I found a flower pot by the trash-cans in my courtyard on Saturday before Easter. Two long ligneous branches, a few deep-green leaves, plenty of yellow, falling ones (nothing too spectacular).
But I took it home.
When I saw it that morning (and it was May, 1st – isn’t it a day that has something to do with flowers?…) I was slightly shocked. Huge red and yellow, beautiful flower (google confirmed later that it was hibiscus). It was in blossom for that one day only.
Was it a ‘thank you’? ;)
Is it the extended weekend that I somehow forgot about all to-dos, shoulds, have-tos etc? Totally laid-back – it’s not very me… (yet?).
About the afternoon I felt I miss my macbook, woke it up and had this sudden urge to change my avatar. The one (to the left) I’ve been using up to now was a self-portrait created in Illustrator. The plan was to modify it and make it more for spring and summer. Ear muffs and my warmest yellow sweater are deep down in the closet now.
My hair got longer so I used the pen tool to draw some more. Since I took the scissors and cut myself a straight fringe I needed to reproduce the effect with the ‘delete anchor point tool’ (-) and the direct selection (not sure which one was harder: RL or Ai).
Anyway, here are the results, it was mainly a direct selection work.
What I decided to be the new avatar:
It’s a french tradition to give the ones you love a bouquet of delicate lilies-of-the-valley each year on May, 1. You can buy them on every street – the florists have a busy labour day. It’s definitely worth carrying over to wherever lilies-of-the-valley are in blossom now.
I prepared this free vector bouquet for all my visitors – with the ‘good luck and lots of love’ wishes.
No, it didn’t take me that long. It’s the spirit of the 1001 Persian stories that I sensed while working on my recent vector illustrations. Still, the initial idea was somewhere else. I’ve got a cute (love them all) collection of horses. (No real horse! – I’m scared to death). But I’m not a nice collection owner. I’ve never even counted them or gathered all together in one place. Some live on the balcony, some in cardboard boxes (I’m sorry), I share my office with lucky two or three. So now it’s time to start portraying them and rediscovering the beauty (or charm at least) of the forgotten ones. Here is the first one, which is about 12 cm x 15 cm, made of metal, one leg missing, bought (cheap) at a flea market.
Let’s start with the simple black and white.
Now, let’s add some colors:
and a fiancee:
You can download and use (both for commercial and personal projects) all four vector illustrations.
In this tutorial you will learn how to prepare an eco colored egg for easter. Eco for there are no artificial colorants used. I wanted to recreate the look of a traditional polish egg: cooked in onion rinds with wax decors to be scratched off afterwards. In the first part of this tutorial I explain how to create a decor, in the second one how to create a 3D naturaly looking egg.
Create a custom brush to be used for the decor. I call it a nail brush. Below you can find the template of mine (you can aslo create this shape combining two ellipses, then go to Pathfinder, choose Add to Shape Area and extract afterwards).
Using the Selection Tool (V) drag your shape to the Brushes panel and choose the settings as below:
Step 2: Creating a wax decor
Draw a straight line segment, apply the nail brush and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform…
Again go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform… and choose Apply New Effect when the dialog box pops up.
Set the value of horizontal move so that to recreate what you can see below (that may vary depending on the initial size of your line segment).
Draw another vertical line segment of the same length above the left border of the first circle of nails, apply the nail brush, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform… and again set the value of horizontal move and number of copies so that to recreate what you can see below.
Then drag it down holding alt/option key (to make a copy) and Shift (to drag it vertically) key
You don’t have to be precise as far as the number of copies here (as you can see I was not) since the left and right edges will not be visible.
Step 3: Turning the decor into a symbol
Select your three objects, go to Object menu and expand them. Set stroke color to none and fill color to white. Drag the selection to the Symbols panel and choose Graphic:
You may use the image below as a template to draw the shape of an egg.
To trace it, make sure the image is in its own layer, double-click the layer in the Layers panel, select Template, and click OK:
Easiest way is to draw an elipse starting in the center of the template egg – hold the alt/option key. Then reshape your ellipse using the direct selection tool (A).
With the selection tool (A) select the right half or your egg and delete it. We are about to create an eco egg which means we only use purely natural colorants – the onion rinds in this case. To obtain the onion rinds effect set the stroke color to R = 165 G = 78 B = 61. Make sure you set fill color to none.
Step 5: From 2D to 3D
Go to Effect > 3D > Revolve. Click More Options to view the complete list of options. On the screenshot below you can see my choice of settings:
Step 6: Mapping Art
Choose the Map Art button and go to Surface 2, choose the eco veggtor symbol and place it on the grey area. Check the preview to properly position the symbol.
Step 7: Adding shade on the egg surface
Duplicate the revolved object (cmd/ctrl+C) and paste it to the front (cmd/ctrl+F). Change the stroke color to white (fill is still none), blending mode to Multiply and Opacity to 60%. Double click the Apperance panel, first go to Map Art and click the Clear All button – that removes art from all surfaces. Press OK than go to More Option, below are my settings:
Step 9: Adding background and shadow underneath the egg
Create an ellipse starting from the bottom peak of your egg. Set it to the back shift+cmd/ctrl+[. Fill the ellipse with a radial black to white gradient and adjust the gradient settings as below:
Set blending mode to Multiply and decrease the Opacity a bit. If you use Illustrator CS 4 you may use a black to transparent gradient instead, then you do not have to change the blending mode.
Now set the backround color, create a rectangle and set it to back shift+cmd/ctrl+[. I set the fill color to R = 157 G = 178 B = 178. The font I used are Skia Regular and Santa Fe LET.
I hope you found this tutorial useful – it’s my first one – some feedback much appreciated! So are tweets/diggs/stumbling… :)
In my previous post you can find free Photoshop brushes within the easter theme. I mean thirteen fresh eggs. The coloring was done in Photoshop, the black and white brush templates – in Illustrator. This time it’s all vector work, coloring and effects. I took care not to apply any raster effects (in particular, I applied gradients instead of drop shadow) so they are perfectly resizable. Half a dozen – enjoy.
You can use them for your personal and commercial projects.
Today’s post is inspired by traditional folk paper-cuts. The ones you can find on old faded postcards.
I thought to link it by contrast with a shiny iPhone. The screen I dream of (high on my wish list).
Below you can find my three suggestions for iPhone wallpaper.
You can also download the vector source and use it free for both personal and commercial purpose.