Drawing Monsters with Adobe Illustrator CC | Martin Perhiniak | Skillshare

Drawing Monsters with Adobe Illustrator CC

Martin Perhiniak, Design Your Career

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60 Lessons (4h 35m)
    • 1. Time to draw some monsters!

    • 2. Principles - Telling a story

    • 3. Principles - Shapes

    • 4. Principles - Silhouettes

    • 5. Principles - Proportions and exaggeration

    • 6. Principles - Expressions

    • 7. Principles - Posture and body language

    • 8. Principles - Scale and perspective

    • 9. Principles - Colors

    • 10. Principles - Shading

    • 11. Principles - Textures and effects

    • 12. Principles - Finding inspiration

    • 13. Vampire - Drawing the character

    • 14. Vampire - Drawing the Cape

    • 15. Vampire - Drawing the Coat

    • 16. Vampire - Drawing the Collar

    • 17. Vampire - Using Global Edit

    • 18. Vampire - Shading with Freeform Gradient

    • 19. Vampire - Adding texture

    • 20. Vampire - Final thoughts

    • 21. Puffy Monster - Introduction

    • 22. Puffy Monster - Tracing setup

    • 23. Puffy - Drawing the body

    • 24. Puffy - Drawing limbs

    • 25. Puffy - Using Gradients to define forms

    • 26. Puffy - Drawing the spikes

    • 27. Puffy - Adding more gradients

    • 28. Puffy - Advanced Shading with a Gradient Mesh

    • 29. Puffy - Adding highlights

    • 30. Puffy - Cast shadows for the spikes

    • 31. Puffy - Using an Opacity Mask

    • 32. Puffy - Drawing the mouth

    • 33. Puffy - Final thoughts

    • 34. Reaper - Introduction

    • 35. Reaper - Drawing the scythe

    • 36. Reaper - Drawing the cape and legs

    • 37. Reaper - Drawing the hood

    • 38. Reaper - Drawing the skull

    • 39. Reaper - Drawing the arm

    • 40. Reaper - Setting up tracing

    • 41. Reaper - Drawing the hand

    • 42. Reaper - Adding details to the skull

    • 43. Reaper - Adding details to the cape

    • 44. Reaper - Adding more details

    • 45. Reaper - Drawing the other arm and hand

    • 46. Reaper - The importance of sketching

    • 47. Reaper - Initial shading

    • 48. Reaper - Glowing eyes effect

    • 49. Reaper -Shading eye sockets

    • 50. Reaper - Shading the skull with Freeform Gradient

    • 51. Reaper - Shading the nose

    • 52. Reaper -Adding details to the skull

    • 53. Reaper - Shading the teeth

    • 54. Reaper -Shading the cape

    • 55. Reaper - Additional shading with a Gradient Mesh

    • 56. Reaper -More shading details on the cape

    • 57. Reaper - Adding cast shadows

    • 58. Reaper - Organising layers

    • 59. Reaper - Final thoughts

    • 60. Conclusion

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About This Class

Do you want to learn how to create professional vector illustrations using Adobe Illustrator and having fun at the same time? Then this course is perfect for you!


We will be working on three character illustration projects, covering the whole workflow each time from the initial sketches to the fully fledged vector drawings to give you insight into each step of the creative process. As the title of the course suggests these characters will be fun and quirky monsters. You will be able to use the sketches, colours, and elements included with the course and follow along the videos to recreate each artwork OR you can use the techniques demonstrated to create your own versions of these characters and let your imagination run wild.

Don’t worry if you have no experience in character art as the first long chapter of this course covers all the important techniques and concepts used by illustrators to create engaging characters. This course is best suited for anyone who already has a basic understanding of working with Adobe Illustrator as we are going to use advanced techniques like shading with Gradient Meshes, adding texture effects, using Clipping Masks and CC 2019 new features like Freeform Gradients and Global Edit. If you are new to working with Adobe Illustrator I would recommend to start with my Illustrator CC MasterClass before diving into the mysterious and fascinating world of monsters.

You will need Adobe Illustrator to follow along the course, ideally the latest Creative Cloud version, but not older than CC 2015 as we will be working with many newly introduced features. A pen tablet can be useful for taking this course, but it is not necessary. You will be able to finish all the projects without any issues by using a mouse.

If you have what it takes to face these monstrous projects you should enroll now and start learning today!


1. Time to draw some monsters!: Do you want to learn how to create professional vector illustrations using Adobe Illustrator and having fun at the same time? Then this course is perfect for you. We will be working on three character illustration projects covering the whole workflow each time from the initial sketches to the fully fledged vector drawings to give you insight into each step of the creative process. As the title of the course suggest, these characters will be fun and quirky monsters. You will be able to use the sketches, colors, and other means included with the course and follow along the videos to recreate each artwork. Or you can use the techniques demonstrated to create your own versions of these characters and let your imagination run wild. Don't worry, if you have no experience in character art, as the first long chapter of this course covers all the important techniques and concepts used by illustrators to create engaging characters. This course is best suited for anyone who already has a basic understanding of working with Adobe Illustrator as we are going to use advanced techniques like shading with gradient mashes, adding texture effects using clipping masks and CC 2019 new features like free form gradients and global edit. If you are new to working with Adobe Illustrator, I would recommend to start with my Illustrator CC master class before the diving into the mysterious and fascinating world of monsters. You will need Adobe Illustrator to follow along the course. Ideally, the latest creative cloud version, but not older than CC 2015 as we will be working with many newly introduced features. A pen tablet can be useful for taking this course, but it is not necessary. You will be able to finish all the projects without any issues by using a mouse. If you have what it takes to face these monsters project, you should enroll now and start learning today. 2. Principles - Telling a story: We have the 10 principles of character illustration. First of all, most important thing is that you always need to tell a story. We just really function that way, everything is about telling a story. It's from the very old days of ancestors sitting near the fire, telling stories, always the elders of the tribe would tell their experience hunting and all that stuff, and then obviously we learn things from stories. So we are looking for stories and that's why movies, and TV series in general, and computer games are popular, especially the ones that has a good story. The same thing applies to illustration as well, especially with character illustration, you need to capture a character through already telling the story without any words or without any speech bubbles, you can actually get that right. You can see here Chris Ryniak, he's an amazing illustrator, and all of his characters, even though they are very simple, they immediately tell the story of the character. We can see this little guy here, obviously high on caffeine eating the coffee bean or this guy here, a dragon, or a monster dressed as a T-Rex, I guess, it's just great fun. Again, we have another cool illustration from Mike Mac, the alien, and although there is again, no speech or no text edit to it, we can tell his intentions are not the best or it's not a very friendly character. On the other hand, we have this guy here from Greg Abbott, I don't know what, this character definitely is not happy. It's a sad monster wearing cool socks and then having a friend trying to cheer him or her up, and that's again something we can see both of the examples on the right. It's usually easier to tell a story when you have two characters interacting. So not only that, but also by using the small little girl here from Galit Weisberg, we can see that the scale of the monster immediately is easy to recognize. Without the little girl, we wouldn't know whether this is a small lizard or it's actually a big dragon, but by having the girl there, even though it's caricature, the proportions of the girl, it's obviously not realistic, but we can still tell that the dragon is way bigger, so that's a fairly big monster. But still, the girl is telling the dragon off for doing something naughty or whatever that is. So we don't really get the story, we just get a glimpse of something happening, something intriguing that is happening. So this is the key thing here, and that's why I put this in the first place because if you can capture a moment just by visually creating something, either with one single character or two characters, that's already going to help engage your viewers, and they will stop and think about what is actually happening here, what are these characters doing. 3. Principles - Shapes: Shapes and lines. We also call this shape language. When you have or when you're working with simple shapes like blocks. In this case, the characters on the left are very blocky. They are mainly made of rectangles or squares. They usually tend to create characters that have very grounded, and solid, and slow moving, but strong and heavy. If you're using shapes and obviously these are quite exaggerated versions of that, they can really help you to get that straight away. Because when we look at a character, if it's obvious, like from the shapes, what type of character it is, it already helps again to tell the story and get a sense of what this character is like, what it is, how is it moving, how it is behaving in general? Cool example is this one here from Piper. I'm not sure how to pronounce her name or his name, I'm not a 100 percent sure, but Cryptid-Creations is the artist name. The character is a really cool example of using triangles, which is most of the time is used for aggressive or dangerous characters. It might be actually a friendly character, but still someone you don't want to mess with. Triangles are great because it's the sharp corners. That's usually something that we just are familiar with and we know that we should avoid or be careful with, is a good example of that. Then we have the cute characters on the right. Both of these again, same guy is from the previous page, same artists. We can see how circles and round shapes are great for capturing more cute and friendly characters. And of course Chris' dragon, is something that is taking that to a whole new level where literally everything is made of circles, including the arms, the little toes, the eyes, obviously the eyes are usually around, but the whole shape is like there's not even a body, it's is just a big round head. But it still works. You can still read the character and that makes it really cool. Same applies here. Apart from the limbs, legs and the arms, everything is really rounded, and curvy, and friendly, and fluffy. It's shape language, another very useful technique. It's actually quite easy. Once you start using shapes in general for creating your characters, it's going to really help you to get an immediate impression of something or what the character is like. 4. Principles - Silhouettes: Even easier or even more of an immediate reaction that you can get from viewers, is if you get your silhouette right. So this is the third thing, but maybe it's something that you need to already start with experimenting in the beginning when you are creating characters. Silhouettes, you can see that we have these very well known and loved characters on the left. Pikachu, we have Titch from Lilo and Stitch, and then we have Monsters, Inc. two characters from that. These are immediately recognizable because they're outlines just so well thought out and designed. So this is obviously something that didn't come at the first sketch for the illustrators. So every character that you see in animation films or cartoons or anywhere in computer games, they are the result of a thinking process. That's why usually they are called character design because it's actually following these principles that I'm talking about and trying to apply them all together and really form something unique, something recognizable. If you can get a character that has a recognizable silhouette, and everyone would know which character is that, then you've done a successful character design for sure. So silhouette is obviously something that will only show the outline and you don't actually see any details inside it but sometimes if you're working on new characters and just coming up with ideas, you can cheat slightly by including these lines here on the right side from David, we have a few cool character illustrations. Again just using silhouette, but we have those white lines over the characters, which help to define a few additional details like adding the eyes, the nose, the mouth, and so on and so forth. You can think of it as a silhouette 2.0 which has some indication of details, but still relying mainly on the silhouette and the outlines. 5. Principles - Proportions and exaggeration: So proportions and exaggeration is the next topic or next principle that I would mention. This is again an obvious one. So all of the artists that you see here does an amazing job. But my personal favorite from these, are from Maxim and Sam. So the zombie character in particular is just amazing, how exaggerated all the limbs are. So we have really long and thin limbs, but especially the mouth, is just huge, and because of that, there is also a very strong perspective. We have foreshortening, so the leg foot is coming really close up to us and then obviously everything else is further back. So that also just helps to exaggerate the proportions even more, same thing with the crocodile character, which is like a bodybuilder crocodile, I guess, which has huge upper body. But compared to that, it has very tiny legs, and it's important that when you're exaggerating and many are playing with proportions, sometimes having contrast on certain areas will really help to emphasize that difference. So when you're thinking of something really muscly and strong, it's not just about making the small, but also making the hands small, because obviously the hands are the extension of the arm. So if you want the arm to be really muscly, then making the hands tiny is going to really give that contrast and help to capture that unique aspect of the character. Hopefully that makes sense so far, for proportion and exaggeration. So it's important to learn in general, proportions of the human body and the animal anatomy is also very important, especially if you want to draw monsters. But understanding the anatomy will help you to find the unique parts or unique aspects of their physical build and then you can exaggerate those unique aspects of them. Again, that's just something that you will develop the more you draw from life or from references. So if you want to draw characters that are based on, let say, animals like crocodiles in this case, it's good to do some studies first and then try to identify what parts of their body you can exaggerate or what parts of their body can be used well to express again what your character is like. 6. Principles - Expressions: Now expression is, you can think about it as the first way that you get from viewers because they, most of the time, if your character has a face, they will look at the face first. Even within the face they will look at the eyes first. In photography as well, that's a rule that you want to make sure that the eyes are in focus. That's a basic thing that as a photographer you would want to make sure you capture the eyes in focus because that's what we are drawn to, that what we want to look into first. It's a funny thing because when you think about it in social interaction, looking in someone's eyes, especially if you don't know them, can be intimidating for both sides. For the person who you're staring into the eyes of can also not take it that well. For yourself as well, if you don't know someone, you wouldn't want to stare into their eyes. But when we look at images, we feel like we are free to do it. That's the only real time that we can get a [inaudible]. So that's why we immediately look in the eyes. Of course, eyes can express emotions, feelings, again, characteristics of the person, their mood. We are amazing, our brain is brilliant in reading emotions, and eyes are probably the most expressive details of our face. That's definitely something that we want to focus on when we are designing characters. Another interesting fact that I have for you. I just recently heard is that when you simply out and bound every day, every second, your eyes process ten megabytes of information. That's around 10 million kilobytes. One kilobyte, just so if you're unfamiliar with this, is a single yes or no question, or black or white if we are talking about pixel or digital images. Every second your eyes process 10 million kilobytes. But the brain only registers 16 kilobyte of that, meaning that's the only detail that it will be able to remember and store. Our eyes are amazing the power that our eyes have. Obviously everything in the modern world is getting more and more visual. We are staring at screens all the time. I'm surrounded by screens all the time. Of course, our eyes are getting better and better and they are improving in understanding details. But this is something that is always with us. Coming back to what I was starting to talk about, expressions are very important to get right. Exaggerate your expressions. When you want to have someone happy, make them really happy, so super excited. You've probably seen this again with YouTube videos. I also started doing it, but I'm not really a big fan of doing that. Thumbnails of videos very often have someone showing emotions like being shock or being scared or being very happy. These exaggerated expressions are great. Think about emojis as well. We love using very expressive emojis to show how we feel or what we think. When you do your characters, no matter what you do, you make sure that you get the expressions right and exaggerate them. I love these ones from Nicholas Elich. I think the way to pronounce his name on the right, again, really fun expressions, both the eyes and mouth and the proportions of the faces are so funny. 7. Principles - Posture and body language: This is again, very similar to like expressing what the character is doing, but in this case it's the body language. We talked about shape language. Body language is similar, but it's more about how the character is behaving or what it is actually currently doing. My favorite one out of all of this is probably this one on the left, the cactus that is afraid of the balloon. Normally, as we already discussed in the shape language part, most people are attracted to rounder shapes and I'll let you decide what type of round shapes you think of. But just to come back to the cactus example, being a cactus and being afraid of something like a balloon is just again, a contradiction almost something unexpected and that what makes the whole thing funny. This is just going back again, telling a story. The examples I'm showing here obviously are successful in many of these points that I'm going through. When I look at this cactus, I'm not only looking at a successful posture, which shows being afraid of something, but also has a lot of other successful sides to it. The next couple of characters here again, has a very expressive stance and posture. A good example once again, hear from Nikolas Ilic, this monster again like a yeti type of character, shouting or singing, I'm not really sure what it's doing, but it's very, very excited about it, or very on it in general, so whatever it's doing, it's doing it properly. Not only the character's stance is telling us about what's going on, but even the trees are helping the direction, so the momentum of the whole illustration is helped by the background. That is a very smart way of adding even more expressive like dynamism to your illustration. Here we have an illustration from one of my favorite artists, Max Grecke and I'm actually going to show you another illustration from him separately. If you don't know him, I would highly recommend you check his work out. He's on our station and I can actually switch that quickly, just going to show his station profile. He has some brilliant work and he does a lot of fan art on popular culture characters, computer games, and all things, so highly recommend you check his work out. He's just one of the best character illustrators out there in my opinion. He's a master of getting the stance and posture right, so highly recommend to check his work out. 8. Principles - Scale and perspective: Perspective can be used in many ways. If you remember the zombie example with the foot coming close to us. That is also innovate perspective. We have the details coming closer. Even if I just do this, you can see how my hands, obviously I get much bigger than all the surrounding. That easy innovate perspective, and if I want to be, I don't know, having a character really expressively, the hands like Spiderman, for example, would normally have the hands closer to you because of the shooting the web and all that. That helps to tell the story again. But what I would say in perspective, what's even more important is the scale of a character. Now how can you tell the scale of a character if someone doesn't actually know what that character is, like, for example, with this guy here on the left, it's just such abstract character. I mean, the shape doesn't really tell us what it is. It's obviously a fantastical creature, is not something that we'd really compared to any animal. Without the little bike that it is riding, we won't be able to tell whether it's big or small. Again, similarly to the little girl and the dragon in the beginning, when we were talking about telling a story. Here, an everyday object can help us to be able to define or tell what is the actual size of a character. Same thing with this guy here in the second one. We have the trees in the background and the trees really help us see that this is a huge Yeti or monster or bigfoot, whatever it is. It is really big because, although the trees can be further back in the background and we can't really tell how close this character is to us, but still we have a sense of depth in the image and the scale, that it must be quite a big monster anyway. The same thing here with the little girls, similar to the previous example, we can tell that compared to the girl the monster is quite big. Then even if you are just using monsters in relation to each other, you can tell when something is smaller or bigger. Once again, if you use multiple characters, whether it's a human or multiple monsters, the relation between them can help to define the scale. Let's move on to number eight. 9. Principles - Colors: Colors obviously is a huge factor, again in getting character illustration. Because it really sends the mood again. From Piper, we have again a really cool character here as like an evil frog monster or swamp monster. Without showing much about the environment. We have an indication of water and some plants like reed probably in the background and this big leaf on the head. We won't be able to really tell exactly where this character is unless we have these very swampy green and blue colors. The color, in this case, the color theme, really gets the mood and the atmosphere in place. Similarly to that, we have this character here on the right. The dracula vampire character who looks like a very sophisticated vampire. How can I tell that? Well, first of all, I can see that it is very well dressed. But also, what we talked about before is the posture and stance. Having the hand held like that, a very sophisticated way of holding the glass, which actually has an eyeball inside it, but it doesn't matter. The character is still very elegant and just very sophisticated. Also the colors that tells more about the story. If this character was more warmer in tones, so it was more red and yellow, then it wouldn't necessarily look like a vampire, even though it has the teeth, just a gentle indication of the teeth. Because it is more cooler tones that purple and blue, it helps to get it right. We feel like, this must be at night or in the darker shadier area. Colors can really set the mood for characters and environments in general. One thing that is obviously used really a lot in animation films. If you ever look at the boards for the scenes and the color choices for scenes, a lot of animation films and even computer games would design the scenes based on the colors that will be used. There will always be like a progression from warmer tones to cooler tones than to more green or yellow tones and so on and so forth. The same applies to environments and characters, just getting the colors right is very important. I wanted to include an example here in the middle of this pirate character, which we actually seen in another pirate character already. If I just go back here, see this one again, has really fun choice of colors. This guy here has really funky colors. Of course having these vivid colors make the character more, funny or just unique. Of course it's a different style as well, illustration style to the other illustrations here. But you can see that having colors that are not realistic can also be a theme to make a character more expressive and interesting. Learning how color work and light work in general, because light defines or lighting defines the colors of objects, learning how it works is important. But when you are starting to play around with the colors and creating a natural colors almost. You can get things, again, interesting and unique. That's definitely something to keep in mind. You can use colors that we are familiar with it and get the mood right, or you can use colors that are just out of the ordinary and you can achieve something more interesting with them as well. 10. Principles - Shading: Next thing that we need to talk about is the shading. What we look at on a character is the shading. The shading defines the form and the depth in general. Without shading, we have really flat two-dimensional forms. Once you start adding shading, you start to have more depth in them as well. The reason I mentioned this, because there are so many different ways that you can add shading and you can be very simplistic like this one here, where we literally just have a single color that defines the details that are in light. It's a single color, no gradient, no shading at all, and another color on the arm and on the leg that defines that that detail is a bit further back. Just simply by using two shades of red, all ready defines form and depth. But of course, if you start to go down in a more gradient type of shading, where you have a transition from the lit to the shady parts of the character, that can be, again, a unique way and a bit more photorealistic rendering of a character. They both serve the same purpose, but it will set the style of the illustration, how you're doing your shading. There's so many different techniques and you can see this one on the right is a very unique vector drawing style with the thick outlines and the particular type of shading where we have strong highlights and strong shading, but just very minimal. We have the midtone values mainly covering the whole character, and we only have the highlights and the shading on the very edges. This is quite cool. It's like Street art and Graffiti would use this type of shading most of the time, but Cronobreaker is an artist who does this really well, which is vector illustrations. Moving on. 11. Principles - Textures and effects: Texture is again yet another layer of expressive detail on top of the color and the shading. We have some really cool examples here. Some of these artists you've already seen before, some of them are new. We have texture as a final point that you should pay attention to. You don't necessarily have to use texture in your artwork. You can have it really clean and without any texture or textural quality. But when you choose to add texture it can again, set the mood and set the illustrative style as well. When you have something like this here, it feels more like a painting or almost like a chalk drawing because of the background. The same thing with this one here, again, feels a bit more like traditional painting. These are things that usually easiest if you use something like Photoshop or Procreate. It's a bit more tricky to do in Illustrator, but of course, there are ways to get that right. 12. Principles - Finding inspiration: Whoever is into gaming, I am, clearly. You have God of War, the most recent version of it. Recent episode, God of War 4 , which was a set in the Vikings Scandinavian Folklore. We have the main two characters, obviously having the costume and details and objects related to that folklore that we can clearly see in the in-game characters. On the left, we see how they look in the game itself. In the middle, we have a version from Max Greca, the artist I already mentioned to you before, who captured the characters in a really fun way. The reason I'm showing this to you because now that we've talked about all of these principles, the 10 principles, you can see how he is basically applying everything at the same time. That's what makes him really an amazing artist. You can see there's shape language here. There is stance like how the boy is more fragile and not really sure of himself compared to the big guy here. We have obviously the stance being very heroic and just strong. The proportions small head, huge upper body, small feet and so on and so forth. I'm not going to go into details because we already discussed this. You can see how all of the things that we talked about comes together. When someone creates a successful character design like this, all of the things that we talked about really helps to capture the personality and the story within their illustration. That's the key. Try to think about all of the things that we went through and put most of those, as much as you can into your illustration. Of course it's not going to work straight away. Maybe even if you just get two things right out of those 10 that we talked about, that's already great. Next time maybe you will be able to pull off three or four or five from these principles that we talked about. Of course, this is not an extensive list. These are 10 things that I thought are most relevant. Of course, there's so many other things that we could go into detail on and other ways of improving character design. Another cool thing here on the right is another artist and other really cool digital artists was inspired by Max's illustration. We have an illustrator, Max Greca, who was inspired from the original game art. So from the original games characters and then from his work, another artist, a 3D artist who was doing cults in ZBrush, again is getting inspired. It's almost like a chain reaction in a way. This is the way you should think about it. It's not really stealing. It's more like just a way of learning from someone and trying to take it to the next level or turn it into a different type of art. Inspiration is something that obviously can come from anywhere. But yes, you can see that each of these in their own way is an amazing artwork, but they all relate back to the original design. The original design obviously is not also something brand new. It's also inspired by a lot of other things like history, Folklore, Vikings and all kinds of things. There's nothing really new, it's everything is just been inspired by something else. Usually, it's the best to collect multiple inspirations and then try to merge them together to create something hopefully more unique or unusual or just something successful in general. 13. Vampire - Drawing the character: This is something I started obviously of with the sketch. You can actually see this process, so it's a 3.5 minutes. I've done the same procreate. I usually start working there and then take my work and finish in illustrator drawing the vector artwork. So let's just see this process. Mainly I'm showing this to you because I want you to see that I don't start with the final result. I have something vaguely in my head that I would like to achieve but as you can see, the original artwork is not really close to what the final result will be. So once again, if I just pause here for a bit, we can see that I already start thinking about how to exaggerate this vampire or Dracula character. What I chose to have as a very expressive and exaggerated detail is the nose. Instead of the teeth, I wanted to concentrate on the nose. Make the nose really big. Again, but the bigger and smaller legs as that just again, just to get an interesting shape there. You can see I started also at this point playing around with the expression. First, I thought that I will make the character really just grumpy and probably something bad happened or the vampire couldn't get blood for a long time and it's just not feeling well at this point. What I'm doing here is I'm searching for the proportions and you can see I'm moving things around, I'm changing the clue. Why is it called the coat? I found a cool little detail here to add the shoulder pads and make them more sharp. Again, shape language so it is not extremely sharp. It has a little bit of roundness to it so I don't want the character to look scary or not too scary at least. I want it to look more funny and it's more like a caricature really of this character but at this point, I start to feel like you saw me trying to add some movement to it because it feels still very static and quite boring to be honest. Just ending there, not doing anything, it's not really getting the character right. I started to add a little bit of smile there, but that's not going to help too much to make this character interesting. You will see what I am going to do later on. I even started coloring at this point and then I felt like "No," even a funky color like a pink vampire won't make this work. So this is where the idea struck. I realized that I need something that this character will do that is unique or something that really gets that character right. Remember posture and stance. This is exactly the point where I start to think about that or I realize this took around at this point, probably 10-15 minutes I'm into the illustration maybe 20. Not more than that. I had the initial idea, but this is where I started to like what I'm doing cause I realize that the typical pose is very vampire like so let's just carry on moving forward. I even put here on the left just as a reference, the original version where there wasn't anything happening with the arm compared to the one on the right. When I got the fingers, I realized that I wanted the fingers to be really long as well and I will add the nails really sharp long nails as well but I realized that because he is holding out the hand, it would be quite cool. Apart from getting that pose, what is the reason why he's doing it? Then I thought another little character would be called here. Remember telling the story. So that's when the idea came that maybe I can have a little bet hanging there like almost hanging on a branch. So that is what is exactly happening here. This is when drawing from references and learning human and animal anatomy is useful because you can draw these details even without looking at references. I was just drawing these things from my head. Of course, professional illustrators would be much more successful in achieving things like that and they would be much faster getting this right but still I feel it's not too bad. I'm quite happy at how this turned out. This is the point where I feel like the character is starting to work. The proportions are good, the expressiveness is there, the exaggeration is there. Both the ears and the nose so we have the sharp triangular shapes in place, but we also have round shapes in there. We have this fun little interaction between the bat and the vampire. I also decided to do very narrow thin eyes. I don't know, it's a spooky menacing look, but because there is a smirk, it's also looks a bit I don't know, at least to me, it feels like this vampire cares for the bat. It's like a cute little pet that it's playing with. You can see this is the point where I got to the final color render. I have the base colors. The color thing is there, the base colors are in place, and this is when I start to do shading. Now, I most of the time wouldn't be actually shading in procreate. I would go at this point already into illustrator, but I decided that I just wanted to quickly get some shading in place. That's what you are going to see in this example. So I'll just refine a few details there and then there's the shading. You see once I start adding highlights and shadows, especially here, if I go back a bit, just look at this example around the nose. If you concentrate on the nose, when I go further, see the cast shadow of the nose, how well it immediately defines the shape and the depth. Without that cast shadow, we can tell that the nose is in front of the sleeve that is holding but once the shadow is there, immediately it pops and immediately feel like it's three-dimensional. See that two cast shadows there under the sleeve and on the sleeve itself from the nose is really important. Then if I just continue playing it, you will just see me adding more of these shadows in place. A little creases on the court as well, helped to define it, highlights on the arm. I'm always thinking of the light source coming from the top and anything that is below is going to cast shadows. I think that's pretty much it. I am just adding more highlights here, some more details. Pretty much that's the end of it, such as few more last details here and there and then that's the final result. 14. Vampire - Drawing the Cape: The first thing that I normally do is to setup a tracing layer. On the layer where you place your artwork that in this case, I created in procreate and I would like to turn into a vector artwork. So that should be set up as a template. The way you do this is by double-clicking on the layer and choose template. You can also deem this image to 30 percent visibility. Once you click "okay," you will see that the layer is going to be automatically logged and also you will have it dimmed. That just helps to work on top of it on a separate layer. You can see in the layers panel I already have a separate created and I can start working on that. First of all, I'm going to draw the cape and I'm going to use the pen tool to do this. I show you a technique that just saves a lot of time, especially when you have to work on curves. But before I start drawing, I would also like to point out that there is a feature in the preferences general area in Illustrator called use precise cursors. I like to turn this on because it helps you to see a cross-hair instead of the original Pen tool cursor. It's just less distracting and more precise. All I'm going to do is to press "D" key on the keyboard, which will set the colors up to the default wide-field, black stroke. Then I press "X" to switch to the field color and then press "Forward Slash" to remove that. It's just a quick three shortcuts really that I would always press before I start drawing. This just sets up no feel black stroke that we can work with. This is the best, usually for tracing. I'm going to click a couple of times and notice that I am just drawing straight lines. I'm not even bothered about drawing the curves, I'm just tracing roughly the shape here. Probably at this point, maybe I can put a few more points down, something like that and I will even close it. So we have the shape here. Just for better visibility, I'm going to increase the stroke size. There you go. That's our cape outline and it looks nothing like the original drawing. But to add the curves, we will be using a shortcut that was introduced in the Creative Cloud 2018 version, I think. While still having the past selected, using the pen tool, if you hold all the option keys, your cursor will change slightly and then you hover over any of these segments that you created, you will be able to drag them and curve them or reshape them. You can see how quickly and easily I can align each of these lines that I added and make sure that it curves nicely and follows the shape. Even this one here, we can align it. Also in the background, I can align it and then use these handle points to stretch it out, so it gets in the shape that we need. Now, I'm not going to try to match it exactly what I have in the original drawing. I'm just getting it as close as possible at this point. But with a bit of extra work, obviously it's quick and easy to fix these differences. But I need an additional line here, so I'm going to use the pen tool again. Click there, and then click on the right side. Now if I want to also bend this a bit, I can use Alt click and drag and there you go. It's also not straight anymore. Having these lines ready, I can just select them all together. Using Shift M shortcut, I can switch to the shape builder tool and I'm just going to drag over the center part here, so it gets rid of that line in the middle. I'm going to select this big shape here in the middle. Using the eyedropper tool, I can click in the design in the background, even though it's in template mode and the colors are faded, it's still going to reference the original colors. if I click there, you can see that original green color comes up. For this background details here on the left and on the right, I'm going to again use the eyedropper tool shortcut for it is I on the keyboard and again click on the sample in the background. There you go, very quickly and easily, we managed to create the cap. I'm going to group these together and actually call it cap. So it will be easy to come back to it. But for now I'm going to turn this off and we will draw the coat. 15. Vampire - Drawing the Coat: Another drawing tool that I love is called the curvature tool and it's similar to the pen tool, but it automatically draws curves instead of straight lines. If I start drawing with this, wherever I click, it's automatically going to create curves as you can see. Once again, if you're drawing starts with a fill color, and you want to switch quickly to a stroke color, just press, Shift X, on the keyboard. I'm going to increase the stroke size so just we can see what I'm doing, and the only problem with the curvature tool is that every time it just wants to force creating curves. So even here, you can see I couldn't create a straight line but luckily, all you have to do is to double-click on an existing point and that creates a corner point. I can actually draw a straight line here and again, if I want I can double-click or another way of making sure that you draw straight lines is to hold down Alt or option key and that way, even though you are using the curvature tool temporarily, each line will be straight while you're holding down that keyboard shortcut. Now that I let go, you can see it's again going back to drawing curves and either double-clicking or holding down the Alt key, you can switch to drawing straight lines. I'm just going to draw these details here at the bottom. There's another curve which we can add here and then holding the Alt key, I'll create straight lines here up to this point and then again, I just add a bit of curves up to here, and then double-click because we want to change the direction of our curve, and then come in here and something like that, that, and that. There you go. Quickly and easily. We could draw curves and straight lines using the same tool. Now there's a lot of people who prefers to work with the pen tool only but I encourage you to try out the curvature tool if you have never worked with it before, because it can actually save you quite a lot of time and effort. In my workflow, I use roughly equally these two tools and I switch back and forth with them often, depending what type of shape I'm drawing. Now, before I would add the fill color on this shape, I already think ahead a bit and I know that I will need some shading and the shadow details on this coat. To add those, I'm going to actually select this shape and switch to a mode called, draw inside. Now, this is something you can select from the toolbar and you find there the three options, draw inside in this case is what we need or you could also use the Shift D shortcut, to switch between the drawing modes. When you see the little corner lines showing up on your selection, that shows that you are in the draw inside mode. What happens at this point if I use any tools like let's say the pen tool, is that whatever I am drawing is automatically going to be only showing within the details that were originally selected. So if I just press, shift X, here, you can see that the details I created will only show inside my outline of the coat. I can draw another shape as well, just so you can see how this works. If I draw this detail here, again, I can just go very quickly around it and you can see this part here is not visible. Essentially the draw inside mode creates a clipping path from that selected outline. I will show you in the layers panel how it actually looks like. I'm just going to close up this shape, and another curve in it here and there you go. That's another shading up there. That's pretty much all I needed in this case and now if I press, Shift D, I can get out of the draw inside mode, but to have a look at what we created in the layers panel, notice that the original outline we drew with the curvature tool turned into a clipping mask. The easiest way to see that is that it has an underline in the layers panel. So always keep an eye for that because that's the crucial element within a clipping group. Anything that's going to be inside that shape is going to be visible, and anything that goes outside of it won't be visible. If I just select one of these shapes that we created, let's say this one here. If I start moving it around, see it disappears when I move it outside but it again will appear once I move within. That's basically how a clipping mask works and it is the fastest and easiest way to set it up by using the draw inside mode. Create your outline, start drawing inside it, and then later on, you can add any more elements if you want. Just simply make sure that you place them inside that clipping group. Of course, the clipping path, which creates the mask can be colored as well. If I choose for this fill color, in this case, we will choose this brighter purple color then you can see it still works, and the cool thing about working with the clipping path is that it doesn't even have to be at the bottom of the clipping group. It can be on top and still it will look like it's behind everything else that you have in that layer. Just to show you this, if I move this down, it doesn't make any difference. If I again move it to the top because the mask itself behaves differently to the items inside the clipping group. Let's just rename this again and let's call this coat, and if I turn back the cape because it's behind it, we can already see how the illustration will starting to come together. 16. Vampire - Drawing the Collar: Well, let me show you a third drawing method that I really like and I use very often, and we will do this on the collar. Let me zoom a little bit closer here and instead of drawing with the pen tool or the curvature tool, this time, I'm going to use shapes and ellipses in particular. I love to work with geometric shapes because it just saves time and also creates a nice organic look. In this case I'm going to use the Ellipse tool and whenever you draw with shapes the best shortcut you can work with is the Space bar. With the Space bar while drawing, you can still move and reposition objects. As you can see, that's exactly what I'm doing here. Holding down the space bar, I manage to align it very quickly. I'm going to press Shift X to switch to the stroke option and then I draw another shape. I will try to create this bigger ellipse here in the collar, something like that. Let me just move it up a bit. That's getting closer. Maybe a little bit further down that way. That looks quite good and then I'm going to draw another ellipse. Again, I'm relying on the Space bar and notice how I manage to get that other line very quickly in place. Now that we have these elements together, we can select them all, use the shade bill there like we've used it before. Hold down ALT or Option key and draw over details that you don't need. Now at this point I can see that I actually didn't overlap these shapes appropriately so I'm going to just undo this very quickly. Select this ellipse and I'm going to make sure it attaches itself to the other object like so. Now I'm going to be able to delete only this top section here and ALT click on the bottom as well. We don't need that detail either. Then I'm just going to join these details together by not holding down any keyboard shortcuts so there you go and we can also merge these two details together so that line there wasn't necessary. Now of course, we can take this even further. If I draw another ellipse here, I can even get that line in place that we need here. Once again, selecting all of these using the shape builder ALT click to delete this and simply just draw over these two details to get rid of that line. Similarly to this, if I draw another ellipse, I can even get that background detail that we will need on the collar, which is more like a decoration, something like that. Once again, I can use the ship builder tool, or in some cases you might find the scissors tool to be easier. If you select that or use the C shortcut to get to it, you can just chop the details that you need and delete the parts that you don't need by pressing Backspace twice. Whenever I use this method, the first thing that I would do is to get rid of the strokes from all the edges and then switch to the live paint bucket. You can get to it by pressing K on the keyboard. With this, you can select the colors from your switches panel by using left and right or up and down arrows on the keyboard. You can see even the cursor is showing me a little detail there that I'm moving through my switches. But seeing the switches panel always helps. I can pick this brighter purple color to fill in these details then I can pick the brighter green to fill in these. The dark, I want want to go in the background and the darker purple to go in the background again. There you go, we created the collar simply just by using ellipses, shape builder and the live paint bucket. 17. Vampire - Using Global Edit: But now that we have all of these details together, we can turn the layers back on. To save a bit of time, I already created all the other details that we would need. You can see I've drew a lot of additional things and obviously, like the head would be more time consuming to show you. But I used exactly the same methods that I showed with these other simpler elements. If you are interested to see a full workflow of similar illustrations like this, you can become a member here on our YouTube channel and join our monthly live streams where I'm showing the full process. We usually spend three, four hours and I do everything live, and you can ask questions, and that way you can probably pick up even more small techniques and the ways of creating illustrations and other designs. But moving on, I have a few more really cool things to show you and two of these are CC 2019 new features. One of my favorite one is the "Global Edit" feature, which I can show you here on the nails. I'm going to unlock these objects, and the nails are actually within another group. The easier way to select them would be to use the direct selection tool and click somewhere inside one of the nails. Now notice that they are all looking exactly the same, and that is because I simply duplicated and rotated them around when I created them. If I now go to the "Start Global Edit" option here in the "Properties" panel, it will automatically find all the oven nails in the design. If I zoom a little bit closer, now I can start making changes, like making them more sharper, or I can move any of these points around and you can see how immediately all the other nails are updating. I can even remove details like the stroke. If I remove that, it should also immediately show in the other instances. How cool is that? We fix the nails very quickly and easily. Of course when you click "Away" and click back on an object, it's going to be now outside of the Global Edits. It automatically starts fresh and you're not stuck in Global Edit, you can make changes. The easiest way to tell whether you are in this feature or not is whether you see those blue rectangles showing up. That's one of the cool new features that saves me a lot of time, especially when I work on similar details in an illustration. But the other one is to add realism and more interesting shading on flat surfaces, it's the Free-form Gradient. 18. Vampire - Shading with Freeform Gradient: Now first of all, I'm just going to make sure that these elements are in the right place. The legs actually need to go behind the coat. That looks better. I've done that because I'm going to work on the coat group. I go inside it and I select the clipping path. Then I'm going to use the rectangle tool and just draw a big rectangle covering up the whole area of the coat. But whenever you draw this it won't automatically go in the right place, so you have to make sure you place it inside this group. It can be on top of the previous objects or below them. I think it makes sense to keep it at the bottom. The reason I created this rectangle is because you cannot use clipping parts with the free form gradient feature. It has to be applied on a normal object like this rectangle. Once you have your rectangle, you go to the gradient tool or press G on the keyboard and then click on this icon here on the top. Once again, this is CC 2019 new feature. You might not see it in previous versions of Illustrator. But once you, it creates already a default free form gradient, which relies on these four little points. Now, I can move these points around, and you can see immediately how it's affecting the whole design. I love to work with this feature because you can create really subtle shading with it. First of all, what I would do is to bring up my swatches panel. From the swatches panel, whenever I have a gradient pinpoint selected, I can switch to the color I wish to apply to it. If I select these two colors, you can already see just having this subtle variation of shading and lighting or shade and light, we can already create a nice transition here. If I decided that my light source is on the left, I would put the brighter detail on the left side, the darker detail on the right side. Once again, I can replicate this year on the top, have the brighter detail there and the darker purple here on the right side. I can even select darker colors if I wanted to. Or of course, if I double-click on a pin, I can switch to CMYK options and I can tweak the colors. I can get a different shading here if I wanted to. I can also drag this further into the center. Notice how around the collar I can get a very nice subtle shading by dragging it all the way here. When I had it on the right side, it really blended together the collar and the coat. But once I have that shading closer, we get this very nice soft transition. Now, the original shading details here on the right are now too bright because we have quite a dark detail on the right. I would go back and select those details. This one and the other little detail here on the right. I would make these probably black or very dark purple. But the good thing about the free form gradient is that whenever you want to go back and make amends to it, just select the shade that you used, press G on the keyboard. You can work with these points. Now if you want to learn more about the free form gradient, I actually recorded a separate video on that when this feature came out. Check that out if you haven't seen it already. 19. Vampire - Adding texture: As a bonus technique, I wanted to also show you a really cool way of adding texture or noise to your illustration. I'm going to do this on the cape. The first detail that we added, I'm going to use the layers panel to find that green detail that we created and we started off with and I will duplicate it by pressing "Control" or "Command C" and then "Control" or "Command F." That's the paste in front option that remembers also the position of the original shape so it's exactly on top of that. I will zoom a little bit closer and I am going to add a gradient mesh on this shape. I will go to Object menu and choose "Create Gradient Mesh." By default normally it creates a nice mesh as long as you don't have too many anchor points on the outline and it looks pretty good to me. The only thing I would recommend you to change is to make sure the appearance is set to a center instead of flat or to edge. To center creates this nice gradient already, where you have the outside or the silhouette darker than the center and you will see this if I just turn this object on and off. So that's without it and that's with it. We already have a nice shading, and even if you're not going further than this, is already helped to create a much more interesting shading. But now what I would do is to have this selected and then double-click to get into the isolation mode, then use the lasso tool and make a selection of the central mesh points. With the Lasso Tool, I'm just going to select all of these points here in the middle and go up to the options bar and reduce the opacity down to 0 percent. Seems like a little bit counter productive at this point, but just bear with me because we are almost there. Now we can select the whole shape again and go to the Effect menu, choose texture and then grain. This is a pixel based effect. It's important to make sure that your roster effects settings is set to the right resolution. But you see what it does, It creates this nice textural quality or noise or grain as it's called. These are the settings I like to use. You see intensity contrast and the grain type is something that you can make changes to. It can increase the contrast or decrease it and you see immediately how it affects the illustration. But if I click "Okay," the good thing about any effects in Illustrator is that it is non-destructive by default because they are added as live effects. In the appearance panel, we can turn it off, turn it back on and we can go back and make changes to it as well if we click on the word grain. By clicking on that, you see we can come back and make the changes easily. But I'm actually happy with the way it looks. The only thing I would change is the blend mode. I click on the opacity on the top again, and this time I'm going to change it to multiply and you see how it's immediately starts to blend into the cape. Or you can also use things like overlay, which again can add the nice textural quality. Another cool thing is that of course you can select these anchor points and if you start moving them around, it will affect how much the texture shows inside your selected object. If I select these three points by shift clicking on them and moving them down, see how we get a nice gradual texture effect on the top. So it is a quiet subtle feature, especially if you are using it with the overlay blend mode. But when I double-click outside, you can see how it created that subtle transition and also helps us to move away from that flat, slightly boring vector detail that we originally started with. Remember I mentioned the roster effects. It's actually something you can very easily controlled by going to the affect menu document roster effect settings and here you can choose what quality you want to have for this. If you want to print this out, make sure you use high or if it's used on the web, you can also just leave it at screen. Depending how much you use this effect, your document might slowed down. So I recommend to work in a lower resolution mode, but then don't forget to set it back to high at the end when you are exporting it as a PDF, ready for printing. 20. Vampire - Final thoughts: That's all I wanted to show you in this tutorial but to recap and see what we achieved. This was the original drawing which I can just set back to normal view now and this is our vector version of it. Of course, spending a little bit more time and adding finessing details and maybe working on the background as well, it could look even more interesting like this one here. Now, it is completely up to you which method you prefer when you are tracing over illustrations, but generally it is always a combination of multiple techniques that is going to get you far. I would never just rely on one single tool or one single method, it's always the combination that is going to really make you efficient and productive when you work in Illustrator. 21. Puffy Monster - Introduction: We have this example open in Illustrator and this is actually a stock graphic. The reason I have this up here is because I wanted to start off with this really cool example showing how a vector graphic can work and how you can create a character with fully vector graphics. We can see that the vector outlines being created to produce this artwork. Whenever you are in Illustrator all you have to do is to just simply press Command Y or Control Y, with that you can switch to outline mode. In outline mode you can very quickly see how many objects were used to produce an artwork. That's what we can see here as well. Every detail, when you work in Illustrator, it means that every detail is resolution independent. You can zoom in as much as you want and you won't be losing quality at all, that's the biggest advantage of working in Illustrator. Now, the disadvantage of working in Illustrator is that you have to work with these various solid, sharp outlines most of the times. Of course, there's ways around it which I'm going to show today, but it is quite hard or you have to work quite hard to produce photorealistic results. If that's what you want to do, it will be hard to do in vector graphics. Usually, working in Illustrator is better for doing more stylized illustration. Like this one we can see here some more like cartoon-style illustrations work better. While it may switch to Photoshop, I have the example that we will be working on today. This strange little monster, is the one that I'm planning to recreate in Illustrator, but this one is currently in Photoshop. When you work in Photoshop, you have different ways of producing your artwork. You work more like a traditional media where you use brushes and paint or draw. Here's my original sketch as well. That was the original concept that I came up with to have this very simplified shape, just like, more like a big grape or something like that. Then just put the features on it and make it look like a little dinosaur. The reason I chose a simple one because it's easier to explain the techniques on this, but even this will take some time to produce and recreate in Illustrator. Just to see how it's going to look like, I will be doing it from scratch. But here's an example roughly how it's going to look in Illustrator. You can tell the difference is that here we can still do shading and we can still have nice and smooth transitions between colors. But you will have to rely on different methods using gradients, gradient maps and all tricks with masking. It's a little bit more complex than in Photoshop where you can do the shading by simply just drawing with different colors and use opacity while drawing to create the shading. This is really the main difference between the two applications. But as I said, if you work in Illustrator, like most professional illustrators would, that means your work, the artwork you produce, can be printed in any size without losing quality. That's why footprint, especially, it's very important because you want your graphics to be scalable to any size and always maintain the original quality. But also, it is important for screen because nowadays we need to work with all kinds of different screen sizes. We can have like Retina displays or high definition displays or 4K TVs and again, even for screens, you might need to have scalable graphics. Both footprint and VAB and screens in general, it's great work in Illustrator to produce your artwork. 22. Puffy Monster - Tracing setup: Okay,so now that we talked about the introduction. Let's get started with the project itself. The way I would normally start whenever I work in Illustrator is they create a new document. Let's just get started with that. I'm going to set the bleed to zero in this case, we don't need to worry about that and I'm going to use a landscape format. I'm just going to click ''create''. There's our blank screen. This is always the most intimidating part and that is why I actually like to work off usually from sketches. Now If I just bringing a sketch and I'm a little bit more free to do whatever I want from that point on in terms of colors but sometimes I actually produce a colored wash on in either procreate or Photoshop like the one I just showed you before and actually plays this into Illustrator and I am going to trace over that result. I just show you if I have just a sketch that is already enough to get started. I can use this to trace over but in this case, I am going to use the full version of the artwork. Let me just paste this in here into Illustrator. That is a shortcut control shift P or Command Shift P to get to the place option but you can go through the file menu as well and then all you have to do is to find the image on your computer. This is that P-S-D file, it's a Photoshop document. I'm going to place this into the document that I have opened, click and drag to define how big you want it to be. There you go a little bit make it bigger in this case something like that,and then here comes first step is best to turn your layer into a template.If you double-click on the ''layer'' on which you place the graphic, actually you can rename it as well but double-clicking it will give you the option to name it and I'm just going to call it reference and then there's the option called template.Once you turn that on, it will automatically dim the image, which helps to trace over it. It's almost like putting a tracing paper over your illustration but it also locks it automatically, which makes it much easier to work. Once you click ''Okay'', now it's much easier to work because I want accidentally make changes to this background image reference. But what you need to do and don't forget to do that, is to create a separate layer on which you will be doing your illustration. It's always good to name your layers because that way you can keep an eye on what is happening. Just to show you, if I now start drawing, it's going to appear on that layer. I actually like to keep my illustration layer open. Whenever, I create a new object, I'm just using the ellipse tool now but you can see it's already popping up in the layers panel so I can see how each object is being created live. What we need here, first of all, is to start with probably the biggest shape. There is a reason why I created this monster innovate that it's almost looks like a big ball because these round shapes in general whenever, you use round shapes they can be more relatable. Most characters created from round shapes are very cute and cuddly most of the times while, if you use more like triangular shapes and sharp edges, that's usually means that it's a bit more like aggressive or it can feel a bit more intimidating. But the reason why I chose this RAM chip is because I wanted to make this character look cute but at the same time also slightly scary. That's why I made the eyes the way it is and also the teeth. It is like a mixture of those two. 23. Puffy - Drawing the body: What I'm going to do is to use the ellipse tool and simply start drawing. Now, here's another power tip. Hold down the "Shift" key while drawing any shape to be able to reposition your shape while still drawing it. Especially with the ellipse tool, it's always tricky to find out where to start drawing it. But what I always do is I start drawing it and then hold down the "Spacebar" to reposition and let the "Spacebar" go and continue drawing. Hold down the "Spacebar" again and do this toggle back and forth until you get as close as possible to the shape that you need. Once you have your shape as close as possible, you can, of course, refine it so you don't have to work with the perfect circle or ellipse that it creates. You can refine it by using the anchor points. Now, first of all, of course, we have to still be able to see what we have doing. I would press forward slash on the question mark on the keyboard, which will remove the fill color in case the fill color is on top. The way you can tell that is by checking your swatches panel, for example, or the toolbar on the left. When you press "X" on the keyboard, you can very quickly toggle between the stroke and the fill color. If you want your fill colors to be on top, you can do that by pressing "X", as I said, and then press the forward slash your question mark to remove that color. I only want to see the shape, which it's enough to see the stroke. I don't need to have a fill color there. Once I can see the shape, I can select the anchor points. An ellipse is always created from four anchor points. What you can do is to use the direct selection tool, the white arrow tool, and select the point. If you see all points being red or being the same color, that means they are all selected. It's best to click away and then click again on one point to make sure that you don't have all of them selected. But once you select a point, you can individually move it around. I'm just showing it to you that this point can be squeezed around and move wherever I wanted. That really helps because all I want is to have a little bit more unique shape than just the standard circle. I'm going to drag this point down a little bit here. Of course, I can use the anchor points as well to move these details around and push them, and nudge them around. Let me just select that point as well there. I'm going to move it down and it and it this one as well, something like so. This one can come in as well. If you use the arrow keys on the keyboard, you can also nudge details very gently. Move anchor points around, shift arrow keys can move things faster as well, but I'm fairly happy with the way they stand out, this shape. Of course, you don't have to always exactly recreate the original design. You can alter its slightly so you can always go off a little bit from the original design. I'm not going to restrict myself too much, it's just a reference anyway. 24. Puffy - Drawing limbs: Once I have the shape in place, I actually like to put the most important shapes in the illustration straight away without first typing coloring things. The most important details in this case would be the limbs and the tail. Let's just draw this. For this, I am going to use the Pen tool, and the Pen tool is one of the most important tools to learn if you want to get good at Illustrator. You click and drag whenever you want to create curved lines. I'm just going to zoom a bit closer in this first one so you can just see what I'm doing. I'm going to click here, and notice how I immediately overlap it with the original shape, that's important later. That will be important, just wanted to point that out. Click and dragging, I'm creating the curve. By the way, here again, just like with shapes, if you hold down the space bar, you can drag your anchor point around even while you are drawing it. Click and drag and space bar to reposition the anchor point, and then drag further to align your curve. Whenever you use the curve, you get the handles as well. You don't want to cross your handles over the details that you are going to continue drawing on. That's one of the rules. You want to align it to the edge so it has to be tangent to the details that you are drawing, like this. Once again, not like that, not like that, you want it to be tangent, aligned to the shape. The way I usually explain this is, you want to click and drag in the direction the shape is going. Once again, I use space bar to reposition my anchor point if I feel like it should be a bit further down. Also notice that I'm ignoring small details like the claws, or the fingers, or whatever that is. How would you call this? I think claws. Yeah, I'm avoiding that because I'm concentrating on one shape at a time. I'm going to continue drawing this line here. Let's draw this. Notice, the way I'm drawing is trying to have a nice fluid and smooth result here. Just going to go that way. Here's the important detail. As I said, once I overlap the detail, I'm not concerned at all about what's behind the body, because you will only see what's outside here as the colors. You only have to worry about that detail. The same thing here in the back, especially with this other leg if I start drawing that one. By the way, if you ever feel like you don't see exactly what you need to draw, your reference is not visible clearly, you can double-click on the layer and just increase the dimmed image, and actually increase, so not 30, in this case, maybe 80 percent. I can just have a look at it. Yeah, I can see now better what I need to draw. Using the Pen tool again, I'm just going to do the same thing and go through this detail here, nicely follow along. Once again, I will overlap the shape and then just close it off here behind the body. It doesn't matter at all what's happening. Now, if there is a shape like the leg in the front, this part, for this, it will actually matter how you draw it because it needs to come in front. Here, we will need to pay attention how we close off the shape. But even here, there is a trick which I'm going to show you, that helps to make this work so that we don't really have to worry about the top edge too much. I'm just going to draw something like that. Then you see exactly what I'm going to do here on the top. We have the little shapes here at the bottom ready, then I move on to the tail. Once again, behind the body, no need to worry about anything. Just nicely go through the details like so. Let's move on to drawing the eyes. Just so I know where they will be. Using the Ellipse tool and using the space bar, I'm just going to draw the first one there, and then draw the next one there, and I will also draw in the iris. Just I can see where it is, there you go. We have those details in place. Then we can come back to the mouth and also the additional details later. But for now, we have the most important or most crucial elements already in place. Now it's time to start adding colors. 25. Puffy - Using Gradients to define forms: What I would normally do is to start with the biggest shape once again, let's select that. Then this is where the gradient panel comes into play. The gradient panel, will have a couple of default options there. You can pick any of these, while having the objects selected, just make sure that the fill color is highlighted. Not the stroke the fill color. Then select one of the gradients. It doesn't matter which one. You can switch to your stroke and remove it, set it to none. Because, from this point on, we don't need the stroke at all. You can of course, keep your outlines if you want. But in this instance with this illustration style, I'm going to just work with fill colors. What we have here is now a gradient applied on this shape. But I am going to change the gradient type. What I will do is having the fill color selected, I can see the gradient. First of all, I will remove all of these different shades because I only want to use two shades of colors. I'm going to set it to radial gradient, which helps to create the impression of a round object. Once you have that, I'm still not worried about the actual colors. We can change that anytime. It's more important to get the position of this gradient. The way you do that is by pressing ''G'' on the keyboard, that gives you the gradient tool. Now you see this thing called gradient annotator. You can also get to this from the view menu, if you have the gradient tool selected and you don't see this, just go to ''View'' and show gradient annotator. Once that's visible, you can drag the center point of it to reposition it. You can very quickly get to a result which already starts to look 3D because you have to think about the light source. You choose a light source in your head, and I choose it from the top left. That will hit the object from the top left, which means it will be always that area, which will be in light. Again, for example, like the tail will be more like in shade because the light is coming from the left and the shadow. The cast shadow will be also more cast on to the right, you can see my original drawing as well. The shadow is going to be further to the right. You just keep in mind that, but it's up to you. You can choose your light source to be on the right. You can even have multiple light sources, if you want, but that usually complicates things. I am going to place my light source somewhere around here on the left. Then dragging this other point, you can increase the spread of the light source. It grows a little bit, we have it more like even transition on the object. We would call normally this the highlight the top point. Then we call this, here the half dawn. At the bottom you would normally have the shadows, which we'll create separately. I'm not going to use the gradient for that. I will use a separate technique. let's just change the colors quickly. I'm going to pick a color, like a purple color here and then another shade of purple, but that needs to be darker something like that. That looks similar to the original but we can check, turn it off, turn it back on. It looks all right. As I said, we can always change this later. For now, I'm happy with the way this looks. let's select the other shapes like this one here in the background. The cool thing is that if you press eye on the keyboard that's the eyedropper tool, with that, you can just click on your previous shape to very quickly sample the same colors. Notice that, when I've done that, because I started drawing the big round shape first and then I drew the legs. The leg is looking like it's in front of the body and that's not good. We need that leg to be behind. You use the arrange option either from the Layers panel and dragging that object down. You see immediately, it looks better than it went behind. Or via that object is selected. You can use ''Ctrl or Command'' square brackets to move things up and down. That's what I would normally use. So now it's nicely sat in the back. But once again, use your gradient tool and don't forget value allied sources. Align it again, making, thinking about where the light is coming, so it's coming from the top left. That's where it will be lit and every other detail will be more in the shade. We can use the gradient and increase it a bit, maybe something like that. By the way, your gradient can be also altered in terms of the shape. It doesn't have to be always round even when it's set to radio. You can use that black point and you can squeeze it, turn it into more like an elliptical shape.Then it can even be rotated by clicking around it and then rotated, so that actually fits much better. Looks more like the shape that we need. Let's use the same gradient for this object here. I use the eyedropper, click on the previous one and notice that whenever you use the eyedropper by default, is going to pick the color, in this case that gradient's watch, but it doesn't remember that customization that we've done. The rotated and tilted radio gradient, because the idle period by default doesn't capture every detail. But if you want, you can double-click on the eye dropper tool, and then turn on the appearance for eyedropper picks up attribute. If you turn that on, now, I click on the previous detail and see the gradient now is exactly the same as the other object. It even picked up all the custom changes that I've done there. That's not something I would keep on always for the eyedropper tool. It can get in the way sometimes. But in this case, it was very useful because I didn't have to recreate it again. Because I'm using this gradient, it already feels like we have the leg nicely blending into the other object because it's exactly the same gradient. But of course, depending on how the gradient is setup, if I move it further up, then it's going to feel like there is a sharp edge there. Or we can keep it soft like this. It's quite cool, when we work with gradients that again, you have so much possibility is there how to use it. So moving on, next, little lag in the background and sample again. I think that looks already fine. Maybe we can just move this gradient up a bit, looking good at select the tail, again sample. Let's use our shortcut to send to back Command square bracket will be send one step back. We can see it in the layers is going up and down command square brackets. So ''Ctrl'' square brackets on PC. But as Emily said, if you hold down shift as well, it would go all the way to the bottom. Or all the way to the top, ''Command Shift'' square bracket. Let's send it all the way to the back and then use the gradient tool and align it. Once again, I'm just going to rotate it a bit, and in this case again, keep in mind that this is on the top, that's the brightest detail because that's where the light source is coming from. So already we start to feel like it's 3 D shape and it's looking more realistic as a real object would be. Not flat colors and this is simply just using one single gradient with two swatches on it. You don't have to be really over complicating things. It's more about how you use these features, so you can get to an amazing result relying on just simple gradients like this. But of course, once we start using the gradient mesh, we can take it to a whole next level. We will be covering that in a second. 26. Puffy - Drawing the spikes: Let's just do quickly the other shapes as well. In this case, I'm going to press "Command Y" or Control Y" to have a visibility of the shapes. So this is really cool and I use this all the time. So even if you already have your colors, in this case, we have all these gradients in place, you can still see your original reference very quickly by just pressing "Command Y" or "Control Y". So we are in outline mode, and then we can start drawing again. Now, let me zoom a little bit closer here. I am going to use the pen tool again and I'm going to draw this shape. Let's just draw it like so. So once again, actually we can already do it following the edges of this shape here. Again, notice how I'm not too worried about the original shape. I am just trying to roughly get this right and this is where the shade builder will come into play. So we have our shape in place, but to get that little edge there, I am going to start drawing another line, holding now Space Bar, I can move this in place. By the way, if you hold down the Control Key, you can also very quickly get back to your previous points, if you need to adjust them while still drawing with the pen tool, so the Control or Command Key for previous anchor points and the active anchor point you move with the space bar. These two keys are probably most important when you work with the pen tool. So I have this nice shape here created, but notice how I went beyond the edges. So if I switch back to seeing these, I can select them and press "D" on the keyboard, so just you can see it better. I can remove the field colors with the forward slash or question mark. So what I will do at this point, is to remove the strokes as well. So I'm just going to hide the strokes, everything is set to none. Then use the Shape Builder Tool, and holding down the "Alt Key" or "Option Key", you can click on those details that you don't need. So that's why I went further because then I can just chop off the things that I don't need. So it's like trimming off the excess detail. While still having this selected, I press "K" on the keyboard to get to the paint bucket tool, with which we will access the live paint feature. At this point, you can just select two colors using the arrow keys on the keyboard. You can toggle through the colors quickly and just click on these two sides very quickly. So live paint can very quickly detect the edges and automatically fill in those details in colors, even though this didn't start off as two separate objects, but live paint can detect that. But what you need to do, is you don't want to get stuck in live paint, you want to expand this. So here on the top you just click on "Expand", and then also "Ungroup", "Object Ungroup" or "Command Shift G" or "Control Shift G". So once you do that, then, now you have two completely separate objects. So once again, let me just run through this and then we are going to do the detailing on it. By the way, if there is a shape that looks very similar, you don't actually need to recreate it. You can just duplicate it or click and drag, and then just resize and rotate until it gets into the right shape. Only do this if you don't need to change the perspective. So I mean, this shape here should change a bit, I would select these points here and just drag them up a little bit, maybe drag that point in. I'm using the direct selection tool for this. I think that looks fine. Let's see. So you can see like you don't have to redraw everything, but this one is quite different in the perspective, so it bends slightly differently, so it's better to draw it again. So let's draw this one more time. So I'm going to draw the silhouette first. Just very quickly, draw the silhouette, and then we will draw that line into it. So let's just carry on and draw this detail here. So once again, select both, use the shape builder, delete what we don't need. This actually ended up being a full closed shape. I didn't want to close it up so that's what happens if I don't pay attention. So we have the two shapes ready and it's easier if I just switch back here. So no field, no stroke. Use the shape builder tool, Alt or Option key, to cut off the excess. Then use the paint bucket tool, fill in the colors, then expand, ungroup, and that's done as well. Once more, these two shapes I think, we can use quickly to duplicate onto here. I'm going to use the outline mode, so I can just see why I'm doing, so that we have this next detail. By the way, here at this point, I just show quickly another tool I'm using, the Warp tool, for quickly warping these details, and just simply squeezing them up in that direction. Now to be honest, it's just going to mess up the edge, so it's actually find a way it was, don't worry about the warp. It's not the Warp tool, I use it sometimes, but in this case, it's just going to be better like this. Maybe I can just adjust that anchor point there on the top of bit. There we go. Then again, just duplicate this one more time and just copy it down here. Rotate with the Rotate tool, and align, and re-size, maybe distort a bit like so, and then take the bit more, and then just align it with the anchor points slightly. Now, it doesn't have to be perfect, but again. So we have these details in place, but of course, once again, these should go behind. So let me select these two shade sent to the back. 27. Puffy - Adding more gradients: But once again, the colors should be a little bit better than that. So what I am going to do is select one of these, sample the object itself, which has already the gradient on it. But I want to use different colors here, so what you can do is double-click on the gradient color stops and you can pick a different color. I'm going to use something like an orange color on both sides, so just a darker orange and something like that orange looks quite dark. I don't want to make it too dark. That's quite good, and maybe this one can be a bit brighter. Then we can set the gradient here to linear and then use the Gradient Tool and just align it like that. Once again, the brightest part should be on the top edge and then it should get darker as it goes down once again because the light is coming from the top. In this case, because it's like a plane and the way the light will react to it is more similar to that instead of a round radial gradient. You see what I've done, I've just selected all the other details that should look similar, Eyedropper Tool, click on the detail that already has the gradient and boom, it did it for us very quickly. Now let's move on to quickly create the additional details here like the eyes. For the eyes, I am going to pick again the background color, but then I'm going to change it to something brighter. Actually, we can set it to white, but then make it slightly darker, maybe add a little bit tint of purple in it, something like that can be a bit brighter than that. Then I'm going to Alt, click and drag to duplicate that gradient stop. I'm working here in the gradient panel. Drag the purple out that we don't need, and then make this detail darker. If you need to reverse your gradient, you can click on this icon here. So reverse gradient, that's looking more like an eyeball. Then we can select that and we use that and apply it on this other shape here. Then I select the two details here and press shift X to quickly swap the stroke to become the field. Shift X is a great, great way to very quickly changed the two main attributes of colors that you are using. What I like to do also normally, is to have a bit of like a depth around the eye by adding an additional shape, I'm just going to send this right behind the eye, but not set it too black. I'm just going to use purple like this. It doesn't have to be a gradient, we can just apply a color on it but make it darker. Something like that. As it maybe looks a bit too dark, let me just brighten that a bit. Something like that. That looks all right. I'm going to duplicate this, paste it here on the other side, and there we go. You already adds a little bit of that. But here comes the most important lesson once again, from this tutorial. Look at the original reference. I can show this also in Photoshop just so you can see exactly what I'm talking about. See the way the eye socket works is that normally, you have depth that you need to show, so we have eyebrows and then the skull normally, like has quite a big area that's coming out and also under the eye as well is usually coming out and then the eye sockets are going in. Now, even though it is a monster, you still want to relate to creatures that we are familiar with and you want to make it believable. The way you do that is by studying a bit of anatomy and then apply that to your creature designs. To get this eye socket design working, we need to show that that thing illustrate there. When I am moving back into Illustrator, first of all, I'm going to draw that shape in the background. Using the Pen Tool, I'm just going to draw around it, something like that and close it off there on the top. I can refine these shapes later if I want to. Again, let's draw this and the one. I'm using the Pen Tool, but you could do this with other tools as well. Just go around it here. The next thing that we need to do here is to switch back to the normal mode. First of all, it looks quite scary because we now covered up the eyes. But once we select this, use the control square bracket or command square brackets to send it back until it goes where we need it. Now, those two circles we need to place on top of this. I'm just going to select those. Actually, they are there, it's just because it's the same color, it looks like it's lost. But what I'm going to do now is to use the Eyedropper Tool and click on the body once more. Once I have that, I can refine this gradient. Once again, why you need to think about is the shape. Maybe I can make one of these colors a bit darker, something like that, but the shape is the key here. See already, by just doing that, it looks already better. But if I select that gradient, I can maybe move it a bit further down. Then I am thinking again that if the eye socket is hidden from the light source, then this top area here should be in shade but whatever is coming more out should be starting to get in the light. So now if I check this, it looks already much more realistic. Let's do the same here. If I select that same gradient, again, we can refine that gradient, move it around maybe here at the bottom, and we can make it bigger in this case. Let's just drag it out a bit. Something like that. Immediately feels more 3D as if we sculpted in those two details. By the way, sculpting. If you have ever worked with clay, it really helps you to learn how to mold shapes in your illustration. So you will get used to seeing these shades and highlights when you're working with clay or Play Doh or anything like that. I used to play a lot with these when I was young, so it still feels like I'm using clay when I'm doing this, so I think about that and that helps me to put the shades and highlights and shadows in the right places. Now of course, you can use things like the Pencil Tool if you feel like there's some edges that are too crude, like I don't like this detail here. If you select the Pencil Tool and hold down the Alt Option key, you can smooth out details very quickly, your lines. This is by the way, the Smooth Tool which you can access also separately. If you right click on the Pencil Tool there, there's the Smooth Tool as well. But if you use the Pencil Tool and you turn on Option key toggle Smooth Tool, then you can just get to it much faster because I used the Pencil too quite often, so I don't actually switch to the Smooth Tool most of the time. Even if I just need the Smooth Tool, I would move to the Pencil Tool, but that's just my personal preference. I just we find a little bit the shapes and once we see the mouth, it will be easier to decide whether it works and whether you like it the way it looks. But we are starting to get to a quite good result already. 28. Puffy - Advanced Shading with a Gradient Mesh: Let me continue with that gradient mesh that I mentioned. We need something on the belly to make it look like it's covered and there is no light or not much light getting there. That's probably the darkest detail on the body because that's the further away and most hidden away from the light source. So if I switch back to Photoshop, we can see here as well, I made that detail quite dark and that's what makes it work and it makes it look realistic. Why I am going to do, is to create a shape separately for that so I'm going to use the pen tool and draw down here at the bottom the shape that we need. Now we can make this shape perfectly aligned if we wanted to. But I actually quite like it when it's not exactly aligned to the edge, it makes it more illustrative. If it looks like this, you will see at the end, but we can always refine everything, it's the amazing thing about illustrator that everything is non-destructive. All the shapes you're drawing, you can refine at any point. I am going to draw with this shape, let me just think. I can draw it actually quite big. I can draw it, something like that, for now. We can always refine this later. By the way, this can even be a duplicate of the original shape and then just apply the mesh around that. But sometimes I would just use a shape like this. Once we have the shape ready, we can make sure that we don't accidentally click on anything else by, and this is a very useful tip as well, double-clicking on the objects, double-click takes you into isolation mode. Now, you won't accidentally click on anything else in the background and what you need to do is you can set the color back to default, fill color, and remove the stroke color. In this case, we don't need that, but what you need is the mesh tool. The shortcut for that is U and with that, all you have to do is to place a couple of points down here on this shape. Let's just start somewhere there. Let's add another point around here, another point around there, and then maybe, let's just add another one here. I think that will be enough, but maybe one more up here, I will just create one more though. Once you have your mesh ready, these individual anchor points created can be moved independently as well so you don't have to rely on the automatic shape creation work. You can actually move these around as you can see. I can select multiple points as well. Move them around and shape them and place them exactly where I want them to be. But the cool thing about the gradient mesh is that you can control these anchor points individually so you can have different colors assigned to them, then there will be a transition between them all. What I'm going to do here is to now select the whole thing. First of all, I am going to set the opacity or blend mode of this to multiply. That's why I had it originally in white because once I set it to multiply, it's actually not going to show anything that is bright. It will only show details that are darker. If I now double click outside, you will see that it's invisible. But as soon as I select a point here, let's say just that one point there. Maybe these couple of points here and select the color from maybe the eye, that darker color, and I click on that. Why is it not applying yet it should apply it from there? Oh, yes because we are overlapping it. I think if I click here, yeah, there you go. Now it worked, but that color is a little bit too dark, so I'm just going to bring it up a bit, something like that. See what is happening, is that that point is transitioning to all the neighboring anchor points, which are white and white at the moment because of the blend mode is hidden away. That's why we're not seeing it. If I select another point and just sample the same anchor point from here, or sample from there again from the eye, we get that result, let me just save this anchor point as a swatch. I'm going to bring up my swatches panel as well. I'm going to save this as a swatch so we can just get back to it quickly. It [inaudible] acting that point as well. Now you see that we have those two points and everything is blending to the neighboring colors. Just to show you, just to make sure you understand what is happening, if I pick a very different color here, you can see immediately what is happening. So all the different colors and different shades, are trying to blend into each other. Because we used the blend mode for this whole object, I'm going to also set that back. The blend mode set back to normal, now you can see how these colors are blending together. Again, I would certainly be a yellow color and they are all nicely blending into each other. But since the blend mode is set to multiply, it will only show the darker details and we won't see the brighter colors as much so these two colors here maybe can be the same purple, but maybe in this case we can make it a little bit brighter. I'll just go back here, make it a bit brighter. Maybe a bit more pinkish, something like that, and you see immediately they have a very nice transition from the body down that way. Of course, we can again pick these points here, use our swatch that we saved, and then we start to have that nice transition. Once again, these two points here, we can again pick that other color, which by the way, I'm going to save as a swatch ones more. We have the brighter color. We can put that on these points here and then we are starting to build up the effect. So these points, by the way, can be also, the actual shape itself, can be amended, so if you feel like this should come all the way out or just a bit further out, we can always change them later. What you can do, of course, is to move this mesh behind the lag. You don't want the light to be in front. You want this to be behind. So I'm just going to drag it down quickly there. It's a little too far. It has to be above the body, but behind the lack. Now it looks much better already. Once again, these points can be moved out a little bit further and then it's closer to that detail. The same thing, let's just do it because we have already our mesh. You can just move a couple of mesh points here. Let's just select that mesh point. I'm starting to mess it up let's just move it in here and then select these two darker detail. Maybe that one can be a little bit brighter and then also these should be, there you go. Double-click with the selection tool for isolation and then you're not getting in the way or those details are not getting in the way. We are building up our mesh. This is always the most fiddly work that you do. You can see that it's coming together nicely. But I don't want to spend too much time on it because we don't have time to really refine this. I feel like this part here got to dark because this is already out and it should be a bit brighter so I'm going to select that point, select the color that we have on it and I'm just going to make it a bit brighter. That point can be brighter. Maybe even brighter than that. Also we can make this one brighter, maybe that one and that point as well, we can [inaudible] just that point there. Why is it not showing it? I think it's this point that is still dark. Yeah. Okay, that's good. It was just a bit too dark there, it didn't have to be so dark. By the way, the whole mesh opacity can be reduced if you feel like you overdid it, overcooked it, just reduce the opacity and it gets much more subtle straight away. 29. Puffy - Adding highlights: Apart from having the shadows, you always have to think of your highlights as well. I'm just going to do a very quick highlight here just by using the Ellipse tool. I can do a bit of reflection, the eye, and just simply copy that on the other side as well. See? Immediately, feels glossy as the eyes should be. Highlights and shadows will always be creating the sense of three-dimensional forms. That's why it's very important to work with them, and to be honest, my mesh, I think, should have a little bit dark details around here as well. Just quickly adding those in. We'll have to define. Actually, that's probably better if I just do it on that point. Darker detail. Yeah, just to separate the leg and that would need a little bit more refinement. I would want to define this edge here, making sure that this leg separates from the background. Maybe what we can do is to just side this, drag it out a bit, and drag it up that way. So that way the leg is separating more from the body. Now, we can see it's a little bit better where the edge is. 30. Puffy - Cast shadows for the spikes: With this cast shadow that I'm creating here, what I am going to use is actually a gradient that is going into opacity. This is not an opacity mask, it's more like a gradient that is using opacity. But I'm going to show you also how the opacity mask can be even more advanced than just using this technique. So both of them are innovate working like as an opacity mask, but this is probably the easier one. All you need to do is to get a darker color and then your brighter color, you select and you reduce the opacity down to zero percent. This darker color, I'm going to make even darker and that way, as you can see all ready when I click away, we created this faded effect. But by using the gradient tool, we can decide how much transition we want to see in here. Something nice and blurred like that looks quite good thing I think. Maybe let's drag it out a bit more, something like that. The only problem is that you don't want this detail to show, so maybe what I'm going to change here. Something like that. Then what I would normally also use on cast shadows is a bit of blur. I would go up to the Effect menu. By the way, if I move this out, you can see how it leads into opacity or transparency. I think this is going to look better, I just refined it here. That's a bit harsh, I think this color should be darker as well and that it's going to work better. The two sides of the gradient is the same, now I can just refine my gradient that bit more. That looks better, maybe a bit more stretched out. Looking good. Let's add an effect on it. Go to Gaussian Blur. Once you do that, this is the first instance of an actual pixel effect. With this one you just have to be careful, if you use pixel based effects, they will have a resolution. You just have to make sure the resolution is set too high enough if you want to get a good quality print from these design. Once I click "Ok", we will see that it's much softer. But if I zoom closer, after a while, we might start seeing pixelation here. It doesn't really pixelate in my case, but if I go to the Effect menu and choose document roster effects settings, there I can see it is because my resolution is set to 300 PPI. But if I set it to 72, it will be already pixelated as you can see. So just pay extra care on that and if your computer is slowing down whenever you use these types of effects, just work in 72 PPI or even lower, you can say other. Sometimes I would set it up to, let's say 30 PPI and then it's obviously pixelated so I wouldn't forget to set it up at the end when I'm exporting the PDF or the EPS file from this. But it helps you to work more faster, I mean, the computer won't be struggling to work with these type of effects when the resolution is too low. [inaudible] Yeah and it's a global setting, so it won't be object-based, it will be applied on the whole documents. I'm going to show you this quickly if I duplicate this object, making it bigger, let's rotate it and put it somewhere like that. If I go to Effect, document roster effects settings, if I switch back to 300 PPI and click "OK", see both of them immediately updated. Because I duplicated that shape, it all ready has the blur on it and it all ready has the gradient the way we set it up. But of course, everything is non-disruptive in Illustrator, which means I can go there and individually refine my gradient, or even using the appearance panel, we can click on the Gaussian Blur and change the amount. If I feel like I need more blur on this, I can or I can leave it the same as is. I'm going to duplicate this one more time, rotate, align. Again I'm thinking of the light source coming from here, that's why I'm rotating each of them. If I keep them the same direction it will look weird. You are thinking always of how this shapes relate to the light source. That's my shadow. Then the last one, to be honest, that one wouldn't cast a shadow here because it's already going in distance, so we only need the shadows here. I'm just going to reduce the intensity, the opacity of these two details around the eyes. I felt like they were a little bit too harsh. That's blending a little bit better there. 31. Puffy - Using an Opacity Mask: Let me show you another cool trick. If I feel like the leg, for example, in this case, should be blended into the body. First of all, I could always move these points around, and just give it more space. But if I want to have a neat transition here, what I can use also is an opacity mask. This is the other complex technique, not that complex but it's a bit more advanced technique. All you do is you create a rectangle from the direction where usually the transition needs to be, and then choose a black and white gradient. Set the gradient direction up, in any direction just to have something in there. Then select that and the shape, the rectangle and the shape. Then go into the transparency panel, and choose make mask, there is in bottom there. Once you click on that, then also make sure you click on clip. You don't want that clip to be on, so turn clip off. Then click on the opacity mask thumbnail with which you can start changing the opacity mask. Most importantly in this case, I want to reverse this gradient. The way it works is that anything that's black is going to be hidden, anything that's white is going to be visible. In this case, it needs to be just a very subtle transition from visible to non visible or hidden details. If I zoom closer, you will see what this opacity mask can do, to transition from visible to hidden. Of course, it doesn't have to be a rectangle. I can shape it in the direction I needed, so something like that. Of course, the gradient itself can be adjusted in the direction I want. I want to see this detail, and hide everything in that rectangle, within that shape that I created, something like that. It's a little bit messy because we have this edge here, but this could help to transition from visible to hidden details. But I don't think it's necessary in this case, so I can just release clicking the opacity mask. I just wanted to mention this technique. It can be used for more complex illustration. In this case, I feel like it's actually working quite nicely the way it is already. There's so many different ways you can get to the same thing. Either just aligning the gradient, using the gradient mesh or using an opacity mask, or even a combination of all of those together. 32. Puffy - Drawing the mouth: Now, let's do the mouth quickly because that's probably the last detail that we will have time for. The mouth, we will see if I press command Y and then let's draw this quickly in. I'm just going to use the pen tool and draw. Mouth is probably the most scariest detail in here. We're going to draw first the shade, something like that and that. The teeth are probably my favorite part this illustration. Yeah, it is fun. Let me just draw all along there. Then switch back to normal. I made a mistake here, let's just refine that point. Holding down the alt key, you can refine anchor points. Then what I'm going to do is to use this color that we have on the eye, then like before, I can select the two shapes and using the shape builder tool, holding down the alt or option key, trim off the detail that we don't need. Now, I'm going to duplicate the eye, place it somewhere around here, move it all the way on the top, pick the same detail as behind, so the actual body, something like that and then also put another line here behind the object. Already we'll start to have the mouth. Now, in this case, it would be a closed shape for the mouth. But expression is always very important to get like an emotional response to a character, you need an interesting expression. So that's what we are going to do now. You see it's just a very tiny open mouth, but it's still at so much expression to it and it makes them wants to look a bit freaky, but also cute at the same time. It really can change a lot by adding the most important facial features like mouth, eyes, and nose. By playing with these, you can achieve a lot. Let me draw that shape here for the mouth. I'm just going to draw this quickly in, go around it. Again, I'm not paying attention to the top detail. Go back, select these two shapes, use the shape builder, cut off what we don't need and we already start to have what we wanted to create here. Now for this shape, I'm going to use a dark red color, even darker than that and now I'm going to show you a really cool technique. I love this feature, it's called Draw inside. It's like using a clipping mask. It actually creates a clipping mask. All we have to do is to press shift D twice until you see a little corner point showing up around the object. That means you are drawing inside that shape. If I now start drawing anything like a circle, it's going to be within that shape that we've already created. So this contains whatever I'm drawing from this point on, and that's great because we can use this for creating the tongue of the monster. We can move this into place. You can see already, even as simple placement like this can make such a big difference in how the character looks like just simply by moving that around. I'm not going to spend too much time. I'll just place it something in like that and then let's draw the teeth. For the teeth, I'm just going to use the Ellipse tool, pick up the same detail from the eyes, and then put it somewhere there. I could rely on my original drawing if I wanted to. But I don't feel like it's really necessary and i can draw this quite quickly. Again, use the gradient tool in this case to get the brightest details where it's least hidden. That's where more light would hit that object. Then if I just select that object within the clipping group, sometimes it's easier to select through the layers panel. I can duplicate and duplicate and then have one which is longer. We have that tooth in place and then let's just pick one of these again, move this behind and maybe have one more here in the background, send it to the back. We have the teeth ready. Now, I'm just going to select these all shift key laid in the layers panel, press all. Fangs. Fangs. Yes. Sorry. Click in the middle and then this is the reflect tool so I selected all of them, Press O on the keyboard, click in the middle, and then start dragging these details to create symmetrical version of them. Hold down alt and shift, or in this case just alt is enough and then alt or option key is going to duplicate them and then we just have to refine their position. This one here, if I use the direct selection tool, I can just move up a little bit, something like that. Now, let's zoom out and that looks okay. The only problem is I will make all of these details a little bit darker. Let me just select all the teeth and with the re-color artwork here on the top, that little color wheel, we can get to all of the colors that we used in there. Let's just see in case the document crashes and because I'm starting to test the computer. But yes, so if I have these details selected, I think the life and recover artwork is showing up somewhere outside of my screen, so let's not worry about that. I think it looks fine. I would just make this slightly darker, but for now, I think it will work. Maybe what we can do is to have the background detail, which is our clipping masters to make that slightly more dark, something like that so the mouth pops a little bit even more. 33. Puffy - Final thoughts: So we created the original drawing in Photoshop and that's what we use as reference, but it could have been any other references, as well, of course. A simple sketch on paper that you scan in whatever you produce in any applications you want, or even a photo reference, and you said that as a template layer then you work on top of that. Once you are ready, you can of course, turn that off. I'm missing still the clothes and the shadow underneath, but I think it will just repeat the techniques that we already covered. I have here the final result which has a little bit more effects, obviously. But you see, we actually got very close to that, and to me, unless, I actually line the colors here a bit more. 34. Reaper - Introduction: Notice that I do not have any swatches at the moment in this document. The only thing that I have here are the layers. I have the moon setup as a separate layer, which I am going to turn off for now because it can get in the way. Then we obviously have the illustration itself, which I brought in from Procreate. The original artwork I worked on and created in Procreate, I find it the most convenient way of coming up with ideas, and sketching and doing coloring like these. But this is still sketch compared to what I can do in Illustrator. Once I do the final artwork, the vector artwork, that is where I really finesse and refine every detail. The reason why I do the sketches obviously is that I want to see and test what works. That is why it is still important. I probably took around an hour, an hour and a half, to do this. I always start with even more rough sketch, which is the initial concept. Whenever I do these random sketches, they take less than a few minutes. Probably like three to four minutes to get to something like this. It is more of a gestural drawing, just a quick idea that I can develop later. I tend to do at least 10 of these before I settle on one concept. If I know that I want to draw a character at death illustration or illustration of death in a more comical or whimsical way then I would be doing at least five, but usually around 10 different illustrations until I settle for one. This is the one that I liked. I do not want to waste too much time on this. I just wanted to show you how the actual sketching started with this drawing. As I said, this was one of 10 others or so before I decided that this is going to be the one that I develop further. You can see that the expression is very important. I am going to refer a lot to that video that we have released most recently and the 10 principles of character design. The expression, the posture, and a lot of the other things that we mentioned in that video, I used in this example as well. There you go. I actually got to the point of the coloring very quickly. I settled on this design fairly quickly. At this point I started already doing the coloring. The coloring is just a quick step really because I am not planning to really refine the colors and the shading in Procreate. Because once again, that is something that I do in Illustrator, but still I spent some time on it just to see, to test the color choice that I am working with and see whether it works. I am also testing different background colors as you can see, and then also trying to find the best lighting for the character. At this point, I have already decided that the light source is going to be somewhere on the top left. That way, the light is coming and hitting all the details accordingly. The shadows are all on the right side. You can see I am playing around here. I am going to speed this up even more. I am adding all highlights, shadows and then just refining all the details. At the very end, I changed the expression slightly because I felt like although I liked the moody look of the character, I made him look a bit more cheerful and added a smile. Let me just close this and coming back here, we can turn off the sketch and turn back the layer that we need to work with. What I am going to do is to set this up as a template layer. Let me just double-click on this. Actually, I can see that this is currently not set up as a template layer. All I am going to do is to reduce the opacity, probably say around 30 percent, and then lock it back. You do not actually need a template layer. You can reduce the opacity of anything and then start working on top of that. Now that I have that ready, I can start a new layer and this is going to be my artwork. Then let us get started. 35. Reaper - Drawing the scythe: Now when I use the Pen tool, I like to use it with the default black outline and I like to increase the point size a bit. Something like that will work. Then I'm just going to trace over this detail. I like to have sharp edges. I'm not doing everything rounded. I actually do sharp edges for this details or some of these details, at least here. Something like that, here we can do a bit of curve. Then whenever there is a turn in a path, let me just show this a little bit closer. I click and drag to create the curve. But here I want to go very straight up, abruptly changed direction. In these cases, all you have to do is just simply click on the last anchor point again, that gets rid of that empty or free handle that we had that on the left side. Now I can just draw a straight line, another straight line, and then this can be probably straight completely, something like that. Or if I want, I can add a little bit of bend on it, maybe something like this. Then straight at the end. That's looking good. I wouldn't even worry about any additional details like the colors and the reflections in the beginning, I'm just going to draw additional details that we will need like this sharpened edge or the blade that we will need to indicate. Notice what I'm doing is I'm drawing or starting to draw outside of the detail. By the way, you will also see me doing this and I hold down the Spacebar, I can move the anchor point that I'm currently placing down. Before I let go, the mouse holding down the Spacebar, I can reposition the anchor point. Then still adjusted, once I let go the Spacebar I can still adjust it. There you go. That's a good point there. Notice that my line in this case went beyond the edges of the design or the outline. Because what I'm going to do is to get rid of these by selecting these two lines, just making a big selection of them. Then using the Shape Builder tool, I can hold down Alt or Option and click on the edges that I don't need. These two, I can just very quickly trim. This is a great way of making sure that those lines meet exactly the edge of the other path that we started off with. You can see how quickly and easily I managed to get that detailed down. Now I'm going to do the same thing again using the Pen tool. I'm going to draw the actual handle detail here or the stuff here at the bottom, I'm just going to draw it. Again, sharp lines are useful. It's good not to draw everything curved. It's good to have some sharp edges. Creates a rhythm within your design if you do that. Something like that. Although this detail is going behind the hand, I'm actually going to draw it in completely up to here. Again, I go beyond the edge, or in this case, just thinking, probably do a little bit of curve there, like in my original drawing. By the way, I'm not trying to always draw it exactly the same way as I drew the original digital painting or sketch. I use that as a guide or reference, but I make additional decisions or artistic decisions when I'm doing the tracing. It evolves when I do the tracing most of the time. Again, I selected these two parts and then used the Shape Builder tool and Alt or Option click on the detail that I don't need. Very quickly, got rid of that. That detail is already in place. 36. Reaper - Drawing the cape and legs: I'm going to draw now the coat or the cape that the character is wearing. When I draw the bigger details like this one here, I'm not even too worried about capturing all the details because I know I can always go back and amend anything. You can see how quickly I go through it. Of course, it takes practice to get this fast, working with the pen tool, but mainly it's all about, the more you do it, the better you get. Let me just draw that there. I advise to work closer when you work with the Pen tool and you are tracing, because you can get more subtlety and more detail in than working from a distance. I created all those folds, now I can go down. Generally, there's one rule that I would recommend for everyone, is that whenever you draw and drag to create curves, try not to overlap your handles or go with the handles over the actual detail that you are going to draw. In this case, you can see the handles going this way will not really work well because it just crosses the outline. If the handles are parallel to the outline like this, or tangent, that's when usually you get nice detail moving on forward. That's something, just keep in mind when you're drawing. See, I don't even pay attention to it, but immediately, the way I draw, I drag my mouse always following the outline. In a way, when you're drawing curves, you are almost like tracing the next detail in your outline. Let's just see this again. You see, I just drag the handles in the direction of the outline. Here I'm going to click on the last anchor point because I need to change direction. See how I'm doing tangent lines along the outline, that allows me to work really quickly and efficiently. Why I don't use the Curvature tool when tracing? Well, I will actually show you how I work with that as well. I use it, and I usually switch back and forth between the two. The only thing is that because the Pen tool has been around for so long, I'm actually more confident in using it still. So although the curvature tool can help a lot, I normally recommend it for anyone who is new to working with the Pen tool,and it's a good way of learning the basics of working with paths, because you have to pay attention to less steps. But for more seasoned users of Illustrator, I think the Pen tool is still the most effective way of drawing complex outlines. If I only had curved details on something, that's when I would rely on the Curvature tool. So then there is no doubt, I would use that. But when it's a combination of curved lines and straight lines like here, as you can see, I actually prefer to use the Pen tool. I'm just going to show you, it's an interesting experiment, how the same detail that I just created here would look like if I use the Curvature tool. I will open my artwork layer and I will hide this outline, just for a bit, and I'm going to switch to the Curvature tool. If I draw with this tool, by default, this is automatically going to create curves between all my points. If I just click without doing anything, you see how it updates between each of these points. It actually does a really good job at tracking the details. The only thing is that it's not going to create any sharp corners. If you want to turn something into a sharp corner, like this one here, all you have to do is, still using the Curvature tool, the shortcut, just simply double-click on a corner point. So once again, if I come to this point here and I go beyond that, I can just go back, double-click, and then it becomes a straight line. Again here, if I double-click, that becomes a straight line as well. But then here, let's say, I knew that there will be straight lines coming up, I can hold down the "Alt" key, Alt or Option key, to make sure that these are all straight lines. Once I let go the Alt key, the next details will automatically be curved. Once again, if I "Alt-click" on that last point, I can start drawing my next segment in a different angle. In a nutshell, really or just like as a general rule, there's not much difference in how you work with these two tools. It's almost like one of them, like the Curvature tool, is the inverse or inverted Pen tool. It wants to draw curves by default, and you have to use a shortcut to turn it into a straight line drawing, while the Pen tool is the opposite, it draws straight lines by default, and you have to start click and dragging to draw curves. Both of them are just as good. It really depends which one you prefer. Just like everything else in the Illustrator, a combination of the two tools is probably the most effective. I might use it for a couple of details, for example, for the legs, I can already draw them with the Curvature tool. Let's just trace these as well. I'm just going to click, click, in this case I will "double-click", that way I can draw a straight line. Go up here, again "double-click","Alt-click", "Alt-click", and then "Alt-click" again. So once again, click and click, click, then double-click, maybe add a bit of curve here as well. Now holding down the "Alt" key, I'm going to draw it straight down here, maybe even add a little bit of angle there, still holding down the "Alt" key, and there you go. Now once again, these two details, we could chop off on the top if I wanted to make sure that it perfectly meets the other edge. But here's another very important technique or way of working in Illustrator. Because I know that these can be behind the cape once we start adding the colors, I don't actually need to do that. I would actually keep a little bit of excess space. I could even have more space there, so I could even have these details coming further up. Because that way, whenever I decide to move their legs around, I will have more space to work with. I will have more flexibility to work with them. So I wouldn't want to get rid of those details, I would actually keep them the way they are. That helps me to move them around much easier. If I make them even longer, that will be even more effective. 37. Reaper - Drawing the hood: Now let's draw the head or maybe another detail that we will need here for sure is the part where the head is. So within the head, we have another important line here or within the cap. Let me just draw that. So this is the hoodie part of the cap. So I'm just going to start drawing, probably, let's see, maybe here. I'm using the pen tool at this point. Okay, something like that. I'm just going to show you also another cool technique. Okay, let's go down this way. Now because we have more jagged edge here, I like to use the pen tool for these type of things because I can just add more small steps. I'm going to make my stroke size a bit smaller so just I can see better what I'm doing. You can see I'm adding much more anchor points here because I would like to capture all of these details that I have in the original painting. Once again, you don't have to slavishly follow every outline in detail. You can change them, change your mind if you want. But at this point, I think we need to come out at the edge there. Okay, something like that. Yeah, that looks good. Once again, if I select everything, I can use the shape builder tool, get rid of this and that. So Alt click or Option click on those two details. Also it's one of the things that I like to do to reduce the thickness of any smaller details. I like the outline to be thicker and then the smaller details to be thinner. Even though I am going to get rid of the strokes in the end, it still helps me to see better what I'm doing. So you can see how it's coming along quite nicely. But what I wanted to show you is that when I notice that I ended up drawing something a little bit off, from the original drawing, like this line here, I can use the direct selection tool and make a selection of an area that should be slightly higher. By the way, you can also use the Lasso tool. So make as less of a selection of the area you want to effect. Then using the up and down arrows on the keyboard, you can move things around. So up and down arrows or left and right arrows as well to nudge the selected anchor points and move them into place. So that looks better. I think the rest of the details are good. 38. Reaper - Drawing the skull: Let's draw the head now. I'm going to use the pen tool. Start outside and draw these details. Again I'm going to first concentrate on the outline. Using some sharp edges, I'm going to draw the teeth separately. Some sharp edges here as well. Cut on this side and then going up. So like the other line, we shift click and then shape. The shortcut for the Shape Builder is Shift+M. With that, I can get rid of these lines. This one and the other one. There you go. That looks good. Again, at this point, I can decide to have this as an outline or a detail, but I guess it's more of detail, so I'm just going to keep it in the same size. Let's draw the nose in the place where the nose used to be. Something like that. That's one and the other one. Don't be lazy. It's better to draw symmetrical things, especially when you have them in perspective individually instead of duplicating and reflecting. This just adds a little bit more variety if you do it one by one. Let's draw the teeth now. Just zoom a little bit to be even closer. Using the pen tool, I'm going to draw. By the way, there's another thing that I like to turn off when I'm working, especially with illustration. There is no need for smart guides. Smart guides are great when you work with graphic design or compositions in general. It's very useful because you can align things. But for illustration, it's almost completely unnecessary. So it's in the View Menu and just turn off Smart Guides or use Control or Command+U to get rid of them. So once you've done that, you can continue working without seeing all those purple and green lines showing up whatever you do. So there is one of the teeth, let's draw the next one. Once again, you can see how I'm drawing beyond the edges. It's just going to give me the flexibility to be able to move things around because I know that I can overlap things. Another little detail here. We are doing quite a good progress already within half an hour. Most of the details are traced. That means that we will have more time for coloring and shading and even adding textures, which is more fun. That's also in place. Now let's do the eye sockets. For them, I think the most important detail would be first of all, this shaded area. So we have to make sure that we capture that. I'm doing something like that and then draw the other side. Here, I capture this cut as well. It's good to add imperfections in your drawings. So these little details make it look more interesting and adds more character to your illustration. I press "Control" or "Command" key when I click away. So when you see me finishing a path, you can either press "Escape" on the keyboard or use Control or Command click, and that basically finishes the previous line. Having this outline is good, but we also need to have that inner outline. So something like this and then the other side as well. Go beyond it here and draw it like this. If I'm almost certain that I won't need to move things around, I can obviously get rid of these unnecessary lines or excess lines. So I can Alt click on that to get rid of it with the Shape Builder tool. Now comes the eyes. For the eyes, I could use a circle. I think in this case that probably makes sense. On the other side as well. Again, I'm just using the space bar to position this while I'm drawing. So that's also in place. Looks good. Now we can just get rid of this. Notice what I'm doing. I'm shift clicking on all the lines that I need for the subtraction. So I can just Alt click on the details that I don't need. It's important that I didn't select the other outline because that would have just got in the way. Instead, I just used the lines that help me to chop and divide the circle and keep only the useful part. So I guess this is one of the trickier things to learn, when to cut something off or when to chop something off and when to keep it. Again with the eyes, I felt like they are really good where they are and I wouldn't need to redraw them. But if I keep them like this, it will enable me to move them around within the illustration. I mean, it's really hard to tell sometimes and sometimes I changed my mind and I redraw it once I have the colors in place. But for now, I'm happy with the way this is. It's such a small detail. I can very easily redraw it if I decide or if I change my mind. The other lines that we will need, we have additional lines like these here. So I'm just going to draw these. It's almost like the eyebrow. I'm going to draw the outline of that coming down. To be honest, it shouldn't go anywhere. It should probably stop here. I can then draw the other one. I'm thinking if I should continue and close it up there. Yeah. I think that it will be better if we just keep it going and fading out. Same thing here on this side. Can go up and then to the side. Another little cut and then go all the way out there. Select these two lines and chop it off, Alt click with the Shape Builder tool. So when I draw anything, if I decide to draw within the boundaries of lines, especially with this one here, I'm just going to keep the line on the left. If I select this shape and I press "Shift+D" on the keyboard twice, that's when it goes into Draw Inside mode. Now if I use the Ellipse tool, I can actually just draw the circle. When I let go, you can see that it's only showing the detail within that original shape that was selected. Because what happens is that this feature is creating a clipping mask. So if I select this shape here, we can see in the layers panel that it already is a clip group. Within that there is the clipping path, which is the original shape that we selected, and within that we have our ellipse. So this is actually a perfect time to use the Draw Inside mode, because if I select the circle now, you can see that I can move it around easily. Even if I decide to move it further down, you will see that it's only still going to be visible within the boundaries of the original shape. So yeah, it's definitely a good place to use the clipping mask or the Draw Inside feature. To be honest, there is no right or wrong way of doing things. There's probably more efficient and faster ways of doing things. But most importantly, what you want to do is to keep in mind that some things you might want to change in the future. For these type of things, it's good to use things like the Draw Inside, clipping masks, or just simply think about layering, like what I've done with the teeth and the legs. 39. Reaper - Drawing the arm: Moving on, let's just draw the hands as well. Since we have pretty much everything now in place, the hands probably will be a little bit longer to draw. Let's draw this outline here. We will need something like that for the hand and then let's draw the hand. As to show it there. Now, this is actually a shading here that I shouldn't cut into there. I'm going to indicate that we're shading and because this is an illustration, I'm not anatomically correct with the details. I'm just well, almost in a way this looks like actual muscles even though it's bones, there would normally be just a single bone here. It's again like a caricature or illustrations so I wasn't paying attention or intentionally I was simplifying the anatomy of a skeleton to work in this case. I'm going to go around it here and I just select these two parts, get rid of that detail that we don't need. I feel like I won't be moving things around here so I can even get rid of this line in the middle. That looks good. Now, let's draw the next shape. I'm going to go around it and then these are the forearm bones. As I mentioned, this is a simplification of the anatomy but still I paid attention to basic things like that we have two bones in the forearm and a single bone in the upper arm. Same thing with the legs as well. It would have the same type of anatomy there, well, anatomical characteristics. I'm just going to draw the other shape and then some of you might actually know the names of these bones. I'm not that familiar with the terms of all of these bones in the arm but I know some of the muscles not really the bones, but yeah. This is another thing that I wanted to point out. I like to keep things tidy but wherever I feel like the details are fairly simple, I can again delete these or already start adding colors just to see how it's going to work. If I use the eye dropper tool and click on the details in the background, you can see I immediately picked that color up and the opacity I can just increase if I want to turn it up. I'm going to do the same thing again using the selection tool, using this other path. Eyedropper, click on this detail and I will probably change the color slightly, maybe make it a bit darker and then I can move it above the other shape. I'm going to do the same thing with this one, eyedropper tool is I on the keyboard, pick a color and then change the values around, maybe make it a little bit more darker and also move that above the other bone. I can just see how this is going to look like and one of the things I notice at this point is that I actually will need to fill this area in. I made a mistake there. It wasn't enough to just draw out the lines but it's good because I can always use the pen tool. Click on one of these endpoints and I can fill those details in very quickly and still select these two shapes. Use the shape builder tool and get rid of the parts that I don't need to see. There we go and then one more shape here, something like that. Again, send this back and make it maybe even slightly darker. When you select an object, you can shift click on this drop-down, so that way you can get instead of the swatches you will get the color panel coming up and then I can make it slightly darker, something like that. That's looking good. 40. Reaper - Setting up tracing: One other thing that's worth mentioning, is that, if you are just using opacity on your drawing, when you are going into the outline view, you won't actually see it. In the outline view, which is "Command or Control Y," you only see things that are setup as a template. The way I set it out currently, is not going to work. I am going to actually make an amount here and create a separate layer, put that underneath the artwork and correlate tracing. Then unlock the illustration, drop it on there, and set the opacity back-up of that object or the illustration to a 100 percent. Then double-click on the layer, and turn on template and maybe reduce it down to 30 percent. The main difference that you will notice, is that now instead of just a reduced opacity, we actually still see a full opacity. What happens is, this feeds into white. But the main advantage of doing it this way, to set it up as a template, is that when I switched to the outline view, I actually still see the original illustration or the digital painting. I can switch back and forth, and have a much better view at what I'm doing. Of course still, if you feel like it's too bright, you can go into the object itself or the image in this case, and reduce the opacity as well. You can both have it dimmed, and reduced in-opacity. This way we can still see the image, but much more faded out. 41. Reaper - Drawing the hand: With the hand again, I'm just going to use the Pen tool and draw around it using the Eyedropper tool, I can pick the original stroke settings that I was working with and continue drawing. We are almost done, I just do this in two steps or do the hand first. Again, now I can start sampling, adding color, drop it behind the other shapes, and then draw the fingers. There's one here and this one I get brighter detail. Notice the colors I'm going to fix later on. For now, I'm just doing a simple indication on each of these digits.Theirs another one again, drop it underneath, and then we can draw another one in the background starting from here. Again, drop it using the arrange, send to back. Of course, I can always turn on and off my illustration as well just to see how this detail is coming along. Maybe one more thing here is the nails. I've just put those in as well quickly. I'm just going to use the pen tool draw those in. There's one. Then I just use the Eyedropper tool to pick that black color, send it to back. Then "Alt", click and drag, I can quickly duplicate this and maybe just make it slightly rotated, and maybe smaller slightly something like that. We have that hand created and then I can draw the other side as well. But at this point, we can maybe just concentrate on the head. I don't want to spend too much time on tracing. If you have time obviously, I'm going to finish everything. But for now, let's focus on doing the details on the head. 42. Reaper - Adding details to the skull: It might seem like I'm jumping around a bit, but this is normally how I work. I have tried to have structure, but sometimes just makes sense to go back and forth a bit on certain details. Now, with the head, maybe I will start with the teeth. That's a fairly simple detail. I'm just going to use the selection tool, select all of them at the same time. Press Shift X to switch the field or the original store colors to fill colors. Then I'm going to pick the color that was underneath them. I pick that color. I just lost my selection. Let's just pick the color. When you go into outline view and use the eyedropper tool, you can pick a color even though it's underneath your selection. Yeah, that looks good for the teeth. I will actually group these together, control or command G to group them together. We could even rename this group, just call it "teeth." It might help when we are looking for it. Then what we need to do now is to see what we can work with here. Now, when you have simple lines like these that are not finished and you can see even this detail is not connected to this line, then it can be fairly difficult to fill this in without using the paint bucket tool, live paint bucket, sorry, that's the full name. What I could do to do the coloring here on the head is, if I lock the teeth at this point, or maybe even hide it for now, I could select all the lines that we have in this area. Then use the paint bucket tool to get the details in. But because we don't have any colors just yet, I can't actually select any of the colors, so it's probably a good time to start assembling. What I'm going to do is sample this color here, edit as a swatch, then sample a brighter color, which will be our highlight. We add that as well, then sample a shadow color, add that in here. Then for the head, we will need also this dark purple colors, almost black from the nose. Then also maybe this yellow color for the eyes. I think that's pretty much all we need for now. We can actually put them all into this group. I'm going to select all of these and drop them into this group. Just makes it easier to save it out if we ever need it. Now, if I select all of these details, and switch to the paint bucket tool, that's K shortcut on the keyboard. Now I can use either the swatches' panel or the arrow keys on the keyboard to toggle through these colors. If I were to pick the base color and click anywhere here, it will tell me that it won't be able to work if there is a clipping path in the selection. This is one of the reasons why the drawing side feature might prevent you from using certain tools like the paint bucket tool. To be honest, I'm not really a huge fan of the paint bucket, so I actually prefer to use closed shapes. It's not an issue since we started using the clipping mask. I would probably just go with that and start coloring the details and working around the clipping mask. But it's just worth keeping in mind if you have ever a clipping mask within a selection, you won't be able to use the live paint bucket tool. It's just one of those restrictions you have to be familiar with. Coming to this shape here, I can fill it in with this dark purple and get rid of the stroke from it. Then within this shape, if I double-click, I can select the circle and add the yellow color to it. I can do the same thing here on the left side as well. Now with the left side, we can use the live paint bucket because we can select these shapes. All of these parts. I'm going to get rid of first stroke by pressing X on the keyboard. I can switch between whether the stroke or the field color is selected. In this case, I have the stroke on top in the toolbar or in the swatches. I can now just press forward slash that removes that attribute. Then press again to switch back to the fill color. Then what I'm going to do is to use the live paint bucket, select the color I need, in this case the shading color, fill this part in, then use the purple and then use right arrow and fill in the yellow color like that. This color might be a little bit too bright, oh, sorry, this detail here. I might use a different shading color. Just double-click on this color here. I will probably make it a bit brighter, and then go back and use the live paint bucket tool and click on it again. I just want to have enough contrast between the darkest details and the colors that are supposed to be not completely in dark. Of course, we will be using gradients on most of these. But for now, I just want to get things roughly in place. I think we can select the nostrils or the holes in the nose. Then again, fill it in with the purple, the darkest color, and then remove the stroke from around them. Then we will need to do the same thing here. This detail should have the same fill color. Then we can bring back the details that we need on the outside. I don't want to lose these lines here. I'm going to make sure that they are on top of everything else, so I will use control or command shift square bracket to drag it or move it all the way to the top. You can see they appear here on the top of the layer. But then I'm going to select this path that we have here. I think it would be good to have this completely closed up here. I just changed my mind and I actually feel like it would be better to have it there. Because that way we can move the whole skull around slightly within the cape. If we decide to move it to the left or right or down, it's good to have that flexibility.. What I'm going to do first of all, is to make sure that these two parts are joined, this one and this one. What I need to do is to use the direct selection tool, make a quick marquee selection there, and then control or command J is going to join these two part together. Now, when I select it, you can see it's one path. Then if I zoom out a bit, so it's just a simple selection, now, select the whole thing. Then using the pen tool, I can click on the end point and I'm just going to draw it around. I'm not thinking of the whole skull shape. Just trying to have a little bit of extra space here in case I decide to move it around. Now I can select this outline and remove the outline from it or the stroke from it and add the mid-tone value. Yeah, the mid-tone value will work. Now, the only thing missing is to add these two stroke or lines that we have here, the two parts. We can just simply change the colors. I'm just going to select them, the stroke color, I'm going to use this darker brown instead of black. It was just a little bit too much. Then I can turn the teeth back on and we can move it at the bottom of the layer order or stack. At this point, I would also group everything that belongs to the head together. It would make sense to do that at this point. Let's just highlight all of this area here, and then shift click on anything that doesn't belong there, and then group it. Control G or command G. There you go. Now we can even rename this group and call it probably not head. Let's just call it, skull. There we go. That looks good. 43. Reaper - Adding details to the cape: Now, let's do the same thing with the cape. With the cape, I'm going to use the life being bucket. I select the shapes that we have here. First of all, let's just check this one. It doesn't actually close up, I'm going to close it up again quickly. I think that's the endpoint there. No. That wasn't the end point. Let's just go back here once again. Click on that, use the pen tool and try to connect it together. Why is it not connecting? So this line, I want to make sure it connects together. That is weird. Let me just hide this one, there is a shortcut for hiding things quickly. It's Control 3 or Command 3. It's from the object menu, hide selection. If I select something, object hide selection.I use there quite often, if I want to finish something like in this case, I want to connect this point with that other point than the other path was getting in the way when I was doing it. It just makes it easier to hide it while I'm working on it. Now it's closed and I can bring back that detail that was hidden. If I select this path here and the outline, that's all I need at this point. I'm going to use the life been bucket and fill in the colors from the cape. Actually, first we need to pick the colors from the cape. I'm going to use the eyedropper tool, get mid tone value, which is something like this. That in then we need highlight, which would be something like that. We need a shadow as well, which will be that and that's probably it. May be there is an even brighter highlight which we can also add. These colors, I'm going to add in as a separate group so I just select these four colors and I know this is going to be the Cape, so I just create a separate group for them and can even call it k. I already start organizing my colors so I have the colors for the bones, for the cape and we will have colors for the hands. Actually that's the same, similar to the skull. Probably these two color groups will be enough. We have the parts selected, then use the life been bucket, pick the mid tone value. Mid tone is, I think it was this one, and click on the main detail, then use the darker color to fill in the shaded parts. Now, we can have this whole group, we can remove the strokes from this group, and let's rename it cape. Move the skull in the right place. This is interesting. We have the skull above the cape, but if I move the skull behind the cape, then it disappears. We have two groups and if I want to put the skull inside the cape, it won't. Let me do that because the cape at the moment is life paint group. There's several ways of doing this, but at this point, it's worth considering whether it's still useful for this detailed to be still alive paint group or we can expand it. I would say in this case, I would rather expand it because it was useful to be able to very quickly fill in these details and the life being bucket tool is great because it doesn't need you to have closed shapes. You can just have these lines matching the edges, and then basically, even if it's not a closed shape like this one here, it still worked because the lines were matching at the edge, but once I added the colors, I can just click on "Expand" here on the top. The reason why I would do that, because then this turns into a normal group, which means that we can now place the skull inside it exactly where it belongs. It will be under the main key detail, but above the darker detail here in the middle. I have to expand the live paint group for this to work. It's sacrificing in a way, a feature, but enabling you to use another feature. 44. Reaper - Adding more details: Let me just quickly add details for the boots. That's a quick and easy one. I just have to use the eyedropper tool, click on the original drawing and immediately it's even in the right place so that's all set up. We already have quite a lot of details in place. I'm going to quickly fill in a few of these additional details that we have already here. For the site, I'm going to use, again the Live Paint Bucket. But first, I'm going to pick the main color of this blade, which is that, and then I'm going to use the brighter version of it. This color is the brighter one. Then for the reflection, we have an even brighter detail. These three can be added into a group and I'm going to call it it scythe and that's it. Cool. I'm going to select these details, so both the outline and the little detail line inside. Then use the stroke I can remove straight away. Then using the Live Paint Bucket, I'm going to use the main color, which was this darker color, fill in the top, then the mid-tone value for the blade, and then we will add the reflection at the end. But for now, that's all we needed there. If I want to see the drawing without the tracing behind it, this is how it looks so far. This is how far we got, and I can also see the outlines with the Command or Control Y. It's getting there. It's really good progress so far. Before I would do any details, I would normally get all the elements in place. I think we just lost the nails. I'm just going to move the nails up a bit, yeah, like that. Once again, probably it would be worth grouping things a little bit together, because I can see another detail that got lost there, which was originally belonging to the arm. What I'm going to do is to lock the cape and I'm going to make a big selection here. Group all of that together and call it left hand. Then the feet, well, that doesn't really need to be grouped together, but I can still rename again maybe left feet and then right feet. I'm thinking of not the way I see them, but the way they are. I'm thinking of looking at the character's point of view, so left and right. I'm going to put these together in a group as well. Now, why I'm I grouping things? This is something that is definitely a good practice to get into. You can see how much more organized my layers look. If I were to make my layers little bit bigger, I just go to panel options, increase the size of my layers. You can see how well organized it is, and that really helps me to find details that I need to work with. Plus, when you're grouping things together, you can also very easily isolate them by double-clicking on a detail. For example, double-clicking on the arm, I can isolate it from the rest of the design and I can work on the details and refine them. Always keep your work organized and make sure you are grouping things together. I'm just going to set it back to medium-size, and save the document, turn back the tracing, and I think it would be time to do the other arm. I'm actually going to turn off the scythe, and I'm going to draw their hand here. 45. Reaper - Drawing the other arm and hand: Let's just use the pen tool, and I'm going to draw, maybe first, the lower arm. Now, here's another use for the Shape Builder. To divide the two bones, I can draw this little gap in between them, and then we will be able to use that to divide, or to use the Live Paint Bucket to have the gap in there. I'm going to first draw this other shape as well. Doesn't really matter how we draw with them that side. I can now sample the other bones, so maybe use a brighter color here. Then, for these two shapes, I'm going to use the Live Paint Bucket, and pick another bone color, maybe this one, and just click inside it. That's actually the same color. Maybe used the brighter one on this one here, and then we can expand this. Actually first, let's remove the stroke from it, and then expand it. Now, it just goes back into a normal shape. It's, actually, becomes a compound path, because whenever a path has both an outline and then inner line like this one here, it needs to be a compound path. More shapes that I created before were simple paths, so it just has an outline via this one here. It's a little bit more complicated, that's fine. Illustrator needs to create a compound path for it which means that it records both the inner and the outer line, so it says just as simple as that. Compound path, in a way, is almost like a group or like a special group which can actually be expanded as well. When I select the compound path like this, and I go to the Object menu under the compound path feature. If I choose Release, I can get the two shapes separated, and you will see that we still have that available as a separate object if I ever wanted to access it. But of course, when I double-click inside here, I can maybe use the Direct Selection tool. I can actually make selections of the shape inside, and I can move it around if I wanted to, so I can still edit both of them without expanding it, but it's just good to know that you can do it like this. We're going to move the cape on top of everything else. Actually, the left-hand and the cape can move up, so that way the arm is behind them. Probably, for shading purposes, I might need to divide this shape later. For now, I'm going to keep it together as one compound path. Later on, I might need to change it. Let's draw the hand. Without wasting too much time, I'm trying to get to the result where we have all of the elements in place, so there's the hand. Let's add a darker color, not a stroke. We add to fill color to it. I'm going to press command y or control y so I can see all the other details, so we need this digit here, that thumb like so. Then we need the other ones. I'm just going to draw them as one. That's one. Let's do the next one. Two more, and the last one, and then the nails as well. Again, because they are completely in different perspective, I'm drawing them individually. Plus, I would like to have variety on their shapes as well. I'm not just duplicating them. That looks good. I'm happy with that. I'm going to switch back to normal view. We have to change their color, so just we can make them out what they are. For now, I'm just going to use an alternating color so I can separate the digits. Therefore, the nails, we have to use the dark color. I think we use black for them for now, that's fine. Then there's another digit there which should be on top of the other one. For this one, actually, we can use the darker one. In this case, to make sure that they separate well enough, I'm going to introduce another color, maybe even more. For now, I'm just going to separate this, just so we can see enough contrast. To be honest, it would be good to have a detail for this one here for that area, so I'm going to draw another shape, and I'm going to use the Shape Builder to get rid of what we don't need, so I'm just going to get rid of this, but, or even maybe, we can use the shape builder to get rid of- Let's just see how it looks. Now, it is actually fine, so I can do mid-tone value for that and bring this up further like this, and then the nails can also be, again, on top of everything else. Now that we have this in place, this would probably make sense to have the grouping together with the weapon that the character is holding, so I am going to lock everything else that we don't need to access like the feet. Turn the weapon back on and bring that up somewhere around here. Now, let's see where this needs to go. I think if I select it that's where it belongs. Yes. I think I managed to put these right into the place where we need it. This should be above as well. But the rest, I think is good. This shape needs to be underneath this guy, and that's it, I think. Yeah, now it looks good, so I can select all of this together, and then like that. Then also include these other details and group it all together and call it right-hand. This was a little bit more complicated. But just for setting it up, I think that's all we needed. Once again, let's check how it looks at the moment. Now, the coloring and the shading will obviously improve. At the moment, I'm just using estimated colors to make it work. Actually, the right-hand needs to go under the cape in the stacking order. But now, we have all of the details in place, so we can see all of our outlines and all of the details there. 46. Reaper - The importance of sketching: If you remember my original drawing, here, in this case, the sketch looked like this. We are very ahead of this already. But I would say this is the most important part or the most creative part of the process. So even though it took only five minutes for me to do this, this is where really the creative part happens. The original sketch, which can be a very quick drawing, is where most of your creativity is used and after that, it is just more like an art working in a way because you have to add the details, the colors, the shading, but that's something you can learn. If you think about animation, the best illustrators or animators would work only on the keyframes and there's always the other artists who would fill in the in-between frames, let's say 24 frames in a second. Then a keyframe within that might be probably just one or two key frames would appear. But there would be 22 frames to fill in between those and that would be something that the art workers would work on or the other illustrators would work on. Not necessarily junior illustrators, someone who was not the most experienced can also already do it. The same way to that, drawing your sketch is almost like your keyframe and then from there, it is just literally art working to refine the details. I'm not saying that it doesn't require skill and experience to do the rendering and coloring and all of that nicely. But that's actually easier, but obviously much longer. So even though the most of your creativity will be used in the beginning on the sketch, that in terms of the whole time frame is only probably around five percent of the whole time you will spend on drawing it. Especially if you want to really refine it and do a vector illustration like what we're doing now. It's much more time consuming to do the rest of the work, but it is less creative, I almost said less fun, of course it is still fun. One of the most important thing to remember is that because the first sketch is so important, you have to accept the fact that not all of your drawings have all the details that you can get to at the very end. You have to actually see already what a drawing can turn into without putting too much effort into it. You have to be able to give up on some of your drawings, that's probably one of the most important lessons to learn, not every drawing will be a successful one. You need to be able to skip a few before you get to one that really deserves to be developed and of course, you won't really have the skill in the beginning, but you develop it with practice. You will see the potential in one of your sketches and you will see that the other 10 is not as good as that one. So obviously you will only develop the best one out of all of them and that's why it's important to do more than one design or sketch for an idea that you would like to capture and you would like to turn into a fully-fledged illustration. Drawing in general is a very complex thing and there's so many aspects of it from perspective, to anatomy, to shading, to understanding light, so many different things. These can all be developed by learning and looking at references, doing studies, the best thing to do is to do lots of different vase of improving your skills. Just doing studies and being very technical can get boring, it's always good to just break it up a bit and do some fun drawing, something that you are interested in drawing and the more you do that, the better you will get in general. But let's crack on with our illustration. I'm going to turn back the layers. Let's turn off the sketch, turn back the artwork, and now we have to do some shading. 47. Reaper - Initial shading: For the shading, I am going to start with something simple again. Maybe, start with the blade. Okay. I'm going to turn off. Actually just get to the blade here, you can use the direct selection tool as well to quickly get to it. I can see that this currently is still in life paint so I'm just going to expand that. Now it's just turns into a normal group. We can even get rid of the grouping, it's not really necessary. Then what we can do is to use the original template, which we just turn back on now. Then I'm going to get these reflection lines. I'm going to draw one shape and then another shape. Now that we have these in place, I'm just going to select them at the brightest color. Maybe we can make it even brighter. I just shift click on this, increase the brightness of it even more. Might be a little bit to pink, something like that, then select all of them together, shape it there and then get rid of the details that we don't need. Now, here is one thing that is also worth mentioning. This is actually quite an important one. When you are using the shape builder tool, one thing that can happen is that the outlines will be messed up a bit. When you are just trimming off things like the edges, notice how here, instead of having a few anchor points, now we have so many anchor points showing up, which wasn't there originally. This is something that happens often and the easiest fix for it is to use the direct selection tool or the selection tool. Select the object where you see that happening. There you go. We have lots of anchor points there. By going to the object menu and choose path, there is this feature called simplify. If you turn on the preview, you can see what it does. Essentially, it reduces the amount of anchor points without messing up your outline. We can see before it had a 134 points only because of the shape building that messed up that bottom part of the shape. But now it's simplified it back to the nine points. So it's almost like a quick fix if this ever happens. If you see lots of unnecessary anchor points with this one, you can fix it. The only problem with the simplify feature is sometimes it gets rid of or amends important outline details like the corner points, you can see it turned it into a round corner here. When you use this feature, the simplify feature, you have to make sure that you use the angle threshold, increase the angle threshold to preserve those outlines. If I click okay now, it's done a much better job. Okay? The only problem is again, hasn't had we actually start to lose the match between these lines and that outline. I would have to use the shape bill there again to remove the details that we originally started with removing. What's the other way of getting rid of these? Well, to use a clipping mask. If you don't want to mess around with the shape builder and cut these details off, you can of course, use the clipping mask or use the drawing side mode as well. If I just come back to this detail and select these two shapes at the moment, you can see I have two shapes here. I can copy, paste them. I created a duplicate of them and then I merge them together with the shape builder tool. I just simply drew over them. This is just going to be a clipping mask for these two details here. I select that, that I will move them, or I can even move this shape up. Doesn't really matter at this point. Let's just move this one up above those two reflections. Then I can select all of them together and use the shortcut Control or Command seven. That's going to create the clipping. Now if I turn off my tracing, you can see it preserved exactly where those details need to go because I used the exact same outlines. The only thing I would make sure is to place them into the same group and I can call it reflection. Okay. Now, one additional thing that I would do with this reflection group is to change the blend mode probably to screen. That way you can see it will be brighter than both the blade or the edge of the blade and the top part of the blade. It has a steal, a little bit of a visible difference there. But if we reduce the opacity of it, it will show even more. That looks much more realistic there. Simply setting it to screen, reflection's usually are best to set to screen blend mode and then play with the opacity to adjust it. 48. Reaper - Glowing eyes effect: We have those details in place. Now, let's try to get the skull working. I'm going to start adding the shading on the skull. I'm going to press Command Y, turn back my template in the background. There's a lot of subtlety here on the skull so it won't be that easy to capture this. I'm going to show you a couple of different ways of doing this. Let's switch back to normal view. The first thing that I can see that we need to capture is that the eyes should be more like glowing eyes. Let's just unlock the key. I'm going to lock the hands for now. I'm just going to work with the cape, which I can actually call cape and skull. I can select the eyes. Then I am going to use Effect, Stylize, Auto Glow. Turn on the preview and then select the Swatches, same color that we have applied on it. Then we can increase the blur to make it bigger. It's already going to create a quite nice result here. We can even increase the opacity up to a 100 percent. Now, the only problem is that I think the other one that we had selected is for some reason didn't get applied or I just can't see it. Let's just see the appearance panel. It's on it, so why is it not showing? Because it's within the Live Paint group. Again, Live Paint group, as I said before, can be limiting even simple things like this. If you want to add effects to an object, it won't show. By the way, you notice probably one thing that I've done here, I had my layers closed. But if I wanted to quickly get to something which I selected with the Direct Selection tool, to see why is it not working, I dig down in the layers panel, but the fastest way to get to a selected object is by clicking on the little magnifying glass here, which is the locate the object feature, and I click on that. It jumped straight to showing me where the subject is. That's when I noticed that, this is actually inside the Live Paint group, which I am going to expand. Once it's expanded, now if I select that shape, I can go up to the Effect menu and choose Apply Auto Glow, which we'll just add the same effect on it again. I think, on the group itself. We have the Auto Glow, I can remove that, such I just deleted that. Again, how was I able to tell that? Because when I look at the little circles here in the layers panel, whatever has a field shape like this circle here, that means that this one has a special effect on it or live effect as it's called in Illustrator. Once I click on it, I can actually see it in the Appearance panel. There's the auto glow. I just deleted it. Now I can just select the actual bit that I want the glow on, and I just choose Effect, apply Auto Glow. It still doesn't look like the one on the other side. Which is interesting because now, it seems like everything is in place. Let's see this Auto Glow. Maybe the blur needs to be smaller. No, it doesn't make any difference. If we set it to normal, that doesn't make any difference either. There's no clipping going on here, I think. Let's just close the Properties panel for a bit. It's going to make my layers a bit bigger. If I move this path out, then it starts showing the glow a little bit more, but even still then is not as visible. Interesting. Let's try to find out why is this happening. First of all, the blur was too big. We need to reduce it down maybe to three millimeters. Around three millimeters is better. Then I click Okay. I think if we now put it back where it was, it works fine. That looks good. Maybe what we can do, sometimes you can duplicate an object to get a stronger result. I just simply selected it and then control C and Control F or Command C, command F, I just copy and paste in front. Now, we have twice as much intensity on it. That might be a little bit too much now, so we can just reduce the opacity of the second version. Something like this. That looks quite good. See the opacity. That looks fine. We have that glow applied. 49. Reaper -Shading eye sockets: But of course we can also add gradients. Now let's try a gradient on this shape and think this would be a quite nice shaped the try it out on so that socket, eye socket on the right side. I'm going to turn to now my swatches and I will keep also the layers visible so I can see what I'm working on. Then I'm going to switch to the gradient tool and choose the free form gradient. Now, actually for this one, it might be enough to use the radio gradient. I am going to show you both. If I use the radio gradient, that is fairly simple feature where you can drag the center point of the gradient. There you go. It's actually this circle here that we needed to grab. We need to definitely make this bigger. I'm just going to drag it out. Then first of all, what we need to do is to change the colors. We have to double-click on the swatches, switch to here, and then we can pick the darker, actually the less dark color needs to be on the outside and the darker color needs to be in the inside. Something like that. We need to make this darker actually. I'm just going in make it darker as well. Something like that. Then the inside part can be even darker. Now that we have the two colors setup, we can decide how much of the spread we want. We can also squeeze this detail so it turns more into an ellipse. You can also rotate it around, where is the rotation? There. That looks good. Maybe squeeze it more in. Then I can move with colors around. I can move the endpoint and the start point. Actually this is probably the best way of moving it around. I will just move it up here. We need to place it in the darkest point. Then we can setup the size to be something like this. Once again, what I keep in mind is that the darkest detail needs to be here on the top right, and it gets brighter as we get closer to these parts here. If I once again select this shape use the gradient tool, I can set an even brighter detail here. Then I think we have a nice contrast now. It feels like the depth is added more and then any details that's supposed to be more in shade, darker and in any details here and more brighter. There's more light getting to them because the light source is coming from above. The details further up here will be more in shade. It's as simple as that. Let's just use the gradient tool a bit. I'm going to use this point here. Position it may be a little bit further to the left. Also going to set it to a little bit more wider spread, something like that. It just takes a little bit time to get used to this new controls in the radio gradient, but I think it's actually quite good now. Let's do the same thing on the left side. But instead of using the radio gradient, I am going to show you how to work with the new fee form Gradient tool. Again, press G on the keyboard or select the gradient tool on the left, and then click on the free phone gradient option. Now make sure that your feel color is highlighted before you do that. Once you click on the fee form gradient, you will have a point that you can move around. Just make sure you have points selected here on the top and while that point is selected, you can change the color. I'm just going to put another point down, double-click on it and make it darker. Then this point can come here on the top. The brighter color can come down. You can also keep adding additional points.That can be also dark.This one can be even brighter down here. Something like that. Now, this is obviously much faster and easier than the radio gradient. I actually started adding a little bit of more color variation as well here. That's another thing that I like to do. Instead of just using the same old colors, it's good to have a little bit of color variation, so we have a little bit warmer tone here at it. Now if I go back and select this shape on the right side and use the gradient tool of course I can do the same thing and click on the gradient and then start adding a little bit warmer tone there. Which makes it more interesting. You don't necessarily need to use the free form gradient for this to work, but you can see how that warmer tone makes it more interesting. Once again, maybe move this up a bit. This one can be slightly darker. Maybe also slightly warmer. Something like that. That's a nice transition there. That looks good. You can see how once you start adding these subtle shading in your illustration it's already starting to look more three-dimensional. But of course we can apply the same technique on the full skull design as well and of course the teeth but first let's start with the skull. 50. Reaper - Shading the skull with Freeform Gradient: If I press command y, I can see that there's quite a lot of shading going on here. It's probably either something that I would have done in the past with the gradient mesh, or using a more, even more sophisticated free form gradient. Gradient mesh is still something that I would use for very complex details. But in this case, let just try to use the free form gradient, see how far we can get with that. I just press G on the keyboard, select the free form gradient option. Then it starts off with two points by default. I'm going to set this up here, make it darker on the top, and then get the brighter color on the left side. Even just having two points already set up the basic lighting, which is quite nice. But then we can start adding additional points. What I would like to do now is to draw a line. I would like to draw a line for brighter details up here, and then if you hold down the command key, you always get rid of an existing line and you can start a new line. These are all really bright details here. But then if I switch back to points, I can also add additional points which can be darker. Only something like, well, that's too dark. Something like this, actually quite like this color here. I wonder if this is already saved as a swatch. Doesn't seem like it, so I'm going to add that as a swatch. I'm going to use that instead. What I want to do is to have this coming up here, that one coming up there, and then also adding an additional swatch up here. The eyebrows, I want it to be the brightest, but they might be a little bit too bright. They're completely white. I'm just going to set them all. You can shift click on multiple of these points. I'm going to set them all to that brightest color that we use within the skull or something like that. Then I would like to have even darker color up here and another one. That needs to be somewhere around here. We need to also have a darker color around here. The shading of the hoodie needs to come there. This placed around here. Then I added another one which I wanted it to be darker. I'm going to select this, and I'm going to set this darker as well. That's basically it. See how cool it is that we almost control the eyebrows by dragging these points around to where the highlight needs to be. But we also need to make this central part darker than the rest. What I think we could do is to continue drawing a line. If I use the line tool, I can continue drawing this line down this way. Again, select this color for it, and then draw a line for this as well. Maybe that way. Then select these points, going back to points, select this one here and choose the darker color. Then we can probably put this here and we can even make it bigger or I should just used the lines again and then draw from this point out line here. That looks quite good. Now, if I select this one, I can probably make it a little bit darker. It doesn't have to all be really bright, and that one as well. One of these seems to be white. Maybe if I just delete this then the new point that is going to be darker, that seemed to tone it down a bit. I can maybe make this bigger as well, this point. That looks good. We can make another dark point here at the bottom and actually have it even darker. Now, if you'd move a point completely outside of the shape, it starts affecting the shape. It has to be at least slightly inside it. The center point of the pin has to go inside it. In this case I'm just going to increase the brightness because I don't want this to be so dark, something like that. Or maybe even use one of these other shades, that one or this one and then make it darker. That's not bad. This is the brightest detail here. Then I will add another dark detail here under the nose. But actually above the nose they should be bright as well. That's not bad. Let's see if I click away. The center part looks quite good, especially this part, I think looks quite nice. It would be worth looking at this without the outlines. If I just select these two outlines and press command 3 or control 3, we can see that even without the outlines now we can see the shading is helping to define the form, but I will still keep the outlines there. The only thing that we could do is to make them a little bit more subtle by reducing their opacity. But for now, I'm just going to keep them as it is. I think is not too bad. If I just select them again, maybe one thing that we can do is to reduce the opacity. They blend a little bit more in the environment. I think that's a little bit better, so it's less harsh. That looks better. But still going back, I am going to select the gradient tool again. I will torn down this color, it's too dark now. Keep it somewhere in there in the center. That looks quite good actually. I'm happy with this. Again, the only thing is that for some reason here is just too bright. I wonder why. Because there is nothing bright here. Maybe apart from the eye. Is it because of the glow on the eye that's causing this, I wonder. Let see the appearance panel. If you turn off the feel now. Actually something is causing this to be so bright. I'm just going to move this point up here to tone it down a bit. That's better. Obviously this is not the only way we can do shading in illustrator and there's many other techniques. But I was interested to see how far we can push the free form gradient. Then of course, we would be able to do even more because it's not that many points here at the moment. We could get even more sophisticated. Now if I check how it looks, the skull in particular into digital painting compared to what we created with the vector [inaudible] we're not that far. I mean, obviously there's a couple of more subtleties that at the moment we don't have. 51. Reaper - Shading the nose: But let me show you another way of adding highlights and shading. So what I'm going to do is to keep my artwork on and just keep turning in back and forth. I can see a couple of things. First of all, I think these details should have some gradients on them. So the currently completely one-color details should have a simple linear gradient would be enough in this case. So what I will do is to choose linear gradient. Zoom closer, and then let's select the one first on the left. So what I need is for these to be rotated. So we need to turn this around, something like that. Drag it out a bit more. Then we need this darker color to be the one from our swatches panel, even our swatches are lost. That's bad. Luckily, we have our swatches here, so I'm just going to copy these. Let's just export. So whenever you need to move swatches from one file to another, you can save all the swatches. You can just save the swatch library as an ASE file, that's Adobe swatch exchange file. We're going to save it here. Then when I go to the other document, I can just choose libraries, other library and choose from the desktop, the file. Then there you go. We have our swatches brought in. So I can just select the three groups. When you click on a group, it automatically adds it to your file. So now that we've save this, I can double-click and then choose we need the darker color here, and then we need the brighter color to be closer to the bone, detail. Maybe something like this but slightly brighter than that. Yes, something like this. So let's just drag that down. I want a very soft transition here. So something like that, that looks quite nice. Maybe you can drag it also further up that way. That's quite a nice transition. So this is something we can apply on the other side as well. You can see once you set up a gradient, you can actually use the eyedropper again to just sample. Also you can use the gradient tool to quickly redraw the gradients. So once you have them set up, you don't have to fiddle around with the details. You can just click and drag and then set it up that way. It saves you a lot of time as you can see I got that second detailed in place much faster. So I'm actually not that sure about this color. Let me just play around a little bit with this. Probably would be better to keep it purple. It just blended in with the bone a little bit too much. So I'm just going to sample that on the right side as well. Having the transition held. But another thing that when I switch back to the original drawing that I can see, which is important is this bright detail here. So we need to have this bright and that bright, which currently is not as well defined as the eyebrows. And instead of relying with everything on the free form gradient. What I will do is to use the pen tool. I am going to create probably, well, I could create a separately for this. For now, I'm just going to start drawing and then decide later how I want to handle this. But what I'm doing now is to create a shape here, like this. Sample, a color, actually not sampling from the free form gradient, which is going to sample this bright color. So this one. Then this should actually go, under the nose. So within the skull, we need to find the nose, it's there, and we can just place it underneath it. So you see, sometimes you don't need to worry about shading. It's enough to have like a foundation which creates the general shading and then you can add individual highlights like this one. So it gets much closer to the original shape that we have there. But if you feel like it's too sharp details on it, you can always blend it by using the Effect, Blur, Gaussian Blur feature and turning on preview, you will see how it looks. I would probably set it up to maybe around five pixels. When I click away, you see it feels like it blends into the environment, but it's just simply a normal shape that has a blur around it. Now whenever you start using blur in illustrator, remember this is a raster effect which means that it's going to get pixelated if it's not set to high resolution. So under the effect menu, go to document raster affects settings, and make sure that you use high resolution, especially when you are ready for print. Before printing, I would normally keep this on 72 PPI. So that's just keeps it a bit easier for illustrator to work with the detail. It's just going to look a bit more pixelated. But it helps illustrator to run smoother. But it still gives us a very good preview or indication of how it would work. Now once again, I would want to have the same detail on the left side. So I'm using the direct selection tool and an odd click and drag to duplicate this. Then use O on the keyboard to reflect it and just align it there and then use the keyboard to barge it around, select these two bottom points, and drag them in behind the nose, there you go. That looks quite nice. So shading with simply using the blur, you can consider it almost like a cheat, but it's actually fastest way, in this case, to get those details in place. 52. Reaper -Adding details to the skull: Now, what else do we have in the original drawing that would deserve to have some detail added? Well, I would say, around here, and here, as well. I would like to indicate that dark bit and also now that I'm seeing, this area should be a nice transition as well. We could either go back and use the gradient, has just tried if can make these darker but not as dark as that. I wanted to be something like this and use the line feature and draw another line. Maybe even connect these two and add this detail here. That actually looks quite good and then let's go back a bit and also maybe add another point here with a darker value. That's looks good as well. But then, once again, to add this detail here, I think it's easier if I just draw it with the pen tool. What I'm going to do is to draw within this little section a shape that I am going to fill in, and even if I just keep it like that, that's already looks better than before. Of course, I can refine it a bit more, and I can make sure that this goes underneath the outlines. The path that I have there, that way, let's just see where this path is there because we have the opacity reduced, they are see-through. I'm going to set it back to a 100 percent and instead of using the opacity, I'm just going to change their color, make them a little bit more subtle, so brighter, or we can even go into edges, Hue saturation, brightness just made them a bit brighter. This saturated, something like that. Let's just draw another shape as well, or we can even copy this other one here. Alt, Click and drag, place it in there. Use the direct selection tool and put each of these anchor points in place. Those little shading details, again just helps to define it more, but we can use the blur on them if we want to have them not as sharp as it is currently, I can just choose," Apply Gaussian Blur", and immediately they have that shading applied on them. I can do the same thing here. If I just draw another shape, tried to follow the edges and choose apply Gaussian blur. I can even reduce its opacity, and then I can get to a very nice detail. I can then even use the direct selection tool. Drag it down at just the edges, and you can see how much more subtle I can achieve by working like this. I like to combine again all the different types of tools in illustrator, not relying on one single feature. It's always a combination of multiple effects and multiple features together is going to give us a good result, and I feel like for these details, I might actually use a stroke color, that just defines them a little bit more. Strokes are not always something I would use but in this case, I feel like it helps to define that shape a bit better. 53. Reaper - Shading the teeth: If I select the tooth,I can go into the gradient tool and making sure that not the stroke but the field color is selected, then I can use the linear gradient.I can draw it in as well and I think this color is good but maybe what we can do is to change the black to the dark swatch that we use, something like this. Then the brightest one as well, maybe instead of white, we can just use the brighter color, something like that. If I select these other teeth, just shift brick inside them and then use the eyedropper click on the one on the left. That's actually quite a nice transition. Instead of transitioning from top down, we can do a transition slightly more in the diagonal fashion. If I select this, I can draw a little bit in this direction. Again, just helps us to define the former bit more. That's not bad.The only problem is now they are a little bit too dark compared to the skull. We need to make them a bit brighter like in my original design, they just get too much blended into the skull. What we can do is to use the direct selection tool and select all of them, or even use the layers panel and just click on teeth. Why I would use in these cases is the re-color artwork feature. The little color wheel on the top in the Options bar, and with that we can go into the Edit mode and use the brightness option to just brighten up these details and maybe also desaturate them slightly. That looks better. Maybe this one can desaturate, dragging them closer towards the center is going to desaturate them more and gets them more closer to gray scale. I still want to have shading on them so the brightness, it's not something I want to change overall but yes, something like this looks a bit better. Make it slightly brighter. Let's see before and after. That looks better.My only concern is that it's not too dark here or not dark enough and also I just realized that this detail here should be brighter. What I'm going to do is to draw another detail around here. I want to make sure that the skull looks good. I will spend the most time obviously on this detail because this is the most crucial bit of the whole illustration. I can pick that bright color which I use as a highlight and then I can apply the blur on it.I just go to blur, Gaussian Blur, and then click okay. There you go with that one. That was a very important detail there. Without this, if I just click on this Control or Command 3 and turn it back on, you can see how much that means to the overall shape. We really gained a lot by just adding that little decent detail there. Overall, we had all the sheathing details that we are adding. We are starting to get closer to what we need and I almost feel like now these two highlights are starting to get less and less important. I actually wouldn't want those highlights to be there. Maybe what I will do is to set them back to the darker color that they were with originally or they were set to originally, but I will also choose a blur to add on them. Maybe that's a little bit too much blur. Let's just choose for a stroke value. If we choose maybe three or two points blur.That looks quite nice.I can just draw over here and again use the blur. Gaussian Blur. That was nice as well and then let's see what else. We could also have a bit of shading on this side, I can just draw with the pen tool. Just a subtle shading here. It's hard to stop once its starts to come together, I just feel like I need to keep on going. 54. Reaper -Shading the cape: Let's focus a little bit on the Cape. First of all, a quick one would be the inside detail, which you can see in the original one almost looks completely like one color, but it should actually be also a gradient where we can use the free font gradients. I just have to make sure we select that shape and not the strobe but the Fill Color, then when I click on the free font gradient, we can set up these colors, this one can be the darkest color, which can be here. We can have also dark-colored there on the left, then these other ones can be actually a brighter colors, something like that. Just make them slightly darker, if I go in here, can make them slightly darker, and this one as well, slightly darker. But that created a much nicer transition where we have the shading in the right place so we can see how dark these beat details are, then there's a little bit more light here, plus, if I wanted to, I can also add another darker detail here in the middle. Just under the skull, we can have a bit more of the shading and that makes it really pop from the background, something like that. These are very subtle changes, but you can see how much better that looks already than before just having a flat color there, but the same thing applies to the cape. For the cape, we also need to check our original drawing, which has a lot of creases and lines on it. Now, for example, for this detail, let's just focus on this one, let's zoom out a bit. I would use the same technique that we used before, with the pen tool, I can even just draw the center line of this. For creases, especially I would use something like this, just draw the center line, then switch back to normal view and make sure it's set up as a stroke, you can use "Shift X" to set it up like that, use that bright color on the stroke that we want to use as the highlight, then switch to the width tool. The width tool is Shift W on the keyboard and click and drag the edge which you want to make thicker, and you can see immediately how we start to have that nice transition. So from one end to the other, it turns into something like that. We can even set it up in a way that we drag this point further, then the fifth is rounded down. I'm going to just show this a little bit closer because it's hard to see what I've done here, if I just undo that, I can drag this width point further in, then the actual width point at the end can be reduced down, it rounds it off, something like that. Then the whole shape can move down around here, then when we zoom back, we can apply the Gaussian blur on it. If we look at it in a higher resolution, set too high, it would look like this, but I'm just going to keep it on lower resolution for now. That's one of the creases that we would add, but obviously that's not enough because we need to also add the shading on it, this is just a highlight, but we need shading around it to look good. But while I'm here using this color, I can just draw this other shape as well, here's another highlight, we can just indicate something like this. Switch back and sample and use the same effect, apply the Gaussian blur. We have two highlights and then we want to have the shading underneath, so below, we want to create the shading, just going to follow along and then just go underneath, something like that. Then we just use the darker color, probably the completely dark color like that, and just place it underneath. We don't need the stroke color, I'm just using shortcuts here quite a lot, but generally that's what we need to do. If we want this not to be as dark as that, again, we can, first of all apply the Gaussian blur. In this case, we can even apply it a little bit stronger because it's a bigger shape, it creates more of a softer look, something like that, then just select this and drag it in a bit, that looks quite nice for the crease. Then once again, the same thing is needed here above, if I just use the pen tool, just draw in this detail that shading needs to go and then apply Gaussian blur. Then we can just move it in. Something like that. Obviously this on its own doesn't look as different or doesn't look like we added a lot. But once again, what I would do is to, first of all, like a general gradient which we can use again with the gradient of free form gradient. Then obviously add these individual highlights and shading on the key for the creases. When we go into the outline view, you can see what we need generally there, select it with Direct Selection Tool and then click on gradient or select the gradient tool, make sure the fill color is selected, then choose free form gradient, and then we can quickly move things around. We need this brightest detail here on the top left where the light source is. We are adding another color, which is not as bright as that, just need to place these here, then we can have this color to be that. We can have that color also to be a bit darker, even, maybe even the darkest color here on this side.Then we can put the brighter color up here, it looks quite good. Then we can have also another pink color on the top, another dark color here. We can even have a line created with this midtone value, and the same thing with this other line. Select that point, we can just draw the highlighted running along the edge, you can see how that is starting to help us to form the shape. Now, of course, you might feel like this is much brighter and then its lacks the information that we have in the other design, but it's starting to form the foundation of the shading that we need, so having brighter colors on the left, darker colors on the right, and of course we can add additional points. If I just add that brighter pink here on the bottom left, and just switch to drawing points, now, I can add the darker color immediate next to it. With that, we can control how it's going to look like. We can add an additional point in between, which can be this color, you can have a lot of subtlety and it very quickly. I'm general, looking at the Contrast as well, making sure that every detail has enough contrast around it, all the edges, still read well. The only thing at the moment is I feel like these pink colors might be a little bit too bright. I can just click on it and then switching to a hue saturation brightness, I can just reduce the brightness, maybe increase the saturation, that point at the bottom was a little bit too bright. The same thing here on the top, we could always reduce the brightness if we wanted to, but I don't want to spend too much time on it because that's generally the same steps we would need to go through. 55. Reaper - Additional shading with a Gradient Mesh: What else we can do to get the highlights and shading in place? Well, there's a couple of different methods as well, including the gradient mesh. How would we use the gradient mesh in this case? One of the details where we could try it out would probably be, I would say here at the bottom. Instead of using the blurred technique that we used above, we can use the gradient mesh here. What we can do is to draw this shape just using the pen tool. I'm just roughly getting this shape in place, something like that, which will be our highlight. Actually I will include not only the highlight, but also the shading in it and show you how the gradient mesh can actually be used for multiple purposes. Just one single shape with a gradient mesh on it can be used for multiple things. We will need to use this both for adding the highlight and shadow. Once I select that shape, I can go into the ''Object menu.'' Actually first, let's just save the document then object gradient mesh. Create gradient mesh and shows us how it looks. We can probably increase the amount of rows. I would have a little bit more rows on it and maybe even a bit more columns here on the right side and probably it would help if we move these points a bit further out. Because we will be able to fade it out, so it's a little bit more even if you do it this way, going back, create gradient mesh, you can see that you get a much nicer mesh, especially on the right side. Now I can add more rows and I can add more columns as well. That's pretty much all that we need. The appearance can be set to flat. Doesn't need to be anything specific and we can just click ''Okay''. But then what we do is we change the color to the original base color. All of the mesh points will have the base color. Now I'm going to double-click on this objects so it's isolated from the background. First of all, what we will do is to highlight the edges using the lasso tool. The lasso tool, here in illustrator is Q, there is the short cat. Actually let's just highlight the right edges first and then reduce the opacity of them to zero. You see how it can feed into the background. If I select more of the right side and reduce the opacity down to zero, maybe all of these points here set to zero opacity. Just not applying it right now but if I'm going here at zero maybe just change these columns as well to zero. Just couldn't change down all at once. Yeah, that might be a little bit too harsh of a gradient. Just these 50 percent. That's better. But that's not really what I wanted to do, what I want is to use the lasso tool and select the left edge. Those points can be set to the bright pink color. Then we can add a few more mesh points while we use this other color as a transition. Then at the bottom, I want to use the shading, which is the darker color. Now if we switch back by double-clicking back, you can see that this mesh actually has a lot of variety in them. More similar to what we have behind it in the original painting. But of course, this is something I would refine further. I would bring up a little bit more the shading here at the bottom. Let's just zoom a little bit closer here. I can drag these points down and see how it already starts to look like we are working with drapery. By moving these points around, it almost feels like I'm working with a crease. I can create the creasing, dragging it out this way and you can see it feels like sculpting in a way. I can select this point, I can add that other color there, I can drag it out, take it out this way, and see that subtlety that is created there. Let's just see the original drawing again. We have these points should actually be further in. Something like that. Actually even further in, I can see it now. So the highlight should come all the way in this way. Then we need probably a point further down here, which is still bright. That really needs to go down. That darker detail is to be at the bottom. This point should be a still bright point. Let's see if we can get, maybe this one is to be brighter as well, or at least this make ton value here. Just drag it up. That looks much better. You can see already the subtlety of this mesh compared to a simple blur. Even if I set this resolution up to 300 ppi, it's still not going to be as nice as what we can see here. Once again, here on the top, if we want, we can get these colors closer to blend into the environment. Even completely to get them darker like that point there and that point there as well can blend in with the shadow. These other points as well if I select them, you can shift click of course, on points as well. You can select multiple points at the same time, change that color. You can even use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move them around, and so on and so forth. I'm just going to drag these up higher. By the way, you can use the pen tool. If you find details you want to get rid of, you can just click on points, selecting a point, you can remove it. This case, I'm just going to use the delete anchor point tool, click on it and remove it. That one icon remove. But I can just move it into position and then remove this other point which we don't need. Just to simplify the outline a bit. Now, the gradient mesh, of course, is still the most precise way of setting up complex shading. It's far better than using just simply blur. But once again, it's a combination of these. The blur still could work. Maybe one thing that I would change on it is instead of using it in normal mode, I might set it to overlay and this one as well. Overlay actually does a better job at blending in and making more interesting color combinations. Or if you feel like the overlay blend mode is too harsh, you can just set it to soft light. You can see already how that looks like. It's much more interesting. Then of course we can always experiment with opacity as well. If some details are too dark, we can even use things like the eraser tool. I have this shape selected and then with the eraser tool, if it's too much here on the top, I can just delete back from it and then start to get the shading that I wanted to see. Once you start adding blending and start combining the different things like the gradient mesh, the blend modes, and the free form gradient, you can start to build up a much more complex and realistic outcome video details and shading in general. This is very time-consuming and it would take even probably like at least another hour just to get close to what I have here in the original drawing with this technique. 56. Reaper -More shading details on the cape: Just a couple of things that can improve it quickly would be to add the most important details, like the shading here needs to be more controlled. So for that, I would definitely use the pen tool and just where you quickly draw in this shape. Let's just draw this in very quickly and I don't even bother about the edge, just the inner edge is all, I need to worry about. Something like this. Switching back, if I now want to get rid of the outline, I can use the shape builder tool. Just get rid of that. You can see already that having something like a solid outline for the shading really helped. The same thing would go for this shading here. It's again more like a solid line that we can add. If I just draw this in, this actually might be something we can do with the blur, just to blend it in. Something like a shape like that and then we can decide whether this needs the blur or not. Just zoom out a bit. Maybe we can add a little bit of blur on this like Gaussian blur that looks quite good and then the bride details around here. Here's another tool which we can use, the blob brush with the blob brush, we can just paint over the detail that we would like to have in bright colors. Sometimes I will use this tool just to quickly get the details in place so that detail needs to be bright. We can use the Gaussian blur, probably even stronger blur in this case because it's a big detail and then set it in the opacity, setting it to soft light. So that really describes that detail there and describes the shoulder which was not visible before. Maybe we can even use it on overlay to make it even brighter. Although that is a little bit too bright. It's better softer like that. Of course there's additional things that I'm not happy with at the moment. Like these points here are too bright. I would just select all of these and I would use the option from here to select the darker color, and then select these points and use a darker color there as well. Yeah, that's it that's a better transition. Obviously we can always use, instead of using the gradient, we can use the pen tool and another important detail here would be a line that we can draw in here. Let's just draw this quickly in. An additional shading currently is missing. I can even go all around it quickly and then let's select this and the other outline. This shade builder remove what we don't need and then change the color of this to the darker color and blend it in go simpler. Maybe even higher blur. 20 that looks nice. It's starting to come together immediately as you can see. Maybe this one again can have a blur on it. The more I would spend on the cape, the better it's going to look, of course and even simple things like here, if I go back to the gradient, we just added a dark color here but it's actually needs much more than that. We need to have a bright color around here, which describes that the light source is coming from above. Then we have another dark color underneath but then we also need a bright color there. but then we need a dark color again here. You can see how much that improved immediately by just adding these additional points in there. The darkest detail can come here, darkest detail can go down a bit and then brightest detail, can be up here. I mean, even just subtle changes like that makes a big difference. Overall, this is how I would work and refine the rest of the details. Really after this point, it's all about using the techniques that we already worked with. 57. Reaper - Adding cast shadows: One additional thing that is worth remembering and not to forget is to add Drop Shadow. If I just turn back the layer with the moon under the artwork, we had the moon somewhere in the reference layer. Let's just turn back the moon there. It is more of like an artistic detail that we have in the background. It's not actually helping because the light source seems like it's behind the little character. Actually let's just turn that off for now, let's not get confused about that. But we would definitely need to have a cast shadow because without that, it's just floating in space. What I would do is to create, just to indicate this very quickly and simply, I would create a big circle or ellipse, place it at the bottom of this layer. I'm going to set this to a darker color than the background, and I'm going to also set it to multiply. It just gets even darker than that. Then we can use several different ways, either use the Gaussian Blur or what I sometimes use especially for cast shadows, that I think is a little bit more effective, is the Feather feature. With Feather, we can increase the amount of it and it's basically going to feather out the edges. We can get something like this. Immediately you can see how this feels more grounded. But I wouldn't stop at using a single circle. I would actually duplicate this, and I'm going to create a separate layer for this object, sorry for the shadows, and put it underneath the artwork. We'll just call it "cast shadow.". Lock the artwork for now so it doesn't get in the way. When I select this, it's going to change the color of the layer as well, so we can see it better when I make selections. When I select this, I can Alt click and drag to duplicate, and then I would create a much darker detail around the darkest point, which would be somewhere around here, where the cape is the closest to the ground. You can see how that, now really almost like sits on the ground, that detail of the Cape. While here we have a little bit more light penetrating those details. But then I'm going to duplicate this circle again, make it smaller and just place it near the stick that is on the ground. I would keep in mind what the light source is or where the light source is coming. It's coming from the left, so the shadow needs to go the other direction like this. Now of course, this can also be set to a higher Feather value, so going into the Feather option, we can increase the Feather value, something like that, so it bends a little bit better, and even the edges of this can be adjusted a bit so it doesn't have to stay in an ellipse form. It can be adjusted to the shape of the object. I'm just going to drag these points around a bit and maybe increase the Feather or reduce a Feather a bit will help, and then maybe just reduce the opacity. Is it already multiplied? Yes, it is. Just going to reduce the opacity. Something along the lines, like that. Adding cast shadow is of course, important to create a more grounded look, but you don't want to lose details like the shoes. You have to think about how to make those pop or get a bit of highlight. Just pay attention to those details. Remember what I mentioned in the beginning that having a little bit more detail added to make sure that you will be able to go in and move things around. This is exactly what I meant. If I come back to these details here, just going to lock the cast shadow, and now I can select the legs. This is exactly what I meant. I can easily move it around and then look at it from a distance and see what works and what doesn't. That way I can move both that leg and then the other leg around. If I feel like I need to change them, like that one looks slightly better. I think, now that I moved it down. 58. Reaper - Organising layers: Having everything in groups also means that I can easily select them. It's worth keeping things together like all of these shading details that we added, which we have here, should be all in the cape group. We should have it inside there and what you can do is to move them, I'll select them all. Let's just select these that actually should be in the skull, that's also in the skull details up till there. If I just cut these out and go into the skull, click on the top object and paste in place Command F or Control F will place them in and also do the same thing for these other details. These are all on the Cape. The mesh, shading, highlight and another shading Control or Command X to cut them out. Go inside the Cape objects, select that base color, which has the free form gradient, and then Control or Command F to paste them in. So they go within the group. So now it's much tie, they are already. So even though I've done them on top, it's still easy to add them into the group where they belong. So now we have them all in one place and then things like the left-hand if I wanted to move around because it's in a group, it's very easy to move it around. So we can turn it around and then do whatever we want with it. I just wanted to point this out. So that's why it's important to have things separated and grouped for convenience and ease of use later on. 59. Reaper - Final thoughts: I think we got to a natural stop here where it would be just repeating all the techniques that I covered, so I wouldn't need to use anything else. It's all about adding more shading. First, I would probably concentrate on the cap because we've done pretty much the skull completely. I will mainly concentrate on the cap and then I would do the hands, the bones on the hands and then a little bit more shading around here on the skull especially on the stuff of it and maybe something on the shoes just so they pop a bit more, but generally, I think we've got quite close to the end result. It probably would take me another hour or two to finesse and refine this to get the final result. But comparing this to the original artwork, if we get the template back, just going to turn it back to a normal layer so we can compare it quickly. So if I turn off my vector artwork, this is the original one and then this is vector version. So we managed to get quite close, obviously, we still have more definition in the digital painting at this point, but don't forget that this version that we created is fully vectorized. Even the roster effects, they can be scaled up to whatever size and they can be printed in whatever size we need. So this is obviously a huge advantage and something that we can easily work with because it's nicely grouped. It's not even that complicated as not many objects here. We managed to keep it quite simple, although we added quite a lot of details. 60. Conclusion: I hope you found this course insightful, and then you picked up some useful techniques and skills from these projects we worked on together. I'm excited to see your versions of these monsters. So please upload them to the assignment section of this course. You can also share them on your preferred social media with #yesimadesigner. So we can find it and share it with all of our followers. If drawing three monsters were not enough, you can experiment with some other character sketches I included in the course files. I hope you will join me again in one of my other courses soon. In the meantime, have fun learning my friend.