Geometric Impala

16 Nov 2015

This weekend I finally had some time to brush up some of my Adobe Illustrator skills. I've bookmarked this course called 'Illustration for Designers: Create Your Own Geometric Animal' from DKNG a few months ago. It's an excellent course run by one of my favourites. I featured their work numerous times already on my Inspiration Stream.

My steps

Below you can follow along to see my process of how I created the geometric impala. As with most illustrations it starts with gathering some resource material.

STEP 1 : gather some resources

First step of this project is gathering a couple of good photos of the animal of your choice. In 99% of the time Google images is a pretty great starting point. I decided to draw an impala. The male impala has beautiful horns, and their head is just perfect.

Resources to draw the impala

STEP 2 : start sketching

Below is my first attempt. I didn't do any other sketches… just couldn't wait to get started :) And I know from experience that I'll do a way better job in Illustrator anyhow, but it's a definitely needed step for sure. At first glance I think I'm off to a good start, but maybe I need to take this geometry just a little a bit further still. The connecting lines of the ears and horns to the snout is a good starting point I think, plus there is a circle and an centerpoint in here too.

STEP 3 : start drawing the shapes in Illustrator

Scan the sketch in, place it and start drawing in Illustrator, then choose a color palette. I digged into my old Adobe Kuler colors, and found a nice set of colors. It includes a red also, but I decided not to use it. I don't think it would work here (never tried it even to be honest). Most of all, I wanted to limit colors to maximum 4 in total.

Final result:

Almost there now…

STEP 4: Add in some textures

The final touch is to add in some textures. I used cow fur texture that I tweaked a little based on the cool techniques I learned here. I used the texture in a dark and light version. They're added as a layer on top set to multiply. For his neck I applied a gradient mask overlay, so it fades out nicely towards the bottom. On his snout I used the light texture and gave it the light paper color. For his ears I used the dark color, but I added the light transparent blue gradient back on top. On the paper background I used a watercolored wood texture, which is also overlayed on his horns.

Final result:

I am quite happy with the outcome. I need to make some more time available to follow some more nice courses on Skillshare. It's refreshing to create some non work related art and learn at the same time. Like I mentioned in the beginning I can really recommend this one. You can enroll here.


  1. 1 Krystal_glj 17 Nov 2015

    WOW,really beautiful.Its a great design,gimme inspiration.