Illustrator Pathfinder and Gradients

February 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm (computer art, Digital Art, graphic design, Ilustrator) (, , , , , , , , )

Use of Gradients and Shadow Effects

Pathfinder Creates Complex Shapes

The wasps are created using a circular shape that I alter with the pen tool. I then create an arc for the stripes using the Arc Tool. After rotating it into position I Alt drag it to create a duplicate. Then I select both of them and create a Blend with Specified Steps for the stripes on the back. I then use a Clipping Mask to mask the edges and add an inner glow to the yellow body shape. The upper body and eyes are colored with gradients. I make the legs using a Brush with texture and use the Reflect Tool to create the legs on the opposite side of the body.

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  1. Martin LaBar said,

    The mottling (?) of the wings, the wheel surface, the background, and some other things is well done, too, unless one took the view that there’s too much of it.

    It’s great to see an artist at work.

    The most important ingredient is not AI, but your own driving vision.

    • galefraney said,

      Hi Martin,

      Illustrator always has that “vector-ish” illustrated look, it is difficult to give it a natural appearance unless it is brought into Photoshop afterwards and grunged up a bit, which I am always tempted to do. This illustration began with me putting together a class lesson for students that I am teaching, to review Pathfinder functions, gradients, custom made patterns, etc. With textures, ie the wings, that is one of the textures that comes with Illustrator. It is comprised of repeated vector shapes. It would have been easy to bring the wing into Photoshop and give it a more natural texture, but I wanted to do the entire graphic in Illustrator, using simple techniques that I could afterwards teach the students.


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