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Library: Creative Design

 

Speed drawing time with the Spray Symbol and Warp tools

Added on Tuesday 4th of August 2009 09:23 am EST

 
Application > Adobe Illustrator CS/CS2
Operating Systems > Macintosh, Microsoft Windows
 

 

Except for the simplest of drawings, most artwork employs a large number of drawing techniques. One such technique is the repetition of a basic shape to create such things as leaves, waves, or grass. But though the shape may appear to be simply copied and pasted many times, the size, orientation, and shape of each varies slightly, which adds interest and a sense of realism to the composition, as shown in Figure A. One way to create this effect is to draw each individual shape separately, but this can take an enormous amount of time. A better way is to first utilize the Spray Symbol tool and then quickly edit with the Warp tool. We'll show how you easy it is when you use our technique.



Get back to basics
One basic shape that has an incredible range of size, hue, and tint is grass. It's complex patterns make it a perfect basis for our demonstration. To help you easily follow along with our example, download the blade.ai file from the address given at the beginning of this article:
1. Launch Illustrator and open the blade.ai file.
2. Choose the Selection tool from the Toolbox and select the triangular shape, as Figure B shows. Although a blade of grass can get very complicated, we'll keep it as basic as possible by reducing it to a single triangle.

3. Choose the Swatches palette and click the Gradient Swatches button located at the bottom of the palette.
4. Select the Black, White gradient swatch. Then, click the New Swatch button located at the bottom of the palette, and then select the Gradient pale...