How to enhance spirals in Illustrator tutorial

Learn how to add to and enhance spirals paths in Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS56 etc using a variety of techniques such as width profiles and blobs.

Enhance spirals in Illustrator

how to enhance spirals in Illustrator tutorial
  1. Line segment tool in toolbar of Illustrator

  2. Select the spiral tool in same group

  3. Set the fill and stroke

  4. Set spiral color

  5. Apply spiral from origin point

  6. Stroke options set dash style to ON to enhance the spiral

  7. Set dash style round cap and 5pt and 2 / 10 dash and gap


OK, the standard generated path is pretty good to begin with but you can enhance it in many ways using brushes, strokes, width profiles, styles, add blobs etc


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OK, once you have the basic path it has a stroke setting and that is about it and it is made up of as number of points. You can add to it in a number of ways and this is only a few options.


dashesYou can add a round cap to the selected path as well as dash options via the stroke options dropdown - all kinds of unique dots and dash designs can then be added to the artworks


width profileSelect the path and then go to the stroke and set to say 60pt and set to black and then go to the width profile dropdown. The number of width profiles is fairly minimal and I would love to see more added in future versions. There is an add width profile but all the profiles I have added (and I have added many over the years) never seem to remain and the list goes back to the default set.


Anyway, you can add any of the existing profiles and that will add a lot more style to the path in seconds. You can also manipulate the profile by using the width tool and the tool can change the width at any point along the path and not just at anchor points.


You can make thin as well as thick widths but they are all symmetric. It is a pity that the widths cannot be split so the right side is a different width to the left. You can click the 'width bar' as well as the point and drag that back and forth along the path to change the size left and right or as it lists it, side 1 and side 2.


brushesYou can create all kinds of weird and wonderful designs by adding a stroke width along with selecting brush definitions.


As you can add all kinds of art to the brushes panel, those in turn can be used with the curled design to create abstract artworks, mottled designs and more


As you can add multiple strokes and therefore multiple brushes to those strokes, the curled design can take countless forms simply by changing the presets in the appearance and brush panel


redYou can combine width profiles and additional strokes to the path by using the appearance panel (found in the window menu). You can add additional fills but they are generally of no use. You can also use effects as well such as blurring the artwork etc and all those settings can be controlled via the appearance panel.


Go to the right side menu with the selected path and then add additional stroke in the appearance panel.


If the current stroke is set to 60pt then to see both, one of the strokes have to be slightly smaller or you have to use blending modes / transparency. You can also use different width profiles with the different strokes as well as combine that with the width tool - so at a single point you can have multiple thick and thin profiles and they can be very varied along the path.


You can add gaussian blurs etc to the path as well or perhaps shadows. These can all be manipulated via the appearance panel. You can also use other tools such as the awesome symbol stipplism or stipplism plugin from Astute Graphics' range to create amazing fills for the path


blobOnce you have expanded the artwork via the expand appearance command, you can add additional blobs to the path via the blob tool.


You can add small blobs as well as long thick lines. You can add them to the edge of the path but you can also use the blob tool to join the different arms of the artwork.


The opposite to the blob tool being the eraser tool, you can remove parts of the path creating a mottled path (of course, you can also just use the ellipse tool etc and add different color spots etc or lines along the path as well). The end result being a greatly enhanced artwork which can be added to the CC library or exported for use in Photoshop etc


You can also use tools such as the curvature tool to modify the path by selecting the points and dragging or double clicking the art to change the curves into corner points.


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