Spirals Reborn in Adobe Illustrator

Last week, I recorded another round of Deke’s Techniques for lynda.com. These videos have been enormously popular. So, naturally, I’ve been analyzing which movies inspire gobs of views and which fall relatively flat. Sure, I’m trying to read your mind for my own devious purposes. But, also, I want to make you happy. I’m a natural-born pleaser, after all.

So I probed a recent post where I asked you what you want from me. (If you haven’t seen it, take a peek and suggest a technique!) There are many interesting requests—and I am spiraling over them all—but a few caught my immediate eye. Including one that asks how to create “some stylized graphics like swirls and swooshes” in Adobe Illustrator. Which is how I came up with this:

A trendy swirl ornament rendered in Adobe Illustrator

Readily, I admit that most of the above graphic originates from a swirl ornament by Dmitry Skvorcov of the Fotolia image library. Which is perhaps my best tip: Download a vector file for a few bucks from an affordable stock agency and then edit it to suit your needs.

But, as often happens with these things, dekeOnline member motorheadzzz honed in on a detail that got me thinking: “Not so much because of their style, but just to show how they were created.” So I robbed the graphic of a couple of swirls (pictured in gray above) and will recreate them for your viewing pleasure in a future video.

This technique relies heavily on the strange-and-mercurial Spiral tool. I mention this because another member, willie371, reminded me that you can flip a spiral as you draw it by pressing the R key. I will not mention this trick in the video because I had long ago forgotten it. But, see, by simply reading this blog post, you know something that I forgot to remember last week.

Look for this video somewhere around August 3. In the meantime, so very, very much more.

Next entry:Working Luminance Magic with HDR in Photoshop CS5

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