Sketching Layers Using Illustrator

Evolving Through Art: Sketching Through the Layers Using Illustrator

With the technology of today, we’ve seen a massive change within the art movement. Since the 1970’s digital art has become an essential part of the creative process for artists wanting to express their creativity in a different way. There has become a new creative process born where artists are going from pencil to paper and then to the computer to further express their ideas. Everything usually starts with a vision. Then maybe an idea is born which leads to a sketch, a doodle, or anything that can spark another idea.

Android Jones, for example, is someone who has pushed through the digital age and shown the creative process in true light. Of course, this process is different for everyone but the two major themes are repetition and persistence. He made one self-portrait every day for one thousand days. Now that’s getting through the layers!

The unique thing about using tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator is that you can draw, paint, and scan over and over again until there is a sense of completion. Particularly, here’s some ways you can use Illustrator as a tool to make your organic ideas come to life through the allowances of technology:

Create a vector illustration using a photo of your choice. Use Illustrator to trace the basic shapes along with learning how to add layers to create shadows.

Design vinyl wall stickers by starting with a sketch. Then proceed to scanning and tracing to Illustrator where you can begin outlining and creating a fun wall decal!

Create isometric art by again starting with the sketch you want. Take into careful consideration of how it will look once scanned. This type of artwork will require a lot of layering, so get ready!

Create x-ray vector art using Illustrator’s Blend Tool. It’s important to choose an image that shows structure so the basis of the drawing is defined. This tutorial shows that you’ll only be drawing one half of it and mirror it later saving you some time.

3D finishes are an awesome way to turn your flat illustration into an image that pops out. You’ll be using the gradient and inner glow tool for the blur effect along with making the opacity to 70% for a dark shadow.

Create an infographic to display data in a visually pleasing way. First draw a sketch using pen and paper. Once scanned, you’ll be using the Pen tool to trace what you’ve drawn to create an informational illustration.

Comics are about observation and what features you see in humans, animals, etc. Comics are a good chance to really sketch; it doesn’t have to be precise and perfect. Scan the drawing to illustrator and when lines are cleaned up, your drawing will be moved to Photoshop to add color and tone.

These tutorials can provide practice in areas that might be unknown. As an artist, there are many layers of talents to be uncovered. Find what you love to do and pursue it. If you want to learn more about Illustrator, there are many programs available to expand knowledge within web design.


What is your creative process? Let us know in the comments below – We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Delaney Willey
Between painting and attending music festivals with her friends, Delaney spends her time practicing alternative medicine in her native state of Idaho. She is on the journey of pursuing her passion in writing, creating, and helping people along the way.


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