Let’s create the layout for planning a website portfolio.
By doing so, we’ll learn a few techniques, including applying gradients to simulate a dried paint effect, the Add to Shape command in the Pathfinder palette, clipping masks, and typing on a path.
Open a new file in Adobe Illustrator. With the Ellipse tool, click-and-drag out a few overlapping circles. Hold down Shift to draw perfect circles. They should all together form a “cloud” shape.
Change the Fill color to an orange swatch from the Swatches palette. Set the Stroke to None.
Click-and-drag around all the shapes with a Selection tool to select them all. Open the Pathfinder palette (Window>Pathfinder) and click Add to Shape to combine them all. Press Expand to get rid of the inner edges and make it truly one object.
Next, deselect the cloud so we don’t change its color. Draw out a few long, vertical rounded rectangles with the Rounded Rectangle tool. Change its Stroke to None and set the Fill to a gradient. In the Gradient palette, click-and-drag a dark orange and a regular orange to the opposite sides, like shown here.
Click-and-drag with the Gradient tool to make the darker orange appear on the bottom side. The effect is accomplished by having a little bit darker orange near the bottom of the paint drips, much like dried paint, which would be a little bit darker.
Now let’s add some text for the parts of the website. With the Pen tool, create a curved path that follows the top curves of the cloud. To do this, click first at one point, then let go and then click where the end of a curve is, but don’t let go yet. Drag it to curve the path. After drawing a curve, be sure to click again on the most recently created point to reset the angle so you don’t get awkward curves.
With the Text tool, click somewhere on the path and enter in the text.
Select the text and go to Edit>Copy and Edit>Paste in Front. Then move the front text for now to select the back text and add some arrowheads to it by going to Effect>Stylize>Add Arrowheads.
Make the back arrowhead text a different color from the text in front, like blue. Then move the front text back on top of the arrowhead text.
Add a photo by placing it (File>Place). If you’d like it to have rounded corners, just draw a Rounded Rectangle over it and when selecting both the photo and the rounded rectangle, go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make. Add a background black rounded rectangle and Arrange it behind the photo for a border. Add some other decorations, such as stars with the Star tool or birds or arrows with the Pen tool.
Now we have the basic design down for a portfolio website. Using this, we’d use Adobe Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive along with Adobe Photoshop to layout out the functional website.