Just like vectoring photographs, vectoring art, or drawings can present a particular set of challenges, from color blends, to textures, to unique materials and hand drawn looks.
One of the first obstacles in recreating any piece of artwork is not being able to match brush strokes, and fine details, from either oils, watercolor, charcoal, chalk or graphite marks and in some cases, even the texture of paper, wood or other material the art was created on. All of these motifs give the art an extra degree of depth, a handmade look, that will not be reproducible in a line art, vector redraw.
For this watercolor art(Img 1), you can see the background and some of the turtle details become simplified, the less defined they become, especially in areas where you have to convert shadows and highlights in to actual shapes. In contrast, some details like the water bubbles will be a lot easier to contrast against the simplified background.
In contrast with drawing people from photographs highlighted in our previous blog, we also receive a lot of drawings or sketches to clean up. Retaining details from a drawing(img 2) is a lot easier in vector format because all the lines are more clearly defined and simplified by the original artist. Depending on the image quality however, we will not be able to match the original line for line without losing the shape definition(as you can see in the hair area).
Color pencil drawings
Pencil drawings present a bigger challenge as they generally have a lot of color blends, that lack clean lines and are very poorly defined as a particular shape. All the textures are also gone as a result of the shape conversion. (Img 3)
Pastels are a easier to work with than pencil, but as with the previous examples, the textures created are not something we can match and a clean design works best. (Img 5)
As you can see, the sharper the lines and colors(img 5), the better the designs will come out in vector, as seen in the top two images, and the higher amount of textures and less defined body will produce a darker, more faded image(bottom).
In conclusion, art will in most all cases be easier to reproduce in to clean vector art, than photographs, and the main reason for it is the simplification the original artists created when drawing their subject matter, especially if the subject matter is organic.
Vectoring art does not come without its own challenges, as it comes in all shapes and sizes and more specifically they will have a signature hand made look that sometimes will get lost when redrawn in to clean vector art.