumping out perfect circular designs in no time using Illustrator.

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Illustrating the Flower Pattern
This article will outline the main steps on how I made the flower pattern in Illustrator. Hopefully, this can answer your question.

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Drawing a Character’s Face in Illustrator
Creating a cartoon or human-like caricature is a fun and rewarding project to do in Illustrator. Not only that, but if you’re pretty good with the pen tool, it doesn’t take very long. In this tutorial I will be creating an elf. Be sure to look at refrences of other cartoons or caricatures to make sure your shapes are correct.

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Ornate Lettering Process
I’m going to show you the process as to how I do my ornate lettering. This is a new design I did for Stone Sour that utilized this technique. Now right off the bat, this is not a step by step tutorial. It’s more of a look behind the scenes into how I work.

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Transform Again
You can achieve surprisingly cool results using the Transform Again feature in Illustrator starting from a simple shape. As you all know simplicity is my motto. Today I try turn this into practice again. So sit tight for another step-by-step tutorial using this simple but oh so powerful feature.

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Create A Blob Monster in Illustrator – The Scream
Over that last couple of days i’ve been playing around in Illustrator a lot make some basic shapes and images. One of my best creations is the Blob Monster called the scream. It is really simple to do and doesn’t take long to complete. This technique can be used for nearly any type of simple shape / monster.

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Drawing Homer Simpson
Illustrator is a great program. It offers so much versatility in creating vector images. Hence why it is the top vector program out there. As a beginner to this program I want to share with you a tutorial that is simple to follow that you can use to draw Homer Simpson of The Simpsons.

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7 Things You Didn’t Know Adobe Illustrator Could Do
These are: The Blend Tool / Adding Lines Between Lines… The Mesh Tool / Adding Shading To A Shape… 3D / Entering The Next Dimension… Patterns / Making Fills Interesting… Symbol Sprayer / Splatter some vector… Blur / Smooth Out The Vector…. Transparency / Bringing Depth To Overlaying Shapes…

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Creating Seamless Patterns
One of the frequest questions I get from readers is how you create seamless patterns in Illustrator. Today I’ll explain how I create such patterns and how you can scale and rotate them using different settings in the Scale tool options.

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Creating Pins
Pins are popular these days, so I thought why not write a tutorial on how to create these in Adobe Illustrator. If you’ve ever wondered how to simulate this realistic looking pin or button effect, here’s your chance to learn.

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Complicate Orb Icon
This tutorial will teach you doing more complicate button icon or Orb effect Icon using Illustrator. This is quite a long tutorial.

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Retain Spot Colors without Losing Your Marbles
Are you using Photoshop to create something with both transparency effects and spot colors? You may be better off with Illustrator instead.

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Stylish Vector Flower
Learn how to create stylish vector/line flower with Illustrator Blend Tool. This Adobe Illustrator tutorial is great for creating background and large print illustration. More Illustrator tutorials from nDesign.

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Illustrator Tutorial: Creating Vector Snowflakes
Just in time for the holidays… a tutorial for creating those fun, festive holiday snowflakes. These vector flakes are a must-have for turning your holiday designs into a winter wonderland. So sit back, grab a cup of eggnog, and feast your eyes on how amazingly simple it is to create a vector snowflake.

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The Complete Digital Comic, Part 2: Inking in Illustrator
This is part two in my series of tutorials about how to make comic book art on the computer.

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Instant Op Art
Use Illustrator’s transform functions to create a stunning op art piece with a real sense of movement. Mark Mayers shows you how… This is a PDF-Document.

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Creating Reflecting Web Icons in Illustrator
One of the looks of “Web 2.0″ is the aqua icons that Matt Kloskowski shows us how to make in the first issue of Adobe Illustrator Techniques print issue. Another look is the reflecting icon. The clean, crisp look of these attractive images makes clicking through a website’s navigation fun. Here’s how to make one of those neat icons.

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Draw Ballon in Illustrator Tutorial
Simple, yet effective. In few steps to a nice illustrated baloon.

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Illustrator 3D Effect Tutorial
3D Effect slide show tutorial on Flickr.

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Sources and Resources