Adobe Illustrator: Create a Quick & Easy Unique Illustration
4.1 (95 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,584 students enrolled

Adobe Illustrator: Create a Quick & Easy Unique Illustration

Learn how to make an original illustration step by step from scratch in Adobe Illustrator for the web, video, and print.
4.1 (95 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,584 students enrolled
Created by Kristen Palana
Last updated 6/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $44.99 Original price: $64.99 Discount: 31% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 37 mins on-demand audio
  • 4 articles
  • 1 downloadable resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Create powerful custom illustrations in minutes using Adobe Illustrator or any similar free or paid program (Photoshop, GIMP, Painter, etc) using simple techniques and basic principles.
  • Understand image creation best practices regarding copyrights and using free stock images, original photos, and royalty-free images.
  • Develop the ability to make illustrations that can be used online, in videos, or for print, even if you CAN'T DRAW.
  • Make unique and inexpensive illustrated gifts for friends and family.
  • Save and make money creating your own illustrations for yourself and others.
  • Avoid headaches if and when you lose your work by learning the proper way to save your files.
  • This mini course requires no special equipment aside from a computer and an appropriate software program like Illustrator. (Free trials of Illustrator are available from Adobe).

This quick and dirty course will help you make original, custom illustrations using Adobe Illustrator (or any similar program) in just a matter of minutes that look professional and can be used online, in videos and animations, or for print purposes such as on a poster, letterhead, even a T-shirt or other products.

*Please note that free trial versions of Illustrator are available for download from Adobe's website.

Save money making your own illustrations (and stop paying others to do them for you) and develop skills that can help you start making money illustrating for others. You can also use these simple techniques to make unique illustrations as free gifts for friends and family.

You also don't need to know how to draw. There are actually a HUGE number of graphic designers who CAN NOT draw... but they make up for it by using techniques like the ones in this course and naturally, learning more about layout design, composition, color, typography, and other fundamentals of visual literacy.

You can decide how much time you will spend on each illustration which will then affect your end results. As you do more and more, you can be cranking these out in a matter of minutes and could actually make a little illustration business creating these for others on websites like Fiverr, Elance, and other freelancing websites.

What Students Are Saying:

"What a wonderful course ! Kristen is a great teacher and quickly answers any questions that you might have. I'm really excited about applying the techniques that I've learned in the course." -Diane Falck

I'm a practicing award-winning multimedia artist and a former tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome (2006-2016). I'm currently a Visiting Associate Professor of Digital Media at the brand new American University of Myanmar in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). 

Since 2000 I've been teaching students all over the world using my tried and true custom approach (turning complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible) to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately.

New bonus lectures and resources will continue to be added and timely design advice will be provided in the discussion forum. I love to help and always respond to inquiries and discussions ASAP.

Please Note: All students who enroll in this course also will receive periodic free and discounted access to my other top-rated current and upcoming courses.

You have a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee with no questions asked so you have nothing to lose. I make myself available so you will have access to me if you have questions or need specific feedback along the way.

Empower yourself now by enrolling in this Illustrator course and join our growing learning community! Click the "Take This Course" button in the upper right corner and let's get started building your illustration, software, and design skills today.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is for newcomers to Illustrator as well as beginners interested in learning simple and basic techniques for getting started illustrating on the computer.
  • Advanced traditional fine artists and illustrators looking for ways to take their natural drawing talents from their sketchbooks to a computer environment will appreciate this easy, step by step approach.
  • Please note this is NOT an in-depth Adobe Illustrator course. Students looking for intermediate to advanced Illustrator training would be better off taking a longer, comprehensive course.
Course content
Expand all 25 lectures 02:09:38
+ Introduction
2 lectures 07:45

Welcome to this course. Learn about what we'll cover and how easy it is to get started making original illustrations right away even if you don't think of yourself as someone who can draw.

Preview 02:08

In this lesson we'll take a look at the most common Illustrator windows and tools, learn more about Illustrator and why it's different than Photoshop, and how to get started drawing and setting up a new file.

Preview 05:37
+ Getting Set Up: All About Copyright Issues and Using Photos in Your Projects
2 lectures 06:28

Before we get started drawing, first we'll need to find a photo to use as a guide. You CAN'T just draw over someone else's copyrighted photo. You should use your own original photo or a royalty free photo where you will have permission from the author to use their work.

Important Copyright Issues You Need to Know & Choosing a Photo as a Guide

Here is a gigantic list of places to find free images and more for your projects.

75+ Resources to Get Free Images, Music, and Videos For Your Projects

This quiz will test your knowledge of the topis covered in Section 2.

Illustrator Basics and Copyright Issues Quiz
7 questions
+ Let's Do IT! Make a Custom Illustration in Adobe Illustrator
9 lectures 32:00

In this lesson I'll show you how to place your Photo in Illustrator, lock it down, and have it set up so you can begin drawing.

Placing Your Photo as a Guide in Illustrator

In this lesson we'll set up a new layer for our black and white line drawing. I'll also explain a bit about the brush tool and settings so you won't get the usual "Illustrator Newbie" headache when first trying to draw.

Setting Up Your Brush and Making a "Drawing" Layer in Illustrator

In this lesson I'll show you how easy it is to make your black and white line drawing. You can draw with a mouse or use a stylus tablet like the one I use from Wacom.

Draw the Black and White Line Drawing in Illustrator

Skip this lesson at your own later peril. If you take a few minutes to learn how to save your files properly (in many locations and under different names VERY often) you will save yourself from losing all your work. Bad things happen to good people on computers, so make sure you always have a safety net.

Preview 03:44

In this first coloring option, I'll show you how to easily add color using Illustrator's brush tools and a new layer under your black and white drawing layer.

Adding Color: Option #1. Coloring With the Brush Tools in Illustrator

This lesson will show you how to use the Live Paint Bucket Tool as an option for coloring in your drawing.

Adding Color: Option #2. Use The Live Paint Bucket Tool in Illustrator

This lesson will show you a third way to color in your drawing that some people find to be the easiest way. I'll show you how to save your file so you can bring it into Photoshop and color it there using the paint bucket and brush tools.

Adding Color: Option #3. Cheat and Go Color It In Photoshop

Learn how to save a final version for the web in Illustrator and how it can be really useful to have multiple versions of your drawing for both print and the web.

**Please note: In the newest versions of both Illustrator and Photoshop, you can find "Save For Web" under: File-> Export-> Save For Web (Legacy)

Saving a Final Web Version in Illustrator

Learn how to save your final drawing for the web in Photoshop.

**Please note: In the newest versions of both Illustrator and
Photoshop, you can find "Save For Web" under: File-> Export-> Save
For Web (Legacy)

Saving a Final Web Version in Adobe Photoshop

This quiz on Section 3 will help you review what you've learned so far.

Let's Review: Illustrator Essentials (And a Little Bit of Photoshop)
6 questions
Now it's your turn. Using a photo you took or a royalty-free image, it's time to make your first illustration.
Now It's Your Turn. Create Your Own Illustration
1 question
+ Extras, Resources, and Conclusion
11 lectures 01:22:11

In this case study lesson set to music, I'll show you how I make an illustration using the same techniques in this course, but exclusively in Adobe Photoshop. You can use the techniques from this course in any imaging program. Gimp is also a great choice and is available for free and works on a PC or Mac.

Extra: Timelapse Illustration (In Photoshop) -Review and Case Study

Don't stop at making illustrations in Illustrator. Have a look at some of my  favorite  FREE and intuitive tools that will have you making social media graphics, web sites, animations, and more. Get a taste of what  is  possible in under 10 minutes and be up and running ASAP.  [This  lecture  comes from my full course, Skyrocket Your Creativity: 7 Easy  Ways.]

Extra: 5 Easy & Free Tools That Will Free Your Creative Soul

Software programs and versions come and go. This video demonstrates the most essential tools you need, regardless of which imaging program you are using. Here are the only tools you need to know that will not change, even 20 years from now.

Extra: The Only "Evergreen" Tools You Need to Know in Any Imaging Program

In this extra bonus case study lesson, see how easy it is to display and sell your favorite finished digital paintings and illustrations by creating your own FREE online store. See how an online store can make you more discoverable, and how it can cause new fans and future freelance clients to find and contact you later.

This is a sample lesson from my full, in-depth course, Freelance Success For Artists -A Quick and Easy Guide.

Extra: Take Your Best Digital Paintings & Start Selling Them Online (Case Study)

In this extra bonus lesson, see how easy it is to link up your new online store to your website and social media pages and how they all work together to generate web traffic, make you more discoverable online, and how it can cause new fans and future freelance clients to find and contact you later.

This is a sample lesson from my full, in-depth course, Freelance Success For Artists -A Quick and Easy Guide.

Extra: Link Your Online Store to Your Website and Social Media Pages
Online Learning Podcast: Episode 121 With Kristen Palana

This interview with top Udemy instructor, John Colley is full of some of my very best secret color tricks for making an impact, getting your content noticed, and boosting engagement online.

The podcast is aimed at other Udemy instructors, but my color tips can be easily used by anyone with a website, artists/designers, or someone who uses text and images online, in presentations at work, etc.

From the program notes, we discuss pretty much in this order:
  • Introductions and a brief rundown of some of the courses I teach on Udemy and their descriptions.
  • How imaging and color psychology can impact your business
  • What color psychology can mean across borders
  • How gender can affect color choices
  • How to use color to affect the way people think about you
  • How to use color to make your courses more effective
  • How to use color in your lectures/websites/presentations to have a positive impact
  • Where you should use color in your Udemy lectures or presentations
  • Why you should avoid rainbow colors in your text
  • Why you should NEVER (almost never) use pink in an online course or work presentation.
  • Why red and orange can invigorate your audience in the right doses.
  • The importance of hierarchy in your online text
  • Why you need to avoid lack of contrast on your webpage
  • Why its easier to read black text on a white background
  • How to make course images stand out
  • How to make your images stand out to get promoted by Udemy
Extra Audio MP3: Color Tips For Your Images, Website, & Presentations

In this Case Study lecture I'll show you how I make my cartoon series, "Out There Doodles" by keeping a sketchbook full of text snippets, scribbles, doodles, and other ideas that I then further develop later on the computer.

New (2020): Keeping Sketchbooks and Journals: Enhance Your Creative Process

In this lecture I'll show how I return to past images to make them better as well as discuss ways you can keep from fussing over making one "perfect" image and driving yourself insane.

New: Utilize the Power of Time to Make Better Designs -Case Study (in Photoshop)

In this current economic funk set to stay for years thanks to the global Covid-19 Pandemic, it makes more sense than ever to not put all your eggs in one basket. Why not experiment with creating several or more income generation streams and start creatively earning money using online tools?

New: 7 Easy Ways to Turn Your Ceativity Into Cash (Pandemic Preparedness 101)

This is how to give credit when you use images that have a Creative Commons Attribution license. 

Photographer Credit for the Hamster Image

Thanks for taking this course. Here's a little more information before you go.

Thanks for Visiting My Online Classroom. Please Review and Don't Be a Stranger.
+ Bonus: Freebies, Discounts, and Special Offers
1 lecture 01:12

This lecture will point students towards other courses and books as well as show how to stay in touch.

Bonus: Freebies, Discounts, and Special Offers