If you're an illustrator I'm willing to bet you love illustration work from the '50s and '60s.
There's just something about classic illustrations from that era.
Sketching with real pencils, building up dry brush work, using masking fluid, and adding text by taping on typed sheet.
It added soul and character to the work.
Programs like Photoshop and Illustrator save us a ton of time. But they also make it hard to capture the subtle nuances of traditional illustration techniques.
Today if you want to bring those subtle nuances to your work you have to work pretty hard.
Most illustrators and designers have developed their own unique process. It typically involves some mix of Illustrator, Photoshop, searching through tutorial websites, scanning, Photoshop brushes, filters and a little luck.
Some designers get amazing results this way. But when you're on a deadline (or just want to have fun and not think too much) it can be overwhelming.
My friend Brad Woodard and I thought it would be cool if there was a product that took some of the work out of the process.
So we decided to make a natural media brush and tutorial pack (so you can get everything you need to make natural looking illustrations in one place).
Step 1. Spent a ton of time collecting and sharing illustration work we loved
We used Pinterest to build a collection of illustrations we loved. This included a lot of 1950s children's book illustrations. It also included work from current designers that achieve a great looking hand drawn look in their illustrations.
Step 2. Create 100+ brush presets and test them with Brad
I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best illustrator. But Brad Woodard is one of my favorites. What I love so much about his work is that it seamlessly mixes mid-century inspired illustration with modern touches.
So we spent hours on Skype working together. I'd make brushes, try them myself and then send them over to Brad via Skype chat.
He'd try them in his illustration work. Then give me feedback (for example, "This brush sucks, Dustin. Don't ever make one like that again").
After early a dozen hours working, refining and testing we had a set of 20 brushes we both loved. For every one we kept, we threw away 5.
Step 3. Create a set of tutorials to compliment the brushes
Early on in our conversations Brad mentioned something really interesting to me. Normally, when you buy brushes you're kind of left hanging. You have to download them and just start messing around. Eventually you might find a few you like.
We thought it made more sense to include tutorials with a REAL project. That way, you can download the brushes, install them and start working on something right away.
That way you get way more value. Not only do you have the tools, but you also have someone helping you get the most out of them.
Step 4. Add lots of little touches to make the pack as awesome as possible
It would be easy to make a pack of brushes, put it in a ZIP file and offer it for sale.
But if you've bought RetroSupply products before you know we never do that. We want to make the products as friendly and enjoyable to use as possible.
So we did what we always do with RetroSupply products. We thought out the little details to make the product the best it could be.
Here's some of the little details we added:
The result is a brush/tutorial pack that we're both proud of. It's helps you improve your illustration work with great tools and great tutorials.
This pack is the first in a series of "dream brush" packs that Brad and I are making together.
Each one explores a different style of mid-century illustration work. This first pack is all about illustrations that use pencils and dry brushes.
Here's what's included in the SpaceRanger Pack:
If you were to take a class and get supplies to learn this kind of stuff at a real school (even an affordable community college) you'd be set back over $100. And that's low-balling it.
But with the SpaceRanger Brush and Tutorial pack you acquire some incredible tools and skills for about the price of a take-and-bake pizza. Plus, you don't have to drive across town for 12 weeks taking the classes.
The only way we could make this easier is if you could download the knowledge into your head (and that technology simply doesn't exist yet).
The SpaceRanger Brush Pack requires Adobe Photoshop CS4+ as well as a pressure sensitive tablet (for example, a Wacom Cintiq). File size is approximately 19.5 MB.
The Illustrator's Brush Kit for Adobe Illustrator is a collection of 6 of our best-selling Illustrator brush packs. Each one of these packs has become a best-seller.
32 sponge and ink scatter brushes that make it easy to recreate the textures of mid-century children's books.
40 ink pen brushes that make it easy to achieve the same kinds of strokes illustrators used in mid-century commercial illustration work.
40 pencil and charcoal brushes achieve the impossible, getting realistic pencil strokes in Illustrator!
35 halftone and line textures created from a $200 '50s army surplus catalog. Easy to use. Just grab the blob brush and paint halftones and lines like magic!
23 chalk brushes inspired by chalkboard art and sandwich board signs from the '30s.
30 ink and water brushes make it easy to add a wash of color and shading to your work with the swipe of your mouse.
Each pack was made from real source material and references historical commercial illustration work.
So what exactly does that mean? Here's the breakdown.
Whenever possible we sample the brushes from mid-century catalogs, advertisements, posters and other material. We acquire this material from places like Ebay, antique stores, estate sales and swap meets.
Of course we combine and tweak each piece of the product so it's not an exact replica out of respect for these great commercial artists of the past.
When we make our brushes we pay close attention to how the brush looked originally.
For example, when we created the VectorTone pack we paid close attention to the ratio between the dots, the shape of the dots after soaking into the paper, and how often flaws occurred.
Yeah, sometimes we get a little obsessive compulsive on the details. But it's who we are!
Sometimes the best way to recreate these old effects is to recreate them. In many cases we actually purchase material and then recreate retro work and then sample the work we created.
For example, InkWash is a throwback to the ink washes that illustrators used to add shading to their work. For this pack we looked at the original uses of ink washes in ads and articles from old science magazines.
Then we purchased india ink, brushes and heavy illustration paper. By tweaking our ink and water proportions, brush strokes and how loaded the brush was we created hundreds of samples.
Finally, we picked the best samples to convert into brushes.
Sound quality is poor on this video, but seeing the effect is awesome!
Want to win an original art print from Von Glitschka? Grab the brushes and share the artwork you make with them on Instagram using the hashtag #RetroSupplyContest
We'll choose our 5 favorite pieces and send the winners this art print signed by Von.
Contest ends July 1st, 2016.
You know how in Illustrator it's a total pain to shade your work or add textures?
Especially when you need to get in tight corners. It always ends up being an elaborate process. I know when I do it I feel like I'm trying to be the MacGyver or Illustrator to make it work.
This pack totally solves this problem (and solves it well).
This pack was made by Von Glitschka (author of Vector Basic Training, most-viewed instructor on Lynda.com, professional illustrator for clients like SXSW, Adobe, Nike, Planters, Wendy's, Dungeon & Dragons, and tons more).
Von spends 50+ hours a week illustrating (and a lot of that times is in Illustrator). Being the smart designer that he is, that means that he's invented time-saving tools for himself.
And The Awesome Organic Vector Brush Essentials Bundle includes three of these tools (and so many extras your head is going to spin).
These are hands down my favorite brushes in the pack. You get 15 shading pattern brushes. These brushes give you that rich textured shading look.
But the best part is that they're only textured on one side! That means you can easily use them on edges of shapes and not have to deal with trying to mask the texture on the other side.
This alone is going to save you a lot of time, trouble and frustration. Imagine no longer having to use clipping masks to hide the textures in your illustration.
Another huge challenge of keeping your work in Illustrator is adding a subtle distressed texture to your work. You can overlay textures (this actually works pretty well). But sometimes you need more control.
For example, what if you want to add texture to your work but you need it to be less intense around your typography to keep it readable?
The Organic Shader Scatter Brush Set makes it easy to solve the problem. Just choose from one of the 15 scatter brushes and paint the textures on exactly where you want them.
One of the beautiful things about Illustrator is that it gives you crisp scalable graphics. But sometimes your line work can look too crisp and clean.
For example, look at the tribal illustration in the before and after image. It looks pretty good with clean crisp lines. But being that it's a tribal design it would make sense that the lines aren't so sharp and crisp.
Choose one of the 15 organic linework brushes and your work instantly takes on a more rugged, illustrated style.
Plus, since each of these packs includes 15 brushes you can try out all sorts of different variations. It's literally as easy as flipping through channels on tv.
Studies have shown that when people physically do things they learn better. That's why we've provided Ai files of the artwork. By giving you access to professional illustration work you can "look under the hood" and quickly understand how stuff works.
You'll be amazed at the kind of tricks you'll pick up in minutes (not hours) of look through these files.
By the way, these aren't simple illustrations. We're talking about full blown complex illustrations with shading, textures, gradients, blending modes, and more.
Want to learn step-by-step how a pro uses these kind of brushes. Than you're going to love these 3 tutorials from Von.
In each tutorial Von shows you the EXACT way he uses these brushes in his work. I think you'll be amazed by what you can learn from the tutorials.
What makes these tutorials so great? Well, first of all you're learning from an illustrator that produces world-class illustration work for some of the biggest companies in the world. But more important you're learning from someone who is a fantastic teacher.
This do-all texture pack adds subtle grain, rough edges, ink textures, heavy grunge textures with ease.
This 40 piece set contains easy-to-use brush presets that are always just a quick cursor sweep away. Pressure sensitive brush presets made from real ink and print samples makes adding final touches t your work a breeze.
The ultra-sharp grain textures are created from real ink and print textures. Each one scanned in at 600 DPI. Then refined for 20 hours so each brush responds to pressure to give you the precision you require when adding textures.
Plus, you'll love all the time you save putting the final touches on your work. Get projects done faster. Enjoy results that clients love and designers envy.
Don't spend a minute longer wasting hours trying to add perfect textures to your work. Start achieving stunning textures instantly today!
Click the "Buy Now" button in the upper right corner of your screen and start enjoying Turbo Textures right now.
Do these brushes work with a Wacom tablet?
Yes! In fact, they were specially designed for a Wacom tablet (or any other brand of tablet). You'll find the brushes are pressure sensitive and adjust in intensity and size.
What type of files does this pack include?
The main brushes are Brush Tool Presets (AKA .tpl files). But we've also included 10 .abr brushes.
Do I need a Wacom tablet to use these brushes?
The short answer is no. You'll get some great looking effect with these Brush Tool Presets and Brushes with just a mouse. But we've built a lot of goodies in for designers and illustrators using tablets.
Why should I buy this now?
Of course you don't have to buy it now. But if you ever add ink, screen, grain or grunge textures to your work they'll come a time when you wish you had it. Probably sooner than later. So might as well grab it while you'll remember!
What if I try it and don't like it?
Every product from RetroSupply is backed by our Risk-Free Guarantee. If you don't love it for any reason, hell, if you see a picture of me and don't like my hair. Just send us an email within 60 days and we'll happily refund your money. No questions asked.
(Note: We used the VectorHero brushes to create the illustration you see in the video. Grab 'em here.)
I love working in Illustrator.
But I HATE adding textures in Illustrator.
Yeah, you know why... Because of this spinning wheel of death! It pops up when I least expect it and totally ruins my flow.
And it always seems to happens when I forget to save my work!
So after a particularly traumatic Illustrator/texture/crash event I had enough. So I started racking my brains trying to think of a way to solve this problem.
I searched all over the web for different solutions and found one that I loved. I saw a lot of screen printers using it and it just eliminated the whole issue of Illustrator crashing.
So I made a the flagship pack and called it Diet Vector Textures. Diet because, you know, the textures are super-light and won’t bloat (or crash) Illustrator.
It includes 15 high resolution TIFF files that you can easily drop into illustrator and change the color with the click of a button. These files are super-lightweight, guaranteed not to crash Illustrator, and look great in your work.
Here's some cool stuff I love about this pack:
This pack will become a reliable friend. You can come back to it again and again to use in your illustrator projects.
Plus, by combining even two different textures, resizing, and layer you can make millions of unique textures. Not to mention they're 4000x4000 pixels so they work on big projects.
Just check out the Five-Star Reviews we've received so far. This pack is not fancy or hard to use. But it works like a dream.
Grab it now for the low price of $39.
100% customizable ink offset. You choose the color and distance.
Give your photos that 1950's illustration/photo look.
Your personal halftone factory! Turn anything into a halftone in seconds.
Get a subtle ink starve effect.
Add a subtle (or crazy) roughened edge to your work.