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Understanding fills and strokes

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Understanding fills and strokes

In this movie we will be discussing one of the basic pieces of any type of artwork that you create inside of Illustrator. You've actually seen me do this a few different times if you have been watching the entire course. But in this movie I am actually going to dive-in and show you exactly what it means and how it works to utilize a fill versus a stroke. So as you can see, I have got some artwork out here on my artboard and it looks rather complex. It's got some sketchy looking strokes around the outside, the letters also have some hand-drawn aspects to them, and the gradient background actually fades from one color to the other.

Understanding fills and strokes

In this movie we will be discussing one of the basic pieces of any type of artwork that you create inside of Illustrator. You've actually seen me do this a few different times if you have been watching the entire course. But in this movie I am actually going to dive-in and show you exactly what it means and how it works to utilize a fill versus a stroke. So as you can see, I have got some artwork out here on my artboard and it looks rather complex. It's got some sketchy looking strokes around the outside, the letters also have some hand-drawn aspects to them, and the gradient background actually fades from one color to the other.

This may look complicated in a way, but at its heart it's nothing but several different paths with various fills and strokes applied to them. If I select everything on my artboard by using Command+A or Ctrl+A on my keyboard, and then I enter an outline mode with Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, you'll see that I basically have a big rectangle around the outside. I have the two letters, the R and the A, and then the Roux Academy Art Media and Design text right there on the right. There is nothing really fancy about it, it's just basic paths. But I have utilized fills and strokes in order to make that happen.

So let's go ahead now and take a look at the differences between a fill and a stroke. I'll turn off Outline Mode by using Command+Y or Ctrl+Y again on my keyboard and I will click away to deselect everything, and then I will click right here to select just the letters. Once you have an object selected on screen you'll be able to see both the fill color and the stroke color in various different places. The fill color refers to the area inside the path, it's actually filled with a specific color. In this case the R and the A are both filled with white.

How do I know that? I can look over here in my Tools panel and I can see right here that this solid block is white. The solid block over here on the left is always referring to the fill color. You'll notice when I hover over it, it actually says Fill. This color, the orange color is the stroke color. When I hover over it, it says Stroke, and I can see there that it's set to an orange color. You can also see these up in the Control panel, here is the fill and here is the stroke. Any time that you want to work on these independently from each other you can just come up here, and let's say you wanted to change the fill from white to black.

Just click and change the color. If you want to change the stroke color, come here and pick a different stroke. Once you're finished, click away and it will close the box. You can actually add multiple fills and multiple strokes to your objects inside of Illustrator, and I'll show you how to do that when we learn about the Appearance panel later on in this course. For now though, let's just focus on how I created the rest of this artwork. I will undo these changes to get back to normal, and let's click on the background.

Once I click in the background, you'll notice that over here in the Tools panel the colors change. The fill color now has this gradient swatch showing that my gradient goes from light purple to dark purple, and then again I am using that same stroke color for this as well. If you wanted to make a change from this region here, all you would have to do is double-click, and you can go in and make a change to set it or you could switch over to the stroke color, double- click, and make a change to that as well. You can also simply pick fills and strokes from the Swatches panel as well.

If I bring out the Swatches panel, you will see there is no real control for which one you're working on. So what you have to do is set which one you are working on over here in the Tools panel. So right now I'm currently working on the fill. So if I happen to make a change, like clicking this blue for instance, it would automatically make the background blue. I can use Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo that. If I make the stroke active, I can then change the stroke color simply by clicking a color in the Swatches panel.

In addition to the regular fills and strokes, you can also do things like adding gradients on strokes as well as filling objects with patterns, gradients, and other types of effects. Throughout this chapter we will discuss the various types of fills and strokes that you're able to apply to your various objects inside of Adobe Illustrator. And hopefully by then you will have a better understanding of what you can do and you can really start to express yourself even more creatively by utilizing all of the options available to you.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 70872 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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