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 Awesomely Organic Vector Brush Essential Pack, DragStrip and DragStrip 2 instantly became best-sellers, so we decided to make it easy for you to grab all of them at one time. What's even better is that we included Von Glitschka's typeface, Nincompoop, and his two vector art packs as free bonuses, so you have everything you need to take your vector illustrations to the next level.
I can honestly say these are the most comprehensive and well-made packs of paint-style vector brushes ever made, so it was obvious that we needed to bundle them all together to make one vector brush super pack. But the pack is called Everything Glitschka, so we had to throw in his typeface and vector art packs to make the pack complete!
Did I mention these brushes and bonuses were created by Von Glitschka? The guy who literally wrote the book on using Illustrator?
Von's has done incredible work for brands including Nike, Wendy's, Capri Sun and he recently created the new Dungeon & Dragons brand!
In fact, Von's work has made such an impact on the design world that some versions of Illustrator come loaded with his work as examples!
Von spends 50+ hours a week illustrating (and a lot of that time is in Illustrator). Being the smart designer that he is, that means that he's invented time-saving tools for himself. We've collected all of those tools and made one awesome toolbox just for you.
Between the 61+ DragStrip, DragStrip 2, and Organic vector paint brushes, Painting with Vector Brushes ebook, example files and the 4 step-by-step video tutorials, bonus Nincompoop typeface, and 2 bonus vector art packs, you can't go wrong.
Here is a breakdown of what you'll get:
Dragstrip Vector Brush Pack ($15 value)
DragStrip 2 Vector Brush Pack ($29 value)
The original DragStrip, DragStrip2 and Organic Vectors packs got 100% 5-star ratings. Here's what customers had to say about the original packs.
Really surprised by the quality of these brushes. They do not look like your typical vector brush sets. Having fun just playing with them and layering them to see the effects that are possible.
Its tough finding great looking realistic Illustrator brushes, but these are exactly what I've been looking for. Very versatile, pressure sensitive, the whole 9 yards. Well done!
These brushes allow vector artwork to have the texture and quality of paint. We all know how good vector art is a being precise,clean & defined; these brushes are loose and messy allowing you to take vector work in a different direction that is still infinitely scaleable.
I tried these brushes right away because I was so excited to put them to use. They are fantastic and easy to use, thanks so much for providing original example work by Von Glitschka to examine exactly how this genius illustrator uses his one of a kind brushes.
Von is principal of Glitschka Studios a small boutique design firm located in the Pacific Northwest. Their diverse range of illustrative design has been used by some of the most respected global brands. We creatively collaborate with ad agencies, design firms, in-house corporate art departments, and small businesses to produce compelling illustrative design.
Do I need to be an Illustrator genius to use this pack?
Absolutely not. This pack gives you tons of brush and learning resources so you can become a better illustrator! Of course, if you're already strong in Illustrator your results will be even better.
What version of Adobe Illustrator do I need?
We've saved versions for both Adobe Illustrator CC and CS6. However, you're welcome to try it with a lower version. If you run into any problems just let us know. We'll refund your money promptly.
How did you make the brushes?
The brushes were made from real brush strokes. Then scanned at 800 DPI and imported into Photoshop for careful and extensive touch-up work. Often multiple brushes were combined to capture the best traits of each stroke. Then the brushes were converted to vectors. We struck a careful balance between detailed brushes while paying close attention to processing requirements.
Are any of the brushes from DragStrip 2 recycled from DragStrip 1?
Nope, we would never do that. Each brush is new and unique. Plus, you get the fine line pattern brushes that maintain stroke integrity no matter how long the line!
Say hello to The Hand Lettering Toolkit | 67 Ridiculously Real Brushes + Bonuses! a collection of 67 Photoshop brushes* created to work harmoniously together to create gorgeous hand lettering work.
Plus, as a bonus you'll get a set of carefully crafted crosshatching brushes unlike anything available anywhere!
*IMPORTANT: This pack includes three different pricing options. Please be sure to choose the pack that includes everything you want in it (as each pack contains different amounts of goodies)
VectorTone is a collection of graphic styles, swatches, actions that make it crazy easy to add halftones and crosshatching to your work.