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Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Revealing Vector Ink Methods

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Illustrator Tutorials / Illustration/ Comments: 0
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Inking in Adobe Illustrator is usually performed with the help of different brushes. But watching the works of professional illustrators, we do not always understand what types of brushes were used at the same time. I read a lot of discussions about the settings of calligraphy brushes to create a unique outline. The problem is not in the brushes settings, but in the method of inking. Today I will tell you about one of these methods. The DrawScribe plugin will help you to work more quickly and comfortably in the process of creating outlines.

At the end of this article, you may also find the original Illustrator artwork file of the images shown above, including all the original dynamic sketch strokes!

Find out more at the jump!

Some background information

This method is shared with us by a professional illustrator Ilya Esaulov. For inspiration you can visit his blog and look at his wonderful illustrations.

To demonstrate the inking technique I will be using a sketch, which was kindly provided by Victoria Vasilyeva specifically for this article.

Step 1

Paste the sketch into the current document (File > Place…). Convert the layer where the sketch is located into the template layer and lock it in the Layers panel. Create a new layer above the first one. In this layer we will be creating an outline.

Step 2

Usage of the Paintbrush Tool and Bob Brush Tool requires certain skills of the user. You should perfectly master the control over the pressure on the stylus of the Wacom tablet and at the same time create the path of the desired shape. Such skills come with experience. Besides, you cannot create arbitrary shaped outlines using the brushes. This is the outline that we can see in the works of illustration professionals. Let’s take a look at the inking technique using the Dynamic Sketch Tool which is one of the tools found in the DrawScribe plugin. Take this tool and open its panel (Window > DrawScribe > Dynamic Sketch panel).

I want the tool to be as accurate as possible when repeating the movement of my hand, so I set the Accuracy and Smoothness sliders to minimum.


You can read full version this vector tutorial on



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