Character Design for Concept Art | Siobhan Twomey | Skillshare

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Character Design for Concept Art

teacher avatar Siobhan Twomey, Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

20 Lessons (2h 17m)
    • 1. Promo

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. My Photoshop Shortcuts

    • 4. Drawing Figures

    • 5. Drawing Faces from any Angle

    • 6. Exercises for Building Character

    • 7. R and D - who is your character

    • 8. R and D - gather and study visual references

    • 9. Rough Drawing Method 1

    • 10. Rough Drawing Method 2

    • 11. Final Line Work Clean Up

    • 12. Choosing a Colour Palette

    • 13. Flat Colours

    • 14. Adding Shading

    • 15. Painting the Face

    • 16. Painting the Clothing

    • 17. Making Adjustments

    • 18. Final Render

    • 19. Adding a Background or Environment

    • 20. Final Effects

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About This Class

This course is a deep dive, complete step-by-step guide to creating characters and concept art. I will walk you through the process from start to finish and by the end of the course you will have a stunning portfolio piece.  Along the way,

  • you will learn how to draw the human figure;

  • how to draw stylised characters;

  • how to create characters for animation;

  • and how to easily come up with interesting character designs yourself, all the time.

You'll also learn how to paint and add colour to your designs, as well as how to add textures, shading, and effects to really make your characters leap off the screen! If you want to learn how to draw characters, how to paint concept art for animation or games, and how to come up with characters with compelling storylines, this course is for you!

This is a course about digital painting, but really the emphasis throughout this is to de-mystify the process and show you to actually come up with ideas, how to ramp up your character drawing skills and how to ensure you have a fully developed and fully rounded character before you even begin the painting stage. In addition to that, I’m also focusing on showing you how, once you have your painting completed, you can easily add effects and final polish to your artwork to make it stand out in your portfolio .

If you are interested in animation, and working in animation, or if you’re interested in comic art, or any kind of digital art, then this course is for you.

I really want you to find success as a digital artist and have open up doors for yourself for a possible career path in animation or concept art. That’s my ultimate goal in making this course. I’m sharing knowledge and techniques gathered from my 15 + years of experience working as a digital artist for animation companies in Dublin and in Vancouver. I’ve done work for clients such as Disney, Dreamworks, Atomic, to name a few. And about 90% of what I know now, I learnt on the job working for these studios. And now I’m sharing it with you so that you can build up a stunning portfolio and get your career up and running.

I hope to see you inside the course. Enrol now and come work with me in this fun and practical course. Take the first steps on your creative journey today!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Siobhan Twomey

Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

Top Teacher

Hello, I'm Siobhan :)

My background spans the disciplines of drawing, painting, filmmaking and animation. I studied Film in Dublin, and at the Tisch School of the Arts, at NYU in New York. I later studied drawing and animation. Since 2002, I have worked in studios in Vancouver and Dublin as a professional background artist and environment designer. I've also worked as a storyboard artist, concept artist, and I have directed a number of short animated films.

All in all, I've worked for 20 years as an Artist, Illustrator and Animation Professional. I've provided artwork for studios whose clients include Disney UK, Sony Pictures Animation, HMH Publishing, to name a few. I also have an ongoing drawing and painting practice: I paint portraits on commission, and e... See full profile

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1. Promo: Hi there. I'm [inaudible] , I'm an artist and animation professional. I've just put together this complete in-depth step-by-step guide on character design for concept art. This course is about digital painting, but really the emphasis is on demystifying the process of actually coming up with your character design, how to ramp up your drawing skills so that you can draw characters confidently and quickly from your imagination within minutes, and how to ensure that you have a fully landed believable character before you start painting. In addition, I also show you how to add effects and that final polish to your artwork to make sure that it stands out in your portfolio. If you're interested in animation or working in animation, or if you're interested in comic art or digital art of any kind, then this course is for you. I structured the course around a workflow that is used by professional artists in an actual studio environment. You're going to start off learning some exercises and drawings that will really ramp up your ability to draw characters out of your head. With those drawing skills under your belt, you'll move on to thinking about your concept for the final project. Now whether you have an idea for a character or you don't, the process that I'm going to show you will demystify it all so that you can go step-by-step through having a vague idea to having a fully rounded, concrete idea for a compelling character. Then you're going to dive into drawing, and I'll walk you through step-by-step how to draw rough poses, how to refine your drawing, and then how to take it to what's called in the industry a fully cleaned up line. Then it's all about color and painting your character and adding textures and the all important shading and lighting. In the last section, you'll also be able to add effects, layers, play with blending modes, and add those final touches that take your concept art to a higher level. I really want you to find success as a digital artist and have doors open up for you for a possible career path in animation. That's really my ultimate goal with this course. I'm sharing knowledge and techniques gathered from my 15 years experience working in animation studios in Dublin and in Vancouver. I've done work for studios whose clients include Disney, DreamWorks, Atomic Cartoons, and about 90 percent of what I know today, I learned on the job working in those studios. I want to share that with you today so that you can build up your portfolio and get your own career up and running. I really hope to see you in the course and I look forward to working with you. 2. Introduction: Hi there, welcome to the course on character design for concept art. I'm so happy that you're in this course and you're about to take your first steps on this very exciting and creative journey. If you've got any questions at all or if you would like feedback on your work, don't hesitate to send me a message. Before we get started, in this introductory video, I just want to run through how the course is set up, and give you some pointers on how to ensure that you can get the best out of it. This isn't really a course on just watching how I create concept art, it's more about teaching you processes and techniques that professional concept artists use every single day in studios. I really want you to be able to take these processes and just make them your own in whatever kind of art you want to create. With that in mind, here's what you need to know about the course. I'm working in photoshop, but you really don't have to. The principles and the ideas of drawing and painting digitally, will apply to other programs, and really you just need to follow along with me. The technical aspects of photoshop that I use are actually fairly minimal. I'm also working with a Wacom tablet, and this is a bit of a requirement. But again, you don't have to have this exact same one as me, there are lots of alternative drawing tablets that you can pick up for quite a reasonable price. The first section focuses on ramping up your drawing skills and teaching you how to stylize your designs. You can take time out at any stage in this section to practice these drills and get comfortable using them, or you can file them away and work with them later on and just progress to the next section. That one is going to be all about making sure that you know how to build a fully rounded concept before you start your initial designs. I've left you some worksheets for these exercises, and here, I do recommend just taking a few minutes to pause the videos and fill these out because if you want to work on one specific character for this course, then going through these checklists will really be beneficial. Then in the next section, you're going to start roughing out your pose for final color and paint. This will be a step-by-step guide through techniques. I've made a few videos that break down the techniques and the practices, so that you can start using them today on your own work. But if you are interested in watching me complete my drawing from rough concept right the way through to finished cleaned up line work, there is an option at the end of that section to watch a couple of videos of just that. In the painting section, I'm going to focus on getting you familiar with the best professional practices for digital coloring. Once I've explained all of those, you are welcome to watch another process video of coloring a character from start to finish. Lastly, I've left all the brushes and the textures that I use in this course in your download section, so be sure to look for that and download the brushes. These are brushes that I've used throughout my professional career, and I think you'll have a lot of fun working with them. I've also left you all of my photoshop files so you can open them up, break them down and see how I structure them. Making character art and concept art is one of the best ways to showcase your talent, your skill set, and your imagination flare. It's something that will make your portfolio stand out and look really polished and professional. I'm really glad that you're here you're part of this course and part of this community. I'm excited to work with you. Let's dive in. Up next, I'll run through how I set up my workspace in photoshop and explain my top tips and shortcuts that I'll be using throughout the course. 3. My Photoshop Shortcuts: In this video, I just want to give you a quick overview of my workspace so that you're able to follow along with me, if you are working in Photoshop. If you're working in some other application, then you can skip ahead by all means. But in this video, I'll just explain the main shortcuts that I use. Maybe it's helpful to know about these in case one day you do end up using Photoshop. First of all, I usually create a document by hitting Command or Control+N, and I will usually work landscape. Now, this here is a standard legal or A4 size document. The resolution is quite high. I would recommend setting your document size to something that's at least, say 1080 pixels with a high resolution simply because when you're making concept art, that can get very detailed and you want to have the option later on to either scale it down or even to print it out for your portfolio. Keep that in mind. If you choose an option like 1080 by 1920 or something like that, just change this pixels here, pixels per inch from 72 to something quite high like 300 to ensure that you've got that flexibility ratio. Then just hit "Okay." Then I generally have my workspace setup like this. If yours isn't quite like mine, then you can always change around. But I'll just show you that if you come up here to Window and choose Workspace, you can actually see that there are quite a few different layouts. Let's say yours is this one looks like this. Well, if you want to customize this, all you have to do is just drag these panels around. It's very easy and it's very customizable. They all sludge in with each other like this. Really the point of my layout is to have as much canvas space as I can in order to be able to see what I'm working on and not have a lot of clutter around the edges. What I like to do is have all of my tools over here on one column, and all the windows that I need to access lined up over here on one column as well. What I do is just drag the windows underneath each other, and really the most important windows to access when you're drawing and painting are things like layers. You definitely want to have layers in here and history possibly in case you need to jump back and color, but I will be talking about color later. I think any other window that I talk about later on or that you want to pull up for yourself. You just have to go up to window and look for it. If you click on it, it will pop up. But those are the basics for now. I do like to drag my layer stack though, to make sure it's at the top so that when I open it out, there's lots of room to see all of the layers because I'll be building up quite a few layers throughout my process. This is the standard viewing mode. If I were to hold down the space bar and bring up this hand, I can't move my canvas around unless I zoom in. Then you can see I can move it around. That's the main standard viewing mode. If you were to hit F on your keyboard, it's the second one, then you can have your canvas panned around while keeping your layer stack open. That's quite nice. Then the third one, if you hit F again, brings up this view, which is very nice to look at your artwork once it's much more developed and you want to just see it with completely no distractions and a maximized viewing pane. Then if you want to get back to the default one, you just hit F again. The main shortcuts then that I use for my tools, they can be divided up really into two main groups. The tools that I use for creating artwork and the ones that I use for editing. For making artwork, I will use the brush, obviously, which is B, and the eraser, which is E. Now both of these can be increased or decreased in size by using the square brackets on your keyboard. The closed square brackets will increase the size of your brush or eraser, and the open square bracket will decrease the size. I also use the Lasso tool quite a lot, and that's L on your keyboard. If you click and hold on this icon, you can see here that there are actually three different types of Lasso. The regular Lasso allows you to select stuff in a freehand mode. In other words, it's like drawing an outline around what you want to select. Then when you get back to the very beginning, you've marked out your selection and it's active. The next Lasso is the polygonal or polygonal. That allows you to select basic points and therefore to make straight edge selections. Now to close off your straight edge selection like this, you can either come back to the very beginning and there you will see a little circle pop up like that on your tool. Then you know that you can close off that selection. Or you can also just double-click midway through selecting and that will automatically snap to the very first point that you made. I rarely ever use this third Lasso, it's the magnetic one. It's snaps to pixels. It's really great when you're working on photographs where there's tons of information in terms of pixels. But I don't use it at all in this course, but just so as you know, that's what that third one is. But once you've got an area selected, the next tool that I use a lot when making artwork is the Bucket tool and that's G on your keyboard. Just make sure if you click and hold on the icon, you'll see that there's a few, again, there's three options. Make sure you're on the second one, it's just a regular paint bucket tool. The gradient tool can be useful. We can get into that later but for now, we're just filling in area with color, we want the regular paintbrush. Say you've made a selection, you want to add to it, you just need to hold down Shift when you're in Lasso mode, and then you don't have to keep holding Shift down. But just when you start a new selection, just hold that down initially and that'll allow you to add it. Or to take away from any selection that you've made, just hold on Alt or Option, and that allows you to erase or take away some of your selection. Just a point to note. Always keep an eye on the layer that you're on when you're selecting. You might be selecting artwork from a previous layer, but want to be able to paint on a brand new layer way above. Just make sure that when you're ready to use the Paint Bucket tool that you are on your new layer and not on the original artwork layer. Then to deselect, you can just hit Command or Control+D and that will release your area of selection. The main tool that I use to edit artwork is obviously the Transform tool. That's just Command or Control+T, and it brings up this bounding box with these graspable corners. From here you can either rotate, you can scale, or you can skew if you hold down Control and Command when you grab a corner. If you wanted to scale from the center, just hold down Option or Alt on your keyboard when you grab a corner, just scale up or down. Then when you've made your transformation, you just hit Enter and that'll commit to it and release that bounding box. That's really it. There's one other editing tool of course, that the undo function, and that's now just Control or Command+Z for multiple undos. If you wanted to, you could also go up to history and jump way back in time to an earlier stage in your document up here. In this course, I'm not going to be using any of the vector tools. Those are things like the pen and the shape tools. I'm really focused on painting and drawing using the brushes. Quick note about your brushes. I have left your brush pack, which I hope you'll be able to open and experiment with. To bring them into your Photoshop, it's just very easy. You just have to double-click on them and that will automatically import them into your brushes. Then you should be able to scroll down all the way to the bottom and they'll appear as the last brushes on your list. Just let me know if you have any trouble importing them or using them and I'll help you out, but it should be very straightforward. Up next, join me in the next video where I'm going to show you how to approach drawing the figure. 4. Drawing Figures: In this video, I'm going to show you a really simple way to approach drawing the figures that you can practice and work with in your sketchbook over time. It's really going to help you to get to grips with the structure of the human body and understand in a fundamental way how it moves and what gives it dynamic poses. No matter what character you've got in mind, or no matter what style of character art you like to join, whether you want to focus on purely stylized characters or more realistic looking characters, the approach here in terms of breaking it down to a basic skeleton is something that will help you to really bring movement and life into your characters. I'm going to explain the structure of the normal human anatomy, something like this. Think of the rib cage or the chest area of a person as really a simple egg shape. It's rounded all the way round, front and back. Then underneath the shape is a smaller squashed shape, and this represents the pelvis. This is all you need to get right in order to get your figures working correctly and moving in a believable way. These two shapes and the way they dynamically oppose each other, form the basis for the entire figure. Now what connects these two shapes is the spine. I can just simply indicate that with a line. But the next two vital points that I want to point out are the shoulders and the hips. The shoulders are at the top here, just slightly below the very top of the egg shape. They're usually just wider than the width of the rib cage. If you make two points here at the side of the pelvis, then this is where the hip sockets are. You've got shoulders and you've got hips. Now the way the angle between these will often determine the whole entire pose. I'll show you how that works a little bit later. From the hips, you could plot down the lines of the legs. Note, they actually don't go straight down, like you would think. That isn't entirely correct. They angle inwards towards the kneecap like this. I'll just indicate the kneecap or the knee area with a block. The lower leg goes more or less straight down like this to the ankle. Now I'm making sweeping statements here. Remember, I'm not showing you this system in any way to be taken as a blueprint for the figure. This is a very simplified skeleton that you can work with in order to get to understand general movement of the body. For the feet, just draw triangles like this. Then when it comes to the arms, draw the upper arm down to around that area between the rib cage and the pelvis, the waist area. This is where the elbow generally is. It's not an exact measuring system. Then when you draw your lower arms and the hand, the tips of the fingers usually end up around the middle or top third of the upper leg. Then the head can be represented with a simple oval shape. That's a full figure in its most simplest form. Now you can use this simple mannequin to practice drawing, to figure motion and getting confident drawing the poses. I'll show you how to go about that. What I want you to do for your first exercise is to practice drawing poses with this very pared-down skeleton. You draw the rib cage and the pelvis like this in different directions relative to each other. Can indicate the spine with a simple line, and then add on legs and arms. That completes an interesting pose, then you can add on the head. Just start with a simple line for the spine and work up from there. Try to get clear in your mind what the direction of the hips and the direction of the shoulders are doing in relation to each other. That will really help. As I said, it doesn't matter if you start with the pelvis or you start with the rib cage. Here, I'm using the spine as a line of action like an S-curve or a C-curve. I'm trying to fit the pose on top of that. Maybe for this last one, the body is bending over. I've got shoulders, the shoulders are going to be tilting quite extremely like this. I'll make the knees bent. Remember, this is actually a very good practice drill for getting your balance correct in your drawings. Use the arms and the legs to make sure that your central balance stays in check. One way to make sure this is just to check if the head is never really further than it is without arms to counterbalance it. There you go. It's over to you. Take some time now or later on in your sketchbook to work up a couple of pages of poses using this technique of very simplified skeleton. Have fun with them and see how many diverse action poses you can come up with. When you're ready, I'll meet you in the next lecture where I'm going to show you how to draw stylized features of the face and how to draw the head from any angle. 5. Drawing Faces from any Angle: Now, I'm going to show you how to draw very simple stylized features of the face for male or female character. Again, this is just a guide to demonstrate how to work with proportions of the face and how to simplify features. It's not a template for all human figures from now on. In fact, I'm not saying that you have to draw your characters like this in anyway, I'm just simply showing you a quick drawing drill that will really get you drawing up to speed when it comes to drawing faces. In Photoshop, I'm going to grab the default Hard Round edge brush as before, keeping it quite small, and as before, I'm going to set the opacity down low. Again, it just helps me to draw rough and loose. I'll start out drawing a circle like this on this side, and one over here. Ones going to be a male face and one will be a female face. Now from the edge of the circle, I'm going to draw a squarish boxy jawline. On this side, it will be much more tapered and rounder jawline coming down like this. These two shapes are basically the fundamentals or the fundamental shapes for most realistic looking human faces. Pretty much about halfway is roughly where the eyeline goes. Well, this line for the eye also represents where the ear goes, and then down the center midline is where the nose will go. Now this is a three-quarter view, it's not dead center, little bit over to the right. I'm going to mark in the indications for the eyes without being too exact at this point. Then the mouth can go about one-third the way down between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin. Now I can add in the hairline, which actually most people don't realize at first, it takes up quite a good portion of this entire head. A lot of people when they're starting as will put the features of the face a bit too high up and they don't realize that the hairline actually comes very low down. The features themselves only take up about the bottom half of the shape. Onto the female drawing. I'll draw the ear in and that helps me figure out the orientation of the whole head. Again, I'm being very simplified and stylized when it comes to the eyes. A good tip when you're drawing female eyes especially is to make this top lid that bit darker or heavier than the bottom and that gives the impression of eyelashes, and that's quite effective. Again, this is also a three-quarters view, not a full-on view. Then I'll draw the hair coming down. The nose of a conventional female character is generally smaller. If you want that sort prettied face, then you can go for a small and upturned nose like that. Again, the mouth comes about a third between the bottom of the nose and the chin. Those are some general and as I say, very quiet generic formulations of join the features of the face. You can practice with the style, change up the eyes, change up the shape of the jaw, and see how that affects the overall look of the character. If you're happy with your rough drawing like this and you want to clean it up. Just add a new layer, bring the opacity of the brush up a bit now so that you're working with a darker brush. Then you can start to redraw your image using definite lines where you note that's what you want to pick out. I'm just really picking up the hair shapes and working around the face to refine and perfect line work. A final drawing might not happen on this first pass, maybe I'll do this a couple of times to get it right. But it's all about working progressively and becoming more precise with each pass that you do. Similarly, if you want to draw the male face, you can see, I'm just picking out the important lines. This is also going to give you some practice for drawing smooth, clean lines for your cleanup face, which you will get to towards the end of the course. Just to recap. To draw any generic looking face, you can simplify it with a circle that's going to read as a circle from any angle, and the shape like this for the jaw. Then a line across about the midway point for the eyes and a line coming down to represent the midline of the face, which will move from left to right depending on which way the character is looking. From different angles, all you have to remember is that the jaw is actually a tapered boxy shape that's 3D, three-dimensional. Just think of it as a squarish cylinder shape that's underneath the round shape of the skull. If you see it from underneath, for example, you're going to see it something like this. From above, for example, you're looking down on top of the skull like this. You are not going to see the whole of the boxy jaw shape too much. You might just probably see the bottom of the chin and the nose, something like this. Take some time out now, practice drawing these heads in different positions using just these two simple shapes. See if you can get confident drawing heads in different angles. Draw some heads looking up or to the side or in a three-quarter view, and then when you're ready, meet me in the next lecture and I'm going to show you how to draw stylized characters from simple objects. 6. Exercises for Building Character: In this video, I'm going to show you one last drill before we move on to the next part of the course, and this one is going to help you come up with character ideas. If you're ever stuck trying to come up with ideas for characters, and you feel like you don't have a good idea so it's no point in doing anything, this exercise will help you to bypass that resistance or that block and see characters wherever you look. The way this exercise goes is that it builds on the idea that we can work with basic shapes. What you do is you look around wherever you are right now or look out the window, but pick an object that you can see that you can study for a while, and try and distill that object down to its most basic shape, its most basic form. I picked three objects in my room. I've got this coffee mug, a little stick of lip balm, and I'm also using this big fan. I'm going to loosely and roughly block out the basic shape as I see it, which in this case is pretty much a rectangle. Straight away I'm starting to think this could be a male character. I'm going to add on a bit of a squarish shape for his head, and then I can add feet on the bottom and his arm consider drawing like this, copying the handle of the mug. I'm starting to see in my mind that maybe these character's in a suit, because of the sharp shoulders. I'm going to give them a jacket like this, and legs, and it's as simple as that. I just need to go in and add features to his face, but already, you can see here that there is a fully believable character coming through. It is very stylized, but it's a character nonetheless. So I'm just going to leave that now and move on to the next one. The second object that I've got is this tube of lip balm. Again, this is a very basic shape, it's just a small cylinder, but if I add legs and maybe a funny shaped head, there's a character starting to emerge. This one, probably a female character, and I can add arms, and if I taper the waist in slightly, then it definitely starts to look like a female character. In fact, I don't like the head at all so I'm going to change that. Maybe give her a bit more of a generic head now that I know what direction I'm going in, and she can be holding a book or a folder of some sort. There's a second character done in just a couple of minutes. Let's move on to the third one. This third object that I've got seems quite complex at first, but I'm just going to think of it as a round circle. I'll roughly start with that and draw a big round circle shape for the main body, and add again just little feet at the end. Remember, I'm trying to stick to basic shapes, and to prioritize that shape throughout the whole character. That's why I'm keeping the legs and arms a bit small. That's why I don't really focus so much on long limbs or detailed limbs but just want to prioritize that big round shape. Now I'm thinking that this looks like a character of a boy maybe, maybe he's wearing a funny hat, and I can even reference those blades in the fan on the top of the hat. Very simple, very easy, and rough, but here's the basis for a third character. Now I can look at all three sketches and start to refine them, and redraw them if I want, if I think that there's something interesting here. My usual process, as you probably know by now, in the layer stack, I'm going to drag the opacity down this layer so that it's a bit faded out, and I'll make sure to lock it so that I don't draw on it. Then I'll add a brand new layer above it. Now, I'll zoom into this guy, and just start to redraw just by following the very rough drawing underneath. This is still loose and rough, this part. I'm not doing a final, final cleaned-up drawing. I'm just making some adjustments and searching out whether this drawing is worth bringing to a final stage. We can do the same for the female character. You get the idea by now. It's a really easy process if you start out very rough and very loose. It's all about practicing. Eventually, you'll get good at knowing what shorthand to use for things like features of the face. But you will only get there by practicing a lot, and so an exercise like this is really good because you don't necessarily even have to think too much about character, about personality, about storyline. You're just looking around you for basic shapes and using that as a starting point. Those are my final three characters. Now, if I wanted to, I could choose one of them and really work it up to a finished colored detailed drawing, but that's not the point of this exercise. The point is to practice it. What I want you to do is maybe try it out for yourself, give it a go, give yourself maybe about half an hour of practice time, and choose one or two objects and see if you could use them as the basis for a really interesting cool character. Then when you're ready, meet me back in the next video, where we'll start working on new ideas for our final project. I'll see you then. 7. R and D - who is your character: Now we get to the section of the course where you're going to work on your own character. You may have a very clear idea of what character you want to work on, or you may at this stage have no idea of what you want to do. That's totally fine. There are two steps that I'm going to talk about in this video. If you do have an idea of the exact character that you want to draw and paint, you can just skip ahead to step 2. But step 1 will really help you to come up with some kind of an idea to start working on. If you've got no clue whatsoever about the character, then this is step 1. I want you first and foremost, just to sit back and think about the kind of movies, the kind of books, music or art that actually inspires you. Think about what you like to watch and what kind of films, things like that interest you. For example, you could love watching films of Hayao Miyazaki, those Japanese anime films. Then if you think about them, then may be you could imagine for yourself a character of a young kid, a girl or a boy in an everyday situation, at school or at home and then something extraordinary happens to them, they get propelled into a magical world. Well, right there, you've got a very compelling idea for a character. This is just a very good general way to come up with ideas if you're feeling a bit stuck. Once you've got a very character in mind, the next step is to come up with what I call a character profile. This is actually very important. I would encourage you not to skip writing down a character profile before you move on to painting. The first thing that I want you to do is to come up with a name for your character. It's actually very important to name them. Your character has to have a name. Until he or she has a name, their personality just won't come through as strongly. Take a few minutes and think about a name. Write that down. You can change it later on. That's not a problem. But just for a starting point, come up with something that you can work with, that you're happy with right now. Once you have a name, then I want you to write down what age they are. Are they young, middle aged, old, extremely old, ancient? Put down some rough number for what age they are. Next, what you're going to do is list some of their physical attributes. Do they have pink hair? Are they very tall, short, squats, round? Things like that. Just general, you don't have to get specific at all. Very general ideas for physical attributes. Again, as I say, this could all change once you start drawing, but you need to have a starting point for your drawing. It's going to help you a lot to at least get started. The next thing I want you to do is move on to their appearance. What do they dress like? Do they dress like a Viking, a samurai, a school boy? Think about their clothing. Then finally, you can write down some character traits. You don't have to describe them completely, just say one or two things, are they brave, fearless, or very timid or shy? Are they fundamentally flawed in some kind of a way. That's your character profile. You don't have to overthink it. As I said, you don't have to write paragraphs for each of these titles, just one or two words to give you something to start working on. In the next video, I'm going to talk about your visual reference. Once you've written down your character profile, put it aside, meet me in the next lecture where we're going to start talking about how to build up a library or a mood board for visual reference. 8. R and D - gather and study visual references: Now that you've got your current profile, it's time to connect visual reference. This part is as important as writing down your character's name and personality traits and I don't want you to skip this and I also don't want you to misunderstand the step. It's not about finding images that you can copy, it's really about finding inspiration. What I mean by that is, on the one hand, you do need to reference other forms of art to open up your own creativity and allow yourself to maybe take that as a starting point and develop your ideas. On the other hand, you also need some very solid structural reference that you can work from so that the stuff that you draw is believable. For example, if you're drawing a character that has a viking shield, or a helmet, or some very specific paraphernalia, you could make that stuff up completely out of your heads. But then when people look at your very unique made-up thing, they might not get us or they might not really understand what it is. But if you reference the stuff that you're drawing to see exactly how shields work or how amour fits together, and then add your own flair on top of that. When someone looks at it, then they'll get it and they'll understand what it is that you're drawing. Designers everywhere do this. This is always the first step. Sometimes they'll call it a mood board, where they gather all kinds of visual reference, even color schemes and put it all together in one sheet so that they can look at it and just absorb all of that information. They'll take images of anything and everything vaguely related to the project that they're working on, and they'll collate it together into one visual collage. Once you've done that and you've gone through this whole process that I'm insisting that you do right now, I want you to put it away and actually don't look at it anymore. The idea is that you get all of your visual references and all of your images, study them, let them all soak into your brain and then put them out of your site. Because when you start to draw, you want to just start fresh from your own natural attitude of point of view. Then you'll see something exciting starting to emerge, and it'll be all the richer for the research that you've done. 9. Rough Drawing Method 1: I've already got an idea for the character that I'm going to work on. She's a female space superhero, a little bit of [inaudible] and Star Wars meets Katniss with some Captain Marvel thrown in. I'm not entirely sure yet, but that's the general direction. Those characters anyway, are some of the influences that I've been looking at. It turns out that my idea is quite a realistic looking character, but that's just because I wanted to make sure that when we get into the painting process, I've got something a bit more conventional to work on so that you can see how I detail things out and how I work up a realistic looking pose. But you can definitely work on a stylized character. That's totally fine. The process is just the same. When you start to develop your drawings for your final character design, there's two methods of rough preparatory work that I want to walk you through. You can choose either one, whichever is best suited to you. Basically, what we're doing in these rough sketches for this video and the next one is we're trying to identify our character through the poses that they would take. I'm going to jump into Photoshop. This first method is just really about letting the lines run free and loose around the page. I'm thinking, obviously my character is quite a warrior type, so maybe she's holding a sword and we put her in a stance like this. I'm not trying to pick out any details at all, it's just a very loose and rough sketch based on the character profile that I wrote up, and also based on some of the images that I've been looking at in terms of reference. With that done and move that away, I'm just going to quickly move on to another one. Maybe in this pose, she's striking with her sword. Again, it doesn't matter the proportions and things like that, aren't really that important at the moment. It's trying to get a good silhouette. Silhouette and character design means that you can read exactly what the character is doing if you were to block it out completely and just see it as a block shape. That's what you're aiming for, strong silhouettes, strong poses. This third one, maybe I'll just do it standing up a little bit more. While I'm drawing this, I'm starting to get the idea of what her armor or her clothing is going to look like. Now, I can start to be a little bit more specific. For example, in my character profile, I identified that I wanted her to have these strong shoulder armor and belts and boots. This one's looking like it is starting to come through a little bit. I might be working on this one later. I'll just do one more pose in this method and see if anything jumps out. You get the idea. Let me see. I'm trying to draw to make as many different poses as I can at the beginning so that if something new does jump out at me, it's much more likely to do so when I'm drawing in this way. Later on, you'll be far too obsessed on your idea and a bit more rigid and you won't be able to necessarily let those ideas come through. This stage is actually really important. If I grab all of these sketches now and just put them out of the way, I think I might just do one more final sketch based on these drawings that I've come up with. I'm thinking, I'm going to just do her standing up just so that I can work out some details on her clothing and what that looks like. I shall leave it at that for now. This pose, I think for me, is actually probably closest to what I want to work on for my final character design. I'm going to keep this one for now and I'll come back to it. But I want to show you one other method of developing your roughs and that's in the next video, so meet me there and we'll do the final rough exploration. 10. Rough Drawing Method 2: This second method of developing your rough sketches really is all about using shading and tonal values to build up your curve to poses. You might prefer this method to the previous one that I showed you. If you are a bit more painterly or approach your work in terms of seeing shadows and lights. Just like before, I'm going to roughly start blocking out silhouettes. In this instance, I want to see a bit of an action pose coming through on the character. Maybe she's running. Again, no details whatsoever, just pure shape, pure silhouette. The details will actually start to come through those tonal values all by themselves, which is quite a nice thing about this method of developing roughs. For posing, this is really, really good. I'm not concerned at all with what the character looks like or what's happening, I'm really concerned with action and motion. I'm thinking this brush isn't great. What I'm going to do, is just switch over to a soft, just a regular soft edged round brush, one of the default brushes, and that's a lot better. I really need to be able to see those tonal values building up progressively. It just makes the whole thing a lot more suggestive, a lot more open to interpretation. This might look like absolutely nothing at the moment, but that's totally fine. The more you look at these things, the more you can start to see shapes and see details emerge by themselves. Let me move these guys out of the way. I'll do a couple more with this soft edged round brush. Now, I'm going to work on just a regular standing pose. By now, we've pretty much got an idea of who this character is through this exploratory work. I'm going to start to lead a bit more towards a conventional standing pose. Maybe I'll just do one more over here. That's good enough for me. The next thing I'm going to do, as per usual, is to make a new layer on top of these rough tonal drawings. I'm going to switch over to a hard edge brush now. Now, I can bring that brush size down quite a bit and I'll still keep the opacity low. But now with this more precise line, I'm going to work around this shape and the silhouette. Without doing too much more to it because I don't want to spend too much of my time now in this stage drawing details, I'm actually going to pull back now and stop myself from really overworking it. I'm very happy with that. I'm going to stop right there. In the next video, I'm going to look at all of the rough drawings that are done up to now and take the elements that I think that are working in each of them and try and distill them down into one final rough drawing. Have a go at this method using shading and blocking out your silhouettes with tonal values. See if that works for you. Then when you're ready, meet me in the next lecture and we'll start to finalize our character design. 11. Final Line Work Clean Up: I'm just about ready to clean up my drawing. But the very last thing I want to do on this rough drawing is obviously add the features of the face. Jenna's face is going to be a little bit stylized, simplified, stylized facial features. Because this is still my rough face, it's definitely still not very hyper-detailed. That's looking okay to me for the face for now. At this stage, this is a very good stage to make some very final adjustments if you wanted to change anything like, for example, I don't think her shoulders are correct. I'll just make that little change there. I'm going to leave it now. That's my rough drawing completed. Now that I've got that phase done and dusted, it's time to move on to the cleanup phase. An animation cleanup means cleaning up your line work so that it's just one smooth, very very clean and precise line all the way around. For concept art, your line work might not really survive through to the very end iteration where you've got your final concept painting. But for something like comic books, you might want to keep your line work as part of your final character design. Let me show you exactly how you would go about that if you wanted to keep your line work, aiming for a very clean and crisp single line. There's a couple of tools that I want to introduce you to now at this stage that will really help you with this cleanup phase. Cleanup can be a very tedious process. I'm not going to lie. There's a surprising amount of undoing. You're going to find that you'll draw a line and undo that, draw it again, undo it, draw it again. Until you get it exactly right. But that's just part of the process. The one option that you have is to lower the opacity of your rough layer down and then start drawing on top of that. You're using your rough layer as a guide and drawing on top. The other method that I like to use is to lock transparent layers. In the layer stack, if you click on this layer and just above it, you can see that there's this icon here with the grid. If you click on that, what that does is it locks all the pixels within that layer that don't have marks on them. What that allows you to do, is to choose another color completely, increase the brush size and basically paint over. That just basically changes the color of that drawing completely. I like to do it like this because that means then that when I go to draw over them, I got the blue layer underneath, which is very distinct from the black inks that I'm using on top. It just helps me to make the differentiation a bit better. For my final clean up line, I'm going to use a very very dark black and keep your opacity quite high and then just using as clean a line as I can. From here on out, it's a measure of being patient and taking your time and working around the whole drawing to get those nice clean lines. The next step that I want to tell you about for cleanup is to use the Rotate tool. Hit R on your keyboard and that brings up this Rotate tool, which you can then rotate the canvas around to give you an angle that suits you better for a straight, clean line. For me, it often happens that I can draw a straight line bottom-left to top-right. I'll use the Rotate tool quite a lot to make those lines. The next thing that I want to point out is, don't be afraid to adjust your line work with the Transform tool. This is actually a very very useful thing to do. In other words, if a line is correct for weight and smoothness, but it's slightly off in terms of its position, then just use the Lasso and select that section of line. Hit Command or Control T on your keyboard and then you can nudge it into place or slightly change the orientation. The other thing you can do, which is really useful, is that if your line needs adjusting in just one area, hit Command T and then go up to this little icon here, which turns on the warp grid. Then you can actually push and pull your line to make those incremental adjustments. I wouldn't use this tool in large chunks of line work. Certainly not because it'll definitely distort your line work. But if they're small areas that could use adjustment and you don't want to redraw it again, that's a very handy tip. I'm going to carry on making my final line work for these drawings. This might take me a couple of passes. I wouldn't necessarily make my very final cleaned up line on this pass but at least I'm getting closer and closer each time. You might have to do one clean-up pass and then a final final cleanup want. Just bear that in mind. Those are the main tips and techniques for cleaning up your artwork. I hope that they're helpful and they help you in your process. 12. Choosing a Colour Palette: In this section, we are going to start painting for real, and I'm going to talk to you about how to choose your color palettes, how to mix your colors with your brush, and a couple of more sort and techniques for setting up your colors before you dive in and start painting. Here's my final character design. I made a couple of tweaks, my final tweaks. Basically, I decided that the gloves on Jenna weren't working for me. They looked a bit too policy, so I wanted her to have a bit more of a renegade look. I just added the letter forearm protectors. I also made some tweaks to her hair. I feel like this is completely final, now I'm locking it off. I'm not going to touch it again, and I'm going to get ready for painting. The first thing that I always do when I start out painting is I want to add a neutral gray background. The reason I do this is because using colors on a pure white background, that colors will tend to look darker than they actually are, and also if you paint on a very black background, colors might look brighter than they actually are, so a neutral gray is the best background to work on. In my layer stack, I'll just add a new layer, and in fact, I can actually delete this background layer because I don't need it anymore. Fill it with gray, or it could have just fill that background layer with gray, but either way, I will lock this layer. Then I'm going to go over here and double-click in these swatches to bring up my color picker. So this window is the default color picker in Photoshop, and mine probably looks a little bit different to yours. That's simply because I've got mindset to S for saturation. Maybe yours is on H, which stands for hue, and it will look a little bit like this. I'll just explain the difference between those two settings, because it is useful to know, demystifies it a little bit. When you are set on H, essentially you use this picker, you can drag this all the way across this window here to select basically different degrees of saturation, of brightness, or of darkness. Moving from top to bottom will affect the brightness or the darkness of the color, and moving from left to right will affect the saturation, if you want a very desaturated or highly saturated. To choose the hue, you just move this slider up and down. I have mine set to S because I like to be able to look at all of the colors at once when I'm picking my colors, it's just what I'm used to. This gives me all the colors in the spectrum as I move my color picker left to right, and I can choose the brightest to the darkest color by going from top to bottom within that range. Then if I want to adjust the saturation, I just move the slider over here on the right. So it's up to you whichever you feel more comfortable with. But there's one other option that I want to show you in terms of your color picker, in your workflow, it can be a little bit annoying to have to always come over to this swatch to double-click in order to pull up your color picker. There's another option that you can do and not as if you go up to window and choose color, then this window pops up and you can leave this open as you work. This one looks very different. If you wanted to, you could go up to this drop-down menu and set it to hue or to brightness; but I like to leave it on this setting because it's the color wheel, and at a glance I can see complementary colors, and I can adjust the brightness and saturation sliders at the same time up here, but I'm not going to worry about this window for the moment. I will be bringing it up later when I am painting and getting into more detail. For now, I'm just going to use the regular color picker. I just wanted you to be aware of it so that you know how it works. The first thing that I always do when I start painting is I choose a color palette. This is very useful because it keeps you focused on a color scheme and you don't have to start guessing later on what colors to use. All you essentially do is on a new layer, grab a texture brush or any brush really. Don't worry, I'll be leaving all of these brushes for you that I use from now on in your Resources section. The first color that I want is I'm thinking a darkish blue and a dark brown. I also want a gray. I also want darkish army green, and lastly, I want an accent color, maybe a nice red. Next, I want to show you a couple of shortcuts that I'll be using for the next while. One is how to blend colors and the other is how to switch brushes while you're working. Blending colors while you're painting is actually key to the painting process that I'll be teaching you. What you do is, when you're in brush mode you can lower the opacity of your brush as this helps you to build up tone consistently. When you've got two colors that meet and overlap, basically you've created a new color. While still in brush mode, hold down the Alt key on your keyboard, and that just brings up the color picker. You're able then to sample that new color. Let go of old and you're back into the brush. If you know what I mean, and you can carry on painting. Then you can sample, click the "New color", paint, sample. Eventually it gives a very natural and cohesive way of blending colors across the gradient. Then to change brushes while you're working, again, you'd need to just stay in brush mode, right-click anywhere on your canvas, and that will bring up your brush menu. Then you can scroll through your brushes or just come up here to the top and you'll see your most recently used brush. You can click on that, adjust the size if you need to, and continue working. The same actually works for the eraser tool. If you hit "E" on your keyboard, you can right-click and change the shape or the properties of your eraser and continue working. Those are some very handy workflow options. I hope you'll find them useful if you don't know about them already. The whole point of this is that I wanted to demystify a bit of the coloring process for you because it's actually very straightforward. Believe it or not, all of the hard work has been done. Getting that rough sketch phase over and done with and cleaning up your line work. That was really the hard phase. From here on out, it's actually quite easy. It's very simple and straightforward. I'll see you in the next video, we will start going through some of the painting techniques and processes. 13. Flat Colours: In this video, I want to show you a way to create a completely flat layer of color that will work really well as a base layer for adding texture and shading later on. If you were to dive in right away and start brushing on layers of color, and shading, and adding texture, you'd very quickly run into problems and would take a lot longer than the process I'm about to show you. This method that I'm about to show you gives you a really efficient system of coloring, and it also allows you to change up colors very easily with just a click of the Bucket tool. What you want to do is select everything within your line work so that you have one complete silhouette of your character. One way to do that is to use the Lasso tool and work around all of the Azure edges, carefully selecting everything until you have that complete silhouette. But there's a much easier way. The only thing is that it really depends on whether or not you've got a closed line work. If there's any gaps or openings in your line work around your Azure edges, this method won't work. Hopefully, your line work is closed. Then just make sure that you're on your final line layer, hit ''W'' on your keyboard to bring up the magic wand tool, and click anywhere on your canvas outside of the line work. That's going to select everything within this area. Then you go up to ''Select'', select ''Inverse'', and now everything inside your character is selected, even those intricate small areas or areas that have open lines or gaps. You want to have this entire area completely filled with a flat color, and I'll show you why later. I'll go with this neutral gray. It doesn't have to be gray. It could be any other color, but for the sake of color selection that I talked about earlier, I'm going to go with gray, and then I'm going up here to my layer stack and up here, click on "Lock transparent pixels". Now I can paint over the gray color, and it will only paint the area inside the lines. It's a quick and easy way to start laying down your flat colors for skin tones, for the colors of her uniform, for her hair, things like that. Since there are a lot of smaller areas to be colored, I am going to use the Lasso tool quite a bit. For example, with her hands, I'll select them using the Lasso tool like so. Note that I don't actually have to select the Azure edge of the hands. That's because that boundary is defined by that transparent pixels and also because of the gray flat color. Therefore, I can use the paint Bucket tool just for that area. I'm selecting the hair now, and I'm going to use a brush, I think, to brush on the hair color that I want, which is going to be this brown color. I've obviously missed a bit there with her ears, but there's also a gap on the forehead. I'm going to go to select ''Inverse'', which switches it around, and then select the skin color and patch that up. Then I'm going to switch to a different brush, I think, a hard-edged brush and bring the size of that brush down and paint in where the ear should be. When you're making your selection, remember I explained earlier how to switch between the regular Lasso and the polygonal Lasso. The regular Lasso allows you to make freehand line work or freehand selection, and then you can just hold down Alt and switch across to the polygonal one to get more precise points of selection. It's a matter of working your way around the whole drawing in this way. Use the Lasso tool, don't worry too much about the Azure edges, paint within your selection, and then you can go back and do touch ups, and you can fill up areas that got missed with the brush or paint in where two colors meet and [inaudible] fill to the very edge. When you are filling areas with the Bucket tool, as I said before, make your selection. You don't have to worry about the Azure edges, but you also don't have to worry about colors within your selection. For example, when I'm filling in her top here, if you notice, I don't have to define the areas around the shoulders or the color either, with the strap, because they are already defined by color already. Just make sure that if you come up here to the very top when your Bucket tool is selected, make sure that Tolerance is set to zero. That will allow you to use the Bucket tool to fill certain areas like that. That's how you can work around and complete the whole of your flats layer. If you don't like color, you can just use the Bucket tool to tap into it to changes, and at the end of the process, you've got a completed flat color for your character and you're ready to start adding texture and shading on top of that. 14. Adding Shading: In this video, I'm going to show you how to add shading, a very simple shading pass before we move on to final paint. I'm going to zoom in and add pretty much a darker skin tone around here and then from there, I'm going to brush on some highlights. Because I've got my color palette over to the left, I can select from there. Maybe I'll bring down the opacity a little bit and brush in, like that. Now, I don't want to go too bright so I might tone that down slightly with a bit of a mid-tone. The highlights I usually keep for the very, very end. This is just more about putting down a mid-tone. But what I want to do is define the areas of the face where there is going to be shading or shadow and that in this instance is going to be on the left. I've already decided in my mind that the light source for my piece comes from the top right. There's no real hard and fast rule about picking where you want to light your subject from, you can light your subject from any angle, it's up to you. But just in terms of making a pleasing image or prioritizing features of the face, for example. I would always go with just a general top right lighting direction. With that in mind, I'm going to ensure that the left side of the face will be slightly darker and I'll reserve the lighter areas for the forehead, the nose, and the cheeks. Remember the priority here for me anyway is to get a very simple shading pass done, so that I can move on to some more detailed line or detailed artwork. With that in mind, I'm going to just place quite a simple area of shading over the lower half of the body and fade out those trousers a little bit. Brush on some very general, very light shading onto the top. This is going to give me the opportunity to see the left-hand side as being much darker. I'm just keeping that in mind as I go. Left-hand side is going to be in shadow, right-hand side is going to have a touch of highlight. All the while, I'm just using pretty much a soft round-edge brush and switching between dash and my hard edge brush. Wherever there's a bit of an extreme contrast like over here on the arms or where I was at the neck, I often like to put down a darker color for the shading and then switch to the more soft edge brush to blend it in the way I showed you before with blending colors on your brush, and that gives a nice mid-tone and allows you to make it look a little bit smoother. There will be shadow under the gun and under the belt. Then the last thing I'm going to show you in this video is a way of adding shadow that I do quite a lot. I sometimes switch to the Lasso Tool. I've made a new layer, I'm actually working on a layer above this. But with the Lasso Tool selected, I'm going to draw out where I want the shadow to be. The left-hand side of the leg, brush on a darker paint on to that. Remember I'm on a new layer, so that means that I can now go back to my layer stack. If I go over to the flats layer, hold down Command or Control on my keyboard, Click into the thumbnail icon of the flats layer, and what that'll do is, select everything, all the contents of that layer. Then you can go up to Select, select Inverse and delete the overlap or the parts that you don't want. I'll just do that again for you on this leg. I'm using the Lasso Tool, then I'll just tap into that layer on top, come down to my flats layer, which remember is like this one cohesive unit of color. I'll hold down Control or Command on my keyboard to select all the contents. Go and select Inverse, and then delete the stuff that I don't need. The other useful part about this is because this is on the top layer, I can actually switch to the eraser tool and knock this back a little bit because it's a bit dark. Here we go and that's fine. That's a very basic shadow pass. I'm happy enough with that. It's enough for me to now move on and start working into more details with texture and with highlights. What I'm going to do for the next phase is actually start painting above the line work. This is going to end up with that much more painterly effect and much more nuanced and fully rendered final product. Hopefully everything that I covered in this video in terms of just doing a basic shadow pass makes sense to you. If it doesn't, please let me know, please send me a message or send me in some of your work if you want me to have a look at it and give you some feedback. If anything is unclear at all. Any of my keyboard shortcuts or processes, let me know and I'll re-explain. Otherwise, I'll see you in the next video where we're going to start working on the final render. 15. Painting the Face: In this video, I'm going to start diving down into the details, and specifically the details of the face. I'm going to walk you through a bit of my process when it comes to blending and painting the lest and detailed look. Plus I'm also moving on to painting over the line work for the stage. Because the final render that I want to output is going to be a very painterly concept art type of look and feel. On my layers, I'm making a new layer above the line work. I'll zoom in now to start working on details. The first thing I'm going to do is just plot out some highlights for the hair just to give me that sense of the light direction again. I'll probably choose a hard edge brush. I'm just going to put some highlights at the top here because this is where the light's going to be coming from. For this stage, don't get caught up in trying to draw every single strand of hair. Think of the hair in blocky shapes and try to visualize the sides of those shapes that are going to be catching the light. Similarly with the face, try to break it down into planes and basic shapes that you can easily then visualize where the light is coming from. Now I'm starting to paint over the lines as you can see. What's important to me is to really just keep that impression of tonal values and color really to paint over those dark lines and give it a more realistic look. I'm keeping the lips a fairly neutral color. Later on, you could probably look at tinting them a bit pinker or a bit redder. But when I start, it's always nice to keep them fairly neutral, just a darker tone than the skin tone. The underneath of the nose is usually always in shadow because obviously it's facing downwards. Just bear that in mind. The top of the nose is where it probably receives more slush. But then you also have to account for variation in skin tone. Some people might have quite a Rosie tip of the nose even though that's where it's going to be the lightest part of the face. It all depends on the image that you're referencing as well and the specifics of the face that you're trying to paint. As you can see, it's very rough, very patchy, and that's what I quite like. That's the way I like to work. Later I'll come back in and blend them up with the soft edged round brush. But for now, this painterly blocky way of applying color works for me. The eyes, say if we're talking about the eyes in terms of a blue color, they'll generally have a darker shade of blue at the top and a lighter shade down here. I'm going to lighten up the bottom of the iris and do it on the side as well. Then darken it up just for that top edge because that's where there's a cast shadow coming down from the eyelashes. Then you can just indicate a bit of a highlight in the pupil of the eye. Usually, the highlight for the pupil will always be in the direction where the light source is coming from. Keep going. Make the lower lid a bit darker. Blend it in if we can. Bit by bit, I'm working to replace the black heavy outlines with a bit more of a painted look. Right here, what I'm doing is I'm painting actually outside of the lines and then using my inverse selection option to delete any of that excess. I'm just going to darken up the lips slightly, make them more defined. If I pull back now you can see the features of the face are coming together quite nicely. I'm starting to move away from that outlining look, and have a more polished, more finished rendered look which is quite nice. Which is what I'm going for ultimately. I'm going to tidy up the eyes here, and just make the whites of the eye camouflage around the pupil. Bit by bit it is coming together, and of course, terrible one for getting stuck into my new details. I would recommend that you try and stay as pulled back, as zoomed out as you can and not do an awful lot of work this close and this zoomed in. It's fine to come in close and do your details but you want to keep referring back to the full image by zooming back out and looking at your work from time to time. For me, this stage really requires a lot of careful patient painting and blending and maybe if you are at this stage then I would suggest that you just take it as slow as you can and give yourself enough time to really see what works and what doesn't. Look at your reference image a lot and remember to think about what direction that your light source is coming in. That's all important. In the next video, we're going to move on to working on the rest of the body and the clothing in particular. 16. Painting the Clothing: This next part of my process is going to be all about painting the clothing, and again, just like when I was painting the face, I have to try and think about the light source because I want to give that sense of 3D realistic look to it. I don't want flat colors. It's about making sure that my shadows and my highlights are in the right place. First of all, I'm going to rearrange my workspace a little bit. I'm going to start working with this new layout and color window. This one in particular, which has the complementary colors all along the color wheel, and I'm going to drag my layers down below it, and then picking and choosing from my palette over here to the left, I can get to work, and again, I'm going to start refining details. I want to knock back this very thick, heavy outline, and this all comes down to judging the tonal values, finding my shadows, painting those in pretty edges, and then picking out highlights. For example, the back of her collar is going to be in shadow, and on the right-hand side here here well, that will be in a deeper, darker red than the rest. But I'm going to keep some variation in tone. It's not a completely flat color, and the same goes for underneath her armor or her shoulder armor. I can use a dark color to indicate shadows, but again, I don't want it to be completely flat. I'll just knock that dark back a bit and blend it in with a bit of a lighter tone. Now I'm going to move on to the top, and I'm just going to block in some shadows where this belt might be with the strap, and when you're working like this, sometimes with creases in the clothing for shadows, it might seem very easy and straightforward, but when you paint it in, it looks really flat. I want to show you one very good tip that will help you out with making your shadows pop out. I'm going to really enhance that dark tone for the line going down. But then I'm going to switch to a smaller brush with a much larger tone and pick out one line of brightness just on that edge, and more essentially is the edge that's catching the light before it falls into this what's called a shadow of occlusion, meaning that there's no light in that shadow. If I zoom back now, you can see how effective that is. That's a really good tip. Whenever you've got a deep dark shadow, just putting a little bit of a highlight next to it works wonders for making something look much more realistic. Now I'm just going to tidy up this shoulder area and try to knock back any outlines. Then when it comes to the limbs, I find it very useful to do a darker color around the edges of the arms and even areas like fingers and hands. Just because that really gives you a sense of the round form of the arm. If you think about the arms as a cylinder, then the light will be falling away as the forms move around. What you can do is put a darker tone along the edges and then use your blending brush to work it up to a lighter tone going down the middle, and that will really give you a 3D sense of the shape. I've decided that I don't like the way her arm guards go all the way up above the elbow, so I'm just really on the fly going to paint them out over here, and I want to paint in like I'm imagining that she could have arm wraps or bandages underneath her arm guard. So I'm going to paint those in a bit of a neutral tone. Erase out the parts that I don't want, and then I'm going to work in with a smaller brush, going to work in some creases where the bandages are overlapping. This is another example where I'm going to use a lot much lighter tone just to highlight the very edge. Bit by bit, I'm working up my tonal values, making sure that I'm making the shadows and the highlights sit nicely together. Bringing in that extra touch of highlight where I want the light to be falling and then making sure my shadows are in the right place. It's just a matter of working around the whole rest of the figure in this way, switching from a hard edge brush to a soft round brush to blend it in. There are few areas which will take me quite a while to work up, like, for example, the creases of the pants. In this section, usually, it would seem very straightforward, but to get it looking realistic, takes quite a while going back and forwards, working it up and then blending it back in and working it back up again. But I'm fairly happy with that so far. Think that's heading in the right direction generally. When it starts to feel like I'm getting lost in details and I'm not quite sure how to resolve what I'm working on, I try to step back and just think in terms of two or three tones, and think again about if it was just a basic shape like a cylinder, where would the highlight be, and where would this fall off or the shadows be, and then that helps me to get it right in the end. Here I'm just making some adjustments and fixing my drawing a little bit. I'm doing that to right, and I'm going to add in, I think a bit of a red stripe, that accent color that I chose. Just to add that going down the side. It's looking all right. The only thing that's really bugging me are the boots, but I'm going to fix them a little bit later. The last thing I want to do on the arms is finish up these arm guards, and I need to paint in a buckle over here, and for that, I'm not even going to make it too complicated. Three basic tones and one neutral tone for the mid-tone, and then I'll use a darker gray for the shadowy bits and a light tone for the highlights. To fix her boots, I've decided just to make them one basic round leather boot. I'm not going to have the foot guards that were on there before, I'm going to paint those out, and I'm trying to make it look a bit leathery and a bit distressed, although I'm not going to worry too much about it because in the next section, when I get into adding textures on top of my painting, then that'll really give it that weathered and worn look and feel that I'm trying to go for it. For here, I just want to get the tones right and get a bit of a highlight going. I think that should be it for these parts, for these color parts. I think that I've got all my values and tones in the right places, and I'm ready to move on to the next slide. Meet me in the next lecture, and I'm going to show you how you can start adding texture to your artwork. 17. Making Adjustments: Before I start on my final render, I might start adding texture and final lighting. I just want to quickly show you a couple of techniques that you can use for making very small minor tweaks to your artwork when you're very close to finish. First off, when I'm pretty much as satisfied as I'm going to be with my painting paths, when I'm sure that there's no much more I can do in terms of paint and shading, then what I want to do is to be able to make these small incremental adjustments on the final image as a whole. To do this, I need to get all of my artwork flattened down onto one layer so that I can make changes to the whole thing. But I don't want to lose those layers either, in case I need to go back in and change something from an earlier stage. What I do is over here in the layer stack, I'll just grab everything in here. Hit Command or Control G on my keyboard and turn this into one folder. Then I can double-click on the name of that folder and call it whatever I want. I'll rename it artwork layers. Then click Command or Control J to duplicate the entire folder. Now I can hide this original folder, forget about it for the moment unless I need to go back to an earlier stage. Then on this top one, I'm going to double-click again, and I'll rename this one character. Then I'm going to right-click onto that and choose "Merge Group". Now I've got one flat layer as a whole. If I make any adjustments, the whole thing will be adjusted as one. What adjustments would you want to do now? Well, one thing that a lot of people like to do is to use the Liquify tool to make very small tweaks to pull and push edges of your work. If you want to try that out, you can go up to Filters. From here, choose "Liquify". That brings up this whole new interface. You can zoom in if you want to. Just make sure this tool here is selected. Then you can actually push and pull contours of your artwork if you need to. It is a handy adjustment to know about, but I would caution you not to use it too much because the more you do, the more distorted your work will get. Really this is the last resort tweak. I'm actually just going to cancel out of that. What I tend to do more so than the Liquify tool is just use my eraser to tidy up edges and fix things that way. Now this calls for very careful brushstrokes because you don't want to lose too much, but it is a good way to make things very neat around the edges in case some of your brush work has spilled out over. Those are my very final tiny adjustments that I've made. In the next video, I'm going to show you my final render. Then we would be close to completely finished with our artwork. I'll see you in the next video. 18. Final Render: In this video, I'm going to start adding a layer of texture over my whole piece and in your resources folder, I've left you a couple of tools that you can work with, some brushes and some textures. First of all, let's take a look at this image of the texture that I'm going to work with. I want it to be above the top half of her like this, say over her top and make that look a bit distressed. What you need to do is create a clipping mask and if you don't know how to do that, it's very easy. Essentially, the texture or whatever's on the above layer will clip to the silhouette or the exact shape of the artwork that's on the bottom layer. Come over to your layers over here and with your cursor, you can hover over the line in between these two layers. Hold down Alt on your keyboard, and this brings up this little symbol. When you click then that will clip the artwork, the on the top layer to the bottom one. Now obviously that doesn't look very good, but we're not done yet. Once you've done that, this is where you get to play around with layer modes and see if you can come up with different looks or different styles. Come up to this drop-down menu here and choose from any one of these blending modes. Overlay is usually a good one to go with, but you can experiment and see which one you prefer on your artwork. Once you've chosen a blending mode, you can also adjust the opacity. That is another way to blend two different layers. Now you can see it looks a little bit better. Now I don't particularly like it over the top. Let's see what it looks like if I drag it down over the pants, I think that looks a lot better, or the boots. When it's a darker color like this, I think I might change my blending mode to multiply. Now I'm going to duplicate this layer Command or Control J and I'll drag that up to the top. Remember it's on multiply now, Command Control T to rotate it and just double-click to commit to that transformation and apply the clipping mask. Now I'm just going to erase out the parts of the texture that are on the skin or that are not where I want them to be, that I don't need and that's how you would add a layer of texture to your paints. As you can see, it does make a big difference. It's suddenly gives it a different feeling or different quality. But you can't do it without having layers of textures. You can actually build up quite interesting, gritty, realistic looking textures with some very simple brushstrokes. Personally, that's the way I like to work. I prefer to stick with my brush tools and work with them because I feel like it does give a bit more of a cohesive painterly look to the whole piece. I'll show you how to do that now. First, make a selection using your lasso tool of the exact parts that you want to add texture to. This is the part where it might be a bit tedious, but you'll get used to working with the lasso tool and then create a new layer. Now this new layer has that selection and go up to your brushes and choose any kind of really nice texture brush. I've actually left you the exact brushes that I work with. If you want to, you can just import them into Photoshop and choose one of those. What you do is you choose a new color. You want it to be slightly different, but still within the same range as your base color. So something that's either a little bit darker or a little bit lighter. Then just very, very lightly brush on some of this brushed texture onto the top. Once you've done that, you can also use blending modes and opacity to change or effect this. Another tip is that if you do have paint that's over the edges of your base layer, just Command click on the thumbnail of your character layer, your base layer, that selects everything within that layer, and then come up to select and choose Inverse and now you can just hit Delete on your keyboard and that removes any of that over spill. I'm actually going to experiment with quite a range of brushes and I've left all of these for you, so feel free to try them out. Have a go at applying them and remember though, to keep the opacity of the brush quite low at first when you're adding them on top because some of them they can come up quite heavy and you don't want to have very heavy textured brush strokes might overpower your piece. You're actually just aiming for that subtle look. Actually, any combination of these brushes works quite well together. There's no formula, it's just all about trying them out and seeing what looks good. 19. Adding a Background or Environment: We're practically finished. This video is going to show you how to add something a little bit extra to your artwork. We're done with the character, or at least I'm done with my character. But in order to make the whole piece really stand out and really be a piece of concept art, I'm going to add a background. The focus of this piece really is definitely the character agenda. But just to finish it off to that professional standard, adding an environment or a background can be really, really good. You don't have to, if you don't want to, you can simply add a layer of texture behind her or behind your character. But if you want to bring it to that extra level, then I want to show you how easy it is to add an environment or a landscape. The first thing that I'll do is just carve out some blocks of color. I'm using the lasso tool like this and literally just dumping color into the selections with the bucket tool. I'm also keeping each one on a separate layer for now. Then finally, in the very far horizon may be like a vague impression of a [inaudible] scape or something like that, very loose. Then I'm going to choose a relevant color for the sky and put that on a layer at the bottom, underneath everything else. I've gone for a very strange looking sky because obviously I want to keep that sci-fi, otherworldly feel to this. Once I'm happy with that, I'm going to merge all those layers together, except for the sky layer. I want to blend these colors together but I want to keep the sky separate. Using my texture brush, I'm going to just break up those contours. Break up those edges between the colors, sampling as I go. I'm using that technique I told you, that blending technique of sampling colors by holding down Alt while I'm in brush mode. That's just creating a subtle change from one color to the next. I don't want to have a full gradient, but just a melting from one to the other. Now I'm going to work on the sky. I do want a gradient on my sky. What you can do for that is very simple. You could use the gradient tool, but I like to just choose a very big soft edge brush with a very low opacity. Choose a nice sunset, sunrise color. Then on the sky layer itself, but underneath the mountains, I'll make simply just one or two brushstrokes. That's all. That's all that's needed to give that kind of effect or that glow to the whole sky area, gives it a bit of atmosphere. Now let me fix up this distant city. I'm going to take it out altogether for now. Actually, those marks aren't working. I think I'll stick with the soft edge brush with the same color as the ground layer. I'm actually just completely making this up now as I go, just doesn't have to be detailed. It just feels right to have the same color as the ground, and have that faraway distant city look. Helps it to blend into the background. Plus it's sci-fi so it can be anything really. Then lastly, maybe it's catching some of that light from the sunrise. You can sample that color and just add a couple of highlights on top. The very last thing I think I'll do is just change up this color. I'm going to select this area, hit Command or Control U. That brings up your saturation sliders. I can change the hue by dragging this here to change the color. I don't have to go back in and repaint everything. There we go. That's the final piece. Really very, very quickly put together that background, but it really add something to the whole piece, I think. I would be more than happy to leave it here. I think that is final and finished, but there's a final, final last layer of polish that you can add. Meet me in the next video and we'll do that and wrap it up completely. 20. Final Effects: I would say that this piece is pretty much done and I really truly hope that you have learned something through following along with me and having this whole entire process, see how I approach it and how I worked through it. I just want to stress that again, my aim is to give you a set of practices and a set of processes that you can use and apply to your own work. It's not really about copying my style necessarily, but just working with your brushes, working with layers and with textures, see what kind of artwork you can come up with. I would love to see any work that you've done so far in this course. If you feel like it, please send them to me in a message or post them in the discussion section. If you want critiques or feedback from me, I'll be really, really happy to help out or give you any advice. As a way of wrapping up this course, I thought I'd just share one last process with you. It's a final layer of polish and it's aimed at adding that little bit of extra atmosphere. It makes the whole image more cohesive and it also makes it a little bit more moody. Because remember concept art really is all about mood and atmosphere and telling us the story through an image. Before I get into that, just note, first of all, that my layers here are actually all grouped and organized quite neatly and that's super important and it's a detail that you shouldn't overlook. I like to name my main folders in all caps and I merge layers where I can. What I want to do now, is add some brush marks just to make it look more cloudy and possibly windswept. I want to knock back the character into the background a little bit. I'll make a new layer and drag it over the background folder. Then from my brushes, I'm going to choose this one that's like a cloud brush. I'm sampling colors from within my own scene. Then still in that same brush tool, I'll add a layer on top of everything and brush down here at the bottom to give the impression of dust swirling around your feet. It's all a very light touch, nothing too heavy. Then I'm going to grab this brush. What this one does, is just add a layer of particles that looks like dust or something like dust. For this one, I'm going to choose a brighter color to make it stand out a bit. This can go really wrong if you go in too heavy handed. Just bear that in mind. Just work very, very sparingly with these kinds of effects, less is more. Then lastly, if you wanted to add a vignette to your artwork, what you can do is again, create a brand new layer on the very top of everything and just dump a flat dark color on top like this across the whole canvas and set that layer to multiply. Now, come and drag the opacity all the way down to about say 20 percent, 25 and switch to the eraser tool, making sure that it's a really big brush, soft edge brush and erase out the center of the painting, especially where the character is. You can actually see over here in the layer thumbnail, exactly how much you're erasing, if you wanted to check. That is it. I'm going to put my stylers down and not do anymore. We have got finally a fully finished and rendered painting of my character in a scene in an atmospheric looking environment. That is the end of the course and I really, really hope that you enjoyed it. I really hope that you learned something useful and that you got some value out of it. If you have any feedback for me, please get in touch. Please send me a message and I'll respond. That's what I'm here for. Even after you've finished the course, you can always contact me. I've left two more videos, burns videos in this course, and that's the other character of Targas, which I drew up earlier. I've left my process videos like a speed painting of how I colored him from the very start, right the way through it's very end. Feel free to watch those if you're interested. Other than that, it's just there for me to say, thank you so much for being part of this course and I really look forward to seeing you in the next one.