Freelance Illustration Process in Procreate: Following a Client Brief | Iva Mikles | Skillshare

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Freelance Illustration Process in Procreate: Following a Client Brief

teacher avatar Iva Mikles, Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

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.

      Project and Class Overview


    • 3.

      Brief, Planning and Pricing


    • 4.

      Brainstorm & Design Style


    • 5.

      Layout Ideas


    • 6.

      Improving Designs and Composition


    • 7.

      Preparing Designs for Approval


    • 8.

      New Document and Brush Setup


    • 9.

      Building Layered Illustration


    • 10.

      Applying Designs to Mockups


    • 11.

      BONUS Timelapses


    • 12.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

Be more confident when working with clients.

In this class, we will go through the process I usually follow when creating illustrations for clients, so you become more confident when presenting yourself as a professional illustrator delivering illustrations your clients will love. 

During my career, I was lucky enough to work both as a client and as an in-house & freelance illustrator.

I want to share with you what I learned so you can develop your own process when working with clients, presenting your work, communicating professionally, and being involved in more and more interesting projects.

I will show you and explain my process step by step:

  • client brief
  • budget & pricing
  • planning
  • brainstorming
  • creating
  • finalizing & presenting your illustrations

We will talk about what makes a strong composition, how to test colors so they work well together as well as how you can start developing your illustration series.

By understanding my process, you can create your own and develop your professional approach to working with clients.

This class is mostly for beginner artists and illustrators, who are curious about working with clients or are just starting out working on client projects and they are not sure what to expect.

The information you will learn in this class will help you know what questions to ask and how to communicate with the clients. The more you know, the more professional you appear and you are more likely to get the job.

I will be using Procreate but feel free to use any other digital drawing program. In the end, I will use Photoshop to show you how you can apply your art to mockups to present your work in a portfolio.

Working with clients can be pretty exciting, so let’s start creating those awesome illustrations!

©️ Copyright Iva Mikles | All Rights Reserved | Class content & structure for educational purposes only

Meet Your Teacher

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Iva Mikles

Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

Top Teacher

I am super happy that you are here! :)

I am Iva (rhymes with "viva"), and I'm a full-time illustrator, teacher, and nature enthusiast.

I love illustration in all its forms and my goal is to bring you to a world full of happiness, color, and wonder in the form of fun and helpful classes.

I'd love for you to have fun while learning, so I always aim for a fun, positive, actionable, and inspiring creative experience with all my classes.

I love when you share you had many "AHA" moments, learned valuable time-saving tips, gained confidence in your skills, and that it is much easier for you to illustrate what you imagine and you are very proud of your finished work.

I want to help you on your art journey with what I learned along the way by ... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Eva, and I am a professional illustrator and designer based in Europe. In this class, I would like to share with you the process I usually follow when creating illustrations for clients so you'll become more confident when presenting yourself as a professional illustrator, delivering illustrations your clients will love. During my career, I was lucky enough to work both as a client, and as an in-house and freelance illustrator. While working with Lego, the toy company, I was part of the team planning and executing be creative project, and I was responsible for writing briefs, managing the project, and giving feedback to freelancers. At the same time as an in-house illustrator, I worked on a concept illustrations, storyboards, color script, and character illustrations. I also experienced the creative process from the other side while working as a freelancer, following the creative briefs from local and international companies, such as Procter & Gamble, and their brands like Ariel and [inaudible] In addition to these, I have worked on advertising concepts, commercial illustrations, and packaging design. I want to share with you what I learned to help you build your confidence when working with clients, presenting your work, communicating professionally, and developing your own process so you can be involved in more and more interesting projects. In this class, I will show you and explain my process step-by-step from client brief, budget and price, planning, brainstorming, creating, finalizing, and presenting your illustrations. We will talk about what makes a strong composition, how to test colors so they work well together as well as how you can start developing your illustration series. By understanding my process, you can create your own and develop your professional approach to working with clients. This class is mostly for beginner artists and illustrators who are curious about working with clients, or are just starting out working on a client project, and they're not sure what to expect.The information I will teach you in this class will help you to know what questions to ask and how to communicate with clients. The more you know, the more professional you appear, and you are more likely to get the job. I will be using Procreate, but feel free to use any other digital drawing software. At the end, I will use Photoshop to show you how you can apply your art to mock-ups, to present your work in the portfolio. Working with clients can be pretty exciting. Whether you are beginner, just starting to learn about commercial illustration, or you are a little bit more experienced artist, curious about the process of another Illustrator, these class is for you. So let's start creating those awesome illustrations. 2. Project and Class Overview: During this class, I would like you to create a set of illustrations which you can use for your portfolio. You can practice alongside me following the brief for the illustration on the D packaging, I will be showing you my process of approaching the design brief step-by-step. I will explain why I am making certain design choices. In the first part of the class, before we start illustrating, I will share with you the illustration brief and we will also touch on how to think about pricing your work when you are asked, how much you charge for your illustration. You don't have an agent to tell you what your price should be. I will show you my favorite resources which can help you define your prices for your illustrations. After we get all the details from the client, I will show you how you can go about blending and brainstorming your illustration concepts to fulfill the brief. I will also share with you the tips on finding inspiration and we will discuss how you can combine the references with your ideas in your designs for the project. I will also talk about what I'm considering when creating sketches and illustration thumbnails before I send them for the client's approval. In the second part of the class, we will be polishing and finalizing the illustration. I will show you my brush settings and how I apply textures to my illustrations too. I will also show you how I built illustrations with more layers. We will also look at how you can create visuals such as product mock-ups to present your work in your portfolio. All of these is in a form of demonstrations so you can practice alongside with me. One of the few things that will make you a professional illustrator is that you should be able to plan your creative process and communicate it with the client. They feel comfortable that you know what you are doing and they let you experiment in your creative process and even let you recommend things to add or adjust in the designs and the brief. The most important in my opinion, is that you understand the context of your illustrations and how it will benefit your client. The client's always appreciate when you understand what they want to communicate with the illustrations to the end-customer and how the illustration should make the customers feel. All of this should influence the reasoning behind your design choices. When you understand the purpose of the illustrations and the limitation of the project, you can be creative within those limitations and let your creativity shine through your art while delivering results to your client. For the class project, I would like you to imagine an illustration assignment that you would like to work on in the future. For example, if you always wanted to see your art on products, you can start with illustration for the tea or coffee packaging. As I mentioned before, for the demo project exercises, I will be using a project brief for a set of illustration for a tea packaging. You can download the mentioned brief with the suggested color palette in the resource section. I will also include my sketches for the illustrations in case you wanted to practice the coloring on my examples. But I'm sure you will have a lots of other ideas for your own layout with your own style. You're more than welcome to practice the coloring of the illustrations in my style. But the world needs more different, unique creations and it needs more of you. Why not to practice in your own style? I am super excited to get started. 3. Brief, Planning and Pricing: In this lesson, I will show you part of the client brief, which we will use as a guideline for our project. This illustration brief is based on other projects I have worked on. We will also briefly talk about the budget and pricing for illustrations like this. Here is the part of the brief. We would like to have a set of modern minimalistic illustrated visuals, for the limited series of our tea packaging. The illustrations should incorporate the iconic as well as landscape as it is closely linked to our tradition. The illustrations should have a similar feel and tie the series together. We have three signature tea blends. We plan that each of the packagings will have a different color. One will be green, one yellow, and one reddish pink. We do want to incorporate the company green colors in the illustrations too. You will find the color pallets in the brand guidelines. It would be nice to have pink, reds and yellows in the illustrations too. The illustrations will be placed on a long packaging format with 1:1.468 ratio. The final packaging design, including the texts and other graphical elements, will be done by our graphic designer. We would like to potentially use one of the illustrations on an A3 poster, so the files should be made in a higher resolutions with 300 DPI and CMYK color model. This was the brief and I tried to summarize the most important part. Depending on the project you will work on, you will get different briefs and wishes the client's express. The good brief should be as detailed as possible, even few pages long. Before you start working on briefs don't forget to agree on the final look and feel of your designs. As the client, which of your illustrations they like and why. For example, is it textures vector look with clean lines, gradients, the way you draw the eyes may be other detailed lines you use for shadings, geometric look or other details. Try to get as much information as possible, what they like about your art. If you don't understand something or you're missing information, don't be afraid to ask. The best is to have a call with a client or a personal meeting to agree on details and execution. You can have additional questions like, for example, is there a color limitation for a print? What is the deadline date when you should deliver the artworks? How long is going to take to get the feedback for the first round of sketches so you know on how to plan your time in the calendar well. Or do they want characters in the landscapes too? Would they like to include architecture and animals, or just plain landscapes and greenery? Having a clear brief and clarified the expectations in the beginning of the project, will save you and the client a lot of time down the line. Coming back to our project and the brief, let's say we agreed with the client on the following: They mainly want to have landscapes in the visuals. We can have houses and architecture, but not as a main focus. To describe the scenery, we can use plants, flowers and trees. Flowers should not appear too feminine. They can be maybe geometric or very simplified. In this case, they don't want to have a prominent human characters in the main scenes of the packaging. It might work as a small figure in the distance, but they are not so sure about it. We don't need to include the characters right now. It's a great practice when you take notes during the client meetings and you summarize everything you agreed on in the email. This will help you to create a pricing offer as well. Best is to ask the client what is their budget and then you can calculate the what you are able to deliver within that budget. Think about how much time you need to create a certain amount of artworks, and how many feedback loops are included in your prize. I usually include one feedback loop in the sketch phase and one feedback loop for detail adjustments after delivering the final illustrations. You can choose an hourly rate or a project rate. There are advantages and disadvantages to both though. My favorite go-to resource for pricing is this book; Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, where they include pricing from different areas of the industry. They mention here that the illustrations on retail products with national distribution for food or beverage products such as our example, ranges overall from $1000 to $4.5 thousand. As I mentioned before, each project is very unique and these are just some examples. Generally speaking, if you have a professional experience with different brands and few years in the industry, it is common to charge hourly rate over a $100. For example, in the United States, UK, or Western Europe. If you're just starting out having very little experience, therefore, higher chances of not meeting the client expectations, you should expect $20 to $40 per hour. The client and artist are always free to negotiate and each artist is independently deciding how to price their work after taking all the factors and the details of the project into account. Charging a project rate makes sense if you are experienced and you can do the work quickly. In such a case, an hourly rate would penalize you and it's not good. You should also consider that it is not only your time you spend on the illustrations, but as a freelancer, you are paying for a software licenses, hosting, health care, social insurance, and so on. You shouldn't feel bad for asking fair prices and not to work for a lowest fees. You can find more on pricing in blog which I found. I will list hem in the resource section too. In the next lesson, we will be planning the illustrations. See you there. 4. Brainstorm & Design Style: After getting all the information from the client and agreeing on the budget, we can start planning. I will note down the things that we have discussed during the briefing stage, and I will write down other ideas I want to include in my illustrations. You can do this part on the paper if you prefer, but I like to do the notes and sketching already in digital form. Now let's start with a brainstorm, and because we are designing p-packaging, we probably want to include tea leaves into the designs. Flowers from the area would work nicely. The tea plantation and I'm thinking also mountains in the background. Birds can work nicely in the design too, and even maybe bees. Then I would like to include water to have variety in the scenery. We can have some roads or paths, and we can use them as leading lines, and divide the image into few parts. We will see how that will work, and if we want to use them at all. Then as we agreed also with the client, I'm thinking about houses because they will add the idea of the life to a landscape if we don't have a human characters. To frame the image, we can draw different branches and leaves. Now let's look at some inspirational illustrations on packaging. If you don't have a concrete idea for your design just yet, you can look at different packaging design illustrations for inspiration, as I mentioned. Over the time, I collected a lot of different references for packaging designs and illustrations on Pinterest. Of course, you don't want to just copy different designs. You're looking at different executions, how they simplify the ideas of a landscapes or nature, and different layouts might inspire you for your own unique designs. You can collect your images on Pinterest or look at my Pinterest board, which I created. I will put the link into the resources as well. I suggest you to explore some of the designs here, but don't save any of the reference images to your device, so you don't get too influenced by the designs. For now, just observe the level of simplification of the landscapes, the amount of details, the elements, the color palettes. Think about the layout, and the composition in different designs, and try to know what is included in the illustrations where you can see some landscapes. For example, do they have mountains? Do they have sky, river, trees, flowers? How are they simplified? Do they have a flat design, very simple shapes? Are they geometric? Do they have a fluid shapes? Do they include shadows and textures. Try to take all of these in and already start imagining how you will design your own landscapes. Also, because we are designing a collection of three packaging illustrations, look at different collections series as well. Notice what they have in common. Is it the color combination? Maybe the same tree in all of the illustrations? Or the leaf design which goes across the series? Or a similar mountain range in each design of the collection? As you can see here in this example, the designs can be tied together with one element, like in this example. It might be the tea kettle shape, which is used as a dark shape in the background for the other elements to stand out. Here, you can also notice that they use few similar elements repeating across the three packaging designs, like the comparably design leaves combined with animals in each illustration. You can also notice that the animals are designed in a way that they use only one color, so they look quite flat. Then they just combine it with white for some details on those animals. Then elements around these animals are in green tones combined with few fruit elements in warm tones in each illustration. This Illustration series would look coherent on these packaging illustrations. Then you can also see that in this case, the packages differ in color of the bag as well so the customers don't mix them up by accident. If all the packages would be white, for example, you should consider to design your illustrations with different colors so they are easy to distinguish. For example, one illustration can have predominant yellow color or just very strong yellow background. The other illustration can have predominantly blue tones or just very strong blue background if you're doing a landscape. Scroll through different packaging illustrations, and notice what elements and colors tie them together, and also how they differ from each other so the customers don't get confused. After you did your own research on what elements and styles you like, it's time to start sketching. Think about few shapes for the leaves and flowers you would like to include in your design. As I mentioned briefly before, we should think about what design elements will tie our three illustrations together. There might be few different shapes of leaves, but overall with similar styling to tie the design together. You can think of this part as a sketch warm-up. Almost all good artists do sketch warm-ups every day, so why not to try it out if you don't do the sketching warm-ups yet. When you sketch your ideas for leaves, think about overall shape. Are you going to use symmetrical leaves with sharp edges or do you prefer to use round edges on the leaves, and details like this? You should also consider and think, how does the tea leaf look like so you can may be included in your design. Here you can sketch smaller and bigger leaves, and you can also based of a few basic ideas for the flowers. When you get few of the ideas sketched out, think which ones you like the most, and you would like to use in your designs. You might end up liking perhaps one or just two, but maybe all of them. Here for example, I like the small flowers in combination with leaves with sharp edges. I'm thinking that the nice contrast to this will be the simplified organic ground looking three shapes, so I'm planning to use those. Let's move on to the next lesson where we will sketch out the first ideas for a scenery layouts. I'm sure you already have some in mind. See you there 5. Layout Ideas: In this lesson, we will start getting the thumbnail ideas for the scenery. We mentioned the leaves and the greenery nature style and now, let's get out some ideas for the full scenery layouts. As we've wrote down in the notes, what would be nice to have to include in the design, we can start with the overall shapes of the tea plantation. Then we can add mountains and some water, like the lake or sea, because we want to have a calming effect in the illustrations and the flat water surface helps with this feeling. Here I'm also thinking about round shapes for the hills and the mountains to have a friendly look and feel. Sharp mountains and overall sharp objects can evoke very uneasy feeling. We don't want that in this case. As you can see, I'm also using simple round tree shapes we sketched in the previous step. I'm keeping the horizons straight to emphasize that calm feeling. On the other hand, if I would want to create the feeling of adventure or tension, I would use more diagonals in the layout. For example, tilted diagonal line for a horizon. Overall, I want to balance the layouts with areas with more details and the areas with less details. When someone is looking at the image for the first time, they would notice this contrast between the two areas quite quickly. So I plan to have more details around the flowers and the tree branches, and less details in the area of the water surface. If everything had a lot of details and would have these high-intensity areas all around, you wouldn't know where to look first and you might get confused as a viewer. Therefore, we want to create a balance with the details and shapes. We will focus on these balance more in the later stages when we will start cleaning up and defining the sketches. As you can see in the next sketches, I'm using simplified lines for the hills to suggest the rows of tea plantation. As a next step, I will quickly test out my sketch ideas with colors. As we know from the brief, we want to have greens in the combination with yellows and reddish-pink. First, I'm testing out the colors on the leaf elements if I like the combination of color tones, and then, I will move to the layouts. As you remember, we have the basic tones of the colors from the brief. Also what was mentioned in the brief, what will differentiate the tea packaging will be the color of the paper bag. Therefore, the designs can be quite similar in color choices. If the bags were the same color, you would want to have the designs more differentiated in color so the customers don't mix them up in the shop, as I mentioned in the previous lesson. So here, as you can see in the designs, the colors are quite similar, and I'm thinking, we can differentiate them with details like a bird in the design, maybe few roads and different flowers. So to sum up the first ideas of the layouts, what I had in mind, I'm using soft round shapes for the friendly look. Then here and there, I combine the design with sharper-looking leaves to create variety in shapes across the visuals. Other element I'm thinking about is the space and the balance in the image. In other words, the negative space or the areas with high intensity and low intensity in terms of details. As I mentioned, this means how to balance the areas with fewer details in the areas with more details. So hope you are inspired and you've already thought about few layout sketches. Before we move to the next lesson, try out different ideas as quick thumbnails. In the next lesson, I will show you how I use relay references to improve the sketch ideas for the scenery we already have. 6. Improving Designs and Composition: As we know from the brief, the illustrations should resemble as always. If you don't know, Azores are an island archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and they belong to Portugal. The main island of Azores, Sao Miguel, is the only place belonging to the European Union that has tea plantations, and it's good to look at some photo references to get to know the place, unless you can visit for exploration trip to get the references, which is super nice. Anyway, let's look at some photo references to look more in detail on some iconic elements. I already saved a few images from Azores to one Pinterest board. So you can just look at that board if you are designing illustrations inspired by Azores as well with me. The link is in the resources again. Because one of the main elements of the illustration should be the tea plantation, I saved quite a few images with these visual in mind. In the references I wanted to see how the plantations can look from different angles. For example, should I draw them simplified with a lot of curves or more with the straight lines? I also found one image where you can see the shape of the tea leaves better and therefore, it will be easier to reference the shape when drawing. By looking at the photo references, you can get a few new ideas for interesting layout and maybe how you can combine different elements from different photo references into one layout design. Because I wanted to include a few flowers into design as well, I'm looking at what flowers are the most iconic for the location. I can see that a lot of pictures of the locations are coming up with hydrogenous in it. So this would be one of my go-to flowers to draw in the illustrations. Based on a quick brainstorm we did at the beginning, I had mountains, water as lakes or sea, and birds. So I found a few images of these elements to help me improve the designs. If you are designing different locations for your illustrations, try to find various images to represent them. Observe what flowers are reoccurring, which plants and tree shapes are the most iconic, and maybe what animals and birds are native to the place. If you agree to include some animals as well into your designs with your client. Now, let's go back to drawing. As I saw in the reference images, I'm sketching the hydrogenous flower. I am focusing on the overall leaf outline and not so much on the details of the photo-realistic look of the flower. What I'm noticing from the photo reference, is that the flower has round leaves with pointed ends and the leaves are overlapping each other. Second flower, I want to implement is the jasmine flower. As I found out it appears in Azores too. In this case, there was no specific requests for the type of this flower from the client brief, but if you already know from the start that if you want to implement flowers into your design, you can ask the client if they have any preference for the flower types. Another plant I hadn't thought of before was a banana leaf or a palm leaf. So I sketch this idea as well and I will implement them into the designs too. Now I just combine the ideas for the layouts I had with some of the new ideas and details from the photo references into the sketch thumbnails. As you can see, I'm still sketching from a distance just as a thumbnail and I'm not zooming into the image. These forces me to look at the images as a whole and keep the simple shapes in the layout and not focus on the details just yet, and I'm still keeping in mind that the brief was to keep the designs with a similar look and feel, but with slightly different elements. So now I have all the elements I wanted to include in my designs and now I choose three designs which I think work the best. All these three images I selected have the tea plantations, but the first one, will have hydrogenous in the foreground of the image. The second layout I chose, will have a big mountain in the background and different flowers in the foreground, probably the jasmine. The third one, will have a bird in it. So according to the brief, they are similar but slightly different. In the next lesson, I will show you how I prepare the files to send for a client's approval. 7. Preparing Designs for Approval: Okay. Now it's time to clean up my sketches and prepare a preview to send for approval to the client. The step in the process reduces the feed backgrounds and helps you as an illustrator to spend less time on unnecessary changes to the illustration when the illustration is more final. It also helps you to manage the client expectations. By the way, you can also use these sketches in your portfolio to show your process to the future clients. These will help them to see that you have planned process for your work and they can rely on you. They can also imagine what to expect if they would start working with you. As you can see, I scaled up my sketches and reduce the opacity on this layer, and I created a new layer above, where I started to create new, more detailed drawing with more defined elements. If you already sketched out some of the elements like I did here on the left side of my canvas, we have the banana leaves and the flowers, and you can just copy and paste them into the new layouts to test them out. As I mentioned before, I'm also thinking how to distribute the level of details and focus on the illustration layout. So here I'm creating more details in the flower elements and the branches in the front of the image, as I mentioned before. I will be adding more details to the houses and small trees in the distance to balance the image. The water area in the sky will stay with the less details. We can consider them like a negative space in our layout. [MUSIC] If you're still not sure how to draw some elements of the illustration from your memory and imagination, you can always have the reference for those opened on your second monitor or on your phone next to you when drawing the details like different flower petals, little houses, or other shapes like a bird's anatomy, and details like the bird's beak, or the tail, because they can be sometimes very difficult to portray the exact bird you want. You might have also noticed that I'm using a similar shape of the tree across the images. Some of the trees are shown as big scaled-up shapes in the foreground, and some threes are shown as small shapes in the distance. This distribution of the trees of various sizes helps the viewer to feel the depth of the image. So try to repeat the same element, for example, a tree in your layout so it would be a scaled-up shape close to the viewer and some would be far away in the distance, show as a small shapes. The elements of the nature, like leaves or trees are the easiest to read across these layouts. So think about what can be the shape, you already did across. Now with more defined details in the sketches, a client will be able to see better if I am planning to draw a banana leaf, or a grass as a natural element in the illustrations and if they like these details in the designs. There is one more thing you can do before sending sketches for the approval, and it is quickly test out the colors on your designs. This quick coloring helps to test out the balance of the colors in your designs. It is less time consuming than changing colors of the elements when you're done with more clean, polished illustrations with textures and other details.[MUSIC] As you can see, I'm distributing the colors to balance out the image composition again. When someone looks at the image, they look at the areas with the highest contrast first. We already mentioned this with level of details with the high intensity areas and low intensity areas in the sketches. But they're acquired a few ways how you can create visual interest and contrast in your images. In this case, I'm using warm colors against the cold color tones in dark colors versus light colors. You can see that the dark green is evenly distributed around images. For example, if you would use only green and blue tones in these images, there will be a lot of focus on these dark green areas and therefore, you would look on these dark green areas first, and you would almost not notice the rest of the image. Because of this, I'm using the yellow and pink flowers and pink and yellow trees in the other parts of the image to create a different focus areas across the image. People are usually more drawn to warm tones rather than cool tones and therefore, warm tones can be also called an active colors, like oranges, red and yellows. But again, if the whole image will be just warm color tones, the pink and yellow trees would not stand out as much. The pale beige on the background and the light blue on the water are supporting colors as they are very close in color tone to the light green we are using on the tea leaves and the mountains. When you are happy with the additional colored tones, don't forget to save them in your color palettes so you can quickly sample them from there when you need to. Here, I also want to show you a quick deep about the color palette. What they like to do is to organize the colors in the color palette, the way I use the colors next to each other. So I remember it in the later stages if I want to use them. For example, I grouping tones next to each other. So some of these color tones are additional colors which I included in the illustrations. But the others, as you know from the brief, are colors which are defined from the style guide from the client, and the client included the hexadecimal color codes from their website. So we don't use very different color use in our illustrations. You can also delete the tones of color you don't want to use anymore, so it will not confuse you later when you're finishing the illustration. As you can see, I also tested out the colors of the potential packaging to see if my illustrations would fit the background color. So always try to think about the context and how your illustrations will be used in a final layout. Now we are all set to prepare these files to upload for a client's feedback. When you upload the files for the client, don't forget to send them an e-mail that you uploaded your files and include the short description, what you did and why so you can pick the discussion from there. Now you would just wait for a client's feedback. In the next lesson, we will continue working on the illustrations as a next stage, after the clients feedback. 8. New Document and Brush Setup: Let's imagine that you have received the client feedback. Sometimes clients can be very detail-oriented and let's say based on the sketches, they like the illustration, but they mention that they would like to have the hydrogen or flowers looking more cool and edgy in the final version and not too detailed to avoid too realistic looking illustration, you can ask if it would help to make them a little bit more geometric and send them over the idea or have a call about the last details before finalizing all your concepts. As I mentioned in the first lesson, is always good to clarify any new ideas, changes, suggestions, or questions you might have in the process. Now it's time to finalize your lovely designs which are now approved to go ahead by the client. If you remember from the brief, the client wants to keep the option to use the illustrations as A3 poster, and therefore, we need to create a larger document file with those dimensions. If you don't know the size of A3 in centimeters or inches, you can always Google it. If you were finalizing your illustrations in Adobe Illustrator the document wouldn't have to be so big because the vectors can be scaled up even to be used on a billboard. However, I usually prefer pixel based programs because he can't use the same textures and techniques as in programs like Photoshop or Procreate. That's why we need to make sure we have the correct settings in the documents. When setting up the document, don't forget to check if your file is set up to CMYK as that's the color model for printing, and the resolution 300 DPI, which is usually good enough for the quality printing. Sometimes clients require 600 DPI resolution or higher, but it really depends on the project you are working on. It's good to clarify these as well at the start. As specified in the brief, the ratio of the file will be one to 1.468, which is approximately one to 1.5, which is the same as A3 ratio. I will just scale up the sketches to fit on the A3. Now I can just go to my sketch file and drag and drop the layers with the sketch and the color version to my new document. You can also duplicate layers into the new file in Photoshop. There you would just right-click on a layer and select duplicate. Now I will keep the colored sketches on the bottom layer for a reference and reduce the opposite of this layer as well. I will keep this sketch layer on top and set it to multiply so I can color under it and use it as a reference when needed. I'll be finalizing most of the elements on separate layers in case I need to change the color. But mostly because it's easy for me to apply textures, shadows, or highlights. Because we've defined all the colors in the previous steps, these should be very easy and fun part. To have clean edges, I'm using the selection tool and for coloring the shapes, I'm using the wash brush to have more traditional textured look. I will show you how I will approach the whole illustration coloring on these banana leaves here on the edge. As I mentioned, I will use the selection tool which you can choose on the top-left, in Procreate, and then select Freehand option at the bottom, you can use the lasso tool in Photoshop to work this way as well. Then I will just create the selection based on the reference drawing we created before. Then I will go to my brushes and you can see I have a wet acrylic brush tool here, and three versions of it. With acrylic basics, screen and multiply. You can find the basic wet acrylic brush in predefined painting brushes in procreate, and you can drag and drop it to your favorite brush folder. If you want to know even more about tips and tricks, how to organize and improve your workflow in Procreate, you can check out my Practical Guide to Procreate class where I talk about these things more in detail. Now to create the screen and multiply version of the brush, just swipe to the left and duplicate the brush. Click on the brush, and in the settings about rendering, change the brush Blend Mode to screen. Then click on about this brush at the bottom left and change the name of the brush on the top, it's easy for you to find it later in all the brushes. If you're creating your own unique brushes with your own textures, you can also write your name here, and you can create the same version of this brush with the multiply setting. After I apply base green color to the leaf, I make a new selection as half of my leaf and then create Alpha log on that layer and paint over the leaf with the same green, but we didn't multiply brush setting to get the darker tone. Now I can create two other leaves with the same technique and each leaf is on a separate layer. As the last touch to create the variety in colors, I add a little bit of blue tone to the bottom of those green leaves, where the shadow would be. That's it for this step. In the next lesson, I will color the rest of the illustration and maybe adjust few details if I need to balance the composition of the illustration. 9. Building Layered Illustration: After I created a few banana leaves at the bottom right, I will create the branches with leaves and the top of the image with the same technique. It's up to you if you prefer to work from the bottom of the image or from the foreground. So you can start maybe with the sky, mountains and the lake, or you can start as me with the flowers and details in the foreground because for me these are more important in these layouts. I will balance out the background to work with the foreground of the image. I'm using the color drawing at the bottom as a reference to be able to see the colors I blend for this illustration. At the later stages for some elements, I will also use the line sketch for a reference which I have as a top layer and it's hidden right now. So here I'm adding darker spots on top of the leaves to keep the geometric look as we have on the palm leaves with darker house. I will also have a separate layer for the flowers in the left corner, and here I am also adding the darker shade to the half of the flower petals, like I did on the half of the banana leaves on the right to keep the style consistent. If you remember from the feedback I mentioned, the client wanted these flowers more geometric and cool. Therefore, I'm adding also these shadows do half of these petals to make them look more edgy, geometry and with less details than the real flower would have. Afterwards I'm adding one more layer for all the yellow flowers and the trees. After the basic color is created, I will make an Alpha log again on this layer and throw a highlight on the trees. To keep the complexity of the image as low as possible, I'm creating either only shadow as a one darker tone, or one highlight as one lighter shade on each element. For example, as you can see on these trees. Later, I will add details and little bit more realism to other elements. For example, I'm thinking about suggestion of branches on the trees and the bushes, but I'm keeping these details very subtle, similar in color to the object. For example, as you can see, if the tree is yellow, the branches here are beige, so they don't create too much contrast and therefore too much attention to this part of the image. When I'm creating the house, I use the rectangle selection tool to be sure that the base of the house and the base of the roofs are aligned horizontally with the whole image. If I would be drawing them with a freehand selection tool, there is a higher chance for them to look crooked. Now to remove parts of the roofs I just created, I can use the free hand selection tool, then invert the selection and I just erase the part I don't need. To create the layers for the tea plantation, I'm using the free hand selection tool again, and I am following the sketch below to create the depth of the image. If you want to break these even more about perspective, I have class dedicated to that as well. As a next step, I'm creating one layer for the darker part of the leaves and one layer below for the overall green base. I add a little bit of shadow to these layer in the darker tone on the left and on the right of the image to create more sense of the depth in the whole image. As the next step, I'm re-evaluating and looking at the image as a whole, and now I'm thinking that the composition needs some elements as a divider where the two tea plantations are meeting, because they are blending too much together. Probably a bush would fit there just okay, or other natural element, which wouldn't change the idea of the whole layout. Because having just one bush in this area wouldn't look too natural, I added a few other small ones near the houses. This also helps in this area to break the sharp lines of the man-made objects so the houses blend more in this natural setting. I had all the bushes on one layer and the bushes covered some elements I didn't want them to cover. For example, the yellow three on the right. To delete these parts because I'm limited with layers, I go to the layer with my yellow three, click on the layer, choose "Select", go back to the layer with green bush, and delete the part covering the yellow tree on the right. Like this, we have the exact selection we want you to delete. In this case, I can just delete part of these bushes because I don't plan to move them around because we already agreed on the whole layout concept. If you have an unlimited amount of layers, you can just have each element on the separate layer and organize everything in folders. But here, because the file is big and I'm limited in amount of layers, I have to solve it like this. Now going to the background for a sky and the water, I'm using the rectangle selection tool again, and I'm creating light water reflections to break the big fled water surface with some interesting details. If you want to create even more depth in the image, you can start creating bigger shapes of the reflections in the foreground and making smaller and smaller shapes of these reflections closer to the horizon. To create these lighter water reflection on the water, I use the rectangle tool together with another selection tool to create these geometric shapes. You can also create these shapes in Adobe Illustrator, which is great for geometric shapes creation, and then import these shapes back to your pixel drawing software like Procreate or Photoshop. I do this quite often if I need to create a lot of geometric shapes in my illustrations. When it's time to share your artwork with a client, some clients would be okay just sending it over by email but better professional practice is to share it either through Google Drive or their internal system, maybe their own Dropbox. So always make sure to find the best way to share your final art works with the client. At the end, I will add a saddle grain to the image by creating one gray layer on top, just filled with gray color. Here in Procreate, you can go to "Filters", choose "Noise", and slide your finger to the right to add the desired amount of noise. Reduce the saturation of the noise effect as we don't need or want any additional colors at this moment. You can set the layer to overlay and also reduce the opacity of this layer. You can also apply a noise filter in Photoshop. Now we can call this illustration finished. I will finish the two other illustration with the same techniques and approach. So now it's your turn to illustrate your ideas with more polished look and feel. If you want more inspiration, you can watch a time-lapse of my illustration process of the illustration 2 and 3. As I mentioned, I will be using the same techniques as here. But maybe later on I can reuse some elements like already illustrated branches or leaves with textures in the new layouts. In the next lesson, I will show you how you can apply your finished illustrations, to mock-ups, so you can show them in their portfolio and attract new clients in the future. 10. Applying Designs to Mockups: Now we have all the illustrations finished and ready to put on the final product. As I mentioned, most of the time, clients have their own graphic designer, so you don't have to do this step. You can just ask if you can use the finished preview of the product when it's presented on the website or in the campaign, however, it's nice to know how to do it yourself as well. So let's do it. So as you probably know, you can find free and paid mock-ups on the Internet. For our case, I searched for a tea pouch mock-up and I found one which I liked on Envato Elements where I have subscription and I can also download logos and photos for my projects here. I will link the mock-up I used in the resource section. When I open the mock-up file in Photoshop, I can see a blank base shape for the packaging. Usually you can change the background of the image to brick wall or wooden table or a room maybe. But I want to keep it white because it's better in this case for the colorful designs to stand out. On most of the mock-up files, there is a layer called your design. Now, I will just drag and drop my jpeg final illustration file on the layer above the base packaging layer and below the example of the design. I will create a clipping mask with a right-click on the layer. So my illustration will be clipped to the packaging shape. Now I will hide the example of the design they used on the layer above my illustration and I will enable the effects like gloss on the top layer by clicking on the eye icon on the layer. Now I can notice that my illustration is not following the exact shape of the packaging, so I will have to adjust it. I will go to image and transform on the top menu or use the shortcut 'Command T' and I will select the warp transform tool to be able to adjust and round off the bottom of my illustration. If you have problems accessing the Transform tool, your image might be a Smart Object. So you might have to rasterize it before doing any adjustments. If this is the case, just right-click on the layer and select rasterize. Now you can easily change this with using the handles. To create more realism, I'm also importing a logo which I got from Envato Elements as well and I'm placing it on top of the packaging. You can also drag the guide from the left ruler into the middle of the packaging to see if the logo is in the middle. To see these rulers, you just go to view and show and select ruler. Now I want to change the color of the packaging because we know that they should have different colors. Some mock-ups is easier to change the color of the packaging and they have designated layers just to change the color. But this one doesn't have it so I will just create one new layer above the base packaging shape and I will fill it with the color. If you are not sure how to access and change the color, you can just double-click on the square color icon on the left, on the bottom of the tool panel. I will use the bucket tool and then select the hexadecimal color code from our designs. Then I can create a clipping mask to the layer with color and clip it to the base packaging layer. So you will see the small arrow pointing to the layer below it. Now I will select everything and create the group. So I will be able to duplicate the whole packaging group with the illustration. I will select all the layers I want to have in the group and then by clicking on the folder icon on the bottom of the window with the layers, it will create group for me. With new version of Adobe CC to be able to select and move the whole group, not just one layer, look at the top panel bar when you have the selection tool enabled and change the outer select from layer to group. Now with holding old key, you can drag the whole group and Photoshop will create the copy of the whole thing for you. As you can see, I created three copies and I will just start replacing the final illustration like we did in the previous step. To access illustrations in the group quickly, on the top bar menu, I switch back to the layer auto select. This enables me to go directly to the layer with my illustration when I click on the image. As I mentioned now I can import other two illustrations the same way. I adjust them again with the transform tool to fill the packaging and adjust the color of each packaging of this pouch mock-up. I think it looks quite nice and as I mentioned, it's nice to use this type of previews in the portfolio alongside their sketches, thumbnails and in final illustrations to create that overall preview of your projects. 11. BONUS Timelapses: 12. Closing Thoughts: Congratulations, you finished the class. Thank you so much for being here and I hope you'll learn a lot of new things about client briefs and illustration process and you feel more confident about working as a freelancer with clients and as a class project, I would like you to practice and create a set of illustrations which you can use on a tea or maybe coffee packaging if that appeals to you more. Please share your creations with other classmates in the project section and I can't wait to see all of your awesome art works and if you'd like me to also share your art work on a social media, please send the link to your website or social media handle so I can help you and your art to be discovered by more people, and if you like the class, please leave a review because first of all, I appreciate this so much and second, you will also help other students to discover the class and you might contribute to do their artistic journey too. If you have a friend who loves illustration and want to try out creative brief process, it would be nice if you share this class with them, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment in the discussion section, I would love to help out. So thank you so much again for being here and see you in the next class.