Illustrator Class

Still working on learning to design graphics in Illustrator using the tracing technique.  Will not presume to write a tutorial on how to do this. Just not skilled enough to be telling anyone how to trace with Illustrator. You can find countless tutorials on the web. The one used as a basic guide for tracing the Chanel sunglasses used for this object can be found here

We grabbed an image of a pair of Chanel sunglasses from Google images and followed Steps 1 and 2 to set it up for tracing. After that it was pretty much trial and error.

Tip: You can try using Effect->Stylize->Rounded Corners to soften the edges of your shapes; but keep in mind that this will not work for all scenarios. It works best for shapes that do not have 4 distinct corners. Feel free to share if you know a more effective way of softening edges in Illustrator.

Self grade: D+

We came across this 3d bowl illustrator tutorial and decided to attempt it. Our finished bowl of apples looks more like a bowl of tomatoes. We’ll have to try this tutorial again. As for the tutorial it was easy to follow. The instructions were clear and thorough. We just didn’t manage to get our bowl of apples to look as nice as the example in the tutorial.


If for some reason you want to use our bowl of apples please feel free.

Trying our hands at designing people icons from scratch as part of our efforts to learn illustrator. Our first sample is named Mitchell. He’s not the sexiest looking icon that was ever drawn but he’s not bad for a from scratch first attempt.


We continue to practice with adobe illustrator and have completed another tutorial. This tutorial, found here, teaches how to design a coffee mug icon. At first we were daunted by the fact that 27 steps are required to make the mug, but we decided to go ahead and give the coffee mug a try. What we produced obviously has its flaws, but for a first try our coffee mug isn’t half bad. What do you think?



After we finished the red coffee mug we decided to make a white one with decorative accent. Making the white one was of course just a matter of changing the color and applying the decoration in photoshop.

Giving away our first set of illustrator glass balls. We came across and tried a number of different tutorials. Seems there are a number of ways you can go about making these glass objects. Some people call them orbs, some people call them balls and some call them buttons. For most of the tutorials we tried we came to a point where we just couldn’t get it to work. It was always at the point where you create the opacity mask to achieve the glass effect. Finally we came across this tutorial and managed to get the balls done. Ours look more plastic than glass but that’s okay. It was our first try. We’ll try another set later.

There are free glass buttons all over the place that you can download. We’re adding ours to the list. Download and use them however you like. The files are in transparent PNG format.

Download Zipped glass balls

We found this tutorial for designing a sleek pencil in adobe illustrator cs3. We gave it a try and managed to produce 5 pretty cool 3d pencils. Of course ours don’t look as good as the example pencil on the tutorial website; but for beginners work they’re pretty good.


One critical comment about the tutorial linked to above:  it sort of left us hanging after the instructions “Now, using these colors as a guide, add gradients to each of your shapes”. We spent nearly half an hour trying to figure out how to make the gradient tool work in adobe illustrator; then it finally dawned on us to go look for another tutorial about applying gradients in illustrator. We came across Adobe Illustrator CS3 Tutorial: ‘Everything about Gradients’ and it solved the mystery for us; but aside from that the pencil icon tutorial was pretty good.

You can download our pencils and use them for any purpose. By the way the pencils come jumbo sized. You’ll need to resize them according to your preferred size.

This isn’t a tutorial because we’re not adobe illustrator pros. These are the steps we took to design a barbell in adobe illustrator CS3 while experimenting with the program’s 3D revolve feature.

Step 1:

We drew a partial outline of half a barbell using the pencil tool as shown below:


Step 2:

We went to the “Select” tab and hit Select->All then we went to the “Effect” tab and hit 3D->Revolve to open the 3D Revolve Options dialog box as shown below:


Step 3:

While in the 3D Revolve Options dialog box we checked “Preview” in order to preview any changes made based on options we selected. We then elected to add “New Light” by clicking on the button indicated by red arrow in the example shot below (If you can’t see anything under “Surface Plastic” it means some of your options a hidden. You need to click the “More Options” button under “Map Art”)


Step 4:

We then clicked “OK” to apply the 3D revolve option. After the dialog box closed we mirrored the selection by clicking the middle anchor point and pulling it to the flip side as show in the images below:


Illustrator then completes the process of creating the 3D shape leaving us with a single barbell which we then exported to photoshop and flipped verticallyby going to Edit->Transform->Flip Vertical. It’s not the sexiest barbell ever designed but we’re beginners. We’re just trying to get practice.

Here’s the finished barbell:


We are trying to learn illustrator. Found some tutorials for making vases but just couldn’t get the vases to take the right shape even after following the instructions to the letter. Every attempted yielded something alien like the below example.


Finally we decided to try something the tutorials didn’t instruct us to try. We mirrored the selection shape by clicking on the middle anchor point and pulling it to the other side as shown in the image below:


Finally we produced a vase; but we’re calling it a vase/bottle thingy because it looks more like a bottle than a vase. Here’s the finished undecorated vase/bottle.


The vase tutorials:
Adobe Illustrator vase tutorial 1
Adobe Illustrator vase tutorial 1

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