My goal over the last two weeks since finishing my Space Icon Set, was to create a photorealistic replica of my watch in Adobe Illustrator. This was by no means an easy task and it was extremely time consuming (ironically enough). There were a lot of considerations and elements in this watch that each provided a unique and fresh way to experience frustration. Thankfully, after many long nights, and almost developing a hate for all watches, I was able to finish and make a watch that my mother thought was just a picture of a watch from the internet. Oh, Mom, this watch is so much more.
As you can see here, I had quite a bit of sketching to do. Thankfully, with a watch, everything is for the most part just a basic shape. The Roman Numerals where particularly tricky for me. I had to decide if I wanted to do the same style as my own watch that I was using a picture for reference, or to do something else. In the end, I decided to go with the numerals as they were on my own watch with only one variation. On the photo (and even my physical watch) the numeral for 9 was IV instead of IX. So, I decided to fix that.
Here is a vector draft of my face the few days after. I decided to put off working on my gradients on the metal and to get the face done first (I was in dire need of a break from the main body after a week of work).
Below you can see my return to the highlights and shadows. I did a lot of shape clipping as you can see, to better straighten out some of the harsh shadows and highlights on the metal to supplement the gradients I already had going. It was at this time that I also changed the color of my gradients to better match the gold that I was going for.
I saved the leather bands for last and those really took more time than I anticipated. Once I figured out how to do the gradients however, I was able to wrap up and move on to my finishing touches.
Below is the comparison of the reference photograph versus my vector image. I personally can see the differences between the two but I have also been nit picking the heck out of this vector graphic for a solid two weeks. When I step away for a bit and take a glance back I am actually quite pleased with how everything turned out. In my opinion, it definitely looks photorealistic which is exactly what I was trying to achieve.