Creating Complex Style Illustrations: A Process

Learn the process of making a tribal-style illustration using only some fundamental techniques in Adobe Illustrator. This is more of a process overview than a play-by-play tutorial and thus, some basic skills in the program are needed in order to follow along. The main goal here is to show a workflow process, and from there, it’s up to you to add your own style and aesthetic preferences to your piece.


  • Step 1: Setting Up and Preparing Your Work Area
  • Step 2: Tracing the Image
  • Step 3: Adding Details to Eyes
  • Step 4: Complete the Tracing
  • Step 5: Closing the Gaps
  • Step 6: Fill the Illustration with White Color
  • Step 7: Adding Additional Outlines
  • Step 8: Starting the "Middle" Layer
  • Step 9: Adding a Circular Pattern
  • Step 10: Starting the "Bottom" Layer
  • Step 11: Create the Background Pattern
  • Step 12: Duplicate, Duplicate, Duplicate
  • Step 13: Create the Border
  • Step 14: The Finale

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