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Interview with Joshua Smith (aka. Hydro 74)

Today we're really glad to publish a high anticipated interview with Joshua Smith, well known on the design community as Hydro 74. Since I started on the creative, I always loved Hydro 74 artworks, so this is quite a great accomplishment to me ann the blog. I hope you guys like and learn more about Josh and his life experience. Here a couple of links to find Hydro 74 online: Website Behance Profile Twitter Facebook Exclusive Discount Code at Hydro 74 Shop: Also Joshua was really kind and offered a special discount code to our readers, so go to Hydro 74 Shop and grab some awesome posters before it's over ;) . Coupon code: 'abduzeedohydro' is good for 30% off of everything. 1) Before we start, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to interview you, it's a great pleasure. First I'd like to ask you when did you become interested in Graphic Design and illustration? Appreciate it. Sorry it took a minute to get back to you on this, but just been nutty busy of late. You know, I never wanted to be a designer. Never had much interest in it nor thought about it. It wasn't till a couple years into college (1996) going for the teaching degree that I became upset with the program since I was too 'punk rock' at the time to allow to student teach. I was just poor so the best I could do for cloths was Thrift Stores and didn't care what I looked like on campus since I was there to learn. I ended up taking some art classes (painting, drawing, etc) to keep my GPA up since I decided to switch to liberal arts and get the hell out of there. A new class started called Visual Communications where they were going to teach Photoshop, and basic standards in Graphic Design. I got hooked playing on the computer. I think I took design actually seriously was when I got a couple illustration gigs for various record companies. They paid well and supplied me with a lot of music, so it was total win. About a year out of the program I decided to drop out since I was on the same learning curve as the professor at the time and my fine art professor was giving me shit about being a graphic designer. He insisted I should focus on Fine Arts. I disagreed since I already had a hell of a school debt. So yeah, getting into design was all chance. I always doodled and took art classes because they were easy, but nothing I ever wanted to take seriously. 2) What are your influences? What illustrators inspire you? I'm a bit old school when it comes to the people who's work I appreciate. There are a lot of great new designers but they are just creative replicas of previous designers. But the short list: Rick Griffin, Jim Phillips, Greg Irons, Michael Manoogian, Gerard Huerta, David Quay, Giant, Obey, Aaron Horkey, Munk One, 123Klan, Julie West.. So on, so forth The thing that inspires me is not so much the designer but the technique. When I see different artist doing things with pen and ink or in typography I always ask myself, how can I accomplish that in Illustrator. So my list is short, but there are quite a few. 3) I'm great fan of your illustration style, since he's really remarkable and detailed. Nowadays he's quite copied by some illustrators and digital artists, what shows how popular you've become. When and how did you develop this style? How would you describe it? Trial and error really. It took me years to redefine my technique to create pieces that are put together in a structuralized fashion that is easy to work with for clients. Before I use to create shapes and place shapes on to shapes and use that as the basis for a illustration. But over time I've become rather a annoying perfectionist to my line work. I hate brushes and strokes (but use them from time to time) because I like to draw the whole line. I like to make it feel raw, organic and not clean. I believe it was a few years back when I was looking at something as simple as deer skull and noticed it wasn't smooth. The core smooth areas are limited thus having the time and effort to make sure each line is unique expands the over all structure and makes it more prolific. But that is me tho. I don't know tho. Just took me years to figure out. Almost every time when I do a illustration I always try to find more methods and new ideas to expand upon my work. 4) Nowadays you work at your own studio and you're your own boss, being well known thru the design community as one of the top vector illustrators. How was this transition from working at agencies to becoming a freelancer? Well, I was never one to play nice with others. Actually I enjoyed working a few companies as I was starting my career. I learned so much from trial and error and learned to take each project in stride. Some of the places I worked taught me to work really quickly and figure out simpler solutions but making it feel more complex. The moment when I decided to go independent was at a pretty amazing time. As a Creative Director at this one company, I was at my mental end with the boss because he would never remember if he approved something or not. I was scared to be honest, never knowing what the road ahead had, but I took the chance and quit my job. Since then I have never looked back and don't miss it. I enjoy setting up my own rules and my own approach. I can work as early or as late as I desire and also have time to focus on self & marketing. I love it. It isn't for everyone in the end. The only way I was able to even consider my plight to being a freelancer was because I saved up 3 months worth of income that I could rely on if freelance didn't go well. From there I could gauge each month if I met budgets or not. If I didn't, then after that 3 month span, I would have to look for employment. 5) How would you describe your daily workflow? Pretty standard. Wake up, coffee, email, twitter, figure out what I'm doing, do it, play a little Xbox, work more, coffee whenever the cup is empty and .. More work. If I have nothing going on, then I focus on creating fonts or organizing for the next project. 6) You have worked for many apparel labels and, since you got famous on the web, some people started copying your illustrations, tracing them and using it without your permission. What's your opinion about your artworks copyright? And what is your concept about inspiration and plagiarism? It's a tough one. As designers there is limitations to what we can sue and not sue for. It's just about how much you want to invest for a limited return. There isn't a whole lot a person can do about it unless it's a major company. I personally just contact them and try to deal directly with them. Most of the time it's a overseas vendor who hired some kid in Indonesia and paid him a few bucks. But on the same token, I try not to stress about it. 7) You're probably almost 10 years or more working as a illustrator, what you think was the best moment of your career? And what was the worst moment? Best: Probably getting my first project from Nike. I was on Vacation in Key West when I got the job and it was a quick flip so I cut my vacation early and worked on it. I would of never of expected Nike to contact me for anything. So it was a big deal. Worst: Probably those times when clients don't pay you. It's rare, but it happens and it's just depressing that you are taken advantage of. 8) What is your favorite artwork and why? Julie West's work. Just like her work a lot. I guess it's because it's something I wouldn't do and appreciate the fact that her work looks amazingly clean both in vector and illustrator. 9) Tell us five characteristics necessary for every illustrator / artist and why 1. Be Nice – Obvious really 2. Your clients are human, they want to go home, so make their jobs easier when you can. 3. Step away when you are not feeling it. Let the mind and hand unite 4. Market yourself, or just learn basic marketing 5. You don't always need to upgrade. Upgrading is a money pit. Use what you love and upgrade software when you really find a use for it. 10) Tell us five sites that you'd like to recommend. 1. (shameless plug) 2. 3. 4. 5. Thanks again for the opportunity to interview you Josh, have a nice day.

Vector Movie Posters by Grzegorz Domaradzki

Grzegorz Domaradzki has been a freelance illustrator since 2005, working out of from Poznan, Poland. His work is totaly awesome and his vector illustrations are amazing.This vector movie posters series is an experiment work where Grzegorz picked his favorite movies to work with, the process was simple, as he picked and vectorized his favorite actor out of each movie and then added some typography to finish the posters. The result is very unique, and some of these posters could very well be the real poster for the movies represented. Which movie poster would you like him to create next? For more from Grzegorz visit

Impossible Vector Art by Human Nature 84

People always ask me If ever get bored of doing vectors and the answer is always "I can't". Why? Because, as most of you, I also got heroes on what I do and these guys are one of the main reasons I can't quit. Human Nature 84 is probably my favorite vector artist, not just because of his personal style, but because of the revolution his making on vector graphics. As me, you won't believe that every of this artworks bellow are all vector made, no mesh or blends used, just pure vector. Ok now, even If you're not a vector fan, you should defnitely check his Flickr or his Devianart to witness the evolution of this revolutionary artist, god bless him. The Process

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

Amazing Vector Illustrations by Konstantin Shalev

I won't call it a series, but I definitely enjoy posting vectors every week. There are tons of great illustrators out that yet to be showcased here, so let's keep walking. The man of the round is Konstantin Shalev. Konstantin is a Russian illustrator that comes up with some notorious and astonishing pieces of vector art. I guess there's a whole school for that kind of style: ultra colorful, cartoonish, thick outlines, really clever. I'd love to see more artists from that school of art. What should we call it? Vector Badass Cartoon or something like that? I suppose. Anyways, for more of his work, you may visit his portfolio at Behance. I hope you enjoy these! Cheers. ;)

Beautiful Vector Illustrations by Julien Renault

I got vector fever. I can't get enough of it lately! I was looking for some cool vectors to post here for you guys to see and found these stylish illustrations that are simply beautiful. These are the work of French illustrator Julien Renault. He's got an awesome portfolio at Behance, and I really recommend you to check it out for more of his great work. I hope you enjoy these! Also, if you know any other good vector illustrators like Julien, drop us a link! Cheers. ;)

Breathtaking Vector Art by Jessica Finson

There are some works that we often get to see all over the internet, in various sites, for various reasons and purposes. I remember seeing the work of Jessica Finson in tons of sites for the past 4 or 5 years, but never got to know the artist. So checking out DeviantART I actually got to find the source of all that work scattered in the internet, her beautiful portfolio. Unfortunately, and mysteriously, she hasn't update it for at least 2 years. I found her at Facebook and asked for some new pieces of her art... I hope she does reply me, so that I can update this post later. Anyways, these will do for now. For more of her work, check out her portfolio... she's truly a great artist, and the visit will be totally worth it. Enjoy! Cheers. ;)

Free Graffiti Vector Pack

Hey guys, for this month I did a Graffiti inspired pack. Basically it's a couple of vector icons and ABDZ in graffiti letters (thinking hard about developing a special font like this). So, tell me what you think about it, please download it and use it as you want to. Download the files CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ALL FILES Content Spray Cans Wheat Paste Graffiti

Colorful Vector Illustrations by Fernando Togni

Is really interesting how simple shapes can tell many stories, definitely Fernando Togni is one this illustrators that can make the simple look really complex. Using basically Adobe Illustrator, he creates some awesome psychodelic illustrations using a lot of patterns, basic shapes like circles, rectangles, squares and triangles. Nowadays Fernando lives in Porto Alegre, Brasil and works as a Freelancer, doing many works for clients like Wired, Pino, Super Interessante and Oryx Magazine. If you want to know more about Fernando and his work, please access his website.

Free Summer Vector Pack

Hey guys, since I've started blogging on Abduzeedo I thought I should share with you some cool freebies. So since it's summer here in Brazil I made a pack with some figures related to this season, use it as you wish :) Download the files CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ALL FILES Content Surfboards Sun Glasses Drinks

Create a Top Gun Badge on Illustrator

Some weeks ago, while watching the Montreal Meets I remember that Fábio and James talked about watching Top Gun. Some of you may not know, but Top Gun is a 80's classic, I was even born when it came in to the cinemas, but I watched later and I must say it is really badass. So, after watching my buddies speech, I just found myself watching the movie again and that gave me a nice idea for a tutorial. Today we're going to learn how to create this vector badge and add some extra feature to it look more awesome, this is a pretty simple tutorial, you probably won't have bigger problems to execute it, hope you like it (and watch Top Gun, of course). Step 1 First of all open Adobe Illustrator and create a A4 canvas (29,7 x 21 cm / 11,69 x 8,27 inches). It was pretty hard to find a font similar to the original one used on the logo, but I found one called NovaMono that is quite similar, you can it download here. After installing the font, use the Type tool (T) and write TOP GUN in Uppercase. Now add some heavy black stroke to it and adjust the kerning between the letters. Create outlines (right click on the font and then select it) and make a grey metallic gradient using the Gradient tool (G) , make sure the gradient of all letters is on the same direction. Now access Object > Expand set to only expand the Stroke, this will turn it to a separated path, then add the same gradient to its fill using the eyedropper tool (I). Step 2 Then, using the Rectangle tool (M) create these four rectangles and align them like these. Get the last three rectangles using the selection tool (V) and decrease their width a bit. Here's a cheap trick: in order to get the same diagonal in all rectangles corners, create four triangle with the polygon tool or the star tool, make sure they are one exactly above another. Then access the pathfinder panel and chosse the option called Minus front. Change the upper rectangle to a metallic gradient, than access the "N" group till you find the original "stroke path", then access the pathfinder panel and choose the option called Unite, that should get things together. Using the gradient tool (G) make a dark red gradient in the other rectangles. Finally, repeat all the steps again in the other side, that should take some time. Step 3 Create a five points star using the polygon tool or the star tool, posicionate it above the type. Duplicate one of the red gradient rectangles using the selection tool (V) + alt then get a ruler (ctrl + R / command + R), access the transform panel and rotate it 30º degrees. That will help you to align the vector points in the same diagonal, use the direct selection tool (A) to adjust them correctly. Remember to copy the gradient from the letters using the eyedropper tool (I) on the lower rectangle. Step 4 First create a new layer ( ctrl + L / command + L ) and call it background, put it above the title layer. Create a blue circle around the title using the ellipse tool (L).. Group ( ctrl + G / command + G ) all the elements of the title, then just duplicate it using the selection tool (V) + alt, send this layer to back, now we have a hard shadow. Create another circle using the ellipse tool (L) but disable its fill and use a white stroke. So, here I used a 40 pt stroke, but if you are using a scale different of mine you may probably have to adjust till you get this fat stroke. Access the stroke panel and activate the Dashed line option, set the first dash to 3 pt, you should get something like these. Again, repeat the procedure of expanding the stroke showed on Step 1, after it choose a gold gradient and using the gradient tool (G) spread the gradient all along the circle. Using the selection tool (V) + alt duplicate the circle and turn its fill to black, send it to back to look like a hard shadow. Step 5 Using the pen tool (P) create this semicircle with stroke only, now select the text tool called type on path tool then write "United States Navy" in uppercase, I used Helvetica but you can use wherever font you think it's better. Using the the selection tool (V) + alt duplicate the text, chage the fill to black and send it to back to create the hard shadow, don't forget to turn it all in curves after. Step 6 Using the ellipse tool (L) create a circle, then with the gradient tool (G) make this blue gradient on it, use the eyedropper tool (I) to copy the same gradient to the bigger circle on the back, but just change the gradient of it to the opposite direction to give depth. Choose the "United States Navy" text and use a grey mettalic gradient on it. Step 7 The airplane part will be pretty easy if you are good with the pen tool (P), you will have to basically draw it, duplicate it, reflect it and use the Unite option from the pathfinder panel to make it one path. Just repeat the same procedure you did in another steps to make the hard shadow and it's done. Step 8 If you want, you can open photoshop and add a few more details to it. First I used some drop shadow, inner shadow and bevel and emboss (right click on the selected layer) to make it pop a little bit. Then added some Gradient (G) to make a main light (use the overlay blending mode after creating it a layer above the original badge). And finally, added some Gradients (G) on the background and a metal texture. Final Result I hope after reading and completing this tutorial you got a better notion of how to use the pathfinder tool and strokes. There are other ways to execute this image, but this seems to be the easier. The photoshop part was more like a bonus that's why I didn't went more deep in this part, but you can add some metal textures or wherever you want, get it rad. Download the files CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ALL FILES USED FOR THIS TUTORIAL

Beautiful Illustrations by Simon Fernandes

Simon Fernandes is an art director, designer and illustrator from Sao Paulo, Brazil with a really cool style, his portfolio has illustrations with different styles, from the very clean vectors of the Agua Viva artwork to the sort of retro style of the Copo poster. We were really impressed with his work and now we are sharing that with you ;) For more information about Simon Fernandes visit his Web site at Planetario MTV Planetário from ODA on Vimeo. Pedaço de coral Plus Ultra Menina Flutívago Agua Viva Copo Paisagem Colorido Buda Doido

Vexel Art Inspiration by ChewedKandi

ChewedKandi is the name of artist/designer Sharon Milne. She lives in the North East of England and has a passion for vector art. Sharon has been interviewed and featured on a variety of websites. She has recently began writing tutorials for VectorTuts+. Since 2001, she has been creating and appreciating digital art and was even noted as being one of the artists to inspire a new genre of art known as vexel art. For more information about Sharon visit her Web site at or you can also take a look at her DeviantArt page or learn from her tutorials at VectorTuts+ at Some Works

Simple Roy Lichtenstein Style in Illustrator and Photoshop

I have been playing with the Halftone filter in Photoshop for the past few weeks and trying different things we can do with it. I also discover the Width Tool in Illustrator CS 5 and it was a great surprise because now we have much more freedom when playing with strokes. So with these two things in mind I decided that I had to create an image using them, and then the idea of a design inspired in Roy Lichtenstein. There are quite a few tutorials showing how to create this type of image, but I decided to try it myself. I haven't checked any tutorial because I wanted to play with the tools, so the technique might be the same as other tutorials but I really don't know. Besides I think a tutorial on Roy's style is always a great add to the tutorials section of Abduzeedo. Roy Lichtenstein (October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was a prominent American pop artist. His work was heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style. He himself described pop art as, "not 'American' painting but actually industrial painting". - Wikipedia Step 1 Let's start the tutorial in Illustrator. Open Illustrator and import the photo you will apply the effect. The one I'm using is courtesy of Shutterstock and you can find it here. Step 2 In Illustrator, select the Pencil Tool (N) and start drawing over the photo using it as references. I started off with the eyes. I also use the Ellipse Tool (L) for the pupils. Step 3 Keep drawing with the Pencil Tool (N) and with the Pen Tool (P) when you need more precision, however it doesn't need to be super perfect. Step 4 With the Pencil Tool (N) create the contour of her hair. Step 5 Stll with the Pencil Tool (N) add some details for her hair. Step 6 Here I have all the vector elements I drew to create the girl. You can add more if you want, it will depend on the photo you are using. Step 9 Get rid of the photo and start playing with the vectors only. Here you can see all the elements without any color and the same stroke size. Step 10 One of the best tools in the Illustrator CS5 is the Width Tool (Shift+W). You can change the width of parts of the stroke, it's fantastic. Step 11 Still with the Width Tool (Shift+W) play with the strokes on her hair and hands. Use the image below for reference. Step 12 Time to add some colors. I used beige for the skin, yellow for the hair, white for the eyes and black for the details. For her blouse I used green. Step 13 Now let's go to Photoshop. Open Photoshop and import a paper texture to use for reference. The one I'm using is courtesy of Shutterstock and you can find it here. Step 14 Import the girl photo too. We will use it for reference for the vectors from Illustrator. It will also be used to create the halftones. Also change the Blend Mode of the layer to Multiply. Step 15 Mask the photo of the girl so it will be over the paper area only. The best way to do that so we can use the same mask for other layers is to create a group and mask the group in Photoshop. Step 16 Add a new layer beneath the layer girl but still inside the folder with the mask. Change the Blend Mode of the new layer to Multiply and fill it with Cyan. Step 17 Copy the vectors from Illustrator and paste them in Photoshop. I used Smart Objects for the option when paste it because that way I can change the vectors anytime I want and see the results in Photoshop. As you can see in the image below I changed the Opacity of the Layer to 70% so I can adjust the position more easily . Step 18 Once you find the right alignment change the opacity back to 100%. Step 19 Reorder the layers so the photo of the girl is on top of the vector layer. After that go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. You will have a black and greyscale photo now. After that go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Change the Black Inputs to 60 and the White Inputs to 195. After that change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Step 20 Go to Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone. Use 15 for the Max. Radius and 199 for the channel values. Tip: Depending on the size of your design the Max. Radius will have to be different. Step 21 Here is the image after the halftone filter. It's almost done but there are a few details to work on so the image gets that old/vintage look. Also the halftones are over the teeth and the eyes so we have to fix that. Step 22 Duplicate the paper layer and just move it on top of the others. After that Change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn. Conclusion Here is the final design. As you can see I clean the halftones over her eyes and mouth and also added a diagonal pattern in the background. This design was just an experiment using halftones to create a Roy Lichtenstein inspired design. I'm working on some new designs where I go a little bit further with this technique, but as you could see, the halffones and the vectors with the paper textures do a pretty decent job in recreating Roy's incredible style. Download the Photoshop File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Stunning Illustrations by Cris Vector

Cristiano Siqueira aka Cris Vector is one of the finest digital illustrators from Brazil, he has worked with clients from all over the globe, striking everyone with stunning illustrations. Here you can check out some of his latest work. Enjoy! For more visit

Beautiful Vector Illustration in Illustrator and Photoshop by Carol Rivello

Hey guys! For this tutorial/making of I created a fun illustration for my sister Stella's blog. In her blog she writes about funny daily situations and I thought that it would be nice to develop an illustration that expressed that somehow. I hope that this step by step help the new designers and illustrators. So, prepare yourself, and continue reading because even though it is a quite long post I hope it might be useful for your illustration projects. Also, feel free to share your thoughts with comments. Step 1 - Brainstorming ftw When I’m creating an illustration for someone, I like to make a brainstorm and write down stuff that person likes, to create a moodboard and capture her personality in the drawing. In my sisters case, for example, Italy, Trips and Pasta were mandatory in the illustration. In this step I also make preliminary roughs, testing new shapes and interesting compositions. Step 2 - Roughs, Sketches & Drawings After I pick the elements that will be part of the final illustration, and develop an initial graphic style, I start the rough that will be used as a direct reference for the vector. In this step I like to use a lot of details to simulate strokes and vector gradients. Lots of people ditch this part and go straight to the computer, but I personally prefer to create first in the paper. No only I feel more creative, it’s also a pretty good excuse to leave the computer for a change. Step 3 - Vector madness After I finish the rough, it’s time to scan it. (0r take a picture of it, if the paper it’s too big for your scanner). Then, I place the jpg file into a vectorial illustration software. My favorite software is illustrator, but feel free to use the one you like the most. Right now I only care about making the strokes and outlines, leaving the colors and filling for later. I recommend using a color that contrast with your sketch, to help you visualize it. In this case i chose a red stroke. Step 4 I like Illustrator because it offers you a ton of cool resources to help your vectorizing process. A solution that I often use is called Pattern Brush. Instead of drawing a whole flower, for example, you can make just one petal, turn that petal into a patten brush, create a shape with that outline, and achieve fun results! This tip is specially useful to illustrators that prefers abstract compositions, like me. Step 5 - Cleaning up the house After I finally finish the whole vector madness, I spend a little while organizing the file, putting the objects into the right order. All this to help the next step, that I consider to be the hardest part… Step 6 - Choosing Colors The moment to chose the colors and paint the illustration is the hardest and longest part to me. In this project I was inspired by the italy flag colors, mixed with the vibrant colors of the brazilian flag, all this with a vintage look and feel. In this step I also develop some gradients and chose the textures that I’ll use later. My tip is to take a look at the patterns from illustrator, hidden inside Swatches » Patterns » Basic Graphics. Step 7 - Color Groups & Inspiration A great site to search for color inspiration is There you can search between endless palettes developed by their creative users. After I chose my color palette, I find really usefull to create a new color group with the chosen tones. Step 8 - Almost there Sneak peek of the coloring process. Step 9 - Typography Choosing a font to use in the illustration is really fun! I love to test lots of combinations and to “hunt” for new fonts. The problem is that I get *too* excited in this step, and sometimes I download 30 fonts, and later I simply can’t decide which one to use. For this illustration I imagined a strong, bold and modern font, making a visual contrast with a script font. Step 10 When you are going to use the same shape over and over again, a good tip is to use the symbol tool. You make a motion clip, and spread the object in your comp, according to your preset. With the tool’s options you can increase or decrease the symbol, change it’s opacity, position, etc. This way you don’t have to duplicate and reposition the object manually. Step 11 - Blending Modes After I fill al my shapes with my chosen colors, I like to refine the composition with gradients and textures. Some illustrations look better with solid colors, but in this case I decided to use gradients to create more volume. One secret to a visually rich comp is to test different textures and blending modes. My fav ones are: multiply, overlay and softlight. I also like to play with different opacities. Step 12 - Photoshop After I finish the vector process, I export my work for a final polishing in Photoshop. At photoshop I mix the vector with bitmap images, to achieve a more organic feel. I also use the adjustment layers e test some colors adjustments, levels, curves, etc. And use brushes. Step 13 - Don’t be messy It’s common to make a lot of layers in Photoshop, and It’s really easy to lose yourself in the mess. Try to avoid that, and keep a file with the layers named in an appropriate manner and use organized layer groups. Step 14 - Brushes and Scribbles With the idea to create an organic look in mind, I blended the original vector illustrations with hand drawn scribbles, to create a hybrid composition. I also added brushes, colorful gradients, all in separated layers, preserving the original illustration. Conclusion And that’s it. Now It’s time to create the rest of the layout… But thats for another making of. Thanks for reading the whole post! If you want to read more nonsense from me, or for more cool tips and random links, feel free to follow me on twitter: About the Author I’m Carol Rivello, a graphic designer who loves to work with web design, art direction and illustration. Now I live in Florianópolis, a pretty island located in the south of Brazil, and just started to work as a freelancer. I love pigs, I have more than 300 of them. I also love: Internet, Music, Traveling, Movies, TV Shows, Illustration, Sketch Books, Motion Design, Home Decor, T-shirts, Pigs, Chocolate, Ice cream , Birds, Clouds, Sun, Sea and almost everything from the 80’s. For more information visit my site at

Beautiful Vector Illustrations by Jan Feliks Kallwejt

Jan Feliks Kallwejt is freelance graphic designer and illustrator currently based in Barcelona and Warsaw. He co-operates with clients from Europe and North America. For six years he has worked with agencies in Warsaw and Hamburg. Currently, Jan focuses on illustration, apparel design and personal art projects. Simple yet sophisticated forms are the essence of his work. He juxtaposes and multiplies them bringing to life the complex and tricky compositions, spiced up with attention to detail. He usually limits color palette, operating within two or three tones. To render the reality he employs multilayered symbolism, occasionally dropping in a dose of perversion where not expected. Some Works For more information and visit Kallwejt's website at