Advertisement
Illustration

Create a Sparkly Female Portrait in Illustrator

by

In this step-by-step tutorial you will learn how to create a sparkly female portrait through playing with transparency and overlapping vector shapes. In this tutorial you'll also learn to experiment with colors and just letting go of your creativity. Let's get started!

Republished Tutorial

Every few weeks, we revisit some of our reader's favorite posts from throughout the history of the site. This tutorial was first published in May of 2011.


Tutorial Assets

We'll be using this stock image (provided by Tigg-stock) throughout this tutorial. What we want to achieve in this tutorial is a similar result to my vector illustration, missin___like_candy.


Step 1

Start by creating a new A4 Print Document, which is 8.5x11 inches. I use this standard size for prints.

Step1

Step 2

Now select File > Place to bring the stock photo into the background and name the layer "IMAGE." Remember to put a name on every new layer you make to keep it organized and to avoid confusion.

Step2a
Step2b

Step 3

Create a new Layer above the image. Label it "BASE," as this will be your guide in filling up shapes. Using the Pen Tool (P), start tracing the figure of the image to create a silhouette. Then you may add your desired gradient fill. Throughout the tutorial, you may go back to this layer and make changes with the colors to match with the overlapping vector shapes, which we'll go through later.

Step3

Step 4

Now create another layer and name it "BASE2." Start tracing the hair for the base color using the Pen Tool (P). You may also add your desired gradient to create nice effects after we start overlapping the shapes later. Just experiment with it and choose the colors that pleases your eyes.

Step4

Step 5

Create another layer and name it "LEMON," this will be for our headphones. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create an oval shape for the side of the headphones.

Step5

Step 6

Now we'll add detail to the headphones. On the same layer create shapes surrounding the oval to make it more like an orange or lemon. Use flat colors first and later you may want to add some gradients to it.

Step6

Step 7

Now we'll start adding details to the face by creating a new layer called "FACE DETAIL."

Step7

Step 8

Using the Pen Tool, start tracing the eyes and fill it with your desired colors. You can also make the eyelashes longer to give more emphasis to the eyes. Do the same for the nose and the lips. The reason to use your own colors is so you have your own version of this illustration, instead of creating the exact same tutorial image.

Step8

Step 9

Now, we are going to add overlapping shapes to our illustration starting with the face. Create a new layer above the "BASE" layer and name it "BASE-detail." As you can see in the image below, I tried to create random shapes and filled them with different colors. You may select each of the shapes you created and adjust the opacity depending on your desired outcome.

Step9

Step 10

Do the same with the neck and the shoulders. You can hide the "BASE" layer to make the stock photo visible. Through this, you'll be able to follow the light and shadows of the image. Use this as your reference in choosing your colors.

Step10

Step 11

Above the "FACE-detail" layer, create another one and name it "LIPS." Start creating shapes following the contour of the lips, and add white for the highlights. See the image below for reference.

Step11

Step 12

Now we will add more details to our lemon headphones. Create a new layer above the "LEMON" layer. Using the Ellipse tool create circles around the headphone and create droplets. Put white highlights afterwards. You can create your own desired details for the headphones as well.

Step12

Step 13

Now we'll add details to the hair. This might take more time to finish if you really wanted to give that hair a lot of details. Above the "BASE2" layer, I made the "HAIR-detail" layer and started tracing the strands of the hair from out stock image using the Pen Tool (P). You may want to experiment with the colors further. In this, I tried to use pink, but later changed it to match with the skin.

Step13

Step 14

Now let's add the background. Create a new layer below our image using the Rectangle Tool (M), which fills the canvas, and color it with a gradient of your choice.

Step14

Step 15

Now we're almost finish with our portrait. Let's add more details and highlights using the Pen Tool (P), and draw small shapes scattered on our image to create a glittery effect.

Step15

Final

With just a few Illustrator commands such as the Pen Tool and playing with transparencies, you were able to create a dazzling illustration. You only have to play with your imagination and let go of your creativity. Now share your work on your favorite online art community. The final image is below.

final
Related Posts
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    Create a Tattoo Style, Grunge, Day of Dead Girl Poster in Illustrator1day of dead girl 1 400
    In this tutorial I will show you how to create a tattoo styled sexy Day of the Dead girl in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn how to use your own photo as a source for a vector illustration. We will start with sketching and continue drawing using a Calligraphic Brush, Pen Tool and even Type Tool. I will show you how create high contrasts with stylish shadows and highlights. And than we will finalize our illustration as a grunge poster with cool typography. Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    How to Create a Neon, Stylized, 60's Inspired Portrait in IllustratorPreview1
    Turn out the lights and turn on the black light where neon shapes pop from fuzzy posters and the psychedelic fashion scene of the 1960's is alive once more. Join me in Adobe Illustrator, where we'll use the Gradient Tool, Pucker & Bloat Effects, and manipulate shapes to indicate a fuller composition within our picture plane. It'll be bright, fun, and down right retro.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    How to Draw Hair and Clothes for a Virtual Dress-Up Doll in Illustrator400
    This has always been my favorite part of playing with dolls: dressing them up! If you're playing along with the Community Challenge, this is where the base body comes in handy. Join me in Adobe Illustrator where we'll draw hair and clothes with the Blob Brush Tool, make a Clipping Mask, use the Blend Tool, and apply various Blending Modes to objects within our vector work to create better transitions between elements.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Animation
    Kandi Runner: Create a Ready-to-Animate Vector Game SpriteSprite400
    There are few projects more fun than drawing out video game character concepts. The colors, the clothing, and the overall design have few limitations for the concept artist. We'll be drawing a vector character ready for animating in Adobe Illustrator and more in this three part tutorial with the After Effects and Game Development teams on Tuts+. Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    Create a Tim Burton Inspired Bride of Frankenstein in IllustratorFrank bride yulia sokolova 400
    This tutorial will go through the process of creating a symmetrical Halloween Brides of Frankenstein portrait in Adobe Illustrator using the Reflect Tool (O). Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, because the spooky theme is a wide field for creativity and a great chance to unleash your wild imagination exploring new styles, methods, and creating new characters! The most inspiring Halloween style for me is Tim Burton's art – his movies and, especially, his cartoons. In this tutorial I've tried to create a character in his style.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    Create a Team Spirited Pin Up Illustration in Adobe IllustratorDesign and illustration
    Personally, I love to draw "naughty but nice" pinups. There's somewhat of a sense of "sorry that I'm sexy", pure unapologetic, femininity to it. In order to lure my audience in, I like my pinups to hold certain features. Such as big kissable lips, loads of hair, lots of mascara, lashings of black eyeliner, little feet, super skinny waists, and throw in plenty of curves. Shoes, accessories and the amount of clothes you chose your pinup to wear, are a matter of preference. Feel free to go wild!Read More…