Character Illustration: Drawing Expressive Gestures & Poses in Procreate | Sarah Holliday | Skillshare

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Character Illustration: Drawing Expressive Gestures & Poses in Procreate

teacher avatar Sarah Holliday, Illustrator

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 Overview


    • 3.

      Understanding Body Language


    • 4.

      Exercise: Flour Sacks


    • 5.

      Exercise: Observational Drawing


    • 6.

      Exercise: Facial Expressions


    • 7.

      Exercise: Hand Structure


    • 8.

      Exercise: Hand Gestures


    • 9.

      Exercise: Stick Figure Poses


    • 10.

      Project: Character Designs and Story


    • 11.

      Project: Initial Character Sketches


    • 12.

      Project: Thumbnail Sketches


    • 13.

      Project: Refining The Sketch


    • 14.

      Project: Linework


    • 15.

      Project: Colouring


    • 16.

      Project: Details


    • 17.

      Project: Texture & Final Touches


    • 18.

      Final Thoughts & Thank You


    • 19.

      Bonus: Timelapse Replay


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About This Class

If you love drawing people but struggle with adding personality, expression and story to your character illustrations, this class is for you! Throughout this class you'll learn how to draw expressive gestures and body language in order to illustrate emotions and relationships with your characters' poses and interactions.

We'll work primarily in digital illustrating tool Procreate, but feel free to follow along with your favourite materials.

Throughout the class we’ll cover:

  • How to understand and convey body language through your drawings
  • Creating expressive character poses from imagination
  • Drawing hand gestures
  • Illustrating facial expressions
  • Communicating character relationships and interactions
  • Illustrating an emotive, stylised scene from start to finish

We’ll kick off with several exercises to practice key techniques, sketching from both imagination and observation to drawing hand gestures and facial expressions. Then we’ll bring all these skills together in our class project to create an emotive illustration with two characters interacting.

This class is for anyone who wants to improve their body language, character interaction and storytelling skills, and is already competent at designing and posing characters. If you’ve taken my previous course, Drawing People: Creating Unique and Dynamic Character Poses in Procreate, then you’ll be able to level up your skills in this class. If you are a beginner then I would recommend that you take my Drawing People class before this one.

I’ll be using my iPad Pro with Procreate in my demonstrations but you can use whatever software or medium you’re most comfortable drawing with.

When it comes to creating the class project, you'll also need a couple of character designs to draw from, so feel free to use existing designs from your portfolio or create totally new ones for the project.

I look forward to seeing you in class!


Want to brush up on your character illustration basics? Check out my beginner friendly Drawing People class here:

Special thanks to Di Ujdi for her guidance and support throughout the making of this class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sarah Holliday


Top Teacher

I'm Sarah, an illustrator based in Scotland. My work celebrates nature, imagination and magical moments, aiming to spark a sense of wonder and whimsy in the viewer. I graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design with a BDes (honours) in Animation in 2016, and have been freelancing since 2019.

Empowering other creatives to develop their illustration skills is a big part of my work. I love sharing what I've learned with the Skillshare community and helping my students to develop their creative practice.

Ps. Stay updated on new and upcoming classes by following me here on Skillshare and Instagram, and signing up to my newsletter (you'll get my favourite Procreate brush as a thank you gift!).

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1. Introduction: Telling a story through your artwork is so much more than just creating a pretty picture. It's about conveying a message or a feeling that creates an emotional connection between your work and the viewer. Hi, I'm Sarah Holliday, and I'm an illustrator from Scotland. Visual storytelling is something that I focus on a great deal in both my personal and commissioned work. Typically, what holds a story together are the relationships between characters. How characters interact with each other not only helps to drive a story forward, but it also tells you a lot about their personalities and motivations. One of the most effective ways to communicate this visually is through body language. In this class, I'll teach you how to understand and convey body language through your drawings, which you can use to communicate interesting interactions and push your storytelling skills. In the first part of the class, we'll be doing a few exercises to practice key techniques, sketching from both imagination and observation to drawing hand gestures and facial expressions. Then in the second part, we'll bring all of these techniques together in the class project to create an emotive illustration with two characters interacting. This class is for anyone who wants to improve their body language, character interaction, and storytelling skills, and is already competent at designing and posing characters. If you've taken my previous course, Drawing People: Creating Unique and Dynamic Character Poses in Procreate, then you'll be able to level up your skills in this class. If you are a beginner, then I would recommend that you take my Drawing People class before this one. I'll be using my iPad Pro with Procreate in my demonstrations, but feel free to use whatever software or medium you're most comfortable drawing with. If you're ready to get started, then I can't wait to see you in class. 2. Class Overview: This class is broken down into two main sections, starting with our practice exercises, and then moving on to the main class project. In the first lesson, we'll be looking at common body language behaviors and what these communicate. Then we'll move on to our exercises. We'll warm up with our [inaudible] exercise, where we'll practice applying body language and expressions within a really simple design. We'll practice observational drawing by watching a film or series in studying the actor's body language. Then we'll practice drawing facial expressions, hand gestures, and stick figure poses. Once we've practiced those techniques, we'll be ready to bring them altogether to create a class project. We'll be working with two pre-prepared character design. You can use absolutely any characters from your portfolio, or you can design some completely new ones for the project. We'll start by making some initial sketches to practice drawing our characters conveying different expressions before thumbnailing various options for our final scenario, and then moving on to refine and color the illustration. This project is going to bring together all those skills from our practice exercises and enable us to create an emotive and engaging illustration. There's a lot to cover in this class, so feel free to take your time at each stage, and you'd probably want to spread the lessons over several settings in order to complete all the steps at your own pace. I'm going to be using my iPad Pro with Procreate for my demonstration. You might find it easier to follow along if you also have some form of digital drawing software. But you can still take this class using only traditional media. While I'm going to be drawing in Procreate and sharing a few tips about the app along the way, this is not how to use Procreate class. If you have a decent familiarity with whatever software or medium you're going to be using, then that will definitely help. You also need a couple of character designs prepared before beginning the class project. If you need any help designing your characters, then you can check out my previous class on drawing people, where I cover how to design and put stylized characters with unique body shapes. You'll find a link to that in the class description. I'm not going to be talking too much in this class about body proportions or designing characters. The focus here is really on portraying emotions and storytelling through your characters movements. I also encourage you to post your exercises and work in progress sketches in the class project section as you go along so that we can all see your progress, and let me know if you'd like any specific feedback at any stage, and I'll be happy to help. I'm so excited to see your creation, so if you have your drawing tools available and a comfortable space to work at, then I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Understanding Body Language: Before we begin our practice exercises, I wanted to go over some common body language behaviors so that we can apply these intentionally, when it comes to drawing our expressions. Body language is defined as the conscious and unconscious movements and postures by which attitudes and feelings are communicated. You can usually discern a lot about someone by how they move and behave in certain situations, which can be a really powerful tool when your storytelling to communicate things like emotions, social status, relationship dynamics, and physical sensations. When reading emotions in others, we usually look first at the face, which is one of the most expressive parts of the body. We can recognize and relate to specific contortions of the official muscles and apply our own judgments about what that person could be feeling, considering the context of the situation and relating it to our own experiences. While the face is extremely adapt to expressing emotions, our overall body language helps to further exaggerate or contradict these expressions to communicate the desired effect. This is achieved through a combination of posture, arm and hand gestures, and leg and feet movements. In order to be accepted in social groups, humans will often attempt to conceal their true feelings. They may put on a fake smile and try to measure their companions body language, for example. Although facial expression is important to account for when attempting to read an individual's feelings, the body as a whole will often give away clues which can help us decipher feelings and motivations more accurately. Generally, the further a body part is from the head, such as the hands and the feet, the harder it is to control and so these parts of the body can be especially revealing. When people feel uncomfortable, for example, if we're nervous or tired, we tend to use a lot of pacifying behaviors. Touching our faces and hands, rubbing our nose, biting our lips or fingernails. This is the body's way of attempting to balance out the discomfort and make ourselves feel better through touch. These pacifying behaviors are more likely to occur around the most sensitive parts of the body. That's our hands, fingertip, face and lips. We also might rub large surfaces of our skin, such as our arms or thighs. Crossing our arms also acts as a pacifier as we're protecting our vulnerable chest area and basically giving ourselves a hug at the same time. Because the feet are the furthest body part from the head, we're not always conscious of what they're doing and so they can be very honest part of a person. Especially if the individual is attempting to conceal their emotions elsewhere in the body, our feet tend to face towards people or things that they like or where they want to be. If you're talking face on to someone and you notice their feet facing away from you, this most likely indicates that they're uncomfortable and wish to leave the situation. The head also tends to follow this rule. Facing away from people or things that they dislike, and looking towards objects or places of interest. Head gestures also tell us how agreeable and in rapport someone else is with us. How engaged they are in the current event, or where their true interests lies. By observing how people act towards each other, you can begin to understand how they feel about one another, about themselves and their situation. By understanding these dynamics, you can then translate this knowledge into your drawings to communicate interesting relationships. We can think of body language behaviors as being split into two groups, comfort and discomfort. With comfortable body language tending to be more open and relaxed while closed and tensed body language communicates discomfort. When a character is totally comfortable and feels in control of a situation, they'll be likely to spread themselves out in their environment. Make themselves look taller and bigger and leave the torso and neck area open and exposed in a fearless attitude. Using this behavior makes an individual appear assertive, relaxed, and in control. Others will be more likely to respect their authority and trust them to lead a situation. However, this body language can also be perceived as arrogant and insolent in certain situations. When a character feels nervous and uncomfortable, they'll often make themselves appear smaller and try to deflect unwanted attention. Hunching their posture and their shoulders to defend their neck, covering their torso with their arms or legs, keeping their head down low, and avoiding eye contact. These behaviors allow the character to protect their vulnerable areas from assault and avoid provoking aggression in others. You'll also be likely to see these characters fidgeting a lot and using pacifying behaviors to reassure themselves. By assessing these different behaviors amongst a group of people, you can often begin to figure out power dynamics and social status within that group. With those displaying open and assertive postures ranking higher in the dominance hierarchy, compared to those with closed and uncomfortable body language. Using extremes of these behaviors in your drawings can create an interesting contrast between your characters, to highlight these social dynamics and feelings even further. As well as communicating emotional and psychological states, body language can also convey an individual's physical sensations such as their energy levels, body temperature, and whether the person is in any physical pain or discomfort. When you're cold you might wrap your arms around yourself and try to create heat by rubbing large areas of the body or if you're experiencing physical pain somewhere in your body, you may try rubbing in protecting that area to make yourself feel better. If you have a lot of energy, you may use a lot of fast and exaggerated expressive movements, whereas if you have low energy, your movements will be very weak and sluggish. Mirroring is a phenomenon that occurs when two or more people who like each other begin to subconsciously mimic the others behaviors. They'll mirror facial expressions such as smiling or yawning, and copy body language behaviors and gestures. By displaying the synchronous behavior, the characters communicate that they feel the same as each other. These shared emotions help to establish empathy, trust and connection, and so creates or reinforces a strong bond between characters. We all have different areas of interpersonal space reserved for people with whom we share various levels of closeness. With those that we are closest to, such as family and partners being allowed extremely close to us, with possibly a lot of physical contact involved, then our friends still close but maybe not touching, acquaintances further away, then strangers further still, and those that we dislike or are afraid of, will try to avoid and keep us far away from us as possible. Occasionally our areas of personal space will become violated, which may trigger feelings of tension and lead to a possible conflict. This is mainly based on trust. Those that we completely trust not to harm us either physically or emotionally, are allowed to get as close to us they like, whereas those that we don't trust at all or actively distrust, we'll be kept as far away from us as possible. You can use this sense of closeness or distance to convey how well your characters know and trust each other, or to create a sense of tension between characters. While much of our body language is instinctive, a lot of behaviors which occur very naturally to us are actually cultural. Meaning that they're learned behaviors dependent on the traditions and habits of our surroundings and upbringing. Take greetings, for example, there are many different variations of this expression around the world, and each culture has their own social etiquette towards them. Some examples are kissing each other in the cheeks, shaking hands, bowing, waving, or hugging. Then there are lots of social variants dependent on how well you know the person, how long is since you've seen them, whether you are meeting for the first time, their gender, their age, and their social status in regards to you. Other cultural body language to consider includes hand gestures, head movements, sitting positions, as well as various socially acceptable levels of eye contact and physical contact. I've only really scratched the surface here, but hopefully this gives you a good overview with which you can begin to notice different behaviors and all the nuance and meanings involved. By observing humans interacting with each other and their environment, you'll become more and more aware of the gestures and behaviors which relate to different expressions, and be able to integrate these into your drawings to create more emotive work. Now that we've learned a bit about body language communication, let's move on to the class exercises where we can begin to apply and explore these expressions further. 4. Exercise: Flour Sacks: In this exercise, we're going to be drawing flour sacks and applying emotion to them. This exercise is commonly used to train animation students, as it allows you to apply several important techniques within a simple design. Although this isn't an animation class, I think it's useful for us because this way we can begin to explore expression and posture, without having to worry about drawing anatomy or complex designs at this stage. To begin with, let's draw our basic flour sack design, which is made up of a tapered rectangle shape, which becomes slightly wider towards the bottom, and it has these four little ties around the corners. You can also just add in a couple of lines to indicate the fabric of the sack. Then I'll just define the shape a bit more by adding in some curves. We have this heavy weight at the base and you can think of this flour sack as being really malleable and stretchy. We're going to be drawing totally from imagination in this lesson. First of all, I just want you to try drawing a flour sack from different angles and positions, and just playing around with how it moves. I'm going to begin my first pose just by starting off with a curve, and I'm going to build the posture of my sack around that. I'm using loads of curves here, to define the movement of this pose. You can see how I've built my shape around that initial curve. Then I'm just going to add in a seam at the side here, to help show the direction of this pose. I'm also adding in a couple of wrinkles in the material of the flour sack, to show the bunching up of the fabric there. Then I'm just enhancing and adding some more curves and giving this overall shape, until we're at a bit more interest. Already, you can see there's a bit of expression coming through here, just by having applied a sense of posture and movement. In this next pose, I'll start off with a C-shaped curves to create a more droopy pose. Again, I'm drawing my flour sack shape around that. You can think of these little ties at the bottom as being feet and then the ties at the top can either represent hands or ears depending on the expression. I'm bringing that top part of the thora-sack right down in this slouched position, and then I'm exaggerating the weight at the lower part of the sack to convey that heavy dejected feeling. Again, I'm starting with a curved line to define the general flow of the pose. This is also known as the line of action. You can just play around with that and after making a few of these drawings, you'll begin to see a variety of expressions coming through based on how you move and pose your flour sack. You can see I'm just being really rough and sketchy with my lines, so I'm not aiming for perfection at all here. This is just a warm up to get us into the swing of things, so have fun and just play around and experiment. In this pose, I'm playing around with the weight distribution, by making my flour sack top heavy to help exaggerate this proud and dominant expression. You can see that I've moved that way from the bottom of our initial design to the top part of the flour sack in this pose, just to enhance that expression. That's something else you can play around with. We can also think about contrapposto in these poses. Generally, in human anatomy, if the hips are resting at an angle, then the angle of the shoulders also rotate in opposition to that, which creates a slight curve in the torso. This is a pretty useful technique that we can apply, in order to convey more natural movements in our poses. I'm rubbing out some of these sketchier marks as I go, to make these expressions clearer. But generally, I'm just keeping all these drawings very loose and sketchy. I'm going to make all these drawings a bit smaller now, so that I have more room on the page to draw more of these expressions. Feel free to draw as many of these poses as you feel like, and just stretch your imagination here. It may be tempting in this exercise to just copy the poses that I'm drawing since we aren't working from reference, but I think you'll get more out of it if you use your own imagination and try to come up with some unique poses from your own mind. Another technique to play around with, is squashing and stretching your flour sack. Here I'm really stretching and elongating my flour sack to its limit, which creates quite an extreme pose. You can feel there's a sense of energetic movement here. I'm adding in some wrinkles just to add to the tension, and I make the waste a little bit slimmer, just to really enhance that stretch. I'm going to create a really squashed pose now. This is going to be much wider and more wrinkled than the previous pose. I'm pushing this to the opposite extreme. You can play around with some twisting as well and also trying to portray a sense of movement in your poses. Even though these are static drawings, I think it's fun to try and capture some movement which adds to the sense of drama or stillness or whatever feeling you want to achieve through your poses. Also, try to avoid symmetry in these drawings. You can see how we have a very symmetrical pose in our initial design and it looks quite stiff and boring when compared to all of our other drawings here, which are mostly asymmetrical. I'm not saying you should never use symmetry in your expressions, but generally, asymmetrical poses look a lot more natural and dynamic. Symmetry can be used intentionally if you want to create a feeling of stability and strength, but otherwise, it's usually just not that interesting to look at in a pose. I'm just going to keep going with these poses and try to really exaggerate my expressions and convey different emotions and stretch my creativity with this design. If you do want to take this exercise further, then you could try having your flour sack interact with other objects or other flour sacks and see how much expression you can communicate through these interactions. But otherwise, we're going to leave it there for this lesson. Look at how much expression we were able to convey just through this very basic design. If we can communicate all of this through a faceless, limbless, inanimate object, then imagine how much expression we're going to be able to convey when it comes to drawing our characters later on. Once you're ready, let's move on to the next exercise. 5. Exercise: Observational Drawing: In this exercise, we're going to choose a film or TV series and make quick studies of the actors' gestures and body language. Go ahead and choose any live action film or show that you like for this exercise, or maybe even just a specific scene or a YouTube video. But I'd recommend using something that contains a reasonable amount of interaction between characters and preferably one that you've seen before just so that you're less likely to be distracted by the storyline. For this exercise, I've chosen to study from the movie La La Land. It's quite a theatrical film. There are a lot of shots which show the full body and exaggerated expressions. You may find certain films harder to draw from if they focus mainly on close-ups of the face, but that all depends on the genre and style of wherever you're studying from. Just be aware of that when you're making your selection. Basically what I want you to do is go through your film and pause the screen at moments which you feel convey interesting body language, and then make quick sketches of the characters. I'm giving myself roughly a couple of minutes for each study so that I can focus on just the main essence of the poses and try to replicate those same expressions that the actors are conveying. Here I'm starting out by roughing out the shape of the head and then mapping out a rough shape for that shoulder and chest area. I'm going to sketch in some lines to define the positioning of the arms. Then I'm really roughly sketching the hand gestures with a shape for the palm and lines for the fingers, and noticing any objects or props the character might be interacting with, for example, this piece of paper she's holding. I'm going to add more detail to those hand gestures first because that's really what I feel is driving this expression. Then I'll build up to forearm a bit more around these initial lines and shapes of the arms and torso area. Then once I have the overall pose defined, I'm going to detail these facial features, noticing the subtle expression on her face and then I'll add in a few more details to the hair to complete this sketch. Finally, I'm just defining that posture in the chest area a little more. In this next pose, I'm roughing out the head, marking out the shoulder area which is quite tense and pulled up close to the head. Then I'm mapping out the arm and hand gestures and the overall posture. Then I'll go in and flesh out these forms. I'm roughly marking out those hand gestures and then defining the torso area. Then I'm drawing this surprised facial expression and then the hair. I'm keeping it really rough and simple and just trying to observe these movements and understand how they're affecting the overall feeling being conveyed. In this next screenshot, we have a bit of character interaction going on. I'll draw the main character first, and notice the angles of these forearms and how these hands are holding each other. It's kind of a protective pose with those arms covering the torso area and the hands clutching each other in a pacifying way. She's looking to the side towards her friend, so we can quite confidently say that's where her interest and attention is right now. It's almost a wasteful pose. Then in contrast to this, her friend is portraying more dominant body language with one hand on her hip and looking downwards on the main character. I'm capturing that eye contact between the two there as well. Then noticing how she's leaning backwards with her hand resting on the hip and the other hand holding the sunglasses. This very confident pose is contrasting the other character a lot with her closed body language. Using a similar contrast of behaviors between your characters can work really effectively if you want to highlight certain differences between their attitudes and feelings. For the drawing part, it's about just roughly mapping the general flow of the body shape, posture, and silhouette with really rough lines and shapes, and then defining these a bit more with details and corrections if needed. But keep it sketchy, keep it quick. Just try to observe these movements and understand how they are affecting the overall feeling being conveyed. In a lot of these stills, you won't be able to see the full body, but you'll be able to see you enough of the gestures that are needed to communicate the feeling and emotion at that moment in the story. I'm always drawing the facial expression last so that it flows seamlessly with the rest of the pose. While I'm making these studies, I'm asking myself questions like, how is this person standing or sitting, what is their posture, where are they bearing their weight, are they using open or closed body language, what are their hands and feet doing, and overall just what is the main feeling and impression that I'm getting from this pose? It's about much more than just copying what you're seeing on the screen. You really need to be analyzing what you're drawing and making connections between the gestures being made and the feelings being communicated. When studying interactions between two or more people, you can look at how these characters play off one another and affect each other's behaviors. You can notice if there's perhaps any mirroring going on or maybe there's a strong contrast or a conflict between body language behaviors that brings attention to a character's particular attitude towards someone or something. You can ask yourself, who has the power or the focus in this scene, how do the characters feel about one another, and how do they feel about themselves, and what is it about their body language that makes you come to this conclusion? There's a lot more to think about than just these external movements because they communicate a lot about what's going on inside that character's head. By studying in this way, we can observe how these certain emotions are expressed by actors in storytelling, and we can use this knowledge later on when it comes to posing our own characters. We can observe how these characters use their hands, their posture, their facial expressions, and their overall body language to communicate feelings and begin to recognize lots of subtle actions that contribute to the viewer picking up on these feelings. Because our recognition of body language is usually such a subconscious act, this method of studying really helps us to pinpoint all the subtle gestures and behaviors that we might otherwise overlook. As well as studying body language behavior in this exercise, we can also begin to observe how it can be used in a storytelling context to great effect. Don't feel that you have to go through a whole film or episode. You might just want to focus on a particular scene or a few scenes from different sources. You might want to study from different genres as well, just to analyze a whole range of different moods and interactions. I also recommend that you don't make your drawings too big because you'll maybe then be tempted to add in more details. By making these studies small, you'll just capture the essential ingredients of the gesture, which is what we want. Try not to get stuck on perfecting one pose as well. Just keep it rough and move on to the next ones. Each time you do this, you'll relax a bit more and be able to focus more on analyzing the movements and gestures rather than your drawings. You can see that within these studies, I've managed to capture a wide range of different expressions and interactions, and each of these to me conveys clear feelings. I've captured some conflict, some engaging conversations, some awkward interactions, flirtation, annoyance, and wastefulness amongst others. Once you've made your studies, take some time to reflect on your drawings and try to identify the feelings they communicate. More importantly, how those particular feelings are conveyed through certain gestures and behaviors. Once you're ready, let's move on to the next exercise where we'll be drawing facial expressions. 6. Exercise: Facial Expressions: In this exercise, we're going to be drawing facial expressions. Faces are one of the most expensive parts of the body. As humans, we're really adept at reading them. Whenever there's a face in a scene, we'll naturally be drawn towards it and try to decipher what they're communicating. I'm firstly going to break down six facial expressions that we can use as a foundation for creating a whole spectrum of emotions, and then we're going to use this knowledge along with some reference photos to create stylized expressions. Let's start off with happiness. This is characterized by a smile where the corners of the lips raise diagonally, pushing up the cheeks and creating crow's feet wrinkles at the outer corners of the eyes. With the muscles tightening around the eyes, the ivories are generally relaxed in a neutral position. A genuine smile will always have these crow's feet and tightened eyes. So if you want to portray a fake smile instead, you can exclude these and just show the movement of the mouth. A sad expression is characterized by a raising of the inner corners of the eyebrows and the lip corners pulled down. The most telltale sign of a sad expression is that inner brow raise, which is really hard to fake. Anger appears as a pulling down of the eyebrows, a tightening of the lips, and the lips ruling inward. This usually serves as a warning saying to others. In an expression of disgust, we see the eyebrows pulled down, the nose wrinkled, the upper lip pulled upwards, and lips loose. This generally serves to protect the nasal passage from dangerous fumes and also shields the eyes. A fearful expression is a response to a frightening event which shows the eyebrows being pulled up, and together, the eyes widening and the mouth stretched open. This expression is basically preparing the body for fight or flight as the eye has taken as much information about the situation as they can and then mouth inhales large gasps of air ready for the body to react. Surprise is an extremely brief expression which allows us to take in our surroundings and shift our attention quickly. This is a very similar expression to fear with the widened eyes and open mouth. However, the eyebrows will appear more curved and the jaw more relaxed. Whether the surprise is a good or a bad one, the expression is the same before morphing quickly into another expression as the person is able to make a judgment about their situation. Other than these that I've just described, there's a massive range of different expressions, most of which can be made up by combining different elements of these. Now, let's move on to our exercise where we're going to be using the face of one of our character designs and drawing them with several different expressions. Choose one of your characters that you want to draw some expressions for, and if you don't have a design just yet, then you can just draw a really simple face for now to practice these expressions. You can also go ahead and gather a few reference images of different expressions to draw from. You can choose any expressions here. You don't have to follow the same ones that I've chosen. Beginning by drawing the main shape of the face, which in this case is a circle, and I'm going to draw in a couple of crosshairs to mark where the facial features are going to lie on this sphere. I've basically drawn a horizontal line around that head shape where the eyes are going to go and a vertical line to mark out the middle of the face where the nose will be. Then I'm defining the face shape a bit more by drawing in the ear and then the neck, and then I'm blocking out the shape of my characters here. Then I can start to draw in the facial features. This is going to be a neutral expression. I'm drawing the nose roughly where I marked out that vertical line in the center of the face, and then I'll draw the eyes along the horizontal line and just try to keep the eyes looking consistent with each other. Then I can draw in the mouth and the eyebrows to correspond with the positioning of my eyes and nose. I like to draw my mouth slightly to the side of the face, but that's just my stylistic preference. So just draw what feels right to you and to your style. Generally, the eyes are placed about halfway down the head and the nose lines up roughly where the placement of the ear, and the mouth is placed roughly halfway between the chin and the nose. But these proportions are not set in stone, so they can easily be stylized to create really unique features and face designs. I'm just adding a bit more shape and definition to the space so that it's not as spherical, and then I'm just defining some more details. I'm going to add in a shadow underneath the chin to create some depth between the face and the neck, and then I'll add some more details into the hair, and then I'll just draw the trapezius area where the neck attaches to the shoulders. Once you have your neutral expression drawn out, we can move on to practicing some different emotions for the same character by loosely following some reference photos. Each time I draw my character, I'm starting with a rough circle for the face and then drawing these crosshairs to define the placement of the features and then drawing the neck. I'm going to draw a surprised expression here. I'll start by drawing in that open mouth. Since the jaw is going to be stretched open here, the face is going to elongate and stretch a bit with that jaw movement. I'm going to change the face shape slightly to show that stretching. Then I'm drawing in the eyes and I'm actually drawing them a bit further above the horizontal cross here because I think it helps add to the stretch to look at this expression. Then I'm drawing in the eyebrows. One of the main characteristics of this expression is the way of the eyes being shown. Since I only have dots for the eyes really and a line for the eyelashes, I need to separate those to create that widened eye look. Then I'm going to also reposition these eyebrows so that they're really stretched as well. We have the mean expression here now, and then we can just clean some things up and add extra details to their head like the hair, and then I'm actually going to play around further with that mouth shape. I wanted to show this mouth hanging open, so I'll color it mostly in black, and then I'll erase just a couple of small lines to show these teeth a little. I think the eyebrows looking that lost within that fringe, so I'm going to separate them from each other to make the eyebrow movement stand out more. Because I close the mouth, a little bit jaw isn't as extremely stretched anymore, so I'm going to round out the chin area to make that look a bit more believable. Then lastly, I'll add a shadow under the chin and some lines in the hair to help further recreate the likeness of my character. Actually, I'm going to change where she's looking, so I'm just going to add lines to define the bottom of the eye so that she can be looking downwards. Don't be afraid to add in more details that aren't in your original design if they're going to help convey this expression further. The next expression I'm going to draw is sadness. I'm drawing her face looking downwards and her chin is tucking into her neck there. We can see more of the top of the head as she's looking down. I'm going to have her closing her eyes, so I'm drawing some downward facing curves and then the nose, and her mouth is another small downward facing curve. One of the main characteristics of sadness is that inner eyebrow raise. I'm drawing that in with the eyebrows curving upwards as they meet in the middle of the face. Sometimes you'll see a bit of a line in the middle of the eyebrows here depending on the intensity of that emotion. I'll just draw that in, then I'll just tell you a few things up here with the eraser tool. I'm actually going to move the neck backwards a little and then define a few more details. I'm adding that neck shadow and then some lines in the hair. Okay. The next expression is going to be happiness. For this expression, I'll have our looking upwards in contrast with the previous look. You can see I've placed that horizontal crosshair much higher up to show that lifting of the head, and we see less of the hair this time as the head is lifted up. I'll draw in the nose and then I'm going to draw upward facing curves for the eyes. We're literally contrasting that previous sad expression by flipping the head position and these eye curves. Then I'll just define the face shape here. The eyebrows are going to be quite curved as well and I'll give her a big smile, which is also made up of upward facing curves. When we smile, the upper lips are pulled further apart face so they'll appear a bit closer to our nose compared to when they're in a neutral position. The cheeks are also pushed up as well and that pushes up our lower eyelets. If we want to intensify this smile, we can black out the inside of the mouth and just show the upper row of teeth to create an open smile. Then I'll just go ahead and define all the rest of these details. The next expression I'm going to draw is fear. Again, I'll just black out the head shape and the hair, first of all, and then these crosshairs. I'm going to draw the mouth slightly open and curve downwards. The eyebrows are going to be pulled up and together in a similar way to the previous sad expression, and I'll show these eyes widening. Again, I'll black out this mouth to show that it's open and leave a row of white teeth at the top. To me, this expression is not really fearful at the moment. I think it looks a bit more like annoyance, so I think we need to define that eye widening a bit more and highlight those eyebrows by moving the fringe off the way. You can see I'm just redoing those eyebrows a bit so that they're more obvious, and I'm also adding a line at the bottom of the eyes to exaggerate that whitening. I'll just widen the mouth as well. These subtle changes can really help to enhance the mood of your expression. Then taking a critical look at your expression and asking yourself what it's communicating to you is going to help too because your expressions should ideally be really obvious as to what emotion is portraying. If it's not, you can really tell quite quickly, and then you'll need to figure out what is this drawing of the expression so you can fix it. You can see that these expressions of surprise and fear are really similar. Except in my fearful expression, I've curved the mouth downwards a bit to communicate that displeasure and also the different carvings of the eyebrows makes a big difference. The next emotion is anger. With anger, I'm going to tilt the head down a bit again, narrow the eyes, and draw the eyebrows pulling downwards. They almost create a V-shaped as they pulled down towards the center of the face. I'll just draw the hair into. Because of this tension in the eyebrows, you'll get this crease appearing between them above the nose. I'm going to exaggerate that tension by angling the eyebrows even further, and you can play under different mouth shapes in your expressions. I could have one side of the mouth arching upwards in aggressive way, but I think I'll keep the lips closed in this particular expression. There are loads of different ways that you can vary these expressions and intensify them or make them more subtle by playing around with the curves of the eyebrows and the eyelids and trying out different mouth shapes. It's useful to experiment with different variations of the same emotion just to keep things interesting with your characters. Let's draw one last expression, so we're going for a skeptic look here. This is quite an asymmetrical expression with one side of the face more tensed, while the other is more relaxed. The eyebrows are flowing along with each other with one angled upwards and then flowing into the more curved shape of the second eyebrow. I'll draw that mouth in angle curving downwards on the other side of the face. You can keep on doing this exercise with as many expressions as you like, and you might want to try drawing some from imagination as well. Just play around with it and see what works for you. When you're ready, we're going to move on to drawing hands. 7. Exercise: Hand Structure: Now it's time to practice drawing hands. I know this is an area that a lot of artists avoid because it's definitely one of the more complex areas of anatomy. But once you manage to overcome this hurdle and find simplified ways of drawing hands, it will help to vastly improve your work. You'll also find that you have more freedom to draw posies and expressions that you might have avoided otherwise, and your work will become much richer. So I'll firstly breakdown the anatomy of the hand so that we can start to think of it in terms of shape and construction. Then we'll move on to study some hand gestures. First of all, we're going to draw the structure of the hand. Let's draw a rounded, square-shape to form our palm. Then our palm can be split in half roughly. We can draw in these two fleshy bits on either side of our palm with the fleshy part that touches to the thumb being a bit wider. Then we can attach our wrist which is slightly thinner than the palm. For the fingers, I like to begin by drawing a mitten shape with a point to the top where our middle finger will be. Our middle finger is the longest and it's generally the same length as our palm so you can roughly check those measurements. Then we can split this mitten shape up into four fingers and rhymed off the tops of the fingertips here. You can look at your own hand for reference while you do this, just to estimate those measurements and finger heights and think about each finger's special relationship to the others. I'm also going to draw in some little creases here where these fingers attach to the palm. You can see they appear as short diagonal lines, then we can draw in our thumb. I like to think of the thumb as being almost part of this larger, fleshy part of the palm and it comes out from the palm about halfway down from the fingers. If you press your thumb in besides your fingers, you can see that it pivots from slightly above where the fingers begin. You can use that technique when you're drawing out your thumb by drawing a curve to mimic that pivot. Our thumb has two knuckles and there's also a joint next to the rest there. We can draw a couple of creases on either side of those two knuckles and then we can also attach that thumb to the palm with a bit of wide skin there. I'm going to round out one side one the thumb and the opposite side where the nail is will be a bit flatter, so you can recognize quite clearly what direction the thumb is facing. I'll quickly clean this up a little bit and then we can draw in the creases of our fingers. Notice that these fingers all join up in a bit of a curve, there are no real straight lines in the hand, it's mainly made up of curves. We can roughly split each finger up into thirds with three creases on the opposite side of each knuckle. Notice again how these creases flow in a curve between the fingers. I'll also just go ahead and define these fingers a bit more now. We've also got a more fleshy bit in the palm here underneath each of the fingers. With all these raised fleshy parts, that creates a dip in the middle of the palm. I'll go ahead and just clean up all this sketchiness. Looking at this now, I think I've drawn the thumb a bit to big, so I'll just tweak that with the selection tool. Let's draw the back of the hand now with the fingers splayed out this time. We can begin in the same way by drawing that rounded square shape and then when our fingers spread outwards, you can see they form a fan shape with all these tendons coming out from around the same point towards the rest. Also notice the curve that is formed between these fingertips, and remember to account for the different heights of your fingers. We can just draw a little sausage shapes to begin with, making the middle finger taller and our pinky finger smaller. Another thing to notice when drawing these stretched out fingers is the waving that appears between them. They're not all totally bunched up, we've got a little bit of a gap between each of our fingers. We can imagine on the other side of our hand we have our thumb attached to that fleshy part of the palm, that's coming out towards the side. I'm going to stretch this thumb a bit more on this drawing, so it's almost carving backwards slightly here. I'll draw in the rest of that narrower here again. We've also got some bones and nobly parts and the rest, which you can sometimes see, but that depends on the positioning of the hand and also different body types. But generally when you're drawing stylized hands, you don't need to worry about that too much. We'll draw the knuckles and on these fingers splitting each finger roughly into thirds. Then I'm going to define the finger shapes a bit more with bolder lines. You can see in reality these fingers have lots of curves and tend to bulge outwards around the knuckles, but I'm not going to bother going into that much detail here. I'll draw the fingernails and as well with some oval shapes at the top of the fingers. On the thumb we can't really see that lower knuckle too much because of the positioning of the thumb here. I won't bother drawing in and I'll draw the thumbnail in as well. Drawing this fleshy part of the hand that's punching out. You can see that there are lots of bits and pieces in the hand that we have to be aware of and it's a really complex part of the body to draw just because there are so many positions that we can place the hand in. But once you have a grasp on what shapes form up the hand and what movements they could make, then it will start to become easier to draw them. That's pretty much the main structure covered. Now let us move on to drawing hand gestures. 8. Exercise: Hand Gestures: In preparation for this lesson, I took a bunch of photos of my hand in various positions, so I've added those to the class resources if you also want to study from them. Otherwise, you can make studies from photos online or websites like For these studies, I'm not going to give myself a strict time limit. I'm going to take probably 5-10 minutes drawing each hand gesture and just try to understand the way the hand is working to form these poses. Let's begin with our first gesture. When I begin the drawing, I'm looking for the very basic shapes that make up the image, and I like to notice curves, so noticing how these fingers are flowing into each other to form a shape. Here, I'm roughly mapping out the whole shape of that finger section and then I'm drawing in thumb position. Something important to know about this thumb is its plane of movement. Your thumb can be in line with the palm, but it can also rotate and bend inwards into that palm area. That's why I like to think of this fleshy part of the palm as being part of the thumb, because you can see that when the thumb pivots forward, that part of the palm moves with the thumb. That's why it can be so helpful to study your own movements from different angles so that you can get a sense of what's happening in that 3D space. What's happening here is instead of our thumb being flat against the palm, the thumb is twisted inwards, so we get this triangle shape forming. I'll just draw the angle of the wrist in now. I'd like to firstly think of the hand as a mitten, so drawing the whole bulk of the fingers first, and then from there, I can map out where the individual fingers lie within that shape. In this pose, there's a fan shape being made, and you'll see that in a lot of hand poses and gestures with regard to the fingers. I like to block the rough finger shapes in before I start drawing in the joints. With my studies, I like to be really sketchy, making light marks to begin with, and then going over them with bolder marks once I have the main gesture blocked in. Then if you want, you can go put in some details like fingernails, and creases of the fingers. I'll also rub out some of these really sketchy marks to get rid of some distractions. That thumb shape looks a bit off, so I'll try that again. The key is to keep looking at your reference and not just blindly looking, but noticing the relationships between shapes and angles that you can translate into your drawing to build up the form. That was quite a difficult hand position to get right. If you want, you can always draw the same hand gesture a second time, but this time try to draw it smaller and faster than your previous study and see how much you can simplify the shapes this time or improve on your proportions, and what effect the length of time you spend on the study has on your overall drawing. In the previous study, I think I focused too much on that triangle shape and consequently drew it a bit large in proportion to the overall hand. This time, everything feels a bit more in proportion. Also, notice how the wrist attaches to the hand. It doesn't always attach in a straight line, it bends at different angles, so that's something to watch out for as well. When I'm stylizing my hands, I don't usually add all the bends in the fingers. You can play around with simplifying and stylizing your hand shapes, but we'll leave this like that for now. In that second drawing, I think their proportions are improved and it was only a small change, but it does make a difference. I'll erase the previous gesture here. Next up is this relaxed looking hand. I'm beginning by drawing the palm shape, then blocking out the main shape of the fingers, blocking in the thumb along with the fleshy thumb palm section. Then I'll just map out lines for those curves of the fingers in an almost fan shape with the pinky, the most curved and then becoming straighter towards the index finger. You can see that if you stretch your hand out like this, takes a bit of effort to do that. Whereas a more natural resting position for our hands is to be in this relaxed position. You can see that our fingers curve over with our pinky being the most curled and our fingers opening out in a graduated fan. That's what we're drawing here. That's why it's really useful to use curves and fan shapes when you're drawing these hand positions. It also just gives your drawings more of a flow and more of a graceful and natural look to them. When it comes to drawing hands from imagination, I always like to use those concepts as well as recalling hand poses that I've drawn a lot previously from reference. Remember, there's a curve here as well. It's not a straight line. That would just make our hand look stiff and strange. Becoming good at drawing realistic hands is not going to be an easy task. There are no real cheese apart from just learning the anatomy and how the hand works, and then making lots and lots of studies and practicing. You can see this part of the palm has lots of wrinkles, so we'll draw those in and draw the rest in as well. You can see I've lengthened a couple of those fingers a bit because I forgot to account for the different finger lengths. I'm just evening up those proportions now and then rubbing out some of my messy lines. Being able to look at your drawings critically here is quite important because as the hand is so complicated, there's a lot to think of at once, so you're bound to make some mistakes to begin with. But the good thing is we can correct those mistakes. They aren't really mistakes, they're just part of the process which we can tweak and build upon to cover these forms. I like to use the eraser tool as well quite a lot, so we might as well make use of it while it's there. I'll move on to the next one now. Another thing to note is that when a hand is holding something, it's going to mold to the shape of the object it's holding and not the other way around. In these cases, it's useful to draw your object first and that'll help you a lot instead of trying to draw the hand and then having to move the object inside the hand, which is just going to look really weird. In this case, I'm going to really roughly sketch out the apple shape, which is basically a circle with some tapered and flattened edges. Then we can draw the hand in relation to the apple. We can notice how the thumb is clutching against it. The bottom of the palm is down here. The other side of the palm is hugging around it. The fingers are all fanning out around the apple to hold it. Again, I'm just looking for shapes, looking for relationships between shapes, and you can also imagine what's going on behind the apple. Then we can use some darker lines to define the shape of it more so you can see how I captured that straight line on this side and the more fleshy rounded shape on the other side. You can also think about the foreshortening of the fingers as well. I'll draw in some of those creases in the palm as well. I'm just going and adding more details here. Feel free to take as long as you want with these studies, but don't worry about striving for perfection. Just try to understand your shapes and anatomy and what's going on, so that it'll be much easier when it comes to stylizing the hands. If you want to add in shading, if it helps you get more of an idea of form, then that's totally fine. Now that I've shrunk this down and taken a critical look again at my reference, I think the fingers are actually a bit off. This pinky is coming towards us a lot more and clutching the apple from the side of the finger instead of the bottom, so I'm going to just correct that now. I'm drawing all the other fingers to flow along with that pinky as well, and I think that looks a lot more natural now. When we're drawing more stylized hands, we can start with that palm shape and then mark the fingers, making sure to think about carving and fanning. Then we can map in the thumb. Once you have that framework of the general gesture, you can begin to apply all sorts of shapes depending on your style in order to stylize your hand a bit more. It's exactly the same concept that I use for stylizing poses and body shapes. One way to stylize the hand is to think about the shapes of your fingers. I like to have my fingers straight on one side and curved at the fingertip, and I don't generally tend to draw in the nails. That indicates what way the finger is facing. There are different ways to stylize these fingers. Thinking of some different shapes you can use. For example, you can make some really bony and witchy fingers or square and blocky fingers or foggy ones or just super rounded ones. You can also stylize the joints as well so you don't have to draw in the specific knuckles with specific bends in them. I like to make these bends quite smooth and not drawing the knuckles of the fingers. Unless I really want to indicate some tension or some specific pose that would look weird without them. What I'm doing here is using previous reference to draw this, but I'm putting my own style into it and it's much easier to draw since I drew a realistic one from reference. I more or less understand the structure so I can simplify what I don't need and still manage to capture the essence of the pose. You'll find that with some hand poses, you do need to draw in the bends at the joints. It depends on how relaxed or tense you want the pose to look and also how realistic or cartoony your style is. Another tip is to look at a handful of your favorite artist's work and study how they stylize their hands. You can also look at cartoons and see how the hands are stylized, especially in animation, you'll see loads of different styles of hands. Because it's very useful for animators to be able to simplify the hands so that they're much easier to draw. You may see characters who only have three fingers or characters with really chubby hands, so they don't have as many bones or joints in them. There's a lot to play around with when it comes to style. Once we have that structure, then we can lower the opacity and go over the drawing and just draw in the very basic elements that we want to keep in. By simplifying and stylizing shapes in this way, we can make things a bit easier for ourselves and also create more appealing looking hands without worrying about all those details which aren't really necessary to communicate the gesture. Let's try creating a stylized hand just straight from reference now. You can see this one is holding something. I'm going to draw the pen first and then map out the hand around it. Just drawing the little lines to indicate the angles of the fingers, and then the thumb is pressing up against that pen. Then I'll map in the whole palm area and the direction of the wrist. Then I can start applying my stylized shapes around that. My shapes are still semi-realistic even though I'm simplifying them a lot, I'm still keeping to those rules of proportion. But you'll see I'm not drawing in too many details this time like creases and fingernails. I'm trying to just keep to the main essence of the pose. I find it much easier to stylize my hands when I draw them smaller because it forces me to leave out anything extra and just focus on shapes. Feel free to use these photos I've taken as references, I'll leave them for you in the class resources, so be sure to check that out. Let's do a couple more. This time, it's going to be a clenched fist. I'm starting off with some very basic shapes, noticing that curved angle formed by these knuckles, and then I'm drawing in this thumb starting from the palm and noticing how it's almost split into three sections as it bends from each knuckle. Then I'm drawing in the fingers. Notice how when you're drawing an outstretched hand, the fingers fan outwards. While the opposite happens when the fingers curl and they fan inwards. Just remember that when you're drawing curled up fingers and fists. The last thing is drawing two hands together. Unlike when we're drawing hands around an object, both of our hands mold to each other, so we have to draw those shapes at the same time. You can see I've just mapped out some very basic shapes and structure, and now I'm outlining that a bit more. Again, just noticing relationships between these shapes and proportions. Again, it also helps to visualize the parts of the hand that are hidden in order to achieve more believable proportions and interaction here. You just need to practice as much as you can and try to understand these movements, and try to build up a library of movements that you can use with your characters. Drawing hands is not easy, and I still sometimes struggle with it. If you are struggling, don't worry. It takes practice and takes time and struggling is just part of the learning process. Take some time to absorb this information and practice your own gestures, either from my photos, or online, or using your own hand. Once you're ready, we're going to move on to a fun and quick exercise, drawing stick figure poses. 9. Exercise: Stick Figure Poses: In this exercise, we're going to be drawing stick figure poses by starting off with some curves and creating poses from imagination based on those. The main purpose of this exercise is to help us loosen up and think expressively when drawing character poses from imagination. This will help us later on when it comes to creating our class project. I'm going to begin by using a red-colored brush. I will just lower the size of that line. I'm going to be using the Mercury brush which is needed to procreate for this so that I have a nice hard line to see clearly. Then I am just drawing here a series of randomized lining curves. You can think about drawing some S shapes, curve shapes, and diagonal lines. You can draw some quite extreme curves or more subtle ones, and these are going to define the posture of our stick figures. Just fill a page with these for now and they can be really randomized. You don't need to think too hard about it at this stage, but just make sure you're going to be able to easily form a pose around them. Once you have that page filled with a good amount of these lines, we can start a new layer and change the brush color to black to draw our poses over these lines. You can start off by drawing in the head position at the top of this line and then adding on your body parts around that. I'm going to draw the leg here following along with the flow of that line. You can imagine that this line is the spine and you can make that movement flow into the rest of the pose somehow, either into one of the legs or just inspiring the general flow of the pose. With this posture, it's quite slouched over. It looks pretty sad and low energy. I'm going to draw these arms dangling down just to add to that despondent, apathetic feeling. In this next pose, this person is even more hunched over. Maybe they're going to be burying their head in their hands and a feeling of despair. They're just going to be standing still. I'll draw those legs straight down, maybe carving inwards a little bit. You can draw a shape for the torso if you feel like it. But don't worry too much about proportions at the moment because we're just focusing on the expression. The next one, I can imagine, is someone curled up in a ball. Maybe they're asleep or comforting themselves in the fetal position there. Here, I'm just offsetting the legs from each other a bit to give this silhouette more interest. This next pose looks like it's someone maybe on their knees with their hands outstretched in a bewildered expression. This next one seems to be more relaxed. They've got their hands over their head and they're lying down on a [inaudible] or something. I'm adding some asymmetry to those leg positions. Something to be aware of as well is the weight distribution and balance of your poses. Because if this character here didn't have anything to rest their weight on, in a realistic setting, this wouldn't be a balanced pose, and so the person would be falling rather than resting in a static position. Method for working this out is to think of the character center of gravity, which is the point in the body where the weight is evenly balanced. Usually, this is somewhere in the lower torso area, but it can vary depending on body weight and posture. If we make a straight line from the center of gravity vertically downwards, we can check if that is over our base of support, which is usually in between their two feet if we're in a standing position. But the base of support is basically any part of the body which is holding our weight. If this was a stunning pose, we can clearly see that the center of gravity is not over the base of support, which means it's not a balanced pose. However, in this case, because our character is resting their whole body on something, they are balanced upon the object. We can check the balance in these other poses by roughly marking out the center of gravity and drawing a straight vertical line downwards. You can see here, there's quite a wide base of support in that area between those two sheds and the ground. This pose, again, the whole body is lying down, so the whole part of the body that's in contact with the ground can be considered the base of support. For this one, we are just over the base of support there. If this character was leaning any further forward, it probably would become unstable and they would need to widen their base of support to compensate for that. This is just something to be aware of. You don't need to always be thinking about it. But if your character does look a bit unbalanced, then that's something you can check out. Be aware that if the person is holding something heavy, that will add to their weight and change the center of gravity. The same will apply for people who are heavier are women with pregnant bellies, for example. You'll need to compensate for that weight by maybe leaning backwards more to gain balance. I'm going to have this character leaning forward quite a bit, maybe playing a game on their phone. You can see how I've brought that leg forward to widen the base of support there. But if they had, for example, a walking stick, they can lean on that and use it to widen the base of support for more balance. Basically, I'm just going to continue drawing these poses around these curves. I'm just making up as I go along. You don't need to have a clear idea of your pose before you start drawing around these. You can just start adding limbs and gestures, and see how that develops, and then exaggerate that further with more movements. You can edit these as you go as well when you start to see a specific feeling coming through and try out different positions for the limbs and head. It was just interesting to see how much a simple curving and bending of a line can affect and influence a whole expression. You can see how those lines have managed to inspire loads of different poses and expressions. This is a really fun way to ease us into drawing character poses from imagination. We can use this technique later on when it comes to drawing our characters. That is the last of our exercises. If you're ready, then we're going to move on to talk about the class project next. 10. Project: Character Designs and Story: We are almost ready to begin the class project. Before we can get started, you'll need to have two character designs ready. Feel free to use any existing characters from your own portfolio, or you can also design some new ones at this stage. This is not a character design class, so don't feel like your designs need to be super fancy or a professional standard. I would encourage you to just use whatever style and technique feels most natural to you, or feel free to experiment, and play around with different styles and techniques. If you do need some help designing your characters, then check out my previous class on drawing people, where I go over how to design characters with unique body shapes and pose them. The most important thing to bear in mind about character design is a story and the personality of your characters. This is basically going to inform every aspect about them; about how they look, and dress, and behave, as well as the kind of relationships that they share. If you have a good understanding of who your character is, then it will become easy to visualize them, not just in how they look, but also how they act. When you're designing your characters, you might already have a clear idea of who they are before you even start to draw them. But you can also do this the other way around. You can draw your character and then let that personality to develop, as you add more characteristics and interests to them. Whatever you feel is a more natural process and works best for you is completely fine. Your characters can be wherever you want. You can let your imagination go crazy, or you can keep them super simple. They don't have to be from the real world, and they don't have to be human, although it will help if they have some human-like anatomy just to follow along with what I'm doing in this class. Since we're working with not only one but two characters, we need to figure out how they're connected, how do they know each other, and what does their relationship look like? This can be anything as well. They can be total strangers meeting for the first time, or they can be lifelong best friends, or mortal enemies, or something completely random and ordinary, like a doctor and a patient. Once we figure out how they relate to one another, we can think about their separate personalities and what they have in common, what they conflict about, and ultimately, what the relationship dynamic looks like. You're also going to want to consider the time and place your characters are from, what's their cultural background, what are their values and beliefs, education, what do they do for a living, and any details that you feel are relevant to the shaping of your character. Something that's going to communicate a lot about your characters personalities other than how they behave, is the way that they choose to dress and groom themselves. That might communicate their particular tendency towards cleanliness or laziness, and might give clues as to their occupation, or where they're from, and whether they like to blend in or stand out from the crowd, that kind of thing. I'm not going to go too much into detail about that in this class, but it's something else you want to consider about your designs. These are my two characters that I am going to be using for my own class project, Milly and Tina. The loose story I thought of for them is that they're cousins. Milly is seven years old and Tina is 15. Although there's a bit of an age gap, they're good friends, and enjoy exploring and being silly together when they go to stay with their grandparents. I also made a couple of character profiles for each character just to get a better feel for their personalities. If that helps you at this stage, then you can go ahead and do that too. I just started off by writing down a few characteristics, and then building out from there. Milly is really excitable, energetic, chatty and friendly. She's got a vivid imagination, loves dressing up, and wants to be an actress when she's older. Tina is quite reserved and quiet in contrast to Milly. She often tries hard to act all cool, but she's really a bit nerdy, and also has an imaginative and playful side to her. I can see there being some potential conflicts between these two characters as they're both quite sensitive. But overall, they tend to balance each other out quite nicely with Milly bringing Tina out of her shell, and Tina having a calming influence on Milly. I've also tried to reflect both of these personalities through how they dress, and where they're here, and also the color schemes that I've chosen for each of them. Overall, these two characters are quite simple in their design, but everything was thought of intentionally, and has a connection to their personalities and interests. All of these things just work together to make your characters seem a bit more real and interesting. Before we move on, I want you to have a good think about your characters personalities and relationship dynamics. Think of some interactions that your characters may share, and the feeling that surrounds those interactions. Are they loving, awkward, cold, playful? You might want to write out some character profiles for your two characters, and then also write down a list of several interactions that they might share that could be potential options for your final piece. I have some prompt list available for this part in the Resources section of the class. Feel free to check those out if you need some extra inspiration. Once you're ready, we're going to practice sketching your characters performing various expressions before we begin our final illustration. 11. Project: Initial Character Sketches: In this lesson, we're going to be making initial sketches of our two characters. The purpose of this is to just get a better feel for drawing our characters expressing different emotions and reactions. We're going to draw our two characters expressing similar emotions or reacting to similar situations and explore how their body language might differ or match depending on their individual personalities. Make sure you have your two character designs at hand to reference in this lesson. You can either use photo reference for your expressions or draw from imagination here, just whatever you feel like. I'm going to use the Derwent Pencil brush in Procreate, but you can use whatever you like to sketch with. First of all, we're going to draw these characters in different moods and consider each of their individual reactions to different scenarios and emotions. To begin with, I'll start with happiness, reacting to some good news. I'm beginning by roughing out the whole pose in a stick figure form. So starting off with the line of action, which is going to be quite open and bending backward slightly. The arms are spread out and upwards as if she's waving them about, and the legs are doing a wii dance. Draw one leg lifting out to the side and the other is bending slightly. Once I have that rough framework, I'll just start to build my characters form around that, adding the head and fleshing out the body shape and defining these gestures a bit more. I'm going to draw a line to define where the ground is so that we can see clearly that one foot is resting on the ground, whereas the other one is lifted off. Then I'm adding on any clothing and details. Make sure that before you add on the clothing, you draw the underlying body shape first, so that the clothes fit around the body and not the other way around. I'm really roughly drawing in those hand gestures with little ball shapes for fists. Then I'm going to use the selection tool and play around with this pose, try to see if I can exaggerate anything. I'm exaggerating these legs a bit more to make that little jig look more recognizable and fun. I'm also redrawing and rubbing out some sections until I'm happy with the overall expression of this pose. It's just a case of starting off really simple and then building up your shapes and editing these movements until you have some clear expression coming through. Then once I'm happy with this overall pose, I'm going to add more details into my character. Lastly, I'll add in hair and face. Try to get your overall body language looking as expressive as you can before you draw in the facial expression. By drawing the face last, you're ensuring that you're not just relying on that to convey this emotion, but using it to further enhance the expression. Finally, I'm just checking all my proportions against my original character design and tweaking anything that I think is a bit off, such as the length of the legs here. Again, this is where the selection tool comes in really handy. I'm going to draw my next character expressing the same emotions. You can try to also convey and contrast different aspects of their personalities in this exercise. While they're experiencing the same situation or mood, their reactions to this may be different. I'm imagining my character Millie to have more of an extreme reaction to this. I'll make her movements look more erotic and exaggerated than Tina's to convey that. Already with the stick pose, we have a really spread out exaggerated expression with one leg being lifted really high off the ground in comparison to Tina's. These arms are stretched out really wide, whereas Tina's are just a little bit more bent and timid-looking. I'm really trying to convey more movement in this pose here. Again, I'm drawing my character's form around that initial stick pose. Then I'm making a few tweaks and corrections. I'll emphasize this pose even more with the hair by having it flying upwards to show more movement and maybe having her hat lifting off her head slightly as she's jumping around. Then I'm just tiding up my proportions again. You can also flip your character if that helps you get a fresh perspective on how the pose is looking. You may try having this hat flying up in the air to further exaggerate that extreme movement. I think it's clear what mood these poses are expressing. We can also get a bit of a feel for the differences between personalities. We're going to do the same thing with several different expressions now. The next feeling is going to be grumpy. I'm going to show my characters maybe having a little falling out with each other. I'm starting with a more hunched over posture here. I maybe adding a bend in the legs to show that and crossing the arms. You can redo the stick figure as much as you want until you feel that desired expression coming through. It's much easier to make those decisions and changes at this stage when your drawing is still super rough. Don't start going into too much detail until you're happy with the overall feeling of the pose. You can see I'm making a lot of changes here until I feel the desired emotion is being expressed. Then I'm going in with the details and forms of the character. I'll draw in Millie's character next, which is more indignant-looking here. She's got one foot out and it might be tapping on the ground in an impatient feeling. She's also got her arms crossed in front of her chest. You can play around with different positions of the body parts and see what you prefer. The next feeling I'm going to draw is exhaustion. Again, I'm going to hunch the shoulders here, draw one arm dangling down and the other holding a hand up to the mouth as she yawns. The legs are spread quite away to hold her weight better. For Millie, I'm going to draw those legs spread out as well, and she's leaning her weight more on one leg. I'm bearing in mind that contrapposto effect with the rotation of the hips and shoulders at opposite angles. She'll have one hand on her hip and another hand up to her face rubbing her eyes or something. They're both making pacifying gestures here to try and suit that feeling of exhaustion. Again, Millie is being a bit more dramatic about it than Tina by spreading herself out more. For the next set, I'm going to draw disgust. I'm imagining them finding some disgusting, smelly old hanky under the sofa or something. Tina's holding it as far away from her as she can, and she's also holding her nose and physically turning her body away from the object. I'm drawing a twisting here in the torso. By keeping these sketches small, you can just focus on the necessary details and quickly make any changes that are needed. Millie is going to be protecting her face and screwing up her nose in disgust. She doesn't even want to look at the object and her body is bending away from it. For the next set, I'm going to draw them looking deep in thought. Tina has that classic thinking pose with one hand resting around her mouth area and one arm resting on the other arm. She's looking upwards and towards the side into space as she's thinking about this. For Millie, I'll show her in the spread out pose scratching her head with one hand on her hip, and she's looking upwards as well. Just resize her so that she's in proportion next to Tina. For this last set, we're drawing a frightened expression. I'm imagining that they've just heard a spooky noise somewhere and they're feeling a bit scared. Tina has her arms clutched in and she's holding them up to her mouth. She's holding her breath trying not to make a sound. She has her feet spread out to stay balanced, and she's leaning back a bit. Millie is going to have her arms up clutching her head and she's making this fearful expression. I'll just quickly tidy these up bit on the page. Now we have these thumbnails sketched out, and I think there's clear emotion coming through in all of these, but I think we can actually push these farther to enhance them. What I'll do is lower the opacity of the sketches and create a new layer. I'm going to zoom in on the Canvas to make these drawings so that I can add in some more details. I'm thinking about pushing the curves in my designs to enhance the flow of these postures. Then I'm also adding in a few more details hidden there. You can turn your original layer on and off just to see how your updated pose is comparing with the original one. If you are happy with how your pose looks, then you don't have to change much. You can just define more of these details. You can also use the selection tool to play around with the placement and movement of certain body parts. I'll go ahead and do this with all of my poses just exaggerating any of these postures, maybe tweaking a gesture here and there adding in more details, and overall, just trying to make sure these poses are looking natural, believable, and are communicating the desired effect. You can see that step has just helped to enhance these poses, and if we take a look at all these, we can clearly see these expressions coming through. Now that we've got a good feel for these characters and how they express their different emotions, we're going to begin thumbnailing potential ideas for our final piece. 12. Project: Thumbnail Sketches: Now that we've warmed up by making those initial character sketches, we're going to start at some nailing potential scenarios for our final piece. I made a few prompts in preparation for these sketches, and you can make a list of scenario ideas before you start drawing these or you can just draw whatever comes into your head and let your scenes develop on the page. Whatever works most naturally for you is fine. If you need any inspiration for your interactions, then I've added a list of prompts to the projects and resources section below. As well as my prompts, I also have my character designs up from my laptop screen in front of me to reference. Basically, I'm going to fill a page with lots of super rough and unquote drawings to help visualize my ideas. Then at the end, I'll choose my favorite sketch to take on as my final piece. I'm going to draw my first prompt here, which is splashing and puddles. I'm thinking about the body language of my characters and how they would react in these scenarios. I'm imagining this would be quite high energy activity. They're both letting loose and enjoying a carefree moment together dancing and splashing around. Again, I'm just building up those stick figures to portray that desired expression. Both of my characters are probably going to have similar expressions since they're sharing the same emotion in this nice moment. I'll just play about with adding a little more variation between their poses, and I'm also going to have both of their hairstyles flying back to add more movement to the scene. Then I'm roughing out these characters' silhouettes a bit more and adding extra details to the scene, like the splashing of these puddles on the ground. While drawing these thumbnails, I'm also thinking about composition and creating a balanced scene. I don't want to put too much detail in before I get these poses how I want them. I'm using the selection tool to move anything and keeping it all really sketchy. My next prompt is reading in a tent. I'm going to draw that tent shape really roughly with a triangle and then draw in the material of the tent being held open. Then I'm going in and drawing my characters sitting inside the tent, reading a book together. I'm thinking about their different sitting possessions and creating a relaxed feeling here. I'll just squash that tent shape a bit to balance the composition, and I'm going to add in a little hanging lantern to further set that scene. The next prompt I'm drawing is playing in autumn leaves. I'm imagining another fun scene where Tina is showing Millie and all these leaves. I'm firstly drawing Tina standing up holding a bundle of leaves and then Millie is underneath having lots of fun playing in them. I'm showing that with her open and outstretched body language, and I'll draw in a big pile of leaves underneath her just to make it more obvious as to what's going on here. I'm just going to continue with these thumbnail sketches following the prompts I've made for myself, as well as whatever pops into my head in the moment. Because we're focusing mainly on the characters in this class, you don't need to worry too much about drawing the rest of the scene. Although if there are any props or scenery that you need to include to help tell the story of your scenario, then you can absolutely draw them as well. Just whatever you are comfortable with and feel confident drawing at this stage. Remember, if you're drawing your characters interacting with furniture or any similar kind of objects, then you may want to draw the object first and then have your character molding into it rather than the other way around. Keep these loose and quick, just get your idea down in its simplest form and then we can develop our favorite one more in the next stage. I'm drawing these poses completely from imagination at the moment. But if you find it easier to use reference, then you can absolutely do that. I like to draw from my imagination, particularly at this thumbnail stage, because I can just really quickly sketch what's in my head without being too influenced by external sources. If I do eventually need reference, I can go find it at a later stage. You can see that I'm constantly making decisions, and then reconsidering those decisions, and rubbing stuff out, and moving stuff around. That's why this part of the process is really important because this is where you're making the groundwork to then build your final piece upon. If the idea and story of the piece isn't there, then you could have the most technically amazing illustration in the world but it would have no substance to it. Even though it looks like you're just scribbling and making a mess at this stage, actually, these are very intentional scribbles and they're going to really help to work out the composition and feeling of my interaction. After you fill the page with these, we can take some time to look at all of our interactions and decide which of these have a clear sense of story and personality. It doesn't have to be anything complicated because we don't want to overwhelm the viewer with too much information at once either. To me, all of these thumbnails do have a sense of atmosphere and personality coming through, and some are a bit more obvious, while others seem to be more subtle and ambiguous. We have some really active scenarios and some more calm and peaceful ones. You may have an obvious favorite that just leaps over the page at you, or you may struggle to choose between your ideas. Just choose one that you think would make a nice starting point for an illustration. There's not really a wrong choice here. I'm actually going to choose my very first thumbnail here because I think it's a really clear scenario. It's quite a simple scene, but it shows that fun, loving nature of both my characters and they're playful relationship, and I just think it will make a nice cheerful illustration. Now that we have the idea and the thumbnail sketch, we're going to begin developing this into our final piece. 13. Project: Refining The Sketch: I've opened up an A4 Canvas set to 300 DPI, and I'm going to paste in my chosen thumbnail. Then I'm going to go to Actions, Canvas and turn on the reference panel here. Now this reference tab has popped up and we can resize that. This is a really useful feature on Procreate if you want to Zoom in and you're drawing and make changes. Then you can see how it looks as a whole without Zooming out. Another thing you can do is import a reference image. We can select Image and then import, and we can import any image from our photo library. I'm going to import my character designs so I can have them right next to me for reference, while I'm refining my sketch. Then I'll resize those in the reference tab so they're easy for me to see and won't get in the way of my drawing Canvas too much. Now I'm going to lower the opacity of the initial sketch and enlarge it on the Canvas. I'm going to work with the mercury brush here and I'm starting a new layer. I'm just going to draw over the rough sketch and exaggerate these pauses further. I'm changing the positioning of the limb slightly, and I'm going to make my character hold hands in this piece, just to show their closeness in this moment. I want to make this seem like it's a really fun and playful moment. I'm trying to get lots of flow into these characters by using loads of curved lines in the body parts to make everything flow into each other and create this really nice dynamic motion. Especially between the arms of my character since they're holding hands. I want to create a really nice curve there to show the flow and harmony between their movements. I'm sketching out a more detailed photo here as well to make it really obvious what's going on. Then I can move this reference panel close to my characters just to check their proportions. I'm going to edit some of these proportions which are a bit off at the moment. I am just using the selection tool to do that. I'm also starting to flesh out these shapes a bit more to help me visualize the proportions. As I go, I'm still editing some of these movements. I've made Tina lean in a bit more here, which looks more natural. I may add this umbrella as a prop, just a hint the rainy day vibes in the scene. Again, I'm still playing around with the selection tool, and just moving these characters around. I'm playing with these gestures while we're still in the sketchy, messy stage. I don't want to start putting in details until later on when my whole poses are more defined. I'm really just working on the overall structure of how my characters are moving at this stage. If I turn my initial thumbnail back on, you can see how much more natural and expresses my developed poses are compared to that. I'm now going to duplicate that sketch and then move that duplicated layer to the side of my original sketch, so that I can edit alongside that drawing and easily visualize which gestures I prefer. I can play around with adding this umbrella prop again, and giving these poses slightly different movements. I'm going to duplicate this sketch once more and draw a third version so that I'll have a few variants to decide between to develop further. I'm not making any changes to Mary because I'm quite happy with her expression there. I'm really just playing with Tina's posture and gestures to see if there is any better ways to pause her. I have a few options here, and I quite like all of them to be honest. I'm going to flip these horizontally in order to view them from a different perspective before I make my final decision. I'm going to go with my first sketch here. I think it looks the most natural, and I think showing the umbrella is actually distracting from these expressions. I'm going to turn off those other two layers and enlarge my sketch to take up most of the Canvas. I'll flip the Canvas horizontally again for now, and I'm lowering the opacity of that layer and starting a new layer again. I'm going to draw over my sketch more closely this time, going over these shapes and adding in some of these details of my character and enhancing anything that I think needs it. I'm also just going to double-check my proportions again against this reference panel. I think generally they're all right, but I have made the size a bit long here, so I'm tighting that up. I'm drawing in the facial expressions at stage as well, and I'm defining the hand gestures here. Now I'm going to check these silhouettes by roughly coloring my characters in black. I'm just being really rough with this. I just want to check if there's anything I need to make clearer or more exaggerated. I think these are pretty readable and we have some nice flow to the poses. Although something that might make this more readable as if I change Mary's arm position out towards the side. I'll try that out quickly. I think it still works, but I actually prefer the body language of the previous pose because it shows more energy. I'll just need to be careful when it comes to coloring to make sure that arm is contrasted well against the hair. Now I'm going to tidy up my layers by deleting all these sketches, I don't need anymore. I'll just name my sketch layer so that I don't delete that one by accident, but everything else I'm just going to get rid of. I can do that by sliding right to select all my layers that I want to delete. Then I can delete them all in one go. Now we have our refined sketch, and we're going to clean this up further in the next lesson. 14. Project: Linework: Now that we have our sketch worked out, we can lower the opacity of this layer and then create a new layer on top of that, and I'm going to use the mercury brush for this step. I'm pretty much going to be tracing along these lines of my under sketch, and I'm trying to get my hand movements steady, and keep these lines really smooth and flowing. You can see that I'm zooming in so that I can draw each line with one slow hand movement and have maximum control over the fluidity of that mark. I'm also taking a lot of time here to decide on the positioning of the hands. So I'm drawing and redrawing the positioning of these hands and fingers, and trying to figure out what works best in harmony with the overall gesture. This stage is not just about tracing our previous sketch, we're being more decisive here about final shapes and defining any details needed to prepare for coloring. While I've traced the parts that I'm happy with in my previous sketch, I'm also changing some elements to look more appealing, and I'm defining these features more clearly. Though my line work here is not going to be part of my final sketch, I want to still define these shapes quite clearly so that when it comes to drawing in these elements in the next stage, I already have all my decisions there ready to follow, and it'll make things a lot easier for me. Once you're happy with your line work and expressions at this stage, then we can move on to coloring. 15. Project: Colouring: Now we're going to begin coloring. I'll quickly name my linework layer, and I'll create a new layer underneath that linework. I'm going to name that layer color rough. I still have that mercury brush selected, and what I'll do now is pick colors from this reference layer. I'm just holding down the pencil on the color I want, and that will change my brush to that selected color. All in the same layer, I'm going to really roughly color my characters in. I'm not worrying about staying within the lines or being neat because I just want to quickly get a rough idea of what these colors are going to look like before polishing everything up. I'm just picking these colors from the reference image and drawing them where I'm going to want them. By making a color rough like this, we can really quickly test out lighting effects and the balance of our colors together in the scene, and play about with things and make changes. Which is much easier to do at this rough stage rather than later on. I'm going to give them some rosy cheeks as well, so I'm adding a new layer. I'm choosing a bright pink color, which I already have in my Procreate color palette and drawing them on. I'm changing that rosy cheeks layer to a multiply blend mode, and lowering the opacity there until I'm happy with the intensity of these rosy cheeks. Then I'll just pinch these two layers together to merge them. I'm going to now add another new layer underneath my color rough layer to play around with the other colors in this scene. I'm drawing in the shape of the puddle with just a random teal color to begin with, and drawing in the rain as well. Then I'm going to go to Hue, Saturation, Brightness, select Layer, and play around with this tone. I'm going to make this color a bit duller and maybe more opaquely so that the turquoise in the characters is still standing out. That's perhaps a bit too dark, so I'll lighten it up a bit there. I quite like that combination now. I'm going to my Layers tab and just going to merge these two layers together so that everything is on that color rough layer again. I'll add another new layer above the color rough this time, and now I'm going to play around with some lighting effects. What I'll do is choose a lighter color and draw this along one side of my character, and then I'm going to see what this looks like as an overlay layer. You can see that has brighten these colors underneath my overlay layer, which creates an effect as if the Sun is shining behind my characters. We can turn that layer on and off to see the effect that it's having. I prefer the muted colors of the scene because I don't want the scene to look to sunny. I want it to look like they're making the most of a rainy day. I'm going to turn that layer off for now, and add another new layer to see what this looks like with some harsher shadows again. I'm choosing a darkish purple color and setting a layer blend mode to multiply this time. Then I'm going to draw that on the opposite side of these characters, wherever the shadows are going to be. Then I'm going to lower the opacity of that layer, and if we turn on the overlay layer as well, we can play about with different lighting combinations and play around with the opacity on both of these layers. I'm also going to see what a simple background would look like. I might play around with a gray color, which helps to further set this dull rainy scene, or maybe some cloud shapes would actually work better. I'm just roughly seeing what that looks like. I'll also add a couple of smaller ones to balance that background. Then I can play around with the colors by adding a new layer and turning it into a clipping mask above those clouds, and filling the layer with a random color. Then I'm going to hue, saturation, brightness and playing with those levels. I quite like that mentee blue color, which just compliments the characters without being too overpowering. Then I can just merge all those layers together. If I turn off my linework layer, I can visualize these colors just by themselves and see if they're communicating what I want them to. I like how this is looking. Then I'll add a new layer above and fill it with a gray color. I'll set the blend mode to color, and we can now check all of our values this way. How light or dark each element is, and make sure that each element is clearly distinguishable from each other. We can also shrink the image right down and check that everything is clear and communicating the desired message. My illustration is looking quite readable already, and I don't think I need to change any of these values too much. We'll leave it like that for now. Another thing we can do is duplicate this layer and go to Curves, Layer, and then we can play around with the overall color balance. We can play around with moving the curves here and see what effect that has on your piece. If we quickly tap outside of the canvas with one finger, we can bring up this panel which allows us to preview the changes that we've made. We can also undo, reset, apply, or cancel these changes. We can also play around with the hue, saturation, and brightness here, and see if we can make any improvements. I still prefer the original, and I'm just going to delete that duplicated layer. Feel free to play around with those adjustments if you want to. We can turn on linework layer back on and go to Actions, Share, and just export this as a JPEG image. I'll just save that to my photos. We're going to replace these character designs with that color thumbnail now, because we don't really need these designs anymore. We've already completed our sketch in linework and got all the proportions and likeness how we want them. We can now import our color thumbnail into this reference panel instead. I'll just name that color thumbnail now too. I'm going to quickly crop my canvas because I don't need that extra space. By doing this, it'll allow me a higher layer limit on this piece, which I might need for the next stage. I'm going to change these settings here to make this a square crop, and I'll just reposition that reference panel as well. If you're in a similar position to me and you have extra space in your canvas, I would advise doing that at this stage as well. I'm just going to turn off my color rough layer, and delete that gray layer for now, and then add another new layer. I'm left with my linework on. Then I'm going to pick a color from my color thumbnail, I'm also going to lower the opacity of this linework layer. I'm still using that mercury brush here. I'm basically just tracing each of these colored elements along my original linework, and I'm going to keep each separate part on a different layer. For each section I'm drawing the outline quite neatly, and then making sure I close the path before dragging in that same color to fill out the shape. I'm going to create a new layer and do the same thing each time, and then picking the colors from my color thumbnail reference, I'm just making sure my outlines are closed loop before I drag in the color to fill them. Otherwise, that color is going to fill the whole layer and I don't want that. If I need to neaten any of these edges up as I go, I'm just using the eraser tool and making sure to rub out with that same brush I'm drawing with. You can see we already have quite a lot of layers stacking up. To make things easier to manage, I'm going to create a layer group for each character. I can select all the parts for my first character by swiping right on these layers. Once I have those all highlighted, I can select group. I'll just rename this group Milly, and I'll do the same for my second character. Then I'll just continue flattening out these colors for now on separate layers each time. I'll draw in the scenic elements as well now, so I'm blocking out that puddle. I'm also going to draw in the rain by drawing a series of straight lines and then I'll just twist those diagonally, and erase some random parts to create a more natural and randomized rainy field. Then I'll block out these clouds as well and just define those shapes a bit more. Now we have our main colors and shapes blocked out, we're ready to add details, textures, and final touches. 16. Project: Details: Now that we have our flat colors, we can start adding some detail. I'll turn the Linework layer on at a low opacity. I'm adding a new layer now. Then I'm going to use a dark purple color for now. Check that I'm still on that mercury brush, and then I'm just going to zoom in and start defining some of these details in the clothing. I'll lower the transparency a bit more on my original line work so I can see the lines that I'm making more clearly. I'll just start marking out the details that I think need some extra definition. I'm focusing on wrinkles in the clothing and any extra details that needs clarifying. I'll set these lines to multiply. Actually, I've just realized that I've forgotten to add a couple of these elements. I'll quickly go back and draw them now, that being the socks and badges. I'll just go back to the linework now and keep marking out these details in the clothing, in the hair and marking out the fingers of the hands. You can add in any stylistic details that you like here as well. I'll add a new layer for the facial features and just draw those in by tracing over my previous line work. I'll set this layer to multiply as well, and then I'm going to add a new layer to draw in the white teeth. But first, I'll just color in that open mouth. I'm coloring those teeth white now underneath the facial expression. Actually, I think they're a bit too white. I'll change them to a more creamy color by setting the Alpha Lock to lock those pixels of that layer and just drawing over with the new color. I'm going to draw some rosy cheeks on as well. I'm using that bright pink color and drawing those. Actually, I'm going to move that layer into this character's layer group. Then I'll move the layer again so it's on top of the face and turn that into a clipping mask. Then I'll change the blend mode to multiply and lower the opacity to about thirty percent. I'll just do the exact same thing with my other character now. I'm actually going to play around with the positioning of Millie's fringe here slightly because it gets in the way of the facial expression a bit. I'm just using the selection tool here and erasing and drawing in some parts again. Let's add a bit of rain now. I'm just drawing some diagonal lines around my characters, creating a randomized rain effect. I can play with the hue, saturation, brightness of those lines as well. I'm now going to make a new layer on top of my puddle and set that to a clipping mask so I can draw in more details here. I'm drawing the ripples in this puddle just to give more life and complement all the movement and splashing going on. I'll set that to multiply layer and keep on drawing in these details. Then I'm going to add another layer on top of that one and also set it to a clipping mask attached to that puddle. I'll use a lightish color here, set the layer blend mode to overlay and just keep defining those ripples with that lighter color now. I'll lower the opacity a little on that layer as well. I can also play around with the hue, saturation, and brightness. Now we have more of our details drawn in. We're going to move on to add some texture. 17. Project: Texture & Final Touches: We're now going to add some texture and final touches. Unfortunately, my camera didn't record the beginning of this step here, but basically, I added a clipping mask with some texture to my clothes layer. Now I'm going to select my clothes layer, and go to hue, saturation, and brightness, and turn that layer white. Then I'm going to duplicate the clipping mask to strengthen the intensity of that texture, and then merge those clipping mask layers together. We can then go to hue, saturation, brightness layer, and play around with the color here. Then I'll select my puddle layer, add a new clipping mask layer above that, and change my brush to this rise or texture dense brush. I'm going to color PEC that color from the puddle. Just check them on that clipping mask layer, and then draw my texture over the puddle layer there. I'm going to get rid of this reference panel actually because I don't need it anymore. Then I'll turn the original puddle layer white, and duplicate my textured clipping mask a few times, and then merge those layers together. I'm going to add another new clipping mask layer there, and change my brush to this riser texture shader, and choose a dark purple color, and then I'm just drawing this texture onto my puddle to achieve a nice gradient effect. I'll change the blend mode to multiply, and lower the opacity of that layer as well. I'm going to add another new layer and choose a light color this time, and draw that over my puddle as well. Then I'll set that layer to overlay, and lower the opacity slightly and that gives this water a more shiny natural look. I'm going to add more of a gradient to my clothes now as well. I'll add a new layer, and change it to a clipping mask on top of my clothes. I'll choose this gray color, and then start drawing this on along the bottom part of my clothes. I'm going to set the layer to multiply, and play with the opacity again. You can see that I've lost a bit of contrast between the clothes and my puddles here so I'm going to have to play around with this a bit more to see what's going to work better. I'll turn that cloud gradient layer off, and add a new layer again. Then I'm selecting a white color and drawing that way along the bottom area of my clothes now. That looks a lot better so I'll delete the previous gray clipping mask. I'm going to tidy up these layers again by creating a group for my puddle and a group for my cloud layers. You'll notice I'm not naming all my layers now, but if it helps you keep track of everything, then you can absolutely do that. I'm just keeping track of the layer groups and I then can easily identify each element from the thumbnails. Now I'm going to start adding some of these textures ingredients to my characters. I'm basically doing the same thing here by creating a clipping mask layer above each element. Choosing a darkish color and drawing that texture over a section of the original layer. I'll change the clipping mask layer to multiply, and I'm going to continue doing the same thing for each element of my characters now, and try to keep the placement of these gradients generally on the same side of my character so that we emulate some soft shadows. We can lower the opacity of those to reduce the intensity of the shadows until we're happy with the effect they're creating. Now I'm going to do the same thing but with highlights this time. I'm going to add a new clipping mask layer above the previous clipping mask, change my brush color to something light, and then draw these highlights on the opposite side to my shadows and setting a layer mode to overlay and playing with the opacity here too. Just as before, I'm going to do the same thing with each of my colored elements here. You can see that this is adding some nice texture as well as setting the mood a bit more with these soft lighting effects. Your piece might have a totally different feeling than mine and you might want to play around with much more intense lighting with harsher shadows and hard edges, or maybe no lighting effect a tall depending on your style. You can just experiment, and play around with what feels right with your piece here. I'm now going to add a new layer above all my others, and change my brush back to this Mercury 1. Change that layer blend mode to overlay, and then I'm going to start drawing in some highlights with these lines just to help define some areas even more. I'm going to rid some parts of these highlights with that riser texture shader, just to soften them a little. I'm now going to add a bit of reflection to the water, so I'm going to export my image as a JPEG, and then I'm going to bring it in again. I'm going to select one of these layers on top of my puddle group, and then import that image in here again, and that will automatically be added to that clipping mask group. Then I'll slip the energy vertically, and so we can capture the reflection of our two characters mirrored in the water here. I can line up the soles of their feet, then I lower the opacity of that imported image so that we can still see those gradients shining through as well, and I'll change it to an overlay layer. Now I'm going to draw in some more textured rain. I'm starting another new layer and I want to change my brush to something quite textured. I'm going to my storybook brushes set, and using that medium rough liner. Then I'm picking a darkish color from the puddle, and I'm going to draw some straight diagonal lines here. If you draw your line roughly, and then hold your pencil on it for a second or two, Procreate will magically straighten that line for you. I am just drawing these in a randomized pattern in the same direction. I'll turn the other greenie lines off and multiply these lines. Then I'm going to play about with the color, so I'm going to lighten up and play around with the hue and saturation. I'll also lower the opacity as well. Then I'll add another new layer and change my brush to the rough liner now, and I'm going to add in some more raindrops again to create some depth here. I'll play around with the opacity again, I'm then going to duplicate that layer and try out different blend modes here. I'm trying out this add mode which lightens the colors underneath this layer, and create a square nice effect. Then I'll just add in a few more raindrops. We're basically almost finished the illustration now. At this point I'm going to continue adding extra textures, and details, and tweaking colors, and blend modes to really help this piece shine. I won't go into too much detail about my process here because it's just a lot of trying things out, seeing what works and what doesn't work, and it's really specific to the mood that you want to achieve as well as your style. At this stage, I just recommend experimenting with your textures, and colors, and also try not to overdo it. If you feel like your illustration is complete and you're happy with it, then you don't need to change too much. Just be proud of your achievement because we've come really far from those initial thumbnail sketches. Once your illustration is complete, then you can export it as a JPEG, or a PNG image, and make sure you upload your piece to the project gallery because I really enjoy seeing your work. 18. Final Thoughts & Thank You: Yay, well done for reaching the end of the class. I really hope you've enjoyed both the class exercises and the project, and learned loads along the way. I am so excited to see your projects, so don't forget to post them in the project section. I encourage you to have a look through the projects and leave some supportive feedback to your fellow students as well. Feel free to tag me in your posts on Instagram too. I am, @sarahholliday, with two l's, and you can use the hashtag characterinteractionclass. I would love it if you could leave me a review and tell me what you liked about the class, and also feel free to share with anyone that you think will enjoy. You can let me know what you'd like to learn next in the discussion section, and ask me any questions there too. If you're struggling with any of these lessons or concepts, then just let me know and I'll do my best to help. If you want to stay updated on upcoming classes, then make sure to follow me here on Skillshare, and you can also follow me on Instagram, @sarahholliday. Thank you so much for joining me. It's been an absolute pleasure and I can't wait to see you next time.