A Mother Truckin’ Series Part 2

Okay, I think it’s time for Part 2 of the latest step-by-step progression of a new shirt design. I haven’t worked on the semi truck graphic for a couple weeks, but I do have enough of it completed at this point that I am able to show you some more progress. Click for Part 1 here.

Step 4: Below shows how I outline the hand-drawn sketch with red lines in Illustrator. I use red because it is easy to see above the sketch work. I got the idea from reading a tutorial once. Perhaps by sharing this technique, I can pass it along to you. To make the desired outline thickness, I don’t use any fancy paint brush settings or thickness adjustments. I stick to the Pen Tool with a 1pt stroke in Illustrator and literally draw around the line work in my sketches (that’s why most of the red lines below are doubled). I make sure to join all anchor points to make a closed shape, then fill with the desired colour. Then turn off the red stroke and the result is a filled shape that resembles a line, which can then be manipulated for varying thickness. Make sense?


Line drawing of truck for t shirt

Step 5: All the red lines are done. I think. Most of them, anyway. At this point, I turn off my sketch layer so that I am able to inspect the red lines and make any adjustments.

Line art of truck illustration for t shirt

Step 6: Below, the shapes made with the red lines are filled with black. Turn off the red lines. Now what is left is what appears to be black lines!

Black line illustration of truck for t shirt

Step 7: Below is where I block in the colour areas and shading. I always create my illustrations in black and greys, then select colours later. Why? I think designing stuff in black and shades keeps me focused on the graphic and overall feel of things. Choosing colours in the beginning can be distracting, so I leave it for later. I’ll have a general idea of what I’m after for colours throughout the project, but the final decisions come later.

Line and shading of t shirt art illustration

Okay, that’s pretty much where I’m at with this illustration. The next steps for me will be to select colours and slap down some shading. I’m also working on some text. Oh, and I might throw in some texture to roughen it up a bit, too. The beauty of doing this on my own terms is it allows me to play with different ideas. It’ll be done when it’s done. Stay tuned for more!

If you have any questions about how I draw anything, fire me an email at crockofshirt@gmail.com or ask in the comments!



Wear a shirt that you love! Crock of Shirt was born to share our passion for drawing and printing quality shirt designs. .

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Posted in Art, Shirts

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