Creating a Stylish Line Art Portrait with Illustrator CS5

Today, we have another Vector tutorial, In today’s tutorial well be creating a stylish portrait in Illustrator.

Learn to use reference images to compose your imaginative figure, then draw each detail in Illustrator, using a professional workflow to create styish punk and pop fused results. View now

Tutorial Details
  • Applications Used: Illustrator & Photoshop CS5
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Estimated Completion Time: 4h +
  • Updated: December 14,2013

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Final Product What You’ll Be Creating

Step 1

I’m going to manipulate the reference image in Photoshop before I begin the vectoring process. So first open the image in Photoshop and increase the canvas size by 150% by going to Image > Canvas size (Alt + Command + C).

Step 2

I’m going to do a very basic sketch of the antlers. I’m going to need the antlers to be as balanced as possible on either side of the head so the first thing I do is draw a line from the center of the face and beyond the forehead. Using this as a guide, I then draw where the bottom of the antlers will be. From this, I then draw in the antlers.

Step 3

As I’m planning a nature inspired portrait, I’m going to give the ears a slight point. So using the Lasso Tool (L) with a 7pt feather, I draw around the top of the ear and use the Move Tool (V) to increase the height of the ear.

If you notice on the screenshot, you can see when drawing around the ear I’ve included and excluded some contours of the ear. This is because if I stretched them, they may look too distorted and therefore out of place in the final illustration.

Step 4

Use the Lasso Tool (L) to now select the whole of the ear and then Copy (Command + C) and Paste it (Command + V) into a New file in Illustrator. Go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh (Alt + Command + M) and set it to 4 rows and 4 columns.

Move the points around the tip of the ear to produce an elf like ear and then Copy and Paste the ear back into Photoshop. To help line it up in the correct place, reduce the Opacity so you can see the original reference image underneath. I then use the Eraser Tool (E) to remove the excess white.

Step 5

With the reference now modified, Save for Web and Devices. Create a New file in Illustrator with the Default CMYK palette.

Go to File > Place to place your reference image on the canvas. I have rotated the image and rescaled it using the Free Transform Tool (E). Double-click on the layer folder in the Layers palette and rename the folder to “Reference” and then lock the layer.

Create a New Layer and rename it to “BG.” Within this layer draw a white fill Rectangle (M) and set the Opacity to 40%. Then lock the layer. Create a New Layer and rename it to “Line Art.”

…and that’s the end of the preview!

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