Tracing & Coloring Sketches


Design Surface Patterns From Scratch


Lesson Info

Tracing & Coloring Sketches

This would probably gives us a pretty good live trace. But when I take photos of my work, generally, I like to lock them and trace over them. So, we're gonna jump right into to doing that. Today I am gonna be using a Wacom tablet. You don't have to use a Wacom tablet. This is what it looks like. I'm using the Intuos 4. You can do everything that I'm doing today with your mouse. This just gives you more control. So, if you don't have one, you can use your mouse. The other thing, so that I didn't have to take too much time scanning today, I have already scanned in all of my sketches. I have roughly about 25 that I'm gonna try to get through. And I should mention this to you, that if you didn't see segment four yesterday, I shared kind of my inspiration behind the sketches that I'm doing today. And I am gonna be creating a pattern collection called Nourish, based on the ideas that I like to do to nourish my creativity. So, this is really gonna come together as we build patterns tomorrow. ...

And I also mentioned that that I like to work in cycles. So, I sketched for a long time. I took a couple of weeks to make these sketches, and then I scanned them all in, and I illustrate all of them. I'm telling you you have to work that way, I'm not sure if many people do, but I like to work kind of in batches. So, I'm today I'm gonna be making, illustrating lots of motifs, and then tomorrow, we'll be pulling those motifs and making a repeating pattern collection out of them. So, I am working with several things today. Most of them, I'm doing tea inspired print, and I considered doing like teacups, and it dawned on me to maybe illustrate the flowers that are in my favorite tea. So, I have bee balm, I've tried to sketch some bee balm, red clover, cardamom pods, lemon verbena, jasmine, chamomile. You'll kind of see all of those pop up in my work today. So, we're just gonna have fun with it. So, I'm gonna also come over here and grab the sketches that I've already worked on. This is right here. And I think I need ... So, you can batch import your artwork into Illustrator, and that's what I'm gonna show you how to do right now. Okay, so I've selected everything that I'm gonna want to be illustrating. I'm just gonna drag and drop those over here to Illustrator. And I'll close that out. So, bring these over here. And they're actually a fine size, and I'll be rotating them as we go. So, I just want to get them all in there, so I know where I'm starting from. The other option that you have in Illustrator, is to either embed your image or just leave it linked. This can be a little confusing. So, right now these images are linked, which means they are linked to the placement of them in the folder that I grabbed them from. So, if I were to go delete one of those scanned images that I've just pulled over, it would disappear in my Illustrator document. So, that's fine for what we're doing today, because I'm gonna be delete them as I work. But if you are working on ... If you are working on a project where you're gonna need these photos to be in there indefinitely, like a year from now you may want to pull up this e-book that you've been working on, that you have photos in, and you don't want to have to make sure, you know, if you accidentally deleted that folder, then your images aren't gonna be there. In that case, you would embed your image. And I'll show you to do that, just so that you know. I've highlighted this one image right here. And, I believe if you go up to window, you can find the links, the links right here. And, so, you just click on that. That will show you all of the images that you have in your document, and the one that is ... Let's see. The one that you've highlight will be highlighted over here. So, these are all linked. If you want to embed it, all you do is come over to this fly out menu, and select embed image. And you'll know that it's embedded by this little icon right there. Okay, you can still move it around. The only thing that that means, is that it is attached to this Adobe Illustrator document now, and, so, if something happens to it in that file, it will always be in this document. It will also make your file larger. That's why linking your images comes in handy, so that it doesn't make your files huge. But you should know the difference between that, and that it's available to you. Okay, so, since I have all of these images here, I am gonna work with my layers panel just a little bit today. I don't use it too often. But if I have a bunch of sketches, it's great to be able to just lock a whole layer, so that I can work on top of it, and not be moving the image around. So, I'm gonna work with two layers. This layer has all my sketches on it, so, I'm gonna double click here, and name this sketches. And then to create a new layer, you just come right down to the bottom and select create new layer. Clicked on the wrong one. Create new layer is there. And double click there, and I'll just say, "Working." So, that's where we're gonna be working. I'm gonna move this up here. So, I will move all my sketches kind of over to the sides, so I can just drag one over and work with one at a time. And I don't think I want to start with, let's see which one I want to start with. Just kind of go through these a little bit. How about we start with this one? Command + 0 zooms us into the artwork that we're working on. So, I'm gonna rotate this guy by hitting the command, just the keyboard shortcut R, and rotating him up, scaling him a little bit bigger. And then I am going, I'm happy with his placement, I'm just gonna lock the whole layer. So, now I can't select anything, and I can work directly on top of it. So, to zoom in, I hit Command + Space Bar, which gives me that zoom in icon right there, and I can zoom in here and start working on this guy. I like to work pretty close. And, so, we learned about the blob brush tool yesterday, the pin tool, and the pencil tool. I am gonna be using the blob brush tool. I rarely use the pencil tool, except I like to use the smooth tool that's available in the fly out menu there. And I will be using the pin tool occasionally. So, the one thing that I want to make sure you know the difference between the pin tool and the blob brush tool, is the pin tool is anchor points and lines, and the blob brush tool is literally like blobs of ink. So, when you use the pin tool, you're able to increase and decrease the stroke weight, which is super helpful sometimes, not helpful other times. So, I'm gonna use the blob brush tool to trace over this work. The keyboard shortcut for that is Shift + B. And, good point, you have to, I'm still on my locked layer, which means I can't draw over this, so I just need to select the working layer, so that I can then come in and start working with my blob brush. To increase the size of, see? My little brush is pretty small right now, so, to increase the size, I'm gonna hit the right bracket tool, and just take that up just a little bit. And since my illustration is black, I think I want to work with a different color, just so that I can be sure I know it'll work. And ... I don't like any of these colors, so, I'm gonna bring the color palettes that we created yesterday. If you're not familiar with what I'm doing, make sure you refer back to segment two, session one. So, on the fly out menu right here, if I go to Open Swatch Library, and go to User Defined, we can see this CreativeLive color palette. This is also the same color palette that is included in the course materials, if you have any kind of access to this course. And I've created that for you, so you can be working along with the same color palette that I'm working with today. So, to get these color palettes over into my swatches panel, I just have to click on them. And I think it's time I make a decision on which one I really want to work with today. I can't choose one, so, I'm gonna choose three. And then I will cut that out. The other thing, is that I don't need these primary colors that are built into this document file. So, I'm just gonna delete them. To do that, you can click on one, hold the Shift key down, and come click on the next one, and then just drag and drop all these to the trashcan, so, that way I have black and white, and the color that I really want to be working with in this document. So, why don't I pick like this orange color? And I'm gonna zoom in, and just start tracing over this artwork here. So, nothing is incredibly perfect. Kind of just using my sketch as a guideline. And why are you doing this? This is how I'm gonna illustrate these sketches. So, I'm just illustrating motifs that we'll be able to use in the pattern signs tomorrow. And, Bonnie, we had a question from Lorie and Davie, who just wanted, I guess, clarification on why you trace it this way rather than using the auto-trace tool. So, there are different ways and different times to do both. I am going to be using both through these sketches. This is gonna give you a really nice clean line, and you're gonna be able to color it differently. Sometimes, and I'll show you exactly when, you could just blow through these, and live trace them all, and you'll have a really cohesive look at the end, as long as your sketches are really nice. I just work from several different perspectives, so, I'm gonna blob brush some, I'm gonna live trace some, I'm gonna pin tool some. But I just want to give kind of a well-rounded look at how we could go about doing these. Great. Thanks. So, if you love the live trace tool, by all means, use it. Quick question. So, yesterday I asked about it, 'cause the blob brush, I love it, but it tends to have such soft edges on everything. So, it's great if that's what you want, but is there a way to sharpen it at all, so that you can get a different effect? Not really. That's just how this is. You can, I'm not sure, let's play with this. I'm not sure if this is gonna even be available. If you decrease the size of the blob brush, like if I go way small, left bracket tool takes me like way small, and I do this leaf. I'm gonna hide my edges by hitting Command + H, so you can see that. It's a pretty pointy point right there. And if you were to color this, just the inside, and we delete this outer stroke, that's gonna be a really nice point right there. So, most of my work tends to be kind of curved, I don't do a lot, I kind of like that look about the blob brush. If you don't, you can use the pin tool. And we'll be using the pin tool on some too, so, hopefully you'll feel comfortable doing that too in a little bit. When you paint with the blob, is it vector, is it paint? Yeah, so, anything that you create directly in Illustrator is automatically vectors. Oh, okay. Thank you. So, I can scale this indefinitely and it won't lose its integrity. Does the blob brush give it more of a hand drawn look? Um, it can. Yeah, it can. And you'll see in just a minute. What your options are on how to color these items when you use the blob brush tool, one thing about the blob tool is that now I have this stroke right here. And, so, like I said, it's not like a line with vectors, this is like a, this is an object. I don't know if I'm explaining that well enough, but I'll just, for an example, with the pin tool, if I have a line like this, and I change the fill to zero and stroke to orange, then you can see I have two points, and that's all, and a line in between. So, I can come in here and change the curvature of this line, and I can change the stroke of that line, the weight, and make it thicker. But that's still just a singe line right there. This is, you know, like a painted object. I guess that's why they call it the blob brush tool, because it's like blobs of ink. So, I can come in here and grab, with the direct selection tool, grab like a single point and bring out, but that's what happens to it, it doesn't change like the curvature of that whole line, because it's like ink laid down. So, I'll just undo that. So, there are times that you'll use both. And I think for this illustration, using the blob brush tool is gonna give me the look that I want. But it does mean that you either have a solid object, and this will make sense in a second, either a solid object, an object that has an outline all the way around it, or something that has the colors with clear space in between. And that's kind of the look that I'm going for, so, that's why I'm using the blob brush tool. If you wanted the pin tool, you could color this completely inside of itself. That'll make more sense as we go along. So, I just grabbed the blob brush tool, and I'm gonna just finish this illustration out. That doesn't look so smooth. That's the other thing, is when you use the pin tool, you can, if you make a stroke that's not so smooth, you can just come right in and change it using those handles. Not quite as easy to do that when you use the blob brush tool. When you overlap two blob lines, does it automatically join them into one image? It does. And it didn't do that right there, it left it separate. Not really sure why. I can remedy that though. It wasn't meeting at another point maybe. Maybe it wasn't meeting at another point. But, generally, if you're using the same color, it automatically marries the two. If you are using a different color, it'll keep them separate. But usually when you're using the same color, it automatically joins those. So, in order to do that, I can just grab the pathfinder tool, and hit unite, and now that's one image right there, one shape. I'm glad I've got the blob brush now. I love the blob brush tool. Love it. Love it. So, I kind of loosely follow my sketches, I don't worry too much about going over them exactly, unless I really intend to copy it just perfectly. But we're almost done with this guy. And then I'll show you how to color it. And then I have maybe just some little doodads over here. We might use them somewhere. We might not. So, that's the other thing, is that I'm creating this pattern for the first time, and by nature, there are gonna be somethings that I do that don't make the cut tomorrow for our pattern collection, and some things that might not work, 'cause when I'm working at home, sometimes I scrap ideas I have all the time, and that may happen to us, and I want you to know that if it happens to you, it's okay. I'm just a little confused why you have to vectorize a drawing if you're drawing on top of it with a vector drawing. This image that I'm tracing over is not vectorized. It is a scan, so it's a JPEG, it's a JPEG image. Oh, thank you. So, I didn't do the live trace tool on it. I could have, and I will for some of the other ones. But, usually, I work this way, I lock a sketch in the background, and then I trace over it, because it just gives me a little more freedom. And if you're using a live trace tool, your sketch has to be exactly what you want. Sometimes it is, but maybe if it's not, like if I want a little more freedom in how I do these leaves, or whatever, then tracing over them is really the best way to do that. Is that making sense to everybody at home? Yeah. Mm-hmm. Okay. So, I am going to unlock my sketch's layer and grab this image, and just delete it. Okay, I just hit the delete button on my keyboard. So, let's get into coloring this a little bit. I didn't go over this yesterday, but today I want to introduce the live paint bucket tool to you. And, so, I'll give you just a minute to catch up. When you have an illustration or something you're working on selected, the live paint bucket tool be over here under the shape builder tools. So, yesterday we used this. Let me show you that real quick. If you want to use the shape builder tool to make this one solid image, you can just drag and drop over it like that. That makes using the blob brush tool really great. Or if you wanted this whole thing to be solid, you can drag over everything. I don't. But I do want to come over here to the fly out menu and grab the live paint bucket tool. Okay, so can you see the little paint bucket at the end of my arrow now? And three color swatches are on top. Orange is what I'm using now. And you can just use the arrows on your keyboard to toggle through the colors that are available. And it's grabbing these from my first color palette over here. So, if I know for sure what color I want, I can just come over here and click on it, and that brought up kind of limey green color, and then I can toggle through the ones directly beside it. So, I think I'm gonna start with, I think I'll start with this limey green color. And what the live paint bucket tools allows you to do, is color in large areas of illustrations, but they have to be closed. So, if you were trying to, you can't color in like a U shape or anything that doesn't have a closure on it. So, a lot of times I run into, because I'll be coloring like a flower stem, and I'll have forgotten to close the end of the stem, so you have to run in with the blob brush tool and close that end really quick before you can live paint bucket it. So, to color that in, all you do is click. And click here and click here. And I'm gonna hide my edges so we can really make sure that I want everybody to see what I'm doing. So, to hide my edges, just Command + H. So, this is what this is looking like. If I want to change the orange, I can grab, maybe this green color, and come in and start clicking on the orange. And the live paint bucket tries to figure out where you would like this to stop. I want all the orange to be the same, so, like that. So, this illustration is now outlined. One of my favorites ways to work though, is just to kind of delete this outline. So, I grab the no fill square right there, and then I can come in and then just kind of take this away, which leaves me with this leaf, that has kind of some cutout areas and some sharper points. So, this is one way to accomplish getting those more pointy edges with the blob brush tool. The only thing about the live paint bucket, is that it leaves kind of these, like, "I'm done with this." But it leaves these behind. So, anytime you are kind of complicating an illustration, I like to expand it and let be as simple as possible. So, when I'm sure that I like something, I'll select it, and bring my edges back so you can see, so you can see that it's kind of, it's got all that original content in it. And, so, if you, it's fine if you're working with something small. But if you have a big illustration, and you have all these kind of left over bits that you don't even need, then it just kind slugs your document down, and you don't need it. So, I like to come up to object, and select expand. Usually you want to expand all those things. Then I hit okay. So, that leaves us with just the final leaf. And if I come in here, like I can see this little bit right there is pretty obvious that I was using the blob brush tool. So, I want to just round that off, and I can do that by eraser tool. Keyboard shortcut for that is Shift + E. And you can increase the size of that or decrease the size of it the same way by using the left and right bracket tool. I'll just come in and kind of shave that off. Using the eraser tool is another good way to get nice points using the blob brush tool. To zoom out, I use Option + Command + Space Bar. And when you zoom out or zoom in, it zooms out around wherever you are clicking the mouse, and that will jump it to the center of your art board. So, I always try to zoom in or zoom out around, you know, the part, you have to click where the part is that you want to see. Now, to get the hand tool, I might not have explained that, all you do is press the space bar. The space bar gives you this hand tool, and you can drag your mouse around to look at your illustration. Okay, so, these dots look pretty obvious. I don't like it to be real obvious that I used like the blob brush tool, so, I'm gonna come in and smooth these out. So, I'll select this one, and I like to use the fly out menu of the pencil tool and grab the smooth tool, and just come in and kind of smooth these out. Hitting the Command key will take me back to the last arrow key that I used. So, I just hold down the Command key to select the next one and smooth it out. And that allows you to work pretty quickly. Oh, I went into isolation mode right there. You know, these dots might not make it into anything tomorrow, but they should be perfect while they live, right? Okay, so, I'm gonna work on this one now. And, so, this is gonna give us a pretty interesting look, because, and I'll show you why. So, I'll select all of that, and come over and grab my live paint bucket tool. The keyboard shortcut for that is K, not sure why that one didn't make the cut in my memory bank. I always go over and grab it from the fly out menu. But if you use the live paint bucket a lot, the keyboard shortcut for that is K. And I'm gonna grab the green color, and hide my edges, and come in here and start. The other thing you should know is that if you are working with something that has a lot of little pieces that you want color, you can just drag and drop. Not drag and drop, you can just drag your paint bucket over the areas that you want to color, and you'll see that they turn like this deep red. And then by the time I'm done, it turns everything green. Now, that turned the outline green too, but we're gonna remedy that by just getting rid of it. So, that's what I'm gonna do right now. I'll select the none box, and just come in here and start getting rid. So, it has separated this out for me. There's no rhyme or reason, I don't believe, somebody at home might know why it does that sometimes, but I'll just go and get it all out. Okay, so that gives a pretty unique look, because none of it is really connected. And I like that look for now. So, what I want to do, is select this whole image. Everything is grouped together. Because I used the live paint bucket tool on it, it groups it together as soon as you start doing that. And I'm gonna expand it. Object, expand. Yes. And that gets rid of all kind of the leftover things. So, you can come in here, and individually color these a little differently. So, this little blip that looks like it's folding over, I might want to have like a darker green. And, you can even, and that one right there. And then these little elements down here, we can just color independently of each other. Whoops. So, everything's group together, I need to right click and ungroup it. Now we got it. And I'll come in here and make, smooth this out too. And, so, these, I'm happy that they're not perfect. I just don't like it when you can really tell that, that you can see what size my blob brush tool was, and you can see that that's what I was using. So, I just like to kind of smooth out the end. Hey, Bonnie, we had a question come up about exactly what you mean when you say that you're trying to hide the edges. Okay, so ... I already deleted them. But before, oh, hide the edges on my art board? Yes. Okay, let's look at that. So, you can see, can everybody, this is green on green. So, let me go down to the orange. Okay, can you see the green dots and lines there that show you that I have that selected? If I hit Command + H, it's still selected, but it has hidden my edges. I do that at home all the time, because I find they get in my way from when I'm working, so I can see, really, where all the edges are. I know I have it selected, so I don't need the bright green boxes and lines to get in my way. Sometimes it'll make me get lost, so I bring them back and figure out where I'm at. So, I'm trying to leave them on for this course, so that you guys can really know what I have selected when, but I'm gonna try to tell you when I hide them, so that you can see what I'm doing, but know that it's still selected. Does that help? Yeah, it helps. And then I think I used the same lingo, hide my edges, or delete my edges, for this. And, that, it was when I was getting rid of the orange blob brush strokes. I just deleted those by turning them into the no fill. So, we are done with this illustration for now. What I want to do is select all of that and group it. Oops, group there. And I'll group this one. And they're good to go. So, I am gonna just bring them over here, and we will use them a little later. I'm gonna go on to my next sketch. Before I do that, I want to save my work. We're not doing anything too incredibly heavy. But when you start using a lot of illustrations, save your work, save your work, save your work, 'cause it is so sad when you lose all your work. It happens to me too many times. I get so into something and I forget. So, we'll go, I'm gonna save it right here. I'm just gonna save it what I named it, that's fine. Okay, let's talk about saving options really quick. I'm working version CS6, so I'm just gonna save it as such. If you are sending this to somebody who has a version lower than yours, you have the option to pull this dropdown menu, and save it as a version, you know, all the way down to the beginning, so, CS, CS2, CS3. They should still be able to open it, even if it's a different version. But some things may work a little differently. So, if you happen to know that ahead of time, it's nice to set it down to whatever version that person will be opening it in. But I'm gonna save it there. I always leave this just the way it's set. So, that's good to go. I hit okay. And it's saved.

Class Description

Did you know that you can turn your sketches, drawings and doodles into patterns? Join Bonnie Christine for an introduction to creating patterns to use in your very own fabric prints, stationery designs, website backgrounds, cell phone covers, and much, much more.

This course will take you through the process of working with Adobe Illustrator to create digital versions of your artwork. You’ll learn tips and tricks for working in Illustrator and how you can use the software to create repeating patterns of your very own drawings. Bonnie will guide you step-by-step through the process of transforming sketches and tracings into vector art which can be used for an endless array of printable and online projects from customized stationery to computer wallpaper. You’ll also learn how to assemble your collection of designs into a portfolio you can use to impress potential collectors and buyers.

This course will lay a solid foundation for those new to Illustrator and open up exciting new possibilities for people already familiar with the program. If you are ready to bring your drawings to life in new ways this class is for you.