Make your message heard with stunning painting and compositing techniques from Alex Beltechi.
There’s a lot of talk in design circles about green design at the moment – and this digital illustration is inspired by this emphasis on green issues and a more sustainable future.
You’ll learn how to employ 3D extrusion techniques by creating elements in Illustrator for import into Photoshop; you’ll also hone your brush and drawing skills, and learn how to achieve this wonderfully subtle, cloudy background and the bold but not too in-yourface highlights.
A Wacom tablet is highly useful for achieving the look, although if you don’t have one then careful mouse-work and a lot of patience will do. While we’ll create almost every element in the tutorial from scratch onscreen, we’ll use a simple watercolour image to create a texture of our own, adding a grungy feel to the design – and we’ll also cheat slightly by adding some stock birds.
Creating your own elements can be very useful when illustrating – not only does it reduce your need for external resources, but it also contributes to an original outcome that represents you, the designer.
To begin, open Illustrator and create a new web document. Type in the letters individually, using a light grey as foreground colour (colour reference #b9b9b9). Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude and Bevel. Use a 35º perspective and a Complex 2 Bevel. Depending on your font size, you should alter the Extrude Depth and Bevel Height values, so that the letters don’t show any distortion.
In Photoshop, create a new A3 document at 300dpi. Paste in the letters as a Smart Object and add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer with these colours: #a3bd41 and #124938. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer and darken it slightly.