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Creating a Mexican-Themed Sugar Skull

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by

Marni Oberpriller

on 19 November 2014

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Transcript of Creating a Mexican-Themed Sugar Skull

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Creating a Mexican-Themed Sugar Skull
Digital Imaging Unit: Traditional Mexican-Inspired Sugar Skulls
In this unit, we will:
• Look at & observe both traditional & contemporary sugar skulls

• Learn about the cultural context of traditional Mexican sugar skulls

• View the process of making traditional & contemporary sugar skulls

• Create a vector graphic of a skull using Adobe Illustrator inspired by traditional Mexican sugar skulls
VIDEO: History & Cultural Context of Mexican Sugar Skulls & Dia de Los Muertos
Visual content of this Prezi has been modified from the tutorial blog site:

http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-create-a-detailed-vector-sugar-skull-illustration

Feel free to visit and follow the instructional tutorial of the original site.
Ms Marni has taken the time to rearrange, break down and simplify the content of the original blog into more manageable steps for you to follow.
Process of Making a Traditional-Mexican & a Contemporary-American, Sugar Skulls
The Tradition of Mexican Sugar Skulls:
A long-standing tradition within Mexican culture,
Dia de Los Muertos,
celebrates the lives of those family and friends that have died.
The holiday follows Halloween on November 1 of each year.
Day of the Dead
commemorates the life of those who are no longer living and celebrates the time they were here with us on Earth; focusing on gatherings of family and friends to pray for, and remember friends and family members who have died.
Part of the Day of the Dead tradition is an
ofrenda.
Family members build an altar within a home to pay homage to loved ones; offering food/drink, photographs of the
person/s, personal possessions and decorations, including sugar skulls.
Creating the Outline of the Skull
The Celebration Dia de Los Muertos
Click on FILE then NEW in the drop-down menu. FILE>NEW
Format your working document:
Background size:
Width 7.5 inches Height x 10 inches
Resolution: 300
Color: RGB

Click on the ellipse tool. At the top of the document click and drag the curser until an ellipse is complete.

Traditional sugar skulls or
calaveras de azúca
r are made of real sugar and used to decorate the alters of the dead -- and can be eaten!
Traditional & Contemporary Cultural Context
What's Up Next?
Using the
DIRECT SELECTION
tool and
SHIFT
key at the same time, click and hold the upper most point of the ellipse; drag the point downward to flatten to the top curve of the ellipse
Direct Selection tool
COMMAND D
The ellipse tool is hidden behind the rectangle tool. Click and hold the rectangle tool to select the ellipse tool.
Creating & Flattening an Ellipse
Opening a New File in Adobe Illustrator
Drawing the Cheek & Jaw
Using the
PEN
tool, draw a closed shape for the cheek and jaw line.
Align the right jaw line with the center of the skull.

COMMAND P
COMMAND L
Go to
OBJECT>TRANSFORM> REFLECT
to
flip
the shape and create a symmetrical image.
Copy
COMMAND C
& Paste
COMMAND P
the shape in front of the ellipse shape
COMMAND F
.
Align
the duplicate/flipped image to the opposite side of the skull.
Merge all the objects/shapes together using the Pathfinder tool:
EFFECT>PATHFINDER>OUTLINE

Reflecting and Aligning the Shapes
Zoom-in to adjust the contour of the skull where the two halves are joined as needed.

Remove stray points with the PEN tool, clean up the outline and remove unwanted kinks.

Use the
SELECTION
tool
(black cursor)
to select the contour line. Next, go to
OBJECT > PATH > OFFSET PATH.


Offset the path by
3mm
, then
RIGHT CLICK
or
COMMAND CONTROL

to un-group the two lines.

Add a thick
6pt STROKE
to the inner outline and a
2pt STROKE
to the outer outline. Align both strokes to the outside of the path using the STROKE palette.


Removing Unwanted Points
Offsetting the Outline of the Skull Shape
Creating Teeth
Creating a Tooth Template
Click on the ellipse tool
COMMAND L.

Find an empty space on the screen away from the skull shape. Create a small ellipse, drag the cursor until an ellipse is complete.

Using the
PEN
tool, drag the lower most point of the ellipse upwards until the bottom edge is flat.
COPY
&
PASTE
the flattened ellipse shape to form a row of teeth.

Scale
each duplicate down by 90%,
OBJECT>TRANSFORM>

SCALE
vertically align the row of teeth to form a straight line across the bottom.


GROUP SELECT tool
Using the
GROUP SELECT
tool (located behind Direct Select tool) select the entire row of aligned and flattened ellipses aka teeth. COPY
COMMAND C
, PASTE
COMMAND V
&
OBJECT>TRANSFORM> REFLECT>VERTICAL
to
flip
the 1/2 row of teeth and align to create a full top row of teeth.
half-row
full-row
Reflecting & Warping Teeth
Select objects and
OBJECT>ENVELOPE DISTORT> WARP
.
Choose an
ARC
with a bend of approximately -16 degrees.
Adjust distortion to keep the outlines of the teeth running vertically.
Go to
OBJECT>EXPAND,
select the box for "OBJECT." Checking the box will make the effect permanent, then make a copy
COMMAND C
.


Repeat the steps above, apply the same steps to the bottom row of teeth.

This time bend the teeth so the lower teeth run parallel to the upper teeth.
EXPAND
the lower set of teeth.

Duplicate both sets of teeth,
COMMAND C
&
COMMAND V
.

Select the duplicates using the
SELECT
tool. Merge the upper and lower rows of teeth together using
OBJECT>PATHFINDER>MERGE
palette.

This merged version can be used to add a thick outlining stroke
PATH>OUTLINE STROKE
and
PATH>OFF SET PATH.

Offset the path by
3mm
, then
RIGHT-CLICK
to Ungroup the two lines.

Add a thick
6pt STROKE
to the inner outline and a
2pt STROKE
to the outer outline.

Align both strokes to the outside of the path using the
STROKE
palette.

Merging Teeth and Creating and Off Set Path
We will begin working on creating complex shapes using the Elements & Principles of Art, lines, shapes & overlap to create the sockets for the nose & eyes...
STUDENT EXAMPLES
Choose Unite -->
To change the thickness of the skull
stroke, go to the right side Tool Bar.
Click on STROKE to change
the weights of the skull strokes.
http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-create-a-detailed-vector-sugar-skull-illustration

Feel free to visit and follow the instructional tutorial of the original site to create complex shapes.

Let Ms Marni know when you have questions.
Full transcript