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Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics

Lesson 3 of 9

Interpreting the Brief and Concepting


Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics

Lesson 3 of 9

Interpreting the Brief and Concepting


Lesson Info

Interpreting the Brief and Concepting

So what are we actually gonna draw here? Let's let's move on to thinking about what the brief is. What's the concept behind what we're actually gonna create? So one of the best tapes of jobs I feigned is something new with self initiated brief. You know, um, I thought for this it would be really nice to interpret a piece of literature and take that into a poster that could also work the same as the tape of products that we use in designing a book jacket, perhaps designing a gig poster or a flyer or doesn't mean anything that you want to represent either A piece of music, a book. It can be an event. You know, I think one of the great things about illustration is that alot Zoe's too a unique spin. Uh, on whatever the content that we're looking at, it could be a new editorial illustration, for example, that could be an illustration that represents, uh, opinion piece in the newspaper. Perhaps, you know, that could be that could be really great. So what we're gonna do here is, um, just talk...

real briefly about where the corn ST for this illustration is coming from, um, on how we interpret their and how we try and build in some elements and some imagery that is visually distinctive and asks the viewer some questions as toe, What's going on there? Something that's gonna lead draw me in from a content perspective. So I was reading, um, a poem the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas wrote back in the forties has called under milk wood. Um, it is a really great piece. It's super rich and visual imagery. Um, and I thought, uh, okay, how can we represent that through illustration? It could be for a poster like a city could be for for a book jacket. Um, one of the really interesting things about that if you if you read the introduction to the peace, it's super rich in visual imagery. The stories about a tone and wheels. It's about how all of the people who live in houses of the tone they're all seemingly relatively normal. But as you go through the play, it turns out that the old have kind of secrets. You know they'll have secrets from each other. They will have things which, under the surface, maybe a little bit unusual. But on first blush, you wouldn't necessarily notice. So I definitely in my illustration I definitely like the idea off Hedden imagery. I like the idea off collecting elements together there are seemingly innocuous and, like maybe making something which sits behind that on may be reviews itself, maybe know instantly. And maybe maybe when the steak and pass you start toe notice some different elements coming, coming through. Um, on a lake who that tape of stalemate marry with the concept off this tone wheels, which is by the sea, um, seemingly quiet, seemingly normal, but maybe late behind the surface there's something a little bit menacing. You know, um and generally what I do is I read through the text, um, or I will listen to the piece of music I know just like picket words, which suggests, like, some sort of imagery, you know, And I would just start, like, right in those down on a piece of paper. So what we're gonna do know is we're literally gonna, like, sketch, um, some of the elements that maybe suggest themselves within the text. So in that first paragraph, there's we talk about the terror where everybody lives, we talk about the sea. We talk about the fishing boats that are in C. There's a lot more words in a little more language like around these. But these are actual words that suggest some sort of imagery. You know, you can illustrate a tone. You can illustrate the sea. You can illustrate the fishing boys. You know, there's, ah, a church mentioned in that You know where all the people of the 10 come come together? Um, there's the mountains. There's some imagery that gives you some some references to, like how the 10 looks fuels. It's kind of like in the country, So we're gonna use some of these words to like, you know, these are really, really simple elements that we can start to bring in, collect together and then think about how those come together as a composition. So why did I was, like, took these words just a few words for five words on a page, and that starts to become like this skeleton of where the illustration is going to be made of made off so real quick. My sketches are no and it's in Greek. They don't have to be is really just a bit again. An idea or don't on the page and just haven't like some sort of visual ization of her that make look, doing this is going to save me. Time later is going to save me. I could jump straight into illustrator and start cooling these elements together. What I'm probably going to faint is that, um what I get a certain amount a team through, and I'm trying to bring all of these elements together. I'm probably gonna feigns. That may be some don't work. Maybe I'm going to do some work that needs to be to be left off. Maybe there's gonna be some PC's messing that don't necessarily fit. I usually find that again. Ideas down on paper, super quickly. It really helps the illustration come together alot easier on the page. So what I'm going to do here is I like to think about the page and sections, so I'm sometimes I think about in halfs Something's or think of it and quarters. This time. I think if I'm thinking about tone and I'm thinking about how that would look, say, for example, if if you got a postcard over who would actually look we're pro. It's probably gonna be the divided into thirds. You can start splitting that up really easily. So the bottom third is probably going to be the sea. The top third is probably gonna be like this guy with some clothes and maybe some mountains as well. So this is Oh, imagery there is contained in the text and these are all coming from the words that I really don't. So that is pretty simple. Okay, so now we just need to think about what's what's going to go in the center. Well, what comes between the scene on this guy is the toe. That's where the people live. That's where the content of the players contained. So we're probably way have the church. We know that. So we're going to get that day. Probably has a little a little cloak again. It doesn't have to be super detailed is literally just a napkin sketch together. The idea down. And then one of the things that I think about of some of those remaining turns and wheels is the terraced houses I love. The idea of the repetition of the same house gives you an idea of like some kind off, um, suburbia, some cane of like, uh, cookie cutter approach to the facade of the tone. But yeah, we can think about was behind the windows. What's behind the doors? And so individual people was with individual stories on this case secrets, you know, things that people living next door But you may not be aware off on I really like the idea off the facade being like, really normal. But then something behind there you're always gonna be asking yourself the question What's actually behind those? So I really love the idea of like having the, um, the terrorist hoses I love symmetry and my work a few like the repetition off simple elements can be really, really powerful. And so maybe we want to just, like, build up some rules of hoses, and then we want to think about there's probably some trees in the background to you, and then we want to think about like, how can we, like, bring those elements together? How can we, um, I usually like to think of a collection of elements that actually career something different. You know, if you don't think back to some of the pieces that should earlier we can maybe use elements that repeat in a pattern to suggest something else on what I really liked about and thinking about this piece was the idea that something, maybe like something menacing lays behind something that looks cree innocent. So I started to think about the Hells and how the, uh who the life on Lee? Maybe, um, maybe we can use, like, some of the trees, some of the bush's some of those elements to suggest something I wish, Maybe looks a little bit more medicine. So that's supposed to be, like a scope, OK? It doesn't look great. It doesn't have to, um but like maybe we use some of these little elements may put them together and again, it gives you just like an extra dimension when the peace. So that's essentially the corn set, you know, on we're gonna start pulling together like some of those elements we're gonna We're not gonna worry about the exact composition right now. I think what we're going to do is probably just, like, jump in tow, illustrator start Ella Street and some of these, you know, this is that this is a sketch that we're gonna be working off, you know, it's definitely no anything super professional. It doesn't have to be. Is all about getting your idea on the page on Does nothing Wrong have overstayed? Thought about that's a little bit beforehand. There's nothing wrong with having loads and loads of sheets of people sometimes going through, um, just getting your ideas down on the page. I generally find, allows more ideas to come in and take take their place. Once they're your head, they're done. Andi, I'll give you some room for something else to come in there.

Class Description

Artwork created in Adobe Illustrator has a sought-after and distinct style – the vector files Illustrator generates are small, clean, and look polished. In Drawing with Illustrator: Vector Graphics, Stewart Scott-Curran will teach you how to create graphics using Illustrator, from start to finish.

Stewart is the art director at CNN digital and organizer and host of Creative Mornings in San Francisco. In this class, he will take you step-by-step through the process of using Illustrator to create original artwork. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Set up a workspace and develop a workflow
  • Use strokes and custom brushes
  • Work with the Pen tool
  • Source reference material to inform image-making
  • Use shapes and the Pathfinder tool

Making graphics in Illustrator is the building block for designing logos and creating icons. In this beginner-friendly class, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started.

Software Used: Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 (18.1)



What an absolutely amazing class! I saw Stewart's artwork and it immediately connected with me so I knew I had to register for this class! I LOVE how he guides the student through his creative process from beginning to end...his description of the poem he used for his inspiration absolutely captivated me! Aside from the expert guidance with all the Illustrator tools and working through his composition, his methodology for developing the brief and conceptualizing the artwork from beginning to end held my attention! His second course (Color and Texture) is absolutely essential as well! He inspired me to experiment with Illustrator and get over my fear of it! Thank you Stewart! I hope you'll return to CreativeLive and teach more courses!

Mary Thomas

I purchased a companion class to this one by Scott and I was very pleased with the content, so I purchased this one as well. Both classes were very well presented and did not duplicate what was given in the other. I have now purchased seven classes by CreativeLive and am very happy with all of them. I have watched others as well on the free days with equally as favorable results.

user 2b0aa5

Great class. Well presented and fun project. Signed up for his second class.