Draw Cute & Easy Animal Characters in Procreate & Paper. Outlining the Cute Factor. Series 1 | Lettie Blue | Skillshare

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Draw Cute & Easy Animal Characters in Procreate & Paper. Outlining the Cute Factor. Series 1

teacher avatar Lettie Blue, Architect & Digital 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

13 Lessons (1h 29m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:44
    • 2. Supplies & Free Downloads

      2:03
    • 3. Procreate: The Very Basics

      4:15
    • 4. Procreate: Page Assist

      1:33
    • 5. The Method

      5:50
    • 6. From Cute to the Cutest

      4:20
    • 7. Practice 1: Setting Commonalities

      13:07
    • 8. Practice 2: Learn & Repeat

      14:53
    • 9. Practice 3: Work Smart

      9:06
    • 10. Practice 4: Make it Simple

      8:32
    • 11. Practice 5: Make it Your Own

      14:29
    • 12. Let's Play the 1 Minute Drawing Game

      7:27
    • 13. Final Thoughts

      1:14
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About This Class

Feeling creatively stuck is remarkably frustrating, right? If you've ever wondered if this happens to everyone, the answer is yes. Mr Creative Block doesn’t care about our years of experience, so it’s important to have some tools on-hand to get us unstuck and back on track.

My name is Lettie, I studied Architecture and I’ve been an illustrator since 2012. I’ve worked on a wide range of projects from architectural designs to video games, to children’s books, websites, I sell my illustrations on print-on-demand sites and since 2017 I also enjoy creating fun art tutorials. 

Welcome to the How to Draw Cute and Easy Animal Character series!

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Today, I want to share with you one of the best ways I’ve found to recharge my creative batteries, which is to forget about anatomy, proportions, and all the heavy stuff, go back to basics and take a whole different course of action. And so The Egg Method were born!

In this class, we will use this super simple and fun method to draw adorable animal characters in just a few steps. Of course, we’ll first get to know what “The Egg Method” is all about, what makes a character look cute, and identify the key features of what we want to draw.

I will use my iPad and Procreate. Procreate is a drawing and painting app for iPad. If don’t know how to use the app, no worries, I’ve included a quick lesson about it in this class. In any case, you can follow this class using any other software or just paper and pencil.

This class is perfect for beginning traditional and digital artists. People who are trained at illustration will probably already know what I explain in this series but, you know, you can always learn something new from others. So anyone how wants to learn how to draw cute characters and unblock their creativity at the same time is invited to take this class.

As a bonus, I’ve included a workbook with all the info and practices.

Ok, enough talking, let’s get to it!

In this class you will learn how to:

  • Use “The Egg Method” to create super cute and simple animal characters
  • Identify the key features of the animals you want to draw
  • Get the cute factor
  • Basic knowledge of Procreate (digital painting app)

Bonus:

  • Procreate workbook
  • Also available as PDF

Take a look at all my classes, brushes, tips, and know more about me in herehttps://www.skillshare.com/r/user/lettieblue

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lettie Blue

Architect & Digital Illustrator

Teacher

 

 Hey there! I’m Lettie, architect, illustrator and teacher.

I love drawing, making crafts, traveling, cooking, reading, singing, dancing, listening to music, growing my own veggies... well, I am not good at the last one, but I like it anyway, plus the snails and their bug friends living in my small garden seem to be very happy. :)

As I was saying, I am a curious and motivated person, always eager to learn something new and to share what I learn with you all. I’ve been drawing in Procreate since 2012 and I LOVE IT! I make illustrations for apps, games, books, print-on-demand products... I draw A LOT every day! I've taught over 100K + aspiring and established artists to get the most of Procreate. Teaching makes me re... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Feeling creatively stuck is remarkably frustrating. If you ever wonder if this happens to everyone. The answer is yes. Mr. Creative block doesn't care about our years of experience, so it's important to have some tools on hand to get unstuck and back on track. My name is Lettie I studied architecture and I've been on illustrator since 2012. I've worked on a wide range of projects, from architectural designs, to video games, to children's books, websites, I sell my illustrations on print-on-demand sites, and since 2017, I also enjoy creating fun art tutorials. Today, I want to share with you one of the best ways I've found to recharge my creative batteries, which is to forget about anatomy, proportions, and all the heavy stuff. Just go back to basics and take a whole different course of action. And so the Egg Method was born. In this class, we will use this super simple and fun method to draw adorable animal characters in just a few steps. Of course, we'll first get to know what the Egg Method is all about, what makes a character look cute and identify the key features of what we want to draw. I will use my iPad and Procreate, but you can follow this course using any other software or just paper and pencil. As a bonus, I've included a workbook with all the info and practices. Okay. Enough talking. Let's get started. 2. Supplies & Free Downloads: As a student of this class, you get for free the first workbook in my How to Draw Cute and Easy Animal Characters series. Make sure you download it before you begin. Also, you are going to need some paper and pencils and a light box or a window if you want to work with traditional mediums. If you prefer digital or want to give digital a go, you can use any painting software. I recommend using Procreate because it is a very intuitive app, and also because is the app I use. Since I will share a lot of tips on it, you'll get the most out of this class if you use the same software as me. Having said that, you will find the link to download the workbook in the projects and resources section, open the PDF workbook or import it into Procreate by just tapping on the file. There are two Procreate versions of this file, because there are many different iPads and not all of them support the same number of layers and canvas sizes. So if your iPad doesn't open the large one, just go for the small version. In regard to brushes, I am going to use the Peppermint which is a default brush. We don't need fancy custom brushes for sketching. I think the ones that come with Procreate are actually very good for this task. But by all means, feel free to use your custom brushes or play around with the ones included in the sketching set and select a different one. In the next video, I will give you a super quick walk-through to Procreate just in case you want to give it a go. And in the next one I will show you how to use the Procreate version of the workbook. So if you are going to follow along with this class using traditional mediums or other software, you can skip those videos. 3. Procreate: The Very Basics: Procreate: The Very Basics If this is the first time you open Procreate, you just need five minutes to learn the basics to start drawing on it. I'll show you how easy this is. Tap on gallery to close this workbook and see what else is there. Well, welcome to the Procreate Gallery. From now on, this will be your digital box or folder where you are going to put your digital drawings. This plus sign is the place from where you will get any canvas size you need. You can use the default ones or create a custom one. Here is where the digital brushes, pencils and other mediums are. Just tap on one... and draw It's that easy. This is the Smudge tool. And the Eraser tool. Same brushes. Yeah. All of them are called brushes, no matter if they mimic a pencil or any other medium. By default, we paint in black, but we can pick any color from here. To magically erase what we just drew we will use the undo gesture, which is to tap with two fingers on the screen. To make it appear again we'll use the redo gesture, which is to tap with three fingers on the screen. Just remember that if you undo something and then continue painting you will lose it forever. Pinch your fingers apart to work on details and together to see the big picture. Zoom in Zoom out. Quick pinch to fit the canvas to the screen. Scrub with three fingers back and forth to clear the canvas. Let's pick a different brush. For example the Soft Pastel. Here we can control the size of the brush. The lower the bar, the smaller the brush. Let's make it small and draw. Now let's make it bigger. What a difference, right? This is the opacity bar. The lower the bar, the subtler the stroke. This is very useful to build up effects and colors gradually. Finally, this is called the Layers panel and it comes by default with this Layer 1, which is where the strokes we just did are. And a layer called Background color, which is basically like the surface we paint on when working traditionally. That Background color layer will always be opaque and we will only be able to change its color. Whereas Layer 1 and the rest of the layers we create will be transparent. Since the paint and the background can be handled separately we have the freedom to modify them or even get rid of any of them without compromising the other. As soon as you get used to this, you will wish you could do it with traditional mediums. Procreate has many more options, features and tools, but with just these few you are ready to start drawing digitally. So let's come back to the workbook and see how it works. 4. Procreate: Page Assist: Even if you are a Procreate user, you may not know that we can turn Procreate into a sketchbook. A sketchbook, all the mediums, all the colors, everything you need for drawing on an iPad. So cool. You remember the Layers panel, right? Well, now the layers of the Layers panel are the pages of the book, and they are also here in the timeline. Our current page will be underlined in blue. We can tap on any mini page or thumbnail to see the page on screen. Drag the timeline back and forth or just flick it for a rapid scroll. There are two type of pages, the ones we can draw on and the ones we can't. We can't draw on the cover. So if we try, this message will appear. If you tap on open layers, you will see the guts of my workbook. If we go to a page we can draw on and tap on the screen, we will get a different message. We just have to tap on draw here and draw. Easy peasy Right? Now that we know how everything works, let's dive into the fun part. 5. The Method: Drawing characters may seem complicated, but actually we just need to find the method. And if nothing works for us, coming up with our own method is our best option. After all, all existing methods were created by someone. Don't let the blank page intimidate you. I know getting started is one of the most intimidating parts of the drawing process. So we need something there to keep going. Look at this cute egg. I bet you can draw an egg shape. Give it a go. It doesn't need to be perfect. So which one looks more like yours? For sketching the characters we are going to create in this series anything that resembles the shape of an egg will do. But if you are a perfectionist like me, you can draw two circles first. A big one. And a small one. And then join them with arcs. How close those circles should be to each other will depend on the character we want to draw. If we overlap them in this way, we will get a rounder shape than if we draw them further apart. If you are more of a perfectionist than I am, you can use a Quick Shape tool to make a perfectly symmetrical egg shape. Just draw the circle and don't lift the pencil when you finish. When Ellipse created appears at the top of the screen, touch the screen with one finger. The ellipse will transform into perfect circle. Lift your pencil first and then your finger, or you'll get an ellipse instead of a circle. To join the circles with perfect arcs, draw an arc and wait until arc created appears. Then tap on the message and adjust the arc shape by dragging the blue dots. Tap anywhere when you are done. These are just techniques for drawing an egg shape more accurately. But as I said before, in this course, anything that resembles the shape of an egg will do. So no pressure. Egg shape ready. Let's go for the next step. Do you remember that toy called Mr. Potato Head? Hope you are not too young and said yes, because the second step is to attach key features to our egg shape. Start designing a character by drawing an egg shape might seem too basic, just like Mr. Potato might seem like a very basic toy. But the truth is, just as Mr. Potato helps children explore and develop body parts recognition and body map awareness, a simple shape like an egg can help us explore key features and develop our character. It helps us go as far as we want. From very simple to very complex and detailed. The choice is ours. Maybe we didn't make the right choices here. Okay, I think we need to talk about key features. All animals have different physical characteristics, such as body shape. Appendages. Body covering. And body patterns. This physical characteristics make them recognizable. The question is how many key features do we need to draw for our character to be recognizable? The answer is it depends on the animal and your goal. If your goal is to create a simple or minimalist logo or illustration, you can stop once you can tell what animal it is. If you want to create a detailed or more complex illustration, you can include as many physical features as you like. Let's make an exercise. Only two features have been drawn already on this egg, the snout and the eyes. It can't be a bird. But it could be a seal. If so, what key features should we draw? Fins. Whiskers. Spots. What else could it be? How about a cat? Of course we can use the egg shape for reference only. This exercise will help you unlock your creativity. You can start by copying my examples or go straight to create your own. seals and cats. Also, enjoy creating other characters if you feel like it. When you are ready, join me in the next video where we are going to learn all about the cute factor. 6. From Cute to the Cutest: We have already done a few things to make this little seal look cute. We have simplified its body shape and increased contrast by adding some sharp shapes to the predominant round ones. This is cute, but we can make it much cuter. The sea is the key. OK, that's not exactly what I meant. Now the SEA is the key. Simplify. Exaggerate. Add contrast. Cartoons are usually cuter than real animals. Right? Yeah. Very detailed illustrations look more realistic and less cute. So try to keep your design simple. You can always make it more complex or detailed later. Eyes are the mirror to the soul. So make them bigger than the rest of facial features. Also feel free to vary the real size and placement of the facial features. Keep simplifying, exaggerating and adding contrast. You decide how far you want to go. Remember that we are in a learning stage, so do not be hard on yourself. You will draw heads that are too big and eyes that are too far apart. It may take some trial and error to find your cute style. In my opinion, just by drawing cute eyes, we have almost all the work done. Try placing them closer together, far apart, and somewhere in between. Exaggerate them. Bigger is usually cuter than smaller, but the question is, how do we draw cute eyes? We will simplify them using circles and ovals. We will exaggerate them by drawing large pupils. We can draw just the pupils. And even get rid of the rest of the facial features. No nose, no mouth, no ears. Just eyes. We will create shape contrast, for example, by drawing eyelashes. To find our own style, you will have to experiment. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Many of them will turn into happy accidents. To wrap up this cute factor lesson let's talk about the baby schema. The Nobel Prize winning Ethologist Konrad Lorenz defined the baby schema as a set of infantile physical features that are perceived as cute. Such as large wide eyes, high foreheads, small noses, round chubby cheeks, and soft and small bodies. The same applies to baby animals. They are cuter than the full grown parents. That's why the baby version of this seal looks cuter than the other one. Even though we didn't go as far as with the baby version, since we simplified, exagerated and added contrast the first version looks cute, especially if we have no cuter version to compare with. Okay. Just a few more tips for cuteness. Babies are naturally bowlegged. So try bending the limbs of your character. Chubby cheeks, arms, legs... Skinny babies are not as cute as stubby babies. But don't forget about contrast. Try combining chubby cheeks with a tiny mouth and nose, a big belly with a small belly button, etc. Eyes looking up saying, I've been good, I have nothing to do with this mess. Or irises drawn close to the nose add to the cute factor. I apply all these to this elephant Isn't he adorable? Okay. Let's put all this knowledge into practice and create our first collection of cute animal characters. How about we start with some birds? 7. Practice 1: Setting Commonalities: In this video and the next three, I will share with you a few tips and tricks that will help you create a cohesive collection of characters. As an example, we will sketch a few adorable birds. Let's get to it. To create a cohesive collection, we must draw our animal characters in the same style. They have to have some things in common, such as the way we draw the eyes, the brush we use for drawing them the width of the line, the same color palette, or at least some colors in common, etc.. The shape of the egg will help us create a cohesive collection, but we need to realize that we can create very different things from the same starting point. So we need to establish more things in common. I will use the peppermint brush size set to 12% and 100% opaque. I will only draw on the right side of the canvas so that the size of my canvas is 2048 by 2048 pixels. Half of the workbook. Keep in mind that the same brush size will seem smaller in a bigger canvas and bigger in a smaller canvas. You can check out your canvas size going to actions Canvas. Canvas information, dimensions. I will draw two egg shapes per character, one for the body and another one for the head. My cute eyes will look like this. I will draw WS and V's for noticeable feathers, such as wing feathers and tail feathers. And I will draw little sticks for the parts where the density of feathers is high and it is difficult to distinguish one feather from the next. That usually happens with body feathers. Practice number one. Let's sketch a cute hen. The first thing we need to do is to observe our subject and make a list of key features. After that, we will follow the steps to create this adorable hand. The steps are here, but we have to draw here and we don't want to zoom in and zoom out constantly. Right? To avoid that, we will use a tool called Reference Companion. To activate it... Go to actions, canvas, reference. This tool adds a floating window above our canvas. In this case we are going to use it to reference our canvas, but we can also import an image or use it for face painting. By dragging this window with the handle at the top we can move it anywhere on the canvas. We can resize it by touching and dragging any of the bottom corners, and we can zoom in and zoom out using the pinch gesture as usual. Let's zoom in on step one. Zoom in on the right side of the workbook. And draw an egg shape. Since I am an insecure perfectionist artist, I will draw two circles and join them with arcs. We will draw another one for the head, but in this case, it will be smaller. Next step. Join the head and body. Use basic shapes and lines to put key features in place. But first, we need to lower the opacity of these lines. They are too dark. Select the eraser tool. For this task, any brush from the Airbrushing Set would be perfect. Increase the brush size and lower its opacity, then go over the lines without applying too much pressure. Many procreate brushes are pressure sensitive, and I definitely added too much pressure when drawing the arcs. Well, nothing an eraser can't fix. Tap on the paint tool again and let's join head and body. Now let's start adding key features. Triangle for the beak. Ovals for the eyes. one over here and the other one here. Let's check if they are level by drawing two horizontal lines. Teardrops for the wattles. More ovals for the wings. And the comb. By the way, did you know that comb and wattles acts as a natural air conditioning system. Yep. Blood circulating from the comb and wattles helps the bird cool down in hot weather. That's why chickens meant for cold climates have small comb and wattles. Let's draw her with bow legs to make her look cuter. Okay. Next step. Sketch the hen in a new layer. Open the layers panel. This is the layer we drew our basic shapes on. Now tap on the plus sign to create a new layer. These way, we will have our basic shapes separated from our refined sketch. Tap on the N and lower the opacity of the basic shapes so that the construction lines don't look darker than the final line work. Tip: to get more accurate symmetry switching back and forth between eyes and other symmetric features allows us to see shapes clearly, so don't get too detailed before working on the other eye. Draw both at the same time. We will use the eraser to create highlights as we do when working with paper and pencil. I have the soft airbrush selected as eraser, but if you want to erase with the same brush we are using for painting having the paint tool selected, we just need to tap on hold on the eraser tool and voila we will erase with the Peppermint Brush as well. I will thicken this part, but I won't draw eyelashes this time. So when we finish it, we can compare and decide if she looks cuter with or without eyelashes. To make it look like she is smiling we will curve this up. As you see, we are adding contrast in size by drawing her eyes really big and the rest of her facial features smaller than they really are. Also, we are changing the V-shape comb for a more rounded version. A hen with a chubby comb will look cuter than one with a comb that looks like horns or antlers. To indicate shading or to create a tonal effect we can hatch this area. A tip to do these better is to zoom out because it is easier to draw short parallel lines that long lines. If this lines are hurting your eyes, you can use the smudge tool as if it were a blending stump, OK? Since this is just a sketch, I won't spend more time on this. Whoops. OK, what just happened? This digital brush is pressure and tilt sensitive. It mimics a traditional graphite pencil. So if I hold the pencil sideways, the greatest area of the tip is in contact with the paper. This position allows for a smooth texture while keeping it perpendicular to the screen will create thin lines. Just as a real pencil on paper. Let's continue. Let's fold her wings forward and draw a kind of feather fingers. Making a human-like character is one way to add interest. We will talk about this in the next course of this series. Okay. Let's draw the tail. Maybe this is too big. Not sure if she looks like a peacock with this tail. Nah I like it. Try the technique I showed you earlier. This is a mismatch of techniques, but it doesn't matter since this is our first practice use it to try out new techniques and find out which ones works best for your drawing style. You can always create a new layer on top and redraw this again. Also, instead of smooth continuous lines, try drawing discontinuous lines this way. Or this way. To imply protruding feathers. Chickens don't usually look super sleek. Adding contrast here again, large chubby body and little stick legs. Now let's draw some feathers using V and W shapes on the neck and wings. And little sticks where they almost look like hair. Also draw them following the form of the body. Unless you want her to look more scruffy. She's levitating right now. So let's draw a cast shadow. Too dark. Let's lower the capacity of the brush. Yeah. Much better. Optionally we can add detail to the ground. Just some pebbles and grass. Okay. Let's close this window. What do you think? Which one looks cuter to you? The one we just drew because she has a bigger head, for example. Or the other one because of the eyelashes. Send me your comments. It will be fun to know which one wins. 8. Practice 2: Learn & Repeat: Now that we have drawn our first cute bird, we are ready to draw any bird following the same steps. We just have to observe them, determine their key features, and start off with one or more egg shapes to represent their body and head. Tap on the screen and then on draw here. As you see if we open the Layers Panel, we are now on the next page, but our hen drawing is still here. Well, let's repeat the steps. Two circles to help us draw the first egg shape. And now we need another one for the head. Let's make the head bigger than the body this time. Next step, join head and body. And basic shapes for key features. Two ovals for the wings. This one should be more rounded because the bird is looking that way. Let's draw some reference lines for drawing the beak and the eye. We can use the size of the head as a reference for drawing the beak. It is about one and a half heads. Well, as you see in the photo is larger, but we are not drawing realistically but cute and a bit shorter looks better to me. We need more space so we are going to use the transform tool to move the entire sketch. Tap on the arrow and then drag the sketch this way. Tap on the arrow again to exit. Okay. Beak on place. Branch, two parallel lines. Don't forget the legs. The eye is going to be over here. The head is slightly off center, and that makes the illustration look unbalanced. But don't worry about that just yet. We will fix it later. An eye looking up. And a smile will add to the cute factor. Okay, let's decrease the opacity of the basic shapes and create a new layer. By the way, if you tap once on a blue layer, you can rename it. Remember that blue means that it is the active tool, page, or layer. Now go to actions, canvas, and switch on reference. Okay. We are ready to start refining our sketch. I usually start with the eyes, so two circles. We can make a smaller one for the highlight, although we will probably have to use the eraser either way. Well, just darken the pupil progressively. As we saw in previous lessons, we can tilt the pencil to get a grainy pencil, texture and darkened area faster. OK eraser. We can apply more pressure to draw a thicker line to mark out the area of the eye. Another circle to simplify the yellow part of the eye area. And now let's start working on the beak. I think we should move the eye a little bit down. For moving only a part of our illustration we will use the selection tool first, draw around the area we want to move. Make sure you finish where you started by tapping on the gray dot and then use the transform tool. Just for you to know we can make the eye bigger or smaller by dragging the selection from any of the blue dots. But in this case, we just want to change its position. So let's place it here and fix this. As you see, since we are working digitally, we don't need to redraw something just because it is too big or too small or not on the right spot. In Procreate, we have many tools that will save us a lot of time. Draw a downward curve, followed by an upward curve to make him look happy. Add the beak markings. Did you know that toucans have a serrated beak? Yeah, but we are not adding that key feature because it is easy to perceive something as cute if it is round and smooth. However, pointy stuff is more for scary characters. In any case, as I always say, your design, your rules. There are too many lines. Let's lower the opacity of the previous sketch a bit more just to know which of those lines are on the current layer, so we can erase them. If the selected brush doesn't erase enough or we have to go over the same area too many times to erase something select a different one. I tend to use the soft airbrush to clean up my sketches. Let's continue with the head. When we exaggerate parts of our characters, it is completely normal that they look a bit off. We need to balance it out again, for example, by drawing a big belly. I am drawing this wing, but I think I will modify it later. Well, let's put all the key features in place first so we can look at the whole picture. Okay. We can't see this part because it is behind the branch. Let's redraw it. Nah I'll erase this part. Let's draw the chest. I don't like the wing there, so bye bye wing. Yes. Now I'm happy. Here, you will find the tip for drawing feathers over a black body. But first, we need to paint his body black. How do we do it fast and without going outside the edges? Using the selection tool Just go over the lines as if you were tracing the illustration. And don't forget to close the selection. The non-selected areas will appear hatched. To add another area to the selection, just repeat the process. Now we can only add paint to this area. Open the layers panel. We could keep working on the same layer, but I recommend creating a new one to be able to modify it easily if necessary. Tilt the pencil and off we go. As always, we can do this super fast. This way. Or put a little bit more effort into it and follow the form, darken the areas in shadow, etc., to make the illustration look less flat. Okay. It's time to draw some feathers. Pick the eraser I will show you how it looks with this brush first. But we will use the Peppermint for this task as well. When we use this brush, the result is a more defined and opaque line than when we use the peppermint. See. I like this one better. So I will just go ahead and finish this part. Once you are done, don't forget to come back to the previous layer to continue working on the legs and branch. I won't add too much detail to the legs. Thick outline and some hatching for adding a little bit of volume. Some feathers on his chest. And to finish this off, let's outline, shade, and add a woodgrain texture. Okay. Which one do you like the most? This time we have not only increased the size of the head and belly, but also added a high forehead. It is important that you experiment with the cute drawing techniques we learned in the previous videos. Make a mental note of the ones you like and repeat them across all your character designs to create a cohesive collection. Ready for another project? If so, tap on the next page and join me in the next video. 9. Practice 3: Work Smart: When creating a collection of characters, it is very likely that many of them will look alike. We must take advantage of that. It is not about working harder, but smarter. So in this video we will use our adorable toucan to create a lovely macaw. The first step is to spot the differences between the two birds. The main difference is the beak, right?. Also the colours and the tail. Step two, go to the Layers panel and duplicate the My Toucan layer by swiping left on the layer and then tapping on duplicate. Tap and hold the duplicated layer and then drag it and release it just above the Page 14 layer. The Toucan character should appear on our current page. Lower its opacity until about 20%. There is not enough space for a longer tail. We need to make it smaller. Use the transform tool for that. Stop when you see there is enough space for the new features, and place it more or less in the middle of the drawing area. At this point we are ready to start drawing our macaw. So open the layers panel and select the Draw Here layer. Turn on the reference companion window. And let's start by drawing the beak. It is much smaller, right? Don't forget the smile. We can place the eye here a little bit up Or even duplicate the eye of the toucan and use it for the macaw as well. If you are not in a hurry, I recommend redrawing your character's eyes so they are all different, Even if the difference is minimal they will look better. Let's add eyelashes to this one. Be rebellious. Don't follow my instructions to the teeth. Add a little bit of your own style or preferences to each illustration. A little or a lot as you see fit. This time I will make this part black without using the selection tool. It is going to be a little bit more complicated to paint only within the lines but since this is just a sketch, not the final illustration, it doesn't matter if it is not perfect. Pick the eraser for the feathers. And now let's jump into drawing the face markings. These markings are not looking good to me. Let me erase them. Not with this brush, though. Let's pick this Soft Airbrush again. Okay. Be careful with the marks around the eyes because they can be read as eyebrows. And if they go this way, our character may look angry or mad. Let's try discontinuous lines for the body part. I am such a rebel. I am incapable of following my own instructions. The macaw's wings look also longer than the toucan's. So let's draw this longer. Even when, you know you won't see a part of something, like here, a part of this feather is behind the branch, sketch it, simply by drawing its basic shape will prevent the feather from looking crooked. In this case, I think we need to draw a small part of the other wing. Now let's focus on the tail. First, with light lines marking the general shape of the tail, then a V-shape for the vent. Oh. I forgot to draw the other leg. Done. I am going to draw the branch, draw it differently than the other, ok? Finish the tail. And we can turn off the visibility of the toucan layer by tapping on the little box with the tick. Let's zoom this out so we can compare both versions. By the way, we can erase the toucan layer by swiping left and tapping on delete. We no longer need it. Well, half of the wing is missing, so let's fix it. Add some feathers to the body. And let's also paint the beak black. Let's add some highlights. And we are done. How are your characters going? Hope you are enjoying this course, but in case you are finding these exercises a little bit difficult, in the next video we will learn how to simplify the process a bit more. 10. Practice 4: Make it Simple: If you feel that something is too difficult for you, don't give up. Just find an easier way to do it. In this video Procreate will help us draw half of our illustration. Yes, we will learn how to use the symmetry tool. Off we go. Go to actions. Canvas, switch on the drawing guide to see the guides on the screen, and then tap on Edit Drawing Guide. This is the drawing guide screen where we can customize our guides. We can change the color, opacity, and thickness, and we can choose among these useful options. In this lesson, we will only use symmetry which comes with these options as well. Since birds are symmetric about a plane running from head to tail, we will use a vertical option. Tap and drag the blue dot to about the middle of our drawing area. We can rotate the symmetry guide tapping and dragging the green dot, but in this case, we needed vertical. We can't draw on the drawing guide screen, so don't forget to tap on Done or you will think Procreate or your Apple Pencil stopped working. Let's zoom in and to see the step we will use the reference window again. As usual, the first step is to draw an egg shape. In this case, I will only draw half of it for you to see that procreate will automatically draw the other half onto the other side of the symmetry guide. Why? Well, because when we turn on a drawing guide, Procreate activates the assisted drawing mode, but only on our current layer. See? We can turn it off by tapping on the layer and then on drawing assist. If we turn it on again. Layer assisted. It will draw what we draw on the other side again. Let me fix the egg shape. It is flat at the top. Now. Horizontal line for placing the eyes. Eye it's looking up Use the symmetry guide as a reference. Don't draw just half of the beak or it will probably look flat or pointy where the mirrored lines meet. Yes. A clear example would be the egg shape I made to show you how this works. So only stop your lines at the Symmetry Guide if you are not a beginner or on purpose. As usual, ovals and basic shapes for everything. Once you have your basic shapes in place. Next step is to start sketching the bird on a new layer. So let's open the layers panel. Create a new layer just above the Draw Here layer. Lower the opacity. And if you want to create a completely symmetrical bird sketch, don't forget to tap on the new layer and turn on drawing assist. We draw one eye and Procreate draw the other. This is a great tool to avoid making one eye bigger than the other or misplaced. Okay, let's draw this super fast. Stop here. Intentional pointy result. Let's erase it and continue. Next step. Customize our character and reuse our sketch as many times as we want. We can do this on a new layer if we are going to make many changes or duplicating this layer if we are going to add only a crest, for example. Turn off the visibility of one of these layers. Let's work on the other. We will only want to add a crest to the base sketch. So we will erase the top of the head. And turn off Drawing Assist. Okay. Off we go. Some feathers here and there. And done. In no time we got two birds. We just have to repeat the process to create more. Duplicate, turn off the visibility, and let's add some cute cheeks to this one. And a lot of small feathers. The other one could be a cockatiel, maybe, but I have no idea what this one could be. Anyway. I will draw some more feathers here. And well, you've got the process, right? So now we have three different birds. This one. This one and this one. They don't look too different because they are just sketches. And we didn't add many changes. But what if we flip the eyes of one of them, or make the beak smaller, or add eyelashes, or redraw the entire bird on a new layer? This is a pretty cute collection of birds. Right. And the best part is that it was fun and easy to create. We have established some things in common, sketched our first cute birds. We used those sketches and learned some super useful tools. Right? What's next? Well, in the next videos, you will find some super fun practices to help you spread your wings and fly free. 11. Practice 5: Make it Your Own: We need to experiment before sticking to a specific way of doing or drawing something. I've created the practice of this video just for that. We will start by drawing the egg shape and all the features as simple as possible, and then, we will modify those features on different layers. We will continue adding changes until we feel it doesn't need more because it is just perfect for us. This is going to be fun. Tap Actions. Canvas, Reference, to open the reference companion window. Use the pinch gesture to zoom out and find the first illustration. Move the window to the top right or left corner, whichever suits you best. And off we go. First attempt. Step one is to draw a not perfect egg shape. Go to the Layers Panel and rename the Draw Here layer. We are going to name it Egg Shape. Create a new layer above and name it Features. In this layer, we are going to draw another egg shape for the wing, a small triangle for the beak, two dots or longer elliptical shapes for the eyes, some straight lines for the legs, and our super simple and minimalistic bird is done. Now we will draw the features differently, but first we need to save a copy just in case we don't like the modifications. Open the layers panel. We are going to group the layers we used. We already have selected the features layer. Just select the egg shape layer as well. Swipe right on it. Now both layers are selected. Tap on group and name the group First Try. Duplicate the group and rename it too. Groups help us keep our Layers Panel organized, and to move or duplicate multiple layers at once without having to select them one by one. Now we have like a backup of our first try, see? And now we are going to work on the second try group, create a new layer above the features layer and name it Changes One. Now think of three or four things you would like to add or to try to do differently. For example, I would like my bird to have a tail. I will use an egg shape for that too. I will like the wing of my bird to have feathers. I'll draw a couple of feathers sticking out here. They almost look like horns. I would probably get rid of them in the next attempt. Well, how about bubble eyes? We will use layer masks to hide the parts of the egg that overlap with key features. Open the layers panel. Tap on the egg shape twice. Select mask, then use the eraser. A mask is a layer that will let us hide areas of our sketch we don't want to see now. The main difference between using the eraser on a layer mask and the eraser on a normal layer is that the first do non-permanent changes. So in this case, if we modify the eyes later and need to recover what we just erased, we will be able to do it. The second version is done, duplicate and rename the group again. Create a new layer and name it Changes Two. This is the backup of our second try, OK? Now take a minute to decide what you like and want to keep and what you don't like and want to modify. For example, I will try the tail in a different position. It will also be an egg shape but bigger and looking down. Let's see if a larger wing looks better. And now I will keep the size of these eyes, but I will draw bigger pupils. The beak is not working for me, so I'll draw it in a different way. What if the legs were semi circles instead of sticks? There is so much going on here. We need to open the Layers Panel and turn off the visibility of the changes one layer and also of the features layer. Now we can clearly see what's new and continue working on it. Let's keep the feathers. This eye is not working for me. Let's tap on the selection tool, draw around the eyes and beak and tap on the grey dot to close the selection. Now use the transform tool to move the selected area by simply dragging it. We can also use the selection tool to erase stuff. Select the eye, swipe with three fingers downwards. Many useful options will appear, but in this case we will use cut. Now we need to recover this part of the egg shape. To make it appear again, we will simply clear our layer mask. Let's repeat the process in fast mode and get ready to create our fourth version. OK slowdown. Good. In previous lessons, we saw that the shape of the body can be made up of one, two or more main shapes. We have tried using only one main shape. What if we try two, one for the body, and one for the head? Let's draw a circle for the head and join the head and body with a small arc. This can't be here now. So go to the Changes 2 layer. Select it, and move it up. We can also rotate it by dragging the selection from the green dot. Repeate this to place the beak where it looks good. Okay. Let's continue drawing. But in the right layer. Let's draw a bigger belly. That and the large forehead will make it look cuter. I want it to be a little bit leaned to create this illustration, but it looks very unbalanced right now. Let's try to fix it. Let's modify the tail. Draw the legs further apart. Rotate and make the wing bigger. Let's modify also the forehead. Yeah. Now it looks better. Let's draw some eyelashes too. Continue creating groups and experimenting until you find the perfect combination. Since you already know how to keep going and I don't want to bore you by showing you the endless possibilities, this will be my last attempt. Once you are happy with your sketch, the next step is to duplicate the group and keep the other as a backup. Tap on the duplicated one and choose flatten. Now the entire drawing is in just one layer. Next step create a new layer. Name it Refined Sketch. And decrease the opacity of the rough sketch. Our super cute bird is about to hatch, we just need one last effort to finish it. Feel free to experiment and change your smooth lines for discontinuous lines. These lines will make our bird look fluffy like a baby bird. Fluffy wing. Round beak. Let's make her look up. She's been a good girl. The light reflection. Legs. And simple, imperfect, parallel lines for the branch, just to add texture and contrast. The tail will be super simple. Just like that. And a few more feathers. And this is done and ready to color. But we won't do that just yet. We have to master drawing before moving on to color. Don't rush it. We'll dive into coloring in the fourth course of this series. In this video, we've learned that we need to spend some time experimenting in order to find what works for us. But sometimes we get lost. Nothing looks good enough and end up putting too much time and effort into a drawing. We need to learn to stop. So in the next video, we will do a fun practice that will help you loosen up, manage time more efficiently, and enjoy the process of creating a character. 12. Let's Play the 1 Minute Drawing Game: Spending more time drawing a character or adding more and more details doesn't always make it better. Many times it looks worse, and that makes us feel frustrated. In this video, I will share with you what I do when that happens to me. And we will play the one minute drawing character game. Set the timer. I know you've heard this already, like, a million times. Maybe tried once or none. But we are not really aware of the time we spend on our illustrations. So, set the timer when you start drawing and to stop it when you are done is especially useful if you are open for commissions. Set a limited time for a design. Take a break when the time is up and then decide if it is worth it to continue working on it. And one of the most important things we have to keep in mind is what we are going to use the illustration for. We often end up adding a lot of detail that isn't relevant or won't be noticeable due to the size of the image. The next exercise helped me get unstuck and back on track. In fact, many of my illustrations start from this exercise. Hope it helps you too. We have one minute to draw the following animals. One minute per character. But don't cheat. If after a minute you've only drawn the eyes, start over. As parents say this is for your own good. First character, an owl. Ready, set, go. We will start by drawing an egg shape. So one circle, another circle. Egg shape done. One horizontal line and one vertical. At the intersection little triangle for the beak, super simple eyes, a mask made of discontinuous lines that will be like feathers of the face. An arc. Batman ears but not so pointy. Cheeks to make it look cuter. Little w shapes will do for the wings. A simple line will be a branch. The tail. The other leg. We don't have time for more. But it is cute already, isn't it? Well enough birds for today. Let's draw a sheep. Three, two, one, go. This time we will use two egg shapes. One for the head and another one for the body. Horizontal and vertical lines to place the facial features. This will be the face. One ear, two ears. Now many C shapes to make it look fluffy. Cheeks. And many more C shapes for the body. Legs. And some grass so it doesn't look like a flying sheep. Time is up. To have been done in just a minute they look pretty cute so far, right? Next, a cow. Ready, set, go. A small egg shape for the head and a big one for the body. Reference lines. Eyes.. one, two. Nose. Cute cheeks Ears... one, two. Horns. Or something. Anyway, let's make the body smaller in proportion to the head. Super short legs. Let's erase this. Markings We don't have time for more. Well, just some little sticks for the grass. One more. A whale. Ready, set, go. Same steps. Egg done. Tail Reference lines. Eye and cheek. A cute smile. Water drops. Some wavy lines for the waves and I am done. Once you are done, go to the next page. Okay, this is what we have created. The next step is to take a break and then decide if we like it or if we want to change something. If we want to change something, we will follow the steps we took in the previous video. First try, second try, etc. until we are happy with the result. Don't forget you have to stop at some point. If we consider that everything looks good to us. The next step will be to create a refined sketch. You don't have to change a lot of things, just by changing the eyes and adding contrast this little cow looks much cuter, right? 13. Final Thoughts: Reuse. We can get many designs from a single character by simply changing some lines or colors, rotating their head or ears or add more details or interesting things. Oh, wait. I think this lesson belongs to the next course of this series. Well, I hope you have enjoyed the course practices and learned a lot along the way. I am so excited to see your character designs so don't forget to post them in the project section. And tag me if you post them on Instagram. I am @lettieblueillustrator You can also use the hashtag, #lettiebluecharacterdesign If you want to stay updated on upcoming classes, make sure to follow me here on Skillshare and Instagram. Use the discussion section to ask me any questions you may have. I'll do my best to help you. I will love if you could leave me a review and tell me what you like about the class. Thank you so much for joining me in this course. I hope to see you in the next one.