Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
(air gushing) (quick booming) (gear clicking) (piston blowing) - [Von] Welcome to "Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory." For this movie, we're going to create a design honoring the Civil Rights legend, Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. King was a bold and profound orator and leader, so in this movie, I'll take you through the creative process I used to create a bold and simple style anyone can pull off. So let's get started. It all started with reference here. I needed to find a good, iconic image of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I wanted it to be kind of a profile image from the side but not directly from the side. A little angled would work great, and so these were some of the images I gathered. But I decided to go with the one in the bottom middle, and what I did in Photoshop, just because when I print it out, I like to draw in analog, it's sometimes hard to distinguish the edge of something because of background elements, so I went in and just with this, I think it was the Pencil Tool in Photoshop, and just kind of defined the edge so I could distinctly see that on my printout. That's why that is contained there. I also did that over here on his chin 'cause I wasn't sure, but these were the two I was focusing on. I ended up deciding to go with this bottom middle one here. So I take that. I print it out, and then I simply take vellum and I start drawing on top of it. Now, I'm not just tracing it. I'm, how would I describe this? Chunkifying (laughs) my drawing style, meaning I'm purposely drawing this in a way that, when I build it, I will not need to use any curves, or I should say 99% no curves. They'll all be straight, chunky shapes and lines. The only exception will be the top of Martin Luther King's head. His hairline at the top will be a curve, and that's the only curve in all the artwork. Everything else will be straight lines, and we won't be dealing with any Bezier curves either. It's a really easy style to work in. Anybody can draw like this. Anybody can deduce, shape, and form from a photo like I'm doing here using this methodology. It's a fun style to work in, and it's extremely easy to build as you're going to see because there is no curves for the most part. And it's super easy, just kind of snaps together. So we're going to do that. I went ahead and simplified my final artwork here, drew in everything I'm going to create, whether it's a little highlight, whether it's the shading, whether it's perimeter, and the background nesting shape, which is this slanted rectangle, which you're going to see how that plays out as we move forward. I take my sketch, scan it in, and it becomes my refined drawing. I'll select this. We'll go ahead to adjust the Opacity. I'll lock the layer, and I will start building on it. Now the beauty of this style, once again, is that this style is nothing but straight lines. Now some of them won't be straight, and the ones that won't be straight are, for example, the entire rectangle itself won't be straight. How would I make that? Well, I would go ahead. We're going to create another rectangle here. So I'd go here, and I'd find an edge like this. And I might bring it all the way down here, create that, and then I want to go to the Shear Tool right here. And this appeared in a previous DVG lab, but it's a good tool to go to when you have to build like this. We're going to double-click on it, and I'm going to shear this vertically. And the Angle is going to be 18. And if we go Preview, you can see we're matching what our underlined drawing is, and I'll click OK like that. I'll go ahead and drag this up here. And then, on this, I can drag these out over here like this to get the rectangle we need. Now, I'm also going to take this shape, this shape, and we'll take this shape, too, and I'm going to shear these, and it'll remember what we last did. And I'll go like that. Now the reason why I did that is some of these shapes we're going to use to basically help our vector building. If we bring this up here, and we're going to put it right where our drawing is for the base of his chin. We'll use that to help guide us, and this is where we can start building some of our shapes. We'll select the Pen Tool. Actually, let's zoom in a little bit, so we can see what we're doing, like that. We'll grab the Pen Tool, and all I'm going to start doing is I'm going to start building this art. Now I hold Shift down because this needs to be a perfect straight line, and then these are just whatever my drawing shows like this. This will go over here like this. You can see I'm not having to worry about any Bezier curves. I'm just building this chunky outline, and I'm trying to establish the framework of his head right now, which will end up being his face. And you're never going to get perfect, 'cause you'll see how this one, I have it slightly angled, but actually, I want that straight. We might go on and adjust that later if I want to move it up a bit. But this is where this one comes in. I'll snap to this in order just to get the angling right. Oops. Like that. And then we'll go down here like this. And you can see this angle, here's another one. Let's go ahead and move this over here because, technically, I want this angle like that. We'll go back here, and we'll pick up where we left off. And it'll go down here. We'll use this one to snap the right angle there like this. And we'll go all the way to the back of his head like this. Actually, this won't be perfectly straight 'cause we'll come right here. Then we'll go here. Anybody can work in this style. That's the beauty of it is it's very, you don't have to be a master illustrator. It's a fun style to pick a persona you like or admire, and I encourage you to give it a shot. We're almost done with this base shape like that. That's all it's going to take. And we're just going to replicate the same methodology building everything as we continue to move forward here. As I build, I'll create other elements. Example, the only two curves that make up the interior of this will be his eyes. This will end up being incorporated into the overall art. If I select these two shapes and infuse them, that's essentially what we're going to end up with there. And it defines this little curve here. Actually, I said only his hair was the curved part, but actually that's curved as well and then the inside of the eye on this side. That's all I'm doing here is I'm paying attention to these type of details. If we turn on this now, you can see how, actually, let's go back and take this eye. We're going to move it to this layer, and we'll turn this back on. You can see we're getting all this content here as well. Sometimes it's easier to define a size. In this case, some of these line work shapes in here, I created one standard, and then I just play off of this. So I'll clone it, and I'll use Smart Guides, Command + U, to toggle them on and off to align it with an anchor point here. Then I'll take the Rotate Tool, orient it, and then I'll just put it into the right position like that. And then I can go back, and I can just create a throwaway shape to trim it however I see fit like this. And so that's how I started creating some of these shapes is using that methodology. A lot of shape building here. Not everything needs to distinctly be done with the Pen Tool. If I turn on this level here, you can see this is for the back of the head. And so, I would take this back of the head is just simply a perfect circle, but then I kind of flatten the top because nobody has a perfect circled head. So I had to flatten this a bit up at top and pull these handles out so it flattened it. But it looks better by doing that. And the only part I'm going to add to this, I'm going to go over here, and we're going to continue from the path we originally created up here. And it makes the back wrinkle of the his head like that. We'll go infuse these together, and then with the original shape we created here, we're going to go ahead, and actually, you can see here, my ear's a little different. The nice thing about this style, when you have Smart Guides, is you just go in and you snap to those anchor points. It just makes it easy. But we'll take our original face here, and we're going to bring it to the layer with the hair. And we're going to clone it, and we're going to fill it. And then we're going to select the hair, and then we're going to trim it. We're going to give him a hair trim. (chuckles) Oh yes, puns, they're so great. That's how this style goes. Now along the way, as I'm building, I'll use these shapes to trim stuff. For example, down here, I might have gone all the way down here to establish that angle the full length, which will end up making his tie. But in actuality, for his face, I want it to end sooner, but I want that continuity of the path to carry through eventually to what I do for a tie. To trim it precisely, I'll create a shape that's angled on that same sheared shape we did originally. I'll make a clone of this, make a clone of the shear shape here. And in this case, we can get rid of that. We don't need it. I think we have two here. Okay, let's make a new clone. There we go. And I'll intersect it. That'll give us the tie shape. Then I'll take the shear shape. Make sure it's on Bring to Front, and this will trim off, opes, I had it on the bottom. Oh, it's on the wrong layer. We'll bring it to the right layer, so now it's on top. And then we'll trim that face shape. That just cleans up and keeps the continuity of the angles for everything, which was the minus 18 we set up. It's an easy style to build in, for example. Let's go and build a few more things here. Like on the nose, I'm just going to go ahead, and I don't need to worry about snapping it to that path, but we're going to build what will end up being the detailing of the nose like this because I have this nose shape here separately. I'll just Command + C, Command + F, clone it, select what we just built, intersect it, gives us that shape. Then I'll go in here. We'll go off of this anchor point to establish the beginning. We'll create the under shadow, which will form his nostril on his nose like this, and we'll take the shape we just created, clone it, and use that to intersect with the new shape to create the detail. It goes really, really fast. And once again, regarding those angled shapes, if we bring these up, anywhere where the angle comes close to that, I'll adopt that as the angle to use. But it really does go quick. Here's another example we can do. You could build this like this, and then you could just bring it up and do that. And if you wanted to, you could slide this on the path and create a shape like this. You don't even need to use the Pen Tool. You can just use, in this case, a rectangle shape, and as long as you have Smart Guides turned on, Command + U, it's going to make the process go faster. That's the fundamental principles behind building it. When it's all said and done, you'll have all your base shapes, like this, and this is where we're going to start coloring and composing other elements. First, let's go ahead and color. We're going to keep this very patriotic. I'm going to select everything that's going to be the darkest hue here like this. And it's going to become this nice dark blue, almost a navy type of blue color. We're going to select this background. Actually, let's do that last 'cause that makes it harder to see his face. Let's select his face. His face here will become this color, and we're just going to make it one color. This will be the darker hue here. And then the highlights, we don't want it to be stark white because even the eyes are never truly white. We're going to make a really light tint of the gray color here for the highlights. I think, ooh, that looks pretty cool. We're going to go in here on areas like this, and these will become tinted like that. We'll go here. This will become the same color as the highlight. This is like the collar of his shirt. This will become a tint of the blue. We'll color it blue originally. We'll go to color, and because we're using global colors... Let's try 75 first. That might look good. I think that looks good. And then we're going to use another tint here, but it will be a lighter hue. We'll go, I don't know, 55. Eh, maybe 50. And that looks pretty cool. The background now we'll color red, but we're not going to leave it all red. That's going to appear in part of it because we have some secondary elements. And these secondary elements, one is the flag. What we want to do is we want to go ahead, and on this one, there's a proper way to orient the flag, and this isn't it. I need to go to Reflect like that. We'll do this. That properly orients it. And now we want to shear it the same degree we did everything else. Actually, all these things are going to be sheared, the flag, the type, everything to the same degrees. And then on this one we're going to drag it over, snap it to this corner, and then I'm going to select the background shape and the flag and paste them behind Martin Luther King, which I did not do there because I'm on the wrong layer. Make sure you're on the right layer and paste behind, and it's still not pasting (laughs), still not pasting behind. Let's drag it down to the layer, then copy it, then we'll go Paste Behind, and then it works magically. Now we can turn back on this layer. And what we're going to do here is we're going to take this over here, and I'm going to take the edge of the G, align it to the edge here like this, and then I'm just going to bring it down like that. And that just makes sure it's aligned there. I think that looks good. Actually, I think on this one we're going to take King out and bring it back in, turn it into a compound. And we're going to colorize this. We'll colorize this red. Think that it looks good. And then for MLK, we'll bring it up here, and we just want to place it. We'll go in the corner like this. Anything around there will look good and knock that out to white. And I think that looks good. I think one thing I'll do now that I'm looking at this, I'm going to select all the dark, and actually, we'll just select all these elements. And I'm going to clone it, Command + C, Command + F, just so you can see what I'm doing. I'm going to color him blue. We're going to go ahead and unite all those together. Sometimes Illustrator will do this, so just select the point you don't need. Then it'll get you what you need. And at times, these, okay, that's part of the shape. We don't need all this interior, so I'm just going to fuse this like that. I know this seems a little confusing, but this is the part of vector work that isn't exactly step one, do this, step two, do this. You have to just finesse it until you end up getting what you want. Now that we have this, oops, the only reason I did this, I'm going to turn it white. I'm going to put an outline on it. And right now, I'm not sure what outline. Let's do four, so we know it pokes out. And I'm going to go ahead and get rid of the fill. And then, I want to trim off the part I don't want. I only want it to happen on the back side, so I'll go like this. I'll select outlines, select the top part, edit it, and opes, this must be a group. Yep, so you'll want to make sure it's a compound. Make sure this is on top, and we'll guide and trim it like this. Now, I can go ahead and fill it, copy it, and for this, actually, let's go ahead and select everything but the elements. So it's just Martin Luther King. We're going to group that. Then we're going to paste behind it. And that's not enough on the strokes, so we're going to go, I think it needs to go more. So if it's eight, that means it's four. Five, six, seven, ooh, that looks really good, so we'll go with that. And we'll go Expand, and I'll turn that into a shape like this. Now, I'm not going to go in and trim this, everything. I would for the final art, but aesthetically-wise, this is exactly what I was going for, just a nice promotional graphic of Martin Luther King. Notice on Illustrator, you get these little subtle lines up here. That's because you have red going all the way. If you run into that on some projects, the way I deal with that is I just select that shape. We don't need the red running all behind here since we have the flag. I'll just slide these up until they're out of the way. And then you can see it gets rid of that hairline feel on your design. I think this looks really good. But this style also would work really well on a darker colored background as well. Maybe we'd do a flood coat of the blue, and I think this looks just as good if not better. This would work perfect for T-shirt designs, for example. And I really admire Martin Luther King and everything he did. And obviously, his most famous speech, "I Have a Dream", you could do even something like this. This was a lot of fun to create. I encourage you to pick a figure you admire and give this style a try. This is really a style anybody can do because it's that easy. Keep in mind, a profile side shot or 3/4 view is going to work the best for this style. You wouldn't want to do one straight on. It's just not as dramatic. It's all about the drama with this style. I'd avoid a straight-on composition. Then get chunky with it and have some fun. Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and 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.