Starting a vector image is always overwhelming, there are so many lines to choose from on the car it is hard to know where to start. I like to begin with the basic outline. Add some body lines, some headlights, a bing a bam and presto. A weird looking thing that kinda resembles a car. Kinda. Okay so I lied, the entire process is overwhelming, but at least it is fun!! I think…
Once the outline is somewhat complete, I begin working on some of the nuances of the car… Like hood scoops, body kits, dents (if it is a Mustang, pesky crowds), things of that nature. Mainly, the design aspects that make the car unique. Don’t get too detailed though, you will be erasing things like there is no tomorrow when the canvas becomes a cluttered mess of arbitrary lines.
The image is pretty much complete at this point, all I have to worry about now are the small details. Meh, calling them small makes them seem unimportant, but they are super important. ¡MUY IMPORTANTE! If you aren’t detail oriented, I heard that pressing ALT and F4 at the same time will show you how to fix this issue. HA. Once I am done with the “small stuff,” I begin cleaning up the lines, making sure the vector points are connected. Blowing up the image will reveal the flaws, if any (there may be lots to fix your first time around).
After about 16 hours, the vector image has been completed. This process requires much more skill than just tracing, if something does not look good in the vector world, you have to employ some artistic freedom. Not the gun toting, American Eagle loving, flag waving freedom… even though that would be spectacular. I am talking about the ability to render things from scratch, that in turn, pull the entire work of art together.
Finally: the dream, the goal, the omega. What I have been working towards, making a shirt worthy of the car being printed on it. Feel free to contact me if you would like some tips or tricks on how to make your own vector images in Illustrator. Or don’t.