Contributing ARTIST
Upload Photos

Illustrator Power Up the Pop To Create Eye-catching Art

by Elijournals
More Tips

When you think of pop art, what comes to mind? Most likely it’s the artwork of Andy Warhol or maybe the bold comic-like paintings created by Roy Lichtenstein. Regardless of what comes to mind, pop art has intense visual impact due to vibrant colors and simplified objects. We’ll show you how to easily create artwork similar to that of Roy Lichtenstein, as shown in Figure A, using old line art for inspiration.
Article figure image
Choose your image carefully
In order to create your own pop art in Illustrator you first have to find or create a black and white line art image to work with. Old out-of-date clip art works great for this technique because they have clean lines you can easily fill in with color. If you don’t have black and white vector art, you can download the image from the URL given at the beginning of this article. Once you have your image, you’re ready to transform it into pop art.
Turn raster art into vector line art using Live Trace
CS2’s Live Trace makes it easy for you to re-invent your raster art by creating workable vector line art. This is a great way to create the stylized line art associated with pop art. Live Trace has preset options to convert images into black and white line art.

To create line art using Live Trace’s presets:
1. Open an Illustrator file and place the raster art you wish to convert to vector art.

2. Select the raster art.

3. Choose Black And White Logo from the Tracing Presets And Options pop-up menu on the Control palette.

4. Click the Expand button on the Control palette to create vector art ready for manipulation.
Flood your image with color
Before we start filling your image with color, you’ll need to obtain a vibrant color palette. We’ll use a bright color palette that puts the “pop” in pop art. With vivid colors in mind, let’s start by choosing the colors and then we’ll fill your image with them.
To obtain a vibrant color palette to work with in CS and CS2:
Launch Illustrator and open the file, as shown in Figure B.
Choose Window > Swatch Libraries > Brights to display the Brights palette.
Article figure image
Note: If you’re using 10, you can follow along by creating your own vibrant colors using the color sliders on the Color palette
To fill in your image with color:
Select the background area of your image using the Direct Selection tool.
Apply the color C=100, M=35, Y=0 K=0 to the background shape’s Fill using the Brights palette, as shown in Figure C, or by creating a new color swatch.
Continue adding colors to the white areas until your image is filled in with vibrant colors.
Leave the areas you wish to remain white, such as the woman’s pupils and teeth, as shown in Figure D. Keep the skin as is, because we’ll fill it in later.
Article figure image
Article figure image
Create the dot effect
Rather than just filling in our subject’s skin tones with a flat color, we’ll transform her skin into a halftone pattern of dots. We’ll still use a vibrant color for the dots, but the contrast between the white area around the dots and the color of the dots will create the illusion of a new textured color.
To create a dot texture from a uniform color:
Create a new color made of C=0, M=30, Y=30, K=30 using the New Swatch button on the Swatches palette.
Select both the neck and face, and apply the color you just created, as shown in Figure E. Keep both objects selected.
Choose Effect > Pixelate > Color Halftone to display the Color Halftone dialog box, as shown in Figure F.
Adjust the Max. Radius setting to 12. Keep in mind that the larger the number is, the larger your dots will be.
Click OK. Your illustration should look something like Figure G, depending on the colors you chose.
Article figure image
Article figure image
Article figure image
Tip: You can use the Color Halftone Effect in conjunction with pattern or gradient fills to create some wild results
When using the Color Halftone effect your results will vary depending on which color mode you’re working in. In RGB mode, the dots will appear translucent, whereas in CMYK mode, the darker dots will cover the lighter ones. Also, note that process colors can’t be made into halftones. But if you follow our technique using our suggested colors, you should be able to create great looking halftone effects.

PhotoSpin subscribers receive a 66% discount on Inside Photoshop. Click here for more information!