Designing Your Own Online Avatar
Illustration by John Hersey

Drawing asymmetrical facial features


From:

Designing Your Own Online Avatar

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Drawing asymmetrical facial features

In this movie we're going to trace the nostrils, which might seem a little bit gross but it's an essential thing to do because, after all, your nose is probably the most identifiable feature of your face right after your eyes. Now also I want you to notice that where this final cartoon is concerned. The nostrils are one of the few attributes that are not symmetrical. So I'll go ahead and switch over to my document of progress here. And I am going to zoom in, disturbing as it might be. And I'll go ahead and grab my pen tool once again.
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      2m 3s
  2. 43m 10s
    1. Preparing a photographic tracing template
      4m 9s
    2. Tracing eyes with the Ellipse tool
      7m 30s
    3. Tracing features with the Pen tool
      5m 43s
    4. Drawing asymmetrical facial features
      3m 58s
    5. New ways to draw in Illustrator CC
      5m 24s
    6. Using the new and improved Pencil tool
      8m 5s
    7. Roughing in hair and other complex features
      8m 21s
  3. 36m 53s
    1. Reshaping paths to enhance their accuracy
      7m 54s
    2. Assembling and exaggerating eyes
      7m 0s
    3. Reflecting and joining symmetrical shapes
      10m 44s
    4. Separating and enlarging a face
      3m 14s
    5. Establishing variety with stroke attributes
      8m 1s
  4. 52m 57s
    1. Coloring areas with Pathfinder operations
      5m 44s
    2. Coloring areas with the Live Paint Bucket
      6m 4s
    3. Independently scaling facial features
      7m 43s
    4. Updating a photographic template
      5m 25s
    5. Shading a face to match a photograph
      9m 19s
    6. Editing paths inside a clipping group
      9m 21s
    7. Adding additional shading
      9m 21s
  5. 52m 9s
    1. Shading a face with gradients
      8m 9s
    2. Assigning a gradient stroke
      2m 31s
    3. Creating a seamless fabric texture
      7m 4s
    4. Customizing a predefined pattern
      4m 25s
    5. Designing a custom crosshatch pattern
      13m 57s
    6. Combining gradients with crosshatching
      5m 57s
    7. Adjusting crosshatching to suit filled paths
      4m 44s
    8. Repositioning patterns inside paths
      5m 22s
  6. 22m 3s
    1. Curling a neutral lip into a wry smile
      4m 37s
    2. Adding playful smile lines
      5m 41s
    3. Clearing guides and arching eyebrows
      4m 19s
    4. Adding selective wrinkle lines
      7m 26s
  7. 7m 1s
    1. Saving a universally compatible PNG file
      7m 1s
  8. 46s
    1. Until next time
      46s

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Watch the Online Video Course Designing Your Own Online Avatar
3h 37m Intermediate Apr 22, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Designs dekeConstructed is a new series that breaks down the creation of cool designs so you can build them on your own. This installment is for everyone who needs an online avatar—that tiny image that has to communicate a thousand words about who you are in less than a square inch. Start by taking a photo of yourself facing forward—the traditional passport style. From there Deke McClelland takes you through the steps to transforming your photo into a cartoon avatar with Illustrator: tracing your features, refining and exaggerating the strokes, adding color and shading, and using gradients and patterns to fill in details like hair. Plus, learn some tricks for infusing your drawing with an extra bit of personality and exporting your final image in the best format for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Topics include:
  • Preparing a photographic tracing template
  • Tracing eyes and other features with the Ellipse and Pen tools
  • Roughing in hair and other complex features
  • Reshaping paths to enhance their accuracy
  • Establishing variety with stroke attributes
  • Coloring the avatar
  • Shading a face with gradients
  • Adding expression and personality
  • Saving a universally compatible PNG file
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Drawing asymmetrical facial features

In this movie we're going to trace the nostrils, which might seem a little bit gross but it's an essential thing to do because, after all, your nose is probably the most identifiable feature of your face right after your eyes. Now also I want you to notice that where this final cartoon is concerned. The nostrils are one of the few attributes that are not symmetrical. So I'll go ahead and switch over to my document of progress here. And I am going to zoom in, disturbing as it might be. And I'll go ahead and grab my pen tool once again.

Which, once again, you can get by pressing the p key. And I'm going to kind of round things off here by starting at this location. Everything's a smooth point. So I'll go ahead and drag to start the path outline. And then I'll drag it this location here to continue it. And I'll drag right about there in order to create the final point in that little ridge right there. And I might press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac in order to gain temporary access to my white arrow tool. And go ahead and drag on that control handle a little bit.

And now I'll Ctrl+click or Cmd+click off the path outline to deselect it so I can start the other all important nostril. And I'll go ahead and drag from this location. And then I'll drag across the top like so. And that's not really a very good location for that point. So I'll press the space bar. In order to move it on the fly and then I'll drag right about here in order to finish things of. For now I've got too much control handle pulling at this and remember your rules by the way those of you who have been working with the pen tool for a while.

If you want to keep things nice and smooth then you want to make sure that you have two control handles devoted to each segment. And you want to make sure that, combined, those two control handles consume about 2 3rds the length of the segment. Alright, now, I'll go and switch to my ellipse tool, here, and I'll draw a little ellipse right about here. I'm using the space bar in order to move it into a better position, like so. And with this path outline is concerned, I don't really want it to have a stroke, I just wanted to have a black fill.

So I'll press shift+X in order to swap the fill and stroke like so. And then I'll go ahead and switch to my rotate tool, this is about mid-way down inside the tool box. And I'll drag just a little bit, like so. In order to rotate that black circle which of course is the hole into my nose. Into about this location here. And now I'll grab the ellipse tool once again and I'll draw another ellipse right about there. Let's say.

Make it a little bit bigger perhaps. And we want them to be a little bit different from each other of course. And then I'll go ahead and switch back to the rotate tool and I'll drag like so in order to rotate the nostril into this location which looks to me like a pretty good match. And if you ever want to get a better view of your photograph in the background, you can press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y y on a Mac in order to switch to the preview mode and because. We have this photo layer set up as a tracing template. We can still see that photograph in the background and now I can see that this hole doesn't really look all that sharp.

So I'm going to Ctrl+Alt+ click on it that would be a Cmd option click that way I select the entire path outline. And then when I release the keys, I go back to my rotate tool. I think I'll drag it this direction. So it's rotated at the opposite direction of the opposite nostril, then I'll press Ctrl+Y, Cmd+Y in a Mac to switch back to the preview mode, and we have, well, a half-way complete nose anyway. Thanks to the addition of these two nostrils. Your results will vary because your nose is undoubtedly smaller than mine.

In any event we now have two asymmetrical nostrils to work with here. In the next movie we're going to draw the edges of the cheek, jaw and neck.

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