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Create a Badass Hip Hop Character in Illustrator

Hi everyone, after a hiatus of almost three months without writing any tutorial I'm finally back and, as usuaI, I have a good exercise to share with you guys. Today we're going to draw this badass hip hop character that I got inspired by comic book artist Jamie Hewlett and graffiti artist Pose 2, who already worked with aesthetics influenced by hip hop. So, I hope you guys have a good time and enjoy it. But I recommend you to install the following fonts before proceeding: San Locisco, THe Black Bureau and Ghetto Wolves. You can get them at Legacy of Defeat, the font fabric from our buddy Hydro 74. This is a quite advanced tutorial it's highly advised to use a tablet, or some of you may find yourselves a bit lost on some parts. If that happens, don't worry, and use it as a reference. The idea is to to share and be helpful. If you have any doubt, feel free to contact me any time. Sketch So before going to Illustrator, I decided to do a few sketches so I could have a better idea of the position, direction and structure of the character. First of all I drawed the main structure using geometric shapes so I could render it into something more detailed on the following. I detailed the sketch a bit more, as usual, the more elaborated your sketch is, more well done your final piece will be. I decided to don't use the cap I did on this sketch, as it looked more menacing without it. Ok, now open Adobe Illustrator and make a new document (command + n / ctrl + n). Make a 10 x 16 cm CMYK white canvas. I pasted the last sketch into the new canvas so I could use it as reference. Then create a new layer (command + L/ ctrl + L) to start with the head. Head Using the pen tool (P) trace around the head. With the previous tool do the same thing with the mouth, you can use strokes on it, although I'm not a huge fan of this method, I prefer to create a separated path for it. Right after, add some some grey and two paths with white fill inside of it. Then make the classic divisory of the teeth with black fill. With the ellipse tool (L) I did this nostrils. I traced the eyebrowns with the pen tool (P) using a balck fill, give some attention to this as it's going to be important for the facial expression. As you may notice, I'm using two kinds of white in order to give depth to teeth and eyes. So first I draw the grey part, later I added loads of wrinkles around it using the pen tool (P). Also added this simple detail between the eyebrowns. Here's what I was talking about, make the white fill but scale it having in mind the depth you want to give. I wanted to give some volume to the eyebrowns and nose, so made this grey shapes over them. Now I added tons of wrinkles to make his facial expression more interesting and fluid, thi may take you sometime and observation, but here's the walk thru. The ear needs some special attention, as it's complex part of the body. Let's draw some classic "attention triangles" on the side of the head. Draw them with the pen tool (P), make first a black layer, then a red layer. Make also a reflex and a shadow on them. Golden jewelry seemed to fit with to this character, so I decided to give him this golden earring. Make first the yellow fill, then a darker one, a brighter one and the lights. Ok, now remember the trace we did around the head on the beginning? Select it and fill it with brown color. Select the brown path and go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set to create this black fill around the head. I added this dark circles below the eyes so it would look a bit more agressive. Just put this red fill and a lighter one behind the wrinkles. Here comes a trick part: I like to insert some volume on the face so I had to understand the scene light, so I did this light parts all around the face, respecting the wrinkles and structures of the head. You can do it eithher with the pen tool (P) or the pencil tool (N). Some of you may be a bit lost at this point, so here's a brief explaination of this technique: I use to call it "hard gradient" as I get three color tones of the same scale and use them to ehance the shapes. So I think you already know what we're going to do next, yep, add a lighter layer of brown. Ok guys, I think we have it, let's skip to the body. Body Fist of all make a new layer (command + L / ctrl + L). We're going to pretty much the same thing we did before, so let's first trace the whole body silhouette. Now let's trace the arms. You can draw the collar using a brown fill and a black stroke. We're going to enhance it later. Turn the body trace into a orange fill, it's nice color for a Tee, don't you think? hehehe. Do the same thing to the arms. I made the strokes around the body "manually" using the pencil tool (N), as I was afraid that it could interfer on some aspects later. Let's return to the collar, let's add a extra line and draw some stripes, you can use the brush tool (B) for this task. Add a lighter color for the tee. Add some more strokeon the arms using the pencil tool (N) or the brush tool (B) If you prefer. Following the same procedure, I did this wrincles all around the Tee, this make take you some time depending of the tool, I rather do them using the pencil tool (N). A badass without defined muscles it's not a badass. So let's pump this guy. And here let's apply that previous hard gradient technique. See how interesting the results we get. Now I added a couple of tattoos like this barbed wire, after I had the whole structure I used the color burn mode on the transparency panel so it would mix better with the skin. I hope you downloaded the San Locisco font I told on the beggining, anyway I wrote "Gangsta" and break it in outlines (command + shift + o / ctrl + shift + o) and make a envelope mesh with it (it's a panel on the top next to transform and opacity, usually on the right side). Set the panel like the one below. Then add the same blending mode to it (color burn). So, I decided to apply the same hard gradient technique on the tee, creating this lighter orange color fill between the wrinkles, I suggest you to use the pencil tool (N) for the task. I really dig those old school hip hop tee's with big numbers, so I applied this one using a Museo Serif then applied a overlay blending mode on it. You don't have to use this specific font, just one with some big serif numbers. I repeat the same process with the quote "Thug Life" on the top of the Tee. Our badass needed more gold, so I added this golden chain, like the classic rappers from the 80's. This is quite easy If you already undertood the logic of this illustration, basically I did the chainrings using the pencil tool (N) than added the shades and lights one by one (yep, a bit boring, but can't complain about the result). So, here're our badass, let's just add a final touch to it. Letters I used the Black Bureau font here, turned it into curves. Then give it a golden gradient, adjust on the gradient panel to get te same fill color. use dark yellow on the stroke. I also applied this light gradient using a clipping mask, I think you already know how to do it, just duplicate the font shape and put it on front, then select both gradient and the font shape and press command + 7 / ctrl + 7. I also applied a offset path with a black fill. Using the star tool, click once on the canvas and configurate it to create a 4 point star with the settings bellow. Distribute them along the letters, like a classic "bling-bling". And here it is guys, hope you enjoyed besides all the difficulties, see you next time. Conclusion Download the Adobe Illustrator File Download the Adobe Illustrator file used for this tutorial

Create a Badass Gas Mask in Illustrator

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I dropped my last illustrator tutorial and so I decided to teach a really classy lesson this time. I've been a huge fan of vector art ever since I started working as an art director then as an illustrator. And I always appreciated the work of some of the masters like Pale Horse Design, Hydro 74 and Chris Vector. Their extremely detailed illustrations are really eye catching and sharp, I always wanted to understand how they do that. Years and lots of hours of illustrating later, I think I can finally understand aspects such as sketching, outlining, shading, hachures and filling that are most used to make great artworks. So, today we are going to learn how to create this gas mask using only vectors. This is a really advanced tutorial, not only for the ones who are familiar with this software, but for the ones who are used to making traditional illustration too. I hope you learn a bit about depth, shading, hachures and other aspects involving this illustration, and, of course, have fun. So hey, If some of you get a bit confused, please contact me later ;). Sketch As always, I try to sketch the idea before going to the software, I think a sketch is more than 50% of the work, it's the concept, it's when you see what can be possible and what cannot. So my suggestion to you is to always try to test every graphic possibility before refining it. Think about the sketch as a rough diamond, you know it's a diamond, you just need to understand how to refine it through a better way. Outline Step 1 One thing I started to note is that every artwork has some kind of outline. That's when the artist tries to a set the parts of the illustration without refining it. So, let's open Illustrator and create a 22,55 x 20,5 cm (8,88 x 8,07 inches) RGB, 300 dpi. Using the rectangle tool (the shortcut is the letter M), create a square that fit outside the canvas We're going to need some rulers to help us, press ctrl + R / command + R to visualize them, then pull one vertical and align it to the center of the canvas. We're going to use the pen tool (P) to create this part of the face, use the direct selection (A) If you need to adjust any of the points. Select the face shape and using the selection tool (V) + alt , duplicate it. Right click on the duplicated side, a panel will pop up, choose the option called Transform > Reflect. Then, choose to reflect the vertical Axis. Go to the pathfinder panel, select both sides and choose the selection called Unite to blend it all together. Use the line segment tool (\) to create a divisory between the face, it will be used later. Step 2 Using the pen tool (P), we're going to create the shape of the glasses. Use this tool again to make this shape and give the idea of depth on it. Just duplicate the glasses shape, resize and place it using the selection tool (V). Use the pen tool (P) to create this shape and give the idea of a border on the glasses. Just duplicate, reflect and place on the other side. Step 3 Let's make the part where the elastic is usually held. Use the pen tool (P) to create this shape above the glasses. You can make a litte pill shape using the pen tool (P) or the ellipse tool (L) and adjusting it later. Make this tiny shape behind the pill shape using the pen tool (P). Make this shape using the pen tool (P) and the grabber it's done. Duplicate, reflect and place on the other side. We're going to use the same shapes, we're just going to adapt to put them on the top of the mask. Step 4 I bet you thought I used the 3D tool to achieve the filter shape, but no. One thing I noticed from a long time using this software is that the 3D render (as the gradients) make the files slower and heavier, so studying vanishing point and other depth disciplines can be pretty handy not just for drawing, but to make files lighter. Ok, back to the filter, use the ellipse tool (L) to make the bottom of it. Use the pen tool (P) to create the whole shape, adjust the error using the direct selection tool (A). Use the ellipse tool (L) to make the socket part. Duplicate and resize the same cirle. Use the pen tool (P) to make the bridge of the filter. Make another circle in the bottom using the ellpse tool (L). Make a ribbon shape on the body of the filter using the pen tool (P). Finally make a little circle inside the circle of the bottom using the ellipse tool (L). I really dig this trick to make the fans follow this procedure. First create a circle using the ellipse tool (L), use only a black and thick stroke (20 pt or less). Go to the stroke panel and set the dashed line to 2pt dash. You should get these. Select it and go to Effect > 3D > Revolve, set the parameters by using the preview to see if everything is on the right perspective, or just copy mine. Duplicate, reflect and place it on the other side. Step 5 Let's make the central filter. First create a perfect circle by using the ellipse tool (L) and holding Shift. Use the pen tool (P) to create the shape that fits the nose. Make this shape using the pen tool (P) to make the border. Add this other one to give depth to this part. Make another circle inside the main circle. This is really cool: Proximity and distance can cause depth effects. So here we're going to duplicate the previous circle and just adjust it a little bit smaller. One more circle with a bigger spacing. Remember the fan vector? Go there and get a copy of it without the Revolve effect, place it on the center. Yeah, you must be tired of making circles hehehe but here goes another one. And another one... ...and another one... ...and the last one, watch for the proximity used here, or you probably won't get the depth effect. I also added this shape to be like sustentation piece, use the pen tool (P) to create it. Then duplicate, reflect and place on the other side. Do the same thing with the lower part. Ok, so the outline is finished, now let's skip to the shading part. Shading Step 1 Before starting this part we should "clean the mess", so go and adust your layers like this, make an exclusive layer for the central filter and hide it for now. Let's begin with the right filter, using the pen tool (P) you're going to add these black shapes on the ribbon. Some of you may fear this type of hachure as a drunk fear rehab, but you've got to use it. It takes time to master and make it quick but go easy with the pen tool (P) using a white fill and you're going to achieve it. Just add this divider to make the reflection on the ribbon clear. Go to the little circle of the bottom of the filter and make this shape using the pen tool (P). Duplicate, resize and use the Minus Front option on the pathfinder panel to make a hole in it. I call this type of filling "Cracky filling" because it's not uniform, it can be simply achieved by using the pen tool (P). Now this is a really old trick that I already showed you guys on the Hellboy tutorial: Create a triangle, make it slim, duplicate it many times and group it. Ok, now go to the body of the fliter and place it like this the hachures. Make a trace on the area you want to be filled using the pen tool (P). Make a clipping mask on it (ctrl + 7 / command + 7). Repeat the same procedure on the other extremity, just watch the direction of the hachures. Let's create some black shapes on the bridge using the pen tool (P) to make some reflexes. I added some cracks to look like it's embedded to the mask, this will take some time, but as you see, it's just some sharp shapes using the pen tool (P). I also added some "cracky filings" on this part. The filter is done, time to go to the rest of the mask. Step 2 So, using the pen tool (P), you can make the indie part with black fill, but let a border space to create a white stroke on it. You can add some details like the hachure on the top and other extremities. On the lower part of the mask just did the same thing. You've got to get something like this, then we can start adding some minor details. Now you can show the central filter layer, to make some shading around it. Using the pen tool (P) you can add some hachure shapes, like this one below the glasses. Also one next to the nose part. On the top of the glasses. And a lonely hachure here. Let's apply some hachures on the elastic grabbers next. Step 3 These are really tiny details, so don't worry If they get a bit strange, nobody will notice from a far distance. Start by adding this hachure on the side of the grabber using the pen tool (P). Add some black space shapes on this part. Do the same here. And here. Do the "cracky filling" again on this part. No shortcuts here, it's a boring hacure, I know, but do it easy with the pen tool (P). Following the same idea of the other grabber, add a hachure here. Some black spaced shapes here. The same here. And here. "Cracky filling" on this part. And the "boring hachure" on the center. That's it, time to start the glasses. Step 4 First make a big black fill inside the glasses cavity using the pen tool (P), but let a thin white space on the left/upper side. Let's add some classic rectangular reflections on the center of it, use the pen tool (P) for it. Yep, you're going to have to do one by one of this sharp shapes to make this curve hachure, don't forget to use the "alt+click" trick on the vector points to mute the curves. After you do the first one, you can just copy and adjust it on the other places using the direct selection tool (A). Repeat this procedures here... ...and here. Use some "Cracky filling" around the glasses border. Group all these elements, duplicate, reflect and place it on the other side. That's it, time for the final step. Final Step Before anything, make a new layer above the central filter layer and call it "shading". Using the pen tool (P) , let's start by making these reflections on the center of the filter. The ruler on the center will be pretty handy right now. Unfortunately, you're going to have to make shape by shape here, but don't worry, you're basically going to duplicate and reflect it on the following steps. Reflect horizontally here. Use a "cracky filling" on this part. You can copy the previous hachures and adjust to insert on this part (or just make some new ones, which I found way better and faster). Duplicate, reflect horizontally and place it. Do the same here. And here. More hachures guys! hehehe just follow the same procedures and everything is going to work fine. Duplicate, reflect horizontally and place it. Just duplicate the first one and place it here. Just duplicate the second and place it here. Lets use the triangles again on this part, make a group and place it above the fan part. MUse the pen tool (P) to trace the area you want to set it and make a clipping mask (ctrl + 7 / command + 7). Duplicate, reflect and place it on the lower fan part. More "cracky filling" on this border. Make some hachures with the pen tool (P) here. More "cracky filling" on this part. I must admit here I tried some really random shapes with the pen tool (P), but as the aesthetic effect was sucessful, I decided to maintain them. Ok, now just group everything (ctrl + G / command + G), duplicate, reflect and place on the other side. Conclusion By this point, even If you did all these steps, you're probably wanting to kill me hehe just kidding guys. I know how hard it is to master some techniques, it takes time and a lot of observation to understand some aspects. Even If you have not followed the whole tutorial and just read it, you probably have learned a bit. You can download the file with the illustration at the end of the post, use it to study or for whatever you guys want, it's a little gift to you, have fun. Download the Illustrator File Download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial