From our very own motherland in the UK, designer Laura Boast based in Manchester, UK shows us how she created her beautiful bird design with the new and improved ColliderScribe2!

Inspired by nature and my love of birds, for this ColliderScribe2 illustration I decided to draw one of my favourite seabirds, the Turnstone. Birds or wildlife might not be your immediate thought of how you can best make use of this tool, but if you're after a more bold graphic style, this is perfect! This guide demonstrates how you can create an illustration using the snap-to feature to align objects in half the time.



I started by drawing out the outline of the bird, dividing it into segments of the head, body, legs and wings, and created separate layers for each. This created a basic composition as to where I would later start adding in my patterns. It also allowed me to concentrate on each individual segment one at a time.



After creating the outline composition, I then started to create the patterns separately. For me, it was important to study the bird and the feather markings so that you could identify which bird it was representing.

In the process of developing the patterns, I made sure that they were representing the feathers colour, density, size and direction accurately. Firstly, I took inspiration from the mottled plumage on the wings and started with a single feather. Using a series of strokes I was able to create a layered effect. Experimenting with different methods to find the graphic style that best suited each segment – playing with texture and form.



After choosing my favourites, I then started the playful part of using the ColliderScribe2 tool – duplicating, dragging and snapping-to the edge of each feather. Repeating this process, I was able to create a row individual feathers, all perfectly aligned, with no gaps. This process has now become so much more quicker, without the need for zooming in, to make sure the strokes were touching. With each row I duplicated again, creating a layered effect, one on top of the other, and the pattern was complete.



With this finished pattern, I made a clipping path around it using the original outline of the wing. Once it was in place, I changed the direction of the feathers, and then started to rework the outline so it followed the contours. Using some of the other feather patterns I had already created, I cut out a couple more wing shapes, and layered them underneath to add in more density and create more depth.



Once the wings were complete, I started experimenting with different patterns for head, body and tail feathers. Using the same methods as above, I simply cut them all out and layered them together to create the final bird artwork.

Not only was this the simplest tool to use, for me it’s become the most fundamental, allowing me to create illustrations that snap-to-grids easily and aligning objects with precision. If you have any questions, please feel free to tweet me @LauraBoast.




We'd like to send a massive thank you to Laura for agreeing to appear on the blog and for sharing the process behind this design! 

Don't forget you can download your 14 day trial here for ColliderScribe and the other plug-ins

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I didn't know Illustrator could do that!

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