Illustrating with basic linework not only results in some really cool artwork, it also makes the job a lot easier! Instead of painstakingly drawing every detail, simplifying the object into its basic form and using just a single stroke weight produces a stylised pictogram effect. In this tutorial I’ll take you through the process of using this basic linework technique to create a cool motorcycle illustration.

Pictogram style motorcycle illustration

The motorcycle illustration we’ll be creating is actually based on the custom motorcycle project I’ve been working on in real life. To create the illustration, every feature of the reference photograph is simplified and drawn using the most basic of shapes and lines to produce the stylish pictogram effect.

To make life much easier when creating artwork with a single stroke weight go to Illustrator‘s Preferences and turn off Scale Strokes & Effects. This will allow you to scale elements while keeping the same stroke weight.

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14 Comments

  1. I really love your illustrations and tutorials! I was wondering if you could explain how to get that texture of the final piece?

  2. Hi Chris, great post. This post has actually helped me deal with a major issue i’ve been struggling with since i stared using illustrator. I’ve always had a problem when scaling artwork with diffrent stroke widths. By just showing the option in the preferences menu where we’re supposed to uncheck the “scale strokes & effects”, i instantly knew tha the solution. Tried it out and voila, my strokes scale just right. Gotta get back to the rest of the Tut. Cheers!!!

  3. Thanks for the tutorial, I can wait to try it out. My fiance and I ride, and I can think of a few ways to use this. THANKS!

  4. Thanks! I’ll be using this tutorial. How did you get the letterpress look at the end?

  5. This looks great! Loving the retro fun stuff right now. Hope to expand it to other areas I’m working on. Thanks Chris!

  6. This article is really elementary and make it simple for the novice designer who are in need of source of inspiration….
    Thanks alot..!!!

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