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Anthology magazine gift guide COMPLETED

I have some experience with Illustrator, but everything I know has been self-taught using internet tutorials. I am quite comfortable with the pen tool, but would like to learn more about using shapes and gradients. I chose this image because of the interesting shapes and use of texture/gradients within it. The variation in width within the lines is also a skill I'd like to be able to do. 

17/05/13

I've been working on the first ornament using shapes and the pathfinder tools.  Progress so far:

19/05/13

Worked on the lines. The large red ornament was quite a challenge, but the pen tool came through for me. I did one side, copied and reflected it, since it's divided in two by colour anyway.  I've really had to think about the textured lines on stars for example, but achieved the look by using a dashed line with variations in the dashes and gaps and rounded ends. The hardest thing so far has been the tag on the red ornament.  Not sure if I'm finished there, but made it using the pen tool for the bottom and a small piece of 'dry brush' line above.  I'm really enjoying this process and am learning so much!

19/05/13

Having trouble with the eraser tool: I don't know how to erase detail that overlaps the edge.  The eraser tool only seems to have a circular shape and I want to be able to 'cut off' the edge with a sharp line. Here's my progress so far, with the detail on the ornaments overlapping the edges in places, especially on the blue one. 

20/05/13

Figured out how to erase the edges properly; I've been using a combination of the shape builder tool, adding and deleting anchor points and a bit of the eraser.  Have also been using my Wacom tablet a lot for the hand-drawn elements. I have only the bird left to do before I move onto Module 2 where I'll hopefully learn heaps about textures and gradients! 

22/05/13

Got all the line drawings done now, except for a few little stars. I'll work on gradients, texture and text this weekend, but I'm very pleased with how things are going. 

23/05/13

Pfew; the title almost killed me tonight. The font is called 'Raniscript', but I wasn't going to pay $60 for it, so I made it myself. Should have paid the money :) I've just noticed I need a few touch-ups which didn't show up in the colour I used when rendering it, but that can wait for tomorrow.  I used Nexa (bold and light) for the  capitals and St Marie for the words 'gift guide'. Did some kerning and used the shear tool to get it right.  Found a good tutorial for the grainy texture I'll need to finish this off. The end is in sight...

25/05/13

Finished the textures and gradients.  Wish I knew more about Photoshop to understand Brad's video on bitmap textures, but made do with a mix of gradient and textured effects (vectips.com : create grainy textures).  I have enjoyed this so much and have learnt heaps; thanks to Brad and all my fellow students for all the inspiration and sharing your ideas and knowledge :)

Here's original again: 

And my final image:

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