Adobe Illustrator, Tips and Tricks



Very simple 8 steps to follow, no drawing experience needed🙂 all you need is knowing where the tools are

so here we go.


STEP 1: Draw a thin vertical rectangle with rectangle tool and go to EFFECTS menu, select DISTORT & TRANSFORM / TWIST. Set a value of 50 or 60 depends on how much bending you need. And click OK. Go to OBJECTS menu and EXPAND the image. THIS will be the stem of the floral.


STEP 2:Select direct selecting tool from tools menu and click on the outline of the image, you will see path points. Use your imagination and pull /move path points and adjust the shape of the stem as you like.


STEP 3:Create a spiral from tool menu (border thickness would be 1 or 2 pt) and place it on your stem. EXPAND the spiral shape before duplicating.


STEP 4:Duplicate the stem and scale in different sizes, also duplicate the spiral and arrange them together. On the example image same stem and spiral used. Reflect the stem and spiral (right click on the image, TRANSFORM/REFLECT)  horizontal or vertical to get different look. Basically they are all variations of same 2 shapes we have created previously.



STEP 5: From tool menu take pencil tool (no outline but only fill color should be visible) and draw a leaf shape, it could be rough, with direct select tool (seen on the example) , just click on the shape and again play with the shape to get better curves.

Finally take pencil tool again with white fill color and draw a thin shape for the detail inside the leaf; it could be any nice shape. Also you can drag the paths on the white shape and make it perfectly smooth.


STEP 6: Draw a line with pencil tool (little curvy would be nice) and arrange the leaf we have created on step 5 around the lines as seen on the example, or create your arrangement.



STEP 7: Arrange same leaf like on the example , you may add some elements or leave it as is.


STEP 8: Place all leaves and flowers on the stem, scale some leaves to make it look natural. You can arrange it anyway you want.

For very complicated florals, again I suggest using same logic, once you create a stem and couple leaves around it, you can bend and twist the shapes, or use zig zag effects to create more curvy steam.

At all times expand your outlines and shapes created with effects.

Group final image: Select the whole thing and right click on it. Just select GROUP. You can edit colors with direct select tool from tool menu.



Be sure your image is grouped. Drag the image and drop in to Illustrator Brush Window and select it as ART BRUSH.

Now you can use this as a nice floral brush. Just draw a line and click on the brush in brush window, whatever shape your line was, becomes a nice floral.. Try different florals like this logic. Also create your own brushes by just dropping it in the brush window.

Adobe Illustrator, Tips and Tricks

10 QUESTIONS from users of ILLUSTRATOR CS2/3

Over the past couple months I have been receiving some cool some odd questions regarding to Illustrator. This is nothing like a tutorial or answers how to draw things with step by step pictured instructions but some information about things people are curious about so Here I want to share the questions and answers.

1- Do I need to expand Illustrator brushes and why?

Yes, expanding the brush actually turns it into a shape which you can fill with different colors, change outline or shape itself, so it’s recommended to expand custom brushes to shapes, especially for stock it is a must.

2- How can I find open paths and close them easy?

I have a topic that you can download 2 small plugin to find and close paths in 2 steps. READ HERE

3- Do I need to use a graphic pad to create characters?

I recommend WACOM tablets as I have been using it for a while, so easier than mouse, fully adjustable with pressure settings, you can draw almost anything with tablets, mouse is a pain in the a…If you are serious about drawing complicated images such as hair, florals, eyes or cartoon characters Wacom is the way to go.

4- How can I create swirly florals?

🙂 well this has been a serious question, I got over 100 emails about it. I must admit, there is no easy 1 step plugin or tool to create florals, you can purchase brush sets or flower vectors as they are already drawn and ready to use but if you want to create your own florals first you need a graphic tablet, second understand to use pen tool (create outline of the shape) become familiar with it, practice to control pen’s movements and pressure.

Creating a floral shape is not that difficult, for the stem , just draw a nice curly line, when you are satisfied with the thickness and shape just expand the line to turn into a shape. Under OBJECT menu, select PATH/OFFSET PATH to change the thickness of the stem, you can set – or + 1,2 pixels to make it look more thinner or thicker.

for leaves, well, this would be challenging for most, but I prefer to go natural hand movements with paintbrush tool. Select a round brush from your brush library, double click on the brush and set the diameter section to PRESSURE , and if you are naturally skillful at drawing🙂 you can use this pressure very easy to control. And just go with the flow, draw a nice curvy leaf with pressure is on, try many times till you like your leaf, add some natural strokes coming out from the stem you created, after some practice you will be drawing stems, curls and leaves easier.

For those who does not want to draw but have it. HERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD some free samples and purchase sets:)

Brush sets

Floral sets

5- How can I create seamless patterns and wallpapers?

Manual it is very difficult to align patterns, but I am talking about complicated patterns. I am suggesting 2 wonderful program that can change your life about patterns. First you need to create a very simple pattern, could be a spiral which you can easily create with illustrator spiral tool (don’t forget to expand) then a simple leaf and maybe dots around and a stroke, group them. Then what? Here with your simple pattern you can create hundreds of different patterns seamlessly. And I promise they would not look same.

First program called XTREAM PATH , it’s a plugin has 36 wonderful path editing tools in it. But wallpaper and mirroring tools are the ones I am going to share here. You can create 17 different style seamless wallpaper or 1 unit pattern from your simple pattern. Very easy to use, you actually just click one of the wallpaper tools set it to one unit only or wallpaper setting and draw a shape on your pattern, ta da you will have a cool wallpaper repeating from the section of your actual pattern. It has great documentation to explain how to do things so I won’t be writing here. HERE IS THE WEBSITE for that plugin.

Second program is called SYMMETRYWORKS, wonderful little big plugin, you will love it. Here is the address to check this program out.It it just for creating seamless wallpapers so have it HERE

6-Converting to EPS8 killed my transparency and blending layers , what the hell happened?????

We convert AI files to EP8 for compability , so CorelDraw and Freehand users can open the vector image as is. But disadvantage of this conversation is you will be loosing all your paths with transparent and blending areas. Basically your top transparent layer get flatten to bottom layer and you loose this two layer, they combine into one shape which we all hate:) Simple way to avoid it should be not using transparency or any blending such as (overlay, multiply..etc) if you are doing conversation, also you will get open paths all over the image because of that. Don’t use it. Gradients are ok if they are not too extreme. Sometimes you can get weird colors after conversation with too many gradient areas.

7- How can I become a freelance illustrator? How about copyrights, agreements and all that stuff I need to know??

There is two websites I recommend, there is more out there but these two are my favorites. Check it out.



You need to create a custom agreement plan first. Set your Flat rate or hourly rate, deliver dates, project scope, how many revisions you offer (this is important so they don’t bug you for 20 revisions) and final delivery times should be set in the agreement, also you need to add copyright information to your agreement. If you are selling the copyrights to a customer, you should indicate that clearly with all circumstances. If not you still need to add this information that you are still holding the copyrights of the artwork you created.

If you are using another artist’s creations, be sure you purchase the right licenses such as a Stock pattern to be used on a wedding invitation should be licenced as EXTENDED LICENCE so they can run it unlimited times or how many times the licence limits it and make sure your clients know about it, just to avoid legal problems that can hunt you later:)

Apart from these you need to have a payment plan. I suggest 50% upfront before you even switch your computer on. 50% after project is done. If it is a bigger project with more than 10 or more images split payments in to 3 or 4. Never send anything original to your client before last payment is confirmed. Be sure add this plan to your agreement.

And last of all file everything, emails, payment documents (GET A PAYPAL account if you don’t have one), all files you created, never delete any file after project is done. They can hire you again for more same thing. Good luck.

8- How can I create Halftone dots?

I have a topic about this too which is kind a unfinished but you can still get a perfect halftone shape with the instructions. READ IT HERE

9- Where can I find FREE VECTOR STUFF ??

Hmm, that must be the most asked and searched question on Google, probably freebie people already know about these websites but I will write share here. Please read terms and conditions of the free files before using them.


10- How can I create brush or swatches and save them as a library?

After creating your image all you need to do is drag and drop your image into the brush or swatch library, delete all illustrator’s own library which is already there , drag and drop as many image as you want and save them by clicking on top right hand corner arrow/save library.. your library is saved. Very simple.

Please add a comment if you have any other questions in mind. Thank you.


Adobe Illustrator, Tips and Tricks

Dealing with OPEN PATHS in Illustrator in 2 steps

Couple little things you need to know about when creating a vector image, especially if you are going to sell it on stock websites

Here are some tips and tricks for making the best out of your work. Mostly time savers.

OPEN PATHS: If you are dealing with open paths, you are in trouble, so try this plug-in from Graffix to FIND THEM FIRST without hassle.

To install this plugin, just drop the plugin in your Adobe Illustrator Plug-ins folder. It works with Adobe Illustrator CS – CS2 and CS3….

What does this plugin do… It actually finds all guides, paths, open paths, closed paths, filled paths, unfilled paths, stroked paths, unstroked paths, dashed paths, undashed paths, compound paths, groups, live object groups, gradient meshes, envelopes, symbols, embedded raster art, and placed art.

It will appear under Select / Object menu.

So after clicking on select open paths, your open paths are selected, now how are we going to close all these paths, here another plug-in to CLOSE THESE PATHS.

This time just drop the plug in in Illustrator scripts folder, it will appear in File/ Scripts menu, and click. All your paths are closed in 2 steps. What a time saver.

Well if you have only couple paths to close just click on the open path and press CTRL + J to join them, personally I never use this.

Adobe Illustrator, Tips and Tricks

Halftone Illustrator Brushes Tutorial

Hello everybody

OK, after reading so many emails about how to create halftone brushes, I will write down 2 simple tutorials for it
There is two ways to create half tone patterns

1- Photoshop
2- Illustrator or any other vector editing program.

1- With Photoshop ( we will transfer the image to Illustrator later)
A- Open a 800X600 px file, white background
B -Try some gradients (black and white) could be circle or square on a different layer.
C- Apply Filter/Sketch/Halftone Pattern to your gradient layer
be sure your background color is black and foreground color is white, you can choose dots or lines
D- After applying the filter you have blury halftone pattern image
to make it sharp
E- Apply Image/Adjustments/Threshold
play with the levels so you see proper dots/lines
F- save the file as jpeg and open it at illustrator
at Illustrator, there is different trace options
Object / Live Trace
trace it as black and white , play with numbers to get exact look you want
and expand your image after that.
Now you have halftone pattern image

2 – With Illustrator
open a 800×600 px file ( white background)
draw a big black circle with no strokes
and in the same row draw another small black circle
be sure they are aligned but far away from eachother
click on Blend on toolbox
and choose specified steps ( here steps depends on how far you put your 2 circle so you need to find out by trying out)
My big circle was 30 x30 px and small one is 10×10 px and I aligned them as 6 other circles can fit in between with 2/3 px space.
put 6 at the step area
then your arrow button changed to blend tool arrow
click on big circle and then small one
now you have a lined up descending 8 circle
copy and past this line couple of times under your first line
final image should look like perfect halftone pattern dots.
You can align them as circle or any shape to create different looks.
Group all lines.
to make different shapes
align your first and second circles in different areas even add another smaller circle and then blend them together so you will have different pattterns
follow the steps above after blending.


First make a copy of your halftone pattern image outside of the canvas area ( optional)
expand the whole image drag and drop the image in brush library window ( it has already custom brushes on it, you can leave or delete them)
a new window asks you if you want this image as scatter, art or pattern brush
lets select art brush and click ok, Brush options window opens immediately, here you can pick direction of your brush, name it..etc, you play it later:)
click ok.
Now you have a new halftone pattern brush.
to try your new brush
select it from brush library
and draw a line or any shape with your brush tool
You can save this same image as different brushes to get different options, effects
as scatter, it will give you whole alot of options to create your halftone pattern brush
or as pattern brush, it duplicates itself as your lines goes
so try all of them to get what you really want.

I hope this tutorial was helpful for everybody who is desperately looking for Halftone vector effects.

If you need some examples and download free brush set please visit my Brush set page at
Mujka Brushes

Burcu Arat Sup