Exploring Color in Vector Portraits (Intro Video Added!) | Skillshare Projects

Abigail Southworth

Illustrator & Designer



Exploring Color in Vector Portraits (Intro Video Added!)

I'm a classically trained illustrator that went rogue, and I currently spend most of my time doing digital illustration. I teach drawing courses at the college level, but have yet to be able to teach anything in Adobe Illustrator at the accredited level, so this feels like a great opportunity for my to share something I love.

That said, I'm quite nervous about teaching this, as I wonder if there's any interest in it...? So I'm open to teaching other things down the road as well.


This class is for students looking to explore different ways to use vector art. We'll explore color theory, determine a palette to best fit the illustration, execute said palette in Adobe Illustrator in the most effective way, and finalize our work for print or web distribution. The class project will be to create an original portrait from a personal photograph. Students should have a working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator.


Using a personal photo as a reference, you will create a fun, colorful vector portrait. You will first pick a photo that you can base your portrait off of. From there, you will design the layout, and sketch the face, either on paper to scan, or directly onto the computer using a drawing tablet. You will then pick a fun palette for your illustration. This can relate to the character of the person you will be illustrating. Finally, we will finish the portrait in Adobe Illustrator using the pen tool and the palette we picked out.


Please post the following under your project in the project gallery:

  • Your photo reference
  • Your chosen palette
  • The sketch (line only)
  • The final product (color portrait in Adobe Illustrator)

Feel free to stop by and ask for feedback along the way!


The Pen Tool: Design a Pin with Jon Brommet - This is an excellent course to help you get started with the pen tool! Rather than re-invent the wheel in this course, please mosey on over there to get yourself fanmiliar with this incredibly important tool within Adobe Illustrator.


The Bezier Game - Useful in learning the pen tool

Color Scheme Designer - Tool to find different color schemes after choosing one color (Complimentary, Analagous, etc.)


You can find my project outline here!


You can view my intro video here!


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