Isolate the Linework in your Illustrations | Sandra Mejia | Skillshare

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Isolate the Linework in your Illustrations

teacher avatar Sandra Mejia, Illustrator + Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project and Supplies


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Removing the Background


    • 5.



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About This Class


In this class you will learn how to remove the white background from your inked illustrations by scanning them and using Adobe® Photoshop® software. The best thing about having your artwork isolated is that you can change its color, use it on different backgrounds and add different effects to it. So join me and let´s get rid of all those white backgrounds!

You need a basic knowledge of Photoshop for this class.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Sandra Mejia

Illustrator + Pattern Designer

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Hello! I'm a Freelance Illustrator and Pattern Designer. I was born in Medellín, Colombia (puedes escribirme en Español!). I create detailed, stylized, playful illustrations, patterns and characters from my studio in Ottawa, Canada.

I have very big eyes and I love animals. Most of my inspiration comes from nature and animals.

My art has been licensed by companies around the world for use in: Fabrics, Stationery, Kids, Editorial, Greeting Cards, Fashion, Puzzles, Gift and Home Decor.

Sign up to my email newsletter to get news and freebies: the “Take the Guesswork Out of Pricing” Masterclass, my Watercolors for Procreate brush set, the 2024 Digital Creative Planner and more!→<... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. TRAILER: Hello, I'm Sandra Bowers. I'm an Illustrator and Surface Pattern Designer. In this class, you will learn how to remove the white background from your ink illustrations by scanning them and using Adobe Photoshop software. The best thing about having your line work isolated, is that you can change its color, use it on different backgrounds or at different types of effects to it. So join me and let's get rid of all those white backgrounds together. 2. Class Project and Supplies: This project is very simple. Draw the thing you'd like to draw the most, scan it in, and remove it to white background. Change it's color and the background color. For this class you will need an [inaudible] , a scanner, and Adobe Photoshop software. Remember to post your projects to the class gallery. 3. Set-Up: The first thing we're going to do is to create a new file, open Adobe Photoshop software, and go to File, New, and set the size of your document. I'm making these one 12 by 12 inches. I'm used to working in big files so that I can use them for several projects later, because what you create here in Adobe Photoshop software can be made smaller but not larger. Set the resolution to 300, so you can print the review you want and the color mode to CMYK, and hit "Okay". Now, we can place our scanned file. I scanned mine at 1200 ppi, in color mode, and I saved it to JPG. Always scan as large as you can, so it will give you crisper lines. Go to File, Place Embedded, choose your scan and hit "Place". We don't want the extra area, so I'm going to make it bigger so that it fits in the document. Move from the corners until you're happy with the size and hit "Enter". We can make it bigger because we scanned at a larger resolution that the resolution in our file. Right-click on the layer name and Rasterize so we can edit it easier. Now go to Crop and hit "Enter". Do it twice so we get rid of the areas outside the art board. My illustration is rotated, so I will hit Command T in Mac or Control T in Windows to transform it and just drag it from the corner and hit "Enter". 4. Removing the Background: Now we're going to zoom in so we can see what we're doing. Go to Image Adjustments, Desaturate and this will take the color out of your painting. Go to Image, Adjustments, Levels. Here we're going to fix our scan. This lighter makes things darker and this one makes things lighter. This one is in the middle. This eyedropper lets you click on an area of your document that you want to make white, and it makes it white, but it doesn't always work because sometimes it makes you lose a lot of details. This one works the same but with blacks. Now move the sliders around. We want the background to be as white as possible, but not so much that it loses detail like this. You're okay when you're happy with it. I like to go to Image, Adjustments, Brightness Contrast, and move these lighter a bit so the whites are even whiter and any remaining speckles of ink or paper texture are gone. Now hit "Okay." I'm going to hide this background layer and go to the channel stop. Hit this button and it will select your outlines, see. Now go back to the layer stub and hide this layer too. Create a new layer here and go to Select, Modify, Smooth, make it two pixels and hit "Okay." Now go to Select Inverse and make sure your background color is set to black. You can click here to make these black and white and just click on this arrow to change them or hit it. Click "Commander Lead" or control the leading windows and you're lying work will be filled. Notice it's not too dark. Go to Select, Deselect or command D and go to this layer. Right-click on the name and duplicate layer. Set it to multiply and assuming to see if it's dark enough. Return on the background layer by clicking here. Double-click on the thumbnail to unlock it. Now choose the paint bucket tool on a new background color. We're going to use that to check that there's no white left. Let's make the background lighter. Now we're going to make these two layers into one. Select them by holding down Shift and clicking on each of them. Now, right-click "Match Layers." Now double-click on the name to rename them. I made some mistakes here. I want to fix so I'll choose the eraser tool. I can click on the icon or just press "E." Use a hard ground brush. Make sure it's set to a 100 percent in flow on obesity and start erasing what you don't like. If you need to darken a line, just choose the brush tool or just press "B" on a hand grown brush, set to black and just draw over it. 5. Effects: Make sure you're standing on the Linework layer and hit this button. Choose Color Overlay. Make sure it's set to Normal and choose your color. Hit "Okay". Hit "Okay". Go to fx again, and choose Pattern Overlay. Unclick the "Color Overlay", and you will see the pattern applied to your linework. You can change the opacity and scale here. Hit "Okay". To add a shadow, go to fx, Drop Shadow and change the options here. Hit "Okay". You can erase these effects by dragging them to the trash. Now, this is a good trick to test that there are no stray dots in our lines. Now, go to fx, choose Stroke, choose a color. Make sure it says Outside, make it bigger, and hit "Okay". See these rays? Now, grab the eraser and erase them. Now you can remove that effect, and we're done. Now you have more possibilities with your linework. I hope you enjoyed this class. If you want to know how to color it in, take my next class, digitally color your hand-drawn illustrations. Bye.