Advertisement
Illustration

How to Create a Conceptual Portrait Using the Scribble Effect in Adobe Illustrator

by

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a vector illustration with a sketchy style in Adobe Illustrator. A few techniques will be discussed to achieve the results, including Gradient, Roughen and Scribble. So let's begin...



1. Place the Sketch in Adobe Illustrator

I am using a scanned sketch as the starting point. This sketch is inspired by my hometown with a nickname Mountain City in middle China. You will find in the composition, mountains, rivers, bamboo, chili pepper, fish, flower and beautiful girl. First File > Place the sketch on the Artboard and scale the sketch to fit nicely within the artboard with the Free Transform Tool (E). Then set the Opacity of the sketch to 80%, Blending Mode Multiply and Lock the layer. Create New Layers beneath the sketch layer for tracing.


2. Trace the Outline of the Sketch

I start by tracing the outline with the Pen Tool (P). Set Fill to white and use a black 1pt Stroke Weight. Keep the Illustrator file organized by Grouping the layers (CTRL + G) and label them accordingly, eg. lips, eyes, body. Use Ellipse Tool (L) to draw the pupils.


3. Create a Custom Art Brush

I use a custom brush for the eyelashes. Draw a triangle shape as shown with black fill and add it to the Brush panel as a New Art Brush. Under Art Brush Options, set Colorization Method to Tints. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a few curved lines as eyelashes and apply the brush we just created. Adjust the weight of the stroke to get the result you want.


4. Add Details to the Line Art

Now the basic tracing is done. We will start adding details to the line art. To achieve an ink pen style, we will first add extra lines with different weights within the shapes we traced. These lines will be thinner than the 1pt Stroke Weight outline. We will also use black Fill to create some shading.


5. Add Base Colors to Your Line Art

Apply solid colors to the shapes we created using Fill. This step sets the tone of the color scheme we will be using for the art. It also helps to generate colors for shades and highlights.


6. Use the Appearance Panel to Add Multiple Gradients

We will add shading to the skin by using Gradients. We will add multiple gradients to the same shape. Open the Appearance panel, add New Fill. We will add a gradient for overall shading and we will also add blush on her cheeks. Apply the same to her body and shoulders. Using multiple fill layers keeps editing easier.


7. Add Detailing to the Skin

Add darker shade of the skin color to her nose and both sides of her face. Add darker shade on her neck right below her chin. Add Radial Gradient behind the eye sockets. I prefer to set the fill Blending Mode to Darken for skin shading.


8. Add Detailing to the Eyes

Open the Appearance panel and add multiple gradients for the eyes. Add a fun purple blue gradient as eye shadow. Add highlights to her pupils and on the skin next to the corners of her eyes.


9. Add Detailing to the Lips

Apply transparent gradient for shading the lips. Add highlights and some more defined shading on the lips using darker red.


10. Add Gradients to the Clothing

Open the Appearance panel and add multiple layers of transparent gradient to the clothes. Apply multiple color gradients coming from different directions. The multicolor transparent gradients will blend into each other like watercolor. Add gradient to the fish necklace and the flowers also.


11. Add a Gradient to Her Hair & the Mountains on Top

Repeat the previous step on the hair and the mountain on top. Create shapes of strands for hair and as rivers run through the mountain. Experiment with multicolor transparent gradients to create a watercolor result that you like.


12. Add the Scribble Effect to Create Texture & Style

Now we have an image with a watercolor and ink pen style. To push the sketchy look further, We will apply Scribble and Rough effects to her bamboo leaf bangs and earrings. Draw a square with black fill and 0.25pt black stroke. Select the new fill in the Appearance panel and go Effect > Stylize > Scribble. Here is my setting in the Scribble Options dialog.


13. Add Roughen to the Stroke to Enhance the Scribble Effect

Select the stroke fill in the Appearance panel and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Roughen gives the stroke a distressed and irregular look. Use the setting in the Roughen Option dialog.


14. Create A New Graphic Style

Now we have a sketchy looking square, we will make the setting into a new Graphic Style, so it can be easily applied to where we want it. Select the layer with the square we just applied Scribble and Roughen to, open the Graphic Style panel and click the New Graphic Style Button.


15. Apply the Graphic Style to the Illustration

Duplicate the bamboo leaves we want to distress, select the duplicates and click the icon for the new Graphic Style. Now we have some super sketchy bamboo leaves. I am also going to apply Roughen to the bamboo earrings.


16. Add a Simple Background

Lastly, we will add a simple background that goes with the watercolor style.


Congratulations, You're Now Done!

I hope you enjoyed this sketchy style tutorial. You can apply one or all the techniques discussed here to create your own, adding more or less for the result you desire.

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 Draw a Doll Base Body for a Dress-Up Game in IllustratorPre400
    I grew up playing with paper dolls. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but with Adobe Illustrator, creating digital paper dolls can be a fun and easy project due to the program's customizable nature, and a jumping off point for making drag and drop Flash games. Follow along as I break down doll-like anatomy in creating a base body for a dress-up community challenge.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    Create a Glamorous Champagne-Inspired Illustration in IllustratorChamp400
    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!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…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    Create a Sparkling, Glitter Portrait From Stock in Adobe IllustratorPortrait 400
    An innocent vector portrait based on a stock image from Photodune became a battleground of sparkles and glitter. As requested, people wanted to see a portrait tutorial which used a lot of glitter! Who was I to not take up such a challenge? In today's tutorial I'm going to show you how to create a sparkling portrait. I'll show you how to create your own skintone palette, render flawless skin, create hair from brushes and of course... add a good handful of glitter, all in Adobe Illustrator. There's no blurs, meshes or raster effects in this tutorial, it's 100% vector and 100% fabulous! So let's get on with it...Read More…