November 4, 2010
Designing and illustrating for fashion with the computer using graphic apps isn’t new but a wider acceptance of digital art tools continues to grow! Favorite software titles have evolved to push natural media simulation combined with unlimited undos enticing artists and designers to experiment with sketches and styles.
Have you upgraded to Adobe Illustrator CS5? In my opinion, it’s definitely worth the investment to use some of the amazing features that truly synthesizes flexible vector editing with painterly effects associated with pixel applications such as Adobe Photoshop.
Vector illustration drawn with shapes and Beziér curves; create graphic and flattened style art that is usually associated with Illustrator. Although, the Brush Tool combined with the Wacom tablet and pen captures pressure sensitive thick and thin lines creating a gestural appearance found in recent Illustrator versions.
For line art, Illustrator always provided precise control, but the exciting enhancements to CS5 are the free form Bristle Brushes and the Width Tool! The ability to literally ‘paint’ with vectors incorporating brush textures with transparency becomes incredibly intuitive instead of relying on object layering and stacking order.
And, editing paths with the new Width Tool, the thickness of the line can be controlled at any point and remain editable! I’m posting a quick example to demonstrate these new techniques for fashion art.
The Bristle Brush Library is found from the Brushes fly out menu. You can begin to use the Bristle styles that ship with the program or just as easily select New Brush and under brush type choose Bristle Brush to create your own. Using a Wacom tablet and pen is a necessity to alter the brush opacity and thickness with pressure sensitivity.
Teaching fashion design illustration I constantly emphasize to my classes and professional seminars, to vary the line weight bringing movement and volume to the figure’s gesture. The newest member in Illustrator’s Tools palette is the Width Tool. Select any path with the Width Tool and a new anchor point is created but with the ability to alter the path’s thickness or thinness. This new feature comes in very handy when you need to edit only an area of the line or accentuate an existing brush or stroke style!
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