Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop tutorial: Add vector flair to model shots

There’s something about the rounded, gentle textures of vectors that makes them a playful and very tactile contrast to an elegant model shot.

In this tutorial, Camilo Bejarano shows you how to ramp up this juxtaposition, hand-drawing elements before scanning them in and transforming them into dramatic, colourful designs that interact neatly with the photograph.

This technique offers many opportunities to creatives: you can use it to add or accentuate colour, to alter the feel of a photo, or to suggest moods and thoughts that aren’t immediately apparent from the photo itself. Best of all, it’s a lot of fun and offers you the chance to let your creativity run riot.

Step 1 First, we’ll need to find the right image – this is key to the whole piece. It can be a photo you’ve taken yourself, or a stock image. If you want to use the same image I’ve used here, you can download it for a small cost from Shutterstock at I recommend seeking out images with little or no background.

Once you have found the right image, open it in Photoshop and print it onto A4 paper. The reason we print the image so small is so it’s a manageable size for sketching on.

Step 2 Before drawing over the print-out, do some practice sketches, to give you a clearer idea of the end result. Once you have a good idea in place, begin sketching it around and over the photograph. Try to create the shapes and forms that communicate well with the object or objects.

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