This is an exercise I did to learn to use the gradient mesh tool in illustrator. It was kind of self indulgent really, as it doesn’t do a thing to advance my drawing skills. It’s just a matter of tracing some shapes from a photo and then mapping them out with gradient meshes. The end result is kind of fun but not really my style – too air-brush-y for me. But there’s something really fun about doing it. Here’s a screen shot of what the “mesh” looks like:
It takes a bit of practice to get the gradients down the way you want them but I think it’s worth it to learn. This is a powerful tool in illustrator and some use it to make super photo-realistic art.
Here is my original photo. It’s one of my favorites, taken in 2010 at home using a lightbox:
Just a simple illustration of some candy corn, done more for practice than anything else. I’m trying to concentrate on 2 things these days: Getting better at illustrator, and finishing projects. I’m starting to understand that the quality of line is the single most important thing in vector graphics and the only way to acheive that is by practice. Also the overall palette is something that requires a lot of planning and strategy. Just using the eyedropper tools to randomly pick colors from the reference photo is not going to cut it.
I think this would look cute as a note card or a tee-shirt eventually, when the season is right.
This illustration is a vectorized kimono, taken from a photo of a kimono from Japan I’ve had since childhood. Basically I was just trying to work on my illustrator skills, trying to get better with the pen tool. I also used the posterize feature in photoshop until I got the shading I wanted. A simple drawing and yet it seems kind of ghostly the way it hangs there, empty.
Taken from a photo in Ocean City, New Jersey. I’ve always loved this house. It is a cute little example of Mid Century Modern Architecture, and right on the Ocean. It reminds me of a birthday cake.
This illustration is based on a photo taken at the National Arboretum in 2007. It’s interesting, I went there yesterday and there was that same tree. It seemed like it was exactly the same. And yet it is alive and growing like any other tree. The National Arboretum has quite an amazing bonsai collection in a really beautiful setting. And as far as an artistic subject, these tiny trees just lend themselves to creating something wonderful.