The 10 step, teach you to draw beautiful vector light and shadow portrait illustration with AI

Any object is reflected into our eyes through light, and we can say without exaggeration that there is nothing without light and shadow. At least in the visual system, we rely on light to see things. Therefore, when we look at things, we should carefully observe its light and shadow performance, distinguish between high light, shadow and middle tone. When drawing illustrations, we actually show these different shades of color, which are not part of the thing, but part of the light.

Only this way of thinking can guide you into the style of light and shadow illustrations.

In order to reflect the “perfect” character of vector characters, each kind of color block needs to be close to silk like smooth texture. I think this description may be felt by small partners, right?


Draw the outline of the characters


Today we’re going to use a portrait as a reminder of the picture, remember! We’re not looking at the photos, but we’re taking pictures of the light from the photos.

Choose a portrait, open AI, new document for 600px*800px, canvas can be later fine-tuning. Insert the picture, then lock the layer, and then create a new layer on top of it. The work is done in this layer.


The use of pen tools to figure the shape of the painting, at this time should pay attention to draw slightly to weaken the realistic sense of the characters, try to smooth lines, which is the key feature of silk slip milk wind. Fill this closed silhouette image with pink flesh, as the basis for the skin tone.

If the pen tool is not skilled enough, the line will appear more rigid, and then you can use the smoothing tool to tidy up the lines, and it will look much better.


Copy the path of the middle adjustment once, and then close the visible options of the lower path. Only the upper path is visible, and the transparency of the path above is reduced to 20%. At this point, we will draw the model’s hair according to the prompt photos.

Drawing the part beyond the middle of the path does not care too much. After drawing, you can use the shape generation tool to select the two paths that have been drawn and click on the beyond part to complete. Then, close the transparent path above, open the path below, observe the color matching, and complete the situation.



At this time, the size of the figure has been drawn up.



Shadows and highlights


We sort out the light on the body, and we find that there are so many layers of shadow, and we just need to do it in one or two tones. Half of the eye depends on the eye, and the half depends on your intuition.


Also, draw the part of the shadow with the pen, and then you have to learn to pick and choose which important shadows are, and which ones don’t need to be shown.


When drawing, the part beyond the middle of the characters can be deleted with the shape generation tool.


It’s important to maintain the fluency of the form. Because the location of the shadow is mainly linear, therefore, the smoothness of the line determines the outline of the characters.


The drawing of high light is similar to the shadow, and the training of high light and the control of the aesthetic sense of shape need to be continuously trained. We should draw some decorative meanings of the shadow and the high light, rather than simply depict the characters realistically.



Detail description


The simple details of the characters can be summarized as hair, facial features, clothing, jewelry and so on, where we first draw the vest of the model, the color of the vest, I chose lemon yellow. It should be noted that if the vest is a single tone, it seems to lose the sense of three-dimensional, increase the shadow will be more abundant.


Next, we will draw the facial features of the characters, then it is best to enlarge the image to draw, the effect will be more refined. The method of drawing five facial features to ensure the rationality of structure.


Because the hair has a large outline, we only need to add some shadow and high light fluctuation details. When designing shapes, pay attention to the direction of the hair.

The details are not exhaustive, the details of the drawing can go beyond.

Integrate into the background

One of the things that needs to be added here is that when we’re done, our character’s high light is white, and then if the background color is white, you’ll see that the highlight part of the character is “fusion” and goes into the background. I have to say, it doesn’t seem to have much impact, but it adds some spice to the picture

Light figure illustration course

The interesting problem at the same time is that it makes the whole picture, especially the figure of the figure, seem a little natural. The part of the right shoulder, for example, seems to be missing. At this point, we have to design a certain background, so that it can let the characters have the fusion with this part, but also the characters can self “Gestalt” part.

The way I do it is to add colored background to the highlight position and keep the part in the white background.

Final result:

Vector light and shadow portrait illustration


Postscript suggestion

Drawing this kind of illustration especially needs to think more, otherwise, the drawn portrait will appear very stiff. Some people are divided into abstract or realistic painting, actually, it must be said that even in realistic photos, it is another abstract. Just as the lines in Chinese calligraphy are bigger than the font, we should pay more attention to the figure than the characters themselves.


The above content is reproduced from:

Leave a Reply