Lloyd Bosworth : archaeologist | human | beard

Posts in the Illustration category

Adobe Illustrator Quick Tip: Adding Outlines to Strokes

Roads are only mustard coloured when I'm hungry.I’d always thought that only polygonal shapes could have a fill colour and a stroke path in Adobe Illustrator, but recently I’ve discovered that strokes can also have stroke paths applied to them too. I’m finding this really useful when drawing things like roads and tracks that need their edges defining with a darker border.

My workflow up until now would be:

  1. Draw a stroke path
  2. Give it a thickness, say 5px
  3. Duplicate and paste it in place above (Ctrl+C and Shift+Ctrl+V)
  4. Reduce the thickness of the duplicate to 3px
  5. Change the duplicate’s colour

This would produce a 5px wide stroke with a 1mm border either side of a 3px centre line. This works great, but on the downside, it doubles the number of layers and it is difficult to select the lower stroke without having to delve into the layer tree hunting for the correct one. (more…)

Ratio Calculator

Reference scale =

Model scale =

Ratio as percentage increase/decrease =

I developed this ratio calculator to re-size illustrations drawn in Adobe Illustrator. It uses a target reference scale and model scale to calculate the percentage increase or decrease. It also works as a simple ratio calculator.

skyphos-point-sectionGreek Skyphos Illustration

This is a quick post showing how 3D scan data can be used to create very accurate artefact illustration. The example here is a two-handled Greek skyphos from around the 5th century BCE and is in the Beaney Museum collection, Canterbury. This object lends itself well to scanning, as the opening is wide enough to allow for a complete scan inside and out. If the neck had been too narrow to allow scanning the inside, then the wall thickness would need to be estimated, but this would be true for a hand drawn illustration also.


scaling-screenshotScaling and rotating pattern fills in Adobe Illustrator isn’t as simple as scaling and rotating an object, as you may have already discovered. This is a good thing, too, because if that were the only way to scale and rotate a pattern fill, then your drawings would take twice as long to complete and you wouldn’t have much scope for fine adjustments. This is where Illustrator’s ‘Rotate’ and ‘Scale’ tools come in.

Drawing a Hachure in Adobe Illustrator

Hachures – I love ‘em! They are beautiful to look at and transform any map into a work of art. Unfortunately, I do most of my map making using GIS, where their non-numerical nature doesn’t allow for the analysis of slope, height, etc. However, I also do a lot of map redrawing, which often gives me the chance to lay down some serious hachures. (more…)