Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating cut-paper illustration, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory In this movie I want to take a look at a very forgiving and easy illustration style that in my opinion anyone can pull off. I think you're going to enjoy this approach so let's get started. Now, when you approach illustration, it doesn't matter what the theme or what the genre is, think about the objects involved in pulling off the visual narrative you have to create. In this case, I need a tie so I'm looking at a reference of a tie and then I'm drawing it out in the most simple form of basic shapes that I could to reflect a tie.
It doesn't have to be photorealistic. Anybody could draw what's shown here and when it comes to building it, it couldn't even be easier because I'm just going to simply select the pin tool, we'll go over to the graphics style, I'll select the base building, I like to use this magenta color and when I build shapes like this for this specific style, we're creating a look and feel that is cut paper. So when you cut paper nothing's perfect. You're not cutting it elegantly.
You're just cutting it out and most of the time you're dealing with just little areas of straight edges and that's all you have to think about when you're creating vector art like this. You don't have to deal with a lot of precise elegant flows of curves and bezier curves. Just keep it simple, keep it flat. Now, there will be areas such as these little bends here, where you can grab the anchor point tool and you can just bend those up like this. That's easy, that's not hard.
And then you can go back to the pin tool and just keep building these simple base, straight, flat shapes. You don't even need to draw it out first if you feel confident enough to do it without drawing it out I'm so used to drawing stuff out that I like to draw it out regardless of the style I'm working in. But you can see how quickly it goes to build a shape like this. Once you have your shapes, we'll get rid of the outline, we'll fill it with the color we want, and in this case I'm going to go ahead and go to Pathfinder and unite all these shapes into one compound shape.
So that's how I build the tie. It doesn't matter what you're building. Let's say you want to build a briefcase. Well, I would create simple shapes like this, these shapes sitting on top, I'd select this shape. I'd remove from shape or punch it through, select all the shapes, unite them with the Pathfinder. And then once again, get rid of this outline. Go to fill and then I could fill it with whatever color I want to get a shape of the briefcase like this. Now, yes I drew this first but you don't even have to draw it.
You could just look at this reference and then just build it Once again, look at the handle, it's not these perfect, elegant curves. It's handled as if I cut it out of paper. That's the beauty of this style. Let's take a look at one more. So here's a fountain pen and I'm creating, just think of it as a business kind of collection of images I'm going to compose into a narrative to reflect something. Once again, you could draw it out, but in this case it doesn't even have to be drawn out.
You could build it just as easy without actually having you draw it out. But once again, the build isn't precise but it's purely appropriate for this style. And when you take all these elements and you compose them together like I've done here, this is kind of like if there's a business travel man, he has to keep track of his receipts while he travels. So what we're going to do now is I'm going to go ahead and get rid of this fill. We'll use this black stroke color and I'm going to go over and grab the pencil here and here's another easy thing you can do.
So on this one, we just want to represent him writing. So we'll do that and create a simple little, once again, crude path, and then we're going to go to the brushes and one of the default brushes in Illustrator, we're just going to apply that to the path and then we're going to go to strokes once we've applied it and we can bump this up, maybe that's a little too thick. Let's go one point five, and you could even adjust the opacity if you didn't like how stark this was.
So maybe it's 80 in order for it to be somewhat gray and you can see the look and feel you get. Now that doesn't look bad, but I think we can push this over the top and make it look even better and that's where textures come in. Here's an organic half tone texture and all we're going to do now is we're simply going to select this, we're going to go to window and we'll go to image trace and on image trace we want to go under advanced like this and we want to click ignore white and for this one we're just going to do it all the way to the right and all the way to the left.
This is going to trace it at the highest level we'll go trace and then we can close this window and go expand and that gives us our texture that we're going to use here. And so what we're going to do, is we're going to go ahead and just drag this down to our layer right underneath, we can turn this layer off. We'll go back to our composition layer and look how cool this looks, just as it's own. We're not going to leave it like that, we're going to move it over here and we're going to make copies of it.
So we'll go command c, and command v to paste it and then what I'm going to do is I'm going to go like this then I'm going to select this briefcase, I'm going to clone it, command c, command f. Then select our texture, and then intersect it where they overlap and that gives me this new texture and we're going to colorize this white and look at how cool that looks.
And we're going to do this same approach on all the elements in this composition. So we're going to, command c command f this, and then drag it over our tie right here. Make a clone of the tie, command c command f. Select the texture and intersect it. And then, once it's intersected we'll just want to colorize it white and once again you can see how cool that looks.
We'll do this a couple more times, command c command v then drag it into place. Now on this pen, we'll clone everything, command c command f, we'll unite that to create what we're going to use then we'll select the half tone, intersect it. You know what, let me see what I had. I think, yeah it's a group. This needs to be a compound path there So all I did is I hit F7 because I have compath set up with F7, so I forgot to do that so we'll select that, we'll select the texture, we'll intersect it.
There we go. And now we can colorize that white to get that look. And then the last one we're going to do is this is going to go over the paper. And we'll select the paper command c command f and we'll select the texture, intersect it and because the paper's white, we don't want to colorize it the same the paper. We're going to colorize it the same as the background and then we're going to nest it behind the other two shapes right here.
So command b to paste behind and you can see how quickly this goes and you can create a very effective looking illustration. It doesn't take a lot of time, doesn't take a lot of effort. And if you don't even go as fast as I did, it's going to look even better, so keep that in mind as well. Now, once again let's review this process really quickly. So, if you can take any kind of visual image and just draw it out in the simple form, doesn't have to be photorealistic, doesn't even have to align with the photo, just use it to guide your efforts.
Think cut paper, shapes that are cut out of paper, that's going to guide your visualization as you draw this out. Then you just simply build those, once again, doesn't have to be elegant curves, it can just be point by point, very easy building once you get your paths built you can go ahead and colorize them. Once you colorize them, it's going to look incredible once you had that nice little half toning to it. So it's a fun style to work with. Really easy to work with, anybody can do this, so illustration doesn't always have to be complex or overly detailed.
So find a nice simple style you enjoy and stick with it, perfect it and let your own visual voice develop by using it whenever you can. 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.