Perfect Imperfections: How to Add a Personal Touch to Your Vector Illustrations | Julia Chistiakova | Skillshare

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Perfect Imperfections: How to Add a Personal Touch to Your Vector Illustrations

teacher avatar Julia Chistiakova, Interactive Designer and Illustrator

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

5 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Working with Lines: Effects

    • 3. Working with Lines: Tools

    • 4. Adding Colors

    • 5. Adding Details

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About This Class

In this class you’ll learn how to give a hand-drawn look to vector illustrations without sketching on paper first. We’ll start with a regular “boring” illustration...


....and walk through applying various tools and effects in Adobe Illustrator, so finally we end up with something like this:


Whimsical hand-drawn illustrations aren’t just for kids anymore. Whereas a too-sharp vector image might not gain people’s trust, hand drawings appeal directly to our emotions, making us more attentive and receptive to information.

We’ll discuss several different ways of giving your vector illustration a human touch, so you can choose the option which works best for your project at hand. To work through this class, take a “flat” icon or illustration and follow the described steps to achieve the whimsical effect.

You don't have to be an artist to join this class. Although, having a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator will aid you greatly in working through the lessons.

Meet Your Teacher

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Julia Chistiakova

Interactive Designer and Illustrator


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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Julia. I wanted then her nails Trader center I comes and illustrations at the present butter my profession. So naturally I'm drunk, Hundreds of them, while a lot of is gonna work the result of appeals to perfect almost as if crying down some design making machine. On the contrary, whimsical, hand drawn illustrations are a known only to a personal touch to any brand or product belonging to the physical world. They could be too awkward to deal with. You know the drill like discussion paper scan and trace it clean on the lines. And if you need to make changes, stand over again with the technical gonna teach you, the illustrations will be 100% doctor and I always edit herbal. It offers plenty of control, so you work will be just the right combination on perfection and imperfection. We'll start with a regular, boring illustration when you walk through applying various tilts in effect. Middle Biel's trader so fine going we'll end up with something that's the class is perfect . If you want to try hand John the fact but drawn by hand is not your thing or your energy has been vector graphics created or you just run out of paper. It can happen. But this sounds good. Valeska Starlet 2. Working with Lines: Effects: you might have an illustration and created before for some website, he chills day disorganization across different devices. I chose this picture because it's simple, my doubt of basic dramatic shapes and technical in nature. As you can see, the image looks very computer made very sharp. I believe that I can make it less technical in cold by using a more human free hands tile. Let's say the copy on this file The third stop is to remove the details. I don't need pulling those reflections since they have on the shadows and highlights on the separate layer. I'm just going to leave this layer and it probably won't be in those boxes too. No, I'm gonna make on the Phils wide and this strokes gray for now, we'll talk about collars later. I don't need any Phil here and knows trucks here. Mm. Those elements air probably too small to have a stroke cells which here, and give them a pill instead. Same here as he can see the interest here of various trade. I want them rounded so long here them and to pixel roundness and also said the stroke to around a cap and round corner I guess we'll get the same settings to all the elements. So now the corners are nice and rounded, and they're ready to start a blind, a hand drawn luck. There are many ways going to do with that, but my favorite tool ones are often, in fact, the main reason I like using events so much is that they can be changed or removed at any time. Let's start with this shape. I'm going to select it used in the dregs selection tool or a and the keyboard in the many churches. Effect, distort and transform and then raffin. Or it can click Edney effect in the appearance panel and you'll get the same dialog box. If you don't see the appearance panel, this is under window and then appearance. It's a really cool thing to know how to use. From now on. The spinal is your best friend forever. Let's change the preview box so we can see what's going on. As you can see by default, the size is said to 5% detail is a temperate INGE. This makes quite a crazy effect. Let's dive into the options since you want the illustration to be only slightly imperfect, lets her just with the size down to 1%. No, still too much. Actually, I like to change in the position into absolute and sand the size in pixels. It's more a saddle this weight to change the size they can use in this crueler, or just type the number and the boss. Here, you can even use decimal numbers like 1.5. We also want to decrease in the detail to do Chris the amount and frequency of variation. The setting had just how maney edges. There won't be around the shape. Finally, it either click corner or smooth in points. The settings chain sharp corners to round edges. I found that coroner works well with rectangular shapes and straight ages and smooth with ground and more organic shapes. Sell your smooth. The settings depend on the size of your image. You might want to play around with the scales until and get it right. Once you're happen with the settings, click OK till blind. The changes. I like what's going on here. So okay, and there we have it. Now the left has that imperfecta and John touch. You can oldest turn the effect often known by clicking on this little I liken here, or you can change it on the fly once we have the rough in effect, perfected for one element we can using applied the same effect two of the other elements with the selection tool or the I select all the other elements and then click effect apply Raffin. You're gonna judge them into view. Julie, you needed, for instance, I want to dry corner here and set him down to one. Think so. That small shape is probably to Ralph. But what if you want a blind this effect to author elements next time you open in Nome, Illustrator or after we used him? Other facts and Robin is gone from here. Luckily, there is 1/9. We I'll remove the fact so you can see select an image, then use the eyedropper tool or I If you double click the icon, get the options, make sure that appearances chalked in both columns. Now it can stample. The appearance attributes including effects in a black down to the selected object and now the shape has exactly the same effect. The only thing it doesn't work well, if they objects I'm group saved. Looks like it was applied in top. So we have to select only elements individually. Is in the direct selection tool. Cool. Right. I help you like this too. Ralph. In effect, is a super quick weight to the hand. John, Look to your illustrations or design elements. In the next video, I'll show you some other tools they can use to make your lines look more organic. 3. Working with Lines: Tools: another hand instrument is the wrinkle tool. It's probably more flexible, since he can apply just parts of your ramage. However, it has a drawbacks. Unlike effects, it's being applied to last. You can not remove it later or changes settings easily, so I prefer to applied to the elements. I'm sure I'm not gonna change. All showed on this line. Let's remove the RAF. In effect, so is straight again. The wrinkle tool is hidden under tools here. Let's double clear the Aiken to save settings. Size Section LLC taken finger some important parameters. The larger the width and height he choose, the bigger they fact is, and vice versa. Whatever says he choose will depend on your picture in just home while she want to wrinkle it. Next up is the angle option for our purposes. A limited zero degrees in density deaths, exactly what you'd expect. Ah, higher intensity will quickly wrinkle your shape, and the lower intensity will give a slower effect. I usually prefer something like 3 to 10 birds, and let's move on to the wrinkle options action. The horizontal and vertical options let you control just how far, horizontally and vertically the fact impossible Go. I'll send these to zero and 100%. The complexity and detail options are related. Basically the higher they are, the more chaotic the wrinkle effect will be. This section wraps out with a couple check boxes. I don't know what all of them do. So is there a use the default settings? But you're welcome to spend more time experimenting. Position the barrage so it's intersect in the shape and click and drag the brush over. Say it starts going home now. If you don't like the result. No worries. Justin, Do adjust the settings and try again until you have something that looks as organic as you'd like it to be. Also, I can adjust the brush size on the fly by holding down, option or out, and then clicking and dragging. If you want to make sure you're with and hide state proportioned, you can held downshift. You can ease the wrinkle tool on the ships that already have the RAF in effect, so we can, for instance, made one side more wrinkled than the others. The second to I like to use it is the warp tool. Like the wrinkle tool, it has the same basic, brash dimension options, which include with hide Anglin density, the intensity option and just how much of a change each stroke beings. If you want more control, select a lower number if you want a dramatic change. So, like the higher number. If you're using a pressure sensitive tablet, devise, use pressure pen. I'm gonna use it on this circle. It's really hard to draw a perfect circle by hand, right? Let's make it less perfect. No, all the lines, a rough but a little bit too consistent to become basically hand drawn. Two very lines with you can apply brush profiles, but the center once never worked for me. Instead, let's grab the stroke with Google or shift plus W on the keyboard and make some random adjustments. Let's zoom in so we can see in better click on the line in drag in or out to make a thinner and sacre on this position. What you basically do is creating custom brash profile that works better for our needs. I'm going to make a couple random adjustments to make the line slightly wider, her thinner dependent on both legs, right to the I. No, our lines look hand drawn and have a lot of character. The next video, we'll add some colors 4. Adding Colors: here I created a simple color palette that Ellie is from this illustration Melodious, low saturated south collars. I'm going to give this illustration or somewhat tactile feel of watercolor. One way to do. Sell ways to overlay Sam Way Trans Baron shapes with each other, so your picture looks like it has some water in density. Let me show you what he mean. I'll create two copies. How this miracle, I'll tell in this stroke and changed the color to a green and drop their pass it down to foreign 2%. Noel Copy It weighs and top. Make it a little smaller, and they let one lor copy, then bring the shape with a strong back. I need to reduce the green circles. More webs. Yeah, only this. And now a cup in the stroke. Shape again, ways in front and remove the Phil. I like the final result to look something like death. The downside is it takes a lot of time and changing the later It's hard because you need to select the right shape first to change its color. For example, as you might have guessed, there is another better way for in shape. He can have multiple kills and strokes is in the appearance panel. Select each feelers stroke in this tack and click and this little document Aiken to duplicate it, less that a bit of color and drop the opacity down. Think like an effect to start in. Transform, Transform. I won again this in his tal GIC off sad look, we can a chant this by moving the field to the bottom right side sound. The stroke and collars are slightly misaligned. He didn't have to knew that What is good to know how. Now we want to reduce the grin, Phil, so it stays within the shape. Let's go back to the transform effect and scaling down slightly. You may have to play with the settings here until I get and right, I guess I want to have some extra roughness to the field by using the familiar rap. In effect, yes, you may have more than 13 cheap. I'm going to change the blending mode to multiply and copy the pill. They don't go to path offset path. To make the fill a little smaller, you can type in negative number to give the right size. I didn't want this to be placed in the center, so a move it he's in trance for Don't forget to check pre pube. Experiment with different of passages for different fills. As with traditional watercolor, less is more. I didn't want it to get muddy. I usually use 23 pills of different size and position. Let's try making. There was white, my leg, all using the same algorithm to call her the other lemons. Copy the Phil and some color and offset It is in their transform of house and add multiple fields with different ambassadors if needed. I'll spit on the video so we don't get bored. - Now . I'm done with the objects and won the background to look somewhat more interesting than just a solid Phil all to let this box and creating a web. Since Dad is in the direct select, it can manipulate the points and give it a nice blob shape and then a lot blind the style of the circle to it because it has been the watercolor feel I'm going for. No, you only have to remove the stroke and adjust the cholera since sizes, I'll change the color to blue, and I want it off. Send the Fells more now . I didn't like this. Blue is Tim Grey, Schindel and sexual and good opportunity for me to show you another way to change colors. I didn't want to select the fields and adjust them one by one like I did before. So, like the image, then go to headed and it colors re color artwork, click new and then adjust the color. You can even do it on the fly and seeing change in real time. This is a great time saving teacher in Annabel's traitor. Not many people now about Oh, you see only one color here, but you have the selected image has more you'll be able to see and change them all. I'm going to make final adjustments, but those were all the ins and outs off the tools and and, uh, BLS traitor that I like to use in the next video. We'll let's and funny details that will help the illustration stand out and look friendlier and more personal. 5. Adding Details: It's time. Tats and details toe our illustration. This blue background looks like this kind to me, so was, and some clouds. Everyone loves clouds. All started off by, added Cemal Ip, says his base, James for the cloud. I want them to help this nice blue collar, but it should be a salad line non dashed, all using the Pathfinder to unite the shapes into a single one and then cut the bottom. I'll assume that you are familiar with this instrument. I don't need this line on the bottom of the cloud. The drought. They had some extensions on the sides. What's now? I want to use the wrinkle tool on our lines. They in fact, it's better left visible, though I guess I need to increase the intensity. That's better. I think the cloud is too dark. Let's try different shade of blue. I want to make the cloud a little smaller. Let's add a second cloud. Of course, you can copy in the 1st 1 and then scale and reflected, but I believe people notice such details. It is better not to reuse such objects. Besides, it doesn't take a lot of time to create a new cloud from scratch. - The finishing cash for our clouds will be adjusting. The lines isn't there with tool. So now that we have clouds or is that a tree? Because why not? It's a good way to emphasize the importance of devices by using an unusual scale, and they give them look larger, thin trees. The process is similar to what went it with the clouds. - What a L select into is to break the lions. If I had drawn this bay hand by, probably is two or three lines, always the pet eraser tool and raise some sections of the line. Sometimes it's easier to use those, Little says. There's let's try cutting out the bottom side of the laptop. Unfortunately, it can't the fell to. So I have to separate this tropes and fells. I do it when I'm sure I'm down with the shape because there is no way back. I'm gonna make a copy of the shape and remove the stroke from their original one based in front until it the Fells from this one. No, I can manipulate the lines I have to readjust the line with. - I'm gonna do exactly the same to the sink. I can make a copy of the stroke and calm the path in a couple points. The next few details are for those who want to go the extra mile, totally optional. Sometimes I want to give smiling, face it to the objects to draw extra attention and convey emotions. Do you know that we have a special part of the raid just for facial recognition? Faces can be very moved. You like just the eyes in the mouth. All build them, using basic shapes in the petfinder, dual and at the imperfections. Of course, to speed things up, you can apply the rough in effect, to a group of objects. Make note. It'll Megan. If you on group the objects. Darn, I forgot the eyebrows. Eyebrows is an important part of facial expressions for the sake of speed I'm gonna duplicate in the face, but I'll change it. So is barrel Recognize? Simple? I want to get this tablet guy and enthusiastic by slightly down phase, Maybe thinking what kind of characters your object are and what makes them different from one another. - Maybe our phone guy is a little shy again. I have spent on the video. - I also decided to have a little arms and hands to connect to the devices more. - I hope you find this class interesting and useful. All the techniques they showed can be applied to many styles of illustration and design, so feel free to adapt them to your own more. Clo can't wait to see what you come up with.