Introduction: Sketching Photographs in Adobe Illustrator (Secrets Revealed!)
Have you ever wanted to create an hand drawn image on your computer without a table pad?
Have you ever wanted to turn a photograph into a sketch?
If so, this Instructable is for you!
Step 1: Starting in Illustrator
Open a new document in Illustrator and drag the image or photo you want to sketch on a new layer.
Adjust the size of the photo on your workspace to your liking.
Here we have a strapping young lad with his banjo.
Rename the picture "Original"
Note: This type of sketching is great when you have a picture that may be slightly blurry or out of focus, but you still want to use.
Step 2: Preparing Your Layers in Illustrator
Now that you have the original photo in Illustrator you need to prepare the layers, to allow you to easily sketch the photo.
Create a new layer and situate it on top of "Original".
Name this new layer "Sketch".
Select "Original" and change the opacity (found under the "transparency" tab) from 100% to approximelty 45%.
Lastly, lock the "Original" layer.
Step 3: Starting to Sketch
Now you are setup to begin sketching.
Be sure to click on the "Sketch" layer to select it, to ensure you're drawing in that layer.
Next select the pencil tool and the colour that you want to trace (in this case, black)
Then, directly above your workspace, there is a bar with options that will allow you to adjust and experiment with the stroke, brush and style of your pencil tool.
Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, you can increase the thickness of your stroke, along with the grainy-ness or pattern of the brush.
Note: If you are not given an option of different brushes, you may have to import them from your brushes library, by clicking on the small folder icon at the bottom left hand corner of the brushes menu (indicated in picture).
Step 4: Keep on Sketching!
Now, using your selected brush and stroke size, you can start tracing your photo!
Try varying the size of the stroke, finer in areas that require more details.
Tip: when you want to start a new vector, do not randomly click in an area of your photo to de-select the pencil tool. This will cause you to have tiny one-pixel dots all over your photo.
Rather, hit ctrl-click to de-select.
Step 5: Double Checking
Continue to sketch until you fill in the details/areas you desire.
To check how the sketch is coming along, click on the eyeball for the "Original" layer, making it invisible. This will allow the sketch to stand out, and you can see any areas that need improvement.
Tip: To zoom in quickly, to fix problem areas, hold down ctrl and use the + or - keys (located next to the backspace)
Step 6: Finishing Up
Once you're done sketching, turn off the eyeball on the "original" layer so only the sketch shows.
Under the "File" menu hit Export as .jpeg and you're done!
Tip: For added empahasises, you can choose to add strokes of colour, or select various paths and change the brush styles manually!
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