How to create a vector portrait

Transforming a beautiful portrait into a vector illustration is a fun task that doesn’t require outstanding drawing skills and can give you a great final piece of design. It does, however, require a good amount of time and patience. In this tutorial we will shed some light on how to create a vector portrait based on a picture.

Start by choosing a good picture

The final result will depend greatly on the kind of picture you choose. Look for something not only good looking, but also with good lighting, contrast (which will make your work a lot easier, as you will see later) and nice details. Least but not last, it’s preferable to use a high quality picture because you might zoom in and out a lot. If you need to remove a distracting background, see our tutorial on removing the background from an image.

This is the image we will use for this tutorial. It’s a beautiful portrait with good light and contrast, and some accessories as interesting details. 

Create a new document

To get started, open Gravit Designer and create a new document with an Infinite Canvas to have plenty of space to work. To do that, leave the Width and Height fields empty and click “Create!”.

Import the image

With the document ready, it’s time to import the image you chose previously to Gravit’s canvas. To do that, you can use the Place Image option on the toolbar button, or go to menu File > Import > Place image

The easiest way, though, is to drag the image directly from your computer folder to Gravit’s canvas. 

Dominating the basic drawing tools

For the rest of this tutorial, it’s necessary to have a good notion of how to use the main drawing tools, the Pen and Bezigon. If you have already mastered those, go ahead! 

If not, check our tutorials and our User Guide to learn the tricks on using Gravit Designer’s drawing tools. And remember: practice makes it perfect.

Base shapes

Time to actually get started. There are many different approaches, techniques and styles for creating a vector portrait, or any illustration for that matter, but in this tutorial we will use one particular style and follow a particular way. Let’s start with the base shapes of the portrait.

What you will do now is basically outline the major “pieces” of the picture with the Pen or Bezigon. In the case of the photo we chose, the main parts are the face, hair, blouse, arms, neck, the table and the background.

Choosing to using the Pen or Bezigon is entirely up to you. Use the tool that makes you feel more comfortable drawing, or even use both! The Pen is more of a “free drawing” tool, while the Bezigon can help you achieve perfect curves. 

This is the final result of outlining. You can see how it looks with the outline only, without fills on the left, and using fills on the right.

You don’t need to worry much about the final colors just yet, as this can be defined later. For now, use whatever colors you see fit to continue with the work.

Tip: lock the picture layer to avoid moving it by mistake while you’re creating the outlines.

Main features

Now that you have the

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