Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Artist at work: Big foot illustration, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Narrator] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In this movie, we're gonna do an artist at work. I live in the Pacific Northwest, aka Land of Bigfoot, and this photo is from the original Patterson video and it was taken just south of the Oregon state border. And it appeared when I was a kid and was showcased, and it really fascinated me. Well, the theme Bigfoot is the theme we're gonna use to build our design today from.
And you're gonna sit with me, looking over my shoulder as I build. Now, I'm not gonna do a whole lot of commentary. This is more about you observing the process because I have to get everything done pretty quickly. So I just want to jump into it. So this was the inspiration, Bigfoot. And that inspired this drawing. And once I have my drawing, I scan it in, place it on its own layer. In this case, I'll set it to 20%. I'll lock the layer. And then, we're gonna build above it. And I always use a graphic style of a magenta line.
We'll go to the pen tool. Actually, let's go ahead and zoom in first. I want to create the face part of this character right now for Bigfoot. And we'll select the pen tool. And I'm just gonna start building. Once again, I'm not gonna do a whole lot of talking. Right now, I have the Smart Guides turned on. I'm gonna turn them off. You want to toggle them on and off as you build. So, Command + U to toggle off. And then, that way it won't lock you in to a certain angle. I wish you could adjust that but you really can't. But, you really do need them to do other kinds of building.
So it's something you'll want to toggle on and off as you build and as you create your artwork, regardless of what it is, Bigfoot or otherwise. And, you can see how I'm just letting my drawing guide my vector building. I'll finesse these anchor points as I go. And, I've always been kind of fascinated with Bigfoot and paranormal stuff.
Growing up, I used to watch the In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy which inspired Chris Carter to do the X-Files series, if you didn't know that. That's why I like the X-Files so much as well. It's a fun one. I'm kind of into sci-fi anyway, and Bigfoot's kind of on the fringe of that. And I'll grab the path scribe tool. You could use anchor point tool out of Illustrator. It's available CC and above. I just don't use it.
I just don't like the way it feels. It's kind of clunky. I like the path scribe tool because it's more fluid. It just works better in my opinion. Like that, we'll adjust that. And, if there are simple shapes like eyes, I'll just use the shape tool, the ellipse tool. And now we'll go ahead and move on to his hair. I don't worry about curves initially. I'm just laying down my anchor points where the anchor points need to go.
Wherever it comes to a point gets a point. And this is about as easy as it gets with this hair. This long curve is so shallow, we don't need to put an anchor point in between. We can just go immediately to the points, like this. And we're gonna go ahead and place this one here. And, I'll go over to this one.
And I usually zoom in like this. You don't want to build too far away, like be zoomed out. It's hard to see what's going on. So I like zooming in so I can see shape and form. And this is why I use path scribe. You see these little dots? These are what are called ghost handles which I think is a cool name in and of itself. But, you can grab those if you don't want to grab the path, and you can adjust it. So you can see how I lay down my initial rough build, put in anchor points in the right location. Then I'll go back in. And now, I usually go in a clockwise fashion.
I'll just go around the entire design and finesse shape and form. This one, I'm just gonna go as fast as possible cause I don't want this video too long. And I usually go a lot faster if I'm not talking so. That, you can see this goes fairly quickly.
So we can see what it's looking like. That's looking pretty good. Zoom in on this area. You can see, when you're this far out, it's hard to see really what the shape of the path is. That's why I zoom in. Because you really can't see it that well if you're zoomed out. It's almost like you're floating in orbit around the Earth and you're trying to park a car down in a mall parking lot, you know, 200 miles below you.
It just makes it a little harder. So, take advantage of zoom. Illustrator now can zoom in a lot more than it used to be able to with the updates. And so, that's that shape. Now, we're gonna go ahead and create the other shapes. I'll go ahead and increase this just so you can see what's going on. So that's what we have so far. And, I'm gonna create the, let's see, we'll do this hand. And we're gonna have to speed things up. I'll try to do all the shapes.
I might not get all of them because like a good cooking show, I do have it kind of pre-baked. But the exact process I used is what I'm showing you here. There is no secret sauce I'm not sharing with you. This is exactly how I go about doing it. And if you work out your design in a drawn form, it just assists your building. You don't really have to think too much about your shape and form. You're just using your drawing as a roadmap to build from.
So that's the benefit. That's how analog can really enhance digital. If you take the time to work it out and think in shapes as you're drawing, it's gonna help you to create your or compose your design elements in an analog form. And then that will guide your vector building. So it does really improve your skills over time if you get in the habit of working that way. And, we'll go ahead and adjust these.
I like leaving nothing perfectly straight. I like putting a little bend like this one here. I don't want it perfectly straight. I want to add a little bend into it just cause it's gonna look better. And I think this can be adjusted. So if I up the move an anchor point around when I zoom in, I will, if I need to. This finger's looking a little wonky. I want it a little fatter like that, same with this guy.
So I'll really kind of zoom in and scrutinize my shape and form and finesse it until I get it looking just right. Now, I'm gonna go ahead and jump to the next layer because we're gonna use this same methodology to build all these shapes. I just don't want to waste like 10 minutes doing that. But that's the exact process I use, using the simple pen tool and just going in and adjusting and massaging my bezier curves and pulling out handles in order to finesse the shape.
So when it's all said and done, I have all my base shapes as showing here. Now this is where I'll do something else, and that is, simple shape building. Notice how like on the legs here, I have this negative space coming in here. That's just to add a very subtle element of overlap to the legs so not everything is completely flat. It gives a little bit of dimensionality to this very simplified character. And so, I'll create these other wedge shapes as shown here. I'll select, for example, his legs.
And then I'll go to Pathfinder and I'll remove from shape just to cut that notch here just so you see the back end of, well, his bottom. And then I'll select this little wedge shape. And we'll select the top part of his body. And I'm gonna go ahead and kind of cut that out using the Pathfinder remove from shape. And then once I have that shape done, then I'll select the shape, clone it, Command + C, Command + F. And this is where we'll go to object. We'll go to Path. We'll go to Offset Path.
And here we'll want to preview it, five. We'll go OK. And with that, then I'll select the arm. And then I'm just gonna trim off that edge of the arm so it's not connected so it gives the illusion that it's behind him. It's the arm furthest away. And it's at this point now that I can select my shapes, the body, the arms. I can unite them with the Pathfinder and one cohesive shape. And you can see, I have these guys here.
I can go ahead and select these two shapes. And on this one, I'm gonna go ahead and, let's see. We'll go ahead and clone these, Command + C, Command + F. I'll go intersect just to get the little nose shape. Then I'll select the original shapes, unite them. And that'll just give me all the necessary individual shapes needed. So this guy and this guy, we'll unite those.
And those will be kind of, we're gonna punch them through this little face shape like this. And make sure the nose is on top. I have that assigned to the F5 key, but you can go to Object, Arrange, Bring to Front. But notice, I have keyboard commands set up, so I don't have to go here. I can just hit F5 and it does the same thing. Now, once we have all of our base are established like this, this is when I'll bring a tonal family and I'll start thinking about using this.
And I'll go ahead and select the face, for example. We'll select the eyedropper. And we'll color the face. I'll go ahead and color this guy like this. We'll take his nose and we'll color it. And that's how quickly a design like this can be colored. Now, as I was working on this, I thought it needed some type just to kind of play up the image a little more. And so once again, it's all simple vector building using the pen tool and using some of the shape tools such as the dot on the I and then just selecting these shapes for the letter forms.
We're gonna unite these together as one. Then I can go ahead and color these brown. We'll go ahead and select the feet. And we'll go ahead and unite those with the Pathfinder. And those will be colored tan. And so, this is as easy it is to compose an illustration like this using simple build techniques. And the final design on this one ended up looking like this. And you can see, I added some nice dithered shading on this. And if you want to grab those brushes to do that kind of shading, you can because they're part of another course I did.
And that is the Drawing Vector Graphics: Color and Detail course. So if you go to that course, there in the exercise files, and I show you in a movie in that course how to apply them to an illustration like this. So the whole reason I create my courses and all the movies is to kind of demystify the creative process. Whereas Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are seemingly elusive, improving your vector building skills doesn't have to be. It just takes time and dedication to improve.
From The Land of Bigfoot, thank you for watching DVG Lab. And until next time, never stop drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.