Procreate Practice: Symmetry and Flat Design | The Artmother | Skillshare

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Procreate Practice: Symmetry and Flat Design

teacher avatar The Artmother, Professional Art Teacher and Artist

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

8 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. About The Class

    • 3. Inspiration

    • 4. The Sketch

    • 5. Flat Design

    • 6. Painting

    • 7. Details

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Welcome to the „Procreate Practice: Symmetry and Flat Design“ class. If you are a stubborn person who doesn’t want to rely on built in tools of Procreate and tend to overdo things, this class is definitely for you! :)

 In this class we are going to try out Procreate’s symmetry tool and analyze flat designs, by which you will learn to:

  • let go of too high expectations,
  • learn to trust the tools around you 
  • see how illustration styles are built up
  • worry less
  • create an artwork without perfectionism

This class is what its title says, a practice class. Even though you will learn some cool tips for your illustrations, we will focus more on the spiritual side of the creation process. The class was created based on my own struggles, that – based on the talks with  you guys – are yours too. The fear of relying on built in tools and too much worrying and high expectations that cause overdoing things is apparently part of the every days of most of us. So take this class as a experiment and free play.

So, the class is perfect for beginners, it is going to be easy to follow as I am going to comment on the whole process. It is recommended to use an iPad and Procreate as we are going to specifically talk about it’s built in symmetry tool, but if you would love to join us anyways, you are free to follow us in any software.

This practice class will be useful because it will help you to trust these built in tools more, that will save you a lot of time and struggle. You will be more confident while working and you will also learn a cool strategy to  analyze different illustration styles, which will help you in the future to build yourself a versatile skillset.

It was so much fun to create this class for you, I truly hope it will be benefial for you and I am so excited to see you in class!

So are you ready? Let’s get started!


Meet Your Teacher

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The Artmother

Professional Art Teacher and Artist

Top Teacher

Welcome! My name is Alexandra Finta - a passionate artist, a happy mother and an enthusiastic teacher - in short The Artmother. I am a professional art teacher with a Masters Degree in Art Education with years of experience in teaching in person and online. As an artist, I am creating in all different kinds of mediums from acrylics, watercolors, graphite and digital. I have years of experience in graphic design and photography. 

For more info check out my website here:

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook:)

I am very passionate about helping very beginners to explore their artistic abilities and to build their confidence in creating art... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to the Procreate Practice: Symmetry and Flat Design class. If you are stubborn like me and you don't want to use the built-in tools in Procreate and you tend to overdo things, this class is definitely for you. Hi, my name is Alexandra aka The Artmother. I'm an artist, illustrator, online educator, and my superpower is teaching complicated art topics to beginners. What my focus in teaching art is to show people that enjoying the process is the most important thing in creating art. In this class, we are going to try out Procreate's symmetry tool and analyze flat designs, by which you will learn to let go of high expectations, learn to trust the tools around you, and see how illustration styles are built up. Also, we will try to worry less and create an artwork without perfectionism. This class is what its title says. It is a practice class. Even though you will learn some cool tips for your illustrations, we are going to focus more on the spiritual side of the creation process. This class was designed based on my own struggles and based on the talks with you guys, these struggles are yours too. Fear of relying on the built-in tools, too much worrying, too high expectations that cause overdoing are apparently a part of the everyday life of most of us. Take this class as an experiment and free play. The class is perfect for beginners. It is going to be really easy to follow as I'm going to comment on the whole process the whole time. It is recommended to use an iPad and Procreate as I'm going to specifically talk about Procreate's built-in symmetry tool. But if you will love to join us anyways, you are free to follow us in any software. This practice class will be useful because it will help you to rely on the built-in tools a bit more, which will save you a lot of time and struggle. You will be more confident while illustrating, and you will learn also a cool strategy to analyze illustration styles that will help you in the future to build a versatile skill set. It was so much fun to create this class for you guys, so I truly hope that it will be beneficial for you. I'm so excited to have you here and to see you in class, so let's just get into it. 2. About The Class: Hello, and welcome to the class. I'm so excited to have you here. In this video, I would love to talk to you about how this class popped up in my mind and what our focus will be. At first, I just started to illustrate the books that I'm reading, just to give an extra experience to the reading experience. I have read Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude, and there are some images of a magical realism that I wanted to depict, and one of them were this yellow butterflies that are also on the cover of the book. I decided to create an art work just for myself because I don't do that often. While creating this artwork, I had two struggles. One was that I not exactly rely on tools that are in Procreate. I love to do everything by myself. This is not a good thing because it applies also in my personal life. I love to do things by myself. I don't even use really useful tools in the program I'm working in. But we have the symmetry tool in Procreate, and it saved me so much time and trouble and stress. I only had to draw one side of this butterfly, and the other was just there. It was an incredible experience for me to let myself free from my expectations for myself, and just let the world help me. This is one thing I overcame while creating this illustration. The second was that I love to overshade. You might know my illustration style. This is one realistic painting from my Skillshare class. I love to shade. I love to apply dimension in my illustrations, and I really struggle to not to overdo it, just let it be as it is and not worry about how will it turn out; if it will be okay, if it will be shaded enough, etc. This illustration was really about me finding freedom in just creating and not worrying about stuff. I thought I will create a Skillshare class for you about overcoming these struggles because I think that there are so many people who have these fears inside them while they're creating because they're expecting something from themselves. I want this class to be just cool and free and easy and light, so there will be no expectations too much. What we're going to do is to draw a moth or a butterfly. It's up to you. I've chosen this animal because it is symmetrical. We can use the symmetry tool. The other thing is that we are going to analyze flat design and look at artworks of other artists and analyze them in several aspects. I will explain this when we will be at that stage of the class. First things first, see you in the next video where we're going to get some inspiration for these butterflies and just take a look at how others do it. See you there. I really hope that you will enjoy this class. 3. Inspiration: In this video, we are going to get inspiration for our moth. What I love to use is Pinterest to get inspiration. I will just add butterfly illustration. They are so amazing, and as you can see, most of them are flat designs. What we need to understand with these animals is that butterflies have smaller body as you can see. The creature I created is definitely a moth. There are so many different elements and motifs, folk motifs, for example, that we can apply in them. I really love drawing eyes. I really love these colors. This is my tattoo. What I would love you to do now is to go through illustrations and images and just take a look at how others solved filling in these shapes. There are random shapes in them. There are totally flat colors as you can see. I will just write "moth illustration" here. As you can see, there are so many people using eyes in them, and some symbolical elements. I really love this. There are also moons in it. There are geometrical elements. There are stars, etc. There are florals, folk motifs, lines, etc. What I want from you now is to, again, go through images like this and choose at least three things that you would like to implement to your moth or butterfly. Also, these shapes are totally free, so you don't need to use a real-life reference. This is going to be a surreal creature that we are going to create. See you in the next video where we're going to create our scratch and use the symmetry tool. See you there. 4. The Sketch: I will go to my gallery and I will create a new canvas. Now I'm going to use a square because I will illustrate this for Instagram. So we have the square canvas and to turn on the symmetry tool, open the ''Wrench'' button, go to canvas and you have to click "Drawing Guide" to turn it on, and now click on "Edit Drawing Guide". Now you have to degrade isometric perspective and now we have symmetry. You can set what symmetry if it is a vertical, horizontal, quadrant, radial, rotational, and etc. Makes sure that the assisted drawing is turned on. It will help you along. Assisted drawing on vertical symmetry and this thickness is about this imaginary line that will divide your canvas to two even parts so that it can draw symmetrically. Opacity you can set it as well, and up here you can set what color this line will be, I will set it, I don't know, to pink, it doesn't really matter. I will hit "Done" and now I have set the symmetric tool. I will choose black and at the sketching, I will choose the 6B pencil because that is what I love to work with. You can just try out. When you are drawing everything is symmetrical, how amazing is that? Let's just draw together. This is going to be a draw along so you don't need to copy me. Do everything on your own. What parts does moths or butterflies have? They have a head, start approximately at the upper third of the canvas, and just draw a shape for the head. It is weird for me at least that I really just have to draw on one side and I usually cannot just decide which side I want to draw on. For some reason, I'm usually drawing at this side, but I want you to see what I'm doing. Now I'm going to draw at this side. Now we have a head, so below their head, they have two parts. They have an upper part, as you can see for example here and the lower part. We can play with these shapes. For example, if you take a look at it, this has a circular shape and then it is like this oval with an edge at the bottom. You can make it more complicated. Also, this moth has an upper part and the lower bigger one. I will make at this big one. I will connect the head like this. I will also draw a bigger and longer one below it. This is going to be my body. They have eyes. I will apply these eyes as well. They have these antennas or tentacles. You can just play with it as well, and the small, I have drawn them as if it was a deer horn or something. You can make this surreal. I love to use pieris. I will just move its body a bit lower. Something like this. No. Yeah. Now let's think about the shape of their wings. The wing start at the bottom of their head and come back at approximately where the upper body part and the lower body part meets. Now you can take a look at the shapes of the wings. There are so many different kinds. They can be this curvy at the edge. They can be straight or with a minimum curves or bigger curves, make it as you feel. Maybe there's something like this. For the lower, usually this similar, I would love to make it a bit going down, and they start here and end somewhere here. This part of their body remains without a wing. No. I don't like this. It can stay. I will actually make it a bit smaller. What is left is to fill in these shapes with the motifs that you were looking for. If you really know what you want to draw, just go for it. Then you can again just go through elements that you like. What is characteristic is that there are several layers at these wings. As you can see, they usually have some edge, they usually have divided this levels. Keep it simple. Don't overdo this. You might be lost at the details. What I suggest at first is to add at least two different shapes to each wing, so I will just do that. This is one shape. To the middle, I will add something geometrical. I've never done this, but now I will try it out. There are endless possibilities. You don't necessarily have to do this at all four wings. You can think about something different at these ones. I will make these lower wings a bit geometrical, I will adjust these shapes when we are going to paint it so you don't need to add all the details right now. You can just work with the main basic shapes. Now let's add something to the body, I love the eye. I will just draw an eye here. If you don't want to have it symmetrical, you can just click on the layer that you are drawing on and just untick that drawing assist. Now you can freely add something without the symmetry itself. If you want to turn it on, click on the "Layer" and hit "Drawing Assist." I will add some more organic shapes. I'm going to combine organic shapes with geometrical shapes. We will see how it look. How will this look like? So fun. See you in the next video where we are going to analyze flat designs and choose some colors for our illustration. 5. Flat Design: In this video, I would like to analyze flat design as it is not exactly a moth's. I will just write to Pinterest flat design. Now, I would love to show you how I use to analyze the works of the others. I analyze other's work so that I know what is trending, so that I can make better illustrations. I love to try out different techniques, I love to paint realistically, I love to paint painterly, I love to paint in different styles, illustrate in different styles. I love to keep my skills versatile and not to create only in one style and limit myself with it. I also really enjoy trying out different styles. The way am analyzing the artworks of others is that I look for several things. The first one is the level of detail, how detailed it is and it includes also shading, the level of shading, how much depth and value is in this artworks. The second is linework, does this style include line work? Line work is an interesting topic because when you are drawing or painting realistically, if you take a look at anything, you don't really have lines, you only have color and dimension. With cartoony illustration styles, you have outlines, with different children's book illustrations, you can enhance parts of your illustration with lines. I'm also looking for, and always looking for if that style that I'm going to draw in includes line work, etc. Let's just take a look at flat design. It is really a trending type of illustration. Take a look at this guy, as you can see, it doesn't include line work. They are flat colors with a little variation for the shading. It is really harsh with the shading and that's it. It looks totally cool. I'll just go further. Let's take a look at this one. I really love it. Oh my god, this looks really amazing. Again, there are simple shapes, simple colors, not really into depth, wonderful. Again, I love to overdo shading. These images don't even have usually textures, just minimum grainy texture. This is the way how I use to analyze styles. Now, let's just sum up what we need to apply in this flat illustration. Flat colors without overshading. If you need shading, you make harsh lines. You can only add a limited texture, mainly grainy, and there isn't too much value and depth in it. This is our task. Now you might ask what colors to choose. Actually, I really loved these colors, these purple, yellow, orange, pink. I would say, let's just choose 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 colors. Yeah. Let us just do those five colors. I will screenshot this, going to Procreate, go to Palettes, hit Create New from photos, and I will just add the screenshot. Here it is. Here are the colors. I'm not going to use all of them. Now, I will create a new pallet and just pick some colors from here, and I can really adjust them. I love this purple. I will need lighter magenta. I would choose from here. I can combine these. I need an orange color, I need something really light. I will use this yellow. I need something dark too, so I will choose this wild line. This is going to be my color palette. Now your task is choose five colors, go to Pinterest, screenshot an image that you like, and the screenshot to the palette. You can choose five colors from it, and we are going to work with that. See you in the next video, where we're going to paint this together. 6. Painting: One thing you need to do is to set the palette as a default. When you go to classic, you have the colors there. You can again adjust these colors as you wish so you are totally free. I will create a new layer below the sketch. What I need to do is to click and tick Drawing Assist, and now when I'm going to paint, I will paint on both sides. I am going to use my free illustration brushes and only the liner. It has a little bit of a texture already and I can create solid shapes with it. As for the grainy texture, I'm not really sure what I'm going to use. We will see. The first thing is, I'm going to choose this dark violet, choose the liner and add this layer. I will fill the main shapes. As for the sketch, I will go here and lower the opacity so that I can see my shapes better. Actually, I'm going to start with the body itself. It will be this violet. I am going to speed this parts up, keep watching. I will put this part of the body to another layer below this, and don't forget to click Drawing Assist. I will choose this darker violet for this. Now I will choose this, again, this light violet, and create a new layer above here and I will add the head. Don't forget Drawing Assist. I will choose black and add the eyes. I'll have to add light to it so I will just choose white and add just few dots so that it has this light in the eyes. Now create a new layer above this lower body. Choose a color and I will actually make it a bit darker, I mean this pink. Liner, Drawing Assist, and fill it. Create another layer below this lower body. Drawing Assist. I will choose this orange. Now that I have filled my main shapes, I will choose a color for the background and I think I will make it this gray again, and I will also create a new layer for these horns and I will make them yellow. Again, don't forget the Drawing Assist. What I thought is that I will use from the luminous brush sets, which is here, the Lightpen, and keep that yellow and draw these horns with it. What I also want to glow is this eye so I will keep this layer and I just turn off the Drawing Assist and draw in. Looks cool. Now, the second thing I realized that these flat designs have are gradients. I would love to Alpha lock all of these shapes and add gradients to it. Not exactly shading, but playing with texture and going from one color to another. I will start with this wing and as it is pink, I thought it could go to this orange. I will use the other Free Illustration brush of mine, the Shader, and use it as a texture. I'll just try it. It goes from one color to another. At this orange I will use this violet. It goes from one color to another. I will lower the size. To the body I would want more pinkish. Let's try this light pink, I like it smaller. I would love to merge these two together, so I will click on the head and merge down before I add this gradient. It is really not shading, but rather gradient. I try not to shade. But I love the variety. I love how this dark purple goes into this light pink, so I will add this dark purple to the edge of these wings. Also to this one. What do you think? Amazing. Now let's add the details. 7. Details: Now let's add some more details. I thought that these parts will be dark, so I will choose this dark purple and the liner and create a new layer about these wings and make it a clipping mask and also hit "Drawing Assist". The clipping mask will result in that you will stay in the shape and not leave it. So I will make it a bit smaller and I will refer shape here. Let's see how it looks like. With this light yellow, I will just add some random shapes to. It looks cool. At this edge, I will choose this purple. Maybe I will just fill it. You can change the color of the background if it doesn't fit colors that you chose at the end. You can create color thumbnails if you wish, but I don't want again, to set too much expectations for myself and just have it in a freedom. I will choose this light yellow again and lower the size of this liner brush and just simply draw lines. Cool. Wow, it looks great. I will create a new layer that is going to be a clipping mask again and also drawing assist and I will just add lines like these. I put it a different clipping mask so that I can edit and experiment really what fits my illustration. Yeah, I think it looks great, but maybe I will add different blending modes to it. Let's just go through what blending modes would look like. Wow, this overlay looks incredible. I will keep it here. Amazing. I will add this luminance pen again. I will go to the "Luminance" "Lightpen", add this geometric shape on it, wow, on a different layer. I didn't turn on the drawing assist so I'm just do it again. It looks so interesting. Maybe I will add some glowing dots to it. Looks amazing. So let's deal with these lower wings. I'll try something at the edge as well. I don't want to leave it like this. I will go to the lower wings, create a new layer, hit "Drawing Assist" and "Clipping Mask" and think about it. What haven't I used? Maybe I will change the colors. I will use this yellow to add to this similar shape, with the liner brush, I will make it bigger. Looks amazing. I will choose this purple and add these random shapes to it. I will choose a darker one that will look better. I will try to add something similar here. Maybe I will add just lines again. So I will create a new layer, "Clipping Mask", "Drawing Assist" and maybe with this purple. Again I will just check the burning modes. I want a screen looks great. Color Dodge, wow, it looks incredible so I will keep it like this and another layer, again, the yellow and the Luminance and I will add these geometric shapes to it, maybe I will change it a bit. [inaudible] says that doesn't really matter because I'm working with detail, so I'll not stress about it. I also want these dots to be free from this symmetry. I think it looks pretty amazing. Now let's return to this body, this lower body, and I will again just choose this light yellow and if we use illustration brush the liner and just add designs here. Again, a new layer, "Drawing Assist", "Clipping Mask". We'll make it smaller. Now I just check the burning modes. I loved the overlay, but I will just simply lower the opacity and I don't want it to be too harsh. I will turn off the sketch now and I can see that this eye doesn't look really good. So I will find a layer where it is on, and I will just adjust that. I was at the yellow and the Luminance pan. I will actually erase that and redraw it. Wonderful. Now let's work on the background. I will create a new layer above the background here and I will just find a texture. So I will go to the texture brushes and is Melaleuca, or just try them out. I will just find grayish color. Let's try this one. It looks great, but I will add just a little bit of texture and I will choose black. At the edges, I will just lower the opacity and try to add as if a [inaudible] around that beauty. It looks amazing. I love this effect. What do you say? How do you like it? I think this is incredible. It is a flat design, it has magic, it's surreal. Just wonderful, and I enjoyed this so much and I hope that you did as well. Now the last thing is to add your signature. So voila, here is my latest artwork. See you in the next video where we are going to do a little recap on what we have done in this course. 8. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. I'm so proud of you for finishing the class, and I hope that you found as much fun in it as I did. I'm sure that your artwork looks incredible, so don't be shy to share it with us in the project gallery. You can also share it on social media, but then don't forget to tag me @theartmother in it. In your project, please make sure to leave some comments. How did you feel during the class? What are your eureka moments? What did you realize? What did you struggle with? Etc. I always love to read about your journeys. Make sure to follow me here on Skillshare, on Instagram, and Facebook as well to be up-to-date about the latest classes and challenges. I am planning more of these practice classes just to freely play around and discover these tools and different techniques without wanting to create a masterpiece and just enjoying the process. I hope that you are looking forward to them but until then, see you in my other classes. It was a pleasure to have you here and I wish you all the best. See you and happy creating. So let's just sum up what we have done in his class. At first, we build trust with the program that we are working in, so in a Procreate built-in tools. The symmetry tool, we learned how to use it. We learned not to forget to turn it on in every layer where we are working. You have learned how the buildup of this creature looks like, body parts, etc. We learned how to let go of expectations, filled in basic shapes with flat color, played with gradients, played with blending modes, experimented. Really, this class is about experimentation and not expectations. Then we also analyzed flat designs, so now we understand how to analyze a certain style regarding color, level of detail, linework, etc. Now, when you go outside to the world and you see a kind of an illustration style that you like, you now know what to look for, I guess. So it was a pleasure to have you in this class. It was so much fun to create this class, so I hope to see you. Happy creating.