70 Best Illustrator Tutorials From 2011


This is our annual tradition over on Creative Nerds as the year draws to an end, we like look back upon the past year of some of best illustrator tutorials from the past year. I’ve personally looked through hundreds of tutorials which where created in 2011 and hand picked my 70 of the best tutorials all in one post. I would love to hear which is your favorate tutorial featured within the post.

1. How to Illustrate an Auction Gavel Icongavel

This work is a common project created together with Iaroslav Lazunov and Oleksandr Iegupov. We have used 3D-modelling, Gradients, Blends, and Gradient Meshes for creating this picture.

2. Create a Cute Vector Penguin Character in Illustrator

penguin

Follow this step by step Adobe Illustrator tutorial to create a simple vector penguin character. We’ll be using many of Illustrator’s basic shapes to create the structure of the character, which makes this tutorial great for beginners. We’ll then make use of various gradients to really bring the character to life with depth and dimension.

3. Create a Poster Theme Illustration in Illustratortechno-music

In the following steps I will show you how to create a poster theme illustration in Adobe Illustrator. First, you will have to follow the previous tutorial on how to create the speaker illustration. Next, using various techniques and effects you will reach the final illustration shown in the image below.

4. Create a Neat Ribbon in Adobe Illustratorribbon

Holidays are arriving. One of the most necessary things for gift wrapping is the ribbon. Today we will be learning how to create a vector illustration of a beautiful red ribbon in Adobe Illustrator. All you need is the Pen Tool, 3D effect Extrude & Bevel and a good taste in color selection. This could be a nice practice for less skilled Pen Tool users.

5. How to Create a Seamless Pattern in Khokhloma Painting Style Using Adobe Illustrator

seamless-pattern

In this vector tutorial you will learn how to create a seamless pattern in the style of Russian Khokhloma. We will learn the techniques of creating the basic elements and steps of creating an ornament. Seamless pattern is very high in demand, as they are used in the textile industry and for creating of the backgrounds. After studying this lesson, you learn how to create these ornaments on a professional level.

6. How To Create a Gruesome Zombie Illustration

handrawn-skull

Follow this step by step Adobe Illustrator tutorial to create a hand-drawn zombie illustration. We’ll use a photograph as a basic reference then use our Wacom tablet along with Illustrator’s vector brush tools to draw up various gruesome elements on our zombie character.

7. Quick Tip: How to Create a Delicious Chocolate Text Effect i-love-choc

For all the chocolate lovers out there, here is how to create a delicious chocolate bar text effect in Illustrator. You will use the Blend Tool, effects like Roughen and Chrome, different Blending modes and also the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect to create perfect chocolate squares.

8. Magnifying Glass Tutorial for Adobe Illustratormagnfying-glass

In this tutorial you will be learning how to create a Magnifying glass in perspective in Adobe Illustrator. When it comes to creating semi-realistic vector illustrations the most important items are to find the easiest way to create them, make sure to create reliability and to try to keep from creating objects with too many anchor points in order to avoid an obstacle in the printing process.

9. How To Create A Great Pig Postcard Illustrationbenny-pig

In this tutorial you will be learning how to create a Magnifying glass in perspective in Adobe Illustrator. When it comes to creating semi-realistic vector illustrations the most important items are to find the easiest way to create them, make sure to create reliability and to try to keep from creating objects with too many anchor points in order to avoid an obstacle in the printing process.

10. Create a Bending 3D Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator 3dtxt

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a 3D Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator. In addition to using the 3D tools, you’ll layer letter shapes to create color shifts with gradients and highlights. You’ll also work in subtle patterns controlled with Opacity Masks.

11. Create a Bending 3D Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator retro-badge

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a 3D Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator. In addition to using the 3D tools, you’ll layer letter shapes to create color shifts with gradients and highlights. You’ll also work in subtle patterns controlled with Opacity Masks.

12. Create a St. Patrick’s Day Postcard in Adobe Illustrator stpatricks

You will be creating a design fit for any number of St. Patrick’s Day uses. In this tutorial you will find useful information on how to create a pile of golden coins and a Pilgrim hat. There is one very convenient way to create a hat in Adobe Illustrator. It includes 3D effect Revolve. Revolve is a very handy tool which will create 3D objects in just a few steps. However, it has one flaw. It creates too many anchor points that can be an obstacle in the printing process. We will try to avoid that and to create our illustration with simple tools, such as the Pen Tool (P), Ellipse Tool (L) and Rectangle Tool (M).

13. Create a Marker Text Effect in Illustratormarker

In the following tutorial I will show you how to create a marker illustration. This tutorial involves intermediate vector shape building skills in Illustrator to create the markers, along with some layering and script usage to create the text effects.

14. create mac finder logomac

It will show you how to create the Mac Finder logo. It all start with a simple rectangle and a curved path. Next, using some Offset Path and Pathfinder options you will create the rest of the shapes. Finally, using several linear gradients along with some thick strokes and basic effects you will create your own Finder logo.

15. Create a Fashionable Dress Shoe in Illustratorshoe

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a dress shoe with the help of gradient meshes. We will also explore how to create custom vector textures as well.

16. Create a Badass Gas Mask in Illustratorgasmask

Years and lots of hours of illustrating later, I think I can finally understand aspects such as sketching, outlining, shading, hachures and filling that are most used to make great artworks. So, today we are going to learn how to create this gas mask using only vectors. This is a really advanced tutorial, not only for the ones who are familiar with this software, but for the ones who are used to making traditional illustration too. I hope you learn a bit about depth, shading, hachures and other aspects involving this illustration, and, of course, have fun. So hey, If some of you get a bit confused, please contact me later ;) .

17. How to Illustrate a 3D Email Signemail

This work is a common project together with Iaroslav Lazunov and Oleksandr Iegupov. This tutorial is for intermediate Illustrator users. We’ll use 3D-modeling, gradients, blending modes, blends, gradient meshes for creating the picture.

18. Create Waving Checkered Flag Art in Adobe Illustrator flag

In this very detailed tutorial you will learn how to create a waving checkered flag vector graphic using two very useful Adobe Illustrator features: the Pen Tool and the Blend Tool. The creation process is quite simple. We just need to focus on the realistic look of the waving flag. We’ll create an illusion of 3D in this illustration, which is very important. You can achieve a nice and semi-realistic look by creating an illustration in perspective and applying nice color gradients.

19. Broken Text in Illustratorbroken-text

Sometimes you need a different style of Titles, while working on any Printing material, so here I’m going to tell you a different technique to make your text broken in Illustrator.

20. Creating Simple Origami Style Typography in Illustrator orgmai

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a simple Origami style piece of Typography. You will create a set of basic shapes to build letters from and see how to refine those into a more realistic look of your type. Gradients and the appearance panel will help us, to create the final completely custom type.

21. How to Create Vector Denim Texture Using Adobe Illustrator denim-texture

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a realistic vector denim texture. It’s easier than it might seem at first sight, and I think it can be done by those who are taking their first steps into the world of vector graphics. Creation of other elements of this tutorial is more advanced, although I tried to describe each step clearly. Let’s continue at it’s an interesting and useful tutorial.

22. How To Create a Cute Vector Mushroom Character MUSHEROOM

Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create a cute vector mushroom character with a Japanese kawaii influence. you’ll create the basic structure using Illustrator’s basic shapes, add variation in the linework to define the character then finish it all off with some vibrant colour fills.

23. Create a Cute Halloween Ghostghost

Use of the Mesh Tool is one of the best techniques for achieving a semi-realistic look for an illustration. Today we will demonstrate how to use this great Adobe Illustrator feature for creating a cute little ghost. The only colors we are going to use are white and different shades of gray. So, It might be little tricky to transform this floating bedding into the cute little ghost. We will have to find a way to create the illusion of the wrinkled sheet. The Mesh Tool will help us a lot to achieve that.

24. How to Create Rays in Just a Few Minutes Using Adobe Photoshop and Illustratorrays

In this tutorial you will learn how to create vector rays in a simple and efficient way, using a Wave filter in Photoshop and the Gradient Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator. This technique was developed by my friend Yemz.

25. Create a Security Seal in Illustrator Using Guilloche Patternsgulluch

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a security seal using Guilloche, the artistic technique that is typically used in banknote design and other documents to prevent them from being forged.

26. Create A Flask Illustrationflask

In the following tutorial It will show you how to create a simple chemistry flask illustration. You will start with a group of simple shapes then using some effects and the Round Any Corner script you will create the two basic shapes. Next, using multiple fills and strokes along with various effects and options you will create your own chemistry flask illustration.

27. How to Create a Knight’s Shield in Illustratorshield

You will will go through creation process of a Medieval Knight Shield in Adobe Illustrator. We will try to create nice, shiny Shield that can be used as the website icon or a company logo. Creation process is quite simple. All we have to do is to use simple shape as ellipse, to distort it a little bit and to combine it with other shapes. Beside that we will get the chance to play with nice metal gradients, trying to create an impression of the light reflection on the shiny metal.

28. Create a Corn Cob in Adobe Illustrator

cob

In this very interesting tutorial we will have the opportunity to create something unusual. We will create a Corn Cob by using Adobe Illustrator. We will use some great tools such as Blend Tool, Envelope Distort and of course the Pen Tool. Blend Tool will help us to create the grains, Envelope Distort will help us to form the cob and we will practice the usage of Pen Tool by creating beautiful green leaves.

29. How To Create a Patterned Vector Skateboard Design skateboard

There’s something about designing for unusual applications such as skateboard decks that really makes the design process much more fun. Maybe it’s the unique canvas size that makes things a little more challenging, or just the cool feeling you get when you see it mocked up as a complete deck. Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create a vector patterned deck design with a minimal colour scheme.

30. Create a Photo-Realistic Candle with Gradient Mesh candle

Gradient Mesh can be intimidating for novice and experienced Illustrator users alike, but sophisticated results can be achieved with a simple mesh and careful coloring. This tutorial will set you on the road to mesh mastery.

31. Create a Cool Vector Robot Character in Illustrator

robot

Looking to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator? In this tutorial you’ll use various tools and techniques to create a simple vector robot character. With this robot being made of lots of basic shapes it makes for a great tutorial for beginners to get to grips with the Illustrator application.

32. How To Create A Beautiful Windmill Illustration Using Illustratorwindmill-icon

Windmills have been around for centuries and although their construction evolved through time the idea remains the same. Let this tutorial be a tribute to those old fashioned windmills that are hardly met these days.

33. Create a Burning, Vector Match Using Gradient Meshes

match-illustration

In this tutorial you will learn how to create realistic vector fire, using the Gradient Mesh Tool and Screen Blending mode. Believe me, there’s nothing overly complicated.

34. How to Create a Realistic Soccer Ball in Adobe Illustrator

socer-ball

In this tutorial you will demonstrate how to create realistic Soccer ball in Adobe Illustrator. Creating an illustration like this may seem complicated, but you will try to keep it simple. There are many different ways to create a Soccer ball, but we will use the simplest method – tracing the reference image with the Pen Tool. The main challenge will be to achieve a realistic look of the ball by using simple gradients and just a few details.

35. How To Create a Beautiful Vector Portrait in Illustrator

portait

I’ve always love browsing the amazing style of art known as Vexel illustration and recently I decided to finally give it a go myself. Follow this step by step tutorial for the making of my first vector art portrait of Tron Legacy’s Quorra. Learn how the portrait is carefully traced and vectorized in Adobe Illustrator to create an interesting vexel style design.

36. How to Make a Golden Compass in Illustrator

golden-compass

In this Illustrator tutorial, you’ll learn how to create an antique golden compass. We will use simple Illustrator drawing tools such as the Ellipse Tool, Pen Tool and Line Tool. We will get the chance to use gradients and simple vector-drawing techniques throughout the tutorial. If you’re a vector illustration beginner, don’t hesitate to try this tutorial out — I promise it’ll be a great learning experience.

37. Create a Vector, Space Rocket in Illustrator CS5

rocket

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a colorful rocket from simple geometric forms and 3D effects. We’ll use filters like Blur to create smoothness and movement in some of the illustration elements. Effects like Inner Glow will also be used to accentuate the depth of the 3D forms.

38. How to Create a Cute Piggy Bank in Perspective with Adobe Illustratorpig

Many people have difficulty in drawing objects in perspective. Most of the time it helps if you have that particular object in front of you, but we still need our imagination.The most important aspects of perspective are size and distance. If you increase the distance between you and the object you are observing, you need to decrease the size of that object. That way you can achieve a nice depth effect in your illustrations.

39. Create a Royal Crown Using Adobe Illustrator CS5

crown

In today’s tutorial you’ll learn how to create a crown using four stages of design: 3-D modeling, creating of elements of the crown, colors, and creating glare on the surface.

40. Create a Semi-Realistic Light Bulb in Adobe Illustrator

bulb

In this Illustrator tutorial, you will learn how to draw a light bulb illustration. Most of the time, we’ll be using the Pen Tool, so this is great practice for those struggling with drawing freehand. A light bulb is a complex object that contains many small parts and details, and we will try our best to draw them all, in order to create as close to an accurate portrayal as possible.

41. Create an Adorable Puppy with Negative Space and the Paintbrush Tooldog

Show you how to create a quick illustration of a puppy using negative space and the ever so versatile Paintbrush Tool (B). I recently became the proud parent of a Blenheim colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy (named Shelley!) and couldn’t help creating a quick vector of her. One of the key characteristics of her is her lovely red and white coat and these two colors gave me an idea.

42. How to make a realistic vintage typewriter in Illustrator

type-writer

Hello friends, did you guys enjoyed our programming tutorial on how to make a nice typewriter contact form?, well if you nailed that one now you’re probably wondering about the design itself, because it’s useless to have the code if you can’t apply it to a truly brilliant design. Don’t panic because now the second part of the tutorial has arrived and we’re about to show you how to make a great realistic typewriter with Adobe Illustrator.

43. Give a 3D, Vector Robot a Realistic Feel in Photoshop

robot-illustration

In this tutorial you are going to learn how to combine different methods from Illustrator and Photoshop to enhance your 3D vector art. Through the process you will learn how to use the appearance panel, 3D extrude and 3D revolve. You will also create a custom art brush, and your own symbol. I am going to show you how to create masks using Channels and Layers, as well as creating Clipping Masks in Photoshop.

44. Create A Cube Embossed With Letters

cube

I will show you how to create a nice cube with some embossed letters on each side. First, you’ll learn to create some simple symbols then using the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect you’ll create the rough cube shape. Next, using basic tools, effect and options you will reach the final result.

45. Draw a Magician’s Hat in Illustrator

In this tutorial, we will make a magician’s hat in Adobe Illustrator. You will use 3D effects to create a reference shape for the illustration process, the Pathfinder Panel to combine different shapes and forms, apply nice gradients, create reflections and highlights, and more.

46. How To Create a Vector Soldier Character in Illustrator

army

Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create a simple vector soldier character. We’ll begin by building the structure of the character with basic shapes, then adjust the line weights to create definition between the elements. To bring the character to life we’ll add blocks of colour before finishing it all off with a simple shading technique.

47. How To Create a Vector Soldier Character in Illustrator

The key to this satiny ribbon is the careful placement of gradients on its component parts. And once you have the individual elements down, it’s a snap to create award ribbons, medals, or bunting.

48. Create a Shimmering Cityscape in Perspective, Using Illustrator CS5Create a Shimmering Cityscape in Perspective, Using Illustrator CS5

perspective

The Perspective tools in Illustrator CS5 make it a lot easier to draw in perfect one, two or three-point perspective. Using symbols in conjunction with the Perspective tools will make quick work of this stylized cityscape.

49. Anyone Up for a Cup of Coffee?

cup-illustration

Following along this tutorial you’ll be learning how to use the Pathfinder Panel in Illustrator CS5 with its very useful features. Combining various forms with the Pathfinder tools, we can create nice shapes. Applying the gradients and colors to those shapes, we can achieve great results by creating a nice depth and perspective. Highlights and shadows are very helpful as well and make the artwork look very realistic.

50. Create a Vibrant Abstract Vector Design Illustrator

vibrant-design

Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create a vibrant abstract design. We’ll put Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh tool to use to create a colourful shape, then build up layers of objects to create an abstract design with lots of vibrancy, bright colours and transparency effects.

51. Create a Sparkly Female Portrait in Illustrator

female-portait

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn how to create a sparkly female portrait through playing with transparency and overlapping vector shapes. In this tutorial you’ll also learn to experiment with colors and just letting go of your creativity.

52. Create simple golden coins

golden-coins

In the following tutorial I will show how to create a very simple coin stack icon. First, you will need a simple circle and some 3D Extrude&Bevel effect to create the starting coin. Next, you will use multiple fills and strokes to improve the look of this first coin and Transform effect to multiply it.

53. Create an Anti-War Icon Using Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a hand grenade with the help of 3D modeling. This tutorial contains plenty of useful tips and description of manual techniques.

54. How to create a cute little monster in Illustrator

cute-character

If you followed this tutorial to create your own little monster, please share your results and experience with us in the comments.

55. Create a Textured Pool Table in Adobe Illustrator

pool-table

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a vector pool table. We’ll be using the Appearance panel to create textures and add effects; we’ll use the Swatches panel for creating pattern swatches; and we’ll use some 3D and scripting.

56. How to Create a Glamorous Portrait Using Adobe Illustrator galmrious-portait

he final result will be 100% vector; therefore will retain its scalable properties. This walk through is ideal for those an intermediate to advanced knowledge of Illustrator. Illustrator CS5 was used for the tutorial although you can do the majority of the elements in the majority of vector programs. A Wacom Bamboo A5 tablet was also used, however you can achieve the same results with a mouse.

57. Quick Tip: Create a Shiny Shield with Illustrator

shield

In this Quick Tip, you’ll learn how to harness the Appearance panel to make the basic structure of a shiny, beveled shield. Once the structure is in place, a few well-placed gradients are all it takes to achieve a sharp, polished look.

58. Create a Lava Island Scenario in Illustrator

lava-ilustration

In the following tutorial you can learn to create a fluorescent text effect. After we add the text we expand it and add multiple strokes with different blending modes and opacity percentages. Using the Offset path along with various tools and effects we will create the rest of the shapes.

59. Create a Loving Cup of Tea in Illustrator CS5

tea

In today’s tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a quick, loving cup of tea using Adobe Illustrator CS5 using 3D effects and the Bristle Brush Tool.

60. How To Create a Cool Chrome Text Effect in Illustrator

spoon-chrome

Follow this step by step tutorial to create a super cool retro chrome text effect in Illustrator. We’ll use a range of gradients to give the impression of bright highlights, then take the text into Photoshop for some finishing touches.

61. Create A Lotus Flower With Adobe Illustrator CS5

flower

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a Lotus Flower in Adobe Illustrator. We’ll use some basic tools (Ellipse, Direct Selection, Pencil, and more) to draw lotus petals and leaves. Next we’ll color these shapes with the Gradient Mesh Tool. Finally, arrange them to become a complete work.

62. Create A Glowing Flouresent Text Effect

flouresent

In the following tutorial you can learn to create a fluorescent text effect. After we add the text we expand it and add multiple strokes with different blending modes and opacity percentages. Using the Offset path along with various tools and effects we will create the rest of the shapes.

63. How To Create a Stylish Skull Based Vector Illustration

skull-badge

The skull and crossed pistons mark is a popular adaption of the tradition skull and crossbones symbol and is commonly seen in motorcycle culture, amongst other. Follow this Adobe Illustrator tutorial to create your own underground skull & crossed pistons graphic. We’ll start with a simple sketch, then build up the detail using a range of linework and vector shapes.

64. Create a MIDI Drum Machine in Illustrator

midi

In this fun beginner’s tutorial you’ll learn how to get sophisticated results using a few simple elements and effects. The design is based on M-Audio’s discontinued Trigger Finger Drum Pad Control Surface (see inset).

65. How To Create a Colorful Abstract Poster in Illustrator

abstract-poster

Follow this step by step tutorial to create a colourful and vibrant abstract poster design. We’ll create a series of tessellating shapes using Illustrator’s Pathfinder tool, then begin adding colour swatches and gradients to bring the design to life. To finish the poster off, we’ll then import it into Photoshop to add some polish in the form of subtle textures.

66. Create a Padlock with Adobe Illustrator and VectorScribe

padlock

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Shape Building, Clipping Paths and Opacity Masks to make a metallic Padlock. You will also learn how to use the VectorScribe Adobe Illustrator plug-in to save time when creating vector illustrations and designs.

67. Create A Fun Scrap Book

scrapbook

Learn how to create a fun & playful scrapbook in Illustrator & displaying it on a background in Photoshop!

68. Quick Tip: Create a Nice Award Medal Icon

In the following tutorial you will learn to create an icon of an award medal. You will use various shapes and pathfinder techniques to make this great looking icon. This illustration can be made without the use of the Pen Tool, so it’s a great tutorial for beginners.

69. Create A Transitor Radio Icon

radio-icon

Learn how to create a Transistor Radio icon in Illustrator and present on a colourful background in Photoshop.

70. How To Create a Grumpy Troll Character in Illustrator

troll

Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create a grumpy Internet troll character. We’ll start the process with a basic pencil sketch then build up a complete vector character design with linework, colour fills and basic shading to create a funny cartoon mascot.

 

Fuente: Creative NERDS

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