Digital Character Illustration: Transform a Photo Into a Stylized Portrait | Lord Gris | Skillshare

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Digital Character Illustration: Transform a Photo Into a Stylized Portrait

teacher avatar Lord Gris, Artist & Illustrator

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.

      Choosing A Reference Photo


    • 3.

      Sketching Your Character


    • 4.

      Creating Your Line Work


    • 5.

      Laying Down Base Colors


    • 6.

      Adding Shadows And Highlights


    • 7.

      Rendering The Skin


    • 8.

      Rendering The Hair


    • 9.

      Adding Finishing Effects


    • 10.

      Making Hair Glow


    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


    • 12.

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About This Class

Unlock a new illustration style and create a character portrait you'll love!

Join Lord Gris, character artist and illustrator, as she shares her personal process for creating colorful, stylized portraits in her signature character illustration style. From first sketch to final color, you’ll learn how to use a photo as your foundation for your portraiture process, giving you the freedom to flex your creativity and experiment with a whole new illustration style.

Her inviting, step-by-step lessons include: 

  • Taking and choosing a great reference photo
  • Blending and layer techniques to give your art a warm and lifelike finish
  • How to use color to create realism with shadows and highlights
  • A simple technique to make elements of your portrait glow!

Whether you’re an accomplished artist looking for an exercise to challenge yourself or just joining the world of digital illustration, this class will provide you with simple, effective techniques that you’ll return to again and again. When you’re done, you’ll have a stylized portrait of you or someone you love, perfect to give as a gift or hang as a custom art piece!

Meet Your Teacher

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Lord Gris

Artist & Illustrator


Lord Gris is a freelance artist, illustrator, and game asset designer from Portland, Oregon. She's known for colorful, anime-inspired female character illustrations, and sharing detailed tutorials on her Instagram. Most recently, she created and illustrated the characters in the video game The World Next Door. In the future, Lord Gris dreams of traveling the world and doing gallery shows.

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1. Introduction: The more you create your style, it morphs along with you as you grow as a person, and it starts to feel like it's truly part of you. Hi. I'm Lord Gris. I'm a freelance illustrator from Portland. I really enjoy making fun, vibrant female characters, and today's class, will be about making a stylized portrait from a photograph. What I love most about drawing characters is your ability to create things that you may not see in normal life but you've always wanted to see. I think it's really fun to be able to take a photograph that you love and be able to stylize it. Turn it into something that is truly your own style. I am excited to teach this topic because it really teaches you about the complexity of the human body and the different ways that your features look from different angles. When you work only from memory, it can become very easy to get very static and locked into doing the same thing over and over again. You broaden your skill set and your abilities when you're working with photos. Today what we'll be going over is choosing the reference photo, creating the initial sketch, laying down base color, full rendering, and how to add glowing hair in the end. What I would encourage you to do is to choose your own reference photo. It can be a picture of yourself or someone that you know, and use that to draw a long with. If you were to walk away from this class, one thing I hope is the ability to take an image and put it through your own interpretation and your own filter and come out with something that's truly yours. I'm so excited you've join this class. So let's get started. 2. Choosing A Reference Photo: Today, we are going to be working with a reference photo to create a stylized portrait of that photo. I think that this is really fun because I think most people can probably relate. They've come across a photograph before, and they're like, "I want to draw that." But you might also want to make it your own, and you don't want to make an exact replica. You want to say, "This is my style, but this is also this photograph." So it's a fun way to take something and really make it yours. So the steps that we will be going through today, we'll be starting with a reference image of your choosing, creating a sketch, final line work with that, laying down base color, creating a full render, and ultimately adding finishing touches on top of that. As a bonus, we're going throw in how to make the hair glow. Today, I am working on a Microsoft Surface Pro with the program Autodesk SketchBook, but you should be able to do this class in most art programs such as Procreate, Photoshop, things like that. So for my portrait, I'm going to be stylizing a photograph of myself. I've taken several reference photos here. What I look for in reference photos is dynamic movement. So in this one in particular, one shoulder might be popped up higher than the other, and there's an S curve in the neck line. I like photos that have a very diffused light across them. Heavy light from above, maybe if you are in direct sunlight, can create these shadows across the eyes that might not be the best for drawing the kind of portraits that you want to create. Similarly here, I've played around with having maybe the face facing towards the camera, but the body is facing three-quarters away from the camera, which creates movement in the character. Always creating a sort of S curve is something I'm aiming for and avoiding things that feel very static and rigid. So the one I ultimately chose has the face facing a little bit more front-facing, slightly to the side, and the body facing away from the camera. When you're looking for your own image to use in this class, you are, of course, welcome to use yourself or friends and family as a reference, or you can scour the Internet. Just make sure that you have permission to be using what image you're using, especially if you're going to be posting it online or selling it in any way. There are actually a lot of amazing people who have put together free online resources. An example of this would be SenshiStock. She's taken pictures of herself in probably every pose that you can think of. So if you're looking for different dynamic poses, that is definitely a place to look. Pinterest is also an amazing resource. Just once again, make sure you have permission to be using the images you're using. So as we will be taking an image and putting it through your personal filter to create your personal style, we will be stylizing different elements of the portrait. Me, personally, that means that I'll be adding larger eyes, more colorful colors. The hair might have a lot more volume than it would normally have, might be a little bit more sparkles, and eyelashes, and things like that. So this is really your chance to stylize and have fun with this project. Don't take it too seriously. Use this as an opportunity to inject your own personality here. So now is your chance to go track down a reference photo of your own. Make sure it contains all the things that you would like to have in your portrait, maybe a lot of movement and dynamic angles, things like that. Once you have your photo, the next step will be creating a sketch from that photo, getting down the facial proportions and the general head shape. 3. Sketching Your Character: Once you've picked out the perfect reference photo, what we're going to do is create a new file in your application of choice, and you're going to pull open that photo in the application. You're actually going to create two copies of that photo and you're going to put one of those copies up in the corner, and this is going to be a photo that you will reference for the rest of the drawing. The other photo you're going to make much much larger, this is going to be a photo that we're going to use to trace to get a general idea of head shape, facial feature placement, I like to lower the opacity because I'm going to be drawing over it, and so that helps me see the lines that I'm creating. The first thing to keep in mind is general average facial proportions, there's an average way that most faces follow and you don't need to be married to those concepts, because going outside of those concepts can create very interesting faces but faces do tend to follow a general structure or rule set. Typically speaking, the corners of the eyes will match up with the corners of the nose, and the corners of the mouth will hit about mid eye and the nose is going to be the center of the face. Going beyond the boundaries, these facial proportions can create very interesting looking characters. If anyone knows like Ryuk from Death Note, his mouth lines go far beyond the boundaries of the eyes, which is part of what makes him so creepy. If you create eyes and you space them further apart, you get a character that looks far more alien, which can also be very interesting way, so knowing the averages and knowing how to step outside of the averages are very important in creating faces. When you create your sketch, pick out the general sketching brush that you'd like to use, I do almost everything exclusively with an inking pen here. For the sake of sketching, I like to lower the opacity of it so that I can create lines that don't feel hard and fast, but they feel much softer and you get to pick the lines that you want to use after you've made a lot of very lightweight lines. So what we're going to do here is trace the general head shape to get an idea of what the face should look like. So what we're doing here is just getting a general idea of where everything is located, you can exaggerate at this point but I just like knowing the general layout of the piece that we're going to be drawing over here. Knowing where the eyes are going to land or the mouth will land, where the center of the face is, figuring out where the neck might be behind the hair, that sort of thing. Once you get the general idea down, this is where you're going to start stylizing, so I'm not going to trace the eyes exactly because I like my eyes to be much larger than normal people eyes. So that's usually where I start when creating my sketches with the eyes, because the rest of the face will be affected by that, because I might put the eyebrows a little bit higher up, because if the eyes are larger and eyebrows are still here, they're going to look way too close together. This is why you might want to have this picture in the corner to reference, because you'll be like, "Well, what's the eye shape now that I'm making them larger?" You are welcome to stylize in your own style whatever you like, if you really like the big anime eyes, you're welcome to put those in here, or if you're following my sort of style, I typically tend to focus mainly on making the eyes bigger, I don't mess with the nose very much. I might make the lips a little bit fuller and then I raise the eyebrows up, and then the hair is really a place where I'll play around a lot, because I think hair can add a lot to a composition and there's lot more fluidity in messing with hair I think. Right now what I'm doing is just making the eyes larger, you're going to create some eyes and they're going to look real freaky and the beginning, and then as I get into the rendering stage they're going to get toned down a lot. So you're going to start out with something that looks so alien and terrifying, I think it's okay to not have everything right from the very beginning. I think people stress out that it's got like an ugly duckling stage in the beginning and they're like, "I'm not a real artist, this should go in the trash." It starts out weird, it's an awkward 12-year-old teenage transition here. As you progress with your piece, the opacity of the starting image that you're tracing over is going to go down further and further and further until you turn it off completely. You have it as an initial guideline for what you're creating, but you're going to want to start being able to see what you've drawn more and more, so getting rid of that layer is very helpful. Once you feel like you have all the lines you need for your final line work are there you just need to eliminate the bad lines, that's how you know that you're done with your sketch. So now is your chance to grab your photo, drag it into your program, and create your sketch. Please don't feel locked in to doing things the way that I'm doing things, just because I exaggerated the eyes and not the nose and the mouth doesn't mean that you can't. I really want to encourage you to just be yourself in this piece, and change things up the way that works best for you. Next up after this, we will be doing the final line work. 4. Creating Your Line Work: The next thing that we will be moving into is creating a finalized line work from the sketching that you just created. So first, what I'm going to do is actually turn down this thing up in the corner. Just because it's in the way right now. Also, with the sketch lines that you just created, you're also going to lower the opacity on that. You just want the layer that your line work is on to be as prominent as possible. So we're going to up the settings of our Inking Brush. I'm going to turn on the size and up the opacity. I never work unless I'm laying down base color. I pretty much never worked with full opacity with any of my brushes. The reason that I turned down the size is because we're going to want something that has more finesse to it. When you're sketching, large strokes are fine, but when you're creating line work, you want something that's a little more locked in. Then you're turning up the opacity because you want the lines to be very stark. We're creating a new layer for this line work. The old layer, you're going to turn down the opacity, but your new layer will be full opacity. So you can just pick the lines that you like. This is the perfect line. When you're sketching, you're making lines all over the place, but you pick the perfect line, and that's the one that you're going to trace over to create line work. I typically start with the face, but it doesn't matter where you start really, wherever you're most comfortable. So with the nose here and the mouth, even though we've sketched a lot of lines to create their shape, we're not going to use those for the liner, because nose and lips, they don't actually have hard outlines unless you're wearing like somewhere lip liner or something like that. You just want them for this sketch to understand where you're going to be laying the shadows later. So ultimately, even though you've laid down hard outlines, you're actually not going to be removing this sketch layer for a long time, because it has things like that in there, so you're like, "I know where the shadows go, but there's no outlines actually going on the edge of the nose here or the lips." You're not going to have that. When it comes to creating the lips specifically, you're not going to want to create this very rigid line that's just the same all the way across, because lips aren't like that. Typically, there'll be a stronger outline maybe around the corners of the mouth and during larger creases, but other parts will be finer because the lips might be a little more stuck together there, so creating beautiful lips shape often depends on creating a fluctuating line density when you create the crease of the lips. So I already want to edit the eyes that I sketched out, because I think I made them a little too open. I think that the picture, they're a little more half-closed, so we're going to edit these a little bit. They're going to keep getting edited down. It's just what's going to happen. Picture's going to change a lot over time, and that's okay. I tend to create the initial eye shape first. I don't like to make hard outlines along these bottom areas where the teardrops are going to be, because usually these darker areas are more like where eyeliner's going to be and eyelashes, and things like that, in areas here. They're just going to be flesh tone, so you don't really want those harder outlines there. Then once you have the general eye shap, then you're going to know where to place the iris within the eye. In this particular step, you just want to create the general shape of the hair, because we know that it's going to be covering this part of the cheek. Things like that. When we're shading, we notice shade there. But here, it doesn't need to be perfect at this stage. So we've done with the nose here, is just the nostrils, and the nose really doesn't have a lot of hard lines, except for those nostrils, will be typically very dark, very prominent. While a dark line work there and everywhere else, it's just going to get shaded. You know that you're done with your line work when you feel like you have a piece that you're ready to color in. Everything is there. There's nothing left uncertain. You know exactly where everything is going to be, the general shape of all of it. Once you have all of that outline, you're ready to move on to the coloring stage. Now is your opportunity to take the sketch that you made in the previous lesson and create your finalized line work over that sketch. Next up, we will be laying down the base colors underneath the line work that we just created. 5. Laying Down Base Colors: All right. So now that you have your finalized line work, we're going to lay down the base colors. These are just very simplistic what colors we're going to lay underneath the line work we've created to show you what color you'll be rendering on top of. This is just a really easy way to have a starting point for all the different colors that you're going to be using. You're officially done with the sketch that you used to trace over. You really don't need this anymore. You're not done with the sketch that's beneath your line work, that's still very helpful for knowing where some shadows are going to be. So the new layer, you're going to create a new layer to lay your colors down on. The new layer is going to go underneath the sketch layer and underneath the line art layer. I'm going to minimize this just a little bit because it's in the way. So this is where your handy dandy color dropper tool comes in. One of the reasons why you have this drawing up in the upper corner in the first place, you're going to take the color drop and you might just pick like, okay, here's the general skin tone. You're going to be altering these later, but these are a good jumping off point. So there's not much to know about this, it's just essentially, can you color within the lines? You're going to lay down the color for each thing. So for your skin, for your eyes, your lips, your hair, things like that. This is the one time I use my brush with full opacity because you just need your colors to go down as straightforward as possible. This is just an intermediary step. There's not a lot of thinking that goes on here. You just color drop and go for it. It doesn't matter if your skin tones go into your eyeballs and things like that for now because you're going to be coloring over that in just one second. Hey, you're just going to be laying down the base color for each element of the drawing. So the whites of the eye are going to be a different color than the iris, and so you'll need to separate colors for that. The lips are going to be a separate color from the rest of the skin, so you'll want a color for that. There's actually one thing I'll do here that is a little different than just laying down base color, and that's when you're coloring the lips like this, [inaudible] a blending tool and blend the base color of the lips into the skin because there is just not a hard edge between those two things. So it looks really strange to have it, and then you might also do this with the hair line up here. Just blend these in together because they don't have a hard edge. It's important to lay down your base colors first to see how the colors of the piece are interacting with each other. I'm already seeing colors that I'm going to be changing in the next step because the hair isn't as red as I'd like it to be, the eyes are not as blue as I'd like them to be. But having that base color gives you a layer to add things on top of. You're going to add shadows to it, you're going to add highlights to it, you're going to add reds in the face to round things out, but you want to have these colors to start with just as a base as you begin laying all these added elements over top. So next up comes the really fun, complicated part of the process, which is doing the full render over everything that we've created so far. 6. Adding Shadows And Highlights: So this step is the big step. This is going to be our full render where we're going to take this piece that is currently looking very flat and very strange, and we're going to render it into something that looks more dimensional, and shapely, and vibrant, and full of color, and it's really we're going to make the beautiful piece here. When I say rendering here, what I mean specifically is just adding dimension to your piece. What we have right now is a very flat image. We just have basic color, basic lines, and we're going to create shading on top of that. That's going to give the piece a look of curving and going forward and backward in space. Depending on the photograph that you've chosen for your piece, you might have a different light source, you might have a top-down light or light coming in from the side. My picture I chose a very diffused light. I tend to prefer a diffused lighting that gives you just a soft general tone across the face instead of these very harsh shadows, but harsh shadows can be really fun to work with. The first thing that I'm going to do is change my colors a little bit actually. Looking at this piece, so we color-dropped from the piece. We get some exact colors, but they may not represent like exactly what we're going for. Like the hair in the picture looks very red and the hair in the color-dropped looks brownish and since I want it to be a little more red I'm going to edit that. I want the eyes to be a little bit more blue. This is where we get to play with color a little bit. It's fun. I want the whites of the eyes to be a little bit less gray, we have a little more of a blue. Okay, so now that we have some colors we start with the face. The first thing that we're going to do is create a new layer and we're going to set that layer to a setting called multiply. Multiply should be in any art program that you're using. It's like a staple of drawing. I'm going to pick a red color and this is what we're going to use for our shadows. Using my inking brush and setting things to like a medium opacity, we're just going to create areas of shadow on our piece. Any other thing on the face is going to be casting a shadow, you might want to put a shadow underneath there. So the inner side of the nose will have a shadow and then it also casts a shadow on the face. The indentation underneath the lips usually the brow protrudes forward, and so there's shading underneath the brow here. This doesn't need to be perfect, once again, because this is, I guess, I would call this sketching for shading a little bit. You're like laying down your basic areas of shadow. Obviously, under the chin will be in shadow. I might add a little bit to the areas around the face with the hair and then you'll just take a blending tool and you're going to want to just blend all that. Faces are very soft and they'll just have usually a gradual sort of gradient in the shading going from one side to the other. So you very rarely want to have these very harsh edges of your shadows unless there's a really strong shadow being cast by something. This is usually where I'll start rendering the nose because the nose is just really built up with shading and highlights. They can be tricky. I always pick a red color. When I'm doing shadows, I find that it creates a good gradient with the skin, but I'll go over again and use also a blue color for areas that I want there to be really dark shadows. With lighting, I don't refer back to the photo. The photo I mostly use initially when I'm just trying to get like the drawing down, but once I have the general drawing down that's when I start really throwing my style in there and so I'm paying less and less attention. So we're done with our reds here. So what I'll typically do then is create a new layer and also set that to multiply and I'll pick a bluish gray color. This is what I'm going to use to create areas that have stronger shadows. So you're just going to add some stronger shadows here. Maybe a little bit under the chin depending on whether you've seen it in your reference photo where there are really strong shadows and use the blue to create that. You might also put some red under there. I think a common misconception that might be taught is that highlights and shadows have to be black and white. But very rarely in the real world are you going to encounter shadows that are actually gray or highlights that are actually white. So you'll find that utilizing different variations of color is going to give you a more lifelike feel when you're drawing. Purples and blues make for really great shadows and actually even light blues can be really beautiful highlights. The human skin has a lot of cream colors, and blue colors, and highlights. So here's what we're going to get wild and we're going to start drawing over our line art. I start with the eyes, so right now, our eyes are pure chaos and we're going to start rendering them to look much prettier. Right now, I'm redrawing the whole eye because we have just a very sketchy eye and we're going to really lock it in. So it's missing things like a tear duct, it's missing the, I don't know what you call that, just the underside crease of the lid. It's like a pink area, and obviously, you know the iris itself it's chaos. So we're refining it right now. So yeah, I feel like I should know human anatomy right now, but adding this little pink bit right here, I don't know what this is called. I don't think I've ever tried to say this out loud, but adding that to the eye and then adding a tear duct here into the eye. Then your eyelids will actually casts a shadow as well, and so we're going to add a shadow from the eyelid. The eyes will redefine the rest of the face in the sense like what we talked about earlier with facial proportions, facial anatomy it's like once I really have perfected the eyes then I know where the nose is going to properly land, that I know where the mouth is going to properly land. It's just I think the eyes are a little bit the North Star for me personally that once I have them locked I know what to do with everything else on the face. The reason that you're saving your eyelashes for last is because there's so much shading that's going to be happening around the eye and until you have that really locked-in you don't want to draw over your eyelashes. Or you could be smart and put them on a different layer but I do everything on one layer. So highlighting eyes is a very interesting aspect of the piece. I feel like a lot of mood can be set depending on how much you highlight an eye. Adding a lot of highlights to it, making it very sparkly will give your picture more of a useful looking feel to it, it'll be kind of cute sea. If you leave an eye without a highlight on it you can get more of a somber almost like disturbed look to be without highlights to it. I think highlights are something that you can easily go overboard with highlights and you end up with something that looks very slick and oily. If that's what you're going for that's fine, but if it's not keep in mind like, go light on the highlights. I find that different artists have ways that they favored doing highlights. I typically like to have a highlight that comes from the side but some people like to put more of a highlight up here or highlight these areas down below. You can follow exactly what's going on in your picture. For mine, it doesn't have a side highlight like what I added, but I like to put them in there I think they're pretty. You'll notice that I used a very light blue color for the highlight instead of a straight white. Something else that you can do that I think is little fun if you create a new layer and you set this layer to screen, you can create almost a glow under your highlight. I'm using a hot pink color right now, and making it look like there's a glow happening around this highlight. We'll blur that a little bit, makes the eyes seem more reflective. So we have been rendering the face adding a lot of the values of lights and darks and creating the nose, and the lips, and the eyes, and things like that. I feel when it comes to knowing where to go next in your process, it's a very personal thing that you'll find that you want to have certain areas rendered before you move on to the next thing and you might have render something come back to it later because what you're doing changes depending on what's been done to other aspects of the face and it is definitely something that you learn over time, your own personal process. 7. Rendering The Skin: Something I personally enjoy adding is a red screen layer over the skin. I think that this gives the skin almost like a luminescent effect, it kind of see if it's glowing, and I'll demonstrate that effect right now. So you create a new layer over top of your drawing and you'll set that layer to screen, just like you've done with like the multiply layers. Then we're just going to cover all of the skin and a little bit of the hair around the face with this screen layer, using a very bright red here. As bright of a red is you can get, and just cover all of the skin with it. The reason I push it onto the hair, is it gives this effect like the skin is very warm and that warmth is radiating into the hair. So you're going to kind of blend in and a little bit. But we don't want to lose all the colors and the tones that we've built-up thus far, and so we're going to make this not a full opacity layer, and also certain parts I will erase, like I want keep the blue of the eyes, and so I'm going to erase that and some of the darks of the eyelashes, maybe the darks of the nose, corners of the lips kind of thing. But otherwise, we have a much redder skin tone than we had before, it feels very warm, and then I'll continue rendering over top of this. So across most of the face what we have is a very gentle gradient of skin tone that might shift from light to dark, but not with any harsh edges, except on shapes that have harsh edges. So the side of the nose right here is more of a harsher shape and so we get this really bright white that hits the side of the nose there, as well as like the contours of the cheekbones. Something interesting to note, is that if you're going to have bright back-lighting like this, usually it gets the darkest right before it gets the brightest. So we'll have a really dark shade here, right next to this very bright shade right here. With lips, it's fun to add some texture to them. They'll have little creases, and then right next to the crease you might add a highlight to really accentuate the texture of the lip there. I've added little bits of texture up here on the eyebrows and along with cheek to just give a little bit of skin texture and a little bit natural glitter there. So lips don't have to be super shiny like the way that I've made them, you can have more mut type lips if that's appealing to, you just cover that up and there's some mut lips, I actually kinda like look at that. Or you can add that gloss back in, gets very glossy lips. I think once you've finished the rendering and stepping back from the piece really looking at what you've created, it's important to ask yourself some questions like, how close did you want it to look like? The original photograph that you were drawing and comparing the two. If you're like me you probably don't care too much what it looks like the original drawing. But if you're going for something a little bit closer than doing a back and forth and trying to match the two images, a little closer, do your colors look the way you want them to? Are they as vibrant or as muted as you'd like them to be? Really feeling like is there a good shift in the drawing. Sometimes I'll step away from a picture and I'll realized there's not enough contrast in the piece, and I may start adding in harsher shadows again and being delicate with that. So now is your opportunity to fully render the face in the features on your picture, and next up we will be rendering the hair. 8. Rendering The Hair: So in this lesson, we will be fully rendering the hair now, the last thing that we need to render on this piece. So the first thing we will do and we always do we create a new layer and I like to take a dark color, not a black color but just a dark color for whatever [inaudible] I'm using like a very dark reddish-brown right now. I've already started to do this as I have been drawing the piece but breaking the hair up into chunks. Chunking out the hair into different segments, and this can be a matter of choice or you can kind of follow how the hair goes. The hair that I've drawn doesn't at all resemble the hair of the picture. So feel free to stay as close to the picture or as far from the picture as you would like. The reason that it is helpful to break the hair up into chunks is it helps you recognize where all the distinct shapes are because you treat hair like a bunch of different distinct shapes and you shade them like that and so breaking them up into smaller shapes helps you be less overwhelmed. It creates a higher contrast, you have these big areas of light and dark. Negative space is something that's really fun to think about with hair. Negative Space the definition of that is the space in between the objects that you're creating. I oftentimes find that using hair to create a negative space around the piece can just create these very beautiful shapes. So it might be like areas where the hair splits apart and it can accentuate some of the features. So sometimes when I'm drawing I will leave like a negative space right here near the neck so that it makes the neck pop. I would say right now if you have a high interest in experimenting with color seeing how different hair colors work, now is a great time to try it out and really make the piece your own and make it whichever way you like. So if you feel you've hit a point where you're completed chunking all of your hair, I think that would mean that every portion of the hair has really been broken up into what you feel like is complete segments. There's no area left unfinished. So up at the top of the piece here I've left a lot more open space and when you get more down on the shoulder here you have a lot more tiny sections. Creating sort of areas that are more rendered and less rendered is key for creating kind of movement of the eye along your piece, that you want the eye to be drawn to the focal point and not just not knowing where to put itself because everything is so crazy detailed. So next thing we're going to do is shadows. Create another layer so that layer to multiply and then I'm picking just sort of a light brownish color, and you're going to start shading this as though it were just a regular shape. So because this is a round shape sort of the underside of it is going to be darker and we will blur that. You're going to do this along all the little segments that you made. Now once you've created your shadows we're going to do something very similar but with highlights. So create a new layer. You're going to set that layer to screen and you're going to pick a lighter color, you're going to pick a lightish red color but you're going to add more detailed highlights later but this is just like this particular area is lighter than other particular areas of the hair, and you're going to just blend that in. So that it all just blends in really nicely together. Depending on the light source you have it will affect where your highlights and your shadows are and sometimes the more stylized you getting the less distinguished your light source might become as you get a little more comfortable with highlighting in a very specific manner, and either is fine. So once you've finished with your general highlights across the piece we're going to add a few more intense highlights that really pop. Unless I think you're going for a very glossy look with the picture I'd say be very sparse with these in just the areas you want to be bright, and really pop that's where we are going to place these. For me, that's typically right up here kind of near the bangs, and maybe where the part of the hair is, where is where I'll add these. The color I'm using currently is sort of a beige color. It's within the orange spectrum but a very light beige. I try to avoid using white as much as possible if I can. White is not a color that is naturally found and so your piece will look a lot more natural I think if you use beige colors, and light pastels every time you want to highlight something instead of using a full-on white. From this point on we're really going to go in and start adding the details to the hair. We're going to start adding small strands of hair in certain places like flyaway hairs, lots of texture, extra highlights where they might be needed, things of that sort. So something that can be really fun to add into hair is little flyaway hairs, little bits of hair that are flying in different directions than maybe the rest of the hair chunk is. This is the one time that I switched to a different brush. I'll pick a very textured pencil brush. So if you're using a sketchbook then it's just literally the sketch pencil labeled number one. Now pick a very light hair color but these very thin, light-colored lines that go in different directions than the rest of the hair, they can be really fun to add on. Then if you want to go outside the boundaries of the hair you can add like a darker color out there. Here we took the hair, we broke it up into chunks. We treated each chunk like a shape adding shadows and highlights and texture in there and really framed the face with a very dynamic organic shape. Now I invite you to do the same with the hair on your project. So next up we're going to add the finishing effects on our piece just some final touches that take it from okay this is pretty cool to something that feels like really dynamic, and I'm just going to show you a couple tricks that you may not be aware of that just help you finish up a piece. 9. Adding Finishing Effects: So now that we have mostly completed RP, so we're just going to add a couple of finishing touches that are going to make it really pop. First things first, create a new layer as always, and we're going to set this layer to screen, and what we're going to create here is gradient. Right now, our piece looks pretty static, from top to bottom it has got all the same colors and values going on. Adding a gradient to her piece is a great way to draw the eye from one focal point to another. Typically, the way that I like to add a gradient, there should be a gradient tool on most programs that you're using, so you get your paint bucket and you're going to lay down gradient and then you're going to select some colors. My favorite way to do this and you can play around with whatever colors you like best, it fits the Instagram logo but it goes from pink, to purple, to yellow, down here. Then we're going to take the opacity of this layer and we're going to take it down to 10 percent. So this is going to be a light really subtle edition of this picture. The screen layer will soften things up a little bit, which means you may need to go back and over top of it and re-add some of your dark values of the multiply layer. But what this should create is that like down to the bottom and it'll be a little more yellow, so the eye is less drawn to that area and more drawn to the pinker areas appear at the top. The second thing that we are going to do is give this a little bit of atmosphere. So once again you're going to create a new layer, so that layer to screen. I like to pick color like a bright blue color or bright green color depending on my color palette, and we're going to make it look like your picture has been like swallowed in the atmosphere. So around like the edges of the piece, you're just going to add the screen layer. I think I want this to be a little bit more brain maybe, add the screen layer around the edges of your piece, making it look like some of it is going a little bit further back into the distance. Then you're going to want to really blur that, you want to be really subtle. Then usually this will be a little too bright, so you might turn the layer down a little bit, but it'll have this feeling like the edges of the piece are fading into the background a little bit. At this point, you'll probably want to turn off your reference foot off in the corner as well to really just get a feel like, what does your piece look like? So we have that good atmospheric effect, and then I would say just go back and make sure that all of your shadows are as dark as you want them to be that you haven't lost all of your contrast by adding all the screen layers. So I'm just going go back in and fix any shadows that I feel like are really lacking. Call you piece complete. When you're really stepping back from your picture, a couple questions to ask yourself, do you feel like the contrast that you want to be there is there? Is a level of detail there? Do some areas feel like they've been left simple enough that they're not pulling away from the focal point as you want the focal point to be the face? Do you feel like the face is popping? If these things aren't happening, evaluate why are they happening. Is there's something happening somewhere else in the piece that's pulling away the attention from the face? Is there a way you can desaturate that or make it less detailed so that attention goes back to the face? Once you feel like you've really achieved all of these things, then you can call your piece complete. 10. Making Hair Glow: By now you should have a finished beautiful piece. Congratulations, give yourself a pat on the back, you made it all the way through. As a fun little bonus round here, I'm just going to show you real quick how to take this piece and very quickly add some glowing hair to it just for fun. So we're going to first turn off the screen layer that we use to make the green atmosphere because we don't need that right now. Then you're going to go beneath all of your layers, create a new layer, and you're going to make that layer very dark. Go a little bit darker. So the way that glowing works, it's all color theory and tricking the eye. Essentially, the darker something is the less saturated it becomes. So if it's dark and unsaturated, your brain thinks this is in the dark. If everything is dark and unsaturated but there is something that is very brightly saturated, then your brain will see that as a light source. So you're going to create a new layer, you're going to set it to multiply, you're going to pull out your paint bucket, and I'm going to just overlay a very light purple over the whole piece. So now it's a little bit in darkness. But I'm going to come at this with an eraser and I'm going to erase the areas that have the hair. So already the hare is going to be lighter than the rest of the piece. Next thing you'll do, create a new layer, set it to screen. You can probably tell by now that's my favorite type of layer, and pick any color you want. But it has to be the brightest possible setting of that color. I think I'm just going to go full bright right here, and we're going to overlay that on top of over here. What you're going to end up with is a rim of extremely bright color around the hair which is what you'd want. If you were to ever make hair glow with traditional media, what you're trying to make glow is going to be a pastel color, and then the very bright saturated points are going to be around the perimeter since a light source will emit that color around it. This layer at this point maybe a little too intense, and so you might turn it down a little bit and then create a second screen layer, and this one is just going to be for the perimeter of the hair to be really bright. Then as just a final piece, I like to add some extra white highlights along the perimeter to really just drive home the contrast, and how striking and bright the hair really is. Make it pop. So just to recap, what we did here we added a dark background to really set a dark atmosphere, because we needed the rest of the piece to feel very dark to really make something feel like it is emitting light. So we create a dark background, we create a multiply layer to make the rest of the piece dark, but we leave them multiply layer off of the hair because we want the hair to be bright and light. Then we added a screen layer over all of the hair with a bright color, and then a screen layer around the perimeter to really create the emission of light, and then finally some very bright backlighting to really make that hair pop and feel like it's glowing. One of the biggest questions that I often hear from people is, how do you make hair glow? I think glowing objects in your art is a really fun way to people find it really impressive, it feels very magical, very theorial, and as you've just seen from this demonstration it's super easy to do. So you can just throw it into all your pieces now, and impress everybody you know. So if you want to try out adding some glowing hair to your character, then go ahead and try it right now. 11. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you've made it to the end of the class. You now know all the steps to select a reference photo and create your own stylized portrait. Hopefully you've become more comfortable with your own style, and going forward you're able to just convert any photo you see into something that's truly yours and you truly love and adore. If you made a project, I would love to see it, go ahead and upload it to the project gallery. Thank you so much for taking my class, and I cannot wait to see what you create. 12. Explore More Classes On Skillshare: