So today BoingBoing posted some work by a Russian illustrator named Maxim Shkret.
I’m pretty sure his work is done in a 3D program. But I asked myself “how could I get something like this in Illustrator?” and fooled around a little bit.
After some fiddling with needlessly complex setups that didn’t work anyway, I realized I could do it pretty simply: tell Illustrator to draw two variable-width strokes, one for each side of the line, each in a different gradient.
The above screengrabs are for one of the six related styles I made while experimenting; I’ve got it at different stroke weights (3/6/9pt), and with one of the gradients reversed. The lips are also done with double-gradient strokes; the other shading is simple blurred shapes.
The fun part here is that the hair can be knocked out super quickly with the pencil tool. I could very quickly draw some chunky, super-stylized plastic-looking hair.
It still looks interesting with different colors, too. I may have to experiment with this further and try to do a piece using this. I’m not sure what kind of looks would go well with it.
Anyway. I thought I’d share this little experiment.