Illustrating in Procreate: Draw a fox! | Mel Armstrong | Skillshare

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Illustrating in Procreate: Draw a fox!

teacher avatar Mel Armstrong, Illustrator, Pattern Addict & Teacher

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tools

    • 3. Inspiration

    • 4. Sketch

    • 5. Colour

    • 6. Final

    • 7. BONUS: Scene Timelapse

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About This Class

In this class, I’m going to take you through my process for drawing in Procreate.  I’ll show you how I take inspiration from images to sketch my own unique animal character.  I will show you my exact process from start to finish how I colour and add interest to my fox using helpful tools in Procreate and textured brushes.  

For your class project, I want you to create your own unique fox character.

This class assumes you already have some knowledge of Procreate.  If you are new to procreate I suggest you take one of the beginner classes on Skillshare.  There are many great ones available.

What we’ll be covering:

  • Finding images to use as inspiration for your own character
  • Tips on how to create a sketch
  • My whole process from start to finish, including clipping masks & blending modes

I’m excited to see your own unique foxes.  Thanks so much for watching!

My Favourite brushes:

** If you purchase one of these brush collections, I receive a small commission.  I can assure you that I will only recommend brushes that I use and love!

Music: Inspiring Ambient Indie Folk

Meet Your Teacher

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Mel Armstrong

Illustrator, Pattern Addict & Teacher

Top Teacher

Hello and welcome!

I’m a full-time illustrator from Wellington, New Zealand.  I’m obsessed with creating beautiful things, from craft to illustration to sewing to IKEA flat packs (no kidding).  

I’m also obsessed with learning, which is what drew me to Skillshare.  Years ago I stumbled across this little (well actually big) gem, did some classes, then voila, I became a teacher!  I teach what I love - illustration and surface pattern design - and I’m so happy I can share my skills with you all.  It’s an absolute joy to watch others grow to make a career out of what they love doing.

My client list includes Scholastic UK, Harper Collins, Hallmark Creative US, American Greetings, Auzou, Liontree Publishing, ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Mel Armstrong. I'm an illustrator and surface pattern designer living in the coolest capital of the world, Wellington New Zealand. In most of my skillshare classes, I've taught you about surface pattern design, but the last couple of years I've moved into illustration, in particular, greeting card illustration and children's book illustration. In this class you're about to watch, I'm going to show you how to draw animal characters using procreate. We will work together to sketch, refine, color, and add interest using texture. Along the way, I'll show you some great tools in procreate to enhance your drawings. Before we get started, grab your iPad, install procreate if you haven't already, and grab your Apple pencil and let's gets started. 2. Tools: I'm going to run through the tools that we need for this class. First of all, you need an iPad. I have the iPad 12.9 inch, 3rd generation. But you can use any other iPad that is compatible with the Apple pencil. That is the next tool we need, the Apple pencil. I have got the 2nd generation pencil here. Thirdly, you need Procreate. Procreate is an iPad app which you can download from the App Store. You can install the latest version, which is five and that is what I'm using here at this time. Now that we've got your tools ready, let's get started with our drawing. 3. Inspiration: Before I start drawing an animal, I like to find photos of these animals in their natural habitat. One of the first places I go is this website called Wildlife Reference Photo. Now if I haven't got one of these animals near me that I can go out and photograph, this is the ideal place. This is a place where you can grab photos of images, specifically for artists to use in their artwork and you pay for them. It doesn't cost much, but it means that you're not breaching any copyright. You can use these images as specified on the website. If you go in here and I type in fox, it's going to give me a whole range of fox photos. Some close ups, some of foxes in their natural habitats doing all sorts of wonderful things. I would come in here and grab three or four images and use a combination of those images to sketch my fox. Another thing that I would do is go to YouTube. On YouTube, I like finding videos of animals, just doing their thing. This one here is of a fox playing with a golf ball. You can see some of the really cool movements that foxes do when they jump. He's obviously playing with his golf ball, it's pretty cute. I use this in one of my picture books, to grab an image of a fox jumping and running. Very handy, YouTube. Here is a collection of foxes that I am going to use for my sketch. I love the combination here of the different sizes and the different positions. I'm going to use that to come up with my own style, a fox that has my own personal touch on it. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you how I come up with that sketch. See you then. 4. Sketch: Okay let's get sketching. To start, I'm going to click on the plus sign and create a new canvas. I'm going to select one here I've already got, which is a ten by ten. Or if I wanted to create a new one, I could click on the plus in the right-hand corner here and create one to the width and height that I need. In this case, let's just create a ten by ten inch. The color profile I'm going to stick to RGB,but you can also create a CMYK. So for this just RGB and create. For my brush when I'm sketching, I usually use a 6B pencil and I use a dark, grayish color. So let's start with my fox's head. It's kind of a diamond shape, isn't it? So generally I just start out with some shapes then I get the body. This is very rough to begin with. This is just kind of giving you an idea of what I'm going to do. I'll do this really quickly. And we'll give it some big ears that are really rough. It's just the shape. And we're going to create a new layer. I'm going to reduce the opacity on that initial layer.I think for this, I want the head to be very symmetrical. So I'm going to go into my drawing guide, turn that on. Go into edit drawing guide, and click on symmetry. And then if I drag that to the center of the way the fox's head is I can now draw a shape that's completely symmetrical. Which is a little bit smaller. So I'm just tapping it to go back. I'm going to turn that symmetry tool off. So if I just go into that layer, click on layer and then turn off drawing assist. It might turn off the guide as well. Sorry I can't see it. Let's do the body. Just actually turn that drawing assist back on because I just want to change the shape of the face again. To create a new layer for the body. I might turn that drawing assist again. Just for the neck. I like to exaggerate things. I just think it makes it a bit cuter when I turn that drawing assist off. Just do the back of his body here. There's no real method to my sketching. I just do it and play with it and fiddle with it until it looks pretty good, to the point I'm happy with it. We always have problems with fox's tails. I generally try them a million times to get them right and never really feel like a quiet right. One good way to find the shapes of these animals quite like on YouTube and slowing down videos of the animal in its habitat doing stuff and you can really get a feel for the composition of the animal and the basic shapes that is made up of. Not really, find out how to get my shapes relatively accurate. Still not happy with that bit. One great thing about procreate is you can easily cut things out and move them around. Say, cut that tail out. I'm going to move it in a bit and make his body bit narrower. I'm not happy with his nose. I'm just going to go back and here, turn the drawing assist off and have another go at it.I'm happy, I'm going to combine them and also snap them all together using two fingers. In the next video, I'm going to show you how I color. See you there. 5. Colour: Okay, let's add some color. For this, I've got my sketch. I've got it on a layer, and I've lowered the opacity, and I have locked it. I put the opacity about 35-40, and then if you swipe to the right, you can lock it. Then, I have created a layer underneath the sketch layer. I'm going to start filling that in. I'm going to select this dark brown color, and I'm going to use the dry ink brush, which is a standard Procreate brush. I'm just going to color that in. Now, you can either color it in, like I am doing here, or you can bring in the color and fill it in by just clicking on it and dragging it in, and it will fill in the area. You may need to go back in and just fill in. If you look around the edge, close up, you can see that it hasn't completely filled it in. I don't mind the odd bit of gap, it gives it a bit of a texture but generally, I'll go in and just fill in some of that white that is left off. I'm going to add some fur marks. I'm just going to lower the brush size down a bit, zoom in here. Just some very subtle brush marks on the edges of the fox. Same on the tail, I'm going to turn it upside down. If you're unsure which way the fur would go, just have a look at a photo of a fox and study the way that the fur moves on the fox. Okay, I'm going to now add another layer on top of that one, and then I'm going to select clipping mask. What that will do is that, whenever I draw, select a darker color, it will only draw inside that original area. If I take that off, you can see that it will go out side. I'm just going to clear that, clip it again and I'm going to select a dark gray, and this bardot gouache dry, and change the blending mode to color burn. Just lower down the brush size. I'm just going to add some feet. Now I'll use the eraser tool on the dry ink brush to then just erase the bits that I don't need. I do want to keep it quite textured at the top, so I'll leave that. It's just the side bit so that you can see the outline of the leg. [inaudible] change that eraser brush to the bardot gouache brush and just take a bit off the top in there. By using the same brush, I can keep that nice textured appearance at the top. I'm just going to make that left foot a bit smaller. Okay I'm going to lower the opacity of that, and then create another layer on top and also use the clipping mask. I'm going to use a lighter color here now to add in color to the tip of his tail and his chest. Once again, I'm going to use that bardot gouache dry and just take out the bit that I don't need. I'm going to give the tail a bit of a shape at the bottom again. I'm going to now add another layer on top of that, clip it again, change the opacity to a color burn. This time I'm going to add some shading. So I'm going to use that dark gray again, make sure it's on color burn, and use that same brush, the bardot gouache dry. I might actually turn off the sketch for the moment. I'm just going to add some shadowy areas. It's going to look pretty dark to begin with, but I will lower the opacity, so it's more subtle. I'll lower the opacity, it just gives it a subtle shadow. Then, I'm going to do the same with the highlight. I'm going to add another layer, clip it and change it to overlay, and then select white. This is going to be lowered as well. I'm just going to basically add it to most of the area that I didn't add the shadow and then lower the opacity. That just gives it a nice highlight and a bit of a textured feel. I'm going to add one more layer, or another layer, clip it again, and then change it to color burn. This time I'm going to add using the dark gray and the dry ink brush, I'm going to add some fur. Not all over, just around the edges or wherever I feel like it needs it. Then, lower the opacity on that as well, just so it's very subtle. Then, I'm going to do the same thing with a highlight. Another layer clipped, I'm going to select overlay and select white, and then add some lighter fur. Now, I'm going to add a little bit more shadow. I'm just going to go back to that first shadow layer and add a bit more shadow. I'm going to add some more highlight as well. I'm going to group all of those together and name them body, and then create a new layer on top and this is going to be the start of the paint. Then, get back to the dry ink, and basically do the same again, but with the head. Add some of the lighter color to his face and ears, and then I just lock it in and remove what I don't need with the eraser. I'm just going to go back to the original layer and add some fur to the outside of the face head. Add another layer on top and draw his mouth, and then on top of that, lets draw his nose and eyes. I'm going to unclip that and keep it at the top, and below it I'm going to do some more clipping masks to add some shade and highlight. Using the color burn and a dark gray, I will add in some shading, just lower the opacity, and then add some highlight. Then above that I'm going to add some fur, its in the dry ink, and lower the opacity on that and then another layer on top to add some highlighted fur. I'm going to add another layer and add some more highlight. I'm going to use this Hessian brush, gives it a nice sort of hairy texture. I might add some of that to the body as well. I think one last thing is to add some highlight to the nose, so I'm going to create a clipping mask. Because it's black overlay for highlight won't work. Do you see anything,well, subtly, but I might just use pin light or let's just start with normal, and use my gouache dry, just subtly over the top. Let's just try out a few blendy modes, see the overlay completely almost disappears so, I think I will stick to just the light color and just bring down the opacity. I think this guy needs some whiskers, so let's pick a black and dry ink, might turn on the drawing guard, make sure it's right in the middle here. Make sure assisted is on and draw in some whiskers. I'm pretty happy with him, I might just add group the head for a minute, and I want to add a bit more definition to his legs so I'm going to add another layer that's clipped to the body. Use the color burn with the dark gray and use, the dry ink will be fine. I'm just drawing in these to make it a little bit more obvious that his legs are there and I will just bring down the opacity. Now I'm going to rename that to the head, and then group them and rename them fox. I'm going to create a quick background just so that he's not sitting in thin air. Let me use this tail color and go to use this background called poached, It'll enhance texture and will leave a link for all these brushes, in the general information area. What I like about this brush is it gives a nice textured background. Then I'll create another layer and create a little hill. Will go back to my favorites and use the bardot gouache dry for this one, bring up the size. Draw in a little mountain or hill. You might add some textures to that, just create another layer and a clipping mask. You to take the dry. Select the dark gray and go back to Lisa Glanz texture Brushes, these are really cool. Texture is in here I want to use this rusty stove top one. Then just putting some subtle texture in the background there and I'm going to change it to color burn and then lower the opacity,and I might do another layer, this time with a highlight, so the white, and one more layer to add a bit of shadow behind him. Here's the color burn for that. Go back to my bardot gouache dry, add a bit of shadow behind him and underneath him. There you have it, my sleeping fox. 6. Final: Wow, that was more fun than I thought it was going to be, I really hope this class has given you some insight into how I illustrate in procreate. I really look forward to seeing you creations, please upload them to the project gallery, If sharing them on social media, don't forget to tag me Mel Armstrong SkillShare, so I can see your wonderful designs, till next time. Keep on creating, see you. 7. BONUS: Scene Timelapse: way, Theo.