2:00 AM on a Sunday night.
I'm working on the latest brush pack for you guys and an old song from high school pops on my Apple Music subscription (It's a Shame About Ray by The Lemonheads).
I started thinking about my high school stuff. My first beater car, doodling in notebooks, going on weekend adventures with my friends Gabe and Melissa.
In that spirit, I decided to make a brush pack a tribute to high school nostalgia.
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!
VectorTone is a collection of graphic styles, swatches, actions that make it crazy easy to add halftones and crosshatching to your work.
Have you ever wondered how some digital artists are able to create such realistic pen and ink illustrations?
You'd swear their work was created in a wood paneled commercial art office. India ink heavy in the air, piles of paper filled with sketches, and busy artists at sturdy wooden desks using ink brushes, rollerballs and nib pens.
So what's the secret to creating authentic commercial art illustrations?
Here's a hint: inconsistency and human imperfection.
Adobe Illustrator has given us the ability to create precision artwork. The problem is that it cost us the human touch that adds warmth to illustrations.
This can all be boiled down to one key trait. Expression filled ink strokes with varying weights and subtle imperfections.
We've recreated the feel of this era with the VectorHero Pen Pack for Illustrator. Here's how we did it:
The bottom line is we created the pen set that we've always dreamed of.
You see, most Adobe Illustrator brush packs are made by scanning pen strokes, auto tracing them and making them into brushes.
The result is hard to use brushes that give less than stellar results.
Scott Fuller and myself (Dustin Lee) spent over 40 hours compiling material, studying the best examples of commercial illustration work, recreating and refining brushes and then testing them by creating real artwork in the classic style of 1950's illustrations.
The result is a pack of brushes that we love using in our work. We think you'll love them too.
Grab the VectorHero Illustrator Pen Pack now and start getting realistic ink results the easy way!
Here's exactly what you'll get when you purchase this pack.
• 20 Clean Ink brushes (recreated from source material)
• 20 Dirty Ink brushes (created from scanned samples)
• Beautiful 8.5 x 35 inch reference chart (with brushes)
• Instructions included in reference chart
• Versions for CS4, CS5, CS6 and CC
Created from real 1950's source material and real brush and ink pen samples. Work created by Dustin Lee and Scott Fuller. Available exclusively from RetroSupply Co.