I wanted to produce a photorealistic image to test myself in Adobe Illustrator. Having a photorealistic vector graphic could help in many instances because if someone blew up a picture of a watch on a billboard, it would be pixelated. A vector can be any size and not lose resolution. I decided to work on a watch. It is mostly geometrical and a little easier as it is my first attempt at this.
I started looking around the internet at different kinds of watches. I toyed with the idea of an apple watch, but ultimately, I decided to stick with a simple watch made by the Horse. Because of the pictures on their site, I was able to see the watch from many different angles.
Here are some of the sketches:
As I continued, I sketched more, mostly to make sure I was seeing the shapes correctly before adding them on the ai file. Many of these were before I decided which watch to make. The few at the end played with the actual watch. I wanted to play around with the gradients and wind.
My first draft was fine. It got the shapes across, but I had no idea what to do with the band and stitching. As well, I had a minimal understanding of gradients. The rim was a complete mess.
After this first draft, I stepped back and started staring at the picture for minutes at a time. I would see a shape and draw it on the paper to see if I was close at all. I asked for advice for the stitching, and most of them said to look at the individual shapes as if I had no idea they were thread. This helped me to pick out the shapes. After a couple more hours, and some appreciated a-ha moments, I reached my final.
I completely changed the rim, added extra shadows, and finally understood overlapping gradients for the bands. The stitching took a while, but I feel like I finally got a realistic image. As well, the texture of the band looks like leather. I met my goal of creating a photorealistic watch. These aren’t just shapes; it is a watch.