Tips & Tricks: 25 Illustrator Tutorials for Beginners

We’ve rounded up a few awesome Adobe Illustrator Tutorials to give you something to work towards if you’re a beginner, an experienced designer looking to try something new or are just curious about art and design.

If you have any tips of your own, don’t forget to leave them in the comments section.


CREATE A FURRY CALLIGRAM

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In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to manipulate a typeface through to rendering fur, adding doggy features, and various details.

 

TYPE TECHNIQUE USING SHAPES

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This technique is something that only works for logo’s that contain only a few characters, ideally not more than 5. It also stands or falls with the characters at hand e.g. if o’s and other circular shapes are involved, than it can get interesting to try this technique out.

 

OFFSET PATH EFFECT

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In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a simple wallpaper mixing vectors and photos, with Offset Path, Live Corners and some other effects in Illustrator and Photoshop.

 

RETRO TEXT EFFECT

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This Illustrator tutorial will take a look at the Appearance Panel and see how it can be used to build up layers of non-destructive effects that can then be saved as Graphic Styles so the effect can be instantly applied to any elements with just one click.

 

CREATE TYPOGRAPHY ILLUSTRATIONS

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Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to learn how to manipulate text within a silhouette shape and add texturing to produce a realistic hand drawn style typography illustration.

 

ANAGLYPHIC TEXT EFFECT

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In the following tutorial, you will learn how to create a simple anaglyphic text effect in Adobe Illustrator, using the Appearance panel and a bunch of other Illustrator tools.

 

CREATE TYPE FILLED WITH CHARACTERS

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Learn how 12 artists from the Blood Sweat Vector collective came together to design art in aid of earthquake victims in Haiti, with this tutorial for creating illustrated type.

 

CREATE LINE DRAWINGS

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This tutorial may be useful when it comes to “inking” your drawings. Here’s an in-depth look into the making of this cute little grandpa guy including:

  • How to place a sketch into a new document
  • Some digital drawing tips
  • How to fix little mistakes after you’ve drawn your stroke
  • Ways to finish and color your drawing

 

CREATE VECTOR PORTRAITS

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In this tutorial, Eelco van den Berg lets you behind the curtain to see how he creates his incredible vector portraits by turning a photo into a ‘poppy’ vector illustration.

 

DESIGN RETRO ISOMETRIC ARTWORK

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Here Mark Oliver creates those clean, precise shapes and then ‘grubbies’ them up for a more organic retro look. He also gives you a recipe for transforming shapes to fit a predefined isometric projection without having to do any calculations.

 

ANDY WARHOL-ESQUE POP ART

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This tutorial shows you how to create a set of colorful portraits from a stock image base, in a similar style to Warhol’s, using Adobe Illustrator.

 

VINTAGE VECTOR TEXTURES

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This tutorial outlines some useful tips and techniques for creating your own vintage characters, while also explaining how to achieve a handprinted effect and use halftone patterns effectively.

 

CREATE A DEATH GODDESS INSPIRED BY MEXICO’S DAY OF THE DEAD

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Want to produce clean and detailed line work but with a hand drawn edge? Not sure whether to use the pen tool in Illustrator or a tablet in Photoshop? Use Illustrator’s pressure-sensitive ‘Blob Brush’ to bring a hand-drawn illustration to life.

 

DYNAMIC GRADIENT TECHNIQUES

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Many works that look complicated are really made from simple elements. In this tutorial, Russian artist Alexandra Zutto shows how to build up complex, beautiful images by patiently layering and building up small, straightforward segments, always varying them to prevent monotony.

 

CREATE A TATTOO STYLE VECTOR

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Follow this step by step Adobe Illustrator tutorial to create a vector illustration inspired by the classic tattoo art of Sailor Jerry. The dagger and heart design will use clean black linework and perfectly formed shapes combined with vector textures to add an element of shading and appreciate the style of traditional tattoo art.

 

EXPLORE NEW FOLK ILLUSTRATION STYLES

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In this tutorial you’ll learn how to combine, merge, and manipulate ships in Illustrator to create an intricate illustration based on a Russian doll.

 

TEXTURE TRICKS WITH VECTOR ARTWORK

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Texture can really add depth and a tangible quality to vector illustrations. In this tutorial, illustrator Jeffrey Bowman discloses the techniques he uses to create texture and then explains how he adds this to his work.

 

CREATE LUSH GLOSSY VECTOR IMAGES

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In this tutorial, Thomas Burden Shows how you can create striking, vibrant work in Illustrator using a simple colour palette and basic blur effects – particularly Illustrator’s built-in Gaussian Blur effects.

 

CREATE A GRISLY ZOMBIE

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In this intermediate tutorial you will learn how to create a zombie illustration with a pen tablet from a photo. Have fun utilizing the Blob Brush and Eraser tool in recreating this tutorial or apply these techniques to other ghoulish illustrations!

 

CREATE A VECTOR POLYGONAL BACKGROUND

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In this tutorial you will learn how to create quickly vector polygonal background with the help of web based tool and Adobe Illustrator.

 

CREATE GEOMETRIC STRIPY LINE ART 

 

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This tutorial shows you how to create this geometric stripy line effect with a custom Art Brush. It’s an effect that looks fantastic yet it’s pretty easy to make, plus it’s a technique that can also be used to create cool logos and typography.

 

CREATE AN 8-BIT PIXEL CHARACTER

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With this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the rectangle tool to create a simple 8-bit style pixel character. Pixels are usually associated with Photoshop, but the great thing about Illustrator is your artwork is 100% vector, so unlike Photoshop you can scale your design to any size while retaining those blocky 8-bit characteristics.

 

TRACE A VECTOR FACE FROM A REFERENCE PHOTO

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The basic idea of this tutorial is to showcase how using the the process of tracing the basic shapes and contours of a photograph, as opposed to using predominately vector lines with strokes, as many beginning illustrators do, will result in a desirable, realistic yet stylized image.

 

CREATE A LOW-PLOY PORTRAIT

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The secret to creating works in this style is working from the best reference photos – and first off Breno reveals how to capture these (using himself as a model). He then reveals how to work these up in Photoshop, then create a vector version in Illustrator.

 

CREATE X-RAY VECTOR ART

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While you might think these have been painstakingly created using a 3D suite such as Cinema 4D or Maya, they’re actually relatively simple to produce using Illustrator’s Blend tool and some practice at drawing the underlying structure freehand.

 

If you have any tips or suggestions of your own, do let us know in the comments.

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