Illustrate People & Scenes in Procreate: Character Design & Composition | Iva Mikles | Skillshare

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Illustrate People & Scenes in Procreate: Character Design & Composition

teacher avatar Iva Mikles, Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

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

23 Lessons (2h 29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Flat vs Realistic Layout

    • 4. Proportions

    • 5. More Characters

    • 6. Busy vs Simple Scene

    • 7. Practice I

    • 8. Overlap

    • 9. Scale

    • 10. Framing

    • 11. Horizon & Point of View

    • 12. Practice II

    • 13. Practice III

    • 14. Scene Concepts

    • 15. Character Interaction

    • 16. Color Palette Concepts

    • 17. Sketch Adjustments

    • 18. Color Test

    • 19. Base Colors

    • 20. Shadows

    • 21. Highlights

    • 22. Final Details

    • 23. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Get more comfortable drawing people in scenes and within interesting compositions!

Drawing people and creating scenes with characters is a lot of fun! It can add a lot of personality and stories to your illustrations. You can also use this skill for your own creative business and/or clients in games, animation, and publishing!

In this class, we will go on a journey of designing stylized characters and layouts using simple shapes, perspective, and composition fundamentals.

To celebrate summer and to relax while drawing, we will be placing the characters in a fun little story moment of a summer picnic in the garden, by the seaside, on the forest meadow, or wherever you like!

You will learn about:

  • flat vs realistic illustration
  • perspective, depth, volume, scale, overlap, framing
  • point of view

and how they help you create scenes and environments with characters and various objects.

What is more, you will also learn the basic process used in concept illustration!

Building on top of my previous character design classes, this class will help you gain a solid skill for developing your character design style further.

At the end of the class, you will have an illustration you could print out for your home, give to your family and friends, or take your design further and even use it in your portfolio if you create your own custom illustration.

I will be using Procreatebut feel free to use any other drawing software or medium you prefer. 

In addition, you will also get a bunch of freebies you can access in the Resources section.

Enroll and let’s get started with expanding your horizons and drawing awesome character scenes!

See you in the class!

© Copyright Iva Mikles | All Rights Reserved | Class content & structure for educational purposes only

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Iva Mikles

Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

Top Teacher


I am super happy that you are here! :)

I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”), and I'm a full-time illustrator, teacher, and nature enthusiast.

I love illustration in all its forms and my goal is to bring you to a world full of happiness, color, and wonder in the form of fun and helpful classes. 

I'd love for you to have fun while learning, so I always aim for a fun, positive, actionable, and inspiring creative experience with all my classes.

I love when you share you had many “AHA” moments, learned valuable time-saving tips, gained confidence in your skills, and that it is much easier for you to illustrate what you imagine and you are very proud of your finished work.

I want to help you on your art journe... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Drawing people and creating scenes with characters, it's a lot of fun. It can add a lot of personality and stories to your illustrations. If you want to feel more comfortable drawing people in environments and within interesting compositions, then this class is for you. Hi, my name is Eva Miklos, and I am an illustrator and designer based in Central Europe. Creating character illustrations in engaging environments helped me to successfully work on many projects, big and small such as LEGO Friends, the animated series which aired on Netflix, illustrations for software companies, magazines, product illustrations, and explainer illustrations for various clients, for their websites and presentations. After taking my classes on stylized character design and character gestures and poses, many of you have shared that you would like to learn more about drawing people within environments and creating engaging scenes. In this class, I will take you through the journey of designing stylized characters and layout concepts using simple shapes so you get more comfortable drawing characters in the space, interacting with each other. To celebrate summer and to realize well drawing, we will be placing the characters in the fun little story setting of a summer picnic in the garden by the seaside on the forest meadow or whatever you like. In this class, you will learn about flat and realistic illustration, perspective, depth, volume, scale, overlap, framing, point of view, and how they help you to create scenes and environments with characters and different objects. You will also learn the basics of a process used in concept illustration. Building on top of my previous character design classes, this class will help you gain a solid skill for developing your character design style further. At the end of the class, you will have an illustration you could print out for your home, give to a family member, or take your design further and even use it in your portfolio if you create your own custom picnic illustration. I will be using Procreate, but feel free to use any other drawing software or medium you prefer. In addition, you will also get a bunch of freebies, which you can find in the description of the class. Last but not least, before we start, don't forget to follow me here on Skillshare to get notified when I release new classes and make special announcements about the giveaways. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram where you can see my newest artworks and follow the stories from my life as an artist. Let's get started with expanding your horizons and drawing awesome characters scenes. See you in the class. 2. Project: As a project for this class, let's illustrate a relaxed summer picnic you can have with your family, friends, pets in the park, by the seaside, or on the forest middle. I thought of this concept because it's been quite a long time that we had to spend time at home due to various lockdowns and social distancing rules. I would like us to create a nice memory of our time with family and friends or just visualize an ideal day outside in a form of a nice illustration. There are many options on how to approach this class, but the most important is that you have fun and make it your own. Use your imagination or base it on your own photo from the family or friends garden party. Or you can do the same composition as me with four characters around the table and try out different backgrounds or different colors. I will show you six similar concept sketches in one of the lessons. If you don't feel comfortable with drawing all the backgrounds and you want to practice just characters, please feel free to focus on them and maybe add a blanket, some grass, or just green under the blanket in the horizon line to establish your environment. Also, if you don't feel like you want to draw the clothes on the characters in detail, please practice drawing the stick figure and the composition to keep the character simple in the long pants and loose long sleeve shirts, like I showed you in the class about drawing stylized characters design. In the next lesson, you will learn about flat versus realistic illustration style and design. See you in the next video. 3. Flat vs Realistic Layout: In this lesson, let's talk about the difference between flat and 3D fill or more realistic type of illustration with more volume and form in the objects and characters creating depth. Take one of the sketching brushes, you can always use any brush from the folder. I currently like this one. Then I will continue sketching with dark gray for the outlines and light gray for the shadows. First, let's talk a bit about the flat illustration style. Flat illustration focuses on the minimalist approach to design. When creating flat illustrations, the focus is on the clean lines, crisp edges, and often bright colors, as you can imagine, two-dimensional or in other words, flat illustrations. This design style usually has a sharpness and clarity which you can achieve by getting rid of other three-dimensional effects and details. Flat design makes it much easier to adjust to multiple screen sizes without an extra, unnecessary graphics. Also, this style of illustration comes mainly from web and graphic design and helps to bring life and story to the designs on the computer screen and printed media. Now, let's talk about the more realistic illustration style. Here, I'm still thinking about simplicity in shapes though. You can see this type of illustration style quite often in children's books or in the visual development artworks, in animation and computer games. If you ever dreamed of working in this field of art, this is definitely a very interesting style to explore and valuable skill to have. What does this mean in terms of illustration? In this style, which is more realistic, we need to consider the perspective. As you know yourself, we are used to seeing objects, scenes, and people in perspective as well as with volume because we see the world in 3D. Therefore, I am imagining the horizon and adjusting all the elements through this horizon line. I will talk a little bit more about the horizon lines in one of the upcoming lessons. If you want to know more, please watch my class about perspective if you haven't done so yet. Here, in addition to adjusting the object based on the perspective, I'm also considering the volume of the object. To display and show the volume of the object, I'm using the shadows. Very often, I would use only shadows and very little highlights to show the volume of the object. Of course, this is up to you and your style preferences, but I feel that the shadows help a lot with defining the volume while using less highlights reduces the complexity of the whole scene a bit. In the next lesson, we will start placing characters in space and you will learn how to work with the character proportions when perspective becomes important. See you in the next video. 4. Proportions: Now let's talk about character proportions. I will show you how I imagine the character proportions when drawing people in The space where perspective plays a role. In a case you have already seen and practiced with my other classes about character design, here is a little recap about the character proportions. First, I'm sketching a rectangle where I will place my character. To find the middle of the character easier, draw lines going across the rectangle from the top to bottom corners crossing in the middle. Then I will sketch simplified characters with the approximate middle in the center of this rectangle. Drawing simple circles as joints helps me to check the proportions when drawing people. If you're wondering how tall the average human is, you could just use a formula of an average human being eight heads tall, and you can just draw eight circles next to your standing character. One circle is 1/8 of the full height. Now let's turn the rectangle into a box and place the character in it. Like a box for a doll in a store. That usually helps my imagination. If you have a hard time imagining this, try to find a similar box at home and look at it at a slight angle, or go to the store and look at the shelves with dolls. When imagining the character in the box I'm using the same principle of the eight heads tall average human character and adding volume to the simple shapes. Or you can get [inaudible] or more sophisticated drawing figures called mannequins like these. As you can imagine, you can pose these figures any way you want for your illustration. Here, I also titled the shoulder and the head slightly for a more visual interest. Then I can add the lines which define the simple shapes of the character. Afterwards, I can add shadows to create volume and adjust the proportions to my liking. I think it is a great exercise when you can imagine the box under different angles and practice drawing standing characters in the space. Because the outer lines of the box will help you place the character correctly into the environment with perspective. In the next lesson, you will learn what to consider when you want to place more characters together in the space. See you in the next video. 5. More Characters: In this lesson, we will look at what to consider when we want to add more characters in the environment and the scene is in perspective. To continue from the last lesson, we have a character in the box. Still imagining the character like the doll in the packaging on the shelf in the store. Do you remember from geometry when you learned about the objects in 3D? There was a talk about axes x and y, and later the axis z. The x and y axes were all about the height and width of the space. Where we wanted to add depth, it was all about axis z, which goes to the distance. What helps me to think about the space when considering more characters and object is the grid of the environment. Because in that way you can see how big or small the characters and objects should be, depending on how far they are in the distance relative to each other and to us, the viewers. The grid on the floor is created from the lines meeting in the vanishing point. In short, the vanishing point is where the lines or the edges of the object meet at the horizon. Of course, if you want to understand and practice the basics of perspective subject even more, please check out my class about perspective. As you can see here, we take every character in a box and align it with a perspective grid here. When we move the character's box just on the x-axis, still close to us, the size of the box will not change from our view. But if we move the box with the character on the z-axis further away from us, it will start looking smaller. The further away and closer to the horizon, we move the box, the smaller and smaller the character will look from our view. If you want to imagine this in real life, a normal toy store might not be big enough. Imagine those huge stores where you can buy in bulk. When you stand in the aisle of one of these stores and look in the distance, you will see the things further away from you quite small. In the next lesson, you will learn about how to keep your scenes with character symbol to avoid complexity and possibly like a focus in the illustration. I'll see you in the next video. 6. Busy vs Simple Scene: In this lesson, let's look at how we can keep our illustration balanced and easy to decode while still showing a lot of life and activity in one scene. Imagine you want to create an environment with more characters and object, not just for basic standing characters we did in last lesson. How would you approach it and how would you plan it? More characters you plan to add to the scene, the more you need to think about how to emphasize and bring attention to part you want people to look at first. If you want to keep it simple and easy to decode, try not to overcomplicate the illustration with too much stuff happening. In this example, when things get too busy in the illustration, I'm imagining a day at the park when people do many things, or a bigger outdoor festival like Coachella, when you snap a random picture and you see people running around walking in different directions doing all kinds of things, maybe even jumping around or hanging from a tree. As humans, we are usually drawn to other people and we want to see what they are doing. If there are many, many characters in the composition, you usually want to see what everyone is doing, like the Where's Waldo books. Lots of kids and adults love to discover what everyone is doing in those scenes, not only finding Waldo. You can imagine, you can get pretty confused if the scene is not clear and you want to look everywhere at once. We as illustrators or artists can decide on the composition, and we can make the image easier to look at depending on the purpose of that illustration. With many characters in the scene, you can play with adjusting the composition by thinking about the busy areas with a lot of details and a calmer, more empty areas in your scene. You can play with contrast and how people interact with each other. Even if you want to design scenes with a lot of characters like in the Where's Waldo books, you can do it, but you just need to think how to balance it well like they do in those books. In this class, we want our audience to focus on just one story and that's why we will keep it simple by illustrating a group of friends having a picnic or a brunch and we will not add many other characters in our scene. Instead, we will play with adding objects to balance out the composition, to bring focus and attention on our characters. In the next lesson, we will practice applying all the rules you learned in the past lesson and we will train our brain to build a visual memory of object in space. See you in the next lesson. 7. Practice I: Now it's time for our mini exercise. This exercise, it's like a practice for our brain to build a visual library. I will keep my two reference objects, the box and the ball to the side. It will remind me to keep things simple in just at shadows depending on the shape. When thinking about shadows, I am considering the shadows either more like on this box and its shadows just on the sides, or like on the ball, the curved shadow following the round shape. I will open one of my references and take one of the sketching brushes. You can always use any brush from the sketching folder. I currently like this one. Then I will continue sketching with dark gray for the outlines, and light gray for the shadows. First, I will sketch a simplified version of the hanging lights as you can see in this reference. I will add the shadows like on the ball in the left corner. You can consider this exercise as a brainstorm for what you include in your scene. As you know from some of my previous classes, I like to do this exercise sometimes by just writing the words and doing few sketches. However, this time, this exercise is also an awesome way for you to build your visual memory of objects in space, so you can feel more comfortable with drawing them without looking at the reference pictures later in the process. The more you break these certain objects, the easier is for you to imagine how to draw them in the future without references. Here, I'm practicing drawing the seating path. On one side of the path, the shadow is similar to the one on the ball because of its curved shape, but at the bottom part of the path, the shadow follows the straight line because it's on the ground and it's more straight. The shape is following the hard material called rattan, and I Imagine it not as soft as the cushion. Next I will practice drawing a candle in the lantern. Here, I'm focusing on keeping the ellipse shapes aligned so the lantern wouldn't look like it's falling to the side. If you focus on these ellipses to be aligned, we have bottom and the top of the lantern ellipse and the ellipses on the candle shapes again, bottom and the top. Then I can also add the reflection through these glass shape. Later on, I'm taking similar approach when drawing the glasses and I'm also adding a little reflection line on the side of the glass. Now let's take another reference image, the tent. I like the shape and the texture of this tent. It can look very nice in the middle of our composition, complemented with other elements like the lights and flags. I feel like the tent would bring a very nice cozy feel to the whole illustration. When drawing the tent to simplify the shadows, I flip the light from the reference and imagine that the fabric is heavier and there is no light inside of the tent, just the shadow. As you can see it's the opposite way in the reference. The fabric is light and we can see the lighter tones and shades in the tent in the reference picture. Then let's practice drawing a few different types of food in simple shapes. Let's take the ones which are recognizable from the distance because they will be probably quite small in the illustration. For example, a watermelon can be quite recognizable from the distance by the triangle cut shapes and the color. Then you can sketch more of your favorite food based on the references. Maybe a cutting board with strawberries. I love strawberries and the watermelons actually because I think strawberries are my favorite fruit. We used to have a lot of them in the garden when I was growing up, and I used to eat them directly from the bushes when we spend days in the garden with my parents and grandparents. You can imagine this probably contributes to the strawberries being my favorite fruit besides of their taste. Before you move on, practice sketching other objects from the references. For this illustration, because of the storytelling, I'm trying to choose objects which add a cozy and decorate the field to the whole scene, like cushions, for example. I think cautions always add the cozy feel and you can almost feel the real legs by looking at them. Then flowers. I think they're nice decoration to almost any illustration. Many of these objects we just practice drawing the fruits, cushions, and the flowers are great in the scene because when coloring, it gives me the opportunity to bring bright colors in the composition. Now let's move on to the next lesson where you will learn more about tips on adding the objects in the scene using overlap, scale, or size, and framing of the composition. See you in the next video. 8. Overlap: After we practiced drawing different objects in the previous lesson, let's talk about what to consider when we want to put them in one scene. In this example, I will use simple objects, rectangle, circle, and triangle. First, I will draw them next to each other. To have it look more fun, let's imagine these objects as vases on the table with flowers and the water in them. I'm using the ideas on how to draw the water in the rays and the flowers from the exercises before. Now, when you look at these shapes, it looks like they're not really in space. They're probably placed on the table, but they can look quite flat. The water in the vases, and the way we drew it helps us to imagine some volume to these vases and some space. But what about when hiding these flowers and water details in the vases. Like if there is no water in these objects, how can we make this triangle, rectangle and the circle look more like they're in space. You probably guessed it from the title. By overlapping these objects, we can suggest that there is depth in our scene. I'm hiding the flowers for now so we can focus just on the simple objects. Let's draw the overlap to compare. I'm drawing the object again and moving the order a little bit because I think the mix of shapes, the straight lines in the triangle looks more interesting next to the round vase. I mean the circle. Notice that I'm avoiding the tangents and drawing the edges and the corners in different spots, so the shapes are more readable to the viewer. Then I can add the water and the flowers again, as well as the shadow on the ground to help us imagine they're like set on the table. Also, notice that the baseline of each object in the group on the right is at a different level or the height compared to the group of the objects on the left. All the objects in the left group are on the one line in the environment, or in other words, in perspective. In addition to this, if the objects in the right group are further in depth of the space, they will also look slightly smaller. Like the rectangle in the back, in the group on the right. You can imagine this by remembering when we talked about the shelves in the big stores. The further you look, the objects look smaller. As you already know, this is due to perspective, and in technical terms, it's called scale. Let's look at a scale in the following lesson. See you in the next video. 9. Scale: As you already know, due to perspective, the object further away from us look smaller. When we draw them using different scale and sizes, we show the depth in our illustrations. Now, let's look at more examples. I will open the drawing from before, and I would like you to notice the flowers. If you want to show the depth in the scene, it helps to use similar objects. Here, the flowers in the foreground are little bit bigger and flowers in the background are little bit smaller due to the perspective and sizes we mentioned before. Let me show you another example. I will stay within the nature theme. Let's use the bushes and the trees. First, I will draw a bush, flowers and the tree in the left corner, which will be closer to us. Then similar looking tree on the right side, which will be further away from us and therefore, will appear smaller due to the perspective. Using similar objects or the same object in different scales in the scenes helps the viewer to imagine the perspective and the depth of the environment. Because of the organic shapes of the natural elements like the trees, we don't have to worry as much about the lines being aligned with the lines in the perspective grid. Like if you are drawing more angular objects like houses, for example, where we need to pay more attention to the lines in the perspective grid. If you're still interested about drawing houses in perspective, I use house examples in the class of our perspective, so we can easily see how they are aligned with the perspective grid. If you draw more organic shapes, you can get away with not being perfectly aligned with the perspective grid, which is helpful sometimes. The one thing I want you to pay attention here, this side of the scale, of course, is the placement in the space. If you look at the two trees try to notice where the tree trunk starts or in other words, the bottom of the tree where it touches the ground. The tree on the left, closer to us, has the bottom of the trunk more or less aligned with the frame of the drawing. The tree on the right, further away from us is placed, and has the bottom part of the tree trunk higher in the drawing, so the tree is placed in the one-third of our scene or in the drawing. You may already know the reason. It is because the smaller tree on the right side, further away from us, is closer to the horizon in the distance, and therefore, it looks smaller and it's placed higher on the perspective grid. Another thing we do you can use to show depth in the scene is the value or the color of the objects. The objects closer to us usually appear darker, and the object further away from us usually appear slightly lighter in tones and the values which is due to the concentration of various particles in the air. If you want, you can also draw more objects in the scene to show the depth and the perspective. For example, the rocks on the ground getting smaller and smaller the further away they are from us, as the viewer. 10. Framing: In this lesson, you will learn another tip on how to show depth and create interesting compositions in your artworks. I will keep the drawing with the trees on the left and draw a new composition idea on the right to show you another tip which is called framing. What is framing you might ask. It is a composition concept where you can use elements and objects to frame the image in order to create a sense of depth in your space. It helps the person looking at your drawing to go from the foreground to more details in the background or in the middle of the composition. I will draw a tree on the left again to show you a framing. Adding objects to the foreground and framing your composition also helps to create a visual balance and lead the attention to the other object in your composition. You can imagine looking at the park through the tree in the foreground, which is blocking your view. As you might notice by adding the tree, bush, and flags in my drawing, I'm helping the viewer to bring the focus to the characters in the middle of my composition by blocking other parts of the image with something in the scene. You can also use framing as a bigger part of your composition alongside the edges of your drawing, as well as closer to the center, taking more space from this composition. For example, when looking at your artwork through a door, or when looking at your drawing through a small window or a keyhole on the door. You can imagine the big part of the door as a bigger part of the composition and the smaller part like the keyhole as the focus of your composition. You can adjust the framing to be smaller or a bigger part of your composition. This way you will adjust the focus of your artwork. In the next lesson, we'll discuss the influence of point of view and the horizon placement in your theme. See you in the next lesson. 11. Horizon & Point of View: In this lesson, we will look at different points of view in our scenes when applying the realism of perspective. First, let's talk about horizon and the horizontal line in the distance of your view. You might think, why should you pay attention to where the horizon is, I'll just place it somewhere. Well, when you want to convey realism and depth in your scenes and compositions, we need help from the perspective. Horizontal line is one of the first things I pay attention to when looking and practicing drawing compositions and the scenes from references. Before we look at the few references, here is a quick refreshment of what the vanishing point and horizon line are. I will draw a basic perspective grid and place our picnic table in the composition as a reference. We have some object in this environment with the perspective grid. This example is one-point perspective and it has lines which meet at the horizon, and this point is called a vanishing point. If we think about the point of view, the first example on the top-left is a grid where the horizon would be approximately at our eye level as a viewer. In the second theme, the horizon would be lower, and in the third theme, the horizon would be above our eye line. Here, I like to use the help of an imaginary camera to help you imagine what I'm talking about when mentioning the point of view. By the placement of the camera, you can imagine the view under which we are looking at the scene examples and how that would be stored, the objects and characters in the space. The camera angle helps you to capture the character subjective view of the scene. When creating a scene, think about few things; are you at the eye level of the subject of your scene? Are you looking down on the subject? Are you looking up at the subject? How close are you to the subject? The subject of your scene can be a character or a vase with flowers, or something more simple as an apple or fruit basket on the table. When you are at the eye level with the subject, we personally fight with the subject, even if it is not a human. With then eye level point of view of the scene, it is the easiest way to help the viewer connect emotionally with the concept and your drawing because they can imagine they're looking at the scene themselves. When you create a scene, when you look up from below a subject or a character, you can make the viewer feel as though the character is in the control of the situation. These views are often used in the movies when you look up on the strong action hero. The hero isn't the control or out of the reach of the viewer. Opposed to when looking from the top, allows the viewer to feel superior to the subject. Also, the viewer in this view can feel like they can look at the scene undisturbed as they are far away. How do these views influence the proportions of the character? If the angle of the view is very sharp or big when looking up, the character legs will look elongated and the head smaller. Opposed to when looking down to the character head, will look bigger and feet smaller. Lot of people take these selfies because they look cuter and more petite. I am sure you know these [inaudible] on social media. When practicing perspective and noticing horizon lines in the reference images, try to notice the point of view too. Eye level perspective, looking up or looking down. Going back, these examples, we're using the one-point perspective. There are also two and three point perspective. To understand and practice more, please watch my perspective class. Otherwise, this class would become very long. Here are few more example drawings where you can notice differences in point of view. As a quick reference, here is an example when one vanishing point is more to the left and the other one is on the far right outside of the scene. In the reference picture, you can note this is the most on the lines and the silhouette of the table. How is it aligned and placed in the perspective? Let me show you more examples. Here you can see two sketches of the picnic concept and how I would take one-point perspective view and sketch composition with more objects like the tent and the cushions on the top right example, and the two-point perspective right under it. Both of these sketches are in the eye level view, so the viewer can imagine themselves being there. I'll be using an eye level view for the final project too. The concept of the storytelling, it will be like you are in the park as the viewer and you can see your friends nearby, and you are just about to join them. Now, when we talked about the point of view and the overlap of the object framing of the scene, let's break this sketching the characters. See you in the next video. 12. Practice II: Now let's use all the tips you learned in the previous lessons to sketch characters for our project. I will show you how I would sketch characters from reference now. I'm choosing references where the angle of the camera or point of view is not too extreme so our characters are not too distorted in perspective. Let's take it nice and easy. I think this first example has a very nice angle and pose, which may even fit well in my final project. It's in my stylized character class, I'm starting the pose with the stick figure. Circle and the teardrop shape for the head, and the circles for the joint placements. When sketching, I'm thinking in simple shapes for the parts of the body and all the other elements. Making shapes when sketching the hands, triangles for the feet, and cylinder shapes for the legs and arms. Then I'm adding simple shapes for the clothes and the object, I find interesting in the pose. In this case, I really like the summer hat and the drink in the hand of the character. Recalling the overlap of objects and shapes, you can notice the overlap of shapes also on this character. The character's right leg is closer to us and the character's left leg is further. In our view, the right leg is overlapping the left leg in this scene. Also, as you can see, I rounded the back a little bit more to create more expressive and the real exposed compared to the reference. The character in this photo reference is sitting too straight and therefore comes through a bit less relaxed, as I would like it to be in this particular moment when looking at the ocean and having a picnic. I also made the hair more stylized. As you can see, they have more volume than in the reference photo. When I'm happy with the structure, I can redraw the character on a separate layer. Or as I often do when just practicing and sketching, I delete parts I don't need anymore. Then to create a sense of volume, I'm adding shadows as we did on the objects before. In this case, the reference photo can help me. You can see that there is some shadow on her back and on the back part of the summer head. I can draw it similar to what I see in the reference. The shadow in the reference is less visible on the legs because of the dark fabric on the pants. But I can just follow the shadows from the parts mentioned before. All the shadows on the character in the reference are more on the left side and more towards the bottom as the sun is shining from the top right. I'm adding all the shadows on the bottom part of the legs and under the character on the ground to help the character be more established or placed in the environment. In the next lesson, we will break this more and we will continue sketching characters. I'll see you in the next video. 13. Practice III: The more you practice, the easier it gets for you to draw what you imagine. Let's do another mini exercise, and now with two characters. I will open another reference image, and this time with two characters. To make it a bit more challenging with the slide perspective and a little distortion of the characters in the space. The picnic blanket will help us nicely to see the perspective in space. The back part of the blanket further away from us is slightly shorter or smaller than the front part of the blanket closer to us. I'm also adding the line on the head where I want to place eyes. By doing this, it also helps me to imagine where the other face features will be placed. I draw this line curve downwards as the characters are looking down. Starting again with the stick figure for the characters helps me to keep it simple when placing the joints, torso, hips, arms, and legs. When I'm happy with the initial pose, I will add hair. Again, they are a little bit more exaggerated since the characters are slightly stylized. When adding simple cloths, try to notice the silhouette of the outfits on the body. For example, the bottom edge of the shirts on both characters, or the cleavage line of the shirt, or the top on the character, as these will help you define and suggest the character's body shape too. On the character on the right, you can also notice the silhouette of the short and its edges. The way I draw the shorts here helps me to define the legs of this character too. Similar to our practice of sketching the objects in the previous lessons, this exercise helps you to build a visual library. As mentioned before, it will help you to draw characters from the memory in the future, and it will allow you to spend more time exploring concepts and ideas for your scenes and characters, rather than looking for specific reference photos. Then I will delete parts of the sketch which I used as a guide and which I don't need anymore, and add shadows to add volume to the character shapes. We have the sun shining on the top right corner, again in the reference, so we can add shadows to the bottom left of the characters. Because we practiced drawing watermelons before, I can now draw it into the scene, instead of copying exactly what is in the reference photo. It is always more fun when you customize and add your little stories and things you like into the illustration. Your preferences and likes will help you to create your own style too. There is one more thing I would like you to notice on this reference. You can see that the foot of the character in the yellow top, his feet closer to our viewpoint and the shoulders further away. They appear slightly smaller in perspective than if the character is not distorted in perspective. I just want you to notice it, but you don't have to apply too strongly when sketching these two characters. But you can notice it in my sketch, is I drew the feet of the character on the right slightly bigger than the feet on the character on the left. To summarize these two exercises, these sketches are just two examples of how to approach drawing from reference. I hope I don't sound like a broken record, but the more sketches you do, the easier it will be for you to create concepts without references in the future. To balance out the sketches, looking at the first sketch, I can define the lines and shapes more as well. They look similar in finish and style with the second sketch. Now, let's move on to creating concepts for our scene. See you in the next lesson. 14. Scene Concepts: In this lesson, we'll look at more references and practice simplifying when adding more characters to the scene. I will bring up reference photos and draw layout scenes based on these references to get into the flow of this concept. First, I will show you how I would approach using a reference and then creating more scene ideas from there. Please feel free to find your own reference photos or create your own compositions from the same references at this stage. When sketching this concept, try to add 2, 3, 4 or more characters. If you have two, it can also be one human and a dog or a cat chilling in the park on the blanket. Be as creative as you like. Sky is the limit. You can try different layouts, landscape, portrait ratio, or even a square ratio. I will stay with the landscape. For drawing the concept, I want to create six similar boxes to help me stay within the layout. As you can see, sometimes the hand wobbles and doesn't create the shapes exactly as you imagined. To help me create these boxes, I will turn on the drawing guide grid to see better how big these layout boxes should be If I want to have six of them on my Canvas. You can adjust the proportions of the grid and other settings here based on your liking. I will keep the grid size fairly small in this case and this should work great as my guide. To speed up my process, I can draw one box on a separate layer and create copies which I can distribute evenly around my Canvas. When I'm happy with my distribution of the boxes for the layout, I will bring up the reference window again. In this first scene, as we discussed before, I will first establish the horizon line to set the point of view in the scene. To simplify, I'm creating only two bush shapes in the background instead of the whole forest, and then I'm adding the table as a center of the composition here, approximately in the angle as I see in the reference image. Then, to simplify, I'm adding only two boxes for the characters to sit on. As you can see, I'm focusing on drawing an overlap to create the sense of depth. I feel like I don't need a chair in the front for this concept compared to the reference image. Then I'm adding simple shapes to suggest the first character. Triangle for the chest, simple sticks for the arms, and half oval shapes for the legs. As you can see, I kept the legs similar to the reference, but adjusted the arms to what I think can be a nice cheerful pose for this setting, because I can imagine doing the gesture myself. For the second character, I'm placing the feet on the ground since it's more simple pose than figuring out the crossed legs and the placement there. For the third character, I just sketch the simple torso and one arm with raised drink to interact with other characters. To finish off this concept, I'm adding framing in the form of garlands and shadows to add volume to the objects. For the second scene, I will open another reference. This time, I'm creating a more close-up scene where the characters take more space in the composition. This type of composition creates a more intimate feeling. Like this, you can convey closer friendship or even romantic relationship. We had the similar example of the two friends in the practice exercises. They were even closer with touching shoulders, but the composition was more zoomed out and there was more negative space around them in the composition. Try to notice in the movies when they show close friends or heartfelt conversation, very often the frame is zoomed in and the characters take up a big part of the space in the composition. You can work with both. If you want to use these type of storytelling characters close together and also zoomed in composition. Also because the food here is more in the foreground, we can see it better in the illustration. If you are in the mood to make the food, focus on their illustration together with their characters. The zoomed in composition can be a thing for you. You can also take the sketches you did in the previous lesson and adjust the shapes of the plates to fit this composition and perspective, because this time you are looking at the food on the plate and more from the top. In the sketches before, we did more side view where the plates look more like a straight line in the drawing. In this view, it will be more in the elite shape. Organic shape of the food will look quiet similar in this view. To fill the composition, I'm using the tree, bush, and hanging lights as framing on top, and then the food and vase with flowers in the middle to balance out the empty space. As a third scene, we can use the first sketch as a reference and create similar horizon details and the table in the middle. I can place the table as we looked at it in the one-point perspective example. This time, the table is further away from us as a viewer, so it is smaller and I have more space to add characters. The table edges are aligned with the edge of the image and the horizon. Character poses are similar as we practiced before, so I feel like I don't need a reference for this anymore. I can add hair to the characters in the dark value this time to bring focus to them since this creates more contrast. As you might know from the composition class, the contrast helps you to bring focus to the subject in the composition too. Before moving onto the next lesson, I will add shadows and details to this sketch too. In the next lesson, I will show you more examples and talk about character interactions. See you in the next video. 15. Character Interaction: In this lesson, we will talk about what to consider when showing characters interacting with each other. In this fourth scene, I will sketch a similar idea as in the third concept, but I will add a tent behind the table. This will help me to anchor the composition and make the whole scene feel more cozy. For this composition, I will use the hanging lights and garlands to lead the viewer's eye to the center of the composition. While I sketch this, let me tell you more about the character interactions and whether I'm thinking about when sketching the poses and scenes. Because it adds so much to your illustrations when you have more than just one character in the scene. I have mentioned this topic also in the stylized character class. You may be thinking that is already quite tricky to think about how to design and place one character in the scene, and then the next level is to think about two or even more characters in the scene. Then I want you to also design how they interact with each other, with a headache. Don't worry I got you. What we want to achieve with our illustrations and group of characters in the scene should always be as clear as possible. Let's take it step-by-step. Try to ask yourself the following questions; why are these characters there? Do they like each other? What is the story there? Or maybe one or more of them don't like each other? There is maybe a drama blowing. Maybe they're avoiding each other's gaze. Maybe even one of them is about to say, "How could you do this to me?" Maybe you can get inspired by one of your favorite movies. Or maybe as simple as that, they are really happy to see each other after a long time, and they are really enjoying each other's company. Try to implement your story. So here I will try to keep it simple. The idea I want to convey here is that the characters like each other, and they want to be in each other's company. I'm trying to show this by relaxed body language, and they are leaning towards each other with their bodies. In addition to these, I'm using the cheers with the drinks, which in many parts of the world usually creates happy memories. For the fifth scene, I am taking the first sketch as an example and creating diagonal lines for the edges of the table in the middle. But this time, the square table shape can become a beaconing blanket, and the characters will sit on the ground, like in the third concept. Sitting on the ground can evoke even more relaxed and casual feeling compared to sitting on the chairs at a more fancy and organized picnic with actual tables and cushions. Even though both concepts are quite relaxing. Also, this scene is framed with a tree and the bush to evoke a cozy and safe looking environment and to emphasize the happy place. I'm also focusing on the leading lines and negative space in the composition at this stage when I know what poses can work nicely in this character interaction. Compared to the other compositions, this one is more zoomed out and in a bird's eye view, looking from the top. Looking from the top can feel more distant than the other scenes with an eye-level point of view. Looking from the top, in other words, the bird's eye view is more observational and can feel like you have less emotional connection with the scene. I think that the bird's eye view is always nice when you want to show the environment in the movies before you zoom in to the character's conversation. In this scene, the characters are also further away from each other and the space is more empty in the blanket in the middle. So like these, it can feel like, and you can convey they are not such a close friends as the ones in the second concept. To finish off the concept stage, in the sixth idea, I will draw the table in the middle and four characters, but this time I will fill the composition more with lots of lanterns and pillows to make it feel really cozy. When doing this, we have to stop ourselves at some point so the composition will not feel too crowded and therefore somehow uncomfortable and confusing to look at. Always try to distribute the balance of too many elements and too much empty space. In the next lesson, we will choose one scene to work with further as a project, and we will test a few color palettes. I'll see you in the next video. 16. Color Palette Concepts: We have thought about few different layout ideas and now it's time to choose one and quickly there's a few color palettes. I will select the concept 4 because I like the coziness of the tent and the interaction of the four characters cheering with the drinks as it usually evokes happy times with friends. I will keep the sketch on a separate layer and I will copy it four times. Merge those layers with these four sketches. Set the layer with these sketches to multiply and draw the color test on the layer below. I will take one bigger fled brush so it will force me to draw the colors in bigger shapes and not to focus on the details just yet. I'm taking a reference image to get inspired for the first color palette. One of the first things I'm looking at are the greens. Noticing from this reference that the green is lighter further away from us because of the light and darker closer to us, probably because of the shadow from the tree in the foreground. These color gradient actually fits well into my composition. Then I like the white table and the cushions and how nicely they contrast with the greens in the scene. If you notice on the reference, the pink, yellow, and the blue are nice color accents. So I can add those to the scene too. I can use the yellow and pink for the object and maybe test out the blue on the characters in my scene. Now looking at it, I'm not such a big fan of the light blue. But for now, I will keep it and we'll see. Maybe I adjusted later but it's a good test. Other than the blue, I quite like this color combination so I can copy this color test, and I will try to exchange the light blue for something else. For example, darker pink or darker blue, I quite like this combination. To help the tent in the middle to stand out, I will darken the bush in the background. Now for the third color palette idea, I will take another reference image, the one we used before, and apply the colors. Because we sketch a different idea, this way I'm not copying the reference exactly but I'm just getting inspired by the colors and a water in the background. What I can add to this color palette is the color of the dark pink pillows which we used in the second color version and I can apply it to these color palette too. These happens to me quite often. One IBS parks another, and you might end up with a new result which you really love. Like here, combining bits and pieces you like from different versions. Even though I didn't enjoy the blue in the second version of the outfit, I quite like it here as the water in the background so I will give the blue another chance in these concepts. I remember that there was a blue blanket in one of the reference photos, so I will open it and get inspired for the color palette from the reference. Also, if you remember, the tent was also white and blue and we can use the better and inspiration here too. When looking at these reference, the greens are quiet light compared to the shadows and you can see nice shadow patterns on the grass. But in this case, I will not add these shadow patterns on the grass because I think it would create busyness on the grass area and I want to keep it simple in that area because it's already busy with the characters and all the yummy food in the foreground. What I like about this reference, I had buildings in the background which creates a very interesting setting, like having a picnic in the Central Park in New York City. Which one is your favorite or did you use different references, maybe sunset or even night colors? I like the second version the most here. The nice greens and dark yellow and pink exons with saturated tones, bringing attention to the characters. So I will take this color palette for my project. Every time we test color palette, if you like some of the color combinations, don't forget to save them for later. They may fit in other illustrations in the future too. In the next lesson, we will scale up and adjust our concept before final coloring and rendering. See you in the next video. 17. Sketch Adjustments: Now I will scale up the sketch to see if I need to adjust the details or simplify the composition when I look at the concept on a bigger scale not as a thumbnail. As part of my process, I want to have a pretty clear idea of the elements and details before doing the final coloring because I want to approach it as just following the line work and not the experimenting along the way. I will be adjusting and creating a new sketch on a separate layer above. A quick way because in this case I don't need a transparent background is to take a screenshot and bring it into the new Canvas. You can see the details of my Canvas settings here. But you can choose your own settings for the canvas depending where you want to use the final artwork. Then I will scale up the sketch, the full canvas. I will be adjusting and creating a new sketch on a separate layer above and take one of the texture sketching brushes. I'm using the same brush as for the thumbnails. Now looking at the sketch, I want to simplify so I will reduce the amount of the flags on the garland. What I think will also help me to simplify the composition and the whole illustration will be the nice symmetry of the flags on both sides, so I will change that. I think I like it more now with the symmetry. The lanterns look okay to me from the previous thumbnail sketch. Then I will add more leaves and the flowers to the foreground since the bushes looked too flat and empty for my liking compared to the hanging decorations and all the details around the characters. Also creating more visual interest in the foreground will help me balance out the composition. But what I will still do now is to add some grass blades to break off the straight line in the composition in the background of the grass field. I will keep the grass and the bushes in the background quite simple so the viewers have a nice place to rest their eyes on more plain and empty space. We can always add few subtle details later if we feel like it. Then I will outline the characters based on the structure sketch from the thumbnail. If you're not sure, please use references for clothes and hair. I will mark approximate placement for the face features too and later I plan to define the characters more on a separate layer before moving the color. But for now, this is okay. As mentioned, it helps me to speed up the process when I have a pretty clear sketch when working in this style. Regarding the outfits, I will keep the clothes quite simple, maybe adjusting here a bit and draw shorts, pants, simple shirts, and loose t-shirts. I will also adjust and define the hairstyles at this stage. Now, I will work more on the character details on a separate layer above the other sketch. I will reduce the brush size and higher up the streamline which will help me to create smoother lines. As I mentioned before, when defining the characters, it depends on your preferred style and on how many details you want to add, and how you style the characters. As I talk a lot about in my other character classes, I like to keep the shapes fairly simple and by adding few details like lines in the hair, few loose strands in the hairstyles, and few details on the clothes, I'm trying to keep the characters simple, also a little bit more real while trying to keep them stylized. Of course, feel free and creative to keep the clothes. We don't have any folds and details then I'm creating here. Also with other details, anatomy can be quite difficult. If you struggle with defining the hands, don't worry, they are hard to do. I sometimes need a few tries to get it right and try to use references. If I need to, I usually take a picture of my own hand in front of the mirror holding a similar object I want to draw. Also to simplify when sketching the hand, I always start with the mitten shape and then add fingers. As you can notice, I'm also inspired by the outfits in the reference images which we had looked at before. A lot of the characters in those settings had either shorts, short-sleeved t-shirts, or dresses. I'm trying to create a variety as well as similarities. For example, two girls are in short, but one has more loose shirt and the other one has tighter shirt. Also, two girls are in loose shirts, but the one has short and the other one has long pants and so on. The same with drawing the hair, I'm trying to create some variety in the hairstyles even though all of them have long hair. Try to be creative here too. You can of course create even more variety in the hairstyles and the outfit if you want to. I'm pretty happy with this, I hope you are as well with your concept. Now let's move on to the next lesson where we will do color tests of the final concept. See you in the next video. 18. Color Test: After adjusting the composition, I will do one more rough color test to see if I need to balance out the color choices I did on the thumbnail to bring focus to certain areas. Set the layer with these sketches to multiply and draw the color test on the layer below. I will take one bigger fled brush so it will force me to draw the colors in bigger shapes and not to focus on the details just yet. Based on the chosen color thumbnail, I quickly lay down the colors I first chose and then think, if I need to balance the focus in the composition more. We mentioned framing, busy and empty space, leading lines, and contrast, to help you bring focus to your subject in the composition. Another tool which you can use to bring focus to your subject is color. If you watched my composition class, you already heard about this. If not, please go ahead and check out that class too to build on it. In this color test, I'm focusing on color and contrast in values. With colors in mind, I'm using warmer and vibrant tones to help bring focus to my characters in the composition. In regards to contrast, I'm using the light values against dark values, which you can see is dark bushes in the background to bring the focus to the center of the composition in my characters. Also, if you want to build on the visual storytelling and how to work with focus on your subject in the illustration, you can also watch my color and light masterclass, where I show you even more examples on how to do that. As you can see for the characters, I'm trying to balance out the variety in the illustration, and draw characters with different skin color tones and different hair colors. I really like the variety in the world and how international the group of friends can be. Everyone has their own life story and different background, which makes daily life more interesting and vibrant. I always love hearing about people's life stories, travel experiences, food tips, and so on. Every time we travel, I try to go to local meetups to get to know new people and maybe try a new sport, foods, and hobbies. Have you tried that too? Anyways as a disclaimer, please stay safe and if you go by yourself, always make sure you tell someone where you are going and who are you meeting with, and when you are coming back. I usually go to sports meetups, city walking tours, art museum tours or coffee meetups. Enough about travel, let's get back to our illustration. Coming back to this illustration, as you can see, I'm using most of the bright colors around the characters to keep the focus there. Therefore, when coloring the lanterns and the lights on top of the composition, I'm keeping them in more stable, neutral tones, since I don't want too much attention in that part of the illustration. As you can see, you can draw here the looks of your friends or family or imaging a perfect future situation. For example, you can go on the picnic meetup in Central Park in New York and you meet a bunch of new fond people or imaging other place you want to go to. I think I'm happy with this color test and I believe is nicely balanced. Next, I will clean up the illustration with smooth edges and clean shapes. As mentioned before, this depends on your style and you can always take more painterly approach. If you don't like the clean paper cutout look style and shapes in the illustration. Now let's go to the next lesson so I can show you how I would approach this type of coloring. See you in the next video. 19. Base Colors: We tested the colors and the compositions, and now it's time to finalize the illustration. This, of course, depends on your style preferences. For this, I will copy my canvas and prepared new layers. I will delete the original sketch layer, and I still have it on the copied canvas from before if I need to go back to it. I will keep my color test in the reference window on the top-left so I can check and look back at it while drawing. I will merge the reference line art layers and set it to multiply, and I will work on the colors on the layers below. For this dial, I will choose a brush with smooth edges. I currently like this one, but you can choose any other brush you like. I will work with the color palette I tested out on the thumbnails and I saved few colored tones from it along the way. Please feel free to use other colors which you might have tested along the way. Every time we test a color palette, if you like some of the color combinations, don't forget to save them for later. They may fit in other illustrations in the future too. Here, first I will create shapes for the front bushes and the plant. With the smooth brush, I will draw an outline following my line-work from before, and then just drag and drop the color into this shape. At this stage, I don't need to think much about the colors as I made most of these decisions in the earlier steps. This I'm limited with the layers, I will split the illustration into view parts. Most of the time, I split my illustrations into foreground, mid-ground, background, and characters. I found this very helpful when I need to adjust parts and maybe paint behind certain elements or move the characters if I need to. For the mid-ground, I will create a color gradient from dark to light as we looked at before in the reference. For this effect, I will use a Gaussian blur tool on the layer or you can paint this effect with a soft brush. There are many ways how you can finalize the colors. In this class, I'm showing you a combination of separating some elements into layers and using a brush instead of a lasso tool. Because I will be using a bigger canvas, I will be limited with layers, as I mentioned, and that's why I will need to combine a few layers and parts of the illustrations on some layers. Other approach, I sometimes use with illustrations is to use brushes to paint the colors more organically and scalped with colors on one layer. I really like this approach and option for a personal project. Other approach is to use lasso tool to define each shape on a separate layer. If you have each color or each object on a separate layer, it's easier to use texture brushes. I often use this more organized way for a client project. Because of this canvas size, and because of my iPad's RAM, I have 12 layers available. I can obviously create more layers. They're just foreground, mid-ground, background, and characters, which I mentioned before. But this is my overall idea for layers, or an outline, how to organize my layers. As you can see, I'm working my way through the layers illustrating the natural elements first, to create the environment. If you want, you can also start with the characters first too. I separated the layers into the front leaves, bushes, trees, grass, and the sky, and afterwards, I did layers for lanterns, flags, and other decorative objects. Afterwards, I'm creating a layer for the tent, table, and blanket together on a separate layer. In a separate layer for the details on the table, so I can easily move them to different places on the table if I want to. When drawing food on the table, please feel free to open the references. But as you know, we already practiced the watermelon, so I will not open a reference for this one. But for the croissants which I love, but I can't eat because of the gluten intolerance, I will open a reference photo again. To keep it simple, I'm drawing one color for the base and the lighter tones to set its folds in the dough of the croissants. Oh well, now I really want to eat croissants. I shouldn't draw croissants probably in the illustrations or I should bake some gluten-free at home. Well, when you are happy with the one illustrated croissant shape, you can just copy it on more plates to speed up the illustration process. Then I can move on to add base colors for the characters. Here, I can just follow the shapes which I defined on the sketch level with the same colors as on the color test in the reference. Because I did all the shapes and color decisions before, I can keep all the character shapes on one layer easily. When illustrating the glasses with drinks, I'm adding a melon to bring more color to the illustration. Also, I'm imagining they're drinking juice or other fruit drinks. To show just the transparent glass material, I am using only a white outline. To show the water effect, I am making the straw darker in the water and a lighter color tone above the water. At the end of this base color process, I'm adding color for the trees, which I forgot at this stage when I was coloring trees. Well, then I am adding a few more flowers to the foreground as I feel like they're almost never too many flowers around. But, of course, this is up to you. I just like illustrations with a lot of flowers and plants in them. In the next lesson, we'll be adding shadows to create a sense of volume in the illustration. See you in the next video. 20. Shadows: Now, when I have all the base colors, I will add simple shadows to create a sense of volume in the illustration. Before working on the shadows, I will copy the Canvas in case I need to merge some layers. I will be using the automatic selection technique and the tool to select the areas where I want to add the shadow. Because I have all the different parts of the characters on one layer, this technique helps me to speed up the process and not worry about being precise in some areas. Let me show you what I mean on the T-shirt of this character. I will go to the automatic selection tool and click on the area I want to select, and without lifting the pen I will drag to the right on the Canvas. On top of your screen, you can see the threshold percentage. This indicates how much of the area and the surrounding pixels will be selected. For this style, I will choose a brush with smooth edges, but you can choose any other brush you like. When I have the selection ready, I can draw the shadow and I don't have to worry about all the edges that I'm drawing. I can be more loose, for example, in the area of the waist and the back of the character where this shadow is close to the edges of the shirt silhouette. I will continue selecting part using the automatic selection tool always from the base colors layer and then drawing the shadows on the shadow layer, and repeat, and repeat. I'm thinking about the angular object like a tent, table, and the picnic where the shadows will be more straight following the shapes of those objects. Then we have the shadows which will follow the organic shapes of the more rounded shapes like the characters and the nature, like we practice on the ball and the bulks in the previous lessons. At end, I'm also adding subtle shapes as shadows to the background on the darker bushes and on the grass to break the big empty areas. As I said before, we don't want too much attention in this area because I want to keep the focus on the characters. But it's also nice to add a subtle variety in color, texture, and details in big, more empty surfaces like the grass background and the bushes in this case. In the next lesson, we will be adding highlights that will help us bring the whole illustration together. See you in the next video. 21. Highlights: I could keep the illustration without the highlights because I think it works nicely already. But highlights can add these nice spoke to some elements and even bring the whole illustration together. You can see what I mean, decide for yourself if you want highlights or not. I will copy my illustration again, since I will be adding the highlights on the layers directly. Before adding highlights to the illustration, I will actually try adding some yellow in the sky. Because overall, I'm thinking it would be nice to have a warmer highlights in the illustration. In addition to the subtle warmer tones in the background, this yellow light in the sky will create more interesting textures in this area with the soft gradient. This small adjustments will also help to break off these big empty space there without bringing too much attention to this area. In order to use the shapes of the elements without redrawing the edges, I'm using Alpha look on each layer where I'm drawing the highlight. This process will save me time because I don't have to be precise and I don't have to draw the edges of each object separately again. After creating this shape, I feel like there is too dominant in the composition and it takes too much attention, and it's taking the attention away from the characters by creating this contrast in shapes. To reduce the contrast, I'm using a brush with a texture to soften the edges. I'm using a similar color to the base color of the object, and then I decided to try if I like this yellow tone as a highlight. I even try a little bit of texture in the highlights, and same here. After creating a bright highlight on the tree trunk, I'm reducing the intensity with the color similar to the base color of the tree. For the highlights on the characters, I'm creating a separate layer and using a clipping mask above the layer with characters. This will allow me to quickly test and adjust the highlights because I might want to try different versions of these highlights compared to more simple shapes of the object in the composition. Characters are always more complicated, as you might already know. Clipping mask and drawing on a separate layer allows me to be more flexible. If I have unlimited amount of layers, I would use clipping mask for all the elements in the illustration. After looking at the illustration as a whole, with the highlights today I wanted to create, done. I decided to simplify the highlights on the greenery and use more subtle colors without any texture. This will help me to balance out the composition and the focus. In my final version, I will be using lighter tones as a highlight of each elements color on each element. Also notice that I'm using lighter colored tone of each element color instead of a pure white to keep the highlights still colorful. I think this is enough or highlights for this illustration for my liking, and let's finish the illustration in the next lesson, where I will show you some of my favorite details and adjustments. See you in the next video. 22. Final Details: In this lesson, I will show you a few things you could adjust as final details. We will look at lanterns and lanterns ropes, texture for the tent, faces, plan details, pillows, contrast adjustments, backlight, and some texture. First the length and the ropes. After looking at the illustration, I noticed that it would be nice to have the ropes or lines for the small lights on the top of the illustration more visible. It currently looks like it's just hanging in the air. I'm trying here few colors and then land on the gradient from light to dark so they blend nicely into the environment. Now, for the tent. If you remember, there was a nice texture on the tent in our reference photos. At the beginning, I wasn't sure if adding the pattern to the tent wouldn't take too much attention from the characters. If you're thinking, can I use textures to bring attention to objects? Well, yes, you can. For example, if one of the characters has black and white stripy shirt, we would notice that character even more in the composition. If you want to add texture to the tent, it needs to be very subtle not to take too much focus from the characters. Therefore, I am using only slightly lighter color tone than the tent light beige color. Now for the faces as the next step, I want to bring more attention to the faces of the characters. So I will make their features darker and they will contrast more with the skin. As you can see, I'm using darker tones for the eyebrows, eyes, and I'm adding subtle color to the lips. Depending on your style preferences, you can make the lips bigger or smaller, or just draw a line without using warmer and more saturated lip colors. You can also add white to the eyes to make the eyes stand out more on the face. This is all up to you. Try to experiment and you can look at more artists that you like and follow how they approach the face features. Now, if you look at the plants in the foreground, I will also add few lines on the leaves to define the shape of these leaves and bring more natural realism to the stylized illustration. In addition to this, I will add few more colors shapes to suggest the flowers in the background. As you can see to suggest these flowers, I am just drawing simple shapes. By adding more flowers through the composition, I think it makes the illustration feel more cozy and welcoming. When we talk about welcoming and relaxing atmosphere, let's add few more pillows into the tent. If you remember, I had these also in the concept stage, and I somehow didn't draw them when defining the base color tones. Adding the pillows into the band also helped me to bring more color to the center of the illustration so the viewer can explore more from there. When we think about leading the viewer's attention, the eyes of all characters in the middle also act as a leading lines to the characters from the tent. We are leading the viewer's eye to them and then the characters are looking at each other, which will bring the viewer back to the center of the composition. We are keeping the focus there. Now about the contrast adjustment. To bring even more focus to our characters and center of the composition, I will make the shadows under the characters and the table darker. Remember, contrast in values also creates focus in the composition. At this stage, I will also check the illustration and will fix few edges that I don't like or maybe I missed something. In addition to this, I decided to blur the edge of the shadow on the shirt as I noticed it is a little bit too defined for my liking and creating unnecessary contrast in that area. This is just a personal preference and you can decide to keep the shadows as defined as you want. Then we can talk about the backlight and the sky. When looking at the illustration, the silhouette of the bush is also quite defined for my liking in this illustration. I will reduce the focus on this defined silhouette or in other words, edge of the dark bush in the background and I will add soft glow from the sky. I'm using soft brush on a separate layer in the lighter blue color. Then I'll change the layer to screen blending mode and I reduce the opacity. This small change also brings more realism to the illustration where we imagine that the sky is glowing a bit and there is light coming from there. As one of the last steps, I will add some texture. To imitate a more handmade or traditional art feel of the illustration at the end, you can add texture by either adding noise on the separate layer above the illustration, like I'm doing here. I will set it to overlay blending mode and I'm reducing the opacity. Or you can scan a watercolor paper, which I like to do quite often, or you can just buy this watercolor texture paper on a stock platform and add it on a separate layer on top of the illustration, and then you would just change the blending mode. Okay, I think I will not do any more changes or adjustments at this stage. Let's call this illustration finished. 23. Final Thoughts: How did it go? I hope you had a lot of fun creating your own summer-inspired illustration, and you now feel more confident illustrating characters in environments, interacting with each other. To recap from the class, if you want to expand on the knowledge you learned in this class, you can watch my other classes about characters called stylized character design, and character gestures, and poses, and my popular classes about compositions and perspective. You can just visit my teacher profile to find them. Don't forget to share your class projects in the project section. I can't wait to see all of your awesome artworks, and if you would like me to also share your illustrations on Instagram, please add your Instagram handle so I can help you and your art to be discovered by more people. If you like the class, please leave a review because, first of all, I appreciate it so much, and second, you will also help other students to discover the class, and you might contribute to their artistic journey too. If you have friends or family members who would love to learn to design characters, please share this class with them. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment in the discussion section, I would love to help out. Thank you so much again for being here, and see you in the next class.