Master Illustrator with the Best 10 Tutorials Out There

New Year, New Resolutions! We love to see when people decide to jump onto amazing design tools like Illustrator and Photoshop — but where to begin? Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, these are 10 of the best Illustrator tutorials on the web today.

Here’s how we like to look at them — if you’re already a seasoned Illustrator user, take each of these 10 tutorials as a challenge to reproduce them as best as possible (or to do better)! And if you’re new to the game? Go through each one step by step, and take in how to manipulate every tool, every stroke, and every feature that the incredibly powerful Illustrator has to offer you. We promise you won’t regret it!

  1. Create Detailed Spa Stones and Flowers in Adobe Illustrator — This tutorial is great for covering a few basic ideas on texture and color with natural objects. If you’re looking for a few good methods on creating vector stones, flowers, and leaves, then this tutorial will serve you well!

  2. How To Create a Colorful Vector Landscape Illustration — This is one of those great tutorials that takes something that looks more complicated than it actually is, then breaks it down into totally manageable steps. Gradients will soon become one of the design elements you find yourself putting in many of your finished products!

  3. Experiment With Color in Adobe Illustrator to Create an Abstract Rose Illustration — Don’t let the finished product intimidate you! While this may seem like a design project that is out of reach for beginners, it’s one that you should absolutely consider undertaking. This tour in texture, color, and shape is really a rudimentary exploration of how to best use Illustrator to master your brightest and most intense design productions.
  4. How To Create Geometric Stripy Line Art in Illustrator — More abstract and geometric designs will likely become a part of your design repertoire. Learning to create unique pieces that are aesthetically pleasing and which still manage to evoke an emotional response (all without text or obvious imagery) is a powerful design tool. Get your toes wet with this tutorial!
  5. Tips for Guilloche Pattern Vectors in Under an Hour  A Guilloche pattern or technique is most often seen in printed currency to help make counterfeiting efforts more difficult. It can also be seen in some kinds of pottery work, like ceramic or enamel. Needless to say, it’s a highly intricate pattern that takes a little skill and a lot of attention to master — get on it!
  6. How To Create Outstanding Modern Infographics — It doesn’t look like infographics are likely to go anywhere anytime soon. Companies are comfortable using them in annual reports that they send to consumers, small business owners are creating them to tell stories about their products, and designers everywhere are being faced with the challenge of coming up with unique ways of showing off those layers of information.
  7. How to Create an Identity Package in Illustrator — Whether you use an identity package to hone and present your own design identity, or to help a client visualize their upcoming design elements, this is a great way to do it. Illustrator isn’t often thought of as the strongest tool for the job, but their multiple art boards make it easy to see how each piece (letterhead, magnets, business cards) fit together and mesh — or clash.
  8. Learn to Create a Variety of Script Lettering — At some point, you’ll get bored with font options. You’ll want to make something new. Something different. Something that says ME! A script lettering is often the way that designers go, as it can fit fluidly into a formal or more contemporary informal design space. Get your teeth cut with this tutorial, and don’t look back.
  9. Create a Variety of 3D Lettering Effects for Poster Design — Clients are going to forever be asking for ways to make their designs “pop.” A 3D lettering effect is a powerful and amazingly simple way to do just that — with the bonus of working for just about any client, and any project, and any end-game.
  10. How To Create a Cubist Style Logo Design in Illustrator — This is a tutorial that you can really grow with. After mastering the few basic stylings and techniques for creating the cubist style, you can find all sort of new applications for this hot and chic texture.

Regardless of which tutorials you chose, you can rest assured that you’ll be mastering the foundations of Illustrator in no time. After a few of these great tutorial creations, you’ll be more than ready to venture into the world of freely designing your own stellar images. Happy drafting!

7 Creative Photo Manipulation Tutorials

Following are seven creative photo-manipulation tutorials and their summaries. You can view the linked tutorials , and this article briefly explains below each picture. Below is an example of some exceptionally creative Photoshop-ery:

It takes imagination to make this design, and imagination is the core ingredient in producing high quality photo manipulation. Proper imagination can manipulate photographs with elements of nature like fire, water, and lightning. Photoshop has a ubiquity of brushes and techniques for enhancing/changing pictures. The advertising industry is famous for its use of manipulated photography. Magazines, posters, package designs–all use the techniques that will be explored shortly. These tutorials will give you the information you need to most fully utilize program functionality. You’ll learn to add effects, edit images, incorporate natural elements, and so much more.

Compose a Concept Piece With Gorgeous Effects Using CS6

The maker of this tutorial shows acolytes how this exceptionally gorgeous picture was put together using the CS6 iteration of Photoshop, and stock images. Text effects were added, and layers were adjusted; as were filters–all of which requires patience. The tutorial for this picture is two hours long, and viewers are lead through the complete process. The best way to learn is from professionals, and in this tutorial, the best manipulation techniques the artist uses are revealed. Things like lighting effects, masking, shadows, general composition, smart objects, layer management, coloring of a selective nature, and so much more. Finally, the manipulation explored in this tutorial is advanced; so know it’s worth it, don’t rush things, and there’s no reason not to share the work of this artist!

Composing an Illustration of Skin-Tearing in Photoshop

It’s become en vogue for models in advertisement and film to “pull away” their skin, showing something strange, frightening, or sensual beneath. Apparently the Ars Thanea team developed and popularized this effect several years ago in 2013. They used a number of different images pertaining to the Sao Paulo Football Club. Ever since, this style has been on the rise in popularly; and with the frequent tutorial requests, it only made sense someone would put something up eventually.

This tutorial reveals how this effect can be created using Photoshop. It also shows the best way to light and shoot photography for this effect. Initially explored is extraction of the “model” from its background, removal of tattoos, and the way in which skin is pulled aside and mechanical things inserted.

 

Creating Magical Manipulation of Photos in Post-Production

Oftentimes, artists are known to ally themselves with a team of like-minded individuals for the completion of a project. Usually there’s a director of some creative capacity, an art director, a photographer, a graphic designer, a re-toucher, and of course the client for whom the project has been commissioned.

The tutorial explored in this link is a two-part series where the tutorial-maker teamed up with well-known photographer Natalie Fobes and put together an illustration of magic in photography as a child interacts with toys that are no longer static, but suddenly living. The tutorial shows not just which kinds of photos are needed, but how retouching is done, and how combining them with stock photos can create a work of art which closely resembles an initial sketch.

This link goes to Natalie’s tutorial in order that those interested can learn how the photography was shot. Check the photography section labeled Tuts+.

 

Designing That Particular “Distorted Lady” Effect Via Photoshop

This tutorial reveals the steps employed for creation of this strangely distorted female form via Photoshop. Metal and rock textures have been placed over the female body in order to facilitate the primary effect. A number of image adjustments and layer masks, in conjunction with various filters, are used to fine-tune this intermediate-level manipulation.

An Illustrated Watercolor/Ink Effect Applied to Photos in Photoshop

Many photo artists are interested in the application of watercolor/ink effects to pictures. Certain filters and effects can accomplish this aim, but the best way to do it is through hand-drawn illustration. This method provides the best end result, and the most flexibility. The following tutorial explores such an approach.

 

Creation of “Leafy Face” Photo Manipulation Effect Via Photoshop

This tutorial reveals steps taken to create this woman’s “Leafy Face” in Photoshop. Techniques used include layer blending, layer masks, the use of adjustment layers, and filter effects. This is an intermediate tutorial, so some steps can be difficult.

 

Composing Surreal Digital Art, Such As This “Dark Power Unleashed” Motif in Photoshop

This tutorial shows how this surreal digital art was put together through Photoshop. It begins with a simple city image soon combined with cloud, model, and a number of other objects to emphasize the picture’s surreal nature.

These tutorials reveal integral Photoshop picture-manipulation techniques. Hopefully you have learned some new techniques and tips to improve your own photo manipulation skills

 

10 Free Tools for Creatives

 

The best free tools for creatives

 

Copywriting

Grammarly

Grammarly’s premise is to help you become a better writer by finding and correcting grammar mistakes as you write. It promises to pick up more than ten times as many errors as your typical word processor. Download the app for free and you will write mistake-free on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and nearly anywhere else you write on the web with their online interface.




Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor is an interesting tool used to identify and highlight different sections of your text, and help you improve it by editing sections of it. This desktop app will break down your writing and point out how to get better by using a “readability” grade standard.

Colors

Colordot

Colordot is a highly precise, highly customizable color palette creator. The whole webpage is your colorpicker, use the mouse pointer to select a hue, then scroll for saturation, click to save and move on to the next color. Great visual tool for quick selection of colors.




0 to 255

0 to 255 is an interesting idea, it is a tool that simply offers variations on any color you select. See dozens of different shades of the color you want, or choose a random color. Easy save to clipboard feature.

Mockups

PSD Covers

PSD Covers offers a better alternative to Photoshop’s 3D rendering. Sometimes when you try to take a 2D image and render a 3D model of it on photoshop, it doesn’t come out right. This tool can take any 2D design and turn it into a tridimensional product cover. Download PSD cover actions and use them for free in your project.




Dunnnk

Dunnnk provides beautiful stock resource material for creative projects for free. Simply select the tech brand you want, and browse through their catalog of beautiful graphics including closeups of handheld devices, wearables, and other interesting and beautiful gadgets.

Frame

Frame is a tool allowing you to download high quality resource material for mockups. Awesome tech product shots for free. The site hosts 8 categories, 35 frames, and over 58,000 user scenes. Simply select a scene, upload the image you’d like to use in it or link the website to be featured, it automatically generates the final material, and then you download it.




UI Faces

UI Faces offers a great collection of free sample avatars for download. Highly specific filter, user uploaded images, and beautiful continuous scroll page design. This website was born out of the necessity to find daily new avatars for mockups.

Typography

Wordmark.it

Wordmark.it is a tool to better help you find the perfect font for your project. Very good filter system, and easy to use: simply type in a word you’d like to visualize, and it loads up hundreds of varied fonts. Customize the font to your needs by altering font size,




Type Genius

Type Genius provides a tool for selecting the perfect typeface choices for your project. Simply select a primary font, and then Type Genius will generate matching font combos automatically. Unique, easy to use free tool at a professional level.

10 Free Mockups Tools

 

The best sites to get free mockups

 

General mockup builder

Pixeden

Pixeden hosts stock material including icons, vectors, textures, mockups, text effects, and a lot more. It makes the life of creative designers easier by providing a wide range of categories, presented in a beautifully designed site with more than 24,000,000 downloads. This tool provides both free public domain material and paid membership.




Graphic Burger

Graphic Burger provides premium quality design resources for free to the community. The selection ranges between mockups, UI kits, icons, text effects, backgrounds, and others. With regular updates, over 17,000,000 downloads, and a special attention to pixel perfect PSD formats, this is a great source of creative material.

Media Loot

Media Loot provides free design resources for creatives under a pretty interface and dynamic filtering. They host a variety of fonts, icons, mockups, graphics, UI kits, and other materials. If you love free stuff, they have a mailing list for the newest updates.




Pixel Buddha

Pixel Buddha hosts free from copyright PSD mockup templates. All creative content is generated by their own team, and contains a wide selection for professional use – including smart objects to make the life of creatives easier.

Perfect Pixels

Perfect Pixels provides free PSD templates for professional creative use in your project. Unparalleled quality feature material mainly focused in the technology sector, with a mailing list to top it off.


User Interface


Sketch App Sources (Sketch)

Sketch App Sources provides free creative resources for professional use. Mainly featuring technology and app store materials, this site caters to the graphic design community with full support including mailing list and tutorials.

Do

Do – by Invision App, is an amazing UI kit resource. Breathtaking visuals. Vast selection of screens, themes, and components. All free. It brands itself as “the most versatile ‘to-do’ app you’ve ever seen,” featuring beautiful clean, simple, colorful design.




Tethr

Tethr – by Invision App, is an amazing IOS UI kit resource. “The most beautiful IOS design kit you’ve ever seen… also happens to be free.” The marketing team for Invision App is on-point, and they keep delivering impressive products.This retina-ready, minimal kit contains over 250 elements, 138 templates, and 8 source files.

UI Space

UI Space hosts a variety of creative resource material for free. Simple and easy to use. Categories include mockups, fonts, and icons for Photoshop, Sketch, and Illustrator. Choose from the 121 different flat mockups offers, and build your own project with this amazing free tool.




Teehan Lax Tools

Teehan Lax Tools provides diverse creative materials for developers, for free. Elite design, featuring tools for Photoshop and Sketch including elements, templates, and other “things to help you make things.” All resources are high resolution, high quality tools including many of the most popular tech devices.

Best Illustrator Tutorials of August 2015

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The number of people joining the creative genuinenesses is increasing day by day and they wonder what steps they should take to understand the basics and how to use various trips and tricks of tools available. Professionals are too making best efforts to help their fellow designers and newbies who are trying to learn. What they do is that they take time for writing down the step wise procedure to help designers come up with superb results. This step wise procedure penned down in easily understandable language is well known as tutorial.

Adobe Illustrator tutorials are proving to be quite useful for the designers who are trying their hands on Illustrator. In the quest to learn about the tips and tricks of Illustrator to come up with some amazing results, one keeps looking for ways to smooth-en up the entire process and seek help from the professionals who have already made the mark.

For all those of you who are wondering how to proceed in understanding various tips, tricks and steps involved in getting different kind of amazing results in Adobe Illustrator, here we have come up with a superb compilation of useful tutorials. Check out the pinned below best Adobe Illustrator tutorials that claim to be of great help.

1. Create a Cute Moldovan Chibi Character in Adobe Illustrator

Learn how to create a cute Moldovan Chibi character using the Illustrator tutorial explained by Maria Dimova at Design.TutsPlus.com.

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2. How to Create a Children’s Colorful Bicycle in Adobe Illustrator

This Illustrator tutorial by Yulia Sokolova will help you create a beautiful and colorful children’s bicycle using simple shapes, Stroke Panel options and other Pathfinder operations.

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3. How to Create a Koala Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

By Nataliya Dolotko, this Illustrator tutorial will help you create a cute Koala climbing a tree in Illustrator.

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4. Yummy! How to Create Delicious Donut Icons in Adobe Illustrator

We all love donuts and this tutorial by Diana Toma will help you create 4 versions of donuts that can be used as a icons in your website. If you love creating icons in Illustrator, do check our other article featuring best Illustrator icon tutorials of year 2015 so far.

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5. How to Draw a Set of Emoticons in Adobe Illustrator

By Beto Garza, this is a another cool Illustrator icon tutorial that will help designers to create a set of awesome emoticons that you can use in your chat apps.

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6. Create a Backlit, Elegant Female Portrait in Illustrator

Another useful Illustrator tutorial explained by Sharon Milne that will help you create a elegant female portrait character using simple techniques.

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7. Video Tutorial: Vector Hipster Character in Illustrator

Chris Spooner has a record of coming up with some of the best Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials on his site and since when he started creating video to demonstrate the tutorial process, its been cherry on the cake for learners. Here’s one Illustrator tutorial that will help you create an awesome vector hipster character using simple vector shapes.

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8. Create a Cartoon Skull Sticker Vector in Illustrator

In this awesome Illustrator tutorial, you will learn to create a cute cartoon skull sticker using the Basic Tool, the Pen Tool and a glimpse of Pathfinder Window.

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9. Create a Set of Download Buttons

Create a set of simple looking download buttons but can be useful for many websites using basic tools and shapes and some simple Illustrator techniques.

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The list we know is not a big one but we assure the ones listed here are superb ones that you all would want to try your hands on. Leave your comments below to have your say and let us know your best Illustrator tutorials.