Hours and hours of work on this illustration finally paid off today…I learned quite a bit about Illustrator thanks to this project, I really didn’t have any idea about using the mesh tool but now it seems like a very easy process.
Here is the original sketch by EriDaiho on Deviantart:
I started off with tracing out the sketch…at first I had a lot of trouble deciding where to cut off the strokes and which sketch details I should trace out. Also, I was worried that tracing it out wrong would also conflict in coloring it later. This caused me to close down some paths later on when I was adding gradients and coloring using the mesh tool. The part where I remained undecided on the tracing was the nose, which was drawn a bit funny in the sketch. I wasn’t sure of what the final sketched lines were for the nose, so I just went with what seemed to work for me.
Once the tracing was done, I took off with the mesh tool on the character’s left arm left arm. As I used the mesh tool, I found it very difficult to align it properly with the arm. This is where I finally figured out the clipping mask and why people always quickly trace out the area they’re coloring with the pen.
I wasn’t quite sure as to what the character really looked like since I never really played Assassin’s Creed, so I got an image and made a swatch with colors from that image to use as a starting point:
Amazing detail can be created using the mesh tool, and I extensively used it for most of the character…
By the time I was done, I would say 70% of my character was colored with the mesh tool:
On completion, I noticed a whole range of problems:
I realized I’d colored one of the character’s parts of the tunic wrong, and that the points where I used the gradient tool looked out of place. The problem was that the gradients were set up right, but not angled at all. I then angled each gradient in the image, as well as fixing some of the colors to make the blend in better. And finally, I had my result:
Final. Though it turned out nice, the boots could have still be done better, and I didn’t really get time to play with the width tool on the strokes too much. The vambrace on his Altair’s left hand also looks like it could’ve been done better.