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Skull Tattoo


Lets face it - tattoos can look really cool, but only when designed properly and for the individual displaying them. In this tutorial you will learn about the Pen Tool, pathfinders, and transforming objects while making a fairly basic but cool looking skull tattoo. Once that's done, all that's left to do is add it to a photo of your arm to make sure it looks good, and then go to the tattoo artist to get it done for real.  Simple!

Step 1:   Create a new document - it doesn't matter what size, because you can resize vector graphics to any size you want without losing quality. Then, using the Pen Tool, draw the shape below (also known as a 'flair'), following all additional instructions:

Step 2:  Select your flair, and copy & paste a new copy in front (CTRL+C to copy, then CTRL+F to paste in front). Then go to Object > Transform > Reflect and select horizontal to reflect the shape over the horizontal axis.

 

Step 3:  With the Selection Tool (black filled arrow) active, click to select your copied object, move it to the left, then rotate the top right corner down a little (when you hover near the corner point, the cursor will change to the one shown below - you can then click and drag to rotate the object).

 

Step 4:  Make a crescent shape using the Pen Tool again.

 

Step 5:  Select the two shapes shown below, then click the Trim button in the pathfinder window (to bring up the pathfinder window, go to Window > Pathfinder). Trim will cut the bottom object in to 2 pieces where it is overlapped by the top object.

 

Step 6:  Select the shape shown and move it in front of the other shapes (right click the shape once selected and choose Arrange > Bring to Front).

 

Step 7:  Grab your Direct Selection Tool (the white filled arrow) and use it to select the shapes shown. Once selected, use the Trim pathfinder again.

 

Using the Direct Selection Tool, select the shape shown below and move it to the front.

 

 

Step 8:  Now select all of your shapes, and give them a 1pt white stroke. Notice how the shapes are now intertwined?

 

Step 9:  Your flair is now complete, so its time for some skull making. You will be drawing the right half of the skull, using the pen tool once again. I'll do my best to explain. Start at the bottom with a click, then click and drag each point on your way to a skull shape. When you get to the top, just click (no drag), then click the starting point again to complete the 1/2 skull. The left side does not have to be perfectly straight.

 

Step 10:  Draw an eye socket and a half nose with the Pen Tool, then fill them with white. Zoom in for better control (CTRL+plus symbol)

 

Step 11:  Here comes the fun part - select everything, then copy and paste in front (CTRL+C, CTRL+F). Then flip your copied objects over the vertical axis (go to Object > Transform > Reflect then choose Vertical). You should now have this mess:

 

Step 12:  Now simply move your copied objects over to complete the other half. Let's get rid of the line down the middle of the skull. Select the right eye socket and right half of the nose and bring them to the front (right click & choose Arrange > Bring to Front from the context menu that pops up).

 

Step 13:  Finally, select the two halves of the skull (not the eyes/nose) and click the Add to Shape Layer button in the pathfinder window.

 

The final result:

 

- Tutorial written by Slick Illustrator

Automatic Translations: Translate Into French Translate Into German Translate Into Italian Translate Into Spanish Translate Into Portuguese

Last 5 User Comments

User:  ashish_tanwar (#54757)
Date: Fri Nov 21, 2008. 11:42:39

Post #5 of 5

very nice way!

Reply to this post


User:  sami1337 (#53649)
Date: Mon Oct 06, 2008. 19:06:47

Post #4 of 5

you could have just outlined with white if you wanted to keep the background white. Or whatever your background colour is.

Reply to this post


User:  Shankar_falcon (#51329)
Date: Sat Jul 05, 2008. 06:55:02

Post #3 of 5

ITS REALLY COOL ,i tryied same tut modified it with cs brushes it really rocked

Reply to this post


User:  jimmy_pazaron (#48341)
Date: Mon Feb 25, 2008. 02:09:51

Post #2 of 5

Thanks a Lot for this Tutoriol.. HELPS A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ThanX PostEr!

Reply to this post


User:  juanperez (#47156)
Date: Sat Jan 05, 2008. 04:47:49

Post #1 of 5

it's great. I never has used the trim tool. Every day learn something.

Reply to this post


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