Mad Prof Stage 4

Now I have added more shadows and started to really give some depth and substance to the figure. The transparency setting in Adobe Illustrator is really useful for this when you want to render one area of shade over another, as in the left side of his jacket collar casting shade over his shirt. Here I used one dark shape with a lower opacity setting to allow the other shades beneath to show through, giving the illusion of depth and solidity.

To create effective vector drawings, it is so important to create a feeling of “rightness” in the chiaroscuro – the interplay between light and dark in an image or object. I think this no matter how simple your final design might be: your drawing ability – your ability to “see” forms as light reveals them to you – is crucial in the decision making process; whether you decide to leave shadows out altogether even….everything is a creative, productive decision (or should be).

Notice at this stage I am leaving his hair flat – I am thinking of building some texture later into that wig!

I have also placed the basic background shapes of a cupboard and a blackboard behind him. These are going to stay simple but need to be here to give context to our character.


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2 Responses to “Mad Prof Stage 4”

  1. Fox Says:

    Hi Phil, i got a question one this piece, im kinda new in illustrator btw.
    1) for the outlines, did u use strokes or was it from the black shapes in mad prof #1?
    2) If it was strokes, how did u hide the stroke below his chin?
    3) Do you recommend using strokes or create black shapes first?

    Thank you so much for putting this step by step work. Really is useful.


    • Phil Brown Says:

      Hi Fox.
      I used the edges of the lowest black shape in prof #1 as the outline, because I could increase it as much as I need by pulling out the edges of the path using the direct selection (white arrow ) tool. So in this case, I did not use strokes.

      However, you can use strokes if you are after a very consistent line, but I tend to do this if using strokes:

      apply the stroke.
      select the stroked shape and convert the stroke to outlines.
      select the outlined stroke and move it into its own layer above everything (the stroke can be moved by selecting it and then dragging the coloured box that appears in the layers palette for that layer into a new upper layer.
      The outlined stroke is now sitting above your artwork as a fully editable shape you can stretch and thicken if you wish.

      With the above approach, you don’t actually need to create a black base shape since your strokes can be fully editable as shapes themselves once you have outlined em.
      Its up to you which approach you like and which is quicker for you personally.

      I also used some strokes to “fill over” awkward bits “inside” the figure itself – facial features, the pocket etc, but I converted them mainly to outlines and put them in an upper layer as mentioned above.
      Sometimes, lines like this can remain as simple strokes – I left the mouth, the pocket and some of the collars as strokes since they worked and why spend more time that you have to?

      Glad you find it all useful! Would love to see your work when you have something.

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