From the daily archives: Friday, December 1, 2017

How to Create a Stylized Shoes and Clutch Fashion Illustration in Illustrator


In this tutorial I’d like to show you the main principles of my style of drawing which I apply in my fashion illustration. I’ll be using Clipping Masks and Blending Modes to produce a styled illustration of shoes and a clutch bag in Adobe Illustrator. Hope you will enjoy it!

To begin with I’m going to prepare my file and create the following layers: “Sketch”, “White”, “Shoe 1”, “Shoe 2”, “Clutch”, and “Colored Sketch”.

Now I will add my pencil sketch to the layer “Sketch” and set up image’s Blending Mode to Multiply and 50% Opacity. Please note that this layer will always be on the top of all of my layers. And I will be drawing everything under it, toggling visibility on and off when needed. This layer will be Locked all the time.

I also will add colored sketch to the corresponding layer in order to remember how I planned to color my illustration, Lock this layer and toggle off it’s visibility for now.

Next step is to add a simple white .JPG file to the layer “White”, set it’s Blending Mode to Multiply and Lock the layer. This little trick allows me to grab with the help of Eyedropper Tool (I) the exact color from any place of the image, instead of collecting all characteristics of a definite path.

At this stage I’m going to create Swatch palettes for this illustration. First of all I deleted all default swatches except first three.

Now I toggle on visibility of the “Colored Sketch” layer, and start grabbing colors from it with the help of Eyedropper Tool (I). I’m also adding at once lighter and darker shades of the main colors and radial white transparent gradient.

And I also add radial transparent gradients in darker and lighter colors than the main ones.

Now it’s time to begin drawing. I will start by creating all main shapes for the first leg and clutch – all on their layers. second leg will be created later from the first one, so that we could save some time.

So let’s start. The layer “Sketch” and “Colored Sketch” are visible and using Pen Tool (P) and colors from my Swatch panel I’m drawing main shapes. I will be toggling off visibility of the “Sketch Layer” to see how everything is looking and to correct points of the main shapes where necessary.

On this step I decided to resize my colored sketch and move it closer to my image, so that I could see it when scaling my image to bigger size.

You may also see that I correct the shapes in comparison to the sketch, to make them look more neat and sophisticated. When drawing darkest parts it is easier to draw them first in lighter color, so that you could see the sketch, then just color them back to dark shade. Make sure all paths are drawn in the correct order, use Ctrl + [ to send backward or Ctrl + ] to bring forward.

Draw with darker tan back sides of the belts. Select them with Selection Tool (V) and Unite them using Pathfinder panel, then right-click on them > Make Compound Path (Ctrl + 8), and send them to the back of the layer (Ctrl + Shift + [). Now select two belts and also Unite them using the Pathfinder panel, and make Compound Path from them. I colored the ends of the belts in lighter color for now, later I will change their color to the main shade. This is needed just to see where they are.

Almost done with the shoe.

I will now correct some bad points to make everything look neat. And have an overall look over the shapes to correct everything to look nice. I also added back side for the blue “tongue” and sent it to the back of the layer (Ctrl + Shift + [).

Now I decided to make belts closer to the shoe. I used Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to add two points and then Delete Anchor Tool (-) to delete old two points. Then using the Convert Anchor Tool (Shift + C) corrected the shape. Same procedure will be done to the second belt and then just correct the back sides of the belts accordingly.

I colored the toe and back of shoe to dark grey to see better where the borders of the shapes are, and where those need to be corrected. Once I’m happy with the result – I will recolor them to almost black color again and Unite with the help of Pathfinder panel and then Make Compound Path (Ctrl + 8).

Now will make two buckles and holes on the belts. For buckles will use Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw rounded rectangle in light grey color. Then duplicate this one, recolor to any other color, reduce it’s size with the help of Free Transform Tool (E) and holding Shift + Ctrl while transforming (that will scale the second rounded rectangle right in the middle of the first). Now select these two shapes and use Pathfinder panel to do Minus Front and Make Compound Path.

Scale the ready buckle using Free Transform Tool (E) to the size required in the illustration and rotate it as needed, then place where it should be. I also corrected the end of the buckle so that it didn’t show in the buckle’s “window”.

To draw the buckle’s “tongue” I’m using Rounded Rectangle Tool again. And then put on it’s place according to the sketch.

Now let’s make few holes in the belt. Draw circle in dark brown color using Ellipse Tool (L). Duplicate the shape. Recolor to brighter shade. Then holding Shift make this brighter copy bigger with the help of Free Transform Tool (E) by dragging the lower left corner of the circle’s bounding box and place behind the darker original (Ctrl + [).

Select these two circles and Group them (Ctrl + G). Then press Ctrl + X, you will cut out the group, after that using selection Tool (V) choose the belt and press Ctrl + F – that will paste the hole that we’ve just made straight in the correct place – under the buckle’s “tongue”.

Duplicate the hole, place in the left side of belt, and make a Blend out of them (Ctrl + Alt + B). To correct number of holes go to panel Object > Blend > Blend Options and set steps to 2.

Then just correct the blends spine so that it looks more natural.

Now just select the holes and buckle with tongue and duplicate them, then place according to the sketch. Correct everything that needs to be corrected.

Now I will draw all the main shapes of the clutch. I slightly moved the colored sketch so that it is now straight under the clutch for the convenience.

I will be drawing on the layer “Clutch”, having Locked the layer “Shoe 1”. For the main shape and metallic parts of the handle will be using Rounded Rectangle Tool, for buttons – Ellipse Tool (L), for belts – Rectangle Tool (M), for other shapes – Pen Tool (P), buckles and holes will copy from the Shoe. To make the long story short – just draw all the parts of the clutch, checking with the sketch, correct and see whether everything looks nice. You may also notice that I changed the handles of the bag to look closer to a real bag.

Now we have one shoe and clutch main shapes drawn, I’m going to begin adding details to them. Like I said in the beginning the second shoe will be done from the finished first one. So I’m going to start with the leg. Switch to layer “Shoe 1” and Lock layer “Clutch”. Draw a rectangle of the leg’s color and send it to back (Ctrl + Shift + [). Then select the leg and this rectangle with Selection Tool (V) and make Clipping Mask (Ctrl + 7), so that rectangle will be now inside the leg’s shape.

Now I will add some depth to the leg. For this I will create a shape with the help of Pen Tool (P) and in the color of the leg, with 100% Opacity. Then duplicate this shape, transform it with the help of Free Transform Tool (E) holding Shift, recolor this shape to lighter tan color and make it’s Opacity 50%.

Now select these two shapes and make Blend (Ctrl + B). Then go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set steps to 20 (in this tutorial almost all highlight and shadow blends will consist of 20 steps).

I decided to correct shapes a little to make them follow leg’s shape and changed inners path Opacity to 70%.

Now I will add some shadows from the shoe on the leg. For this I will draw a shape repeating the edge of the shoe with the help of Pen Tool (P). It will be in darker tan color and I will set it’s Blending Mode to Multiply with Opacity 70%.

At this step I will choose Blend I created in Step 9 and this shadow and press Ctrl+ X, then using Direct Selection Tool (A) I select the rectangle within the leg and press Ctrl + F – thus pasting Blend and shadow within leg’s Clipping Mask.

Done with the leg!

Now I will make a Clipping Mask (Ctrl + 7) for the grey part of the shoe as described previously. Then will do the stitching on it using Stroke.

Also make Clipping Masks for black and blue parts of the shoe (Ctrl + 7).

Now I will add shadows on grey part of the shoe. For that just use Pen Tool (P) and radial transparent gradient of darker grey color, Blending Mode Multiply Opacity 100%.

And these shadows together with the blue stitching should be placed inside the grey’s part Clipping Mask.

Draw the grey stitching and place them within the black parts’ Clipping Mask. Don’t forget to Expand the strokes!

Begin to work out the blue part of the shoe. First do the stitching. Then add some shadows.

These will add some volume to this area. I’m using transparent radial gradient in darker blue shade.

Add the white shape on the edge of the shoe to show this part is not flat, but has some thickness. Set this shape’s Blending Mode to Overlay, Opacity 40% (last may be varied to your taste).

Make some highlighting shapes.

Then add more bold highlights.

Then add them to a Clipping Mask (Ctrl + 7) for the tongue.

Then I decided to add some more highlights.

Draw white shape on the grey part’s top edge and place it within the grey part’s clipping mask.

This is how everything should look by now.

Now I will create a Blend to highlight the middle of the shoe.

This Blend I will duplicate and place one within the grey part’s Clipping Mask, and another one – within the black part’s Clipping Mask, with only difference – will reduce Opacity of the inner shape in the Blend to 50%.

Make shadows from the belts on grey and blue parts. Don’t forget to place new shapes within the corresponding Clipping Masks.

Decided to reduce the Opacity to 40%.

Now I will add some highlight in the bottom of the shoe. This shape will also be duplicated and placed in both grey and black parts’ Clipping Masks.

But for black parts will reduce the Opacity to 50% and transform the gradient.

Add some more highlights on black and grey parts, using the Pen Tool (P) and white round transparent gradients, playing around with Opacity where applicable.

Draw the shape in white transparent radial gradient to add some gloss to the sole.

Now duplicate the black sole shape, select newly created shape and the copy of the sole, and using Pathfinder panel Intersect those two shapes. Follow the changes in the Opacity.

Duplicate the new shape and draw some free shape above, then again using Pathfinder panel select those two and do Minus Front.

Now duplicate the black part of the shoe twice and the second shape move slightly down, select these two shapes and do Minus Front using the Pathfinder panel.

Then add some highlights with transparent white radial gradient.

Draw the yellow bottom of the sole. It will go straight to the heel.

Make a Clipping Mask for the blue platform. Now let’s make some shadows.

And some highlights.

Do shadows from the shoe onto the platform.

And place everything within the Clipping Mask.

Now I will do the heel tap. For this I duplicate the heel’s two shapes, and recolor them accordingly.

Then draw the new shape as depicted below, duplicate it and then using Pathfinder panel do Minus Front for both outer and inner parts of the heel.

Now let’s make some highlights and shadows for both outer and inner parts of the heel. First I make the highlights on the outer yellow side of the heel.

And now I will add shadows to the inner blue part of the heel. Duplicate the shape, set it’s color to a darker transparent radial gradient and Blending Mode Multiply. Then duplicate the shape once again, color should be solid blue, draw some new shape, then select these two shapes and do Minus Front, using Pathfinder panel.

This is how it should look. I changed it’s Opacity to 50%.

And do the same for the heel tap. Here I duplicated the outer shape of it, recolored with transparent darker grey gradient and set Blending Mode to Multiply. And then did come highlighting by duplicating heel tap’s shape once again and recolored it to white and set it’s Blending Mode to Overlay and 50% Opacity, then modified it’s shape using Convert Anchor Point Tool.

Now it’s time to do the belts. First I created Clipping Mask for them.

And then created few shapes for shadows and highlights, and put them into the Clipping Mask.

And on this step I will add some thickness to the belt by creating line on the top edge of the belts. To grab color I toggled on visibility of the “White” layer and using Eyedropper Tool (I) picked the color from the bright yellow part of the highlighted belt.

I also did this for the back of the belts. And I also changed color of the lower shape of the holes – to white, Overlay and 80% Opacity.

Same steps I did for the “tongues” of the belts.

Let’s make the shadow from the “tongues” of the belts on the black parts of the shoe, and then place them within the Clipping Mask.

I added some extra touch on the highlighting of the heel.

And now let’s finally do the buckles. First I colored them with linear grey and white gradient

Then duplicate the buckles recolor them to white, go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and set offset as depicted (or you may try your own number), then Object > Expand.

Set Blending Mode of the newly created shapes to Overlay.

Now duplicate these shapes, draw over them some new shapes as depicted.

Select these new shapes and do Minus Front for both buckles.

The first leg is done!

And now let’s do the second leg. For this just copy the first one and place it on the layer “Shoe2”.

Rotate the leg according to the sketch.

Now I need to delete all unnecessary elements and correct everything that needs to be corrected.

Add some final touches on both shoes.

And now I will correct the heel’s inner part.

Check with the sketch and modify the shape accordingly.

And then I did some shadows on it just like I did in step 30.

Now bring the yellow stitching upwards and go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh and set the Rows and Columns.

Then just modify the shape of the stitching using Direct Selection Tool (A), then Expand the stitching.

And finally place the stitching within the Clipping Mask again.

Now I will create Opacity Mask for the second leg. For this Double-click in the Transparency panel on the place beside the leg preview, so that the black square appears.

Draw a rectangle there and set it’s color to linear gradient from white to black, the black in this case will mask the edge of the leg. Click on the leg’s preview to exit Opacity Mask.

Done with the shoes and legs!

And finally let’s draw the clutch. First I selected a pattern for it – I choose plaid I created recently, and colored it according to the main colors of the illustration.

And then just put it within the grey’s part Clipping Mask.

Then I duplicated the layer to make it look brighter (vertical and horizontal lines have different Blending Modes).

And now I will do all the same steps I did for shoes for the clutch.

I’ll be using Blends to create soft highlights and shadows, and radial transparent gradients for more intense effect.

What can I say more – just DETAILIZE IT! 🙂


And finally just add some shadows from all objects on the floor, using Blends.

That’s it. I do hope it was interesting to read this, and that something from this tutorial will be of use for you in your works!

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How to Create a Colorful Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator – Part 1


In this tutorial I’d like to show you the possibilities of using the Mesh Tool in creating a stylish fashion illustration of a young woman in Adobe Illustrator. In this first part I’ll be using a gradient mesh for hair and I will also show you my usual routine of drawing hair, using custom made brushes.

Place a sketch into a New document, setting it’s Blending Mode to Multiply with Opacity 50%, and naming the layer “Sketch” accordingly. Then Lock the layer.

Next step is to add a simple white .JPG file to the layer “White” (the third layer will be named “Girl” for the main drawing), set it’s Blending Mode to Multiply and Lock the layer.

Now I will be creating base color palette. I always add a white transparent radial gradient to my Swatchespanel.

various skin tone shades from light to dark, gradients with transparent edges and in solid color, some basic pink shades and few other that I decided to add at once. This palette will be growing as I proceed with the image, as at the moment I’m still not sure as for what colors I will be using. So the end result is still a mystery for me.

Now it’s time to start drawing the main shapes. If you have read my previous tutorial, then you know that I will be using Pen Tool (P) for this.
So I start with the head.

Draw the body with a radial gradient with darker skin tone in the center and usual skin color on the end as the fill. Add this gradient to the Swatches panel.

Now I will choose a lighter skin color, later this color may be changed. Draw the arm which is visible to the front.

I have noticed that arms are a bit different in sizes, so I will correct that straight away. For this I duplicate the front arm and place it above the second one. I recolored it to bright pink to make the difference in sizes more obvious.

Then I just null the fill on the upper arm, but keep a bright pink Stroke (to see the lower hand clearly), and correct the second hand, using the Convert Anchor Point Tool.

Here is how it looks now. I then add the shape for the hand and thumb.

Then I create a palm with fingers for the second hand. So now I have a bald woman or at least some part of her.

I will prepare a palette for the hair. It is going to be an ombre hair style (a gradient effect hair color), so I checked images of various celebrities to see how that should look like. Then I made my own palette of colors, and added them to the Swatches panel.

Time to draw the hair’s main shape. It will be very rough as it’s a guide. Detailing will happen later on.

I will now draw the top and skirt in random bright colors. I also made some draft colors for the rest of elements in the picture. Looks OK, so I will probably stick to these colors. Although…everything might still change in the process! The beautiful of vector allows this indecisiveness.

To create a customized hair brush I will first draw a black ellipse, using Ellipse Tool (L) and transform it as shown below.

Then I will move the top and bottom center points towards the center of the shape, to make it more narrow.

Now I simply drag this shape to the Brushes panel. The following window will appear. I choose Art Brushto be created.

Once you press OK, the next window will appear and I’ve used the below settings:

Here you have the brush! It will appear in your Brushes panel. Please note that I’m using tablet for drawing, so I simply choose the brush and draw with it, not with Pen Tool, but the Paintbrush Tool (B) and then apply the new brush to it.

You may vary the thickness of your brush lines in the Stroke panel, making it either thicker or thinner.

I will move the center top and bottom points of the original brush shape, in order to make a brush thicker on it’s left. This will be good for hair on the forehead and eyelashes.

After following the same Brush creating procedure as in the first instance, I have the new brush. I used bright pink color for you to see the difference, and I am drawing from left to right.

Another brush that I will create will be the same as previous, but reflected.

I have also drawn from left to right, so you may see the difference below. It’s subtle but it makes a difference later on.

Once you’re happy with your brushes you may save them for the future.

Here is how my set looks like from previous illustrations I’ve done. It saves time to always keep a collection of basic brushes handy.

So let’s add detailing to the hair with our newly made brushes. I will choose a color that is not being used in my image. I do this to be able to select all the lines once they’re drawn easily with the help of the Magic Wand.

Here I start drawing hair with the brushes from my hair brushes set. I will be using brushes thicker on the left or right and symmetrical brushes, depending on the area I’m drawing. I also will be playing around with their thickness in the Stroke panel.

The forehead hair area needs special attention, so I will work on that thoroughly.

And after some time here is what I’ve got.

Now I will use the Magic Wand to select all the brush strokes I’ve made, then I will Expand them.

Recolor to the main hair color, select them and the main hair’s shape and do Unite, using Pathfinder panel, and make Compound Path from this new complex shape.

And now I will send this shape to the front.

Null the fill color and give it a bright stroke.

Then Lock it.

Time for using a gradient mesh! So to begin with I will draw a rectangle (using Rectangle Tool (M)) in the medium hair color (from the palette that I’ve already prepared for the ombre hair) and place it behind the locked hair’s shape.

Now I select the Mesh Tool (U) and start adding points, where I think they should be. I will start from the darkest areas – the roots of the hair, which should be very dark brown.

So I start coloring those darkest points. I’m using Eyedropper Tool (I) when I want to soften the transition from dark color to brighter. .

Here is how it looks. Color transition looks a bit rough, right?

So I will correct that using the Direct Selection Tool (A) to modify the point’s position.

And use the Eyedropper Tool (I) again to smooth the color transition.

Now it’s time to add some bright colors on the edges. So I start adding new points and coloring them to blond.

Adding some medium light colors to make shades flow into each other smoothly.

Here is how it looks now. I see some rough places again, here where medium color meets lighter, so those points need some correction.

Now it looks softer and brighter, right?

And now I just look around the hair in general and make some corrections where needed. For example, here I decided to add more to the darker part.

Now I’m done with the mesh and it’s finally time to Unlock the hair main shape, select it and the newly created Mesh and go create the Clipping Mask (Control + 7). As the upper object (the hair) is really complex the following window will appear, just press Yes.

And here I have the ombre hair!

I noticed some unnecessary hairs on the forehead.

So I need to correct that straight away. So I just remove some points, using Delete Anchor Point Tool. I then draw some new hair, using Pen Tool (P).

And now it’s time to draw a lot of hair! Here I will again be using the brushes from my hair brushes set, varying their thickness. I also will be drawing with a green stroke so you can see where I’ve added these.

So what I do first is I draw all the hair lines that I intend to make in darker color than the hair itself. This is a very meditative job, I could do this for hours, just drawing lines!

Now again I will use the Magic Wand to select all brush strokes I made. This will also select my clipping mask – but that’s OK – just do Expand for brush strokes.

And then use once again the Magic Wand to select all green hair lines and use Pathfinder panel > Uniteand make a Compound Path.

Since the hair is not a solid color, but ombre, these darker hair lines should also be darker on the roots and lighter towards the tip. So I use a medium brown radial transparent gradient and Blending Mode Multiply,Opacity 70%.

Now I will be drawing hair lines that should be brighter than the main hair color. Normally I would do these in one light color for the whole hair, since normally my girls’ hair has one plain color shade. However since we have an ombre affect I will split the light hair lines into a few groups depending in which shade area they are.

Once lines are drawn I color them (using the same Expand and Unite process) with transparent radial gradient from medium brown to light brown and set their Blending Mode to Screen, with Opacity 70%.

Draw light lines for the rest of the hair.

And I will color it to a lighter transparent radial gradient and position it as on the picture, with Blending Mode Screen, Opacity 70%.

Now I will add some more lines to intensify the depth of the hair mass.

And I will color these with a brown radial transparent gradient, Blending Mode Multiply, Opacity 80%. Position it as depicted below, so to have the center of the gradient on the darker part of the hair and it’s edge going towards the hair tips.

Finally I decided to draw some extra light hair lines. Again I will split those into two groups – for darker area and for lighter.

The first group (I call it group, but remember that all the brush strokes were Expanded and United using the Pathfinder panel) will be in plain beige color with Blending Mode Screen and Opacity 80%.

Second group will be colored to light beige radial transparent gradient accordingly, with Blending Mode set to Screen and Opacity 80%.

And here is what I’ve got now!

Now it’s time to draw some shadows on hair. So I will be using Pen Tool (P) to draw some fine shapes as depicted on the images below.

These shapes will be created for the whole hair, and again they will be divided into groups (now there will be three of them) according to the hair shades. All shapes within one group will be United (using the Pathfinder panel) and a Compound Path will be made from them.

Then I color these groups to brown, medium brown and beige according to their position on hair, set them to Blending Mode to Multiply with Opacity 60%, 50% and 40% accordingly. Here is how it looks now.

I will draw few more shadowed shapes to intensify the depth on the hair.

Colors and features of the newly created shapes will be same as described in Step 1.

And now I will be drawing new shapes, which are going to be highlights. These will be created on the places between shadowed shapes, so to see more clearly I reduce Opacity on the new shapes I’m drawing.

This is a bit of a boring and slow process, but once this is done, here is how it all looks now.

I will select all these shapes using the Magic Wand again, Unite them and Make Compound Path. Then color this to beige radial transparent gradient, position it as depicted below and set it’s Blending Mode to Screen, 40% Opacity.

Now I duplicate this newly created complex shape twice. I draw a random new shape as shown on the image below.

Then I chose this shape and one of the copies of the complex highlights’ shape and use Minus Front, using the Pathfinder panel. Make Compound Path from the new one and color it using the preferences as depicted on the image below.

Now I will do the same procedure but for lighter part of the hair. So first draw the abstract new shape, then select it and the remaining copy of the complex highlight shape. Use Minus Front and Make Compound Path.

And color the new shape as depicted below.


And now I’m going to intensify the highlights just like I did for the shadows. So I draw some new shapes above all the hair.

Select them and color as shown below on the image. Please note that this time I didn’t Unite all new shapes into one, so that now each of them is colored individually and I may vary the position of the gradient I colored them in.

Finally, I’m done with the hair!

This concludes the first part of our fashion illustration tutorial. Be sure to check the next tutorial in the process to see how to do the skin, face and clothing.


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Drawing a Skirt



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Creating Eyelet Lace



Making a Braid Brush



Making a Pattern in Illustrator