This was a project in recreating an object from a photo reference using solely vector illustration. I chose to tackle illustrating a diamond ring since I find the facets of a diamond incredibly fascinating and complex. (I also love to draw them by hand when I have free time.)
I first started by taking a photo of a diamond ring. Importing the photo into Adobe Illustrator as a template, I then broke the ring down into five main layers: the band, the setting, the prongs, the stone, and the facets in the stone. From there, I mostly used the gradient mesh tool with a mixture of blend modes and opacity levels to create the photorealistic look of the finished product.
The process took hours, but the end result was a realistic replica of the diamond ring, one that most viewers can't tell isn't the real thing!
I was the sole designer on the project from beginning to end.