Simple and Stylish Monument Graphic Using Adobe Illustrator | Michelle Tabares | Skillshare

Simple and Stylish Monument Graphic Using Adobe Illustrator

Michelle Tabares, Cartoonist and Illustrator

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9 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Sketching the Monument

    • 3. Setting Up Your Document

    • 4. Creating the Shapes

    • 5. Selecting Colors

    • 6. Applying Color

    • 7. Finishing Touches

    • 8. Assignment

    • 9. Closing Thoughts


About This Class

In this lesson, I'm going to walk you through creating a clean and modern adaptation of a historical or national monument. This lesson will teach you how to take any intricately detailed building and stripping it down to it's base shapes - which can make an intimidating drawing subject much easier to render.

Since we will be creating this monument using Adobe Illustrator, you'll be able to scale your monument to whatever size you want thanks to the magic of vectors. Your monument will be both print and web ready and will look great both large and small.

This is also a great way to commemorate special trips or destinations that you hope to visit one day!

All music in this lesson is by DJ Quads:


1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Michelle Tuberose. I'm an illustrator, cartoonist and traveller based here in Sunny Florida. Sometimes I think it can be a little bit intimidating to draw buildings, especially buildings with lots of detail. But what I've found is that with the power of illustrator and using vector shapes, it can actually be pretty simple. So in this lesson, I want to demonstrate how you can make your own vector monument. If you're anything like me, you can sometimes be intimidated and daunted by massive buildings. It can be hard to draw in a way that is convincing. But in this lesson I'm going to show you one easy method to create buildings using the power of Dr Shapes through Adobe Illustrator. This method is really simple and for the most part you're going to be working with very basic shapes like circles, squares and triangles. The objective of this lesson is to de mystify architecture, drawing by breaking down a building to its key component shapes. And the truth is, is that once you've mastered this, you can apply this principle to pretty much anything, since most things can be broken down to a serious of triangles squares or circles. And I think that this is especially true when it comes to historical landmarks and monuments, because these buildings in particular stay with us there in grand into our memories, since they often times are so massive memorable. So in this video, I'm gonna show you how you can articulate your favorite monument or historical landmark, I breaking it down to its key shapes and components. You'll be amazed by how simple the process really is, and I'm so excited to show you how to do it. So whenever you're ready, let's head on over to the next video so we can begin working on our monument. 2. Sketching the Monument: welcome back in this video, we're going to begin penciling our chosen monument so that we can scan it in and later digitize it through. Illustrator. At the time of this recording, I've just come back from Germany, so I was particularly inspired to do a German monument, so I chose the Reichstag. But for your own rendering, feel free to pick whatever monument inspires you. The sketch is not meant to be precise. I'm pretty roughly placing shapes where they should go without too much concern about precision. And that's because the sketches mainly meant to give us an idea of where things should go and how things look. We'll do more refinement later in Illustrator. The key here is to just keep blocking in shapes. You're going to start out with your largest shapes first, and then as you start to get those in, you can move on to your medium sized shapes. And then, towards the end of the drawing, you'll move on to the smaller, somewhat more detailed shapes. Remember that it's okay to erase from time to time, but keep in mind that this sketch is meant to be rough and not perfect. So there's no need to worry too much about erasing because this particular monument is symmetrical and design. I find that the easiest way to make sure that both sides look the same is by switching back and forth from side to side. So, for example, whenever I make a change on the left hand side of the monument, I move right away to the right hand side of the monument and make the same change. And this is to ensure er with shapes that I've just placed, looks similar to one another and maintain symmetry off camera. I have a reference image of the Reichstag pulled up on my computer, and I'm checking in periodically throughout this recording to make sure that my sketch maintains a similar shape and integrity to the original. I highly, highly recommend that you do the same since working with reference often yields much better results than working from memory. It's also okay to leave in minor mistakes in this particular sketch, I only drew five columns at the center point of the Reichstag when really there should be six. That's okay. I made a mental note of it, and I'm going Teoh fix that once we're on illustrator. So as long as you can keep track of the small things that you need to change, it's all right if there's a couple of mistakes in the sketch. And so now here is my finish sketch of the Reichstag. So you can see here. It's pretty rough, and it's even slightly lob cited. But once again, I'm not too worried about this because my main goal was to make my sketch looked like the rig stock. And I think that this sketch achieves just that. And so now that I've completed my sketch, I'm gonna go ahead and scan this into my computer and then open it up on Illustrator In the next video, we're gonna be firing up, illustrator, and we're gonna begin placing the shapes onto our penciled line work. So I will see you there. 3. Setting Up Your Document: in this video, we're going to set up our illustrator document. So after you've scanned your pencils into your computer, you're gonna open up, illustrator and create a new document. I'm gonna go ahead and begin by naming this new document. We're gonna name this document, Raikes Dogs, since that is the name of the monument that I've chosen. Next, let's head over to the orientation. And so I'm going to pick a landscape orientation since my particular monument is more wide than it is tall. But if you are, say, doing Big Ben or Tokyo Tower or any other type of monument that is more tall than wide, you will pick portrait in terms of the width and height of your document. You can pick really whatever you are most comfortable with. Since our finished monument will be scalable, you'll be able to make it as large or a small as you want for me. I think I'm gonna go ahead and make my document six inches by four points 25 which is a standard postcard size. So in the event that you are going Teoh, print out your monument. Once it's completed, it is helpful to set up some rulers, and I would recommend giving yourself at least 1/2 inch margin. That way, if you do print out your document, there will be no clipping. So let's go ahead and drag our guidelines down from the rulers. And let's go ahead and drag down the final guideline. Another thing that you can do with the help of the ruler tool in the guides is to help place down some lions. So, for example, if I wanted to place a horizon line on my document, that would go right here. Say, I wanted to make sure that my lions on the outer side of my Rex dog were straight. I could just go ahead and pull those there like so. And although I'm not going to be doing that in this particular territorial, if you're feeling a little hesitant about your lines and you want to make sure that everything symmetrical and looks right, this is a good way to do so. Since I don't plan on using these particular guidelines, I'm gonna go ahead and get rid of some. Your document is set up and it's ready for its vector shapes now. So without further ado Let's head on over to the next video so we can begin placing the shapes for our monument. I'll see you there. 4. Creating the Shapes: Welcome back in this video, we're going to begin placing the shapes over are pencilled Leinart. Let's start off by creating a separate layer, and I'm gonna go ahead and call this layer shapes. Layer one will contain our pencil sketch, and I'm going to lock it so that it doesn't move and it stays in place. While I put all of the shapes on top, I'm going to reduce the capacity to my shapes and make them semi transparent. This way, As I add more and more shapes, I'll still be able to see the pencils underneath. Another thing I recommend is especially if you're working with a building that has a lot of symmetry in it. You're going to want a copy and paste a lot. That way, you can ensure that whatever shapes air on your left hand side are symmetrical to the shapes on your right hand side as well as you can see, I'm continuing to place mostly rectangles, and I think that's one of the really great things about this exercise. A lot of times we can be really daunted and intimidated by these massive and intricately detailed buildings and architecture, but really, when you break any building down to its key components and its main shapes, you'll find that pretty much anything can be broken down to a series of squares, rectangles, triangles and circles. And when you approach drawing buildings that way, it becomes much less intimidating. In some cases, though, I will be drawing in custom shapes using the pen tool. And as you can see right now, I'm going ahead and doing that with the stairs. But even still, this is a pretty basic trap. Is oId sort of shape not too difficult or scary at all to make sure that your lines air straight? When using the pen tool, be sure to hold down shift. And so, once again, instead of drawing another triangle and guessing on the shape, I'm just copy, pasting it, reflecting the shape and then placing it where it belongs. And so doing that also will save you a lot of time is we turn off the pencil layer to get a sense of the shapes. We can already see that in just a couple of minutes, this building is beginning to flesh out, and it's starting to take the form of the Reich's dog now I'm gonna go ahead and also create a another shape which will show a sense of depth for this top left hand square. And then once again, I'm just copy, pasting it, reflecting it and then adding it to the corresponding square on the right hand side. And so now we're gonna focus on the pillars of this building. You see a copy pasted some squares to create base of the pillars. I'm putting them in the right spots. Now, we're basically just going in and copy pasting the columns with pillars. So it's OK if, um, the spacing is not wholly 100% perfect. Since we will be doing some further refinements, Leader on this stage is more just making sure that you have all of the shapes necessary. So don't worry about getting everything precisely in place yet of the So again, we're just continuing to copy and paste shapes in, so hopefully you can see that the process itself is actually fairly simple. I'm kind of not very pleased with the circle shape that I have put in as a placeholder for the doma Lurex dog. So I'm going in with my pen tool and just creating 1/2 circle shade that not only visually looks better but will also be easier to edit and work with later. Again. Remember that the pencil is your friend, and it's definitely helpful when it comes to creating slightly more complicated shapes. Okay, so now we're creating the triangle that will go in the very center of the building and to create an inset sort of look, I'm copy, pasting the same triangle, making it slightly smaller and putting it in side the first triangle. I'm making this particular triangle yellow so that I can see it a little easier. Since some of these shapes are a bit too dark to make out and keep in mind, we're going to change all of these colors later on. This is just sort of to get a feel of roughly where things should be placed so it doesn't have to be perfect or even very pretty at this point. I've got ahead of me to cut in the video, and I've added a few extra details off camera. So now that we've got are based shapes and place, we're just going back and putting in some final shapes to sort of go in and add extra detail, such as the railing that I'm adding along these staircases, and to make sure once again that this triangle and the lion is symmetrical, I'm just going ahead and copy, pasting it to ensure that they're the same on both sides. There's two statues on either side of the dome of the Reichstag, and since I want this to be a very simple and minimalistic graphic, I don't want to get too detailed with statues. So instead, I'm just going to kind of roughly suggest the statues by creating shapes to go on either side of the dome. Now I'm just going ahead and adding some trim for these talk towers that are on the right and left hand side of the building. Now I'm adding the flag posts for the top of each tower, and I'm going to be adding the flag that later on. Since I haven't quite decided how I want to execute the flags yet, finally, we're just gonna go ahead and place the steps for the staircase, and to ensure a sense of depth, I'm making peace steps that are further away, thinner and with and closer together, Here's the shapes of our Reichstag completed. So why don't we head on over to the next video where we will be working on selecting a color palette for our building? I'll see you there. 5. Selecting Colors: Welcome back in this video, we're going to determine a color palette for our monument. My monument is still at a reduced capacity, but I have changed its base color to a bright neon green. So in this video, I'm going to show you how to create a color palette that revolves around one color. And in this case, that color is gonna be this bright neon green. Now I could go with a more traditional color palette, but I want to make this monument look more funky and modern. So that's why I've decided to center my color palette around this bright Citrus neon color . So, as you can see below my monument, I have some blank squares here which will eventually be the other colors in the palette. And so, since I've already determined that I want this frightening on green to be one of the colors in my palette, I need to make sure that the five other colors will complement this bright neon green. Let's start off with the first square. The abbreviation stands for neutral light. I don't want this palette to be overly saturated with bright colors, so I'm going to make sure that there are three neutral colors to tone down. The bright neon neutrals tend to be de saturated colors that tend to go well with almost any other color. I've decided already that I want my neutrals to be shades of gray, more specifically blew cool toned gray, which will complement the neon green. I've gone ahead and picked my lightest, neutral shade, and since it's a little bit too blue for my liking, I'm gonna go ahead and he saturated a little bit more so that it's more gray than blue. Once I'm happy with that shade, I'm going Teoh, copy and then paste that square onto my neutral mid tone section on. The reason why I'm doing that is so that it allows me to better compare the new mid tone shade Teoh the previous light shade. As you can see on the color picker, it will show you your previous shade, which is the lighter color on the bottom and the new shade that you're trying to create on the top. So this allows me to see how these to work together, how similar they are at funny to make any changes. Once I'm happy with that new shade. I'm just going to repeat the process. Copy and paste can begin with my neutral dark shade. The's shades of gray not only worked really well with the me on that I've already chosen, but they also give me room to add another it of color. And so, for the last two colors, abbreviated them to mean old light and cold. So these colors are meant to be not quite as bright as my neon, but still brighter than my neutral tones. I haven't quite decided what I want to go for in my bold colors, so I have quite a few options for my final two colors That would work well with the neon and the neutrals. I could go with more of a yellow color, perhaps more of a red or even a pink or purple. I like how this green looks, but I worry that it would be too similar to the neon. So after some careful consideration, I eventually decide to go with a dark teal, which is a good midpoint between the neutral blue, grey and neon green. And so now that I've settled on this dark teal color, the last color will be a lighter, brighter teal, which is probably a little bit more similar to the original. Beyond that, we select it. And so I do apologize. It does seem as though the two last colors are mislabeled. The fifth color should be bold, dark, and the last color should be pulled light. But the main point is to show you how things is a pretty easy method of creating entire color palette that is cohesive and looks good east on just one originally chosen color. If you are interested in learning more about color theory, how color harmonizes with one another? And if you want to learn another method of creating a color palette, I have an entire class devoted to the subject called Exploring Color, Color Theory and Application, which I highly recommend. If you are at all interested in learning more about choosing colors and determining which colors go well with one another, why so now that we've determined are color palette. Let's go ahead and move on to the next video, where we will be incorporating this new color palette into our shapes and creating a funky modern Reichstag. So whenever you're ready, let's head on to the next video 6. Applying Color: Welcome back in this video, we are going to implement our newly chosen color palette into our monument. Let's start off by selecting the entire monument. And then we're gonna go ahead and take the color picker tool and make the entire monument the neutral, mid toned gray that we've previously selected. I'm also going Teoh, keep the's shapes semi transparent just because some shapes air sitting on top of others, and I want to be able to see them clearly before increasing the capacity. The reason why I'm making all of these shapes the neutral mid tone gray color is because that's the main color that we're going to be working with here and using the most. Now, I'm gonna go ahead and shift click to select all of the windows in the monument, and I'm going to make them the dark teal color my ship clicking and selecting multiple shapes you concolor more than one shape at a time, which makes the coloring process much faster and more efficient. I'm also trying to create a balance between the various tones of grey so that there is more of a contrast, and so that you get more of a sense of depth, since I want the center to be the focal point I'm placing in that bright teal behind the pillars so that it cops and brings your eye straight in. And while I like the Thiel as a focal point, I really do want to incorporate that neon instead since it's even more eye catching. So instead of the teal that we originally used, I'm gonna go ahead and put the neon instead. Do you create the focal point for the centerpiece of the Reichstag? Now I'm gonna go ahead and shift select all of the shapes that I want to be the darkest, gray neutral color. And once again, ships selecting is going to save you tons of time. So I highly recommend that you utilize that feature. And that's really what this coloring process entails. Dropping in color, seeing what works and making changes if necessary, to create more of a sense of depth. I've made the right and the left side of the buildings much darker so that the center of the Reichstag looks as though it is closer. And as it turns out, this actually was in keeping with the reference image that I was looking at where the center is, where the building is at its lightest. Now I'm going ahead and adding some additional shapes just to create a little more depth and intrigue and pushing it further back so that this particular line looks as though it is casting a shadow. And I'm pulling the pullers forward at their double checking. With my reference, I've noticed that these particular shapes should be a little darker. So I'm going ahead and darkening those and sending them further back into the image plane. And finally, what we're going to go ahead and finish up the stairs, and the trick to that is just making one large pyramid sort of shape and then laying some darker lines, which gives the illusion of steps that are going upwards. You also want to make the lions further back thinner to make it look as though they're further away from you. And now our monument has been colored. I'm pretty pleased with the color choices, and so in the next video we're going Teoh further refine our monuments so that everything is clean and symmetrical. So I will see you there in the next video 7. Finishing Touches: Hello and welcome back in this video, we're going to go over some final finishing touches to really complete our monument and make it look. It's best let's start off by adding the flags. Since the colors of the German flag are not in my color palette, I've decided to go with a more artistic interpretation of the flags rather than going for realism here. I'm just going Teoh. I'm going to convey the flags as simple rectangles that air neon creen. Of course, this is just my personal interpretation of the flags and feel free to make them more accurate. If that's what you prefer. Now you may have noticed that there is one color in our palate that we haven't used yet, which is the very last one. The teal. My plan is to have a teal outline that will go around the entire Reichstag, which will add again a sense of depth and also an extra pop of color. I'm gonna do that by going ahead and selecting the entire monument copy and pasting it, sending it backwards so that it is behind the monument and then making sure that this new selection is entirely teal. This new outline that we've created has to be bigger than the original Reichstag. Otherwise, it will just fall directly behind the building, and it will be hard to see. So you could leave Thea outlined like this if you wanted Teoh. But I want the with of the outline to be consistent. And so in order to do that, I'm going to go ahead and reduce the areas where the outline is too thick. So go ahead and take some time. Make the outline larger in the places where it is too thin. Now, I've just cut the camera way so that we can get a closer look. And as you can see, I have done some work. And right now our outline is looking a lot more consistent throughout. Now I'm gonna spend a little bit of time really zooming in and making sure everything looks more or less correct and just making little changes here and there. And so here we have a tiny bit of our outline peeking through. I'm just going to go ahead and cover that up, since I want this building to look as solid as possible. And so far I'm pretty happy with it. It looks like the building is complete. So I'm just gonna go ahead and delete the palate now that we don't need it anymore. Remember that this monument is scalable. You can make it as small or as large as you want for your needs, whether it's print or web, and it will look good and consistent no matter what. You can also create a background if you like either using a color that exists in your palate or maybe even a new color that complements the colors that are already in your palate. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome so far, and it looks like we're done here. Thank you so much for joining me on this video. Why don't we head on over to the next video where we're gonna wrap up with some closing thoughts? 8. Assignment: Welcome to your assignment video. So now that I have demonstrated for you how to create a digitized, minimalistic monument graphic from scratch, I want you to go ahead and start working on your own. I want you to start taking some time to really think about different historical landmarks and monuments that pique your interest. And there are so many that are great. Here's a couple of suggestions, but feel free to do your own research and figure out which monument speaks to you the most . Big Ben, the Parthenon, the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower and core Watch on the Statue of Liberty. So keep in mind that all of the monuments that I've just mentioned, even though they come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, they can all be broken down to the same process that we used today. You can build all of these monuments by using a combination of mostly circles, squares and triangles. If you get stuck along the way, or if you have any questions whatsoever, please don't hesitate to reach out because I'm here to help you remember that this monument graphic is meant to be a simplified version, so don't get too hung up on very intricate details. And also don't forget to pick a color palette using the exercise that we learned today by picking one base color and then selecting three neutrals, a light, medium and dark, and then to bold colors that complement your chosen color. I can't wait to see all of your monuments. I'm sure they're gonna be fantastic. Thanks so much for tuning into the assignment video, and whenever you're ready, let's move on to the next. 9. Closing Thoughts: thank you so much for joining me on this lesson and creating a monument together with me. I hope that this class was beneficial and fun for you. And I also hope that through this process you've seen that even very large, daunting, menacing looking buildings can be simplified and broken down to their key components so that really anyone can articulate them in a way that is meaningful and unique to them and particularly how you can break down pretty much any massive building or really any drawing subject to its ace key components. And I think this is really an important take away because this'd enforces the idea that really anyone do this. I hope this process was simple and straight forward for you. And once again, don't hesitate. Teoh, reach out if you have any questions or comments whatsoever, I really appreciate you taking the time to watch this video. And I really enjoyed making this class for you. I hope to see you again soon. Take care and please have fun articulating your monuments on Illustrator. But by