Sweet Spots: Expressing Big Ideas in Small Editorial Illustrations | Tom Froese | Skillshare

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Sweet Spots: Expressing Big Ideas in Small Editorial Illustrations

teacher avatar Tom Froese, Illustrator and Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      About This Class


    • 3.

      Primer: What are Spot lllustrations?


    • 4.

      Primer: About Concept


    • 5.

      Primer: About Style


    • 6.

      Primer: 5 Elements of Style


    • 7.

      Primer: 5 Principles of Design


    • 8.

      Primer: 5 Principles of Stylization


    • 9.

      Primer: Inspiration vs. Imitation


    • 10.

      Project: Kickoff and Setup


    • 11.

      Project: Set 1 - Research and Discovery


    • 12.

      Project: Set 1 - Concept Sketches


    • 13.

      Project: Set 1 - Final Artwork


    • 14.

      Project: Set 2 - Research and Discovery


    • 15.

      Project: Set 2 - Concept Sketches


    • 16.

      Project: Set 2 - Final Artwork


    • 17.



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About This Class

The two most burning questions for illustrators are how do you come up with concepts, and how do you know what style to work in? If you've ever wondered these questions, this class is for you. While people of all backgrounds can take this class, it's made specifically for creatives looking for clues to the thinking that leads to illustrations that are both rich in concept and compelling in style.

Join Tom as he walks you through his entire process, from research, to sketches, all the way to the final set of illustrations. Along the way, he'll share with you deep insights about what goes into concept and style.

This class is more of a guided tour through Tom's thought and creative process — showing you the specific stages of his creative process and how he makes decisions at each. The goal of this class is to empower you to come up with stronger illustration concepts and work out a more consistent style throughout all your work.

Things you'll learn in this class include:

  • What is concept and style, and how do they work?
  • Do you need to have a consistent style to be successful?
  • Where do ideas come from?
  • How do you know what style, colours, etc. to work in?
  • How do you bring more consistency to a set of illustrations?

As always, Tom's brings you a fun and highly sharable illustration project to put your newfound knowledge into action! For this class, you get to create two sets of editorial-style spot illustrations. By the time you're done, you’ll not only have a set of delightful spot illustrations to share with the world, you’ll also have valuable insights into how you think and create — the building blocks of a long and satisfying illustration career!


Meet Your Teacher

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Tom Froese

Illustrator and Designer

Top Teacher

Tom Froese is an award winning illustrator, teacher, and speaker. He loves making images that make people happy. In his work, you will experience a flurry of joyful colours, spontaneous textures, and quirky shapes. Freelancing since 2013, Tom has worked for brands and businesses all over the world. Esteemed clients include Yahoo!, Airbnb, GQ France, and Abrams Publishing. His creative and diverse body of work includes maps, murals, picture books, packaging, editorial, and advertising. Tom graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design with a B.Des (honours) in 2009.

As a teacher, Tom loves to inspire fellow creatives to become better at what they do. He is dedicated to the Skillshare community, where he has taught tens of thousands of students his unique approache... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: Successful illustrators are known for their ability to visualize ideas in their own unique style. But how did they come up with their ideas and how did they know what style to work in? If you've ever wondered these questions, this class is for you. My name is Tom Froze, and I'm an award winning illustrator and a top teacher here on Skillshare. Over the past six years working as a freelancer, I've created thousands of illustrations for hundreds of clients, including the Wall Street Journal, Airbnb, and GQ France. While it's fun to work on larger projects, the reality is that most of my assignments over time have been smaller illustrations for editorial clients like magazines and newspapers. When we think of editorial illustrations, we often think of the more glamorous kinds like; covers, spreads and full pages, but far more common and in demand is the small but mighty spot illustration. Spot illustrations, or spots are small, self-contained images that float in the layout of a page or website. Spots are the perfect laboratory to work out how you approach concepts and style in your own work. I believe that if you can master the art of the spot illustration, you will be more in demand as an illustrator. If you're hungry for those bigger assignments, getting good at and being hired for spot illustrations is the perfect way to get your foot in the door. Join me as I show you how to develop smart, expressive spot illustrations from start to finish. I'll walk you through the major steps of my process, including the brief research and discovery, sketches, and final art work. Along the way, you'll get to discover how you visualize your ideas through concept and style. You'll learn exactly where those elusive ideas are hiding. My goal as always, is not to show you how to do exactly what I do, but to help you discover how you do what you do, and by the end of this class, you'll not only have a set of delightful spot illustrations to share with the world, you'll also have valuable insights into how you think and create the building blocks of a long and satisfying illustration career. 2. About This Class: This class is really divided into two parts, a primer at the beginning, and then of course, a project. The primer gives us a foundational understanding of how style and concept work, and of course, a closer look at spot illustrations and what makes them work. The project gives us an opportunity to apply what we learned. For the project, we're going to illustrate two sets of stylistically related spot illustration. The first set, we'll develop a style on more simple object illustrations, and then in the second set, well use the same style to illustrate more abstract concepts. In terms of required skills and equipment, those with at least some basic illustration skills, whether physical media or digital, will benefit the most from this class. I recommend you use either Procreate or Photoshop, or their equivalents. You could also use a pencil and paper or physical media like washer, watercolor. Personally, I use Photoshop for illustrating and Procreate for sketching. The project will be taught using these tools and skills. I recommend you give yourself at least a couple of days to complete the project. I think you'll get more from it if you peace yourself. This class will help you develop your illustration skills, particularly in coming up with stronger concepts and applying a consistent style to sets of illustrations. It's not platform specific, although I'll be teaching using the apps and tools and that kind of thing, that I'm used to working with. Fair warning, this is not a Photoshop course. Of course, I'll do my best to walk you through what I'm doing. You can hopefully translate my overarching methods, which is the main point of this class, to your own way of working. Okay. Let's go. 3. Primer: What are Spot lllustrations?: [MUSIC] We've been saying spot illustrations over and over again. Let's just talk about what's spots illustrations are. Spot illustrations are small, self-contained illustrations that flow in the layout of publications and websites. The purpose of spots is to highlight key ideas in a story or article. Spots can be either conceptual or more purely ornamental. Spot illustrations are clear and simple in concept. They differ from Maine or Hero illustrations, which are the more like big full edge to edge type illustrations you'd see in a magazine in the following ways. First, they differ in terms of format. Spots are self-contained rather than bound by these hard or square edges of the frame or page. They're not anchored and they look more like they float in the layout usually. The next way that spot illustrations differ from Maine or Hero illustrations is in their load capacity. Their smaller size means they have to be simpler and carry less conceptual load. They must be about one thing instead of many things. There has to be fewer layers of meaning. I liked the example of a big truck versus a Volkswagen Golf. A big powerful truck is like the Maine illustration. It's able to carry a lot more, it's bigger, it's bulkier, draws more attention to itself, it's louder. Whereas, if you were to try to load a whole bunch of bags of sand on little Volkswagen Golf, it's going to break down, but if the load is just right, that little guy is going to be zipping through traffic like its boss. Spot illustrations often work in sets, they have to be stylistically similar. Also, usually when you're working on a set of spot illustrations, they'll be thematic, they'll be related to the theme or premise of the article or story in which they set. As you're going through the project or as you're making sets of spot illustrations in the future, I thought it would be helpful to give you this spot illustration checklist. This is really what makes for a successful spot illustration or set. A spot illustration should be easy to describe. You should be able to look at it and just say this is a x, y or z. A spot illustration should work at a small size and this has a lot to do with the idea of low capacity that I just described. A spot illustration should have a clear message and we've talked about this in the principles of stylization. Whatever it's saying should just come through really clearly without too much master mark getting in the way. A spot illustration, of course, should be related to the content that it's sitting with and that just means like if it's story about downhill skiing, your spot illustrations are probably going to be about downhill skiing also. Another guideline for what makes a good spot illustration is compelling style. This is, of course, a huge part of this class. We're talking about the importance of style and you could opt not to have those illustrations in the story or the article. You could use photographs, you could use Dingbats or Wingdings. If you have an illustration that's compelling and style, it's going to get people to enter into that content, be more engaged and maybe even look at what they're reading or seeing or thinking about in a new way. Next, a spot illustration should be relevant to the audience. Now, you can't always know what's relevant to your audience, but you can get clues of who's going to look at it, say by the publication or a magazine or newspaper that the spots are four. Often times a magazine will be in a niche or a category. Then if it's for a car magazine, you know that is people who like cars and at least if you understand that, you can gear your spot illustrations or your illustrations in general to be more relevant to that audience. The next thing is that a spot illustration needs to be self-contained. It just needs to sit there on its own and feel like one thing. The next is, there should be no or minimal background and this goes hand in hand with being self-contained. Sometimes is just say if you're illustrating water bottle, that water bottle is floating just on a white background, but maybe if you need to add more story to it, whatever background you add to it should be very minimal, very secondary to that main object. Sometimes that background is just like a swash of color or a simple shape of color just to help hold it together. For sets as a whole, of course, you just want them to be stylistically consistent. I think that they should be balanced in the level of detail or weight. When you look at your illustrations all together, does one feel like it's way different in terms of how much detail is in it or its way darker than the others? You want to look for that balance, a visual balance across the whole set. [MUSIC] 4. Primer: About Concept: Of course we've been talking about styling concept. Why don't we start actually talking about what these are? The first thing we'll talk about is concept. In illustration terms, a concept is a visualization of an invisible or abstract idea. A good concept effectively communicates an intended message without a concept an illustration is just more of a pretty picture or a fanciful ornament. Ideally, a concept makes you see or think about something in a new way. Of course not all illustrations need to have a strong concept. A pretty picture is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. I'll get to this in a bit. A question I actually get asked a lot is, how do you come up with ideas? Where did they come from? After thinking about this, I've realized that most of the ideas will come from two sources. One is the project and the other is the process. Just working out of what I have to do for that project. This might sound crazy, but there are no ideas in our business only concepts. Ideas don't just come to us out of nowhere. I think this is actually a myth that we believe especially as illustrators who are starting out, we think that the best illustrators must just naturally come up with ideas just out of thin air and it's so easy for them. But the truth is, concepts, things we really want to achieve in our illustrations. They come from the project and from the process and the process is work. 5. Primer: About Style: Okay, we've talked about concept. Now we're going to talk about style. If a concept is an idea visualized, style is how that concept looks. When paired with the concept, it's not just a skin. It really affects how a concept is experienced. Style is influenced by choices you make, including the tools and techniques you use, and also in how you use these to express your ideas in novel ways. Style is very important to illustrators. It's the most visible aspect of our voice. Style doesn't have to be exactly the same over and again within all of your work. Whether you commit to a disciplined style, it's really based on who you are and what you want. You're human, and you will evolve and change, especially if you're new at this. I actually get asked that a lot is, "Do I need to commit to a single style? Would if I get bored?" Stuff like that. If you don't want to commit to a single style, you don't have to. That being said, committing to consistency is important, but I think it's more important within a project then across your entire body of work. Style is the holy grail of illustration. I think every illustrator wants to know how to find their style. However, style is not something you can just find or somehow get off the shelf like it's in a store or something. If you do, it's probably not your style. Style's more of a journey. It's a journey of trial and error and self-discovery. Just enjoy the process. You're going to find your style eventually. To be honest, at this point, I've been doing this a long time, I still have so much more to discover. Because style's so personal, everybody has their own way of approaching it, and of course I have my own way and I have my own thinking on what goes into and all of that. That's really what the next few many lectures are about. I'm just going to break down how I think about style, what I believe the different components of it are, how those components work together, and that kind of thing. 6. Primer: 5 Elements of Style: To help break the idea of style down to something simple and understandable, I've come up with what I call, 'The five elements of style'. These are, in a way, the visual tools in your toolkit. I don't mean literal tools, it's a metaphor. The first element is shape. Shapes are the broad areas of color that make up the forms in an illustration. Shapes come in three basic types: geometric, organic, and abstract. Geometric shapes are more precise and mathematical. You'd think of perfect circles, super straight lines, perpendicular angles, stuff like that. Then organic is more round, and blobby. I think I use a lot more organic forms and shapes in my own illustration. Abstract shapes are shapes you can't name. I think they can be a mix of organic and geometric. There's just an overall irregularity to abstract shapes. Personally, I mostly use shape to define my forums. I know a lot of illustrators actually use outlines, and then fill them in with color. I'll get more into that when I talk about line but, I use mostly solid areas of color or shape to define the forms in my illustration. The next element of style is line. Line is exactly what it sounds like. It's the lines in an illustration. I like to talk about line quality. Line quality is more about, is it thick or thin? Rough or smooth? Is it super clean? Is a textured? Is it wobbly? Some illustrators define most of their forums through line, as I've said, and they'll just fill the inside with color. I like to use Family Guy as an example of this illustration where every single element in the artwork is outlined, and then filled in with a color. Again, I define my forms of shape, and then I use line for details to distinguish similar forums, especially when they butt up against one another. Let's just say if there's someone crossing their arms, if these are just flat shapes, I'm going to need some way of differentiating these. I might use color to contrast those shapes, but often I'll use a line just to break those apart. The next style element is color. Again, color is one of those things that I could write an entire book about or teach a whole class about. But I'll try and briefly summarize my thoughts on how color works as a style element here. Color has a huge effect on style and message. I think the most well-known illustrators are able to use color in very individualized way. Even if they don't always use the same colors, there's something about the way they use color that becomes part of their signature. Some artists change colors based on the mood of the piece, others use the exact same palettes for everything. There's really no wrong way. I really think color can be over thought. You can have the most perfect colors chosen, but then your client needs you to work in their brand colors, or they just don't like them. It's really not what colors you use that's as important as how you use them. But I can say the best approach to working with color is to restrict yourself to 3-6 colors that you know work. Some of you might be wondering, how do you initially find your colors. Here are just some starting points that hopefully will help you get on your way. One way of finding your colors is, just start with what you like. Color, I think for artists is very personal and there's no shame in that. Personally, a lot of my work includes an orangey-red, and there's no reason for it other than the fact that I like it. I'm drawn to it. It's just a part of who I am. Start with what you like, and then you can build up a palette from there. Another great starting point for color, is to find an image with colors that you love and you'd like to try working in. Again, there's no shame on this. Go to Dribbble. Go to Google image search, even find images of art that you love. Use the color picker tool in Photoshop or Procreate. Nobody owns color palettes, so I think you should feel free to find a color palette and just use it. Another handy tool that I've found in building color palettes especially early on, is the Color Guide in Illustrator. Color Guide is just a little feature, a little panel that you can open up in Adobe Illustrator. You just start with a color, and then it builds out a whole bunch of different palettes based on classical color theory. You don't even need to know how color theory works. It just mix them for you. Then you can find a palette that you think will work for your project, or that you like. One last color prompt I can give you, is just to go with a classic. If you're at all familiar with printing terms, C-M-Y-K are the printing primaries. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. While these are combined in sophisticated ways to make thousands of colors. Just as their own colors, the solid science, solid magenta, etc, when you combine these as a palette, they really work well together. They look great. If you're really stuck on color, just work in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The next style element is texture. Texture adds a tactile feeling or a surfaceness to the artwork. In digital artwork, texture is simulated to look like it was made with physical media. In pure vector illustration, of course, there's no texture. Sometimes texture is added to just warm it up. In my own style, I do have a vector component to my artwork, and then I bring in textures just to warm it up. I used to create textures with physical media and sample it into my digital artwork. Today, I'm more comfortable working purely digitally for the most part. The last element of style is shading. Shading is simply darker areas of color that give the effect of depth or volume. Texture can be used as a way of shading. Shading is not always necessary depending on the project or your style. It can, however, help an image pop a little bit more. Now, I just want to make a quick little note about how your media or your chosen tools and techniques will largely determine the quality of these five elements. These so-called, "Tools of style elements," are largely going to be determined by two things. Your tools and techniques, as I've said, and your choices or taste. If I'm working in a nib pen using black India ink on paper, the quality of the line that I can make without is very limited and very specific. Similarly, if I'm making lines using the pen tool in Illustrator, it's going to have just a much more digital vector look to it. That's a clear example of how your tool and technique really affects what your style looks like. In terms of your choices or taste, you lean into your different tools and techniques and what they can do based on what your desired effect is, and what art you actually want to be making. 7. Primer: 5 Principles of Design: If the elements of style are your tools, the principles of design are how you use the tools. These are the guiding principles. There are official principles of design you can look up outside this class, but these are the ones that I think are the most important. The first one is repetition. It's just as it sounds. This is where an element repeats or recurs throughout the artwork. Repetition can help achieve balance and a more cohesive feeling within an illustration. I repeat similar motifs in my own artwork. These become my visual vocabulary. These are little things like how I draw grass and trees, for instance. By sticking to one symbol for minor elements like these, I create unity and a desirable level of uniformity. Sometimes I repeat an unimportant elements so it's not on it's own, it feels less significant. If I had just one tree in the background of an illustration and it looks like it's standing out too much, it's drawing too much attention to itself. Maybe if I just draw one more, it's like, "Oh, they're just tree is just the forest," instead of just focusing on the one tree. Another guiding principle for how to use style is pattern. Pattern is the most obvious form of repetition. Stripes, polka dots, plaid, animal prints, you can use pattern selectively in illustration to create a graphic effect. Pattern can be used repetitively through your work. As a signature, go to move. Personally, I use stripes and plaid a lot. You'll see that throughout a lot of my illustrations and is just a nice little thing that I can add to every illustration, it creates visual interest. Because I do it a lot, it becomes more identifiable to me. The next principle is balance. Now, balance is one of the trickiest things to achieve in an illustration. I have spent hours trying to figure, how to make an image feel overall balance. I'm not talking about hours over the span of my life. I'm talking about in one illustration. I have spent hours just moving things here, there, take it away, put it back. It is something that's very hard to describe. I'll do my best here. Balance is the sense that everything is in the right place in the composition and that there's nothing missing or overbearing in any undesirable way. Balance is sometimes achieved through arrangement but sometimes through repeating certain elements to lead the eye through the composition. Ones' sense of balance is really essential to their voice. The next principle is grouping. Now, I learned this from my wife. We're both clutter phobs, but I think she is much more so than I am. I noticed that she would often consolidate messes by placing them closer together. For instance, instead of leaving the dishes sprawled across the kitchen counter, she gathered them together near or mostly in the sink. The same amount of mess looks a lot less messy. Grouping helps unite otherwise sprawling or disconnected illustrations or parts of illustrations. I think this is especially important for spots where there are no hard bounds to keep the illustration together. You want the spot illustrations themselves and elements within them to feel grouped so that they're more cohesive. The next principle is contrast. Contrasts is the relationship between lights and darks in an illustration. Strong contrast will see darker darks paired with lighter lights. Of course the opposite is true. You can have less intense darks and tone down brights. I'd say with a higher contrast images and more graphic effect. You can use contrast to differentiate between areas in the illustration, between two shapes and especially between lines and shapes. Though the color of a line over that shape should contrasts nicely, so you actually see the line. The next principle is hierarchy. Hierarchy in an illustration is the order of emphasis from most important to least. Images should have a sense of internal hierarchy. Having one thing come through more than the others. That way the eye can focus on just one thing. Otherwise, there's unresolved tension you feel when you look at the image. Conceptually, an illustration should have the most important idea come through above all other elements. 8. Primer: 5 Principles of Stylization: The next thing we're going to talk about is stylization. Stylization sounds a lot like style, but it's different. Stylization is how we move an image away from realism for the purposes of visual interest or conceptual clarity, or sometimes both. To me, realism is hard to achieve in an interesting way. I much prefer illustrations that interpret ideas and things from real life in more novel ways, that's stylization. I've come up with these five principles of stylization from my odd bodies class and I think they're worth revisiting for this class. Conveniently, if you took the first letter from each one of these principles, it spells the word F.A.C.E.S. Nice mnemonic to help you remember. The F stands for flattening. When I talk about flattening in an illustration, we're losing depth for clearer and more iconic read. Abstraction is the next letter. Abstraction is expressing a thing through broader, dumb down strokes. Take for example, a Christmas tree. You could draw every needle branch and all the bark and stuff like that, but if your goal isn't to show someone a photograph of a Christmas tree, you could express that much more simply and one of the most abstract ways of expressing a Christmas tree would just be a triangle, maybe with a rectangle on the bottom. The next principle of stylization is clarity. Clarity is very important to communicating ideas when you're illustrating. An image should have a clarity to it. It should not be vaguely constructed unless that vagueness is intentional. The message of an illustration should also be very clear. Another way of thinking about clarity is also just in the sketches. In my sketches, I aim for clarity so that I know exactly how I will construct it later in the final. The next principle of stylization is exaggeration. Exaggeration is making something bigger to prove a point, you're dramatizing. You can make something bigger in your artwork to draw attention to it or what it represents. Another E word I like for this one is eccentrification, which is a bit different from exaggeration. It's more about allowing certain quirks and imperfections to stay in the art. Eccentricity is just something that's not perfect. You can dial up or down eccentricity in your work to make it look more human and unique. As you develop your style through your own creative journey, look for ways to eccentrify or exaggerate in the same way over and again, and that can become a part of your signature. The last letter is S and that's simplification. Simplification is the removal of any elements in an image or a concept that don't add to the story, or removing those that distract from the story. An extreme version, of course, is minimalism like super sparse, only one stroke in one shape. But for me, simplicity and simplification is more about balance. Too few details in an image could make it boring, too many, it could just be overwhelming. Another S word I like for this letter in the acronym is singularity. This really is a lot to simplicity. This is the idea of an image being about just one thing at the expense of others. There's a focus to the image. Simplicity is very important for smaller illustrations like spots, where you only have a small canvas to work on. 9. Primer: Inspiration vs. Imitation: Have you ever wondered how you can be influenced by your heroes without imitating them? Is that even possible? To be honest, I actually don't think it's possible at least that fast. We all start by being inspired by artwork we see out in the world and our natural first response is to want to do that too. In the journey toward having a unique voices as an illustrator, we all go through what I call The Three I's. This is in our journey from beginner to expert. First is Inspiration. You are inspired by what you see, even before you know what it is. This is the moment when you discover illustration as something you'd like to try. The next stage is Imitation. Without experience or skills, you need to start somewhere. Whether learning the fundamentals or trying your hand at different styles you see out there, you have to imitate, you have to learn from others. Imitation is how we express our inspiration and how we learn. Of course, this all leads to innovation. As you develop your skills through imitation, you also discover your own abilities, your weaknesses, your inclinations, your likes and dislikes. You purposefully or accidentally lean into these, which individualizes the more basic skills and techniques you learned through imitation. I have one ethical rule of thumb for imitation. Imitate to learn, innovate to earn. Be free to imitate your heroes. Of course, be sure to give credit, when credit is due. Never share work that looks just like it without attributing the original artist, and ask permission if you want to imitate it for a project that perhaps many others will see. If you're being paid by a client or employer to illustrate, you're not allowed to rip an artist off no matter how pressed for time you are. At very least borrow something of their approach, but in your own way. If you feel like it's too close, it never hurts to ask, especially if it avoids public shaming or a loss here. 10. Project: Kickoff and Setup: We're finally doing the project. For this project, we'll be making two sets of spot illustrations, four spots per set. Each illustration, each spot, should be three by three inches. Instructions for sets one and two will be in the specific sections that follow. To kick-off, these are the preliminary things we need. Be thoughtful at this stage, as the rest of the project really depends on it. The first thing we're going to do is come up with the theme. We're going to choose a general theme, like wine tasting, trail running, back to school, or New York. The theme can be very general. It's just about something maybe you're interested in as a general topic. Next, we're going to come up with a specific experience or story related to that theme. The more specific, the better. For wine, it might be Napa Valley wine tour guide or things I wish I knew on my first ultramarathon or surviving your first year of high school. Things to do when you're alone in New York City. That's just showing you the general and then the specific experience. Now, imagine a magazine or website article about this theme. What would the purpose be? This is an optional step, but I find this just helps contextualize what I'm making, it gives me about better sense of what I'm doing. Is it a guide? A how-to? Is it informational? Is it an opinion piece? A story? A work of fiction? You've chosen your general theme in your specific experience. Now, we're going to write two lists, and these lists are going to relate to our two sets later on. The first list is going to be a list of nouns. For me, I have all these examples listed. That I just gave you. I'm going to choose trail running as my general theme. My specific experience will be things I wish I knew on my first ultra. Now we're going to have our two lists that relate to this. For the first list, I'm just going to come up with simple objects. Now, these should be things that you can immediately imagine, and that would be relatively simple to draw or illustrate. Trail shoes, water bottle, first aid kit, race bib. These are just things that I can just imagine drawing, lube, GPS watch. If I were doing a tour of Napa Valley, for instance, my simple objects would be wine bottle, corkscrew, maybe something more related specifically to the Napa Valley. Maybe a sign that I'd seen in a guide or something like that. Just very simple objects. These are six things. For my second list, now, I'm going to come up with more abstract concepts and scenarios related to the specific experience. These are not objects. These are things that you can't immediately envision. I'll just go through some of the examples I came up with for things I wish I knew on my first ultra. Chafing happens. I'm imagining like an article on Runners World or something like that. Someone's written these things as tips in a way. That's where these titles are coming from. A trail pace of slower. The battle is mental as much as it is physical. You'd want to train for the terrain. You want to train for the specific training that you'd be running on so you know it. Next one would be don't change your fuel regime on race day. Don't leave travel and accommodations to the last minute. I just want to add one more note about how this second list is super esoteric. I was able to think of all these very abstract things because of how specific the experience I envisioned. There was the general category of trail running, and then that could be so many different things. When I boiled it down to things I wish I knew, suddenly, I had these actual ideas for what I would make in this list. Again, I just want to encourage you to get specific and imagine that experience, and then you'll have an easier time coming up with your second list of these abstract concepts. Now let's move into the first set. 11. Project: Set 1 - Research and Discovery: In this set, we're going to illustrate physical objects from the first list we made. The purpose of the first set is to work out style with simple physical objects, which is a lot easier than in a more abstract or intangible concept. Our focus will be working out how we use the five elements of style and faces, those principles of stylization, to clearly communicate each concept, in this case, each object in a compelling, consistent way. These spots should clearly represent the objects in a unique, consistent style. With every project I work on after the brief, the first step is called research and discovery. I made this up, but I think it's pretty similar across any creative flow. It's just basically where you're researching and then coming up with just some initial information to work with. The purpose of this stage is to download information, in our case, visual information about our subject and allow ourselves the opportunity to discover new things about our subject along the way. We start just by setting up a folder where our work will go. This simple action will give us just the sense that we're working it greases the wheels so you can organize your files anyway you want but this is the way I set up my projects and it just makes looking for your files later on a lot easier. So my base or my root folder is just the name of this project, we'll call it sweet spots. Then the next folder within that, we'll just call it set one and then we're going to have assets, then references, then sketches, and then of course, finals. So assets are any files that you get from the client. In this case, it might be the thumbnail sheet that I include on the class page. You can just download that to assets and it's there at your convenience. Then references, this is where when we're doing our Google image searching and just finding reference images, we're going to just throw them in there. Sketches as you might have guess is where we're going to put our sketches and finals is where we're going to keep all of those final illustration files. So I'm about to hop back onto my computer here and I'm going to do my visual research. So this is where I'm looking just for images that I can draw from. Our concepts here are just a very simple, they're stylized but otherwise literal depictions of physical objects. So I have a Google open here and I'm going to just start Googling the words from my list. So trail shoes as the first and I'm looking for images that I feel represent the object clearly, which are not too specific or obscure. So for instance, for trail shoes, I'm not going to draw those shoes with all the separate toes or anything like that, that's too niche. Of course, we might want to also impose our own taste on this. So if there is a shoe that we like are the colors we like or something like that, that's okay as long as the images are mostly classic or quintessential or iconic of the object that we're trying to illustrate. So here I am. I'm just looking for shoes that I love these color of Nike shoes. I'm looking for shoes that just have a profile that's clean and that I like. I'm going to move on to the next thing, water bottle. So for ultra running, you're not going to be running with one of these fancy metal water bottles. You're probably going to have something like a hand-held. So this image search that I just came up with didn't come up with the right water bottle for this topic. So I'm just going to look for a hand-held. Just add handheld as my extra keyword here and there we go. Now, here I'm looking for a bottle that looks classic, and I look for things that are not complicated. A lot of these images are complicated there, like a weird shaped bottle with a little backpack on them. I don't think that's going to look good in the way that I illustrate. This Nike bottle, I think actually looks great, it's got a nice profile and it has that little fanny pack or whatever on it that makes it look hand-held. So I'm going to just download that and I'm going to just go and do the same thing for all of these images. The important thing is that you're looking for images that really look clean and iconic in emblematic of the thing you're trying to illustrate. The next thing is first aid kit. Of course you're not going to carry a full first aid kit on a trail race. Maybe it's something more like trail specific. So I'm just trail run first aid kit. And now you get a lot of flatly lids of what's inside. I think that might be too complicated for a sport illustration. For trail running or hiking and backpacking, you get these little pouches. So I think I'm just going to get one of those. And I do like how iconic the style of first aid kit with a handle on it is I think each one of those with a cross on it, that would be very straightforward. But it's also a risk that it might not be appropriate for the subject. So the next thing is the race bib, which is that number that you pin onto your shirt. So the essential qualities of a race bib in my mind are just black numbers on a white background and maybe a color bar on the bottom or both the bottom and the top. So that's a little bit of a no-brainer for me anyway. As you're going through your own image searches, sometimes they'll just be very familiar with how these things look and you don't really need too many reference images, that's okay too. The next thing is lube. Now I'm not going to Google just lube I'm not sure what that will come up with, but I'm going to try anti chafing and that's the idea of the lube. So for runners, this is an important thing because you run a long time, you sweat, it's hot. You get some uncomfortable rashes. So a way of avoiding that is something that you put on your skin to avoid that. So some of these are more iconic to me than others, Vaseline is well known in the lube world. Then we have body or glide. This blue almost looks like under arm deodorant. That's iconic and familiar within this world of running. So I think that's enough. I wouldn't want to get too creative with that. Maybe a squeeze bottle like that just for extra reference. Last thing would be a GPS watch. Again, I'm looking for the most iconic version of a GPS watch. Something like this, maybe it looks a little bit tactical, has a rugged look to it, and then a screen with some kind of information or data on it. Apple watches are iconic but are not as well used by trail runners because of the battery life. I would maybe get this that gives me a sense of what might be an the information screen. The thing here is, a lot of these watches are shown at this three-quarter view like this one that's bigger here. The problem with that for me is that, it's harder to flatten that and as you remember, flattening is just one of the ways of stylizing. I look for ones that are more head on and it's quite frankly easier to illustrate in my flat style and its less distracting. There's less of that watch that I need to include and that makes it a simpler, clearer image to depict in my illustration. After I'm satisfied, I have enough visual references to work from, I start free sketching. It looks like sketching, but it's what I'd call goal free sketching. The only goal of sketching here is to download visual information so I can more intuitively draw them from heart when I'm working concepts out later. This isn't about drawing well, just about observing. You can be the worst drawer in the world and still really get a lot from free sketching. Use a sketchbook, loose paper, or the digital equivalent. I use Procreate as my sketchbook. It's a super convenient, it's fancy equipment but I'm just using it like a paper and pencil. If that's all you have, you can totally do this stuff. We're just drawing what we see in our reference images, I have my reference images open here, I'll just go in the order that they show. This is really just where I draw what I'm seeing, there's no concept here. With a First-Aid pouch, you really just have the zipper and looks pillow-y. I'm getting a little bit into the concept, but a lot of them will have some kind of graphic on the first- aid cross. One of my images here is like different things that might be in the bag that might be helpful to remember like, tweezers and little sachets of gauze pads and stuff like that. Once you've drawn from all the images in your references or you feel like you've got it down, just move on to the next thing. This is the GPS watch, It's really not about being a good drawer, It's just about drawing what you see in the best way possible to download some information about it. You'll get some clues about what's going to be useful later on when you're coming up with concepts. Like for here, I'm getting clues just even as I'm drawing, it would be more of a challenge to draw on a three-quarter view. You might have a map and timing information, maybe heart rate, something like that. When I do these for actual projects, I actually get really into it and draw it very carefully and just take my time, just really sink in and enjoy this process because, it feels like work in the sense that I'm actually working but it's also that there's no real concept involved, I don't get too anxious about whether I'm drawing the right thing or not. I just enjoy the process. I'm probably mostly interested in the kind of information I want to download to my brain here is just like what's on those information screens. You have these dividers, and you have numbers, and charts. Because these are small illustrations, I'm not going to actually be very detailed in what I end up depicting, but it's good to know what these are so I can stylize them, simplify them, abstractify them in my final sketches and concepts. For this one, is the rectangle shape of the lube. Then there's some kind of logo on it or branding. Sometimes they have the lid off and you can see what's inside. You get a sense of what the different packages look like in this case. A lot of time a package of a product is almost as important as the brand or the logo, so getting that iconic shape can say a lot without needing any words. Even the shape of that label starts to look like a jar of Vaseline. I can figure out if that's going to work my concept later on. Here it's just about the rectangle and you will have little holes for safety pins and then some bar. You have the name or something of the race or the runner name, and then some number. It's not about getting this perfect, it's just about what forms describe this object. Trail shoes, probably one of the more complex things that'll illustrate or draw here. I'm looking for what are the things that make a trail shoe, a trail shoe. They usually have beefy treads, a more substantial, thick lower sole. Maybe some welding to hold onto the laces up here. You can get into the details here and draw everything you see as realistically as you want and just really sink into it. It's a different process and actually illustrating these later. As soon as they have that. You have your laces. Finally, our water bottle. It looks like I only downloaded one image for that, and so it's really this nice cylinder shape with a top part and the little squared nozzle thing. They have this little pouch funny pack thing, that straps on. I'm just looking for what does that look like. Later on I'll be looking at how I can make that lid clear as the little pouch. It looks like it has a little zipper there, has the product logo on there. I probably wouldn't include a specific brand in my illustrations unless it was about that brand, but just something that looks just like a water bottle. Those are my free sketches, again, they're just goal free except just to get the information. I'm just going to let them sit there, take a break, go have a drink of water, and come back. When we come back, we're going to start actually thinking about what these look like as illustrations and we'll get more into that in the next part. 12. Project: Set 1 - Concept Sketches: In research and discovery, our only goal is to download information. Now, we're going to make a concerted effort to develop concepts. The ultimate goal of sketches is to work out concept, content, and composition. We work these things out in sketch form because it's faster and easier to change in pencil than in a more finalized version. Concepts in this set will be easier than the second because the concepts are super simple, the objects themselves. The challenge in this set for sketches is to work out how each object will look from a stylistic and expressive point of view. Because we downloaded the visual information in the last stage, the hope is that we can draw everything from heart. It's okay to peek again at the references if you need to, but a huge part of finding your own voice is in how you compensate for what you forget when drawing from memory. I'd say you just give it a try. This part of sketching is called thumb-nailing. I have provided a thumbnail sheet that you're welcome to use, but it's super simple if you just want to make your own, you just draw a bunch of squares at a smaller size on your page. It's easy to feel anxious at this point because, how do you start? I'd say just start drawing what you know. We're going to go through each illustration concept here, so we have all the things here our first aid kit, or GPS watch, etc. Now we're just going to go and try and draw these. First aid kit, you have your general square, your zipper, maybe there's some zipper pattern, and I'll probably include the first aid cross on there just because it's so iconic. That makes it read very much as a first aid kit without words. Now, it could look a little bit boring, so maybe I try more of a pillow effect, that will look either with the images bulging out or coming in, and if you get stuck, just keep going. Maybe I show the zipper open, and then show some Band-Aids, and maybe a tube of ointment peeking out the sides there. It adds a little bit more visual interest. Yes, it's just a first aid kit, but we want to maybe show more than just the pouch we want to show the kit part of the first aid kit maybe there's scissors in there or something. That might be too much, but something in there is feeling good, don't be too critical of yourself when you're doing these sketches. You'll have lots of chance to self-critique after you're done. The point here is to just go for quantity more than quality. I'm satisfied with some of these concepts here, I'm going to move on to the next one which is GPS watch. Again, I'm not referencing my images, I'm trying to draw these from memory. There will be things that I forget and quit more quirks in what I'm drawing, and that's actually a good thing, that's how I'm taking something real and literal, and processing it. 13. Project: Set 1 - Final Artwork: The final stage is where we create the actual illustration artwork with color, texture, and everything else that goes into a fully finished illustration. Whereas your sketches may prove your idea, there should be much yet to surprise and delight at this stage. To start, first create your illustration file. Because we're working on a set of small illustrations, it makes sense to work on them all in the same file. I would never do this for a feature illustration or larger illustrations, but for a smaller sets of spots, it's perfect. We're going to make a 4-up file, meaning we're going to have all four squares together. It's just going to be two squares by two squares. If you do more illustrations like six or eight, just make it 8-up or 6-up. If you're making a 4-up file, the final file size should be six inches wide and six inches high at 300 DPI. Once the file is made, use guides to divide it into four panels. I use GuideGuide, which has a little add-on feature you can add to Photoshop, but you can also just use rulers to measure where they go, basically at 3 inches in both directions. Save the file descriptively in the finals folder that we made at the beginning of this project. I usually add a V1 just to know it's my first try. If I have to go back and make any changes or revisions, I'll just save that as V2, V3, etc. Once you set up your illustration file, begin the magic. I'll walk you through my illustration process. You're welcome to follow along or do your own thing. I'll describe the high level of what I'm doing, which will hopefully translate to any style. Personally, I always start with my shapes. So that's using the Pen tool in Photoshop, and just starting to create those big, solid areas of color. I usually don't know exactly how the colors are going to turn out, but I just start with any color, and things work their way as I go along. That's what's probably going to happen as we go along today. So I just wanted to talk a little bit about starting point for those who don't have a style that they work in. I'm going to give you a starting point. I'm going to give you one line to work with, one texture to work with, and one set of colors. You can use the exact same things or just use it loosely as a template, but the idea is allow yourself to have very narrow constraints. The constraints seem very unforgiving at first, but you'll see as you go along that they actually can go a long way in creating a really consistent style across the whole set. You can really start finding ways of being creative with this minimal tool palette, if you will. I'll show you exactly what those look like as we go along. So even though we're working on the same file, I would build up each illustration individually. Then once you have each individual illustration worked out, you can go through them on the second pass and even things out. What you need to even out in all that stuff will become more evident, once you have all four in this case, all four illustrations up, and you'll know what little tweaks you need to make to each of them. Sometimes what you find works in one place, doesn't work across the whole set. So again, working on them as a set, you might make the perfect, in my case, trail shoe, and then I go to make the water bottle or the bib. Then I realized that some of the techniques I use don't translate well. In order to make them all work together, I need to rethink how I did it in the trail shoe, in this example. So I'm making my final file in Photoshop. That's going to be 3 times 2 inches wide, which is 6 inches and 6 inches high. The resolution is 300, that just make sure they're a good resolution for print. I'll just keep the color mode RGB, can ignore all the other settings and just hit "Okay". So here we have our file. The next thing I want to do is just divide this up into four squares. These will be the four, 3 by 3 squares of each spot. So I'm just going to place one guide in the middle horizontally and then one guide in the middle vertically. They should fall exactly on the three inch mark in both ways. So first I'm just going to go to the Sweet Spots folder that we made at the beginning and go to my Set 1, and of course go to finals, and just give this a descriptive name. I'll just call it Trail Running Set 1, V1. Because I made my sketches in Procreate, I was able to just share my file from my iPad to my Mac, and so they're conveniently here. However, you made your sketches, whether on paper or whatever, scan them in, do whatever you need to do to get them on your computer, or your final illustration device. The next thing you want to do is just get those sketches into your 4-up final illustration file. So I'm just going to copy each one of these one by one. First the trail shoes. Get my trail shoes in here, and just let it fill that square as much as possible. You can leave a little space around the sides and do this for each of my sketches. So once I have my sketches all here, what I want to do is make sure they sit back, just like when we made our refined sketches. We made that tracing paper effect, so we dim them down a bit. Here, we want to do the same thing. What I'm going to do, is just create a layer group, set a folder thing here, I'm going to call it Sketches. Just put the sketches in that layer group and dim that whole thing down to say 20 percent. That gives me that nice lighter sketch to trace over. Above that, I'm creating a layer group called Art. So this is very specific to my process in Photoshop. It will be a little bit different if you're working in a different tool like Illustrator or Procreate. But what I want to do is all the artwork that I'm going to make now, will happen in the Art layer group. Because I want to be able to see those sketches below at all time, I make the blend mode of the entire Art layer group. I set it to multiply. So I'm just going to create my layer groups for each individual illustration as I go along. So trail shoes to start. So this is where I just start actually making the illustration happen. For those of you who need a starting point for a style, I've created this prompt which has One Linework style, One Texture Brush style, and Four Colors. These are Photoshop specific, but really what these get at, is that you don't need much to make visually interesting, stylish illustrations. So I have One Linework brush that's one of Kyle Webster's brushes, the Kyle's Inkbox Old Nibs / 15px, and I believe all his brushes are available through Adobe. If you have Photoshop, these are totally free and available to you. The next one is a Texture Brush. So one of my favorite texture brushes is this one from Retro Supply Company. It's called the Godfather of Grain. I'll show you how to use it, but that's a great brush if you want to bring in texture to your digital illustration. Then I have Four Colors. These are my go-to-colors. These are actually part of the illustrations that I make all the time. You are welcome to use them or to find colors that you think represent you more. So I think the thing to take from my color palette though, is I have a warm, I have a cool, I have a dark, and I have a shader. You'll see how these work out more as we go along, but basically warm and cool contrasts in terms of how they feel. You have a dark, which sometimes you just need something dark, especially for line work. Then the shader, you use, not surprisingly for shading. It's a mid color, you can multiply it over your other colors and it's a nice in-between color. So let's get started with the shoes. So I have my trail shoes here. If you're curious at all about how I use Photoshop to illustrate, I show more in depth and detail in my other classes, especially in key illustrations, but also in Inky Maps and odd bodies. I do have portions of those classes, where I really get more into how I'm doing what I'm doing. So if you're ever curious about what I'm doing, I encourage you go look at these classes. But in this class really, I want to show you the steps, how I'm thinking about style specifically in here. I will be using the very limited palette of tools, the lines, the colors that I just showed you, the texture, just to show you how these minimal elements can really work together in a very surprising and interesting way. So I'm using the pen tool here just to define the outer shapes, the biggest shapes, the most obvious things is where I start. I have my first major shape here. I'm going to fill it in with one of my go-to-colors. I'm going to try the orangey color. This is my warm. I'm going to work on one shoe at a time and perhaps I can just copy and paste the shoe behind as a bit of a shortcut. So I'm looking at ways that I can use extra color here in each shoe. I'm using shape to define these forms. No lines have been made yet. I basically have white, red and this really dark blue to work with. I also have my cool color. But that cool color really vibrates against the red. I might have to figure that out later. When you're illustrating with vector parts like in Photoshop I'm using the pen tool here. These are effectively vectors. I want to make sure that there's no sharp like angles or spurs or bits of chip that feel out of place. That's what I'm zooming in here to make sure. I put that tongue in that it's sitting nicely behind that shoe and has a nice smooth transition from shoe to tongue. I think this is a good place to start introducing line. I'm going to use my one brush and use only this for a line work in the entire set. First I want to define this line across the bottom of the shoe and the sole. I'm allowing the irregularity of my hand. You can see there's a little bit of wobble in there. I'm allowing that to remain as it is not just adds excentrification that I'm talking about. I'm also going to add the loop behind the heel of the shoe and then I'm going to do that in a dark color. As much as possible my line of work is going to be either white or this dark color. I'm going to just tuck it behind the shoe. Because where I drew it, you saw that sharp spur of the back of the heel. If I can just tuck it behind, it creates a much smoother and less distracting transition. Of course next I want to add the laces, which are in this case just simple lines. I'll have to worry about every possible detail of these laces. But I might want to add some of the eyelets behind the laces. This is where using my shading color will come in handy. This is a mid gray and I'm going to use it for the stitching along the heel and perhaps along the toe here somehow. I want to make sure that's in my shapes so I'm going to drag it within the shape. Now I don't want that gray just to be gray. This is a shader and because of that, I usually multiply it over top the other artwork. That gray takes on the hue or the color of the shape that it's over top. Sometimes it can be a little bit overbearing still. What I do is I just scale that back to 50 percent and it provides just enough extra detail without overwhelming the image and allows the stronger elements to come forth more without competing. I want to make these parts look more like stitching so I add a layer mask. This is a very Photoshop specific technique. I think you can do this also in procreate. You add a layer mask and then you just, as long as your top color is black. Whatever you draw on that layer mask cancels out masks the information on that layer. This is just a quick way of making sense of stitching. There's our first shoe. I think I'll add just a little bit of texture to that shoe. Just to give it a little bit more warmth. I'm just going to pop a layer over top and make sure my gray is selected my mid gray and then use my texture brush the godfather of green. I'm not going to change the size for this entire set of illustrations. I'm going to leave it at 300 pix. That's going to be one of my constraints because if I size this down or up, the resolution of this texture will get finer or more coarse. I just want that to be a consistent, a constant throughout all my illustrations. I'm just going to do a subtle little bit of texture and this maybe gives a sense of dirt because this is a trail shoot. I'm going to set that layer to multiply and it's a little bit overbearing. I'm just going to set that back to 50 percent. I can go back and figure out if that texture is too much or too little later on. But there's my first shoe and I'm just going to take all of those layers and groups that I made for that shoe and then group them and call it shoe one. I'm going to copy that for shoe two. Pop that behind the original shoe and I'm going to just drag it. There's my pair of shoes. Now because these are identical, your eyes are going to see that. I want to make it look like I hand drew each of these shoes and I didn't just copy and paste. You don't need to do much to do this. It's just a few things just to trick the viewer. For instance, this little loop on the back, I'm just going to redraw a custom loop for this back shoe and that will give some variety. Drew it a little bit too big. I'm just going to erase a little bit behind. If you ever have to erase the bit of your line work. You set your eraser brush to something similar to the brush you're using and that allows any parts of your race still have that same rough quality. I'm using a similar brush, this old nib brush for my eraser. Okay. The other thing I want to fix is the tongue. Just make it a little bit different, a tiny bit different. I'm going to go and do that for a few other things, especially where there's something really glaringly distinct. I feel like the tread on the bottom of the shoes could be a telltale copy. I'm just going and adjusting some of my paths just a little bit just to give a sense of irregularity and spontaneity to the illustration. I'll probably do that also for the laces and for these as well, the welding here just a little bit. It does not need to be much. I think redoing this line will also help. Now that I'm almost done this, I'm going to take a look at the illustration without the sketch. I see that there's something I need to resolve with the tongue because it's the same color as the tread. As good as that looks with one shoe, it's just a hard read. I have an option here to maybe move one of the shoes away from that tongue, so they don't overlap. That might be one way of doing it. I think actually that might work. That might be the solution. The other thing that I was going to try was just changing the color of the tongue, but I really like how the dark sandwiches the red and blue of the shoe. Other than that, I think I'll just go in and revise the texture of the second shoe, so it's a little bit different. I did forget to add the islets for the shoe laces, so I'm going to go and do that and just draw those. I think I'll scale that back also to 50 percent, so it's more subtle, and there we have our two tread shoes. There's one other thing I want to adjust. The ankle part is identical and my eye is drawn to that. Again, I just want to hide the evidence that I copied these shoes. You might ask why copy if you're going to have to adjust everything anyway. At least the two shoes are identical in size and that helps add a layer of consistency. Now with my first illustration done, I am ready to turn my sketches back on and move to the next one. Again, I'm going to make another layer group, and this one is for the GPS watch. Again, I'm going to start with the biggest, most obvious shapes. In this case the circle of the watch face. Again, I'm not using the circle tool. I could as a shortcut, but then it's going to look super regular and not at all the way I illustrated, which is more eccentric. I'm just letting my imperfect circle be. I'll just create this first shape, and maybe this I'll start with black or this dark blue, which is closest to the black. The next thing I'm going to do is create the display. Again, I could just copy and paste the circle I made this now, and sometimes I do, but then I have to go and make it look like I re-drew it on its own. With a simple shape like this. I just go ahead and redraw it. For the inside, I'm going to punch it out with white and that helps, this otherwise very dark weighty, shape to feel more light, just by punching a hole theory and letting the paper color or the screen color come through. The next thing I'm going to do is add the watch straps. This could be pretty simple. Just this trapezoid shapes. On most watches these are the same color as the watch face. Again, in the spirit of not being too different, I'm going to just do that same thing. I going to just add the buttons. This is sitting behind the watch face. I think those buttons should be read, just something to pop against that darker color. Usually the buttons are the same color as the watch, but here I'm just using my own. I just want to see a pop of red there. That's my own editing of reality and you can do that in illustration. One of the benefits of illustration versus photography is, you can take these real-life things and then make them look the way you want them to look. The next thing is I'm going to create little parts of the actual display. I'm always tempted to just get right into the details and try and make it a cool display, like what would I want on my ideal GPS watch display and all those little complications and stuff like that. But the point here is the overall message of this illustration is GPS watch. As long as I have something that looks like an information display and somewhat believable, there's nothing in there that I'm like, that wouldn't be on a watch, that's all I need. Otherwise, I'm just trying to create some visual interest. Maybe use red and my old nib brush to create this little map view. I'm going to draw that shape with the pen tool, to be consistent. I have red and that's an obvious color for heart. Lastly, I want to do the little number read out with the rules. For those rules I'll probably just use the gray, and if I push really lightly using my pencil here, my stylus, I can get a bit of a thinner line. Then if I push harder, and so I'm allowing a little bit of line width variation, and that's okay. For me my rule is, as long as they don't change the pixel width of my brush, and just to quickly show you what I'm talking about. These are the brush properties for this particular brush that I'm using, it's 15 pixels. I'm never changing that number up or down for this set of illustrations. Lastly, I'm going to create the number. Now this is a bit of a bonus tip, but I'm going to do a little bit of special lettering here instead of just using my line. I'm breaking a little bit out of my style constraints just for this because, like I said, as an illustrator, lettering is one of my special skills, so I'm going to use that here. I'm going to lean into that thing that I enjoy doing. I'm going to just use a big chunky brush for this or maybe just something a little smaller. That will do. I've turned on my grid, so you can go View and Show grid, and that's this grid that you see here. I've made a new layer and I'm going to use my dark color for this. The numbers are 0478. I use my grid as my, it's almost like lined paper. The secret to having regular, consistent type is having rules so that everything's the same when you write it out. I'm just going to take that out of the shape so I can actually see it. There it is. There is my zero, my four. I've had a lot of practice with lettering and I've done lots of practice with how to construct letter forms, so that is a little bit outside of this particular class, but the general rules that I'm working with here is actually very similar to the rest illustration. I'm using a one size brush, just a little fatter, so I can have these nice fatter are numbers. I'm just allowing each number, making sure each number is the same height and generally speaking, the same width. Again, how do I make these letters look less like they're drawn with a brush and a little bit more finished? Is I just use my smaller racer and I square off some of those edges. That just give things a little bit more of a polished look. With completely circular numbers like zero, there's not much I can do.These dots, what I can do is just take one of those dots away and add copy one so that there's more uniformity. Now I have my number and I can just shrink that down. As I shrink that, a lot of those imperfections and stuff that were maybe more glaring at the bigger size will go away, and I can just pop that in there, turn off my guides or my grid. I have this numerical read out there that just sits in there. I find that because I've used a different brush, it creates a visual break from everything else that's super irregular and seems same. That's something I've become comfortable doing over time. I'm just going to do one more number for the read out in the same way that I just showed you, so 156. Make sure that letter spacing, it's nice and even. Then I'm going to just pop that down into place. If the rest of the watch is really just a matter of probably a tiny bit of texture in some line work. So first, for the display, I'm going to just add or I'm going to do this over the whole circle part of the watch. So the outer circle here and the display inclusive and then take my texture, select my shader color, create my new layer, multiply it. So it's looking a bit dark, take that down to 50 percent and yeah, I think that's good. Having a little bit of the white peek through, I might want to just have a little bit more white. So I'm going to erase that and just do a little bit more subtle. Now for the actual, I think it's called embezzle around part around the display. I'm going to create a new layer and I'm going to add the text around the edges. So we're going to use the line work in white. So I have the blue available to me also as a color in my palette. Just because you have all of those colors, it doesn't mean you need to use them in every illustrations. Some illustrations can just have two of the colors, as in this case. So I'm just going to turn off my sketch and to see how the GPS watch is shaping up. To me those tick marks are looking a little bit too loosey-goosey. So what I'm going to do is actually create one straight line across, one straight line below. My watch is irregular so it's not perfectly even on all sides. But what I'm going for is just a little bit less irregularity to have a feeling of more control or at least just not having something distractedly whimsical. So I'm just going to copy that. I'm going to put that on 30 degrees and edit then do the same thing again this time, rotate it 60 degrees. Now it looks less distracting, but of course now they're all attached to the display, which is not good. So I'm going to just merge those together. That's one of the main things I'm trying to control here everything is kind of evenly 30 degrees apart. So those are the tics and now the last thing to do is just to define just the attachment between the watch band and the watch face. I'm now going to just use white to do that. I could turn on my sketch, just to make sure and be more true to my final here. So here I've just drawn two parallel lines and erased the part of the first line that it didn't need and then attached those there. I'll just copy and paste that, flip it around, and then turn off my sketch and see how that looks. I'm not sure that i like how those are looking. I feel like that should be a cleaner edge. So one thing I could do is just erase it to clean up the edge a bit or which I didn't want to do but I think I will, because I'm going to turn that sketch back on. I've deleted that line work. I'm actually going to define that brake using the pen tool instead for a cleaner line there. Use the path operations to knock out one shape from another shape. So I'm selecting these two bits that I just drew and I can go to my path operations here and go subtract from front shape and there you go. If you want to learn more about how to use the pen tool in Photoshop, I have a very quick class called Pen tool wizard. It's a great little primer on how to use the pen tool in Photoshop. Turn off my sketches, see how that looks. I might just add a tiny bit more texture on the watch band to imply very suddenly bit of depth. Just the tiniest bit and then multiplying and setting that to 50 percent. If only because I've been doing that everywhere else. I'm going to try a 100 percent of the texture in front. It's too much, I'm going to go back to 50 percent. I can always come back to it later. So we have two finished illustrations, two more to go. We have the watch and the shoes. I'm just going to go ahead and just add one little thing that I forgot there on the watch, which was the little UR here indicator, maybe a touch of blue. It's just what I need right there of the cyan and we'll just leave it at that. So the next thing is to do the trail race bib. So I have the round corners there. But first I'll make this plain rectangle and then add those curves after the fact. Now Photoshop has a built-in curved corners feature, but it's a bit too regular for me and so I just find that by doing the curved corners more manually, it allows more coke and eccentricity to end up in the image. One thing I look for in my pass is just like if there's a straight line and that goes into curve, I want to avoid where I have these little spurs, these little like sharp abrupt corners. I want to make because those look like accidents which they would be. So I'm just going to smooth that out a bit. Again here this little bit here looks a bit accidental. So I'm going to use my little handle here to smooth that out. It's always a balance between making things look intentional and irregular without being perfect, without looking totally perfect is a bit of an art. I want this raise bed to be overall white. So you're not going to see the color there just yet. I'm going to add the color bar as top and bottom next. I can just make that one piece and part of it will be masked out by the containing shape. We will go with blue for that one. The next thing I'll do is knock out those holes out of the four corners. I'm just going to copy and paste that to each of the corners so that the holes themselves are uniform and not too different. But of course I can go on and just and make some minor adjustments in each one to make each one look a little bit more unique. Because anytime an element is repeated, if that element has a particular quirk or feature, when you repeat it, that feature will repeat too and be amplified. If it's a quirk that looks eccentric and it's repeated over and again, then it just starts to cheapen that eccentricity because it's been repeated. I just look for ways of making each piece look a little bit unique and special. Even these tiny little details sometimes matter. The next thing I'll do is draw it in with my line tool. We're going to do the safety pins. I'm going to use a dark blue for these. These can just be like I said, in the line and very simplified and stylized. I know this isn't exactly what safety pins look like, but in context they read exactly as safety pins in my opinion. I hope so. We'll see how it goes. Because these are such small elements, you really don't want to overwork them and get into details. If this was about a safety pin, this illustration, I would obviously go into as much detail as I can in that an object. But these are just very much secondary. I can be more expressive and gestural in how I make them. Here's my eraser just to sharpen those points just as a bit, just so they don't look totally default. Of course, where they go through the hole here, I'm going to make part of it appear to be behind the bib. Same on this side. For the lettering, for the word trail there, I'm going to just use my liner. No fancy type trick here or lettering trick because its script. That's better. I think it's perfect use other of my line tool, the tool that I'm using for lines. But I will for the number 306. Again, just picking some lines in my grid to stick within. Sometimes when I do this, I do have a tendency to overwork. This will get shrunk down. It might be okay just to let it be, shrink it down, and see the big picture. I'm going to shrink that down, rotate it, place it in, and I'll put that in the shape of my trail bed. Now, again I want to add a little bit of texture just to make sure that weight isn't totally getting lost. For this one, where it says trail where I have the lettering trail, it could just as well be like a scribble that implies rating. This is just a stylistic decision. I could have just done that squiggle to imply that there's rating, and that would definitely still read as a bib. But because this is a trail running specific set of illustrations, having something that eludes to that, however vaguely is, I think it works. Just putting trail on, it is a little bit odd. You would never get a bib that says trail and then you number, but it's for me a stylistic choice. Sometimes I add words that are simple, and they evoke an idea, and it is just a little bit odd in a way. That's me, I think just me coming through. Like sometimes I like there to be a little bit of a quirk or a mystery, like why did he write trail and not trail run. One can overthink these things, but I'm leaving it in, I like it, and if it bothers me later then I might edit it out. If this was for a client and they asked me to elaborate on it somehow or take it out or change it, then I would. We're almost done this guys. The last one is the deodorant lube stick thing. This one is really just the shape, another rectangle. At this point, I'm really glad that I didn't choose all rectangular things for the set. This one is not going to be a total rectangle, I'm also going to have that. The shape of the lid popping over top on this angle as it is. I'm making sure those corners look intentional and controlled, skillfully made, and we'll make this one be blue for now. Yeah. This is a fairly simple and straightforward illustration. Just need to draw the inside product peeking through there. Now this product will be white and I'll just plan to put some texture in there to make that pop through. I'll do that right now. A bit more, knock that down to 50 percent, and then I'll add a little bit of texture over top. This is well, and we're going to multiply that, set it back 50 percent. This isn't quite working. I think I need more texture. Maybe I'll do one more fresh pass over that. For the details, I'm going to just fill in that little dial at the bottom. I'm going to use my shader color as I have before, multiply that over, and then take it back to 50 percent and add some of those lines. The last thing will be to add that lettering for the lube. I'm going to bring this down to size, pop it in there, and because it's a sports product, it should be italic for sure. Just see how that's working out. I think we have ourselves a set. Now this is where I look at the final work as a set to see if there's anything I need to adjust. I aim to balance the set and resolve any awkward bits in the images themselves. The hardest things for me to figure out are usually color and contrast because I work in a flat style with no outlines and I use minimal colors. Sometimes I spent a lot of time making sure that my colors and everything are working together and everything is very clear. There's something lacking in the last one. I'm going to try that texture again, hope that resolves it. Going back to my texture brush, and maybe I just need to just give it a little bit more extra something, and I think that might be better. I'm overthinking it at this point. I'm going to leave it be and come back to it later. If anything in that still bothers me, which may or may not, I'll fix it at that point and it might even become more apparent to me but I need to do and even as I'm just talking about it, I'm getting ideas. Maybe it's just about slightly rounding that at the bottom there. It just has a bit more personality and dimension. Okay guys. We finished our first set. That's huge. We worked out our style, and we've used it to illustrate our simple objects. Hopefully you're pleased with yours as I am with mine, and now it's just time to share with the class and celebrate a little. Maybe take a rest before going into the next set because the next set's going to be a doozy. 14. Project: Set 2 - Research and Discovery: In this set, we're going to illustrate more abstract concepts from the list we made. The purpose of this second set is to apply the style we worked out and set 1 to more abstract ideas that may or may not have immediately obvious physical qualities. Our focus here will be two fold. First, we're going to come up with visual representations or concepts of the ideas we came up with in our second list way in the beginning and second, we're going to use the same style we developed in set 1 so that both set 1 and set 2 are a family and the illustrations could be used interchangeably. These spots should clearly represent the concepts in a unique and consistent style. Keep in mind, these are spots, so they cannot say everything about your concept. You have to be decisive. As we set one we start just by setting up a folder where all our work will though, just add set 2 in the sweet spots folder if you haven't already done so. We're now back at the research and discovery phase 4 set 2. Of course, the first thing we want to do just like the last time is conduct our visual research. Our concepts now will be more conceptual. Soon, we'll be thinking more about those concepts. But for now, we do exactly what we did in set 1 where it just downloading enough information or visual information to literally draw from in the sketches. Just like in set one, I'm going to just start Google image searching with some pretty basic terms. With chafing, it's specific to runners, so I'll probably do a specific search, chafing, running and just see what images turn up. The great thing about a Google image search in a way, a cross-section of what a lot of people visualize when there's a certain concept. You can get a quick picture of what cliches are and stuff like that. Here's the bleeding nipples guy. I see a couple of guys like that. I'm not going to draw bleeding nipples in my illustrations. I don't want to gross my viewers out and turn them off. I definitely want to encourage them to join an ultra marathon. That's part of the purpose of an article like this. I'm going to keep the image there because, there's something guttural about it. It evokes an emotional response. Anyway, moving on, what else turns out? You have the idea of like parts of your body that rub together. Yeah, if you get stuck on your search, don't think too hard about the concept. The temptation is to try and solve your visual problem at this early stage and the important thing here is just in a more non-judgmental way, just do an image search and see what turns up. The next thing is trail pace is slower than road pace. What is the image that I want to evoke here? What the information do I need to visualize maybe running pace. I get a bunch of charts which are not helpful at all and more runners. I might as well just download a few of those. Just to get a sense of what running people look like, I might have to draw them in trail running. You actually walk sometimes, especially if there's a steep hill. Maybe it's like walking on trail, race to be very specific. Maybe show a guy walking with pulls gives you a sense that you're not going super fast and maybe I'll just do a full-on just screen grab again of my browser window. Okay, the next thing is the battle is mental as much as physical. The idea is while you're running, your body is tired and so you want to give up and so much of your race is about not giving up. It's about saying, ''Let's just finish this,'' and so there is that willpower. I'm going to image search willpower and we'll see what we get. I'm not really seeing anything useful there so maybe mental battle. These are very abstract concepts. A Google image search is not going to reveal anything that juicy in terms of imagery. If anything, that's going to show you what the cliche way of conceptualizing this abstract term is. Oftentimes when I Google an abstract term like mental battle, world peace, you get a lot of texts because people can't visualize these ideas. The I end up writing words that match this idea and that's a very common way to evoke an idea. As illustrators, our job is to think beyond that obvious, like let's just used words to convey this concept. Our job is to give a visual to this abstract concept. Right now, I don't want to get too deep into trying to solve this problem. Again, I'm going to screen grab this Google image result and move on to the next thing. The next one is, don't change your forage regime on race day. What happens if you do? In running if you eat too much, you're going to get an upset stomach. Maybe for this one I'm thinking maybe it's about feeling sick. Maybe it's about getting indigestion. When I think of him indigestion, I think a Pepto Bismol. Maybe this can be a clue into what I might use as part of my imagery. Now this plot that in trail pace, maybe someone drinking just to get a sense of what it looks like when people drink. Runners indigestion, lots people holding stomachs. Again, I'm not going to try to grow, so I audience, but it is there. It's part of the results of my image search, so I'll put it in my pocket. Maybe it will be useful, maybe not. Lastly, the idea of travel and accommodation plan. You sign up for a trial race, it's eight months in advance and you're really excited about it. It's in the summertime. You get to the weak of the raised and you realize you haven't figured out where you're going to stay the night before and you're going to need to stay pretty close to the trail. Turns out everything's booked up because it's it's the summer and now you have to sleep in the car. There's an image sleeping in the car. Something you don't want to happen as a result of neglecting this very important tip. Being more generic in terms of accommodations. What do hotels look like? What is a common image or cliche of a hotel you have, of course, the outside your pools. But even more iconic is the idea of the hotel room, which usually just has a king or queen size bed and a lamp and sliding window or a sliding glass door. I'll just screen grab all of these. I don't need to be to selective at this point. There is a little bit of crossover into the next stage where I will be thinking about concepts. But I'm not trying to come up with ideas. I right now I'm just trying to find images, but as I'm looking for images, my mind is already working a few steps ahead. I welcome that if it comes along, but I'm not trying too hard the ideas just to focus on one task in each stage in the task, in the stage is just finding appropriate imagery to draw from in our free sketching exercise. I have just one more to look for and that is train for the terrain. So this is the idea of if you're running a really technical course with certain single track or certain stuff that's going to be in your way, you need to be ready for that by getting used to it in your training. So I'm playing the story out through my head, what kind of images. First is just like trail terrain, and maybe that will show me something, and at least it gives me a sense of different trail terrains. The next thing I might search for along this line is the idea of an elevation profile for a race. This is usually a chart. It looks like a mountain because it's actually just like a cutaway of a mountain, or the different rises and depths in elevation that you experience over the course of your race. So this might be interesting as a visual to incorporate in this concept. So I am thinking a little bit conceptually here. So now I might think about what might happen if I didn't train for the terrain, maybe I get really tired and exhausted. So maybe exhausted runner, so you have the idea of runners who are pass out before they hit the finish line. So once you completed your image searching, you can then move into free sketching. How do you know when you're done your image searching? I'd say it's when your time is up, or when you've exhausted yourself, you feel you can't look anymore. If you need more images later on where you're coming up with concepts, you'll figure that out pretty quickly. Chances are you'll know more precisely what you need to be looking for. Just like the last time, we're going to do more free sketching, this is where we just draw what we see in our reference images without too much judgment or trying to figure it out. We're just downloading information. We already did the work of downloading our images to a computer. Now, let's download some of those images to our brains through drawing. I've opened up my reference images folder in Adobe Bridge, which is a nice visual browser. You could also just open these images up in Photoshop or in Preview, as long as it's easy for you to see and start drawing. So I have sleeping in the car here. So all of these images and this thing are super complicated, so rather than try and draw from these images, I failed myself in this image search here. Usually I try and find imagery that appeals to me in some way, it looks promising. None of this looks too promising, maybe there's the idea of someone sleeping in a sleeping bag or in a blanket in a car. There's a bit here, so what I'm going to do just as a shorthand, is just draw a silly car and maybe the idea of someone sleeping in there. Just a queue, and maybe that will become a concept later on, and I think with this one I'm just going to move on. Within this same concept of accommodations, we have the hotel room. So I'm just going to look at some of these ideas of like there's the bed, there's that they usually have these big fancy head boards, and fancy arrangements of pillows, some blanket over top. Here I'm just looking at a very specific image, knowing that I can tweak this later on to look a little bit more generic. What else do I have? Just a hotel building. Again, sometimes if I'm working on a project, I'll give myself enough time just to really sync into this, and enjoy the process of drawing, and be a little bit more careful, but here, I'm just generally demonstrating the idea of looking at images, drawing them, moving on. I have more hotel rooms here. So I can pick and choose from one of these images that I feel really tells the story well. They're really all the same, even the angles that they shoot these hotel rooms in this is all identical. You could replace one image with another and you'd never know. Which I guess is the idea of a hotel. I have curtains here. Hotels are meant to be pretty anonymous and generic. Because of that, because a hotel is so stylized as an idea, as a concept, it's easy to represent in a drawing. Moving on. Chafing, my favorite. Yeah I mean, you do have the guy with the bleeding nipples. Here he is with the race bib. I'm pretty certain that I'm not going to use this image at all, but I'm going to draw it anyway, because sometimes when you try something that you don't think you should do anyway, you might end up finding a way to use it. So maybe it's someone, just while looking at these images, maybe it's someone putting a stick of anti chief stick on their armpit. I didn't see that image, but it came to mind while I was looking at the image, I'll just put it there and move on. So I have people with painful faces, you have lots of like lower bodies. I'm very loosely referencing these images. I'm somewhat comfortable drawing people in my own style, so if it were more important to me that I draw these people more anatomically correct in my final concepts, then I would probably pay more attention to the details of these bodies, but I have a bit of a shorthand for how I draw people. So I can quickly draw that while I'm doing image searches and that's why my drawings look particularly unrealistic, but sometimes if I'm really getting into the details, I actually pay a lot more attention and draw what I'm seeing a little bit more closely in representational way. Moving on for fuel regime and I come up with a new page. This one is about indigestion. With changing your fuel regime, on race day you've trained with say taking Gatorade, but on race day you try this new fancy jell-O that they're offering at the race or bananas, and you hadn't been eating bananas in your training. What happens as a result, you get an upset tummy, and then you needs Pepto-Bismol,. I see some pictures of Pepto-Bismol up on my screen, I'll just reference the package of Pepto-Bismol. If I were to draw it in my final illustration, it would be about, what are the features or characteristics of this package, of this bottle that we all know, that represents you have an upset tummy. What are the features of that? How can I communicate that? It be the color of it, it could be the shape, it could be design cues on the label itself. I imagine someone drinking the Pepto-Bismol, right out of the bottle on the race. Just looking at pictures of people drinking, what does that look like from the side, I'm able to just see. Especially if I've never drawn someone drinking before, it might be helpful for me just to get a sense of what that looks like visually. Then we have the guy who soiled is pants, which I don't want to include in my final illustration. I feel like it wouldn't be everybody's favorite thing, could be funny, but I'm going to draw what I see here in this image just for fun. Maybe there's a way that I can use that idea in a more indirect subtle way. Just a little Mr. lumpy pants here, and maybe someone's holding their stomach. I think, observing and paying attention to your reference images and really drawing them carefully, unlike what I'm doing here, is important especially at the beginning of your creative journey. As an illustrator, you're going to need to reference images more heavily, and that goes hand-in-hand with the imitation aspect of the creative journey when we were talking about inspiration and imitation. That's just a natural part of developing and growing as an illustrator. I'm drawing really quickly here just as I'm demoing the project, but it's also like I can look at an image and, I see the gesture of someone holding their stomach doubled over in pain. For me that's enough, just knowing that idea, I quickly doodle it down and I'll work out how I draw that, when I start actually going into the thumb nailing in the next step. The next group of images that I'm going to free sketch from are the ones that speak to the idea of running being a mental battle as much as it is a physical battle. Not a ton to draw from in this first set of images, which are all like quotes and text, the idea of a battle, but maybe it's like someone holding their mind, as I see in one of these, and then in a way it's like I see a lot of silhouettes of people, side profiles, so that might queue something later. A lot of these are more related to depression and stuff like that, so those wouldn't be too appropriate. I'm not looking for something too dark, it's more just the idea of willpower. This next one is trail pace. The idea of the trail pace is slower than your road race pace, so if you're used to going a certain pace on the road, you have to get used to sometimes even walking. Maybe one way of wording this point is make friends with walking. That's an image that comes to mind, it's the idea of someone walking. I have one way of making it clear that someone's walking on the trail, is to show them clearly in a gesture of walking using poles. Just to maybe get the idea of what those look like, I'll draw what I see a little more close. This is a guy from the front, which is a trickier gesture or a figure to draw, than someone from the side view. This is a guy just holding his poles. This guy looks like he's maybe running a bit. Some interesting gesture there. He's got his hydration vest on, which is a good cue that he's on the trail running. You find sometimes some images in your search interest you more than others, and you dwell on them. I feel like dwelling more on this guy, there's something really dynamic about his stance, how his poles are faced forward, there's some rocks. It's a really nicely composed image that tells a story, and I'm just loosely drawing what I see. There are lots of good symbols in this, of what I'm getting at. There is a guy, he's trail running, he's got his hyped up socks and his hydration vest, a GPS watch, it's all there, ticking all the boxes. I'm just going to leave that there, and move on to the next. This is trail for the terrain. This is the point where we talked about the elevation profile. We have just this idea of a chart that looks a lot like mountains, series of undue leading bumps. A lot of these have placements of aid stations. That's pretty much what an elevation profile looks like, it's just a side profile of a mountain. The idea of different terrains, so maybe it's like a ridge. Ridges are usually at that the top of a mountain where there's less vegetation, more rocks, and that loose rock. Then I just imagine some hillside with vegetation that I'm seeing in some of these images, trees and then someone coming down. One of the images there, there's a guy running down the hill, looks like he's a good down-hillier. That's a good start in terms of just getting a sense of what kind of imagery I have to draw from when I start thumbnailing. I think it's now time I can move on from the free sketching exercise. I think that if I had a little bit more time, I wouldn't mind just getting a little bit deeper into drawing each one of those ideas, with a bit more care, but I feel like for the most part I've picked up some valuable information that I'll be able to take with me as I start the next step, which is visualizing these concepts in my sketches. 15. Project: Set 2 - Concept Sketches: In research and discovery, our only goal was to download Information just like in set one. Now we're going to make a concerted effort to develop concepts. This could be a lot harder than in set one so just keep that in mind. The ultimate goal of sketches is to work out concept, content, and composition. The challenge for this round of sketches is to develop visual concepts that speak to the subject in a clear way but which is also somehow unexpected. Our elements of style can only go so far and helping us here. We must also think about how to express our ideas in a surprising way. It may be possible to express a complex idea in a simple object for this set. The difference is intent. The content we include in our illustrations are more symbols than depictions. The object doesn't stand for the object. It stands for an idea. The challenge is how to make the object stand for a bigger idea. I have my grid of thumbnails and I'm just going to churn out some concepts as it come to mind I'm going to go illustration by illustration here. The first thing we're going to start with is the one about accommodations, about making sure you have a place to have a good night's rest before the big race and making sure you do that before things get booked up. I've just zoomed into my first square here. I really, as I was looking at pictures out were disappointing about people sleeping in the car. I did just have this simple idea of a stylized car and the idea of someone's feet maybe sticking out of it and they're sleeping in the back of the car, bent over wearing a two gets late at night. Maybe there in the woods and maybe a bear is curiously looking inside the car. I might want to just try and figure out what that might look like in different configurations maybe it's just a slightly different car shape. As much as possible, I'm trying to do this from heart and not really needing to look at images and some of the weirdness that comes out as I'm drawing just from my own intuitions can work in my favor and try not to be too critical at this point. Maybe it's, I did like the idea of the bear. There's a bit of a funny story there, what if the bear is looking inside the window with this pause, then there's just a silhouette of a sleeper and there, it's a little bit vague to me right now. I'm going to move on to the idea of the hotel where we had that bed, the hotel bed and the high Blackboard. Basically, I want to depict a hotel room in a very symbolic and basic way. It is like that the lamp, and you have the sliding glass window, big window beside maybe some curtains maybe there's a picture frame above the bed, some fancy pillows, maybe you have someone's like kicked off their shoes there on the floor and maybe outside. You see the window there frames of a mountain scene in the back, reinforcing the idea of the trail race and accommodations all at the same time. This is a lot of load for a spot illustration. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to have to make sure it's super simple as possible but I think it's a good concept. I'm just going to move on and try a few other things maybe I change how big things are in that hotel room scene, maybe the windows a lot bigger to emphasize the outdoors. Maybe you have a trail. I liked the idea of being able to see the start line from inside the hotel something muddy about that. I'm going to move on to the next thing which is chafing. There's the bleeding nipple guy, so let's see what happens if I go with that even if I really don't want to. Is the idea of someone I see, like the upper body of someone maybe the idea of band-aids in place that might be a good way of showing the idea that you have a sore chafing area without actually showing it. I'm just seeing a sad person here, maybe I just move on, maybe if I just bring this idea a little further and as a person and they're putting band-aids on in the process of putting band-aids on and the other ones already bandaged up. There's something in this one that I like, so he's maybe putting, got that already, got that and maybe there's some just band-aids here to tell the story of what's happening with a little bit more detail. The next thing is Fuel Regime, so maybe one idea is the pepto bismol bottle as a water bottle, like a hand and water bottle if you recall way back and set wine we drew that water bottle with little fanny pack on it. That maybe is, some can be there if we can get that bottle touch clearly read as a pepto bismol bottle. Now, in theory it's a good concept but if it doesn't read clearly to the audience, it's ultimately not a good concept. It's a good concept to people who know and get it but if it needs explanation then you probably have to find another route. If I can successfully pull off this idea of the pepto bismol bottle, mix that metaphor with the water bottle idea, handheld water bottle and that's good. Maybe it's the idea of pepto bismol bottle with a little nozzle like a sports nozzle on the tip. If I can combine those two weird awkward thing is that you have this dispenser cup, the pepto bismol comes with, conflicting with having a sports nozzle on us. That doesn't really work. Maybe it's more of a water bottle shape at the top. Almost a bottle with the sports nozzle and then something like Pepto just to indicate loosely reference that is pepto bismol. I feel like this is a bit of a stretch. It doesn't, it's broken down. It looks neither really like a sports water bottle nor the Pepto bismol bottle, so maybe I'll just move on. I don't have to be too critical of myself at this point. The point is having quality and just to keep going. Working in fuel regime, maybe there's a way of incorporating the bottle with a person drinking water. We had those pictures of the people drinking that I referenced for this, so maybe it's something like a runner drinking Pepto from the bottle like that and maybe there's something in there. The next one is the battle is mental, of course this is about willpower, about climbing the mountains in our minds as well as the mountains under our feet so that right away makes me think of mountains and people climbing up trying to conquer it. When I think of mental, there's also like the idea of brains so you might have some mountain made out of a brain and the person's climbing it, which is gross to me.I don't like how brains look, so I don't know if I want to bring in my illustration but there's something about the idea of mental and bringing that work together. Maybe you don't have to show the brain, you'd just have control ahead. Maybe I just have a person's head and part of their head is immediate of mountains. It's mixing those two metaphors of the mind and of the head and of climbing the mountain. Here's someone badly drawn up this mountain but the idea is a little bit clearer. I like that concept. I like this idea of, yeah. But I can evaluate whether this will work later. I wonder if there's anything else I could do for the battle is mental. This idea of battle. There's a shield, a sword. Maybe it's like a guy walking. Instead of poles, he has swords but then we've totally lost the whole point of the mental battle. I may have solved it with the mountain head guy so why don't we just move on and see if we need to return back to that. The next thing is trail pace, the idea of it's slow. Maybe it's a GPS watch and it's showing a turtle. That watch could be on someone's wrist or not because it's a spot illustration, probably not on a wrist. But we already have an illustration of a GPS watch. If we had all of these in a set, from set one and set two, if we showed all these at the same time, it might be redundant. But I do like the idea of the turtle. Maybe it's a turtle ascending the trail. Here's a turtle shell. No, I didn't reference any turtles in my reference images. If I felt like I needed to, I would go and look for more images of turtles, which I might need to do. But maybe this turtle is wearing trail shoes and maybe some hydration vest, a hat. It's a cute little image. Maybe it's just you see some rocks and grass. Maybe to make him look more like a runner, you put a little race bib on his shell, 306 or whatever number we've been using. That might do it. I'm going to move on to the next which is train for the terrain. I have that idea of elevation profile. I'll just start with that and see where that leads me. The idea of those aid stations would neat that graphic. It might be a little bit too obscure for people, especially if you've never ran a race before on a trail. You might be totally new to the whole thing and not even know what an elevation profile graph looks like. What's another way into the idea of train for the terrain? Just be straightforward maybe. Maybe it's the idea of just this crooked, jaggedy path coming down the mountain side. You can see that you're really high up because there's a lake or an ocean way behind and a forest, some birds, and maybe some rocks on the trail. Then you have a runner skillfully navigating this steep downhill ascent. This is a story I'm making up, but it could make a nice image. Yeah, I'll just move on. What else? Train for the terrain. The idea of not getting exhausted, I guess we had some of those images of people falling over. I didn't end up drawing these from my reference images. I might have to go back to get a sense of what someone lying on the ground exhausted looks like. But maybe I don't need to. Maybe this concept is too in specifics. You could fall on your back and have exhaustion for all kinds of reasons, heat, heat stroke, or dehydration. This doesn't really speak to the main point of this illustration, which is the terrain. I think going back to being terrain specific is probably where I need to go. I feel like it might've cracked that idea already with this concept here. I think that is enough for now in terms of the thumbnailing. At this point, I like to take a break. I'm going to go, just have a glass of water. But sometimes, I leave my desk for 30 minutes, go do something else. Sometimes, I leave this overnight and I come back with a fresher mind. Then in the next step, we can go in and be a lot more critical of our concepts. But hopefully, instead of just being critical, we'll actually be able to see some concepts that are really working with a fresh mind. That will be in the next step. Here we are again at Refined Sketches, this time for our second set of illustrations. Again, just like the last time, we're going to go through our thumbnails and we're going to flag or mark or highlight the ones that we think are working best. Again, if you want some help whittling down, if you've done a lot of different thumbnails and figuring out which ones are working best, call on a friend and just see if they have any fresh insights for you. Hopefully, having taken a break and coming back to it, you'll be seeing these in a little bit more of an objective way. As you're going through these, again, you can ask yourself, which of these work together the best as a set. An image might be great on its own, but maybe there's something about it that doesn't make it work as a set. It's one of those things that doesn't look like the others. That's another way of just evaluating your images and being a little bit more critical. If you, for whatever reason, can't whittle this down to just four, just bring all of the ones that you like into the next step. That is, refine them. Then maybe, as you go along, you'll get clues into which concepts you really want to do, which ones are really working, which ones aren't working so great. Again, we're going to refine each sketch by tracing over it with more confident lines. Whereas our original sketches were super loose, these refined sketches should be more confident and resolved just like the last time. I'm just going to go into those thumbnails that I did. I'm going to open out that first page of thumbs that I did. Just start at seeing which of these concepts are working the best. For accommodations, there's something about this one that I like. I just like the story. I think the window with the mountain beyond could be really interesting concept. The trick for that one, of course, is going to be how to make that work in a very small spot. But I'm going to choose that for now. I do like these car ones. There's something cute about them. I could resolve them. They could make a fun illustration. But I foresee having a bit of a challenge in just perfectly evoking someone sleeping on the car, not just in the car. The next one is the nipples chafing. I really think there's something to this one. I think, I was inspired by the most disgusting image of the nipple-bleeding guy but somehow, I was able to make it not disgusting. For the Pepto, I do like the idea of the Pepto-Bismol bottle being a lot like a running water bottle. There's something to that. There was the guy drinking from the Pepto bottle, which is interesting as well. I might take that one also into the finals. The next one was the mental battle one. I think the strongest of these is definitely this. I'll see where I can take that guy. I feel like I was getting there with these other sketches. Got there, and then deviated and fell apart after that. My strongest image is definitely the mountain head guy. Trail pace is slower than road pace. I do like the turtle guy with the bib. I think that's really cute. I think that might work. I'm just going to move on. The next one was a train for the terrain. I think it's pretty clear here that I was really onto something with this one. I even circled it already. The next thing to do is, in Procreate here, I'm just going to isolate each of my selects onto their own layer where I can further refine them by tracing over them. The first one is this Pepto guy. I know what my idea is. I just want to work on the composition and making sure it's clear. Maybe I will apply some of the stylization principles here like exaggeration. Maybe make that bottle a little bit bigger than the runner than it would be in real life. I have my sketch underneath to reference. In that first round of rough thumbnails, my main focus was coming up with ideas and less on coming up with the perfect composition and having everything arranged exactly as I want it to go. Sometimes you need to iterate over your sketches again and again until you get it right. I have a few layers here. I have my first concept, my second iteration. I'm going into a third iteration. For whatever reason, I've taken to drawing this guy's mouth totally attached to the bottle to just get the sense of he's really sucking it back. I think it's a little bit weird. In that sense, it makes the image a little bit more compelling. Then maybe he's holding his belly. Then some reference there. This is where I might add a striped shirt to bring in some pattern. There's something about that I'm struggling with. I'm going to just give a one more go. I want to just show the person holding their belly a little bit like you would if you were feeling indigestion and then have that bottle basically attached to him. Maybe just like the feeling of sick. I'll probably have to go over this one more time just for good measure. But I feel that's a little closer. The purpose here is you really want to resolve all the actual forms. I'm very much abstracting and simplifying. I feel I don't need to show the rest of the arm in the back, just the idea that he's holding it and just having a suggestion of a hand up there is enough. Maybe having a peekaboo race bib there. Just something. My goal here is to just get as much expression in the image with as few parts as possible. I think that's going to work. If that's going to work, there is something in there that I like a lot. We'll move on to mental battle here. Again, just trying to refine my forms, make them clearer and crisper, more confident. I want to have a positive feeling to this one. It's a mental battle, but it's not a negative one. It's one that you're going to conquer. I have to remember all those people running, that I found in my reference images. I want to make sure he or she looks like a runner. For this character back here, it's really about a person climbing. I don't want to get too much personality in his person back here. All the personalities in that face on the mountain. This positive mind head guy is sending good vibes to this diligent climber in the background or maybe just a little something like a back pack. Something to show that they're climbing a mountain. Next thing is this training for the train guy. So we have this trail coming down the slope. There is more trees to emphasize our outdoor theme. Then of course, our guide is like book in a downhill. It's not just the character I'm trying to get here and capture, it's the whole scene here. Moving on, the slow little turtle. I love that he's wearing a race bib on his shell. I have already drawn a race bib elsewhere in this set, so maybe just reference that through in the same way that I did here. I'm just going to go and refine the shoes. I want to make them simple, very clearly as footwear for running on mountains. If I get really stuck on how to draw a turtle or what it looks like to walk, I would reference images further just to get a sense of that. I'm attempting to just do this by feel. This looks like it could be a complicated image, that I may have to further simplify. But there's Mr. turtle. Let me just see how that's looking when I hide the rest of the sketches. I would want to clear up the legs a bit. It's just a little bit too complex for this. I think I might just simplify. Maybe it's just about having fewer overlapping limbs. Yeah, I think that's it. It almost looks like there are people wearing a turtle costume, like two people walking with a fake turtle shell over them, and that I think is weird in this turtle, but also hilarious. I think it's quirky, it matches my thing when I illustrates, I'm just going to go with it. I'm now going back into the idea of the accommodations, this idea of just comfort. That's where I've landed on in terms of accommodations. That's a key message of making sure you have booked your place to stay ahead of time. It's about comfort and convenience. I'll have the idea of the window. I'm going to leave out the curtains. I love this idea of the mountain terrain being just being outside, and some lake, got some trees. You'll notice that I'm repeating these motifs of grass and trees throughout my images over time. I've just developed this very simple shorthand way of symbolizing tree, grass. Sometimes I need to be more elaborate and get into more details. But at this small size, this is perfect. This is exactly my approach for illustrated maps, where you have a lot of information in one image and so much going on, and just having a quick and easy repeatable shorthand symbol for these things, is really useful and can just help. It allows you to repeat elements, that's your eyelid around, and it just gives you a little element to work with to fill in space if you need it. So yes, maybe I'll just put some shirt lying on the bed there, have a race bib ready to go. Yes, I think that's an interesting image for that one. The last one is this guy, the poor nipple man. I think what I'm going to do, spring his hand over here. It's holding himself dearly. A little bit, sorry for himself. You want to evoke a little bit of pathos, a little bit of sympathy for him here. He's using his other hand to put on band-aids, and that gives me the opportunity to make him have a little watch there, and maybe a few band-aids. We have all of our concepts, all six of them refined. I think they're looking so much more developed. Let's take a look at how those looked before we had these very rough ideas. All the idea was there, and what we've done in the refined sketching process, is just made them more resolved, everything's clarified, the compositions are better, clearer. Again, you can go through your spot illustrations checklists that we went through earlier, your principles of design, and your principles of stylization, and these things can really help guide you along your way. The next step, of course, is to take these into the final stage. We're going to add color and use those exact same style elements that one line work brush, that one texture brash, and those four colors, and the same techniques and we're going to transform these into beautiful conceptual spot illustrations. All right guys. Once you've created your refined sketches and things are looking the way you want them to look before going into finals, I'd say go take a quick break, refresh yourself, and don't forget to share your work so far with the class. 16. Project: Set 2 - Final Artwork: Here we are, again at the finals stage, just this time for set two, the process is really the same. I think a lot of the heavy lifting in this stage was done in the last stage where we came up with concepts and refine them, because I really feel like that was the creative challenge of this set. It really was how to visualize these very abstract and invisible ideas. The next challenge for us will be applying the style that we developed and perfected in set one to this new set of more abstract concepts. I'm going to turn over to my computer where I have my sketches open in Photoshop, these are the refined sketches that we made in the last step. I'm going to just like the last time, copy and paste these into my four up file, just like I did in set one. As a refresher, I'm going to just call up that four up file that we made in set one, and here are our first illustrations, and it's nice to look at these again just to remind us of the style elements that we used. Here we have the colors, we have the texture, the line work, all those things here, we're going to just use those exact same things, nothing will change in terms of our style elements as we begin to build out our more conceptual illustrations. We have the file made here, all we need to do is just save it as our second set. We want to get out of our set one sub folder, we're going to set two, and we're going to save this one into finals, and we'll name this one trail running set two V1. Now of course we have all this artwork in the art layer. Let's just remove all these spots, and we'll make that sketches layer group visible, here's our old sketches, so what we're going to do is we're just going to replace these with our new sketches, and of course, before you do any of this destruction in your file, make sure you've saved it as a totally different file in your set two folder. I'm back in my thumbnails, I'm going to copy these one-by-one and place them in to the new layout, and so this is what I am going with, and those are in my sketches layer, I'll just save my file, and then begin making the art for each concept one by one. So the first is going to be, what was this one about? It was about fuel. Don't try anything new on race day, or else you have to drink Pepto Bismol like a champ. So, again, just like the last time, starting with the most obvious largest areas of shape. It just makes the most sense when I'm working in my style, maybe I'll make that orange and I'm going to make the shirt behind. Now again, I'm working in my style using my techniques, the concepts that I've made, the sketches, the way that I formed them and, made everything connect were designed for my technique, I know my technique well enough that I know how things are going to look when I illustrate. There is that sense of style influencing concept, if you work on watercolor paper with goulash or watercolor paint, your sketches will probably look different, and of course your finals are going to look a lot different. I imagine that you still would work out the broad areas of color first, you'd start just filling in those shapes with either the background color or however that works. What I'm going to do actually is make this color blue cyan, that's going to be the color of the shirt and then put an arm in front here. Now the hands stops short on their belly, I was going to make the arm extend all the way to the other side, but I remembered now that the hand actually needs to be on the belly because he's got a grumbling stomach, so I'm going to stay my course there, I'm just going to shift that down. I probably want to bring the shoulder up here. Next thing I'm going to do is just create a pattern with the shirt. I'm still really just defining my shapes, I haven't done any lines yet, and then add a band to the head. Next, I'll do the label on the Pepto bottle, and another opportunity to knock out some weight of this pretty solid piece of illustration. We'll add back some color with the hand holding the bottle, we'll go into this with line work now, oh, I'll just add the race bib. The challenge I foresee here, is in the race bib having the color bar above and then the stripes on the shirt that's going to look weird, is going to be like a little bar, and then all these lines it's not going to read very clearly. What I might do is just change the color of the race bib here to a different color just in this instance so it reads clearly. It's not as consistent with where I've done race bibs elsewhere, but I don't think it actually matters, I think I did the one race bib illustration, and then the one that I put on the turtle, which isn't outtake, so it's irrelevant. So maybe just add back that round corner for a stylistic consistency with the race bib from set one, and we'll return to that if I feel like it's not working. There's something about this that I feel is not working, it looks like he's holding something, I'm going to just let that go for a little bit, maybe we don't need the race bib in the context of these illustrations. Let me get the watch going. Now I did just copy and paste that, and you can really see that repeated. I'm just going to adjust that inside circle a little bit, just for a little bit more irregularity. Now time to add some line work. I'm going to just start face. Just like the last time, I'm going to use my old nib brush, 15 pixels, and use my mid gray, and see how this looks, and then multiply it over. I actually think I want to use for this one, I'm going to go back to normal. I'm going to use the dark blue for the facial expressions because I plan on using that same level of dark for the hand lines and for the hand lines on this one as well. I'm just going to add a little cheek detail here. That's where I'll use the gray, the shader, and then pop that down to 50 percent, and of course, I'm going to make some lettering for Pepto. I'll make a layer up there. I'm going to turn on my grid, and find a slightly larger brush. You can use just the same brush. But because like I said before, lettering is one of my specialties, I have a process for making this, so I'm just going to introduce that to this artwork. I'm going to find a brush a little bigger. Again, I'm just going to shrink that down, making sure they don't distort it. I'm just going to pop this in there. Good, it's sitting nicely in there. Now that I have this rotated in this way, I'm actually noticing that there's an angle, that italic look to my illustrations that's really obvious here, so I'm just going to fix that. It's funny how you don't see it until you're looking at it in a different angle. This is tricky because it connects to the rest of the head there. But I'm going to do my best to just correct it a little bit. You can see how that's happening with the way these handles are going. If these handles are a little bit more parallel to the parts, I think that works a little better. There's still some italicization going on there, but I think that's good for now. Just in the background, I'm always saving my work, always hitting Command S with my free hand. If you are working digitally, that's something to make note of. The only other thing that I want to do here is that I have these little lines floating in the background that indicate unwellness, so I'm going to go back to my old nib, that one brush that we're really using for our line work, and then just, the feeling of feeling sick, and you don't want to overdo it. let's just turn off the sketch for a second to see that in a more pure sense. It's head is a bit dizzy and his tummy isn't feeling hot. What else can I do here? I think I need to add texture for sure, and maybe try and add back that running there just to reinforce the race. I'm going to give that another go. You're going to just pop a layer over there. Go into my texture brush, the godfather of grain, 300 pixels. Multiply that, take it down to 50 percent. That's a little bit more subtle. Make a new layer here, and continue. I want to get the texture in there, but I don't want to overdo it. It's really just about bringing a little bit of warmth. It is possible to overuse any one of your elements as a gimmick. There's a couple of things that I want to do. I feel like the eyes are a bit too intense, so what I might try is draw those using my dark blue, and he's got his eyes closed, and pain and sorrow or a mix of the two. You might not finish the race. Next thing I'll do here is just try that bib one more time. Maybe make it a little bit bigger. I might modulate the pattern so it can work. I'm actually going to go to my first set, grab that race number, that's all I'm going to need for this. But this is work I've already done. I can just copy that, and then paste it into the shirt. It's a little bit of a call back, and I think that might read nicely. I've avoided having any weight come into that blue stripe there, and I think that does the trick. I'm going to make visible my sketches again. This one looks like fun to do right now. Let's go to mountain head man. We've done one, three to go. Name our new group, call it mental battle. Got the main shape, and this one done. Make that a nice orange, and we fill this in with a shape. Maybe before I get into the complexities of the runner there on the head, I'll draw the eye using the nib, and I'll make this white. This is a little bit of an exception. I'm drawing a full shape, an oval shape with my pen. But I like the rough edge that this eye has, so I'm just going to let that be. That's a bit of a stylistic decision that I'm making, and then just do the same for the eye above. Quick little Photoshop trick for those in Photoshop, what I just did there was I wanted to create this pupil on top, but I wanted it to fit within that shape that I made below. What I do is I draw this pupil at the top, and I want it to be massive in the shape of the eye. I've drawn this pupil separately over top just above the eye shape below, and I just hit Command Option G on the Mac anyway, and it fits right in there. I forgot. I've been using this shortcut for so long, I don't even know what the original function is called, but the keystroke is Command Option G, and that's just a quick way of fitting a top layer within the artwork below. I use that a ton. Moving on, I'm going to start just adding some line work bits. Sometimes I draw all the shapes first, sometimes I go between shapes in line. Just one thing flows to the next naturally. With those ones, I might go white. We'll put those just on a separate layer, and then draw the snow cap on his head. Now, of course that weight is getting lost to the background. I'm going to use texture later to help bring out the edge at the top side or on the contrast at the top here. But we do want that snow. I like how the snow doubles as hair for the guy. Another thing that I want to do is repeat this cheek element that I have here. I think it might work here. Let's just see. I just going to scale that back to 50 percent before blending it with the multiply, and that might work. Of course, we have our trees. I'm going to go back to those after I draw the climber now. The climber sits behind. I'll just add that layer group back here. Of course, I want one of his hands to appear here and I'm going to really abstract the hand here because it's so small but getting each even four fingers might be a little bit too much to fit in there. What I actually might do is just do a matte shape there and draw in a few subtle lines to separate the fingers. It's just too small scale to articulate each finger. This is definitely a shape that I might go back and try and refine over and over, trying to get right. Think it'll be more silhouetted. Just again, I want to really draw attention to the guy, the bigger head and not let this guy be the hero. Although he is really the hero because he's the one doing the climbing and you guys just doing the thinking. I'm going to make his hat red. So I'm going to give him a red brim, maybe draw a little lighter with that to modulate the line thickness a bit. I'm not changing the pixel size of the brush. I'm just making a thinner stroke by changing the pressure and I've allowed that. I am also just going to color in a bit of that red back here and of course it's some straight motif. Just call that back in a subtle way. It could be that it's too much. Don't want to over think it, just keep going. Probably, it's too late. I've over thought it. Now, I just want to draw some shorts. Pants are important. Maybe red shorts. Pop that under the way. I'm going to clean up some of the way this line work looks. I'm actually using the brush as a quick way of making my shape. As long as it looks as clean as my vector shapes, that's really all that matters. This is my first pass, I'll probably have lots to pick on when I make refinements. There's a few things I need to do here, maybe imply some sock. No, too many stripes. Too much. Gives me an idea but I think we'll just leave that there like that. Now I want to take this arm and make sure that pops over the head shape here. I'm just using pathfinder operations to do this. I was going to articulate the fingers here a little bit if I can. No, I don't need a facial expression on him. That backpack is next. Maybe put a touch of blue in here. I'll just use the pen tool to make this shape for his backpack. A running backpack is usually pretty slim, not much room in there for stuff. I do maybe want to include some shoulder strap. Ideally, I would have figured out a lot of this in the sketches. It's a lot easier to work this out through pencil and I feel like the end result would be a lot more resolved if I had worked it out with pencil. But there's a few tricks that I can use here just to get it done. Sometimes when you're working on editorial illustration that is the name of the game. Just there's something I don't like about the stripes. I'm going to erase some and just see what I can do about that. For a second make those shorts a little cleaner. Now, what I'm trying to do here is make it so he has some short sleeve. Maybe I'll give him a sleeve, just help to find his arm a bit more. You might want to get the arm that's in back of him. See if I need to do that or maybe that's too much information, I'll see. It might be hard to be clear. Then the dark blue. Let me just set my settings here different. That's better. Again, I know that I'm breezing through my Photoshop skills here. I'm really trying to just show how I think when I'm finalizing an image, how I'm applying the style that I've developed to these more complex abstract shapes. It's very much similar to what we did in the first set. It's just that sometimes there's a few more intricacies which makes the overall challenge of simplicity and clarity a little more difficult. I know what I need to do. I'm going to try one more time. Probably just I might have to re-sketch some of this but the idea is he's running. Maybe there's just a little bit more of an arm swing happening here. I want to make sure that I'm describing those fingers with some small lines if it works. Very tricky in this small space. Let's just see what happens when we start adding some texture to this. Just to keep going. We have our gray selected, our texture brush. We'll set the layer opacity or blend mode to multiply. We've got our snow back, which is great. We have the top of the mountain back just by the way that shading is there. It might pop a little just there as well to help and add the trees and the clouds. I'm doubting whether those trees are going to look simple against the human there. I'm going to make those blue just to add a bit more of that blue color. Haven't seen a lot of that in this piece. It's just about having one tree, kind of tiny tree up there and then we'll draw that cloud, using this cloud shape as a rough guide, but modifying it to be a little bit bigger, I think. I felt that cloud is a bit too complicated. Sometimes he's got to trust the sketch. I'm going to go back to what I sketched. It looks weird. In this one, I'm going to just quickly use my nib pen to draw a cloud shape. Looks better. Just pop that down to 50 percent. I like the idea of the bird in the sky there. I'm just going to add that. There is our runner. There's definitely a few things I would go back and re-draw the runner there, but for all intents and purposes, I think that works. The next one I'm going to take on is this downhill runner. I forgot what that one was about. This is terrain for terrain. I'm going to draw this main mass of the mountain. That will just give me the groundwork for the rest of the illustration. This one, I haven't used a lot of darker colors yet. I'm going to go with this dark blue and just make sure that she feels nice and refined and just have that snow inside there. Fill it in and wait. I might not need snow up there, but for now, I'm actually going to take not do snow. I'm going to do the path coming down. I think that will be better and just delete that piece a bit there. I think important to this one is that very minimal background. This is one of those spot illustrations that will have a background and I need to tread very carefully here not to get too carried away. It's really about just a gesture of a background. It's supporting the idea in playing second fiddle to the main area of the illustration, which of course is this black mountain [inaudible]. And being a bit fussy with that shape. I think maybe just make these waves a bit lighter by pressing lighter on my styles and then adding some trees to the mix. I'm again just going to these repeat elements to bring unity to the overall set. It's just convenient that I have these stored up in my repertoire of symbols that I bring to a lot of my illustrations and they come really in handy in these smaller scenarios. I'm going to add in just a few of these little rock type shapes, a very stylized ideas of rocks. I'm adding all these elements in here because I'm avoiding drawing the runner guy, which I know I'll need to pay closer attention to and there's lots of little details in there. It can be a lot more inspiring or not inspiring, but a lot more motivating just to take care of some of the easier parts of an illustration first. The inevitable moment has come where I have to draw the guy. Let me just create a layer over the mountain. I've this guy, maybe in that other guy, the mountain climber, I tried to use the little lines to separate his hands. They're about the same size. I'm just going to try maybe having the individual fingers articulated, at least three fingers instead of four will be enough here. And I see which I like, and go back and change them to match later. This guy is wearing those trail shoes, so, of course it's just very scaled back. There's some things that I should probably resolve in the refined sketches before getting this far that I think we'll make this a less elegant drawing than I would like, just in terms of how the gesture looks and how all the parts connect. I think it's not awful yet, so we'll just keep believing in this illustration until we really need to go into revision mode if that comes to it. Just like running an ultra marathon is a mental battle, a lot of illustration is a mental battle as well. You're constantly facing your own doubts about whether what you're working on is good enough. I'm actually feeling that right now. I'm kind of worried that this runner guy isn't super well-formed and I'm doubting it. I could get stuck and just trying to refine, refine, refine. Maybe if I just believe that this is going to work out. Giving yourself the vote of confidence as you go along, just trying it out, committing to seeing it follow through, maybe it won't be as bad as you think and so that's where I'm at right now. Just really trying to get this done and not getting stuck and stalling and spinning my tires and trying to get the perfect form here. Sometimes when I look back at my work, I like those more spontaneous things that I had less control over in the moment which I valued less in the moment. I'm maybe banking on that this time. Truth be told, I have also had faith in illustrations that did not work out and then I had to go back. I'd say most of the time it's the other way around. It's your doubts were wrong. And so you have to pay attention and be open to trying something, committing to it, and possibly being wrong, but also possibly being rewarded for your stick-to-witness. I'm going to keep going. Motivational lecture over. Pot that hat cap. Here's the idea of the runners had or the baseball cap is a nice little recurring motif I can use within the set used to say this is a runner. He's in sports mode, wearing his hat. He is outside. I'm going to go back to the blue. That's easier, more straightforward. I'm actually going to reduce the amount of detail on this guy. I've decided that mitten hands win, it's a stylistic decision. And as long as I'm consistent with what I've done elsewhere, that's what's important. I could draw this with a shape, I remember making that decision with a little tiny heart in the GPS watch. So let's just do this with a more pen tool shape. Does that work? Does it conflict with the quality of the hat brim? Let me just redraw that hat brim. Bring it up a bit. Again, just for shortcut, everybody's 306 or maybe this guy's 630. Maybe this is a female here. See if I can make that work. There we go. Maybe I can put a bit more dirt on this path and I'm going to need to add some texture. Add a bit of that texture over top the path, and that's exactly what I needed. I'm not sure if I need texture inside the person., maybe just a very small touch. Not much is necessary. Just really not much because it's so small. That I'm going to leave the texture on the hillside here that's going to do the heavy lifting of texture, and so it is a nice counterbalance to the dominantly orangey red illustrations over here, and we have our third concept spot illustration. It's just one more to go, and then we're done. After illustrating for a long time, you may tend to get a little bit impatient with yourself and rush, if you have the time, give yourself a break and come back to it with fresh eyes and the willpower to keep working. Sometimes I see new opportunities over the sketch, even if it's a refined sketch to clarify my images and make the shapes look better, and that's what I'm doing here. I'm overriding my sketch a little bit. Sometimes I have to trust my sketch and sometimes I allow myself to override the sketch. I'm going to go with orange. It's okay. Everybody's orange now. Maybe that's my color for people. We're going to define this hand with a shape over top one, and the eye, just like we did with our other fella, him looking more down. Probably also want to get this span days will be we're going to bring in that cyan again, copy and paste that. That has stuck behind the line arc. Cheek color here. Make it lighter so it doesn't dominate. I'm just going to add the hand. He's sad so he's babying himself, he's holding his arm. Just sometimes my body parts are an anatomically correct. The fingers are a bit too irregular, one to another, and that means just thickening up this finger and thinning out this finger, and evening out everything. Near to last thing we're going to just draw the guys watch, and this is just an opportunity again to emphasize what we're really with what we're in the theme of this set which is running. Of course bring a watch and I can maybe just borrow what I did on this one. Here we go. Again, assists about letting the paper color come through, and I think this should technically be white, but I'll just let it be dark for now. Another opportunity for lettering, and just make this shrink. I'm actually going to go back to white and make this lettering the red. Just use some texture, multiply it, set it back 50 percent, so with Band-Aid brand packages usually have like kind of a repeating element like that, and then like a blue tab. Just get that in there and you suddenly get a band aid package. I'm going to not add anymore band-aids. That's a lot of detail. I'm certainly not going to add the little sticky parts. I'm going to turn my sketches off or hide them and just look at the set and now just see how they look. Is there anything off? I didn't add texture to the guy and you can really see how the texture adds a quality to the other pieces, and by not having that texture and the guy, it really feels left out. I think all the sets couldn't work without texture, with a little bit of adjustment, but I have made that stylistic decision to put texture in all of my pieces here, and I'm just going to commit to that and doing everything the same, now I have to get that texture also in the arm there, I'll come to that in a second. But just a subtle texture, it's really just about adding a little bit of dimension, and there that texture really just brings it in. I see just this awkward a little bit with the three's coming behind the watch strap. I think I do need to remedy that. By making something different here. I could just erase that part of the three and I think that does job. Here, this has been bothering me for awhile. The way these stripes crisscross each other, I don't like that. That's a little bit more elegant. Fewer things going on in this small sized illustration. There is a bit of crisscross going on there. Something that I can just avoid by not having the stripes alternate at that exact frequency there. Little bit of irregularity is okay, but there I really cleaned up that guy. His shirt, the way the backpack is just seamlessly integrating into the pattern just makes it a lot cleaner. There we have our spot illustrations. What I'd like to do next is just see how they look when viewed alongside the first set of illustrations we made. I'm just going to open that up and I guess our first show running set. Now we're going to take a look these shape up and look together. There we have a set of illustrations. The first set is simple objects, and then the next one is much more complex, abstract complex, and these together can work as a set or on their own, and they're nice square shapes which are perfect for sharing, especially on Instagram, you can use the hashtag sweet spots illustration, and of course share your final illustrations on the class projects page. It's hard to believe that we actually have finished two sets of spot illustrations. I have mine here before me, and I'm just super happy with the way they turned out. I love that I just had this minimum style palette that I was able to apply both to simple objects and then to more complex abstract concepts. Now this is a good opportunity to look at all of them together and make sure there's consistency. Since we're learning here, there's nothing wrong with having inconsistency. We're learning how to have a consistent style and for people who are just beginning and learning software and all that, those all kinds of variables, there's going to be some growing pains, but of course, everything is giving you insights for what you would do next. For me, I'm looking is their style shift are things that I did in the beginning, shifting and changing over time. For instance, did I start clumsily at first and not really know what I was doing, but then I found my groove and after that point, my other illustrations have much more confidence to them, maybe the reverse happened, maybe I came into it really fresh and then got kind of tired along the way and stopped really applying my enthusiasm to the illustration, sometimes that happens. Overall what we're looking for is that consistency or lack of consistency, and that's really what we want to even out in our set. We just illustrated two sets of spots. I mean that's a lot of work. Congratulations guys. I had a lot of fun making these illustrations, and I hope you guys did too. 17. Conclusion!: All right guys. Thanks for following along through all of my lessons and lectures, and of course, for working through the project. I hope you learned a lot and had a lot of fun watching through the videos and making your own Sweet Spot illustrations. If you have any questions along the way, please ask me. You know that I love your questions. This was a much more advanced class than my previous ones, and I've left out a lot about what I was doing on the technical side. I did this so we could focus on the overarching areas of style in concept. Please write your questions here in the discussions part of the class page. That's the best place for me to find them and of course, hopefully for them to be of use to others wondering the same thing. When you've done the project or even if you're just partway through, please share what you've made on the class project page. This is the best way to encourage one another in the Skillshare community. Just by seeing other projects, others will be motivated to make their own. Of course, when you post your projects, you can get feedback from your fellow students and of course, from me. Every student who posts a project on my classes gets a personal feedback directly from me. As always, if you end up sharing anything you did on this class or as a result of taking it on Instagram, please use the hashtag sweetspotsillustration. That way, I can really keep up with what you're doing beyond this class. I love seeing my students work in the wild. Thank you so much for taking Sweet Spots. I'll see you in the next class.