An Illustrator’s Foray into Adobe Illustrator – Week 6

This will be the last one of these as the rest of my Illustrator education will now be appearing in RevPub’s creative projects.  These two tutorials I did in April and related to tracing and coloring in Illustrator.  These are nice lessons, especially good at teaching how to work from images created outside of Illustrator, first using the pen tool, and second using the blob brush and a pen tablet.

Since I didn’t feel like staring at pictures of myself while I learned this and I didn’t want to license any photos I used a couple of pictures of the far more photogenic half of RevPub to try these out.  She makes for a nice cartoon!

This is the first one.  This was appealing as it had a more stylized look, used only Illustrator tools, and provided a simple (but eye catching and dramatic) style:

http://ndesign-studio.com/tutorials/tracing-photo

Raven
The highly contrasted tutorial made this picture look even more eye-catching.

This was the first time I tried this technique and it was effective and has helped immensely with my own work.  Starting with a complicated photograph you definitely don’t want to do any artistic injustice to raised the bar for the work, but it’s made the simple illustrations I do far easier in retrospect.  Honestly I haven’t used this specific technique frequently but it was very effective at teaching the tools needed to create more advanced artwork, especially from photographs or scanned drawings.

The second one was more natural for me as it used the pen tablet.  The pen tablet is still a tricky device for me.  I need to see the marks coming out of the pen to be effective but I’m slowly learning to use it.

http://vectips.com/tutorials/create-a-grisly-zombie-illustration-with-a-pen-tablet/

This tutorial was actually to teach you how to zombify a person, but I thought I’d use the skills taught in the tutorial just to do the basics first (zombies to come later of course…)  This one came better than I expected and taught how to color using the Live Paint Bucket (a tool I didn’t know about that BLEW MY MIND).

Here’s my second tutorial result:

Raven Trace
She was posing in a Halloween costume but I love the expressiveness of this picture and it’s a great smile. It was perfect for tracing and coloring.

These two tutorials, mixed with the others I’ve posted, have really taken me from “What the-?” in Illustrator to creation of my own artwork using multiple layers and tools.  I’m by no means a master in the software, or even professionally proficient, but my knowledge of the software has vastly improved in just a few weeks using the infinite power of the World Wide Webs (or “Internets” if you prefer).  I should write Google a thank you card.

I hope everyone has found these tutorials useful too.  My next Illustrator posts will be things to look forward to in RevPub’s first official “pub” Lil’ Horsemen, which, barring some unforeseen hold-up, is coming Summer-Fall 2012!

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