Project #7: Begin Drawing Your Tattoo / Sticker Design

Posted by Jennifer Impey on 4/12/2022 8:00:00 AM

Today’s essential question: How can I apply what I’ve learned about Adobe Illustrator to making a tattoo/sticker design?

Today we will:

  1. Create the template layer in Illustrator with our drawing/composite image to trace.
  2. Begin tracing and outlining our design.
  3. Utilize the shape and pathfinder tools.
  4. Post a progress blog post at the end of the period.

Create your art board:

  1. Create a new document in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Size it according to the printed size you want your tattoo/sticker to be.
    1. I have made mine 4″ x 4″.
    2. Make sure you have your document size set to inches, NOT pixels, points, or millimeters!
    3. Raster Effects set to High (300 ppi)

Create your template layer:

  1. Once you have created your document, click on File —> Place.
  2. Find your template image and open it.
  3. Click and drag on your art board to insert your file.
  4. Double click on your layer and check the following:
    1. Template Box
    2. Dim image if necessary.
  5. You *may* also take a picture of the area of your body that you are planning this tattoo to go to place in the background so you can see what it will look like as you are creating it.

Begin drawing out your tattoo/sticker:

Be sure to use the skills you learned in our first Illustrator project:

  • Draw each individual piece in its own layer!
    • Use sublayers!
    • This will help you organize and move things when needed.
  • Name each layer so you know what it is.
  • Be sure to CLOSE each shape you draw with the pen tool.
    • This is super important, especially if you plan on adding color later!
  • Use the shape and pathfinder tools to draw your closed paths where possible.
    • This helps ensure you are CLOSING the path.
  • Save your working file as an .ai file on your flash drive.