I’m trying to take a friend’s pencil-and-paper design and recreate it in Illustrator for use in a poster we are creating together. She’s very proficient (away from the computer) and it’s my job to get her ideas into the computer. But sadly I’m a novice at Illustrator (and Photoshop), though I’ve been using Fireworks intermittently for years.
I’m using CS5 (Illustrator 15.0.2, Photoshop 12.0.4) on Windows 8 Enterprise RTM, and a Wacom intuos 4.
Here’s a fragment of the scan of the artwork I am trying to recreate.
And here are a few of my attempts to recreate it using the brushes in Illustrator.
As you can see the results look nothing like the original :-(
That leaves me with three questions, though the first is the one I most need help with.
Can anyone explain the steps I’d need to take to recreate in Illustrator the pencil hatching from the original paper based artwork, or point me to a comprehensive tutorial covering the required techniques?
Perhaps I should instead abandon trying to recreate the pencil stroke hatching with an Illustrator brush and use Live Trace? I’ve not done that partly because I want to understand how to do it as a brush, and partly as I would not then have as much flexibility in creating different foreground text and background hatching combinations. Should I swap to Live Trace?
Should I give up on vectors and try recreating the artwork in Photoshop?
Well, the super-easy way would to simply scan it at a very high resolution, adjust it accordingly in PS and be done with it. Since this is done using "real" tools, there is no resolution limit otehr than the granular fibers in the paper structure making it eventually looking odd. If you still must redraw it, my first place to start would be Bristle brushes. A few very stiff strokes with a fan brush and low opacity would offer an relatively easy way to place those strokes. Multiple strokes stacked would then mimic the variations in density. And that means that of course you paint the blue stuff first contiguously, then the text on top...
You can create some near-realistic looking vectorpencil-brushes: