Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Creating convincing characters

Illustrator maestro Alexis West demonstrates how to magic up appealing characters using a pencil, a computer and bags of imagination.

10_DA_Creating_convincing_characters

Step 9 Using all of the above techniques, finish tracing out your composition, keeping as many elements on separate layers as possible. The main advantage of using the computer is that you are free to start making subtle changes to improve your final composition. I have altered the main character making her more prominent, and enhanced the sense of flow by altering her posture slightly.

11_DA_Creating_convincing_characters

Step 10 Now it’s time to give the composition some extra pop by adding shading. Select a shape in your composition – in this case I’m using the head – copy and paste it in front of the original shape and change its colour to black. Paste the shape in front once again, select the Transform tool (E) and rotate the shape until you leave a crescent to the left, select both shapes, and select the Subtract from Shape Area option in the Pathfinder palette. Go to Object > Expand Appearance and reduce the opacity to around 10 per cent.

12_DA_Creating_convincing_characters

Step 11 Certain elements will require different shading technique. Select a more complex shape – in this instance I’m going to use the secondary character’s hair. Select the Pen tool, and following where your shadow will fall on the hair, plot a path accurately along the inside, ensuring there is a decent overflow on the outside, copy the hair shape and paste it in front of your shadow path. Select both shapes and make a clipping mask (Ctrl/Cmd+7). Reduce the opacity to around 10 per cent.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags adobeadobe illustratorgraphics softwaregraphic design

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Alexis West

Digital Arts Magazine
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?