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This installment of Illustrator Insider Training shows an expert's approach to color choice and control in Illustrator. Mordy Golding guides experienced designers and artists through what he sees are the three stages of applying color to artwork: creation, inspiration, and editing. The course also shows how to build art in a way that allows artists to make changes quickly and how to take advantage of the newer features that have been added to Illustrator over the recent versions.
So we know about this really great web service called Kuler; it's free and it's provided by Adobe, and it allows us to derive inspiration around the use of color. However, what if I am inside of Illustrator and I want to derive inspiration around colors based on the colors that I am actually using inside of my illustration? Let's close Kuler for a moment here. In fact, the only reason why I showed you Kuler to begin with is because the technology that drives Kuler from the back-end is something that actually comes directly from Illustrator itself. The same ability for Kuler to generate color themes by choosing one color already exists inside of Illustrator using something called the Color Guide.
I can actually see the Color Guide right here, but I can also access it by going to the Window menu and choosing Color Guide. For this movie, I am actually going to drag it out onto the screen over here so we can pay a little bit more closer attention to it. The job of the Color Guide panel is to make suggestions based on color harmonies. For example, if I choose any color now in my Swatches panel, each time that I click on a swatch, we could think of that as my base color. Again, similar to what we saw inside of Kuler, and the Color Guide will now make recommendations of other colors that work well along with the color that I am choosing or my base color.
Now, the way that you use the Color Guide is really you should be choosing a color harmony or a color rule first. Remember, when we were using Kuler, we had the ability to choose between six different color rules. Things like Analogous or Monochromatic, but if you take a look over here at the Color Guide, I am going to click on this little triangle right here, I now see that Illustrator offers 23 different color rules or harmonies that I can work with. So, for example, let's go ahead and choose Monochromatic. Now, as I choose other colors inside my Swatches panel, Color Guide will now recommend other Monochromatic variations of that color.
If I choose a different color rule or harmony, for example, Left Complement, I'll see different colors that are being suggested to me as I change my base color. If I like any of these colors, I can click on them. I can also use the Command key, or if you are on Windows that would be the Ctrl key, to select multiple swatches here and instantly turn them into a group which is added to my Swatches panel. So if you are looking for color inspiration directly here inside of Illustrator, you don't have to go to Kuler at all; you can actually use Illustrator's Color Guide panel to find colors to use in your illustrations.
There is a lot more to the Color Guide itself, but in order to really take advantage of all the power that it offers we have to learn a little bit more about what makes the Color Guide work, and that's something that we're going to cover in the next movie.
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