Word Illustrations: A Creative Drawing Project | Emily Armstrong | Skillshare

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Word Illustrations: A Creative Drawing Project

teacher avatar Emily Armstrong, The Pencil Room Online

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

11 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Drawing Different Types of Flags & Banners

    • 4. Trying Different Text Styles

    • 5. Image Brainstorm

    • 6. Composition Ideas

    • 7. Creating A Final Design

    • 8. Inking Your Design

    • 9. Different Materials For Color

    • 10. Adding Color To Your Design

    • 11. What Next?

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About This Class

When was the last time when you were creative just for the sake of it? There's nothing better for your mental health than taking time out from the stresses of life to just draw from imagination. This is a fun and uplifting creative drawing project that takes you through the steps to create an illustration combining text and image to convey a positive message or mood.

With no pressure to draw straight lines or picture perfect images, you can exercise your imagination and embrace your own natural style to produce a unique and personal drawing.

I'll show you how to draw a type of flag or banner which will contain the main word of your illustration. Then I'll take you through the steps to choose a word and give it a particular mood or style. Finally we will brainstorm and sketch some imagery and layouts and combine them into one final design. Feel free to use my theme or come up with your own!

The great thing about this class is it motivates you to take some creative time out to play with visual ideas in your sketchbook before showing you how to bring them together in a cohesive illustration.

Meet Your Teacher

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Emily Armstrong

The Pencil Room Online


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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Emily from The Pencil Room Online, and today, I'm going to take you through another creative drawing project designed to exercise your creativity and develop your individual illustration style. I teach a range of different drawing styles, from realistic drawing to imaginative drawing. Sometimes, it's nice to just take some time to be creative without having any pressure to produce something that looks realistic or makes particular requirements. In this Happy Banners Creative Drawing Project, I'll take you through the steps to create an illustration that combines hand-drawn text and images to convey a positive message. I'll show you how to draw different types of banners, how to develop text styles, and I'll give you tips on how to enhance your illustration as we bring it all together in a final design. Treat this class as motivation and direction to get started, but feel free to bring your own ideas to it at any point during the process. This is your time to create, so let's get started. 2. Materials: You can get by with just a pencil and a piece of paper for this project, but few things might make it easier: an eraser, a black ink, fine liner, make sure it's waterproof. You could use your sketchbook. If you would like to do a more final artwork at the end, you could use a heavier piece of card or [inaudible] paper. If you'd like to add color, you'll need something to color with; colored pencils, markers, watercolor paint, whatever you chose. Last of all, make sure you bring your imagination. 3. Drawing Different Types of Flags & Banners: To prepare for creating a happy banners illustration, we'll start by practicing drawing different types of banners. I'm going to draw two different types, I'll draw a ribbon banner and a flag banner, and I'll repeat each one several times. The banners we draw will be in a 3D style, meaning there will be a layer at the front and several folds moving back into space. I'll take you through how to draw a few of these, then you can come up with some of your own. For our first banner, I'll start with one edge of the banner, draw a shallow curve along the bottom, add the other edge of the banner and then join a shallow curve along the top that's parallel to that bottom curve. This is the front surface of our banner. Now we can add in a fold at the back by drawing a gentle S shape coming from each side of that top curve and adding on the end piece of the banner. In this example, I'm styling it like the cut end of a ribbon. Now we've created the illusion that the banner has a fold on either side in two layers, a front layer and a back layer. This next one I'll start with the long edges of the banner. You can decide how long you want it to be and then draw a shallow curve upwards along the top and a shallow curve upwards along the bottom of the banner. At each end of that bottom edge we're going to add an S shape. This one here will be a backward S and then draw in the back fold of the banner. Then add an S shape to the left side and add in that ribbon end. We need to add in a straight vertical line here. I forgot to do it on that first banner. You add this straight vertical line to show where the ribbon on the banner is folding back on itself. You can see that the second banner we drew is tilted upwards and the very first banner we drew is tilted downwards as if you're looking at it from above. Let's draw a flag banner in a similar style as if it's folding back on itself. Draw the front part of the flag and along the top line add a gentle curve and continue this into that S shape line to start that fold back. Add in the vertical and then complete the rest of the back layer. You could also add in a flag pole if you want to. For this next variation, I'm going to add an extra layer, so the flag will have three layers from front to back. It will have two folds. Start the same way by creating the front part of the flag with a gentle S curve along the top. Make sure the top and bottom lines are always parallel and then add in the second layer. To create three layers, just going to repeat what we did for the first label. Adding in an S curve at the top and drawing the final third layer at the back. Keep that curve continuing on around that top edge so you get the appearance or the illusion of a flag that might be waving in the wind. The more of these you draw, the more you get used to the format and be able to draw them quickly. Sometimes at first I can do your hidden a little bit to think about what's the front layer of the flag, what's the back layer? How do I get it to look like it's floating in a certain way? If you get stuck at any point, just pause the video so you can copy the drawing. Let's keep practicing and we'll create a more complex ribbon style banner with three layers. Draw the top and the bottom each of the banner and then start adding those S curves on each side. One will be a forward facing S and one will be a backward S. Add in the second layer on each side and then continue that curve along the top each so you have another S bent to create a third layer right at the back. This is a three layer banner. We've got that front layer, second layer, and then the third layer right at the back. It's got two folds in it. Now that we've tried some different banners by drawing the outlines for them, we can enhance them so that they appear to have more movement and depth. To do this, we'll add shading on the banner, we'll add some shadow lines and we can add thickness to the banner edge. Go through and add in some textures and some shadows to create a bit more depth. You can use lines to give the idea that you might be getting a bit of movement in the flag or to show where there's a shadow area and you can also darken up the lines at the base of the banners. Generally the top edges will be lighter and the bottom edges will be darker. Try using horizontal lines that follow the curve of the banner to enhance its form. As soon as you add these darker lines, it gives the illustration some white and some depth and it starts to come to life. Another way to enhance the form of the banner is to create some thickness by doubling up one of the edges. It feels like the ribbon is a bit more three-dimensional. Think about which way the banner is titled. This banner is tilted downwards, so the top edge is visible and this is where I'm adding a double line to make it appear like it's thick. Then again, I'm adding in some darker shadows, lower down and also closer to where the folds are. As a good general rule, if this was a real object, the light would be hitting the top surface and perhaps the front of the banner, depending on which direction the light is coming from. Any way where we figure the light is not reaching as much, we can add in some shadows. I'm adding in some shadows using crosshatching is another method of shading just to try something different out. You can see that I'm shading just the inner folds of the banner, not the outer edges of the fold. Where you imagine the light would be hitting it's important to keep a highlight area or a white area. To keep that sense of 3D. You can darken up different parts of the edge, the most natural area to darken up is the lower edge of the banner. But you can also try varying the thickness and darkness of your line to create a more interesting design. On this flag, I'm going to do the same thing that I did to create thickness of the banner just by adding a double line along the top edge. Then select some edges to enhance, make them darker, make them bolder and you can add some lines on the surface of the flag as well that follow the curve so they help to enhance the movement and the 3Dness, that illusion of 3D that we're going for. You can see that when you add these bolder lines in, even just with a pencil, that everything starts to pop and it feels a bit more interesting, it's not quite as flat. Any drawing that we do for this project, we're going to start off with basic outlines and then we're going to go through and add more detail, add patterns, add textures and enhance our drawings. If you've been following along with me enjoying the same style banners and flags, then take some time now just to come up with one design of your own. It may just mean that you changed the direction that it's going. All of mine are going across. You could have one going up, could be going on a diagonal or anything else you can think of. 4. Trying Different Text Styles: Now that we are well practiced to drawing different types of banners, we need to decide what we're going to write on the banner. We will experiment with the style of the text that we use. This is where the happy part comes in, on one side of your page make a column and start writing down some words that have positive meaning to you. They can be really broad words at the moment. You can write down the same words as me if you like, and then see if you can come up with a couple of your own. Think about what are some positive states of mind? What are positive emotions? What are some things that make you happy? Keep going until you have a list of at least six words. I've got peace, freedom, love, like I said, they're quite big general words, but we're going to narrow them down in a minute. Serenity, joy, and create. Some other examples might be smile, laughter, fun. music. Anything that has a positive meaning to you. Then choose one that resonates with you. I'm going to choose the word freedom. Now we're going to test out some different text styles to use with your chosen word. The first design will be very basic and then we can get more creative. Start just by lightly writing out the word and thinking about the way you'd like to space the letters, then you can use those leaders as a guide. Go back over and start to block them out. Drawing a little bit darker as you edge, double lines so that you end up with basic block letters. You can see I'm not following exactly the first lines that I put down, I'm just using them as a guide for the spacing. This is a hand drawn illustration. I wouldn't get too worried about things being perfect. It's okay for them to be wobbly, it's okay to have evidence of the hand of the artist in them. For the next style, I'm going to start with handwriting. Begin by writing the word out lightly to space out the letters. You could write it in your normal handwriting, or you could try something a little bit fancier, especially if you're good at calligraphy. Then using the letters as a guide, go back over and start to block them out again. Drawing a little bit darker, and this time think about joining up the letters. If you're wanting to create the script style text. Each letter joins onto the letter that follows it. You're welcome to copy the exact styles that I'm doing here. We'll see if you can come up with some of your own more interesting styles. I'm definitely not a typeface expert. I'm just looking for the styles that have a different feeling to them. Try writing the word in different ways. Experiment with the shape and the size of the letters and then choose the ones you like to turn into block letters. Then once you've got the basic block letters, you can go through and make any adjustments that you want to. I'm working in pencil. That means that we can erase and rework as we go. We can add details, try out different things. Remember, this is just a practice so it doesn't matter if your page is a bit messy, or your lines are sketchy. We're just experimenting in generating ideas at this stage. This next one, I'm going to try something a little bit more quirky by combining uppercase letters and lowercase letters. Then once again, I'll go through and turn them into block letters. We figure out the spacing first and then we can go back and bulk them out a little bit. I'm keeping this one really thin, just feels like the right fit for these letters. Our aim is to create type of feeling or mood with the style that we're using. Think about your work, think about how it feels. For freedom, I want to create a mood that playful and happy. I'm going to try rounded edges now like the bubble letters. I think that's what we used to call them when I was growing up they used to do as a kid. These bubble letters may be a little bit too thin. You can make them as thick, as chunky as you want. The thicker they are, the more fun and cute they feel. Now that we've got a range of different styles, we can go back through and elaborate on them. Give them some surface detail, add some depth. There are a couple of different ways you can think about this. You could think about the letters in terms of perspective. For example, if you imagine you're looking at them slightly from above into the side, then you'll be able to see the top edge of the letters, and you'll also be able to see one side of each letter. That's what I'm doing here in this top variation. You can imagine that each letter is a type of cube. You're looking at it slightly from one side and slightly from above. The second way you could think about adding depth to your text is by adding a shadow. You can think about a light source coming from one direction. If it's coming from the left here, then everything on the opposite side of that light source is going to be darker. It means everything to the right of the letters and everything underneath the different edges of the letters is going to have a shadow line there and you can make that as thick or thin as you like. This third variation of text is a bit more quirky and I'm just going to go through and add some scratchy lines to give it a loose sketched kind of a feel. You could try adding patterns to the surface. You could add different line quality. Some parts can be thick, some parts can be thin. Anything that will add some more interest to those outlines of the letters. For the bubble text, I'm going to draw in a stronger outline and then I will add some marks to the surface. It could be like reflection marks, they could be scuff marks, just to make the surface a little bit more interesting. By rounding off the edges a bit more and heading in those reflection marks, it makes them look a little bit like they could be balloons. I do like the idea of them being like balloon letters and so I'm going to go through and add more defined reflection, like a highlight on each letter. Again, you can think about where the light is coming from and position your highlights or reflections, so they're in similar places on each letter. 5. Image Brainstorm: We've got our banner styles. We've got some text styles. Now we need to brainstorm what it is we're going to draw. What images can we add that are going to represent the word that we've chosen to use? Create another column on the side of your page and write down the word that you've chosen. Then ask yourself what that word means to you. What other words come to mind when you think of it? When I think of freedom, I think of the outdoors, I think of the ocean. My idea of freedom is probably very different to your idea of freedom. It's going to be different for everyone. There's no wrong answers here. You could think about the opposite of what that word means as well. Anything that comes to mind when you think of that word is worth writing down because then we can go through and choose the best ones, the ones that make the most sense to us, or the ones that just resonate with us, the words that we like. With your list of words, if you go through and look at each of those words that you've got and do another association, what comes to mind when you think of each one of those words individually? When you've got a list of things associated with your chosen word, the next step is to gather some more specific answers. Choose one word or phrase on your list, and then write down any physical things that you can think of, things that could become drawings. I've chosen the word ocean. That is something that's really important to me. I really enjoy the ocean, and it is a place where I feel free. I'm writing down anything that I personally associate with the ocean. I'm trying to keep it to physical things, things that we can see, tangible things that we can turn into drawings. Again, I'm just thinking of anything that comes to mind. It may not be something that I actually want to draw, but it may be and you don't know until you write these things down. When you've got those specific words, use the other side of your page here to start to draw them. If you want to, you could find reference images to use, but I think it's nice to draw from your imagination. You might end up with something a bit quirky and perhaps not realistic looking. But to me that's way more interesting than a copy of a photograph or something with just boring hard edges. By drawing from imagination, it also means that you'll be bringing your own unique style to the drawings. I've drawn a surfboard and umbrella. I'm going to go down my list. I'm going to draw a sun. Now I'm going to draw a beach towel. If drawing from imagination is something that's really new for you, don't let it paralyze you. Just start drawing something the way you think it might go, and then you can edit it, go over top, or leave it as a quirky, not so perfect drawing. Even if you think some of the images are not going to be suitable for your illustration, still draw them. I'm probably not going to use a beach towel in my design. But until you draw them, you don't really know what the result will be. It's like a visual brainstorming. You don't know what images might be hiding away in your head until you get them down on paper. Like we've done with everything else so far in this project, once you've got a basic outline, you can go through and elaborate on your drawings, add in some gesture marks, some dark outlines, some textures, some shadows. You can see I'm adding in some sand, and then on the umbrella here I'm adding in maybe like wrinkles or ruffles in the texture. Little things like this really help to take a drawing from a plane line drawing to something much more visually interesting. You can use lines, you can use dots, you could use crosshatching. If you come across a drawing that you've created that resonates with you and you're thinking this might be the one that I use, then try it in a couple of different ways. Maybe you end up choosing the first one that you did. But you're not going to know if it's any better than the other things that you could come up with until you put down more options on paper. I'm having a go at drawing some different styles of waves. I think that a wave is what I'd like to include in my final illustration. It goes well with the word freedom, and it's something that resonates with me. It's much better to have a choice of drawings. Sometimes the third or fourth drawing you do is the best one. Sometimes it's the first one. But you won't know until you get all those drawings down on paper. Everything we're doing here is a visual research, brainstorming with words and then brainstorming with images as well, and experimenting so that we can choose the best possible solution. Just adding in some detail to this wave here, making some of the lines a bit bolder, adding in some shadows, making any changes that I think it needs. You can see, I'm not rubbing anything out, I'm just drawing straight over the top. 6. Composition Ideas: Before we put our image and texts together, I'm going to take you through one more step to test out some basic compositions using different shapes. This can help to add a bit of a frame for your illustration and it can give it some more structure. Go ahead and draw a circle and a triangle quite quickly and loosely, they don't have to be perfect, and then position a banner somewhere in relation to their shape. I'm putting this banner in front of the circle, it's lowered down, and I'm imagining that my illustration might go in that larger part of the circle above and behind the banner. Once you've done a really loose sketch, you could add in some more definite lines. Make it a little bit more clearer and then have a go at another shape as well. For this triangle shape, I'm going to add in a flag banner, but I'm angling it across the triangle shape. If there is a shape that feels like it might have potential, you could try it a few different times. I'm repeating the triangle shape here. I'm repeating the flag as well, but trying it with just the two layers instead of the three layers so it's a slight variation of the first triangle that I did. Next, I'm going to try a semicircle, and I'm going to add in the basic banner shape along the bottom of it, and then drawing that second layer with a banner folds back on itself. This one almost looks like a rising sun. The shapes in the background can become a framework for where you place your images. You could also start with a banner instead of a shape, and then think about how you could add a shape frame behind the banner. I'm going to add a circle shape behind this banner, and I've placed it slightly off to this side. It's a bit more of an unconventional design, it's not symmetrical. Play around with these a little bit. Change them as you go, if you see something that could be improved. Don't spend too much time on them. It is just to give yourself some more options when we go to put all of these things that we've been working on together into one illustration. You could turn all of these compositions upside down and see how they work, that way up, just as another option. 7. Creating A Final Design: All right, how are you feeling out there? Now is the time to bring all of this together into a single illustration. We're going to combine a shape and banner layout with a style of text in one or more images. I'm going to go straight ahead and draw out my shape and position my banner of choice. I've chosen the circle, and I'm going to place a banner down towards the bottom of the circle. It's tilting upward slightly, almost as if it's following the front surface of this circle or a sphere. I'm just writing out my word very lightly to space it out, to make sure it's going to fit on my banner. Then I'm going to come back to that. We're just creating a light sketch with pencil, and then after that you could either ink and color it here in your sketchbook or you could trace onto a stronger piece of paper. I did really enjoy during the wave, and so I'm using the wave as the main part of my illustration. I'm going to go ahead and combine some images as I go based on whatever I created in my experimentation. But if you feel that you need some more planning, then you could do a couple of preparation sketches for this stage as well. Or you can just treat this as a practice one. If you're working in pencil, and you've got an eraser nearby, you could do this three or four different times, just erasing out different elements, putting in new elements. I'm adding in a sun behind the wave. I'm going to turn the circle shape that I started with and to a bit more of a frame element. You could use something round if you like to trace. I'm just doing this freehand, and I'm drawing an inner circle as well. So it's going to create a circle border around my image. I'm erasing any lines that I don't want, and now I need to go through and complete that banner design. It was just a placeholder to start with, so I can make sure I hit the ticks in the right way, but I'm editing in those ribbon ins, just doing a two layer ribbon banner. I've got my shape layout with images and the banner, I need to stylize my ticks now, and I'm going to go with the bubble ticks because I feel like it goes well with the idea of fun and the sun. You can see that I'm adjusting as I go, I'm just using that initial Lisa layout as a guide to the spacing. I'm not going directly over the ticks that I had lightly drawn in. I'm just using it as a spacing guide. Don't be afraid to sketch and adjust things over top as you go along. You can always rubbed out the lines you don't want later, and you can also trace this to a fresh piece of paper if it start to get a bit too messy. I'm going to trace mine onto a thicker piece of paper. This is a 230 GSM smooth card, and I'm going to go around my design and my sketchbook and darken up the lines, making a clear single line, so that I'll be able to see exactly what I want to trace when I put it up against the other piece of the paper. When I've done this, I put the card over the page and hold it up to the light, so I'll be able to see through it. The pencil I'm using is a 2B pencil. It's really good. General pencil, means you can draw a quite light if you use a light hand, but you can also push hard and get a really nice strong dark line when you need to. Darken up any of the main lines that you want to keep. Then you see when I place this over top and just let some light shine through it, I can see the design. So you could take yours up to a window and trace around your design in, just make sure you use a really light pencil when you do that. 8. Inking Your Design: I've traced my image and I've made a few modifications. I've added thickness around the bottom each of the banner with a double line. I'm adding in a few drops here from the wave and you can see that I added in some lines around the sun as well. Those are just things that came to me as I was tracing the image. So you can add anything at any time. You can, of course, add things even when you're inking in your lines as well and that's what I'm going to do now. I've got a fine line of a pin. It's a waterproof pin and if you're going to do watercolor later on, its really important to make sure now that any materials that you use are waterproof. Now, I'm going to go around all of my lines nice and carefully and slowly so they'll have smooth edges and smooth outlines. If you want something that's more sketchy or in a particular style, then go for it. But take your time with this step. I'm not worried about things being wonky, but I do want to make sure I've got my final lines in the place that I want them. I'm moving a bit more slowly now and keeping that nice single continuous line going. At some point we can add darker lines in. I'm just doing a little bit here on the text to give me a feel for what it's going to look like. But I'll go around the rest of my design and I'll speed up the video here so that you can see the process. I'm going to go around all of my other pin to lines and you might see me add in a few extra details if I think of them as I go. When you've got everything outlined with a fine liner, you can go through and add some line variety. Which means adding some thicker lines, some different quality of line. To start with, I'm adding in just a darker line anywhere I imagine there could be a shadow. So underneath the whitewater of that wave, even underneath the banner here. So I can create that illusion that the banner is casting a shadow. It's solid thing, it's sitting above the image and casting a shadow. Here in this curve of the wave, there'll be some shadow. Generally speaking, if you keep the top each is light and increase the thickness and the darkness of the bottom lines. Along the edge of this bottom banner here, where I created that thickness. I'm not coloring it in solid but just adding some sketchy lines. It's going to give it some more weight and some shadow there. You can add thicker lines to your text, especially if you want it to stand out against the rest of the design. I'm adding that shadow line that I started with. Imagining where the light is coming from and then opposite the side where the light would be hitting, I'm adding a shadow. I'm adding in some shadow to the folds of the banner and you can see where earlier as I was inking, I headed in those horizontal lines on the second fold of the banner, really just to give it a bit of texture on the surface and to make it feel a little bit more hand-drawn, but more interesting to give it a bit of shading. You don't have to keep the thicker lines just to the shadow edges. If you want something to be more prominent in the design, you could outline that whole element. For instance, if I want the banner here to really stand out from the image, I can put a heavier black each all the way around it. What we're aiming for is a line drawing that we can add color to that already has some interesting qualities. It has different thicknesses of line. It has elements stand out. If you have a really strong drawing to start with, you might choose to only add a really basic wash of color. That might be all that it needs. Of course, there's always the option to keep your design in black and white if you think that suits your illustration, suits a word that you've chosen. It might mean adding a bit more detailed but more surface texture so that you don't have big blank whitespaces. If there are any large white areas that if you are a bit lacking, you can go ahead and add some texture to them. I'm just adding some dots here to the whitewater of that wave so it feels like it has a particular surface to it and you can see that's not so flat looking now. I'm also going through and adding in those surface detail lines to the text that make it look a little bit shiny like it's reflective. If there's anything else you want to add like patterns to make the design more dynamic. Then go ahead and do that now, either with pencil first or you could just draw it directly with fine liner. 9. Different Materials For Color: Now some fun part where we can add in some color. I'm going to quickly go through some of the different materials I've got to show you the effects that you can get with them. You can skip the step if you know exactly what you want to use. Or you could gather any coloring in materials that you've got and have a play around with them the same way that I'm doing. Sometimes you don't know what kind of a fix you're going to get until you do some testing. I'm going to taste some COPIC markers, some posca pens, some colored fineliners, colored pencils and watercolor paint really quickly, just so you can see the effects of them. The COPIC markers are alcohol-based, which means you can blend them together, there's actually a clear pen that you can get to blend these together. But if you lay two colors side-by-side and start to work over with one of these colors in between them, or even a different color, you see that the colors start to blend together. Posca pens are great because they are water-based, but they are essentially paint pens, which means that unlike other markers, they'll go over top of each other and remain opaque. You do have to let the first layer dry first. But you can see when I go over the top of the pink with the green, the green stays pretty green. That doesn't blend in. The yellow here, the paint is a little bit wet, but if you're using other markers, you might find putting yellow over blue gives you a green effect. With the posca pens, the yellow goes over top and stays opaque. That is, as long as the base layer is dry, it's not dry then they'll blend together. Next I've got some colored fineliners because these are so thin, rather than coloring in entire areas, you can use cross hatching. With any materials you use it's a good idea to combine at least two colors in one area so that it's not too flat. By cross hatching similar colors here, I can get an overall green blue effect, rather than just coloring in flat with a green fineliner like this. These aren't waterproof and that's something to take into consideration if you're thinking of using a combination of markers and paint. If you decide to use colored pencils, try to build up layers of colored pencils rather than pushing had on the tip of the pencil. You can use the pencil on its side and again, you could take two similar colors like this, blue and dark blue and try blending them so you get a variation of tone within one color. You can blend the colors together by lightly layering them over top of each other to create a gradient. Finally, I'm going to test out some watercolor paint. If you decide to use watercolor paints, you could think about using them in two different ways. You can use them water down so that you get a pastel effect. Or you could use them with not much water and get really bright colors. You can work with them wet if you want to blend two tones or two colors together. 10. Adding Color To Your Design: When you've gathered your coloring materials, make sure your ink illustration is really dry, and then erase the pencil lines. I've decided to go with watercolor paint for this one. I'm going to start with green and then I'm going to mix in another color as well. Every area that I color in is going to have more than one color or at least more than one tones of light and dark variations of that color. I think it's a good general rule to follow unless you are wanting a really flat graphic kind of a style. Don't do it just because I say so but if your style is similar to mine or keeping it nice and loose and you're experimenting. You never go at adding two colors or two tones. If you take a look at how this green looks now, how this part of the wave looks now, that's a really lovely green but it's quite flat. If I want this wave to look like it's cooling over, I could add some darker greens or some blues underneath where that white water is starting to fall. Already, you can see the difference once that second color or that second tone is added in. Here's another dimension that's been added to the illustration. If you are working in your sketchbook with watercolor, then you're probably just going to want to use a really quick splash of color. Don't add too much paint, don't add too much water because the sketchbook won't handle it so well. At least its got really thick paper or it's made for mixed media. The same way that I added that dark line under the edge of the banner, I'm also adding a bit of shadow here underneath the banner. It's quite a nice way to integrate that banner with the image behind it to make it look like it's casting a shadow. Even if you're working on thicker paper, if you're using watercolors, you need to be careful about adding too much water or too much paint because when you add the other colors in, they're going to run all over the place with these too much liquid on there. Try to use a damp brush not a soaking wet brush. With the yellow here of the sun, again, I am using two tones. It's really subtle difference between the two of them, but it still adds little bit of depth. Makes that sun look a little bit more spherical rather than just like a flat circle. I'm choosing my colors as I go, although I did do a little bit of testing of the colors when I was trying out the different materials. If you want to be a bit more sure about what colors you're going to use, it's useful to have just a small piece of paper next to you to test out the different colors as you go. Make sure they're going to be what you want. As you go through, think about contrast as well. Where do you want it to be light? Where do you want it to be darker? The color I've used for the banner, that orange is quite a dark color, and so I think I'm going to leave the text quite light. Whatever color I use will be a light color because I don't want the text and the banner to blur together. I want the text to stand out. I hope your illustration is going well. I'm adding quite strong colors to my design. You could keep your colors really light and pestily if that suits what you're doing. You could just use a quick splash of color, particularly if you did a lot of work on the inking, and you made sure that you had a strong, interesting textured illustration with good line quality before you started. You might not need much color at all. It's really up to you what you decide to do with this design. I'm just giving you some guidance as I go through and produce this one, some tips to think about. I'm using a really light blue in the background there because I don't want it to fight with my image, I want the background to stay in the back. For the banner, I've chosen a really bright color because I want it to stand out and I've kept my letters white or light because I want those to stand out from the banner. Generally speaking, warm colors like red and yellow and orange come forward in an artwork, and cool colors like blue, green, and purple will recede. That's something else that you could think about. If you want to bring something out, make it appear closer, and make it more prominent in the design, you could use warmer colors. If you want to push something back in the design, you could use cooler colors. Or you could play around with doing the opposite. Something at the front could have a cool color, something at the back could have a warm color, and see what happens when you go against convention. I'm getting close to being just about done, I think. I've colored everything in except the text and I'm just testing a few colors here. I don't want the text to be too dark because the banner is already quite dark. I'm going to go with a really light pinky orange color. You can always leave white showing in your illustration as well. I've got the crest of the wave that's going to stay white. But if you're wanting highlights anywhere in your image or the appearance of highlights or reflections, you can leave white areas showing through on the banner or on the text. When you feel like you're finished or almost finished, take a figurative step back and do a bit of an assessment by thinking about what you can do to balance out the composition, what might need more work. I'm going to add a bit more orange up here just to tie in the top part of the illustration with the bottom part. I've also decided that I don't like these white marks that I left around the circle border. I'm going to get rid of those. If you need to, you could take a break from your illustration, come back to it, and see if there's anything you feel was lacking. Does it have good contrast? Is there enough texture and surface detail? Does it have depth? It's also important not to overwork it or overthink it, and that's why we take a minute to do a review. I do think that my banner is a little bit lacking in brightness, it feels a little bit dull. I'm going to brighten it up with some thicker paint and I think I'll also warm it up by coming back in with some yellow over top. You can see how I'm using darker variation of this orange lower down, keeping with that same rule of things being lower down being a bit darker or having a shadow area. Things being higher up may have more light hitting them or might have a reflection on them. Now that the watercolor on my wave is dry, I'm just adding some finer detail with thin blue lines to create some ripples on the water. Sometimes, things might happen that you don't intend to happen. When things happen like that, I think it's important not to be discouraged. Wherever you can, you can turn that into a happy accident. First of all, try to step back from it. This is a huge mistake, nobody's really going to notice. Only you will know because it's not what you intended. Second of all, can you turn it into something else? Can you add something over top? Can you make it look like a texture or something that was meant to be there? Adding in this bit of yellow is tying in that banner with the sun at the top. Balancing things out a little bit using color. My design is complimentary colors, blue and orange. Yours could be all similar colors. They could be all cool colors, they could be all warm colors. There's no rule as to what colors you need to use. It could just be colors that you like, it could be colors that suit the design that you're working on or the words that you're working with. Could be colors that suit the mood that you're in right now. I've noticed that I just have these three little spots inside the letters that I've forgotten to fill out, so I'm going to have to do that at some point. But while my illustration is dry, I've got myself a thicker fine liner and I'm just going around to bolden some of those lines, make them a little bit darker, and make some parts stand out a little bit more. At this point, you can choose what you want to bring a little bit more into focus. What do you want people to see first? What do you want to be the most important thing about this design? A thicker bolder line can help to achieve that, as long as it suits the style of your illustration. I'll speed up the video now, just while I go round and bring out some of these lines, make them a little bit thicker. This is my final design. I'm pretty happy with how the colors popped. Blue and orange are complimentary colors which means they make each other stand out. I think it's a fun image. The text is happy and positive, both in the word and also in the style of the text, and the mood of the colors. 11. What Next?: If you enjoyed this project, you could go back and take some of the other options that you created for the text and image and the word and come up with an entirely new design. I hope you've come up with something you are happy with and I would love to see what you've created. If you'd like to share your work, please post it in the project section on Skillshare, or you can also share it with me on social media using @thepencilroomonline. You might like to check out another creative drawing project I've made on Skillshare called Tiny Worlds, and you can find it under my other classes. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you enjoyed it.