Paint with Illustrator

Paint with Illustrator

This is an old trick in Illustrator. It is a more detailed version of the “Beyond the Basics Book” from the older versions of the program. I am still in the dark ages with 7.0, but it seems to be doing me just fine. Some of the paths in the directions that I give may be slightly altered in newer/older versions of Illustrator. My apologies to those who have other graphics programs. If you know of any tips/tricks that would be helpful in this program or other programs, send us an email.

Type and Create Outlines

I typed out the letter E, and created four small squares to fit behind it. Since I created the E first, I had to send the four boxes to the back. Select the four boxes with your selection tool (the black arrow) and choose OBJECT-ARRANGE-SEND TO BACK.


Next, I selected the letter E and created outlines for it. TYPE-CREATE OUTLINES Then, I selected all CTRL-A, and selected OBJECT-PATHFINDER-DIVIDE to change my shape into compound paths. If you make any mistakes, CTRL Z , can take you back step-by-step as many times as you wish.

Divide, Move Shapes and Roughen

Next, I used my direct-selection tool to select parts of my shape and changed the colors. I also used my direct-selection tool to pull the individual shapes out apart from one another.

Direct Select

I then selected my rotate tool, and I rotated some of the shapes slightly. Then I wanted to roughen the paths slightly, so I chose FILTER-DISTORT-ROUGHEN I used the smooth edges and set the Size to 3 and the Detail to 5.

Twirl,Pathfinder Soft and Rasterize

The next step I took was to use my TWIRL tool to twirl the shapes around. Older versions of Illustrator would use the Filter for the Twirl tool instead. You can twirl it as much as you want, but you want to make sure you can still tell what the shape is. If you are using text, make sure it is easy to read. To make it easier to see without the selected paths, hit CTRL H on your keyboard. The paths will still be selected, but you will not see the blue select marks. You must hit CTRL H again to make them re-appear.

Twirl Tool

To get the painterly effect, I used the OBJECT-PATHFINDER-SOFT- with a value of 100%. This will blend the colors and give me the look I want to achieve. You can use other values to get less of a blend. Again, CTRL H will work with this as well.

Finally, you can see what your image really looks like without taking it to the printer or to PhotoShop… Select OBJECT-RASTERIZE to see a rasterized image. Remember, CTRL Z to go back one step…If you save with the image rasterized, it can not be edited once closed. If you want to take your image into PhotoShop, you can copy/paste into a new document inside PhotoShop. Remember, CMYK will be the default when you do this, so select the appropriate color format. Suppose you need to print from Illustrator for spot colors, make sure to select Split Along Path option in the Document Set Up.


Author: Gina Hutchings
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