What are your frustrations with Adobe Illustrator

Back to School 30 easy Adobe Illustrator tutorials

Summer is drawing to a close and it's almost time to go back to school. With that in mind, let's learn the basics and share with you a selection of great beginner tutorials and articles that explain the tools, panels, and other tricks that Adobe Illustrator has to offer!

Back to the basics: learn the basic tools

Before embarking on more complex projects, you should always familiarize yourself with the tools that you will be working with on a regular basis. If you are a complete beginner or a seasoned professional, learning the basics is a must. You may notice something that you have not seen before. Hence, it is always good to refresh your knowledge of these tools.

  • Illustrator Pen Tool: The Complete Guide

    If you use Adobe Illustrator, it is almost certain that you will use the Pen tool when creating your paths. This comprehensive guide is designed to introduce or remind you of features, keyboard shortcuts, and methods of using Adobe's most important tool.

  • An introduction to Illustration's color tools

    You may know RGB and CMYK, but what about LAB or HSB? With all of these color options and methods, it's often easy to get confused. In this introduction to Illustrator's color tools, you'll learn about the different color spaces, how they work, and which tools to get the most out of them. Let's get acquainted with Illustrator's powerful color tools!

  • A Comprehensive Guide: Illustrator's Paintbrush Tool and Brush Area

    Illustrator's Paintbrush Tool (B) and Brushes panel are some of the most powerful tools. Use the Paintbrush Tool (B) and the Paintbrush panel to add beautiful flourishes, patterns, tapered edges, and more to your vector paths. This tutorial covers the basics of the Paintbrush tool and the Brushes panel, and teaches you how to make your own brushes.

  • A comprehensive guide to the Pathfinder control panel

    You've likely used the Pathfinder panel to combine shapes and create new ones. However, do you often find yourself clicking (and undoing) each icon in the panel until you get the look you want? Wouldn't it be easier to take some time and see exactly what each function does? Here you can see the all-useful Pathfinder panel.

  • A comprehensive guide to the Pathfinder Panel Part 2

    You've likely used the Pathfinder panel to combine shapes and create new ones. However, do you often find yourself clicking (and undoing) each icon in the panel until you get the look you want? Wouldn't it be easier to take some time and see exactly what each function does? Here's the all-useful Pathfinder control panel, Part 2.

  • Illustrator's Blending Tool: A Complete Guide

    In Adobe Illustrator, you can use the Blending tool to create impressive color blends. But there's more to it than you might know. This comprehensive guide can help you unleash your creative potential, showing you the features, shortcuts, and detailed methods that the Blend tool offers.

  • Illustrator's Type Tool: A Complete Guide

    Type is an integral part of Illustrator. Regardless of whether you are doing desktop publishing, designing logos or using the type for image creation, access the type tool. This manual explains the essentials of the extensive Illustrator functionality (type).

  • Create CS5 Width Profile Brushes in any version of Adobe Illustrator CS!

    Adobe Illustrator CS5 has a new option in the line window called "Width Profile". This tutorial will show you how to create brushes and use them in any version of Adobe Illustrator CS. You'll also learn how to create, save, and use your new brushes!

  • Capture colors with the Adobe Kuler app for iPhone

    You can be a skilled sketch artist and designer, but color theory is still something that is difficult for some to understand. That's why I was so excited about the new Adobe Kuler iPhone app and the integration with Adobe Illustrator CC that I needed a new computer chair!

  • Quick tip: knowledge of typography, basic kerning

    What is kerning and why do i need to know about it? If you've asked this question before, today's quick tip is perfect for you. You will learn the basics of kerning, why kerning is so important, and some useful tricks to make kerning easier.

  • 5 Ways To Customize Adobe Illustrator

    Adobe has done so well thinking about everything in the entire Creative Suite. You even thought about how we can envision our own opportunities for improvement if you follow this twisted logic. This article provides some improvements and adjustments to Illustrator that you may find useful.

  • Quick tip: Take a closer look at the Expand Display command

    Ever wondered what the Expand Appearance command is used for? This quick video tip shows you how. Aimed at beginners, you'll see up close how special effects are applied from the Appearance panel and how the effect is given a solid shape.

  • Quick tip: The drawing area in Adobe Illustrator

    In this quick tip screencast, we'll take a look at the drawing window in Adobe Illustrator. This comprehensive guide will show you what each field does, and you'll learn some time-saving keyboard shortcuts for setting the character attributes of your text.

  • Seven Helpful Techniques Every Adobe Illustrator Illustrator Should Know

    Let's check out seven useful Illustrator techniques to make them easy to achieve. This can be a chore to troubleshoot issues for the beginning Illustrator user. While many of these techniques are rudimentary, even advanced artists can learn a few tips they were unfamiliar with.

  • Everything about transforming in Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial, we'll cover everything you ever wanted to know about one of the most powerful Adobe Illustrator tools - transformation. Discover how it works, learn about different ways to transform objects, study the transformation tools, and many other useful techniques.

  • How to Use Scribble Effects in Illustrator

    There are some Illustrator tools that many of us have never used before. You have found a workflow that we have found efficient and will stick with it. Occasionally, however, it is a good idea to open Illustrator and look at some of the features that are not being used. Scribble effects are worth a look as they are a quick way to add texture and a little personality to your designs. Let's take a closer look at how to use this effect and how you can get creative with it!

  • Quick tip: the graphic styles panel

    The Graphic Styles panel in Illustrator CS4 is more powerful than ever. Quickly add, create, and save appearance attributes to style your work.

  • The basics of clipping paths and opacity masks

    This tutorial explains the benefits, some uses, and how to use two powerful methods of hiding or showing areas of an Illustrator document without deleting objects that you want to make invisible. This will allow you to go back and rework more easily.

  • Quick Tip: How to Tame Gradient Mesh

    Gradient mesh can be one of the most difficult tools to control. Even professional illustrators can be heard frustrated at their seemingly random actions. You can overcome this feeling of frustration by learning some techniques that will make your job easier and fun. In this quick tip, you will learn two handy mesh taming techniques that will save you time and help you overcome the "gradient mesh blue".

  • New in Adobe Illustrator CC: Text improvements

    This tutorial takes a closer look at text enhancements in Adobe Illustrator CC. We'll learn how to use the brand new Touch Type Tool and create funky typographic designs with. You will also learn more about the new convert point / area type and the advanced search font options. Let's begin!

Current tutorials Ideal for beginners

You may want to practice your new skills. Why not jump into some of these great beginner and advanced tutorials to help you create illustrations and projects in Adobe Illustrator.

  • How to Create a Simple Kawaii Yeti with Basic Shapes in Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to create cute monster characters in Adobe Illustrator using basic shapes, the Pathfinder panel, the width tool, and the strokes. You can use these techniques to create other characters.

  • How to Draw Little Red Riding Hood with Simple Shapes in Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to use your basket and a bouquet of flowers to create an adorable cartoon Little Red Riding Hood. You will use the Pen Tool (P) and basic shapes like the Rectangle Tool (M), the Ellipse Tool (L), and the Polygon Tool. This is a great tutorial for anyone familiar with basic Adobe Illustrator tools.

  • Quick tip: create a Bazinga! Text editing in Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Bazinga text effect from the sitcom The Big Bang Theory in Adobe Illustrator made famous by Sheldon. We're going to use some techniques to add multiple effects to a single shape, quickly copy and copy objects, create a pattern, and even rotate the pattern without breaking the applied shape.

  • Create a cartoon bear scene with repeating shapes in Illustrator

    In this tutorial, Jude C Roxas will discuss various points in creating a cartoon bear scene with simple shapes and with a delimiter color palette in Adobe Illustrator. While sketching and planning, he will use Adobe Kuler to select the overall color and feel of the color, illustrate the most important elements for the scene, and learn to reuse existing illustrations to save time, but still be able to create a unique look for the elements, to avoid redundancies the design.

  • Create a cute and simple panda using basic shapes in Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a cute upside-down panda illustration in Adobe Illustrator. You will be using the basic shapes and some use of the Pen Tool (P), so a great project for those who still see themselves as beginners but want a bit of a challenge.

Video courses on Tuts + Premium

If you're a Tuts + Premium member, there are a number of video courses available, designed for beginners and above for a variety of Adobe Illustrator needs. These are just a few of the fantastic courses available now! The nice thing is, you can preview some of the original videos without a membership to see if a subscription to Tuts + Premium is right for you.

  • 30 days to learn Illustrator

    This course from the experienced illustrator Von Glitschka guides you through the entire creative process from design to final vector illustration. Get valuable tips from a proven methodology that will improve and enhance your own workflow by implementing a systematic approach to creating vector shapes and elements.

  • Creation of vector graphics

    Adobe Illustrator is a powerful and popular tool for illustrators and designers. However, it can be intimidating if you've never used Vector before. Don't you know about anchors, brushes, symbols or meshes? Never be afraid! Seasoned illustrator Ryan Quintal will take you from novice to illustrator pro in just 30 days. Once you're done, Ryan will work through a final project, a product case design, to show how it all fits together.

  • Advanced illustrator techniques

    Here's How You Learned Adobe Illustrator in 30 Days. You know your way around a vector - congratulations! But what about using Illustrator for print or apparel design? Or to create a website? Are you ready to bring your skills to the real world? In this advanced course, Ryan Quintal throws the wheels off and puts you in a position to complete real design projects in Illustrator.

  • Mastering the riser network in Illustrator

    From photorealistic 3D to subtle shapes and shades of color, you can create stunning effects with the Gradient Mesh Tool. If you are familiar with Illustrator and ready to jump into advanced illustration techniques, this is the course for you. Join as Cheryl Graham teaches us how to use the Gradient Mesh Tool effectively in any illustration project.

  • Illustrator effects in detail

    Learning the many possibilities of Illustrator effects and the wide range of tools is a daunting challenge. In this course, Cheryl Graham will show you how to work with live effects, text effects, a 3D effect, and more. Get creative, open up Illustrator and let's get started!


For the beginners, we hope this article has helped clear up some areas in Adobe Illustrator that may have been puzzling! It is always good refreshment for advanced learners. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

The preview image for this item was created by Andrei Marius thanks to our tutorial on how to create a detailed vector board symbol. His tutorials are great for beginners as there is little need to use the pen tool.