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The Road to Web designing

Art Illustrations

Do you want to look great?

31 July 2011

Build a vibrant, pattern-based isometric cityscape

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Isometric grids are a great way to achieve a 3D/2D look. Couple them with a repeat pattern and you can achieve some striking effects.

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Step 1

The isometric grid is a useful tool for drawing objects in perspective. It’s formed of vertical lines plus lines at 60 degrees to either side, all meeting at common points to form a web of equilateral triangles. We’ve provided one in the project files – an Illustrator document named Grid.ai.

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Step 2

Like every great idea, our city begins in the sketchbook or layout pad, with a printout of the grid under the top sheet. Sketch some elements and scan them in.

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Step 3

Import the grid into a new Illustrator document and lock the layer. Now place one of your scans over it in a separate layer and set the opacity to 70% so the grid can be seen underneath.
























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Step 4

Start drawing with the Pen tool (P). Join all paths up – there should be no overhanging bits. Keep it clean and use the grid to achieve straight lines at 30° to the horizontal.
















Step 5

When you’re done, start adding some fine details. Remember that this will be a repeat pattern and that it will be a small part of a much bigger canvas, so you don’t need to go mad. Just use different weights of stroke and simple shapes to create depth and detail.

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Step 6

We want the overall look to be sharp and very graphic, so use the built-in halftone black-and-white swatches (accessed from the Swatch panel or using Window > Swatch Libraries > Patterns > Basic Graphics).


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Step 7

Once you’re happy with all your elements, make sure they’re grouped individually, then copy each one and paste it into Photoshop.


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Step 8

In Photoshop, put each element in its own layer group. Within each group, create a new layer beneath the element and call it ‘Colour’. Set the element layer’s blending mode to Multiply, then go to the Colour layer and start colouring it in.

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Step 9

Once all your elements are finished, start composing the central part of your cityscape. When you’re happy with your work, go to Layer > Flatten image.

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Step 10

Now slice the image into two from top to bottom. Move the left half to the far right of the document, and the right half to the far left.

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Step 11

Slice the image into two from left to right this time. Put the bottom half up against the top of the document, and move the top half down to the bottom.

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Step 12

You will be left with a space in the centre. Fill it in with the rest of your elements, but don’t go over the edges of the empty space, or you’ll compromise the repeat pattern which you’ll create in step 14.

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Step 13

Flatten the image again and tweak the overall look using Image > Adjustments > Levels. Now paint a neon-glow look over certain areas with a soft brush at 70% opacity and the mode set to Screen.

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Step 14

Flatten the image again. Now select all and copy and paste, and start creating your tiling.

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Step 15

To give the pattern a more random feel, we’ve actually used four tiles with some small variations – we’ve moved buildings around, added stuff and taken stuff away. This yields a more diverse and arresting look than a strict repetition of the pattern.


For use on the cover of Digital Arts' May issue, the colours were altered to boost the vibrancy and contrast, creating the stunningly eyecatching artwork as seen in the first and next steps.


Author: 2xanadu

26 July 2011

APPLY COLOUR TO A FASHION ILLUSTRATION



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Fashion illustration is often done to very tight deadlines and the artist can be required to work from life, with very little time in which to detail the figure and his or her surroundings fully.

Here, how to balance a fashion composition while working at a snappy pace. You’ll place the figure on a grid of thirds to help you loosen up a bit with the sketching, and learn how to design a background that can be quickly and easily coloured. She also shows you how to colour around a complex hand-drawn shape and how to edit the drawing in preparation for colouring.
The techniques here are especially pertinent to fashion illustration, but they can be used with any subject matter and will help anyone wanting to work on a hand sketch in the digital realm.
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Step 1

Using a pencil and ruler, lightly draw a grid to divide an A4 sheet into thirds horizontally and vertically. Sketch in the figure, but don’t feel you must replicate the photo – fashion illustration benefits from a bit of licence. The grid lines should help you decide where to place the key elements.

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Step 2

Now draw the figure and the outfit in more precise detail. Try to emphasise the figure’s movement through the lines and sweep of the clothing.

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Step 3

When you’re happy with your drawing, use a black fineliner pen to do outlines around the body and the dress. Draw in any areas of detail that need to be emphasised.

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Step 4

Also use the fineliner to draw in some of the shapes you sketched in the background earlier. Keep these lines clean and quite simple. You want the background to set off the figure, not detract from it.

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Step 5

Erase your pencil lines from the figure and the background. Redraw any incomplete lines and add more detail to the background as needed. It will be much easier to see what needs doing now that the fuzzy pencil lines are gone. Remember, though, that we want to keep the background simple compared to the figure.

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Step 6

Start to colour in just the figure using your preferred medium. I used graphic pens for the clothes, though watercolour pencils would also have worked well.
Use the same colours as in the original photo and draw in more details of the clothes and fabric patterns.

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Step 7

Watercolour paint is the best medium for skin. Note that colours can often scan in too dark if your scanner’s not calibrated, so you may want to keep your palette light and to remove any excess paint with tissue.
The figure needs to appear soft and organic in contrast to the background, so don’t overpaint the features. Also add some deeper hues to the folds in the fabric of the dress.
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Step 8

Reintroduce some pencil shading on the figure only to bring it out further. Using pencil on the face can make the features look too dark, but pencil shading on the dress may lend the figure greater depth. Also go over the pen lines, making sure they are unbroken and heavy enough to be ‘read’ by the scanner.

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Step 9

Scan in the image at 300dpi at least (I worked at 400dpi, but this could be slow if you’re using an older computer).
Right click on the ‘Background’ layer and duplicate it. This way, if you make any major mistakes, you still have your original scan to return to.

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Step 10

Now prepare the image for colouring. Zoom in to 100%, select the Brush tool (B) and choose Permanent Marker from the Dry Media Brushes list. Use the Color Picker to sample the background colour of the paper and then use the Brush to correct any smudges.

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Step 11

Select the Lasso Tool (L) and click around the figure carefully to select it (you may need to rotate the canvas 90 degrees to have the whole figure visible on screen at the maximum zoom). Then go toSelect > Inverse so that the background is now selected. This lets us work on it with no fear of affecting the main model.

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Step 12

Pick a colour that stands out against the shades used in the figure (I’ve chosen a vivid red). Select the Paint Bucket tool (G) with 100% opacity and a Tolerance of 80, and fill in the fineliner strokes so they are no longer black. This gives us clear boundaries for our artwork.
Zoom in and ensure you have gone over all the relevant lines in the background. Correct any gaps using the Brush tool with the size set at 5px or so.
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Step 13

With the figure upright again, select the Paint Bucket tool with a Tolerance of 80 and set the opacity to 50%. Choose a blue or mauve (the eye tends to associate these colours with the background) and fill in a few sections with it.
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Step 14

Continue filling sections around the figure, varying the brightness or colour slightly for each one. This will help the colours you’re applying stay in the background and allow the figure to stand out better.

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Step 15

Once all the background is coloured, zoom in to 100% and correct any uneven or unfinished areas around the figure with the Brush tool. Erase any bits of the drawing you feel need reworking, redrawing the lines to match what you already have.

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Step 16

Finally, we need to revert the red lines of step 12 back to the colour of the fineliner. Do this with the Paint Bucket tool (opacity at 100%) and use the Color Picker to sample the colour of the original lines. Apply this to the red lines and you’re done.

Author: Abigail Daker

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