Add Digital Textures to your Illustrations - with your own brushes! | Sandra Mejia | Skillshare

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Add Digital Textures to your Illustrations - with your own brushes!

teacher avatar Sandra Mejia, Illustrator + Pattern 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.

      Texture Source


    • 3.

      Creating the Brush


    • 4.

      Using the Brushes


    • 5.



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About This Class


Welcome to Add Digital textures to your Illustration with your own brushes! In this class I´ll walk you trough my process of creating a textured background that you can use for quotes, product design or even in a stand-alone manner. I´ll show you how to make three different brushes and how to use them to create unlimited designs. So join me and let´s have fun adding textures!

Please note that you need to have a basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop for this class. If this is your first time with Photoshop, you might want to watch a class on it first, like Basics of Photoshop: Fundamentals for Beginners by Meg Lewis. 






Meet Your Teacher

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Sandra Mejia

Illustrator + Pattern Designer

Top Teacher

Hello! I'm a Freelance Illustrator and Pattern Designer. I was born in Medellín, Colombia (puedes escribirme en Español!). I create detailed, stylized, playful illustrations, patterns and characters from my studio in Ottawa, Canada.

I have very big eyes and I love animals. Most of my inspiration comes from nature and animals.

My art has been licensed by companies around the world for use in: Fabrics, Stationery, Kids, Editorial, Greeting Cards, Fashion, Puzzles, Gift and Home Decor.

Sign up to my email newsletter to get news and freebies: the “Take the Guesswork Out of Pricing” Masterclass, my Watercolors for Procreate brush set, the 2024 Digital Creative Planner and more!→<... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hello, welcome to my class at Digital Textures To Your Illustrations With Your Own Brushes. In this class I'll walk you through my process of creating a textured background that you can use for quotes, product design, or even in a stand - alone manner. I'll show you how to make these three different brushes, and how to use them to create unlimited designs. So join me and let's have fun adding textures. 2. Texture Source: The first thing we have to do is select some sources for our texture brushes that we're going to create. So I'm going to show you three different types of things that you can use to create texture brushes for your illustrations. You can use whatever image you want. Here I have three files. A picture of the bark of a tree, a picture of our little ink drying, and a picture of some water color blobs that I scanned. 3. Creating the Brush: First, we're going to go to Photoshop and open the first texture. I'm going to select a watercolor scan. Here I made different kinds of gloves with watercolors and I scanned them in. Now I'm going to select one of those. So I use the lasso tool and go around one of them. Go to Edit, Copy, File, New. Brushes can be up to 2500 pixels square. I like to make them that big so that you can use them on the illustrations. Set the resolution to 300 pixels, and save that preset. Name it Brush and hit "okay". Now we go to Edit, Paste, and here it is. Press Command D or Edit, Free transform, and make it as big as your page, but not touching the borders. Go to Image, Mode, Grayscale. Now, flatten it. Go to Image, Adjustment, Levels or Command L, and we're going to move the sliders here. This makes white whiter, and this makes darks darker. So you can play around with what do you like. I like it when my texture is very dark and the paper texture in the back is erased when I make it really white. I like this merges in the back, so I'm going to hit "okay". You might want to go around soft brush. You select the White and go around these areas so that you don't get hard edges. Make sure that this is set to normal and the opacity and flow are set to a 100%. You can erase these little dots and speckles too. Once we define this as a brush, whatever is black is going to be the brush and whatever is white is going to be transparent. So go to Edit, Define Brush Preset, and name it, then hit "okay", and you can see it here in your Brush Presets. If you don't have that menu open go to Window, Brush Presets, and there you have it. I'll show you how this one paints. I'll create a new layer and hide this one. Let me change this to black and I press once using it as a stamp. See that the background is transparent, now you have your brush. Close this, you don't have to save it, and let's make another brush. We're going to go to File, Open, and choose the ink picture. This is just a very simple line drawing I made and I took a picture of it with my phone. Now select the Lasso tool and select around it. Edit, Copy, File, New, select the brush preset we just made and go to Edit, Paste or Command V then go again to Edit, Free Transform and press the Shift key while you pull on it. Don't let it touched the edges. Again, we'll go to Image, Mode, Grayscale and flatten it. Then Image, Adjustment Levels or Command L, and again, we play with our sliders to erase the background and hit "okay". Select the soft round brush, make sure it's white and paint over some little speckles that you don't like, or if you don't like these long thing for example. Again, go to Edit, Define Brush Preset, name it, and hit "okay", and there you have it. I'll test it in a new layer. Select the brush, make sure this is black and press once. Close it. Don't save it and let's make our last one. Open the bark picture. So with this one, we will select the selection tool and press Shift while you drag it so that you select a perfect square and then go to Edit, Copy, File, New, select the Brush Preset, go to Edit, Paste, go again to Edit, Free Transform and press Shift as you drag it. Now go to Image, Mode, Grayscale and flatten it. When I'm making a brush from a picture I don't like it to look perfectly square. So I am going to take the round soft brush and go around painting with white around the whole edge. This way you can't see the edges. Now I'm going to reduce the flow to about 50 percent and the opacity to about 75 percent, and start painting over the borders a bit to soften them. Now let's turn this into a brush and again go to Edit, Define Brush Preset, name it, and hit "okay". Now we have our brushes. 4. Using the Brushes: Now, I'll show you how to use your brushes. Go to File, New. I'm making it to a vital finches. Make sure that the resolution is 300 pixels so you can print it. Use CMYK. We're going to save it. Go to File, Save As, name it and hit "Okay". We're going to select any color, for example this red, and choose a watercolor blob. This is what happens if I click once, this is what I call using it as a stamp, and this is what happens if I press and drag it as a regular brush. That doesn't look so well so we're going to fix it. You can click on this icon or if you don't have it, go to the Window, Brush and these menu will appear. I'll show you what some of the options do. You can add more spacing and reduce the size. Now we're going to see what that does. When you draw with it, it repeats the image with a fixed space in between. If you reduce the spacing, it looks like this. If you reduce it too much, you'll get just a plain blob and lose the texture, so I'm going to leave it at 21 percent. This percentage will vary according to the image you're using on your preferences. Now, click on "Shape Dynamics". Here you'll see a difference if you are using a pen and a tablet with pressure sensitivity compared to just using a mouse. I'll show you both ways. Size jitter will modify the size of the brush. Let me hide his layer and create a new one so you can see. When you draw with these, you'll see that there are little ones and big ones, and it just varies as you drag your brush. You can even make the variation more obvious. This you can make either with a mouse or a tablet and it doesn't change the outcome because I didn't activate pressure sensitivity. But let me create a new layer and show you how it changes if you do. Select Pressure Sensitivity here, and draw by varying the pressure of your pen. I'm pressing very lightly and then I'm pressing harder. See how big it gets when I press really hard on my pen. For this I'm using a Wacom Cintiq 13HD, but you can use any pen and tablet that supports pressure sensitivity. Now, let's change the angle jitter. This will work in a similar way as a size jitter. If you're using a mouse, don't worry about changing the control. If you're using a tablet, make the control pen pressure. Now when you draw it not only varies this size, but it also changes the angle. Around this will change the shape of your brush. See, now they are more angle. Let's turn it off so you can see the difference. Here, I'm using my mouse and pen pressure off in roundness, and then using a pen and tablet and activating the pen pressure. The effects are very different. There's so much more controlled if you use a tablet. Now go to wet edges. This one is with it activated, and this one is without the wet edges. I prefer without but you can choose the one you like best. If I want to close this dialog box, my brush changes wouldn't be saved, so make sure you press here. It creates a new brush. Let's name it watercolor blob 2. Now it has been added to your brush list. You can see them here, the original one and the one we just created. I modify all my brushes until I'm happy with them. This is a very personal thing and it's according to your taste, so you can modify them as you want. Now I'm going to show you how we can apply these textures to objects. I'm going to create a new layer and paint it with a hard brush in this yellow. This could be any shape you want. Now I'm going to create a layer underneath and fill it with red. Finally I'm going to create a top layer with blue. Make sure to have every element or every color in a separate layer so that you can apply the textures easily. I'm going to click on my red layer, and then click on this icon to create a new layer, and go to Layer, Create Clipping Mask, and you'll see that this layer shows these new arrow pointing downwards. That means your layer mask has been created. We're going to add our texture on that layer. Select your brush. I'm going to use the tree bark 2 brush, which is the original one with no modifications. You can see that when I press here, there is nothing selected. Let's choose a dark red color, make the brush as big as it can, and just press once. Then we have that texture. I'm going to undo that to show you how I do it with a tree bark brush that I modified and just start coloring the area with it. Let's undo that and modify the opacity here. Make it a bit bigger and just start coloring in. Since the opacity varies, it creates nice stone changes when you go back over an area that was already painted. Now I'm going to go to the blue layer and create a new layer on top. I go to Layer, Create Clipping Mask, and select the ink brush. I'll choose a lighter blue color and make the brush a bit bigger. I'm going to use this one as a stamp again by clicking on different areas, click, click, click. Since in this one the size jitter has been modified, the size is changing every time I click on it. Finally we'll do the yellow area. I create a new layer and make it a clipping mask. Select the brown color, and select the watercolor blob brush. This is the original brush and I'm just clicking on different areas. Let's delete that and use the modified one to paint. Let's just start coloring in. I don't like that color but that can be easily fixed. To do that you go to Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturation, click on "Colorize", and start moving the sliders until you get the color you want. Now let's undo that. You can also change the appearance by changing the blend mode here. Just try all the blend modes until you find one you like. I really like this one that's called divide, so I'm going to choose that one. These are just a basic techniques. With what you learn today, you can add textures to any object, letters or whatever you want. I hope you had fun learning it and remember that if you have questions, you can post them on the class area. 5. Project: For our project, we're going to create a background for an illustration or a lettering quote that we can use on social media or in a product. First, I fill the background of a new document with a solid color. Then I create a new layer on top and use my modified Watercolor Blob brush to paint on it with a different color. Then I select the two layers, right-click and "Merge Layers". I double-click on the layer name to unlock it, I press "Okay". I don't like these colors, so I go to "Image", "Adjustments", "Hue/Saturation", and I play with these sliders until I'm happy with my colors. Then I create a new layer on top, I select my Tree Bark brush, make it as big as I can, and I just click on my image once to use it as a stamp. Then I select the "Opacity", "Multiply", and that's it. I have a background for my code. Now I just have to paste my lettering on top and I'm done. I hope you create your own projects and share it in the product gallery so we can all see what you make. Remember to check out all my other Skillshare classes. Bye.