Before we dive deep into vector painting and design, I would like to post some great reference material I created with a while back. A good understanding of surfaces and how light and shadow interact with each other will give you the power to create believable objects within any medium.The two main surface you will work with is the matte  surface, and the plastic /smooth surface.

The matte surface will be your bread and butter go to surface because of its versatility when rendering objects that appear in nature. The matte surface will be the starting point for rendering a number of objects from leafs to human anatomy.

In this drawing I used nothing but matte surfaces to render this V-painting . The soft transitions flow from each detail to another with only the colors changing between the rendering of the skin and the garment.

The next post will show you examples of plastic surface and its uses.

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted on September 15, 2011, in General News. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Wonderful tips, thank you!

  2. Thank you for that unexpected lesson. Can’t wait to apply planar surfaces concepts inside illustrator; love my pencils but extremely excited evolve to vector illustration…blah blah…again thanks HUMANNATURE_84.

  3. yeah it help..thanks over and over again

  4. I can’t tell you how happy your site has make me. My first love has always been Illustrator and the video on sketching was wonderful if only a bit fast to follow. This site has been added to my quick bar! Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks man, I need all of the support I can get. I love Illi as well and now that illustrator world has pretty much died, I will take it upon myself to create a place where vector artist can learn and grow.

  5. Very cool. I’m glad you’re covering actual visual arts in addition to Illustrator techniques. I think the software is all too often overshadowing the artist these days.

  6. I’ve subscribed to your blog and I am looking forward to every new post. I am a newbie concerning vector art and self-taught as well. I haven’t got Illustrator at home, only Inkscape. So it would be absolutely great if you could include that software into your blog posts. But even without that I think that I will learn a lot!

    • Just downloaded Inkscape a second ago. I like some of the features it has like the 3d box tool and the brush options like wiggle and such! This is your place to learn so if you have any questions or request please let me know. Think of me as your Vector Waiter! 🙂

  7. Very useful information, would be nice to know how many transitions are you using for depth and bright. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Thanks. I’m not sure what you mean by “transitions”, could you clarify?

      • hmm is like, how many tones do you use to shading a area. example; if for a ball you could use one dark tone and another middle tone and one more for the top bright, and the gradient do the rest. I know you said there that “… with only the colors changing between the rendering of the skin and the garment.” is like how many tones to make that aspect knowing that you’re not using blending modes, looks really amazing, Because I usually use a base color for each area and then overlaps gradient/tones/solids whatever it needs. I may use ten tones for a color or just two and the blending modes/gradient do the rest. Thanks for replying back!

        • Oh, I see.

          The really important thing that you must understand is that I do use blend modes.
          I use screen, overlay, multiply, and color modes. This practice is pretty standard in the digital painting community because it allows you to focus on value instead of color.
          With this method I could change the color of the character without having to re-adjust the tonal ranges.

          • Oh right, i’m glad to know that hehe, I misunderstand a [little] bit :p yes, I agree with you, is quite usefull working by that way. I hope someday to do fantastic creatures as you do. Thanks again!

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