How to Create Paper Art in Procreate: From Sketch to Final Piece (Free Brushes & Files) | Lettie Blue | Skillshare

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How to Create Paper Art in Procreate: From Sketch to Final Piece (Free Brushes & Files)

teacher avatar Lettie Blue, Architect & Digital Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Sketching

    • 3. Adding Color

    • 4. Adding Shadows

    • 5. Drawing Feathers

    • 6. Bonus: Flower Comb

    • 7. Adding Textures

    • 8. Final Touches

    • 9. Conclusions

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About This Class

Hi! My name is Lettie and I love to create all kind of illustrations in Procreate. Pushing the limits of this awesome app is something that I really enjoy. I especially like to use it for creating realistic paintings, watercolors, animations and paper cut style illustrations.

You’ve been asking me for a while how I give my characters illustrations a paper-cut feel.Well, your wish has been granted, because in this class we will create exactly that, a paper cut layered illustration in Procreate!


This is a step-by-step class, we will make together the sketch… add color… then shadows and… finally, texture to our illustration.

In this class we will cover things like:

  • Symmetry tool.
  • Customizing QuickMenu.
  • Clipping & Layer Masks.
  • Modifying Brush Settings.
  • Different ways to add paper texture to our drawings.

And much more! 

You can download in the “Project and Resources” tab, all the custom brushes, palettes, drawing studies, my sketch and also the images, that you will need to draw along with me. If you are interested in getting all my Seamless Paper Texture Brushes you will find them in here.

Basic knowledge of Procreate is recommended but not required to take this class. Having said that, let’s get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Lettie Blue

Architect & Digital Illustrator


Here you will find my most comprehensive Procreate classes. They will take you from Procreate beginner to master in a few days. Each class is designed to teach you all the essential tools and techniques needed to master Procreate. You can watch the classes in order or jump into the specific tool or feature you want to learn more about. The choice is yours!

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Lettie and I love to create all kinds of illustrations in Procreate. Pushing the limits of this awesome app is something that I really enjoy. I especially like to use it for creating realistic paintings, watercolors, animations, and paper-cut style illustrations. You have been asking me for a while how I give my characters illustrations a paper-cut feel. Well, your wish has been granted. Because in this class we will make this illustration. This is a step-by-step class. We will make together the sketch, add color, then shadows and finally texture to our illustration. You can download in the project and resources tab all the custom brushes, palettes, drawing studies, my sketch, and also the images that you will need to draw along with me. Basic knowledge of Procreate is recommended but not required to take this class. Having said that, let's get started. 2. Sketching: Sometimes the most difficult part is to decide what to draw. Well, this time I have taken the decision for you, we are going to draw a geisha. Well, actually we are going to draw maiko because they wear more flashy, her ornaments, makeup, and clothes. What am I talking about? What is a maiko? A maiko is a geshia apprentice. Don't worry, I've also done a study for you, so you can understand the differences between a geisha and a maiko. What kind of kimono and sandals they wear, their hairstyles, et cetera. In case you want to add more things to your class project. This subject is chosen, so let's start sketching. We can draw from life, our imagination, our reference photo but what I like to do is to make a few studies of the subject matter. This way it's much more easier to draw from our imagination and the result will be something original and uniquely ours. First getting, I use as subdued blue and my sketching brush. The opacity sets to about 40 percent, you can download my sketching brush or use the default Soft Brush as you prefer. They are pretty similar. Reducing the opacity of the brush when the sketching is especially useful if you draw with your finger or if you use a pencil that doesn't have pressure sensitivity. All you have to do is to start sketching with low opacity and then increase it to darken the lines you want to keep for your final drawing. Let me disabled touch actions again, so I can't draw with my fingers or my palm and mess up my drawing accidentally. I just want to be able to draw with my pencil. Download the maiko template file or create a new artwork and name the first layer Sketch 1. Let's start composing our illustration by drawing a few basic shapes. A circle for the head, wait here until “Ellipse created” message appeared, then put a finger on the screen so it turns into a perfect circle. This will be the chin, and here will be the eyes, eyebrows, nose, and mouth. I know it's tempting but try not to draw a super beautiful and detailed face and then continue drawing the rest of the composition. We have to set all in place before we start adding details. I learned this important lesson when I was studying architecture and one of my teachers said to me, "what a wonderful doorknob you've drawn. What about the rest of the house? Where is it?" You will never get a balanced composition if you start drawing in detail a very small part of the whole composition. You don't want to erase a super beautiful and detailed part of your drawing for anything in the world. Me neither. Our first step will be always to create a rough sketch and once we have everything in place and only then, we can start adding more and more details to our sketch. Let's define the feathers a little bit, eyes, cheeks, hairline, and the hair ornaments that are called kanzashi. Let's sketch an iris flower here they are red bow that they usually where. Here, I will draw a flower comb, here a hair ornament called ogi. and here, a hairpin called tama. I will fill this circle with a Seigaiha pattern, that is a traditional Japanese symbol. I will add a few more details over here. I'm done with this sketch. You can work with this sketch but I usually create one or two more. I will create a new layer named it "Sketch OK" because I will try not to make more than two sketches for this class. I don't want to bore you. Decrease is a layer opacity of the sketch number 1, and now we are going to turn our sketch into a more defined and detailed drawing. As the human body is relatively symmetrical, we are going to use the symmetry tool so go to actions, Canvas, turn on drawing guide, and then tap edit drawing guide. Tap on symmetry, and then done. If you can't draw on your Canvas, is because you didn't tap done and you're still in edit mode. Now, our current layer is assisted see? This tool makes half of the drawing for us. Everything we draw on any of the sides of the canvas, will be mirrored on the other one. Cool. If you want to know more about this tool, check out my class “Symmetry Drawing in Procreate”. In my drawing, only a small part of the kimono will be visible so I will draw the part of the hair that I want to be symmetric and turn off drawing assist. Now, I can draw the asymmetrical parts like the Japanese crane. I've made a drawing study for you of this bird, you can download it and use it as a reference if you need to. Or if you prefer to draw her holding a traditional Japanese paper umbrella, you can download the maiko and umbrella sketch and the umbrella study. We can draw the whole hair using the symmetry tool. But I prefer it to be a bit unsymmetrical. Maiko usually wear a red bow and the hairpins are usually seasonal flowers. I'm drawing ha purple iris They wear this in May. Now, I am drawing an ogi. It is composed of metal strips attached by rings and they tinkle when maiko move their head. Besides decorating their hair, it is believed that they were used also as a self-defense weapon because they have a long sharp pin. I've even read somewhere that they dip the tips in poison. Let's flip the canvas to see if our composition is balanced. I don't like very much how the wing looks, so let me change it a little bit. Now I think it looks better. What else? Well, we can leave the hair divided into four parts as it is right now, which will need fewer layers but drawing more hair locks will make our paper cut illustration much more interesting. Because each lock will cast a shadow over the next one, and we'll create a 3D effect. For May's kanzashi, maikos choose not only flowers of wisteria or iris. But also dancing butterflies on their kanzashi. So that's why I am drawing a few butterflies here and there. Well, because of that and because they look nice in my composition. Finally, I will pay attention to her makeup. Maiko usually show thin line of skin without make-up around the hairline. Also they wear red only the bottom lip for the first year. They start to wear red on their upper lip in the second year. But it is only partially painted. Well, I think this is done. I make my sketches in procreate but if you are just starting to use this app and you feel more confident making your sketches on real paper or do just got inspired when you don't have your iPad and had to draw on a paper napkin, does this never happen to you? Really? Anyhow, Procreate gives you the option to take a photo of your napkin, I mean you're drawing and also to insert a photo. This way you can also import my sketch. Although I highly recommend you to try to make your own and use mine only as a reference. You will feel super proud that you have made the whole illustration on your own. Once we have our sketch done, we will decrease the layer opacity or set it to multiply as you prefer and we will keep always our sketch layer at the top of our layers panel. 3. Adding Color: To get a paper cut effects in Procreate requires to create a serious amount of layers, especially if the illustration is not very simple. Real paper art works are frequently multi-layered works. So to reproduce them digitally, we have to create a new layer for each piece of paper. Which means that we will have a ton of pieces of paper in our layer panel placed on top of each other. Are you used to working with layers? If so, you already know that we have to be very organized. If you usually work using one layer or just a few, get ready to name every layer you create and to group them. All these will be a chaos. I recommend you to download and use the maiko template that I've created for you. I think it will help you create your first paper cut style illustration. Don't feel overwhelmed about using a ton of layers and groups. Where do we start? The process to create these will be pretty similar to the actual layer paper cutting work. We will start from the bottom to the top. The bottom layer will be the background. What kind of background do we want? If we want no background or a plain color background, we can use a background layer that comes by default. Which by the way, we cannot delete. If we are looking for a textured or patterned background, we will need to create a new layer. In this case, the background color is a bit dark. It's difficult to see our sketch. To make this easier for you, we are going to focus on creating the Maiko and the Crane first. The body of the Crane is the piece of paper that we have to create first, because it is behind the Maiko. We are going to use this color. You can download also this color palette. These are the colors we are going to use for the Maiko, her hair ornaments, the Crane, this is the one I used to make the sketch. Pure white and pure black for creating highlights and shadows and background colors that we will change for imported images later. Let's choose the monoline brush. This time we need to draw clean, well-defined lines. As said, we are going to start outlining the Crane body. Then fill it using the color drop tool. A Part of the Maiko's neck is gray now. Maiko's neck layer will be on top of this one. Don't worry about it. As soon as we add color to the neck, the problem will be solved. It takes less time to do this, this way. I've created the layers in order for you. You just have to go to the next layer and repeat the process. In this case, you can turn on Drawing Assist to make the app draw half of the neck for you. Select this color, outline, and fill. Go to the Kimono layer, change the color and align it. As you see, we only need to be precise on the parts that won't have any piece of paper on top. I mean the part of these layer that won't be hidden by the rest of the layers. In the next layer we will draw the golden pattern of the Kimono. We need to insert an image and create a clipping mask to add the golden touches to our illustration. As this is your first paper cut illustration, let's skip this layer for now. Red color by tradition and new Maiko's color is red and unadorned. Later on, elaborate white, silver or gold embroidery is added to simplify her increased experience. When she becomes acacia, her color will turn from red to solid white. Now we are going to draw this part of the hair that is behind the rest of the hair locks. Even though it seems to be black, this color is dark gray. Try not to use black to fill your pieces of paper or you won't be able to see the cast shadows on them. Face and Ears, turn on Draw Assist. In here we are going to draw the areas of the face where they don't put makeup. So let's draw the ears these way. We don't need to draw the whole ear because they will be partially hidden behind the hair. White face, in here, we will draw the white makeup. Originally, the white mask base was made with lead. Yeah, that's poisonous but they didn't know it. After discovering that, it was replaced with rice powder mixed with water. Well, at least that's not poisonous. Takes, as you see, these layer has an arrow pointing out the white face layer. This means that the clipping mask option is turned on. In this layer, I will make a circle, but only the part of the circle that overlaps the white phase will be visible. I explain exactly how clipping and layer masks work in my class about masking in Procreate. Let's pick this color and make a circle. Touch the screen with one finger to turn on the quick shape option, and big or small the circle is perfect as long as we keep our finger touching the screen. Feel it. If I turn off clipping mask, we can see the whole circle. Super longer necks and two circles for each cheek is something that all my paper cut portraits have in common. Just delete the layer if you don't want to make two circles. Eyeshadow, Maiko use a noticeable amount of red make-up around the eyes. Let's choose red and the sketching brush. Make sure your brush opacity is low. Let's increase the size a little bit, yeah, the size is perfect. Let's turn on Draw Assist and make the eye shadow. Here we are going to draw the white of the eye. So let's choose white, and I am going to use the whiskers brush so I can draw these pointy eyes easily. She's going to have brown eyes. Let's pick this color and draw a circle. I already have a clipping mask link to this layer, so I will create a layer mask to hide the part of the brown circle I don't want to be visible. Oops, wrong brush. Let's choose the same I was using for painting. Tap the paint icon then tap and hold on the eraser until Erase with current brush popups. Much better. Now, go to the clipping mask. This is something that I usually do, but not necessary at all. So if you want to skip this step and delete the layer to have more layers to work with, no problem. What I do is to use the Bonobo chalk brush to add a bit of texture and volume to the eyes. Eyes shadow. We are going to create the filler and that they're part of our illustration we are going to draw right now is translucent paper. She's great and let's draw it. How did we get this effect? Well, using the Multiply blend mode and decreasing the layer opacity easiest by. Eye lashes, for the eyelashes we are going to use black and the whiskers brush. Let's see how it looks. I think it's still thick. Let's decrease the brush size and try again. Now, eye brows. I've chosen red because that's the color of the makeup they use for their eye brows, nostrils, and mouth. I put these in the same layer because I don't create a paper caliphate for the nostrils and mouth. The lines of the nostrils are so thin that they don't look good with a big shadow. If we create a small one, we won't see it because the nostrils are black. We won't see the inner mouth shadow either because it is behind the lips. Save as many layers as you can when creating these illustrations. You will need them later. Let's make the lips. We are going to use the same color we used for the white face layer, but we are going to decrease its brightness a little bit. Let's turn off the visibility of the sketch layer to see how it looks. It looks good so let's create the upper lip using the same color. Now we are going to use red to paint partially her lips. Lower lip first, and now the upper lip, and let's see how it looks. Well, I don't like it. It needs more black I think. I think I will get rid of the white part. Yes, now it looks better. Flower comb. We are going to skip these layer because we will create a flower comb here but we will do it duplicated and decreasing the size of these flower which is not done yet. Next layer, hair, as you see, we have many layers called hair. We need a different layer for each hair look. The only hair looks that we will be able to put together are this symmetrical ones. We are going to start creating the bottom-most piece of paper. Then invert the layer so we can outline the hair log that goes on top of the one we just draw. Go to the next layer and create the next hair logs. Then repeat the process. Now we are going to draw this central part. This is not symmetrical, so we don't need to turn on drawing assist, let's invert these part so we can see what we are doing, and repeat the process again. Invert the color of the legs again. Yeah. We cannot see the legs of her, but they are there and we'll grade when we add the shadows. But first, we have to focus on making the crane. I will show you two ways for creating the crane feathers. For the first one, we are going to need only four layers, and for the second one, we are going to need so many layers that we are going to create it using a new file. Let's start with the easy one. Go to the feathers number one layer, choose this color, and a stagled line the black feathers. Once again, if you are not using my color palette, choose any dark color but black. Use black only for the shadows. Fill it and let's draw the white feathers, feathers too very light gray, well, the gray so light that I can't see what I am drawing so let's change the background color. Much better. There must be a small gap somewhere. Decrease the colored threads and problem solved. Now tap invert and decrease the layer opacity so we can see the sketch. Go to the layer feathers number 3 and let's draw more white feathers. Fill this and lets fill the gaps too. I think there are no gaps left in the wind. Let's invert the color again. Go to feathers number three in decrease its opacity. I think we don't need to invert the color. Lets see. I can't see what I am doing I am going to invert the color and decreases the layer opacity a bit more. Much better. Back to feathers number 3, 100 percent opacity and Invert color. The wing is done. Next layer the black part of the cranes neck. Let's use these dark color. Outline the white part and fill it. Now let's paint the red crown. Did you know that in Japan these birds symbolize longevity, good luck, and happiness? Let's invert this layer and create a new layer for drawing the eyes or draw them in the red layer if you want to add a shadow to them later, or in the white one if you don't want to add a shadow. Now we are going to make the beak. The crane is done too. Its time to draw the shapes of the hair ornaments. I've inverted the color of the hair layers again. We are going to start drawing a simplified version of an ogi. It is a metal fan shaped with streamlines. Really beautiful, but we cannot see the fan in this front view, so we will represent it making a straight line. We will modify the default monoline brush to represent the reins that join the fan with the streamers. Duplicate the brush first, I will show you what you have to do. Go to the brush settings, then stroke, and set that spacing to max to turn the brush into something similar to a stump. See, or set the spacing to about 65-70 percent to create a dotted line. Wait until line created pop-ups, then put a finger on the screen to make it perfectly horizontal. I will tap reset because I already have my dotted line brush below this one. Use the LB custom monoline to make the streamers. As you've seen, the lines that we are creating with it are rectangles. The edges are not rounded, and that's exactly what we are looking for. In the same layer, we are going to draw the bean of the tama kanzashi. Now let's go to the next layer and draw the ball. I've chosen this steel color because it looks nice and the composition. But traditionally, a red tama is worn during the month of October to May and a green tama is worn from June to September. By the way, tama means ball so this kanzashi has a ball which is typically made of coral or jade. It is one of the most popular types of kanzashi. Let's come back to the previous layer and draw some parts of the red ribbon. Wait a second, I need to invert the color of the bond first. Draw the two strips of the red ribbon forming an inverted V. Go to the next layer and draw half of the knot. Draw the other half in the layer above. What we are doing is to divide each object into as many different parts as possible and drawing that parts into different layers so when we create the shadows, we will get a more beautiful and realistic paper cut effect. I am thinking that the ogi will look better if we duplicate this part. Copy and Paste it. Move it a little bit to the right and merge it with the layer above it. Now we need to make these part longer. Good. It's time to create the iris flower. Let's start with the leaves. Usually in Japan, irises bloom from May to July. I've read that for Japanese people, the iris has the ability to purify evil energies. Next layer, petals 1. There are quite a few different species of iris, but the Japanese ones have a beautiful bluish-purple color so that's the color we are using for our design. In order to create a more interesting piece, we are going to draw in the next layer, three light purple shapes. Go to Petals 2, Tap and Hold with your fingers the petals number one layer to select its content. We don't want to draw anything outside the bluish-purple petals. Go to Petals 3 and draw the yellow parts. Go to Petals 4 and draw the veins using the whiskers brush. I am making a very simplified version, but feel free to recreate them as you want. Finally, go to Petals 5 and draw the rest of the petals. Not only they may come flashy and inspired by these beautiful seasonal flowers, iris designs have been used on their kimonos for centuries. They also appear in many paintings and Haiku poems. Now that we almost have all the pieces of paper done, let's work on the background. Go to the Teal Background layer, fill it. Now we are going to make a circle. Create a new layer above the Teal Background. Choose any color it doesn't matter. We are just going to create a circular shape and apply a pattern to it. Fill the circle and center it. Let's see how it looks there. I think it is a bit high. Now we are going to add a button to the circle. Create a layer Mask. Tap on the razor icon and select the Seigaiha pattern. 100 percent opacity and let's say if we have to change the brush size. Yeah, let's make it smaller. It looks like we got it out from the Teal layer. Well, it looks like that, but it is not yet because we can't see the yellow layer below. Let's get it out. Merge the layers, select its content, go to the Teal Background layer and create a layer Mask. Then invert the Mask, and delete the layer above. Oops, it seems procreated and needed to break. Now we see the yellow layer through the pattern. These will look great when we add the shadows. But first, we have to make the golden details of the kimono. We are going to use the same pattern brush. Decrease in size of the brush, and let's see if it is small enough. This brush is made to align itself with the top of the screen. See, that's why I've rotated the canvas. I will use these pattern for the color of the kimono. By the way, did you know that kimono literally means thing to wear? I got creative on the rest of the golden details, and they ended up having nothing to do with the kimono. Well, we are artists. Everything is allowed in our illustrations. Let's draw the butterflies. I've made two butterfly, as stump brush is for use. Select one of them. These brushes work like the pattern 1. The butterfly will be always looking up. What we are going to do is to rotate the canvas and then stamp them in the position you want to. If you wanted it to be smaller, just decrease the brush size or increase it if you wanted to be bigger. Let's invert the hair color again to see them better and stamp a few butterflies. 4. Adding Shadows: Once we have how our clash done, the next step is to add the shadows. But first, I recommend you to duplicate the file. Why? Well, because we will run out of layers and we will try to solve this issue, merging layers and erase layers that sometimes should not be erased or merged. This way we can work without the fear of messing things up. Open the first file, go to "Actions, " you can turn off drawing guide if you want to, but where we need to go is to "Canvas information." Here we find the layers used and the maximum layers that we are able to create in these Canvas size. When creating paper cut style illustrations, we need to have at least the same number of used layers than Layers available, so I need to free 12 layers. Okay, let's do this. Go to the layer panel, we are going to delete and merge a few layers, let's get rid of the sketches. That's the layer for the paper texture, I will try not to delete it so far, we can merge the big and the red crown because they are pieces of paper that go on top of everything and they are close, but they do not touch each other. I usually don't add shadow to the shapes or lines that are very small or thin, so I will merge the eyes with the white layer. Let's get rid of this layer because we will create it when the shadows are done, we won't give the nostrils and mouth a shadow so let's merge this layer with the face. I will do the same with the eye shadow. Procreate count, layer and clipping masks as normal layers, so here we have three layers for the eye, let's turn them into one. We can also merge the hair layer with the neck because they do not touch each other and both are just above the cranes body, I will merge the golden details with the white face and defacing ears with the red color and the kimono, the red color touches the kimono. But in this case it doesn't matter because the cranes head is above them, I will merge these two as well, and well, I think I cannot easily merge more of them. Let's see if I've freed enough layers, yes, I only have 43 layers used now. How are we going to give each layer a shadow? Well, we will start with the bottom most layer and end with the uppermost one. The golden background is layer on which we will glue the rest of the pieces of paper, it doesn't need a shadow. Go to teal background, duplicate it, merged the layer with the Layer Mask, pick black, select the content of the layer and then tap on fill layer, this is the process we are going to repeat to create all the shadows. We also have to decide where our light source is to move the shadows accordingly. Let's make an example, if the light comes from here, we will move the shallow layer towards here, the shadow cast by a paper onto another paper is generally short, so I usually move it using the transform tool and tap in a few times on the canvas in the opposite direction to the light, see, the shadow is appearing. The more times we tap, the longer we'll be the shadow, and the longer the shadow, the farther away will look the teal background from the golden one. The next step is to soften the shadow, we will use the Gaussian blur tool. Usually around 12 percent looks good, but it depends on the effect we want to create and the size of the piece of paper. Let's undo this because we are going to create all the shadows first and then select them and move them all together, so what we are going to do now is to duplicate layers and turn them black. Let's duplicate even more, we can't duplicate multiple layers at once. Well, the truth is that we can do it by dragging them into the canvas, but if we do that, they will appear duplicated at the top of our layer panel, and we will have to rearrange them, so it's not worth it. Each shadow layer has to be below the piece of paper that cast it, and now let's turn black to duplicate it once. This is a bit tedious, but for the moment, we can't change the color of multiple layers at the same time. Once we have all our shadow layers filled with black, what we are going to do is to select them, to move them at once, tap "transform". Let's hold here to see the whole drawing, and now let's see what position of the shadows we like the most or make our illustration look more free dish. I usually move them down or down and a little bit to the right or to the left, because as you see, the face casts a shadow onto the neck that gives the illustration and sense of volume. In this case, the same happens with the feathers, but the ribbon on the kimono looks flat, so let's try a different position. What about here? Not bad, the ribbon in the kimono look better, what about to the left? I don't think so, I will come back to this position, I like how the ribbon looks. Next step, soften the edges of the shadows, I will start with the butterflies, I will move the shadow a little bit. Now the butterflies are as they were farther away from the background, go to "Actions" and then "Gaussian blur". I think about 10 looks good, it looks good. I usually apply between 9-14 percent of Gaussian blur to most of my shadows, but just zoom in and apply the percentage you feel necessary, let me go ahead and finish softening the edges. Well, the lips, I think the lip shadows are too long, so I will move them closer to the lips. Probably you will need to move some of the shadows independently, because small pieces of paper will need to have shortened darker shadows than bigger ones, also, the longer the shadow the far away from the closest piece of paper. Move all the shadows you want to, but move them always, in the same direction or they illustration will look weird, one light source, one shadow direction. The white lips still don't look good to me, so I will see if they look by decreasing the layer opacity. I've never drawn a portrait with four lips before, maybe that's why I am not sure about how this is looking. I will move the cheeks shadows closer to, and decrease its opacity. Well, these is almost done, phase in golden details, kimono, neck and bur, green body and the background, and this is done, good job. Now the next step will be to add paper textures to our illustration, but first, I want to show you what I do when I need more layers than the ones available per canvas to create a paper cuts style illustration. 5. Drawing Feathers: The feathers of the cranes when would look nicer if we drew them as if each feathers were a piece of paper. We drew the whole wing using only four layers for the pieces of paper, and another four for the shadows. We still have to add the paper texture, and we have already used 82 layers. How can we create more feathers without running out of layers? Well, the first thing we have to do is to duplicate our backup layer. We will need this sketch layer back and we erased the did in our current campus. It's good to have a backup. Open the a new duplicated file. We are going to merge all of the layers that are not part of the crane. We just need these layers as a reference, but we can merge more of them or even delete them if we run out of layers in this campus. Remember that this is only a copy of our illustrations, so don't worry, we cannot mess things up. Just have fun. Turn on the visibility of the sketch layer and delete the content of the feathers layers. What we are going to do now is to draw just one feather per layer. Let's start with the black ones, because they are the ones that are further back. You may think that the order we create layers doesn't really matter because we can rearrange them later. That's the great thing about digital art. But the truth is, if we are not extremely organized, we are going to lose a lot of time rearranging layers. Before drawing anything, think about the first thing you need to draw to make the process easier and enjoyable for you, talking about making the process easier, well and faster. I recommend you to add the option new layer in the quick menu. My quick menu appears when I tap here. Not sure how it comes by default. Go to prefs, gesture controls, and then quick menu. As you see, there are many options available to invoke the quick menu. I have this one turned on. Tapping on holding onto buttons you can customize them. This will allow us to create each piece of paper or feather in a different layer super fast. You see? I am going super fast. I wish I could draw this fast. Change the color to grip some white feathers. Let's come back to the super fast mode. Wow, we've already created quite a few layers. Many more to go, but I promise all of these will be worth it. It will look great. I will turn off the long white feathers so I can see what I am about to draw. You can invert the color of the layers instead, if you want to keep them as a reference. Let's turn them on again and continue drawing them in super fast mode. Once we have all the feathers, let's check out how many layers we have used. We need to get rid of a few layers for being able to create the shadows. Let's keep only the feathers and delete the rest of the layers. Now duplicate all the layers. Spoil out layer. We are going to ran out of layers. There are no more layers available, see? What can we do now? There are no more layers to delete either. Well, if the Canvas we are using has available less than 128 layers, we can go to Canvas and then tap crop and resizes. To decrease the size of the Canvas and get more layers available. Tap done, and let's continue duplicating layers. Once we have duplicated all the layers, turn the duplicated ones black. Instead of selecting layers content and fill it, we can simply tap invert color. Don't forget we didn't use black for the black feathers, but a dark gray. You need to turn the duplicated feathers black or you won't see the cast shadows on the black feathers. All the shadow are done. Let's select them and move them all together. Try to move them in the same direction you did the rest of the micro shadows. This is almost all done. We just need to soften the edges of the shadows using Gaussian blur. Let's go on supervised mode again. We are done, isn't it's beautiful? It's time to see how it looks in our micro illustration. Turn off the background layer, three finger downwards and tap copy O. Exit to the gallery and open in the micro file. Open the layer panel, look for the feathers and paste the new wing above. Move it if it's necessary and delete the group of feathers we need in the previous videos. 6. Bonus: Flower Comb: In this video, we will create a flower cone by duplicating and rotating this flower. If you don't have enough layers available, exit to the gallery and these time duplicate the file with the shadows. The only reference we need is the hair. Get rid of the rest or at least delete some to have enough layers available. Duplicate the iris flower. Let's close the groups and move one of them and place it just below the bottom layer of the central part of the hair, tap transform. We have to decrease its size and move it here. Let's decrease it a little bit more and make it smaller. Duplicate the group and flatten it. Move it, duplicate the flower, and move it here. Let's duplicate it again and place it here. I don't want all the flowers in the same position, so let's duplicate the group again, move it, rotate it, and fill with it one of the gaps. This is quite small and we can barely see that the shadows are not in the same direction of the rest of the shadows in the illustration. But we are going to fix this anyway. Select the shadow layers and be sure you have selected demo and place them in the right position. Duplicate and flatten the group a couple of times and fill the gaps. Once you finish, you can turn off the layers but the flower once and use copy all as we did in the previous video or simply merge them. Let's change the name and straight fingers downwards and copy. Exit to the gallery, open the Maiko file, look for the perfect place for it, and paste it. 7. Adding Textures: In this video, I will show you two different ways to add texture to our paper cuts illustration. For the first method, we will import an image into our canvas, putting photos in a split view. We are going to import a golden texture for our butterflies. Tap on the butterflies layer and import a texture above it. The grain of this texture is big, so let's decrease the image size a little bit. Let's increase its brightness. I think it would look better. I'll move the image here. I've placed it above the butterfly shadow layer. Now it is where it has to be. Tap on it and turn it into a clipping mask. Now we have golden butterflies. Let's do the same with the beak. Duplicate the golden layer, and move it just above that red layer. We merge the beak in the red shape and both shapes are going to turn golden. But there is nothing that the eraser can't fix. Turn inserted image into a clipping mask again. Nothing has changed, because the layer is over there. Let's move it here, decrease its size a little bit more simply because it looks better. Use the razor to get rid of this part. I am not a big fan of the razor. I prefer to use layer masks instead, but we need to use the layers wisely, if we don't want to run out of layers. The golden details of the Kimono should be golden. Let's repeat the process. Duplicate the layer, move it above the golden details layer, move the image, and it is done. Easier spy. The golden background should be golden too. Duplicate the image, move it, rename it if you want to, delete this one. We will need to make it bigger. I don't want to make the grain bigger, so let's duplicate it. Move it. We cannot see the seam so that's great. We can merge the layers then. Now, drag and drop the teal image. Make it as big as the canvas, place it above the layer mask, and turn it into a clipping mask. In just a few seconds, we've created a really nice and textured background without effort, isn't it cool? Sometimes we like to texture of an image but not the color. For example, I want this to have a silver texture, but I didn't find any silver texture I liked. What can I do? Well, let's duplicate the golden texture. Turn off the clipping mask to see the texture better, go to adjustments and then hue, saturation, and brightness. Desaturate the image and increase its brightness. Now we have just what we were looking for. Let's move it and make it smaller and create two clipping masks with it. Move it or simply use the razor to get rid of the parts that we don't want to be similar. For the second method, we will use paper texture brushes. These are the ones I use to create my paper cut style illustration. You can now load the ones we are going to use in this class. The first one we are going to use is this, crumpled paper. This is one of my favorites. We are going to add this texture to the wing of the crane. Create a new layer above it, pick black. Don't forget to turn the layer into clipping mask, and simply paint over it. I just love this effect. What do you think? If it is too dark for you, you can always decrease the layer opacity. Let's add the same texture to the body of the crane. There are no more layers available again. Let's see if we can clean something up. For example, we can delete all these layers. Actually, I don't know why they are still here. If there is no way you can get more layers, you can turn on Alpha lock, swiping left with two fingers and apply the texture. But if you do this this way, try not to change your mind later. If it isn't dark enough, we can apply the texture again. We can also add these texture to the black part, create a clipping mask or turn on Alpha lock, and change the color to white. I know I did not pick white in the video, that's why you can't see the texture, and why I kept thinking what is not working? I think my brain needed a break. Well, as you see, I use the same brush to add texture to the whole crane. I think it looks nice. I usually apply different textures to each piece of paper using clipping masks or Alpha lock, depending on how many layers I have left. But if you don't want to add texture layer by layer, you can create a new layer at the top and choose a texture for all the drawing. Let's try with this one. I think it darkens too much the illustration. Let's try decreasing the layer opacity. No, let's try a different one. I am looking for something more subtle. Maybe the fine texture too subtle now. What about a watercolor paper? Yeah, this is perfect. If you want to add this texture to the whole drawing but the wing for example, just select the content of the layer, go to the paper texture layer, create a layer mask, and tap Invert. 8. Final Touches: Okay, final touches. To make this look more like real paper art, we have to draw the thickness of the paper somehow. When we use scissors to cut a piece of paper, the edges of the paper are not perfect. Highlights and shadows appear and emphasize its thickness. We can clearly see highlights here and shadows here. If we look more closely, we can see more subtle highlights here and more subtle shadows here. This is what we are going to try to reproduce in our illustration. This step takes a lot of time. Let's focus on drawing the highlights and shadows on the iris flower. Let's start with the leaves, create a layer above and turn it into a clipping mask or if you don't have more layers available, use alpha lock instead. Let's start with the shadows. We will use black in this brush. Don't forget to decrease the brush opacity until, let's say about 20-30 percent, okay? Of course, use a small brush. Light comes from here, so we will use white to draw the highlights this way. We can also add subtle shadows if you want to. Don't worry about making these lines perfect, okay? In fact, you will get a more realistic effect if some of your lines are thicker than others. Because it will look like the paper is a little bit crumple in some parts. Well, we just have to repeat and repeat this process. This is a painstaking task, but it's this small details that make the difference. 9. Conclusions: Well, that's all for now. I hope you have enjoyed this step - by - step class and learned a lot of new things. If you have any questions, get down to the community tab or contact me by email or on social media. I will be happy to help you. I can't wait to see your class projects and don't forget to tag me if you publish your paper cuts style illustration on Instagram, so I can see what you create. Thank you very much for watching, and see you the next time.