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How to Create a Colorful Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator - Part 3

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following tutorial, we'll pick up from the last tutorial on creating a fashion illustration in Adobe Illustrator. If you need you familiarize yourself with the previous tutorials, check out part one and part two before you begin. 

1. Create the Sunglasses

Step 1

Now it’s time to draw the accessories!  And I will begin with the glasses.

First I add a piece of my colored sketch, to see which direction to move on with the colors.


Now I draw the glass shape using the Pen Tool. This will be with a linear gradient; the edge of the gradient has Opacity 100%.


Now I duplicate the face’s shape, in order to cut out the extra of the glasses which is behind the nose. And then I correct the face’s shape so that it overlaps behind nose.


Select the glasses and the shape and as usual do Minus Front, using Pathfinder panel, then Make Compound Path.


Step 2

Now I work on the glasses’ frame and the temple. The temple I created using the Pen Tool and Stroke color only. Expand it and correct it’s edges, using the Convert Anchor Point Tool.


Then I draw some shadows from the hair on the temple, using Blending Mode Multiply and play around with Opacity.


Step 3

It’s time to add some reflections to the glasses. First I duplicate the shape and fill it with a transparent radial gradient. And then draw abstract shapes and do Minus Front with the previously created shape, Make Compound Path.


Then I continue creating new reflections. The Opacity will vary. And finally end up with this.


Step 4

Now I draw the shadow from the frame on the glasses, place it behind the frame. And set it’s properties as depicted below.


Step 5

In this step I will make some highlights on the frame of the glasses. For this I’m using white transparent radial gradients, and also play around with Opacity. Some highlights are more transparent, and others are not at all.


Step 6

I draw the nose pad. Color of the nose pad will be transparent white.


Then I duplicate the nose pad twice (I do Unite for each copy) and hit Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel, selecting them to create a shadow from the nose pad.  

After that I duplicate the faces’ shape. Select the shadow and the face copy and, using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), select the part of the shadow that is outside of the face. Then deselect and just Delete the extra of the nose pad shadow.  Change the Color of the newly created shape and its Blending Mode.


And then just place the nose pad and it’s shadow behind the glasses.


Step 7

Now I add a blue color to the temple as it was planned on the color sketch from the very beginning. Then I just continue adding gloss to the glasses’ frame and temple by drawing reflections in a transparent white radial gradient. I also add a few shadows where applicable.


Step 8

Now I’m about to make a shadow from the glasses on the face. For this I select every part of the glasses’ that leaves shadow and duplicate. Then hit Unite on the Pathfinder panel. Duplicate the newly created Compound Path, move it a little and recolor it to pink, to see it clearly, and use Mesh Distort to modify the shape of this path, selecting properties as depicted below.


And then I just distort it to the way I feel it should be. Then make Expand Appearance.


And selecting two solid glass shapes do Minus Front. Cut out the extras.

And then just modify its properties as depicted below.


2. Create the Earring

Step 1

Now it’s time to draw the earring. 

First I create the new Layer “Earring”. Then I add a detailed sketch of the earring I did in advance in Photoshop, and set properties of the image as follows. Lock the layer with the girl as I will only be working on the “Earring” layer now.


Step 2

Now I will just be creating basic shapes of the earring, following the sketch. I decided to make the earring a blue color.


Now I will select all the newly created shapes and Reflect them Vertical, Unite everything except the small rings. And continue working on the earring’s structure. On this step I added a plain brown rectangle behind the earring to see everything more clearly.


Step 3

I start creating the beads and findings. For this I will be using Ellipses and Rounded Rectangle Tools.

Then I Add New Color Fill to the pink bead’s shape with the following properties.


After that I add reflections to the bead and to the beads’ cap, not forgetting to draw few shadows for the cap. Then I add a pink reflection onto the bead’s cap.


After that I add shadow from the cap upon the bead. Some blue color onto the bead would be good now.


It’s time to work out the findings. For this I duplicate the shape, recolor it to white transparent radial gradient and go to Effect > Offset Path. As the bead is pretty small the parameters will be as depicted below.


Now I do Expand Appearance of the newly created shape and set it’s Blending Mode to Overlay with Opacity 70%. Finally add reflections to all the remaining findings here.


Step 4

I Group this bead with all it’s findings and then just duplicate it and place where required.

Here is what the earring looks like by now.


Step 5

I will now create the two-beads construction. For this I duplicated the pink bead one more time – as I will be using some parts of it. Then I add findings on the bottom of the bead, and make small corrections where applicable.


And now I will be creating the sophisticated cap for the drop bead. First I create the main flower like shape.

Then I create shapes to be subtracted from the cap to make it carved. Unite these shapes and Make Compound Path from them. Then select the complicated shape and the cap’s shape and do Minus Front using Pathfinder panel.


Then I create the white drop bead – just a plain shape by now.


And create the back side of the bead’s cap, place it behind the white drop bead, and color it in a darker blue color.


Step 6

After that I’m changing the fill of the bead to transparent gradient as depicted below.


And draw the part of the headpin that is inside the bead. Change it’s fill options as shown on the image.


And then I just draw multiple reflections in white solid color and transparent white radial gradient, and in various shapes. 

To add some color and make the bead look more interesting – I add some pink and blue colors to it, their Blending Mode set to Color Dodge and Overlay accordingly.


And after that I create shadow from the bead’s cap onto the bead. I duplicate the cap’s shape slightly moving it downwards and do Outline Path, then Expand Appearance.


Then I duplicate the bead’s shape. Select those two shapes and do Minus Front, Make Compound Path and change it’s color accordingly and set Blending Mode to Multiply. Then I add few reflections on the bead’s cap and here comes the bead!


Step 7

I then duplicated and placed these newly created beads on their places according to my sketch.

But there was too many of the pink beads, so I changed some to blue.


Step 8

Now its time to work out the remaining parts of the earring.

To begin with I will add details to the top blue bead and it’s surrounding. I added reflections to the bead itself and then duplicated the round shape under it three times: one will be the shape, another one – it’s shadow, I scale it a bit bigger than the shape (Blending Mode set to Multiply and vary the Opacity), and the last one – the highlight (white radial transparent gradient and Overlay Blending Mode and vary the Opacity).


Then I duplicate the highlight’s shape and create a new random shape as depicted below.


Then just do Minus Front selecting highlight and random shapes, and a Make Compound Path from the newly obtained shape. Here is how it should look now.


Step 9

I duplicate this bead decoration few times and place it according to the sketch, changing it’s color when required.


Step 10

And now I duplicate blue bead twice: and Scale it, making one smaller and one bigger. After that I select them and Make a Blend (Shift+B) from them with number of Steps 3. Then I modify the blend’s spine accordingly.


Then I duplicate this blend and move the small bead as shown on the image below – to the right side. Thus the biggest beads coincide in these two blends.


And after that, I repeat the procedure for the second earring’s swirl. Then I select the blend and do Object > Blend > Expand, Ungroup and Delete one of the overlapping beads on each of the swirls.


Step 11

Same procedure with blends will be executed for the pink beads here.

Please note that while the blend is made the beads seem transparent, but once you do Expand Blend and Ungroup – everything will look just fine.


Step 12

And now I will just finalize the earring by adding reflections to all of the blue earring’s “body”. Here and there I add some reflections in pink radial transparent gradient and set Blending Mode to Overlay.


Step 13

Now I scale the earring to the required by the sketch size and place it where it should be – on the ear of the Girl. I still work on the “Earring” Layer. 

I Group the moving parts of the earring separately – to make it easy to move them. And then just I Rotate the central part of the earring as if it has been slightly blown with the wind.


Now I turn on the visibility of the "Girl" Layer. And then I just add some movement to the beads.


After that I duplicate the whole earring with all beads, do Unite and Make Compound Path. This is going to be the shadow from the earring. 

And now I distort it slightly Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh, number of Rows and Columnsone, as usual.


Once I’m happy with t he result – Expand, Make Compound Path, and then work on the shadow’s coloring.


3. Add Face Detailing

Step 1

Now that the earring is done I want to add few details onto the face. So I lock the layer with the earring and now will work on the “Girl” Layer again. First I add some shading to the lips. I use one of my traditional tricks – duplicate shape, then draw some random shape over it, then select them and do Minus Front > Make Compound Path.


And add some gloss to the lips.


Step 2

Then I add a highlight to the nose.


4. Create the Clutch

Step 1

Ok, now it’s time to draw the flowers on the clutch. To begin with I create the new Layer “Clutch”.

I begin vectoring the flowers. Note that since the flowers in this illustration are not the core element – I won’t be making them detailed or realistic. 

First I draw the white shape of the flower with the help of the Pen Tool. Then I create the additional layer of petals in different colors beneath the white one.


Step 2

Draw the main shape of the clutch in blue, later that will change.


Step 3

Then I draw the inner part of the white flower, using the Pen Tool again. Then all I do is layering multiple shapes one upon each other with their Blending Mode set to Multiply and playing around with Opacity. Then I duplicate the white flower and place it where it should be according to my sketch. And I create blue and pink flowers’ shapes.


Step 4

After that I create a complex shape for the blue flower, that is going to define it’s petals. This is going to be a kind of imitation of petals – as I will be forming them with the help of shapes-shadows.


And then I create a number of various shapes to form the flower’s petals. Those shapes all are set to Multiply Blending Mode with different transparencies (the majority of them are in darker blue color and few in pink to make colors play). Then I create few shapes - highlights to add some extra volume to the so called petals.


Once I’m ready with the blue flower I just duplicate it’s shadows-shapes, change their color to dark pinks and put over the pink flower on the lower left corner of the clutch. Then I add some new shadows from the white flower onto the pink one.


Step 5

Continue adding details to the flowers. I use the Blob Brush Tool to create few dots in the middle of the white flowers. Unite them, Make Compound Path.  And vary their Blending Mode and Opacity as shown below.


After that using Blob Brush again I draw few lines as on the image below, Unite them, Make Compound Path.


And again change the properties as shown below.


After that I create some shadows on the edges of the white petals. And also add shadow and highlights to the lower layer of petals.


Step 6

Now I Delete the copy of the white flower I created previously, duplicate the updated white flower (I grouped it) and distort is using Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh once again (very useful tool indeed).


Then I just place the flower in it’s place on the clutch and do Expand.


Step 7

Now I create shadow from blue and pink flowers onto the lower white flower.


And then I add thin lines to serve as petal edges for the blue color.


I also create few more shadows from every flower onto the lower ones. And in this stage I decide to recolor the clutch to the green color and add few green leaves that I created lately for one of my older projects – as I began to feel that adding some new color would be good. And “green” seems to be the best decision.


Step 8

I create a line using the Pen Tool and Stroke color only – to serve as a guide for the clutch’s handle. Now I Group all of the clutch’s elements and rotate them slightly as I feel that there is a need to intensify the feeling of the movement.


I also add some more shadows and lines to the petal edges for the pink flower.


Step 9

And now I duplicate and recolor three beads taken from the earring. Modify the third one by deleting bead caps, making it green and added blue stripes to it.


After that I make a combination from them to serve as beginning of the clutch’s handle.


Step 10

And now I temporarily place one bead to the place where the handle should be attached to the bag. That is necessary to create the handle “holder”. So I create a shape first, then draw pink rectangle and Make Clipping Mask from them. After that I create few shadows and highlights.


And just place them inside the clipping mask. Delete the blue temporary bead.


Step 11

Now I will be working on the handle itself. I decide to add some flat pink strap on the shoulder of the girl.


After that use the Ellipse Tool to draw a circle – this is going to be the handle’s buckle. Then I cut part of it and slightly modify the newly obtained shape. Use Effect > Stylize > Round Corners with the following parameter.


And after expanding the Round Corners effect I make the buckle a bit “fatter”.


And then just put it in it’s place, then Expand.


Step 12

I start to create links of the chain . I also duplicate the buckle to compare chain links’ thickness to the buckle. And then I add reflections just the way I did on previous steps with glasses and earrings.


And put the newly created chain links to the first beads’ combination.


And now I will select the chain links and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform, and set parameters as shown below. On the left you may see the wrong chain I first created and on the right – the correct newly created one.


I do Expand to the chain. And then place it with the bead’s.


And I also add a back side for the pink strap.


Step 13

Now I add some tiny-shiny details to the handle. For that I duplicated few beads from the earring. And place all that together with a copy of the leaf from the clutch somewhere on the chain.


Step 14

Then I draw the butterfly. Select the color for it by using the Eyedropper Tool, with “White” Layer made visible. (I also added blue bead onto the shoulder’s strap – that will be used later.)


Since there’s nothing really complicated or special about creating the butterfly in this tutorial – I will just use the butterfly I did for one of my old works.


I Copy, Paste it to my file, Reflect, and start re-coloring it accordingly. I use Blob Brush to correct the spots on the wings, as they were too rough.


Step 15

And now I add few beads and leaves to the clutch and intensify the shadows here and there on the leaves – never enough of this, really.


Step 16

And on this step having a critical look on the chain – I realize that it needs some curve. So I create a line with Pen Tool and Stroke color only to serve as a guideline.


I correct the chain links manually.


Once I’m done with the first chain, I duplicated it and place it instead of the second chain.


Step 17

I will be working on the shoulder’s strap. First I create the part of it that will be hidden behind the shoulder


Then I Make Clipping Mask for the front part of the strap. And then I’m adding details to it to define it’s volume. Create the lining using the Stroke panel.


Draw shadows and highlights and then just place everything inside the Clipping Mask.

Then duplicate the strap’s part that will be behind the shoulder (on the right), make it in light pink color and scale the front darker pink one – thus adding some volume to it too. After that I duplicate the blue bead five times and modify the farther beads to make them look in perspective.


But to intensify the perspective effect I decide to place them within the Clipping Mask, that will cut a little from them.


Here is how it looks now – the beads became more flat from above.


Step 18

And now I want to add some color to the chain, to make it not so blue. I group it and duplicate, then do Unite and Make Compound Path. After that I color the newly created chain as on the image below.


And repeat the same procedure for the second chain.


Step 19

Once the clutch is ready – I select it and place onto the “Girl” Layer and delete the “clutch” layer. It takes some time to order all objects on their correct places.


Now I select the clutch with all the stuff and the chain, duplicate, Unite, Make Compound Path. I color the new shape to warm brown, set it’s Blending Mode to Multiply as this is going to be the shadow from the clutch onto the skirt. And to achieve that I’m using Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh.


Once I’m happy with the mesh result – Expand, Make Compound Path and change shape’s properties as depicted below.


After that I duplicate the skirt’s shape, place it in front of the shadow. Select it and the clutch’s shadow and do Intersect using the Pathfinder panel.


Here is the result. The clutch is ready!


5. Create the Bracelet

Step 1

Now I will create the bracelet. I Copy, Paste the existing beads, duplicate, rotate, scale and move. Then I select the beads that are in front of the hand and duplicate them twice (do Unite, Make Compound Path for both copies), making two shadows from these: one on the hand, another on the skirt.


6. Create the Belt

Step 1

It’s time to draw the belt. Draw the belt’s shape and blue rectangle, Make Clipping Mask from them. Create shadows and highlights and place inside the belt’s clipping mask. I also add parts of the belt that are behind the girl.


Fabulous, You're Now Done!

This concludes our fashion illustration, completely in vector! 

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