Illustrating Worlds: Discovering Your Own Universe | Masholand | Skillshare

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Illustrating Worlds: Discovering Your Own Universe

teacher avatar Masholand, Artist & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Your Class Project


    • 3.

      Outlining the Universe


    • 4.

      Mapping Illustration


    • 5.

      Colors & Details


    • 6.

      Naming & Final Touches


    • 7.

      Bonus Lesson - Editing


    • 8.

      Wrap Up


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About This Class

Put your imaginary hat on, let your mind wander and your fingers tingle from joy because you are going to discover your own universe and illustrate its map. If you are a creator filled with many ideas or a person who always wonders about other worlds, this class is for you. The basic knowledge of drawing or writing skills is desirable (but not mandatory) to easily complete practical tasks. 

The tools you need for the class:

  • A paper (for a map), a pencil, black ink pen/marker, paints (colorful markers, pencils, pastels, etc.) 
  • Nice-to-have tools: a printer, digital software (Photoshop, Procreate, etc.) 
  • The templates included in the Projects & Resources folder

Discovering a new world will boost your confidence to write stories, draw different scenarios, create characters, and their homes. In 2013 I discovered Masholand - a parallel universe filled with different creatures and their stories. Since then I have been working on expressing its idea into our physical world, by creating illustrations, paintings, large murals, animations, writing stories, and creating merchandise. Sometimes all you need is a little push for your imagination and creativity to strive. 

In this class we will cover:

  • The actionable steps to discover your universe
  • Using illustration to create the map of the universe
  • Bonus lesson - using digital software to edit the map

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Masho Margishvili, and I'm an artist, designer, and founder of a parallel universe called Masholand. The class that I'm going to be teaching today is called illustrating maps, discovering your own universe. I'm really excited to be teaching this class, because I know how exciting and life-changing this experience could be for you. Because in 2013, while living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam, I discovered my own universe, my freedom, and since then it has been an inevitable part of my life. I have been using different media, such as illustration, mural painting, animation, printing, and so on to express the idea of Masholand and share it with people. During this class, we will go through different steps that will help you discover your own universe, and then we will define and illustrate its map. Discovering your own universe will help you boost your creative confidence to write stories, create characters, and so on. The tools you need are a paper, pencil, ink pens, and any colors that you might find at home, and you might like to join our bonus lecture where you will learn how to digitize your work. This is a great class for somebody who's imaginative person or a creative thinker, or just somebody who's interested in fictional universes. The basic knowledge of drawing and writing is desirable, but not necessary. Put your imaginary hat on and let's get started. 2. Your Class Project: When you start something new, it's okay to be afraid, but don't worry because in this case, only good can come from it. Don't forget to share it with the class, because it will definitely teach you more and I will enjoy seeing your creations. Let's get it started. During this class, we are going to discover your universe, and this is very important and exciting for me because I know how life-changing this experience could be for you, and actually like you, I was using Skillshare to learn new skills. During this lecture, we will start with outlining your universe, the idea of your universe. Then we're going to use pencil and paper to outline the map. We will color it, name it and we will explore different parts of your universe. At the end of the lesson, if you're up for it, you can also take a photo of your illustration and then you can digitize it together with me and feel free to share it in the projects gallery as well. Now I'm going to show you different tools that I'm going to be using during the class. But feel free to interpret and use the tools that you have around your house. First of all, I'm going to use a paper. You can use as big or as small as you'd like. Also, I'm going to be using simple pencil and eraser in case I need it. Also, I will be using some inked pens, different sizes, 0.1, 0.5, B size or C size. I will show you just like this. I use a Faber-Castell pens most of the time, but you can use different ones. For the coloring, I will be using simple brushes for acrylic paints. I will use acrylic paints as well, and a couple of markers, oil-based markers or chalk markers. But again, if you have different preference, feel free to use that. As a final outcome, you will discover your own universe and you will use the illustration to map it out. Most importantly, you will see what's inside your mind. During the class, you will need couple of resources that you will find down below somewhere here in the projects and resources file. Download it, print it and let's dive in. 3. Outlining the Universe: In this class we're going to outline your universe and please find a template that I provided in the project and resources file and print it out. It's going to be really, really helpful. Let's fill it out together and I'm going to fill it out in my iPad and you can feel free to do it digitally or on the printout form. First of all, it's very important to know why you want to find your universe. In my case, I discovered Marshland for no special reason. I accidentally found it while I was working in Vietnam. So I will circle. No reason, but feel free to find your own reason and write it in other. The next point is, how would your universe be found? You can think about yourself and what you like and what you don't like. Or if you like sleeping, for instance, you could find your universe in your dream. You could overhear eat while walking in the street. Somebody is talking about it and you could find your search. In my case, I was just sit in and I had this urge to find Marshland and suddenly I found a yellow door and when I opened it, I found this entire universe. I would write here while working actually. Think about what kind of place would it be. In marshland's case it's quite misty, happy place, magical place, and strange. Please feel free to circle around as many options as you want, and also you can add your own. Then the best places. In Marshland, there are many different places and I like all of them. But I would say that for me personally, the best place in Marshland is Night Dream's Park where you can go and you can see all the night dreams that somebody somebody ever dreamed of or you can create your own dream. I would write here, Night Dream's Park. Worst places. Some people like to invent places like in Lord of the Rings. They are evil and they are good. Both of them have their distinguished places. In Marshland, there is not a worse place you can go. But I would say that there is a potential bad in the clouds village where there are many doors and many windows, where all the mysterious things come from and nobody knows where these doors and windows lead to or where it came from. So I would say the clouds village. How would you enter the universe? For Marshland, you open this yellow door and you see this white surface that floats in the airspace. But you can think of your own way of entering. For instance, you can drink a potion, or you can jump out of the window, or you can go down the tunnel. There are many options. I will write here with the help of a yellow door and we're ready to move on the third page. The next question is, how would you leave your universe? In Marshland's case, you leave with the same door. But in your case it could be like waking up, scream, or laugh. There are many ways of entering and leaving your universe. Next question is, what kind of places would your universe consist of? There could be different countries, different planets, different islands. Next, what would nature be like? In your case, it could be cotton candy clouds, very sunny fields, very dark concrete block buildings. The next question is, will there be any hidden and secret places? In marshlands, there are many hidden and secret places that even I don't know them. Even if I visit them every single day, there will be new places popping up. Then next question about characters and the inhabitants in your universe. First of all, would your universe have a leader? Would your universe have an enemy? In Marshland there are no leaders and no specific enemies because any character can have their negative and positive characteristics. But again, think about the creatures and fictional universes you already know. Then let's move on on different creatures who would live there. Would there be any humans, or animals, or robots, or aliens? In Marshland there are just Marshalandlers who are sometimes mix of different creatures that are familiar for us. Is there any magic there? In Marshland there is definitely some magic, but each creature and character has their own thing going on. It's difficult to say it in one or two words. But in your case, you can all just decide now and change it later. The last page, it's the story time. How would the characters of your universe spend their time, for instance? Do they have any amusement parks? Do they socialize? You can think about the most defined event in your universe. Is there a special celebration? Is there Christmas time, for instance. This template that I provided actually is very general. If you have some new ideas, feel free to write them down because it's going to be helpful for the next stage. The next question is, what's the most challenging part for the locals? In Marshland, there is no specific challenge for locals but for the visitors, like if I wanted to go to Marshland, the most challenging thing could be to imagine what I want there. What would be the happiest event in the local's life, for instance, like birth of a specific character or a survivor that comes and helps the entire universe. Finally, you can start naming your universe, and in this case, don't worry about having a specific idea right now because you can always change it. So think about the environment that your universe is going to have. If you have an ice cream place, you can call it Chocolate Ice Cream, Bubblegum Ice Cream Land, whatever you want. In my case, it's Marshland. Now we're done with completing the template, and it will be helpful for the next stage when we are going to outline the map of your universe. So stay tuned and move to the next lesson. 4. Mapping Illustration: In this part of the class, we're going to outline the map of your universe and as an example, I'm showing you the map of Mashaland, the outline of it. Here is the main lines of different districts, for instance, here we have four districts, we have caves, we have a park, we have rivers, we have a village, we have a pond and the houses, and the entrance of Mashaland. Let's get it started. Take a simple paper, and a pencil, and an eraser if you have one. Let's get it started. At first, I'm going to outline the rivers of Mashaland. We have actually three main rivers. This river is a Fireflies River, and if you take water from there and go in the middle of the night, it will shine through your way and this is the Moon's Whisper, whatever Moon has ever seen, it will tell you the stories when you drink the water from there. We have a River of Lost Fish so you can draw fish inside. If you are lost in life and if you drink the water from there, you will remember your way and if you want to know details about different places of Mashaland, you can click on the link that is in projects and resources. By the way, if you cannot come up with your own map, there is a template of Mashaland's map, with a small guideline, and you can follow it, and you can add your own places in Mashaland. Then we have Green Pond of Laughter. If you drink water from there, you will start laughing, and if you're in a dark period of your life, it will cheer you up. We have four main districts, Pink Winds district, Red Winds district, White Winds district, and Blue Winds district. We also have cliffs and mountains where the stone-eaters live. Let's draw houses inside. The stone-eaters sage also lives there. He's the wisest Mashalander probably existing. We also have Night Dream's Park, Mashalander sleeps there. Feel free to outline really roughly because it's going to be covered in paint later, don't worry about it. If it's ugly right now you can always correct it later. It's a sleeping Mashalander here and it has a very long hair joining the mountain of stone-eaters. Inside its valley, there is an entrance to a park. As I mentioned earlier in this part you can see the night dreams of everybody and we can draw stars inside and we have an entrance of Mashaland, there is a door. I'm drawing really roughly but later I can always correct it. There is a nosy birds nests where you can go while visiting Mashaland and you can hear them sing every afternoon, here. I can draw nosy birds around. While you're drawing, if you think of the creature, feel free to draw it next to the place. It's going to be a really fun way of expressing. Then what is left is the Cloud village. The place filled with mysterious clouds, with mysterious doors and windows that lead us to a place that nobody knows. But if you want to try, you can follow and see where it will lead you and the clouds are connected with stairs and you can move from one cloud to another by climbing the stairs. I'm going to draw doors and windows inside. This is an open window. You can have a closed windows or other windows of all sorts. Inside the pond, I can drop different plans. If you are not very inspired yet about the places in your own universe, think about the stories that happened to you. Think about the memories of your childhood and think about the dreams you ever had because they will be really helpful in creating places. Don't worry if your map doesn't look perfect because I'm going to show you how Mashaland's map looked like the first time when I drew it. That's it. It's not perfect. I don't actually like it, but it's okay because you can always change it. Next, we are going to feel these outlines with colors and add some details. Let's move to the next lesson. 5. Colors & Details: In this lesson, we are going to fill your outlines with colors. Just to give you a hint, think about different fictional universes that you already know, and think about the moods that they contain. For instance, some really positive places have a lot of green, a lot of yellow colors, the ones that are really dark, they have red or black colors or gray tones. Keep them in mind and also take your template that you already filled in, put it next to your drawing, and if you have some questions, just look at them and it will give you hints what to do next. I already prepared some colors. I use acrylic paint, but if you have markers at home or pencils or whatever you have, you can use them. Let's start. I'm going to use blue colors to paint the moon's whisper river, because the moon has some blue tones for me, and it's going to look much better and it will make more sense than any other color. As I use acrylic paints, the colors are a bit translucent, but I'm not going to worry about it right now. The pink winds district, I'm going to use a pink color obviously, and for the stone nature's cave, I'm going to mix pink and yellow colors, and I'm going to make more fun and transparent colors or gradient colors. It will be brighter and more beautiful than just a simple, solid color. Feel free to mix different colors and try them out and see how they look. If you don't like anything, as I mentioned earlier, there's going to be a lesson on how to edit it. Now we are waiting for the paint to dry, and next, we're going to add some small details so the entire map makes sense. As for materials, I'm going to be using different kind of inked pens, like 0.5, 0.1 inked pens and some markers, C and B sizes. But feel free to use some markers that you have around home. I will be also using oil-based markers. Now I've finished outlining my map and for the next lesson we're going to name each place and we're going to add final touches. 6. Naming & Final Touches: For this lesson, we're going to name each place and we're going to look at the map and add the final touches. First of all, I want to tell you that, for instance here, I still have some pencil, so I'm going to erase it. So the map is more clean. Also there are a couple of places that I'm not entirely happy. For instance, the nests don't have small dots and also the night dreams barring doesn't have any stars. I'm going to use oil-based markers and add the nests here. Imagine that inside those nests, nosy birds are leaving. For the night dream spark, I'm going to add some stars as dots as well. You can look at your own map and see if you are entirely happy about places and if not, you can always edit it. As I finish adding some details, I am going to write names to each place. Let's start. Those are nosy birds, clouds, village, moons whisper, river of lost fish, fireflies river, night dreams park, and and lions forest, stony-eaters cave. This is an entrance of Marshall Land. Pink winds district, red winds district, this is white or yellow. As a small surprise, I'd like to add one teeny tiny place in Marshall Land together with you. It's going to be more fun than before. I was thinking that why don't I add a dragon fruits house inside Marshall Land? In Marshall land, dragon fruits are used as a metro transportation as well, so it could be like a cable car that goes to this Tony tourists cave. It also has a small dragon fruits as caps that fly around Marshall Land. Now, we're done with the lesson. Congratulations, you created and you discovered your own universe. I really hope that you are going to share your creation with me. If you'd like, you can go to the next bonus lecture and edit your creation digitally. Or if not, you can skip it and you can go directly to the wrap up lesson. See you soon. 7. Bonus Lesson - Editing: Now, we're going to scan or take a photo of your creation and we're going to edit it digitally. I'm going to use my iPad and I usually use Procreate to edit my photos. But if you have any other tool that you prefer, feel free. I'm going to photograph my illustration now and then I'm going to bring it to Procreate. We have our photo here and I'm going to use my pen or pencil to edit it. First of all, I'm going to use curves to make it look like it looks in real life and then I'm going to remove the places that I don't like. Let's use some brush tools to remove it. The thing is, if you're not happy about any place, you can remove it and you don't need to worry too much about your mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are good, sometimes they help us distinguish the ideas that we didn't have before. For instance, I didn't like how the font was written there, so I'm going to remove it. I also want to crop my photo, crop and resize. I also want my stars to be brighter. There are many details that I can change, but this is just a short example how you can do it. But feel free to spend as much time as you want to get the results that you'll be really happy and proud of. Don't forget to share your creations with me at the project gallery. What I did with Procreate is that I added a couple of touches, I made the surface white here, I added some colors, but I didn't go through all the small details. But when you have time, feel free to do it with your illustration and please, if you have your before and after photos before digitizing, please share it with me because I'm really curious to see it. Let's move to the final lesson now. 8. Wrap Up: If you're watching this video, it means that you completed the class, so congratulations, you discovered your own universe. What we did throughout the class is that first of all we started completing a template, then we outlined your universe, then we filled it with colors and finally we edit it digitally. I'm really happy that you watched it and please share it in the Project Gallery whenever you get a chance and other people will see it as well, because just that, you know, sharing your own universe will open up entirely new world for you. Don't forget that only you know how your universe should be and how it should look like so there is no right or wrong. Congratulations once more and please feel free to share your project in Projects Gallery because I'm really excited to see it and show me before and after photos just to know your process and other students can also learn from your experience.The world that you just created will serve you as a platform for your new ideas and you can invent new stories, come up with scenarios, create different creatures so congratulations and thank you for watching the class.