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Tuesdays with Pariah: Easy Realistic Painting in Adobe Illustrator with Gradient Mesh

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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

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Vector, every­one knows, is res­o­lu­tion independent—drawings can be en­larged or re­duced to in­fin­i­ty with­out loss of qual­i­ty. The prob­lem is, get­ting smooth, re­al­is­tic col­or tran­si­tions in vec­tor isn’t easy… Or is it?

Realism and photo-realism in Illustrator is ac­tu­al­ly quite easy to cre­ate when you know the secret—gradient mesh.

Start to fin­ish I showed you how to achieve re­al­ism in Adobe Illustrator—any ver­sion from CS1 through CS5—and why and when gra­di­ent mesh draw­ing is bet­ter than Photoshop paint­ing. We al­so looked at nu­mer­ous gor­geous ex­am­ples of gra­di­ent mesh art­work from artists all around the world. (Examples here, here, and here; note: some ex­am­ples con­tain artis­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of nudity.) 

Series Description

My career—my passion—is en­tire­ly fo­cused on do­ing any­thing I can to Empower, Inform, Connect Creative Professionals™. I’m ex­treme­ly lucky that I’m able to make a liv­ing do­ing that through writ­ing books and ar­ti­cles and ap­pear­ing at con­fer­ences and in videos and we­bi­na­rs. I love do­ing all that, but in all of those ac­tiv­i­ties there’s one thing miss­ing—dis­course. In all those me­dia it’s me do­ing the talk­ing and every­one else the lis­ten­ing, read­ing, or watch­ing. Out of all the dif­fer­ent types of work and projects I do for the cre­ative pro­fes­sion­al com­mu­ni­ty, the most in­ter­ac­tive is my train­ing and con­sult­ing, but even that is lim­it­ed to cer­tain com­pa­nies and groups, in cer­tain places. I want to have a con­ver­sa­tion with any de­sign­er who has the time to sit down for an hour and talk, no mat­ter where he or she hap­pens to be at the moment.

So, in­spired by my friend Mordy Golding’s Fridays with Mordy week­ly we­bi­nar, I’ve start­ed Tuesdays with Pariah, a Designers’ Discourse.

In these week­ly free web con­nect ses­sions I’ll be some­times in­struct­ing in soft­ware like InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, or some­thing else, and at oth­er times talk­ing about the busi­ness of de­sign, such as in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights for cre­atives, help­ing non-Web de­sign­ers get on­line, tax con­sid­er­a­tions for free­lancers, and any­thing else that you bring up. Throughout the pre­sen­ta­tion and af­ter, Tuesdays with Pariah are a con­ver­sa­tion where I hope to learn as much from you as you learn from me. Think of it as a bunch of cre­ative folk get­ting to­geth­er over vir­tu­al cof­fee and talk­ing, teach­ing each oth­er some­thing new, or de­bat­ing dif­fer­ent sides of an is­sue de­sign­ers face.