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Pop Art Vector Images in Illustrator

Posted on 23rd January 2019
For this tutorial, you will need a vector image or portrait to apply the effect to.

1 - In Illustrator, create a “New Document” and “Paste” in the Vector image you want to work with.

2 - In the “Swatches Panel” click on the Top-Right Menu and navigate to Open Swatch Library > Art History > Pop Art to open a new “Color Palette”.

3 - Select portions of your Vector and change the “Fill” to a shade from the “Pop Art” Palette. Keep going until you filled all the Vector.

4 - Go to Grid > Show Grid.

5 - “Zoom in” as much as you can (Command/Control +) and then select the “Ellipse Tool” (L), click inside the Canvas and using one of the “Pop Art” colors as fill create a 4 px by 4 px circle.

6 - Center the circle on the “Grid” so you can see where the 4 “Anchor Points” are. While holding the “Alt/Option + Shift” keys drag the circle down to create a duplicate placed exactly under the original one. It should be positioned on top of another “Grid” point.

7 - Select both circles and double-click the “Rotate Tool” (R) to open the “Rotate Panel”. Use a 90° Angle and click “Copy” instead of “OK”.

8 - Select the “Rectangle Tool” (R), Swap the “Fill” and “Stroke” colors. Make the 4 (top, bottom, left and right) “Anchor Points” coincide with the Circles (center it in the Grid square).

9 - “Copy” the Square (Command/Control + C) and “Paste in Front” three times (Command/Control + F). Select one Square and one Circle (“Shift” key) and in the “Appearance Panel” click “Intersect”.

10 - If the resulting Semicircle has no “Fill” just swap the “Fill” and “Stroke” again in the “Tool Box”. Repeat “Step 9” with the other 3 Circles.

11 - Add another Square, make it the same size as the “Grid” square. Fill it with White and make sure it is Under the Semicircles and it works as a “Background” color. Select all the Semicircles and the Square and right-click on top to “Group” them together (Command/Control + G). Create as many “Patterns” as you think you may need changing the color of the Semicircles and/or the Background Square.

12 - Select one of the “Patterns” and go to Object > Pattern > Make. Click “OK” on the “Pop Up” window and give a name to your “Pattern”. When you are finished click on the “Done” button on the Top Menu. Your newly created Pattern should appear in the “Swatches Panel”.

13 - Repeat the process with the rest of your Patterns.

14 - Now, Select portions of your Vector and change the “Fill” to one of your “Pop Art” Patterns. Keep going until you finish filling the Vector.

15 - If you don’t like the color combination in one of the Patterns, go to Edit > Edit Color > Recolor Artwork… and play around with the values until you achieve a combination you like better.

16 - Go to the “Brushes” Panel, click on the “Library” icon on the bottom left and navigate to Artistic > Artistic_Ink to open a new tab. Select the “Tapered Stroke” brush near the bottom of the tab.

17 - Use the “Paint Brush Tool” (B) or the “Pen Tool” (P) to draw the outlines of your Vector.

18 - If your stroke is too big, double-click on the “Tapered Brush” to open the “Art Brush Options” Panel and modify the Size (we reduced it to 55%). Choose the “Apply to Strokes” option when asked.

19 - You can use the “Direct Selection Tool” (A) to select an “Anchor Point” and fix the shape of the Outline Stroke you are creating.

20 - You can also reduce the Size of the “Stroke” in the “Stroke Panel” by changing the “Weight” (we used 0.5 px).

21 - Your “Artwork” should be similar to this.

by @lornacane

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