Working with Textures in Adobe Illustrator

texture art by Bob Ostrom

Hamburger illustration showing texturesMost people point their cameras up when there taking photos. Lately I’ve been pointing mine down. I find the best textures live on or near the ground. I’m sure my neighbors think I’ve lost it when they see me taking pictures of my driveway but I don’t care because I know it’s going to make an excellent texture for my next piece of art.

There are lots of different ways to add visual interest to a digital file.  I’ve been inspired by the some of the unique art I’ve been seeing on Instagram lately. Lots of textures and lots of originality. It seems as though the pendulum has begun to swing in the direction of a more organic look these days. Adding texture is a great way to great way to add visual interest and create a unique signature.  The trick is figuring out how some of it is done and that’s the focus right now.

I’ve worked with adding simple textures in the past but I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface when I look at some of the artists I’ve been following. This month I plan to dig in a little deeper and see if I can come up with some solutions of my own. At the same time I’ll be attempting to solve some of the problems I ran into earlier with my textures. I noticed some of the blending modes I used earlier made my art skew a little darker than I would have liked. I’d also like to see if I can find a way to add more vibrant colors to my textures at the same time.

My early attempts focused mainly on Photoshop but now I’m looking into Illustrator. The technique is slightly more complicated with Illustrator because, as you know, Photoshop offers the ease of using clipping masks where Illustrator does not. The art shown here involves two different textures placed on top of the original art using different blending mode for each. I’m pretty happy with whats going on in this illustration but for my next attempt I’d like to try and push the envelope a little further. Stay tuned for more updates.

 

chameleon texture art by bob ostrom
This art was created in Adobe Illustrator using two different texture placed on top of the original image each with a different blending mode.

 

 

 

 

Excuse Me, You are a Rock Star.

cartoon computer by bob ostromHi readers its another busy week here at the studio. You may have noticed me posting a few videos last week. They are for a new class I have coming out starting November 6th. It’s called, Advanced Line Art Techniques and focuses on the methods I use to create line art with Adobe Illustrator. It’s a two part class and is for all skill levels. If you’re interested or would like to find out more about the class come see me at: BobTeachesArt.com

This time of year things tend to get busy for us illustrators. That can mean long hours and a lot of time spent organizing schedules, trying to find new projects and wondering where the last week went. Here’s a little tip for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts or needs a little pick-me-up. Go into your calendar and schedule a few positive reminders. Have your calendar send you those reminders on an alert at random times during the week. Next change the settings on your computer so it speaks your alerts. It’s hilarious and usually pops up right when you need it most.

Here’s how it works for me. I’m sitting at my desk after a long week of deadlines, maybe putting together some new ideas for a big program or something else I’m planning. The infamous artist’s self doubt starts to creep in and just as I begin to think maybe my high school guidance counselor was right and I should have considered a career as a pet waste fecal matter removal engineer my an alert goes off. My computer says in it’s slightly weird, slightly mispronounced computer voice, emphasis on all the wrong syllables ….” Excuse me Bob… You are a rock star!” 

Ok yeah, not quite as funny in print but I highly recommend trying it because even though it’s silly and ridiculous it reminds me to lighten up, get my head on straight and quit worrying about things I shouldn’t worry about. Thanks computer, you’re a rock star too…