Saturday, 13 April 2013

Illustration Friday Word - "Urban"

I came up with a sketch for "urban." I decided to go with the Toronto CN Tower, as it is close to home and seemed like an interesting building to create. I executed this design using Corel Draw.
Photo on 2013-04-13 at 13.48

I used bright blue and yellow colours because I wanted to keep with the "urban" feel. I think the straight lines and bold blacks also add to this effect.
To begin, I created the background. I drew triangular shapes with blue gradients and then duplicated them, layering yellow on top. I then placed a linear opacity. I chose to go with the triangles in the background, because it is more interesting and eye catching than a rectangular design. I envision this as maybe a logo or t-shirt design.
I decided against creating the sun as the yellow makes it look as if the sun is setting in behind the skyline.

I then created the basic skyline. I used the bezier tool create the straight lines and filled the shape with black. I did not put too much detail into this part as I wanted the CN Tower to be the main focus of the design ... along with the bright colours.

Too add a little more interest, i created some windows. I applied a faint blue gradient to them to show the reflection of light.
KShimoda_blog4 copy

Next I created the CN Tower, using these images as my inspiration.
ON, Toronto CN Tower 3
Again using the bezier tool, I created multiple shapes. Using the contrast of black against white I created the detail in the building. I applied faint blue gradients at the top of the design and yellow gradients at the bottom to continue the effect of the setting sun. I used a mix of curved and straight lines to create some interest.

Last, I inserted the text. I duplicated the layer and converted text to outlines. I then power-clipped a photo of a sun setting behind trees at 30% opacity. The tree-line creates an interesting split in colour. I wanted it to be subtle, but I think it adds a nice touch to the text and design.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Illustration Friday Word "Wings"

I came up with a few sketches for "wings." A ladybug, a plane and a butterfly. I think a plane might be fun to attempt because of the window reflections, but I decided to go with a ladybug because I like designing with bright colours. I also can't wait for spring to come!
To begin, I created the basic shape of the wings. I wanted to showcase the shape of them and create depth so I drew them slightly opened.

Stage 1

I created some black dots of various sizes and created a clipping mask in the shape of the wing. I also drew some brighter coloured shapes within the wings and placed a feather on them.
Stage 2

I then inserted the rest of the ladybug's body. I used a grey colour for this. I placed a blur on the underbelly.
Stage 3

I drew in the legs that would be seen from this angle.
Stage 4

The head looked a little bit flat, so i created some smaller circles in lighter shades of grey to create some depth.
Stage 5

Next i added the eyes, nose and mouth. I used multiple circles to do this. I like how the eyes are slightly above his face because it makes it look 3D.
Stage 7

I used the pen tool to add some hair (or maybe eyelashes? haha) in between his eyes. Just trying to add a little personality. :P
Stage 8

Two is always better than one! Who wants a lonely ladybug!
Stage 9

My composition needed some atmosphere. I chose to use some leaves, as it looks like the ladybugs are just hanging out (maybe drying out their wings? :P). I created the basic shape of the leaf and then layered smaller pieces in different shades of green on top. I drew some small lines to create texture.
Stage 10

I then duplicated the leaves so the other ladybug had something to stand on. I inserted the third leaf because it balanced out the artwork … I was also planning too add text so I wanted to cover any white space.
Stage 11

The leaves looked like they were floating, so I decided to place them on a log. I used variations of brown to try and show the cracks and bumps in the wood. I used feathers to soften some of the edges. I also added shadows on the ladybugs and leaves to show the space between them.
Stage 12

I added a background of some simple leaves in behind. I placed a gaussian blur on it to show that it is far in the background, as I want the bugs to be the focus.
Stage 13

For the final touches, I added a dark green gradient behind the log for a shadow. I added the text "Lady Buggin' Out." The artwork is fun and cartoony so I thought it needed a fun headline to go with it!
Stage 14

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Illustration Friday Word "Wool"

I came up with a few sketches for the word "wool" - a sheep, a girl wearing an oversized Christmas sweater and some balls of yarn. I decided to go with the sheep as I was excited to draw one, and it reminded me of counting sheep.
Stage 1

I began by using the pen tool to create the basic shape of the sheep's body. I filled it with white and a grey outline. I also drew some grey lines within the body to show the fluffiness in the wool.
Stage 2

Next, I added the face. I used a dark grey outline and light grey fill. I also drew a medium grey shadow for depth.
Stage 3

I then added the wool on top of the head and the legs. I used the same technique as the face for the legs. I didn't put shadows on them because it created too many lines, and I thought they had a enough depth because of the hooves.
Stage 4

I created some ears and placed them into the wool on the top of the sheep's head. I did use shadows for these so that they matched the face.
Stage 5

I still needed to add the eyes but I always have a hard time with this part of the face. I used ovals to do these ones. I simply layered them on top of each other in variations of grey. I didn't want to give them too much detail because the rest of the sheep is so simplistic.
Stage 6

I was enjoying this project, so I decided to take it even further by adding another sheep. It looks like they are jumping through the air, which is what I was trying to achieve.
Stage 7

I transformed one into a female sheep by adding a pink bow, lips and eyelashes.
Stage 8

I added another into the foreground to create a family.
Stage 9

A blue background (with a radial gradient) and stars gives this some atmosphere, and makes it seem as though the sheep are jumping through the sky.
Stage 10

For the finishing touch, I placed multiple "Z"s across the top of the sky. I want to create a children's story to go along with this! :P
Stage 11

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Illustration Friday Word "Storm"

I came up with a few sketches for the word storm.
I decided to create this vector umbrella in Illustrator.
When you're going out in a storm, you better have an umbrella!

Using the pen tool, I began by creating the basic shape of the front of the umbrella (or the part that would be facing the viewer).  I used slight variations of red to create depth, and show the different sides.
Stage 1

Next I added the back of the umbrella in a darker red, as this part would be in shadow.
Stage 2

I then added the wires that hold the fabric of the umbrella together.
Stage 3

I continued using the pen tool for the stem of the umbrella, filling it with a black and white gradient for depth. I also added a shadow behind the front of the umbrella, to emphasize the curvy shape.
Stage 4

I finished off the basic shape by adding the final details in the top, as well as the handle. For the handle, I created small white highlights.
Stage 5

I created a basic shape for the puddle, and then duplicated it, changing the blue, blending mode/transparency, and size of the shapes slightly. I wanted this to be very subtle, as I only wanted to create some depth in the water.  The dark blue outline is used to make the puddle stand out from the white background.
Stage 6

After further consideration, I created more layers in the puddle to show ripple in the water.  I also added a white highlight.
Stage 7
The reflection of the umbrella in the water was hard to achieve, but in the end I think I got it. I created a few red shapes at low opacities to blend out the reflection from where it would be the most prominent.   
Stage 8

For the final step, I duplicated the puddle and adjusted the shape to create the smaller puddles. I used a similar effect for the rain drops falling from the umbrella.
Stage 9

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Illustration Friday Word "Ocean" Attempt #2

After thinking about it further, I decided to go in a different direction with this piece.  I wanted to show waves in the ocean.  I love being out on the water in the summertime so I also wanted to incorporate a boat or a ship.  I came up with the two concepts below and went with the "Sail Away With Me" idea.  I made the decision to design this in Illustrator.


I began by taking a photo of my thumbnail and bringing it in as the background layer for my design.  I then started drawing the shapes of the waves in with the pen tool.  I coloured them using different variations of blue and applying gradients and feathered effects to different parts of the waves.


The next step was to start creating the boat.  I placed all objects inside my "waves" layer so the boat could be shown inside the waves.  I chose a red colour as I thought it would stand out best against the blue.  I applied a gradient to the inside of the boat to give it some depth. I added the sail in so it can easily be identified as a boat and applied a gradient so it looks wavy.


Adding in the sky posed some difficulty as it had to be blue like the water.  I decided to create triangular shapes starting from one point, so they would look like rays from the sun.  I applied a blue to white gradient to show the different shapes.  This also makes the sky stand out against the water.

After revisiting, I changed the colour of the sail to red and the sky to yellow. I wanted to change the colour of the sky since it was blending with the water, and used yellow to represent the sun. I added some bubbles in the ocean to create some interest at the bottom. I layered different sized of circles with radial gradients on top of one another and duplicated them.
Finally, I completed the composition with the text. I kept it fairly simple, but layered the words on top of each other to create some visual interest. I also added a subtle wave through the text by simply copying the words and creating a clipping mask into a wave shape. oceanstage5