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FAST CLASS: Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Lesson 8 of 11

Hand Tracing Over Photographs

 

FAST CLASS: Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Lesson 8 of 11

Hand Tracing Over Photographs

 

Lesson Info

Hand Tracing Over Photographs

The next thing I wanna do is go into tracing on top of these flowers. And I have also taken a couple of other photos before I came here, and so let me look at those and see what we wanna work with. I took these earlier this week here in California. And so these would not work well for using live trace on because all of that background jumble is not gonna be great, but it is gonna be great to trace from. So I think I'll start with this one, and I'm gonna do the same technique that you do with a sketch. And so what I wanna do is lock this. I haven't built in layers to this illustrator document, it's would not be a big deal to add a whole layer but it's just as easy to come down to the flyout menu, find what you have selected and just lock the single element, okay. So now I've locked this image and I can't mess with it and I'm gonna trace right on top of it. The other thing I like to do is use the blob brush tool. So I'm gonna grab my Wacom tablet and just come in and start illustrating r...

ight on top of these pedals and I'm not gonna color it in. See I'll increase my size a little bit. Not gonna color it in, I'm just going to trace the outline here. I think that's a little too big so I'm gonna reduce that by to a maybe about that size. And green is actually a fine color to be working with this. I just want something that is a high enough contrast to where I can see what I'm working on. And you can just feel free to include as many of these details as you wanna include like there's a little dip right there where it's kind of folded over, or not include as many details as you want if you wanna skip over, simplify the pedals. But I think all these little bits out here are what make the natural, I kinda eyeballed that, and I got it. Make the natural flower, such a beautiful thing to work with. And it also-- Enclosing each Shape. Enclosing each shape and because it stays highlighted, these are automatically joining right there, okay. So it's just turns into one big shape. Working like this is one way I nourish my creativity. That's kind of our theme for this class. And so when you are feeling like you can't sketch or you have no ideas, then running out and taking a photograph of some things and working directly from the photograph, kind of can, you can kind of put your brain on cruise control a little bit, and still make beautiful stuff. And by the time you're finished with this, you'll be ready to start sketching again. At least that's what has happened in my experience, because this, you're still working with something really pretty, I need to close my Layers panel, edit, undo that. You're still working with something that you created, sort of you at least created the picture of it. And you just didn't have to put so much effort into the sketch. And so I'm a huge advocate of sketching, but if you're not feeling it, try to grab a photograph and work off of that. The other thing that this does is it really kind of gives you an ease of how you're sketches don't have to be perfect. If I sat down to draw this rose, I would probably be making all of the edges perfect. And that's just not necessary because nature is not perfect. All these little raggedy edges and the little curls, the leaves are not always perfect. So don't, you know if that's your style, do it, but if it's not your style, then feel free to experiment with just being less perfect because that's how nature is. I missed one right here. So I'm gonna do that. And this is gonna color up really really nicely. I think that I want to add just a couple of these leaves and what I'm gonna do here, you can see rose leaves usually have like little pointy edges on it. So rather than do this kind of thing, that doesn't leave me a great inside angle right there, so I'm gonna undo that. I'm gonna try to pay attention to the inside shape, so I'm gonna kind of be tracing from the outside, okay. So that way I know I'm gonna get rid of this green line for this document, so I tried to pay attention to this inside shape right there, okay. The other thing is I'm not gonna do all these leaves. This one's kind of unique, so I might do it. And then I'm gonna throw a stem on here, which I don't know if that leaf is gonna make it but we'll see what it looks like. Then, I'm just gonna throw a stem in here, you can't really see it, but I'm gonna guess that it comes right down here, and then continues down something like this. And if this doesn't look really good, when we have finished illustrating it, then we can just erase it and try again. Okay, so I am done with my photograph, I can come over to my Layers panel, unlock it, I can either delete it or just turn it off by the eyeball. And this trace is what we have left with. And so yeah, I'll leave it there and just leave the eyeball off, claps that. I love to work in this way because that's a beautiful rose. I'm gonna color using the Live Paint Bucket tool. So it is highlighted, I have my edges hid so we can see what we're doing. But I have that selected and I'm kinda come over to the Live Paint Bucket tool. I will try to stick with this color palette that we've created from these other guys. So I'm gonna use this green for the stem. And also maybe that guy, and I'll do the leaf that way too. And then I believe this was a leaf over here. Kinda looks like a pedal, but this looks like a leaf to me too. So to color these pedals, you know you can work however you want. A lot of times I color all one color and if you wanna try to add dimension to it then I usually try to add deeper hues to the middle and lighter hues to the outside. So I'll start with this really light pink and just start kinda adding these delicate, more delicate petals out here and then I may grab this kinda deeper, deeper color and kinda go, I like to go in a circle, we'll see if this looks okay. Maybe this one too. And that one and then this is like a lip where it was folded over and so I wanna make it either darker or lighter. And I think I wanna make it darker, so we'll do this color for the inside. Next I wanna get rid of this green background. So you have a couple of options you can make it one of the colors that you're already using if you want this kind of look on the inside. And that kinda outlines everything. Or if in my case, I just wanna get rid of this, so I'm gonna come in and do this with the no fill selected. And Live Paint Bucket has just separated these for me. It is one shape. And actually if I went ahead and I'm almost done, so I'm just gonna finish doing this but if you went ahead and expanded this, you could probably just grab the screen and delete it all at once. We'll keep working this way. You just selecting and clicking on delete? I am filling it with no fill. I'm not deleting it, but do you see right above my paint bucket, the three squares, the one that selected is the no fill box. So if I had wanted to color it, I would have clicked on a color over here, but because I wanted no fill, I selected the no fill box. Okay, it looks like I got them all. So next I can select all this, I'll bring my edges back, and in order to get rid of the no fill and no stroke, I'll expand it by going to Object and Expand. And that leaves me with that, which I think looks really nice. You can play with recoloring it scroll way over here so you can see it. Recolor our work tools at the top, so we only have four colors, which is great. And we can scroll through some options here. And you probably, when you're dealing with flowers or an element like that, that's kind of pretty, you will probably wanna do this more manually so that you have control over that deep inside color so that it's cohesive, but we're going to end with that. So I deleted the edges and I'm glad that I did, I'm glad that I did that, I wanted to do it. But another trick is to add kind of an outline around the entire shape. And I use this all the time. If you're working on something with fabric, sometimes you have to be careful with the bleed with certain fabrics, so we won't get into this with too much detail, but sometimes you need to outline everything with a solid color. And if you find that you have to do that in your industry, this is an easy way to do it. So I have this selected, I'm gonna copy and paste an exact replica behind it. So to do that, it's Shift + Command + C, and Shift + Command + B. And so you can't tell but I have two copies now, okay. I need to do that again. So the one behind is what is selected, because that's what I just copied behind. So that's the one that's selected, I'm gonna change all of the colors to a solid color. So I'll grab this teal, and so you can't see it, but it's back there. I'm gonna hide my edges so you can see what I'm doing. And you're gonna find this tool under Effect. So if you go up to Effect and Path and Offset Path, then we can play with adding background to this. If you hit preview, you'll see just what we're gonna get and I think that teal wasn't the best color choice but it will still let us see what we're doing. Depending on your illustration, if you have a bunch of jagged edges, you might wanna do mitre. If you want it to be more smoothed, you need to come down and select round. So that just rounds off all those edges, do you see that? So 10 is pretty big, I think I want more like two or maybe like four. And when you're happy with that you can select okay. You are not quite done yet, because if I bring back my edges, you can see two things, one this is all still separate images, and two is that this is an effect. So this is an effect on the bottom image. It's not expanded. So this is like an effect on this pedal. But the way I see it, the selection should be out here. But it's not because it's an effect. So that's a little hard to explain, but just know that after we're done doing the opposite path, we wanna expand the image, and when we do that Object, Expand Appearance, that line hops out to the outer edge, okay. The last issue is that it's still all these separate shapes, and we want to unite all those so Pathfinder Unite will give us one solid shape to use back there. This is another great time to use the simplify tool. This has too many anchor points, we don't need all those. First thing I'm gonna do is change that background color, maybe something dark so we really see what we're doing. I think this has too many anchor points, so if we wanna simplify that we go to Object, Path, Simplify, and already that has reduced them by half and I can't really tell a difference, it just is too many. So I think we can take it down even to there, we should see 91%, even that looks fine, but I think 93% still looks really good, and we've taken our anchor points from 308 to 94. So I'll select okay. Now if you wanna do that again, it will be a little easier this time, we can just copy this. I have the dark purple background selected, I can just copy that and send it to the back. So I have two copies now. I'll change its color to maybe this light blue. You can't tell I did that, but it's back there, and I did. And we can just come right back up to Effect, Path and Offset Path, hit preview to see what you're doing, and this time, I'll add either something smaller or bigger. Like maybe six and hit OK, and I think that looks really nice. The only thing we have to do this time is hit expand. So Object, Expand, that way we have both of those. This does some really cool things. You can do it with great big objects, like a whole bouquet. If I change the background to this color, you can see it just adds a little bit of dimension. And back here you have kind of this silhouette now. So you can also use this trick for if you are wanting that silhouetted look. It's an easy way to get it. So I'll layer those back on top of each other. It's something I use all the time in my illustration work.

Class Description

FAST CLASS:

Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: Design Surface Patterns From Scratch with Bonnie Christine

SUBSCRIBE TO CREATOR PASS and cue up this class and other FAST CLASS classes anytime.

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.

SOFTWARE USED:

Adobe Illustrator CS6

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