Develop a Daily Sketchbook Habit: 10 Days of Birds in Procreate | Nic Squirrell | Skillshare

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Develop a Daily Sketchbook Habit: 10 Days of Birds in Procreate

teacher avatar Nic Squirrell, Artist and illustrator

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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.

      Setting Up


    • 3.

      Sketch Birds From Nature


    • 4.

      Birds From Scribbles


    • 5.

      Loose Inky Birds


    • 6.

      Birds and Symmetry


    • 7.

      Bird Collage


    • 8.

      Bird Stamp Brush


    • 9.

      Line Art Doodle Birds


    • 10.

      Abstract Birds with Clipping Masks


    • 11.

      Birds From Blobs


    • 12.

      Birds Using Shapes


    • 13.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class we will be be using Procreate to make a digital sketch book on the theme of birds, with ten fun, bite sized exercises which will jump start your creativity, encourage you to experiment and explore different ways of using Procreate, and help you build a pressure free, stress busting daily art practice.

A daily sketchbook habit is central to the way most artists and creatives work. Sketchbook experiments enable you to:

.  Relax and try out new things without any expectations

.  Discover unexpected design inspiration

. Try out new methods of working

.  Spark ideas which lead off in new directions

.  Enjoy a calming and meditative way to enjoy being in the moment

By using the same subject matter and colour palette every day we’ll be able to jump straight in without those decisions getting in our way. 

There’ll be lots of tips and tricks as always, and suggestions on how to take your sketches further.

Nice reviews really help me and are always welcome.

Do feel free to share your work on social media with the hashtag #nicsquirrellskillshare. I do share some of them in my Instagram Stories.

Follow me here on Skillshare to be kept up to date with my new classes and discussions.

So come on, get your iPad out and let’s get drawing!

You might also like:

Procreate Sketchbook Fun - 10 Days of Butterflies, Bugs and Beasties


If you’re new to Procreate you might like to take my introductory class first:

iPad Art: Create a Monster - An Introduction to Procreate

Other classes which go into more detail about the exercises in this class:

iPad Art: Create Line Art and Coloring Pages in Procreate

iPad Art: Making and Using Watercolor Brushes in Procreate


My website

My other classes

Music: Easy Lemon Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Meet Your Teacher

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Nic Squirrell

Artist and illustrator

Top Teacher


I am an artist and designer of fun things living in Kent, England.

I studied Creative Visual Art and 3D Design at the University of Greenwich and loved every minute of it.

My illustrations are on many products from prints to suitcases and everything in between.

I love drawing and painting on my iPad as well as using traditional media, particularly watercolour.

If anything stays still long enough, I will draw on it.

Quirky animals, dreamy landscapes and watercolor florals are my speciality.

Follow me below to see what else I'm up to!


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Nic Squirrell's website

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@NicSquirrell on Instagram

... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Nic. I'm an artist and illustrator. I license my designs on all sorts of products which sell all around the world. I always take a few minutes each day to work on my sketchbook, whether it's a paper one or digital. It's a great way to relax, explore, and try out new things without any pressure. Sometimes these sketches lead to new designs or methods of working, sometimes they spark ideas and take me off in a different direction, and sometimes they're just a calming and meditative way to enjoy being in the moment. In this class, we'll be using Procreate to make a digital sketchbook on the theme of birds. There are 10 fun bite-sized exercises which will jumpstart your creativity, encourage you to experiment and explore different ways of using Procreate, and help you build a pressure-free, stress-busting daily art practice. There'll be lots of tips and tricks as always and suggestions on how to take your sketches further. If you're brand new to Procreate, you might like to take my other class first, which is called iPad Art: Create a Monster, An Introduction to Procreate. There's a link in the about section of the class. Anyway, enough of that, I'm sure you're keen to get going, so let's get started. 2. Setting Up: [MUSIC] Let's start by getting our sketch books setup and ready. I'm in portrait and I'm going to start by pressing the plus at the top right. Tap on the little file symbol for a new canvas, choose whatever size you prefer to work in. I'm going for 6,000 pixels square because that's the size which works well for what I do, and I always work at 300 DPI. On this particular iPad, I can see that I will have 10 layers to work with, which is plenty for most of the projects. This will vary depending on your iPad model, so just use a size that works well for you. Tap "Create" at the top when you're done, my new canvas has opened ready to go. I'll go back out to the gallery by tapping on the top left corner. If I slide my finger left across my new canvas, I can tap "Duplicate". I'm going to tap and hold the second one and drag it on top of the first until it turns blue and then release. This made me a little stack, so I'm going to tap it to open it. In here, I can just carry on duplicating to make a whole sketch book of pages. I'm going to start with a few and I'll make more pages as I go along. Working this way means that when you're in your sketchbook stack, you'll be able to see all your pages together as a complete piece of art, and each page will have its own full count of layers to work on. I'm going to tap on the top left arrow to go back to the gallery and then I'll tap on the stack to rename it. We are going to be using the same color palette throughout the sketchbook. This doesn't mean you can't change your mind if you decide you hate those colors or want to add in some more. But doing it this way means again that you don't have to make new color decisions every single day, so you won't be able to use color choices to procrastinate. There are lots of ways of making a color palette, do what works for you. Tap on the color chip at the top right, I'm in the palettes view. Tap the plus at the top and you have choices which are create a new palette, this gives you an empty palette to fill manually either by using one of the palette choices along the bottom in which case you pick a color. Once it shows at the top, you can tap on a blank square in your palette to have the color appear there. You can also bring in a photo to pick manually from by going to the spanner or wrench for the settings. Tap Add, Insert a Photo. Tap the one you want and then pull out the corners if you need to make it bigger. Then you can press and hold for the color picker and then tap on an empty square to add your color. If you tap and hold the swatch, you can delete it. The three dots menu on the palette lets you Share, Duplicate, or Delete the whole palette, and you can rename it by tapping on untitled on the left. The other ways of making palettes are more automatic. New from camera means that you can use your camera to find a color palette. Here's my paint covered table, and there are two options to toggle between. Visual means it's picking colors in front of the palette grid. Alternatively you can use index which takes colors from the whole screen. You can move around to get the best palette and when you're done, tap the circle to take a picture which then magically appears as a palette. New from file means you could, for example, use one of your existing artworks to have Procreate automatically pick the colors from. Again your new palette just appears there at the top. Lastly, new from photos means you can pick from your camera roll and have the same thing happen. Use whichever method you like to create your color palette, and make sure that you have some lights, some mid tones, some darks, some brights, and also some neutrals. I'll see you in the next exercise where we're going to be starting to sketch. 3. Sketch Birds From Nature: Open up your first sketch book page and you can use any pen or pencil you like for this. I use the Narinder Pencil in the sketching section. Find copyright-free reference photos or work from real birds, or photographs that you've taken. Work from nature not for other people's illustrations. Sketch a few different birds. Find some fat little garden birds, some larger birds of prey, some seabirds, domestic birds, storks, owls, and so on. In other words, a variety of different birds. This sketch is not meant to be pretty. They're not meant to reflect your personal style either. They're just working diagrams to get to know your subject better. Make a lot of drawings. Some will be good and some will be less good. Some you might develop further and some you won't. Use small layers if you run out of room. You can add written notes and color notes too if you want to. Start by looking at the main shapes, the body, the head, the beak, the wings, the legs, and the tail. Note how these variants shape and proportion in different species. For example, a little spiral will be very different from a seagull. Draw your birds in different positions too. Look how the feathers lie on the wings and on the body. What angles are the legs at? What shape of the feet? Draw any parts of the birds which look particularly interesting and look at the colors and patterns too. The main thing is that by doing these initial sketches, you're getting a real feeling for your subject. We're looking closely at all the shapes and details. This will improve them on your memory and make things really flow in your artwork. When you finished, I'd really love you to post your sketches in the project section of the class as your first deliverable. It might feel scary to put them out there, but be brave. Posting your sketches and liking and encouraging others makes it all more fun. It's great to have a bit of a community feel going on. I always look at the projects and I love seeing what you do. Enough of that. You should now have a page to two of really interesting birds which you can refer back to if you want to for the rest of the project. 4. Birds From Scribbles: [MUSIC] This exercise is about looking at things a little differently, which is always great for creativity. We're going to be starting with a scribble and finding a little flock of birds hiding in there. I'm going to start with a midturned color. I'm using the Procreate pencil for this. Loosely scribble some loops and circles. Don't try to control it. You can even do this without looking or get someone else to scribble for you for a more random result. When you're done, go to the layers palette and tap on your layer to bring up the menu. Choose alpha lock or you can use two fingers to swipe the layer towards the right, which actually does the same thing. Now, you can't draw anywhere on the layer which doesn't already have marks, which makes it easier to realize when you're accidentally drawing on the wrong layer. Tap on the plus for a new layer for the sketches. I'll choose a different color, something dark to show up against the scribble. I'm going to the inking section and choose this studio pen, although it doesn't matter, use whichever pen you prefer. I've got my size on around 10. Let's try that. I want it thicker than the scribbled lines to make it easy to see. That looks fine, and it depends on your brush and your canvas size as to what works best here. Tap again on my brush to bring up the settings. I'm going to tweak this brush a little bit. The stabilization section under streamline at the moment I've got is around 40 percent. Streamline will smooth out your strokes. If it's really high, it will change the shape of your line. I'm going to put that about halfway so it's smooth but not too weird. Stabilization is fairly new when I've recorded this class and it's a bit different to streamline. I'll put this at about 50 percent too. You can see it drags the lineup behind the pen. Reminds me a little bit of writing with a tube of cake icing. I like it for drawing really smooth curves, but maybe you'll hate it. Give it a try and see what you think. I'll leave everything else and I'll tap "Done". Now, I'm going to take a moment to see if I can find some birds lurking amongst the scribbles. This one really jumps out at me. It looks a lot like the birds I usually draw. Let's give him some legs. You might like to draw in some of the other lines too for detail. Feel free to add in or leave out anything you like, you're in charge. I can see a chubby little bird here. Then very a simple bird shape. Why not looking slightly a bit realistic, but part of the fun is that we all see different birds. Even if we were to start with exactly the same scribble, we'd all find something different. Here's another. Actually, he already has a good tail. I feel like he needs a crest too. The more you look the more birds you find. This one looks like a wing to me. I'm going to go a bit of piece with the lines here. Now, I want to turn the scribble around so that I see different birds. I'll go to the layers and tap the scribble layer to select it. Then I'll tap on the transform arrow at the top. That'll select the whole letter. Then I'll tap, "Rotate 45 Degrees" twice. Go back and select the drawing layer which deselects the transform tab. You can either keep on adding to this layer or you can hide it and add a new layer if you prefer. Let's try a different shape. I don't want them all same. A goose. I'll turn the scribble layer again. I can see a chicken in the corner, but I need to move one of the other birds out of the way. I'll tap on the Selection tool and choose freehand, then draw around that bird. Tap the transform arrow, then drag him somewhere else. Tap the brush tool to deselect. Here's my hen. The tail's a bit short but I've run out of room. Here's a stalk. Needs longer legs. Some wading bird. Maybe a swallow. I'll turn it again, and it's getting a bit crowded on the canvas, so I'll start a new layer and I'll hide the original. I can see a sideways one here. I'll turn him around in the same way as we turned the scribble. [MUSIC] Let's see what I have. You can long press on the visibility box on a layer to view it by itself. I hope you had fun with this one. Please post your squib birdies in the project section too. 5. Loose Inky Birds: [MUSIC] In this exercise, we're going to use some squishy painterly brushes to get a loose and smudgy look. The idea is to try different ways of using the brushes. Also if you're like me and tend to paint in a very controlled way or use vectors a lot of the time, painting loosely is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and have fun. I'll show you the brushes I'm using. If you make a quick dab on your Canvas of each one, they'll show up in your recent section at the top. That's a handy way to keep them together temporarily. You can remove unwanted brushes from your recent list if you want to without deleting them by sliding them towards the left and choosing clear. You can also pin brushes here if you use them all time. In the inking section, I'm using mercury, which is a lovely pressure sensitive, slightly smudged line. I also like inka, which is much more textured, and tinderbox, which has a finer smoother line but still has plenty of liveliness and variation. As always, you can use any brushes which work for you. Let's take a peek and here they all are in the recent category. In the painting section, I'm using oil paint old brush and dry brush. I'm going to slide that testlet to the left and clear it because it's the first layer in this one. It won't let me delete it, but clearing it does the same thing. I'm going to start with a mid tone and I'm using the oil paint, which of course I could have also picked from the recent section. I'll start by laying down a bird shape. It's a little bit choppy so I'm going to long press the eraser to use the current brush as an eraser. I'll just refine the shape a little bit. Now I'll go to the layer and I'll choose Alpha lock. I can see it's locked because the checkerboard background is showing in the thumbnail. Now if I choose contrasting color and draw across my image, it only sticks to the existing paint. It preserves that lovely translucent painting texture. I'll undo that with a two finger tap. I'm going to pick a different color and use the same brush to layer it in a bit and smoosh it about. I'm getting extra texture from this new application of paint. I'll add some more paint to his tail to make a new layer and I'll use the tinderbox to draw a beak. Take down the size for his legs and put an eye. Birds have a dark ring around the eyes. Obviously I'm not going for a realistic look here. My birds always end up heading towards cute, but never mind. I'll pop in another layer and add a bit of detail, keeping it loose and keeping it messy. I'm going to use the same brushes to add some smudgy texture by tapping the smudge tool and go into recent. I'm using the dry brush and just lightly pressing over some parts of the drawing. Keep it light and just smudge a few areas. You can really overdo this. I'll do the same thing on his legs too. That's bird 1 done. If you'd like, you can make notes next to him to remind you of the brushes and techniques you use, which is a really useful thing to look back on. I'm going to group these layers together. I've got one layer selected and I'm going to ever slightly slide the others towards the right so that they turn light blue. Then I'll tap group. I can name the group by tapping on the new group and then tap again and choose rename. Let's start a new layer for bird 2. This one is just going to be ink, so use whichever you like. I'm using the tinderbox to draw in a really simple bird shape and pop in a few loose details. It's a bit like using a brush pen, I guess. I'm going to try the old brush for smudging this time and on a very small size setting. Just go very lightly over the lines to scuff them up a bit. I'll make it bigger and just dab over this bit. Try different sizes and pressures as well as dabbing or stroking with the smudge brush just to see what effects you get. I'm going to go back to the dry brush for smudged ink look. Now I'm going to use the same dry brush, but that's a brush instead of a smudge to add some color and a teeny bit of shadow under him. Moving onto bird 3, let's start with the inka. I'm drawing the bird outline and then coloring him in roughly leaving gaps for the Canvas to show through. Alpha lock the layer to preserve that texture. It's time to add in some color. Using the oil paint, I'm going to smoosh it around. I love the way this mixes up the textures. Now I'm going to add this grayish blue and a deeper pink. I'm adding a new layer for his wing and I'll do that in the same way using the inka brush. I'll Alpha lock the layer and pop in some color with the oil paint. Now another layer for the details, and I'm using the tinderbox. I like the contrast between the very rough painter and the smoother ink. I'm back on the Alpha locked wing layer and I'll ink in some feathers. On the lower layer, I'm just adding a few marks back to the wing layer and I'm smudging very lightly using the dry brush. Because the layer is still has the Alpha lock up, the smudges stay within the paint confines. He's done, so I'm going to group his layers too. For the fourth bird, I'm using the mercury. I'll add a new layer to draw the outline. There's less texture than the others we've used, but it still has a pleasing, fuzzy edge to it. I'll grab the color chip and I'll drag it into my bird to fill. You can see a faint white line around the fill because I'm using a textured brush. I'll undo that and try again but this time I'll keep my pen on the iPad. At the top of the screen you can see the color drop threshold. If I move the pen towards the right, it raises the threshold so that the white edge disappears. When it looks okay, I'll lift the pen off. I'll Alpha lock that layer again and I'll use the dry brush to paint some color, it's quite subtle, really. It's much too neat right now so I'm going to take the Alpha lock off and I'm going to use the smudge tool with the dry brush to lightly roughen up the edges. Then I'll tap and hold the eraser to use the same brush to scrape back into the paint. Then I'll add a bit more smudge and I'm going to keep adding and removing paint until it looks good. Then I'll Alpha lock again and I could add more color or maybe I'll just leave it for now. I'll add a new layer and I'll use the oil paint for a wing shape. I'll Alpha lock and add some pink to this very textured bit. I'm just loving how those colors mix. A little bit of orange. I'll put some on that base layer too, I think. Time for the top layer and I'll use the mercury taking down the size and slightly cheating with a closed eye, but why not? It's a really easy way to cute eyes if you're less confident with open ones. I'll draw in some marks and have a quick smudge with the inka. I'm just dabbing it on. I think he's done so I'll group the layers together. I'll add a new layer. Oops, it looks like I've reached the layer limit. If you think you might need to edit the layers later, you can either just start a new Canvas or you can duplicate this one from the gallery and carry on working on one copy. I'm going to tap on the bird 1 group and choose flatten. Now I've got enough room to add a new layer. For this bird, I'm going to do it all on this layer, more like real life painting. You can go in the middle here. I'm using the oil paint for loose shape. I like using these brushes big because it stops you being too tight and precious with it. I'm not Alpha locking this time after all, Alpha lock doesn't exist in a paper sketchbook. I'll blob in a bit more paint, this brush is huge. Now, his wing time still on that same unlocked layer. I'm using the mercury for the detail. Maybe we should do a more realistic eye for this little chap. I need a lighter color for a tiny dot to give it a little shine for his eye, which always makes it look more realistic and adding some feathers. I think we are done. You can continue to explore different ways of combining the layers, the brushes, the erasers, and the smudges. It's a great way to get know a small flat brushes and to push the boundaries of what you can do with them. Please post your painty inky birds in the project section. 6. Birds and Symmetry: This one is very relaxing. We're going to play with this symmetry feature in Procreate to make some folk-style birds. I'm just going to use simple linework for this, but of course, you could do a version in full color. Let's start by going into the spanner wrench settings menu and in the canvas section, turn on the Drawing Guide, then tap Edit Drawing Guide, tap on Symmetry then Options. These are all fun to try. But for now, I'm going with the radial with assisted drawing toggled on top down at the top. I'm going for a really smooth line outlook. I don't want the fine line, the pen effect. I'm going to use the monoline pen in the calligraphy section. So I want to draw in one segment here will be reflected horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Then you can see how smooth this pen is. I'm going for a bit of a folk art look so I'm going to add in some flowers. Where I'm drawing along the lines I can get a better finish by holding my pen down at the end of the stroke so that Procreate snaps it straight. Then at the top here there's the option to edit shape. You can move it a little to make it look better if you want to. I'm going to continue adding detail here. It's just like doodling really, but the symmetry makes it look really fancy. [MUSIC] Using the symmetry settings like this means you end up with a tile, which should make a really good repeating pattern. You could do all sorts of versions of this. Try the different symmetry settings and there's a rotational symmetry option too. You could try more realistic style or even more painterly. So many possibilities. If you enjoyed this exercise and want to find out more about drawing assist features, I'm go into to a lot of detail in my class, iPad Art: Create Line Art and Coloring Pages in Procreate. There's a link in the about section. Please post your symmetrical bird designs in the project section. 7. Bird Collage: [MUSIC] In this exercise, we're going to use digital collage techniques to make some chickens. Feel free to use other birds if you prefer. Start by looking around your house, garden or local area for some cool textures to photograph. This is the fabric of my city, the concrete on my driveway, and the side of my watering cap. Three is fine for this project. You can adjust the photos in your favorite editor if you'd like before you use them. I'm going to need more layers for this one, I'll start with a smaller canvas. We need to bring the photos into Procreate by tapping on the spanner or wrench icon for the settings, and choose Add, Insert a photo. I did this a bit later, but you might like to resize your texture to cover the canvas by pulling the corner nodes out at this point. Don't normally like to make things bigger, as they lose quality, but this is just a sketchbook piece so it won't matter. I'll do the same again for my other two textures. Each one automatically imports on its own layer. Let's look at my color palette and just see how these fit in. This orange works well, which is actually one of the reasons I used it. This concrete doesn't really work. It's not a good color for chickens. I'm going to choose this green and drag the color circle onto the image to fill it. But I'm leaving my pen on the iPad surface so that I can slide left or right to change the fill threshold until it works. This last one is quite blue as it is, and I think it looks fine, but I'll show you another easy way to alter your colors. Tap on the Adjustments at the top and choose Hue, Saturation, Brightness. Play with these until you get something you're happy with. I'd like two more collage papers, so let's make those using Procreate brushes. I'm going to add a new layer. I've got orange, green, and blue so far. I think a red and a pale pink could be good. There would be nice chickeny colors. For the red one maybe I'll make it red on pink. I'll choose the pink first, tap on the Layer and choose Fill layer to flood it with pink. Then I'll pick the darker red and I'm going to find a brush to use. Anything will work here, whether you'd rather choose something really painty or a more graphic brush, it's your choice. I'm going to try their decimals from the texture section, which will give me a polka dot effect. That's cool. One more layer and I'll fill it again. Then I'm going to use the polygons brush in the abstract section. If I hold my pen down on the little visibility squared in the layers, it will only show us that layer so we can see each of the papers in turn. Do the same again to make all the original layers visible. I'm going to bring in my chicken sketches. Although you can work for your hand if you prefer. Tap the spanner settings and insert a photo as before. Drag the corner nodes to resize and reposition where you want her. I'm going to flip this one too using the Flip Horizontal at the bottom of the screen. I doodled this on some scrappy paper while I was on the phone to the car insurance people, so they're not at all fancy. I'm going to drag those hands up to the top of the layer stack. This first one, looks too small. I'll tap on the transform arrow and drag the corners to resize. Then tap the arrow again when I'm done. I'm going to merge those two sketch layers by tapping on the top layer and choosing Merge Down. Not sure why that hit my layers, but no matter, I'll make a new layer for later. I wanted to start with the chickens body. Tap on the Selection tool and choose Freehand. With this tool, you can either draw a freehand or you can tap for a straight line from one point to the next, which gives you a nice collage effect. If it goes wrong, you can use the two finger tap to undo that last bit. You don't have to keep your pen on the canvas the whole time. I'm back at the start point. You can't see it very well here, but the chickens body shape is selected and see-through. The rest of the canvas has a diagonal stripe pattern over it to indicate that it isn't selected. Now I'll tap on the layer I want and then swipe downwards on the canvas with three fingers to bring up the Copy and Paste menu. Then I'll tap on Cut and Paste. It always pastes above the selected layer, so I'm going to drag it up above my sketch. Let's do this again for the other chicken. I'm using the Freehand selection finishing where I started, tap on the layer I want to use, three fingers swipe to cut and paste. Of course you could copy and paste if you prefer, and don't want to chop bits out of your papers. Keep your shapes a bit wonky. Holding pen further back helps to keep it looser. [MUSIC] Nearly done. I'll switch off the sketch and the paper layers and add in a bit of detail. Let's find something from the inking section. Maybe the inker with a bit of texture to draw in the legs, and now a more solid pen for the eyes. This one happens to have a circle in the perfect place. That's pretty much done, but adding a tiny bit of shadow to the collage pieces makes them look a bit more 3D. It takes a bit longer. I'll show you how to do it if you want to. Start with this orange chicken's body. Select the layer, slide it towards the left and duplicate. Then select the lower layer, tap on it again, tap on Alpha Lock. Choose a mid gray color for the shadow, which I happen to have selected already from drawing the eyes. Tap on the layer again and choose Fill Layer and you can see it's now the shadow color. Then tap again and take off the Alpha Lock, otherwise they won't be able to add any extra pixels. Tap the Adjustments wand and choose the Gaussian don't know how to pronounce that, the Gaussian Blur. It says at the top slide to adjust. I'm going to slide just a little bit to give it some shadow. That's made the underlayer a bit fuzzy. It'll look more realistic if we move it a little bit so that it looks more like a shadow where the light is coming from one direction. I'm going to assume the light is coming from the top right. To do this tap on the transform arrow, and then just tap three or four times in direction you want the shadow to shift and then tap the arrow again to deselect. It's very solid looking, so I'm just going to tap on the N on that layer and slide the Opacity down to about halfway or whatever looks good to you. Then I'm going to merge the layer with its shadow. Obviously don't do this if you have plenty of layers and you might want to change it later. I'll just do one more here with you to just to recap. Select the layer you want, duplicate it, tap the lowest layer and Alpha Lock, use Fill Layer, then remove the Alpha Lock. Use the Gaussian Blur, transform and tap three times in the direction that you want the shadow to go. Lower the Opacity, then merge the two layers. I won't make you watch me do every single layer because it's a little bit tedious. Back in a moe. Here are my finished chickens. There are loads of possibilities with this. For example, you can paint your own real papers to use, and that means you can combine real art materials with your digital collage. You could use writing as collage paper, either handwritten or typed, it would be quite fun to use words relating to chickens, for example. You could try adding more ink or paint the details of your finished collage, I'm sure you can think of some more ideas too. Don't forget to post your collage in the project section. 8. Bird Stamp Brush: [MUSIC] In this exercise, we're going to make a bird stamp brush. Use an opaque brush and any bright color to draw a bird shape. I'm going to use the Ink Bleed because I like the textured edge. I've left my pen on the screen a little bit longer than normal, and Procreate has turned them into a poly-line shape, which I actually like. If your bird doesn't work as a poly-line, it doesn't matter at all. Any bird shape is fine, and you can undo the poly-line with a two-finger tap as usual. I'm just going to modify him a little and add his beak and legs and these little bloomers, I'm not really sure what they're called. Drop in the color to fill the shape, adjusting the fill threshold to avoid white edges. Then make a new layer and select pure black and a textured brush. I'm using the Quoll brush in the Artistic section because it has a really nice texture and it's also translucent. Cover up your bird with black texture. Now we need to fill the bird with white so it wouldn't show through. In the Color Picker, choose pure white, tap the bird layer to select it and drag the color over to fill the shape. Even though you can't see it, here it is in layer thumbnail. Tap on the texture layer and choose Clipping Mask. Now the texture only shows where there are white pixels on the under layer. Go to the Spanner settings and in the Add section choose "Copy canvas". Now go to the Brush Library, and in this section, you want your brush to live, tap "Plus" for a new brush. Go to the Shape and tap "Edit", "Import", "Paste", and there's our bird. Tap on him with two fingers to invert because that's how Procreate brushes work, and then tap "Done", tap the "Stroke path" and take the spacing up, which will prevent you accidentally stamping more than once, making it blurry. The "Apple pencil" section change the pressure opacity to none if you want each stamp to be equally opaque, or you can leave it if you prefer some variation depending on how hard you press. Go to "Properties" and under Brush behavior, take the max size all the way up to max and tap "Done". Hide the original layers and add a new one to draw on. Pick a color and try out your stamp. You can take this further by trying other brush textures when making your stamp for different effects. You could make a few different birds stamp brushes to use together. You can add pen or paint details on top of your stamps. If you'd like to know more about making brushes, do have a look at my class, iPad art making and using watercolor brushes in Procreate. Don't forget to pop your stamp bird design into the project section too. 9. Line Art Doodle Birds: [MUSIC] In this exercise, we're going to use line art and I'm going to base this on the rooster. Of course, as always, you can choose your own bird. This one is very relaxing and meditative once you have your initial shape drawn. Mine did take quite a long time, but yours can be as simple or as complex as you like. I'm going to start by drawing the bird outline and then we're going to fill it in with patterns and doodles. You can use black for your lines. I decided to use red because it's a bit more rooster-ish, I think. I'm using the monoline brush in the calligraphy section because of its smoothness, which makes it beautiful for line work. At this point, you can bring in a sketch to work on top if you prefer. I'm just going to go straight in. His body is like an angled semicircle. Then I'll pop in his head, which is much thicker towards the neck. He's got a magnificent tail. This is where his wings will be. He needs his comb and whatever this wobbly chin thing is, maybe is it a wattle? Then here's chunky little legs. This is a bit rough, but I can refine it with the eraser and get rid of any bits I don't want. Or, of course, I could just draw over the top and use this like a sketch. I'm not being too precious. But, of course, if it's too messy, it's going to annoy me. He needs his little chicken pantaloons. I do need to look up some chicken anatomy, don't I? If you're a chickenologist, please forgive me for my ignorance. I'll pop in his eye, and make I'll his beak a better shape. Then just a little bit of tidying up to do. I'll make a new layer to work on for now, and I'll alpha lock the original layer so that I don't accidentally draw over it. Using this extra layer makes any erasing easier to do without affecting your outline. Now, it's just a case of filling in different areas with patterns and doodles. You can divide some areas into smaller areas where it makes sense. You could use feather shapes and patterns or just different marks, dots, circles, geometric patterns, anything you can think of really, combine marks together. You could also fill him with flowers or with leaf shapes. Think about the main shape you're filling in and whether you want your pattern to relate to the direction and the contours or not. In some places, I think he would look good with some solid areas. I'm coloring these bits in, but there's an easier way to do this. I need to make sure I've erased any bits that I want to around the outline layer. I must erase layer together before filling. Then I'll take the alpha lock off and drop in some color. You can either just keep dropping the color in or else you can tap at the top where it says continue filling with re-color, then you get this little crosshair. Wherever the crosshair is, is where it'll fill. If it's not in the right place, you can just move it over, and then you just need to tap anywhere that you want to fill with that color. You can use whichever method you're going to find easiest. You could if you wanted to then add some white lines over these red areas too, so many possibilities. If you'd like to know more about line art in Procreate, you might enjoy my class, iPad art create line art and coloring pages in Procreate. Again, the link is in the about section. Add your line art to the project section. 10. Abstract Birds with Clipping Masks: [MUSIC] In this exercise, we're going to paint an abstract background and then use it to make birds. First of all, let's look at the color palettes because we're going to be using a lot of colors in this one. In the palettes view at the top, there's a choice of compact or cards. Cards looks really pretty, but it takes up more room, so I'm going to stick to compact. I'm just going to drag the palette onto the screen to keep it in view. If you were to choose cards now you'd have to scroll a long way down to find all your colors. I want a nice texture and I'd like the colors to show through each other for a translucent look, so maybe something like the coal brush in the artistic section I think. I'm going to cover the canvas in paint using different shades of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows to make the various shapes and marks. Colors layer together really nicely with this brush. The harder you press, the more opaque the paint is. I want to cover up all the whites and I want to break up some of the bigger areas of color too. [MUSIC] That's not the most gorgeous abstract painting I've ever seen, but it's just fine for this. I'm going to duplicate this layer twice. Because it's translucent, it looks brighter every time as the layers below show through. I didn't do this at the time, but I did realize later I should've made one more layer here, so do make four and just switch off the visibility of the lowest one and ignore it for now. I'm going to switch off the visibility of all the layers and then I'll make a new layer to work on. I want to draw a bird shape on this layer and a textured outline would be nice, something like the Pandani in the inking section. Draw a bird's shape and strike the color chip over to fill it adjusting the threshold, if needed, by dragging the pencil left or right before lifting it off the screen. You can see that the fill is solid and opaque compared to the outline. I'll just draw over the junction where the film meets the outline to make it less of a stark change. This wouldn't happen with the more opaque brush, but I really love these scruffy edges. Now I want the bird to be white so that the red one shows through the translucent paint layer. Tap on the layer and turn on the Alpha Lock. In the color palette, go to the classic color picker square and drag the picker all the way to the top left for pure white. Tap on the layer again and choose "Fill layer". The bird's vanished against the white background, but you can see him in the layer thumbnail. I need three birds, so I'm going to slide the layer to the left and tap "Duplicate" and repeat. Drag each bird layer under a texture layer, leaving your lowest texture layer hidden, the one that I wish I had but right now I don't. But you have because you're doing what I say and not what I'm doing. Turn off the visibility of all the layers except the top two. Now select the top texture layer and tap on it, and then choose "Clipping Mask". The thumbnail shifts slightly to the right and a little arrow appears to the left of it to show it's clipped to the layer below. Even though the rest of the text just still exists, it only shows where there are pixels on the layer below it, the bird layer. I can leave it exactly as it is or else I can move the bird around to find an area that I like by selecting the bird layer, tapping the transform arrow, and then I can move him around. When I find a bit I like, I can tap the arrow again to deselect or actually tapping on any of the tools in the top toolbar will also deselect. I'm going to group the bird and paint layer together by swiping the texture layer slightly to the right until it turns pale blue, and choosing Group. I can collapse the group by tapping on the arrow to the right of where it says New group. Switch off the visibility of that bird and switch on the next paint layer and bird. Then repeat exactly what we did again. Select the paint layer, tap on the layer to make a clipping mask, select the bird layer, tap on transform arrow, and move the bird to a good place. You can use the green handle to rotate the bird too. The yellow one rotates the selection, so don't use that for this project. Don't let him go off the edge though because that bit will get chopped off. Group those two and move on to the next texture layer and bird and repeat all the steps again. Now we have three groups plus you have your extra paint layer at the bottom. Make all the groups visible. I'm going to select this middle group and move it because the whole group selected the paint layer will move with the bird this time. I'm going to move each bird into place. We could leave it at that or we can do some other things. Let's work on this top group. Tap the arrow to expand it to show the group layers. You can modify your paint layer by adding more paint or marks to it, either on the existing paint layer or on a new one just above it. You can use the same brush or you can try a different one. I'm going to add some white ink details on a new layer just above the paint layer and still keep it in the group. I'm going to clip it to the bird layer as well. If you make a stack of layers and clip them all, they all clip to the layer below the lowest one. I'm going to use the Pandani brush again for this because it's slightly translucent and pressure sensitive. It looks a bit like you're using gouache or inks used with a brush. [MUSIC] You could try doing this with a different color too for a different look. Something else you could try involves that other paint layer, which I was naughty and failed to make earlier. I've made another one and I'm going to use it to put some details in the background. I need another layer, but I've reached my limit of 10, so I need to flatten one of my groups. As it's a sketchbook, it won't matter, but if you want to be able to edit later, you could go out into the gallery and duplicate the whole canvas and just work on one of them. To flatten the group either with it showing the component layers or not, just tap on the group and choose "Flatten". If your layers are showing, you get extra options. I need to add a new layer and drag it to the bottom of the stack. Make the paint layer visible and make a clipping mask to clip it to the empty layer beneath it, which basically makes it invisible until we draw on that lowest layer. I'm going to use the white and the Pandani brush to add in some marks. Everything I draw now we will pick up what's on that paint layer. I'll keep it simple, but you can make this as detailed and interesting as you like. It'd be fun if you put all doodles in there. There are so many ways that you can take this and I can't wait to see what you do. As always, please post your beautiful birds or even your less than perfect birds in the project section. 11. Birds From Blobs: [MUSIC] This is another exercise in imagination. We're going to put down some random dabs of paint, and we can discover birds in them. I want a big messy brush, so I'm using the pencil brush in the artistic section. The lots of other brushes would work just as well. I'm only using one color for this, but again, feel free to use more if you prefer. Start by adding a few messy marks and dabs to the canvas. If you find yourself being too controlled, either ask someone else to make the marks or you could make them and then turn your canvas upside down to give you a more random result. Add a new layer to work on. I'm going to use the dry ink from the inking section for the detail. When you look at your marks do you see if you can see any shapes there which would work as a bird or even as part of one. We're just using these blobs as a starter. You might find it useful to look back at your original bird sketches to help you. I'll start with the bird, which is most obvious to me. I'm drawing in the beak and his eye with a dot in white for the eye shine. With pencil I'm adding a tail. I'll use white to paint in his wings. I'll define his head and then I'll pop in some ink legs and a few details. Just keep it loose and fun. I'm going to be shape his tummy because he's looking a bit too skinny. I'll put each burden at certain layer. I think I'm going to alter this one a bit. It's not cheating because there are no rules. I'm working between my two brushes and the red versus the white and not back and add in color and details. To make life easier, you can toggle between your two latest colors by long pressing color chip. Also don't forget to use the recent section for your brushes. He's definitely looking a bit more crow like now. He just needs some cool blue and a bit more color on his wings. Let's move on to this one. I think he looks a bit more comical, like maybe a parrot or a budget bigger. Birds are getting less realistic. This one looks like a goose to me. It's the angle really. Give him a goose shape beak and some sturdy legs. I have to admit I'm not hugely inspired by this one. I'm going to go and look at my sketches to find something that's a similar angle. Any of these ones that I'm circling would work. I think I'm going to aim for a seagull. So I'm going to chop a bit off just to get the shape to get you started. Do that by just knocking it back in white. You need a typical seagull beak shape, it's a little bit curved at the end. I'm going to just mix things up a bit and give him orange legs. Tail needs a tail. I think his beak can be orange too. This one's a little bit more obvious to me. I'm just going to shave a little bit off the edge here to give him a tummy. I'm just knocking that back with the white. Then just pop in some details. Little beak. Can you tell I love black birds and crows? Then I'll just finish him off. Not in the sinister way. This is a simple exercise, but it's again about using your imagination and about seeing things differently. Don't forget to add your blobby birds to your project. 12. Birds Using Shapes: [MUSIC] For this page, we're going to be using simple shapes to make birds. Owls are great for this and they're fun to draw. I'm using the monoline pen in the calligraphy section and I'm going to draw it in red. No reason, just feel like it. I'm going to start by using ovals and circles to draw the first owl. You can do this freehand. But if you draw an oval which is really wonky, you can hold your pen down at the end and the Edit Shape option comes up at the top of the screen. Tap on it and you can change the shape, you can move it, rotate it, and resize it. I need to leave enough room on this page for my other owls, so I'll just tweak it a bit while keeping him quite fat and I'll pop them up here. When you tap away you commit the shape. I'm doing the same again for circles for his eyes. Because I drew a shape which was almost round rather than an ellipse, this time the Edit Shape has the option of making it into a perfect circle. Let's draw the other eye and a beak, which looks like a funny nose. I'll draw in the rest of the eyes and fill in the pupils. I mean [inaudible] that sounded funny, he's only got two eyes obviously. He looks absolutely shocked. I'm going to do some ovals for his wings, and then I'll use the same brush in a bigger size to raise the lines under the wings. He needs his little owl bloomers and needs some ear tufts. The legs are definitely more challenging to do with ovals. Now, I'm going to fill in his front with some oval feather shapes. You can use any pattern which involves round shapes. I want to do some freehand loopy scribbles on his wings. Probably the simplest thing to do here is to drop white into the wings and fill them. Then put the Alpha lock on with a quick slide to the right on the layer, so that way it can only draw on the existing red and white areas. Then when I draw in the loops in red, they won't go into the unfilled areas. Now, I'll take the Alpha lock off so that I won't forget later. His eyes are definitely too scary, so I'm going to use the S-shaped selection tool at the top. With this on freehand, I'm going to draw around the first eye and then tap the transform arrow and drag in the corners to make the eye a bit smaller. I'll repeat this for the other eye. Time for a rectangular owl. I'm going to use the same brush on a new layer, just one layer per owl. I'm drawing a rough rectangle and holding my pen down at the end for a rough rectangular shape. I don't want it too perfect, so this will do. I'm adding a long rectangle for the beak, and some big square eyes. Let's move this one over using the selection tool like we did before. Square eyes now, but I think I'll give him round pupils. Now, some ear tufts and some squarish wings, and then pop in some legs, and it's time to add the details. This beak looks too long, so let's alter that. Maybe a squarish scribble this time. This looks very retro 1970s, I like him. One more layer, and this time we can use triangles. I think will start with his eyes. I'm going to add circles, because I don't want them to look like a complete weirdo with terrifying triangle pupils. Triangles are perfect for his beak and his little owls ears. I haven't actually left enough room, so I'm going to use the transform arrow and I'm going to move him up. Time for his wings and then his legs. Some triangular details, whatever you like, just keep it pointy. We have three owls and I'm just going to tweak them a little to finish off and fill some of the shapes with solid color. You could take this further with other shapes and other birds, or try adding color. Now you've finished your tenth sketch book page, post your owls to the project section [MUSIC]. 13. Final Thoughts: I hope you've enjoyed this sketchbook project as much as I have. We've tried all different ways of drawing birds and of using Procreate. We've used plenty of different methods of finding ideas and inspiration. I hope you'll continue to find a few minutes every day to play and explore and see where your sketchbook adventure takes you. It's always time well spent. I'm so excited to see your projects. I do look at all of them, and if you'd like some feedback, just ask. Please also feel free to post on Instagram with the #nicsquirrellskillshare for a chance to be featured in my Instagram stories. Follow me here on Skillshare to be kept up to date with new classes and discussions. I like your sketching and bye for now.