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Nivea Vintage Poster (Sun Lotion?)

I have just finished up on the Fundamentals of Photoshop series by Meg Lewis and decided it was time to recap my skillset in Adobe Illustrator. I graduated in 2011 with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration, but have worked in admin roles until now. I felt it was time to make a career change and return to my creative side. 

At first I found myself feeling intimidated and frustrated at this class, but as I have been practising the shortcuts, tips and tricks that Brad has been showing in these videos, I have started to feel more comfortable with the basics of Illustrator. 

I looked for vintage posters on Pinterest and found this Nivea advert. 

I knew that this simple yet curvy figure would be great for practice in using the pen tool, which is the main tool in Illustrator that, when I return to use the programme, I find myself cursing over.

However, as Brad went on to detail brushes in the Strokes and Lines section, I was dazzled by the possibilities. I've never had a use for brushes in Illustrator before and so not played with different brushes, angles, the blob brush tool, etc until now. I LOVE THEM. The hair has been my favourite part to reproduce so far. Here is my version -

I'm very pleased with my work and never felt I would be capable of this.

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20.05.2014

I've now started to add colour to my design. I was struggling a little to begin with as this design uses gradients in a way that is difficult to replicate with just the use of one gradient. I concluded that I would need to add multiple gradients to my work and went on a bit of a Google adventure to find my answer. Along the way, clogs were whirring and I realised I could just duplicate layers and then reduce the opacity of the top layers to create multiple gradient effects on my work. I may also add in some highlights with the brush tool at a later date, or even more gradients, but for now I'm pretty pleased with where this is heading. 

If you have any tips on how to create similar gradients to the ones in the original design here, please let me know.

Some tips that were not included in the class so far, from me, would be to remember to break the form of your artwork down to the very basics, as it will allow you to have more control of your design. After first outlining with the pen tool, when I got to this stage, where I had to fill my design with various gradients, I found it difficult to work on. Therefore I split the form into different sections - for example the arm, leg and body are all different shapes overlapping. I anticipate that I may encounter a problem with the head gradient, which I am going to think carefully on how to solve effectively.

P.S. Sorry for the line down this screenshot, but this is my current set up for comparison between the original advert and my own version. I like the two to be close together so I can work more accurately.

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21.05.2014

I've now watched all of the 'Form Stylizing' videos and this is my result so far. I couldn't find an exact match on the typeface, but I think mine is pretty close. It includes the pointed N, V and A, which is what I looked for on 1001 fonts.

I'm quite proud of what I have achieved so far. It's not a perfect match, but it's a good replica. The next step is to add texture to the design.

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27.05.2014

I found the texture technique that Brad used very confusing, but perhaps that it because I was trying to use one texture on the whole of the image, until I realised you could onl select two objects to make a clipping mask with. 

Above is attempt number one, where after several fails at Brad's technique, I thought blast it and sized the texture layer up to the size of the whole document then reduced the opacity. I like the subtle effect this creates, but I wasn't satisfied. 

When the lightbulb went on and I realised that I had to work on each body part individually, I held an inward groan. Here is my second attempt, using this knowledge. 

Whilst it isn't perfect, it allowed me to explore the technique and admittedly, does look a bit better than the previous technique I was using (and provided me with further control). I could learn to love this technique as I delve deeper into using textures in other projects, but I honestly found it a bit frustrating to get to grips with!

If anyone uses any other techniques for applying texture to their work in illustrator I'd love to hear them. I think I'm pretty much wrapped up on this project and ready to move on, though I may explore create a vector pattern first - having this included in the class made me very happy, I've always wanted to explore making my own patterns!

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08.06.2014

I decided to give the Advanced Topics, Vector Patterns section a go tonight. However, I have a little problem. I'm not sure if this is just my screen playing up or if the pattern genuinely seems to have a very thin line running through the wrap around shape? 

If anyone can help on this issue I'd be very grateful. I've followed Brad's instructions (300x300 square, set the wraparound circles at X + 300, etc). I'm not sure what I am doing wrong here. I have tried scaling the pattern to different sizes and the problem still seems to occur so I think it IS a problem, not just my screen!

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