I recently discovered a folder I had created called "character styles", containing examples of characters from illustrations which had a style I admired, enjoyed, or had parts which I sought to emulate some day. In that folder were a few examples of what I call "pill-style", ulitising very rounded geometry. What gives it such a charming look - what curves go into this geometry, how do shapes relate to each other? 

My exploration to the form of trying to deconstruct a skater illustration, paying particular attention to key techniques that the artist used to such great effect. The rounded rectangles (pills) are made using the rectangle tool, and the curvature of a pair of corners set to the max. These make up the arms, legs, skateboard, eyebrows, beard. fingers, tongue, and general highlights. Circles make up hair, eyes, hand palm, wheels, shoe upper, etc. Shadows are generally made up copying the main shape and shifting it upwards - the intersection then forms an organic area for shading - hair, his right arm, main torse shape etc. The highlights which curve in the form of their main shape, I formed by using "Path: Offset Path", then using the Scissors Tool to take part of the path, and then increasing the stroke to 30+pt with the rounded cap set in the Stroke panel. This can then be expanded to form the rounded "pill" form.

Learned so much from this exercise - what I need now is to practice! Surely, this style is where the likes of the Shape Builder Tool should find itself right at home!

pill skater deconstricted colour 

pill skater deconstricted