Your Assignment

You will draw a character and render it using your own custom brushes in Illustrator.

The first step in starting your final assignment is to decide what you’re going to draw. You have the choice of character faces. It can be human or animal. They should be very distinctive. These are a few ideas:

  • A caricature of yourself or someone close to you.
  • A little girl in pink
  • A stern looking business man
  • The bully
  • The hipster
  • Dizzy guy (just got knocked on the head)
  • Goth girl
  • Tech support nerd

Create a simple pencil sketch of your concept. You can actually scan it, then place it in Illustrator to trace it. This will be the base of your final illustration.

Examples of characters students have painted in Illustrator. Left: Chelle Lorenzen, 2016. Right: Dom Richichi, 2016

Scope of Work

These files are quite demanding in Illustrator. You’ll want to create a beautiful, polished piece. On the flip-side, you don’t want it to be too detailed. You’ll need to create a simple, basic sketch, then go to town on the layering of the strokes. The stokes alone will make your file complex enough.

Protect Your Files

Painting with such complex brushes is very demanding on Illustrator. These are some tips to make sure you don’t lose any work.

  • Work on a computer that’s being backed up with Time Machine.
  • Work in a cloud-synced folder, like or Google Drive.
  • Save really often.
  • Create versions of your file by using Save As…
    • Save As… Appleseed, Johnny, Group 1, Paint
    • Save As… Appleseed, Johnny, Group 1, Paint
    • Save As… Appleseed, Johnny, Group 1, Paint

This way, if ever your file gets corrupted, you can revert back to the previous version. You won’t lose all of your work.