As one of my tasks for my co-op placement I was given the task to create a cartoon version of myself using Adobe Illustrator, but as someone who mainly used and had experience with photoshop it definitely seemed as if the task was going to be difficult. It actually isn’t! I would have to say even though I had little to no experience with Adobe Illustrator, the only things difficult was that I had to work with a mouse while you should be using a drawing tablet to draw and having enough patience while drawing. Another note to add is that tutorials can really help a lot, so make sure to watch tutorials to help guide you through the process as well as learning something new.
First things first is to take a picture of yourself. Doesn’t really matter what angle or how close or far away but if you’re just starting you should take a up close one so it’s easier and takes less time. Next is to send and save it on your desktop/laptop whatever you use, simple as that.
Once you have an Illustrator opened you want to open the picture you took and then reduce the opacity of the picture in order to be able to trace much more easily, adjust to your preference. I created a new layer on top of the picture which is where my outlines of the cartoon will be (basically a cartoon but without colour). As my tool of drawing I used the pencil tool but because i’m using a mouse I had to change the settings in order for the lines to be cleaner as well as making it look much better.
The settings I found from a tutorial was: smooth, fill new pencil strokes close paths when ends are within 15 pixels.
This basically makes it so that you’re making a shape. The settings make it so that instead of a normal line where you start from one point and drag to the end point you’re basically allowed to create shapes.
What I did is I started off by outlining my nose, then my eyes, eyebrows, mouth, hair, face and finally the neck area. It doesn’t really matter what you start outlining or what order it is, I found it easier to just start with the facial features since it was the most important part. When outlining I found that there was a lot undoing since creating a line can be a bit difficult as it can’t be too wobbly or skribbly, I really had to take my time to make sure each line was correct. It was definitely harder to do the lines that had curves such as the lips, face, hair since I had to be very smooth when drawing them. When adding details such as creases, wrinkles I only added a couple as my face didn’t have many and I didn’t want it to look too detailed. Once I was done outlining I removed the actual picture and moved onto the colouring and shading part. I still used my picture to help me choose the colours and find the shades.
Instead of colouring and shading in Adobe I instead took the line art and coloured it in photoshop since it was much easier for me to do as I already knew how to. So I started off colouring my skin first by choosing the closest colour. Then I tried to look at the picture and see where the shades/shadows were on my face, some places were around the nose, ear, eye area of the mouth. Shading was a bit challenging since it is very hard to make the shadows look natural and to find it in the picture. I then coloured in the eyes, eyebrows and lips and shaded those as well. Finally the hair, added some streaks of lighter parts to show the light shining but also the actual individual strands. Overall the shading could’ve been a bit more detailed but I didn’t want to add too much in the end. For the lighting, I just used a lighter colour and then put some spots on my cheek and hair. Once I was done I added a background to make it stand out more.
Overall, this task was definitely one that was a bit challenging, new and fun and I got to learn new skills in Adobe illustrator. I highly recommend anyone to try this because it’s definitely worth it to see yourself as a cartoon.