Hillary

"Hillary" done on an iPad Pro using Adobe Illustrator Draw and an Apple Pencil

"Hillary" illustration done on an iPad Pro using Adobe Illustrator Draw and an Apple Pencil. July 21st, 2016
Step 1 - First I do the main line drawing.
Step 2 - Then with my Illustrations where I use the technique, I add the cross-hatching to create the shadows and depth. Cross-hatching is a technique that has been around for centuries and centuries and something I practiced many, many times to get right. I do somewhat cheat with it since I also use color as using different colors makes it easier to also achieve the shadows and highlights I am going for.
Step 3 - I add the "main" colors which are usually just one solid color. I also almost always finalize the eyes as well early on, as I believe they are very important and set the tone of everything else.
Important Note - The Eyes and Lips are also on another Layer above everything else.
Step 4 - The final step, and the step that takes the most time usually, is I add additional shapes to make up the shadows and the highlights of the face. These subtle but important shapes wind up providing the definition for the face itself. I usually create several layers when doing this step. The shadows/darks are always on the bottom layer. I usually wind up with 3 to 4 layers. Shadows. Midtones. Lights.

Important Note - For the pieces I use cross hatching, as you will see in Step 3, the cross hatching starts to define the contours of the face even without putting an additional color. However I do add an additional color underneath the cross hatching as well especially if I want that area to be a "deep" shadow.

I then add a simple background to all of my illustrations. I keep the background very simple on purpose. It is the portrait itself I consider to be the main artwork. I also try to keep negative space and composition in mind overall as well.
I hope it helps some people out me sharing my process. I simplified it for the sake of the illustration, and quite often I will work with several layers at the same time to achieve one step. For example just the lineart, it was made up of 3 to 4 layers I eventually just combined to one layer.
Back to Top