QUick Illustrator Shading/Line/grungy tutorial

Illustrator (like any software) has many unspoken, or at least features that are not commonly talked about or used by most people.

Here is a quick and simple exposure of a tool that you can play with to create textures/spirographs/line art/shading… whatever… get creative! It is important to learn a concept rather than “This is how you draw a glass orb”

In this tutorial I’ll just do a simple circle and shade it with the line tool.

  1. The obvious - Open up Illustrator!

  2. File > New > Hit OK (Color mode does not matter, unless it does for you)

  3. Select the LINE tool from the tool box

  4. Hold your shift Key down and click in the center of your document and drag to the right of your document (within your Page tiling, the dotted line)

  1. Don’t let go of your mouse yet. Let go of your shift Key. If your line gets jagged, don’t worry but don’t let go of your mouse.

  2. Now, hold down your TILDE key (Just below your ESC key)

  3. With the TILDE key held down, move your mouse towards the left to draw a semi-circle.

  1. Now, select the ELIPSE tool from your tool bar and draw a circle over the line art you just created. The Circle should not be larger that the lines. No part of the circle should stick out over the lines.

  2. Go to OBJECT menu > CLIPPING MASK > MAKE (or CTRL + 7) and you should have something like the image below.

Now this is just the concept, you can experiment with different shapes, the curved line tool… the rectangles… star… swirls… do multiple effects and then mask… there is no limit. This will work great for creating a nice worn or grungy effect too.

Here’s a quick grungy American flag using the same concept of drawing lines and masking shapes.

Experiment away!

Nice TUT Conrad. Grungy has a nice life to it, it seems more natural than the very slick graphics. I am missing a person often in the very perfect look of slick, shiny, glossy and glassy. :slight_smile:

A good one Conradical…

Awesome Conrad :tup:

Good one conradical. And I have to agree Datura, it’s sometimes hard to see the artist’s hand at work.

Hi Conradical.

Just letting you know that your tut is still providing people with info.

I really enjoy discovering those little hidden gems, like this one with the tilde key.

It would be great if somebody wrote a book about all of the hidden gems of Illustrator. They seem harder to find.

amazing and instructive tutorial, thanx.