A papercut F design

Happy Bank Holiday Monday to all in Ireland.

The red design above is one I’ve been working on in Illustrator for a little while. Adding bits, deleting bits, tweaking, smoothing and checking in outline mode. The usual. As ever, I skip the Shapebuilder tool as it gets progressively slower the more it’s used till it becomes a pain and incurs the potential ‘Illustrator program is no longer responding’ threat. The way I add while still being able to keep cut outs (see the tip of the butterfly’s wing in the letter F) is a different method altogether. I wrote a quick Illustrator tutorial to explain it here. It is never as easy as it looks to weld everything together, keep clear definition of the elements and still ensure that the papercut will come away in one piece. Luckily, it cut perfectly, all in one piece as you can see in the top photo. Happy head.

Map Art to a 3D Object in Illustrator

Today I wrote a tutorial on how to create a 3D object in Illustrator and map some art work onto it to produce a sliced orb effect. It’s pretty nifty and easy to do. If you’d like to have a go, the tutorial is here:

Map Art to a 3D Object

The one is the image above was made slightly differently to the one in the tutorial – I created about 15 rectangles, increased the Shear value to 20º and drew a wrapping rectangle that  caught the top of the sheared rectangles on the right and took it down so that it ‘trapped’ whole rectangles instead of catching chopped off ends.

It rendered better. The principles are the same so please don’t be deterred.

Went for a nice drive to Newry at the weekend.  Takes me about an hour and a half with two tolls each way. Probably costs in the region of €20 all told. It’s worth it for some lovely views and driving over the Boyne bridge. And it’s also worth it because I do the best part of my monthly shop there. Newry is just over the border so is in the UK where it’s cheaper to shop even when the bank converts the cost to euro.

I buy a month’s worth of cat food, cat biscuits and little fishy stick things – that alone saves me just over €20. I buy lots of other household foods and things that I’d buy in the ROI anyway then go off round the big stores for clothes and shoes and the usual temptations.

Well, actually, I do it the other way round because I buy frozen foods from Sainsburys as well, including their fabulous and  gorgeous Quinoa burgers. They are delicious! Tasty and totally scrummy. They also had a new shape of Sainsbury’s own ‘Weetabix’ -round ones! Very cool – see the picture. Had to buy them. And Sainsbury stocks Billingtons Molasses Sugar! I could go on and on… red onion marmalade (chutney), foil lined with parchment, faggots, pork pies… glory fest. Am gloaty head just thinking about it all.

It may sound a bit extravagant but when I shop in Dublin petrol costs about €10. Parking – Jervis Centre – is €6 for 2 hours but as I generally stay longer than that the parking goes to €12, but is then for the day.

Anyway, nearly time for tea and that kitchen has some ciabatta packaging and a few other wrappings enlivening a dull worktop that needs seeing to.

Hope you enjoy the tutorial.

Fill a letterform with Text (Illustrator Tutorial)

There are times that a letterform itself makes for a perfect text container. The letter ‘g’ I’ve used here really was really perfect without text but the shape was too divine to ignore it. The font family (Pistilli)  it came from was designed by Claude Pelletier and is free from the usual free font websites. Thank you so much for sharing, Claude.

Filling a letterform with text in Illustrator is easy enough when there are no inner shapes to deal with, eg, the letter ‘T’. Then simply go to Type>Create Outlines and use the Area Type tool to type or paste some text into the outline of the letter.

Things get a little peskier when there are inny-bits! It’s not difficult though but you have to deal with compound paths and text wrapping – and creating a separate outline to finish it off.

I’ve written an Illustrator tutorial in lots of baby steps with screen grabs to help even the most inexperienced Illustrator user – download the Text In Shape tutorial here:

Text in Shape Illustrator tutorial.

I hope it comes in useful for you.

Montage Mask Magic
















Do you find the prospect of using even simple masks in Photoshop daunting? They’re easier than you think and are very useful. Add another skill to your Photoshop / Illustrator bag and follow this free tutorial here:

Filled frame clipping mask

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