Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory

(gear grinding) – [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. The following method is one I’d learned from another illustrator by the name of Andi Butler and I featured her and her artwork in previous courses I’ve developed and I thought her methodology was a great way to bring a natural feel to vector artwork which tends, at time, to look a little cold and a little too predictable.

So let me show you what she does to texturize her artwork and I just want to thank her personally for allowing me to showcase this methodology. Not all illustrators and creatives are open with their creative process, but she’s definitely one of them and she does fabulous work. Make sure to check out her website, AndiButler.com and I think you’re going to enjoy it. So it all starts with drawing for me. This is just a rough sketch. This is just a composite of some plants and some flowers and I take this and I refine it.

So I did the general gist of the idea, but then I go in and I really work out those shapes. Once again, the more you can figure out exactly what you need to build before you try to build it in vector form, the easier it’s going to be. It might be a hassle to try to work that way immediately, but over time, you just won’t think about it. You’ll know what you need to create and you’ll draw it out and then you’ll create it and it’ll just go faster. It’s really nice. It’s a great habit to develop and drawing is a skill you’ll be able to leverage for a lifetime.

So it’s design’s best friend. I’ve said that for many years, but I really do believe that so take that to heart. So this is the refined sketch that we’re going to build upon. Let’s begin. I’m not guessing about anything. This isn’t hard building. This is pretty simple building. Some of it is simple geometric shapes. The ellipse tool to create the little orbs you see floating around the top of the blossom of this flower and one thing I want to point out is not everything needs to be based with the pen tool per se.

You can pull off content you need using simple strokes so if I go to my graphic style and I apply this style to this stroke, all this is is turning these into giant strokes, 18.835 points and by the way, I should point out when I build my art, I don’t use arbitrary numbers. It’s just when I set up these files to demonstrate stuff, I scale it to look as good as possible on screen for you, the viewer, so it changes the numbers. This was probably around 12 points when I built it, whatever, but I set it up like this so I can simply go to path and then I go to outline stroke and it turns it into shapes.

That’s easy. Anybody can do this and then I’ll go back and I’ll go to pathfinder and I’ll go unite. You want to make sure, look under appearance, if it’s a group, turn it to a compound. I have it F7 assigned to my keyboard shortcuts to run a compound path. So it makes it faster than having to go up here, pull down to compound and go make. I can just go F7. So get in the habit of using keyboard shortcuts. With that created, I’ll select the base of the leaf and I’m going to minus front.

I like to say punch because minus front really doesn’t make sense. They should’ve called it cookie cutter. Whatever. You get a nice shape like that. So this seems like a complex shape, but if you can think of how to build it without getting too detailed, all I did was create a few strokes and added the rounding to the tip of the stroke and it made the whole process really quick. I’ll select these here. I want more volume to them, but instead of trying to build it with the pen tool, I’ll just make them thicker strokes.

Once again go to paths, outline strokes. Now I have the shapes that I need like that. So not hard. It’s just about thinking about things the correct way. We’ll select this leaf and make a clone of it. Command + C, Command + F. By the way I don’t even do Command + C, Command + F. Let me delete that. I just select it and I hit F3. F3 does Command + C, Command + F for me so I don’t have to do two key boards and then I’ll select this shape and intersect it and by the way, in my keyboard shortcuts movie I created for DVG Lab, I go over setting up all those key commands so make sure to check that out and there’s even a chart you can get from the exercise files that has everything listed out and what it does.

So I’ll take shapes like this. It’s easier to build independent shapes than try to build one whole and unite them all together into one. I’ll select these shapes right here and do the same thing and unite them together. So it’s just the way you think about stuff as you build that’s going to make the process go quicker. So we’ll go ahead and turn on the background here and the base colors for all our vector artwork and now it just comes down to doing some of the detail. The first thing I want to do is I have this shape here and if I go to a line and align it with the background, this is just going to be white, not black and I’ll adjust the tonal value to 30% to create that and that looks really nice.

Now this is where textures come into play. We’re going to start creating some of the textures to really kind of create a more immersive experience here. So the textures we’re going to use are these two textures that Andi Butler had made and I believe these are water colors, just black painted out on the paper and she scanned them in, but this is going to give a nice immersive feel to our texture. So the first one we’re going to use would be this one here and we’ll go ahead and just slide this one over into place.

We have the mask already on top of it, but we need to colorize it so that’s what we’re going to do first. We’ll color it this blue color and I don’t want it to be 100% value so we’ll knock this back to like 70% and I want it to interact with all the colors underneath that it’s going to be sitting on top of so I’ll select multiply to do that. We’ll select the mask and once again, for this mask, I have the F key setup so I can just F1 with both selected and it creates the mask.

It looks kind of painted or just modeled looking instead of just being a flat based color. We’ll select this one, we’ll slide this one over into place. This one will also go ahead and color the same blue and on the same settings, we’ll knock it down 70% and set to multiply, select the mask and mask it into shape. That’s all we’re doing here. That’s the methodology for all of this. We’ll move onto the second one.

Once again, all of these, since they’re falling on top of green colors, we’re going to select all of these, and by the way, I should point out, notice how I’m using these textures large, small, rotated? This one’s stretched. That’s textures. It doesn’t matter. It’s very forgiving. It doesn’t matter so don’t freak out if it’s not the exact same size you scanned it in at. Nobody’s going to know but you so don’t freak out about that. We’re going to color these green and on these ones, I want to knock the value back almost by half, 55.

Like this and then we’ll go ahead and multiply this as well and then we’re going to select the mask and mask all those into place like that. And then this one, we’re going to bring this guy down here and we’ll put him into place as well and oh you know what? I shouldn’t have masked this guy.

So let’s undo that. There we go. So basically I tried to mask everything into this mask and it’s only meant for these two shapes so I goofed up. But that’s okay, I do that in real life anyway. So we’ll go ahead and mask those and then I’ll select this mask for this specific shape and mask that into place. And then on this one, we’ll go ahead and bring him over. This is for the big leaf here like this and then we’ll go ahead and use the same settings, 55.

Multiply, select the mask. Mask it this shape and I think that’s looking really cool. So we’ll do a couple more of these, but they’re already kind of pre-baked so we have this mask and you can see how it adds modeling to that lighter green and then we have this mask and textures just to interact with the other flat colors to really breathe life into it and then on the gold itself just to add detail in there so I think that’s working really well so that’s all it takes to mask colors.

I think we’re going to utilize some more textures overall in this composition so I’m going to go ahead and turn off all these layers and we’ll go ahead and go up here and I’m going to turn on this layer. Our final design with all the masks in place. We’ve locked it up with some nice typography and now we’re going to do a few more detailing things to the overall composition. The background for this promotion, I didn’t want that flat as well.

I wanted to model that as well so we’re just going to simply go over here and you can see this real world surface texture I have here. We’ll go to align, align it with our artboard and this was based off of all things, the old concrete wall that I took a photograph of and created this texture and we’re going to use this to kind of give more interest to the background. We’ll color it white. We’ll go to transparency palette and knock down the value to 20 and I think that’s going to work really well.

We’re going to add some surface textures to this now and the first surface texture will be this speckling. The speckling is white and we’re going to go ahead and color this speckling, that is. Let’s see. Do we want to do this white? Maybe we don’t. Nah, I’ll try white. That’s fine. We just want to knock it down so we’ll make it subtle. Like that. We just want it so when you look at this up close, you see these artifacts running through the art.

That’s kind of what we want. We don’t want it pristine. It’ll look more authentic. Here’s another one. We’re going to take more speckles, but we want to isolate these speckles only within elements of the plants themselves and so these speckles are going to be a little different in that we want the speckling not to be white, but in this case, we want to use the same blue we used elsewhere, but we want to knock the value back. So we’re going to knock the value back on this like to 40% and we’ll go to multiply and before we mask it, we’re going to check it out and make sure it works like this.

Let’s go ahead and deselect it. Actually I think that’s a little too dense so maybe just 20% and we’ll look at that. You know, maybe even more. Let’s just try 10. Maybe it’s very subtle. Yeah, I think that’ll work. Then I’ll select the mask and actually, you know what? I did like it a little darker. It’s not going over the white. It’s just going over the other elements so we’ll leave it at 20 and we have this mask here.

So we’ll select that mask and that will mask it into shape and then I’ll go ahead and zoom back out and you can see what the final design looks like. Let’s go ahead and zoom in on that. There, I think that looks really nice with all those textures in place with the speckling texture added in and even though most of this is going to be used in the background, this kind of design is going to work really well on a white background as well. So it just depends on what you’re doing and what context you’re going to be using it in.

I encourage you to give this methodology a try and see how you can mess textures within your vector artwork. The process is simple and a lot of fun, especially if you create your own textures to use as well. For more information regarding the use of textures and design, make sure to watch my course Creating and Using Textures for Design. It goes over how to go shoot your own photographs, how to manipulate them in Photoshop and create some really cool textures and the nice thing about textures, they never go out of style because they’re all based on the second law of thermal dynamics, the law of entropy so that’s a really cool thing.

Thank you for watching DVG Lab. Until next time, never stop drawing.