Draw a cute cartoon style bird in Illustrator – a great beginner project!
When you are learning to use Illustrator a fun project can make your learning less of a chore. That’s why I created this video – this cartoon style bird is easy to make using basic shapes in Illustrator. You will learn how to make the shapes and assemble the bird and the background so you end up with a finished piece of art that you made all by yourself. You will learn to use fill and strokes, to make basic shapes and how to use the Shape Builder tool to join shapes together and even to remove pieces from shapes. This tool is an alternative to using the Pathfinder options and, when you are starting out, it is a good tool to learn to use. Although this video also shows the use of some Pathfinder options too.
This project also includes a small amount of Pen tool work which makes it a great introduction to using the Pen tool which is a tool that a lot of people hate to use but which it can be of benefit to learn to use. You will see how to use the pen tool and how to adjust anchor points using their handles to form shapes. You will also see how to draw lines and apply strokes to the lines. Once the lines are made you will see how to group the lines together so that the lines all travel together in the illustration.
The clouds are made from shapes that are united together using the Unite option in the Pathfinder palette.
Learning Illustrator is different and easier if you already know Photoshop
So, you’re pretty handy with Photoshop but Illustrator is different – isn’t it? It is not easy to understand when you first start and you might be scared off by an interface that looks both familiar and foreign at the same time. I certainly was when I started out. Illustrator was like a foreign language and it took a lot of time to learn it.
But learning Illustrator when you already use Photoshop can be simplified. You see you already know a lot about Illustrator so we can start out with that knowledge and build on it. You need to know what is the same and what is different between the two programs and you need to know what is important and what you can ignore for now.
So, to help you, I created this video. It’s for anyone who knows Photoshop and who wants to learn Illustrator. I will build on your knowledge so we don’t waste time on things you already know but so you learn quickly how Illustrator is different and how to get started with it.
No laborious “how to use the Pen tool” stuff here. Just quick and fun and interesting stuff guaranteed to get you on your way to loving the creative potential of Illustrator.