This is our final collection about Vector Art tutorials, which covers 14 of the most useful guides for creating special effects in Illustrator. Of course, there are many tricks and tools to learn about before you can master the effects part, but this list is definitely a good start.
However, this part needs a little pre-knowledge so feel free to look through our previous two collections. The first one was about basic skills and tricks in Adobe Illustrator and face designs. We recommend that one for those who have just began working with the software. It’s a valuable source for getting familiar with the basic terms and routines.
The second list was a more advanced one about creating landscapes, environments and even characters. By completing the exercises, you can successfully create pretty much any basic photograph transformation, cartoon characters or simple landscapes. But from then on, it’s just a matter of practice.
Also Read: 11 Awesome Vector Art Tutorials
1. Electric Text Effect
Create an electric text effect by following this fairly simple, step-by-step guide. You’ll learn how to set up a grid, some blending techniques and plenty of professional advice. These might be useful if you want to create any effects like this one in the future. You can also save your graphic styles to be able to use them in other projects, as shown in the tutorial.
2. Layering up Vectors for Unique Effects
This tutorial is published by Tom Mac, and it takes 3-6 hours to fully complete, according to him. Although the portrait as an idea is considerably old, you can always grab people’s attention with learning new styles and techniques. Tom will show you what it takes to design an unusual, multi-layered portrait with drip effects.
He also included some basic practices for the Pen tool, the color palette and a few practical layering techniques to prepare the production of an original portrait. As we said before, you just need a little practice after this and the more complex imagery will be quite straightforward for you.
3. How to Create Flat Oriental Patterns
Yulia Sokolova made a step-by-step guide where she demonstrates how to make simple and beautiful oriental patterns. She selected various objects originating from the Asian culture and combined them to desing unique patterns for the sake of this tutorial.
You will only use basic shapes during these steps, but the end result is something really impressive and artistic. And this is only the beginning, because if you master this style, you will be able to create specific stuff like wallpapers, website backgrounds, wrapping paper, you name it. It’s also a great way to express your creativity.
4. Vintage Vector Textures
Freelance illustrator Ben Steers published a very good tutorial explaining a bunch of insider tricks and tips on how to achieve a retro look in your design. Since vintage and retro looks became popular again, it’s time to practice a little bit with the Illustrator and start creating some unique designs in this subject.
By following these instructions, you can bring back the style that was so common back in the fifties and sixties. The support files for the topic are also downloadable so don’t forget to get those before you start.
5. Creating Sketchy-Style Vectors
Many designs and portraits are based on a kind of sketchy or hand-drawn feel. It’s the exact opposite of being clean and precise and adapting to this style is not that hard of a task after all. What you need to do is to create your own brushes and work with the Live Trace and Live Paint in Adobe Illustrator. The rest is all explained in the guide itself but don’t worry, it’s quite a short one.
6. Vector Glitter Text Effect Tutorial
You can brighten up your typography with this easy-to-follow tutorial by Diana Toma. It’s basically a result of three effects, including Stained Glass, Note Paper and Tom Edges. The trick is to use Live Trace to convert the resulting glittery image into a vector. This technique can also be used to create glittery backgrounds for your artworks or to fill various objects and shapes.
Diana is a passionate vector artist who enjoys sharing her skills with you. Check out her most recent designs on EnvatoTuts+ if you need and inspiration.
7. How to Create Vector Halftone Effects
There is an awesome technique for producing a monochromic image by only using dots of various sizes. You can scale the dots down as much as you want because they won’t show any pixelation. Although this is one of the more advanced methods, Chris McVeigh can show you the whole procedure in a fairly short, four-step tutorial.
The key factor of this process is using halftones because usually when you design an object or portrait with this particular technique, you only need a limited number of colors. Otherwise the artwork would be too flat and simple.
8. Try to Create a Retro Batman Logo
If you like DC’s Batman, this is going to be a great tutorial for you. With a few simple shapes, the Batman logo can be easily designed in the Adobe Illustrator. The Shape Builder Tool and the Ellipse Tool are the main functions required to design such a smooth logo. Mary Winkler will show you how to play with the positive and negative shapes during this guide.
9. How to Convert Vector Images Into Bitmap?
This is a demonstration by Tutor4u which shows you how to use the Trace Bitmap function in Inkscape. In the video they are converting three bitmap images with Inkscape version 0.48. The demonstration itself lasts almost 13 minutes and everything is explained in great detail while guiding you through the workflow. The video received many likes and they also have plenty of subscribers, so they did a pretty good job so far.
10. Vector Image Slider in Illustrator
It’s time to take a brief insight into website design and learn a handful of tricks in portfolio design. This is an interesting subject because we are talking about a widely used element among websites. We are going to touch on an essential part of portfolios, which is the image slider.
Andrei Marius published an awesome tutorial for this particular topic, which is available on EnvatoTuts+. After many steps, the end result is an outstanding and easily adjustable image slider. If you change the colors, it can be used on mostly any website.
11. How to Vector Trace a Photo
This tutorial is brought to you by N.design studio and they will show you what it takes to draw and trace people from any photo. The main idea is that realistic illustrations can be created smoothly by using gradient fill. And that’s all; you don’t even need to use Gradient Mesh.
Just download the required source file first and in just a few steps, you’ll be able to create vector traced images out of any photo. It won’t even consume much of your time since it’s one of the simplest techniques.
12. Animating Your Vector Artwork
With the combination of Adobe Illustrator and Flash, your vector illustrations can be turned into animations. These can be used as intros or showcases for various websites. The tutorial itself can be downloaded in a pdf format and it’s only six pages.
Each step demonstrates the transformation pretty well all the way from static design to the animated version. The provider of this guide was Clusta who has many years of experience by working for companies like Orange, Sony, BBC and many more.
13. Polishing Techniques in Vector Art
Vector polishing is an important part of vector design if you want to add depth, contrast and texture to your work or to make it more colourful. You need to create your design in Illustrator first, and then export it to Photoshop to polish it. This guide will show you 9 polishing techniques which can highly increase your quality of artwork in the future.
Polishing is needed primarily because as a downside of vector artworks, they are very dull and flat most of the time, and they also lack some visual effects to be lively. You can offset these negative aspects by using the techniques as shown in the article.
14. A Textured Collage With Vector Imagery and Papercraft Photography
Ciara Phelan is a freelance illustrator who works in Open Studio, London. She made a great tutorial about mixing papercraft photography with vector imagery, resulting in a cool textured collage. There are many design ideas based on collage maker tools which are quite popular nowadays, so it’s surely a clever idea to practice them a little bit.
First you will try out a few basic masking and layering techniques, and then you’ll mix it with paper craft elements. By following the steps, you will montage those two together to create a very appealing collage. Some widely known Photoshop tools are also used throughout the process which can be used in any of your future projects. This particular project introduces you to an interesting album design, but these methods can be used mostly for anything else.
If you enjoy this collection of tutorials please leave a comment below and let us know what other tutorials you would like to see on our website. Also check out our other tutorial collections if you are interested.
Also, if you find other vector art tutorials that you think it might be worth sharing with others, please let us know, and we will include it on our page or in an upcoming article.