- Vector art graphics are based on points that are connected by lines and then formed into shapes and pictures. Fills can be added to the shape. The fills can be solid colors, gradient colors, textures or patterns. Line with can vary from no line to very thick lines. Layering of the elements as one builds the graphic allows for more detail.
- Vector art file extensions are .ai for Adobe Illustrator, .wmf for Microsoft products, .cdr for CorelDraw. The artwork when saves as an .eps extension. Encapsulated PostScript, is an universal extension that can be edited in Illustrator and CorelDraw and placed into most other layout programs like InDesign, Pagemaker and Publisher.
- To create a piece of vector art, place a scanned sketch or photograph of the object you want to create. Lock it in place. In Illustrator you select the Object Menu, then select Lock. This will keep your reference artwork in place and won't allow you to select it as you work on your drawing.
- Starting with objects in the back trace the shape going point to point. Use the pen tool. When a line is curved select the convert anchor point tool in the pen tool. This allows you to manipulate the point. Then using the direct selection tool, move and bend the line between points to create the curved line you need. Assign your finished shape color and or fill as needed. Move on to the next shape. If you desire, lock the finished shape so you can work freely on the next.
- If you have a repeated shape like a leaf, you can copy and paste the object multiple times. Using the selection tool, you can move or rotate the object. To rotate the object, move the selection tool to the corner of the bounding box until a double-ended arrow appears. Pull the object arrow in the desired direction and rotate the object.
There are many tools and techniques to learn with these powerful drawing programs. Play around and read the how-to instructions in the help menu to discover more than the basic ones described here.