Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating from inspiration, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. I love those moments when I see something and it sparks curiosity. I've learned not to ignore them. Instead, I try to act on them as fast as I can. I don't have anything planned out, and I certainly don't fully understand why something inspires me at any given moment, it just happens. So I go with it, and I see where it leads. My friend Calvin Lee is a designer and photographer based out of Los Angeles, and he's also part of a group of photographers that meet up in Downtown L.A.
and take some spectacular photographs like this. They hire performance actors to dress up in character and then they just go nuts with their lighting and their photography and they capture some really cool photos, such as this one, where they brought in some performer to do fire breathing (laughs). And just absolutely crazy production effort here. I love the lighting, I love the composition, and I love the colors.
They use really cool smoke grenades as well to create some compelling environments for their photography. Here are several examples of that. So a lot of fun photographs. Now I've been following Cal on Facebook for quite a while. I've know him even longer, but these photographs have always compelled me and have always been fun to look at, and it's the basis for our inspiration for this movie. Specifically, this photograph. So let me share how I created a design based off being inspired from seeing this photograph here, and it all starts of course with drawing.
Now on this project, me and my daughter worked on it together, so my criteria for her to do the base drawing from which to build upon, was to create a graphic narrative of the inspiring photograph to capture it's essence, but I wanted it to be very simplified and very graphic so we could use it in a specific way, as you're going to see moving forward. And so this was her rough sketch. I set up my guides on their own layer. Now, if you haven't noticed by now, guides show through all layers.
So it might be the bottommost layer in your file, but you'll still see the guide through the topmost layer of your file. That's just the way guides work in Illustrator. I'm not a big fan of how guides work in Illustrator compared to the 15 years I used Freehand. I thought guides worked far better in that. So I'll set them on their own layer at times so I can control 'em and turn 'em on and off just to make the process easier, and it just gives me more control to do that. So that's why they're on their own layer. And on top of this, we're just simply going to build our vector art and we've done this in a symmetric way so we can simply select our artwork here, clone it, Command c, Command f, go to the Reflect tool, find a central anchor point, and just reflect it over like that.
That's how quick it goes if you build symmetric. We can go ahead and turn off our rough now, and even at this point, I'm going to turn off the guide now. And sometimes on screen it makes it look fatter than it really is but don't worry about that. That's just the screen resolution. So we're going to select these two shapes, and I'm going to fuse these together. We'll select the horns here, and I'm going to fuse these two together. I'm going to do the same thing with the face, and then the central elements of the face here, we'll fuse those together, and then of course the teeth, like this.
Now, one thing I should point out is that on the horn, I don't mind these details on the horn being symmetric on the left and right sides, but on the top one, I don't like how it is. So I'm going to show you a fun little thing that I do and once again, it involves a plug in, but I'll show you how it's done in Illustrator, which will basically show you why I use a plug in for it. And it has to do with the VectorScribe plug in. So I don't like having this detail on this horn on both sides, so I'm going to select these two anchor points and just remove it with the Remove Anchor Point feature up here, and then you can see, you still have some straggler anchor points here, and if I use Illustrator's method this is what happens to remove anchor points.
It ruins the art. And so I don't want to ruin the art, so I'm going to undo that and with those same anchor points selected, I'm going to go Smart Remove on the PathScribe panel which is part of the VectorScribe plug in, and notice how it smartly removes those so I can fix my art and keep moving forward, and it doesn't waste my time. That's why I use plug ins. It just make the process go a little faster. Now, it's at this point that I'm just simply going to colorize my artwork, or establish the base black and white.
You can see how cool this character is looking, but I think it can look even better. And this is where, as I'm going, I'm always trying to improve the artwork, push the artwork, make it better than what I even originally imagined. And any time I can do that is a good art directive move to make for yourself. And in this case, I thought, where the area of the skull gets to areas that should be darker, there's too much light in those areas. And so this is where I'll go to another plug in.
Now, once again, you can use the Corner Widget Rounding that comes with Illustrator if you like, I just prefer using the rounding tool, the Dynamic Corners Tool, with Astute Graphics because I think it just works a lot better and it's easier to use. We're going to select the standard type of rounding, and if I go into like this part of the eye here, let's go ahead and zoom in so you can see this really, really well. We'll zoom in even farther. I'll select the rounding tool, and I'll just pull it out to create that nice illusion of shading in that part.
I might even go into this inner part here and pull this out to round that inner detail. Maybe I round this out a little bit. And up here specifically, I want to create some nice shading there. So that's all I'm doing, is I'm just adding that type of rounding to my artwork. I'll also round areas like this because this would actually be a little darker since it's getting to an area that doesn't have light. So it's keeping in mind those kind of rounding sources, and that's all I'm going to do at this point is go through my whole design.
So let's go ahead and zoom in on a part of this design, and I'm just going to toggle between this base art, black and white, and details of rounds added. So you can see how we've added those rounds in other places up here and other areas on the side and top of the head just to add that kind of detail in. And even if we go down here, notice how on the teeth here, we've even added subtle rounding to allude to shading in those areas as well.
So all of these kind of attention to details improve the art and make it even better. Once we have our artwork to this point, this is where I'm going to start improving it even more and I thought as I was looking at this, it's going to look cool if it has some shading. I originally thought just simple flat black and white, but I really think that it needs shading, so this is at this point, I'll print it out, and I'll actually start drawing out how I plan to build the shading.
And so this was the drawing I did on an actual printout to figure out the shading, and then that way, I can go back to my base art, scan in that shading, and then simply start building the shading that I've already figured out the shapes in the draw-in stage. It just makes the process go faster. Now to demonstrate how I build those actual shapes, let's go ahead and do that just so it demystifies that process. So if I select all of these areas, and let's go ahead and color it blue, so you can see what that is.
That's the shading here, and all I'm going to do is I'm going to clone this, Command c, Command f, take the Reflect tool, find a central anchor point, reflect it, select both of these shading things, click Unite in Pathfinder. Once again, you want to make sure you have a compound, so turn it into a compound. You can do that under the Object menu on the top menu, or if you have keyboard shortcuts set up, I can just hit F7 to create a compound, then I'll select this inner shape, that is the skull itself, and I'm going to go ahead and clone that, Command c, Command f, and we'll turn that yellow here, and I'll select the blue, and now we're going to intersect it to create the final shading.
So that's how I create shading on a character. Now I don't want it yellow, so we'll go ahead and, let's see, we'll just color it right now, this gray so you can see what it looks like. So that's how I go about creating all the shading. This is what the final shading on this character looks like, and it's at this point that I thought, hey, this is going to really look cool if I add some type to it. Now Cal's studio that he does this creative work through, and his photography is called Mayhem Studio, (laughs) which actually goes with this graphic well. So it gave me a good excuse to do some hand lettering, and I created this mark to go with it.
Now, it's when I locked it up with the type that I thought the outline looked a little, well, what do you say, wimpy, so I decided to bolster it, so we're going to add a thicker stroke to this. We're going to make sure we're on a round corner and we're going to beef this up to about four. I think that looks way, way better. We'll got to Object, Path, and we'll go Outline Stroke, and then we'll go back to the Pathfinder and unite that. So now we've created what I think looks a lot, lot better. And once you have your artwork at this point, it's so easy to use.
So here's an example of a t-shirt that I created if Cal ever wanted to do a t-shirt. And this is simple a two-color print job on a gray garment. So it'd be very inexpensive, but look how compelling and cool it looks, and it's going to work well in it's final context, so let's go ahead and take his photograph, which inspired this, and we're going to drop it in as if it's branding his photography. We'll go and zoom in on this really quick. And what I'm going to do, is I'm going to use the eyedropper, and I'm going to actually sample the photograph, so I want to find a nice kind of pink color here.
Let's get a little lighter hue, go up here, like that, and all I'm going to do is I'm going to drag that color down into our library, double click on it. This is where I usually massage the numbers. So I don't like fractional numbers. I don't want so much blue in it, maybe only three, and I'm going to diminish the yellow as well. So I like using whole numbers, and then I turn it to a Global, and that's really important, get into the habit of doing that, and click OK.
Then I'm going to sample a dark color. A dark, kind of muted pink, like this, and I'll do the same thing. I'll pull this down, double click into it, and on this one I'm just going to round off these. Trust me, this isn't OCD, I just, over the years I've gotten in the habit of doing this and I always like the results, so I don't know if there's any actual science behind it, but it always works well for me. That's why I do it. And make sure Global, and click OK. So now, I can see select details in my design like the shading here, and this little inline shading on the type, and I'm going to color it this light pink.
Look how cool that looks with the background. I think the studio would look good being in this accent color, so we'll do that. Then I'm going to take this whole lock up and I'm going to go to Effect, I'm going to go to Stylize, and I'm going to go to Outer Glow, and we're going to go to Multiply, I'm going to select my color, the dark pink color here, and go OK. And then we're going to set it.
I think 75 will work good, let's try seven, see what that looks like. Maybe less, let's try five. I think that looks good, and we'll go OK. So you can see how cool it looks now composed with the photograph. And because we've set it up like that and because we're using Global colors, it's really easy and adaptive to use it. So if Cal does another composition of this photo with a different color, you know, he's able to change those colors and make it work really well.
So when it comes to anything creative, inspiration is directly proportionate to perspiration. Meaning, the very act of you moving forward and creating produces the momentum you need to sustain your inspiration. So don't wait to be inspired. Certainly, don't wait until you understand why you're inspired by something. You might never know that. You won't always be able to figure it out even. So just act on it. Move on it. Go forth and create with it.
Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and as always, 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.