Circle Into an Animal:  Illustrator Self-Evaluation

The tools I used were the ellipse, rounded rectangle, line segment, arc, pen, color and gradient.  I used the ellipse tool to create the head, body, spots, ears, eyes and nose, and then used the direct selection tool to manipulate to anchor points to bend, morph and manipulate the ellipses to how I wanted them to look.  I used the rounded rectangle tool to create the paws of the Dalmatian.  I used the line segment tool to create the legs of the dog as well as the area between the nose and mouth.  To make the curves of the mouth, the tongue and the nails on the paws, I used the arc tool.  For the spots, I used the pen tool to add anchor points in order to make the spots look like they were spilling over onto the back of the dog.  I used color to make the dog look like a Dalmatian and gradient to add dimension to the spots on the dog.

I had a hard time figuring out the tools, so I had to spend a lot of time fooling around with them trying to make different types of features and discover what kind of dog I wanted to make.  Once I got started, the biggest challenge I had was making the facial features.  I had to make many different versions of the eyes, tongue and mouth until it matched the cartoon effect I was going for.  I found this the most challenging part because it took me a while to make the features a mix between normal and cartoony.

While the face was the hardest part for me to figure out, it is what I am most proud of.  It turned out exactly how I wanted it and spending the time toying around with the size and arc tool payed off.  I am also proud of the feet and legs because after spending so much time on the other parts of the dog, once I got to the legs I had figured out how to use the tools so well that it came easily to me.

Although I ended up liking how the spots turned out, I wish I could improve on them.  I took a chance using the gradient tools to add dimension to the spots, which I ended up liking, but I would go back and try to better balance, the spots and work more with the gradient.


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