Vector Illustration Class: Swirl Mania

I’m done with my drawing class now, and on to my very last class for my Bachelor’s: Vector Illustration (ARTS 332 at Liberty). For the following assignment, I was to find an illustration that I liked online and recreate it in Adobe Illustrator. I was quite captivated by the following illustration:

Exercise 1b Sarah Brown ARTS 332 (Reference)

It even had a tutorial to go with it. You can find it here: http://abduzeedo.com/swirl-mania-illustrator-photoshop. The tutorial is pretty useful for getting a feel of what to do in step-by-step order, but it did not have good explanations of how to use the different tools it employs (and some were available only in Photoshop).

I started with this free hand image (which is the only part of the illustration that is not a vector), and placed it in an Illustrator document, and then added the Vector “swirl mania” around it.

At first, I kept trying to follow each step of the tutorial, but finally gave up and just used trial and error (and a lot of referrals to the original illustration) to create the different shapes and get the right colors. Here is my final product:

Swirl Mania

It’s pretty close to the original, though you can see a number of subtle differences if you look closely. My, what a lot of blood, sweat, and tears it took to get this to come out right! It was only my second week of class, I only knew the basics of Adobe Illustrator, and suddenly I was forced to figure out all sorts of complicated tools like the Gradient and Mesh Tools (that was the most frustrating!). But that’s how I learn best: the hands-on, learn-as-you-go style.

I am so happy with the finished illustration, and I have a new confidence with how the program and different tools work.

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