How to create an engraving style Illustration with WidthScribe - Yan Hsu

3 minute read

We were very impressed to see these vector illustrations from TotallyPic, a small vector design team from Taiwan. They were made with the use of our WidthScribe plug-in and we were blown away by the detail and quality. In fact, it's one of the best examples of Adobe Illustrator Variable Width Strokes + WidthScribe we've seen.

We spoke with the designer responsible for them, Yan Hsu, a senior graphic designer for Joy Image.

"Hi, I'm Yan Hsu, a senior graphic designer for Joy Image.

Our team love trying new design methods, and for this particular illustration we opted for the Engraving style. This type of retro artwork is usually hand drawn, but I decided instead to do it with the use of Bezier curves.

First, it was a case of deciding the theme and basic elements. As it's a vector design, we can use a few objects repeatedly to complete an attractive illustration by using the rotate tool and mirror effect. I used sun flowers and honey bees as the main themes, then added twigs, leaves and wildflowers as minor elements to create a mini garden.

My main tips would be that if you've not got a clear plan for what you're drawing, just sketch first. It's important to make sure the width and spacing of the lines are well balanced while sketching the different objects. Put them together and check frequently!

I work with a digitizer and stylus, so with this pressure sensitive pen it could be closer to a hand drawn style. The best thing is the Width Brush and Eraser Tool in WidthScribe which helps you to control the width instinctively and saves you a bunch of editing time.

Take a leaf for example:

  1. Draw the outlines and veins of the leaf.
  2. Use the Width Brush tool (with the pressure sensitive stylus) to adjust the line width and make the leaf more stereoscopic.
  3. If you're not satisfied with the result, just use the Width Eraser tool to erase it or reset it to the initial state.
  4. There are some white lines that seem to be wiped out in the vein.

My method is to put some exquisite and thin white lines to cover the veins and put them into a leaf shape clipping mask.  I hope this helps you to create your own engraving style illustrations"

 How to create an engraving style Illustration with WidthScribe - Yan Hsu

Yan Hsu

Yan Hsu is a designer and major in department of Industrial Design from Taipei, Taiwan. He is a Senior Graphic Designer for Joy Image and he loves taking on new challenges. He's an expert in realism, abstract and line arts, and he mainly specialises in Microstock, Coloring Book and Advertisement Design. Yan Hsu's coloring book can be seen here: Mori Myth Coloring Book. His work can also be found amongst Joy Image's royalty free graphics on Totallypic

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