New Features

Wacom Tablet | Guide to Tools

Fan Art

Water Color Style Portrait

Adobe Illustrator - New Features

(Features Mentioned Below Applies to: Illustrator Illustrator CC Published: April 27, 2017)

  • Image crop
    You can now crop linked or embedded images in Illustrator. While cropping, you can work with the image using intuitive crop widget controls. The Image Crop feature works only on the currently selected image. Linked images become embedded after you crop them.
  • Jump-start your creative projects
    Now, while creating a document in Illustrator, instead of beginning with a blank canvas, you can choose from a wide variety of templates, including templates from Adobe Stock. Templates include assets and illustrations that you can build on to complete your project. When you open a template in Illustrator, you can work with it just as you would work with any other Illustrator document (.ai).
  • User experience refresh
    Illustrator now has a brand new user interface that is flat, modern, and easy on the eyes. The tools and panels have new icons. You can customize the interface to sport one of the four available color options designed for optimal user experience: Dark, Medium Dark, Medium Light,and Light.
  • Fill type objects with placeholder text
    Filling type objects with placeholder text helps you visualize the design better. Now, by default, Illustrator automatically fills new objects created using type tools with placeholder text. The placeholder text retains the font and size applied to the previous type object.
  • Import text into a path/shape
    Place text from a supported file right inside an object, such as a shape. You can place text from files in the .txt or .rtf formats, or files from word-processing applications. For example, place text from a .rtf file into a polygonal shape.
  • Live font preview
    Preview your selected type objects with different fonts in real time by simply hovering over the font name in the font list available in the Control panel and Character panel.
  • In-context alternate glyphs
    While working on a type object, you can now select a character to quickly view alternate glyphs right next to it in an in-context widget. Simply click an alternate glyph to replace the character with it.
  • Create pixel-perfect art
    Creating pixel-perfect art in Illustrator is now easier and more intuitive than ever before. Draw pixel-perfect art that looks sharp and crisp on screens at different stroke widths and alignment options. Choose to align an existing object to the pixel grid with a single click or align a new object right while drawing it. While transforming objects, you can preserve pixel-alignment without distorting the artwork. Pixel-alignment works for objects as well as individual path segments and anchor points that comprise them.
  • Zoom to selection
    Now, when you zoom in or out while working on artwork, using the Zoom tool or its keyboard shortcuts, Illustrator brings the selected art in the center of the view. If the selection has anchor points or segments, Illustrator also brings those anchor points to the center of the view when you zoom in or out.


(Features Mentioned Below Applies to: Illustrator Illustrator CC Published: June 2016)

  • Fast Export - Smartly collect Assets and export to multiple file types and scales.
  • Live Shapes Enhancements - Do more with Live Shapes
  • Start and Recent Files workspaces
    Start workspace. When you launch Illustrator or when you close all Illustrator documents, a new Start workspace is displayed. You have convenient access to your recently used files, Libraries, and starter templates with the Start workspace. If you prefer the older dialogs, you can still type Ctrl/Cmd + O to launch the Open dialog, or Ctrl/Cmd + N to launch the New Document dialog. 

    Recent Files workspace. If you have a document open, you can view the most recent files that you have worked on using the Recent Files workspace (Ctrl/Cmd + O, or Window > Workspace > Recent Files.). To enable the Recent Files workspace from the Preferences dialog, select the Show "Recent Files" Workspace When Opening A File checkbox (Illustrator > Ctrl/Cmd + K > General tab).


Using a Mobile App

Capture colors, shapes, and brushes on the go

Software Tutorial from Wacom USA


A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Adobe Illustrator Tools

by Caroline Mercurio on January 17, 2017

The Pencil Tool -

The Pencil tool has been updated, let's begin by taking a look at how to modify the Options for the Pencil tool and draw some simple shapes.


Old Panel                                                                 New Panel



The Curvature Tool -

Quickly draw smooth curves and straight lines.



Sample Fan Art


By Cristian O.



Andrew E.



Cool Man - Creating a Vector Portrait


Cool Man JPG -->   Cool Man Skintones -->




Painting a Water Color Style Portrait in Illustrator Using a Wacom Tablet


Click here to download practice file -->

Before we get prepare your Illustrator document to take advantage of the Wacom’s pen features, it is useful to know the definition of Illustrator’s options associated with the pen.

Pressure: The amount of pressure applied to tablet by the pen.

Stylus Wheel: The location of pressure on the touch strip.

Tilt: The angle the pen is tilted.

Bearing: The direction the pen is tilted.

Rotation: The orientation of the pen around its long axis.

Step 1: Preparing your Image

  • Create your Illustrator document FIRST and then use the Place (File --> Place) command to put your image in your document, rename Layer 1 Photo Reference.
  • It is best to use a black and white image, select your image and choose Edit --> Edit Colors --> Adjust Color Balance (this will give you more control when converting the image to black and white or gray-scale)
  • In the Adjust Colors dialog box change the Color Mode to Grayscale, Check Convert and Check Preview, then adjust the Black slider so you can see detail in your image without making it too washed out and then click OK.
  • Create a new layer named Outlines, you will draw the lines of your artwork on this layer.

Step 2: Setting up your Brush

  • Before you get started, deselect New Art Has basic Appearance on the Appearance panel. This will ensure that each stroke that is created is not based on the previous stroke.
  • Double-click on the Paintbrush tool; be sure to have Keep Selected and Edit Selected Paths unchecked as they can inhibit a natural drawing process. Adjust Fidelity so it is on the second line from the right, this will create a smoother line with less anchor points.
  • Go to the Brushes panel, select a 1pt stroke, and double-click the 3 pt. Oval default brush.

        In the Calligraphic Brush Options dialog box make the following changes:

  • Name: Custom Brush
  • Angle: 40%, Tilt: 53%
  • Size: 4 pt, Pressure: 4 pt
  • Click OK, and doodle in a blank area to test the settings of your brush.
  • Open the Brushes panel and double-click on the Custom Brush if you wish to make changes.
  • You are now ready to start drawing the lines of your artwork.

Step 3: Coloring the Picture

  • Create a new layer below the Outlines layer, name it Color.
  • Double-click the Pencil tool in the Toolbar and adjust the settings as follows:
  • Check Fill new pencil strokes
  • Uncheck Keep Selected
  • Uncheck Edit Selected Paths
  • Adjust Fidelity to the second line from the right
  • Set the Fill color to a skin tone color and turn off the stroke color.
  • Adjust the transparency to between 15% and 20%.
  • You are now ready to start coloring your artwork. Notice when you draw over a previously drawn shape you are creating shading. You may want to experiment with the Pencil tool just a bit before you start to color your image. You may want to draw large color shapes and then go back over with varying smaller shapes to create various levels of shading.





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