The first day of the week and we’ve hit the ground running on this first project. It’s almost the end of class and I’m just now getting to the 2nd (of three) portraits. I asked for help on my first iteration, because it seemed like something was missing. I had followed the basic draft pretty closely, but it felt bare and uninteresting.
After talking with the professor, it was clear that I needed to express a greater range of tools. This was my second iteration:
Better, but not great. I added an organic shape and used the gradient tool to create a shadow effect. Still, the image felt a little too flat. One more tweak:
This simple vertical offset creates a bit more motion and surprise. I’m not sure what more I could add or subtract at this point. On to my second portrait…
In order to create a three-dimensional “floor” I used the perspective grid tool:
It isn’t really easy to see what I’m experimenting with just by looking at the image, but I have several elements that are grouped into logical objects. The “wand tips”are made using the rectangle Shape Tool, arranged above the Text and then individually grouped with their respective “T”s. Same for the “shirt buttons” on the “M”, as well as the top-hat. I’m not sure if this one would benefit from color or not. Perhaps I can use the gradient tool to give the “wand” more of a cylindrical appearance?
Week 1 – Day 2
Introduction to Adobe Illustrator and Vector Graphics
Illustrator is part of Adobe’s Creative software suite (now “Creative Cloud”). The primary focus of Illustrator is the use of and creation of vector graphics. Most graphics are rasterized (a grid of pixels with assigned values); vectors are “drawn” by software (or hardware, if supported) and are not limited by resolution. At our university’s Mac lab, we have preloaded versions of Illustrator, here’s a quick run-through:
There are lots of ways to launch the program. My preferred method is to use Spotlight search.
This will open a search box (this is like Google for your computer), just start typing “illustrator” and you’ll get an auto-complete before you finish typing it. Just hit Enter when it fills in the remaining characters. BAM! You’re in.
Next, we need to create a new project:
File -> New ->
Name: Lastname-Intro [Geiger-Intro ART119]
Size: 960 x 560
After creating this new document, save it.
File -> Save ->
Save as: Lastname-Intro.ai [Geiger-Intro-ART119.ai]
Default settings -> OK
Used to create a vector object
Vector Objects are defined with Paths and Points
Defines the thickness of lines (vectors)
Defines the “filling” of an object (like Twinkies)
Illustrator “stacks” objects in the order they were created. To change this order, go to the top menu:
Object -> Arrange -> Send to…(back/front) Bring to (back/front)
Like with a text editor, aligns an object to different orientations (objects, Artboard, etc.)
Drag to new area to create a duplicate
Bounding box selects multiple items
Save current progress
In-class exercise: practice drawing your name. I wrote mine in cyrillic:
The letter “а” is tricky, and I didn’t quite get it right on the first try (“Матвей Гайгер” The first “a” looks like an “o”). This was all done with the pen tool, but switching back and forth between the curve and straight pen.
Project 1: Typographic Portraits
Mar 30: Project Intro, sketch ideas for next class (blog)
Apr 05: Work time in class following demonstrations
Apr 07: Work Time in class, following demonstrations
Apr 11: Review Typographic Portraits
Example: “Eruption” “Tilt-A-Whirl” “Balloon Darts” “Roller Bowler” “Cock Clock” “Exit” “Copernicus”.
Choose 3 of 6 provided character prompts. Use your name, first and/or last or nickname. Along with typographic and design…
“Hello my name is______ and I’m…”
Sketches and ideas for project
Reflection on Open House (Blog)
Reflection on reading (Adobe Illustrator (Blog))