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Filling and stroking

From: Animated Character Design with Illustrator

Video: Filling and stroking

Okay, so we're going to fill in stroke.ai file which you can find in the working with Selections folder. Now, I've got a few tips for you here. This drawing is clearly not finished, but it's at a stage where I want to start adding color so that I can see the depth, get a idea of what it's going to look like at the finished state before I do any finishing off detail. Now, the first thing that I'm going to do is switch off the template layer in the background, and you can see that some of the shapes that I've drawn are transparent and some of them are opaque. Some are filled with white.

Filling and stroking

Okay, so we're going to fill in stroke.ai file which you can find in the working with Selections folder. Now, I've got a few tips for you here. This drawing is clearly not finished, but it's at a stage where I want to start adding color so that I can see the depth, get a idea of what it's going to look like at the finished state before I do any finishing off detail. Now, the first thing that I'm going to do is switch off the template layer in the background, and you can see that some of the shapes that I've drawn are transparent and some of them are opaque. Some are filled with white.

Now, the reason you'll end up with quite a lot of white shapes with black strokes is cuz that's the default setting for most of the tools in Illustrator. And if you're like me, you can't be bothered changing the settings. So, you just start drawing and then you worry about it later. And I've found that a good tip is, if you tend to do that, you'll run into all sorts of problems when you start coloring items because if, for example, I select his body and I color it red. Now, I'm going to jump to a different workspace very quickly to open up my color palettes, and the easiest way to do that is go to Workspace Painting. Now, you can also go to that through this menu here. I'm just old fashioned and go up to the main menu. And that opens all of my color palettes for me, which provide all these lovely choices of how to adjust my colors.

So, if I choose a nice deep red and we zoom in, you'll notice that we have these strokes in there and there actually filled with white. So, you start to run into all these problems. So, what I tend to do is, before I even start coloring my artwork, I just do a quick Select All and Remove Fill so that I've got completely open paths to work with. Now, this is where your two views come in handy. Here, I'm on transparent background, and I don't really want to remove that. I just want to be able to quickly jump between filled background and a transparent background. Let me just zoom out.

It's in Command Minus there. Now, you'll notice that in this view, I've removed the template. And even though it's the same file in this view, it's still showing the template. So, I'm going to go down and remove the template. And now, I can see it on a nice white background. I can see what I really have to deal with. Now, the first thing I'm going to do is select his belly again and color it red. So, a nice red t-shirt. I'm also going to choose to color his trousers, as we called them in the UK. I think in the US, you tend to call them pants, but we call them trousers. So, I'm going to color that leg blue.

Now, as I select that color of blue, it's not really right for a pair of jeans, and that's what I want these to look like. I want these to look like jeans. But you'll notice my color guide is giving me a nice selection of shades and tints that I can choose from. So, I can choose something that looks much more like denim. I, one of these desaturated blues here. And if I need to adjust that, I can come up to my color pallet and I can adjust maybe the brightness and the saturation a little bit, just to get more a kin to what I'm looking for. Now, if I want to, I can also choose the color mode. I can choose RGB, grey scale, any of the, if I choose RGB, I get red, green and blue slider.

But generally, I find HSB easier because I can adjust the saturation and the brightness separately. So, there we have his jeans. I also want to choose a complementary color for the cuff of his jeans, or as we call it in the UK, his turn ups. And I can do that also using the color guide to choose a different shade of the same color to color that. Now, his other leg, I don't need to go through that whole process again. What I can do is select his other leg and just use the Eyedropper tool to color from there to there. And then, I'm going to toggle to the Selection tool using the Command key or Control key on PC, and I"m going to sample that blue from there. So very quickly, I've colored both of his legs.

Now, let's do his skin tones. Now for skin tones, I really recommend opening up a new Swatch Library. And you do that by going to the Swatches panel, clicking on the Wing menu, and going to Open Swatch Library. And here we go. One specifically for skin tones. Now, I'm going to leave this floating here and I'm just going to select his head and choose a fairly light skin tone for his head. I'm then going to select his arm. Now obviously, I can select both of those in one click, that's not too bad. And I can select a slightly different color of skin tone for that arm. But if we have a look at the left arm, it's made up of lots of different parts. So, rather than select it there, what I'm going to do is go to the lower right arm, hold down Shift and hit the right upper arm.

Of course, it's the left one I need. Always make mistakes. So, let's choose the left upper arm and the left lower arm. And let's steal the color from that arm. Okay. Now, the only one to do that color is the neck, which is in somewhere. Okay. When you see it highlighted, that means that you can click to select it. It's quite tricky, so I'm going to zoom in a little bit more so that I can make that selection a bit easier. So, select that and I know that, that's the right color there. So, you can see that once I start adding color, it gives the character a little bit more depth and allow me to start moving towards creating a finished character.

Okay, so one other thing to do, and that's to work on the face a little bit more. I can give the face a little bit more definition by adjusting the fills and the strokes of various elements. Now, the first thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to select elements like the nostrils and the ears. Okay, and I'm going to select the lines inside the ears and the nostrils. And I'm just going to fill them with black, or I could choose a dark gray even, just to give it a little more shading. Now, I think the inside of the ears is a little bit too OTT so I'm going to select those and just remove the shadow from there.

I just decided that that's a little bit too heavy. So, there we have a little bit more definition in the nostrils and the ears. In fact, I don't like the ears so I'm going to just remove that from them altogether. Okay, notice that because I've made a selection of multiple fills that it has a question mark on it. That means that there's no one fill for all the selected elements. There's a mixture of different fills. If I click on this, they've now all got zero fill. Now, the other thing that I'm going to do is just go up to the eyes and have a look at the eyeballs. Now, at the moment, the lines are both stroked, so I have an inner line and an outer line.

This one, I'm going to reverse. So, I'm going to have a black fill and and zero stroke. So, by clicking this little arrow, I can swap the fill in stroke and create the effect I want. I'm going to do the same with this one, swap them around. But this time, before I swap them around, what I'm going to do is choose a color for the eye. So, I want that color for the eye, okay? So, I'm going to choose a nice deep green. In fact, I'm going to just go for a slightly less saturated one, and darker one. So there we go. And instead of just swapping it, what I'm going to do is bring the stroke to the front and then just remove it.

Okay, we'll do that with the other eye. Move across here. Again, all I do is swap these. So I've got a fill, a stroke, and no fill. Then I'm going to select the outer one, and I'm going to remove the stroke, bring this fill swatch to the front and just fill that with a color. And again, if I want exactly the same color as this one, I can use the Eyedropper tool just to select that. Okay, so we zoom out and we have a much more finished looking character. Ready to start tweaking and adding detail to finish off.

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Animated Character Design with Illustrator

29 video lessons · 3377 viewers

Angie Taylor
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