Transparency styles for editorial illustration

Transparency styles for editorial illustration

This is one of the technics I use to make editorial illustrations. It needs drawing ability and full control over the path tools in Adobe Illustrator.

I read the article thoroughly and decided to illustrate on the following line.
“It’s fairly safe to say that if criminal is not holding up a large sign with their name and address facing the camera, we will never find them out”.

First thing came into my mind was a burglar breaking a safe. To make his ID prominent
I decided to use top angle view so that criminal looks like he is showing his ID to the camera, which is normally installed at the top corner of ceiling.

I draw the pencil sketch on a paper, scan it at 72dpi, gray scale to keep the file size minimum.
I opened a new document in Illustrator, placed [File-Place] the scanned sketch.
Then changed the layer style into template [Window-Layer-Template] Created one layer on the top of the template. so that when I draw and send my shapes back and forth, the shapes do not get hidden behind the template.
2. On the second layer I started tracing the illustration using Wacom tablet with the benzir tool in Illustrator, I set the outline and fill color to none. It makes easy to see the template. Tracing requires lots of patience and command over the Benzir tool.  You can also make stroke thicness to 0.3 and light gray color to make it visible.creating editorial illustration

3. After completing some portion of the image ( change the stroke color to none, if you’ve choose light gray),I filled his face with gradation. keeping the Transparency level 100%. Then for each shape I used the same gradation but went on changing Transparency level and Mode ( multiply, soft light, hard light ) according to light and dark area.
illustrator color palet
4. For background I created another layer and moved it one layer down. It is a good idea to lock the layer you are not working on. Using the same technic I colored the background. The advantage of using the transparency level and Mode is all the colors appear from the same family.

Delete the template layer. Here is the final artwork.

Final Illustration


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