We’re now going to inject some dynamism and movement into this. Start to add light balls along the flow to help with the energy of the illustration. Then add more complex lighting systems on different layers to help distinguish the flow. There are some light dots on the cover CD (and in the Zip file opposite) to help you out.
Now step back and take another look at your illustration. Decide what feeling it gives you – do you associate it with any scenes, does it make you think of music, love, travel, or happiness? Find items you associate with whatever you decide, and paste them into the looser sections of the composition. It’s up to you whether you decide to put loads of elements in, or just a few key devices to get your required look.
Now look at the details: how will the light affect the tree, and other items in the image? Using layers above each of the chosen details, paint lightly where you feel it needs it and reduce the opacity to make it look more natural. Do this until you feel it looks right – either over the top so that the flow seems dazzlingly bright, or much more subtly.
Nearly done. Finally, darken the background in places behind the flow to make the foreground elements stand out more clearly. Take a good long look, make any final adjustments, then flatten your image.
Who: Self-confessed ‘Mac monkey’ Neil Duerden lives near Manchester. He creates pieces that combine photography and complex vectors for an impressive portfolio of international clients – including Nike and Virgin.
Software: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
Time to complete: 5 hours
Files for this tutorial: You can download the tutorial files here