I have been using Adobe Illustrator to sketch and draw with my Wacom Tablet, I've gotten pretty good with it. But I'm having trouble figuring out how do I turn those sketches into a real Illustrating.

This Illustration is what I wish I can do.

From Sketch, to Line-Art, then to a colorful, detailed Illustration.

Calvin Huang linked to me a very good Video Tutorial, I am wondering if there are anymore tutorials, or Guides [Video or Not] that is like that, or if any Artists on here that can give out a tip or two to help me out.

I look at the designs on Dribbble and I get so inspired by them, but I have no idea where to start.

  • Are you talking about mesh gradients? Or are you looking for advice on how to use illustrator to convert your drawings to vector? Jan 13, 2011 at 1:51
  • 2
    Yes to 'Or are you looking for advice on how to use illustrator to convert your drawings to vector? '
    – Trippy
    Jan 13, 2011 at 1:55
  • Based on what you say you already know, my advice is to learn how to use mesh gradients. That's the one skill that really separates advanced vector artists from amateurs (well, that and line work quality). Jan 13, 2011 at 2:09
  • Ok is there anything on the web that can help me learn meshes and lineart?
    – Trippy
    Jan 13, 2011 at 2:28
  • 1
    @Calvin CorelTRACE (Shipped with X and 11, don't know about newer versions) has worked for me nicely as well. Depends on the image of course... I guess some things you have to re-draw by hand
    – Pekka
    Jan 13, 2011 at 23:19

2 Answers 2


First of all having a tablet for drawing is a step too far for you i guess, i you are used to using it, then its fine but a step backward and using mouse for starters will make you more comfortable on vector drawing. I personally find drawing vectors with mouse more controlled.

Main method - not a mistake - with tablet is using it as a brush, think of it as a plotter pen to draw vectors, you wont draw strokes but point specific coordinates to create shapes.

And for vector drawing practice http://vector.tutsplus.com/ is the starting point. Many similar resources available but these guys take their job seriously and update content regularly.

Also following and checking archives of Smashing Magazine will give you great resources, http://www.smashingmagazine.com

  • There are different vector drawing techniques. Plotting out points is not necessarily the best or most efficient way to draw. And you can certainly use the mouse to draw, but most people find it much easier to draw with a pen, especially if you're using the pencil tool (much faster than plotting out individual points and using the convert tool on each one) and are using pressure sensitivity to alter your line weight. Jan 14, 2011 at 9:45
  • 1
    You are definitely talking about a higher level of technical skill, i was trying to define a starting point. If someone without the required hand skills for illustration needs a start, then tracing and defining areas and getting used to bezier curves is a good one. At least for me.. But a lot of tecniques can be prefered for sure..
    – Yunus
    Jan 14, 2011 at 9:52
  • actually i wrote mistake that was a wrong usage, sorry, its one of the methods..
    – Yunus
    Jan 14, 2011 at 10:10
  • I see. Yea, I suppose it's good to learn how to work with bezier curves manually first. That's how I learned. But I also think it's important for serious designers to get a tablet and get accustomed to using the tablet as soon as possible. That's one of the things I wish I'd done sooner rather than later. As it does take a while to get really proficient at drawing with a tablet without looking at your hand. Jan 14, 2011 at 16:32
  • Ive good drawing with my tablet, I'm just having trouble turning the outlines of my drawings into real vector art
    – Trippy
    Jan 14, 2011 at 21:21

If you want to do illustration in Illustrator that feels like a natural hand inked process, I definitely recommend using a tablet. You'll need to set pressure in your tablet driver and also make sure it's enabled in Illustrator.

I would not recommend learning gradient meshes until you are comfortable with manually editing vector handles. In the illustration example you've posted, these would be used on the lips but you can do the rest with basic techniques.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.