- Software: Inkscape (or Adobe Illustrator)
- Level: Advanced
- Subject: Peacock
In this tutorial, we would do a walkthrough of illustrating a vector artwork of a peacock. Much of the techniques mentioned in the other peacock tutorials here would be used.
I used GIMP to do a rough work, but you can use any other tool that you find comfortable sketching. See Drawing A Standing Peacock for a detailed tutorial.
After we get the form of the peacock, a little work on the details is done to get the idea of how much detail we want to put into the vector artwork in the end.
At this point in time, I import the PNG file into Inkscape and get the rough outline form of the peacock. If you had done the sketch/lineart on paper, you can scan it in using a scanner and import into Inkscpae.
Make further shapes, to block out the different areas and depth using the lineart as a guide. Take extra care to layer them from back to front. A little bit of planning goes a long way when the amount of detailing is going to be quite complex.
The blue outlines are at the same level. The green outlines, three of them are layered one over the other.
After giving some basic flat color and gradient to the whole body, zoom in towards the center and use the pen tool to draw details of the plumage.
Further apply gradients to these detail shapes. If the form feels flat, create shapes of lighter blue color and change opacity to 10% or 20%.
Head and Beak
Apply gradients to the blue outlines with a pale yellow-brown color and you get the head detailed.
There is no need to give a lot of attention to this part, as the area is quite small. In full view, much of the details would be lost.
He looks a bald due to lack of the crown feathers – we will be adding that later.
Now we get to the identifying feature of a peacock – his exhuberent feathers. Have a look at Peacock Feather Vector Art post that has a detailed walkthrough on creating vector art of a single feather – we will not be going to that amount of detail, but it helps to know.
As mentioned above in the basic form, this particular angle has three layers of the feathers. Start with the lowest layer.
Get the basic shape fo the feathers end that looks like an exotic eye. Concentric blob like shapes, with colors ochre (yellow), orange, cyan and deep blue will be the template.
Reduce the opacity of this to around 20%. Since it is the lowest layer of feather, we make it dull by reducity the opacity (increasing the transparency). You do not need to draw them all, just make copies of them, rotate and scale to get them in the required positions.
Its feathers have sparkling highlights. Even on the lowest layer, they would be visible. Use the pen tool to mark out couple of these in each section.
You can even put in some stray strands of the feathers and merge them with the main shape, to give volume to each layer of feather. Thsi makes it look less flat.
Cut (not copy) and paste in place the remaining green outlines and start detailing the same way as you did the earlier layer. Make those eye like shapes 40% opaque this time.
Take a little more time when doing the upper layer. Add darker shadows to make the highlights standout more than the other. Increase the opacity of the circular patter to around 60%.
Draw a couple of the crown plumage. Make copies to create the full set.
For the rest of the body, add some stark highlight shapes.
You can download this artwork as a desktop background over at ClipArtLog.com – Peacock Wallpaper.
If you liked this tutorial, pass on the link to your friends. Subscribe to KalaaLog.com feeds to get updates on new posts. (You can get email updates too – use the subscription form above).