Saturday, 31 October 2009

Tip: Vector Blood

Adding a touch of blood to an illustration can instantly make an image seem more sinister. I've added blood to a couple of pages of Green Corner, as well as the 2008 Hallowe'en special.

Creating blood in Illustrator is very simple.

For the base:
  1. Set your fill colour to: C 0/ M 100/ Y 60/ K 60 and transparency mode to multiply.
  2. Use the pencil tool (N) to draw a path with sguiggly pieces that look like they're dripping off. It's okay to be a little messy with this, it's an organic shape.
  3. Use the smooth tool to get rid of any sharp edges that you don't want. (option/alt while pencil is active)
For the highlights:
  1. Set the fill colour to C 20 / M 70 / Y 100 / K 10 and the transparency mode to hard light.
  2. Use the pencil and/or pen tool to draw your highlights. Be conservative with these, you don't want it to be too shiny. You just need enough to add depth.

And this is what it looks like (click to enlarge):


I hope you enjoyed this tip! Please feel free to leave a comment.

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Friday, 30 October 2009

Tip: Creating Vector Fog

Fog can be used in an illustration to enhance a spooky mood and chilly atmosphere or simply as an effect to draw attention to the focal point.

My last two Hallowe'en specials for Green Corner have used fog, but each illustration has a very different mood.

The Red Riding Hood illustration has a subtly chilly, spooky atmosphere. The somewhat deserted path, the blood on the axe in Barudo's hand, and the fog draping across the feet of the characters help reiterate the theme. The image is meant to be a little spooky, but not frightening.

In the Pop Idol illustration, the tone is much lighter, vibrant, and cheerful. Here, the fog is used as a stage effect to enhance the theme of a 1980's inspired pop singer performing on a stage. With this image, the intent was to emphasize the fun and escapism that dressing in costume can bring.


It's very easy to create fog in Illustrator using the feather effect.
My settings for fog:
  • Fill with 10% grey, reduce opacity to 40%.
  • To soften the edges, use Effect > Stylize > Feather.

    Depending on the size of the paths you create, you may need to adjust the feather radius, but I generally use around 0.2" and find that softens the edges just enough. Remember to make your path larger than you want the fog to appear, as the feather makes the fill appear smaller.
You can also experiment with different colours, to suit your colour scheme and the mood of your image. This tip can also be adapted for creating wispy clouds.

Note: the feather effect does involve rasterization, but it will scale more smoothly than a regular raster image and output based on the document raster effects settings.


Look out for another Hallowe'en-related tip soon! Hope you enjoyed this one!

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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Free Ribbon Symbols for Adobe Illustrator


I created these ribbon symbols for my "Rockin'Hallowe'en" image.

File type: AI, version CS3 (if you need an older version, please request)

Instructions for Use:
Please open your Symbols palette to use these, if not already viewable (Window > Symbols). To open as a Symbol Library, select open symbol library > other library... from the Symbols palette menu, and navigate to the location where you saved the file.

The first symbol is a white starbust that can be used as an accent on top of the ribbons. I have used lighten 50% to show how it can be modified, but feel free to try your own settings.

Free for personal and commercial use. Not to be sold. Please credit Emily Gonsalves as the creator of these symbols whenever possible.

Download Now


Thank you for downloading! Please, feel free to let me know how you used these.

If you like these, please consider donating via Paypal.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Rockin' Hallowe'en Art Post

Here's the 2009 Hallowe'en special for Green Corner. Aena is dressed as a 1980's inspired pop singer. I was influenced by Jem and the Holograms, as I mentioned earlier.

I'll be offering the ribbons as a free download soon. I couldn't find anything like them on the Adobe Exchange, so I'll upload them there too.

I hope you enjoy this image. I certainly had a lot of fun drawing it :)

Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on the image.


Previous posts about this piece:
Art Post: Pop Idol (part two)
Art Post: Pop Idol (part one)

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Hi! My name is Emily.

Welcome to my art blog. I am an independent graphic designer and illustrator from the Toronto area. I create print and web solutions for a variety of businesses and individuals with a personal touch and conscientious approach.

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