Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory

actually draw within Illustrator, even though it’s possible. This movie was inspired by a question I received, asking me to do a DVG Lab on the topic of digitally drawing artwork in Adobe Illustrator. So with that said, let’s get started. hand ink quality, but do it all within Adobe Illustrator, this is going to be our base art. Now, there’s a few things I need to point out as we go forward, and that is, in order to draw inside Illustrator, in order to digitally ink inside Illustrator, you’re going to need a tablet of some sorts to do that. Now all the methods I’m going to show you, you can technically use a mouse and use the blob brush as you’re going to see, along with calligraphic brush, that we’re going to create. The only thing you’re not going to be able to do is have that pressure sensitivity, that a Wacom Cintiq 13HD as you see here, is going to provide you. Now you can use any Wacom tablet, this is just the one I’m using, just so you know exactly what I’m doing. I actively disabled the touch features on this, because frankly, inside Illustrator, the touch capability commands are at best wonky, so I don’t even use those. But, this is what I’m using. If you have the lower grade, let’s say you have the old Graphire tablet, if it still rocks on the computer you’re using now, that would work, as well. So it doesn’t have to be a high-end tablet, even, you can use an older one, as well. Now, if you have an iPad Pro, you can actually use a nice dongle that’s made by a company called AstroDog, and you can plug that dongle into your laptop or your desktop, and it will let your iPad work like a tablet. Now I don’t use it, I know people that do, and they like it, and it’s making your iPad like a Wacom tablet of sorts. So you might want to check that out. Also, as I’m drawing here, I’m going to be wearing what’s called a drawing glove, and this just ensures that my hand will fluidly flow over the top of the tablet, because the tablet does have some heat that it gives off, and if your hand kind of hangs on the surface as you’re drawing, that’s not good. That’s going to affect the quality of the line, so I just wanted to point that out, that I’m using that. So the first thing I’m going to do here, is I’m going to show you how to really quickly set up a custom brush, so that’s what we’re going to do here. But one thing I wanted to show you is I have this color set up, and this is what I call Inky Black, and if you look at the breakdown, we have fractional numbers there. Normally, I don’t like that, whole reason they do this is, so we’ll go 15, and then the color we want, though, is we’ll go to our color swatches. We want to take the darkest, let’s see. Go down, yeah, we’ll take the darkest orange, we’ll go okay, and if we preview it, you can see what that’s going to look like, that’s what we want, and we’ll go okay. Once we’ve done that, that outer glow looks good, but you can’t see all the other detail, so we’ll have to go to blend mode and go to multiply, and you can see what it looks like. That looks really cool, that’s going to work great. We’ll go ahead and lock those layers. And then, just to pop this asteroid off the background, we want to go in and I’ve created this outer glow of sorts, it’s just a simple offset of the base line work. It’s colored in a faint yellow that kind of hints off the flame, but I don’t want it to be a hard edge like this, so once again, we’ll go back to effects. And we’re going to go down here to one of the Photoshop effects and we’re going to go Gaussian blur. And this will bring up a menu, and I think this is going to be way too, well, let’s see. Yeah, that’s too much, let’s, we don’t need it quite that much. We’ll do 12, we’ll go okay. And you can see how cool that looks. So it’s actually really subtle once you Gaussian blur it, but it really makes a good definition between the character itself and the background he’s sitting on, so I think that works well. Now because we have these flames, we have to address how it affects the surface of the meteorite. And so, if I go up to here, and I turn this on, notice the reflective highlighting. It’s hitting the surface on the bottom, on the top, and on the edge. This really makes it more believable, like it’s within this flame, shooting through the galaxy, I guess. And so, I think that looks really good. And then we’re going to hit some reflective hard highlights. And if I turn those on and off, this, in my opinion, really makes everything. Notice on the bottom of the lip, and those areas, it really gives that effect of it glowing and bouncing off the surface of this character. So I think that looks really good, as well. So we’ll go ahead and lock those levels, and one of the last things I want to go over is, as I was looking at this and kind of thinking about it, and this is what I do during the creative process on anything, is I have to set it aside, come back to it later and look at it and figure out, okay, is there any way I can make this better? And then the more I look to this, the more I go, what’s really bugging me is just the black outline. And so I decided to change the base color to a more darker brown, and we’ll turn that on, turn off the black, and then I made the eyes themselves, and kept those kind of black, but added some of that reflective nature into the eyes. And I think this is where it really went over the top for me, and I’m like, this looks way better, instead of a black outline, it’s this grungy, dark dark brownish-black outline, and I think this is going to work a whole lot better. It just works a whole lot better, it looks better, and it fits the narrative a little better, as well, which is always a good thing. Especially the luminosity in the eyes really kind of breathed life even more to it, and the last part of this I wanted to do was, I wanted some gleams on the surface, like almost as if there’s shininess on parts of the surface. So if I turn on this layer, like this, we’re going to create one of these gleams, we’re going to go back to the blob brush, and I’m going to pick a white color. And if I go back to the brushes, we’ll pick this one, make sure we’re on the blob. And we’re on the gleam layer, and I’m going to actually zoom in first. We’re going to go in here, on the gleam layer, with the blob brush with white, with the right brush, and we’re going to go ahead, and I’m just going to really quickly kind of create the shape, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Something like this, like that, and oops, you know what? It has the Gaussian blur applied to it, which isn’t bad, let me get rid of that, ’cause I don’t want Gaussian blur on it, not at least at this point. And by the way, this is how I work all the time, so yeah, I make those kind of mistakes all the time. That’s what I was after. Now if you look at this, that’s kind of sloppy looking. Couldn’t I make that look a little better? Well yeah, let’s go ahead and select it, and we’ll go to graphic styles, and we’re going to turn it into this graphic style, which matches some of the other ones like this, where it’s just a white gradation, and that’s all I’m going to do. And then I’m going to Option + Click this layer to select everything on the layer. And now once again, I’m going to go to effect, and go to blur, I’m going to go to Gaussian blur. And on this one, I want to Gaussian blur everything here. And let’s see, if we do not quite 12, we’ll do 10. And let’s preview it, that looks good, we’ll go okay. And I zoom out, let’s zoom in, just so you can see what I did and deselect it. That’s all I’m doing, it gives more volume to the overall piece, and I think this looks really fun. It’s going to work really well, and this was just overall really fun piece of artwork to create. So this is a flaming asteroid. What would the context be for this? Well, in this particular case, if we switch files here, it’s an effects studio, so it’s part of the fun branding, it could have been animated if you want. So in total I spent about nine hours working on this illustration from beginning to end over an expanse of three or four days when I had time. I really enjoy digital inking like this in Illustrator with the Wacom, and I plan on doing more illustrations using this same approach. So make sure to poke around the exercise files provided for you in this movie, where I provide the final artwork, so you can click through every single layer, every single setting, and see exactly how it’s set up. Obviously, DVG Lab can’t be two hours long. These already get kind of long at times, but I don’t think you guys mind, I think you like taking a peek behind the creative curtain at times, and I hope you enjoy this one, so study these files, see what would work good for your own creative workflow, and apply them to your own methodology for illustration and design. Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and until next time, never stop digitally drawing.

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