During my Illustrator tutorial spree I’ve learned a lot about how shapes and gradients can be used to make objects, textures, and even characters come to life as vector art. While I’d never say I’ve been 100% converted to the superiority of digital techniques over traditional pencil and paper, I can certainly see the benefits of using digital methods to enhance hand-drawn artwork or to produce specific kinds of images for specific purposes. My day of hand drawing and scanning logos, backgrounds, and simple objects to fill surroundings are certainly over.
Creating textures is still tricky and the next tutorials I undertake (after taking a bit of a tutorial break…) will be all about my artistic Achilles’ heel…coloring. To get that ball rolling and still keep a foot in the basic shapes n’ gradients territory I found this tutorial that teaches how to make a nice water ripple texture:
This one combined many different tools, like the previous posting, to create a basic shape of a water ripple. It was more complex (for me at least) because it added perspective (creating an oblong ellipse to simulate a horizontal circular surface) and added the use of a gradient mesh tool, which I still have yet to figure out… But it worked very well for this tutorial. It also displayed how to effectively use color, using black, white, and various shades of blue to give depth to the water. Everyone’s water drop+ripple will be different and here’s the look of mine:
Next week I’ll be taking a bit of a break from tutorials and starting a new recurring series of lessons I learned from a lifetime of gaming, from the 80s through current generation. It’ll be a fun diversion and something that is much needed…video games can be good for you! But fear not, there is more Illustrator progress coming. And all my fellow newbie digital designers and I can continue to unsolved the mysteries locked away in Adobe Illustrator!