Digital Illustration · 2014-02-09

Working with Adobe Ideas and Adobe Illustrator


I must confess. I have loads of sketchbooks stashed everywhere – in my handbag, in my bedside drawer, on my desk at work and at home… but I am not one of those illustrators who are constantly drawing. Sadly, most of my sketchbooks end up being used as quick note paper…

I have to actively make myself pick up pen and paper and draw. I rarely finish an illustration, unless it is work related. That is why I have taken such a liking to Adobe Ideas. You can doodle in it, or you can create a finished artwork in it. And best of all, it is in vector format, so if you do want to take your artwork to print, you can print it as big as you want. What I also enjoy about Adobe Ideas is that the artwork can be sent as a PDF email attachment or shared with another app. So I create my artwork in Adobe Ideas, then I email myself the PDF, which I then open in Adobe Illustrator – in which I then round off the artwork.

For the featured illustration, I chose a photograph I took of my lovely cousin. I placed the image on the photo layer and then added a drawing layer on top of that. I then picked a grey colour, set the selected brush’s transparency to a low percentage and then started to draw in all the shadow areas. From there I work layer for layer, adding colour and highlights. Note that there is a limit to the amount of layers that you can create, so be warned that you may need to merge layers at some point. When I had completed it in Adobe Ideas, I opened it in Adobe Illustrator. I cleaned up some of paths and retouched certain areas on the face, and added various geometric shapes with different blending modes.

See below some screenshots of the work in progress. The final artwork is available as a wallpaper download here. Note that there is only one high resolution square version available.

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