Vector Illustration is often quite hard to wrap ye old noggin around sometimes - especially for beginners. Whilst most Illustrators tend to use the larger more orthodox illustration applications such as Adobe Illustrator and Freehand , I choose to use Flash because of its simple, and animation friendly drawing tools. I plan to write a few of these, but first I want to lay down the basics before I even write about shading and tone, so yeaaaaaaaah! Of course, everything that appears within this tutorial can easily be accomplished using alternative packages - I will walk through my general work flow for the sake of the tutorial, and be covering the process used to create the illustration you see of steve getting attacked my the octopus.
Step 1: Get the right gear!
Ok enough jibber jabbering. For this tutorial, all you will need is Flash, and a drawing to work from. I recommend a scanned rough, or something sketched up in Photoshop or Alias Sketchbook (what I usually use). I will mention that a drawing tablet is definitely desirable in order to achieve accurate line work, and also make the process quicker (tablets are ninja quick).
Step 2: Sketch it up!
Before you even pop open Flash you should always rough out the concept first. Even if it is simple blocks and elements to establish the composition. The more messing around you do at the start determines how much tweaking and tedious refinements you will need to apply to your final product. Often, I will really loosely draw elements a few times until I get the general feel of them, and start layering the roughs on top of each other until I have a nice and balanced form. In the octopus sketch above, it is a little more detailed than I usually would attack a drawing, because it was being used for a project. Nevertheless, if you detail your image in the beginning, it means you will not have to worry about adding and touching your vectored line work when colouring and shading.