From Sketch to Vector With the Pencil Tool in Adobe Illustrator | Jessica Ciccolone | Skillshare

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From Sketch to Vector With the Pencil Tool in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Jessica Ciccolone, Illustrator & Graphic Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Simple Shapes & Shape Modes

    • 3. Pen Tool & Pencil Tool

    • 4. Tracing: Compound Shapes & Clipping Masks

    • 5. Tracing: Strokes

    • 6. Shadows & Details

    • 7. Final Thoughts & Class Project

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About This Class

Want to vectorize a sketch on Adobe Illustrator? Not a fan of the pen tool?

Turn your drawings into vectors with the Pencil tool, an intuitive tool that helps us to get nice and smooth vector lines, like if we were drawing on paper. If you love drawing with a graphic tablet, this is for you!

In this class, we're going to learn quickly how we can create vector art: simple shapes, the pen tool and the pencil tool.
Then, we practise what we learned and start tracing a drawing and create a full vector illustration.

  • Tracing and Colouring. Vectorise your drawing directly through colour: learn how to use simple shapes and organic/geometric shapes drawn with the pencil and the pen tool. Edit them with the Shape Modes and other easy tricks. 
  • Adding details and Shadows. Use Compound Shapes and Clipping Masks to add details and shadows. Learn also how to draw with the Stroke. 

At the end, we are going to compare the vector result with another raster version I've coloured previously on Photoshop and see which are the potentials of each one. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jessica Ciccolone

Illustrator & Graphic Designer


Hi, I'm Jessica! I'm an illustrator with a background as a Graphic Designer, based in London. 

I worked as a Graphic Designer for applications and website for about 8 years, never missing the opportunity to express my own creativity through digital illustrations, mascots and emojis.
Now I'm a freelancer, one year ago I started to illustrate children's books and I'm attending the Children's Book Illustration MA at the Cambridge School of Art.

I love the idea of helping other professionals and anyone who wants to be creative, so I've created my first class here on Skillshare. There's much room for improvement (hey, I'm learning too!) but I look forward to hearing what you think about it and use your suggestions to create my next classes!

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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm the Secretary Carter on it. I'm a freelance illustrator from Italy. Basing, I recently started to illustrate Children's books, but before that, I worked on seven digit products. I've created many better artworks. It is class. I'm gonna explain my process. Toe Victor, rise our sketch on Adobe Illustrator If you will be familiar with Illustrator, you may know the factory is really credit with panto. I be honest. I never liked the mental. I'm good. So I'm going to share the process that I developed in the years on introduced defensive to an intuitive to that helps us to create smooth on nice lines very easily. It discuss We're going to trace a sketch, learn some basics and drinks of illustrator at child does and it tastes and other. And we're going on compared what we get with another cornering that I did blame us, Leo for the shop. You don't need to be an experienced designer to take this class something minority read illustrator or for the shop is enough. Sold is Kentucky 2. Simple Shapes & Shape Modes: First of all, what is Victory Vector Artworks are images created with specific software's like Adobe Illustrator, which used mathematic equations to compose points, lines and shapes on. The most important feature is that they can escape to infinity without any loss of quality and sharpness. As I've just said, Victor Artist, made of boys lines and shapes. And, of course, that includes the basic shapes. We oh no rectangle lives triangle, other bal eagles or the corners over shape or align our cold Uncle Boynes, and they can be moved around with the direct selection do. The shortcut is the key. A. The shapes come emerge together with the ship to into but fund a window and we can unite, subtract and intersect them. These are the Mod's I 1,000,000 use, so if I select, the shapes can unite them and they get only one instead. If a select is two shapes and I click minus front, we're going to cut the top shape from the bottom one. And again, if we intersect, we get an intersection. Now I want to show an extra future about these shapes modes. I select his two squares. If the Khobar the Car sir, over the ship Modes icons. We discovered that holding the key option for Mac want for windows and click, we create our compound shape. That means that we united the two squares but were still able to move the single shapes with a direct selection tool. So this is much more versatile than the previous method, because we can modify the original elements any time and when we are sure about the shape we won't achieve, we can press on expand, and now the shapes are completely managed. We have the same effect. If we hold option plus minus ground, the shape is Scott, but we can still move. The original shapes don't generate the gut, and here I do the same with Intersect. This is my favorite way to apply details and shadows toe administration. You can also use the life pain, tool and constant. Sure, there's a great class that explains that technique. Here are US administration I created mostly with simple shapes and the tools I've just talked about 3. Pen Tool & Pencil Tool: Anyone who has a bit off familiarity with Vector art knows that depend toe plays an important room we activated with KP. We can use it to create a fragmented continues line. We close the book and eat automatically feels with the active field color, and we use it to grain curves, clicking on dragging to create the direction hunters and we moved hundreds toe added the cube, and we can break the curb with the Uncle Point to. Honestly, I've never liked to use the mantle anyway. It's important to understand the basics and how the uncle points and hundreds work because we needed to add it any kind of path, regardless of the fact it was created with geometric shapes. The panel on the pensive toe and here is defensive tool that you can activate with the kids and and now we can draw our freehand lines straight away. The main difference between the mantle and the pensive toe is that with the first you have to define, which are there are good points, and this is much more complicated than simply drawing a line like he will do on paper. We depends itto you get a more organic look anyway, it depends on which kind of result you want to achieve. If you're looking for something very tidy, Joma drink a regular basic shapes on the panto would do a better job. Also, you can perfectly use the truck part or the mouse to draw with the mantle. It's not impossible to do the same with a pencil toe, although it's much easier if you have a graphic tablet if you double click on depends if you get the options here, you can adjust the accuracy and smoothness off the line. If you direct us leather to security, you can draw on that career path, which looks very fragmented. I personally prefer to go smoother, so let's start to drag it to the opposite side and you get a nicer line. A general rule of vector art is trying to have as few anchor points as possible, but it depends on what you want to get. Moreover, we could still reduce the number over the uncle points. So here he is, this most to we run it over selected path and we fix a curve that we don't like. Then, if we go back to the pencil options. We can select option key tigers to smooth, too. That means the press the option key with which front offensive to this more stool if you give the past selected with a pencil to weaken Syria Drover and refined the line. So let's fact arise a sketch together and see Aeltus feature directly in action. 4. Tracing: Compound Shapes & Clipping Masks: Who is the white rabbit in a suit that Andrew previously? Actually, I already called her disk actor and for the shop. But that was our number activation. We're gonna see that at the end of the tutorial, I would compare the two versions. I'm gonna use the same color palette off the other version so I can focus just on the shapes. And I do have to worry about funding good combinations of color. Okay, we need the layers window. We need to lock the sketch in a year. But first, I will lower the opacity of the drawing. So we find the transparency window. We reduced the opacity, make it slightly visible, and then we looked a layer. Now we create a new lawyer, and you're gonna draw our vector shapes here. So we're going to start tracing the head. However, instead of drawing things shaped by hand, we're gonna use the lips too. So I drove on over. I'm gonna rotate it a bit. Adjust decides. As you can see, the line doesn't match perfectly. The sketch be neat, but still, with the dark selection directive, we contract the handles off the anchor point on refined the shape. Good did Sister. What? Rabbits. So is gonna be white. So in order to make it visible, we're going to create a new layer. Agreed. A rectangle with the key. I I get the eyedropper too. And I think this color and I'm gonna look it and then select ahead and make it work from here. I don't need outline. Do so if I click on T Square, which is the stroke Kohler, I can click on this. Modi contacts is known. So no stroke. We're gonna move the scotch layer at the top so we can see what to draw. And that was time to use the fancy too. And through the years, as you can see is very easy to get a nice in the drug busts we can see move the uncle points as much we want. And in order to close the path, we can still draw with a pencil When the path is closing, you have these later circle and done. I hide their layer off the sketch and with the eyedropper toe, I think that what color from the head. Now I moved to the second air. Um, a second wages to close the path is selecting the path and Komen for Mac or control for Windows, plus the key J. So come on, J or Contra J. I didn't draw their inside of the years, but we're gonna make it directly with defensive, too. And I'm gonna pick my pink color with the eyedropper too. Let's give a look. I'm gonna show you another future. How to get rounded corners. I have the direct selection tool in use. The uncle points are visible. Plus there a tease, little double circles. If you click and drug, you get around the corner to the other side. And here we go. I'd like to work of your warranty shape. I don't like health that he looks in this point. So we depends here. I'm going to redraw the section. You can see how disliked merged with the other. We got a single sheep and now we dis move to introduce Before I refined the curve. Nice. And then we moved to the second here. Come on, Jay. I and the picked 1/4 a for the deck selection and they're on the corners. We make the layer with the scotch feasible again. We drove the body back to the DNC toe. I drove this shape. I close it and I feel it with the blue coal from the bullet. I kept their line under Bass Strait because I want to show another future Does the curvature tool from here? So we click on the line and jack the point to create a nice girl. Now I want to draw the next of the rabbit there. May District Lines so depend too would do a better job. And with the direct selection tool, I had just a bit the uncle points. Now I'm gonna draw the hour and I'll show something different of drone, just part of the arm and knowledge. Do the rest. As you can see, we have two different shapes. We can Steve matched them through the Pathfinder window and click on Unite. So if you don't manage to draw the whole shape at once, it's not a problem. You can march as many shapes together later, I select the head area and group all the shapes with comin G, which creates a group, and I'm bring it forward. That would make the suitcase, which has a very dramatic shape. So we used a rectangle. I'm gonna rotated. The suitcase has rounded corners and we know how to do that. Okay, Now I would draw the internal shape. I select character Django. I copy and pasted. And that changed the corner off the new shape. I make it darker. I put in place an increase a bit of with then pressing on the free transform too, and respect him. Distort. You're gonna to distort the finger. Yeah, things fine. Now it's time to use their ship modes. So I'm going to copy and paste in. Place them in shape of the suitcase with common or control shift P. I turned in your tangled dark brown. I select the shape just created on external one and I click on Intersect and here we go. But what if we wanted to change the position of the doctoral shape? Let's move back and try a component shape. So again, Corbyn based in place. Now we have to move the shape that need to be masked to the front. So I cut it and pay sitting place. Then a selected to shapes. I hold the key option off, out and click on Intersect. We could December sort But we did their extraction to weaken. Still moved in a brown shape and modified No, I want to show on a tentative solution to get outta shape for another to join the I course , I'm going to use the lips. I hold shift and a crater sickle. I'm gonna keep me bro for the woman I could been pace and created other I now the pupil and I'll make it boom as he considered that people goes out of the IBO. Of course, we could use the ship modes again, but I want to show an alternative that is useful to know that could be mosque again. We select them in I shape on could be basted in place now is selected to shapes. I go to object, creepy mosque and make. Here we go. We go the same result as before. Could be mosques are great if we want to mask multiple elements at the same time. But they are a bit more complicated to handle comfort to the compound shapes. Instead, there are no problems with the compound shapes like the seat case we greeted before. If we wanted, we can expand them very quickly. 5. Tracing: Strokes: Now I want to explain one thing left. How to make the suitcase handle. I'll cocaine paste, Derek, Tongan or the suitcase. I do that so it keeps the same inclination and don't make it smaller. The corners are two rounded, so I'll change them. Now we are going to convert this shape into a line, and here it is. We have a handle. Now we look for the Cirque window and we are going to increase the weight off the stroke and we send the shape to the back. We could do the same with umbrella handle. We go back to the passage toe from the stroke window. I want to show the options, make it thicker, and I'd like our own cup cool. Moving the handles off the uncle points, I make the line street, and that's mood. It a bit something to keep in mind. It's start if you want to change the corner of the stroke and you use the eyedropper to on a shape is going to feel the stroke and not coloring the stroke itself because it's coping the same features off the eye shape. But we simply is what, feel a stroke on the black goes to the stroke and now we fix the weight. No, let's move on. - Before we mentioned that the peeping mosques are good to mask multiple shapes, I'm going to use it to mask creative on the tongue inside the mouth shape so I could be tasting place the mouth shape and I select any shape plus the teeth and the tongue. And I make the mosque. And here we go. - Okay , Good. With shapes on done in the next lesson we're going toe, apply the shadows. 6. Shadows & Details: There are several ways to play the shoulders to the shapes. I personally used the shapes, modes or the creepy mosques. First of all, I want to make peace to parts of the jacket lighter, and I want to draw a shadow down here. And I used the pensive door key I and a selective blue. And then I make it darker to pick a darker color. I usually moved down and make. It would be more saturated so he doesn't look too great dish. Then I select them in shape of the body, hoping basing place. I bring the other shape to different. I select them and they create a compulsion. Then a selected it salt. I got it. Double click on the body, and I based it inside. So everything is tidy and it's placed behind the arm. We have to a ranch, the legs as well. So we select them ethnic, and we send them backwards. Now the shadow for the arm. I make it dark blue. I cope and face the arm, bring the other shape to the front, selective and create a compound shape in the game. We can't it and place it inside the arm object now a shadow for the head. I select white and I want a bluish gray. I'm reduction in just a bit. I want to change a bit. The outline of the right eye. I keep a copy just in case we change our mind. I add to uncle points and I delayed the one in the middle toe. Open the path. Yeah, I think it's looks Beto, so we can delay the other I then I moved to the ear. But this time I don't want to create a company shape. So I'm not going to hold the option or are key. You can do everything simply in his way. With some experience, you understand what matters is better for you un creating this kind of bubbles as highlights. To keep the rounded style consistent, we continue adding details Great that they own Quest, satisfied with in salt. And now this compared with the previous version, I called for the show 7. Final Thoughts & Class Project: here they are. On the left side, there is the drawing that we just created. And on the right, the faster orbit. My version. I do wonder before the ship you can create back to artworks or some photo shop, but it doesn't have the fancy toe. So I prefer to stick to illustrate Oh, which is completely decide for the creation of vector images. The two persons are very similar and I actually like both of them. The victor Russian is need and has a kind of glossy look which makes it more cartoony. But I like their looseness off the foot dispersion to the dry brush used gives a kind of natural look and feel, although our don't side off the roster version is that it can be skate and made bigger without those in quarantine. So as cuts project, I invite you guys too big are simple illustration that you have graded another software and create Obrecht aversion as I did with my rabbit. This will help you to focus on mastering illustrator and eventually to simplify and reinterpret the original drawing or, if you prefer, start directly from on your drawing or from my rabbits. Catch that you find attached. I d like to know what you have used, if just simple shapes and the mental. Or if you have used the fancy too. Remember, you don't necessarily have to use the pencil to If you think that using just the simple shapes and the panto works better. Absolutely. Go for it. I want to say thank you for taking discussed. This was my first class here on Scripture. I hope you have learned something new. And if you have any questions, comments, suggestions be free to write in the common section off. Discuss Page. Thank you again. I look forward to seeing what you come up with by