Make Your Own Coloring Page | Ria Sharon | Skillshare
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5 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:23
    • 2. Supplies and Inspiration

      3:02
    • 3. Sketching

      5:49
    • 4. Inking

      4:41
    • 5. Spit and Polish

      6:40

About This Class

Artist and illustrator, Ria Sharon guides you through the process of creating your own coloring page in this enjoyable 20-minute class. Ria will share her step-by-step process, from finding inspiration, translating source images to sketches, inking, and making your art a printable PDF file.

This class is perfect for anyone who loves to draw and doodle and is looking for a fun illustration project. Learn how to create coloring pages that you can share with family and friends. Who knows? You might just be the next coloring book breakthrough artist!

Follow Ria on Instagram and sign up for Secret Sketches, her free weekly behind-the-scenes/inspiration email.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I love the mindfulness involved in making art, staying present to what's right in front of you as well as that relaxing, meditative feeling that comes with the activity. I can totally see the appeal of grown up coloring books but I don't want to just color, I want to make the actual art. My name is Ria Sharon. I'm an artist and an illustrator and I make art every day. When I design coloring pages, I can personalize them with themes that are significant to me, making the end product that much more meaningful so if you too are interested in making coloring pages or coloring book art that's your own. I'll show you how step-by-step, from finding inspiration in source images to sketching your ideas, to inking and creating clean printable files using Adobe Photo-shop and Illustrator, all in this 20 minute class. This class is perfect for you if you are looking for a low stress illustration project, one that you can start and finish in a day. While you're learning how to do something relaxing yet fulfilling your creative needs, you can be learning how to do something that your friends and family can all enjoy. If you really like the process, you can even sell your designs. I hear there's a market for that so ready click enroll and I'll see you in the next video. 2. Supplies and Inspiration: Just a quick rundown on what you'll need for class. I like this project because it's really simple and you don't need any fancy art supplies. You need a pencil. I like the mechanical kind. Eraser, very important. Then for inking, you're going to need pens. I like to use these micron 0.02 and 0.05 are my favorite. Then all you need is printing paper, just the kind that you get at the office supply store and velum. You can also get these at the office supply store. You also need a scanner. Here's my vintage scanner. Then I use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to clean up my illustrations. That's it. You're good to go. Now the fun begins. Of course, you can look at other coloring books for inspiration, but the beauty of this project is that you get to pick the theme for yours. If your daughter is having a birthday and you want to do something fun for her, you can make a coloring page of her and her friends. Maybe Mother's Day is coming up, you can do one with an inspirational quote for moms. Maybe you are a cat lover or you really like Star Wars. This is my inspiration right here. I'm going to do a dog the coloring page. When you think about picking your theme, pick something that you love. I do think that if you're excited about a project that will come through in your work. I was invited to submit a coloring page for a local social event and raise money for stray rescue, which is how I found my dog. That's another reason I'm going with the dog theme. I can also look at some dog portraits I've done for inspiration. Here's my Pinterest board for coloring pages. You might have noticed from these examples that there's a pattern to them, a pattern of patterns, if you will. The designs are divided into distinct areas for coloring. That's what makes them fun. But even when they aren't colored yet, they're already pretty amazing. I personally find it helpful to have reference materials for work front. When possible, I take my own pictures and I'll post them here on Pinterest and I also use it to gather other source images as well. These are pictures from a recent trip. Just snapshots, really, but I just loved all the shapes made by the different leaves together and I'm really excited about how these will translate into bold patterns for my page. Your very first class assignment is to gather some images for inspiration. Find 5 to 10 images that you want to work from and either upload them in the project classroom or you can put them all in a Pinterest board and add that link to the project classroom, whichever one is easiest for you. So go to the classroom, click start project, and upload your images. 3. Sketching: Now that you have your source images ready, make a pencil sketch of your ideas. I'm just going to use my printer paper and my mechanical pencil. I like to design my overall composition first and create a general shape from my page. If I were doing a mandola theme page, this would be round. But this one, I want to stay with my tropical jungle themes. I'm going to keep it pretty organic and lightly drawing some guide marks for myself, I know to stay within that shape. Then I'm marking areas in my composition to place key visual elements. In this case, that's where I'm going to put my dogs. Again, I'm lightly penciling in, you'll be able to see better when I start sketching for real. But I'm marking off my page into thirds, vertically and horizontally and I'll place my dogs along or close to where those lines intersect. Once I've determined generally where I want things to go, I'll use my reference material and my inspiration images to start to refine the shapes. Still lightly because I'm not really committing to anything yet. I'm going to speed up the video here because you really start to see this page take shape once I'm happy with the general placement, as I start to sketch things and darker, see. The nice thing about this process is that you can have fun with this, there is no pressure here. You can erase and redraw as much as you like. It doesn't really matter how messy or smudgy my paper gets, because when I ink this, I'll be using a fresh new sheet of paper. I want to design a coloring page that I personally would want to color myself. That means that it's visually interesting and appealing to me. That it has some variety, some big shapes and little shapes and that's part of the reason I decided on this theme because I knew that I could draw different tropical leaves and create some really cool patterns. You can start to see how my composition is filling in, in that shape that I had in mind to begin with. Now, I'm making choices about the density and the direction of the foliage. That conveys the overall feeling that I'm going for. Then I'm going to start adding my dogs. I'm almost done with the rough sketch. Now I can really start to define the lines. I'm starting with the dog faces first because I have a particular expression and look that I have in mind for each of them, and I can adjust the elements around them based on little tweaks that I make. Notice how the noses are really focal point. I always start with the nose and then build the face around them. See I put a little sneaking bassett hound up here and I'm hoping that because I've covered his nose that he is a little bit harder to find. I have another dog with pointy ears that was based on a special commission that I did recently and here's a mini dog and the name is spree, and then another dog here, the Irish Setter, I think. Something to keep in mind is that your lines are what people will be using to define color areas. You want to make sure that your lines connect completely. You know what I mean? How many times have you been coloring and you get to an area where you're not sure if it's still part of the same space, or if you've accidentally wandered into a different space that should be a different color? Maybe that's me being totally obsessive, but people can do what they want. One of the selling points of coloring as an activity is for people to get into that Xin space and not have to think too hard. You want to give them a clear visual cues about when to change colors. Also, your lines don't have to be perfect, but they do have to be clear. Sometimes this is challenging for me because my other work tends to be really soft and not have hard edges, but I'm planning ahead for myself. Because when I get to the inking stage, my goal is to have that same feeling as when someone is coloring this page. I don't want to think, I don't want to have to make decisions about composition and line at that point, I'm just tracing. There's an area we're not sure because there are three different lines close together. I'll go back and clean that up now, I know exactly what to trace later. Now I'm starting to fill in the smaller details, all the patterns on the leaves that will really make this page fun. Of course, people can still decide to color the whole leaf one color, or they can make it as detailed and intricate as they want. What I'm keeping in mind is this balance between the visual interest and level of difficulty. I've seen some coloring books that are so incredibly detailed that you can't possibly even color them with crayons. That's not my intention for this particular page. You might want that in mind for your project. What medium you want people to use when they're coloring it. Once you're happy with your drawing, I'd love for you to share with the group. So snap a picture and then upload it to your project in the classroom. You can click edit on the project you've already started, or you can also post it on Instagram using our class hashtag. 4. Inking: There are several ways that you can go from sketch to a final drawing. You can take this sketch and you can scan it in and trace it in Illustrator. Or if you don't want to use vellum and you still want to ink it. You can use a regular sheet of paper, but then you would need a light box. What I like about using the vellum, is that I can see the lines really clearly without using this light box. I don't have to carry this around, and this is really portable. I can just stick it in my bag and if I have a few minutes over my lunch hour. Or if I'm waiting somewhere I can do some inking. Before I get started, I'd like to do quick warm up using the actual pens, and type of paper that I'll be using to do my final inking. So I just take each of the pens in turn and do a few lines and squiggles. To get a feel for my tools, and get my hands loosened up. I'm using Sakura Micron pens. Again, the ones I used the most are the O5 which makes a 0.2 millimeter line. I use this for my thicker lines which generally are the out lines of separate objects.The O2, makes a 0.3 millimeter line which I use for the final details. Then I prep my vellum sheet, taping it in two places. So I don't have to worry about it moving around. Here, you can see how easy it is to see through the vellum, and it's got such a nice smooth finish. Which creates a really clean line that's perfect for this project. Now I can start inking for real, I start with 05 pen to make the thicker lines. I take my time doing this, turning the sheet as much as I need to, in order to easily control my line work. I'm left-handed, any other lefties with me in here? Yes, so to avoid smearing the ink as I go, I work right to left. Once I'm done with the whole thing, I look over my sheet carefully. Making sure I haven't missed anything, and making sure that the lines all connect. It's not going to be perfect and I actually don't want it to look super perfect. Otherwise, I'd just do it on the computer. I want to retain that hand rendered feeling. But if they're obvious smudges, or places that I've missed, or where the ink escaped. I'll go over those knowing that it will save me time retouching it in Photoshop. So yes, I am thinking ahead. When you're done with your final ink drawing, go ahead and Add it to the classroom so we can see your progress. You guessed it, that is today's assignment. So click "Add it" and then you can either Add your scan, or snap a picture of it really quickly. Alternatively, you can also post it on Instagram using the class hashtag. 5. Spit and Polish: Now ready to scan these puppies and clean them up in Photoshop and Illustrator. Here's my scan previews, so I'm going to select the area I want to capture by pulling on these corners. Note the settings that I'm using on my scanner, it's Black and White, 256 Grays, my Resolution is set to 300 dpi, and the format is a JPEG and I'm naming my file, DogGoneWild and saving it in my pictures folder. When I click on "Scan", you see the progress bar telling me that it's scanning and saving my image. Then, I'm going to open up that image. First, I have to find it in my Pictures folder. I have a lot of scans and bulla, here we are in Photoshop. This is how my image looks raw or untouched. The first thing I'll do is rotate the image counterclockwise, then I'm going to add an adjustment layer for the levels so that the art is it crisp black and white, which I do by moving the points along this graph like this. So this is what it looks like now after making that adjustment. It's time to really touch my art, I can zoom in and then use the brush tool and the erase tool to fix all my little mistakes that I don't want to show up on my final piece. I can adjust the size of my brush and eraser to do this clean up. This does take some time and it can be a little tedious, so I'll be speeding up the footage so you won't have to suffer through the whole thing in real time. So, yep [inaudible] the music. But feel free to pause at any time because I'm sharing with you every little thing I tweet so you can get a sense of what adjustments you might want to make to your project. When I'm happy with it, I'll save my new clean file. I'll open this new file in Illustrator. This is where all that work in Photoshop pays off. If I've done a good job retouching this stage is a matter of pressing a few buttons. I use the Image Trace tool in Illustrator, which is up here on the top toolbar by default. As you can see, what it does is convert an image into a tracing object. But I'd actually like to open the Image Trace palette instead of just clicking on that button, because then I can customize the settings that Illustrator uses. So you do that by clicking on "Window" and finding Image Trace that brings up the palette. Now for this demonstration, I'm going to leave these settings just the way they are as a Default. Note that Default preset has the View to Tracing Result, Mode as Black and White, Threshold is 128, Paths at 50 percent, Corners at 75 percent, and Noise at 25 percent and when I check the Preview button down here, Illustrator will show me how my art will look when it is converted to an object. The default settings, in this case are actually pretty good. The lines are bold, but the small details are still distinct and not filling in. Let's see what happens when you change these settings. If you mouse over each one, it gives you a little hint about what it does, so Threshold, it says pixel is darker than threshold value are converted to black. I'm going to play with this setting just to show you how it works. There's no magic number for any of these settings, I always start with the default and then adjust based on each piece of art that I'm working with. However, if I'm image tracing a whole series of similar pieces, for example, when I was hand lettering a collection of alphabet art prints, I created a new preset for that project so it would be consistent. So play around with your settings until you like the result you get and when you're happy with it, and you click the magic button, which is "Expand", your image is actually made of outlines now instead of pixels, which means it can be printed at any size and still be super smooth. I could even make this a billboard if I wanted. The last thing I'm going to do is add my logo to my coloring page. So I'm opening up that file and copying Command C on a Mac and pasting Command B into my coloring page Illustrator file. Then I'm going to save the whole thing as a PDF by clicking "Save As" and then selecting "Adobe PDF" for the format. That way anyone can open and print this coloring page even if they don't have Illustrator. So I'm making note of the name of the file and I can certainly change it if I want to, but I won't in this case and then I'm checking preserve Illustrator editing capabilities because I don't really want anyone to be changing anything at this point. Then I click "Save". So now I have a PDF that I can put myself or sent to a printer or e-mail to my friends or post on my website or list in my Etsy store, possibilities are endless. That's it, how cool is that? When you are done with your final coloring page, post an image of that in the classroom or on Instagram. I'm so happy that you joiedn me for this experience and I hope you've had a lot of fun, I' am really looking forward to seeing your projects in the classroom and on Instagram.