CorelDraw X8 Basics: Working with line art Part 1

There are obvious advantages to working with vector graphics when creating illustrations apart from lossless scaling and accuracy. It's also a great way to start learning drawing in general, even if you don't have any artistic talent or interest in art.

This article uses CorelDraw Home and Student X8 installed on a Surface Pro 4. The panels are drawn by the author and inspired from the 1960s Spider-Man animated series episode, Spider-Man battles the Moleman (Episode 27).

Note: This series of articles applies to CorelDraw Home and Student X8, which is not eligible for upgrading to the new CorelDraw 2017 Graphics Suite.

CorelDraw tools used in this article include the following:
  • Node editing with the Shape tool
  • Artistic Media tool (Calligraphic and Presets)
  • Freehand and Bezier tool
  • Outline Pen fly out (Corners and Outline)
  • Align and Distribute
  • Transformations - Mirror copy
  • Spiral tool

Importing an image as guide

Depending on how comfortable you are with CorelDraw, a Wacom tablet, or the Surface Pen, you can import a scanned drawing or a sketch into CorelDraw and immediately build the vector drawing using the Freehand tool or Artistic Media tool.

For this article, I initially took a photo of the pencil sketches of the "Moleman" and Spidey I drew based on the 1967 episode. As long as the photo is clear, it doesn't matter if you use the Surface Pro 4's camera, the Moto G4 Plus' camera, or a Sony NEX-3NL to capture the sketch.

Note: Although I'm a lifelong 1960s-1980s Spidey fan, I freely accept the 1967-1970 Spider-Man series (correctly spelled with a hyphen but misspelled in some episodes), is rubbish. It's poorly written and Peter has no powers in the show apart from slinging webs, a result of censorship and a limited budget. Recycled animation for scenes were stretched to an astounding 52 episodes. The series is better remembered for its catchy theme song. Moreover, the show is credited with Spidey's appearance in Macy's annual parade, as well as his global popularity during his heyday. I watched the series again recently and it was damn funny in a bad way and hasn't aged well, which makes its popularity in memes understandable. 

Once the bitmap/photo is imported into the workspace and locked on its own layer, you can use the Artistic Media tool to create vector breakdowns of your sketch.

To create a layer and lock the object in place:

  1. In the Object Manager Docker, click Option chevron > New Layer.
  2. Select the layer and click File > Import to place the bitmap on the document. 
  3. Click the Lock icon on the layer to prevent you from moving or editing the bitmap.  
Once locked to a document, you can begin using any of the tools to digitally ink your sketch using the Artistic Media tool.


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