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Create your own vector art

Fancy making your own pinup vector art? Brian Gibbs follows up his Q&A yesterday (opens in new tab) with his top three vector art tips...

Tip one: create a rich black 100% of every colour

  • I work in CMYK; this way I know what I create will print correctly.
  • The rich black lets you create dynamic backgrounds, and blending of other colours with layer options is also easy – for example, the latex look.
  • Draw a shape that needs a highlight, draw another shape with rich black, click the highlight point with the gradient mesh tool, then select any other colour. This will create a perfect highlight.

Tip two: build a custom colour palette

  • A quick and easy way to do this is by placing a photo into Illustrator then using the live trace – I use the 16 colours option. Expand the rasterised image, grab the different shades and add them to your colour palette. You will only need a few colours, as the next step will explain.
  • Now we have our colours, changing the tint and layer options will give you endless colour shades inbetween. Most common is the opacity – change Normal to Multiply, change the tint and the colours will blend into each other seamlessly.
  • Play with the Gaussian Blur filter. This will give even more control with how the colours interact with each other and can also make a crisp vector art file look exactly like a Photoshop image. Create a canvas around 1-2 metres – this will let you draw elements at a good size and offer better options when using the Gaussian Blur.

Tip three: upgrade

  • Adobe Illustrator CS6 is so much more powerful now than either CS4 or CS5. I can now draw images that CS6 just handles without any delays or worries – 200MB vector images are now common even with only 4GB of RAM installed.
  • Get yourself a good brand tablet; I'm using a Wacom Intuos PTZ-630. This will help you create a freestyle look with vector elements and cut down the illustration time considerably.

To see more of Brian's work, check out his Facebook page (opens in new tab) or his website (opens in new tab).

Illustrator tutorials: amazing ideas to try today on our sister site Creative Bloq

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