Create a Vamp Feminine Portrait in Adobe Illustrator

In today’s tutorial, I’m going to be showing you how to create a feminine portrait inspired by the likes of Vampira and Elvira.

I’m going to be using a stock image as a reference and then work in my own hair style and elements.





Tutorial Details
  • Applications Used: Adobe Illustrator CS5
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Estimated Completion Time: 3h +

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Final Product What You’ll Be Creating



Step 1

I’m going to create a New document and the File > Place my stock image on the canvas. I’ll be setting up my layers as I usually would as shown below. I’ve got the reference image in it’s on layer. Then I have a “BG” layer which usually I’d add my background in at a later stage. For now it’s got a white fill Rectangle (M) in it covering the artboard, set to Opacity 50%. I’ve then got other layers for sketching hair, base shapes and shading.


Step 2

I’ll be using a variety of skin tones to create the skin shading. You can locate these swatches by going into the Swatch panel and click on the drill down menu in the top right of the panel. Go to Open Swatch Library and then select Skintones. Skin is more than one hue, so I tend to select several of the swatches.

I’ll use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the initial skin base. I’m going to give it a medium skin tone fill (C=0, M=20, Y=25, K=5).


Step 3

The initial shading shapes I’m going to create are done by using Pathfinder > Minus Front to remove shapes from duplicates of the base shapes. I first draw shapes with the Pen Tool (P) covering the areas of light on the skin, then remove them from the duplicate base shape. These shapes will have a more brown tone (C=0, M=25, Y=32, K=33) to them and be set to Blending Mode Multiply, Opacity 5%.

As you go along, after you’ve created one set of shading shapes; select all the shapes created in that color/Blending Mode/Opacity and then Group them (Ctrl + G).


Step 4

The next shapes are messier and are created with the Pen Tool (P). You can see this from the below screenshots, the boundaries of the shapes go beyond the base shape. Don’t worry about this as it will be rectified soon enough. The shapes will have the same fill color as before, however they are set to Blending Mode Color Burn, Opacity 10%.

…and that’s the end of the preview!



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