How to design retro car vectors

All you need is some inks and some brushes to turn a photograph of a car into a vector illustration. John Kelly of Joke Art talks you through the process

It's surprisingly easy to create a sharp, clean, attention-grabbing vector graphic based on a photograph, whether it's a pet, a person, a motorbike or a car. And because it's a vector graphic, you'll be able to resize it without any loss of quality.

It's surprisingly easy to create a sharp, clean, attention-grabbing vector graphic based on a photograph, whether it's a pet, a person, a motorbike or a car. And because it's a vector graphic, you'll be able to resize it without any loss of quality.

There are other benefits too. Vector-based images make for smaller files, and smaller files are easier for your computer to open, close and print out. The final Illustrator file from this tutorial is only 5MB, compared with 50MB for a 300dpi Photoshop file of the same dimensions.

Because the vector image is an Illustrator file, it's easy for you to change the colours of the illustration if, for example, you want to use it again and again for different clients. It's just a question of selecting each of the shapes in the graphic and applying a new colour.

Finally, and arguably best of all, the print quality of the final illustration will be second to none.

In this tutorial I'll explain how to go about creating a vector illustration from a photograph of a car, and how you can use your artistic judgment and discretion to make it look great without slavishly copying every detail. You will also learn how to use a set of custom brushes.

Click here to download the support files (3.84MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free