10 Must Watch Tutorials To Learn Sketch in Illustrator

Using Adobe Illustrator to create amazing sketches requires a good amount of skills, patience, and creativity. Many prefer to do their sketching traditionally using pencil and paper. Then they scan it to convert it into the digital format. But with the latest enhancements in Illustrator, almost any kind of sketch is now possible. 

Those familiar with the basics of sketching on paper will find it easy to transition to Illustrator. First, however, they need to get used to the variety of tools available, especially the pen tool. To help you in your learning journey for sketching in Illustrator, we have compiled some highly resourceful video tutorials that are free to watch and learn. 

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Illustrator encompasses a very large and extensive world of features. While learning 100% of Illustrator is a daunting task and may take years, you must learn at least the fundamentals of Illustrator quite well. Then you can further focus on the features based on the designing work you predominantly take up. This is where this exhaustive tutorial will be helpful. A lot of things you learn from this will be useful in the other tutorials as well, and hence this tutorial has been taken first in the list.

Envato Tuts+ has established a very reputed name for itself when offering good video tutorials. This tutorial is over three hours but covers almost everything related to Illustrator. Starting from explaining the workplace, it guides the viewer on setting up the document, using the shape tools, pen tool, and playing with colors, fonts, patterns, and a lot more. It also explains how to export the design in the right way. The video may be long but is best suited for people just getting started with Illustrator.

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Now that we have understood the basics of Illustrator, we can further deep dive into the most important tool – the pen tool. For sketching, this tool is what you will be used extensively, and hence you must learn the features of this tool and master it as soon as possible. The tutorial is around 14 minutes long, making it crisp and worth watching. It also offers a free downloadable guide that contains the project files of the video.

The video starts with the basics of the pen tool. Then gradually, it moves onto more complicated uses of the pen tool. You will learn how to create vector logos using the pen tool. Lettering is another skill that you can develop with the help of this tutorial. For all designers wanted to foray into sketching, it is imperative that they go through this tutorial to understand how powerful the pen tool is and thereby learn how to use it to enhance their sketching skills.

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Sketching directly on Illustrator can be a lot of fun. But it is not as easy as it sounds. This video tutorial explains that in a very nice way. The good part is that it also teaches you to get better at the skill through simple steps. Taking a blank document, you will see how to first create a very rough sketch based on your creativity, inspiration, or a real-life object. Once that is done, you will then be guided on how to convert it into a visually appealing creative sketch.

The pace of the tutorial is well suited for learners as it explains all the steps undertaken for the sketch. It also goes beyond the steps and talks about the significance of some of the tools and passes on important tips and hacks to the viewers. By the end of the video, you will be well equipped to create any sketch, big or small, from your own creativity. By taking care of light, shadows, and reflection, you will be able to give a professional finish to the sketch.

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One of the most prominent uses of sketching in Illustrator is in the fashion industry. Fashion designers have to create modeling for the dress they imagine, and this has to be done through a well-drawn sketch. The majority of designers still prefer to draw the first drafts on paper. But then these drafts are converted into digital vectors, and this allows them the freedom to try out different finishes, stitches, and color combinations. 

The tutorial is of almost 45 minutes but is very detailed and hence very helpful. You will learn how to break down your illustrations into different layers containing the model, body, dress detail, and outline layer. Such a method enables in making quick changes without disturbing the whole sketch. Clipping masks are used to insert cloth texture, or patterns, and other finer details. Line weights are varied to give a feeling of 3D design. If you are a professional designer working in the fashion sector, this tutorial is a must-watch.  

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If the previous tutorial was a bit serious, teaching intricate details about fashion design, then this tutorial is going to be a lot more fun. Line art is a raging trend in graphic design at the moment. Almost all designers are trying it out to create stunning illustrations for their websites or digital marketing media. The good part about line art is that it complements minimal design very well and at the same time also conveys the requisite message.

The tutorial is very easy to follow as it slowly guides you through all the steps. First, it talks about this art’s importance and then presents a stepwise guide. You can create such illustrations from your imagination, or you can take base photos such as of a person, leaf, or others as shown in this video and then trace it nicely to create the sketch. Not stopping at this, it also teaches how to set up the colored part in the line art. This takes the design to another level and makes it look really beautiful.

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Are you a superhero fan and have wondered how the entire character was brought to life? Then this tutorial will give you a base understanding of how cartoon characters are created from scratch. The first part happens in the creator’s head, where they decide how the cartoon will look visually. Once that is done, the overall style of the cartoon is decided whether it will be retro or sci-fi, minimal or highly detailed. Then the designer sketches the entire cartoon on paper. This is done in a rough manner to give a basic shape to the idea.

Now Illustrator comes to play as this hand-drawn sketch is converted into digital art. Though the tutorial is under 10 minutes, it will take you a couple of hours to get the sketch right given how detailed it is. Once the sketch of the character is done, the designer also spends good effort in accentuating the background and creating a perfect setup for the cartoon. Because the cartoon, in this case, is futuristic, neon colors are used to give that feeling to the design. 

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The title of this video sums up the scope of the all-powerful tool Illustrator. With the right skills and imagination, you can draw almost anything on Illustrator from scratch. This tutorial is over 43 minutes long but is a must-watch for designers who are using Illustrator extensively to create various sketches. It starts with a basic intro and then explains the core concepts and provides some very useful tips and hacks.

The tutorial nicely deals with aspects like the potential of the pen tool, curving lines, creating complex designs from basic shapes, and transformation effect. It also explains the use of the right colors to create the depth effect. The use of lights and shadows and the importance of spending time to get the finish of the design are also covered. The good part of the tutorial is that post explaining one concept or tool, the designer creates one design with that, and this provides a very good understanding to the viewers.   

8. How to Draw Face Vectors 

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Have you come across some beautiful stunning vector portraits of people and wondered how these would be created? Watch this tutorial to get your answer. The video right at the start showcases the final product that will be created and then goes about showing all the steps for that. First, the base photograph that is to be converted into a sketch is taken. Then slowly, using the pen tool, each and every aspect of this photograph is created.

The entire process will take a couple of hours, but the tutorial runs through it in around 20 minutes. A word of caution: you will need a lot of patience and an eye for detail to get this sketch right. While a major part of the design is spent with the pen tool, but the importance of color filling can not be ignored. Once the entire face and hair are recreated with the pen tool, colors are filled up in them. The shades are taken in a way that they complement each other and also for the light and shadows of the original photo. If you can master this form of sketching, you can convert almost any photograph into a beautiful vector sketch. 

9. Drawing with the Pen tool, Pencil tool & Brush tool

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Drawing in Illustrator can be a lot easy if you understand the features of the tools and can use them to convert your creativity into designs. This video tutorial focuses on the use of pen tool, pencil tool, and brush tools in Illustrator. The video is over 42 minutes long, but it is very detailed and teaches in a very structured manner. First, it starts with explaining the differences in this tool, their fundamentals, and which tool should be used for which application.

The tutorial is highly educational as it explains even the minutest details like anchor points, vector paths, strokes, tracing, and a lot more. While it focuses a lot on the pen tool, it also shows the click and drag technique and the click and converts technique and how it can be handy in drawing. The good part is that it also explains the various shortcuts of the tool. This is important as this can help you get faster with the designs. If you are looking to polish your drawing skills and gather foundational knowledge for the same, then this tutorial is worth going through. 

10. How to Draw a Cartoon Face – Adobe Illustrator Drawing Tutorial

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One of the projects that all designers always fantasize about working is creating a cartoon comic. This involves a lot of creative bandwidth in terms of the comic character, its surroundings, and the entire storyline. However, the fundamental aspect is the cartoon character itself. This tutorial walks you through the entire process of drawing a good cartoon face. Though the video is over 36 minutes long, it is not dull as all the steps are explained interactively.

The tutorial starts by taking a base sketch as a reference. This can be a hand-drawn one or even a photo. Then step by step, using tools like the basic shape, pencil, curving lines, and moe, the entire face is recreated. Then a lot of time is spent filling in the right colors. Gradients are used to showcase the light and shadows and give the sketch a 3D feel. Importance is given to minute details like the line width, outlines, and creating shadows. Once you are done with this tutorial, you will create amazing cartoon faces in Illustrator.

Adobe Illustrator is a very powerful tool and used for varied applications. One of the most prominent ones is sketching and drawing. While the fundamentals of sketching may remain the same as those applied in the paper, designers need to get accustomed to the tools of Illustrator. By exploiting these tools, they will replicate the design or come up with amazing sketches straight out of their imagination. 

Editors Note:

If you haven’t ventured out into the world of Abobe products like Illustrator and you’re pondering a career or freelancing in web and graphic design, you may want to seriously consider it. Now more than ever designers need the best top quality programs to be a part of the creative digital world, and Adobe Illustrator is like a common household name amongst artists and designers. Here’s a brief summary of Illustrator:

  • Been around since 1985, but was released in 87
  • Written with C++ and ActionScript
  • Originally created for Apple Macintosh
  • Free Trial Offer
  • Student Discounts
  • Download or Use Online

Posted by Editor