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The previous two movies that I showed you how to use the width tool in contextual liner line illustration utilised artwork that was free style drawing linear illustrations meaning it wasn't based on any type of photographic content this specific design is based of a photographic content. And this was a project I worked on for an agency down in Texas. And it was for the Final Four basketball tournament.
And so obviously the team is a sports related theme. It's basketball. And the nice part about this project for me is the creative director just asked for sports themed graphics and I'm the one that suggested creating them in a linear style. I thought would be a lot of fun, so this is. My refined sketch for one of the poses that I came up with. This is the one I like the most because you can tell what he's getting ready to you. He's flying through the air and he's going to slam dunk it, so. I wanted to use the linear lines style because.
Basketball is all about movement, it's all about making moves on the court and driving to the hoop. And I felt like this style really lent itself to capturing not only the emotion of the game, but the movement of the game. And that's why I want to show this to you because when you work and you illustrate in a linear line style. It's really important to capture that type of movement. Especially if the theme you're working on is one like this. Sports oriented.
It's all about movement and flying through the air and doing dramatic things. So I wanted my characteristic of how my path flowed to kind of reflect that. So once I have my sketch scanned in. To build the artwork. We'll set this to 20% and lock the layer. So like all of my other linear linework, it all starts one point at a time from the far left to the far right. And the reason why this artwork isn't looped is because I wanted it to fall off the edge of the background that it would be placed in.
So the final context really dictated how I handled the linear line work here. I wanted the line to flow in from the left side, dry out the figure and flow off the right side. So, that was why you see these lines kind of flaring out here on the left and flaring out here on the right. So, once again, this is just a simple vector path, and using the clockwork method, I built it. Once I had that, and I have my base, just black and white, simple stroke.
In this case the stroke is just two points. I think this looks fine, but once again, I think adding. Thicks and thins are really going to improve the overall aesthetic and it doesn't matter if it's the figure itself or in this case the basketball, it's going to add a nice, kind of flow and field to the overall artwork by putting thicks and thins on it. So, that's what I did on this artwork. And obviously, on a complex linear illustration like this it can take me upwards to probably about an hour, an hour and a half, maybe even two hours, to spend the necessary time to really go through this and build all of these thicks and thins.
And, I'd like to sit on it after I think I have it to a point I like it. And, then I'll come back on it a few hours later, or maybe the next day. And I'll look at it and then, I'll continue to make adjustments, continue to tweak where the thins are, and where I have the thicknesses placed. And, there really is no step by step process in terms of step one do this, step two do this. It really comes down to. Letting the visual guide where you're going to place the thicks and thins.
Because if you don't do it well, you can obscure detail. Like if I left this as thick as it's showin' here, you kind of lose the nice detail in his face, under his nose and stuff. And this is also where. You'll probably want to zoom in and do this a lot closer so you can pay closer attention to how that's forming. So we'll probably go in here and re continue to make adjustments like that. So, don't be afraid to zoom in. That's what it's there for. So you zoom, zoom in, place all your thicks and thins and in this case for this basketball figure.
To kind of imbue that overall movement. Now, like a good cooking show I have this pre baked. So, if I go to key line view it's still essentially a stroke. But all the thick and thins created with the width tool. Are in place and you can see where those control points are showing if I highlight the path here. But, overall it's created a very nice kind of movement to the overall line of the path. Now, if I go back to our original artwork and I'll just tangle on and off this thick and thin version.
And you can see just how much more character the art has now. So that's why I use it. And in the final context of this design, the background we even played up the concept more since it's basketball and we used the actual surface of a basketball as a textured background that these linear line illustrations float over. And we used a nice subtle. Kind of drop shadow pop of them on the back ground. So illustrative design is style driven and finessing your thick and thins within your continuous line work can really as statically give your linear design more than hand drawn quality.
And I think any time that you can use a tool like this to improve the overall process and the final result of your artwork, it's always a net gain.
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