Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating ornamental art, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. I need to warn you before you watch this, once you create one motif in the manner I'm going to show you, you'll want to create a whole lot more. This whole approach I started when I did my ornament book many years ago, and I was only supposed to create, like, 300 pieces of art for the book, and I ended up creating over a thousand. Why? Because it became addicting. It was so much fun. It's a fun way to create unique motifs, so let's get started, and walk through this process.
It all comes down to simple math. What you see here is a drawing grid that I drew from to create all the ornaments in the book I put together. And most of it came down to just drawing a simple 1/8 piece of the artwork, and from that, it elaborated out into the full design. So this is where my drawing would start. And then as I start to build it, I'd use an actual vector grid that I would use to snap to it. Now, if I turn on this 1/8 art, you can see what this motif looks like right here.
So I have this in the file so that you can take this and immediately start with it. But I'm going to drag this over here, and we're going to go ahead and recreate it. 'Cause I want to show you that it's not that hard to create a motif like this. So we're going to go ahead and grab the pin tool. Wherever your art comes to a point, gets a point, those are easy to discern. So this artwork is about as easy it is to create because it has a lot of points in it. And just when it comes to curves, just think like the clockwork method.
This is nine o'clock, point comes to a point. Then as it goes up here, you'll want to curve here like this. And it comes down to a point, we can make up all these other curves using the bezier handles later, so I'm just placing all of my anchor points where they should go. Once again, this is an easy one 'cause where it comes to a point it gets a point. Now on long curves like this, you have to determine if it's long enough to dictate another anchor point here.
I don't think it is. So, I think we can get away with that. But this next one is pretty long, so we'll probably divide it in half by putting a smooth anchor point there, where it comes up, comes to a point, there. We can put one there. We'll be able to make that curve with a bezier curve. And then comes over like this, and it comes over like this, and then it goes back down. So this is the rough build. Now, once I have my rough build done, I'll just zoom in on an area, and I'll start at one end such as here, and, once again, you can use the anchor point tool that comes with Illustrator if you prefer that, and you can adjust your curves like this.
I just don't use that. I tend to use the pathscribe tool by Astute Graphics right here. I just prefer it. I've been using it for years, and I use it every day. So it's just, is something I prefer. You'll get the same results the other way. I just like the controls it gives me a little better. Actually, we're zoomed in a little bit too much. You want to be zoomed in, but not so much you can't see certain details. So, we'll come up here, and I'll pull out this.
And then I'll fix, that's one reason why I like it, is notice how when you build at times, sometimes you have to break it. And when you bring this back using the pathscribe, it'll show you when it's corrected by displaying this s, meaning it's smooth now. So that's kind of nice. I use that all the time. It also has these ghost handles that I can grab and immediately start to adjust my path. And those come in handy as well. So, we're just going to go ahead and finesse all of our curves here.
So I'll just go ahead and pull out some of these handles, like this. This one like that. Then, like this. Usually when I'm doing this kind of work, the last thing I'm doing is talking to myself. Most of the time, I'm usually listening podcast or an audio book. And at times when you do this kind of work, you'll want to toggle off smart guides, command u.
So in this case, I'm going to toggle it off because then it'll stop snapping two paths, which you kind of want at times 'cause it can kind of get in the way. So all we're going to do here is go through all of our elements and finesse all of the bezier paths like this.
Like that. And we're almost there. So this is an example of how just using bezier paths can create all the shaping requirements we need to bend that path. This, like that. And this once. So we're getting there. And on this one...
If you were looking at me as I'm building right now, my head's kind of at an angle. I kind of do that when I'm working at an angle. It just helps me to discern the shape. This is where I really wish they would add rotating art board in Illustrator. I mean, it's been in Photoshop for quite a while. I don't know why they've never really brought that to Illustrator. It'd be nice.
So there we go. That's how I would create all the base art. It's probably not as finessed as this one over here, but it's good enough to reflect what I'm going to do. Now, the reason why it's nice to work in this style is once you create this, I can go ahead and clone this, command c, command f. We'll turn smart guides back on. Command u, by the way. And then, I'm just going to reflect it from a central point like this. Then I'm going to select these two, command c, command f, find a central point, and reflect them this way.
And then, we can go ahead and select all of them, command c, command f. All we're doing is essentially cloning what we have. Find a central point, and you can see how quickly you can get the entire design motif for a design like this. Now, this is where we can then go in and, actually, I meant to fill that like this. We can go in here, and we'll want to color this one this way.
We'll go dark. See, we'll go dark, and dark. Like this. Then we'll select all the ones that'll be light, like this. And you can see how quickly, let's go and turn off these bottom layers, how quickly you can create a really nice design motif. So what would you use something like this for? Well, there's a lot of different usages. Let's turn on this. And you can see, you could use it to do some kind of little graphic. Here's a dinner in Oregon Garden, so it's very appropriate for this type of usage.
Let's take a look at another design, and how you can pull that off. So, once again, we're going to use this drawing grid. Here's the motif we created. So we can just simply, once again you don't have to create an endless path, you can break it into simpler, more segmented shapes, select everything, fuse it all together using unite in pathfinder, and then once you have this, once again, command c, command f. And then you could reflect it like this. Once you have one, you can keep reflecting.
And so, in this case, we're going to reflect this around, and it's going to act like a frame of sorts. So we'll command c, command f. Find a central point, and reflect it like this. We can select all these, fuse them all together like this. We can fill this like this. And you can see how quickly this comes together. It looks really, really cool. Now, if I select this and copy it, and we turn this one on like this, you can see how we had our build shape originally like this.
We'll go ahead and delete that, and we're going to paste in the frame that we just created. So we'll paste and place like this. And look at how quickly we can take something like this, apply white to it, and all of a sudden, you have this really elegant looking shape. And then if you draw, type into it, it's a really good way to work out certain types of designs. Now, this was actually one of the directions I created for logo development for, it was like a spa inside of a hotel. So a lot different ways you can utilize this artwork.
I've included a lot of sample ornaments, using the same methodology to create all of these. Even these pattern brushes. So all these are are just repeats of little patterns, and these can be wrapped around a circle or a frame to create a really unique ornamented edge, if you will. So, if you enjoy this DVG Lab, I touched on aspects of the same methodology in a previous movie titled Creating a Mandala Ornament. So check that out as well.
Remember, if you have any questions or want to recommend an idea for a future DVG Lab, send in your ideas by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and until next time, never stop drawing.
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