An Illustrator’s Foray into Adobe Illustrator – Week 4

Shapes can show emotions too.  Really.

Seeing shapes is how illustration begins, especially in Illustrator, but using shapes to create something with personality is a different level.  I could gladly live in a world of inanimate sharpened objects and smooth, perfect polygons all day (they are rarely annoying and frequently useful) however living such a life, even in artwork, would be kind of a drag.  So I sought ways to turn shapes into characters.  In doing so I stumbled across this site, which has been a wonderful resource of Illustrator tutorials:

http://vectips.com/

Not all of them are perfect and some of the instructions can be a little vague, especially if you like to go through tutorials in a “I get the gist” kind of way and skip ahead…you’ll be doing a LOT of ctrl+z…read all the steps…seriously…

This tutorial was by far my favorite on the site as it had the most to do with my kind of illustration and it allowed some real creativity to burst forth:

http://vectips.com/tutorials/create-a-happy-sun-character/

This is a little surprising given my penchant for the macabre but seeing all of the steps needed to create this character; all of the tools used; the various effects, gradients, and polygons combined and altered to turn simple shapes into an expressive character was truly entertaining.  It also allowed for a significant amount of learning-while-doing that sticks with me because of the fun I had making the lil sun guy.  Here’s my result of the tutorial:

I love this guy. From his dilated eyes to his gap-tooth smile. Just love him. Don’t know why.

And because I’d rather be howling at the moon that funning in the sun I created this original piece using the steps and tools in the tutorial:

I hate to be overly proud of myself (not really) but I was really fond of how this moon came out. I like him even more than the sun.

Hopefully all of these sphere tutorials have been as enlightening for other Illustrator neophytes as they were for me.  Next week will be one last shape tutorial I found that includes shapes and textures used to make a dramatic and slick-looking graphic…even if it’s not as personable as a happy sun character it’ll be something to look forward to!

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