Tips and Tricks: Highlights + Warp

Keep learning every week! I stumbled upon this really good link of Illustrator tips. I liked the illustration of how adding highlights really makes a difference to faces – definitely relevant for our Family of Characters! Whatever your aesthetic is – keep adding details, highlights, shadows, gradients, accessories to tell the most complex narrative!

LIVE DEMOS with links for reference:

Puppet Warp is a technique that might be useful in Character Design

When you are building multiple characters, use this tool to sculpt and change the same unifying body to a unique character.

See this great Adobe Puppet Warp tutorial

Shadows and Glows

Drop shadows, glows and feathering

Light effects

Using Mesh Overlay

Mesh Overlay

Monday, Aug. 30

Zoom Meeting 8 a.m:

Come to class with 1-2 ideas to discuss for your Family of Characters

We will discuss Character Development and have a few Technical Demonstrations that will help you once you’ve developed the conceptual part of your narrative.

Questions to ask:

Who is part of your family?

What is their story – collectively and individually?

What unifies them and makes them unique?

Where do they live? What details can you add to the background that contribute to the storytelling part of this assignment?

What did they do before this scene and after? Is your narrative loud enough that we can “hear” it?

Project 1: Family of Characters

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Selfie Family 

Lovely Ladies

“Demain” – Children’s Book

Aviva Short Stories

ETSY.COM: Family Portrait

Dribbble search

Love these

Coronavirus Family!

These are stunning animal character design

Great use of shapes and color in character design

Adobe Illustrator is for illustrators.. In this project, communicate your “illustrative style” by starting from a blank document and using the pen tool, in addition to others, building a cohesive character design. This character design should be seen as a creative illustration – one that could later be used in a children’s book, to print and frame as a gift, to later animate, the possibilities are endless!


Project Requirements: Sketch and develop character designs for 4-6 people in a setting of your choice. (Could include animals!)

Include details that make the character “human” – accessories, facial expressions, texture, color, etc.

Technical requirements: show skill with the pen tool, composition, color design

There is alot of creativity within the style of illustration – I am open and excited about your ideas!

Size: 8 1/2 x 11″

DUE DATE (uploaded to Canvas Assignment): Monday, September 27 by 8 a.m.. We will have  individual “half-way there” check in’s via email for feedback purposes. You can also email me ANYTIME for feedback on your projects.

Project critique: Monday, Sept. 27 – 8:15 a.m.

Previous sensational student examples done in former Illustrator 2 semesters:

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Monday, Aug. 23: Introductions

Hello and welcome to Illustrator 2!

I will meet you on Canvas Zoom today at 8:15 a.m.

Happy first day of Virtual Fall 2021 semester… Today we will go over the syllabus, our proposed projects, options for online tutorials and basic Illustrator technical questions. Please be sure to look at our syllabus, which you can find here .

Please stay posted as I design our class blog. Follow along and log on from home to access assignments, due dates and links to inspiring designers.

It is very important that you keep up with your projects as well as participate in our Design Critiques- not only for the benefit of your grade, but for your greater benefit towards becoming professional graphic designers!

I’m looking forward to a great semester!

Best, Prof. Hopkins

Course Description: This advanced course will give essential skills in vector graphics through the Illustrator program, covering a range of projects and creative explorations. Emphasis will be placed on creative problem solving, the pen tool, shape building, pattern creation and typographic experimentation.

  1. Family of Characters- a warm up project to get re-acquainted with the Illustrator tools and toolbar.                                                                                                  From Sketch to Vector + Character Design
  2. History of Poster Design     Inspired by previous Norton Museum Movie poster exhibit – we will take a virtual field trip, explore historical ideas of typography, discuss the “anatomy of poster design” and research an “old movie”.

      3. Putting Things in Perspective: Vector Landscapes

Perspective tool, advanced image tracing, advanced color + gradients

4. Socio-Political Poster Design:

Choose a topic, take a stand and use your design skills for change!

Homework for next week:

  1. Start sketching your “family”!
  2. Start thinking about projects!

What to expect in terms of method of working: We will use this website for all class assignments, submit files through Canvas and have critiques through Canvas Zoom, as well as have at least one “half-way” check in on each assignment.

And FYI – you can email me ANYTIME for feedback, technical assistance, or just to say hello 😉