140 - Line Art Portrait in Illustrator ~
• This is the 1st tutorial in a series.
• Create 3 line drawings of your face - 1 with a thin line, 1 with a thick line and something in between.
• Some Vector portraits look cold and clinical because the line is so precise. The trick is to use brush textures to make the lines more natural looking.
Step #1: Set up your Illustrator document ~
Start with a print document of 8.5 x 11″- change the color mode to RGB - and set the Raster Effects to medium.
Step #2: Import your Picture ~
Import your photo by going to: File > Place.
Step #3: Embed the Picture ~
If you don't Embed your image into your composition it will not save with your work.
With your image selected, click the Embed button:
If you don't Embed the Photoshop image, it wont be there when you send it in!
Step #4: Adjust the Image Size ~
Using the Free Transform Tool …
… size the image up or down as necessary to fit in the Artboard.
If you hold the Key while adjusting, it keeps the image proportional. Try it!
Step #5: Workspace ~
Go to: Window > Workspace > Painting or click on the bar in the upper-right to change your workspace to Painting layout.
Step #6: Template Layer ~
Click the drop down menu in the upper corner of the Layers Palette and select Template
"Templates" locks the layer, turns the eye icon into the template icon , and reduces the Transparency to 50%.
Step #7: New Layer ~
Now create a New Layer
Step #8: Setting up your Brush ~
Double-Click the Paintbrush Tool ...
... and be sure to have Keep Selected and Edit Selected Paths unchecked as they can inhibit a natural drawing process. Adjust your Smoothness to a lower number if you have confidence in your drawing strokes, or a higher number if you feel you have a shaky hand or want straighter and smoother lines.
Go to the Brushes panel …
… and Double-Click the default brush.
If you have a tablet, you can adjust the options to respond to pressure and tilt, as well as make it more of a flat-tipped, calligraphy style marker …
But even if you don’t have a tablet, you can still make adjustments to the brush.
Step #9: Colors ~
Locate your Stroke and Fill colors …
Set your Stroke to Black and Fill to None
Step #10: Begin Tracing the Image ~
Zoom in on the area where you want to begin working.
Experiment! Doodle on a blank area of your canvas until you get what you want.
Then start tracing.
Last Step: Save and Attach ~
Save your work as - [ LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME-PROJECTNAME.ai]
• ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:
• DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.
• NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.
If you're ready, proceed with the next tutorial to create your own watercolor brush and color in your outline.