This lesson is exclusive to members

Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

Class Project 03 - How to color a real hand drawing using Adobe Illustrator CC (Style and color a doll drawing)

Daniel Walter Scott

Download Exercise Files


You need to be a member to view comments.

Join today. Cancel any time.

Sign Up

Hi there, in this video we're going to take this kind of hand drawn, done with a pencil in real life drawing, and go do this where we fill it with color, easily making it all kind of vectory and nice. All right, let's go do it now in this tutorial. 

So there's going to be three different types. There's going to be a hand drawn one where if I zoom in, you can see, it's just kind of a pencil drawing. And these guys here we drew earlier in the class, right? I'll show you the pros and cons working with these. So for this guy here we need to first of all vectorize it. Basically it's called Live Trace or Image Trace; if you select on him, and over here there's one called Image Trace. If you're using an earlier version of Illustrator, it's at the top there. Image Trace, it doesn't matter. Click on it, and this results. Try different ones, but normally it's just black and white logo that will work. 

The cool thing about it, if I zoom in now, it's actually vector shapes I can fill. It's not quite ready because you need to expand it otherwise it won't work. Now it's lots of pieces, if I go to Outline view, 'Command Y', or 'Control Y' on a PC, it's actually vector. Now I need to color it. We're going to use our super resourceful Shape Builder Tool. We use it for lots of things. So with it open-- let's do a couple of things. Let's open up 'Window', 'Swatches'. What I've done for us in this tutorial is I've cleaned up-- remember the thing we learned in advanced color tips and tricks, I've cleaned up our Swatches panel just so we've got the basics in here. 

You might, to get started with, start mixing up colors that you want to color with. You can do them on the fly. Another thing you need to double check is, if we double click this tool, is that you want to make sure Gap Detection is on small for the moment. We'll look at that in a bit more detail in a second. Make sure this-- I turned this off earlier in the course. Basically it's the color that appears just above your cursor. I'm not a big fan of it. So what I want you do now is click on it, and color it. So I'm going to pick a starting color. I'm going to click on it once, and it's filled with that kind of-- I should pick a slightly more specific color that you can actually see. 

So I've clicked on that, and it just fills it up. If you're running into problems with your hand drawn type double click this, and play around with the Gap Detection. As you can see in here, there's gaps that I've got. Is there any gaps in this one? There's a gap right there. At the top right. And because I've got Gap Detection on, it's going to fill that for you, don't worry about it. Thank you. Couple of things I want to do to speed this up. One is, the shortcut that you weren't sure if that was useful back in an earlier video, remember, 'Command' on a Mac, or 'Control' on a PC, and 'H'. Gets rid of all of that Anchor Points everywhere. Just tidy it up, please. 

Another cool little shortcut when you're coloring is, can you see, just above my cursor, there is actually three little squares. The middle one's slightly bigger. If I go over here, close to this panel-- you can zoom right in. Can you see, over here, my cursor is telling me that's the one I have selected. But watch when I hit my left and right arrow. Can you see, I can kind of toggle through the available Swatches. So it kind of makes it nice to kind of have one hand on your keyboard, to go, actually I want this to be this color. Then I'll go, a darker color in here for this. I'm just kind of using my left and right to color the pieces. If you're finding it very hard to color, keep zooming in. I find, the closer you are zoomed, it's easier to get to some of these gaps. So I'm using left and right. 

You can see how quick and easy it is to start coloring this thing. I don't want white, I want this color here. I know it doesn't look that rich for a color. You don't have to use these Swatches, you can just use pre-mixed colors, make your own. Let's double click this. Pick a 'Swatch', I want a color for my flower thing. And you can click in here. You can see, I just picked a random color. Really hard to get? Zoom right in. There we go. Come on, I get you, there you go. So that is how to color it. 

There's a couple of things-- you'll end up with a white border around the outside which you may, or might not want. I'm going to hold down the 'Alt' key on my PC, or 'Option' key on a Mac, and just delete it. Hopefully now, we're going to go to Transparency mode. That's a shortcut we haven't learned before. 'Command-Shift-D', or 'Control-Shift-D'. Goes into that kind of more Photoshop style. Kind of sets the Opacity or Transparency. It allows you to know whether there's white in the background, or if it's black. Let's look at some of these other guys here because it's going to run into a few more problems. 

I left a gap there on purpose, I've got some overlapping bits. So we want to tidy this up. So we've kind of moved on from live drawing to kind of just coloring anything. Remember, these aren't complete shapes. There's big holes, this guy just kind of overlaps this. Select them all. Let's grab 'Shift M' for our Shape Builder Tool. Gap Detection's going to be a little bit more important in this case because you'll find things, like if I double click it, and make the Gap Detection large, can you see, it's detected a really large gap over here and here, it's decided that, "Hey, I can fill that in." If you are watching this whole tutorial series, that drove me mad a little while ago. You might have to play around with Gap Detection to work it out for your particular drawing. I'm going to click 'OK'. 

Let's say I want to do this again, I want the color over here. Go to the green color. And I'm going to color the face this color. The eyes are going to be this color. But I've got all these extra bits, they overlap. So what I can do is hold down the 'Alt' key on a PC, or 'Option' key on a Mac and just click on them. These blue bits get trimmed up. I love this, nice little circle. You decide on how detailed you want to get rid of these bits. I'm just holding 'Alt'. You can drag across these. So there's a kind of a pile of junk here. I'm going to hold down 'Alt', drag across them all, get rid of all of that. Not what I wanted. It's getting rid of everything. Hold down 'Alt', and get rid of these guys. 

I said you can drag across them, it's not working very well. So I'm going to work my way through, and keep coloring . There is going to be no difference for this guy. What I'd like you to do now is go through and do it by doing maybe some nice colors. I picked these colors, they seemed like they were going to be good. I even did a demo before I recorded this one, and it looked better. So remember, 'Window', 'Color Themes', find some nicer color themes, I want you to fill it. Play with Gap Detection, delete the lines. Maybe get rid of this Stroke, add a cool Brush Stroke. I'd like to see what you've done, so either stick it here as the class project. There'll be a proper space for it here on the website. Also, I'd love to see, just take a screen shot, and send it to me on Instagram or on Twitter. All right, I'll see you in the next video.