Here we have my latest Illustrator creation. Something most of us see everyday…a hot and bubbly cup of joe.

Found this tutorial here.


Program: Adobe Illustrator (Vector)

Skills Learned/Used:

  1. Pen tool to create objects (cup, saucer, coffee)
  2. 3D effects (cup, saucer, handle) to reduce time spent on drawing the entire image.
  3. Gradient fills (coffee, bubbles, background)
  4. Shading effects (much more difficult using CS3 compared to CS5 in the tutorial)

Reflection: The main thing I learned on this piece was the power of 3D effects (and how they bog down this older iMac). It allows one to turn simple shapes (drawn with the pen tool) into a 3D image with a lighting effect. This useful tool could be utilized in a variety of way to cut down on “drawing” time.

From this:

*Apply revolve effect*

To this:

Summary: I was really happy with the way this turned out. Especially since I am working with software that is almost outdated. Some of the tools mentioned in the tutorial (which used CS5) were not available to me, so I had to improvise and explore to create similar effects. Good learning experience.

I have a few projects on the go. So we’ll see what I post next. I’m thinking the stylized portrait of my wife 🙂


Landscape Scene

As I delve further into Adobe’s Creative Suite, and experiment with my own creations, I will periodically post some of the work on my blogs for everyone to scrutinize behold. My hope is that as I create and practice, I will gather a wide array of skills and the pieces will become more refined with each post (this is what we teachers call “learning”). Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or tips for me as I explore the world of Digital Art.

First up: Landscape.

Program: Adobe Illustrator (Vector)

Skills Learned/Used:

  1. Pencil tool to create objects (clouds and mountains)
  2. Gradient fill (clouds and mountains)
  3. Create symbols and brushes (leaves and grass)
  4. Symbol splatter tool (leaves)
  5. Using different brush strokes for texture (tree trunk and mountain)
  6. Placing one Illustrator file into another.

Reflection: Overall a simple task, but it helped that I had a tutorial video (thanks Zig). During this task the main thing I learned was how to create custom brush strokes and symbols. Also, this task allowed me to better understand how vector programs (such as Illustrator) are different than raster programs (such as Photoshop).

Overall this was a good exercise to do after toying around with Illustrator. It is simple to do, yet it has an overall aesthetically pleasing finish.

My next Vector project is making a cup of hot coffee where I’ll be exploring and using the pen tool.

What is Digital Art?

Digital Art is an expression like any other art, however, it is created using a medium that is “new” in historical terms. In Digital Art, the artist uses various simple or advanced software and hardware to create their message, as opposed to the more traditional art tools such as paints, canvas, paper, pencil, clay, etc.

Art does not simply refer to the tools used to create it. Art is about the vision, message, and emotion conveyed by the artist through any medium. Painting on a canvas is a medium through which artists may create art. Likewise, a computer is just a medium, or tool, through which an artist can express his vision of line, form, color, composition, and rhythm.

When the digital artist has mastery over the available tools and technologies (software, equipment, etc.) they can go beyond “taking a digital picture” or “applying an effect” and create art – an individual expression of their vision.