Design amazing mosaic effects in Illustrator and Photoshop

This tutorial shows how to create a cool look using Illustrator’s Symbols and Global Colors.


05. Launch Illustrator and open the Preferences panel (Illustrator > Preferences). Set the General Units to pixels, then under Grids & Guides, set a gridline every 12 pixels, with a subdivision of 1. Also enable Snap To Grid in the View menu. Now ensure that the rules are visible (R), then zoom in and drag and snap the rule origin point to the top right of the artboard. Next, create a new landscape RGB document measuring 888-x-650 pixels and go File > Place to place your filtered image. Snap it centrally and lock the layer.


06. Clear your existing swatches by using the fly-out menu and choosing Select All Unused, then drag them to the bin icon. Now load your exchange swatches by selecting Open Swatch Library, choosing Other Library, then navigate to their location. Shift + click the top and bottom thumbnail in the new palette and use the fly-out menu to add them to your Swatches. Your swatches are now Global — this gives you an enhanced workflow.


07. Temporarily disable the visibility of the placed image, then add a new layer to make your shapes. Use the Rectangle and Rounded Rectangle tools to draw a selection of square abstract designs. Use your swatches to add colour, remembering that you need some for the background, hair and face. Also, create a series of Radial Gradients and apply them to other shapes. Select each shape in turn and add them to the Symbol library by clicking on the Place Instance icon in the Symbols palette.

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Mark Mayers

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