Vector graphics

I’m looking for a little start-up help on some vector graphics using a photo as a basis (like bitmap tracing). My inspiration so far is the Hed Kandi covers:

I can’t really figure out whether to start out with some pen sketching or to go straight for the vector graphics. So basically I’m looking for some pointers to get started and maybe some more reference/inspiration.

If you’re doing bitmap tracing, there’s no point really in traditional pen sketching. Unless by pen you mean the bézier pen tool…in which case I suggest you start as soon as possible. It took me about 3 months of on-and-off playing with the tools to get really good with béziers, but it’s like riding a bike after that.

Quite fun, actually. Working with the handles always reminds me of this machine room I saw (maybe at the SLAC, not sure) with a movable laser system. The person operating the laser couldn’t see it from the control room, and the observer couldn’t access the controls. The observer had to shout out where he wanted the laser to go and wait for it to move there…sort of the way you work with béziers. Tell the curve where you want it to go, but don’t actually control the shape directly.

Enough bézier philosophy. I have some Illustrator to get on to.

Practice on a scanned coca-cola logo. You’ll learn where to put your control points very quickly. Then redo it 10 times working on getting faster each time. In no time you’ll handle that pen tool like second nature.

Hmm… I guess I was a bit unclear. The bezier tool shouldn’t be a problem.
What I meant was a little help on constructing the image regarding layers aso. Pardon me for being so lazy to ask before trying. (But that’s pretty much the idea with a forum, right… :wink: )

Start from background to front. Block in big shapes and add details. All shadows, etc on those are just shapes with fills and no strokes. Pretty simple to do most of it, some effects can get tricky. good luck