Illustrating Children's Books (and beyond!) | Marco Bucci | Skillshare

Illustrating Children's Books (and beyond!)

Marco Bucci, Professional illustrator & teacher

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23 Lessons (8h 39m)
    • 1. Welcome To Class - Introduction

      1:15
    • 2. Chapter 1 - The Manuscript

      7:29
    • 3. Chapter 1 - Print Jargon

      6:03
    • 4. Chapter 1 - Visual Storytelling

      26:58
    • 5. Chapter 2 - Posing

      17:35
    • 6. Chapter 2 - Form

      15:43
    • 7. Chapter 2 - Shape

      18:49
    • 8. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments

      22:55
    • 9. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments ii

      20:03
    • 10. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments iii

      25:15
    • 11. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments iv

      11:43
    • 12. Chapter 2 - Facial Expression

      20:57
    • 13. Chapter 2 - Homework Ideas

      9:40
    • 14. Chapter 3 - Warm vs Cool Colors

      25:08
    • 15. Chapter 3 - Painting A Character

      43:04
    • 16. Chapter 3 - Backgrounds in Perspective

      38:30
    • 17. Chapter 3 - Organic Perspective

      21:58
    • 18. Chapter 3 - Color Roughs i

      33:49
    • 19. Chapter 3 - Color Roughs ii

      36:02
    • 20. Chapter 3 - Color Roughs iii

      38:49
    • 21. Chapter 3 - Final Art

      48:25
    • 22. Chapter 3 - Delivery To Client

      12:44
    • 23. Chapter 3 - Homework Ideas

      15:56
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About This Class

Welcome to Illustrating Children's Books (and beyond!)

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Looking to tailor your artwork to the children's book market? Marco will take you through every skill and step you need to take, using examples from real-life, published projects. He'll also create artwork from beginning to end, demonstrating how he starts with an author's manuscript and goes through the many stages of producing illustrations for the final book. Along the way there will be valuable insights as to how to make your work stand out for the children's book industry ... and beyond!

The class is structured into three chapters, as follows:

CHAPTER 1: PROJECT TOURS
     - Referencing examples from actual modern-day professional projects
     - Understanding how to work with a publisher's manuscript, formatting and margins
     - Understanding how kids interact with illustration
     - Art and books for different age groups
     - Tips on sketching out various page options for clients and publishers
     - Maximizing visual storytelling in the medium of children's books
     - Composing a page for the most appeal
     - Understanding the print jargon involved in the book publishing industry

CHAPTER 2: DRAWING CHARACTERS
     - What elements makes a character feel unique?
     - Character posing and gesture drawing fundamentals
     - Fundamentals of form and how to make your work look dimensional 
     - Fundamentals of shape and how to pull a design together
     - Facial expressions
     - Examples from actual professional assignments

CHAPTER 3: BACKGROUNDS & COLOR
     - My model of understanding color temperature: warm vs. cool color relationships
     - The fundamentals of rendering light and shadow I use in every painting I do
     - Breaking down local color, and how light and shadow plays into it
     - Using freehand perspective for stylized (but believable) depth
     - Organic perspective for outdoor/nature scenes
     - Controlling value for clear, readable paintings
     - Using the digital environment to produce final artwork
     - Painting a character
     - Painting rough color passes of a scene to search for moods and ideas to present to a client
     - Using layers, brushes, effects, and more
     - Painting a final, print-ready illustration
     - Formatting the final illustration with proper bleeds, correct DPI and resolution
     - CMYK conversion tips

ALSO: Two bonus interviews! 
     - A multi-time published children's book author
     - A professional, active children's book art director

Digital brushpack included (ABR format)

Marco has illustrated children's books for companies big and small: Walt Disney Publishing, Sleeping Bear Press, Harper Collins, and more. His experience in the industry ranges from primary readers to various grade levels. This gives him a wide perspective from which to teach this class, and he focuses on the principles and tools that are an indispensable part of the job.

Transcripts

1. Welcome To Class - Introduction: Hello, everybody. My name is Mark Obuchi, and I want to welcome you to my class, illustrating Children's books and beyond. Now why is it called and beyond? Well, while we will be focusing on illustrating Children's books, the techniques and tools and principles we're gonna learn translates to any medium, really, from books. Two games to television to movies, etcetera. Now the class comes in three chapters. In Chapter one, we'll be talking about working with the publisher what it's like to receive a blank manuscript that you have to fill in the illustrations for. I'll talk about my own principles behind storytelling for the medium of Children's books and how I go about producing something from a blank page to a finished product In Chapter two. I'll show you the techniques I used to draw characters. Obviously, if you're working in Children's books, you're gonna be drawing a lot of characters. We'll talk about gesture, posing, form shaped design, a little bit of lighting, and I'll show you how I get the most appeal possible out of characters. And finally, in Chapter three, we'll talk about painting your illustrations to get them to the final print ready product will be using the digital medium and I'll be talking about things like color shading, backgrounds, composition value, so much to get to in Chapter three, and I'll show you the process. I used to keep it all manageable anyway. There's a lot to get to in this class. I'm really excited. Let's get going. 2. Chapter 1 - The Manuscript: All right, let's get started as an illustrator. There is nothing more fundamental to your Children's book project than the manuscript. And if you're an illustrator being hired by a publisher or an author, it's standard procedure for them to send you a fully edited, finished and locked down manuscript to give you an example. This is a book I illustrated for fountains and Penhall. Ah, prolific publisher in the education space. And this is the manuscript they sent me. It came as a standard pdf document. Now, this is the interior pages, not the jacket. So, as you can see, if I scroll down, pages are neatly numbered and the text is laid out in its final arrangement. In fact, I was given explicit instruction to not obscure or change the text in any way. And this is something that can change from publisher to publisher. I'll show you other examples in a moment, but scrolling through the pdf, we get a pretty clear idea of what my task would be as an illustrator. But I gotta fill in all this grey space now. To that end, they also provided some art notes, and this is also something that will vary from publisher to publisher now working in the Children's book industry is refreshing because in my experience, publishers hire artists for their uniqueness. This is different from, say, working on a television show where your job is to be invisible and fit into the production and Children's books. They want the artist's voice to be a prominent part of the book. So to that end, most publishers won't overstep their bounds by giving you details. Art notes. The art notes essentially plot and overall progression for this book. In essence, we see a shadow in the tree. It looks scary, but we don't know what it is. And then that shadow in the tree as we progress through the book gets bigger and bigger. So right here, shadow getting bigger and darker. It has moved to the ground sound from the ground ger, which, of course, lines up with the text right here. So this art note is good because it gives me a clue as to what the page needs to communicate. Visually, I think it goes without saying that as an artist, looking at a blank sheet of paper can be kind of frightening in the sense that there are endless possibilities. But a good art note like this will corral you in a certain direction without pending you in completely. There's still lots of room here for me to come in and interpret what a big, dark and scary shadow looks like, as long as I'm sure that it is getting bigger and darker. As the book progresses, let's scroll all the way down to the bottom. Here this publisher included some samples of my own artwork that they responded to, which is also very helpful. So I know when I illustrate this book, I should be using the same techniques that I used when painting these. I did a second book for Fountains and Penhall. This being the manuscript for that second book, I produced these both of the same time. And in this pdf they included a little bit more information that would be useful to me as an artist just to read it. Our client loves the way you handled the monster in the attached sample, that being down here, it's basically the same page. He's warm and not too scary because this book is for a young audience. We'd like to avoid the oversized heads style for our lead character Poppies. Head size should be proportionally correct to her body throughout the story, similar to the way you treated the boy in the lower left of your samples. And then they go on to deliver information about the character you know, some basic context that I can work with. This is what you should expect from a professional publisher. Other helpful notes here, areas and gray, which we've seen before, are designated for your art, though you don't have to stick to the exact shape provided. We'd like the illustrations on the right page to bleed and a few elements conjunction gutter and appear on the left. However, the left page needs to remain relatively clean and simple, all right. They used the term gutter right here, so now is probably a good time to explain what that is. The gutter is where the book folds. The book, of course, will be bound along the center of the spread, and the binding process creates a little bit of waste space on the page. To show you what this looks like, I'll use a thick book like a novel where we can really see how that book folds in right, and you can appreciate how if there were text in this area, this would greatly anger the reader, because it be very difficult to see now. Children's books have this, too, although to a lesser extent, because they tend to be thinner and this book is especially thin. It's 16 pages, which is half the length of a standard 32 page picture book. But regardless, as the illustrator, you should be mindful of the gutter. I just refrain from putting any important part of the picture there or near there. We'll talk about setting up your digital canvas with markings for things like gutters and bleeds in a future section of this class. Okay, so I'd like to show you another manuscript. This is Norbert's big Dream, written by Lorry Dedmon. And by the way, there is an interview with Laurie Degnan included with this class. Just as a quick little aside here, I don't think many people realize that as an illustrator, I don't actually get to talk to the authors, and vice versa. The connection is made through the publisher, so the publisher solicits the manuscript, then matches that finished manuscript with the illustrator. You know, an illustrator whose portfolio they think would work well with this particular manuscript. So it's kind of ironic how Children's books look very collaborative, but they're really not or they are. But it's a silent collaboration, anyway. Laurie connected with me on Facebook after Norbert's big Dream came out, and we've been friends ever since. Anyway. She's the author of many Children's books, and I thought the inside of an author would be a great addition to this class, So be sure to check out the interview. It'll be a PdF file attached to the class anyway. Norbert's Big Dream is a standard 32 page picture book, which, when you consider the Spreads, is a 17 page PdF right with each PdF page. We're looking at two pages, which would, of course, be folded along a gutter that we actually can't see in this layout. But same as before. Each page is clearly numbered, and what you notice here is that the text is laid out in a almost a composition. Let's say now this confused me when I first got this manuscript because I didn't know if the publisher was committed to putting the text exactly where they laid it out here. You know, on this page, obviously the intention is for one big spread. But like on this page here did they want me to do, like, one illustration there and one illustration here and one illustration there. This is where basic communication comes in. I e mailed them and ask them that question, and their answer was, It's not set in stone, but it's kind of suggested what they had in mind. In fact, they sent me this version of the manuscript after that and indicated with the blue where they envisioned the art and some of them they even attached art notes. But even this, they said, was not set in stone. If I had better ideas for how to lay out the pages, I was free to explore that the only thing I could not change was which text appears on which page. In other words, this exact text has to appear on page 10 and 11 because you know when you only have 32 pages for your story, which again is the standard. It's the job of the publisher to lay out the text accordingly. now, the other property of Children's books is there are various standard sizes. For instance, nine by 12 inches is one particular size that Children's books come in, but they can come in virtually any size, so the Pdf manuscript should be formatted to the precise print size of the book. If I go back to the script we were looking at earlier, it's plain to see exactly the dimensions of this page. And again, I'll show you how you can import this into photo shop or you're painting app of choice later. But that's why Manu scripts are often delivered in pdf format because the publisher could determine exactly the size you're working with. If you receive a manuscript in like Microsoft Word Format, the first question I would ask the publisher is what is the size of the book? Because otherwise you'd have absolutely no idea how to approach the art. OK, in the next section will dive a little deeper into the print jargon you need to know. See, there 3. Chapter 1 - Print Jargon: dealing with the print process is always fun. And when I got started, there was a lot of jargon that confused me. Thankfully, it turned out that there actually isn't that much jargon to know, and what there is to know is pretty simple. So let's get acquainted with it once and for all. So when publishers or printers provide you a template, it should contain the following features. This is called the trim line. Within this box is where you will illustrate your pictures. It's called trim because the paper that runs through the printer is larger than the final book size, and then they're simply trimmed down. So sometimes you might see this called trim size or trim guide. This, of course, will reveal the actual dimensions of the book. And usually there will also be a notation about how big the book is in physical dimensions inches, centimeters, millimeters etcetera and traditionally with is measured first and height. Second all right. The next feature is one. We've already looked at the gutter, which, of course, cuts one big page in half, making two pages. Those two pages should be labeled with page numbers, which, believe me, is remarkably handy when it comes to communicating with your client as well as internal things like file naming. It's important to note here that when you deliver your final arts to a printer instead of delivering at one page per file, you'll be delivering it in groups like Page 23 page 45 page 67 etcetera. The printer prints each one is one page and then binds everything along the middle, creating the gutter. The next feature is the one that confuses the most people, including me, when I started out, and that is the bleed. This is usually referred to as bleed, guide or bleed of lines, and often a printer will accompany it with little text indicators as to exactly how much bleed to give in this case, quarter inch bleed all the way around. Okay, so let me explain what bleed is. I already mentioned that books get printed larger than their final size and then trimmed down Well, imagine you did illustrations right up to the trim guide represented by these two colors here. Now, when that page gets printed and trimmed to its final size, if you Onley illustrated to the trim guide you can imagine there's a high probability of error. See this little white strip that's been left behind? That may look minor, but it's caused for a reprint. And imagine you just printed 5000 books, all of which were garbage. That would get you fired or at least never rehired, which is something we'd like to avoid if possible. So the solution is to extend your illustration up to or beyond the bleed lines. And, of course, when you do that, make sure you don't put anything remotely important there. Bleed is just a safety net for the printer. Most of it just gets trimmed away. Another important thing to be aware of is that Page one of a book is not a spread. It stands on its own. Here's an example of a published book to give you a sense for what I'm talking about. That page is usually referred to as the title page, by the way, So on the left is usually just like a ghost page of blank white page on the right is the first piece of art, so the bleed only extends to the right and to the bottoms and tops. Here's the Norbert manuscript again to correspond with the video clip we just saw now. The Norbert manuscript did not include bleed guides. I was sent that information separately, like in an email or something. What we see on the pdf here is just the trim size now scrolling back up to the top here because the title pages its own single page. The dimensions of this page will be half the width of Page 23 and the height stays the same , of course, so to scroll through the pages here. Most of the book will be the exact same dimensions, because pages will come in groups groups of two. But that first page and the very last page, Page 32 which is usually not part of the story it's usually reserved for in this case, a dedication. Sometimes author bios air located here, But this page is also standing alone, and the publisher will print a blank white page on this side, which we don't need to worry about as the illustrator. So when you're making your canvas sizes for the last page as well as the first page, just make sure you cut the whipped in half the front cover of a book in industry parlance is called the jacket. The jacket is one piece of paper. It includes the front cover, the spine, the back cover and often these little flaps that fold in on the inside. Here's the template for the jacket of a different book I illustrated. I actually don't have the one for Norbert anymore. For some reason, this looks more complicated, but it's really the same stuff you could see the border indicated for where the art will print on the front cover dimensions clearly marked 5.625 inches by 8.5 the spine, of course, being the middle of the book, the part that faces out when books are on a bookshelf and then a corresponding back cover, which will be the exact same dimensions as the front cover and then on flanking sides. We have those little folding flaps, and you can see that between the folding flaps and the cover is this little area, which the client has indicated here. It says art needs to extend here, but will most likely get folded under, which is kind of like bleed right. It's stuff that's gonna get lost, so don't put anything important there. In fact, you can see the characters hand in. This rough in the hand is extended way too close to that for my liking in the final art I brought his hand in so would not get lost by the fold. But otherwise this template is similar to what we looked at. You can see the minimum bleed 0.25 inches. Noticed this template calls it minimum bleed, kind of hinting like, Hey, you might want to give us half an inch bleed, which is what I did on this project. I think I have actually noticed that clients love bleed. I once provided a client one inch bleed all the way around, which is crazy and otherwise. The client does a pretty good job of filling out the template for you, which again, is something that a professional publisher will handle. And that just makes it easier for me, the illustrator, to focus on the artwork. Okay, I think that concludes our discussion of print jargon. Now I know I still haven't shown you how to set up a digital canvas for this, but I'll save that for Chapter three when we're actually working on our final illustrations . As for now, let's continue by talking about storytelling and Children's books 4. Chapter 1 - Visual Storytelling: Oh, picture books can play a huge role in a child's development from gaining an awareness of things that exist in the world to learning language, color, fostering an attention span. Picture books do all those things and more, and it wraps them all up in the age old ritual of storytelling. Now storytelling is one of those intensely personal things. You know, the way I tell a story will be different from the way you tell a story. So in this chapter I want to share with you some of my overall philosophies and thoughts and practices on how I go about telling stories in the medium of Children's books. So I'll start with some basic process. The first thing I do when I get a manuscript is well, I read it and I read it several times. Yes, Children's books may be simple, but they often speak to profound truths. After all, they are learning materials for kids, and usually publishers want to publish books that have universal meaning. So I have respect for that, and I take the text very seriously. Sure, it may be far below your or my reading level, but that doesn't take away the importance of the things you conglomerate from the text, especially when you're a child to whom all this is new. Anyway, let's bookmark that thought and come back to it in a few minutes. Okay, What you're looking at now is the Ruff's for Norbert's big dream. And this is the version I sent to the client which was the publisher Sleeping Bear Press. So I consider these drawings very readable, even though they're of course not finished their scratchy and rough. And Nino Norbert might not be exactly on model in each one. But the basic action is there on each page and you notice I'm also preserving the text roughly in the places that they provided in the manuscript. I may have moved things around a little bit, but that's OK. I like to use basic shading in my rough drawings. This is an area I largely elaborate on it and painting, you know, the final lighting and stuff. But I do find it really help sell your ideas to the client if you could block things out in overall values like this. You know, in this case, Norbert, closer to camera is very dark, and these three pigs a little further away are lighter. Comparatively. Now this pertains to my own particular art style, which is heavily value based. If you've seen my art online, you know, I'm a painter and as a painter, ideal heavily with light and shadow and color. So I do like to bring that into my rough drawings, but not always like you notice on the right. I don't feel like I need much shading there at all. Maybe a little cash shadow on the floor. Also, notice on each of these spreads, the gutter is indicated. If I didn't have that and be very difficult for the client to figure out, you know where the page would overlap. So in this case, the gutter would probably lead me to believe that this pig is going to get cut off a little too much. I might want to push this pig to the right. Yeah, going through this, you can see the whole book is roughed out in the same style, the same level of drawing. And I will complete the entire manuscript before sending it to the client. Because the way each page flows together is part of like a visual rhythm, and I want the client to be aware of what I have in mind, and the only way to do that is to give them the whole book, or at least a big chunk of the book. I think I've only ever done it for one client, where I submit one page at a time. And by the way, I used the same approach for my rough drawings for different publishers. Different books like this book is for Disney, and you can see the drawings air done and pretty much the same way I leave in my rough markings. I do a lot of scribbling, hatching and some basic values, and I do my best to put the text on the page where I think it should go, whether that be me moving it around based on composition or if I have to stick with exactly what the client gives me, I do that. So I send each page to the clients, and usually what they'll do is put it together in a pdf. Of course, because I've sized my files correctly, all they gotta do is just copy and paste them in, and usually I get it revisions passed. I mean, this This is a very simple book, so I didn't have too many revisions here. They wanted me to, like, get rid of some of the painting that's hiding the text. Here, you can see their notes in this pink box. Oh, and actually, for this one, I did do one fully finished painted page to also get their approval for style. So that's a finished spread right there, and then you can see the rest of just my rough drawings. And at this point, once clients can see the actual rough artwork, they'll often move text around based on what the artist gives them and make any other kind of, you know, minor change they might want to dio. Or sometimes they'll ask you to redraw page completely. Now this book again is simple. I didn't have to redraw much. I think down here I had to make this cat in front of the tree instead of behind the tree. That was probably the biggest change on this book. Other times I'll do multiple iterations per page. This is a wholly different book, and the idea of this page was this kooky old woman is friends with a cake. So there's the old woman. There's the cake. And these two kids were like telling, like narrating the story. And I mean, there's a 1,000,000 ways illustrate that. So I started with three different versions. There's that one. There's this one with her rocking chair on the cake is on the table with some mice eating the cake without her even noticing. And there's this option, which is I haven't seen these drawings in a while. This book actually was done quite a few years ago. It was one of my first Children's books I ever roughed out, actually, and I hadn't really arrived at my preferred rough drawing style. So that's why these drawings look a bit different. But you can see I'm still putting the text where I think it should go. Men also noticed whenever you're dealing with text, which is all the time in this medium, I recommend designing an area of your composition where it's a pretty clean value, you notice, like here, I'm throwing the entire tablecloth into a shadow, and the text would just read light over dark. There's not a whole lot of detail that would go here and like back here, I have this slice of light on the floor and the text to be dark over that. And here just be dark text over a light sky. So, you know, sometimes giving options to a client is something I'll do. I usually don't like to provide more than three options at 1st 3 is to me, is like a magic number, assuming you're giving them three good options, right? Three is enough for the client to pick a direction, even if they don't choose one of the three is the Final three is enough to pick a direction . So when I rough on a manuscript a minute ago, I said, I do the whole book, I dio, but sometimes I'll deliver one or two or three versions of a page, you know, a single page or a two page spread, and I'll just see where they're at creatively. Here's a different page of that book. It's a part of the story where this little boy falls in love with this girl, and here I'm trying a very dramatic staging, and here I'm trying more of a just a standard sort of wide shot of the two characters whenever possible. I like to break things up by having very simple compositions like these two kids are just lying down on a blank white page. I think it's pretty obvious to us that text has a rhythm, you know. For example, Children's books that rhyme rhymes have a rhythm to them, right? Well, pages and pictures and illustrations have a rhythm to them as well. So if you're doing something fully realized like this, you know the picture goes from corner to corner. You might want to follow that up with some visual relief like this, and I want to mention Chapter two is all about drawing characters. So if you're wondering when I'm gonna get into that chapter to Chapter one, here is more of an overall discussion of ideas and philosophies. I use in my books sometimes will take inspiration from graphic novels and split up the page and panels, this one being a very literal interpretation of panels where I've actually got four different panels here, each one slightly descending in size, which relates to the emotional beats happening in this part of the story. This particular book features these two child characters you see at the top, narrating a novel. It's actually Charles Dickens literary classic, Great Expectations. There they're reading great expectations. So the Children's book shows them reading it, but then dives into the world of great expectations. That is the world of great expectations imagined by Children. So in this book, I had to deal with literally two different worlds. The real world of these two kids reading and then the world of the Dickens's tale, which was more fantastical. So to present those two worlds in this book, I used a lot of paneling. So in here I try to use the text as a break in the panel. And then the kids up here looking down into the fantasy world which sweeps you to the right kind of sweeps you into this page, which is a full fantasy scene, which then would lead us to the next page, which is a full spread, a spread meaning two pages, both left and right of a full fantasy scene. I was actually quite happy with some of the creative decisions we ended up with on this book. We ended up straddling two different art styles in the same book. When were in the real world. It's this kind of clean, hard edged illustration style, you know, not very painterly, not overly textural, kind of straightforward, still interesting, but pretty straightforward and clean. Here's another page. In the real world, all objects were, you know, kind of handled with the same aesthetic. And stuff like that versus this, which is a full spread in the fantasy world, were playing with like, graphic icons. You know, the picture frames in the background are just like scrawl ings, and there's even some creative paneling going on, like where I'm circling here is meant to be one panel, and then that panel is divided by this character who leads us into this scene. So this is like three different panels where this character is used as like the divider between the left and the right. Also on this page, we have the silhouettes down here of the two characters from the real world narrating the scene. So I thought that keeping them just silhouettes would remove them from the fantasy reality of the scene and still communicate to the reader that it's this kid reading a book to this character, and this is what's happening in the book. So it's stuff like this that really excites me about the medium of Children's books. To me, a Children's book is a mix between a graphic novel, a comic book and a traditional novel. The form is so pliable you could do so much with it. Here's another page where we're exiting out of the fantasy world back into the real world. So when this fantasy scene, this is a scene where Jane Eyre gets taken away. Oh, by the way, this is not the great Expectations book anymore. It's Jane Eyre, which is another installment in this Children's book series, and because she's getting taken away from her home, I gave this panel well. First of all, I gave it a very weird triangular shape, and I shoved it all the way it in the top, left to kind of visually mirror the fact that this is a very uncomfortable moment. She's leaving her home. It doesn't deserve a beautiful full page. You kind of wanted to feel isolated because that's how the character feels. So it's like the form of the book. The composition is dictated by the story, and I really, really enjoy opportunities to play with this kind of stuff, and then here in the bottom were in the real world. And of course, the text would go in this big, blank white space as backs. This kid here narrates Jane's tail to his baby sitter. And just to keep going, here is a full page fantasy world image again, stylistically. If I go back, that's the real world where everything is kind of clean. And then here's the fantasy world where things are anything but clean. I mean, the shapes are still appealing, hopefully, but there's like scribbling lines like trees or not actual trees or just triangles I made with a pencil brush. We have very graphic stuff going on here and a visual language that overall is quite different from this one. Here's another page from the fantasy world, where you can see a lot of the same stuff, like odd color palettes, green vs Purple kind of splitting the frame in thirds here, big passages of dark over light Jane here being dark over a big passage of light in the background. And that's another thing I really, really think is important in Children's books is clarity. Clarity is like the theme that permeates all the art I do for my Children's books. Obviously, human beings see based on contrast, but for Children, that's especially true. Their eyes just go straight to the contrast, and I have first hand experience. I have a five month old daughter, and there's actually a whole line of books created for infants that are just pure black and white. Very high contrast pictures, and it's amazing when I open one of those books around her, her eyes just get sucked to the page. Now this book you're looking at is not made for infants, but you can see I'm trying to design my picture. So the contrast is very clear. And the highest contrast always goes where the focal point is in this case, the focal point being Jane, looking at the window in the background. So Jane being very dark window, being very light. This is the highest point of contrast, and that's true for any image. Here's the next page right here. The focal point of this picture is this sort of area here that I'm circling with my mouse and you notice all the highest bits of contrast in the picture are found there. So we look at this a lot more in chapter three when we're actually doing paintings. But clarity achieved through contrast is basically the Onley unifying principle that I use on every single page. Here's another page here where this big school teacher is kind of malevolently dictating what the students should be doing. He's in the process of punishing Jane here. So the focal point of this picture is this big, rotund teacher. So no surprise. I gave him the most contrast with the background Dark versus light. Jane here is not the focal point. She still needs to be visible, so she still has some contrast. He probably has, like the second most contrast in the picture, as well as this girl here who is also quite important to the story. You know, she's in the process of carrying out her punishment, writing the Lord's prayer on the chalkboard. So these girls have contrast, but less than this guy. Also, he's such a big shape making for such a big area of contrast that the viewer just can't help but look there. And just to reiterate what I said earlier, I'm leaving a sizable portion of this composition open and with a very similar value, which provides a nice little bed for the textile. A. In now, I do want to be clear about something that is a principle, not a rule. Here's a spread from backs that is absolutely ridiculously busy. I would venture to say that there is no focal point here in the sense that there's so many competing elements. For your focus. You might think this clock tower is a focal point, but actually, when this book gets folded along the gutter here, that clock tower kind of dies away a little bit. And that was done on purpose. You know, when I illustrated this page, the publisher and I almost compared it to like a wears Waldo book where you can look at any given part of this picture and find something worth really paying attention to. I particularly like this area of the page where it's just a bunch of nondescript houses, and you contract the little pedestrians walking along the street and sitting by the fountain and such. Of course, the characters are over here having a nice little soiree, and you can probably imagine that when the text would lay in, which would go over the sky. Here, the text would discuss what the characters are doing. But visually, we wanted to sell like the opulence of all this, the overwhelming nature of being suddenly high class and, as the Dickens story tells, dumped into a world with which you have very little experience. So this page was designed to be overwhelming because it matched the story beat. And I think it's effective for that purpose, and I've seen entire books that kind of used this aesthetic. But in general, this is not what I like to dio. In fact, one of my friends who is a mother told me that her little son, whose one year old hates books like this because he gets frustrated by simply not knowing where to look. He just starts pounding the pages like a gorilla, she said, whereas books that have a simple area of contrast and therefore a focal point really hold his attention much better. And I kind of used that philosophy has a little more of a driving force in my compositions , and what you're seeing here is more of a one off. All right, I mentioned earlier in this section that Children's books are learning materials for kids, you know, teaching them common things that exist in the world. Norbert's Big Dream takes place on a farm, and this is the manuscript for Pages two and three, which is, in effect, the first page of the book Page one, Remember, was the title page. So the manuscript reads. Most pigs air satisfied just rolling in the mud or slurping slop or snoozing in the shade, but not Norbert. So, of course, me is the artist. Looking at this blank manuscript, I have to visualize what goes on these two pages. The text describes four different actions. Pigs rolling around in the mud, pigs slurping slop pigs using in the shade. And then Norbert, who's doing none of those things. So the very first image I conjured for that was kind of a collage. You know where this section is, the pigs rolling in the mud. This bottom section is pig slurping slop, and we got pig snoozing in the shade. And then we have Norbert kind of sitting there may be prompting the reader to ask what makes him so special, and I think this would have worked, but I don't think it maximizes what I can bring to the learning elements of this page. So I roughed it out a second time and came up with this. Now, if you notice the drawing of the characters is pretty much the same. In fact, those pigs, they're just a copy and paste of those pigs. But the simple change I did here was I put everything in one environment, and this leads to something I've learned about Children's books. Or I should say how kids interact with the illustrations in a Children's book. If you ever watch a teacher or parents reading a Children's book to a child, you'll notice that the experience of each page is not finished once the text is red. Oftentimes the teacher will spend a lot more time on the page, just pointing out things that relate to the text. For instance, the fact that there's a barn in the background. This is not mentioned in the text, but having that context helps a kid visualize what a farmyard looks like. You know there's a barn with some mud over here, and offense in the fenced area is where the cow hangs out. You know, these are all obvious concepts to you and me, but I mean, a kid might not know that animals hang out together chickens and pigs and cows. They have to learn that somewhere. And just presenting them of vista like view of a farm, complete with the various elements of a farm, kind of takes the spirit of the text and adds just a touch of a deeper layer to the page. So, of course, while the focal point of these drawings mirrors the action represented in the text, you know, pigs rolling in the mud, pig slurping the slop and stuff like that. This design ultimately gives the reader of the book, um, or rich experience. And instead of having Norbert just sit there, I have him walking, which is probably just a more fun way to see Norbert for the first time, this year's Page 28 29 right at the end of the book where Norbert has completed his adventure and you notice I'm illustrating the same part of the farm, just from a different angle and the main changes. Norbert is now walking on two legs, indicating his arc as a character. So I thought that was a nice kind of button to wrap up the book with. And my hope is a kid reading the book would be able to say, like, Hey, those are the same pigs as the ones over here. Isn't it funny how they're still sleeping? And you can even make a little sub story like There are four pigs sleeping in the shade and here there are only three, you know, perhaps suggesting that a pig happened toe wandered by and say, Hey, that sleeping thing looks pretty good. Don't mind if I do. These were a little sub stories that are not important enough to write about. You know, this book is about Norbert, not the sleeping pigs. But whatever you can do as an illustrator to bring something mawr to the manuscript while still keeping focus. Where it needs to be, I think, is a good idea for your illustration. Here's another example of me going through the same thought process. This was for a book called Goodnight Reindeer, where the whole book is saying good night to various things. So we have comments and stars and planets and cars and cookies and toys, and I illustrated each one separately as its own. Kind of been yet, and I think the drawings would have been fun enough to illustrate. But the publisher and I ended up going with this, which, just like Norbert, provides context for where these items exist in. And there's the reindeer herself, fast asleep, surrounded by all her favorite things, which represents the simple thought of organization something we all have to deal with. So you know, it's like toys go on the plane, Matt, because that's where we play. The cars are maybe collector's items, so they go nicely on the chest here, and maybe the cookies go by the bed for a midnight snack. Also, this prompts a very common interaction with the page, where a teacher a parent will say, like, wears the cookies and the kid will point here. You know, where's the planets? The kid points up here. This page facilitates that kind of thing, whereas this page doesn't I mean, yeah, you could say Where's the cookies? But obviously the right there, where is this again provides more of a context for that, connecting an item with its relationship in the real world. Here's yet another example of a time where that happened. This is supposed to be the elves workshop, and they sleep on this triple bunk bed here and instead of keeping them to separate entities by simply combined them into the same environment. And I wasn't too surprised that the publisher heavily preferred this one. But this one you get a sense that they've just put their tools down, the brooms on the floor, the toolbox there with screwdrivers as work time is over and it's time for a night's sleep . So again, showing things in context can be a little bit more powerful for storytelling. That isn't a rule. Of course. It just seems to be a common thing that I keep discovering. I wanted to show you this spread as well. This is one of the last pages in the book. Santa here is saying Good night to Rudolph and, of course, Rudolph being a bit of a light junkie. His room is festooned with Christmas lights, and in the manuscript, Santa's gonna ask for it off to turn out the light. In fact, he does that on this page. Time for bed. Turn off your light And of course, my first instinct here was toe have him dimming a light switch. But then I thought there could be some interesting visual continuity between these two spreads. If I go back to remind you about all these lights that are lining his room, I thought wouldn't be neat if we brought some of those lights into the next spread. And instead of Santa flicking off a light switch, he's gonna unplug Rudolph's Christmas lights. Now. I'm not claiming this is a genius idea. I'm just saying it goes one step deeper than the text on the page, which is kind of a metric that I tried evaluate my work by and Children's books. How many times I'm able to plumb one or two layers beyond what the texts literally says, and maybe just spin something in an unexpected direction because that creates surprise. And when you can surprise somebody, it's way more likely to be memorable. And in this one ended up flipping it, because when you turn the pages of a book, Rudolph's room would be to the left there, so it makes sense of the lights air coming in from the left, not the right color, of course, plays a huge role in Children's book art, and Chapter three of this class is gonna be devoted to using color and actually painting your illustrations so we'll get into the nitty gritty of it there. But as an overall note, I find that the medium is best suited for brighter colors because Children's books tend to be printed pretty large, especially in relation to the size of a child. And when you have a very large page laid out in front of you that's covered in dark ink, there's just something not appealing about that now. This is, of course, just my opinion, and this is not to say that you can't ever have shadows or anything. You can see in this page their shadows on Norbert, their shadows on the wall. But if I bring in my color picker here and I sample the shadow values, you can see that the shadows air very, very light. They're all up here. Norbert Shadows will be a bit darker, but even his shadows, you know, are in the mid range. Of course, little accents like inside the mouth that will get quite dark. But any shadow that's part of the subject. You know, his belly, his chest, the wall. I'll keep those very light. You know the haystack here. They're all kept in the mid range around here. And then what that means is your actual lights, like the light on the wall. Those will be pushed even lighter. In my experience, printers tend to darken the image a little bit, especially those of us working on bright LCD displays. Remember that your monitor is projecting light into your eyes, whereas a print is very different. Apprentice physical pigment on paper and pigment will take a white sheet of paper and make it darker. So in a way, prints darkened things. Monitors lighten things. I know that's oversimplified, but that's kind of what I used to remind myself when I'm painting for Children's books, you know, I remind myself to push my shadows just a bit lighter. In fact, my first pass on this spread looked like this. Now, when I painted this, I didn't quite realize it, but there are a lot of dark colors in here again, bringing back in the color picker you see on these pigs like we're getting quite dark. The trough is quite dark. The slop. The reading is basically black. The barn is completely in shadow and these shadows are Yeah, they're kind of in the mid range. But, you know, it gets quite dark up here. And while this might look OK on a screen, this prince just abysmally dark and that can take a happy book and spin it in the complete opposite direction. So I revise the spread toe look like this, and I don't know about you, but I almost feel a weight being lifted when I do that like I go before and then after, it just feels like the sun came out or something. Notice that the broad side of the barn here is still in shadow. But look how much more fun you can have with color when the shadows are a bit lighter in value. In painting, this is called Hai Kee Ah, high keep painting uses values in the lighter range even for the shadows. Get bringing my color picker back in. I'll sample some of the shadows on the ground here. Look how light those are ill sample the color and value on the barn wall here, and, yeah, same sort of lightness going on because of ambient occlusion. It gets a bit darker up here, but if this were a real life painting where the ambient occlusion would probably be down here I have a whole YouTube video about ambient occlusion, by the way. So I'm just kind of talking as though you've seen that normally ambient occlusion would be quite dark. But in here I raised the key of the painting so dramatically that even the ambient occlusion, the darkest areas, are still pushed up. And I'm happy to say that in print, the mood really carried through. It just felt like an inviting scene that you want to be a part of. This here was the cover art for Norbert, and it's obviously a night scene, but you notice what I'm doing here. First of all, the blue sky at its darkest is still way up here. Also right around Norbert. I even lightened the sky further, so it's way up here. Blues, by the way, are notorious for printing very dark. For some reason that I can't explain printers have a hard time with blue. So whenever I use blue in my paintings, I try and ramp them up. You can calibrate this with experience, which is what I did. I noticed blues got quite dark, so I just over the years developed a habit of painting blues lighter anyway, pushing the blew up pretty light around Norbert forced me to make Norbert's light side quite light. In fact, the highlights are basically white. And then that gave me the value space for his shadows to again not be so dark. The thing about color that I've learned is that and this is true not just for print Children's books but in painting. In general, anything around this range, any color you pick is that if your values down here, it's just gonna look black to the viewer, like the viewers not going to really be able to appreciate the difference in color between this and this if your value is so low. So when when I'm down here, color really doesn't matter, and I don't want that in my Children's books. I want the colors to be identifiable, you know, that's the other thing kids are learning with Children's books color like red and pink and yellow. So by pushing your values up, I'd say This is about the darkest I would go and still expect someone to appreciate the difference in hue. Anything below that color kind of goes away and just becomes opaquely dark, and I try and keep those areas to a minimum. There are some areas like his hooves here, a pretty dark. Some of the cows, eyebrows and hose air dark, and that's okay. A few little areas like that's fine, but in general my advice is, keep your values up high key paintings as opposed to Loki paintings. And, of course, you do this on a per project basis, like in Scary Story here. Remember, the manuscript called for that shadow to get darker Well, by the end, when the monsters air scared and running away. That shadow is opaquely black, which, of course, sets up the punch line for this kitten to pop out. But I built up to that black over the entire book. This here is what the tree's shadow originally looks like. It the beginning of the book, The values Air kept much lighter, definitely with some very dark accents, but overall you get the sense of ah, higher key in the painting. So in this case, the value use was truly tied in with the storytelling. Looking back at this page here, this book has not yet been printed, so I have not actually seen how this turns out. The publisher and I consciously pushed our contrast to a pretty high extreme here. Like if I sample Jane's hair that is very dark, even the lightest part of her hair well, that's definitely the mid range that will probably print well. But this a lot of this, even the lines in your hair might get crushed to black. I'm worried about that, but it's nothing a sample prints can't solve will do a sample print, which in industry jargon, is called a proof, by the way, and then I'll come back and adjust. I think it looks great on a computer monitor, but again, print is a bit of a different beast. Anyway, let's save further color discussion for Chapter three. Ask for right now. I think that wraps up our discussion of storytelling and wraps up Chapter one. So let's move on to Chapter two, where I will discuss and show you some of the key concepts I use to draw characters. I'll see you there 5. Chapter 2 - Posing: Oh, all right. So let's start talking about actually creating art, and I want to kick off this section with a lesson about posing your character. Now I don't have any official stats, but I'm pretty sure like 99% of Children's books involve characters. And whether your book has a pig or a person or anything in between, you have to know how to draw them in various poses. You know, when you think of finished artwork, you might think of cool things like detail and lighting and shading and dimensionality. And those things are all part of finished art. But in my opinion, those elements are all secondary to a well thought out gesture drawing because it's through gesture drawing that we define what pose the character is in any lighting or form or dimension we apply has to serve the pose. I think the power of gesture drawing is best demonstrated with traditional two D hand drawn animation. Here on YouTube, I'm gonna search for Sergio Pablos Disney Animation. We get our search results and I'll click on this 1st 1 here. Oh, and by the way, before we watch this, Sergio Pablos is the owner of spa studios. That's the studio that made close the 2019 Netflix film, which I really, really loved. Anyway, he's been a long time favorite animator of mine, and I think you're going to see why. Right now, officers. And if I might interject here I am the noted astrophysicist, Dr Delbert Dubler. Perhaps you've heard of me? No, I have a clinic officers. And if I might interject here I am the noted astrophysicist, Dr Delbert Dubler. Perhaps you've heard of me? No, I have a clinic, officers. And if I might interject here I am the noted astrophysicist, Dr Delbert Dubler. Perhaps you've heard of me? No, Uh, I have a clipping. So the thing I want you to notice here as we play this now, without audio is that the posing, the acting? The gesture is Justus clear in this very rough phase as it is here in the final finished film. This is Disney's treasure Planet. By the way, in this finished frame, we have clean lines, detail, polish, dimension, light color, all of that good stuff. But the artist Sergio Pablos, in this case at the very beginning, is not resolving any of those things. He's resolving the pose, and he's doing so using very rough drawings, the lines air gestural and flowing. It's not a labor intensive process. Don't get me wrong. It's a thinking, intensive process. But these drawings are designed to be done pretty rapidly. Looking at these three drawings, I think they're very descriptive. And what they describe is how this character carries himself. In other words, his attitude. You can get a sense for who he is as a human being or animal human, in this case, just through the simple flow of his body's position, his pose. In that sense, I think these drawings are also very accurate, not necessarily accurate in terms of the arts finished look accurate in the sense that it appears that every element of his body is all acting toward a singular emotion. And, of course, it doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to see that this is exactly what we want to do in Children's book art, too. The reason I'm showing this to you an animation is that animators have to draw so many pictures to convey the sense of motion. So by necessity, animators have had to boil down their art to the most simple yet the most expressive elements possible. And studying animation is really how I started my journey in art. I actually didn't start off wanting to be a painter or illustrator. I started off with the inspiration of the legacy of Disney animation, and I wanted to be an animator not to get into my life story, but I ended up pivoting away from that. But I am really happy. I started for a few years studying animation because I developed a really respect, I guess, for the power of oppose. All right, So I want to show you what I look for when I do a gesture drawing, and it's really a personal thing. That's the other beautiful thing about gestures is every artist is allowed to look for what they think is the most important thing, and I'll show you what I look for. The first thing I do is I look for a single line, if possible, that describes the whole pose. You've probably heard this called the line of Action. Um, it'll either usually be an S curve, a C curve or a straight in this 1st 1 here for instance, it's a C curve, and it looks like that now, when I say the term seeker of you think of the letter C is like this, right? We'll see. Curve could also be like this, or like that, or like that, like it could be different variations of the letter C. Like this one has a pretty hard taper right there and then it's smoother over here. This second pose here is a similar curb, although it's steeper up top. So you know where this C curve looks like that the second C curve has a more of a kink at the top. It's almost like an inverted L shape, which falls under the category of a C curve. It affects the attitude just slightly, obviously, these air to see curves so they're gonna be similar. This also speaks toe how riel people pose. You know, you and I have had years of experience in real life, you know, building up our muscle memory in our habits and our attitudes and all this stuff that filters down to our gate to are posing like our natural way that you and I hold ourselves when we walk or when we sit when we stand. Sergio Pablos has implemented that sense of history into this character. If you've seen the movie, this character makes a whole lot of C curves in his posing, you know, speaking of seekers, this third pose is also a seeker of, although this time it's inverted, it goes the other way, and I'll just throw him anyone there so we can compare the three now. The next thing that's really, really important to look for at least what I look for. And I want to remind you at this point that every artist can have their own system of priorities. But the thing I look for is how the shoulder line crosses the line of action. So I've chosen a different color here, and it's just a simple is doing something like this. Making this T crossing where the shoulder line is the 2nd 1 here is very similar to the first, Although much like the line of action, there is a difference in angle ever so slight. That's the other thing that super powerful about gesture because, as we all have experience with, we're extremely good at reading people's body language. You know, the slightest turn of a shoulder can appear rude or the thrust of a chest can appear brave . The slump of a back congeal ese. We have a lifetime of experience reading people's posture, so the exact angle, the exact crossing of the shoulders to the line of action of the body is what I really think is is indispensable imposing. And in this one we have the line crossing here. The next thing I like to do is pretty much the same thing as the shoulder exercise we just did, but I apply it to the hips. So if you think about like where the apex of the hip is, you know the two highest points of the iliac crest, which is the hip bones. Think of where those two points are, and it's just draw the line down this way. This one is a little bit like this, and this one is off frame, but we can imagine it's probably something like that, and these are the kind of road signs that I look for in any pose I ever draw. This includes when I draw gestures from riel models like real life people, or when I'm inventing a character from my imagination. I always start here turning off the artwork. You can see what I mean by road signs. It's like this gives me a little bit of a map as to how to block in the actual drawing of the character. So now that we have the shoulder line kind of in place, I kind of do the same thing as the line of action of the body, this red line. But I do it to the arms. And it should come as no surprise that this character's arms also make a lot of C curves kind of as a way to echo the C curve in the body. You see, we're already talking about design here. I could do a seeker of their a straighter C curve there. This line is very close to straight, but not quite. It still has a bit of an arc to it. And, of course, I'm trying to make sure that the blue line sort of intersects the shoulder points. Not this point. It intersects where the shoulders are right on this post. Here it's almost like the upper arm is a seeker than the forearm is a straight Remember s curve, see curves and straits. You can combine them. This 12 It's kind of like a seeker of that way and a nice straight You see how the characters got a lot of weight on his hand, right there, Like his hand is, you know, his hand is posed solidly on his hip like gripping his hip. Whenever you have something that contains weight like that or force, typically a straighter curve will communicate that force a little bit more strongly than a seeker of or s curve you notice. Even in this pose, his hand is pushing off of a table. So the arm needs to be straighter because that seems to indicate that he's engaging his muscles. So in that way, gesture is even tied to anatomical reasoning. Now, the cool thing is, you don't need to know anatomy to be able to gesture. Well, in fact, when I learned drawing, I didn't touch anatomy for like 2 to 3 years, I spent 100% of my focus on gesture and maybe some basic shape construction, which I'm going to get into right after this. Anyway, on this third post here, this arm is like a steep C curve almost like a fishhook, and this arm is a more graceful C curve. Now, of course, this character's legs were cut off. So in the interest of showing you the entire body, I want to bring up this file here. These are just drawings by Glenville coup who I kind of indirectly studied from my teacher . My first drawing teacher was a big disciple of Glenn's, so the way he taught me was the way Glenn taught him. So it's kind of a bit of a lineage there. I can trace my learning back to Glenn's teachings. Anyway, you should recognize most of what's going on here. Of course, there are some legs here, but the legs are just treated like the arms. You know, when we did the arms here, Glenn is doing the same thing here with the legs, and I want to point out you see how he's kind of got this double line like it almost looks like these air contour lines. They're not. He's not trying to draw ah, leg. It's still a gesture. If you ever get to watch Glenn draw, he often does this kind of rhythmical thing like hell like for the gesture of the leg. He will make a stroke going down the top and then lift his pencil up and like just feeling the rhythm of his arm. As he's doing that, he'll make the stroke going down this way. So instead of like doing one line going like that, he'll go like this and, like, let that rhythm breathe a little bit on the page, so to speak, the way you draw gestures can take years to develop. Even though they're so simple, the gesture is equally about feeling as it is about physical reality, and that will kind of force you to look at your work from a slightly different angle. Now, the other piece of information that we haven't looked at yet is what he's doing with the heads here. You know, when we did these, I wasn't really dealing with the head. I just put the line of action there. But here, Glenn is being pretty specific about the orientation of the head. So I'm looking at this seated figure here. He'll usually block. It was some kind of oval shaped like an egg shape, and then he'll throw in an ellipse to show the axis of the head. And typically Glenn will start his gestures this way. And then what he'll do is he'll go down the body. In this case, here's an example of an s curve. By the way, the slump spine meeting the legs making this graceful sort of s men will find the shoulder line. Sometimes I also draw little ellipses there to indicate you know, that the plane of the shoulders and then you know more more gesturing down the body here. This arm has slumped forward, getting some weight on the leg. So maybe I'll use a straight there. Then the knees come up a little bit higher. Sometimes it helps to put a little X or some kind of dot and then you can draw to that. And then maybe the other knee is just out there. And I could gesture toward that and the feet, and sometimes it helps to use lines or, you know, some kind of directional stroke or a stroke that reveals direction, I should say, for the feet and again. That's something Glenn does throughout his gesture drawing, you know, other things to notice. In Glenn's drawing, look at this floating arm like you don't literally have to draw a T crossing for the shoulder as long as you kind of know where the shoulders are, Like the gesture can communicate that t crossing without you having to literally draw it. You notice that in most of these Glenn doesn't really draw that same T crossing. I tend to draw it in my work just cause it seems to help me. But, you know, you don't have to do that as long as you're observing these patterns that the body will make. I love on this gesture in the lower right here. It's a graceful s curve with a nice, sharp, straight to kind of counterbalance the s. Now, that's not a rule you don't have to use straits to. Counterbalance s is there are no rules. In fact, Glenville blew himself. Will tell you there are no rules, just tools. That's his famous saying. So there are no rules, but sometimes an s curve counterbalanced by a sharper straight could look nice. You know, design is often based on contrast, whereas this post here goes the opposite way, and it and it uses, sort of like curves. You know similar flowing curves throughout and you get two different attitudes. You know, this top one here looks more like maybe a dancer or like a happy go lucky little child or something where the bottom one looks like a little bit more aggressive than that. And that's the other beautiful thing about gesture. When you're putting down these curves on your own work, they will start communicating to you immediately. And I remember it being a real breakthrough in my progress when that started to happen. Alright, What I'd like to do now is draw some gestures from reference. So here we go a limit these drawings to, you know, roughly a minute each. I'm not specifically keeping time, but, you know, gestures tend to be quick, as I just talked about. And usually I get them done in a minute or less. Eso this This woman here is a nice s curve running through, um you notice I've got the shoulders, the hips. Here's the head coming in now kind of the Glenville who sort of lips to identify the eye line like the tilt of the head. And now I'm just kind of just fleshing it out a bit again. These are not contours. They may be hinting at contours, but like there's the knees and I'll just gesture down. I'm not worried about designing the legs like the Contras of the legs, though I'm just worried about capturing that basic thrust of the hip that is so characteristic of this pose, and I'll use lines that I just feel will help me. Now. I know that's not very helpful, but this is where experience comes in the lines. I'm drawing our lines that I know from experience. Help me with the pose, and it's kind of like this. I start with that sort of almost stick man thing, and then I'm getting into some kind of almost quasi contours here. Let's do another one. I'm changing my brush this time just to show you that. You know, certainly the brush you choose doesn't matter. I've got the head, shoulder and arm this time because I think they describe so much than the Seeker of Of the Body is second. But that those arms thrusting forward so sharply I wanted to get first and then I'm just capturing, you know, the tilt of the foot or the feet and ah, that to two she's wearing makes a bit of an interesting gesture itself, with some straits that play against the C curve again, Each pose will present different opportunities for your gesture. All right, here's another one, and I'll use a totally different approach this time up. Use a marker brush and kind of fill in the gesture as if it were like a big, chunky marker that I were using. I'm still thinking about, you know, you can see the S curve that's running through her body. They're down her left leg on blocking in her right leg. And then now it just changed my brush to a more of a linear brush, and I can go over top of this again. These are not contour lines. It's just a bit of a refinement on my super abstract gesture that I laid in. I'm doing different methods for all of these gestures just to drive home guys that there is no one way to do it. One of the downfalls of learning art from another person, as opposed to like fully being explored of yourself. It's very easy. Get locked into like your teachers way of doing things. So I want to show you that there is no one way of doing things, especially when it comes to gesture, which again, is more of a feel thing. All right, so for this one, I'm not going to start with the head. I'm gonna start with the legs because that C curve is so obvious. It's the most important part of this pose. According to me, eso start there. And then when it comes to roughing in the rest of the proportions like I'm doing now, I'll just ballpark it based on where the legs are, you know, usually I start with the head and go down. That's what I usually dio. But in this case, it warranted the opposite approach. And I could call this finish now. But I'm just trying to map out again these quasi contours just to see if I can connect like the hip to the shoulder of the hip, to the elbow, just exploring the pose in terms of how it flows. So this one is more of a back view where the arm is like overlapping the body. These could be a bit trickier, so I'm slowing down a little bit, getting a little bit more of the head blocked in more accurately, Still moving quickly, though. A bit of an s curve down the body. So I'm just gonna shrink this up here so I could fit the whole body on the page, which is a common problem I have. I always tend to draw too big. Um, now that have the head sort of their I confined these curves a little bit more accurately finding the shoulder, Still finding where the hand is. At this point, I'll start locating where those hips are, because that will help with proportions. So there they are about their And then from there, of course, gesturing down toward the legs and then finding the feet you can really think of gesture as finding the pose. You know, I'm not always precisely sure where the hand or feet or hips are. And because gesture is so free, you could make, like, five or six lines to kind of test where you think things are and then commit to the one that you think looks most accurate. So as a quick little bonus for this one just to show you the you know, the freedom in the power and fun of gesture. I'm just gonna do a variation on this pose. So block in the head roughly the same way as it is in the reference like I want to make this pose just offshoots of the original. So the body is gonna be thrust forward, perhaps a little bit more. I'm emphasizing the curves in the original putting, throwing both arms back, thrusting the hip out to the left. This almost looks more like a graceful dance maneuver or something at this point, but it's inspired by the original. You can see how one comes from the other. So this is how you can take photo reference and get away from kind of blindly copying it. Rather use it as a springboard into the world of your imagination. Which is, of course, the world you want to be in when you're illustrating Children's books. Okay, let's move on to the next section where we'll talk about building volume and form on our gesture 6. Chapter 2 - Form: So now that we have the gesture, we want to begin constructing forms. And when I say form, I mean like basic three dimensional objects like this year that I'm drawing is a simple box form. It has a plane that points up a plane that points out and a plane that points to the side. You know, we get a sense of its three dimensionality or other times you can have, like, this circle here. Unlike the box. I can't separate this into obvious planes, but I do want this to look more dimensional. So something we can do is we can put in a lips going around the circle, thus making it into a sphere. I could even do that from the other axis like this way, going around the form, and we now get a sense of its three dimensionality. These lines that go over the form are called cross contours. We will be using a lot of cross contours and the rest of this class. So let's say I had a gesture that kind of looked like this like a little seeker of gesture like we've seen before. Well, now what I could do is I could put a box over on this part of it just very quickly. Doesn't have to be like some kind of perfectly technically accurate box ranting. This could be just quick. And then let's say I put like a sphere right there or a circle at this point. And because I did that on a layer, I can always just dim down my gesture drawing. And now what I can do is using some cross contours. I can figure out a little bit more accurately what the three dimensionality of this little object is. You see how it bulges out for the sphere tucks in here? This would be like where the stomach would be. It tucks in and then comes back out here. I have that on the layer to let me dim that as well. And then on a new layer, I could begin to more fully understand the form that I'm drawing comes around here. These are actual contour lines. Now this box is gonna be on top of the sphere so it comes down but haven't overlap there. And then from behind it comes the mass of the sphere. On this part. There's a bit of a stretch happening here is like the form kind of gives away so bit of a stretch, and then it takes on the form of the sphere. This is looking like a torso, is it not? In fact, this is a very common construction for a torso. You can use boxes or spheres or whatever. Whatever you suits you really let me quickly gesture in some arms. Like if the shoulders air here, maybe there's an arm coming in this way with the hand going down. And maybe this arm comes out this way again. I'm using s curves. I'm thinking about secrets. Ask of straights. I'm going right back to my gesture Language thes drawing fundamentals can flow together. You can switch from gesture to form, back to gesture, etcetera. Then maybe there's a head up here that is pointed all drawn ellipses pointing up like this is a dancer or something. There's a head there and maybe there's some hair spilling this way. Some flowy s curves. Now what I'll do is I will go into construction mode. Ah, landmark where I think the elbow would be. This one is over here, and I'm gonna use a cylinder to draw these arms. Now a cylinder has a top, a bottom. And then, of course, the connection, which is pretty straight. Now, the tricky thing about cylinders is the way the ellipse goes depends on your view. This cylinder I'm looking slightly down at, which means I can see the top of that ellipse. Same with this one. If I wanted to draw through the form, you could see the top of it. Now contrast that with this other one. I'll do with the same sort of thing. But this one I'll have go, like above my eye line and I'll do this side as well. But this time I will cap it off This way. So this imitates a cylinder where I'm looking down at it on this plane, I could see the top, but then here I'm looking up at it. And this the backside goes underneath that way. You know, that plane is pointed that way in space. Can you see the difference between these two? This top plane is oriented toward our eyes, whereas this one is going away. That is a subtle bit of construction that you have to have control over. And I'll apply it to this figure right now. So because we're kind of looking slightly up at this model, you cannot see the top of the shoulder. So I'm gonna draw the lips moving away from us. Same with the elbow here. It's gonna be sort of this way. And then I could just connect them. When I could do is I can also cross contour this cylinder to emphasize the form. I'm thinking maybe it's a bit short. Maybe the elbow is maybe a here. And then I will ah, ballpark quickly where the wrist is, and I will do another cylinder. Only this time the Ellipse at the end of this cylinder is going to go this way, indicating there's a slight bend in the elbow. Now you notice my gestured hand is all the way over here. That's wrong. It's not in the right place anymore. The gesture has already served its purpose. I'm now refining it. I'm building on top of it with my construction. With my three dimensional forms for the hand, I will draw pretty simple box kind of going down this way, sort of this tapered box to indicate both the poem and the finger areas of the hand. And then very quickly I will do the same process for the other side using cylinders. Don't forget to cross contour them. It always helps to understand which direction the form is flowing. Maybe the box for her hand will be kind of twisted here and then for the head. It's largely the same thing. What I've got laid in is kind of a combination of a sphere in a box. So what I'll do is I'll push it in the direction of a box, figuring out where the side plane is this being with side plane, then we have across Contra here, wrapping around the side of the box. This is the underside of the box right here. And then the neck, of course, comes out there like a cylinder. So put that in. We could see that from our imagination. I'm not using any reference for this week unbilled simple figures that actually have motion and wait and dynamic poses to them. Knowing the orientation of this box will also help me place things like the nose which is in itself like a little box. Sort of like this, of course, were looking up at this head, so we're going to see the underside of the nose just like we're seeing the underside of the chin and jaw. And then from here, you know, you could just start chiseling out certain things. You can always add more cross contours going over the form to help you understand what's happening. For instance, this ellipse goes up like this, but the Ellipse here would go this way, and the lips even further down would be even more steep. Can you see how that really informs the dimensionality of the drawing? And just for fun? If I wanted to add legs to this, I could think of where the cylinder would be. Go down this cylinder. Let's have her. Let's have a leg going up this way. So this cylinder would be the Ellipse would be this way and then would come out. They're being me here. Obviously this is cropped cylinder down, and then we can connect these masses here. This is essentially basic figure drawing. Now, don't worry. I know this is a Children's book illustration class, not a figure drawing class, but these air drawing fundamentals that are essential for what's to come and I don't want anybody to be left in the dark here. If this whole notion of constructing forms is very new to you, I recommend stopping right here in practicing. And here's a very basic exercise. I'll draw two circles, one overlapping the other and using that same light color, I'll cross Contour kind of interesting sort of thing, like going over the spheres and different axes like this. Now, with a darker color, I want to build the final form and the exercises, visualizing which sphere is in front and which fears behind. So I'll start with the far one. This is gonna be behind, so I'll start with this one. Here. This comes down. Now I'll stop around this point because that's where the closer sphere overlaps it. So I'll draw his contour. And now, to show the three dimensional overlap at this little nub of a form that really helps communicate that one sphere is in front of another. And on this side it stretches a bit and comes down to meet this sphere like this. And then I could just wrap this around like that. Then I can further bring back my cross contours essentially we have a sort of a torso thing . It almost looks like we're looking at the back side of a figure. Here's another one. Draw circle there and a circle here. Quickly give it some cross contours. This is similar delighted earlier. But on this one, let's have the top sphere be in front in the bottom syrup, be behind. So again I'll switch to a darker color. We'll start with this outside. One goes down like this. So here I bring my contour down, feeling the form of that sphere. Now this is in front. It's gonna overlap it like this. Then from behind comes this sphere and we just complete that volume like this. And then, of course, I could bring back my cross contours to enhance my understanding of this form. I could cross contour this way. This is similar to the figure we just drew. How about one words more of a boxy form like this where we can really see the underside of it. And then here's a sphere. Cross contour would look something like this down the middle of that box down here and then this is like a twisting torso. Can you see how that cross contour really helps show that twist. Now, what I could do with my darker color again is go over it and kind of find exactly where one form is overlapped by the other. I think this sphere would overlap it like this. I can draw that little. I've heard this called the accordion effect in animation school. These little lumps on drawing here that comes down, this comes in down, but it's overlapped by the sphere again. So we get these convincing little three D form exercises that are kind of emblematic of the human body. But they don't have to be. The idea is that you're able to mentally turn the two dimensional page into a three dimensional space, you know, and thinking about your gesture like this and then perhaps constructing some simple box forms on top of it, it's a great way to get in tune with how these fundamentals connect. His bottom box might be over here. We're looking at it this way. And then in this case, you could just be creative With that final contour, you arrive at a little bit of, ah, depression here, as these forms are organic and squishy. This is an exercise that my teacher had me Do you know when I would go to figure drawing class before the if the model were ever late or something? We would just do this. We would just draw circles or boxes and connect them and have all kinds of fun with them. Another thing you can do is anticipate the overlaps. I'll draw a circle here, and then I will drop behind it. This other form So this already looks three D and then I'll just get a darker color and I'll figure out you know where that overlap is happening here. This coming in fronts that coming out from behind and then I can cross contour that have really understand its form. Here's another quick little variation on that exercise is gonna draw a little box just so we know what we're working with. And I want to twist that form as if it were alive or something. So how about if I tried something like this? This is the top plane of the box that maybe we see a little bit of its back and the bottom kind of gets twisted and the box like comes out here. I just toss this into a quick shadow to communicate that you see the box. It looks like it has a spine or something. Now it's like a character out of a box. Um, let's try. A different one will have the side plane. This is the side plane and this is doing this and it's like stepping out. It's walking the red carpet or something again. Sometimes it helps just to throw one of the back planes in shadow. You know what this reminds me of? Remember this character from Aladdin, the carpet character? He's not even a box. He's a rectangle. He doesn't really have, like the same thickness that the box did. He's just flat, but this carpet is a fully a motive character with, like, irreducibly simple geometry. And when it comes to getting your brain to understand three dimensional forms in space, I think drawing this magic carpet character is a really, really good exercise you can get, like, you know, he's kind of got feet by way of those carpet fiber things. I don't know what they're called. These things on drawing now. These would be his hands, but you know there's oppose that looks like he's being sneaky or shy or something. You could see I had my initial gesture there, by the way. And if I want to be accountable for my three dimensionality, I could cross contour down the middle of this fold here. When it wraps behind the carpet, I'll use disconnected lines like that. This comes out in front, down. You know, when this cross contour traces the center line of our magic carpet character here. If you wanted to further clarify it, just take anything that's being tucked underneath and just throw a quick little value on it for a shadow, and you'll get a sense that that top portion is coming forward. You don't have to do this, but this is just something that is really, really good for getting again. Getting your brain to recognize, not recognize. It's getting your brain to interpret. The two dimensional page has a three dimensional space. That's kind of the crux of any successful drawing is you want to be able to do that. The cool thing about the magic carpet character is he can like, fold and sort of ripple on in on himself, right? He's a carpet, so you'll see like the front of him. And then around the back, you'll see that underside is it sort of wraps around again. I'll just toss this into a quick shadow there and then maybe his arms slash legs things. If he's sort of flying here while you cylinders right, I'll block in these cylinders. Although these air tapered cylinders right, they're not straight on their kind of one side is shorter than the other. Right? Like it, the cylinder like this, like 1/2 cylinder half cone, I guess with his little carpet fiber thing, he's anyway, let's get an actual cross contour in there, so we understand the dimension of it. It just is like a modification to this. What if we erased this part and just had him like almost waving at the camera like this part is coming up, and it's like, you know, we can see the underside of it and he's sort of giving the camera a little wave or something. This would be the underside, so I'm throwing it in shadow. Something like that. See if you can get that working. You know, this is the kind of thing that will really stretch your your brain to again convert two dimensions into three in an intrinsic sort of instinctual way, I should say, And that will again, just for you up for, you know, drawing characters. Which don't worry. We're going to get to actual character drawing. Right after this, we're gonna talk about shapes, which I want to talk about before we do that, Then we'll get right into some rapid fire character drawing. Let's see, just for fun just to round up the page. How about one brothers? Even more, But twist to him. Let's see like he's triumphantly walking forward or something. So let's see if I could figure this out. So this is gonna be a tough one. So where this is gonna be like the back side of him. This would be the front. So let's say I want to plant a foot. This foot will be right here. Get that little cylinder in there. This is one hand. This is the other hand, and then this is his other foot. I don't need this line in the middle, just tryingto in real time, solve a problem and try to keep it gestural. But at the same time, I'm trying to think about form and gesture, sort of all at the same time, because this post twists and turns so dramatically, I find that I don't quite need the gesture and there's so much. I just need to think about it as I draw these forms overlapping. This would be his other foot, of course, like he's taking a step forward and twisting, like if, if you were looking somewhere, he'd be looking off. That way I can throw this in shadow is to communicate this pose. There we go. That reads, Right, A great little exercise. Inform. Okay, But like I said, there's another fundamental to talk about. Before we start combining all these and do actual character drawings, that fundamental is shape. So I'll see you in the next section where we'll talk about shape. 7. Chapter 2 - Shape: shape is the third riel important fundamental we have to look at before we can start applying all this stuff together. And I'd like to open the section with my overall philosophy of shape design. As I've mentioned before, there are no rules with this stuff. So if you're not guided by rules, what are you guided by? Well, you have to be guided by a philosophy. Many artists have similar philosophies. Many artists will have different philosophies. So I'd like to share with you my philosophy of shape design. And these are all ideas I've picked up partially from my own teachers. But more importantly, from my experience in applying this stuff, you know, habits and beliefs that I formed along the way, let's first recall some familiar material. Here are the three drawings we've already looked at. They're gestural and rough, and here are the final versions of those drawings with the fully finished shape design applied to them. Shape is a very powerful thing because it encapsulates both. The gesture and the form shape is also the final statement Your audience actually sees. They don't physically see the gesture. They don't physically see the construction of your three D forms. They see the shapes. So speaking philosophically here, if you think of like the art you're producing for a Children's book, what you're doing is you're telling a story with your pictures. That's why we read books is to be told stories. So as the illustrator of the Children's book, the shapes you use become the vehicle for your storytelling. And when you think about storytelling, what is like the number one sin that you can commit at a storyteller? You know what is the thing that will make an audience not want to listen to your stories? To me, that sin is being boring or being predictable, which is another version of being boring. If your telling a predictable story, the audience will already know where it's going, so they'll tune out and they won't remember you. This is something we absolutely must avoid. This is tricky, though, because stories have to promise and deliver on certain things, like, for example, but say you're going to the movie theater to see a detective movie. Well, that movie better have a detective in it, and that detective better be investigating something in that movie, you know, if you don't deliver on some basic obligations as a storyteller. That's another way to lose your audience. Anyway. In that detective movie, there will probably also be a section where the detective thinks he's got it solved. But then an unexpected twist happens, and he realizes he doesn't know as much as he thought he did. You know, maybe a character who he thought of as his ally turns into an enemy. These air all genre conventions things we expect as an audience on audience, conditioned by millennia of hearing stories. So the trick with storytelling is how do you satisfy an audience is expectations while working within that framework to deliver something unexpected and creative? So remember a minute ago I said that being predictable is another way of being boring? Well, I think you should have some amount of predictability in your storytelling because that's what will help give it structure. But then you have to play with that structure at just the right times. That's the kind of thing that will engender trust in your audience. And quite simply, they'll stick around to hear what you have to say. Okay, so you're probably sitting there like how does this even remotely relate to shapes? Well, let's say we had a shape like this. A square. It's made of four equal sides. It's a very common shape. In fact, it's probably one of the first shapes we were ever introduced to as young babies. So it has a very strong identity. But at the same time, there's nothing particularly interesting about a square. So let's say this square represents a theoretical shape that we want to put in our drawing . Well, instead of making it like a perfect square like that, why not work within that framework and just deviate a little bit from the square and do something like this? Now, I'm not saying you have to draw all your squares like that. I'm just showing you an example of how we work within a structure to come up with something perhaps a little bit more unexpected. And in so doing, the hope is to generate creativity. You know, stay tuned for the next section of this chapter to actually apply all this. This is kind of the theory section here, but by working within our genre obligations here, that genre being a square and just giving it our own little twist. That is a very good first step towards shape originality, another common method to adjust shapes. We have this circle here, right? Well, think about maybe applying like a force to it. Let's say a force going down. Well, instead of the circle looking like that, maybe the circle now looks a little bit. Waited this way like again, the four supplying down to it and that circle is affected almost by gravity or something. You could do the same thing, you know, with the force going upward. Another extremely common thing to do with shape design is combined, curves and straight. So we have a circle in the square. So let's say we start with the square like this. But then there is a little round part to it. You know, it goes up in a nice, predictable straight line, maybe a neighboring straight line. And then maybe there's this con cave sort of thing and, you know, connects encloses like that. What's required here is not really artistic skill. I mean, after all, this is really easy stuff to do. But what's required is that we engage your mind in a more philosophical way, and I don't mean to sound profound with that. This is very simple stuff, but that's the whole beauty of having a philosophy. It guide you towards simple solutions. In fact, chances are if you're drawings, look over complicated. That usually means you're not really guided by anything, which means you're not grounded by anything, which means you're gonna be prone to doing too many things all at once. And doing too many things all at once is not good structure. Another common thing that risks being too predictable is like two parallel lines say, like, this is a sleeve And like, here's the cuff right there. Well, instead of that being your arm shape, why not have one of those straight lines be there? But the other one kind of does this and, you know, maybe the cuff does this were just breaking up that symmetry. Can you see how it's still based on a very obvious structure here? I'm simply riffing on that structure, maintaining its solidity while adding something new, even something as simple was like changing the angle of the symmetry. So it's something like this. I would argue that that is more interesting than that usually anyway, again, there are no rules. Nothing is absolute going back to this sheet. Let's take a look at this forearm and its corresponding finished art. Noticing the gestural drawing Sergio Pablos hasn't really paid a lot of attention to design . Now, make no mistake, there's still some design even in these rough drawings. After all, Sergio Pablos is of master artists, someone who knows his fundamentals, and when you know your fundamentals, you can combine them. But look at the shape refinement that's happening down here. That same forearm has a straight a little hook and then another little curve to make up one side. And then on the other side, it's a curve that kind of goes in, and with little s end, like a little official to it there. Then, of course, it flares out for the cuff. Can you see how that shape is very similar to what we were just talking about? This reminds me of another really important principle, one I use all the time. I call it offset symmetry. So if you think of the forearm, I think everyone kind of knows that the forearm bulges out because of the muscles you know , nearest to the elbow. Of course, what I just drew right there is too symmetrical, so offset symmetry well offsets the symmetry. So instead of this, you have this where it's still kind of symmetrical, but it's the access is like diagonal like that. That's the kind of principle that's at play here. Except in addition to the offset symmetry, Sergio Pablos is also using variations of straights and curves. Allow me to bring up this diagram of the human calf muscle. Now, Don't worry, I'm not gonna get into an anatomy lesson here, but I find it really interesting that nature herself. Does this offset symmetry? You can find it all over the human body, so let's look at the calf muscle on the left. Let's trace this elegant sort of C curve notice. Its neighboring side has a seeker, but it's offset if we examine where the widest points are in this CAF on either side. They're right here and look at the access those to make offset symmetry. Guys, I personally live by it. Here's just another great little example of breaking up the shapes. This arm, for all intents and purposes, is pretty symmetrical Like I said earlier, that arm has some weight on it as he's pushing his body up from the table. So you know the sleeve will be stretched out. Pablo's here is using straits to communicate a sense of weight. But let me just take what I just drew their move it over here. What I love about what's going on here is there's a little bit of a taper here and then up here, it kind of cuts in like that. It's just this little accent of shape that piggybacks on the structure of two parallel lines, but it just adds that little twist on it. And speaking of the sleeves, I really like what's going on with these little frilly things, like on both sleeves. He's got those little I don't know what those are. Double sleeves. I'm not even sure what they're called. I like them because that part of his clothing gives further leeway to break up the shapes before moving on. I want to elaborate a little bit on this whole Straits carrying weight thing. Let's say I'm drawing this gesture here. This figure and I want let's say there's a table here and I want this figure to be leaning on the table. Here's the shoulder here. Using straits is a great way to show that there's weight on that arm. And then maybe this arm here is gesturing like this person's talking or something. If I do the same drawing a different way, you can see that the weight is not quite the same. So here's the same sort of gesture. But if I had the figure going like this, you can see that it doesn't quite look like there's much weight on the arm. In my opinion, this one sells the action more to the viewer. Now don't get me wrong. This one has its own action. That's perfectly legitimate. It just doesn't look like there's the same amount of weight being placed on the table. Another example is like a contra pasta. Oppose those air poses were like the hip is thrust out. And then that foot is carrying a lot of weight. Kind of like this. By using this straight right here, that really shows that that hip is holding a lot of this character's weight, and then, of course, with the other leg, you're free to maybe give it a curve to show that there's less weight on this foot, like maybe those characters walking or something, or just starting to move that leg forward, Or maybe the characters just still on the ground. Maybe the arm is attached to the hip here, and you have this kind of straight to show the weight being placed on it. And then this arm is kind of just dangling lazily to the side. Now I don't mean to compare my work, Teoh Michelangelo, but you can see in this highly realistic sculpture where all the weight is placed on one leg, the same principle still shows up. The only difference is that cartoons are more simplified and therefore more exaggerated. Yet another facet of shape is something I call continuous rhythm. And what I mean by that is where one side of the body gets lost like it goes behind something and then picks up on the other side. A great example are like his two shoulders here. If I were to trace the shoulder line here, it gets lost as it passes behind the head, but when it gets picked up on the other side, we can anticipate exactly where it's gonna come out of the silhouette because of the rhythm that's in play here. This is similar and spirit to those obligations I was talking about in storytelling. You set up a rhythm, break it, and then the audience will expect you to fulfill the obligation of continuing it. And when you do, you build that visual trust with the audience. Another example of continuous rhythm is this line down the body Here it gets broken right there by the shirts. It gets broken right there by the Ascot. I think that's what that's called. But our brains are smart enough to recognize that there's a line here that's continuous. In fact, if you look up at the gesture, drawing that line is literally continuous. Which, of course, is part of the tool set of the gesture drawing. You want to find that flow right in the final design. We cannot literally keep that flow because of all these items, but we do have to make sure those continuous rhythms are still in place. Look over here. Here's another sneaky little one. Look at this beautiful rhythm from the arm up to the hand. See, that s curve. It's broken right there by the cuff. But again, the rhythm is undeniably kept intact. Here's another obvious one here you can see up here. Pablo's was thinking about that really dramatic C curve, right for the arm again in a gesture drawing. He's very literal about that. In his final, you can still see the evidence of it. It's just masked a little bit by, you know, shape accents and, you know, interrupted shapes while still preserving the essence of this. So this is what I mean when I say shapes encapsulate both the gesture and the form. The other thing that falls under the jurisdiction of shape is proportions or, in other words, the size and space between elements. Let's start just by looking at spacing. Here's a circle, which I'm dividing roughly in half. Then I'll divide those in half and then I'll just throw some features here, and we have a pretty generic face. In keeping with my philosophy about predictability. There's really nothing interesting about that character I just designed. Quite frankly, it's very boring. Nobody would remember this design, but just by changing this up, let me apply some of that force to the sphere or to the ball. And let's change the proportions a little bit. Let's go something like this. And let's also maybe add some kind of angular quality to the eyes to change their shapes. And here we go. This is more interesting. You know, we have various degrees of spacing between each feature here, whereas with this one it was much more predictable. We could go the other way and extend the head this way. Maybe let's Adam kind of curves vs straight thing to this head this time. Let's put the nose down here in the mouth. Maybe down there we have our two eyes. Maybe the nose comes down here and the mouth is there instead of having that mouth line up perfectly with the knows what happens if we just erased that mouth and redrew it like this . So it's is way bigger, maybe even overlapping the nose a little bit. So now we have different wits. The I width is there. The nose with is there, and the mouth with is like that. How about we go back to a little basic circle ish and do something like this? We have the eyes here, the nose here in the mouth, maybe all the way over here. Deviating from perfect proportions is where you'll find character. There seems to be something about this design that suggests an individual. And, of course, where you put things like ears could play a huge role as well. That versus this. I usually do think of concepts like Wait a lot of the time. So, like on this head here, instead of putting the ears right in the middle of the features, which is roughly where they would go in real life, I'll think about adding some weight to it. So again, like gravity pushing the form down, so undo those. You know what if I put the ear a little bit more weighted to the bottom? Now this doesn't always work, but it's just something I look for. I try and implement it. I find that usually gets more interesting, like on this guy here. Instead of putting the ears in the middle, try putting them either down here or maybe up here in keeping with the force thing. The other thing to be aware of when it comes to proportions and facial features, I'll do a few more quick examples. Let's draw like an underlying shape. This will be a person in profile just gonna put that shape over there and duplicated a couple of times, and now we'll start adding some features to it. Maybe on this one will keep the eyes and nose high and the mouth low and will keep the ear high as well. Maybe on the 2nd 1 will have the features kind of squish more into the middle of this shape . So the forehead becomes high, the chin becomes compressed and the features air squeezed in the middle. On this last one, let's try more like radiating features. This time, the brow and chin will be roughly the same size, and the nose will offset that by being elongated. So three different personalities on the same shape just by changing the proportions. Okay, so this brings me to the final principle I'd like to talk about in this section on shapes. I'll now introduce you to something I call thematic shapes. So let's say I had a shape like this. That's our thematic shape. It provides the theme around which I will now construct or design this entire character. The cool thing about somatic shapes is you can just brush in any shape. Riel quickly. Let's say something like this and then grab a brush and just see what happens when you construct something on top of it. This one happens to be turning to do some bear like character. For this one. Here are blocking something, just using a soft brush, and this looks like the proportions of a child, so I'll use it as reference for that. And maybe she's like wearing a flowy sort of cape. I've obviously sped this drawing up. This is not a demonstration of character design, rather just how thematic shapes could be. A facets of your overall shape design, which could lead to anything, not just characters. Thematic shapes are great tools for understanding overall attitudes. Like when I designed this guy, I wanted him to be very brutish, so the thematic shape I had in mind was a square. But I riffed on that square. His head is kind of this tapered square like this. His body is kind of, ah squarish sort of thing. Like that. Again, I'll bring you back to what I talked about earlier in this section, where I'm not exactly drawing squares, but these air still identifiably squares to play with proportions. I gave him two little small stick like squares at the bottom. Rectangles, actually. And then really, the only curve he got is the pelvis area. Thought that was kind of funny Toe have. I mean, he's kind of a bigger character, right? So I thought this sold some of the weight of his stomach and his arms are also large, sort of tapered squares, sort of like this. Even his little feet were a little stick like squares there. And when I would paint him or draw him or sketch him and various pages to keep his design consistent, I would usually start with something like this. But again, the beauty of thematic shapes is they're so simple that quite often you don't actually need to draw this. You could just think about it, although in the concept stage it does help to draw this stuff out just to root it in your brain. In this case, the thematic shapes even played into the costume design. You know, everything is very squarish the stripes on his shirts, the caller that I just drew. It's all based on squares and you notice I'm offsetting all of these shapes to create the maximum amount of interest while hopefully still holding onto the structure of the square. Of course, yeah, this is really how you can start stacking all these lessons together to design a appealing and fresh and original character. Another great function of the thematic shape is to differentiate characters that have to appear on the same page or in the same book. These monsters are both based on a circle, but there's enough difference in how I theme to that circle for anyone, Children and adults alike to recognize the difference. All right, so that wraps up our fundamental discussion of shape in the next section will take everything we've learned in this entire chapter, and I'll combine them to show you the actual process I use when working on Children's books . So I'll see you there 8. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments: Oh, okay. In this section, I'll do some drawings based on real assignments that I've had in the past. Here's a book I illustrated for Disney. Sheriff Callie's Wild West. Sheriff Callie's Wild West was a pretty popular TV show a few years ago, and as an existing property, the characters were already designed. This character here is named Peck. He's the deputy sheriff of a town that in this book, is being ravaged by bad guys, and he does his best to help. But ultimately it's Sheriff Callie who comes to save the town anyway, after Sheriff Callie saves the day, there's this passage that reads like this. Everybody cheered. Callie had saved the day again. Why isn't your share of protecting this town? Kelly asked. Everybody's afraid, Peck explained, and the bad guys keep coming back. This is the source material I had to work with from the text. We know that Peck is admitting fear of the bad guys that keep coming back and what this text is leading to on the next pages that Callie gets the sheriff job for this town. So we need to drop Peck and oppose that engages Callie, but is deferential to her, you know, as if to confer her superiority in the bravery department now, because this is a character that I did not design. In order to draw this guy properly, I need to take stock of some proportions. What I like to do is measure the head against the rest of the body. The head and hat in this case comprise about 2/3 of the body, with the actual rest of the body being 1/3. This is obviously critical information, because when it comes to gesturing out this character, I do want to maintain some kind of proportion. So I'll start him out like this. This will be his head, obviously. And I'm thinking that he's gonna be leading with his head. That is, his head is gonna be the furthest, most part of the pose. And as a kind of dim your kind of guy, he's gonna be leaning almost as if shy to show himself to Callie. So the gesture is gonna be the C curve. If I follow the cross contour from the front of the head down the body and making this s curve and the arms will be kind of back behind him. I think this helps show a a reverential kind of subdued, shy pose. His feet will be somewhere here. Now. I'm just thinking gesture right now. I'm not thinking shape yet. Let's see if I can tilt his head a little bit more. I'm constantly going back to my eye line and just tweaking how, exactly? It's oriented. I think a little bit of the tilt of the head again shows that deferential sort of treatment . The hat is somewhere up here. So the thing I like about the Peck character is this red part in here is very good for going around the form. It's like a big sort of cross contour. So I will use that even at this rough gesture phase to figure out the dimension of his head . This midline that I'm drawing now literally is across contour. It goes down the mid line of the face, and we get a sense for exactly how that head is oriented. And this will also show me where the eyes go. Now I make sure I keep their orientation as this head is, um, tilted a little bit. So when I will be a bit lower than the other because the whole head is being rotated right now. At this point, I want to start thinking about shape. His head is very circular, but can you see? It's a little bit flat here at the bottom. Now, as the illustrator of this book, I would like it to be a bit more flat at the bottom, but I'll see what I could get away with. This is where I have to adhere to Disney's design. I can't just go rogue on them, right? But at the same time, I'm pretty sure I would be able to edit this head shape just a little bit to give a little bit more weight to the bottom. Maybe something like this. Now the eyes are going to be engaging Sheriff Callie, who will be, you know, to the left here, which I haven't drawn. I'll draw her next. Maybe I'll play with a bit of up tilted brow like he's apologetic about being so scared of the bad guys. He's, you know, he's This is not his best moment admitting this to them to the hero character. Now, remember, in the shape section, we talked about proportions. Where is the mouth in relation to the I. Another thing you can do to elaborate on this is draw a triangle that connects the corners of the eyes to the middle of the mouth, and the nature of that triangle needs to be preserved in order to keep the likeness. Now he's got a beak that sticks out, so I'll see if I could get a beak just roughed in there. Just roughing this in starting to deal with shapes a little bit now. Now that I have a gesture worked out, however, I don't want to complete the head, you know, in all of its detail. I do want to go to the body and let's see if I can figure out how his arm goes. His arm is a basic cylinder, and it's gonna wrap around to the back. The bandanna, By the way, it was a nice sort of V shape that traces the center. In fact, the point should be a little bit more in, I think, and now what I'll do is I'll start working out some volumes for the body. Can you see this nice curve there for the hips? He's got this sort of cylinder thing going, I will get that right here. And sometimes it does help to draw with a different color like I'm doing right now, by the way, for your landmarks and stuff. The feet are actually a bit low on my gesture, his legs air riel tiny so his feet will probably go right around here. His body is a slightly tapered sort of thing. It's not straight up and down. It has a bit of, ah taper to it, and he's gonna have a lot of weight coming forward to support his body, leaning back. So all your strengths here to get his lower side there, and I'm not worried about the boots yet. I just want to know where his feats kind of touched the ground somewhere like this. I think that's probably the right location for them. His other arm is hidden from view, but I can kind of rough and where it it is, all right. And now his hat is, you know, somewhere in here, remember, his head is tilted, so the hat is also going to be tilted. It's not a straight up and down had it rotates with the head. Throw this in shadow just to show that it wraps behind the head. And that hat also wraps around the sphere across contour around the sphere. This way to show that the hat is wrapping around a three dimensional object. Okay, let me just fill in this sort of red section of his head here. The pattern that I like so much it makes me realize that his eyes are too close together. So what I'll do is I'll just erase them and redraw them. This is the nice part about kind of building on a gesture. The gesture is determining the pose, not my finished details. So, you know, in this case, I consider the eyes like finished detail. There's not a whole lot of detail in this character. So the gesture being in place, I could just move those eyes a little bit and know that it's still gonna exist on good structure. This is better. I also want to circle if I his head a little bit more. It was just a little flat before. Now we can deal with maybe his jacket here, which drapes down on his body. Let me just get rid of these purple across Contras here so we can see how the body works. The white part of his chest is there, and then the legs have, like this crotch area that's low. So it's like this and then his boots wrapped around his legs. So I'll drive a cylinder thing as if his is if the boot and foot are like a cylinder. And then I could just find that V where it meets the center of the leg and I can trace down to get the boot. So there we go. There's our peck drawing coming to life, and what I want to do at this point is just fixed mistakes and clean it up. So here's a little mistake. I got his belly wrong. It kind of curves in more than the knee comes out, some fixing that I'm bringing back his left leg because I feel like without that, he would topple over. He would like, toppled backwards, so he needs more support on the left leg. Here. I'm just applying some value just to separate the boots from the red portion of his skin, tweaking contours. Now you know, making sure my shapes are where they should be for me to then send this drawing into into the client for approval. I'm still working on the shape of the head. It's not quite circular enough. I'll keep going back to that. Um, here's the other side of the red portion of his head that continue is that continues from this part. The eyes are close. The far, I think, is a bit small. So here I'll just increase the size. I find that putting some solid irises in really helps give the character life. Here's a bit of continuous rhythm with the eyebrows. Watch the sea. This rhythm line here continuous rhythm connecting the eyebrows is a good idea. Um, the beak, from this perspective, like a 3/4 perspective, is gonna be a bit of ah, challenge of Have to figure out exactly how to draw that. So bear with me while I try a few different iterations again. I'm working on just one layer here, um, which I often do with my rough drawings. I don't want to get bogged down in technology, although if you're more comfortable with more layers like, maybe you want your gesture on a layer and then like you know, this stage of later in the drawing. You want to build your volumes on another layer. That's totally fine. Whatever workflow you choose, I'm obviously not showing you my layers here cause I'm just using one. I will be. I will be sure to show you my layers in chapter three when we're doing more painting. When I do keep things more on layers for the most part anyway. Yes. So I'm arriving at a beak shape there. That looks about right for this angle, I might tweak that when I go to paint. Of course, all of this stuff is subject to further tweaking in the paint stage. And you know who knows what a client will say to you? Submit this to a client. They might like the post, but they might, you know, say adjust the size of his boots or whatever it is. Clients can be all kinds of picky. It really depends on who you're working for. So here I'm going back to the head and just trying to emphasize the circular nature of it. His head is so circular to the point where too much deviation will really look obvious. So I want to make sure I have maintained that you noticed my circle shape for the head is a bit flatter at the bottom, which I like here. I'm just figuring out exactly how the hat goes. Some detail up top there is the hat kind of compresses in on itself. This is similar to that accordion effect I was showing you before in the form section. Here is just a bit of cash shadow on the ground to root him to the ground and just tweaking the folds on the bandanna and tweaking now the final contours of the hat. The drawing at this point is at the stage where its client ready. I find that clients you should really give them a finished or something near finished in the shape department. You don't want to give them too much of a rough drawing because they won't appreciate the steps that are still to come. And I'm just realizing here that I haven't drawn his deputy badge. This is something I would probably just handle in paints. I could just block it in here figuring out roughly where that star goes. But I'm not too worried about it. You notice I just blocked it in with a ellipse first, something that encapsulates the entire star, just deepening the lines on the eyes, which helps give them a bit of life. I find you know, those eyes air still just a little bit high. Let's grab them with the lasso tool. Drop them down a little bit. The bottoms of the eyes, air like in line with the top of the beak. It was have to clean this up a little bit. The beak might even overlap that I, in this 3/4 perspective, just reinforced my cross contours there and continue with some general clean up and a couple of little highlights to finish it off. And there we have our finished rough drawing. It has the emotion that character design, the pose, the form, the shape and it's clean enough to be client ready. Okay, so let's add Callie to the drawing. There she is on the left proportionately. She's very similar to Peck, and it's really through her color palette that she differentiates herself. I find that in young Children's programming like this, proportions do often tend to be similar from character to character, which can help them feel like they all live in the same world. So anyway, on a new layer, let's gesture out something here. Cali is asking, Why isn't the sheriff protecting this town? And this is after she just saved the day. So she's got some confidence here, but she's still inquisitive, so you don't want her to be like Inpex. Face her anything. But you do want her to have an air of confidence. And we have a lot of room for that because Peck is lacking confidence, which you spent great effort on communicating in his drawing. So there's a lot of emotional space you might say for Callie to take on the confidence role here, so I'm gonna tilt her head as well. I noticed that head tilts are something that happens so often in real life. Like, you know, people tilt their head a lot when they speak, and adding that to your cartooning can really bring a sense of life and believability to your work. Which publishers Likas Well, because Children's books, after all, model behavior for Children. So the more natural you could be in that department, the better. So I think I'll have Kallis arms Ah, Kimbo here on her hip. Let's get a bit of continuous rhythm here to find the other arm, which is maybe gesturing toward Peck like, Hey, what's going on here? Figure out this basic seeker of gesture, which I can trace down for the back like maybe the front leg is out. Kind of like this. You notice. I'm kind of dealing with shape and gesture and form, kind of all jumbled at once. This is what I actually do. When I draw, I combine them. Now I'm on a layer here so I could make her a bit larger. I'm noticing her. I want their feet two to line up and their heads to roughly be in the same spot as well, because proportionately they are very similar. We just switched to a different color here. Figure out the cross contour for her hips and this rhythm for her shoulders, and I could just go one foot there. The other foot back there, she bit small. Now let's go a little larger. Let's work on the eyes. I find that once you get the eyes working, the rest of the drawing comes together so much more quickly, so she has to be looking at him, which she's currently not. This is not the right position for the eyes, so let's just erase them out. That's fixed the tilt of her head. This is why haven't drawn any detail yet. I still want to be able to rotate my volumes here and figure this stuff out across contour down her head. Now her snow comes out. So across contour the snow. This is a way to block it in without actually drawing anything. It's gonna ballpark where that snow comes out, which I can see over here, by the way, is like, I don't know, 2/3 down the head. So make sure that mine is also roughly 2/3 down the head. Sometimes even putting in the nose helps you ballpark the dimension of a snout. Now her mouth is down here. I'll have her smiling because she's you know she's friendly. She's just asking a question and see if I can get her eyes correctly in place. Now her head needs to be a bit wider here. Well, just the curve of it There now, across contour around the head to find where the ears protrude, which is roughly like this. This year. Make sure it's in perspective, so you can kind of see the side part of it more front on there. This year's more flat to camera. Her head is more oval shapes. I'm getting having fun with that oval, and then her hat frames her head. Something like this probably comes around to the back there, and from this angle, I don't think you see the top of her sombrero, just the underside of the brim. Okay, gesturing down the body to reinforce my pose. Let's get the bandanna in the middle of the bandanna. Should touch the center line here, wraps around the shoulder. I confined that shoulder right there now, and let's go to the other side of the body to figure out where this volume ends. Then I use the cross contour and thinking about the cylinder to find the curvature of the belt. You roughly like that. This leg is going to go into to continuous rhythm with the upper torso. Here, thes hips are gonna be thrust out. Let's find the underside of her belly here. I think I should rotate her entire body toward Peck and play with the distance between them . Here I'm thinking the gesture of her body needs to be kind of more like this s curve sort of thing. She's trusting her body forward with confidence, but not that much. But again, against Peck, it's just enough to read, I think, as a good, confident pose. She has her vest, which wrapped around the torso, thinking about cross contouring. Here. I'm literally drawing the vests has across contour and again. Sometimes it helps just ballpark in local value. You know, the vest is a darker local value, so let's just throw that in there. Same with the belt. Throw that Lupin there, too. Now let's get Thea the boot in there the same way we did with Peck, these air tiny little toes that she has in this leg coming up the back, of course, thinking about the cylinder and thinking about a bit of a perspective line. Here. You can see that these two characters the feet are not quite on the same plane. They're drawn in perspective, so I'm thinking about a cohesive depth, que almost as if there's a vanishing point right there and the feet are acting accordingly . Right? See if we can figure out the arms. Her arm starts thin and then gets thicker. So I'm thinking about the cylinders there getting thicker at the bottom this time, and her hand will be just resting on her thigh. But it's a nice straight line there is it to show the weight of the hand pressing into her thigh. And then her fingers were kind of just nondescript, almost lumps that kind of just go like that continuous rhythm to find the other shoulder. And let's see if we can come up with a pose for this arm again. It gets thicker toward the wrist. I'll try and block in some fingers here as she's gesturing toward him like a you know, kind of catching them in mid mid sentence. I find it helps to unite fingers with a curve like this. It's a very realistic thing that happens in real life. Now Kelly has a tail. If I use my X ray vision, the tail would probably come out about their. So I'll just gesture out this just a rough, little happy, upward pointed tail there. Okay, it's time to figure out the rest of the head and just get everything in there to achieve some client ready sort of level with it. It's, um she has some eyelashes, which are a big part of her designs. Let's get those in. Get that characteristic kind of flattened oval shape that she has like this. Make sure, just make sure it looks like she's looking at Peck. And that's really important and actually looking at Peck right here. He doesn't appear to be looking at Cali. He's kind of looking past her. This is obviously because I didn't have Callie there when I drew him, so I have to fix that, too. But for now, let's get these eyes working, and the mouth is already looking pretty good. This little line here just shows the weight of the cheek being pushed up. Now the neighboring one on the other side is hidden by the three dimensionality of the snow . Three years, and to be a touch bigger, I think, was throw in some value here toe show that does help by the way to flip your canvas and see your drawings from the other side. It's really becoming obvious that pecks eyes are in the wrong spot, not his eyes, but the where they're looking he's not looking in the right area. I will fix that after this and Kelly is spotted, so let's get some of that pattern in. It's a big part of the character through the underside of the brim of her hat in shadow. Anything that points under always nice to throw it in shadow in her tail has a few spots on it as well. We'll get a cash shadow in there just to match the one under Peck. This will also help them look like they're existing on the same ground plane now going back to Peck. Let's see if we can fix where his eyes are looking. Needs to be more like this, his eyes turning more elliptical as they progress into 3/4 perspective. And he's looking slightly up it. Callie, this is where I might do something like this will make a lasso of his entire head and just tilt the whole thing like that. I think that actually really, really helps the pose hit. Enter Aereo. I'm just noticing. They're a bit close talking here, so let's just grab Cali and move her a bit back. There we go. That's more of a healthy, conversational distance. Somewhere along the line, I emerged my layers accidentally. That's why I had to select Cali. And she has. A sheriff's badge is, Well, it's on this side. I'll just block it in again within the lips and just sort of hint at where the points are again. That's something I would deal with in paint. Okay, so we're looking good here. But I just want to do one more little past on random things like here. I think I could get a little bit more of an expressive pose out of his foot, like maybe he's He's shy, right? So maybe he's like playing with his heel a little bit like lifting his foot up and down. Oh, are like kicking a pebble or something. That's probably gonna help his character. Just you give it a bit more of a unique spin, just adjusting his jacket. There, Here, on Callie, I'm just tweaking exactly how her fingers go, changing the direction of her index finger. You know, things that are I would consider detail here, just tweaking the shape of her head, adding some shape and thickness and darkness in her eyes and some highlights as well. And Sometimes I'll just go over forms like with cross contours like you see me doing there and just, you know, going over continuous rhythms and just making sure that the drawing is sound. Sometimes it's almost like I'm not even doing anything, but I'm just going over things here. Some belt loops. I forgot to put those in. So just a couple hints of the belt loops. You know, sometimes you just going over your drawing like exploring it almost just by moving your pencil over it or your stylist in this case and just seeing if there's anything that feels off, because drawing is such a tactile thing, right? If you're thinking about continuous rhythms, you should be able to slide your pencil from one thing to the next. And that's how you contest. If you're continuous. Rhythm is feeling right, is actually by feeling it out. I feel like I could get something better with Kallis right foot there. You know that maybe the toe was pointed more at the viewer before they were kind of pointed in the same direction, which felt a little stiff to me. Here it's like she's interacting with perspective more so there's a little tweak there. These are the things that really only become apparent to me anyway at the end of the drawing, when I can see you know, the finished impact of it, also the finished structure. And then when I can build on that, I could easily just tweak all these little things. Like, I think, you know, the feet changes I did both on Peck and Cali, or good examples of little changes that don't affect the structure of the drawing. They don't really affect the design of the drawing, but they do affect the character that's being portrayed here and also maybe some structural things. Like in Callie's case, there was a perspective shift there, yet another pass at Pecs. I I really made those two big. I just didn't notice it. I was looking back at Pecs Design, and the triangle between the eyes and the beak was really much more dramatic than what I had in there. What I'm doing here is adjusting the smile in Callie's eyes. When you smile, your flesh pushes up, and it causes a little bit of an upturned bump, like a con que a convex curve on your eyes I just added that to Callie, So she's smiling a bit more in the eyes. And, yeah, this is something I would be comfortable in sending to an art director. 9. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments ii: All right, let's do some more drawings. Here's Norbert's Big Dream Again, which is a book I illustrated for Sleeping Bear Press and Sleeping Bear Press did not come to me with any existing art property. Norbert was just a manuscript. This is quite typical. Publishers get a manuscript and then pair it with an illustrator and the illustrators responsible for all the visuals, character design, lighting environments, color palettes, etcetera. So Norbert's dream is to swim across the English Channel, which in the book is actually a pond in the farm that he lives in. And the whole intro to the book is built around Norbert, building up to his dream from eating healthy to training. Anyway, there's a page that's entirely dedicated to this passage, and when he was big enough, he started training Finally, said Norbert. So my first thought here was the cliche pose like Norbert flexing his biceps. But as is so often the case with me and with a lot of creative types, your first thought is the most obvious cliche, and I am loath to go in that direction. So I expelled that thought for my system and tried to dive a little deeper into it, you know, be a little more creative. So I started thinking that Norbert's mission here kind of parallels a mission that a lot of kids go on and that is to be big. They want to be a big kid, and I live in this house where the previous owners had this wall and so many of us have done this. They had a wall where they would mark their heights at different ages. You know, here's Jeffrey at age one. Put a pencil mark Jeffery at age three. Another pencil mark. That's a little higher, right? So I have a wall in my basement where the previous owners have done this over like 10 years . Honestly, it's so cute. I don't have the heart to paint over it. So that's what I thought of when I read this. Norbert would be measuring himself, and when he considers himself big enough, he's ready to, you know, start training for swimming the English Channel. So when I roughed up this page, the first thing I did was I just drew This little scale here was, you know, some notches on it. And then I started working on Norbert himself. No, Norbert is a pig. And finally I had the design rights here. I could do whatever I wanted with the design, So I wanted to do this thing where in pushing the body forward, which is something I always not always do. But often I'll try and find a secret for an s curve for the body, especially in Children's books, where the pages are usually active, like in a traditional Children's book. You have 32 pages. It's a shame toe waste any of those pages with, like a boring, static pose, of course, unless a boring, static pose is what the story calls for. But most of the time there's something active you can do with these pages. So I really wanted this highly active pose. Norbert is a character based on curves, so his head is gonna have this C curve here that leads to his snout. His head wraps around here. I'm gonna twist the head. Maybe this way, here's the center line cross country in the center line of this head here. So we're going to see one of his eyes here. His eyes, by the way, are button eyes. They're just dark circles with the little highlights on them anyway, so blocked that in the other I would be somewhere over here. Now, remember, when you're drawing that other I in perspective, it becomes in ellipse, right? So it's something in the order of this. I've already got a form going for the head, which is more than I can say for the body. The body doesn't really have a form yet. It has a gesture. So let's continue down here. His feet are gonna be somewhere over here. He's got a he's a pig, She's got a thick backside and his arms are gonna be like he's kind of pushing himself up against this wall where he's measuring himself against. So he's like doing this in his arms are gonna be just pushing out, and these other arm's gonna be Maybe over here. I'm thinking about cylinders when I draw these arms right now. So let's see. I think the seeker for the chest should actually arc more up top and park down inward at the bottom. This will mean he's thrusting his chest out rather than his belly. You know, the nature, the exact nature of these secrets and s curves really matter in this case. Like I said, it's either your going with belly first or chest first. And I wanted that confidence, that exuberance, which usually makes us lead with our chest. It's a very common kind of posture that says confidence. If you've ever watched like pro wrestling or something, you know W W E stuff. They play on these archetypes all the time. Okay, so let's work on his big smile Here he is super excited that he's finally measured up to the heights that, uh, he determines to be worthy to swimming with channel. I suppose this is his ear. His ear just comes off his head. This is like the Aladdin magic carpet. His ear is going to fold up as if he were. You know, if he's thrusting his body forward, that here is gonna be swung with momentum. Right? So thinking about the Aladdin magic carpet to draw the underside of that year, folding upward in on itself, this is the snout Now the snow it has the little nostril thing is somewhere in here there's like the eyes. One of them is an ellipse. The one in perspective here and this one is more of Ah, it's also in the lips, but it's more of, Ah, long gated the lips because it's closer to camera. The snout is like a cylinder like this, right with the nostrils. But instead of just a boring cylinder, I wanted to taper it. So it's like there's a still under here and another cylinder here, like it's like they're overlapping. So what I wanted to do was have that cylinder overlap this other one. So it's like there's a bit of a double sort of form to it, two cylinders making up the snout, so I don't think that's the right perspective on it. I think it needs to overlap that and be pointed up more. And I'm running into some problems with the negative space here because if I did this, like if I had his arm here bright and his nose there, there's just not a whole lot of room. You see where my mouse is here? There's not a whole lot of room there, and that's gonna compromise this silhouette. I could I could do two things here. I could. If I race the arm, I could have the arm coming out from behind the nostril, but that looks like it's disconnected. So let's not do that. I could have it coming out up here, but I don't like that either. I want the head to occupy it's own silhouette space, that is, I don't want anything to interfere with the readability of this. Still a lot of the head, the shape of the head. So I want the arm to come out down here and have a healthy bit of negative space right in here on. I want to design that negative space to be, you know, equally as appealing as the positive shapes. Now I have the arms at equal horizontal depths. Let's say like they, they line up and I I don't want that either. Eso all erased this arm and let's just play with angling it down this way and taper that cylinder so it's wider at the end. Of course, this arm is facing toward camera, so we're going to see the bottom end of that cylinder. Same with this cylinder. It's kind of like this that that's starting to look a little bit more dynamic and you see how just offsetting these things really helps with the life of the post. It feels like this character is, you know, has achieved this posed by being in motion, and it's not like a cardboard cut out. This is what the gesture really helps with. And then, you know, building solid forms on that gesture is what brings you the rest of the way. His body could be overlapping, like squishing here. The other principle that I learned from animation that is very common is called squash and stretch. You know, in the form section, I talked about building forms like this and then having it overlap. Well, one thing you could think about is having one side stretch on the other side. Squash and the squash E side gets that accordion style overlap there. This is actually a like sacred principle of animation, squash and stretch, and it's something you can use in your Children's book illustration for that extra sense of life. This stuff also happens in real life, you know, like if if you thrust your chest forward, which I'm doing right now, you can't see me. But my back is compressing. My back is squishing and my chest is stretching. All right, there's something about the head. That is still kind of bugging me. I like this structure, but I don't like the proportion. So another tool I like to use is the liquefy tool in photo shop, which is a tricky little tool. It won't fix bad structure, but it will work wonders on little things like I'm doing now. Like I want the I to be a little bit over here wide in the head a little bit. If my three dimensionality was not there, I could not add it with this tool. To me, this reminds me of sculpting. Sculpting is an exercise I also do. I don't do it professionally, but I like to sculpt with Clay. And this is the kind of thing you can do with Clay. Just, you know, pick a section and move it around and kind of warped form. Let's see if I could move this smile a little bit more like that obviously will have to go in and redraw some of this stuff. This is kind of like a rough in for my my changes. I'm just trying to get the nose to feel more compressed in toward the head. I think something like that is a little bit better than what I had. Will increase the brush size and bring down this shoulder a bit. Okay, I'll hit. Okay, we have our drawing now. There's areas that are a bit rough now. My cross contours kind of went away, So I want to redraw those just to make sure that my form is clear. Let's get this. This is Ah, his eyebrow is a good way to wrap around this thing because this plane turns under. Let's throw this with just a quick shadow there. And now that I've done that to his mouth, that kind of makes me think like his mouth should be open like he's really happy here and maybe has some teeth there. It was dark inside his mouth. Let's go ahead and tweak how this smile goes here. I like this rhythm that I've now finding now, with the the mouth going sliding right up into the muzzle here to be a nostril here nostril . Here, there's across contour in the middle. Let's just throw this with a different local value deep in the tone there for the nostrils . Now I'm thinking this arm is encroaching on the mouth too much. So get rid of it will redraw it again. This is the next thing about staying rough, right? I can always go back and just blast something out of their redraw it. Now that the mouth is open puts extend that job back. Kind of like the jaws pressed up against the shoulder. Now something like this. So the arm is like coming out from behind the jaw and then out and we need a row of teeth at the bottom. The teeth wrap around the cylinder of the mouth. So that's what I'm getting at here with his teeth. Okay? His legs are gonna be down here. They're like big cylinders as well, but curved cylinders. So here's across Contour. The hoof, the dark part of the the pig's hoof is gonna be offset Cylinder as well, meaning it's not perfectly symmetrical. There's his bum going behind. And of course he has a little piggy tail, which is gonna be curved and his other foot. He's leaning against the wall so his both his feet can be like coming out like this. It's the wall that's going to be just get rid of these eyes here, It's the wall. It's gonna be supporting him. So here's like the wooden wall that he's leaning up against. Perhaps it would have helped if I drew that in earlier, but I had it in my head that it was a wall that he's leaning up against. And these air, you know, wooden boards that are comprising this wall here. And then, of course, on this wall is where the scale is drawn. It could go behind his ear there, and then we have a few notches, which this is right. I've resolved that in pain to begin a 1234 or something like that. Okay, let's go back in there and find the final statement for the eyes. Notice. I'm kind of offsetting the circle again. It's not like a perfectly round circle. It's offset in a few different axes. Highlights will bring a pop of life to those button eyes. And just because I'm thinking about three D forms, I'll take this, drawing it one step further than I did with the Sheriff Callie stuff, and that is adequate light source. I will think of my light source coming in from the top, right, so it's coming down this way. So basically I'm just thinking of planes that face the opposite directions. I've already got this in shadow, this underside of his brow. There the snout is already in shadow. But I can just deep in that a little bit the ear would cast a shadow on to the head like this. I'm just using this soft marker brushed. By the way to do this, the head would cast a shadow on to the body like thistle. And this entire lower part of the job would probably be in shadow as well. Deep in the inside of the mouth, that should be very dark. This entire arm would probably be in shadow from the body, and then the roundness of Norbert's form would be causing what's called a form shadow. You know, as the form turns around, it exits from the light right about here. This is called the Terminator. So I will, you know, terminate the light there and start introducing shadow there. This foot would be entirely in shadow. This part of the leg would be also in shadow where it leaves the light. And let's not forget the cash shadow which helps ground the character. It's amazing how much believability Akash Shadow just brings to the scene is gonna dark in the hopes area a little bit more. Okay, now I can go in with a little bit more of a confident line. Just pull out some of the forms here. Maybe Norbert's elbow has a little curly Q there, which I did in the book just to mirror his tail. The year can have a bit more of a curly Q. And yeah, this part could just be fun with design. I feel like the form is there the gestures there. I spent a long time getting those things in, and now the final shapes can really start taking effect. So, like for the arm here, I'll make sure that I'm Instead of drawing like a cylinder end like that, I'm tapering it into like a triangle, right? Can you see how I'm doing that? I'm switching up my shape language here. I'm urging cylinder with triangle of this case. This bottom area would be in shadow, and this shadow would actually be lowered. Be like more like this, like we're coming in. I think that should be a bit lower underside of the arm would be in shadow as well. It's the underside of the bum here and just a separate Norbert from the wall. Just throw the entire wall in a select lee darker local value. This will just graphically pop Norbert forward. This is not painting like I don't consider this the painting stage. It's just presenting my rough drawing to a client. My personal rule is that you should eliminate as much doubt from the client's mind as possible. So if you submitted a sketch that let's say like this, the client wouldn't know that this line needs to be erased and this line needs to be erased and this line would be cleaner. I wouldn't rely on the clients to know any of that. So I like to bring my drawings to the point where they're still rough, as in, they're clearly unfinished, but they're finished enough to communicate all of the essentials. I'm leaving nothing to imagination when it comes to like the form and shape of this character. But enough to imagination were like I could paint this in any style. I haven't committed to a stylistic choice in the rendering yet, so there's still creative freedom to be discussed with the art director. But in terms of getting that pose and that sense of character across, I find that's more my job than the clients job. I need to be the one to confidently put a foot forward in that in that department, and then the client can. Or the art director. Whoever you're working for can then feel free to weigh in with their opinions and wishes on how to progress and stuff like that. All right, so that'll wrap up that drawing, let's try another one. So in this next drawing, I want to show you how I tackled Norbert walking on all fours. After all, he is a pig. It's really the same thing. Lots of continuous rhythms and gesture here. I'm just working out the shape and cross contours of the head. There's the eye line again, giving him a tilted head again. That's his body, of course, and you notice I'm like waiting it to be high at the back and low at the front. That's a choice that I made just for that variety. I could have illustrated him just straight horizontal like like a normal pig But I thought , you know, that's just not There's something I could bring to the character. And as so often is the case, it's the way you manipulate these shapes. Here in purple. I'm showing you the continuous rhythms. I'm thinking about the 1st 1 there was for the ears, like one year connect to the other. This is the spine kind of running down the back but also wrapping right around the contour of the head, and that rhythm wraps all the way down to his back leg. You see that like this exaggerated C curve, so his ears are making a continuous rhythm of C curves, and his head, body and leg are all connected with the continuous rhythm. Here's his eyes again, his eyes, a little button eyes. So just draw those in but Nuys ca NBI cute on animals. They look a little strange on human characters, although I have done it on human characters to but but neither just so easy to draw in front of draw, and I find they can still be expressive here with the smile. I'm gonna bunch up his cheek now that something will actually talk a little bit more about in a later section of this chapter about facial expressions. So stay tuned for that. Here's the ear, The Aladdin carpet thing. Wrapping the year around a little bit, just like I did in the last drawing Thief are year wraps kind of the opposite way here now , with more of a regular line drawing brush. Before this, I was using a softer marker to rough things in. This is more of my definitive line drawing brush. I'm going in there just finding some limbs that would be a back leg far away from us, kind of thrusting out, you know, as if he's propelling himself forward in a walk cycle, just dealing with his little curly tail, which is kind of also a continuous rhythm off the spine of the body. There, whenever possible, I like toe link things with continuous rhythm. This is his belly notice. I'm using straits at the bottom and curves at the top, so his whole body is kind of like this bean shape, but it's not made of the same curves on either side. It's against trade, the bottom curve to the top and kind of this wide curve for the rear area. This keeps the variety alive, which adds to the life, but also that straight at the bottom. Kind of denotes this sense of weight, like there's weight falling on the belly and the legs are holding up the belly, so it's kind of compressing it into the straight line. That's kind of my logic, sort of my dual logic for using a straight at the bottom. You know, you don't have to draw a pig with a straight at the bottom. Of course, that's the whole thing about shaped like to me. Shape is really where one artist will differ from the next, because with a gesture, you know, shoulders our shoulders because they can only move so much and legs only move so much so a gesture, maybe similar from artists artists. But it's how you connect your gestures and forms with your shapes that will determine who you are as an artist, really, And as you'll see when we get into the painting chapter of this lesson, shapes really matter there as well, although in painting it's more shapes of light and shadow and stuff like that here I'm not really dealing with light and shadow. Other than my crude value block ins. But here I'm just dealing with overall silhouette to the character and how the forms go and stuff like that. This is the really important stuff. Paintings important, too. But this is if you don't have this foundation, you can't paint anything because you're painting Just won't look good without this kind of thing in place. I'm just giving a little bit of value there to the back legs switched back to my soft marker brush for that, actually, not just the back legs. Just the legs in general, be just because they're underneath the body on and here's the underside of the body, getting a bit of shadow to me like anything that is underneath something or pointing under . I'll just throw in with the quick value. I'm not trying to paint, form or render form here. I'm just thinking about basic directions. Things pointed up like the top of the body will be in light and things pointing under like the belly and the legs being underneath the body. You know, they just get a bit of shadow, kind of like this basic top lighting scenario, which is, you know, you can think the same way in paint as well. I don't want to get ahead of myself here, but you can think the same way when you're painting. I'm just thinking of the most basic basic delineations of light and shadow and putting that in. I find it really helps when you're proposing a drawing to a client, or even if you're just roughing something out for yourself. If you're working on your own Children's book like you're the writer and illustrator, applying these basic observations to your drawings will just help elaborate on good habits . And that's something that will help you as an artist no matter what you're doing. Anyway, Norbert has a few patches on him, which I didn't put in the previous trying. I forgot to put those in. Anybody's got some patches on his backside. Throw those in and you know those patches or another opportunity to not be repetitive with shapes, to look at the difference in negative shape and all that stuff. Here's just a little bit of a shadow underneath the ear, and the last thing I'll do is just erase that line because this leg should come forward. You know, it's the one in front of the body and all right, let's move on to a different subject 10. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments iii: all right, I want to do some or drawing here. This time, I'll do the character that we just saw in the title screen a second ago. This is a character of my own creation, someone I'm coming up with for a potential Children's book of my own in the future So nobody steal it. I'm just kidding. But yeah, I know this is, ah, character. I've been drawing on my own for a while, and when I was developing her, I would just draw like this. This is how I would explore the form. She's lean and tall in contrast to the characters we've been looking at, where their heads are pretty big. This character's hadas, well, still big. I mean, she's a child, after all, in a cartoony child at that, But her body is roughly 3.5 head lengths high, which is only a little bit exaggerated. She might be about six years old, and a six year old's body is about six head lengths high. A toddler's body can be about forehead lengths high, so you know I'm caricaturing her toward a younger proportion. But that's what cartoons do. They exaggerate. I'm also gonna tackle, aim or straight up and down pose, meaning she's not in any extreme kind of action here. It's almost as though she were like drawing at her easel, and her parents came in the room and said, Hey, honey, and she's looking around at them, and what I want to show you is how there is still action to be found even in these static poses. One of the number one things I get when I teach students illustration like this, like cartooning and stuff is poses tend to look really, really stiff, almost as though we're made of cardboard and the slightest gust of wind would topple over that cardboard. That's the feeling I get I get when I look at a very stiff drawing and the very flat drawing so you can see I'm building up forms of the head and forms the body here. I'm cross contouring the upper torso. I'm trying to get a twist like the shoulders air twisted toward camera a little bit, and then the hips are more square to camera, like the hips or more in profile, I should say, while the shoulders are a little bit twisted toward camera and sometimes, you know, if I'm having trouble with a pose, one of the best solutions is to put your stylist down and just get up and act out the pose yourself. You know, if you get up and pretend like you're drawing at an easel all quietly and then someone storms in the room to get your attention and you, like, really turn your head to see them, you'll notice that your shoulders turn a little bit with it. It's not all in the neck. It's your I'm doing it right now again. You can't see me. I can't help but move around when I draw, because the way your physicality, the way you feel your own physicality when you move, should appeal to your sense of gesture. That's why we do gesture Drawings is not to draw realistic drawings. It's to figure out how you feel. You're drawing on paper as it relates to riel physicality. So, like oftentimes when I'm drawing, if I'm drawing like someone with really hunched shoulders, as I'm gesturing up those hunt shoulders, I want to actually feel that sensation rippled through my own body. It's a weird, metaphysical description, I know, but I firmly believe that what you will gain with experience is you will actually be able to connect your pencil to your own physicality. And that's something that I really think you can benefit from by studying animation drawings. Because animators are actors, they are actors with a pencil, and they have to draw like maybe 24 frames to make one second of motion. They need to really be able to feel every little facet of how the body moves. So drawing like this is all from all. But it's mostly from studying animation. It's also from studying from the live model. You know, when you study from the live model and they do oppose, you can probably feel that pose. At least in my experience. You can feel that pose mawr. So then, if it were from a photograph, because when someone's right in front of you doing oppose, it's almost like there's a physical awareness being shared between the two of you. Like if someone is really straining to reach something and they're doing it live in front of you. The sensation their feeling is probably more likely to sink in with you because you'll also be experiencing all the other subtle nuances of life, like maybe they're twitching a bit as they struggle, you know, maybe their balance is shifting ever so slightly. These are all things that are just not present in a photo, which by definition, is lifeless. Of course, I don't mean to say here that photos can't be good reference. I was drawing from photos in the gesture section. But if you're listening to this and you've never been life drawing that is in a classroom with a nude model or even a clothed model doesn't matter. That is my number one recommendation for you to improve your drawing skills, get out to a life drawing class and then apply all the stuff I've been talking about these gestures, forms and shapes just to the live model. All right, so speaking of shapes, I just want to make a few comments about the shapes going on here. Notice her arms are tapered. They start skinny and get wider toward the wrist. It's the same motif in the legs. They start thinner at the waist and get wider toward the ankles. That is a you can call it a thematic shape. I guess that I'm using here tapering shapes. I'm also using kind of contrast. E shapes for the head is very horizontal. It's like a football shape, and the body is more of, ah, beanpole shape. So to opposing kind of things. It's like the head is like a swivel on a stick that will really help her silhouette be identifiable. Her hair is extensions on the football shape, and I'm just trying to make sure that none of those little strands of hair are repetitive as best I can while still having a flow like they still flow out of the scalp and downward with gravity. But I want to make sure that the shapes that each individual lock makes is kind of different, and it plays with positive and negative shape in unique ways. So you can see that's what I'm building up here as a final touch on this concept sketch. I just want to throw in some rudimentary light and shadow just very quick. I've got a brush set to multiply mode which will darken areas again. I'm just working on one layer, by the way, which I so often dio, so I deep in some areas of shadow I'm deepening the local value of the hair just she's got . She's a brunette, so it's making a bit darker. Now. I'm gonna go straight into the eyes and get the eyes to be a bit lighter. Where the whites of the eyes are some highlights there you notice the white to the eyes are not pure white that will make it look like two flashlights, but just a little bit lighter, just to show that it is a bit of a different material. There the pants have some polka dots on them. Get that in just a little bit more shading. Here's a cash shadow. I'm always sure to include a little cash shadow. It just really helps show that this character is standing on the ground, you know, no matter what its surface were on, no matter what lighting, there's always gonna be a bit of darkening beneath our feet. So it's a very realistic touch that you can apply really quickly, and you can see that just by using these fundamentals, we've arrived at a comprehensive character design pretty quickly. All right, let's try another one. I'm taking this idea from a page in my theoretical book where she's leaning over to engage her little monster friends. So just imagine that there's a monster of a tiny little monster on the ground, and she's looking at him, leaning over and talking to him. So I'm getting the gesture and there's a nice S curve there for the body. The arms will be carrying the weight of her leaning. So she's leaning forward, right, her arms gonna be resting against her, her legs. So I'll use more straits on the arms to give that sense of weight. The first thing I want to do, though, is get the volume of the head in place. I'm not only rotating the head downward, I'm also tilting the head laterally, so it's a very odd angle to draw ahead at. And this is where I really need to put most of my focus at the beginning to make sure that I'm on the right track. I do like to tackle the hardest part of a drawing first. Now that'll vary from artists, artists, but I think many of us would have problems with this particular angle of the head, so I want to get that first and then the body, comparatively is easier, so I'll save that for later. If you save the hard parts of a drawing to the end, chances are you're not going to set yourself up to solve them. I'd rather solve the hard part, setting myself up for the easier parts. Not that I have to completely finish the head. I mean, obviously the head is still roughed in, but you know, dimensionally, it looks good. I think it looks right now I'm gonna try and get the the shirt and the pants, figuring out how the cylinders work. For that, you can see that the shirt is basically a tapered cylinder and the pants, or I talked about this in the previous drawing. Their everything sort of tapered in this design, going from thinner to thicker. And I'll try and emphasize that as I draw these pants. Currently, they're a bit too symmetrical, but there we go. Here's a bit more of a thickening happening, a widening happening. You're the bottom. You're seeing these drawings in real time. Although I am speaking over top of a recording just cause I feel like sometimes when I draw live and you know also provide live commentary while I'm drawing. I do a lot of starts and stops and ums and ahhs, and I just wanted to switch that up a little bit. After all, drawing is a huge problem solving tasks. Like, right now I'm trying to solve these feet. I want perspective in those feet, so I'm not gonna have them parallel. You know, the foot closest to us is pointed a little bit more toward camera. The foot in the back is pointed a little bit more obliquely to camera here. I'm just rotating the entire pose. It looks like she was at a odd angle there. Feet will do that in real life. You know, feet are even when they're parallel. Depending on where your camera angle is, they will appear in two different perspectives, right? Because that's how a perspective grid works. It's always changing the orientation based on in this case where the foot is making contact with the ground. Anyway, while I was just talking there, you just saw me use the lasso tool to make selections of like, her head and her torso and just move things around a little bit. This is the benefit of working digitally. I've actually seen people do it traditionally with scissors. They'll literally cut up their drawing, moving around and then use tape to paste it back on another sheet of paper. My my original drawing teacher used to do that. His his finished drawings were just a mash up of tape and pencil lines. It was there. They were, like living things. By the end, it was great. But hey, in digital, you know, we have the tools. Why not use them? Take advantage of the tools that we have. It's not cheating unless you don't have your structure. And if you don't your structure and your trying to use tools toe like solve that, then I would question, you know, your game plan. But if you have a solid structure in there, feel free to use whatever digital tools are at your disposal to move things around. Okay, back to the drawing here. I'm just dealing with this arm. The her sleeve is a cylinder and her arm comes out. One side of the cylinder, you know, doesn't come out the straight middle. Her arm is pressed up against the front. I'm thinking of her just having leaned into this pose so you know the inertia will have pushed your sleeve back a little bit, and you notice the arms, air, tapered shapes, but they're also using straight lines. The taper helps the arms not be so parallel while still preserving the structure that comes with two parallel lines. That solid structure. There's nothing, really. There's nothing more solid than two parallel lines. You just don't want the boredom that comes with that shape. Not always, anyway. I mean, sometimes you do. Sometimes you actually want to parallel lines. It's just in my experience. That's the exception, all right, so here I'm just struggling to figure out how, exactly that hand is resting on the leg. I'm dealing with things like, Are the two hands resting on two separate legs or are they crossing each other to rest on one leg? This is where I'll get up and do oppose myself and just see what feels more natural. I think she's having. She's resting both hands on one leg, and it's the leg closest to us, and you know, that's a detail at this point. It's not something I would worry about so much in my gesture, although you could, but usually I find it best to save that fine tuning till later. It's like when I did that Peck drawing in the last section where I changed him at the end to be kicking his feet out a little bit or his one foot. It's, Ah, little detail of the pose that you confined later, at this point, just kind of going over my shapes. Whenever I don't know what to Dio, I just audit to the shapes that air there by going over them or or another great one is going over your cross contours. You just saw me go over the back of her head. I found her cranium underneath her hair. You can see my gestural sort of not gestural. You could see that my form underneath her hair figuring out where her skull is like her cranium. That's the kind of thing I'll do when I don't know what else to Dio. I'll kind of figure out or make sure that what is there is sound, and then that gives me confidence to move on. So here I'm finding the exact shape of that mouth, including the teeth getting, you know, some dark in there just to set off that mouth, usually with my values. By the way, I work pretty neutral, like in the like. I don't draw with a thick black line. I build to work darkness as I go. And that's true with values as well. Even though I'm not really worried about values in these drawings, these air, the values that air, they're just basic block ins. I do think about keeping always leaving room to go darker or lighter as well. Like I'm not really dealing with highlights in this drawing a little bit in the eyes, maybe, but I like to work on a slightly neutral gray. It's like a light gray. You see, my background is not white, right? It's this slightly beige color. And then I could just go lighter from that. If I want Teoh and that can, you know, help pop the formas well, at this point, the drawing is basically done. I just want to sweeten it up with maybe a few values. One place I always look for is underneath the brow because usually the lights coming from above, so underneath the brow is a plane that faces down on most head well, all heads really? Because our skull and even animals calls. They have eye sockets, right? So underneath the brow usually will is a good candidate for getting some shadow. Um, just here, figuring out the shape of the hair. The final shape that will end up with little swirls and curly cues at the ends of the hair is a nice way to just, you know, set off that shape at the end. Little cherry on top. And the last thing I want to tweak is something that has escaped my notice this whole time . See her eyebrow right there? You notice how it flows right into the lock of hair that's called a tangent. When two unrelated things become related in two dimensional space by touching each other, that's no good. It kind of looks like she has this weird, elongated eyebrow. It doesn't make any sense. It makes sense to me because I'm used to the strong. It might make sense to you because you've seen me draw this, But to Anu viewer of this picture, that would probably throw them off. So let's figure out a way to get the hair working where that is not an issue. Maybe we could get a bit of a lock of hair coming out here, traveling down something like that and just eliminate any possible way that someone could misread that. It's kind of like, you know, when you're do a job interview and you come home, you're like home ago. Did they misread what I said there? It's the same withdrawing You want to make sure no one can possibly misread you. And avoiding tangents is one of those insurance policies against that. Okay, so there's are finished drawing. Let's try another one. So for this one, I'm back to talking live as I record, because I want to show you some four shortening with this pose. I'll do this. They're going to be the same character, but she's going to be engaging the camera a little bit more. She's gonna be like having a conversation with somebody, and she's gonna be gesturing forward with her arms. So these things I'm drawing right here are gonna be her hands, which will be overlapping her head with perspective. And right now I'm just blocking out a gesture. She's gonna be like going like this. I don't think you can see it yet. But where I'm circling now that's gonna be her right hand coming forward toward camera heavily foreshortened on the arm. So you had to do some four shortening stuff with your pose is gonna get a bit of a tight s curve. It's actually more of a a secret. I'll show you it's a C curve and then a straight so the upper chest is gonna be or the chest is a seeker and then down straight for the legs on. I'll get the proportions kind of roughed in here. Shoulder line is gonna be like this hip line's gonna be like that. I love drawing with this marker brush O R. This is not the brush that matters. I love drawing with this soft marker like sort of thing that I could just quickly scrub in and overall gestural block in. I really enjoy this. One foot will be going that way. One foot will be going this way. She's kind of holding her heels together. I think now you can kind of read what's going on here. Okay, so let's ah, grab a brush now. You know, I haven't talked about brushes very much because they're really not important. It's whatever is comfortable for you. But I have this kind of calligraphy sort of brush that goes thick versus thin, depending on the angle of my brush stroke. Yeah, that's the brush I use for the majority of my line. Work that and the soft marker brush. And those Russians will be included with the purchase of this video. Okay, so her head is going to be tilted, as I almost always do. Even the slightest tilt for me is preferable to a straight on the face. Of course, don't do anything ever as a rule, only do things if it looks good. Sometimes a straight ahead face will be what you want again. Just for me. That's usually the exception. So let's block in her eyes. She's gonna be engaging a character that's over here, right? So across Contra for the I's cross conquer for the middle of the face. This will show me where her nose is, and I'm thinking about this triangle here. Just a quick aside here. Speaking of that triangle, you know what I heard once I heard that a cat has the optimal triangle for acuteness like how we humans respond acuteness I heard that a cat's triangle from the edge of the eyes to the middle of the nose. This is like the ideal cute triangle, and a baby is is just slightly off of that is very close. But statistically a cat is cuter than a baby. I mean, I don't think so, but depends on baby, I guess. Anyway, my point is you can see that these two triangles are quite similar. Another quality of acuteness. And I apologize. This baby's head is cut off, but another quality of acuteness is the height of the forehead. You want to make sure you have a sizable forehead there. Nothing will kill Cute more than putting the eyes close to the top of the head. You know, babies, air known for their giant or the appearance anyway of a giant cranium, and you want to make sure that stays intact in your work. Okay, so getting back to our drawing here, you can see that this is why I so often go over the top of my characters heads just to make sure I can feel that skull. And it's always nice to get the eye line in, like the direction of the eyes where she is looking. This always injects the characters with just a little bit of life that's otherwise eyes missing. And it's nice to have that injection of life early just cause it will inspire you to keep drawing. This I is dropping on me here is going to redraw it. Gonna be up here. There we go. Those little things really really matter and the mouth is gonna be open like she's talking and you can play with mouth shape. We just block this in with a dark value, though for now and then the cheek. Our sorry, the job. When the mouth opens, the jaw extends right. So I want to make sure I stretched down to encompass the jaw of this kids mouth, which is open. The ear is going to be, you know, roughly in here. Although I think her hair covers the ear anyway. Okay, I talked about four shortening and haven't gotten to it yet, but let's get the torso in tour. So she's got a bit of a crop top pajama thing going on. So this is her bare skin here. Here's the hip line shoulder line, which I'm reinforcing with the darker line here and the pants come down, they flare out at the bottom. So I'm thinking overall, like the pants are basically, like one cylinder right now. Can you see that? And then I could draw the dividing line. I'm not gonna just draw a straight line, though. I mean, I could, but I don't like the symmetry. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna draw that line to be, you know, uneven. Just indicate maybe some folds of the pants just have a little fun with it. Really. Now, when I draw the other side like this contour for the pants, I don't want to mimic this one, right? That's another way of making symmetry. You don't want that either. So you got to make sure that you are always conscious of what's happening with your shapes . But I'll deal with the final shape a little later. Right now, I want to get I want to get her hand in her hand, is going to be toward camera. So is gonna overlap her head. And what I like to do right now is I'll just take my brush here and just paint in or a race out the part that the hand is covering. It helps me visualize that there's something in front. So her thumb is maybe gonna be here some almost like I'm drawing with the background color right now. Um, thumb is there. Her shoulder starts about there. And the thing with four shortening is for sorting is actually quite simple. It just one form is right on top of the other. So the so in this case, there's three forms. If you think of the four, if you think of the arm, here's the arm from the front. This is the top of the arm. This is the forearm to the bottom of the arm. And here's the hand right 123 So when you're dealing with foreshortened perspective, you just have to make sure that in this case, the hand is coming forward. So you gotta make sure the hand is the biggest and that it's obscuring numbers one and two . So the handing number three is obscuring one and two, and then when you draw a number two, you gotta make sure it's bigger than one and obscuring one eso for shorting is Actually, it's weird. It's a three dimensional effect, but it's actually a two dimensional exercise. So here's her hand gesturing. Let's have her index finger pointing down a little bit. I don't like this. That's your little pinkie coming out the back. I'll go with that for now. I don't know if that's the final pose, but we'll just see. Here's her. Here's the number two section her forearm and then just barely behind. That is the shoulder. This is the elbow right there, which I think you could see from this view. I talked about the importance of life drawing earlier. That is where I learned this stuff, too. Nothing will inform your drawing more than life drawing. Of course, drawing from photos is great to you should absolutely do that as well. They all benefit the other. But life drawing is the thing, the catalyst for all of them. In my opinion, there's no set rule for how toe for best practices. But if you're asking me those air, my best practices, okay, this arm is not foreshortened. There's a cylinder going on here. Um, this arm is more kind of like this. Let's have this thumb extend up and the hand extend down. It's always nice to give hands a bit of a curve, so I like to do a sweeping curve from the thumb, tracking right down to the index finger and maybe something like that. And then sometimes it's nice to have the pinky just offset. So the index fingers down the pinkies out. I know she has giant hands, but that's Ah, that's part of the appeal of this character. I think I'm not sure if I like it yet the big hands. But there's something about hands that are so expressive, and a lot of cartoons do emphasize hands. If you go back to the movie close, which I mentioned in the previous section, the hands in close air, just beautiful and they're big. If you look at Jesper, the main character's hands, their giant hands. But there's so expressive you can pause any frame and study his hands. Another great film for hands is the Iron Giant. If you look at Hogarth, Hughes is hands their do giant massive hands. But there's so expressive you get a real sense for how an artist can emote with their hands , which of course, is true of real life as well, we use our hands a lot, especially if you're Italian like me. Okay, let's get a bit of, Ah, the white of the eye in there. Just a bit of a lighter value in the highlight always helps. And let's not neglect the feet for too long. The theater Here's the big toe and then other toes kind of in there, and this foot is basically the inverse of that other one. We have this kind of thing, and we'll just block in a shadow, as I always do. Now we have an interesting pose for this character is clearly engaged in explaining something to somebody, maybe her imaginary friend. Over here, the hair is a little Wolverine, like right now. Let's zip it away from that. I do like that. She's She's got, like, bedhead basically. So let's try and find some kind of expressive way to draw her hair. Maybe something like this. Don't forget the hair that overlaps the head in this area here, and this is hair behind her. So it's a nice excuse to get a nice, dark value that really shows thesis a lot of the arm. Okay, now it's it's up to you whether you like the hand overlapping the mouth. That's not my favorite thing. But just for the sake of this drawing, I leave it. That's something that's bugging me a little bit. You know, It's the mouth is kind of a story telling part of this drawing like it's wide open like she's talking, and that's still clear. But there's something about blocking the mouth with hand. That I'm not sure is the best choice. But you know what? Let's just leave it like that's something I would refine later. Like if if this drawing were actually making it into my Children's book or something, I would refine that later. But I think as a conceptual sort of drawing, and especially as a lesson which this chapter is meant to be, I think it's okay. Lets give her pants a bit of a darker value, which is always a nice way to just graphically separate one item from the next. Like you know, flesh from clothing. In this case, a bit of a value under the brow here, bit of a value in the lower jaw. The hair already has a dark value, but we'll just emphasize that a little bit again. The value I put around the hair here, what really helps identify the silhouette of her head. So it's a nice opportunity to get in there with some definitive shapes, and you can see how I kind of like creep up on my shapes. You know, this drawing is looking pretty finished now as a rough drawing that is like a finished rough drawing, right? But I crept up on it, and you can see how you can really use these tools that this chapter hopefully has presented to you, you know, to arrive at a Finnish statement in a way that doesn't demand that you get it right off the jump. All right, so let's call that finished. 11. Chapter 2 - Real Assignments iv: all right. I want to take a slightly different angle on this and show you a real life project. Where I was given an old character design this year is a sheep named Gloria, and they wanted me to kind of give it a fresh, modern spin. And I first want to give you kind of some live commentary on my first impressions when I saw this character, you know, when I was taking internal stock of the design that's happening here, just the visual things I was thinking about. Now, as with any art form, things come and go with trends and styles. So there probably was a time when this character was trendy. I think this character was designed in the late eighties, early nineties or something, and maybe around that time, a lot of kids books and TV programming which this character was part of did look like this . But looking at it now, some of these symmetries and rhythms feel a little bit dated. And that's not just me thinking that the company hired me for that reason, like if you look at the mouth shape the sides of the same, the top is symmetrical. The bottom is symmetrical. Even the tongue is kind of symmetrical. This looks like a mouth, sure, but it's just not very interesting, you know. Look at the eyes as well. You know, I'm willing to bet that this I is a simple copy and paste of this. I just with the eyelashes reversed. This to me is an ineffective use of shapes. I'm also looking at things like the head. If you look at the top of the head shape, it's sort of like this. The bottoms like that. It's the same distance, you know. Those lines are essentially parallel there, just curved, but they're curved in the same way. So even though they have little lumps in like furry shapes there still symmetrical, even things like the way these lumps are drawn. It's basically the same shape three times or four times right there, maybe even five times. This top ones a little better. They have some smaller ones here. Then there's a big one there, tapering back to small. But even this, like these three of the same, these three the same, and that one's different. You kind of want to add some variety there, I think, at least again. I'm talking about modern context. I'm not talking about what's objectively better or worse, that doesn't exist. We're simply talking about If you're working in the industry today, what are the things you should look at? And these are the things that I noticed about this character design. Now, one thing I like about the character design is there is a nice C curve gesture to her. It also looks like there's a little bit more weight on this leg, a little less on this leg, although they are both kind of like straits. And I do think that seeker of while it's there, it is a little stiff that the body is essentially straight up and down from the neck to the foot. It's almost like the C curve is both there and not there at the same time, You know, elsewhere, I see shapes that don't seem to be designed with any function in mind. Like this is essentially a parallel line or two parallel lines. And yes, the shapes are varied from one side to the other, like it's not exactly the same, but it's so kind of randomized that it doesn't seem to be communicating anything interesting about that arm. These undulations seem to be just sort of random, as opposed to say something more overall, like maybe the design going like this, where it's like an overall widening here, this part of the arm and a tapering at that part of the arm. This arm seems to be more localized, like lumps for no reason kind of thing. Something I missed on the head here to the headband basically divides the wool area in half . The purple headband itself is varied to be thicker up here and thinner down at the sides. That's cool. I like that. And because I'm redesigning Gloria, I'll probably have to give her a headband. But I want to make it a bit more interesting, and lastly, the features on the head appear flat, like they're lining up with a flat cardboard cut out of the head. They don't appear to be wrapping around a skull or any three dimensional structure. This can work in a still picture like this, but it makes the character hard to draw from different angles. And that's something I also wanted to change in my design. Okay, so let's put Gloria over there. And I did kind of two rounds of design for my first set. Looked like this. My second set looked like this with this one. I tried changing her likeness completely, whereas with the 1st 1 I kind of stayed a little bit more similar to the original model. Like the original likeness A little bit. It was not a total requirement that I stay true to the actual likeness so I could drift a little bit. So drawing number one here was the first drawing. I did. And you notice I did actually kind of stick to the overall flatness of the head like that mouth shape is pretty much identical to the original mouth shape. But the main thing I'm playing within drawing number one and all these drawings. If you look at the proportion of the head, the hair basically takes up so much more space like I've offset it. I've given the hair kind of that 2/3 versus 1/3 in relation to the rest of the face sort of thing, bores the original is basically divided in half. I'm also offsetting the entire head as compared to the body using the same kind of Formula 2/3 versus 1/3. I've also given the body a bit of perspective. You know, if this is her body like this on her feet are like that. There's across Contour going around. It's not just straight on like this. Original body is kind of straight on, right? I've given it a bit of ah, perspective, some curvature for the cylinders. That's the other thing, By the way, that doesn't exist in the original. These are very straight, like everything is straight. There's no perspective here because the original design ignores the cylinder thing. So by giving the characters some basic cylinders also for the arms, like how the arms work, you can give the character instant dimension over here. On drawing Number two, you can see I'm really playing with that head shape, right kind of giving it that 2/3 versus 1/3 hair to head ratio sort of thing. And I'm keeping the ear super low like this is a very streamlined shape. I feel like you could design a spaceship with this shape or something. There's something very aerodynamic about it. I don't if that's the right term, but there's something fun about this kind of shape you notice it's curvy here, straight there. That reminds me of the Norbert character I drew in the previous section where I did his backside curved in his belly straight. You can also see him preserving a little bit of that seeker for the body. But one of the things that makes this a bit more interesting is that the book bag is dragging behind her, and that's something I like in the original. By the way, I really liked how she was holding the book. It felt like it had some weight pressed up against her body. I was inspired by that sense of weight, but in this one, I just, you know, put the book on the floor. That was probably not in keeping with the character I'd imagined. She looks a little bit more neat and tidy for that, but, hey, this is just exploration, right? You also noticed that where I placed the bow on both these characters is just, you know, it's off center, essentially, and both of those I did keep the symmetry of the kind of will now wish like maybe I overlapped it like the hair would overlap the bow. I kind of wish I did something like that. Just have it feel like it's sitting in a bed of soft woolen surface. You know, if I'm critiquing my own work, which I do all the time, that would be a little bit more fun. You can see in drawing number three, I played with a bit more of a diamond thematic shape for the body. The body is essentially a diamond shape, and you notice the shawl she's wearing is also made of diamonds. So I'm playing with, you know, thematic shape. They're not only with the body, but the wardrobe that's on the body and then two playoff that sharpness I gave her like very rounded legs. So these are all things that you think about in order to inform your drawing. It's a very common thing, toe like stare at the white piece of paper and be intimidated by its You don't know what to draw and thematic shape could be an easy solution to get you past that fear, because thematic shape is designed to get you started, and then once you get started, your creativity kicks in. I also gave her a very rounded, you know, head shape, right? And then, of course, I'm also playing with, like, a big section of hair versus a smaller section for her face. And then on drawing number four, I didn't explore so much with the proportions. I kept it a little bit more, even if we measured the head to the body. It's kind of like a 1/2 1 half sort of thing. Same with the actual head. The hair to the rest of the head is also kind of 1/2 1 half, you know, just trying to play with different kinds of proportions. When you're sending concepts to a client, you kind of want to hit all the bases and see what they respond with. Okay, so the other page of Gloria's I did was this one, and in this one, I kind of really went out on a limb with the redesign, which the client allowed me to do. I would never do this if I had to stick to the original model. But the client asked me to explore some wildly different Gloria designs. The thing I always do when I do a character design is I always try and think of the dimension of the character. So if I want across contour this first face here, the form goes up and then goes down eso When I was drawing this shape, I would block in an overall sort of thing here, across contour it and make sure that maybe one side was a little bit closer to camera. So what I mean by that is like this side here is facing camera a little bit more straight on than this side. So this side would get a shadow value, actually reversed it. I gave this side the shadow value. What? This does it. It just shows you like this Looks like a dimensional form. It's almost like a box or something, right? I mean, it's based on a box like a box meeting a sphere. And then from here I could build mawr three dimensional forms like a nose whose underside is there. And then I could build more forms on it like a mouth hinging out from the bottom. We're gonna talk about mouths in the facial expressions section of this chapter, which is coming up next, then, because I have a solid dimensional form here, I could build the eyes on that. This guy is more rounded because it's facing camera mawr just face on. Where is the eye in the back is a little bit more elliptical, and it's also being blocked partially by this form here, like the form of the nose, the muzzle area. So this I comes out from behind and then we can get our irises there. And before long we have a dimensional design that is pretty simple to draw pretty quick to draw. No, I'm running out of space here, but you can see what I did with the hair. I just had extend way up high to play with that proportion. Now, if you're being mesmerized by the color of these designs, please don't be. The color is easy if your drawing is right. In fact, it's kind of a common thing that I faces. It is an art teacher. A lot of students come up to me, worried about their color, but then, when I actually look at their work, it's not the color that's bringing down the the art. It's the drawing. So if you have these fundamentals and you can call upon them at will and you can deal with them with ease, which comes with practice, then your color could just be plugged in. Now there are still principles of color, and we'll talk about those in Chapter three is they pertain to Children's books. And if you see my YouTube channel, I have extensive videos on color use. But again, the irony behind color is that color only works when you're drawing, fundamentals are in place. So that's why, in chapter, to hear of this class trying to tackle the drawing problem from different angles and show you that no matter what, I'm drawing a pig, a human, a sheep all in various poses. It all comes down to the same fundamentals of gesture, form and shape over here on the second drawing and its wanted to recall like concepts that I've been using before. Like the idea of a cranium. Can you see how it's behind the wool hair here? But the cranium is tucked in there. There's a lot of space for it. It works dimensionally with the rest of the head. In fact, all these characters you can kind of see that behind the scenes, I've been tracing the entire head shape. So you know when something overlaps a shape like the hair overlaps the head right. Don't just stop drawing the head where the hair overlaps it. Make sure you understand the form as if you had X ray vision. You can see behind things down here on a thematic shape level. If you examine the thematic shape of the entire hairpiece here, it's kind of this, you know, blobby sort of wavy thing. Notice that the face itself shares many characteristics with the shape of the hair. Now they're not identical. But in terms of the way those curves flow, the let's call it the DNA that makes up the shape is the same. And these are the qualities I revere and other artists work so naturally. It's been a mission for me to figure out how I can get that in my own work. So hopefully this little section can provide some insights in that regard. All right, before we close out the chapter, let's do one final section on facial expression 12. Chapter 2 - Facial Expression: all right, So a huge part of drawing Children's books is facial expression. And contrary to some popular belief, today's publishers don't really want smiley faces on every single page. Remember that Children's books are a model of behaviour for kids. So there are many Children's books, especially these days, that deal with emotions other than plain happiness. We all know the face is very elastic, capable of many shades of emotion, and I want to go over some of the things I think about when tackling facial expression. In keeping with the theme of learning from animation, I want to show you this little page showing various Disney characters. Now, in my opinion, you make or break facial expression with the eyes, specifically the eyes and eyebrow relationship. Now, by now we know all about continuous rhythm, and that happens to be one of the main principles I look for in facial expression. From left to right, look at the continuous rhythm that exists and binds the eyebrows of these characters. Aladdin here is more of an S curve, and Prince, whatever his name is more of a seeker. This is something that happens with human faces to the muscles in our brow are connected. So when we move one eyebrow, it's very difficult to do that without having the other one kind of tail off. But the reason is not just anatomical. Continuous rhythm helps us read a picture quickly. You know, in this case, it's so easy to slide from one eyebrow right up to the next. So this kind of uni brow look, this line I just drew. Creating a unibrow is something I think of all the time when I do facial expressions. It's also important to note that the eye is in set in an eye socket, so there's a nose and the eyebrow. Here, let me just show you the other eyebrow for context. There we go. Now you can see the profile of the face for drawing. A very common mistake is people draw the eyes too close to the nose. This violates a fundamental relationship of our anatomy, which is eyes are inset into sockets. The correct way to draw these eyes is back here. And as I would sit probably somewhere in there, you see now it looks like they're recessed back into the skull. Now, in your cartooning, I highly advise you follow this because after all, cartoons are only possible because they're caricatures of real life. And while there are anatomical things you can ignore This, in my opinion, is not one of them. So could be a fun exercise to just draw like a continuous rhythm line. Now, with the darker pencils, separate that into two eyebrows. Make sure you adhere to that continuous rhythm and then see if you can find where the eyes should go again following the idea that these eyes are inset into the skull. Of course, this leaves room for the nose to come out. We should probably end somewhere down here traditionally, and just like that, we have a believable expression that took me, what, 12 seconds to draw. If you want to further sweetness up, you can always toss the eye socket into shadow. Now, remember that eye sockets almost have, like a raccoon eyes sort of shape or sunglasses or something. They follow the orbital of the skull. I have a whole class called understanding and painting the head that dives into this. It's a seven hour class on Li about the head, so I'm not gonna dive into anatomy and stuff here. We're simply going to stick with the graphics of facial expression. You can touch up the eyes with a little bit more lighter value, and then it's a little catch. Light always helps set off the eyes a little bit. Anyway, let's try this again with a different sort of rhythm. Was try that was plug in one eyebrow there, the other one up like this now because that eyebrow is up. This I you're going to see the whole thing. Let's have it look up like this and this. I will be obscured by the eyebrow a little bit, so you'll have it more like this. It's always nice to round out the eyebrows at their edges like this. And if you want a little bit more graphic, look, you can thicken up the the hairs of the eyebrow. Obviously, I'm not talking about design here. I'm talking about, you know, the mechanics of facial expression. You could, of course, plug this lesson into the design of your choosing, and then this part is called the septum. It's where the nose connects to the brow and then, you know you have your nose like this Let's try that again with something like two straight . It's almost like a V shape, right? Inverted V. One eyebrow is like this. The other one is like that. The nose comes down here. Sometimes it is helpful to get the nose in there to help you identify the three dimensionality of the head. Now, you might think this I would be somewhere in here. But no, this is not enough space between the eyebrow in the eye. That eyebrow, after all, is lifted. Now, when the eyebrow lifts, the eye does not lift with it. So the I is down here leaving a lot of space right there. This eyebrows lower so you can leave less space here. Of course, I can across contour the head a little bit. This I would be somewhere in here, throw in the pupil there, you know, that's still a bit close to the nose. Was gonna take that and move it. The air we go. Can you feel it being inset into the skull when I do that? And, of course, when in doubt, feel free to just shade in your eye sockets just with a bit of tone leaving the nose which protrudes out. This does not get shadow. Only the eye sockets get the shadow and our customary slightly lighter value for the whites of the eye and a bit of a highlight. Here's a mistake. When drawing eyes with heavy eyelids, you have your eye and a lot of people just put a line there that might work for unintentionally crude art style like South Park. But if you want something a little more natural, try overlapping the lid like this. Get the lid with a bit of an angle to it. The lid basically acts like across contour here, going over the form of the round eyeball and then follow that I as it comes out and get the I like this. Can you see how much more dimension this has? We could, of course, cross contour this whole thing to see it better in three dimensions. The eyebrow would be, you know, somewhere in here again, leaving enough room here that we could get the eye socket in place. Now, sometimes your character won't have eyebrows like this monster here, but I'm still thinking about the continuous rhythm. Like when I draw his eyes, I'm still thinking about that continuous rhythm, which helps me plot where those eyes go. And by the way, the continuous rhythm can also help you at the bottom of the eyes as well. This is a great way to unify two eyes that are not really connected with, you know, human anatomy. After all, this monster doesn't even have a nose, so you can get a very expressive and recognizably human eyes with very little. It's all about that continuous rhythm. If I wanted to draw this character with, like this facial expression, all I would do is just make sure I apply like these faux eyebrows. But you know, kind of having the tops of the eyes themselves be the eyebrows sort of thing, and you get the sense that there are eyebrows here without actually having them. Here's Norbert the Pig from Norbert's Big Dream, and you can see that this is the finished cover illustration or a cropping of it. You can you see how clear I'm being about that continuous rhythm for the eyebrows and how all of this is like his eye socket. It's all in shadow again. It's almost like sunglasses, just a sunglasses made with shadow just like I was doing here with this character. Okay, I want to talk about smiles for a second. You know, use this photograph here. Two things happened of note. When we smile, I think everyone knows about, like, the upturned mouth. That's pretty obvious. So I guess three things happen that that's thing number one. But thing number two is because our mouths are turning up the flesh on our cheek Bunches up . It creates like this ball of flesh fired across contour her skin. Here it would go like this right around over the skin, over the form on the outside. Contrary here this creates a convex line that goes like this. If she were not smiling, her contour would be more flat like this. But because you smiling the cheek Bunches up and it gives you more of this curve and thing Number three. That happens. And I've already mentioned this briefly, but the lower eyelid gets pushed up with the cheek and it gives you this curve like this. This might remind you of the common anime convention to have these upturned eyelids to graphically get across a smiling expression. Now, notably the smile has the least amount to do with the mouth. This character's mouth is not very upturned. The smile exists in the eyes, just like over here. If I were to cover up her mouth, you can still tell she's smiling. I'll even cover up the cheek and the mouth. You can still tell she's smiling again. Facial expression usually starts with the eyes. All right, so to quickly Ruffin, a character who's smiling here is a little shape for the head. Let's cross contour for the eye line. The nose would be down here so we can get the up turned lower eyelids. We can get the eyebrows, you know, and continuous rhythm just kind of raised a touch. Let's get a generic sort of upturned mouth Now. One cartoon convention that is very realistic is to put this little line right here. We've all seen, like the classic smiley face, right with the lines here. Those two lines are the most realistic part of this little icon because it shows the balling of the cheek now going back to my drawing. I would like to edit this part of the contour because the balling of the cheek would push that up. In fact, you could even continuous rhythm it from the eyelashes or I'm sorry, the eyelid. You can even throw in sort of a spherical form here to get a sense for that. In fact, there's a lot of classic cartoons that used this continuous rhythm from the bottom of the cheek here, right up to the upturned eyelid over on this side, you can sense the sphere that's underneath there. You know, if this wasn't already clear, I have a high degree of respect for good cartooning because I find it's a very clever reduction of reality, you know, capturing the essence of something very simply. Anyway, back to my drawing. Let me just get rid of this bottom contour. And this is something I commonly do. I often have to adjust my contours once the expression is actually there a little bit of a chin there and then we go up. I've also altered the head shape, toe, have a big brow and a little bit area for the actual facial features. You know, we're calling some of the lessons from the shape section. We'll throw some quick values down for further clarity, and this kid will have some kind of hair do. But just a rough this in here, the ears over here. There we go. This looks like a pliable head that's made of flesh rather than plastic or something. And that's how you can deal with a smile. If the eyes are open, draw the eye. Maybe have it. Ah, you have a bit of a thicker upper eyelid Here. Draw the pupil. Let's put the other eye in place with its pupil than what we can do is try erasing out the bottom lid. Here, get a continuous rhythm going for the actual upturned eyelids and see if you can get a sort of smiley thing going. And look at the mouth here, bunching up the cheeks. There we go. There's little cute. See little character smiling. Looks like a little chipmunk or something. Okay, let's go back to this boy character, which, if you don't mind, deserves a quick update. So now let's talk about mouth expressions and how the mouth moves in the head. I mentioned at the beginning of his chapter that the head is very elastic and the mouth is probably one of the places you see that the most because the mouth will not only open and close itself, but as it does so it moves the jaws. Let me ghost this out a little bit so you can kind of see what's there. Actually got a ghost the cheek out as well, because the cheek is the number one thing that changes. So let's say we wanted to do a more open mouth instead of drawing the mouth first. I'll actually draw the head first. And you know what? I already have to get rid of my previous contours because there and now in the way. So we have a lot of room here for a very wide mouth now tumble to make sure that the structure of the jaw stays like that. So the head doesn't just go up like a V shape, the jaws extended down, and then it goes up again. Styles will differ here, but some some anatomical adherents usually does yield nicer characters, and what you can do is maybe pinpoint where the corners of the mouth are and then go across it with something. A bit of a curve, like a bit of a curved line, can sometimes help, and then that can go basically, Just find a shape that looks good. You know, something like that looks like a pretty good open mouth expression. Sometimes this line out here needs to be retooled a little bit, like in this case, because of the 3/4 perspective on the head, it wouldn't be out just like that. That's a bit of a flat shape. It would actually go in a little bit and then taper out like this. This is how we indicate in two dimensions that the mouth goes into the head and then comes back out and the way it comes out, you can play with as well, like you could get the mouth coming out more like that. So it goes in and then out more. Or you could be more subtle with it. Something in this range. But it can be sometimes helpful for this top line here to overlap where the mouth opens. So it's not like this that can start looking flat, but you know, that could work to Okay, let me back up a quick second and explain this mouth thing a little bit better, cause it's important. OK, imagine the character Pac Man you know he's a circle with a mouth like this That's two dimensional and flat. But what if we were to draw Pacman in three D with that same open mouth? We'll start with our circle again and will cross contour for the eyes. Let's put one I over here, another I over here so is in perspective. Now the mouth is open. So we have something like this. Here's the corner of the mouth and the lower jaw extended down here. But how do we connect the backside? Well, because the mouth wraps around the sphere fired across Contour it. It goes around the sphere this way, and same with the lower mouth. The lower mouth goes around the sphere this way. So when we draw the backside of that mouth that goes back and then comes out and then of course, comes up to meet the corner of the mouth. And then the lower jaw, in this case just comes out from there. And we have our three d Pac man. Let me just shade this in for some quick clarity. So that's what we're dealing with up here with this kid. It's the Pac Man mouth that goes in and then out. And if you wanted to, you could change the contour to reflect a little bit more of that fleshy poll for the head . All right, hopefully that example helps. Now, if you want to just indicate what's inside the mouth, you can throw a tongue shape in there. You can put some teeth in like this. Now make sure when you put teeth in that you end the teeth somewhere around there. The teeth don't go like this because our mouth is not covered in teeth are teeth wrap around the cylinder of the jaw to cross contoured. Here it goes around a cylinder like that, and the bottom row of teeth also go around a cylinder like that. So the block in teeth, I usually like to end them somewhere around there. And if I'm doing a bottom row of teeth, I make sure to show how they wrap. Of course, the tongue would be gone from this area here in the teeth wrap around there, and then you could just get a dark value, fill in everything except the teeth. This is how it usually do it and then go in and just fill in everything again with the teeth so the teeth get a bit of a darker value. Even though t they're white, they're still in the recess of the mouth, right? And there we go. If you kind of flash your eyes from the left to the right, drawing you get a sense of animation. Like this kid is the same. He's on model both times on model just means that it's the same character, even though the expression is different, which, of course, is a huge thing with Children's books you wanted be illustrating the same character or multiple pages. You should know how various expressions of your character affects the shapes of your head. In animation, this is called an expression sheet and, of course, me being inspired by animation, I will usually submit a little expression sheet to the client that I'm working for. It gives them peace of mind that I understand the character. It also gives them options like they can see expressions to be like, Oh, maybe that would work on this page or whatever it ISS on this one. Here, I'm having the mouth to something very cartooning exaggerated. That is, it's gonna overlap the face like this. So the chin comes out here and this dreary expression is so droopy that it overlaps it and then the jaw continues behind here. This looks more like a miserable, sickly kind of expression. And this little lump right in here is kind of interesting. It just adds an extra bit of Malays to the expression. I think you know, a more traditional male shape. There would have been just something like like this. I think that's a little bit less interesting than having a little a little lump here to exaggerate a little part of that shape just to throw it off a little bit. Go in the direction of the unexpected, notice the continuous rhythm here that the eyelids make you throw this whole thing back in . Ah, tone again. All right. So let me just make a few more points on mouths. And you know what? I don't even really need to draw the face on upturned mouth. Of course denotes happiness. So we're looking at this mouth from, like, a 3/4 angle. So you notice that this part overlaps like the bottom does not come out here. It comes out here because of the perspective. The upper mouth is overlapping the lower. So anyway, we have the upper lip curving up denoting happiness. You know, we have the cheek sort of thing. Here you can drop a tongue shape and the tooth shape shade this in, as I've shown you, and we have happiness. Now if we kind of inverted these curves, you have a mouth that gives you more of the opposite expression and in this case, will show the lower teeth, not the upper teeth. This mouth could look more exasperated or aghast or surprised or disappointed. You know, things opposite of happiness. I basically did a riff on that mouth here, except with this extreme exaggeration Here it looks more sickly. Almost. This melt doesn't quite look bad. Extreme is just kind of going in the opposite direction of happiness. And just like these lines here that show the bunching of the cheeks, it's kind of the opposite that happens over here. It's not the cheeks that bunch up. It's your kind of Jowell area, so you can kind of get this sort of overlapping thing. If you wanted Teoh again similar to what I did there just less exaggerated just to help set off the dimensionality of the mouth. The other thing you could do. If you want to show the lower lip being thrust out like a pouch or something, throw a little shadow right under there. And this will look like the lower lip is, you know, has a form like firewood across Contour. The lower left. It would look like that. So I've just added dimension to what was otherwise flat. You do that same thing down here, By the way, throw this in tone and this sets off the dimensionality of the lower lip. If you wanted to do that, this would be useful for a character with more full lips. Probably not with a child. Another thing I really like to do in cartooning is exaggerate the tilt of the head to give the mouth the most real estate of your drawing. So you know this Santa Claus head on, Lee the top? What? Fifth of his head is his actual eyes and nose than the entire lower part. This is all gonna be mouth, some kind of simulating this forced perspective thing. Res tilting his head back. You know, So that the tip of his nose actually goes above his eyes. His eyes would be down here and in the far I the noses in front of the I, completely obscuring it a little bit. We can get the continuous rhythm kind of thing for the eyebrows. And then, of course, because we're looking up, the hair would start back here because of the perspective. And then because Santa's very, you know, traditionally curvy character I wanted to echo that thematic shape in the mouth and just give his mouth this just curvy fund shape. You notice I'm still playing a little bit with the curve here. It's very rare that I'll just do it. Oh, shape for a mouth again that gets back to my philosophy on shapes. I think that's low, too predictable. And on top of that, it's also not very anatomically correct. Not that this drawing is anatomically correct, but again, that's the thing with cartooning. It could be based on anatomically correct observations, and that's what I'm trying to hammer home with this section. Because of the perspective, we see the underside of the top teeth, so that cylinder wrapping around and I'll just put in some delineations of different teeth . My original painting has more teeth in this, but that's OK. And then we can see the lower teeth as well, wrapping around that cylinder. Just throw a little few shapes in there to separate the teeth again, keeping the shapes random and a little bit disorganized. If you want, I could be a nice aesthetic. The tongue is somewhere in here, and this one I won't obscure it with hand. I'll just a shade this in and we get a nice, gaping mouth with a bit of forced perspective, that kind of shows or shows off the mouth area. So this expression is mainly being held by the mouth now because that jaw is really, really wide open. I'm gonna stretch the beard this way. And then what I did is I gave the shape a little bit of a kick right there and then around . Kind of like this. So it looks like he has a jaw that's just being crazy hyper extended. Although because this is a cartoon, it actually doesn't look hyper extended. It just looks natural. And just because I can't help it, I just want to remind you guys about things like continuous rhythm. Look at the rhythm, running up the entire silhouette here that will just help with very fast readability. In fact, this Santa character was used on the back flap of one of my books. The publisher chose to put it there, and I knew it was going there. So I knew this drawing had to be just instantly readable because this is what a parent or child would see on the actual bookshelf. That notion also led me to have the entire hand silhouetted by the mouth. So the mouth is a big, dark shape. The hand is a light shape. We're gonna talk about that in the painting section in Chapter three, but back to continuous rhythm. Like if I traced up the sleeve here, it doesn't just end there. You can see it kind of goes up the sleeve. It slides right into the head. Like these air. These curves are all connected. You can probably find a rhythm up the head and write down. I know it's blocked right here, but it connects all the way down here. So the Santa character has, like a thematic shape that kind of looks like a bell like that, or like a Hershey's kiss or something. All right, I think that should do it for facial expression. And I think it goes without saying that you should combine all of these ideas to make any expression you want, right? These are all principles and tools you can experiment with. All right, let's do one final section where we discuss homework and assignments you can use to practice all this. 13. Chapter 2 - Homework Ideas: Let's wrap up this chapter with some homework assignments now at first like to say the way I went about presenting the information in this chapter, I did it in a way that parallels the way you can practice it. So in a sense, you could take what I'm doing in each video and just make that your assignment. But at the same time, I know that when I was a student, I really liked being given exact homework ideas that are meant to kind of build skills in a logical progression. So I have three ideas for you. Three assignments that are meant to progress from beginner to intermediate to advanced. The first assignment is drawing gestures from reference. Now, you saw me do exactly this in the posing section of this chapter, and for the assignment, I would do absolutely nothing different. In summary. Try to analyze the entire flow of the body rather than getting fixated on arms and legs. Can the post be described in a big s curve? A big C curve, maybe a slightly offset straight. Then, when it comes to the limbs like arms and legs, can you combine s curves and see curves to make them flow together. Remember that adjuster drawing is not meant to be finished art. It's not even really supposed to look good. It is, however, supposed to accurately capture the energy or feeling of oppose. If you're looking for reference, try going to reference dot sketch daily dot net. You'll be presented with a form, or you can pick your various options as well as timer settings. Let's say one minute and I apologize the images being cropped right here. But you'll be presented with a full body pose and you see the timer's ticking up here. You could push pause if you want, which I recommend. I don't really like the idea of being bound specifically to a time limit so strictly, Or maybe just make the time or a little longer. Then you can move on to the next post here and do all kinds of fun stuff. So this is a great tool. Now, if you can. I really recommend getting out there from life a swell these air drawings by Nick Callously in my first ever art teacher. You can visit his website here at Nick Callously in art dot com, and I'm in the life drawing section. So these are all quick sketches from life, just with a pen. And the color stuff is with a marker or colored pencil. I was actually with Nick when he drew many of these here on the left. We were at the zoo together and here on the right, the city's air drawings from our daily warmups that we would do in coffee shops or on the subway. In fact, this guy here is me drawing other people from life. And this over here is my friend Marcus. He drew people. We would just work in a sketchbook just on our lap or on the coffee table. And drawing from life is great because the figures air moving right. So it really enables you to capture quick gestures because you're not bound to a final. If you use photo reference. Obviously the photos not going anywhere, so the temptation is to kind of copy it or otherwise spend too much time on it. Whereas when you're from life, it really, really drives home the quality of capturing the essence of a pose. Now, if you could get yourself into the life drawing class room where there is a nude model posing. I also highly recommend that these air more drawings from Nick callously in and a good life drawing model will be able to distribute their weight in interesting ways and will have all kinds of character. Like I love the character of this man here that appears in several drawings. Now these drawings here go beyond just the gesture. These have three D forms and volumes, and in this one, even some shading. But many life drawing sessions will have the model start with, like, one minute poses. And in that one minute, you can disregard all the complexities of detail and lighting and just try and get that gesture to communicate how people carry their weight. And also the nice part about a live drawing session, especially when the poses air only a minute long is the model can do like 30 or 40 of them . So gestures from reference, both from photo and from life, is a fantastic place to start improving your drawing. Okay, My second assignment suggestion is to draw forms in three D space, try starting with the gesture line and orienting your forms around it. Remember the way I presented this in the chapter is exactly how you should go about doing it. And by the way, your drawings don't have to resemble human bodies or anything. They can simply be boxes or cylinders or spheres arranged in three D space and remembered across contour over them to truly make the conversion from a flat page to a dimensional space. Also, remember to draw forms overlapping each other in space. You know one form in front or behind another practice using squash and stretch to getting that little accordion effect where the forms squishes and um, or elongated line where the form stretches as a more advanced exercise. Try twisting forms in various orientations as well as extreme perspectives like in here. We're looking up at that top box and more flat on at the sphere below it. And don't neglect the Aladdin magic carpet to remember that because it's a flat, paper like object, it presents a little less of a barrier between you and the three D space of the page. In fact, if drawing three D form is a weakness of yours, I recommend starting with the magic carpet and then moving on to boxes and spheres and cylinders, etcetera. All right, so the third assignment idea. We'll obviously bring everything together, and it is posing a character without reference. In my experience, a good way to do this is to pick a common character type and action. So, for example, a kid reading, Okay, simple enough. Now get directly to drawing. How many ways can a kid read while its endless try Just draw whatever comes to mind? How about a kid with supporting themselves with elbows on the floor, knees bent inward? You know, kind of ah, opposed that a kid would use for reading there so close to the floor all the time. And this is the first thing that came to mind as I'm now doing this assignment with you guys. Full disclosure. The drawing video you're watching right now is a bit sped up, sped up by 1.5 times because you've already seen me use all these techniques. I'm just exploring them all together. In my own personal process. There's some gesture. There's some shape. There's some form. I'm looking for things like offset symmetry to help my shapes be more appealing, mixing and matching fundamentals as I go now? Another thing to do with this assignment is keep all your drawings on the single page. This is partially for inspiration reasons. It really helps you feel productive when you're filling a page, especially one with various ideas surrounding a central theme like this. By almost guarantee, nothing will jump start your creativity quite like it. And of course, it will get you that valuable experience here. You can see I'm starting with the basic gesture that I'm already building forms onto here. I'm thinking of some shape, trying to make sure his arms air not quite parallel just a little bit tapered. Thinking about perspective on the head. You know, the head is it basically a sphere in this case? And I've rotated that form accordingly. And then I've plotted the three D forms of the eyes and nose. On top of that rotated sphere, I'm thinking about cylinders for the legs. Remember, we talked about cylinders and the orientation of the ellipses that make up the cylinder that will help with legs. In this case, I'm just playing here with the pose. I thought maybe one leg on the ground might be interesting, you know, more interesting than having both legs doing the exact same thing. Remember, if you can surprise the viewer in any way, that's usually better than something stock. And that relates to posing, too. I think that post I just came up with was made more memorable with that leg tweak at the end and that just finished it off with some basic shading. For this third pose, I'll take the character off the ground and have her kind of walking. And by the way, I'm not trying to limit myself to one specific character designed for this. I'm making up my own here, just drawing upon previous experiences these or similar to characters I've drawn before because you sometimes you don't wanna have to do the character design and the pose at the same time. That might be too demanding. Try and find a character design that exists in the world already a character you might like . Or maybe you invented one yesterday and you're opposing him or her today. Have a design at your disposal already, and then just pose that character in various ways that will help you get to the meat and potatoes of this assignment and not have to fracture your thinking into also coming up with a good design and a good pose. That would be a level of magnitude, more difficulty, which, if you're up for it, give it a shot. Remember that it's totally okay to erase and redraw things. I find that if things were based on a good gesture and then forms are built upon that gesture, you can erase and redraw anything you want. And it'll hold together structurally because you followed that logical process. Whereas if you start by drawing a finished head, then it finished shoulder than a finished arm, then it finished torso. Chances are your pose will be very stiff in the sense that nothing will look interconnected because you didn't draw it that way. Anyway, I'll do one more drawing here, and I'm gonna take the first pose idea I had, but this time rotated in perspective, so it becomes foreshortened, so the kids head is gonna be closest to the viewer, and then his body parts will cascade back in space. Remember, this is largely a to D exercise, so make sure his head and arms are the biggest part. His torsos a bit smaller. And then when I get the legs in there, they'll be even a bit smaller than that. With this assignment, you could leave your drawings at a gestural stage, kind of like my 1st 1 and you can add forms and shapes. As you see in my Final three. Remember to trace out your continuous rhythms as you see here in purple. To help figure this stuff out, try posing it out yourself, either in front of a mirror or simply just on the floor, feeling how your own body stretches and compresses. Now don't take a photo reference of this. Try and remember it as you. Then go back to your paper. This nurtures your visual memory, which is a step I feel you must take to maximize your creativity as an artist akin to riding a bike with training wheels and without. Not that the goal is to never use reference. I use reference all the time, but when you have an expansive visual memory, you can take what the reference gives you and change it to fit your needs and all three of these assignments together. We'll get you much closer to accomplishing that goal and with that, we are done with Chapter two. I'll see you in Chapter three will be dealing with color, composition, shading and more. 14. Chapter 3 - Warm vs Cool Colors: Oh, I'd like to open Chapter three by talking about color theory. Now Don't worry. In my 15 plus years of experience as a professional artist, specifically as a painter, I can tell you you Onley need to be good at one color theory. Color temperature in other words, warm colors vs cool colors. And what I'd like to show you in this segment is my Let's call it an internal model for managing and understanding warm vs. Cool the things I show you in this segment, I will constantly be referring back to so study this video properly, even if you're already familiar with what warm vs Cool is. You should still watch this closely because I have my own kind of model for understanding it. Like I said, the first thing is, when I say warm vs Cool, What does that mean? Well, you know, when I was in like third grade, I learned about warm colors in art class, and they were colors like this. Yellows, oranges, reds, the colors of fire. Really these air warm colors. At least we all kind of agree that these are the warm colors in the color spectrum. If we bring up the color picker. It's, you know, somewhere in this range, these air where the warmest colors are located. Now I already want to stop and say I'm on Lee talking about Hugh right now, Hugh, being this strip here, the color strip. I'm not talking about saturation or anything like that that will come into play a little later. Right now we're talking about Hugh, and the warm hues are, you know, in this range here. So the opposite of warm is cool. And what do we think of when we think cool colors? Well, how about colors like this? I mean, I think it's no surprise that these colors remind us of ice and cold waters and stuff like that. You know, blues and purples and the colors in this range. You probably also won't be surprised to realize that these colors are on the opposite side than these now photo shops. Hue Strip is a bit of an anomaly. Most Softwares and color theory books don't show Hughes in a strip like this. Other applications will have a color picker that looks something more like this. It's a true color wheel. Now the thing to note is It's obviously the same Hughes and in the same order. You know, like the red here borders on the purple, which borders on the you know, the blue and etcetera. It's the same thing is just this is displayed in a strip. And in fact, if you're using photo shop like I am, I think you can even download plug ins that make your color picker into a color wheel rather than a strip. And arguably, that's even better. I've just been using the color strip, this Photoshopped default color picker for like, 20 years now, and I'm just so used to it, which is why I like it. But if you're new words of painting, you might want to look into a cover wheel. It may make a little more sense to you, but regardless of which is your preference, you'll still be able to benefit from everything in this section because, after all, it's the same color picker. And as I was just saying before I went on that tangent, the cool region of colors. These colors in here are directly opposite of the warm colors, and when you see that on the color wheel, you get a sense that we can move from warm to cool and from cool toe warm, it's possible to transition between them. That transition is what color temperature is all about, and I want to show you right now the various ways we can handle those transitions. So let's go ahead and take one of our warm colors. Say this yellow here and just paint a swatch of it right there. Now let's take one of the cool colors. Let's say that blue right there and we'll go straight across and paint a swatch of that right over here. Let me just bring in the color picker and I will make it a little larger here for you so you can see it. Let's grab our yellow the first way we transition. Color temperature is strictly with you. Move the hue a little bit down. Paint this Watch down, paint us watch. I'm going to speed this up so you don't have to sit through this. Okay, so there we have our first transition or our first pathway from warm to cool again Onley using the hue strip Now, of course, I went from yellows down this way through reds. You could also do one the exact same way, but going up through the greens and through the scions into the blues this way and just sped up quickly. Here's what that looks like. Pretty obvious stuff so far, right? So for the next one, let me paint in my two swatches again. This time we're gonna go not through the hue spectrum, but through the grays or, in other words, different levels of saturation. When I say saturation, I mean this, you know, this is a more saturated blue than this. This is a gray or blue. So when I say the word grays or the words saturation, I mean the same thing. You know the level of color that exists within the hue. So let's pick the yellow. And this time we'll take the picker here and just drag it a little toward the gray, dragging a little more toward the gray, a little more toward the gray. It's the same basic exercise. I'm not changing the hue, as you can see, and I'm not worried about value right now. Just in case anyone is wondering about value, I am only thinking about color so right in the middle of our transition we should have like a perfect gray now perfect grey is very special. Allow me to enlarge the color picker Just a moment we have here a zero saturated color. The reason this color is special is because every single color has this color in common. Just to quickly show you like I could pick any color, this color, this color, this color it's all the same, right? I'm painting the same color. No matter which you I choose because I'm at perfectly zero saturation or perfectly gray. What this means is once I'm in perfect gray like this, I can warp into any color I want. So I want to go to my blue. So let me pick the blue, go back to perfect gray and I'll just just warp right out of there toward my blues. Just complete the color chart like so something like this. So we now have three color strips that all do the same thing. That is transition from a warm color to a cool color. But they all do it in different ways, but we're not done yet. There's one more to do, So let me just sample of the yellow once again in the blue once again, and I apologize for always moving this color picker around. I don't have much space for it. I want to make it a little larger so you can see what I'm doing here. I was put it up in the middle here. I'll take the warm color, and what I'm going to do now is I'm going to combine. I'm going to combine our first chart here with our third chart, so let's see how that works. I'll pick my yellow again and I'll start by what I did in the 1st 1 Move the hue down. But this time I also move it toward the gray and I'll paint That's watchin, So move it down a little bit, moving a little toward the gray. I'm not really thinking about how much I'm just kind of ball parking. It just this. There's no like rules or laws aren't laws for how much you should move it. Just try and be somewhat even with it. So maybe this Congar oh more we can We can hit perfect gray again for our middle, but this time, instead of warping right to the blue, let's Let's go, you know, like we did in the 1st 1 will go up to the Magenta is here and just start coming out of it like this. So obviously, on this half of the transition chart, we are adding saturation until we finally arrive at our saturated blue color. So there we go, I promise you. And I'm speaking sincerely. I promise you that these charts unlock the secrets of color because what they do is they give you systems for understanding, movement or transition from warm to cool or cool toe warm. And no matter what painting you're doing, fully realistic painting or a cartoony painting. If you're using different colors, you will be using one of these charts whether you know it or not. Of course, if you don't know it, you'll just be randomly picking colors and you'll have no system of control. If you are aware of these charts, you can think in your painting. You can think of which chart you're using or which combination of chart you're using. You know, like our last chart here combined charts one and three right. But what the's charts give you is a very riel kind of placement for your temperatures in plain English. The charts say that this color is warmer than that color because this color is closer to the left, which is the warm side. And this color is closer to the right, which is the cool side. You can look at our second chart. This chart dictates that this color is warmer than that color. Now I want to stop right here again and say, This is not science. I'm I'm not saying that objectively, this color is warmer than this color. This is where art is emotional and not intellectual. Nobody can really say that this color is warmer than that color 100% of the time that doesn't exist. I feel the need to say this because a lot of people ask me about colors as if there's some recipe, a recipe that guides me toe like picking the exact right color when I paint. No, there isn't. What there is is just context. And again, these charts are giving you context. Something is warmer or cooler than something else, and with color you always need that something else. There has to be more than one color for you to be able to to determine if it's warmer or cooler. Like if I just had this color and I asked you, Is that a warm or cool color? And you said, Oh, that's a cool color. Well, how about if I just did this? Well, is that that's a colder color, right? Well, yeah. So does that mean that our original color is now warm? You see what I mean? You need to colors so you can say this color is colder or warmer than this one. And then the next question you have to ask yourself is how much warmer or cooler? So looking at our charts here, the difference between this color and this color is smaller in temperature than the difference between this color and this color. That's a greater temperature difference. So when you're analyzing these color transitions, these charts are so handy because they allow you to determine not only if a color is warmer or cooler, but by what degree? How much warmer or cooler is it? You know, what's the distance between these colors? This is also why you will never hear me say the words like red or green or yellow. I will never use those words alone to describe a color. It's not good enough. I will always qualify it with a warmer yellow or a cooler green or a warmer green to show you how that works May bring back in the color picker. So we have green. But degree the word green is useless because all of this is green. But when you're painting, you need to know what kind of green. So if I say a warmer green, it's gonna be somewhere down here, you know, moving toward the yellows, looking at our second chart here the greens that are closer to the yellows. I'm considering to be warmer. This is my model for color temperature. These greens here are warmer to me than the greens over here, which are closer to blue. So there, colder. So when you look at green on the Hugh picker, we have our warm greens. On this side are cool greens on that side. You can think of reds the same way. If you have a read, the word red is not good enough. Is it a warmer red meaning? Is it going this way like moving up toward the oranges and then the yellows. Is it moving that way, or is it a cooler red which moves down this way towards the magenta is and ultimately into the blues. Every hue that you pick red, green, blue whatever will have a quality of movement to it. It will have a position in the warm vs. Cool spectrum. So these charts are instrumental in helping you to understand how colors move. And in doing so, you will enrich the vocabulary that you have internally to describe color. Okay, so that was about 11 minutes of color theory. I hope you're still awake because we're gonna look at an actual painting now. I'm sorry. I tried to keep that as quick as I could, because I know if you're anything like me, that stuff puts you to sleep. But everything I just said was the essential. So Okay, let's look at this painting. I chose this one because it's very obvious to see the warm light versus the cooler shadow. Now, I'm gonna talk about lighting in more videos in this chapter. So for now, just accept the idea that I'm going from a warm light to a cooler shadow. The reason I'm sure you can see that is because the lights are very yellow and the shadows are very blue. And if you look at our first chart, this guy up here, that's exactly what I am doing. Overall, in this painting, both on the monster and on the girl like if you look at the girl's face, her flesh tones and light are redder, and her flesh tones and shadow are bluer. And you know what? Let's look at the girl a little bit closer just because a lot of people ask me about flesh tones. You know how to choose colors for flesh tones, as if there is an answer. There isn't. Everything is about color temperature. And in the scene like this, because I'm painting such a warm sunlight, you know, this is like a almost sunset kind of light, a very warm light. It makes sense that whatever the light hits, you know this part of her face I'm going to be using. I'll just start sampling some colors that are in the light. I'm going to be using ah Siris of warm colors here. Now, all these colors I'm sampling are different, like they're not. I didn't just pick one flesh tone. I have a series of flesh tones now. Some of these flesh tones are warmer or cooler than others. Like this flesh tone here is warmer to me than this flesh tone here. Why is that? Well, if I sample that, let's look where it is. Look at the hue. Look at the saturation. That's a you know, a red That's certainly on the warm side, you know, moving up toward the oranges. That's where it's close to, where as this color. Well, let's look at what happened there. So again, here's the original. I want you to watch the color picker ready to sample this. 123 Okay, Two things happened there. It got gray er it lost saturation. And this huge change. Just a touch. Watch it again. Here's the original color. Ready? 123 Do you see that transition? I'm combining charts. I basically using our bottom chart. Here I went from a you know, saturated, warmish red down to a less saturated, slightly colder red. Now that is, Ah, relationship within the warm light. If we start sampling the shadows now and I'll put them just down here for comparison we start sampling the shadows, we see that overall, the shadows are overall cooler, like they're in a cooler family. This would probably be a little more clear if I just put a little background behind these colors just so we can see them a little bit more isolated. So at the top of these air, my lights, my warm lights and these are my cooler shadows. You can see that there's an overall categorical difference between the light and shadow. But just like we had in the light, we had a you know, a warmer, warm and a cooler warm in the shadow. We have the same kind of relationship, like Look at these two colors. I would say that this color here is a warmer color than that color here. But this color and this color are both categorically cooler than anything up here, he said. I mean, so you have, like relationships within relationships. You have the overall relationship of, you know, warmer versus cooler, but then within that you have these sub relationships this being warmer than that. This is what keeps color interesting, the overall macro relationships and the internal micro relationships. But let's examine these two colors. Just so we're all on the same page here with this color theory. Once again, I said that this color is warmer than that color. Okay, why? Let's sample this color, This Look where it is, it's a I would call that a very cold red. It's funny. I wouldn't even say purple here because purple to me doesn't mean anything. Quick side story. I have a six month old kid, and you know what? What do you do with kids? You teach them colors, right? This is green. This is red. I'm terrible at that. It's so funny to my wife because she's like you're an artist. How do you not know these colors? Like I'll tell my child that something is read and my wife's like, That's not red That's pink or that's purple. And I'm like, Well, yeah, I guess you're right. But I don't think that way. And to her, it's hilarious cause she can't fathom how I don't know color names, but I would say to me, this is a cold read because it's, you know, it's on this side of the red spectrum and I just call purples Reds, I guess But anyway, I'm majorly digressing. Here. Let me get back on target. Whatever you call this color with, look where it is and let's look what its next to Let's sample this color. Okay, two things happened again, just like these two colors to things happen down here. Let's go back to the original. It's right there. We sample this one. The two things that happened are the color hue moved down this way toward the blues and it moved more saturated again. Don't worry about value. I'm just looking at color temperature. So the here's the original. To get to this second color, it's gonna move down and more saturated. That's getting colder in two different ways. To me, it's getting cold because it's moving down toward the blues, where I'm saying the coldest colors exist. I'm just telling you, in my model for color temperature, these air the coldest colors, according to me, Not according to law, according to me. So if I'm here and I moved down this way, I'm getting colder. And if I'm here on I move this way, I'm also getting colder cause I'm getting bluer with it. You know, I've moved down two the blues and I'm getting bluer. So I'm moving. I'm gaining coldness in two different ways. Let's look at two different colors. Let's look at this color versus that color. These air both reds according to me, Anyway, with sample this warm red, I think we can all agree that that's a red color. It's got a fair bit of saturation and it's, you know, on the warm side of red. So sure, that's a pretty warm color, I guess. But this color here that I'm circling this is also read, is it not? But let's sample it. Can you see what happened again? Two different things happen. Go back to my original. What's going to happen here is that when I sample, this is it's going to move down toward the blues. It's still the red, though, so it's gonna stop, you know, somewhere here, and it's going to get a bit gray. Er so again, let me sample the original and just watch the color picker. One, 23 See what happened to things. It went toward the blues but stopped still within the Reds on, and it went grey er So to me, this color here is getting colder than this one in two different ways. And ironically, it takes so much longer to talk about this than it does to just paint it honestly. When you're very familiar with these charts, they're just they just become part of your DNA, like your brain just processes this stuff very quickly. You know, I'm looking at this painting here, and I'm just like, OK, that color is warmer than that color by a degree of five that covers cool the matte color by a degree of six. It all reminds me of this guy from Spirited Away. Just sorting everything out. Okay, so let's look at the monster. To me, the monster is much more obvious. We have our lights, which are extremely warm. This reminds me of our charts, almost literally like Look at these colors there, almost the same as what's going on over here. In our most to me, this is our most obvious chart. It was just the one with the huge shifts, like I did with the girl's face were playing with various warms. You got yellows and oranges, not a huge degree of them there, even some greens in here, after all, he is a green monster, but here's where my color brain doesn't work like my wife would expect it to. Um, he's a green monster, but the colors on him are yellow. These aren't green, they're yellow. But to me, a yellow can just be a warm green. Because, you know, if you push green far enough into the warms, it just becomes yellow. So in a way, yellow and green in my brain can be the same thing, right? That's why I say color names Yellow, green, red are are not good enough. You need to know the temperature. So because I'm in these warms and a warm green is just next door. I can use some yellows mixed in with these warm greens. No problem. It'll all work because it's all within the correct context. Then, conversely, in the shadows we have no surprise a variety of cools and this again should very much remind you of chart number one, where we have a lot of purples and blues and whatever these are magenta as showing up in the shadow. Now this also combines. Actually, this combines three different charts because we have this cooler color this color is achieved its coolness by moving up this way, right. We also have this color which achieves its coolness by moving down this way. So I'm using both charts one and two on the Green Monster. I'm also using Chart three. You know the greys. I'm also manipulating it with grays. You'll never you almost never do a painting that Onley uses Chart one and two because if you have the same, remember these have the same saturation all the way across. If you do that, you're painting will just look like a giant candy cane or something, and that's no good. You're gonna have to combine your charts with the greys. So whenever I do a painting, if I sample these shadows, look at look at the different levels of gray or the different levels of saturation that are being used. So I'm always combining the great chart in with whatever I'm doing. That's just how nature works. Like if you look at nature, it's not just equal saturation. There's all kinds of graves. I want to select one of the greens in the monster and shadow, so I think there's a green right there. Let's put it on our list, and let's just quickly compare it to this screen. This is the green that I sampled from right there, the green in light. So this green to me, is warmer than back green, and I think you are ahead of me now. Why is it warmer? Well, it's It's closer to the yellows, which I'm telling you, is the warmer part of the spectrum, according to me. And versus this green, which is way up here. This is so much cooler. Look how much distance is between those two colors is a great deal of distance there, but they're both green, just ones warmer ones cooler. And once again, I am organizing my painting in. This is a warmer light with a cooler shadow, which I'll talk about in future segments in this chapter as faras, this segment's concerned. I only want you to understand how I engaging warmer versus cooler, but just to keep UNP Ealing layers here, let's look at the monsters cheeks, which are classically, you know, red cartoonish cheeks. So all sample this. Let me just put this red here. I'll paint it down here, take this red and put it here and let's take the red of the child's cheek and put it here. One of these reds is in shadow, the red on the monsters cheek that's in shadow. The red of the child's cheek is in light, so because I am always trying to categorize warm vs Cool. And I've already told you that in the lights, I want to have warmer colors because it Zaveri warm sunlight. Let's examine the subtle difference between warm and cool that's happening here. Let's take our warm. There it is. Now it's sample are other red. This time, I think only one thing happened again. Ignoring value. Ignore value. Just look at saturation This time. I think the saturation is the only thing that changed. Here's the original. Watched the color picker ready 123 Really only saturation changed. In other words, I am using just the great chart, you know, taking a color red in this case, not yellow and granite off, meaning I'm going this way, meaning I'm getting cooler. So going back here, that's what's happening. It's very subtle, but what's so interesting is look how red that looks like. If you look at this color and then you look at those colors, they almost don't look the same. And that's because, as will continue to explore in Chapter three, the identity of a color, what it looks like is based so much more on context, what it's surrounded by than anything you can examine in isolation. So, in other words, this red looks very red because it's up against colors that are so much colder than it. Blues and purples and grays and whatever. But when you compare it to an even warmer red, you can see the discipline behind it. And let me just get rid of these. The the secret behind the way I use color if there is a secret is I'm always using variety . So if I sample the the many reds that I'm using in this area, I'm never. I try to never be stagnant. I've put a great deal of effort into my training with color to always be changing. You know, those reds all exists coexist in this one small area of the painting, and then that transitions out to you know, much colder colors by comparison. So I'm always thinking about these macro slash micro relationships, and I'm always trying to add variety to my colors, never leaving them the same. And with that kind of categorization in mind, when you paint, you can achieve all kinds of dazzling color. Okay, that's the end of this segment. Take a minute to think about it. It could be a bit tricky, but trust me when I start painting, I think you'll see how practical it really is. 15. Chapter 3 - Painting A Character: on the heels of that color theory lesson. Let's paint a character together. I'll take this character here. This is Peck, the character we looked at in Chapter two, although this is a drawing I did for the actual published Children's book, and I'll take you now through my process of painting this guy. Alright, so I've gone ahead and just isolated. Pack on to his own. His own layer got rid of the background and you can see I just have one layer. I will set that layer to multiply mode. Now this will be the same in any digital painting software. Every software that I know of has multiply mode. What that means is I could make a layer beneath the line layer. In fact, let's just go ahead and call this line. I like to lock the line layer so I don't accidentally paint on it. I could just take any layer below paint any color, and it will show up below the line layer. Now let me just bring my brushes in here. This is a tool for those who haven't seen it called Brush Box, which is commercially available. I think it's very cheap. I paid, like $7 for it. Just a word on these brushes. Many of the brushes. You see, this is my favorites box here. Many of the brushes I use come from my favorites box. And many of them are available to you with this class, I say many of them as opposed to all of them. Because some brushes I use I have actually purchased from other artists. And therefore you can't legally sell them. For example, my brushes up here, This folder here, this half tone folder This is a kit by Kyle Webster. I also known as Kyle Brush. And in my day to day painting, I also use a lot of brushes by him. But the good news is, if you have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud like I do, you have access to all of Kyle Webster's brush sets. But like I said, most of the brushes I use in my favorites box you will have access to with the purchase of this class. Okay, so I'm gonna pick a particularly oily soft brush here, and I'm just gonna give a little bit of a background sky color. I don't want this to be totally isolated on white. I want to have some context. This will be a sunlit day, so I'm just kind of blocking in, You know, a rudimentary sky Grady int back here and this will transition. It's way too, like a desert kind of landscape, which is, you know, where they live in the actual book. So he's sweeping the ground in this desert sand area, and I've got this little color pass blocked in notice. I'm just working on one layer. I'll probably just work on two layers for this whole demo, the background being one layer and then the character being the other. Now my goal is to eventually get to the point where I don't need the line layer anymore. Right now, the line layer is there, and it's a nice drawing, but I want the paint to do all of the work. That's just an aesthetic choice that I'm making for this painting. So OK, skies blocked in with skies and stuff. It's helpful toe. Have some Grady into them. You know you have the horizon, which is typically the lightest part of the sky. Then, as the sky goes upwards, it gets bluer and darker eso if you see this in grayscale just for a little quick tip on skies skies get darker as they go up in value. And then the horizon is traditionally the lightest point in this guy. All right, so what I'll do, I'll just, uh, I'll just call this BG for background. I'll make a new layer. And on this layer, I will start painting. Just bringing in the reference for Peck that we looked at in chapter two. I have local colors there for me, you know, his flesh is red and white and his jacket is brown. I have all these colors, so the first thing I'll do is just block in local colors. This would be very easy because all we got to do is say, OK, is this part of his head is white? Um, I'll leave a little bit of room value wise to, so I have room to go a bit lighter if I need to. And after I do this step, we're gonna talk about light and shadow and those considerations. But for now, you know his skin here is that his skin, his feathers, whatever that is is red. I'm again. I'm not going to use this color, though, because this color is already kind of roof. There's not a whole lot of room for me to go lighter with it. I like to block in my stuff a little bit darker, so I have room to go both lighter and darker as I apply the light to it. So I'll block in the red this color, knowing it's gonna be a little bit lighter in the light and darker in the shadows. So basically, I'm using a mid tone now, the head being white. I guess I could have gone a little darker. Let's see how that works, although a bit darker, whether just to, you know, stay predictable with my color choices. Now this is odd, because if I sample this color, it's sampling the color red plus the dark line. You see the red is way down there. I don't want that. I want to sample just the red and painting. If I all to click on a layer, I can reveal the color. Now I can pick this, but that's that's a bit annoying to do, right? So what I like to do is go over to the sample tool and then at the top of the screen, we have this pull down that currently is set to the default of sample all layers. Well, I only wanted to sample the current layer for now. So a pick current layer. And now, when I have my layer selected and I hold all to sample you notice it's only sampling the red from that layer. So I'll continue here to block in the arms. And I feel like I should speed this process up a little bit because this is less painting and more like rote copying. So here we are, sped up a little bit. Just while I block in these local colors. I'm doing the same thing with every color. I'm picking it from the reference and then just making sure that on the color picker I have enough value room to go both lighter and darker on things for the broom and stuff. I'm just improvising some kind of yellowish orange color. I'm not using any logic behind this other than like, if I were a child, what crayon color? What? I used to cover that in. Okay, so here we are, with the block in now, if I hide the line layer, you can see what are painting so far actually looks like now that's very rough. The paint doesn't hold up yet. We still need the line to kind of determine what the lighting is doing and what the forms are doing. But this is a start. This is local color and local value, meaning every part has, like one decision about value and one decision about color. It's the same thing you would get with the crayon and a coloring book. So while this is not a complete painting, it's a good first step. Now you might wonder if I want to clean this up. You know, this is very messy, but I really recommend if you're interested in a painterly language, don't worry about a mess. The thing with painting is I find it very beneficial to be able to dwell inside of a mess and work your way around it or out of it, because that will help influence the look of your brushwork. Ironically, brushwork is less about the brushes you choose and more about the workflow you implement. So I actually enjoy this little mess that I've got going for myself here. Okay? It's time to think about the lighting. And actually, before I do that, you see how the background is kind of transparent. My little trick for that is take the background, duplicate it that gets rid of the transparency, may be duplicated again, and then just flatten these three with a shift. Select and control e to flatten them. So okay, let's talk about the light that's going to hit this character. I wanted to be lit by the sun. This is a nice blue sky day, which means there's a sun out there somewhere. I think I'll have the sun coming in from a top right so down this way. And that's a critical decision for our overall color. Because now that I know what the light source is and where it's coming from, I can formulate an overall vision for how these local colors will be affected by just enlarged the color picker. For a second, I could give you some basic theory on how light works, at least as far as this class goes about Children's books. Let me give you a basic working theory for light. If the sun is a warm orangey yellowish lights, which it often is. And that's what I'm making it in this painting, a nice and welcoming you know, warm color. Everything the sun hits will be influenced by this warmth. So whether it hits a red or a white or a yellow or an orange, which are, you know, colors and whatever this range of green, it doesn't matter. Whatever color it hits, it's going to drag that color toward the sun color because the sun is the light source and therefore imparts its color on everything it hits. So I can be very organized with my light decisions, knowing that they're all gonna be influenced to some degree or another by the yellowish orange ish son. In other words, yellow and orange being like on the warm end of the color spectrum, every color I paint that's in the light will have to be warmer than the colors I paint in the shadow. The shadow is the lack of the sunlight, so it stands to reason that those colors will appear a little cooler. So when I cool those off, well, I'll be using my color charts from the last segment. I might cool them off by moving the hue toward the cools like we've seen either down that way or up this way. Or I might cool them off by going grey er or a combination of both. Now, at this stage in the painting, I don't actually know yet which colors I'm going to choose. All I know is that I will be freely using all of those color charts. I can combine them in any fashion I like. I'll start with the head itself. Now, if the sun is going to hit the head because the head is white whites doesn't really have a color. So I'm just gonna make sure it's very light, and I'll slant it to the side of the yellows like instead of making a blue light, I'll make it a yellowish light because, you know, the sun is warm, so why not do this now? This doesn't really look warm right now. I could even put a little more color in there if I wanted maybe something like this. The sun is going to hit the top of the head because again, the sun is gonna come down this way. So it's gonna hit the top of the head. But really, we won't have a definition of that lights until we have the shadow. The shadow is what reveals the light. So what I'll do now is I think about my shadow color so I'll sample the light. I want to think about getting a cover that's darker. And then I also want to think about getting a color that's cooler. So what I'll probably Dio is all go darker. Maybe something like this. I'll go down this way toward the Cools and let's start there. I could go here. It doesn't matter as long as it's cooler. Let's let's start here, Okay, that looks a little dark. Let's go up. After all, this is a what he you know. He has a very white face here. So let's make sure that when we put these values in, we preserve something of a lightness in the shadow. We'll put this color an obviously at the bottom of the head because this is where the shadow would be on the bottom of the head as it turns around, you know, thinking about three D forms that we covered so thoroughly in Chapter two. Now you know, let's just keep going. This this bandanna would be entirely in shadow because his head is gonna cast a shadow down . So I'll take the bandanna color and it's already very cold, so I'll just deep in it for a darker colored bandanna. This will start making the bandanna look like it's in shadow, and I'll do the same thing to the jacket. I'll sample the jacket. Now that's a very warm color, kind of by default. So what I'll do. I want to cool that down because it's gonna be in a cooler shadow. So I will. Again, let's go down this way toward the cools. Let's even go a little further. Let's go grayer and darker, darker because it's a shadow. So value goes darker and cooler in two ways. Down this way to the purples in gray er. And let's block this in, get a little bit more color in. They're going to gray on a strong local color like this is a strong, saturated color. If you go to gray, you'll suck the color out of it. Yeah, I don't want to do that, so I'll pick my shadow, and I feel like if it's a little too grey. I could just start adding color back into it. And this might be where I want to go with that shadow. Oh, I should sample my shadow for the head because this his chest should also be in shadow, and you notice hasn't doing this. I'm refining my contours, refining my not my line drawing, but I'm refining the shapes so that they're a bit closer to my line drawing. So essentially, what I'm thinking here, guys, is that the head is, um, casting a shadow on the body that goes like this. So the head being a big round form is casting a shadow on toothy cylinder of the body just to do a quick demo up here. If this is the head and this is the body, the head being a sphere will be dark here and will cast a shadow on to the body. This is all I'm thinking about. Very simple little model crude mock up for this more complex character. This character is not very complex, but he's more complex than that s Oh, there we go. And then now his his bottom area here, Um, I gotta deal with his red skin in shadow. I haven't done that yet, so let's sample his Redskin and I want to get cooler for a shadow. So what am I gonna do? Well, it's already on the cool side of red, but I want to go even colder. So I go down this way darker for shadow and maybe just a touch gray or not too much, Just a touch. There's gonna be a cash shadow from the hat that goes on his head, the cash at all from the hat on to his head. And you know, this bottom area is gonna be in shadow. This part of his arm is going to be cast in shadow from the head. The shadow might continue around his arm here, thinking about three D forms and cross contouring cash. Shadows, by the way, are very good opportunities for cross contouring the bottom of his arm. Here. The reason cast shadows over good opportunities for cross contouring is because when a shadow gets thrown over a form, it adopts the three dimensionality of the forms that goes around the arm. It doesn't just go flat like this. When you zoom in, you can see that it doesn't just go flat like that. It goes around the arm and describes the cylinder it describes. And just like this one, it'll describe the cylinder of the arm described the form that it's, you know, thrown onto. Alright, zoom back out and already are painting is starting to look more dimensional. Something I like to get into a painting early on is a cast shadow that connects the character with the ground and defines that relationship. Right now, it's hard to tell how high he's jumping. It's hard to tell where those broomsticks are, you know, Where is the point of the ground that he's jumping off of a cash shadow will help resolve all that. So let me describe a soft brush. This is like a marker brush. Make a layer underneath the color layer, which is above the background layer, and I'll just sample the ground color and again I'll go darker and cooler. So let's go darker and let's go a little bit cooler. Actually, let's go way into the blues. The reason I'm gonna go into the blues well, violets. But way toward the blues is because there's gonna be a lot of sky just beaming itself into the shadows. So on this layer, I'm just gonna paint ah, cash shadow that I think would occur under this letting condition So you could see already how this really really helps define where the character is will have the shadow go right off frame, cause again the sun is coming down from an angle, Right? So the cash out is gonna be slightly offset to the left of this character. And this is nice. This this part of the shot I'm painting now is from his body. And from here, um, I could put in some more colors. Like, if I want the blue sky to show up more, I could grab some blue And, you know, just this is called scum bling. If you make little brush strokes like this little scribbles, basically, it's an artistic word for scribbling. But if if I'm working within the same value the shadow in this case all being the same relative value, I could get any cover. Watch this, I'll get a green color and I can stumble it in, and it works. The color works because it's working within the same value value. Trump's color 100% of the time value is the most important decision, and then your colors can work into that. Now, what I'm talking about here, guys, is reflected light or ambient light. They mean the same thing that is, lights coming from the atmosphere, you know, light coming from sources other than the sunlight. Now which light sources come from areas other than the sunlight? Well, I just talked about the sky coming down. Or how about sunlight coming into the scene like this? This is a ray of sunlight. It would strike the ground and bounce up. And as it bounces up, it's gonna hit our character. Specifically, it's gonna hit the undersides of our character. And those are two very common sources of reflected light light from the sky light from the sun bouncing around very common sources of reflected or ambient light. So with our shadows done, it's time to start factoring that into this painting. And just as I say that I realized I got a little bit ahead of myself. I don't have, like, a shadow pass on the hat yet, so let me just grab a brush I can get Okay, it's sample this go bit darker a bit cooler and select the right layer and then get some little shadow passes on this hat. This is where I could reference my line drawings. I put a lot of thought. OK, I had the shadows do something like that. Let me see me bring back my color layer with the line. I can reduce the capacity of that line just so I have a bit of reference. This is a good way Just to use the line drawing is a little bit of a reference, because I remember had, you know, worked out some of these shadow shapes in the line drawing. Okay, turn off the line. And there we go. There's our little shadow pass for the hat. This is a good opportunity to clean up the drawing on that hat. There's a bit of oddities going on there. So let's see what I did with my line. Yeah, it looks like in my block in I totally didn't get the rest of the head blocked in. This red pattern would go all the way around here. This is what happens when you adopt sort of that messy thing in your painting. But it's OK. You know. I'm just gonna fix it right now. Well, I'm here. The red of his head here would go just around here before it disappears around the back end of his head. You see, I could have got these shapes perfected in my block in pass. But you lose life when you do that. At least I dio I don't think this is a universal thing. But if I try and get my shapes perfect the first time the whole painting starts losing life . I like to refine my shapes as I go. Let's use this weird texture A brush to get in a shadow pass for the brooms. Just little offset little lines here to simulate the bristles of the broom. And finally, I think we have a full living on the boots here. Full shadow pass done for our painting. And this goes a long way. Like all I have here are light shapes and shadows. Shapes kind of one shape each and one color each. Hopefully, you can see the power of these decisions. And I want to remind you these aren't just painting decisions. I've made good drawing decisions IE Chapter two stuff along the way to help me get here. So it's good fundamentals that contribute to speed. Okay, let's zoom in just a tiny little touch here and look at some of the reflected light on the bottom of his head. The first thing I'll do is I'll switch to the smudge tool. This guy here and I want to quickly show you my settings. I have to bring the photo shop window down so you can see it. I turn on finger painting, and what that does is it uses the color you have selected to paint with. So you can see I can pick like this green color and it paints with it. If I don't have that selected, it only smudges the colors that are on there with it selected. It'll paint and smudge, so finger painting turned on. I like to set my strength to 95% and if you're painting on more than one layer like I am, turn on sample all layers and then it will smudge the sky in with the character in with the background etcetera. Now that setting can get computational e intense if you have a lot of layers, but I only have like three layers so my computer can handle it. No problem. And I really like painting with this much tool. The only problem with it is I can't push, alter and change my cursor into a sample tool. So to change colors, I have to go back to the box. So let me just put the box closer to the painting. And I think the first thing I'll do is get some blues from the sky, maybe filtering into the shadow. So just that's the wrong value. So let's change it and just start smudging. That's still the wrong value. I want this guy to be a bit lighter. There we go, putting in some lighter blues into the shadow, you know, still keeping the identity of a shadow, you know, not changing the value too much, but the sky is lending light to the shadows. So I want that blue to be a bit lighter than when I had there. And in this way I could make take a harsh shadow and soften it a bit with this reflected Lay or Andean light again. When I say reflected light, I also mean ambient light. They're the same thing. What I can also think about is the other type of reflected light, which is the sun coming in, hitting the warm sand and bouncing up. So maybe what I'll do is get a warmer reflected light, something in this range and, you know, start hitting the bottom of his face. Now, why the bottom? Well, because this is where the sun would bounce and hit the sand and come up to the underside of his chin and his jaw area, whereas the outsides of the shadow. I'll leave that in the realm of the blues because that's where the sky would probably hit most accurately. You've probably been to my YouTube channel, but I have a whole 25 minute lecture on how light bounces around and effects shadow colors , so you might want to go check that out. It's youtube dot com slash mark Obuchi. The other thing I want to do well, I'm here is I want to soften the edge between the light and shadow. So what I might do here is just pick something up in the light range and just use this to soften the edge. And again, I feel like what I'm doing here is I'm contributing to the overall interesting brushwork Look of this painting by using tools that smudge paint around and using, you know, energetic brushstrokes you can see like I'm moving my hand quite rapidly as I'm doing these strokes, but still trying to maintain some degree of control. But I'm not being so careful. This contributes to an energy in your brush work, and this is something I hold really sacred in my own painting process. I want the painting to look like I had fun painting it. I mean, after all, kids gravitate to Children's books that they have fun reading. And I really do believe people can sense a joy in the process if you also feel that as you work Okay, so let me sample the beak here. We don't have a light pass on this yet it looks a little dark. I'll sample the beak, go back to my smudge tool and let's get a nice light beak. After all, if I pull up the pack references because very yellow, almost the same color as the eyes. So I will get a nice, bright yellow warm to represent the sun hitting this thing, and I will use this much tool to paint light on that beak. And in this time I'll use the color I had blocked in there as the shadow previous to this all the other areas. The color I had blocked in is basically standing in for light right now, and I probably change that a little bit. But in the case of the beak, it looks like that color is better suited as the shadow. Get a little bit more lights on the bottom, but not much, because the bottom of the B could be more in shadow. And while I'm here, switched to a brush sample the shadow that I think the entire beak would cast a shadow onto the face. So I'll do that. And I'll use this opportunity to really clean up this shape here as well. And here I've just sped up the video a little bit to address the actual drawing and proper shapes of his hand. It's just carving away. It shapes his hands, air weird, their little spiral e things. You can see it in the reference at the top right there. So I'm just adjusting my shapes, thinking about drawing and you know, wrapping these little weird finger things around the broom sticks and the broomsticks themselves will have little shadows like that as they go under the hand. Just basic stuff. That little finicky things that I felt would be better just sped up like this. And while I'm here, I'll use this opportunity to clean up some shapes, like on the waistband on the arms, just little things that have fallen to the wayside so far. Let's get those up to speed. Speaking of getting things up to speed, let's look at the eyes. This is just the original block in. I'll get a brush that's more of a calligraphy style brush. I really like painting with this brush. Let's start just giving them some definition. I'll get a dark red color and start putting in just some form definition. This is where the upper I would dip into the head before the eyeball starts poking out and I won't. Here's what I won't do. I won't do this. I won't draw lines around it in a painterly language. It's very rare that you can get away with a solid line that defines something. This is why I don't have my line drawing on anymore because these lines are now disrupting and conflicting with the language of the painting. So what I want to do here is I want to indicate that there is a bit of a plane change, therefore, a shadow that goes that makes this brow region look like it's turning under, just like the human brow region turns under before our eyes show up and here I'll just tweak the shape of the actual white of the eye, revealing the pupil, and I'll sample the pupil. Let's get a nice, dark, warm. I like to favor warm colors for pupils. It just don't for some reason, makes it feel like there's more life in the I am not sure how that works, but somehow I've just noticed that it does, so I go with it now. I want the eye to look like it has some form to it. It looks a bit flat right now, so I'll pick a brush that's set to multiply mode. Essentially multiply mobile, dark and what's there, right? So I could just pick any color and dark in it, so I'll pick a very light ish color, maybe cooler because the I will be drifting in a shadow and just give some form to these eyeballs just a little bit. And then I can switch to my smudge tool and soften this up a little bit. Maybe I could go into the light and add a little bit more light in it, just working with very soft edges here to make sure the eyeball just feels like a little bit like it's a ball and not a flat disc. If I want those guys to be more yellow overall, I'll go back to my multiply brush and just get a strong yellow color and just put that in. There we go. Those eyeballs are starting to look like they have more form, and then everyone's favorite part the highlight. I'll just go pure white for that and for the shape of the highlights. I'll let the shape overlap both the pupil and the white of the eye, so I'm not gonna do it like this. I'm going to do it more like this since the same with this, I may be a slightly different shape. This will mimic more the actual structure of the of the eyeball. Not that the point is anatomical accuracy. After all, this is a penguin cartoon character. At least I think he's a penguin. But because we're painting Mawr to mimic the effects of natural light, I think this is a better highlight shape. Maybe also another highlight shape up here just to make those eyes look super shiny, and I'll make sure they're not the same on both eyes. That's another principle. I used to keep life in things. Whenever you have two of something two arms, two legs, two eyes try and not give them exactly equal treatment. You can see that on the arms, like this light shape is bigger than that light shape. Little things that offset it's almost like offset symmetry from Chapter two, just in a painterly sense, Let me just go grab a brush, sample the boot color and let's get some lights on those boots. They're feeling a bit dark, so I'll go. Okay, stay in the warm because it's a sunlight and I'll just try and get little bits of definition as this plane points up these planes up here and this is a leather boots, so there might be a little bit of ah highlight running down it like this. The highlight there at the tip. And same with this boot over here. Just little lights that contribute to the form. I want to keep the shapes very simple. You know, this is not the point of this character. The boots are not where the audience is gonna look. So the lower down it is in that visual hierarchy, the more simple and minimal I will be with shape grabbing eraser and clean up this little part of this boot as well. Make sure that shape is clean. And with this eraser I can actually help design the boot shapes as well. Now I'm noticing that there needs to be more leg here to fit into that boot. Now, we have an interesting problem right in here where the arm and leg are side by side and it looks like the same value. Well, it is the same value right now. The leg would be in kind of a double shadow. And by that I mean the arm is in front of the leg, so the arm would cast even more darkness into the shadow of the leg. This is called ambient occlusion. The ambient light that's keeping the shadow value relatively light right now, there would be less of it there because the arm would be including it. So I'm gonna go darker and just give this leg this darker shadow value that separates it from the arm. Conversely, I'll go into the arm and give it a bit of a lighter and cooler shadow cooler cause the sky , I think, would come down and hit this part of the arm. I'll use this smudge tool for this, and this will also further separate the arm form from the leg form. So something like this, getting this blue into the arm of Put That Blue in here is well, the sky would probably be hitting this part of the shadow to again. The smudge tool is nice here because it mixes my chosen color with the color is already on the canvas. I will grab a soft brush like this marker one, and this jacket, I think, would be a little bit warmer. It's looking a little gray, a little too cold. It needs to have more of its radish local color in there. Still cooler than the light, though, but a little bit warmer and a bit darker to as this vest is plunge deeply into shadow, so it's gonna get a bit darker. Now I leave this shadow alone, maybe a touch of this darker shadow here, as the vest is really turning under hitting the body, making contact with the body there, there's gonna be a lot of ambient occlusion in that area and once again on my YouTube page . If you want a deeper dive into ambient occlusion, check out this video Ambien, seclusion and ambient light for painters. As you can see, it's about 20 minutes of lecture just on the topic of ambient occlusion. Another area of ambient occlusion could be where the hat touches the head. There's such a tight space there that I think the hat would just bleed in this little Ami conclusion. There wouldn't be so much reflected light from there, and they'll use that as an opportunity to soften the edge so the head kind of emerges into the hat in a very soft way. You don't need hard edges on everything. In fact, if you're painting like a painterly thing like this, I encourage that you don't have hard edges everywhere. It will help the painting have a bit of a life to it when not everything is perfectly defined. After all, in real life, we don't see everything as perfectly defined shapes. Our own eyes have areas of focus. The thing we're looking at tends to be in the most focus, where everything else kind of fades away a little bit, or at least steps back in visual importance. All this to say find reasons to soften edges and ambient occlusion is one such reason. I might also look at the bandanna here. It might get darker with occlusion. I change the color just because whenever I'm painting Amy Inclusion, I do like to just do a little color shift. I have no reason for why I went up toward their. I could just go red if I wanted to. It doesn't really matter as long as the value is dark. What reads is the darkness, not necessarily the hue. In fact, this is an important not a rule at all. But a color theory I use is the darker the value, the less the color matters because the darker the value of the I will just register it as dark in fact, let's just do a quick demo. If I have this green versus this blue with these values up high, you can really notice the difference, right? But now let's go. That same green versus that same blue With dark values, the color becomes much less evident. You can still notice the difference, but it's not nearly as evident as the top one is. So the letter, the value, the more the I will be able to discern color and vice versa for the darker values. The opposite of ambient occlusion, of course, is reflected light. And I think underneath his crotch area here you would have some warm ish reflected light coming up from the dirt. Now it's gonna be still a bit cooler than the light you noticed the light has this heavy saturation to it. So for the reflected light, I wanna keep that grayer, even though on the Hugh Spectrum it's closer to the yellows, I want to keep it a bit gray er, just so it doesn't quite compete, but there are no rules with this stuff, like I could, I could skirt the line of having this even warmer than the light. And as long as the value is correct. Remember, values King. It'll work. I could maybe use my smudge tool to paint some of that up here is well in the arm. Oh, and while I'm here and be seclusion, I think the head, the tight meeting space between the head and the arm There'd be a bit of occlusion up here as well. You don't have to do this with this much tool. Feel free to use like texturally brushes like this to put in. You know, whatever brushstrokes you want, so long as you're thinking about the proper values, good shapes and an overall context for color, the brush you uses up to your own personal taste. Here in the bandanna, I think parts of it would reflect the sky. So go a little bit lighter, you know, making sure the bandannas still in shadow, but little touches with this texture. A brush just settle for reflected light from the sky. Sometimes I think leather as the material tends to be very reflective, so I'll actually use this blue to reflect little bits of the sky in the leather boot. I've seen this so many times when I'm just observing real life, how certain materials are very reflective, and I think leather is one of those. So I get a bit of blue as it reflects the sky. Maybe under here I'll get a bit of this warmth as it reflects the desert sand beneath him. Just scum bling it in with the same texture, a brush. And while I'm here, I think there might be some like lacework on the boot. So let's get in these little laces as they travel around the boot itself. These little details, which I feel like I'm at the correct stage to implement in the painting, and he has a sheriff's badge. What I'm going to do, I want That's a such a hard shape to draw well, so I'm going to just copy and paste this by tracing it, and I'll get my elliptical to a holding shifts so I could get the little circle thing ease , and on a new layer, I will just color fill it and then back here I could just drag it into place, rotating it into place. It goes without their it needs a light and shadow passed. So watch this. I'll enable this box this is the preserve Transparency Box, which means that no matter what I paint, it will only fall on the