After sketching out some designs using real alebrije figures as references I then wanted to transfer the work over to illustrator. Starting off with the owl design I made, it was immediately obvious once taking a photo of it of how wonky the drawing was so I decided to use half of the illustration and reflect it back on itself to complete the face. To do this I opened a new photoshop file in which i cropped the image in half, duplicated that half, reflected it and then aligned them together to complete the face in a much more symmetrical finish.
Using this new image I transferred over to illustrator where I placed the jpg into a template layer. Once that was done I was able to start tracing over the image with the pen tool. I wanted to follow a style of creating vector artwork that I am familiar with, which basically involves making shapes within shapes by utilising the pathfinder tool a lot through out the process.
Tracing through my lines with the pen tool I was able to begin tracing around the larger shapes first. I also decided since the image is going to be symmetrical, to work on one side of the face and then later on copy and reflect it.
Adding all the patterns within the face by making as much use of the different tools on illustrator like the star tool to make the triangles around the eyes.
I didn’t like how the pattern on the ears was looking as it was hard to get smooth and consistent wave like shapes using the pen tool I looked online for a wave pattern allowing me to create a much more consistent pattern.
Once I placed the pattern I preferred the look of a single strand of waves looked rather then stacked up on each other how I originally planned. After completing all the pattern work on this half of the face I was ready to copy that layer and reflect it to complete the other side of the face.
I wanted to start adding more detail so I created an etching effect by creating an elongated triangle shape and using the blend tool created a stack of them. Using this etching I then placed it on the forehead of the owl.
The next step of the process was to begin colouring. To do that I selected a 4 colour pallet keeping in mind that from my research I gathered that a lot of labels and other packaging use a limited colour pallet in order to save money at the printing stage. It also helped me try and keep the illustration consistent. By selecting a bright set of colours as most albrijes tend to have I then created a makeshift colour pallet on the side of my canvas by creating some squares.