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By James Fritz | Friday, December 6, 2013

Creating a light bulb in Photoshop: Pixel Playground

Create a lightbulb in Photoshop

Explore Pixel Playground at lynda.com.

This week Bert has the bright idea to demonstrate how to create a lightbulb. He begins by creating the vector paths for the base of the bulb and then paints in the various sides to create a sense of depth. After painting in the shadows, he draws the paths for the bulb itself including the filament. From there he creates a layer for the outside of the bulb and changes its properties to give it depth, but maintain its transparency. Finally he completes the design with a few outer glows to illuminate the bulb.

By James Fritz | Friday, October 25, 2013

Creating a golden medallion, part 1: Pixel Playground

Creating a shiny gold boat medallion- part 1

Explore Pixel Playground at lynda.com.

This week Bert starts off by drawing some simple shapes for the frame of the medallion, then jumps in to demonstrate how you can trace a reference image even if it is low resolution. From there he brings the paths into the frame and adds a stroke to finish this stage of the project. Join us next week for part 2!

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Drawing the Pen tool icon in Illustrator: Deke's Techniques

Draw the pen tool–without the pen tool.

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

This is week two of technical drawing in Deke’s Techniques, and in this tutorial Deke shows you how to draw the Pen tool icon in Illustrator—without using the Pen tool. In fact, in this technique, he asks you to use the Line Segment tool and some shapes. Then you’ll learn how to fuse the paths together and rotate the illustration. It’s a great exercise in schematic drawing.

By James Fritz | Friday, August 9, 2013

Create a realistic dragon tattoo in Photoshop: Pixel Playground

This week’s technique will teach you how to create dragon scales for a tattoo in Adobe Photoshop.

Create realistic dragon scales in Photoshop

Explore Pixel Playground at lynda.com.

Creating a complex illustration can be daunting, but by breaking the design into smaller pieces you can learn how to build complex designs over time. This week Bert shows us how to enhance a dragon tattoo illustration by concentrating on just the scales.

By James Fritz | Friday, July 26, 2013

Create a military dog tag in Photoshop: Pixel Playground

This week’s technique shows how to create a military-style dog tag by combining vector shapes and layer effects in Adobe Photoshop.

Create a military-style dog tag in Adobe Photoshop.

Bert creates the base for the tag with a rounded rectangle and a simple bevel. Next, he adds some type and applies another effect to create the illusion of it being stamped into the metal. Finally, with a custom brush and a little masking, a chain is made to complete the project.

Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

Interested in more?

Become a lynda.com member • See the entire Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy Series

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Anyone Can Draw!

Drawing Vector Graphics

Many believe that drawing is a skill you’re born with: If you weren’t lucky enough to get that gene, you’re destined to draw stick figures. Not true! Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn. It’s like skiing or writing or cooking; the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Walt Stanchfield, an American animator, once said, “We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out, the better.” The fastest way to do this is to embed drawing into your daily routine. In Drawing Vector Graphics, author and illustrative designer Von Glitschka shares his thoughts on how to make this happen.

By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Deke's Techniques: Creating Spirograph-style art in Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke McClelland uses Adobe Illustrator to recreate the classic Spirograph toy effect. Rather than watching this work take shape with a pen stuck into a plastic gear, Deke shows you how to grow your Spirograph shape with the simple application of dynamic transformations viewable in the Illustrator Appearance panel. In fact, all you have to do for this effect is draw one single circle in Illustrator, then duplicate and transform your circle’s stroke to create the hypotrochoidic shape. (Deke’s Techniques, bringing you great graphic techniques and free vocabulary expander words!)

As you can see in the video above, Deke begins this technique by selecting the central circle in a simple circular logo design:

Simple circular logo design

By simply selecting that circle, using the Transform command to make the circle an ellipse, and duplicating the ellipse over and over with variations, a familiar Spirograph pattern begins to quickly take shape. You can see from my Appearance panel screen capture below that this effect is the result of multiple transformations.

Adobe Illustrator Appearance panel showing many transformations of an ellipse to create a spirograph

In the end, the skeletal logo we started with becomes the intricate, refined logo we see below, complete with outer circle, thin edge around the inner circle, and intertwining ellipses in the center created by transforming the original outer circle.

Final project with spirograph-style art created inside the inner circle of the original logo

Even if you’re new to Illustrator and not particularly gifted at drawing, you can achieve this technique with some concentration and Deke’s advice. (And if you are new to Illustrator, this is also a good lesson on how to use the Transform effect.)

For members of lynda.com, Deke also has an exclusive movie in our library this week, called Tracing scalloped gear teeth around a circle, in which he dynamically adds gear-like teeth to the outer circle of our example logo using a similar type of dynamic Illustrator approach.

Deke's spirograph-style logo with gear teeth added on the outer rim using Adobe Illustrator

Deke will be back with another free technique next week.

Interested in more? • The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on lynda.com• All Illustrator courses on lynda.com • All courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:• Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals• Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals• Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials

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