Brian Yap captured an image of his eye using Adobe Shape CC on his phone, then transformed it using mobile and desktop apps into a stunning illustration.

Vector Drawing on the Go

By Brian Yap

I'm always drawing, so I love the freedom that comes with mobile illustration apps. Because not everyone is comfortable with them, I’m demystifying the process by showing you how I work. This process is a great way to create a vector illustration or get a head start on a more complex vector drawing. Even if your process is different, you might be interested in seeing how you can go from mobile apps to Adobe Illustrator CC. 

The original capture of the eye

I started by importing a photo of an eye into the mobile app Adobe Shape CC. I adjusted the slider to get the amount of detail I wanted, and then I clicked on the green button to trace the photo and create a clean vector version. I saved the file, which automatically placed a copy of it in my Creative Cloud Libraries. For more about using Shape, check out this tutorial.

Working on the eye vector in Adobe Draw.

I then opened Adobe Illustrator Draw (another mobile app), tapped a Project, and tapped the Shape menu to navigate to My Library. I selected the eye vector drawing I captured earlier in the Shape mobile app. I activated the touch slide tool, chose a color, and double-tapped to stamp the shape onto a layer. Here’s a tutorial on getting started with Draw.

Refining the eye illustration in Adobe Draw.

Using the eraser and the tapered line brush, I started illustrating the eye. The stamped shape was useful as a guideline, and I also kept some of the bits and pieces produced when I traced the original photo in the Shape app.  

I added a couple of layers to give the illustration background color and a bit more dimension.

Moving to Adobe Illustrator CC to continue working on the eye drawing.

I tapped Draw’s file send button so I could refine the image in Adobe Illustrator CC. As long as you’re signed into the same CC account on the same wireless network, tapping Send to Illustrator in Draw sends your file directly to your desktop computer and actually opens it in Adobe Illustrator! You can thank CreativeSync for that.

As you can see in the Illustrator screenshot above, each single stroke I made in Draw is now a vector shape on its own. The illustration is fully vector and split into the same layers I created in Draw. At this point, I usually select each color and merge all shapes of each color to keep things tidy. 

The final illustration is a stunner!

I was happy with the result, and it was great to be able to begin the drawing when I was inspired to do so, instead of having to sit in front of my computer.

January 13, 2015

Illustrations Brian Yap