Use Procreate to turn a Photo into an Art Piece | Victoria Johnston | Skillshare

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Use Procreate to turn a Photo into an Art Piece

teacher avatar Victoria Johnston, Explorer - pixels, paint and pen

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

8 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials List

    • 3. What Makes a Great Photo Reference

    • 4. Very Basic Copyright Guidelines

    • 5. Create the Color Palette

    • 6. Creating Your Art Piece Step 1

    • 7. Creating Your Art Piece Final Steps

    • 8. Exporting and Some Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Personally, I think there is nothing more satisfying then creating a piece of art that has personal meaning and hanging it in your home.  Some art is really easy to create provided you have someone to teach you the basics. Once you know the basics your own creativity will take over and you will have the confidence and skill set to create your own stunning art pieces.

You will need a basic understanding of the Procreate App, how to create a new document, import a photo, and create layers, choose brushes and changing colors.

The process videos will walk you through the following:

Materials needed

What makes a good source photo

A Few words on Copyright issues

Creating your color palette

How to use layers in Procreate to create and color each part of the design


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Victoria Johnston

Explorer - pixels, paint and pen


Hello, I'm Victoria and I apparently have profound commitment issues, at least where art is concerned.

I grew up with a darkroom in our home and learned from an early age how to develop film. I went with my father on his photo shoots growing up and will always love photography. I also love traditional art, specifically pen, ink and watercolors.   I started working in Photoshop and created extremely layered pieces.



My favorite subjects are dogs.  I've done several custom portraits for owners and these can take weeks to complete.  Each begins with a photo and multiple digital programs to morph a photo into something that looks like a traditional art medium.  The one I included here is one of my first.&n... See full profile

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1. Introduction: My name is Victoria Johnston. Welcome to my class on taking an ordinary picture and turning it into an art piece. Using an iPad and the procreate, you'll need to have a basic understanding of the procreate app to include importing a photo , creating layers, picking brushes and changing colors. If you're new to procreate, there are a number of excellent introductory classes on this application. Here on skill share you can take, I will walk you through the entire process. I even provide the color palette and reference photo I used to create this original artwork . I'll cover what makes a good photo reference of guidelines regarding copyrights and step by step instructions to creating the peace sticking out my tongue. So let's get started. 2. Materials List: To complete this project, you will need to have an iPad, an apple pencil or a stylist that will work on iPad. And there are several the procreate app, a reference photo and a color palette. I've provided the color palette I used so you can create the identical color way. Feel free to use whatever colors you would like. I often pick colors just sort of on the fly and based on what appeals to me in the moment. But if you want to have exactly what I did, the color palette is there for your use. I've included both the color palette and the reference photo as a download, which you confined in the about section. Feel free to use my photo or one of your own. If you would prefer in the next section, I'll talk about what I think makes a good photo reference. 3. What Makes a Great Photo Reference: what makes a good reference photo. In my personal opinion, it has some or all of the following attributes. It's clean, simple. Has a central focus can be humorous. We're playful in the photo reference I gave you for your project. In this class, you have a picture of a draft sticking out his tongue. It's not technically a great photo, but I thought it would lend itself well to this technique. Here is a before and after of a very young bull terrier puppy who could card Lee contain her joy at being in a ranch for the very first time and meeting all the other animals that live there. The last five photos I took from a free photo site, which I will share in the next video segment. I personally think all of these Votto's would be good candidates for a base reference photo . Now that you have an idea of at least what I think makes a good base reference photo, let's talk about copyright and using photos that you yourself did not take, and we'll cover that in the next video 4. Very Basic Copyright Guidelines: before we begin the actual process, I want to cover some basic copyright guidelines in regard to reference photos. The best practice is to use your own photo. But a word of caution needs to be said. Here is well, because if you're going to sell the final product and there is a human in it, you should have a model release, especially if there's a child involved. If your art piece should go all Harry Potter and you used a friend of yours as the base image, you could end up with a bit of a mess. They might claim that you never told them that you were going to sell the art and that since you used their likeness, you need to pay them their fair share of the proceeds. If you are not using your own photo and using one of the two main free photographic sites, there are three main categories to be aware of. Commercial use no attribution required Is the one you really want to look for if you're not going to use your own photo. This is sometimes referred to as being in the Creative Commons. This is a photo without a copyright the author has essentially given it to everyone to use as they see fit. Sometimes you will see commercial use. Okay, but credit the photographer or attribute the reference photo to him. When I see this, I move on because it's oftentimes very hard to properly credit the photographer on an art piece. If you're uploading to print on demand sites, personal use only is another frequent label on photographs and scrapbooks kits from designers, and it's pretty straightforward. It's for your own personal use. You can hang it on your wall. You can make it into a card you can give it to your mother. Those sort of things. The giraffe reference photo in this class I'm giving to you to use to create the art piece that then you can hang on your wall. But it's not for you to turn around and then use as a sale item that you're selling to other people. Editorial use only are the kinds of photos of celebrities, the things you see in newspapers, they could be on websites for descriptive purposes. The oddest things are copyrighted here. The Empire State Building is copyrighted or trademarked. However, I got this photo off of picks Obey, and it was clearly labelled commercial use no attribution required. So sometimes copyrights ca NBI a little confusing, so use your common sense when you're picking a reference photo. So where do you get commercial free no attribution required photos, particularly if you can take your own. I've listed the two best sites I know four free photos. You do have to create an account, but there is no required fees between these two sites. You have probably over two million photos to pick from. Yes, you'll find people and Children in these photos. Which brings me to some final thoughts on copyrights. Use your common sense. If it's for your own personal use, you're probably fine. If you plan to sell the final art piece, ask yourself, Does somebody else have a prior claim to this Mickey Mouse? Disney? Um Harry Potter J. K. Rolling. Many of them are very protective of their original intellectual or artwork. So just be careful and realized that copyrights air far trickier and far more complicated than this sort of overview that I gave you. But there are plenty of photos to choose from, and you can find lots of stuff to create from. So let's go to picking our color pilot in the next video 5. Create the Color Palette: let's begin by importing and creating the palette you'll use to create this particular art . Select photo. Import your color palette from where you saved it. Tap on the color palette in the top, right hand hit the plus sign named the New Palette Giraffe and click Done. Select each color by holding your finger over it and then tapping in the palate you just created. This will give you all of the colors you need to create this piece of art. Next video will create the canvas, import the reference photo and begin the very first layer where lay down the spots of the giraffe. See you there. 6. Creating Your Art Piece Step 1 : it's time to create your art piece. I create a new layer by hitting the plus sign, scrolling down until I find a square layer and it will open automatically, at which point I go to add. Insert a photo. Choose the reference photo that you downloaded, and it will automatically open. De. Select the little blue arrow at the top. Select the layers, open the reference and reduce it's opacity to about 40%. Create a new layer by hitting the plus sign, and now we're going to create the spots on the giraffe. Tap the color picker. Choose the rust color closed that open up the brush picker under calligraphy, you'll find a mono online. That's the one I like to use. Make sure that you're on a new layer and not on your reference layer. Begin to outline the spots on the giraffe. Now I've used a very broad monoline pen, so it's easier for you to see. And if I drag the color down from the top right hand, it will automatically filled those spots. So at this point, you just need to outline and color. Fill the spots on the giraffe. In the next video, we'll build the colors of the giraffe layer by layer, so I'll see you in the next video 7. Creating Your Art Piece Final Steps: Now that you've put all of the spots on the giraffe where you want them to be at 1/3 layer and turn off the layer with the spots, you're gonna take the background color, and you're gonna gently outline the entire giraffe. Now, I've increased the size of the brush so you can actually see this, but you can use a smaller brush to get more detail. Unfortunately, you can't see it. If I do that with this, go ahead and just circle around the entire giraffe so that the entire it's just basic body of the giraffe. And then you're going to take the, um, color that you're using and draw it down, filling the entire giraffe. You will then create a new layer and turn off the background layer, pick the color purple for the tongue and gently outlined the tongue. So now we have the base of the giraffe, and we also have the spots of the giraffe, but clearly they need to be switched around. I'm gonna take the base color and put it below two spots and turn the spots back on. Now we can see that we have the base. The spots in the tongue of the giraffe. The next thing we need to work on is clearly the nostril and the I. I've created a new layer and moved it to the top of the stack. I've also turned off all of the other layers that we've created. I've picked the dark color for the I. I've also reduced the size of my brush. Eyes can be difficult, so take your time. You can always undo it and redo it until you get something that you like. Make sure that you leave a little bit of lightness because every I has a light point in it . Really. I always find eyes to be very tricky. It's one of the reasons I always work in layers, because if I'm mess a layer up, it's easy to get rid of and start over again. So now that the eye is done, I'm going to create a new layer. I'm going to pick the color for the nostril, and I'm gonna gently draw in again what I think is a good rendition of a nostril for a giraffe. So again, take your time. At this point, we have most of the bits and pieces that make the giraffe. If we turn on all of the layers, we now have the majority of the giraffe. And now all we have to do is the shadow work. So I'm going to turn off the base layer of the giraffes of the reference photo can show through. I'm also going to create a new layer and picked my shadow color along with the monoline brush. Personally, I find shadows tricky so often times. I may do this a couple of times. Um, because I wanted to look really good, and so consequently, I may erase redo until I get it looking exactly the way I want. So take your time. Remember, you're doing this on layers so you can correct the layer without doing any kind of damage to the rest of your work. Again, I've brought in the fill color, and if you're place that you're trying to fill is really small, I just throw it in. So now I have the general shadow and I'm going to turn back on the background layer, and I'm not exactly happy with the shadow. So I'm going to go back to my shadow layer and I'm gonna make some minor corrections with the monoline pen just to get it a little more the way I want it to be. The final step is to actually create the background. So I'm going to create a new layer, and I'm gonna bring it all the way down below the background layer of the giraffe. I'm also going to turn off the reference photo I no longer needed. So I'm going to go up and picked the background color, which is something of a teal. I'm going to go to my brushes and I'm gonna pick something under the painting category and I'm going to go for a dry brush. I want something with a lot of texture and because the layer is below all the other layers , I don't have to worry about brushing over the giraffe that I've already created. It will be below our draft picture. This is a little thin for me. It's OK, but it's a little thin, so I'm going to go over and increase the size of the brush. I've already increased the opacity, so I'm just going to brush until I get to a place where I just like the way it looks. You could pick more than one color and do this. But essentially, this is your final piece and you're completely done. Congratulations. 8. Exporting and Some Final Thoughts: So now that you've complete your art pizza, you need to save it. So go up to tools. Choose share. Save it. In this case is a J. Peg. Save it to images, and you're all done just to recap the process. Start with a good reference photo, something that lends itself well to this kind of technique. Respect copyrights, use picks, obey and unspool Ash. If you don't have your own photo toe, work with layers are your friends. You can move them up and down. You have a much easier way of correcting mistakes or reworking one portion of the picture without damaging any of the other layers. Air truly your friend and finally experiment. Have fun, Be colorful. It's only pixels. With all that said, I'm really looking forward to seeing what you created post in the project section. Enjoy. Have fun