Adding Shadows, Highlights, and Other Details in Illustrator

Sometimes when you see a vector image, it’s difficult to figure out how the artist created the intricate shadows, highlights, and textures. Try to determine how the details were achieved in the illustrations below:

will_run_for_pasta_cream   will_run_for_dessert_aqua

Now let’s break down the frosting on the cupcake.

I started with an outline of the shape of the frosting in a mid-tone:
frosting_midtone

Then I added a layer with several highlight shapes:
frosting_highlight

Followed by a layer with several shadow shapes:
frosting_shadow

Here is the frosting with 4 layers representing four shades of shadows and highlights:
frosting_combined_layers

The cupcake wrapper was created the same way:
vector_cupcake

By the end of today’s class, you should create a new blog post with the following:

  • a PDF of your progress
  • a paragraph describing what parts of your poster you are happy with, and what parts of your poster you would like help or feedback to improve
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