This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Why Adobe Illustrator is for illustration

The best way to think of Adobe Illustrator is as a pencil, or a pen. The best way to think of Adobe Photoshop is as a paint brush. They do much more than draw and paint, but that's basically what they are. In its most basic form, an illustration is a sketch, or a drawing. And the easiest tool to use for that is a pencil or pen. An illustration is really just another type of communication, one step away from words. Or worth a thousand words, if you prefer.

Of course, a professional illustrator can work in any medium, from pencil to paint. One of my all-time favorite illustrators, NC Wyeth, worked in gauche (which is a type of watercolor). So the medium doesn't determine whether an artist is an illustrator or not. A good illustrator can draw using chicken gizzards if they want to - but it wouldn't smell very good!

If you are using Photoshop for drawing illustrations, you are doing the equivalent of hauling out paint and brushes to do a sketch. Yes, it works, but it really is a lot of trouble. If no one has ever shown you a pencil or a pen, I guess I can't blame you. The only real advantage to your paint and brush is that you are already familiar with it. And you may be very, very good at it. But if I could hand you a pencil and show you a pencil sharpener, you could ultimately save yourself a lot of time and trouble.

We begin by drawing a straight line.