Creating Full Color Digital Illustrations From Your Hand-Made Drawings | Sara Blake | Skillshare

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Creating Full Color Digital Illustrations From Your Hand-Made Drawings

teacher avatar Sara Blake, Illustrator, Fine Artist, Designer, Art Director

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.

      Phase 1: Artboard, Concept & Sketch


    • 3.

      Phase 2: Hand Made Elements


    • 4.

      Phase 3: Digital Elements


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About This Class

Whether you are an independent artist or a designer looking to develop your illustration skills for commercial work, this class will explore several methods of scanning your sketches, paintings, and drawings to develop them further in Photoshop. 

What You'll Learn

  • Artboard, Concept & Sketch. Determine a drawing assignment of your choice (poster, typography, character design, children's book illustration, etc.) and create a mood board.
  • Hand Made Elements. Adjustment tips as well as methods for developing full color illustrations out of your line art.
  • Digital Elements. Take an illustration from a paper state to a finished digital form.

What You'll Make

This is one part art class to develop your drawing style and technique. One part design and composition class. And one part technical walkthrough to develop and finish your art/drawing/designs digitally in Photoshop. By the end of this class you will create a digitally colored print from one of your hand drawn sketches.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sara Blake

Illustrator, Fine Artist, Designer, Art Director


I'm an illustrator, fine artist, and designer-art-director-person, living and loving in New York City. When I'm not making scribbles, I also enjoy having conversations with my cat Eugene, going for runs, riding my bike, exploring gastronomic delights, naps and "quiet-time," and traveling as much as the universe allows.

ZSO (pronounced |zo|) is a collection of letters that I find aesthetically and phonetically beautiful, culled together from some personally significant people, places, and things. Together they make sound much like "so," the adverb which means "to such a great extent." I am a person of extremes, for better or worse (most often the latter), so the ring of it was fitting, and the moniker has since stuck for good.

I graduated from New York University's Gallatin... See full profile

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2. Phase 1: Artboard, Concept & Sketch: - Hey, - I'm Sarah Blake adds a studio, - and this is phase one. - In this phase, - we're gonna focus on determining your subject matter, - gathering some reference, - putting smart boards together with that reference and then sketching out three concepts or - designs. - We're gonna start by a gathering reference for your drawing. - Every every illustration starts with the idea. - So you want to pick some subject matter and gather five to maybe 20 images on guy. - Use Pinterest to keep track of my reference images, - and you can just pin them on any board and create a title for this project. - I decided Teoh, - use a bat for my illustration. - I'm taking this class with you guys, - and I I learned about bats azi being really social creatures from this book I'm reading. - And turns out they sort of survive as a species by sharing their skills and foods, - and resource is with one another. - So I thought this would be a great subject matter for this concept. - I collected about 10 different images of bats, - and they all sort of very in a different way, - you know, - stylistically, - some actually photographs and summer illustrations, - and I just sort of wanted to collect six some studies of bats to see what they actually - look like. - Before I started jumping into the drawing. - Here's a close up version of the feet. - I really liked this one with the different bat faces on duh saw the variety that, - um, - different species have. - It's pretty cool. - And, - um, - you know, - seeing a variation presented like this is could be really helpful when you're just coming - up with your ideas. - I want you guys to do just three really quick. - 60 to 90 seconds. - Sketches. - Um, - three different versions of whatever you're drawing is going to be either explored it for - designs, - orientations, - you know, - different patterning and just like bang out three different versions for your sketch face. - Here are my three really rough quick drawings There really just illustrate different ways - of laying down what I want to jump into and face to the 1st 1 I just explored a close up of - the bat faces, - and I just really quickly doodled out, - you know, - a little goofy back, - maybe tougher bat, - and then this guy with maybe some more elaborate years. - And I really liked the bat with, - um, - symmetry and his wings with his full wingspan out and just, - you know, - um, - very straightforward. - And then I also wanted Teoh do a quick thumbnail of Dracula back with, - you know, - one wing out of one sort of pulled in toward his chest. - I ended up choosing the second bat sketch. - I did because I really liked how his wings gave me a lot of room to play with all the - patterning and abstraction that I'm super interested in. - And so I just, - you know, - in this 60 seconds that I was just sketching and doodling, - I already sort of layering and dots and just, - you know, - adding embellishments. - And so this was my favorite. - It was a close call between about one about to cause the faces offered something similar. - Um, - and so I'm gonna charge forth with sketch number two for phase two drawing. - Now you've got your three sketches. - Um, - I would maybe sleep on it, - pick your favorite in the morning, - and then you're ready to move in a phase two, - which is creating your handmade elements 3. Phase 2: Hand Made Elements: - I'm served like as though studio And this is business. - You we're gonna be focusing on create your handmade elements and face to, - um we're gonna basically be drawing for probably eight hours. - That's the minimum time I recommend. - And, - um, - getting your ideas down on paper, - We're also going to collect some textures, - which we're gonna use in phase three to lay them into our digital version. - When you work digitally, - it can get sort of sterile sometimes, - and it looks very computer re. - But if you're flexing like, - you know, - graffiti smears or like watercolor remarks or coffee stains or whatever, - it's sort of adds like a real world element to your art. - And, - um, - that is super relatable and cool to me. - You are gonna want to make some design decisions at this point, - you know, - you're gonna have the almighty undo and phase three. - But right now we're working all analog. - It's, - you know, - pencil to paper, - pen to paper. - People always tell you not to repeat yourself, - but I actually find if I'm kind of drawing something that I'm just interested in and want - explore more, - I will draw over and over and over again to try Teoh. - I wanted something about it and teach myself sort of like my own style. - Um, - you know, - exercises that, - like to dio used to do this are portrait drawing, - um, - and typography. - You know, - I think that I'm growing as an artist happens in very small steps. - You know, - um, - evolution over time happens in very, - very small changes. - So if you draw the same thing over and over again or explore a technique, - you're gonna grow from that, - um, - I've been exploring typography. - You know, - you start with a structured form, - you know, - the letter A. - And I just like to try to embellish around it and almost freestyle a little bit just to see - what comes out of my own head. - And so it's kind of Ah, - good exercise to just pick a solid form, - a solid structure and a belt around it, - and just spill into the negative space. - And you'll have tons of these. - I've been doing this for a long time now, - and I've also been trying to get through the whole alphabet. - Well, - I got to d so far, - but, - um, - you know, - just explore, - have fun and do something that you really like to do? - Portraiture can also be a really great exercise for exploring your own personal drawing - process. - I like portraiture because a faces a structured thing. - Everyone recognizes the face. - And so you kind of just get the main features, - your eyes, - nose mouth in place, - and then you're free to bring pattern into the hair or the background. - And I sort of gave myself a self assigned project of called 100 Girls. - And the point of this process is just just do that explore, - explore my drawing style. - I got quite a few of them, - and all of them are just sort of exploring different pattern, - um, - or different elements. - Get yourself into the zone. - I want to give yourself eight hours. - At least that's usually good for me. - But, - you know, - feel free to draw as long as you want. - Take a long as you need, - um, - get something down on paper that you're really confident and feel good about, - You know, - maybe ask some friends. - But first and foremost, - you have to like it. - You're investing the time this is your drawing. - This is what I've come up with and this'll drawing processes is where you're really gonna - kind of convey your own flavor and style. - Obviously, - this doesn't look like a riel bat. - He's got some crazy wings. - I don't think he's very aerodynamic. - Actually, - he's got some crazy things coming out of his head. - He's got scales on his belly because they look cool. - Um, - you know, - and this is just sort of what I came up with when I sat down and was embellishing, - Um, - and a couple of things to keep in mind for phase three to make this a nisi transition, - uh, - you might want to pick something that has some negative space so that some of the skills - we're gonna learn and face three are easier to do. - And you're gonna wanna have some, - you know, - solidly defined lines so that we can isolate. - Hm. - We get that phase after you have your drawing, - you obviously want a scan it and I've set up some some settings that you can check out for - how to get this successfully scanned into your computer. - If you want to make your life easier, - probably do a drawing that will fit on your scanner bed. - If it's bigger, - you might have to stretch it. - Stitch the scan together in a couple pieces. - Um and Yeah, - get yourself set up with your scanner and drawn. - Hey, - sir, - what happens? - But don't have a skin If you don't have a scanner, - you know, - a scanner. - A good option pre solid option is to just take a HD photograph, - but use a staple stone street. - You could probably use the staples. - I haven't ups in. - It's kind of old. - It does the job just fine. - You're staples. - Have the scanner and they're pretty cool, - too. - Dollar face you got here. - Finished drawing. - It's scanned in the computer. - Your offsets to start phase three. 4. Phase 3: Digital Elements: - I'm Sarah Blake at so studio. - This is phase three. - Today. - We're focusing on three steps cleaning up your drawing, - Um, - isolating some flat shapes with your pen tool. - And then we're gonna also isolate your line work. - Oh, - yeah, - I forgot. - Also, - make sure to refer to the pdf to supplement these videos because there's gonna be some - stuff in there that's a little easier to follow on paper. - Now that you've gotten your drawing scans your computer and open up in photo shop, - I always just like to do a preliminary cleanup of my Leinart so that it's ready. - Teoh play with color and texture. - And I don't have to worry about smudges or anything like that. - I hope to get a cat hair on my drawing. - My scan it. - So we're just gonna clean that up. - And all you're really gonna need to do is use the eraser tool, - um, - and utilize your levels. - So I'm just gonna show you what I've already started using the eraser tool by, - um, - Command clicking on this original Leinart layer in my layers panel. - Let me go over here to my erase tool, - and you're gonna go Teoh. - I always like to use a soft brush on, - uh, - in my capacity, - 100 of my flow to 100. - And I'm just gonna zoom in here and show you what I mean. - So you've got these sort of gray, - discolored areas, - and I'm just gonna go in and buy hand. - Um, - just touch it up. - Sig, - over here. - I think I have a little fuzz or hair that got into my scan. - I'm just gonna go around the whole drawing, - um, - and clean it up. - This is particularly useful if you have a drawing like mine where there is some negative - space. - So you're gonna want a stark contrast between your drawing and the negative space. - Another quick way to do this is going to your adjustments. - So make sure you're selected right here in the layers panel on your Leinart layer, - going to image adjustments in levels or command. - L now show you how this this affects your drawing. - This little handle right here will make your blackmore intense on this edge will make your - white more intense. - So I always just like Teoh bring my black up a little bit. - I weighed up a little bit and that will just automatically get rid of some of that gray - haziness around my edges, - and it'll make process of it quicker and seamless for you. - And now we're ready to go into the next phase of locating our flat shapes. - Now that we've cleaned up our drawing out, - it's always helpful to block off the flat shapes of your drawing so that you can easily - select parts of your artwork further in the process. - So to do this, - we're just going to create a new layer behind or under your Leinart layer. - And we do this by command shift and to make a new layer, - we're just gonna call it flat. - Now you're gonna use your pen tool very powerful and awesome tool that you're gonna want to - get a handle of if if you're new to this and so I'm just gonna zoom in here with my pen - tool to my line edges and start laying down some busy points. - And this just takes practice if you're not used to it and you just sort of drag your edges - so that they smooth out. - And if you mess up, - there's always the almighty undo. - So if you don't like that apple or command Z and you can just do option commands you to - keep going backwards even further. - I'm just gonna go around my entire drawing and we're done. - So now you're just gonna wanna use little precision to meet those end points. - You're going to see the little circle when you hover over it. - There you go. - You have your completed pass, - which you can see. - If you bring up your paths panel, - you're going to see it cut out. - So make sure you're on your new layer flat, - which we just named, - and you don't want to control. - Click just on your screen there and go make selection. - And I always just like to set it to zero. - You can feather weaken further the lines if you if that's your sudden preference. - Zero and it's gonna treat little marching ants there. - And I always just used the paint bucket, - Um, - and let's make a purple bet like purple, - especially purple bets and just bam. - So you see, - it shows up as purple in your layers panel. - Now, - in order for you to see through the liner and see your purple background, - select your original liner and up here in the layers, - um, - layer mode. - Go from normal and go to multiply, - and that'll show that will make the whites transparent. - There you go. - Now you designated your solid shapes. - Now you can go even deeper. - You can, - you know, - you do the same process to know. - For instance, - uh, - cut out the belly, - cut out the feet, - cut out the wings these little this weird little ear shaped and you can go crazy with that - and just cut out more detailed shape so that you can select them later on in the process. - All right, - now, - let's Ah, - isolate our liner. - When you have this flat shape designated, - it makes it really easy to just color in and and paint in a more natural way. - So my right click. - Or if I command click on this flat layer, - you'll see the marching ants. - And it's just, - um, - already cutting out that shape. - Now I create a new layer above that. - We'll call this crazy paint, - select a new color. - Let's do, - um, - do green be really ugly and, - um, - control click and just go create clipping mask. - And this is gonna basically cut out the background of cut out the positive shape from - whatever you paint. - So we're gonna go into your brush and let's just do make sure that capacity is set to 100 - and just do big sweeping brushstrokes. - So there you go. - It's already That's the whole brushstroke, - and it's mapping to the shape that you just cut out. - Another reason why I like to have my flat ships cut out is if you just double click on your - flat shape layer. - Um, - I just like to play with the color overlay option. - It's a really quick way to just drag around your, - um, - your selection and see what colors you like. - Um, - on the fly. - And it's, - you know, - you don't have to use the paint bucket, - and, - um, - you can sheikhoun sort of dragon adjust as opposed Teoh testing and then refilling, - testing and refilling. - Uh, - so this is a powerful tool to do that just quickly. - Often, - I like to separate my liner so that instead of it just being a big shaped like this with - black and white pixels, - it's just isolated black and grey pixels so that you can easily, - um, - work around the liner and colored a solid etcetera. - So to do this, - the first thing you wanna want to do is make sure that you're just working with, - um, - de saturated layer. - And you could do this in your adjustments. - Go to hue, - saturation. - This is just a really quick, - quick and dirty way to do it and just drag your saturation all the way down to Gray. - Now, - we're gonna want to use our channels to do this next step, - so go into your window channels and that brings up your channels panel. - Make sure you're on your Leinart layer and Photoshopped, - and you're just gonna command click on the RGB channel air and command ship I That's gonna - just select your dark pixels and create a new layer command shift new. - And we're just gonna call this solid lines and our foreground color. - We're gonna make black paint bucket or just hit the geeky and just paint bucket that sucker - in and there you go. - So it's double black because we have our original liner and that are solid pixels. - So to show you what I mean, - just double click on the sidelines layer you just created and go to color overlay overlying - . - We'll do it read so that you can really see the contrast. - So now you can easily just experiment with color and the same way we just learned to adjust - your flat shapes. - And this is also really cool for when we start lying and textures because you can do the - same sort of clipping mask. - I'm just gonna clear layer style. - Okay, - Dio pink so you can see it. - And then great clipping mask over your solid lines and big restroom. - And there you go. - See, - now you're just only coloring on the solid pixels. - You just cut out, - uh, - using your channels. - Step four is going to be the most fun step in this phase. - It's all about playing experimenting. - This is where you're gonna want to switch up all your colors. - You're gonna wanna Lanson those textures that you've created and captured on your camera. - Um, - you're gonna want toe just, - you know, - experiment form, - maybe rotate things around, - cut things out, - move them, - wallpaper them. - Um, - just have some fun. - And, - um and hopefully you're gonna have a couple of different versions of really cool stuff that - you've made. - Is it true that there's no wrong way Yes, - it. - Now that you guys have the basics down, - I want you just to play around. - Ah, - you also have my source file so you can see how I did the same. - I've made these three versions and the colors very, - quite a bit, - But the first thing I realized once I got things new on the computer screen was that it - actually made a lot more sense for the back to the upside down. - I just like to better. - It looks like he was maybe hanging out in a cave, - and I just like the composition better and the way it felt when I added in the sculpture - tag. - So you guys just you're gonna have a fresh set of eyes when you get on the computer, - and that's a really cool thing. - You'll you often can't see um, - your drawing and say my once you start, - you know, - adding in solid, - solid shapes. - It changes the composition of it. - So now it's time to play one tool you're gonna want to get familiar with and photo shop for - use with your Leinart, - and also exploring your textures and experimenting with that are your your layer blend - modes and these were found up here at the top of your layers panel. - Um, - and let's let's explore, - multiply. - First, - Um, - multiply is a tool that's gonna, - ah, - blood more that's gonna make your whites transparent in your drawing. - So to show you that, - let's just create another layer, - um, - called paint right under your original lighter layer. - And let's just go to your paintbrush and, - um, - and draw big paint smear like this. - And you can see this even though it's behind your liner layer, - because you're liner layer is set to multiply to show you what? - I mean, - let's let this to normal. - And then all of sudden, - you can't see um, - the parts of that paint smear that are behind um, - this selection of your original drawing. - All right, - um, - so you're gonna want to use this this multiply future, - for instance, - if your artwork that you've scanned in perhaps his color and you don't want to make it a - solid a solid pixel selection, - and you could just basically skip Step three and set your light your layer to multiply and - you're all set, - Um, - now the other main blend mode that I use a lot is pretty much the exact opposite of - multiply, - and it's called screen, - and that's just gonna make your dark pixels transparent. - So let's basically invert our background and our artwork. - Um, - command, - I will do this. - It's just the invert. - Select their the in virtual. - Um, - so now we have, - um, - a white bat with white lines, - and instead, - let's just set this layer just screen, - and it does the same thing. - Um, - now you can see through those black pixels and so those are that you're two primary what I - think are your primary blood boats and, - um, - you know, - play with those with your textures, - but also their very useful when you're, - you know, - um, - just setting up your basic structure, - using your main artwork, - working with lots of textures that you've hopefully captured and face to, - is going to make the digital part of this way more fun. - Um, - and this is a good time to just show you my personal little library that I've been - collecting over the years of just crazy stuff. - I have snapped, - um, - on the street. - This is just one of Gillian folders, - Um, - and it's mostly just city grunge, - and you know would textures and, - um, - you know, - corners of graffiti and weird tree bark and all stuff. - I kind of just seen as I've been traveling around the world over the years. - And it's, - um, - almost kind of a way of scrapbooking digitally because you're gonna know exactly where your - textures came from. - And, - um, - it's it's a kind of a way of infusing your art with a lot of your own personality and, - um, - and adding a lot of character to your art. - So, - um, - we just learned about blend modes, - and, - um, - I'm gonna show you what I mean about using blood modes with your textures. - So let's, - um, - let's go into version two of my bat. - And if you see in this adjustments folder, - I've got a couple textures. - Um, - this one is using screen, - which we just learned about him so you can see these little like white flecks. - Um, - that's because the white is showing through, - um, - or the black is invisible in the white showing through. - And then, - um, - I used a couple of these crazier textures. - I think these air from some cement textures that I've played with the hue of, - um so Let's let's just some experiment with our blend modes, - and that's really the only way to do it. - You just sort of see what happens when you switch switch up the blend mode. - And as you play, - you're gonna sort of have a better sense of what each one does. - Um, - and just sort of play around and try things out. - You can see when I turn it off. - Um, - no. - This is how it affects affects the artwork and so ultimately decided. - Soft light looks the coolest. - And give me the effect that I wanted and you could just kind of keep layering in different - textures. - They're gonna each add a little different look to your art. - Um, - so there you go that is playing with blend modes and now adding your textures. - There's one more thing I want to tell you guys about, - um Photoshopped wise, - and that is using your layer adjustments. - These are all these guys and the adjustments folder, - um, - that I've created, - and this is just a personal preference of mine. - I like to create a whole folder of, - um of layers that affects my composition as a whole. - So this whole block of stuff effects my my bat, - which I've created in another folder. - If I didn't like my subject matter in one folder and all of my adjustments and the other so - you can find all these sets of layer adjustments in your layers panel, - and then you go to new adjustment layer. - And they're all sorts of different layers that effective and things vibrance, - for instance, - don't create this new layer and that, - um, - he's gonna make your art more saturated are vibrant, - and these air just sort of sliders that you can use. - And the cool thing is, - it's not permanently affecting anything in your actual pixels, - and you can turn it off and get back to your original eso. - I like all of these to be, - um, - fully edible and in separate layers and layer dress, - for instance. - They're just settings are also pretty low in terms of affecting your file size, - so it's a great way to have a lot of flexibility, - um, - and go back and forth and change your mind Experiment. - Guys have made it through this entire process, - and I want you guys to have fun with it. - That's really gonna come through in your artwork. - Now you have this digital image, - and you can use it for wallpaper, - wrapping paper rugs, - scarves, - textiles, - your website fencing poster. - You'll work a lot faster. - Clients will love you. - Just You've already got this awesome piece of artwork in a form that you can use in a - multitude of spaces. - There's no right way to do it. - These are just some skills that hopefully you teach yourself your own workflow and you - build upon these skills and, - um, - you know, - take your drawings and continue making tons of awesome digital art with it.