Artistic Effects Using Adobe Illustrator

Creating Fine Art In Adobe Illustrator

How would like to be able to create a watercolor out of your photograph in less than 5 minutes? How about a pen and ink version in the same amount of time ? How could that be possible you say? Not artistic? Doesn't matter when you use artistic effects in the Adobe Illustrator software program.

With the invention of software programs like Adobe Illustrator CS2 , creating fine works of art from your photographs has never been easier than with the click of a button.

Since I am a also a traditional artist working in mediums such as watercolor and oils (the old fashioned way), Adobe has allowed me to do things that I would have never considered doing before. Those beautiful photographs that would once take days and hours to complete by hand can now be created at the blink of a click (well not quite that fast but much faster than the traditional way of painting)

Using the artistic effects filter in Adobe is one of the latest "mediums" I've added to my career- in fact it's revolutionized the way I look at art. Like I fondly say, it's not a replacement for traditional methods- it is simply another medium, and another tool to add to my arsenal.

To use the artistic effects in Adobe Illustrator you want to go into the toolbar and select filter. You will then get a drop down menu and you will select "artistic". You will then be given many different choices of what to do with your photograph. In the example of the sunset in this article, I have rendered the original photo in 5 different ways using the dry brush effect, the film grain effect, the fresco effect, a glowing edges rendition and also a neon glow effect.

The really great thing about using this filter is that you can take the photograph and make it look like it's been hand painted, then send it out for development just as you would any other picture, make a custom greeting card with it, blow it up and make into a poster, or even make wallpaper with it (no kidding). The creative uses are endless.

So the next time you look at that photograph and wish it was done in watercolor instead...guess what? You can do it yourself. Put on your Rembrandt hat, pick up that mouse and open the artistic effects filter in the Adobe Illustrator program, and voila - a masterpiece is born!

Original Photo In Adobe Illustrator

This is a screenshot of the original sunset image
This is a screenshot of the original sunset image | Source

Dry Brush Effect Using Adobe Illustrator

I think this is a beautiful rendition- I like the way the waves turned out
I think this is a beautiful rendition- I like the way the waves turned out | Source

Neon Glow Effect Using Adobe Illustrator

This is interesting- almost looks like this was taken at night
This is interesting- almost looks like this was taken at night | Source

Film Grain Effect Using Adobe Illustrator

The Film Grain Effect is one of my favorites- I love the softness of the image
The Film Grain Effect is one of my favorites- I love the softness of the image | Source

Glowing Edges Effect Using Adobe Illustrator

Now this is very interesting- you can still see the shape of the image but it sure looks totally different from the original photograph!
Now this is very interesting- you can still see the shape of the image but it sure looks totally different from the original photograph! | Source

Fresco Effect Using Adobe Illustrator

The Fresco Effect is another one of my favorites- I use this one often in Adobe Illustrator
The Fresco Effect is another one of my favorites- I use this one often in Adobe Illustrator | Source

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Comments 10 comments

silvalinings profile image

silvalinings 8 years ago from Richardson, TX 75080

Fun! I love this application. I'll be sure to check it out.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

Informative hub. Thank you Dorsi.


stylezink profile image

stylezink 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

I find it very interesting that you use Illustrator for editing your pictures, Illustrator is more for adding and editing text to an already exiting photo.

I would recommend using Photoshop to add your artistic effects and editing, this is what it is for and in the event you want to add type to your image you would then pull your photoshop image over to Illustrator.

Just a suggestion


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Stylezink- thanks for the suggestion to use Photoshop but I don't have it yet! I'm afraid to get it right now because my husband might never see me then...lol... Seriously, I'm going to get it at one point because I'm really starting to get into photography, and I love anything artistic.

I still haven't learned everything about Adobe Illustrator- but I've learned enough to be dangerous!!


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

Illustrator is a huge programme,I think if you get to know it thoroughly you will get some totally amazing work. Photoshop is great too and I would recommend it since it works hand in hand with illustrator . Interesting work you have here


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thank you Alladream)


waynet profile image

waynet 5 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

Great! I've got Photoshop and Gimp which all have similar effects but the Illustrator seems to have larger areas to work on it seems, great hub! just need to buy Illustrator and I'll be well away!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Waynet) You will love illustrator. It's a GREAT program! Thanks for reading and the comment.


solo 4 years ago

how do you do these in Illustrator CS5? email reply at paolo5233@hotmail.com


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@solo) I work in Adobe CS2 so I don't know. Try looking in YouTube for a tutorial in CS5.

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