Finally Fixed The Colors, Et . . . Voila! | Skillshare Projects

Adam Krause

Movin' forward one sketch at a time



Finally Fixed The Colors, Et . . . Voila!


I'll be splitting this into a few phases, starting with my research and then my work, and finally the finished product. So, here goes...

Step One - Research:

I have some familiarity with Illustrator already, but there are a lot of little tips and shortcuts that Brad taught that really made things so much easier for me. I can't emphasize how much those few things really streamlined my workflow, and so that's bad ass. 
That being said, when I enrolled, I didn't particularly have a favorite print ad, and so I began browsing my Pinterest account for vintage illustrated ads. I found a lot of really spectacular ads, but one really stood out to me. It was this ad for Trans-Canada Airlines:


What really caught my eye is the limited color palette and the sleek, elegant linework. These women looks beautiful and classy, and the composition is really engaging to me.

While doing a cursory study of the piece, there were a few things that really stood out to me in terms of what tools would be best. Obviously the Pen tool would be extremely useful, but also my good old friend the Blob Brush tool.

Step Two - Setup and Beginning Work:

I followed Brad's advice and used Place to load my image. Prior to this class, I had always just cut/copied images from the source and pasted them into AI. Now I realize that using Place is the proper way to do it. After doing so, I determined that there were truly only a few basic colors in the whole composition... white, black, red, and then some slightly off whites, reds, and blues. I started with the black lines.


This basic start was accomplished almost entirely with the Blob Brush, and the goal was to establish the major, primarily black lines. The fairly low quality reference image had some artifacts that made it seem as though there was a lot of color variation, but I assume that the original ad didn't have any more thatn 6 colors, and honestly, probably not more than 3. That being said, I am recreating the ad as though there are around 6 total colors in the composition.

Step Three - More Colors, Shapes, and Lines:

After laying down some of the basic black shapes and lines with the Blob Brush, I realized that some other areas of the piece would be better-suited to using the Pen tool. All throughout, I was using Shift 
+X (I'm on Windows) to make sure that I was in Stroke mode and not Shape mode. 

The goal here was to start differentiating things by bringing in more colors. The splash of the red coat or scarf on the background woman is a great contrasting part of the original ad, and so I added it to my remake in order to get a better sense of the whole composition as I worked. There's also a slight off-white red-gray, which you can see me sort of introducing into the piece here.


At this point, the piece is still mostly Blob Brush and Pen. I used the Eyedropper ("I" key) at first, but as someone who is also a bit of a digital painter, I decided to stop using it and to instead try to figure out the true colors by experimenting and guessing. Anyhow, lines are still pretty rough at this point... more yet to come.

Step Four - More Perfecting of Colors, Shapes and Lines:

Okay, so here we go for now... I've started throwing in a dark bluish-gray color for things like the main woman's eyelids and the teapot(?) that she is holding. It's better that just using all black lines, in my opinion. Those variations in color might be an example of artifacts from a low-quality reference, but I rather like the difference between black and bluish-gray. I plan to do something similar with the reddish-gray lines and fills you see in the original source.


As for now, I'm closer to being done than not done... I will post more tonight or tomorrow! Thanks for tuning in!

Step Five - Type, Type, Type!

Well, I've filled in some of the blue-gray lines and shapes, using both Pen and Blob Brush, but I then decided that my piece needed some text. I wanted to get the text out of the way the best I could, and so I played around with some fonts. I settled on the somewhat generic Myriad Pro font, but in reality, it really fit the bill quite well. After playing with the leading, kerning, font size and so on, I've gotten a decent remake of the original body copy. I have a ways to go, but here is the most recent update before going to sleep:


Cheers! More to come soon! Thanks for following my progress!

Step Six - Voila!!

Okay, and finally... here is the complete project! I tried going in to include textures, but there are so many various layers and shapes and paths that it quickly became a bit overwhelming. I still think the whole Clipping Mask thing is super clunky and ridiculous in AI anyway, and in any normal case, I would just load the finished image into Photoshop and mess around with textures and things there. Anyhow, I'll play with textures some more in the future, but for this project, I just wanted to get it done:


Thanks for tuning in! Merci!



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