Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating with the eraser tool, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In this movie we're going to create our vector art in a somewhat unorthodox way by drawing with the blob brush and specifically the eraser tool. That may seem a little strange to those who are watching this but it's kind of unique. I kind of stumbled upon this. I've used the eraser tool a few times over the years. Its one of those tools I don't touch a whole lot. And then one day I just, once again, experimenting and I go, ya know what? There is an aesthetic you could pull of really well and that's what I'm going to attempt to do in this movie.
So lets go ahead and jump into this. The beauty about this kind of style and this is what I would refer to in proper illustration terminology, as a naive style, meaning its simplistic, it doesn't have to be precise, it doesn't have to be realistically proportioned for example But in terms of my drawing, I don't worry about it being perfect or straight or precision. Its just to guide my efforts digitally.
And so what we're going to do first is we're going to go to the blob brush. And I'm going to go over to this paintbrush tool and we'll go in and select the blob brush. I always screw up on that name by the way so if I do, you'll know why. Its kind of a tongue twister. But you can see it's way too big so we want to make some adjustments to this. So we're going to double click into it and I want to make sure Keep Selected is on. Accurate is what I want. But right now it's huge, its like 45 so we want to bring it down, I don't know maybe 2.
Let's try that, see how that looks. And make sure we're on the blob brush. And I think that's going to work. Let's zoom in and give it a try. Yup. That'll work. Now I don't want to go with this brown color. I want to go with a magenta because I'm not using that anywhere in my design. And the first thing we want to do is we're going to attempt to draw just this head shape.
Now the thing about the blob brush, I should say in general is you draw a shape and it looks like a stroke but it really isn't. It's actually a shape. If you go to Key Line View its a shape its just organically drawing because it's done by hand. And then as you're working with it you'll select the inner shape and we're going to be throwing those away to end up with just a fill. That's the essence of what we're going for but we're not going to worry about that as we're drawing it. Once again, we're just going to go ahead and take the blob brush. I'm just going to draw.
I don't care if it's perfect and that's okay. It should be a little wobbly, a little imperfect. A little I don't know it's humanity. It just adds character to the line work. And so that's all I'm going to do here. Once again I'm not worried about being super precise, super perfect with it. I'm just following, drawing. And now you can see if you want to go back and refine you can draw over it and what happens is it fuses it together so it's not like independent shapes.
Because you're using the same color, it kind of cohesively goes together. And you can see how this process goes really fast. Now, I should point out that I'm doing this with a mouse. Idealistically, it would be way easier with like a Wacom Tablet, for example. So, that's what I do and then the next thing I'd use the direct select tool, select the inner part of this and just hit delete. And that's all I'm doing is creating these shapes. Now if I want to draw this element of the hat so it wouldn't fuse already because I might want to move or proportion stuff.
I'll just change colors and that assures that this blob that I'm going to be drawing with will not fuse with the previous artwork. But notice how you can't see what's underneath. This is where I'll select a shade and I'll go multiply just so I can still see my drawing underneath if I have to create additional artwork. Once again I'll want to change the color and we'll just go ahead and quickly create this hat like this.
And once again it doesn't have to perfect, kind of refine that just a little bit like this. And then using direct select, select the inner part and get rid of it. And once again I'd probably take this shape and turn multiply on just so I can continue to see my underlying drawing. So that's how I'll draw a lot of the base art with the blob brush just to get the forms I'm going to work with. And like a good cooking show, I have some of this pre baked. So you can see how I've done this and I've just itemized these into separate shapes like this.
And the whole reason I did that is because maybe I want to rotate that up or whatever. It just gives you more flexibility as you proceed down the creative process. So that's the only reason I did that. So what we're going to do now is we're going to draw with the eraser tool. So the first thing I want to do is I want to select these shapes and I'm just going to unite them so it fuses them all together. We'll turn it back into this magenta color. And then I'm going to go to multiply it again and we're going to adjust the opacity even so it's a little lighter so we can see the drawing really well.
And now what I'm going to do, we'll go ahead and match that on the bird as well here. And now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go back to the eraser tool here and we're going to click on that and we'll see how big we have it. We have it at 10 points, we were using I believe 2 for the blob so we'll try 2 here. And we'll go okay and then what we're going to do is zoom in. Lets zoom in on the hat for example.
And we're going to select the shape and then with the eraser tool we'll see how big this is. This might be a little too small. We'll see. I think that's okay. I think that's going to work. Lets try this again so we go like this. And all I'm doing is I'm erasing what I don't want. You can see how it just cuts through.
And so that's all I'm doing when I'm drawing with this tool. I'm actually removing what I don't want. I'm not drawing in a positive sense. I'm drawing in a negative sense. Its removing, not adding to. Especially if you work out in general notice how I can get a little wobbly but when I let go it kind of streamlines my line, like that one command z. Doesn't matter what you're creating, if you don't like it just command z.
And this is the methodology that I'll use to go in and draw out the other content. Once again we'll go down here on this bird and this is a little more complex on the bird but the same principle applies. I'll just go through and it'll help if you have the shape selected. That's another thing, you can't erase anything that you don't select.
And I do like how it corrects. Sometimes, especially with a mouse, you can get kind of wobbly and it'll actually improve the quality of the line you're drawing. So we'll go like this and I'll go ahead cut through here. And if it's easier for you go ahead and zoom in even further if that just makes the whole process easier. Sometimes if you stay zoomed out it feels like you're in the international space station trying to create a logo or whatever.
So don't be afraid to zoom in. Specially with the new versions of CC you can zoom in. I believe the zoom limit before was around 8,000. Now its like 64,000. Its nuts, you can zoom in a lot. It's not infinite but you're hardly ever going to need to zoom in more than that. And so once again this is very loose style so it's forgiving but this is the methodology I'll use to create all the line work and artwork to draw it out.
Let's do one more just to show you. So we'll do his ear. Like this. Try that again. So that's how you'll do that so it works pretty easily, it works pretty well and when it's all said and done your base artwork will look like this. And then it's all about just separating these individual shapes so that you can begin coloring them and this is the fun part.
This is where you can just take your eyedropper and just start plugging in colors like this. Some of these you might want to change the value. So maybe this is 70 like that and its all about colorizing your artwork. So we're getting a little literal with this.
By the way my daughter, Savannah, works with me and so she kind of took issue with some of the coloring on this when I was showing her what I was doing. She said "Why'd you color this, it looks like he has Jondis. And I go he looks fine just wait until it's all said and done and it'll look good. But this is the methodology I'll use to color everything. And so I'm not going to go through all of this but you can experiment with color. Actually you can color it however you want with the exercise files. So that's fine.
And so what I end with is I end up with my artwork. Let's turn off our sketch. You can see the colored artwork like this and it has a really nice quality to it that is pretty loose and pretty freeform. Even the lettering, I drew in the same manner using the blob brush so it's not a font. It's just simple hand lettering but it matches the quality and aesthetics of the line work and the shapes that we have going here. Now at times I thought well maybe I should put a nice background color into it.
And this is kind of helps it look a little bit more authentic, if you will. And to create a glow though, I thought well maybe I should do a thick outline. I don't really like that. And then I decided to take that thick outline and create a dither glow which I actually thought looked pretty good. So if you like a background you could try that. I wasn't completely sure with this. I don't know. I like to have a white background. I initially thought it was going to have a color background but the more I looked at it the more I liked it just on a stark white background.
And the way I'll add more aesthetic to this is, of course once again turn to my favorite and that is some nice textures eventually. But as I was looking at this I was thinking this is a style that could be applied in maybe a not so literal way. Maybe you could simplify it with the color. And so I really liked how it looked with just a one color approach. It has kind of a nice visual aesthetic and I'm going to re approach that in just a second.
But I do want to point out one thing regarding textures because you see me use these a lot and I fail to kind of explain something that you can do with textures. So you have both the same exact textures, the same exact artwork here. I can select this texture for example. And if the base color of the element I'm going to mask it in is blue then maybe we'll go with a gray. I'll color it gray and I will move this over like this and then I'll go to transparency, blend mode, and I might hit multiply and then maybe I adjust the opacity to 40 like that.
Then I select my mass and I make a mass and I can do that. So if I select the mass shape there's no attributes applied to it. Those are embedded onto the image inside the mass. One thing you can do to make it easier at times is you can color it the same way like you'd color anything. You can move it over and you can apply the mask like this. And all I'm doing by the way is F1 which to make a mask you'd go Clipping Mask but I'm using my keyboard shortcuts F1.
So that's how you'd make a mask by the way. Let's actually do that again. So you'd go up to object, pull down to clipping mask and make. I'm just in the habit muscle memory of using shortcuts so much that I tend to forget some of this stuff, to call it out. So that's how you create a clipping mask that you can make your own keyboard shortcuts. Now once you have a clipping mask like this you can go and apply that blend mode to the mask instead of the shape within the mask. Then you can go set your transparency once again to the mask instead of the shape in the mask.
Now the aesthetic is exactly the same. It's just on this top one if I use F2 to unmask my texture, you can notice that every element of the settings is the same. If I unmask this texture, once again you do that by going to object, clipping mask, and release like this. You notice that it's colored the same but you've lost all of those setting because it was applied to the mask.
Whereas this one it's applied to the actual texture itself. So I try to get in the habit of applying all my settings to the texture that I'm masking not to the mask itself. It's not a big thing, I just found it works better to do it the top way here so that when you ever go to make an edit you don't lose any of those settings. They still retain. So its just a good thing to keep in mind. You can notice how this one no longer has those settings now because I removed it from the mask and lost them.
So just something to keep in mind as you're working. And what we're going to do now is we're going to take our initial artwork and we're going to add some nice texture. So I'm going to take this first texture, this is the white one. And all this is is applied at 50% opacity and you can see it adds some nice texture to it. I'm going to click on this one. Here is another texture I placed in and I have a mass that's made up of all my artwork, all the shapes in my artwork. And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and select. Lets lock that layer.
I'm going to select this new mask here and I'm going to colorize this one a light brown color. And then I'm going to apply once again multiply to this. And then I'm going to set the value. I don't want it to be so stark. So we'll do 55% and then with that set I'm going to then mask it into this shape. Once again on a complex shape like this, Illustrator will always ask you. I wish there was a button over here that said don't ask me again but they don't provide that for whatever reason.
This is basically saying hey you have a lot of anchor points, you sure you want to do this? Yes I'm a big boy, I know what I want to do. So mask it into the shape and you can see how it only affects those areas of the artwork that the texture is running over. So let me zoom in on this just so you can appreciate the texture its adding. I just think it looks pretty good. And actually on this one I might click into this and I might adjust this down just a little bit even more. Just to make it a little more faint. There we go.
And then I'll just add a few more textures. Here's another one. And this texture once again it's been masked into a shape and this specific texture, lets make sure you can see it's masked into this shape. And if I double click into that, that's how we can get access to the texture within it right here. And on this texture, we're going to go ahead and we're going to color this a light yellow texture like this and we're going to select a different blend mode.
We're going to try overlay like that. And then we're going to select the opacity. Let's try 45. And then to get out of, we're in isolation mode right now. We'll just go back to the desktop like that. And you can see how this blend mode really adds a nice effect as it runs over the colors and overlays that color and creates additional colors because of the texture interacting with the art underneath.
Then we'll select this one which is another texture overlapping it and that's also set at a different blend mode. We've added a fifth texture and this is just the splatters in the background. And an addition texture on that to add even more texture to it. So when you zoom in you can see how all those texture are working with one another and working really well. Now that said we had our original artwork which was colored but check out how cool this looks in just a one color format especially with all these textures in place.
It looks really sophisticated. So I call this style of illustration naive. As I stated it's very organic and essentially creating it, much like drawing it has a nice hand drawn quality to the shapes as well. I had never done this style before so I'm going to visit again hopefully at a later date. Software companies like to develop tools and market them in specific ways and that should be expected but it shouldn't stop you from trying to use them in other ways an engineer never expected you to.
I think that's where creativity comes into the picture. That's what creativity is all about actually. So trying new things seeing what you can discover along the way. Thank you for watching DVG Lab. I really appreciate it. 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.