Illustration Tips: Have Fun with Digital Art | Iva Mikles | Skillshare

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Illustration Tips: Have Fun with Digital Art

teacher avatar Iva Mikles, Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

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.

      Drawing Tablets


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Sketching Brushes


    • 6.

      Blending Brushes


    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.

      Loose Sketching


    • 10.

      Flip Canvas


    • 11.

      From Sketch to Color


    • 12.

      Lasso Selection


    • 13.

      Blending Modes


    • 14.



    • 15.



    • 16.



    • 17.

      Preview Modes


    • 18.



    • 19.

      Painting with Brushes


    • 20.

      Final Adjustments


    • 21.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Learn digital art skills that will help you get comfortable with digital drawing and painting.

In this class, you will learn digital art tips & tricks which apply to most digital tools and software so that you will get super comfortable with drawing and painting on a digital screen!

Whether you are just starting with digital art or a more experienced artist, who wants to pick up new tips and tricks, this class is for you. And if you are a traditional artist, come along, too :) You may get a new hobby and expand your horizons by learning new technology!

Learning digital art may seem overwhelming because “tons” of tools and software exist. There are so many questions:

  • Where do you start?
  • Which tools and software should you get?
  • What is the best stylus and digital pencil?
  • Which brushes to use in Procreate?
  • How do you paint and draw digitally?

And this is what I want to help you with within this class. By creating a fun and colorful underwater scene, I will show you, step by step, digital art techniques, tips, and tricks that will help you draw and paint digitally better and faster.

You will learn:

  • What Drawing Tablets and Digital Drawing Software to choose from;
  • Work with Canvas and Layers;
  • How to Select, Test and use Brushes
  • and How to Sketch, Color, Render and use Textures

I will use Procreate 5X but feel free to use any other digital drawing software you prefer.

In addition, you will also get a bunch of freebies to use with this class:

  • Color palettes
  • Moodboard with references

Let’s start expanding our horizons and having fun with digital art!

See you in the class!

©️ Copyright Iva Mikles | All Rights Reserved | Class content & structure for educational purposes only

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Iva Mikles

Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

Top Teacher

I am super happy that you are here! :)

I am Iva (rhymes with "viva"), and I'm a full-time illustrator, teacher, and nature enthusiast.

I love illustration in all its forms and my goal is to bring you to a world full of happiness, color, and wonder in the form of fun and helpful classes.

I'd love for you to have fun while learning, so I always aim for a fun, positive, actionable, and inspiring creative experience with all my classes.

I love when you share you had many "AHA" moments, learned valuable time-saving tips, gained confidence in your skills, and that it is much easier for you to illustrate what you imagine and you are very proud of your finished work.

I want to help you on your art journey with what I learned along the way by ... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Do you want to learn digital art skills that will help you to get comfortable with digital drawing and painting? In this class, you will learn digital art tips and tricks which apply to most digital tools and software, so you will get super comfortable with drawing and painting on a digital screen. Hi, I'm Iva Mikles and I'm an illustrator and designer based in Europe. Welcome to my next class. During my career, I was fortunate enough to create digital art for many local and international companies, such as Lego, the toy company, and Procter and Gamble, brands like Ariel and Villa in a word and concept art, color script, character illustrations, animations, packaging, and advertising concepts. Whether you are just starting with digital art or you are more experienced artist who wants to pick up new tips and tricks, this class is for you. If you are a traditional artist, come along too, you may get a new hobby and expand your horizons learning a new technology. Learning digital art may seem overwhelming because there are so many questions. Where do you start? Which tools and software should we get? What is the best stylers and best digital pencil? Which brushes to use? How do you actually paint and draw digitally? This is what I want to help you with in this class. By creating a fun and colorful underwater scene, I will show you step-by-step digital art techniques, tips, and tricks that will help you to draw and paint digitally better and faster. At the end of the class, you will have an illustration you can use as a wallpaper for your computer, tablet, and smartphone, or a print it out just for your home, or even give it as a present to your family and friends. I'll be using Procreate, which is a pixel-based digital drawing app for iPad. If you already know the basics of many other digital drawing software such as Photoshop, Fresco, Krita, Gime, or others, feel free to follow along. Even if the menus and naming conventions may be different, the concepts stay very similar. Before we start, don't forget to follow me here on Skillshare to get notified when I release new classes and it makes special announcements about the giveaways. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram where you can see my newest artworks, and follow the stories from my life as an artist. Now, let's get started, see you in the class. 2. Drawing Tablets: Can you imagine when I was starting with digital art, some people were actually drawing with a mouse. I have a lot of admiration for those artists because it must have taken quite a lot of patience and especially strong will. Well, many of them were using a vector-based program where you get a help of the pen tool, so I think the use of the mouse is not that bad, but still, wow, what a skill to have to be able to draw just with the mouse. Anyways, I was fortunate enough that I could try and experience creating graphics in my multimedia school with the pen and tablet. Seeing that the digital art has a professional carrier potential, and it looks quite interesting to learn, I was sold on the idea of making digital art. I thought, what I need to do now is to learn the software step-by-step and get comfortable with it. I was lucky enough that soon after I could start a design internship where I learned and practiced digital art every day one step at a time. Everything needs time and practice to get used to, so even if you learn one small thing every day or at the time, it's a big step for you as a creative person. Going back to the tools, nowadays, we digital artists have so much choice. There are the graphic pen tablets, the stand-alone, and also the portable drawing tablets, digital note pads, Digital Styluses, Apple pencils, and so on. Which one should you choose? Before you fall prey to the ancient hunter, gatherer instincts of getting the shiny new toy, I would recommend that you think about a couple of important things before. For example, do you want the digital art to be an extension of your creativity as a hobby? Or do you want to create professionally and make it a career? Or do you need a tablet to run just any digital drawing software or the professionally recognized software in the artistic industry? Also, do you want to work from home or a studio most of the time? Or do you want a tablet which is easy to travel with? Do you have enough space at home or at studio for a bigger tablet? What is your budget? Will the tablet be an expense or an investment in your new art business? As a general rule, I would say you should let the tools grow with you and your skills. You can start with a cheaper option, learn the program and get better tools along the way. For example, when I was starting, I used to draw a lot with the vacuum interest tablet and I loved it for many years. If you've never used it, it's connected to your computer with a cable, and it works almost like a mouse, only better because you use the actual pens stylers. It takes some time getting used to, and I think it was a week for me of using it every day because you are looking at the computer screen while drawing on the tablet. Once I got the hang of it, it got the job done very well, and I was creating staff easily, how I imagined it. I also used [inaudible] for a very long time, especially at work as well as at home, and most of the time for a large-scale concept art illustration with a lot of details. The big screen is great if you create very elaborate artworks with lots of details, and I really enjoyed it for the concept art. One drawback is that it does take a lot of space, a whole table actually, so you should count on that if you get it for your home or for the office. Later, as you may know from my other classes, I got my current favorite the stand-alone portable drawing tablet, the iPad Pro. I know there are other companies focused on artists which produce stand-alone drawing tablets, such as Wacom, Huion, X-pen. However, I chose iPad Pro because of its versatility, and it can be used as a normal computer too, it is very lightweight, beautiful, the design is very nice and to be honest, Apple Pencil is just out of this world, it feels very natural to use. I also chose the smaller screen size of an iPad because I can take it everywhere with me. I usually even take it in my backpack also on hikes but don't worry, I have two soft covers on it, and I'm very careful with the backpack when I'm carrying it. It might be more expensive than the others, but you get many in one tablet thing. I often say that my process, since discovering procreate and getting an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil is 10 times faster than I was before. I can do so much more, so much better, with so much less effort. I'm also more motivated to draw because I carry it with me everywhere. But to emphasize, I'd really recommend you to try different tablets until you find your favorite. As a rule of thumb, think about your use case, preferences, budget, and then look at the features and the benefits those tablets can provide for you. Actually, if you want to do more research about the drawing tablet, I create a bunch of articles and reviews comparing the various types because as you can imagine, I enjoy drawing digitally, and I also like trying different tools, so I can find the best one for me and improving my process and making drawing easier. You can find a link to the website in my teacher's profile if you want to read more. Now when we know a little bit more about the drawing tablet, let's have a look at some of the digital software and the apps available on the market. See you in the next video. 3. Software: There is quite a lot of digital drawing software to choose from. Instead of boring you with all the technicalities, I will take you through my practical experience with some of them. As you already know, my current go-to digital drawing software is the Procreate on my iPad Pro. You can get it for onetime purchase of about $10 and you can use it forever without monthly fees. On the side note, procreate is developed by guys from the beautiful Hobart in Tasmania, which is known for the cute Tasmanian devils. Aren't they cute? I had to show you this. Coming back to our topic, Procreate has come a long way since their beginnings and they provide a right amount of functionality, drawing tools so that many artists in the industry use it as an integral part of their creative process. I use it for sketching, work-in-progress, and depending on the complexity and rendering requirements, I finish the artworks for clients on my iPad and Procreate as well. Then moving to the other software, there is Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, which are both recognized as professional software in the artistic industry, probably because they provide tons of functionality and drawing tools, but they take quite some time getting used to. As you can imagine, when I was employed as an illustrator, I used Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator on a daily basis. As a freelancer, my day-to-day program is Procreate, which I can get around with, but I still use Photoshop for more complex editing tasks and Illustrator for vector project or pattern-making. You might already know that you can actually do patterns in Photoshop or Procreate as well. But I think it's more convenient to do it in Illustrator, and it is also considered a standard in a surface pattern design industry for the day-to-day work, as you can imagine, if it is more convenient to make patterns there, at least, I believe so. There is a lot of that can be done in Procreate, but in Photoshop and Illustrator, you have more editing options. Plus, as I mentioned, I'm already quite used to them anyway. But again, one step at a time, you definitely don't need to know all the programs right away. When starting out, I would say you don't need to know all the Adobe programs, but if you want to work in the design, entertainment, gaming and creative industry in general, it's useful to know Photoshop and Illustrator in the long run. Both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are part of Adobe Creative Cloud, which is now monthly subscription plan. It goes anywhere between $10 and $50 a month depending on which plan you will get, and that depends which programs you will choose if you get just one or the whole package. This can, of course change, so please always check their website, what is the latest offer. In my opinion, they provide the best experience if you are on the computer, however, they also have versions available for the tablets, though, usually with less functionality. But everything is developing quite quickly and it may be that the new better release for the tablet is just behind the corner. By the way, if you didn't know Adobe Photoshop, like Procreate is a pixel-based software, and Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based software. As a rule of thumb, if you need to scale your graphics without loss of quality, you create them in vector. For example, logos, fonts, icons, patterns and certain other designs. As you can imagine, there are many other digital drawing programs and apps out there. I will mention just few I tried, or heard about from my fellow artists. There is Adobe Fresco, Krita, Autodesk SketchBook, Clip Studio Paint, PaintTool SAI, GIMP and others. Some of them are free, open source and others are more affordable than the rest. For example, Krita is for free and also recognized in the creative industry for illustration and concept art. GIMP is great for the photo editing and graphic design. Lastly, I want to mention that if you want to use the full functionality of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, not just an app while using your iPad Pro, there is also Astropad app, which allows you to link your iPad Pro with your Mac computer and use it as a graphic tablet. The creators recently released a Windows-compatible Beta version 2. Now when you have an overview of what tools and software you may use for creating digital art, let's move on to learning about techniques, tips, and tricks of digital art while creating a fun and colorful underwater theme. See you in the next video. 4. Canvas: When it comes to canvas and layers, always consider what is the end product of your art or illustration. Is it just a sketch? Do you plan to post it on social media? Will you make a printed poster, maybe in a bigger size? Perhaps is the pattern to be used on fabric? Or maybe it's an environment for a game or animation? Before we discuss the layers and the canvas, let's look at the different sizes of canvas you can use. Two of my, "Number one tips when it comes to canvas size are:" number 1, always check your end products needs, so you have correct pixels and resolution and number 2, try to create predefined canvas sizes you often use, so you don't have to always check what are the exact measurements. For example, for A4 or A2. Just Google it once and create and save canvas sizes you use the most. In my Procreate app, you can see that I have saved many canvas sizes I use often. For example, for Instagram posts, which I create often, I use around 3,000 by 3,000 pixels as you can see here. In Procreate, by clicking on the list of canvases on the right, and then on the plus sign on the top, you can create a new canvas. When creating a new canvas, first set the dimensions, the size, and then the resolution. 300 DPI is good for print, 600 would be even better, but not necessary in my opinion unless it's billboard size. 72 DPI or 150 DPI is usually enough for screens like artworks for thumbnail previews and alike. When defining these settings in Procreate, you can also notice the amount of layers you have available. Usually, for sharing on social media, I don't post the highest resolution, and in such cases, I always save the artwork as a copy and resize it later on. Talking about settings here, after defining your DPI, you can also change the dimensions of your art. Then you can also define the color profile; CMYK would be for print, and RGB would be for digital screen. Then in Procreate, there is also an option for time-lapse video, which is quite cool. If you want to record your process, check if it is on, and select the quality you prefer. Now, after you create a canvas and you're in existing artwork, you can go to canvas information and crop and resize to access the settings of your Canvas. In the settings, you can adjust your parameters. I would strongly suggest that you don't increase the number because it will make your art blurry and pixelated. Try to always think what is the biggest size resolution you would need before you start creating. Select the resample canvas option and snapping option at the same time, and this will help you resize your artwork without cutting off parts of it. Again, I recommend resizing only to smaller size not bigger to avoid your artwork becoming blurry and pixelated. Once you do this, it becomes a much smaller file, so you suddenly get more layers available as you can notice on top of the screen here. Then you can press down if you want to save or cancel if you are not sure, and you don't want to save, or you didn't make a copy of the artwork before. Now, here's a quick tip about preparing the posts for Instagram. To save time, you don't have to create a new canvas every time if you need a smaller size. Just take a screenshot of your zoomed-out artwork and cut the edges in the app. I find this resolution usually good enough for posting. Now, let's briefly talk about layers. If you're not sure what is the best way to use layers, imagine the layer like a transparent sheet of paper you can draw on. You can turn on and off layers with the eye icon, like removing and putting aside these transparent sheets of paper. As far as I know, the animation used to be done like this in the past in a traditional way, using many sheets of paper. By swiping left on the layer, you can duplicate or delete it. In Procreate, you will have limited layers based on the canvas size, as you already notice before in the settings. In this way, Photoshop is better because it's a robust software on your computer without layer limitation. But for the price and functionality, I still really enjoy Procreate despite these limitations. In Procreate, if you click on the layer, you would see the various options which we will look at later in the class using more concrete examples. But I wanted to show them to you here so you know they exist. If you're not using Procreate or Photoshop, try to explore what layer options are in the drawing software you use. In the next lesson, we will discuss the brushes and ideas how to use them. See you in the next video. 5. Sketching Brushes: Now let's talk about brushes because talking about brushes is one of the favorite topics for many artists. It can be quite exciting, trying the new ones, discovering their properties, and creating awesome art along the way. In any case, it takes time and lots of practice to get used to various brushes and how the pressure sensitivity works with your drawing, sketching, or painting. As a side note, for example, if you are not used to drawing outlines and proper nice, very clean sketches while drawing traditionally, you can always start just blocking the colors and reshape the concept and add texture later on without using the line art on different layer as I will show you too. If you're used to drawing traditionally already try to use the digital media in the same way and work with the layers like you would build the colors while painting traditionally. Build on the set of skills you already have and it will be much easier for you. As you may have noticed, I divided the brush topic into two lessons. In the first part, I will show you the basics together with my favorite sketching brushes and in the second part, next lesson, I will show you my current favorite color blending brushes. As a rule of thumb, I think you should experiment with as many brushes and textures as you can to find your favorite few. Here are the things to consider: how opaque is the brush? Doesn't have a texture? What edges is does it create when drawing? How does it behave with different pen pressures? Early on, I got caught up with the using too many brushes because I wanted to use all the cool textures, but these can be less effective than you might think. I thought when starting out that those amazing artists I admired have these gorgeous brushes which I don't know how they work, and this is the biggest contributor to their art. However, as I learned along the way many times, just one simple brush can create amazing art. Talking about the basics, let's take one of the basic opaque brushes. In Procreate, my favorite is the script brush, you can change size, pressure, and opacity. With these settings options already, you can create a lot with just one brush. Why one brush? If you imagine painting with traditional tools, how many brushes would you use? I don't think that many, at least I try to limit to one or just few different sizes of brushes and texture techniques. Too many different textures in one artwork can even overtake the whole idea. The focus will be only on the texture and maybe not on your composition, colors, or the storytelling of your illustration. As you know, there are many different brushes which make your art more fun, for example, brush for clouds or brush for rock texture. However, they usually just help with the final look and don't make the core of the artwork. Unless you do abstract art and the texture is very important for the overall final look. When you find your favorite brushes, put them into one folder so you can easily find them in the future. This will save you a lot of time when creating new art so you can focus on art not which brush was it I wanted to use. In Procreate, you can drag and drop the brushes to one folder. Let me show you one brush from the sketching folder. I really like this brush because it's more opaque when you press harder and less visible when you press softer with the pencil. Basically almost like a real pencil on the paper and as you can see, it also behaves nicely under different angles when you tilt the pencil while drawing. As you can see, I like to use the texture brush for sketching, usually chalk looking brush or pencil looking brush to obviously imitate the pencil look for the sketches. Let me show you one more brush from the sketching folder which looks and behaves quite similarly. As you can see, this one is a little bit more textured, so it's up to you to try and see which one you like more. As I mentioned, I tend to test many brushes. However, what currently works for me is to use less brushes on one artwork not to get lost in searching for brushes while painting. In the next lesson, we will continue talking about brushes and techniques, especially blending textures and the color picker. See you in the next video. 6. Blending Brushes: Now, let's look at the texture brushes, which you can use for blending the colors together with the help of a color picker. Again, depending on the look you like, think about the textures. For example, I like some texture in my digital art, and you can definitely figure out the way to use any style you develop for the various projects. Regarding the textures and use of textures in digital art, what I have seen around, at least in my opinion, what I have noticed, I feel like that the artists use much more textures in the kid's book illustration. Compared to game art and movie concept art, the trend is not to use too much texture and almost shade everything with just a soft brush. Try to look at your favorite artists and their project and maybe the area of the art industry they are in, and try to notice how much texture and texture brushes they use in their art. Definitely, look at more than just one artist. Just try to notice more artists so you have better overview. Again, there are variety of cool styles everywhere, so try to notice some similarities in shading, amount of details, color palettes, and textures when looking at different art forms in various artists. Now, let's look at some cool brushes that come with Procreate. As you can see, we already saved these two in our folder in the previous lesson. Now, let's find out few more to add to this folder. As you can see, there are a lot of folders with cool brushes which comes with the app, as well as some of the folders which I added later on. As you can imagine and you probably heard you can download various brush sets and test those. But I think there is enough here in the predefined brush sets. Let's look at some of my favorites here, and let's talk about some tapes while trying them out. At the moment, I'm enjoying this one. Now, let's use the color picker to blend. What is color picker? The color picker samples the color from the canvas which is already there. How to access the color picker is defined in your Procreate settings. In Procreate, by touching the screen with one finger and holding it there a little bit longer, it's a predefined shortcut how to access the column beaker. I have it set up by clicking on the button on the left. As I mentioned, the color picker is very useful if you want to sample a color which is already on the canvas or you can sample any color from the imported reference, which can be either photography or an artwork you previously painted traditionally, scanned it, and imported it into the drawing software. As you can see, this brush has a chalk texture when you draw with it, and it's quite opaque when you press harder too. I really like this combination. When you draw softer, you see more texture, and when you press harder with the pencil, the brush is more opaque. There is quite a lot of variety when you draw with this brush. In this lesson, I'm selecting various brushes as examples. Some have soft edge and some have more hard edge when drawing. As I mentioned before, it is good to select just few brushes to save time when drawing and just not looking for the brushes all the time. In addition to this, a lot of artists say that is actually enough to practice with just two brushes, one soft edge brush and one hard edge brush when you're just starting out, so you can get used to how to control the pressure when drawing with brushes to get the results you want. It's also quite easy approach because soft shading brush and hard edge brush are usually available in every drawing software, and they will get you through most of the shading and blending needs. With the hard edge brush, you get more uneven and hard gradient brushstrokes if you're trying to blend colors, and you will want to get rid of those by color picking and painting with less pressure over these transitions. On the other hand, if you use brush with soft edges, the blending of the colors would be easier and they will blend more smoothly. Blending the colors with hard edge brush requires little bit more practice and more control of the pressure of the pen. It's just about the practice again. The more you try, practice and experiment, the more comfortable you become. From the hard edge brushes, I like those with a rectangular shape as a base of the brush over to the ones with round-based shape of the brush. I just like the rectangular shape because it makes the artwork and the brushstrokes more edgy. In addition to this, most of the brushes I really like have some kind of texture to them. The best option or the preference for me is when you press softly, there would be some texture on the brushstrokes and when you press harder, the brush would become more opaque. This is just my preference, so you have to try different brushes to see what you like for drawing. Now, let me show you another brush which is quite interesting for coloring and blending because it has this watercolor texture look to it, which I quite like. First, I will take one color as a base, and then I would add another and blend them together with the color picker. Sampling the color from the canvas. As a second color for this example, for blending, I am taking one of the darker warm colors so we would end up with darker and lighter pink shades. How to do this? You would just add the dark pink on top of the light pink on one side and you will draw softly using the light pressure on the canvas so the blending of the colors is less prominent or you can paint harder with more pressure to add more solid color and more visible transitions in this color shade. Then as I mentioned before, you can use the color picker in the part when these two colors overlap and create interesting new shade. Then again, you would paint with these new shade to blend them together smoothly. What is interesting about this brush is when you paint on the bigger artwork, it actually takes more colors which are already on the canvas and automatically creates interesting color combinations with additional hue. I will show you more of these brush in the later lessons, too. As I mentioned, the color picker is one of the main go-to digital tools I use. It helps you to stay consistent with your color palette. Color picker is handy because it allows you to use only the mix of colors which you already have on the canvas and in the artwork when blending, especially if you want to achieve a consistent look in one illustration. Now on to another branch example, staying in the same brush folder, the artistic folder. Let's look at another brush I am very much enjoying now. This brush has a nice texture and depending how much pressure you choose, you will notice different amounts of texture on your canvas. When you use small amount of pressure and paint softly, it has a lovely watercolor look. You can see the example of these brushes on this manta ray artwork I did previously. Now, going back to the painting folder, this oil looking brush gives you a nice almost oil painting look when blending colors. Now, let's delete this layer with this brush example and let's look at another one. In addition to using this oil brush for painting, I use it sometimes as a smudge tool too. If you notice the icon next to the brush tool on the top, that is also a smudge tool which you can use to push the colors around the canvas. As I said, I use it only sometimes but when I do, I use it with this brush. You can test it out if you like this tool, too. Now, when we go to a drawing folder in the brush set. Currently, I really like this brush too, which comes with very nice soft texture with different pen pressures. You can practice pressing softer and using very low pressure with this brush and also with more pressure on the canvas to see how this brush looks and if you like it. Now, if you prefer more solid brushes with rough texture, I also recommend this brush. Using low pressure with the pencil or the stylus will get you this nice rough texture, almost like a pencil look. Using more pressure will get you this nice opaque look, and you can also try tilting your pencil and see how the brush behaves under different angles. In the painting folder, I really like this acrylic looking brush, which has a soft texture and it's very nice for big shapes and creating gradients with some texture. Here is another one which I like for the soft gradient look with some texture. This brush is similar if you would use gouaches in real life. Now, let's delete this layer with this brush example. Here is an example. I used this brush a lot when I was creating this field of flowers artwork for the composition class. I combined it with this inking looking brush with some texture from the inking folder, as you can imagine. When it comes to brushes with different textures, try not to get carried away with different texture brushes within one artwork because it can become very busy very quickly, and you might spend more time trying different brushes than creating new artworks. Depending on the look you like for your artworks, test different brushes but try to stick to a limited amount of these texture brushes in one artwork so your idea will not be overpowered by the textures. Once you become more advanced and you feel more comfortable about combining different brushes and textures within the artwork, you can also move on to creating your own brushes for textures like clouds, freckles or rocks, which I find quite useful. There are so many types which are so cool. But let's go back to the brushes we have here. Here is another artwork example from another class, the freelance illustration process class, where I use these brushes, too. As you can see, you have many options, and I would love to hear which ones are your favorite after you try few of them. When you find your favorite, don't forget to add them to the folder. You can name the folder favorite brushes or most used or whatever name you like. As you can imagine, each software comes with a lot of brushes, so it's a good idea to test at least some of them how they behave and experiment while using different pencil and stylus pressure to get comfortable with these brushes. In the next lesson, I will show you how valuable the shortcuts can be regardless of the drawing software you use. See you in the next video. 7. Shortcuts: Let's talk about shortcuts, because getting comfortable with the shortcuts available in your drawing software, will help you a lot when it comes to your workflow and the drawing process. There may be some of them you might have not even know about. The shortcuts I use the most, and you will probably do, are the following. When painting, I'm usually quickly alternating among brush, undo, erase, rotate, scale, and the color picker. In some additional useful shortcuts and gestures I use, are zoom in and zoom out, and the quick gesture to make the brush bigger or smaller. To make the brush bigger or smaller, use the scale on the left, and then you can just sketch with a brush. To undo what you just sketched, you can either erase, or use the undo button, or the shortcut for that. For erase in Procreate, it is this button on top, and for undo or in other words, going back in Procreate, you can just tap with two fingers on the screen. You can see that the undo and redo buttons are here on the left. I don't use the undo button as much, because the shortcut is so much quicker. As you already know, the color picker is something I use very often too. In Procreate, there are a few ways you can set up this shortcut. I tried working in different ways and settled on my current setup, which is clicking on the button here on the app with my left arm, instead of holding the finger or just pencil over the area. To customize the shortcut, just click on the range icon here on the top. Go to Tools, select Preferences, and access the menu. I noticed that some artists actually prefer to activate the color picker with the same hand, as they are holding and drawing with a pencil. While drawing, they hold the pencil and use one of the fingers on that hand to touch the canvas to sample the color. But as I mentioned, what works for me better is to draw with one hand, and sample the colors with the color picker with the other hand. If you are working in different software, just Google what options you have for this shortcut. In Procreate, you also have a QuickMenu which you can set up in the Preferences, and you can see my preferred settings here. I use the Alpha Lock here the most, to lock the transparency of the layer. I will tell you more about the Alpha Lock in later lessons. To zoom in and zoom out in Procreate, use two fingers to grip and then scale the Canvas. Another fun shortcut which you can use, is fast pinch with two fingers. With these movement you can set the canvas to full size again, filling the screen. When I want to rotate the canvas in Procreate, I can just use two fingers to grip and then rotate the canvas. Rotating the canvas is quite helpful if you are used to drawing with one movement with your hand or arm, and rotating the Canvas and drawing on the certain angle can help you create more confident and loose strokes. One more shortcut or a tool with the quick gestures I use quite often is to get straight lines. In Procreate, you can just hold the pen on the Canvas a little longer after drawing a line and it will get straight. You can use these trick also with curved lines and circles. Tap and hold with your other hand to have perfect circle. If all of this is overwhelming, don't worry if you don't remember all of it just yet. Practice helps and makes progress. Test things out and have fun. But learning shortcuts will definitely help you in the long run. In the next lesson, we will talk about how to use references and inspiration while drawing digitally. See you in the next video. 8. References: When you have an idea for your illustration but haven't practiced drawing that special subject or a scene a lot, don't be afraid to use references. They may help you with your process and at the same time, spark new ideas for you. When creating new artwork, as a general rule, try to use more references rather than just copying someone else's work. For example, looking at one photograph. In this way, you can get inspired by different things, such as composition of objects and elements in one reference and then light and colors in the other one, and in the end, you will end up with very interesting artwork of your own. When drawing digitally, I use references in two different ways. Either in a separate window or a monitor display when I don't want to use the exact colors, or by importing reference images directly to the drawing app. Let's look at the first option, in which you can go to Canvas and Reference and select an image from the gallery and then draw inspiration from this reference. If I'm drawing in Photoshop on the computer, I usually have the mood board with multiple reference images as another window or even on a separate screen. If you don't have a separate screen, you can also use your phone as an extra screen for your references. When sketching, try to get inspired by the different coral shapes and try to simplify when looking at them. As I mentioned, I usually prepare mood boards with multiple photo references, and I prepared some sea live reference photos in a mood board for you too so you can get inspiration for some of the elements, details of the element, moods, and color palettes. You can find the instructions on how to download them in the resource section. Now, for the second option, if you want to use some of the colors from the references directly, I would import the images directly on the canvas. Then I can use the color picker to sample the colors. When you have the reference image imported on the canvas on a separate layer, try sampling different colors from this image. For this corals sketch practice, I'm trying to limit the amount of colors to create a consistent look. Then I try to draw a fish based on the reference with the similar colors as I used on the corals so all of these drawings would look like they belong together. Importing the pictures directly on the canvas is also great if you are not confident just yet with drawing just by looking at the object. Because you can draw on the separate layer, on top of the layer with the reference, and then you can trace over your reference. Later, when you are happy with your result, you can just hide the layer where you had the reference. When you need just part of the photo reference, you can delete the rest of the photo and keep the rest of it just on the side of the canvas as a reference in case you need it later on. For example, if I want to use this fish as a reference later on maybe for the colors or for the details when drawing other fish in the composition and sketches. In the next lesson, we will talk about different approaches to sketching and rendering. See you in the next video. 9. Loose Sketching: This tip actually applies to both traditional and digital art. But let's mention this exercise as a good reminder because it's a lot of fun. To warm up, draw some random shapes like swirls, test things, and mess things up. When drawing, try to use your elbow as a pivot point so you would use the whole forearm, not just your wrist and fingers. You will get looser lines this way, much easier. Here I have few exercise ideas for you to get comfortable when sketching digitally. First exercise is drawing straight lines. Yes, just straight lines. I will use the peppermint brush from the sketching folder for this exercise, but please feel free to try different ones if you want. First, try drawing these simple lines just with the movement of your wrist from left to right, and then try from right to left. Repeat few times. Then test out drawing these lines with your whole forearm without moving the wrist. Do you notice the difference? I feel like practicing with whole forearm can help you a lot with more confident lines. Repeating this practice, draw shorter lines as well as longer lines. Afterwards try to match the lines you already draw by drawing on top of them as close as you can with much quicker movements. I think it's usually easier to match them and have more confident lines with quicker movement than the slow movements. I believe in this way, you would become more confident in drawing too. Try practicing with slower movements and then with quick movements again. Try to know if you see the difference in your confidence and drawing these lines. In addition to the straight lines, try practicing curved lines, swirls, and including small and big curves too. These can become corals later on for our topic in this class. As before, first, draw a shape and then try to match it again with quicker movement. Another great exercise is drawing circles, especially drawing circles using one line without lifting the pen or pencil. This practice will help you get comfortable with all kinds of shapes later on while drawing. In our case, we can practice these circles which become sea urchins when we add few details later on. Now, let's practice loose sketching on some actual objects because obviously, that's more fun than just straight lines and plain circles. Because our topic is Sea life, let's sketch some corals. This practice will help you when drawing final artwork too. Underwater scenes are perfect for loose sketching because you can really try various shapes and they would not look that off because the water distorts the obsticks a little bit and there are also very interesting shapes of the corals in the sea. With loose curves, you can draw simple leaves as well and add them to a curved line to create some underwater seaweed. Let's also practice applying pressure; how hard or how soft you draw. When I was starting out with sketching, I was either doing too soft strokes or too hard short lines because I was afraid that my lines would be too wobbly and not how I imagine them. Over time my sketches became more loose and more confident. The more you draw, the easier and more natural it will feel to you. If you want to draw animals like whales or manta ray and you can't draw them from memory just yet, don't worry, and use some references for drawing them. Try to focus on using the loose lines to capture the silhouette or the movement before you commit to adding more believable anatomy and details. In this way, you might discover some shapes you really like, as well as bigger underwater animals. Different types of fish can be great for sketching for the warm-up because they can have various shapes. We can also use loose lines to draw jellyfish or octopus because they have very cool shapes and nice curved lines when we look at their silhouettes. Let me show you another example of an animal you can draw for this topic. First tracing and then looser sketch. As I mentioned before, you can import the reference image like this turtle and then trace on top of it using more loose lines as a second step. After tracing on top of the image, you will get the first idea how the lines can be curved. When creating a looser sketch, write right it will help you recreate those shapes much easier than if you just start with a looser sketch. Here, I'm still using the same brush for sketching the outline, as well as for shading, just holding the pencil for the shading. Try to challenge yourself and first, if you want to trace the animal, practice like that, and then try to redraw the animal or any shape without tracing on top of the picture. The more you practice and more you draw, the more loose and more confident you become when drawing different shapes of jags and animals. After sketching regularly, I usually feel more confident and happy about new sketches and ideas. Of course, as you can see, the proportions are not the same. The sketch will appear more loose and more stylized. Try both tracing on top of the image and loose sketching as a practice. Of course, if you practice drawing one type of animal more times in different angles, the more confident you will be when drawing that type of animal and maybe for the other ones, you would still need the reference, but that's all okay. Practice as much as possible and compare your sketches to see your progress over time. In the next lesson, we will discuss how to quickly spot and fix your mistakes. See you in the next video. 10. Flip Canvas: This tool or habit is a great tip on how to quickly spot and fix your mistakes. In this lesson, we will put together our sketch ideas into a composition and we will look at how we can quickly adjust parts of it. For this first part, I will be using this brush, which is quite nice for sketching. Import the sketches you did before to help you with the inspiration for the elements in the composition. When creating composition like this, you can import the practice drawings we did before, as well as other references, maybe for animals, people, or other elements to add sense of life to your environment. For this one, I will be using only animals. If you want to add people, maybe you can find references of people diving or snorkeling. If you're not sure how to put together a composition and you want to learn about some interesting tips and just more practice, I recommend you to watch my class about compositions. One of the big benefits of digital media is that we can use many layers. Imagine when drawing on paper, you usually have just one paper or maybe you have more but then you have to combine it somehow. A lot of artists, if you draw on one paper, would firstly draw very soft first sketch to set the layout, and then they would define the drawing with more visible lines or colors as a next step. This is what we are doing here. I'II be using more layers to achieve this effect. Of course, the layers make my process easier, as you can imagine. As a first step, I would create rough sketch which goes on to this one layer. Later, I will reduce the opacity of this layer to have the soft pencil look, and then I will redefine the drawing with more confident lines and more visible strokes on the next layer. You can use as many layers for this process as you want or as the apps allows you here. I usually do two or three layers like this [inaudible] or more if the artwork is very detailed. Then create a new layer to redefine the first sketch with more concrete shapes. Then I also then to rotate the canvas along the way, like you would rotate the paper because it helps me with the hand movement and creating more loose lines when sketching. Now let's look at the transform and liquify tool, which are quite helpful in this process too. The transform tool helps you to resize, scale, warp, and change the perspective of your artwork or elements on the layers. Both tools are quite useful when you want to quickly adjust your compositions. I tend to use these tools only on the sketch level because they lower the pixel quality of the area you are adjusting, it becomes more blurry. First off, how would I use the transform tool here to scale and resize the object? Maybe I just select one of the fish and I would want to move them or make them smaller to fit the composition better. For a variety while sketching, try drawing different line thickness using the front pen pressure. Also while creating the sea life illustration, try making at least three different types of coral shapes to create variety in the image. Here is a tip how to spot your mistakes and maybe fix them, composition details or proportions. When you are done with the initial sketch layout idea, try flipping the canvas, go to Canvas and flip horizontally. This is a very helpful test if your artwork works okay, because it gives you a new perspective, like almost someone new is looking at the artwork and can give you tips. It can be also scary because you may suddenly see a lot of mistakes, but it helps you spot things which might look strange at the first glance. It will help you to correct them now on the sketch level, so you'll spend less time fixing them later or never noticing them. This function is available in most of the drawing softwares, and usually you can find it on the Canvas tools. Now let's look at how to use the liquify tool. To use it, make sure you are on the latest sketch layer or the layer you want to adjust. Basically, when you have everything you want to change or adjust on one layer because otherwise some of the other elements will not be liquefied. Choose the Soft round brush, then go to Adjustments and select Liquify. I will sell it the Push feature, which is the first one here at the bottom. It helps to reshape and form your idea. It's quite the fun feature too. The liquify tool allows you to push, pull, rotate, reflect, pucker, and blur any area of the image. These tools quite useful when you want to quickly adjust their compositions. I tend to use this tool only on the sketch level because if you lowered a pixel quality of the area you are adjusting, it becomes more blurry. In the next lesson, we will start moving from the sketch to color. See you in the next video. 11. From Sketch to Color: If you haven't made a decision before during the class, when you go from the schedule idea to color, it's time to decide now. Will you go for more painterly style with just blocking the color shapes? Or do you want crisp edges and keeping the line art as an outline? In this and the next lesson, I will show you the two approaches of coloring and drawing the same subject, the colorful corals. As you can see, I added more details to my sketch composition on a separate layer. As I mentioned in the last video, depending on the level of details or amount of details you want to have in your illustration, you can redefine the sketch more times. If you don't feel comfortable creating a full composition with a lot of details by yourself just yet, I also prepared one composition with simplified line art coloring page so you can practice alongside the lessons. Please be mindful that this resource is only for the educational purposes connected with the class. You will find the instructions to download it in the resource section. I encourage you to have fun and experiment so you create your own unique artwork in your own composition ideas. When I'm happy with the sketch composition, I will save it and import the sketch to the new canvas when I will be resizing it for drawing. I can also copy the layer to the new canvas by dragging the layer. In Photoshop, you would right-click on the layer to duplicate it, if you want to copy it to a new canvas. I'm selecting bigger canvas because I decided I would like to make a print for my living room, so I selected the A2 canvas size, which is the European size and I will import the line art to this size of the canvas. Now, I will show you two different approaches for the final artwork with solid, more defined edges inspired by the comic book look and style. For both examples, I will be using the sketch as a guide and I will be drawing on top of it this time. I will keep the sketch at the bottom and reduce the opacity of the layer. For the clean line art, make sure that you create the separate layer so you can adjust it easily later on. I prefer drawing on the top layer in this case so I can see the line art more clearly. For this first approach, I will imagine black line art like in the comic books. I will select the hard edge brush from my favorite here. You can originally find this brush in this folder. As a friendly reminder, always check the size needed for your final product to avoid issues with the resolution later on. If you work in a different software, you can look for calligraphy brushes to achieve the same crisp look. If you struggle with wobbly lines, you can set the brush to a higher streamline. Then I trace on top of my sketch to create clean line art, almost like a tattoo or as mentioned a few times, comic book style. When creating black and white line art, I quite like the gaps in the line art, but if I would want to add a color to it, I wouldn't be able to simply fill in the shapes with color and I would need the extra layer underneath all the line art for all the colors. Now, let me show you a similar approach with the same brush, but with closing the gaps in the shapes on the new line art and just filling in the shapes quite quickly. With the same solid brush, draw over another coral. But this time, make sure there are no gaps in your lines. Now, when you have the line, you can drag and drop the color to this outline to change its color. When you close the shape, you can just drag and drop the color into the shape. It's done. Isn't it super quick? You can do this also in Photoshop. In Photoshop, you can use the Bucket Tool to fill in the shapes. By the way, if you like crisp line art style for the illustrations like in the comic books, you may consider using Clip Studio Paint, which was built for drawing comics and has great features for drawing very crisp lines. In the next lesson, I will show you how to use the extra brushes to add details and still keep the solid edges on the object. See you in the next video. 12. Lasso Selection: Now let's explore the practice of drawing with the Lasso tool. It is pretty helpful when you want to create crisp and clean edges. Try it out and let's see how it feels for you. In the lesson about loose sketching exercises, we practice drawing corals with a brush. Let's stay with the same subject and let's practice drawing corals with the Lasso tool. This is how the tool is called in Photoshop but in Procreate it's actually in the selection tools called Freehand tool. Maybe old habits, what can I say? Calling it Lasso tool. Anyway, for this exercise, choose the Freehand option here. First, try practicing creating shapes by pointing to the canvas with the stylus or the pencil and just point and click. Point and click and then click on the circle to close the selection. This will create a collection of straight selection lines and more angular overall silhouette shape. First, try creating longer selection lines and then try shorter selection lines as well. Because it's more fun, try creating a coral shape like this as we have the sea topic here, then close the selection by clicking on the gray circle. As you can see, even with these straight lines, you could create a pretty nice-looking coral shape by making shorter selection lines. We now have shaped the selection and if we paint over the selection with the color, the color will appear only inside of our selection. You can imagine it's like using masking tape while painting traditionally. Now let's select the brush with a nice texture and a color you like and fill in the shape simply with soft pressure on the brush. I'm using soft pressure with the pencil here because I want more texture to be visible. If you press harder, this brush becomes more opaque as we talked about in the previous lessons. As you can see, this process creates nice crisp edges with color within the shape. To deselect the selection in Procreate, just click on another tool. You can also save the selection on the bottom panel in Procreate to color within the same shape again. You can also click on the arrow tool here on the top-left to take the selected coral and move it to the side after the coloring and resize it to have more space on the canvas again. What is nice about the selection tool is that you can also reload the selection by clicking again and holding on the selection tool icon. When you have more objects on one layer and you want to move them, you have to select them by going around them with the selection tool and then you can move them or resize them. Now let's look at another way of using selection or the Lasso tool, which is actually my preferred way. It feels more organic. First, you will point and click but instead of lifting the pencil, just draw like you would normally do and create more rounded shapes. I use it pretty much the same way as drawing with the brush. Now let's draw more coral shapes for practice. Draw a shape with the selection tool, color it, select around it and move it to the side. If you see an edge on the silhouette you don't like or you feel like the shape you created is not exactly how you wanted it, you can also remove it from the selection. With the selection tool still active, choose the remove option at the bottom in the freehand selection tool. As you can see, you can also cut out parts after coloring. Select the edge of the coral you don't like and just delete it with the eraser tool. You will be erasing only the part within this selection. When you are happy with all the corals, you can add another layer to add few details like dots or lines on top of your shapes in different colors to make the artwork more interesting. In the next lesson, we will discuss the blending modes, which will help you blend layers together to create interesting effects. See you in the next lesson. 13. Blending Modes: Now let's talk about the blending modes. They influence and control how the pixels in the image are affected by the painting. They help you blend layers together to create effect. I especially use blending modes for the sketch layer and the final texture, as well as, for example, if I want to create special effects like the glowing light. There are many available blending modes and each can be used for a different purpose. In this lesson, I will show you some of my favorite ones and mention ideas on how you can use them. In the following lessons, as we continue creating our underwater scene, I will show you how to apply some of them in a practical way. Let's start with mentioning the multiply blending mode. I usually use these layer blending mode for black and white drawings which have white background because it makes the white transparent. For example, when you sketch on paper and then scan this drawing in, like here, it can be also an image you drew digitally, but it has some background. Then we have a screen blending mode, which I also use quite often in this opposite to multiply blending mode, which means that the color on this layer is always lighter than the one before. It is especially helpful if you want to create glow effect. You can also use the blending mode for the highlights. In this case, you would draw all the highlights on a separate layer and set this layer to screen blending mode. If I want to add texture on top of my artworks, at the end of the process, I usually use either the overlay or color dodge blending mode. Then we have the color blending mode, which I want to mention here. You can use these layer in our topic. For example, for a fish, if you want to test out how the fish would look in different colors on the separate layer quite easily. You will achieve the best results if you already have a black and white values painted underneath this layer where you will use the color blending mode. This was a quick summary of my most favorite blending modes. In the next lesson, you will learn how to use the color thumbnails to define the color palette for your artworks. See you in the next video. 14. Thumbnails: This tip is not so much a digital art tip because it applies to traditional art too. However, I want to mention it here anyway because I use it for almost every artwork, and it is especially beneficial for the digital art because of the color wheel which has so many options. But it can be quite overwhelming when choosing the right color palette for your artworks. In this lesson, I will share with you how I usually approach testing the color palette. To get even more inspiration on how to create color palettes after watching this lesson, make sure to check out my class about color palettes where I go into even more details. First, I will drag and drop the layer with a sketch which we created in the previous lessons, then I resize the sketches to fit more of them onto the canvas. We will test out six thumbnails as you can see here with a different color palette because I wanted to show you more color combination examples. I would suggest that you try a few color combinations and a few color palettes on the thumbnails every time you start a new artwork, I would say at least three or more is nice. After testing colors like this, you can keep your favorite thumbnail concept as a reference or actually scale it up later and redefine your artwork from there. Afterwards, I reduce the opacity of the line art layer, and I keep this layer in the normal blending mode. There is no need for the multiply blending mode because I imported the line art without the background from the other canvas. Here you can see the color palettes I want to try out for the see life illustration. Sea life is a great topic for art because you can get away with almost any color palette combination and it might just work very nice. I prepared a number of underwater color palettes for you so you can test out the same colors as I am using here. They are quite a few of them as you can see, and I just couldn't decide which palettes are my favorite to have a smaller selection, but I consider color testing fun so I think we are good here. That way we're also testing six thumbnails, not just three. Do you have a favorite already when looking at them? I would love to hear which one is your favorite or maybe the new color palette you would create for your illustration, let me know. In the Resources you can get them to procreate color swatches or use them as JPEG images to import in the software and sample the colors to add them to your color palettes. In Procreate, you can find all the color palettes under the color section here on the top-right. If you don't want to always click on the color icon to access the color pallets, you can also drag out the default color palette out of this palette preview list, like in some of the other softwares. It would be a small floating window, but as you can see it rearranges the color order here a little bit, so I actually like the full color palette preview and I will go back to that. As you can see in my list, you can also name the color palettes. Let's start with the sunset and the green sea palette and start adding the colors to our layer called color. I would suggest using one brush for this exercise. Here, I will go for this brush which we already tested and this is a brush from the Artistic folder if you can't find it. I will speed up this process so the video is not ultra-long. As you can see, for this thumbnail exercise we are using the line art as a guide for the main color distribution. But I'm not focusing on creating very defined concrete shapes, just to test out and see how these colors would work together in our composition. Now, let's try out the blue combination. As you can see, I'm using a more unusual color combination here as you don't see the pink water very often. As I already mentioned, underwater scenes are perfect because in my opinion you can use almost any color for the water or for the fish or the corals, and you can get away with it. You can also try creating your own color palette from the reference images I have shared with you. Now, let's look at the underwater garden color palette, the one here on the top. I tried two different versions with little bit different use, so I will use this one here. This color palette has more colors in the whole section as you can see. In the previous two thumbnails, I was limiting the amount of colors. Why would you want to limit the color palette? Well, because this approach helps to simplify things especially if you find the whole color wheel overwhelming and you're not sure how to combine many colors together just yet. Always as a start, try to choose three main colors and take it from there. This also helps the whole illustration look more coherent. In our concept, one color for the background, one for the base of the corals or in other words the midground, and one for the smaller corals in the foreground or the objects you want to stand out in the illustration, like maybe colorful fish. When you feel more comfortable experimenting with adding more colors to the color palette, try expanding and using color palettes with many colors. You have the both options here, trying out the limited color palette and also color palette where you have more options to choose from. Now I will color the rest of these thumbnails, and I hope you will have fun coloring your thumbnails too. Try to explore new colors which you might have not considered before. As I mentioned, if you want to learn more about the color palettes, watch my color palette class if you haven't already. Then to understand how light influences the colors, which does a lot, watch my color and live masterclass where I explain the concept using the real-life examples. Whichever style you like, comic book style with neat outlines or painterly style blocking the color shapes for your final illustration, I would still encourage you to create few thumbnails for the color ideas. Because they are small, you can also create something messy as an idea and then think about the details later. These thumbnails are also very quick to create, so you don't spend too much time. This exercise also helps you to practice blending and testing your favorite brushes for your concept. You get the point, I really like making thumbnails. In the next lesson, we will start doing the final renders of our artwork and we will look at how to use some of the tools to make our process more efficient. See you in the next video. 15. Background: We talked about different approaches to coloring from painterly to more crisp edges style using the lasso tool and now I want to show you few more tips while using the selection tools. These tools are not a must as you can draw similar things with the soft round brush. But I found out when using the selection tools, it considerably speeds up my process. Here we will select the multiply blending mode from the list on the layer with the sketch. Why do we need that here again? Well, the image with the sketch has a white background and setting it to the multiply will change the white part of the sketch of the image with this background to the see-through or in other words, transparent. We can see only the line art and we can see all the colors on the layers below. This blending mode actually behaves like a camera multiple exposure because multiplying any color with white leaves the color unchanged. After setting my sketch to the multiply layer mode, I will see only the dark sketch and the white background of these layers will become invisible, which is very useful in this case, because you can use these blending mode also when you draw or paint traditionally on the white paper, just scan your artwork and import it to the digital software and it will help you to get rid of this white background using the multiply blending mode. Now, let's move on to preparing the background. I often start with a solid base background like in a traditional art to avoid strange may be unwanted gaps in my illustration. Let me show you now one cool quick tip because you can quickly create a believable background with the rectangle selection tool and blurred tool, so let's do that. As a side note, you might be thinking, well, but there is a background layer I can just set some color to that, No. Well, that's true. However, in nature, the background is rarely just one color. As we are going for a bit more realistic style for this artwork, we are aiming to make it more believable. Yet again, if you have a different blocky coloring style, making your background of just one color may work very well for you. It all depends on the style you choose. Now choose the rectangle selection tool, and on a separate layer start creating rectangle shapes one by one, and fill them with color from dark to light. Dark at the bottom as we are underwater and there is less light in these areas. Then go to adjustments and select the blurred tool, slide on the screen to set the amount of blur and the background is done. How fast is that. When I first learned about this trick, I was like, Wow, this is so cool and fast. Anyway, if you like this effect, try to use these types of more believable backgrounds with little bit more colors than just one. Let me show you one more example with this process because you can create a similar background look with more organic looking gradient made up from the rounder shapes. Using a solid brush like we did in the second green color example in the lesson about line art, you would use the same brush for the base shapes and afterwards using the blurred tool the same way as we just did with the rectangles. As you can see, this process is quite flexible and very quick. Now, let's look at another example of blending modes. Soft light and screen modes together with the selection tool. Make sure you are on a separate layer and now we will create the rays of sun of a light coming from the sky on the water. Use the lasso tool in the same way as we were practicing with the Caro's with point and click method to create straight selection lines, because the light travels in straight lines. The light shape will be more narrow close to the light surface at the water surface, and wide at the bottom where the light is dispersing in the environment. Saving selections can become handy if you want to add to illustration later on in the same area. Then take the soft edge round brush and paint with a white, with lower pressure, mainly over the top part of the selection where the light is coming from. With just little bit of white color here, it already looks nice. Now you can also try out different blending modes to see how much you want the light rays to blend into the environment. I usually go for the screen or soft light blending mode on that layer to reduce the opacity of that layer so the light would blend nicely within the environment. Here, if you would like the light rays to look more soft, you can apply a low amount of blur in the adjustment. Because I save the selection for the light rays, I can now add more bright light on top of the light rays without making the selection again on the separate layer. When drawing underwater scenes, it's nice to have some bubbles in the illustration.. Here is another cool way to use the selection tool. Go to the selection tool, and this time use the ellipse selection and create few bubbles. Then use the blur tool again to create little bit more softer edge and then set the blending mode to screen and we have bubbles. Then you can just copy them around the illustration to be even quicker in the process. I quite like all of these details, and quick adjustments. In the next lesson, I will show you another useful feature using the Alpha Lock to apply more light and textures. See you in the next video. 16. Texture: Now, we will look at adding textures in a more controlled way to a specific area to be precise. I will show you how I use the Alpha Lock and the Clipping Mask. These two functions are quite similar. Like with the Selection or Lasso Tool, Alpha Lock and Clipping Mask will help you to draw within a specific area without affecting other areas of your artwork. For this example, we will stay in the canvas with the background we created in the previous lesson, and import the thumbnail for the color and value reference. I will keep the line art sketch as a guide and paint color on a separate layer. Then I will delete the layers I don't need because we are in Procreate and we are limited with the layers in this big file. I will resize it to fit the canvas and the sketch we already have here. I will show you the Alpha Lock function on the whale we have here as an example. Alpha Lock tool helps you draw within the chosen area on the same layer on top of the pixels which you already created. It looks at everything that you painted on the layer so far. If you want to paint on top of what you created, you will stay within those borders. For us, these borders will be the silhouette of the whale. As you can imagine by now, I need to add some color to have a starting point in order to use the Alpha Lock. I'm creating a selection and filling it with the color. Now let's hide the layer with the light rays on top to better see the color which you are using on the current layer on the whale. Then I deactivate the selection and go to Layers to turn on the Alpha Lock by clicking on the Layer icon and selecting the Alpha Lock from the list. When you have the Alpha Lock activated, you will see the checkered background in the Layer icon now. Now, take another color and a brush, and you can draw within the whale silhouette without defining the selection again. How cool is that? Now if I decide to recolor the whale many times, I can just paint over the layer without worrying about changing the silhouette and edges of the whale. If you remember, I have the Alpha Lock set in the quick gestures shortcuts as I use it very often. Normally, I don't select it through the Layer selection list, but I just used the quick gesture shortcuts. Now, let me show you the Clipping Mask. Create a new layer above the one we just used, and select the Clipping Mask from the Menu. I will also turn off the Alpha Lock from the other layer so you can see the Clipping Mask effect. If you draw on top of the whale now without the lock, this happens. Let's delete that and let's go to the Clipping Mask layer above. Now, taking some nice texture brush, let's paint in the Clipping Mask layer. I think this looks nice. I really like this light texture here because it almost looks like the light is reflecting on top of the whale. How is the Clipping Mask different compared to the Alpha Lock? You can always turn this extra Clipping Mask layer on and off. This is great, especially if you're not sure and you may change your mind later down the road. This method gives you more flexibility and you can draw random shapes or details on top of the other layers just as a test and still staying within the shapes. I mainly use this technique if I want to test adding interesting textures to a part of an object and I am not entirely sure if I want to keep them. Another benefit is that you can also move or copy this Clipping Mask layer somewhere else and clip it to a different layer too. When you are happy with this extra layer texture, you can merge the layers. If you're not sure, keep them separately or copy the whole artwork before merging. In the next lesson, we will use the preview to check our progress, notice mistakes, and do final adjustments to our concept. See you in the next video. 17. Preview Modes: Another cool feature is the preview window, which I'm used to from Photoshop, and it is now available in Procreate too. The preview window helps you to see the whole painting so you don't get stuck in details. Imagine painting traditionally on the Canvas and you are stepping back to see the whole artwork and checking if you're on the right track as you initially wanted. We briefly looked at these feature when we talked about references, and in this lesson, I want to show you how I use it and how you can use it during the finalizing of the bigger illustration with more details. We will talk about how you can use the preview window as a reference image view, as well as the Canvas view, and what are the benefits of each. So I will continue with my illustration and I will save it as an image, as a JPEG, in my camera roll, then I will delete the layers I don't need because we are in Procreate and we are limited with the layers in these big file. Then I go to Canvas and the Preview, and then select the image from the camera roll I just saved. You can also move and resize the preview window so it's not in the way of our drawing, I usually keep it in the corner. Now I can look at my concept in this preview window and start coloring within the color shapes based on the concept sketch we did before on a separate layer under the reference sketch layer. This type of reference with a messy concept in the preview window helps me to step back and check if I want to create the same color distribution in the final illustration as the colors in the thumbnail. Here you can either take the brush or work with the selection tool with a color from the color palette in the final artwork, or you can combine both techniques if you like the look. Brush for some parts, and the selection tool with a different texture brush for other parts. I sometimes combined both of these techniques, but trying to keep the consistency in the overall look of the illustration. For example, using the brush technique without the selection tool only for one type of corals, and then I would use the lasso technique with a different texture brush for the rest of the illustration. You can always bring the thumbnail image, the colored version, back on a separate layer. This allows you to also sample the colors from the thumbnail with the eyedropper tool, which is not possible if you have it in a different window or in the preview window. The second way to use the preview window is a Canvas preview, I use this preview more often. Here you would see your current Canvas and the progress of your coloring in a real time, and now we have both. You can see the illustration progress as a Canvas preview here on the left, and you can also see the thumbnail on the separate layer while sampling the colors if you want to. So here you can see me neatly trying to paint the coral shape with a brush and focusing on keeping cleaner edges and staying within the lines which I defined with the sketch when drawing with this brush, then try using the selection technique to achieve crisp clean edges with the selection tool or the lasso tool is I called it before, and try to follow the shapes from the sketch when creating the selection. After closing the selection, take a brush and paint over, and repeat this process for the other shapes in the illustration. I'm alternating using these brushes during coloring. I keep the elements which are overlapping in the illustration on the separate layers so I can quickly and easily recolor them later if I want to, and then later on, you can always delete the layer with the thumbnails reference when you run out of layers. How many layers should you have in big illustration? When working on big files, I usually work with separate layers for as many elements as possible, but still staying organized. I try to keep the layers together for the foreground, midground, and background, if possible, in folder groups. If you are very limited with the amount of layers, I will keep at least three layers: foreground, midground, and background. Plus, I would always try to keep separate layers for the elements which I might want to move or remove later on. For example, the fish in this concept will be on the separate layer for sure. Using the preview helps me to see my progress and check if the distribution of colors and amount of details works well. While working like this, I'm also considering the contrast and the composition balance in the artwork. The preview is also useful if you are not working with the already defined sketch with the composition, and you want to see if the balance of the elements and the composition works. In addition to this, with this Canvas preview, you don't have to zoom in and zoom out all the time, saves you a lot of time. In addition to seeing which colors I want to change or adjust, the preview window helps me to avoid adding too many details which might not be even visible in the end. As you can see along the way, I can also change colors and the corals easily as I have them on the separate layers, and I can just turn on the Alpha Lock. It can happen to many of us that we're playing with details in one part of the artwork, which at the end can create a different effect that we want and might even lose the whole concept that we wanted at the beginning. Now, off to happy coloring with their composition if you created one, and don't forget to always check back on your illustration progress in the Canvas preview window. In the next lesson, I will show you how you can use the color adjustment option. See you in the next video. 18. Adjustments: As a last thing, when I'm finishing my digital artworks, I always check if I like the amount of contrast and the colors I initially chose. In this lesson, I will use the thumbnails as an example, and then I will show you a few adjustments in the following lessons as well. First, I copy the layer in case I want to use the original later. Then I go to adjustments and you can see all the options here. Because we have everything on one layer, I will select one of the thumbnail artworks with the selection tool. Like this, you can also select only a part of a bigger artwork you want to adjust. Then go to hue and saturation, which I use quite often, and choose the layer option. Using the sliders, you can test out the hue for example, if you want the artwork to have a different color spectrum, or like me here, playing with the saturation and making the whole artwork more saturated. By reducing the saturation, you can see the artwork in black and white and see if you like the amount of contrast. Another adjustment you can try here is a new color combination on existing artwork with a gradient map. This adjustment applies a new color palette to your artwork based on the values you already have there, and you can also add colors or replace the colors in this predefined gradient map. Then you can also change contrast with some adjustments. To adjust contrast, I use curves adjustment in procreate to make darker areas darker and lighter areas lighter. If I use only brightness adjustment from before, the hue saturation brightness, I wouldn't be able to achieve this effect, and here is a tip how to work with curves effectively so you'll get nicer results, at least I think so. What I usually do here is create two points on the line in the gamma spectrum and I always try creating this S-shape, adding one point here and a second point here. Afterwards, I usually get a nicer contrast this way. What if I want to change only a part of my artwork? For example, what if I want to make only some of the corals in the foreground more saturated in one of the concepts. You might have guessed it. Instead of using the rectangle tool, you can select these parts with the free hand selection tool instead of the whole thumbnail. Let's select some of the curls and try to adjust them. As you can see, I'm using the free hand selection tool as we did before, but in this case, I will show you another tip. I don't want the creased edges of the selection. What then? Here is a trick, go to the feather and make the edges of the selection blurry. Now you can go to adjustments and make them more saturated. If you make them very saturated, they almost look like they're glowing because we have these blurry edge on this selection. As you can see, we have variety of options to do the same thing and and more. It's up to you to find what feels more natural to you and in next lesson, I will share with you more useful tips for finalizing your artwork. See you in the in the next video. 19. Painting with Brushes: In this lesson, I will show you an option, how you can finalize your artwork without the lasso tool if you don't feel comfortable with it, or you just don't fancy the clean edges and that style of the illustration so much. When finalizing your artwork with brushes, the final artwork can look more painterly depending which brushes you use. For this example, I will take another one from our color thumbnails. You can import the thumbnail image as a background. Now, I will select parts I will not need and then swipe down with three fingers and cut out the part I don't want to use. I will keep the line art sketch as a guide and paint color on a separate layer, place the image and resize it approximately to fit the sketch. This time, I will be using only one layer as I wanted to show you this approach tool. Sometimes I like to use only one layer for the personal illustrations because it can be faster than with many layers and I can also play with blending colors more. In addition to this, because it's a personal illustration example, I will not have any change requests like if I worked with a client. If working with clients, I would expect back and forth. I would use more layers so I can move or change things and objects quickly. Before you start painting shapes and the details based on the color thumbnail, there's the brush you want to use on the side of the canvas to see how it behaves when you want to create a cleaner edge or how it looks like with the small or high pen pressure. Here, I will choose the brush we talked about before and paint within the guidelines of my sketch. As I mentioned before, this brush is very nice for blending colors and creating even more hues. Again, I will speed up this part of the coloring process so the video is not super long. During this coloring process with one brush on one layer, I repeat the process of filling in the shapes with different colors and testing out what works well for this composition and this color palette. As I mentioned before, to learn more and practice how the light influences the colors, you can go to my color and light masterclass if you haven't done so yet. In general when drawing, try to add texture and details, either to light areas of your artworks or just dark areas. That's how our eyes work. They usually adjust to details only in the light, what you see, or to the shadow areas. I think I can call this illustration done. As you can see, it has more smooth and painterly look compared to the other example. As you can see, you can keep the line art together with the painting underneath. I would love to know which one you like more. The painterly style or the crisp look resembling the paper cut-out made with lasso tool or maybe you are influenced with the colors. Maybe you like the blue combinations more, or maybe you're leaning towards the warm tones. Which color combination is your preferred one? The blue one with cooler tones or the warmer tones. Let me know in the comments. You can also just keep part of the line art and delete the rest of it. You can also change the blending mode of the sketch or even change its color to maybe a blue, or pink to fit your drawing even more if you decide to keep the line art together with the painting underneath. Here, I wanted to show you one more example of the composition, which is very similar to our concept. But this one has little bit bigger shapes and more simplified objects if you don't have patience for too many details. This example is colored with a dry ink brush. In the next lesson, I will show you a few more tips on finalizing the artwork, and we will go back to our warm color palette example with a bigger resolution Canvas. We will have to be more creative with the amount of layers again. See you in the next video. 20. Final Adjustments: In this lesson, I will show you a few tips which you can try as additional steps in finalizing your artwork. Now, I will add one more layer to add a texture to the overall artwork to reduce this "smooth digital look." Now, click on the empty layer and we will add noise effect. Before you had to fill the layer with color, but now you can just add the noise effect to an empty layer, which speeds up the process. Now you go to adjustment, select "Noise", and by sliding from left to right on the screen, you can add the intensity you like. As you can see, you can also choose different types of noise adjustment at the bottom. Just choose the look you like the most. When you are happy with the effect settings, adjust the layer blending mode. I like to go for the overlay blending mode for this effect, and also I like to reduce the opacity of this layer to have the effect more subtle. The outcome of the blending mode and the final look depend on the type of texture you put on top of your art. Play around and experiment with colors on specific layers to test the blending mode to see what works the best. You can also add two different textures on top of each other. Let me show you one more thing. If you want any part of the image or the whole layer to be more crisp, you can go to the adjustments again and go to sharpen, and slide from left to right on the screen again. In case I want to save this type of artwork in different sizes and different ratio later on, I would keep the fish on the separate layers so I could select them and move them around to edges the layout of the image for the different ratios and balance of the composition. One more fun thing I want to mention here is that you can export the time-lapse video which is fun to watch and share on social media. Just don't forget to have the setting activated in procreate before you start creating. Another good tip I have learned along the way is that you should organize and backup your digital files. Try to back up your files at least once a month, and the best would be once a week or even every day if you remember. When you are happy with everything, you can just export the image. To save files from procreate, you can export JPEG files as well as Photoshop files to your computer through AirDrop if you have Mac. To have a double security on the files, I have all the important files on two portable disks as a copy. If you feel like it can still be more vivid and bright, you can bring it back to procreate and edges the curves which will help you with the contrast too. You can also play again with different views of the artwork. Now when we have everything in one layer, there is actually one more fun thing I want to show you. You can try to add more depth to your illustration by adding a perspective blur which will help you to create an effect of a depth of field like with the lens cameras. I use these effects sometimes, for example, with a field of flowers, so the flowers closest to us on the field would be blurred out. You might remember I did this for the flower field, for the composition class cover image. I think we can say we are done with all the adjustments and the final touches of the artwork. Well done. 21. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you've finished the class. Thank you so much for being here and I hope you now feel more confident drawing on the digital screen. By the way, if you want to expand on your knowledge from this class, I invite you to watch my other classes about Procreate composition and using colors. Just visit my teacher profile to find them. Don't forget to share your class project in the project section so I can see what you have been working on. I can't wait to see all of your awesome artworks. When you share your custom projects and drawings also on Instagram, please tag me in the post and in the description or in your stories so I get notified and I can help you and your art to be discovered by more people. If you like the class, please leave a review because first of all, I appreciate it so much, and second, you will also help other students to discover the class and you might contribute to their artistic journey too. Of course, if you have friends or family members who would love to learn to draw digitally, please share this class with them. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment in the discussion section. I would love to help you out. Thank you so much again for being here. See you in the next class.