Illustrator: a crash-course (ie-how to make stuff look awsome)

Color Stuff.

There are few different ways to change/pick a color in Illustrator. The first is by CMYK values, the acronym stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. This is a standard method used to specify colors for printers. Another one is RGB (red, green, blue). You can specify a color by its HMTL color code. Or you can just drag your mouse the color picker around until you find a color you like.

These are the color options that you can access from the right tools palette. You can change the color by changing the CMYK values, or clicking somewhere on the color line below.

Double clicking on a selected color will bring up the color picker in the middle of the screen. This gives you more options for how to select the color (including RGB and HTML values).

The swatches panel can be accessed from the right tools palette. Swatches are colors that you have already created and you can save them to access them quickly. It can be very useful to put the palette of colors you are using for a project into the swatches panel.

To add a new swatch to the panel, have the color selected using the color picker, and hit the add swatch button at the bottom right of the swatch panel.

When trying to get a certain color, you may find the eyedropper tool helpful. The eyedropper tool can pick up any color from a picture or your illustration.

Using the gradient tool.

The gradient tool is very useful for making objects look more natural. There are two gradient tools, one in the main tools palette and one in the right tools. Once you click on the fill you want to convert to a gradient, then click on the gradient options in the right tools panel.

You can add as many colors to the gradient you are creating as you want. Gradients can also be saved as swatches. You can move the location of any color on your gradient by dragging the solid color on the bottom of the gradient slider. The grey diamonds on the top of the slider can also be moved to change the look of the gradient. You can specify an angle of rotation for the gradient as well, or make a radial gradient.

Gradient Examples.

Linear Gradients

Radial Gradient