Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for The Taffetas Project

Hello Everyone,

I figured for those of you who have missed it, or those of you who need some catching up, to do we have decided to put down some hot keys and some tips on how to set up illustrator, as well as the files for the tutorial I gave on February the 5th.

First thing first, I want to give thanks to Whitney Ponikvar for these wonderful shoe designs. The completed products will be placed on a post to see at a later date.

Feel free to download this file and practice for yourself.

The first is the line work used to create each shoe, the second are color samples. Feel free to sample the colors, or create your own scheme.

Setting up Illustrator
(for those who might have forgotten)

When you open up illustrator, go to File>New, and for the SIZE menu, select “letter” from the drop down menu. Click Okay and you should have your artboard up and ready to work on.

To place an image file into illustrator to work off of, go to File>Place and select the file you want to import into Illustrator (in this tutorial’s case, it is the shoe line art file). The file will then show up in the middle of your document.

Resize the placed image as necessary. To keep proportions, hold down the shift key as you resize it from any of the corners.

On your tool panel, click the layers panel- this is the button that has a black diamond and a white diamond on top of each other (like two papers stacking).

Make a new layer by clicking NEW LAYER, it is the button that looks like a paper being turned over, right next to the trash can. You will get a new layer over the layer that has your picture in it.

Now, you want to lock the layer with your reference image. What locking means is, you will make it so that it will be un-editable and movable as you work on top of it. You can lock it by clicking the empty square next to the layer you want to lock, the one next to the eyeball, on your layers panel. (See image above.There's a little lock on one of the layers....that's where you click)

Now you have your new layer, this is your work layer. This is the layer you’ll be using from now on to complete a single shoe (each shoe gets a new layer). The reason you do this is because you can go ahead and place all your work either behind or in front of the picture image, in order to work more efficiently.

Now start working, press the A key for the arrow tool and then the P key for the pen tool on the keyboard. What this does is it makes it so that when you press command, you can select points rather than move the entire object. This helps streamline the process and cut down on time.

The rest of the images have layer 2 above the picture layer (Layer 1) so that I can show you what's going on, but if the layer 2 is below, like in the image above, you can create shapes without having to adjust for color and what not (It's easier this way, trust me). Just be sure to toggle the 1st layer so you can see what's going on below once in a while. You can toggle it to invisible by clicking the little eye on the left side of the layers panel.

Now you’re ready to begin working. Remember to keep your points to a minimum, and follow the line. If you need to place the point somewhere else press and hold the Ctrl button (Command on a Mac) while utilizing the pen (P) button. If you need to adjust the curve of a line between 2 points, press and hold the Alt button, and adjust the handles coming out from the points.

Also think not in line but in shapes. You are basically taking one thing and putting something on top. Try to imagine this is like stacking papers, some parts need to cover others so that there are no tiny white gaps. That means if one shape rides along the side of another in the sketch, the one that will be above in the layers panel can be used to create that line between them. That way on the shape below, you don't have to follow the guides exactly, and thus create a better silhouette.

Now place the colored image in your file. (You know how to do that via earlier in the tutorial) and begin selecting your colors. Just click on your sections using the move tool (V on the keyboard), then using your eyedropper (press i) select a color. (you can also use the drop down menu in the corner or manually select a color, it doesn't matter,

Soon things will start coming together.

This is one when it is completed. Good luck colorists, and I will be placing more tutorials for you as time goes on, but to gain the real benefits from these teachings, it helps a great deal to come to the tutorials in person.

But for now, keep up the good work, and email me the finish product so that we can place them here,
Yesenia & Tracy

(Here are some shortcuts to help you streamline the process)

A = arrow
P= pen
(while using the pen, ctrl=arrow, and alt=handlebar control. You will use these constantly, they are important)

Ctrl+Z = undo
Ctrl+shift+Z = redo

(Ctrl = Command on the Mac)


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