Before starting my design I chose to practice using Illustrator to create the type of artwork I wanted to be creating in my final design. I new the style I wanted to try to create but I didn't know the extent of all the tools in Illustrator and so I didn't know which would be best for which task. I did manage however, to play around and create a drawing of a little character in the art style I wanted and to explore the program more and all of the appropriate tools that I thought most appropriate.
This is the picture I created. I used mainly the brush tool, the pen tool, the gradient tool, the shape tool and the ink dropper. I want to make my main poster in the style of American 1930's posters and they all have this kind of art style. I found that the brush tool had a really, really nice look to it and so I used that to create the body, mouth and hair for the drawing however, for the more precise parts of the drawing (the eyes, head and some of the shadowing) I found the circle tool and the pen tool more useful.
I am glad I took the time to experiment with this before hand as it highlighted a lot of flaws in some of the tools I wanted to use and expected to use. The main one was the inaccuracy of the brush tool. It made really nice shapes that were smooth and aesthetically very pleasing however, 1930's posters have a very subtle and sharp type of shading. This was the brush tool major drawback. It was very hard to create mathematically accurate shading and very precise shapes with it. To do all of the shading in the picture I had to fumble around with the pen tool over all of the brush work that i had previously done.
The brush strokes also weren't scaleable which meant that they had to be converted to symbols before editing them which was fairly awkward. I would say that the main thing that i learnt from this was that the pen tool and other shape tools were my best bet for recreating my intended style accurately.