Zoom In

All of our initial preferences are designed to gain more control over what you are clicking on. The more you can zoom in and see your anchors and handles the better.

Smart Guides

Under VIEW make sure you have your smart guides turned on. Under your PREFERENCES (smart guides) you should definitely have your anchor/ path labels selected.

Anchor and Handle Size

In your (general) PREFERENCES there is a setting which can enlarge your anchor points and handles to make them easier for you to see before clicking.

Direct Selection Tool

The white arrow can grab and adjust the anchors, handles, and paths. All of the other settings are designed to let you know what you are selecting before you click and drag.

Adding on Line Variation using Stroke Panel & Width Profiles

You will have more control over the placement and width of each of your lines using the Variable Width Profiles. The process will be a combination of using the width presets to get down the initial thickness and stroke width within the Stroke Panel. The second step will be modifying the placement of the variation using the Width Tool. The trade off of this process rather than using the Cartoon Brush files will be more control but will be a little more time consuming.

Stroke Panel

1. Stroke Panel has quite a few features that should utilized for your designs and it is all in one place. You can control the stroke width, placement, and corners from within the panel. It is also available in the control panel on the top.

Variable Width Profile

2. Most of the Brush Profiles you will be looking for are already in the presets. Look at the ends of each stroke and determine if it is going to be tapered or thick. The thin ends will typically be too thin and have to be adjusted using the width tool. If you create a preset you like, you can save the profile at the bottom of the width profile menu in the control panel.

Width Tool

3. My first stop would be to see if there is a Variable Width Profile preset that will get you close to your end result. You won’t have to modify the entire stroke including the ends. Hover your cursor over the stroke and look for the width points already created or look for the peak and valleys to create your own. Slowly drag out or in using the tool.

Cartoon Brushes

4. Our Cartoon Brushes are built in the same way as using the Variable Width Profiles and the Width Tool. They have already been bumped up from stroke width and the most common presets we use. They are also a good quick alternative to getting down your line variation.

Opening Color Swatches

Open the Swatch Window. On the bottom left hand corner you will see the Open Swatch Libraries icon. At the bottom of the drop-down menu you will see Open Other Library. Go to our resource folder in the Color Palettes folder to Open ASE files. The ASE files have been created to make your life easier while going through the Challenge Series. Once you open the Library- click on the folder icon next to the swatches to move them from the library to the swatches.

Live Paint

One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through Live Paint. Live Paint is a part of the Shape Builder Tools which builds the shapes in the exact shape you need it without having to use pathfinder. Once you are in Live Paint just point and click to create new shapes. Remember to Expand and Ungroup before moving to the next steps.

Gradient Panel

Select each color using the Magic Wand Tool (Adjust to Tolerance 5) each color. Add on a Radial Gradient to the frosting layers (3). Use the lightest and Darkest Color Swatch from the color set of 3. Adjust the slider to control where the values hit. Troubleshooting: Double check your fill is in front and not your stroke.

Gradient Tool

You can use the Gradient Tool to gain some control over where the gradient hits on your shapes. The tool will control the same features that are in the panel. I use the tool when I don’t want to guess and check angle degrees or aspect ratio percentages.

More Challenge Series Tutorials

Testimonials

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your tutorials. It’s one think to draw on paper, yet another to create artwork directly in Illustrator and yet again a completely different game to take hand drawn work into Illustrator. You’ve managed to make this process make sense and again, I thank you for your video tutorials, they’ve been a real godsend.jeremy rozen
First time dive into Illustrator. This was great, learned a ton! ThanksPhilippe Lachenal
Top notch video as usual man. Cheers!Made by Mighty
awesome tutorial.I have finally completed my first illustrator project!!!Thank you.Pirata Loco
I appreciate your videos. I have been an illustrator user for years and have my own ways of doing things. It’s great to see other ways of using tools and learning tricks I didn’t know were available! It’s also good to see you doing the same thing as me in other instances, confirming I’m on the right track!Andy Zenz
THANK YOU THIS IS MY FIRST DRAW THANK YOU FOR EXPLANING VERY WELL :DJonathan Juarez
Awesome tutorial! I don’t think I’ve picked up something so easily from someone who knows what they are doing. I managed to draw my first vector art and it was a joy! Great work keep it up!blitz145
Very clear and easy tutorial, indeed. Thank you so much! I’ve learned a lot through this clip.Hailie Burgess
thanks dude your tutorials really helped a beginner like me, keep up the awesome work!!!Giovani Linton
Love your video thanks so much. you blow Lynda.com out of the water!!!!Steve Yensel
A hero amongst artists 🙂 perfect. Thank you!Payton Pellitteri
Brilliant video. So much great info packed in here. I’m just getting started drawing cartoons with my Wacom tablet, and this was a huge help. Thumbs up and thanks!Dorian Staten
Wow Thanks Jason…was really struggling with making images with basic shapes. Your tutorial is helping me out!!Kishor Rajani
thanks a lot you are really one of my favorites, I like the steps you give us, and I’m so thankful for that effort you do for helping us :)Wessam Lotfi
Thank you so much man, I loved the way you explain this, I spent days looking for a good tutorial vid, thanks a lot, gonna keep watching your videos!!!Karel Marccenaro
Wow and wow. Your tutorials are just fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing these. I had always wondered how someone got such lovely inked lines for a drawing in illustrator. Keep up the great workJason Crawford
These tutorials are amazing. Just started using illustrator and really glad I found your channel. The only videos that explain everything step by stepAida Stan
Jason, thank you for the amazing tutorials. Very elegant and rational art style and workflow! I’ll probably go and watch every single tutorial.

Also thank you for sharing your brushes and sketches. Very useful resources!Riste Sekuloski

keep it buddy, u make good tutorial for a beginner like me. so pls. make more of it. thks its so helpfullDORMAN
You are definitely one of the best teachers I’ve found dealing with start to finish creative process. Great work!!!Jasen Fisher
Thank you loads! Compared to other tutorials, yours are just really well-explained and easy-to-follow. Can totally see that you’ve got a passion for what you’re doing and that’s just wonderful! 🙂 Keep it up, you’re doing an amazing job. Yulia Kachurova