Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Welcome to drawing vector graphics laboratory. The creative process is hard to precisely complete within a truncated timeline, so showcasing methodology and features in an online context like I do on DVG Lab at times, may gloss over some of the methods for no other reason then to cut the total length down on the movie itself. While in this movie, we're gonna focus specifically on detail.
Applying color, using gradients, blend modes and opacity, to bring a flat 2D piece of artwork to life. So let's get started. This is the sketch we're gonna work from here. And I'm not giving away the full story at this point but I'm gonna take this sketch, and I'm gonna go ahead and set the opacity to 20, lock the layer, and I'm gonna turn on the base vectors and I'm gonna go ahead and zoom in here so you can see what's going on.
And you can see based off of the base vectors, we're just following what we've already drawn out. In this case, it's an eye. And all I'm going to do at this point is just select the various shapes that I drew independently, and we're gonna unite those so it creates one cohesive shape. Now I go in on stuff like this, and I'll delete points once I do that. And I want this, it's gonna be nested behind this top shape, which is gonna be the eyeball itself.
So I tend to bring in this section because it doesn't need to run to this edge here. So it's really simple build methods. As I build, I'll keep this on it's own layer and I might have a layer above it. And if I try to build it with everything at once, it gets confusing. So I tend to build things on certain layers, turn off other layers, just so I can focus. But here we have the shading. I'm gonna go ahead and move that back down to this layer, but you can see all these shapes here make up the eye and they're circular.
That's fine, but we want to trim them where they hit the eyeball. So I'll go back here and I'm gonna grab the shape we have on the inside of the eye, copy it, go back to this layer, and paste it in place. And now this is where I'll use this shape to clone it, command C command F, select the background, and intersect it with pathfinder. I might do that with this shape. I'll clone the shape we just created, select this next part of the eyeball, intersect that, and I'll just repeat this process on all the shapes that make up the eyeball as you see me doing here.
And it's not hard to do that, and when it's all said and done, I have the base shape needed. We can get rid of that one now. And if I turn it on, now all I have to do is select my inside shape here of the eye, command C command F. Select this shape, which will end up being a shading, and intersect those. And you can see that's how I go from my base artwork to what I call my clean billed, ready to start coloring. And that's what we're gonna do here, is we're gonna start coloring this.
And I have a background layer here. Now before we jump into the coloring, we have to know what specifically we're gonna do in terms of what colors that is, we're gonna use for coloring. And so I'm gonna go up here and I'm gonna turn on tonal family. These are all the colors we're gonna be using in this motif. So we're gonna zoom in here so you can see everything I do really really clearly. That's important.
And the first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna establish base colors of this artwork, and that's gonna be the eye, which makes up the eyelashes, and that's gonna make up the eyebrows. So we'll select these two shapes and just off the start, we'll go ahead and grab the eye dropper, and we're gonna color this base color here. Now I'm gonna deselect them, select the eyebrow one, and on this one, I want to go to the gradience palette because ultimately this is gonna be a linear gradient like this.
And actually, we're gonna have to refill this color. It's gonna blend from this color and then we're gonna go ahead and instead of black, we want to go to this darker, kind of reddish maroon color here. It's kind of a purplish red. I'm not sure what you call that. Purplish red. There, we'll call it that. Now I want the mid tone to have some of this lighter red color, so I'm gonna drag this down and put that right about, I don't know, let's put that right about there.
And yeah, that looks good. 'Cause I want to go kind of lighter to darker and that's how I can draw it. So I think that'll work fine. And we'll go ahead and do the same thing for this one, and we'll go ahead and click that, 'cause we have some of this established already. And on the eyebrow itself, actually the more I look at this I think this needs to be a little darker. Let's go ahead and drop another reference point for the dark down here. I don't want a lot. But yeah, that's it.
'Cause I want to get in darker, 'cause it's getting darker in the overall composition there. Let's go back to this. Actually, we're just gonna leave it. That looks pretty good. Now we can go back to the eye, and on this, this is gonna be white. We get rid of this outline. Everybody's eyeball is white, but on this one, I want the eyeball itself to be, to have a coloring to it.
So let's see. We want it linear. But it's not gonna be red. Oops. It's not gonna be red but we'll go back in, we'll change it. We want the middle to be white, but what I want to do is I want to go ahead and change the coloring of the eyeball. So as it comes from this side to this side, it's gonna shift color. And we're gonna use this color right here. So we'll select this, we'll drag this down, like that.
I'm gonna drag this color down like this. And white isn't enough here, so we need to bring down another white, 'cause I want the area of white to be pretty big. And it's hard to control sometimes over here. And this is where I'll switch, where I'll have the shape selected and I'll go to the gradient tool. And then that way I can control it right on the object itself, and it's easier to position things. So I can slide this over, I don't want it to be that far cutting in, like this.
Maybe I want the colors here to be less opaque, and I do. So I'm gonna go back here, select this, and on this one, right now if we go to color, you can see it's 100%. I want this to be pretty faint so I'm gonna go to about 40. And then on this one, I don't want this to be 100% either, I want this to be kind of little more than a half, maybe 55, like that? And I think that looks pretty good, and I think on this one I'm gonna bring white over a little bit like that, so we see some of that kind of peaking through down here.
I think that's gonna work good. So that's how I create that. And now let's see, I'm gonna do, what am I gonna do next? Well I'm gonna take this and we're gonna simply color that this color. And we'll color this the darker color. I'm gonna color this the dark color. I don't want to use black in this. I want to keep it all this dark kind of maroon color.
And on this one, this one's gonna be interesting 'cause we'll go back and let's see. I'm gonna select this, then select that. Let's go ahead and select. I keep selecting the wrong thing. Hold on. There we go. Select the inside there. This will be linear. We don't want the outline on it like this. And we don't need all this.
I'm just gonna get rid of this and we don't need that either. And on this one, what I want to do is I want to blend it from not this color, I want to actually go to a different color here. I want to go to the darker, actually this color. I want to blend it from that, and I want to have it fade out to the dark but I want the opacity on the dark to be zero.
And I find this works better in using white. And then we'll go to the gradient tool and I'm gonna use this to just adjust my angle on this one, like this. We'll move this up. And all I'm creating here, essentially what I'm creating is nothing more than kind of rim coloring or reflective lighting, some call it that. And this is just light that's hitting the pupil from bottom up, and I think that's gonna look good.
Now we have this color, that's kind of sitting over the colored part of the pupil, and so what we're gonna do on this is we're gonna use this color here to shade with and so we're gonna go ahead. It's like the shading color. By the way, on these values. I have the light color. I have this to create a shadow of that. All that is is this color placed over the top of the red and it has a transparency value of 50 multiply. And I've done that several times.
So I'm using this color here to color, actually not on that one, I think I did it on, nope didn't do it on that one either. I think I'm only doing that on red. Red tends to be the hardest color to do variations with when it gets lighter. Have you ever had a client say, can you make that like light red, not pink? Well, it doesn't always work that way, so that's when I tend to kind of do a blend modes on red.
It tends to work better than trying to create a whole new color, and just using it at 100% value. So we're gonna go ahead and cheat a little here. I have some of this set up, so we're gonna click on this and we're gonna go to this palette, and I don't want, let's see. Let's go to our gradient palette here, and I believe this one, yeah like that.
I'm going to adjust this one 'cause I want it to go about the same angle as that mash shape, but these aren't the right colors, so I'm going to drop this dark shading color here down. And then I want it to blend out to zero alpha here, right? I want 20. So we'll get rid of that like this. And right now, on the transparency, this is set to multiply. Which is fine, I think multiply, let's adjust this a little bit. Think that looks good.
And we're gonna set multiply on this. I want it pretty dark, but not 100 so we'll go 80. I think that looks better. It's creating some shadows down there, and let's see. We're gonna do another one which will be this one, and we'll set this one like that. I think that looks okay. Maybe a little lighter. So let's try to do that a little lighter. I think that's too dark, so we'll try 40 there.
Nah, maybe more. We'll try 60. There's a lot of experimentation you're gonna do when you're doing this. I think that looks pretty good. So let's turn on another layer here and these are gonna be all the shadows. And so the shadowing on this, if we just select, let's go ahead and select this one, which is the shadowing from the lid color. On this one, we're simply going to select this and this is putting a gradient, if I select the gradient, you can see how it blends on there from 100% value down to 20%.
If you go to gradient you can see how it blends here. And it's set on transparency to multiply. And because the value is small, or low that is, it's not 100% value on some of these colors. If you go to gradient, you click on this, and you go to color, this is a 100%, but the transparency is set so it's value isn't gonna overwhelm the illustration.
So I think that's gonna work well. And then on this one, I'm gonna go ahead and select this one, and once again, we're gonna apply the same value here. So we'll go back to our cheats here and I can apply that to that one to get that value. And these we'll go ahead and select this one, and we'll apply that there to give some volume. Maybe this one can go.
I think that looks good. We'll just leave that there. I think that's working. The background now. The background is the basis of the whole illustration, so this is gonna be colored this red. And then we're gonna select these shapes, which it's kind of hard to see, so I'll just select these. And these are gonna be the shading, which is this right here, to integrate with the background color. And I'm gonna select this, copy it, because I actually want this and paste it behind this to go behind the eyeball like this.
And so I think this looks pretty good. Now we just have a few more things to do. Just highlight shapes here, so I'll select these, all these will be variations of white. So we'll just color these white like this. But I don't want it to be stark white. I want this one, since it's down at the bottom, and it isn't a hotspot. We'll make that a value of 30%. And I don't want this to be 100%. I want there to be a little transparency so we'll make this 90.
And I think that looks really good, it looks really nice. But, the more as I was looking at this, I want to add just a little more, and this is where deep shadows come in. So I'm gonna turn on this layer, and notice we have this little rim of shadow here, and a little rim of shadow here. That's all this is. It's just little slivers to put shadows within shadows, just because that's where I want more emphasis on it getting a little darker. Now as I was looking at this, I don't mind these highlights, but I realize, I can pull it off a little better, make them look better.
So I'm gonna turn these on and turn on the new highlight, which I just think looks a lot cooler. And if you look at a photo, any kind of photo in a magazine, you're gonna see highlights like this because this is actually the reflective lighting in the studio where the photograph was shot. That's usually what is reflecting here. That's what you see. That's why it tends to be a square shape because those tend to be rectangular in shape. And all this is is if you go to the gradience, this is the angle we're using, and it's set to be white and it goes to zero alpha, so that's where the transparency's coming in, and I think this works a lot better, works really well.
And in the full context of the design, the color rendering by the way, I've included the full color rendering here, so when you open this file yourself if you have access to exercise files, you can reference this and see exactly how I colored things. So I wanted that to be clear so you're not kind of guessing or having to go back and rewatch the video every time. So you can reference that. Now the full illustration, the thumbnail for the drawing, it was a strawberry kind of character like this.
This was the rough drawing I did, rough thumbnail sketch I did, and I gave this to my daughter. She did a little more refinement on it, and then I did the refined sketch which looks like this, and this is what we built using all the base vector artwork, and you can see part of that is showing in here like this. We'll go ahead and turn those off, we don't need those on now. And this is where all the coloring came from. We focused on the eye because it'd take too long to try to do the full illustration.
But when it was all said and done, this is how this illustration came out in terms of the flat color. Now you can see the eyes were detailed, and the mouth, somewhat of the detail was included, and the eyelids, but it's at this stage I'll make a black and white version, print it out, and I'll work out how am I gonna pull off the shading on everything? And that's exactly what I did here. So I'll reference this and then I'll build it out, and this is the final artwork of this strawberry character using all the same methodology you saw me do on the eye, I used elsewhere.
Now in the context of final use, maybe it's used to market a you pick strawberry farm. You can use this type of illustration a lot of different ways, but that's how we go about creating the detail needed on any given type of illustration project like this. And if you'd like more information about color and detailing like this, make sure to watch my course Drawing Vector Graphics : Color and Detail, and I go over this topic more exhaustively, so make sure to check that out. The right balance of hue, opacity, and blend modes can create effective ways to detail an illustration.
And experimentation will reveal them to you as you work. So don't be afraid to try something. Just try it, see what it does, and that will determine if it's gonna work for you. So play around with it and you'll discover new ways to use them in your own work. Thank you for watching DVG Lab. Until next time, never stop drawing.
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.