Happy Clouds in Illustrator
● Learn the Mesh Tool! It can add huge benefits to your composition.
✓ Pathfinder Tool✓ Delete Anchor Point Tool ✓ Gradient Tool
✓ Shape Tools✓ Mesh Tool
Other People's Work:
Here are some examples inspired by this tutorial.
Step #1: Open your Project in Illustrator ~
✓ Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator …
… if you're working on a
Picture Perfect Portrait Project
in Illustrator, open that …
… OR if you need a background for your
Comic Book Project, open that …
… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …
✓ Make a New Layer for your clouds.
Step #2: Ellipse Tool ~
✓ Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …
✓ … and draw a perfect circle by holding Shift (⇧) while you drag.
✓ Draw a couple of circles with different sizes …
Step #4: Duplicate the Circles ~
✓ Using the Selection Tool hold the Alt (⌥)/Option key Click-and-Drag to make copies.
✓ Make enough copies to fill the outer shape of the cloud …
Step #5: Pen Tool ~
✓ Take the Pen Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (p) and create a shape that covers up all the open space.
✓ ~ OR ~ use more circles if you want to have a puffy bottom.
✓ OR ~ Do Both!…
Step #6: Pathfinder ~
✓ Select all the shapes together.
✓ Now go to: Window > Pathfinder and click “Unite” …
Step #7: Adjust the Shape ~
✓ Get the Delete Anchor Point Tool or hit keyboard shortcut (-) …
✓ … and delete some anchor points along the bottom to adjust your shape (if necessary).
✓ Also, you may want to adjust the position of the anchor point by holding …
✓ … the goal of course is to create an interesting shape.
Step #8: Compound Path ~
✓ With the cloud selected, go to: Object > Compound Path > Release.
Step #9: Mesh Tool ~
✓ Now get the Mesh Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (u) …
✓ … and try to click somewhere in your cloud.
✓ Now change your color to a lighter or darker shade …
✓ … and you've got Mesh Tool gradients on your shape.
✓ Add Mesh Tool Points with different shades all around your cloud to create variations.
Step #10: Duplicate the Cloud ~
✓ Hold and duplicate the cloud.
Step #11: Effects ~
✓ Go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow …
✓ … and also go to: Effect > Stylize > Feather.
Last Step: Save and Attach ~
✓ Save your work as - FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME.ai]
✓ Attach it!
• ALWAYS save your projects like this:
• DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.
• NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.