Create a Winter Olympics inspired sports poster in Illustrator and Astute Graphics

7 minute read

Today we will draw a sports poster dedicated to the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. To make some stages of the work more effective, DynamicSketch will help us to create an athlete's body, Stipplism will help with quick creation of ice fragments and Phantasm will help with color correction.

For the correct display of the effects described below, select the RGB color mode in the New Document dialog box before you start working.

Step 1

To create the skater’s body, select several reference images in a dynamic pose specific for this type of sport. There are many similar images on the Internet, so to choosing images to reference will not be very difficult. Now we need to create a contour of the athlete. I will do this with the help of DynamicSketch. But first we'll set up the tool. Take the DynamicSketch Tool, this will automatically open its panel. Draw a few strokes of different shapes to understand how the tool obeys you. If necessary, change the settings in the DynamicSketch panel. I'll be drawing with the help of a graphic tablet, which is why I install the Stylus Pressure option. Turn off the "Edit, continue or join paths" button so that the created paths are not changed during the creation of new strokes. Other parameters are highlighted with red boxes in the image below.

Select the gray color for the stroke (K = 34). Draw a rough outline of a skater, based on reference images. It is better to draw with individual short strokes, varying the pressure on the stylus.

Step 2

Make the upper limit of the stroke width smaller in the DynamicSketch panel.

Now let's draw the small details. Some of the lines must be wavy, which will give the impression of energy and movement, and emphasize the dynamics of the figure.

In general, your drawing should look like a sketch.

Select and group up all the elements of the skater’s body.

Step 3

Create a rectangle with a radial gradient fill, which consists of two shades of blue (R = 24, G = 64, B = 91 and R = 13, G = 29, B = 51) and place the background below the athlete.

Select the group with the skater’s body and apply the Color Dodge blending mode to it in the Transparency panel.

Step 4

Create a circle with a radial gradient fill from white to black (R = 0; G = 0; B = 0). Deform the circle into an ellipse. Place this object under the supporting foot of the skater.

Apply a Color Dodge blending mode to the ellipse.

Out of the two ellipses with such properties, create a glow in the shape of a star.

Place similar objects in different areas of the skater.

With the help of the same ellipses, we need to locally illuminate the contour of the athlete.

Step 5

Now we will proceed to the creation of a cloud of ice fragments from the skater's supporting foot. Stipplism will help us to do this quickly. Draw a small triangle with a gray fill (K = 34). Apply the Color Dodge blending mode to it and save it as a symbol in the Symbols panel.

Create a circle with a radial gradient fill from black (R = 0; G = 0; B = 0) to white. We place the object at the supporting leg.

Keeping the circle selected, go to Effect > Stipplism > Symbol Stipple …, set the effect parameters like those shown below.

If you do not like the achieved effect, you can always change the shape of the object, the center of the gradient and the parameters of the Symbol Stipple effect. This is faster than moving and rotating each triangle.

In the same way we now create ice fragments to the left of the skater’s other foot.

Step 6

Next, create the shape of the track. Its edges are parts of two ellipses. Fill this object with gray color (K = 53) and apply the Color Dodge blending mode.

At the final stage, the illustration didn't seem quite bright enough to me. We can quickly do a small color correction with Phantasm. Select the blue background and go to Effect > Phantasm > Brightness / Contrast… and by moving the sliders in the dialog box, we get the desired color of the poster.

Finally, we need to add the necessary text and symbols in a gray color, to which we also need to apply the Color Dodge blending mode.

Now the Olympic Winter Games poster is ready.

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