Join Justin Seeley for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding fills and strokes, part of Illustrator CS6 Essential Training.
- View Offline
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.
- Understanding vector graphics
- Creating and setting up files for print or web destinations
- Selecting and transforming objects on the page
- Creating spot colors
- Applying fills, strokes, and gradients to artwork
- Adjusting appearances and effects
- Working with anchor points and paths
- Drawing with the Pen tool
- Creating text
- Managing layers
- Creating and using symbols
- Printing, saving, and exporting artwork