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Create a Glamorous Champagne-Inspired Illustration in Illustrator

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Bring in 2014 with this great champagne-inspired creation in Adobe Illustrator. In this tutorial you'll play with blends and gradients to achieve this stylish illustration. Get to it before the clock strikes 12!


1. Prepare Your Sketch and Workspace

Step 1

I always start with a linear sketch using loose and flat colors, just to define a color scheme and the direction of the light. The idea here is to make a champagne-style illustration, so the girl has platinum hair and a champagne-colored dress.

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Step 2

Let's prepare our workspace. Create a new document of A4 size, 300 DPI resolution and an RGB color scheme. Place the previously made sketch into the document using the File > Place command (Control-D). Then clear default swatches and create new groups of swatches with the colors taken from the sketch using the Eyedropper Tool (I). Select the sketch, set its transparency to 40% or 50% and lock the layer. We're going to draw under the sketch so we will be able to see the details of the sketch as we work.

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2. Start Rendering the Body

Step 1

Trace the shapes that form the girl's body using the Pen Tool (P).

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Step 2

Create a separate shape for every part of the body: the head, the neck, the back and the hands. To control the order of the objects, fill the body parts with different colors or gradients. Try to show and hide the layer containing the sketch, zoom in and out to make the shapes perfect. (I didn't pay attention to the area under the hair).

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Step 3

Draw a shape for the lighter area on the shoulder. Copy it and Paste in Front (Control-F). Decrease the size of the new shape to minimum and move it to the highest point of the shoulder. Fill the lighter area with the main skin color. Select both shapes and go to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B). If the highlight seems too bright, decrease its Opacity.

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Step 4

Fill the left shoulder and the forearm with gradients to add volume.

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Step 5

Draw a shadow on the back following the shape of the spine. Select the shadow and the back and, using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), select the portion of the shadow that is outside of the back. Deselect and delete this extra piece. Fill the back and the shadow with gradients.

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Step 6

The right hand is in shadow so it doesn't need any details. Just fill the hand with a gradient.

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Step 7

Add shadows to the bottom of the left hand, the bottom of the left arm, and inside the fold of the elbow.

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3. Add the Face and Make-up

Step 1

Unhide the layer with the sketch and draw the shape of the lips. Hide the sketch and edit the curves to make the lips perfect. Fill the lips with gradients.

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Step 2

Add two layers of the shadows with the same color and different Opacities.

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Step 3

Draw the shape of the nose with the Pen Tool. Apply Width Profile 1 from the Profile setting of the Stroke panel to make the line looks more vivid.

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Step 4

Draw the gradient shadow under the nose and the light on the nose bridge.

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Step 5

Draw the shapes of the eyes and the eyebrows. Try to make them symmetrical.

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Step 6

Fill the eye with a radial gradient from white to light gray. Draw the iris, the pupil and the shadow on the iris. Fill the shadow with a linear black gradient from solid to transparent. Draw a white circle over the pupil and apply Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag with the following settings. This will be the iris pattern.

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Step 7

Decrease the Opacity of the iris pattern and add several highlights to the iris.

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Step 8

Let's draw the eye shadows. Copy the white eye shape and Paste in Front (Control-F). Hide it (Control-3). Fill the eye shape with black.

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Step 9

Copy it again and Paste in Back (Control-B). Fill the new object with the skin color and change its shape. Make a blend between these two shapes.

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Step 10

Edit the shapes of the blend until you're satisfied with the result. Show the hidden shape (Control-Alt-3). Draw the upper eyelid and black eyelashes. Fill the eyelid with a gradient.

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Step 11

Draw the second eye using the same methods.

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Step 12

Add some highlights to the lips.

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Step 13

Add more depth to the face. Draw a gradient shadow under the right eyebrow and under the left cheek bone. Draw a blended shadow at the nose bridge.

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 Step 14

Let's add the blusher. Draw two blends from red to transparent skin color. Set the Opacity to 10%.

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Step 15

To hide the blusher outside of the face, copy the face and paste in front, bring it to front (Shift - Control-]), select the blusher and make the Clipping Mask (Object > Clipping Mask > Make or Control-7).

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4. Render the Dress

Step 1

Draw two blends in the highlighted areas.

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Step 2

Add two shadows with gradients and one blend shadow.

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Step 3

Let's stress the back neckline of the dress. Select anchor points that make its shape, copy them and paste in front (Control-F). Apply the Width Profile 5 from the Profile setting of the Stroke panel. If you don't like the result, try to Flip Along the stroke (button behind the Profile select box).

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Step 4

Draw the highlights and shadows on the breast and the strap. Add a shadow under the arm with the Blending Mode Multiply and Opacity 40%.

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Step 5

Draw a small white circle, drag it to the Symbols panel and create a new symbol.

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Step 6

Using the Symbol Sprayer Tool (Shift-S) spray the sparkles all over the dress.

Step 7

Select the Symbol Sizer Tool. Double-click on its icon in the Tools panel to open tool settings. Change Method to Random. Use this tool to make sizes of the sparkles more variable.

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Step 8

I want to make the dress sparkle even more. Select the sparkles and Expand Appearance two times. Copy the sparkles and paste in front. Ungroup (Control-Shift-G) the newly pasted sparkles and execute the Object > Transform > Transform Each command (Alt-Shift-Control-D) with settings similar to the following screenshot.

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Step 9

Click OK and then select Transform Each again. Group the sparkles (Control-G). To hide the sparkles that are outside of the dress, select the base shapes of the dress, copy and paste in front and bring them to the front. Make Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to unite parts of the dress into a solid shape. Select the sparkles and this shape and apply the Clipping Mask.

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Step 10

Edit the shape of the mask near the breast.

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Step 11

Draw a shape of a glass.

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Step 12

Fill the background with a dark color to be able to see the glass. Fill the stem and the base with the light gray color. Fill the bowl with a linear white gradient from solid to transparent and to solid again. Add champagne and champagne bubbles.

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Step 13

Add some details to the hand holding the glass.

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5. Render the Hair

Step 1

Draw two strands with the Width Profile 1 on either side of the hair. Make a blend between them with Spacing: Specified Steps. Do not pay attention to the appearance of the strands in the blend.

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Step 2

Expand the blend (Object > Blend > Expand) and set the Profile of the strands to Width Profile 1 again. Select some random strands and change their width.

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Step 3

Repeat these steps with the bottom part of the hair.

Step 4

Select all strands, Expand Appearance, select the hair, hide selection (Control-H) and fill the strands and the hair with one gradient. It may take a few attempts to put the gradient exactly the way you want.

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Step 5

Select only the strands and edit their gradient to make the light color lighter. Select random strands and make small changes to their gradient or decrease their opacity. It makes the hair more vivid.

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Step 6

Now we need to make the brightness of the hair fade out. Draw a rectangle with a gradient from white to black, select the hair strands and the rectangle and go to Transparency > Make Opacity Mask.

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Step 7

To edit the opacity mask, select the strands and click the icon of the mask on the Transparency panel.

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Step 8

Using the same method, draw a shadow on the hair. Fill the strands of the shadow with a linear gradient from transparency to the color of the shadow and to transparency again.

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Step 9

Draw the rest of the hair.

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Step 10

Draw the shape of a barrette using the stroke with a width of 5px, then Expand it. Fill the barrette with a metal gradient (to find metal gradients go to Swatches > Open Swatch Library > Gradients > Metals).

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Step 11

Draw a small gem and clone it all over the barrette.

Step 12

Add some sparkles using our Sparkle symbol. Add some star-shaped sparkles and the shadows under the barrette.

Step 13

Add some random hair strands.

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6. Create a Simple Background

Step 1

Let's create a simple abstract background. Draw a rectangle with a radial gradient from the color of champagne to black.

Step 2

Draw a small white circle, drag it to the Brush panel and create a new Scattering Brush. All the settings of the brush can be edited later.

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Step 3

Draw two crossing curves with the newly created brush and make a blend between them.

Step 4

Apply an Opacity Mask to the ornament.

Step 5

Add some big circles with low opacity to imitate a "lens flare" effect. Add some sparkles near the ornament using the Sparkle symbol.

Step 6

Draw a circle with a radial white gradient from solid to transparent. Decrease its Opacity to 10-15% and use it to add soft glowing to the hair, the glass and the barrette.


7. Complete Your Design

Let's take a final look at the illustration and think about what can be improved. Add one more drop shadow under the arm, add more random hair strands and change the curve of the smile a bit. Done!


All the Best For 2014!

Your illustration is complete. I hope you've picked up on some great tips and tricks in this tutorial.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year and an infinitely scalable 2014 from the Vector Instructor Team on Tuts+!

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