Vector Illustration: Design a Playful Character Using Geometric Shapes | Jonathan Ball | Skillshare

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Vector Illustration: Design a Playful Character Using Geometric Shapes

teacher avatar Jonathan Ball, Illustrator / Owner, Pokedstudio

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.

      Illustrating a Playful Character


    • 3.

      Inspiration and Concepting


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Tracing Your Sketch


    • 6.

      Shading Part 1: Ice Cream Scoop


    • 7.

      Adding Highlights and Details


    • 8.

      Building up Your Character


    • 9.

      Shading Part 2: Ice Cream Cone


    • 10.

      Creating Facial Features


    • 11.

      Composition and Backgrounds


    • 12.

      Adding the Final Details


    • 13.



    • 14.

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About This Class

Level up your vector illustration skills by learning illustrator Jonathan Ball's friendly, step-by-step process for designing playful, surreal characters based on simple geometric shapes.

In this one-hour class, UK-based illustrator Jonathan Ball (aka POKEDSTUDIO) draws on his experience illustrating characters for Nickelodeon, Playstation, Mattel, Disney, and Activision to share his design and illustration process in bite-sized steps.

From concept and sketch to creating vectors and shading in the Mac app Affinity Designer, you’ll learn how to start with geometric shapes and ultimately end up with something from another dimension.

This 3D-illustration class is perfect for illustrators, designers, and visual artists of all levels who want to learn vector skills and unlock a whole new world of surrealism and detail in their work.

Some prior knowledge of vector design software may be helpful, but is not required. Everyone who loves sketching and doodling will love this fun project!


Want to get started right away? Download a free trial of Affinity Designer, the software Jonathan uses in the class! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jonathan Ball

Illustrator / Owner, Pokedstudio


POKEDSTUDIO is an international illustration, design and animation studio based in Cardiff, UK. Founded by illustrator Jonathan Ball who has built a reputation for wacky and non-conformist character designs, intricate worlds and edgy video graphics. We create characters, illustrations, animations, adverts, packaging designs, logos display fonts, game concept design and storyboards. We've worked with brands such as MTV, BBC, Sony Playstation, Microsoft, Nickelodean, Doritos, Disney, Burger King, McDonald's, Activision and more.

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1. Introduction: I'm Jonathan Ball, also known as Poke Studio, and I'm illustrator, animator, and designer based in Cardiff from the UK. I make illustrations, animations, packaging, logos, and games, and character designs. I didn't take up illustration as a career until I was in my late 20s. My initial plans were to be with a rock band, but that didn't quite work out. Eventually, I started doing drawing and illustration. I then worked for Sony, MTV, Nickelodeon, recently, I was lucky enough to be selected by the Hands of a number of illustrators and designers, who they wanted to feature in a new book. In this class, we're going to design a simple playful character using geometric shapes. The three main skills we're going to cover in this tutorial, we will be contacting your character design, taking your initial sketches into a vector program, and also some of the shading techniques. You should take this class if you like sketching, and drawing, and you're interested in taking that a bit further and using a vector-based program to make your illustrations come to life. We'll be using Affinity Designer to go through the lesson, but a lot of the principles and techniques can be used as a software packages like Illustrator, and Inkscape. Even after drawing for years and years, I still love what I do. I still wake up early in the morning ready to create my next illustration or animation. Seven Key is very difficult to get bored of. 2. Illustrating a Playful Character: So, we're going to create a playful character using simple geometric shapes. In this project, you're going to learn a bit about the process of concept in some sketches and then taking them up to the next level and developing them into fully fledged characters using some vector software techniques. Now, this project should take you around an hour to complete. It'd be handy if you had some prior knowledge of some vector drawing tools, but even if you haven't and you just love drawing, you're going to get a lot from this tutorial. So, if you'd like to work along with me in this tutorial and use Affinity Designer, if you haven't got it already, you can download the free trial of Affinity Designer from their websites. 3. Inspiration and Concepting: One thing a lot of people tell me they struggle with, when working with illustration, is come up with concepts and ideas. They'd often ask, "How did you get your inspiration for your work?" For me personally, a lot of my inspiration comes from my background, my childhood, the things I watched on TV and the games I used to play. I also like to make my work tell a bit of a story. There's a work I created recently called Snap Attack, based around the idea of that being a game of snap going on among some crazy aliens, and then one of them is caught cheating and all hell breaks loose. I know a good habit is to doodle. A lot of people doodle when they're taking a phone call or doing something else. After you finish your call you realize you've drawn an entire sketch of something and have a lot of my illustrations have started life as a doodle from when I was doing something else. One of my favorite subjects is foods and I love designing characters of food when it's come to life. I made a couple of pieces with Affinity Designer before and various food characters, one of them called ice cream thing, and I like to put faces onto the foods, always tend to make the slightly happy looking foods. I think foods would enjoy being eaten. I'll be sketching out a concept based on an ice cream character, but you can use the same principles if you are designing other types of characters as well, whether be human, animals, or something else. So, now that we have a concept, we're going to move onto sketching some ideas of how it could actually look. 4. Sketching: So, it's good practice to always start off with concepts sketches, and especially if you're going into a commercial illustration, you'll find that the clients will be asking for a quite a number of concepts before you start developing your designs. In fact, sometimes you'll be going through several rounds. It's always a good habit to sketch out all your concepts and designs first, and nothing is too insignificant. Okay, so let's now start our character sketch. So, I'm basing it on the typical ice cream cone. I can start off with a simple upside down triangle for the cone and we're going to keep the actual ice cream part of the character quite simple because we're basing this just on simple shapes. So, instead of a twirl of ice cream as you might get out of the same ice cream vans, you are going to have some scoops of ice cream. So, they are just basic circles which we can draw of them so they are slightly being overlapped. Now, let's just add some very simple eyes onto our character. Often with the eyes, I like to make them look like they're indented actually into the character. So, if you've used some basic circles for the eyes, just create a couple of lines and let's give it a nice little smile because he's happy. On these scoops of ice cream, you can just draw in some chocolate. We can also draw a few sprinkles on, just some quite simple arms and legs. It's not going to be anything too sophisticated. It's also a good habit when you're sketching out just to think of maybe how this character is lit. You're going to need to have some idea of where the light is coming from. So create some shadows and highlights. So, I'm going to say that the main light is coming from the top right of my character, and what I often do then it's just add some marks where some of the shadows might be falling on the character. Here we go. So, now that we've completed the sketch, we're going to move ahead and get onto the computer so we can complete the next stage. 5. Tracing Your Sketch: So, probably the best way to start creating your vector illustration is to scan your sketch into the computer. So, I just place that in the scanner. Try to make sure that you're scanning at a high enough resolution. You don't want your image to be too small otherwise it will be difficult to work with. So, I'm just going to scan that in, and then we can open up Affinity Designer. We'll go to file, and we will open our file. So, we need to find where we've saved that on our computer, and open it up. So, our next step we are going to create a new layer on top of our sketch. So, we can do this in Affinity by using the icon add layer in the layers pallets on the side. We make sure that our background is locked. There's a little lock icon near the top of the layers palette which we can use. Then we'll go to our next layer, and we're going to start just by tracing some very simple shapes. So, if you go to the left and you select the ellipse tool, we can just roughly drag that over one of these scoops of ice cream. Doesn't have to fit over exactly. You can just drag that over if you want to a little bit. We're also going to have a look at tracing over the shape of the ice cream cone. So, using our pen tool, we can just start drawing a very rough triangle, upside-down triangle shape like our ice cream. We can make sure now that has a slightly different color to our scoop. So, if we go over to the color tool on the right hand side, let's just pick a slightly orangey color for our cone. You don't have to get cut exactly right to this point, but we can move that around. You might notice that there's a little line going around our shape as the stroke tool, and we don't want our strokes in this particular illustration. So, we're just going to go over to the color palettes and if you select on the circle that has a little hole in the middle, we can bring that to the front, and then just select underneath the little icon with a red line, and that will switch off our stroke. We can also make these ridges on our ice cream cone by using ellipsis as well. So, all we do, we just drag out an ellipse, so it's more of an oval shape than a circle, we have one there. If we hold down the alt key and drag facts, that will duplicate that shape, and we'll just move that down slightly and just shrink it a little bit. That will give us our basic shape of the ice cream cone which we can then work off. Let's now we select our ice cream cone parts, and if you just take off and just drag it down slightly, and what we're going to do is select the second regional ellipse. We are going to use the same command, open bracket and shift and that will send it to the back. Just going to take our pen tool and I'm going to draw in the top part of the cone, and we want that part as pointed to be colored the same as the bottom. So, what we're going to do we're going up to our color tool and the little icon should fill it with a color, but we can see it's not quite the same, so, we're going to go to this little dropper tool in the color palette. I'm going to drag that over the bottom color, and then you just select the little round color icon and actual change the color. When I tweak this shape slightly, if we select for no tool or you can use the A button. That gives you a slightly different selection tool, and as you can see even just drag a shape around the bit, and if we just make a nice little curve in the shape. If we send that backwards and send this ellipse backwards, and send our scoop backwards using the key combinations we learnt earlier, then we have everything back in the right order. We can just make a final tweak to this bottom part of the ice cream cone. If we again press the A tool, which opens up the node selector, I can just drag in slightly. There. So, we're just copying over our sketch. So, at this point we now have one scoop of ice cream here, and we have the main ice cream cone below. To help us go on to the next part of the tutorial, we're just going to separate those into different layers. So, if you select the scoop on top and use command C, we want to create a new layer above our old layer, and we just paste that into our layer, and what we're going to do is lock off the cone layer with the lock key. We can turn it off now, because you don't need to see it in the next part. So, now that we've traced our basic concept sketch into the computer and traced out some basic shapes, we can go into the next stage of doing some more sophisticated shading. 6. Shading Part 1: Ice Cream Scoop: So now, we're going to shade our scoop of ice cream. So, one of the first things that we need to do is convert the shape into a curve shape so you can adjust it. Let's click convert to curves. We select on the shape. Now, we should be able to edit our shape. So, if you use the A tool or the Note select tool, we can now adjust our shape. We want to just distort it a little bit, and squash it so it follows a more organic shape. So, we're going to start coloring it. Remember earlier, we needed to get rid of the stroke on our objects. So, we can do the same. If we select the circle tool of the hole in the middle, and the little icon below the red line, that will get rid of our stroke. They have a filter color. It's our fill color. Make sure that is at the front. Otherwise, you won't be able to change the color. So, we're going to go over to the tool palette on the side and we're going to select our gradient tool. If you look at the top, we're going to see some options here for different types of gradients. We're going to use a radial gradient. I've automatically chosen some grey colors but we want a more ice creamy color. So, if you select the Fill box on the top left of the screen, you should see a box open with our gradient tool inside. You can click on the end stops in order to change the color. So, we're going to go for a slightly off-yellowy color for a darker part of our shading. We're going to leave it white at the other end. Now, what's handy in Affinity here, is that we can actually move our gradients. If you select again the gradient tool or the fill tool on the left-hand side, you'll have a little icon up on screen which we can move around. You can drag that and adjust it to adjust the shading. If you remember earlier on, we drew a little arrow where the direction of our light was coming from. Well, if we follow that and have the lighter part of the ice cream facing towards the lights, and the darker parts of the ice cream would be in the shadow. We can just drag this little slider up and down, so we can adjust that and get it how we like. Once that is done, we can add some additional shading. If you click on the Effects panel on the right-hand side and select the Inner Glow option, there's a little geared icon on the right-hand side which we can select also. What we want to do is make sure Inner Glow is selected and we look at this Blend mode at the top. That's going to affect how the colors mix. What we want is Multiply. This will make our color darker. Let's select a darkish, orangey color. If you click on the radius slider, it can slide that out a bit. So, it gives a slightly darker edge. That's a bit too dark in the edge. If you bring in the Opacity slider a little, we just want a slight rim on the edge of our object where we want it a bit darker, where we can just close that down. We can add just a bit of additional shading to our objective. We draw another circle on top. We can see that because our last object already had the gradient on it, it already selected the gradient to fill our objects. But we want to convert that to a linear type of gradient that goes across our object. What we're just going to do is just darken the dark side of our gradient slightly. Not too much. Then on the light side, we're going to just reduce the Opacity to zero by dragging the slider. Then I'm just going to make sure our gradient, the dark parts is the shadow. We're just going to place that over our circle just lining it up with the far edge. We can just tweak the shape to some degree. If we go back to our layers palette, if we select the little triangle icon on the side, this opens up the various sub-layers within that layer, where we can select our different objects. Now, if we select the Highlights area we just created, we change the Blending mode there to Multiply, perhaps slightly darken that. Also on the Effects layer, you can just add a little bit of blur into it as well. Just blends in that shading on the side. So, now we're going to add on, I say, chocolatey layer on top of our ice cream scoop. So, we're going to use the Pen tool just to roughly draw that in. So, let's follow the outline of the scoop roughly at the top. Then with the Pen tool, we just roughly draw in some of these drips coming down from our chocolate. With that shape still selected, let's just choose quickly a dark color to fill in our chocolate. Now, we can adjust this chocolate shape to get how we want by using the Note tool. We can start dragging some of these points around in order to get a nice shape on our chocolates. The drips on the sides should probably be longer than the ones that we see at the front. Let's give it a bit of depth to our drawing. They'll be slightly narrower as well. If we select our... When we still have the chocolate selected, just select the Fill and go over to the gradient selector. What we're going to do is just give our chocolate layer a bit of shading. So, let's select the lighter note on the side. Just drag that in a little bit, so that we have slightly lighter color on one side. Now, if you see, we got our highlight on the wrong sides according to where we've drawn the light beforehand. So, we can just quickly adjust that by selecting the Gradient tool in the Tools Panel. It gives us a nice little tool where we can drag our gradient around and where we can just correct it and have the light on the right side of our ice cream. We can also add a bit of depth to this by, if you go to the Inner Glow tool, and select the gear icon, and if we change the blend mode to multiply, and just choose quite a dark brown, dark reddish color, and just increase the radius on that and bring down the Opacity a little just to blend that in from the sides. All along we've got our illustration just to adjust in it. Every now and again, if you see something you want to change using the Note tool. To add a bit of depth to this, what we can do also, if we go back to our main selector tool, press V to select that. I can do that off and on. If we select that and we hold down Alt and just drag it below, we've duplicated that layer. This is a quick way of speeding up your illustration process. What we're going to do with that layer, we're going to actually take off the Inner Glow and we're going to darken the color. Then using Command+(+Shift, were going to send it back one step. That just sits just behind our top layer and adds a bit of shadow to that ice cream layer. Again, using our Note tool, we can just adjust that shape slightly, so we get some nice shading underneath these strips, which can bring out these areas here where there would be less shadow. You can just play around with that until you're happy with that. In Effects panel, you could add just a very slight little blur to that if you wanted to. There we have our ice cream and chocolates on top. So now, we're starting to see our illustration come to life with a bit of a 3D effect on our vector drawing. 7. Adding Highlights and Details: So, we're going to go and take this a stage further by adding some extra highlights which will make this illustration pop even more. So, let's add some highlights to this scoop of ice cream and the chocolate. We're going to use the pen tool again. We're going to roughly draw on one of these drips of the chocolates a U-shape. And we're going to give that a gradient fill and that is going to be a linear type fill. Let's just click on the little color palette at the top of the screen, helps us change the colors of our gradients. And what we're going to do in this case, we're going to- where it says stop, we're going to press insert. I guess it's a little extra node, that we can play around with on our gradients. We're going to give a slightly bluish tint, just a bit. If we click on the end stops and we just change that color to white and we're going to reduce the capacity down to zero on both of those. We can zoom in just a bit more to see what's happening there. What we're going to do is just place this near the edge of the drip and we're going to do with a node tool just adjust that shape slightly and bring that top curve down slightly so that highlight's just resting on the edge. If we hold down the alt button and drag our shape, now we can duplicate that quickly. Using our main selector tool, we can just adjust the shape to fit the different size drip there, we can keep doing this for all of our drips on the chocolate to make it nice and shiny, let's just bring that in. And remember anytime you could be adjusting- I should be checking the curves and how they look just so we get a nice rounded fill in. So we're going to add another highlight just on the top right of our chocolate sauce on top of the ice cream, so we're just going to roughly draw it out a shape, it doesn't have to be really accurate for us, let's just select a color quickly for that. What I want to do is get a gradient, fill in that color and again we just want to take one of the end stops to white and reduce its opacity to zero. We use the Gradient tool, we can just adjust that highlight, remember the direction of our light and where it's coming from. We just add in just a small highlight on the side of that scoop. To add a bit more detail onto the main scoop of ice cream, we can use our ellipse tool just to create a few circles. And we can use our gradient fill tool. You want to be referencing the colors of the ice cream scoop. If you click on when the end stops and the color, you can use this dropper tool you'll find and just drag it over the color you want to pick on your picture. And then what you need to do, is just select again the little round icon with the coloring and that will change its color. And we can just use our slider tool. I think we want to give color to the other side, it's a slight light color again. If you can't find the right color, we can take it from our picture already by using the dropper tool and what we can do, we can just duplicate that a few times and just using the transform tools there, we can just adjust the shapes. So, because it's rounds, I would be looking for more flattened shape on the underside and rounder in the middle and that helps to give a little depth to our scoop of ice cream and we just achieve a few of those and this little dents I suppose. We might want to reduce opacity or some of these, bring them back, you can find out on new effects pallets. You can just bring back the opacity a little so they don't stand out too much. Next, I'm going to just deepen the shadows a bit on the bottom of this a scoop of ice cream, I just want it to be slightly darker. So, I'm going to select this layer I had, we'd already made with the darker shadow on the left hand side, just go back inside gradient tool and just adjust that, just so it's slightly darker and there we have one of our scoops of ice cream, so now that's looking pretty good to those highlights. So now, we're going to add some sprinkles on top of our scoop of chocolate to make it look more delicious. So, for our sprinkles, we just need again to use a basic ellipse shape, remember if we right-click on the shape and convert it to a curve, we can just play around that shape a little bit, just flatten the bottom, just a little because that would be where it was sinking slightly into our chocolate. We can just rotate that slightly, so it's sitting at an angle on the chocolates and usually these have a brighter colors. So, we're going to go back into our gradients palette, I'm going to find some nice bright colors, let's do a green one and you can just play around with those colors for a bit, that green is probably a bit too dark. Let's remember to put this as radial gradients and we're going to use our gradient tool and again, we're going to adjust it so the highlight is facing a light source and the darker areas are slightly away and you could also just add slight inner glow to that. Again, remember we're setting these inner glows to have a multiply blend and choose a darker vision of the color you're using. So, that because our screen, we go for a darker green, we just adjust that red, just so you can just see our dark edge coming in and reduce capacity just to soften it a little. If we create another ellipse on top and we give at very light white fill on one sides, make sure this is a linear gradient and we reduce the capacity of the one side to zero and we can just play with that a little bit. We want to get that highlight just up near the edge, just so we can just see the slight little shine on top which gives it more 3D feel. Then we can just make one more circular shape and just give a very dark brown fill. What we're going to do, we're just going to rotate that a little. And again, we're going to send that back this time by two steps, so it sits just under our sweet. Now, if you select this shadow we just created, hold down the Shift key, select the sweet and the highlight together and we select command G, and that's going to group it together, so it's now one object that we can move around. Now, we simply hold down Alt and drag that and we've created the duplicates. We just going to rotate that, so it sits on the scoop of the ice cream correctly, we just have a few of those sprinkled round. What we can do to add more variation, if you select on the actual suite double-click and you now backing sites that group, we can adjust the color, we just go back to our gradients and this time I think we're going to have a pink one. So, we adjust the end stops of our gradients here, so you have a light and a dark purple at the site and just go back to that inner glow now will be wrong because we had green on it from our last ones, we change that to a purple. We can basically copy the same process for each of these by changing the gradient fill color to, let's go for blue and let's light blue on there and we just do this, you can have as many colors as you wanted to. I just do one more and I make that one an orange sprinkle and just play with those colors until we're reasonably happy. Again, remember this has an inner glow applied to it which we need to adjust as well, change that to an orange color. We can duplicate a few more of these shapes and again some of them would be just visible behind this scoop of chocolate ice cream. Imagine in the real world and when this is round, we just see a few coming over the edge, so we can get some of these and we can send it behind the rest of the ice cream scoop command and open bracket and shift, and we just press that a few times. Eventually that will go to the back of our objects and let's just duplicate a few more of these and spread them around. Send some of them to the back and keep some of them at the front until we're happy with our layouts. Let's just do a few more of those. Yeah. Okay, now it's looking pretty good with the sprinkles on our chocolates it's looking more appetizing. And let's go on to the next step. 8. Building up Your Character: So, now we got our ice cream scoop. It's looking pretty tasty with the sprinkles on top. We're going to start using that basic scoop we've got now, and we're going duplicate it a few times to start building up our character in full. What we can do now with our scoop of ice cream, we can select that whole layer, and drag your selection tool over it. We're just going to group that. Command G, which now means we can drag down around a little. We are going to turn on the layer we created earlier with the cone underneath, just by taking out layer. We still have our background visible. So we can definitely see the sketch that we made earlier. Now, I want to make a nice pile of ice cream scoops on top of the character. I can see at this point to that cone, it just a little large and the large size on our screen. So, if we select, If you click on the actual layer itself in the panel on the right hand side, you can move the whole layer together, we can just scale it down just slightly, just slightly smaller than what we had before. We can lock that off now just in case you accidentally move it. Let's go back to this scoop of ice cream. I'm going to drag that down. Now that scoop of ice cream, that should be sitting behind this cone. So, what we can do, using command shift and open brackets, let's just move that down below our cone. So it's just sitting there below the cone. Now to keep things organized in our file, we're going to duplicate this scoop, we're going to keep it organized by creating new layers for each scoop encased. At some point in the future we might want to adjust some of these, and we're going to get lost. Otherwise we don't keep them separate. So, we're going to create a layer for each scoop. So. I'm going to have one, two, three, four and five scoops of ice cream. So, I'm going to create five layers above here, and then I just going to copy and paste into each of these layers, and for each scoop of ice cream, just going to adjust it. So, the ones on the side are on a bit of an angle. I'm just going to scale something down a bit. Using a transform tool, we can just adjust those shapes to some degree until we're happy. Also, we can adjust the layering. If I'm to bring this one here up to the front, make that one slightly bigger and the ones at the back slightly smaller. So, let's just carry on copying those scoops of ice cream. Remember to select the whole layer, and the layer palette on the site and that one could be sitting just in between those two. Make sure they're on separate layers, you could get easily confused of all the layers going on, and I send that one right back there. I think I just want one more layer on top, just to finish it off. So, now we have a tower of ice cream all ready to be eaten. Okay. So, now we're pretty happy with our scoops of ice cream and how they look. Let's move on to adding some shading and detail to the cone. 9. Shading Part 2: Ice Cream Cone: So, now we're pretty happy with our ice cream scoops and how they look. Let's move on to adding some shade in and details to our cone. What might help here is to lock off all these layers we now have with the scoops on just before we do now, I'm just going to select the whole lot. Just move the whole thing down a bit on our page. At this point, I don't think it's really important to have our sketch still visible at the back. So, I'll just turn it off as well because is a bit distracting. Let's lock off all of the layers we have made with the scoops on, with the Lock Tool. Let's concentrate on this ice cream cone and get some shade in onto this. So, let's start off with the body of the cone. At the moment, this is a sort of a orangey type color. But again, I'm going to the gradient palette, and this time we want to be inserting an extra stop in our gradient and we're going to use that to create the shadow parts of our light in. If you find, sometimes you open this gradient palette and it's the wrong way around, there's a little Reverse button that you can press and you can change the direction of the gradients quite quickly. So, what we want to do is choose some nice colors for our cone. So I'm going to go for a sort of lightish orangey-yellow color for the highlight part, and I'll just play around a bit with those colors. On the middle stop, we want to go for a slightly darker color, and then on the far end stop again, we want to go for a slightly lighter color. Now, it might take you a while just playing around with this and you think you're happy with. But generally, you want this dark area to be not quite on the far left side but just a little bit off from the left. Again, we can use our Gradient Tool it's just to adjust angle of that. Now, we would like to copy that gradient onto our bottom section, There's a quick way of doing this. We just press Command C on our top layer, and then Shift Command V on the bottom layer that copies over our shading onto the other layer, and we can just use the Gradient Tool again just to adjust that slightly. We want to bring that shadow in slightly from the edge and get our highlights onto its side. It's just starting to look a bit more rounded now. Then on these ridges, we've created the top of the cone. I think it would be good to use another gradient. We want to copy some of the tones of color we already have. So, we just use our Dropper Tool again and start selecting these colors. We got the darker orange for one stop, and for the light one, we just select the light orange and let me just reverse our gradient there. Again, use the same process for copying over the style. Use a Copy, Shift Command V, and that will paste your style of the selected parts. Now, what we're going to do, as we've been doing all along is going to add a little glow to the edge. So, let's select the Inner Glow Tool, and again, we say not to multiply. We're looking at dark red. You're bringing the radius in. Let's just soften that by reducing the opacity a bit. Again, it's never, we might want to play around, that looks a bit too dark to me at this point. Let's just bring far end a bit more on that side. Now, we can look at adding some extra highlights to the edges. So, we just use our Pen Tool, and I'm going to draw out a little curve on this edge here, and that's going to be one of our highlights. Again we're using a gradient to color this, and again we need to add just one extra stop onto our gradients and that's going to be very slightly yellowish white. I've add the two end stops where we reduce the opacity right down to zero, that helps our gradient to fade out nicely on the edges. I would use our Node Tool again. Now, press A just to tweak that shape a little bit, highlight shape, and make sure we're happy with how that looks. Again, we can hold on Alt and just drag right down to the next ridge. Now, this layer, because of the layering of the objects, we've lost that highlight just behind there. We can just, if you remember commands Shift and Close Bracket, that will bring it at to the top, so that's visible. Now, we're just going to duplicate a few more of these little highlights on the edges and bring them up so we can see them. Just we'll reduce the size of this one slightly, and that one going to be less intense so what I'll do is reduce opacity of our highlights and let's bring another highlight down as well. Also, I want to introduce a bit of shadowing onto these ridges because you remember our light is coming down from the top right, and it'll be some small shadows. There's a few ways you can do this but I think one of the quicker ways would be just to duplicate the shape above. I can shrink that down a little. We get rid of that glow, because we duplicate into the shape it's got the glow on it but same as the shape above. We don't need that. Let's just give it a darker fill, just fair. What we're going to do just add some Gaussian Blur just on that, and then you can see a nice little blur shadow forming. We can just duplicate that, bring that up, make sure you find the right level in your composition. So, it just appears over that little ridge, and then we can add a nice bit of shading under our ridges which makes them much more rounded and helps them to pop in our illustration. So now, our ice cream cone is looking pretty good. I'm pretty happy with the highlights and shading on that. Let's now have a look at adding some character to this. Let's add the face and the eyes. 10. Creating Facial Features: So, now, our ice cream cone is looking pretty good. I'm pretty happy with the highlights and shading on that. Let's now have a look at adding some characters at the face and the eyes. There's a few ways of adding eyes, but I like sometimes, it cuts holds out for the eyes. As what we're going to do, we're going to make it look like this, and there are some holes in here I find it good to create a separate layer sometimes to add the features on. So, we can lock off our level where the cone on and make sure we're working on this new layer above it, and that means once we finished we can easily move that layer around for having to select individual parts. So, again, we're going to be using the basic shape, the Ellipse tool, and we're going to create two shapes for the ice. Now remember, because this cone in real life would be rounded, the one eye on the side will appear more squashed then this one, more towards the sensor. So, let's get on to a pretty happy with how those look. I can play around with those a degree. Now, to create this cutout effect, we're going to select this ellipse here. First of all, we're going to convert it to a curve. So, what we do, we take one of his eyes, I used this one closer to us first, and I'll drag it to duplicate it, and then you'll need to select both of the eyes. Then you can see that that opens up this palette at the top. The various cutting tools, the one we want is Divide tool. So, we're going to click that, and that's going to cut this into individual parts to shape. If we use the Node Select tool then, we can get rid of this slight part we don't want. We'll select this piece we have over here, and give it a darker color. Straight away we can see, we got the effect of the shape has been cut out of our cone. Let's just copy that technique on to the eye on the other side. Again, get rid of that part we don't want and we can copy the color by using Eyedropper tool, and select in the wrong circle, it shows our selected color. We can add a bit of shading on this inside part of the eye by giving it a nice little gradient, and let's just select a nice and light orange again. Still involves orange colors on this cone. Use of Gradient tool, put the shadow at the top and just until I'd be quite happy with it. I'm going to bring that shadow down a bit more. We can copy that effects, if you remember the technique from earlier, Command C, and then Shift-Command V, we'll copy that style and effect into the object. Then we can just group those parts of the eye together, when we're happy with them. Make sure they're grouped, you can just move them around just to double-check. I'd like to add a little bit of glow around those eyes, so the side, slight outer glow, and just change our color to just slightly yellowish color on the outside, and do the same again for our other eye, just get a nice yellowish highlighter around the sides. Just to display those settings. To do the mouth, we're just going to zoom in a little so you can just see what we're doing a little better, and make quite a simpler shape for the mouth. I'll see we're gonna make him a happy character. You get to be eaten. Let's just use our cutting tools again, duplicate the shape, divide and we can copy. If we double-click on our group, we can go inside our group and we can just select one part of our group over there, and can still copy the style of that onto this other part here by Shift-Command V, and we got his mouth, and we just group that and give that a little outer glow as well. Not too much, bring opacity down just a little there. I'm going to add just a little bit of a shadow just into his mouth. Just draw that little curvy shape, and just too dark, just a little bit of shading onto that. Let's give him one single joint of to just place out there. We have our ice cream character. That's the face went. Now, you could just stick with what you have in your sketch, but I sometimes, I like to play around this point with the face and where it positions on the character. You find that the position of the face can really affect how your character looks, so because we got on a separate layer, we can move around quite easily, and we just play a little bit with the scale until he look happy, with how that looks on the character. Yeah. I think that looks pretty good, and what I'm going to do is just add a few little extra details on this layer, and a little dense on the cone just to give a bit of texture. You can use the Ellipse tool just to draw a few circles and we're going to copy the shading from this cone, which on layer below. Let's just unlock file. I'm just going to select this ridge here, and I'm going to copy that, go back to our over layer. Select this circle, Shift-Command V, and that's going to paste right in. This is going to make some slight adjustments. There we go, good along that. Let's just reduce that glow on that, and we can adjust the angle so that we have a little bit of a shadow coming in from the direction of the light. So remember, I will going to duplicate those little circles, and number towards the edge. We want to make them well compressed. Just shrink that though, and round effect towards the middle of our object, but can also display the opacity to some degree. So, they can blend in to our cone, and that's my textures, and you could do as much as you like or just going to add a few more until you're happy. I'm happy that with the texture I got on that character. Now, we can just add some very simple arms and legs, nothing too complicated. If you want, you can create another layer for this. I would create its, or you can just do it directly on the on the cone layer. I'm going to create a new layer, and I'm just going to roughly draw out a shape for the hand using the pen tool. We might want to copy some of our shading from before. So, you want to just play with these points until you get something nice. Now, just move over to the edge. I'm going to give up slight gradients, so that it gets darker on the one side. We want to flip that gradient round, give away. There are some little handy tools at the top where you can quickly flip the gradients, the icons with the arrows. Again, duplicating the shapes so we can copy that arm. Let's do the same for the legs, like to make my character running, like it's being chased, and again, let's copy those fills in from the objects we've made already, and let's just drag that little leg around to the back, and place it there. So, at this point, we have a character, and some shade and he's come together quite well. I think we'll just have a look at some finer details in a bit of finishing that we could add to our character to make it pop even further. 11. Composition and Backgrounds: So, now I'm pretty happy with the character as it is. But just having a quick look at that in detail, just a few little bits and pieces that would be nice to change just to help our illustration pop a bit more. So, let's have a look at just using some extra shadows to bring out the shape of this ice cream cone and the scoops some ice cream. If you look at some of those scoops of ice cream right at the back, well, the lights wouldn't be hitting those as same as the ones which are in our direction of light. So, what we can do is just make those a little bit darker. So, what we need to do is find where those on a layer. Of course, if you wanted to, you could name all your layers. Often, if you're working for a client, you might want to make sure your layers and names, they might want to be reusing your file afterwards, but for your own illustrations, it's often not necessary. What I'll do I'll just lock off all the other layers, just so we don't accidentally select any of them, and we can just double-click on this layer which we already turned into group a while back. I've double-clicked on this shaded area which we added to our ice cream scoop. What I'm going to do is just darken that by just dragging out the slider with the Gradient tool, and just making out a little bit darker for any of ice cream scoops and then we'll be good to do the same for this one above as well, so let's just find out in our layers. It's this one. You can double-click, go back into the gradients, and just darken that slightly, and I'll just carry on tweaking some of here to the front as well just a bit more. I'm just going to increase our shadow just a bit more, and let's just zoom out, and look at that just to make sure that we're happy. I'm just going to tone this one down a bit. Yes, I think I'm pretty happy with that at the moment. Another thing we can just do and we're finalizing the illustration, you can add a new layer, but we want that right at the bottom, and we're going to add a piece of ground, and just going to draw that out, and just give that gradient and we're going to color our ground. Let's make it yellow. Just add slightly darker yellow on that side and then, I accidentally changed that. I didn't want to do that. Let's just undo. Let's go back, we do draw a circle underneath our character, and just give that a color fill. What we'll do then is just blur that of our Gaussian blur. I'll just slightly use that, a little shadow underneath just like that, just move out around just a little bit until we're happy with it. You can adjust the capacity a little bit as well just so we're happy with the shadow. Let's draw out actually a square. We're going to make that bluish color. We're just going to draw over around, and just send that to the back. I like to play with the color of the sky quite a bit. I would like to give it just a flat color. So, let's just play with some gradients. I'll just tweak the direction slightly of its gradients and I want it lighter on the top right so the light's going from darker on the bottom. Let's just lock that layer off of our backgrounds on it, and just take another look at our illustration as it stands. Let's see if there's anything more we could just add to it just to finish it off. 12. Adding the Final Details: So, nearly there now with the character, but I don't like to stop here. Let's just add some more detail. So, we're going to create a nice wafer twirl to go on the top of our character. So, that we don't get confused what we've created already, I'll just make this parts in a new file. So, let's just open a new file. We start off with a basic rectangle, which we'll just draw and elongate to the shape we need. We're going to right-click on that, and we're going to convert it to curves so that we can adjust it more easily. That's going to form the main basis of our twirl. Then we're just going to use an ellipse on the top and let's just lighten the color of that so we can see it against. You have a color now. I'm going to add a nice little- first of all, just always have stroke on the outside, and we're just going to get rid of those strokes. Remember if you go into your color palette and you see the black circle, it means there's a stroke around your object. So, let's select the gradient's and we're going to give out three stops with them. Let's go to Insert and then Stop. Again, we want the darker color to be the middle one, and then the lighter colors are going to be on the edges. So, that's a bit too dark. So, I'm just going to have little rant with colors slightly. Our twirl is slightly orangey color. Let's just get that going. Let's just move out stop to the site. We're copying the same lightness from our last file where it was lighter on the right hand side and on the left-hand side. We're just going to copy this little round piece on the top and give a nice little darker color. So, what we want to try and do is create these little twirly shapes that wrap around this wafer twirl. So, what we can do is we can just draw one on and if you just follow what I draw here, it's a bit of an unusual shape to draw. But let's just zoom in to make it easier to see. So, we use our little no tool. We're going to adjust it so that it curves around our shape. This will take a little bit of playing with to get right. Make sure these edges by the way are overlapping the sides of your main piece, your main twirl. Because these are going to be cut-off afterwards. Once you are happy with that roughly, we could copy the shading from our twirl. So, we got our free end stops already, and we're going to make that reddish color just use those. Now, let's duplicate these all down and what we can do then, you select all of the shape together with our- the twirl decoration and we can cut those out by using our divide tool. We just locked the sides off and what we can do here is just draw out the shape. We're going to use that to create a little highlight on the side of our twirl. When we're reasonably happy with that, what I'm going to just do, we're just going to add a little bit of a blur to the highlights on that side. Just go in and check a few of these details just as a line up. Yes, I'm pretty happy with that. So, I'm going to take that shape. I'm going to copy it. I'm going to go back to one of our file and we are going to create a new layer. make sure that they are selected it and then we can just paste right in, and we're going to just adjust that and position it until we're happy with it. Now, looking at this now, just looking st this highlights, not really happy of a highlight, but I can quickly do, I can just copy from one of these highlights we created earlier. Copy the style. So, I just select one of those highlights. Select this one, after I'll copy it, and it will Shift+Cmd+V and I'll paste that in. I'll just adjust that until we're happy. There we go. We have our twirl on our character. 13. Conclusion: So, just to recap quickly some of the processes we've looked at today. First of all, generating your initial ideas and concepts by using inspiration. Then, sketching out some of your concepts and choosing the best ones. Then, working up some basic shapes and shading in your chosen program. Then, adding some more finer details and shade into your character. At the end of it, just refining our character and getting those final few things that really make your character pop. Earlier on, I used some of the same effects to quite a nice little background for our character and a couple of companions for him. You can use many of the techniques we've learned today, to make a more sophisticated illustrations and add a few more details and touches of you own. A lot of the techniques you sorted, they are used in creating this illustration. Ice cream thing, which was shown at the Apple Conference in 2015, when the Affinity Designer picked up their design awards. You can see that lot, the shading techniques and highlights in such are the same, that we've looked at today. I've really enjoyed putting together this tutorial and the character design you've seen today. I'm really looking forward to seeing your own work. 14. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: [ Music ]