Fun and Simple Stickers: Turn Your Drawings into Whimsical Stickers | Nansu Laine | Skillshare

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Fun and Simple Stickers: Turn Your Drawings into Whimsical Stickers

teacher avatar Nansu Laine, Self-taught illustrator

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. References

    • 4. Tracing

    • 5. Simplifying Your Subject

    • 6. Starting Your Sticker Sheet

    • 7. Quick Colour Theory

    • 8. Printing Your Stickers

    • 9. Outro

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About This Class

Hello everyone,

In this class you will learn how to illustrate some fun and simple doodles and turn them into your very own sticker sheet. We will go through the entire process, all the way from finding inspiration, to finishing your drawing, exporting and turning your doodles into stickers!

In this class you will be shown:

  • Where to find reference pictures and what to look for in them
  • How to use tracing as a training tool
  • How to break your references into simpler shapes
  • Learn about Dpi, Ppi and how they affect digital and print resolution
  • Some quick colour theory
  • How to export digital art and how to scan traditional art for printing into stickers
  • Where to get your stickers printed 
  • How to print stickers at home

This class is for anyone who is interested in practicing their line-work, beginners looking for a simple and fun class to get them started, serial doodlers and for all those sticker lovers (like myself) out there!

Please have a quick read of the Class Project description to find out what materials you will need to complete the class project.

If this sounds like fun to you, join the class and let’s get creative!

I have also posted a new class ”Colourful Canvas:Colour Theory for Beginners”, feel free to give that a watch too!

Please follow the links below for further reading via the sources I used for this class:


Dpi and resolution

Colour Theory

Image Source (Pinterest)

All the music used is from Bensound. 

The sound effects are from Myinstants.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nansu Laine

Self-taught illustrator


My name is Nansu and I'm a Finland-born digital illustrator living in London.

​I'm self-taught and draw inspiration from anime, fairytales, tattoo art and social media for my work.

​I like to mix psychedelic visuals with a healthy dose of attitude and sparkles to create ethereal illustrations with lots of detail.

​I'm known for my love of cats, tea and plants and you will seldom come across a piece without at least one of these elements.

I love art, it makes me happy, so I figured I’d spread the happiness by teaching what I love.

I really hope that you learn something valuable from my classes and that you have lots ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello everyone. My name is Nansu and I'm a self-taught digital illustrator from Finland. I'm known for my love of cats, plants, sparkles, and tea. You will seldom come across a piece without at least one of these elements. As an illustrator, I do mostly commission work but I have also worked on fun projects such as coloring book pages and flyer designs. Today, I'll be showing you how to turn your doodles into sticker sheets. This class is suitable for beginners looking for a fun and simple place to start, as well as advanced artists looking to turn their work into stickers. You don't need any previous experience to join this class as we'll be going through everything from finding inspiration, to sketching, to outlining, coloring, and then exporting your work. Both digital and traditional artists can join. The end result for both will be you having a high resolution file of your artwork that you can print into stickers at home or have sent off to be printed professionally. In the next class, we'll go more in depth into the class project. But before that, please have a quick read of the class project description below. After that, I will see you in the next class. 2. Class Project: Hello again and welcome back. In this lesson we will talk more about the class project, and the project for this class is to create your very own sticker sheet. You can pick any theme, such as plants, cats or Halloween. Or you can make a completely mixed theme sticker sheet. I chose this project because it will let you focus more on line work and coloring rather than having to think about perspective and lighting. As mentioned earlier, both traditional and digital artists can join and traditional artists, you will need the following. You will need an A4 piece of paper, a pencil, an eraser, fine liners, any coloring medium, a computer, and a scanner. Digital artists, you will just need your tablet with a drawing programs such as illustrator, procreate or photoshop that you can use to make your sticker sheet. In the next class, I'll talk about where to find and the importance of using references and I will see you there. 3. References: Hello again. Let me show you real quick why references are important. We will draw something that we see every single day of our lives. If we can see it every day, then it shouldn't be a problem. Well, let's test your visual memory. We're going to imagine an ear. Well, we all know what an ear looks like, but imagine the folds in the ear, the shapes of the ear. What does an ear actually look like? I'm going to be including a very short intermission in a moment, so that you can pause the video if you feel like having a go at doodling an ear from memory. All right, folks, intermission coming up. For those who want to have a good doodling, grab some scrap paper and a pencil. Press pause in 3, 2, 1. How did you do? Don't feel discouraged if you couldn't remember every detail. That's what references are for, they're there to help you out. I didn't think it would be fair to ask you to do this exercise without attempting it myself. So up next is a video of me attempting the very same exercise. Up next I'm going to cover some good sources for reference pictures. See you can always take the pictures yourself like I have done here, and use them as a reference for your drawing. It's a little bit time consuming, but the good thing is that you can control the outcome, so you can decide exactly what you want that post to look like. If you do not feel like taking pictures of yourself, there's always the absolute number one source on the entirety of the internet. My absolute favorite. Pinterest is a website where you can search for photos, and then organize them into albums. I love using Pinterest for my reference pictures because you can look up any theme and then just save it into your album and you will basically have it there forever. Like this lovely lady. I'm going to save her up here on the right and add her to my anatomy references album. There we go guys. She's in my anatomy references. In this album, I have lots of pictures of human bodies basically, mostly eyes, hands and feet. Eyes because I love them, hands and feet because they are very difficult to draw, and I need a reference every single time. I also have an album right here that I used for inspiration for my cool kids sticker sheet which is this one, to jog your memories. I will show you some examples of the pictures I used as reference. Here we've got my long board reference along with the finished illustration. As you can see, it's similar, but it's not the same. Here we've got the lighters also similar, but not the same. We don't want to copy, we just want to draw inspiration from. What I'm trying to say is that references are a great resource, but you don't want to completely copy your reference. If you feel like your finished illustration is a little bit too close, then you can post it as a study as long as you credit the original creator of the photo, or the illustration that you used as reference. One thing that is really fun to do is combine your references. I took this pair of sunglasses and this pair, and I made these heart-shaped ones. I liked the shape of the heart sunglasses, but I couldn't see the arms very well, so I looked up a picture of a different pair of sunglasses where the arms were crossed, and I combined them. Here's a quick reference tip, I recommend that you choose a photograph taken at eye level and straight onto the subject like this pair of sunglasses. I would not choose a photograph taken at an angle such as this one. As I mentioned earlier, I want you to be able to focus more on line work and coloring in this project without having to think as much about technical things such as lighting and perspective. I'm going to show you a few more examples. If you want to draw something in a bit more of a challenging perspective, go for it. This is just my recommendation you guys, but you ultimately do whatever you want, it is your sticker sheet. One fun bonus that you can do on Pinterest is look for color pallets. You can just search any color. We're going to search for pink. Look at that, it gives you all of these different pink palates. I think the color palette section of Pinterest is a great tool when you're having art block. I like to just scroll through the pallets when I can't think of anything to draw, and at some point I'll see a palette and it'll just make me think, "Wow, I need to make something with that." I'll make this whole art piece just because of his one color palette that I found. I would highly recommend it. That is the end of our references lesson. Before we move on to the next lesson, I would like for you to create a Pinterest board. Now, the theme for this board should be the same theme that you would like to have on your sticker sheet. Because we will be using these pictures that you save as reference for your stickers. I'm warning you Pinterest is addictive, so set a little time limit for yourself, or you will find that you sit there for hours easily. Anyhow, in the next lesson, we'll talk a little bit more about tracing. I will show you why and how tracing can be a great learning tool. Once you have created your Pinterest board, I will see you in the next lesson. 4. Tracing: Let's talk about tracing. Tracing gets a really bad rep because of art thieves, but tracing isn't all bad. It is actually a great learning tool. You can use tracing to teach yourself to see what you are missing or that you need improvement on. If you were to draw for example, this plant without tracing first and then trace over it as I'm doing now. At the end you can compare your two sketches and it will point out to you all the areas of improvement. Like here, I can immediately see that the vase needed to be smaller, quite a lot smaller, just about like this. I also noticed this little bit right here at the back of the leaf, which adds a nice three-dimensional touch. Another thing I noticed was this leaf, it could do with a lot of improvement, etc. As you can see, tracing in this case help me to see a couple of mistakes that I was making. The next time I draw this plant for practice, it'll be a much better rendering. I also like to use tracing as a warm-up. I will find a picture of something that I want to learn how to draw and I will trace it once or twice. Not only do you get a warm up, but you also learn a little bit more about how to draw this subject. As a little exercise for this lesson, I would like you to either trace a picture that you have picked from Pinterest or trace one of the tracing sheets that I have provided in the project resources. This should get you all warmed up for our next lesson, where we will be learning how to break your subject into simpler parts. So yes, have a go at tracing your item or picture of choice and then I will see you again in the next lesson. 5. Simplifying Your Subject: In this lesson, we're going to be talking about how to break your subject into simpler parts, like this monstera plant. It may look difficult, but really it is just a bunch of hard shapes like this plus flowerpot of course, that are bunched together and surrounded by these little ghost shapes, I would call them, so when you break them into parts like this, suddenly it doesn't seem so overwhelming. Let me show you what I mean. Let's draw a chunky heart. There we are and let us draw the middle line in the middle of the leaf and now add our ghost friends. Once we start adding these ghost friends, the monstera leaf starts to form. Once we erase the little gaps, we've got the leaf. Up next, we go this cactus. This cactus really is just a bunch of circles and ovals interacting. So when we draw it, what we have to keep in mind is just what part is in front and what part is in the back. Add a few Xs and few Vs on the outside and you've got a cactus. This rose is a circle within the circle surrounded by the petals. Very simple and fun to draw, I doodled it on literally everything. My cat dolly is the jelly bean with the little dumpling head, topped by a little pointy ears, a little sausage leg, and her tail. So yes, hopefully this will help you to see the shapes within the subject that you're drawing. Everything is just made of different shapes interacting. Once you start looking at it that way, it just helps make a big drawing more manageable because you can break it into smaller parts. In the next lesson, we will finally be starting our sticker sheets. I will see you in the next lesson. 6. Starting Your Sticker Sheet: We love high-resolution art. The resolution is the amount of detail that an image has. The higher the resolution, the clear and crisper an image is. A low resolution file would often look blocky or pixelated, and we lose all the subtle color variations, et cetera. Obviously, we want our sticker sheets to look their best. There are a few points to consider when creating your digital canvas or scanning your traditional art into a digital file. I'm going to talk to you briefly about screen resolution and print resolution. Screen resolution is measured in pixels. Pixels are tiny squares of color that make up your image, and if you zoom into an image, you will eventually see these pixels. You may have heard or seen the technical term, PPI, which stands for pixels per inch. Then there is print resolution, which is measured in DPI or dots per inch. This is how many dots a printer prints on a piece of paper per inch. 300 DPI is the standard for a good quality print, 400 DPI and up is for high quality printing. You should make sure that your file is at least 300 DPI at the file size that you are planning to print your work. There is actually an equation to help you calculate what your file size should be in pixels if you know the size of your physical print and desired DPI. The equation is as follows, you take the width of your canvas in inches and you multiply it by your desired DPI. This will give you the width that you need for your canvas in pixels, and then you repeat the same procedure for the length of your canvas. For example, we have an A4 piece of paper. This would be 11.69 times 8.26 inches. That is 210 times 297 millimeters for all my metric friends out there. That would make the equation 8.26 times 300. That would give you the width in 2,478 pixels. The length would be 11.69 inches times 300 DPI, and that would be 3,507 pixels. That gets us the size of 2,478 times 3,507 pixels. I would recommend creating a larger DPI than what you intend to use. Because then you can always size up your file if needed. For example, if you create an A4 file at 600 DPI, then you will be able to size it up to an A2 file and still have a resolution of 300 DPI. An A2 file would simply be double the size of an A4 file, making the pixels 4,961 times 7,016 pixels and the inches will therefore be 16.52 times 23.38 inches. I'm so sorry you guys. It's another math equation. This equation can be used to figure out the DPI of your file if you have the length of your canvas in pixels and inches, the equation is as follows, you take the length of your canvas in pixels and you divide it by the length of your canvas in inches. Through this, you will find your DPI. With our A2 file, that would make it 7,016 divided by 23.38, and that gives us 300.08 DPI. By making your A4 file double the standard DPI, so 600, you can up-size it to double the size and get the standard DPI. It's like a two in one, you get a mega super-duper quality A4 file and a super quality A2 file. It's a win-win. I would highly recommend it guys. One thing to keep in mind is that high resolution DPI files are slower to work with. They will take up a lot of space, and if you are in Procreate like me, then you will also be given less layers to work with. Finally, that is all the boring technical stuff out of the way. Now we can move on to the fun stuff. Designing your actual sticker sheet. I would recommend that you choose at least three subjects to draw for your sticker sheet. This will give you that classic sticker sheet look. Next, I'm asking you to choose how you would like to compose them on your sticker sheet. Would you like them in straight rows like my plants sticker sheet? Or would you like a more random placement like my cool kids and space sticker sheets? Once you have decided upon both of these aspects, it is time to start drawing. If you want you can use the tracing sheets that I have provided to use as outlines for your sticker sheet, and you can color them in as you like. The task for this class is to create the outlines for your stickers and post them in the class project below for feedback from our fellow classmates. In the next class, we will be discussing some color theory. Once you've made your outlines and posted them below, then I will see you in the next class. 7. Quick Colour Theory: Let's talk a little bit about color. I love colors, and coloring is my favorite part of making art. I decided to include some quick color theory for you guys. I'm going to start by talking to you about primary colors. Our three primary colors are: red, yellow, and blue. They are called primary, because they cannot be created from mixing other colors together. They stand on their own. They are the parents of all other colors. Technically, and theoretically, you should be able to achieve any color from just mixing red, yellow, and blue together. Then, we have secondary colors, which are: orange, purple, and green. You achieve these colors by mixing two primary colors together, like you can see here. Then we have tertiary colors, which are achieved by mixing one primary color with it's nearest secondary color. The result are these in-between colors, such as blue-green and reddish-orange, and together they make up this very simplified color wheel that I have made for you guys. This is how color would work in a perfect world. But any traditional artist will know that this is not always the case. For example, if you were to mix red and blue paint, you would expect purple. This is often not the case, and you end up with this muddy brown. Color theory is exactly that; a theory. It is not an exact science, it is just more of a fun tool that you can use when you are creating your art. For example, you can use the color wheel to see what colors are complimentary or opposites. Opposite colors will give you an art piece with lots of contrast. On the contrary, if you were to pick colors that are close to each other on the color wheel, then, you would end up with a much softer look, with a lot less contrast. Last but definitely not least, we have black and white. Black and white are not technically colors, they are shades. White is the lack of color. Whereas, black is the result of combining all colors together. There is just so much to talk about when it comes to color, that there's simply not enough time in just one short lesson. I'm just going to leave you with these little basics. I hope that you found this at least a little bit helpful and interesting. The task for this lesson is to color in your sticker sheets. Please, when you are finished post them in the class project below. In the next lesson, we're going to discuss getting your stickers printed. If that sounds like fun to you, then I will see you in the next lesson. 8. Printing Your Stickers: [inaudible] God guys. It is finally time. It is time to turn your artwork into stickers. If you're scanning your artwork, start by finding your scanner on your computer. As I made my stickers digitally, I picked a random old drawing to scan as an example for you guys. When you open your scanner, if you have the same scanner as me, you will be shown a little preview scan of what you are do to scan into the computer. As we discussed in the earlier class, I would personally go for 600 dpi. That will allow me to size my artwork up in case I would like to make a bigger print. You can also choose 300 dpi. This will be a smaller file size, so it will work faster, but you will not be able to size it up in the future. I'm going to save mine on the desktop so that I can actually find it later. I'm going to choose the file type PNG. A PNG file will save in the highest quality possible. A JPEG file will compress the drawing and you will lose quality. I would always go for a PNG file. If you're scanning in 600 dpi like myself, it could take a while. By that I mean, a couple of minutes, while. I don't know. Make a cup of tea while you wait because sitting in front of the computer, we'll get old real fast. But once you have finally scanned your file, you can pull it up and have a little look, and you will be able to see that it is high resolution. Maybe I should have erased my pencil markings before I scan the syn. That's just a tip for you guys, don't do as I did, do as I say. Up next, I'm going to talk briefly about exporting your digital art. With the exporting we did most of the legwork when we created our file. Exporting it is nice and easy. Depending on what program you used, it will be a little bit of a different process. But if you're in procreate like me, you can go into share and choose PNG file. A PNG file will export in the highest quality and you will see less compression that you would with a JPEG file and they will also keep any transparency settings that you may have such as with this illustration of the ghost and the plan shed. The background, as you can see, is completely transparent and the ghost hands are opaque. If you export as a PNG file, then these settings will remain as transparent and opaque. Up next, I will cover printing your stickers professionally. I'm based in the UK and I use a website called StickerApp. StickerApp lets you create your very own sticker sheets. You only have to upload your artwork and pop it on the template and click add to cart and you will be given your very own sticker sheet [inaudible] where the stickers are already pre-cut for you. There is also the option to create these little single stickers. They have a ton of fun options such as holographic, and the glitter, and transparency and you can just go crazy. I love doing this and I chose holographic. These are my two finished stickers. I'm really happy with how they turned out. Next, I will be talking about printing new stickers at home. I ordered this sticker paper from Amazon and decided to give it a try. You have to replace it with the sticker sheet side down, and then go into your computer to find your printer. Once you have found your printer, you will need to well, it was trial and error for me to find the correct setting. But the correct setting for me was photo on glossy paper-fine. I printed this out. It came out a little bit stripy. It was terrible. But if this happens to you, go into your printer and scanner settings and find tools and clean your printed. I had to do this three times before the sticker sheet came out, as I'd like. Every time you clean your printed, you will be given this little report and at the very end, finally, after so many tries, it came out looking beautiful, you guys. These are all my previews tries, and as you can see, each time I cleaned the printed equality got better. One thing I would like to add is that I also printed my darker palette sticker sheets and they came out, not good. Either the printer, or the printer paper, or combination thereof could not handle how dark they were. If you have a darker sticker sheet, I would suggest that you get it printed professionally. Let's compare getting your stickers printed professionally vs printing them at home. The pros for printing professionally, or that the quality is amazing, the stickers are already pre-cut for you, and every detail is crisp and clear. The cons are that it is very expensive. Once taker sheet was 10 pounds, which means if I compare it to printing at home, where a pack of 20 was 16 pounds, you can really see the difference in price. Other than being cheaper, the pros for printing at home are that the quality is very good and you can print many sticker sheets for your buck. The cons for printing at home, or that you have to cut these stickers yourself and that it may take awhile to figure out the correct settings to get your stickers printed in good quality. I hope that this lesson has been useful to you to help you decide whether you would like to print your stickers professionally or if you would like to have a go at printing them at home. Our next lesson, will also be our final one, you guys. It will be our outro. If you have received your final stickers in the mail or if you have printed them on sticker paper, please take some pictures and share those with us too. Well, without further ado, let's go on to the outro. 9. Outro: That is it. You have reached the end of this class. I hope that you had lots of fun and that you learned something new today. Please do share your finished sticker sheets in the class project below, so that we can give you feedback and maybe we can even make some new friends today. Also, leave any suggestions for future classes in the comments as well, and I will read through those too. Thank you so much for taking my class and I hope that I will be seeing you in the next one.