Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Graphic styles and custom color palettes

From: Drawing Vector Graphics

Video: Graphic styles and custom color palettes

When I scan in a drawing that will be the basis of an illustrative design. It's always in black-and-white and toned back to around 15% to 20%. To simplify the process of building my vector shapes in Illustrator I use a default graphic style. The graphic style I have set up is a magenta line such as what's showing here on screen. I have this set up in a .5 and a .25 setting within my Graphic Styles palette as you can see here.

Graphic styles and custom color palettes

When I scan in a drawing that will be the basis of an illustrative design. It's always in black-and-white and toned back to around 15% to 20%. To simplify the process of building my vector shapes in Illustrator I use a default graphic style. The graphic style I have set up is a magenta line such as what's showing here on screen. I have this set up in a .5 and a .25 setting within my Graphic Styles palette as you can see here.

The reason why I do that is when I build vector art, in this case this face graphic. This was for a cover of a book on Illustrator actually. And when I build my vector shapes, we are going to zoom in so you can see what's going on here, I use magenta like this to build all of the base shapes before I ever do any kind of color exploration. Now I suggest to use a thinner line than what's showing right now on screen.

This is just too fat to build from and it's going to make it a lot harder to discern how smooth of a shape you're creating if you build this thick. So the size that I suggest you build out is at least .5. It's just easier on the eyes as you are following your underlying sketch and it's going to make building faster. Now when you get into small details on a design such as on these glasses, on the interior details, you might even want to drop down to a .5 setting which is a subtle change here on screen, but you can see the difference here.

.5 is on the right, .25 is on the left. So whatever one you prefer, I kind of toggle back and forth as I'm creating. Personally, I kind of prefer the .25 because I'm usually zoomed in like this when I am building my vector art. It just makes building easier. So like a good cooking show I always have things pre-baked. So we're going to turn on the All Base Shapes layer.

This shows all the base vector shapes for this design. Everything I need to create my final art is essentially here minus the detailing aspects such as shading and some highlighting effects. But all of the core base vector shapes have been built now. It's all using my magenta-colored graphic style and that's how I build every design. Every design at some point looks like this on my workstation.

So with this in place let me walk you through my custom color palette now. I have my own customized default set of color swatches and graphic styles that I load into every file I open in Illustrator. This prevents having to re-create the wheel everytime I work on a new project and it allows me to start color exploration immediately. Let me walk you through my custom color palette. These are my base shapes.

I can now start color exploration and what really facilitates color exploration is having a tonal family and if you look at my Swatches palette. I will just pull this out so we can see this a little easier. You see I have tonal families in here. The first one is this flesh tones and it goes from light flesh tone all the way up to a darker flesh tone. Then it kind of transitions into a brownish tint type of flesh tone into red, into brown, then we hit the blues and then once again it starts on the low-end tonal value of blue and goes to a darker value blue to a very dark blue.

Then you have grays. These grays are cool grays. They have a tint of blue in them. They are not just stark black tints and then these colors which are pink are the ones I use for, like creating on illustration like this, the mouth. Then I have greens and oranges and reds and I also include process black colors. In this case, a 40, 20, 20, 100 mixture and a 0, 40, 40, 100 mixture.

There's a lot of different processed black settings. You can have. Those are the two I prefer. With that in place I can now select each aspect of my base vector shapes and start colorizing it. So here's the base shapes that just make up the head and the hair and I've gone ahead and colored those using my tonal family. The next shapes that fall in place are the nose and components that make up the mouth, then the hair, the eyebrows, the goatee, and the glasses.

I mean the artwork at this point is looking pretty good. If we zoom in on it, it almost looks like a complete piece of art, but really what makes it and breaks this design specifically is all the detailing. Once you turn that on you can see how it really comes to life. Now just to give you a peek at this, you can look at it with just the detailing on and most of these are gradient shapes. One thing I'll do is I will provide this file in the exercise files.

So if you want to deconstruct it to kind of explore that aspect of it later, you can. But that's how I use tonal families. Now one thing with having tonal family set up is that I use nothing, but Global colors. So if we go over to this color palette and I double-click on this light green color, you can see that I have Global selected. What that means is I can make universal changes here. So let's say the Green in his glasses, I don't like that green.

I think it'd look better if it's like reflecting the blue of the sky. So we're just going to switch this over and start making that look more blue, take the yellow out, maybe make that little lighter. Now when we click Preview, you can see that it changes our art and if we keep the preview clicked on, it will dynamically change as we are editing the colors over here. You could change that to anything you want.

In this case I wanted to be a nice blue to reflect the sky. Once you have the color you want, you just click OK. That's the nice part about building with global colors is you're able to make on the fly decisions and wherever you've used that green color, in this case just in the glasses it will globally change it. So anywhere that color shows up in your design it will change it. It's a good habit to build all your colors as global colors. That's just a smart way to build your file.

Now all of these colors, I should point out, that are showing in my Swatches palette over here or what I call real world colors meaning each one of these colors I've actually used in a print project. So I've seen how it comes out in the real world and those are the colors I've used to create my tonal library over about the past 10 years. So, if you just get in the habit of paying attention to the colors you use in a project and keeping track of those in creating your own tonal families that are proven in the real world, it's going to make your life a lot easier.

That said you never want to trust your screen. Spec from a Pantone book using a true white source like an OttLite. These are just two simple ways I streamline my creative process. You will no doubt develop other ways to improve your own workflow and I encourage you to discover them.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drawing Vector Graphics
Drawing Vector Graphics

41 video lessons · 52477 viewers

Von Glitschka
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 26s
    2. Exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 18m 36s
    1. What is illustrative design?
      54s
    2. A systematic creative process
      1m 26s
    3. Exploring analog tools
      2m 39s
    4. Exploring digital tools
      13m 37s
  3. 18m 31s
    1. Creative preparation
      1m 13s
    2. The creative brief
      2m 25s
    3. Creative thinking methods
      1m 2s
    4. Word associations
      1m 55s
    5. Mind mapping
      1m 55s
    6. Before. During. After.
      1m 26s
    7. I think, therefore I design
      2m 46s
    8. Selecting the appropriate style
      2m 57s
    9. Using reference material
      2m 52s
  4. 8m 50s
    1. Solid creative foundation
      53s
    2. Anyone can draw
      2m 17s
    3. Thumbnail sketching
      2m 34s
    4. Refining your drawn ideas
      3m 6s
  5. 44m 40s
    1. Workflow enhancements
      57s
    2. Keyboard shortcuts and recording actions
      2m 25s
    3. Keyboard shortcuts and recording actions: Demo
      13m 15s
    4. Using custom scripts
      6m 44s
    5. Graphic styles and custom color palettes
      8m 19s
    6. Using layers
      7m 15s
    7. Toggling Smart Guides on and off
      5m 45s
  6. 38m 59s
    1. Building your vector shapes
      1m 0s
    2. A roadmap for vector building
      4m 40s
    3. The clockwork method
      7m 4s
    4. Prime point placement
      3m 40s
    5. The point-by-point method
      8m 22s
    6. The shape-building method
      6m 46s
    7. Symmetry is your friend
      6m 1s
    8. Art directing yourself
      1m 26s
  7. 19m 54s
    1. Presenting your designs
      1m 4s
    2. Presentation formats
      5m 50s
    3. Revealing your designs
      1m 36s
    4. Writing a design rationale
      1m 56s
    5. Responding to client revisions
      3m 46s
    6. Renewable creative energy
      5m 42s
  8. 49s
    1. Next steps
      49s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Drawing Vector Graphics.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.