In this tutorial we will be using Photoshop, I guess that you could argue that it’s not the best tool for creating vector illustration but it’s what I personally feel most comfortable using. But you could use Ai if you have more experience with it.
So to start off open up photoshop, create a new 750x750px document.
As this is a symmetrical image, we’re going to be creating it in halves, so turn on rulers (View>Rulers) and drag out a new guide to the centre of your canvas. After doing that grab the pen tool.
With the pen tool in hand we are going to create half of the shield, so click and drag away until you have something similar to what you see here. When creating the curves try to only drag the handles horizontally and/or vertically, this way you will end up with smother curves.
Select what you’ve just created using the path selection tool (‘a’ on your keyboard), press ctrl+c and the ctrl+v to copy and paste the path onto the same shape layer. Now with the copied path selected flip it horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontally) and then move it to create the shield.
Select both halves with the path selection tool and combine them as seen below. This will merge the two paths into one shape/path, and leave things a bit ‘tidier’.
Again using the path selection tool select the shield shape, press ctrl+c and ctrl+v to copy and paste the layer. Scale down this copy of the shield path (Edit>Transform>Scale).
With this scaled down path still selected, change the path overlapping options to ‘exclude overlapping shape areas’. This should leave you with something similar to what you can see below.
Next create another shape underneath the one we already have to create a background for the shield as seen below.
Grab the pen tool again, next we’re going to create one of the swirls coming from the side of the shield, again this will go underneath our other layers and try to only drag the adjustment handles vertically and horizontally. If you end up with something similar to the image below then well done, if not then keep trying, creating smooth curves in Photoshop/Illustrator can be very difficult, keep practising and you’ll get it eventually.
Duplicate the swirl you just made, place it underneath the original, scale it down and then re-adjust the curves until you get something like we see below. Then repeat this step again to create a third swirl.
Edit the colours of the swirls so that bottom one is #411011 the middle one is #531214 and the top one is #6c1417.
With the three swirl layers selected, duplicate them (right click>duplicate layers) and horizontally flip them (edit>transform>flip horizontal). Once you’ve done that move the three duplicated layers into place and you should end up with this:
Next we’re going to create the small swirls above the shield. Use your pen tool again to draw a shape like the one below, then do the same as we did with the big swirls, duplicate the first and adjust until you get something similar to this:
Make a third smaller swirl above the last one and then select all three of them, duplicate them, horizontally flip them and put the copies into place:
Next up is the sword. You don’t have to do this bit, you can put whatever you like in/on the shield. But if you do then this is how:
Grab the pen tool and draw half a sword blade as seen below. Then duplicate the shape and flip it and change it to a darker colour. You should end up with this.
Add a small black rectangle at the base of the sword and lower the opacity to around 20%. This will be the shadow that the handle of the sword is casting on the blade.
To create the handle get your pen tool and create an L shape like seen in the image below, then duplicate, flip and give darker colour to the copy.
Now select the rounded rectangle tool and drag out a shape as seen below.
Repeat the previous step until you get this:
This is the basic coat of arms/shield done. So now we can add a few effects and texture…
Select the shield layer and apply an outer glow in the styles menu, here are the options I used:
Now we can add some texture, I got mine from www.texturelovers.com. So first of all I got a concrete grunge texture, put it on a new layer above your shield, lower the layers opacity to around 40% and the blend mode to overlay.
Now we will apply a mask to this layer so that the texture only shows on the red parts of the shield. To do so, ctrl+click on all the red layers in the layers panel (hold down shift to select more than one). Once you have the red areas selected ctrl+alt+click the sword and shield layers to unselect them so that your left with just the red areas
Then with all the red areas selected (you should see the ‘marching ants’ around the selected areas) click on the texture layer and then on the ‘add layer mask’ button at the bottom of the layers panel. You’ll end up with this:
Next I did the same with a metal texture for the shield and sword handle and with a stone texture for the sword blade. Ending up with this:
That’s it! We’ve finished… You can download the original psd here. Let me know what you think in the comments and what you might like to see another tutorial on, photoshop related of course. Enjoy!
Tags: Coat of Arms, Graphic Design, photoshop design, ps tutorial