Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating precise outline artwork, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Narrator] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. Since launching DVG Lab, I've had several people ask me very specific questions regarding a certain step in my process of creating precise vector based art work. So in this movie I'll show you exactly how I take my base vector shapes and set up my final outline art work that allows me to easily move forward and start coloring my design.
Now, there's a reason why I can tend to skip this is because it's more time intensive. So we're going to focus on that more than other things that I may kind of gloss over, but I've more than adequately covered in other movies. So let's jump into this really quick. As with everything, it starts off with basic drawing. So here's a nefarious looking globe jester type character and it'll make more sense with the title I give to this later on, but this is where it starts.
But it's not good enough to build upon. I want to draw out my vector shapes exactly how I intend to build them and this is what's called a refined sketch. This is what I do. I draw it out, scan it in, set the opacity to 20%, and lock the layer, and then on top of this I start creating. At first, I look at any drawing and analyze its shapes and anything I can create with base vector simple shapes like circles using the ellipse tool that can be found over here, I do that.
So on this case, the bells on the hat. I'm having them all the same size. So I only have to size one, copy, paste to get the others. The eye, the outside shape of the globe itself is just elliptical shape that's just a little more squashed, and there's other things that I'm going to use the ellipse tool on, such as the cheek detail right here to form the cheek. So I just wanted to show that because as you look at any drawn form, analyze it, and figure out how you can use basic shapes to create some of the content it's going to make it go easier and a lot faster.
So you've seen me create all kinds of designs from icons to logos to illustrations, promotional graphics, so on and so forth, and I usually use this same methodology where I design in and think it out through pieces, meaning for the hat up here I have one piece to form this part of it, this piece for that. That's how I draw it out. I don't try to create one continuous shape to form my overall illustration. It's easier to kind of itemize the components needed to make the shape given, and so that's how I've built out all the components, as you can see here.
Now there's one component specifically on the longitude and latitude lines where I need more volume to them, rather than mere vector strokes. So if I select this we have it set as a stroke, 1.5 points and the cap being rounded. That's really important because if zoom in on one we've already created here, we have the rounding on the end. But you can see this is still a stroke, if I go to key line view. So how is that working? Well, we're just using one of my favorite features in Illustrator is the width tool.
So we can select any stroke, go to the width tool here, select anywhere on the path you want. In this case, I want to it kind of midway, and just pull it out like this to create volume and to give volume to these strokes. That's all I'm doing here to create this nice thin, thick, and thin longitude latitude lines, and that's all I've done here. Now it's from this point to the next stage of the process that I tend to skip most of the time.
So I usually go from this base vector art work, and then all of a sudden I'm on black and white, and I can select inside shapes, and I can colorize or do rounding. People have gone, well, how'd you go from this to that? And that's kind of what I want to show here. So that's all we're going to do here is we're going to select all these shapes for the hat. We'll select the outer shape here, and this like this for the bells, and we're going to unite all these together like this.
We'll zoom in so you can this a little better. We're going to select all these longitude latitude lines, 'cause these are still considered strokes that just have the width appearance applied to them. So we're going to go to object, expand appearance to expand them into shapes, and then we're going to unite them with pathfinder into one cohesive shape. Now we can start selecting all the elements of the globe like this. I'm not going to do the inner part of the mouth 'cause I'm going to explain something here really quickly, and we'll select the longitude and latitude lines and the brow and the top of the hat we've already united, and with all of these selected and if I colorize the fill blue, these are all the shapes we're going to unite together now.
So we'll unite them, and it kind of fuses the art work all together. Now when you do this, it's going to revert to a group. So you want to make sure this is compound. I have compound set up with the F7 key, but if you need to do it go to object compound make. Notice I have F7 and now what I'm going to do is I'm just simply going to focus on the inside of his mouth now and the whole reason I'm doing this is 'cause it's easier to build the shape of the mouth as if the whole thing is appearing to get, the tonsil, whatever this is called that hangs down the back of your mouth.
I forget the name of it, but we created that shape. But I don't want it overlapping into these areas of the teeth, so I've created a throwaway shape that's sitting on top of it, so that with the pathfinder it can minus front from that shape and only get what I need. Select the blue and now I can unite these to form the final shape. Make sure compound's there. We'll turn blue back on. This is at the point we can now color this black, get rid of the outline.
We can select these inner parts of the bell and the eye and the tongue. We're going to make these a white fill with no outline, and this looks like our art work is ready to color but it isn't quite there yet. If I draw a box of any color, let's do green, fill, and I send that to the back, you can see areas of this design are just showing through. So there is no selectable area. But these areas that are white are the way we want it set up.
So how do I get this? This is what I rarely show, only because it just takes time, as you've seen so far. So I'll select the shape and I'll go to object compound, I'll go release, and I'll release the compound. Now, sometimes there will be groups within this. So I usually hit ungroup a couple times to make sure nothing is grouped. Deselect the outermost shape. So all I have is interior shapes, and I usually go to my styles palette and select an outline color like that, because as you can see sometimes the layering isn't quite there.
Going to have to fix this compound. So I'll select those, go to pathfinder, and minus front on that. Select this and unite these. Bring to front, select this side, minus like that, and then I'm going to fill white, get rid of the outline, and that's all we're going to do on everything else. I'm going to select this inner shape of the eye, bring it to the front. Once again you can do that object, arrange, bring to front.
I have it set up as F5 and then we're going to minus front. So we're basically punching that shape out of the other background shape here, and we need to do that to this as well. So we'll bring this to the front, and we'll punch that out as well, and every time you do this you want to make sure you retain your compound. We'll select this part of the face, unite it with what we've created. You'll lose your compounds, so make sure you keep that.
Once you have all those elements then we can fill that with white. The teeth, I want them all united together as one. So I'm going to unite these and then we'll fill these with white, get rid of the outline. Still can't remember the name of the thing in the back of your throat, but we'll fill these shapes all white, and I'm going to unite those as well and make sure you retain compound. So we have everything almost set up now.
White and get rid of the outline, and we'll turn his hat shapes white and get rid of the outline. So as you can see, this process doesn't distinctly go fast but now we have all of our shapes set up so we can select them and color them, and so this is the part that I rarely show, just because it takes time and I'm usually focusing on other matters. So once you have that all figured out, specifically on this design, this is where I'll go in on details and I'll use the rounding tool.
You an use the corner widget in Illustrator, if you prefer using that. It's going to work the same way. You just want to make sure, actually, this isn't the corner tool. This is, and we'll select the corner tool. You'll want to make sure to have standard on. Same setting in Adobe Illustrator for the corner widget and then you can pull out shading here, and I'm just doing this just to improve the shading areas of this art work, like that, to round those areas, just to make the shading more compelling, and if you compare with the base art when I've done this to everything, so without, with, without, with, and it looks really good.
I'm going to keep that. So this is all my base art, and it's at this point that I go back to analog. I actually print it out, and I actually start to draw on it with a pencil to work out my shading and you can see how I'm figuring out what my shading is going to be, so that I can then turn my art work back on and if we go back to our base art here, and I've just brought in my scan. I'm going to select it.
We're going to go to 50% opacity, and I'm going to usually set it to multiply as well, and lock the layer, and then on top of that is where I'll start building my shapes, just like I build my normal base art, but in this case, it's all my shading, and just to demo exactly what I'm doing there. Let's zoom in so you can see this. Here we have our right side of the face and we have some shading shapes that are right here.
We're going to select this eye component and clone it. Command C, command F, select the shading shapes, and we're going to actually clone the shading shapes. So we'll go command C, command F. Select the eye shape we cloned. Intersect them. Notice, it's a group. So turn it to a compound. I really wish that could be set by default, but unfortunately you can't, and we'll just colorize these. I'll select my facial shape, clone it, command C, command F, select my shading, intersect it, run compound to get the compound, and then color it however I want to color it for the shading in this case to demonstrate how you pull that off.
So it doesn't matter what part of the design is, in this case the left. We'll select it, intersect it, go to coloring, and color it the shading we want. So that's the methodology to pull off the shading with all the various shading shapes I've built. So when it's all said and done, we're going to have some great looking art here, and this is where tonal families, this is where the fun begins. This is the part that is just exploration. So I'm going to select these shapes, and this is why I set my art work up like this, so that I can easily select shapes like this, and just start coloring, just start filling in these shapes.
This process is probably the quickest aspect to a design like this because once you have everything set up, it makes using your art work and editing your art work and exploring various colors so much easier and once you have all your shading shapes set up, check how much this brings the art work to life. And I should point out, I figure out my shading hues ahead of time. So if I turn off my tonal base values here, all of these hues are customized for each color that they're going over.
So for example, if I select this one here, it's multiplied at 50%, but then the color that goes over the gold is 60 and multiplied. This one's 50. This one's set at 90 and multiplied. The value will depend on the hue that it's running over and once you pick really great values, it's going to add a lot of drama to your art work, and kind of breathe life into it. Take it from a 2D illustration and give it some dimension and then if you add even more with subtle highlights as shown here, it really breathes life into a design like this, and so this is how I go from my base vector art, to stage my design in such a way that I can easily explore color like this and then of course this specific design will be turned into a sticker called fools rule the world.
So be on the look out for that. I should say that none of the vector building that I've shown here is distinctly hard. It just takes a dedicated mindset to stay consistent with your craftsmanship of vector shapes. Drawing out your design as you intend to build it will greatly aid you in this process. I hope this has somewhat demystified the process of how I set up my base art to make coloring easier, and even though I tend to bypass this stage in other movies due to time constraints, you now know how I pull it off.
I love any excuse to create new art work, so if you have a question you would like covered in a DVG Lab movie, then please email it to me at email@example.com. Thank you for watching DVG Lab. 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.