Vector vs Raster digital Art

Vector vs Raster digital Art

This month I thought I’d talk a little about the differences of digital vector art and digital raster art and why I choose one style over the other when illustrating a project.  Most of my children’s book art is done in Adobe Photoshop as raster digital files.  I choose this style for a more painted look to the finished art.  Using a Wacom tablet and stylus pen, I literally paint the image in a style of brush strokes similar to my traditional painting style in hopes of not looking too digitally produced. 

Pages 6 and 7 from a picture book, “The Rain Forest Party” written and illustrated by Lorraine Dey and available in the Fall of 2011 from Raven Tree Press.

I almost always create a pencil sketch first.  Then I scan the sketch to a digital JPG file on the computer and use the sketch as a basis for painting in the color and details in layers over the sketch.  Most of the work I create for istockphoto as royalty-free licensed art is done as a vector digital file.  I create a large amount of work in vector style with Adobe Illustrator CS for freelance clients as well.  Here is a vector chef that was commissioned by T.Marzetti Company for use on their website as well as large display signs.  A vector file is scalable to any size without losing clarity therefore it was a perfect choice for this project.  The style was requested by the client.

Both styles will begin as a sketch that is scanned into the computer before beginning final work on the illustration.  Vector art is perfect for technical and educational work such as instructional illustrations and charts.  The clean, sharp edges and ability to scale to any size make it ideal for everything from web icons to full size bill boards or vehicle graphics.

Here is a tutorial on using the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator… The basics of vector illustration.

Here is a quick and simple vector tutorial video…Light Ribs.

Here is a high-speed video of a raster digital painting being produced… Spider Man.

For more instruction on creating digital illustration images in various programs try a visit to   Enjoy!

Lorraine Dey

illustrator – Deystudio, LLC (
(click on the “about” tab above to see more about Deystudio, LLC)

FREE Vector of the month from Deystudio, LLC:

click on image above to get a PDF file.


This month’s featured site…”The Association of Illustrators”

A resource for illustrators.


Featured image for this month…(from my RF stock portfolio)

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