All posts in: Vector Illustrations
mercedes 300sl line art
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I was a car-drawing machine when I was 10 years old, and by the time I turned 18 I was getting pretty good at it – as a matter of fact, I even started college with the intention of becoming a car designer. My freshman year was all about cars, but I found the work that the product design students were doing to be really interesting – enough so that it ultimately persuaded me to change focus. Despite that change, my passion for cars has never fizzled over the years.

In mid 2011, I set a personal goal to get back to drawing cars (by hand) as much as possible. Automotive art can be a beautiful thing with varied pencil strokes, subtle gradients, and hard reflections – none of which can be captured so artistically in a computer-generated 3d rendering. It had been years since I had put pen to paper and actually created art, so the desire was strong to get back to the basics and learn how to draw all over again.

The good news is that I’ve been sticking with it, drawing and sketching cars between meetings and late at night. I’m still not anywhere as good as I want to be – but I’m pushing on knowing that it’s going to take years to master. In the meantime, I’ve decided to start posting some of this automotive art here on the blog.

First up is a vector line drawing of a Mercedes Benz 300sl – one of the most beautifully designed cars ever IMHO. Deciding to draw this out was a bit of a spontaneous thing, as I was just browsing a car forum one night and I saw that someone had posted a picture of this beautiful Mercedes. I just had to draw it!

Creating the line work for my car illustrations is actually the easy part for me. I start by sketching it out by hand (using SketchBook Pro), export it to Illustrator to do the vector line work, and then I bring that into Photoshop to render it. It’s the rendering part that I feel like I still suck at.

It ended up being a lot more sloppy than I would have preferred, but the only way I’m going to get better is to keep practicing. If you want the vector source file for the line drawing posted at the top of this post, you can get it by clicking here.

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A client of mine had recently asked me to come up with a series of ideas for some banner flags that wrapped around progress bars. His project involves the need to display loads of dynamic information to his users (though a web-based interface), and he was unhappy with his current layout. After some preliminary creative brainstorming sessions, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

Normally I shy away from using Adobe Illustrator for these types of tasks – I know, that’s not exactly “designerly” of me, but the truth of the matter is that I am much faster in Photoshop than anything else. But there were two things that pushed me to consider doing this work entirely in Illustrator. First, I had made it a personal goal of mine at the beginning of the year to flex my creative muscles a bit and learn new techniques. Second, I was given more time than usual to complete this task – he wasn’t in any particular hurry to replace what he already had, and all of this work was for his planned 2.0 release early next year. As rare as far-reaching project deadlines are, I knew that I had to take advantage of this opportunity.

So…what you see here are some of my preliminary concepts. The goal was to create a family of shapes and objects that would wrap around a progress bar, almost making it bit mechanical-looking. The design of the progress bars weren’t important at this stage – we were just looking at some possibilities for the shapes and how they intersected the bars underneath. To create the illusion of depth, I played a bit with transparency and reflections – not an easy task to do in 2d for this 3d designer! I think I did alright, though I was thinking the whole time that “I could do this sooo much faster in Photoshop or Form-Z”.

Ultimately, these preliminary concepts led to a completely different design (and a mighty clever one at that) so I’m offering this set as a freebie. Feel free to download and use these however you wish, though as always, I would be highly appreciative of some credit if there is any way for you to sneak it into your layout.

Click here (or on the image above) to download the source Adobe Illustrator 5.5 vector file.

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I was organizing some of my old project files last night, and I came across these vector kitchen appliance drawings that I made about eight years ago. I hate to leave stuff like this locked away in my archives, because I feel like it’s a waste to keep them for myself when there is probably someone else out there that could put them to good use.

Anyway, this is a set of four individual kitchen appliance drawings combined into one file. Theres a microwave, oven, and dishwasher (all with open doors) – plus a stacked double oven too. Each of these illustrations are completely generic, which means that there are no identifiable logos or style characteristics that associate them with real products.

Clicking on the image will take you directly to the zip file, which contains two vector drawings: one is in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) CS3 format, and the other is in EPS (.eps) format. Feel free to use these images however you wish. Enjoy!

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Have you noticed these crazy looking QR codes starting to pop up everywhere? They are basically bar codes on steroids – with the proper software, you can scan these codes with your mobile device and they will link you to a website containing more information about the product you are looking at. These QR codes have been in use for many years in Japan, and are just now starting to gain popularity here in the US – and it’s starting to catch on like wildfire.

Anyway, I have just finished a large batch of illustrations featuring QR codes – more specifically, THIS one that I built in Adobe Illustrator. You’ll start seeing those illustrations soon, but for now, feel free to use this vector QR code however you wish. Click on the image to download a zip file containing both an .ai and .eps source file.