I was browsing through the Illustrations section of the site and came upon the bird image on top, which you can see here:
I originally created this image all using an iPad, a stylus and a little illustration app called Procreate. Note, I used one of the older styluses as I did not own an iPad Pro or one capable of supporting the official Apple Pen.
I imported this image into Illustrator earlier and decided to vectorize it by using the trace command. However, it looked unchanged when I traced it as a high fidelity photo so I decided to try seeing what the low fidelity photo looks like and it came out a lot more interesting to me, however I must admit the eyes became closed.
It has more of a watercolor and plastic-like feel to it and I liked it more. I then decided to play with it and see what I could come up with. Needless to say, I started adding new backgrounds as rectangles and layering them below the bird layer. I also decided to use the Fish Warp effect for good measure, but I will get to that later.
Here I changed the background gradient a bit and used the Warp tool to add an interesting effect to the edges of the design:
I then decided to Warp it and see what happens. The Warp I decided to use was the Fish Warp:
You can see the results came out pretty interesting, particularly when I also added a shadow to the layer or object, which you can do with the Stylize command a couple commands above Warp. Here are the design variations I came up with:
Here is the Crystalize effect done to the gradient background layer:
I took the effect out for a second through the Appearance panel to see if I could truly turn it into an abstract fish without the bird on it. It also turned out quite interesting. I forgot how I created the sky or cloud effect, but it was either doing an effect to the grayscale gradient or simply with expand appearance. Either way, here is what came up as a result:
However, I wanted to put the fish back onto this texture background to work that in further and turn it into something unique. I also added a shadow to the intermediate background layer and an eyeball. Thus, this is the final image that came out thus far:
Combining digital drawings using a stylus and iPad apps -- or other tablet apps and using the professional Wacom tablets -- with Illustrator is truly an interesting way to create a full digital drawing further-refined graphic design projects. I enjoy working with different media and sometimes even start out with a charcoal or pencil drawing that I scan or take an image of with my iPad and then input into Illustrator.
Maciej Duraj. Personal website: