Introduction to Expression

Step 01

This program has somewhat more of a painterly approach to vector drawing although it still has all the capabilities of a standard vector program. Expression was owned by Creature House, purchased by Microsoft, made freeware, and changed to a program now called Acrylic. The reason this tutorial isn't over the program Acrylic is the fact that Acrylic will only run on Windows XP. This tutorial will go through the basics of creating a pagoda logo. Go to File>New.

Step 02

A new document will appear.

Step 03

Select the brush icon(the 3rd icon from the left). Draw a shape and make sure when you are drawing a shape that the beginning line and end line meet. A circle will appear to notify that the shape will be closed.

Step 04

Select on the node select tool(the arrow below the arrow on the far left.

Step 05

Adjust the control bars and nodes accordingly to get a desired shape.

Step 06

Zoom in by using the magnifying glass, pressing plus, or scrolling the middle mouse button. Delete extra nodes by selecting them then pressing the Delete key.

Step 07

Because there are less nodes, the shape looks weird at the moment. However, this will change soon. Select a node.

Step 08

Move the control bar to add more curve to the line. Notice until you let go of the left mouse button there will be a preview line to show how the curve will look.

Step 09

The preview line will disappear one the left mouse button is released.

Step 10

Zoom in by using the magnifying glass, pressing minus, or scrolling the middle mouse button. Adust the shape using the control bars and moving nodes.

Step 11

Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse over the object. This will create a rectangle that will select all of the notes of the shape.

Step 12

Now selection and rotation arrows will appear for the shape.

Step 13

Drag the arrows to adjust the size of the shape.

Step 14

Again select all of the notes of the shape. In the strokes option bar select a different line stroke that looks considerably different than the one already being used. Notice the outline of the shape has changed the stroke style.

Step 15

Here is anohter example of a different stroke. There is only a very subtle difference.

Step 16

Here is anohter example of a different stroke. There is only a very subtle difference.

Step 17

Select the node and move it to a desired position.

Step 18

Go to File>Save As.

Step 19

Move to the appropriate drive.

Step 20

Also find the appropriate folders.

Step 21

Once inside the correct folder change the name of the file. The native format for Expression is XPR. Select save.

Step 22

Now the file will be given the saved name.

Step 23

With the node selection tool chosen drag the mouse over an area.

Step 24

Now two nodes are selected.

Step 25

Hold down the left mouse button on the one of the selected nodes and move the mouse. All the nodes selected will move.

Step 26

Select the shape with the object selection tool. The object does not have any color filled inside. A box with a diagonal line inside denotes this(located at the middle left part of the screen).

Step 27

Choose the filled in box icon to the right of the icon with the box with a diagonal line inside. This will chose a fill color for the shape. Right now it is black.

Step 28

Pick a different color from the palette to change the fill color.

Step 29

This will be the color I use.

Step 30

Choose the shaded box to the right of filled in box icon. This is the gradient fill tool. This will chose a gradient color for the shape. In that dialog box the faded triangle icon denotes a linear gradient(near the left mid area of the screen).

Step 31

Choose the shaded circle icon next to the linear gradient icon. This is radial gradient.

Step 32

There are many choices of gradients to pick. Here is one that will be similar to my final choice.

Step 33

Select the icon directly to the right of the gradient tool. This is the pattern tool.

Step 34

Select through the different patterns to find a desired pattern.

Step 35

Select the icon directly to the right of the pattern tool. This is the image tool.

Step 36

Select through the different images to find a desired image.

Step 37

Go back to the the original fill tool.

Step 38

Select the brush tool(the 3rd icon from the left top area). Draw a line. The line width I chose was 15.28 Pt.

Step 39

Draw another line. The line width I chose was 34.76 Pt.

Step 40

Draw another line. The line width I chose was 70.93 Pt.

Step 41

Draw another line. The line width I chose was 127.41 Pt.

Step 42

Undo all of the lines by pressing CTrl+Z. Object list window(near the bottom of the screen) is not there go to the menu bar. Select Window>Object List or press F6. The object list window shows the layers used for each shape.

Step 43

In the Object List dialog box select the leftmost bottom icon to make a new layer. Name the layer Lines.

Step 44

Notice the layer will be colored differently and will appear in the Objects List dialog box on top of the previous layer.

Step 45

Make sure the Lines layer has been selected and highlighted.

Step 46

Draw lines over the object.

Step 48

Select one of the lines.

Step 49

I change the line thickness from 31.46 Pt to 59.46 Pt.

Step 50

With the line still selected look in the Strokes dialog box. My stroke selected is generic in the Pens category.

Step 51

Go to the general category and select a stroke. I selected S07. Notice how it changes the line.

Step 52

Double left click with the mouse on the brush stroke in the Strokes dialog box. Now the actual brush shape used will appear in its own dialog box.

Step 53

Zoom in and move the view so the view is set as shown. Select nodes to alter the brush shape.

Step 54

I move the upper left nodes to change the shape.

Step 55

Zoom out to make get a better view of brush shape and make sure it is made to the proper desired look.

Step 56

Close the specific brush dialog box. A popup box will appear. Enter a new name for the new stroke created. I chose S08.

Step 58

Make sure the line is still selected and also the node select icon is chosen.

Step 59

Move the line as needed.

Step 60

Notice in the Paint Style dialog box to the left that there are 4 line icons. The curvy line icon is selected in the example below. Make sure the line is selected.

Step 61

Select the icon to the left of the curvy line icon. This is the gradient line icon.

Step 62

Select the icon to the left of the gradient line icon. This is the PS Stroke(regular line) icon.

Step 63

Select the icon to the left of the PS Stroke icon. This is the No Stroke icon.

Step 64

Return the line back to the desired look.

Step 65

Once again I am zooming out to see if the logo is looking the way I want it to.

Step 66

Choose the brush tool and choose a color. Draw over part of the picture

Step 67

Make sure the new stroke(or line) is selected. Press the PageDown key to move the stroke back behind the image. By pressing PageUp or PageDown it move the order of the strokes or shapes on a single layer. Note: Ctrl+PageUp or Ctrl+PageDown moves to the front or back whereas PageUp and PageDown move foward and backward just 1 step at a time.

Step 68

Select the chape body and chose the Gradient fill tool.

Step 69

Choose a desired gradient. Select the new gradient icon. A dialog box will ask for a new gradient name. Change it to a desired name and select Yes.

Step 70

Now the new gradent will appear in the gradient dialog box. Double left click on the name.

Step 71

Now the Paint Style Dialog will appear allowing you to change the color and look of the gradient.

Step 72

Before starting the gradient change I will be making a custom color. Make sure you already have the color you want to use selected. Then in the color picker tool hold the left mouse button on color wheel icon. Select the custom colors icon.

Step 73

A list of custom colors will appear. At the bottom of the list in the dialog box is a New Custom Colors Icon. Select it.

Step 74

In the Paint style box rename the color. I called mine "Yellow Pagoda". Click the checkmark to confirm the creation of the custom color.

Step 75

Now that the custom color has been created go back to step 71 where we were editing the custom gradient.

Step 76

Select the pentagon shape to the right. It should turn from clear to the color the gradient is. Go to the custom colors and select your custom color. Select the checkmark.

Step 77

Still the midtone is pink.

Step 78

Edit the gradient again. Select that middle pentagon and make it your custom color. Drag the pentagons and the circles above the gradient to adjust the gradient look of the shape.

Step 79

Select the checkmark. Now you have a basic understanding of this fabulous program.