Illustrate Yourself for Social Media (Draw a Profile Picture) | Michelle Tabares | Skillshare

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Illustrate Yourself for Social Media (Draw a Profile Picture)

teacher avatar Michelle Tabares, Cartoonist, Designer and Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Rough Sketches / Pencils


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Cleaning Up Your Line Art


    • 5.

      Applying Flat Colors


    • 6.

      Highlights and Shadows


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Saving Your File


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Closing Thoughts


    • 11.

      BONUS VIDEO: Coloring with Traditional Tools


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About This Class

Having a hand-drawn avatar image can give your social media accounts a lot more personality. If your an artist or even just an appreciator of the arts, it can also be a great way to make an inviting first impression and introduce people to your style, aesthetic and personality before they even see your content. Best of all, it's fun and easy!

In this class, I'll walk you through the process of making a hand-drawn profile picture from scratch; starting with rough sketches, scanning, cleaning up your image, coloring and ending with saving your image for the web so that your drawing will look it's best online.

If you prefer working with traditional art making tools, I've got you covered, too! Check out my special bonus video at the end of the video list for tips on how to make your traditionally colored profile picture work for you.

Intro music courtesy of DJ Quads -

Meet Your Teacher

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Michelle Tabares

Cartoonist, Designer and Illustrator

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: and I. My name is Michelle Tiberias. I'm a cartoonist, illustrator and traveller based here in Sunny Tampa, Florida And for this class, I want to talk about drawing your own profile picture or avatar image to use. For all of your social media accounts, Social media has become an indispensable form of connecting with friends, family and even future business associates, colleagues and other people that might be in your field or industry. And when it comes to working in a greater field, I think it also helps to have a clean, easy to read avatar image that reflects your design sensibilities and creativity right off the bat. And this way, someone rousing your site or social media account will get a sense of what you're aesthetics are before even seeing your work. I've been drawing my own profile pictures for years, and I've learned a lot along the way. This class I'm going to share with you some of the things that I've learned and give you tips and advice on how to make the best possible image. And even if you're not trying to market yourself as a creative person on your social media site, it can still be a lot of fun and ah, cool exercise to draw your own profile picture. I'm going to record the process of me updating my latest avatar image from very beginning, with rough sketches all the way to inking adding colors and adding final finishing touches like shadows and highlights. I will be using Photoshopped by 0.5 for the clean up and coloring stages that happened later on in the drawing process. However, if you have in more updated version of photo shop or if you prefer to work completely traditionally, then that is perfectly fine to there will be tips and tricks and advice that will help you regardless of how you prefer to work. And I've even included a video that is completely dedicated to coloring using traditional tools. So if this class sounds appealing to you, let's go on to the next video. I hope to see you there 2. Rough Sketches / Pencils: so to start off, I'm going to set down a sheet of 11 by 17 inch paper and sketch with an ordinary pencil. You can work with a smaller sheet of paper, like in 8.5 by 11 but I want my sketches to be larger than a thumbnail. And that way I can shrink my drawings down to avatar size and adjust them based on the the mentions needed for each social media site. Always better to draw your profile, picture larger so that you can shrink it and adjust it as needed rather than drawing your profile picture avatar sized. Since you'll have more issues with picks, elation and low resolution quality. If you try to change the size, I prefer to give myself a few different options. It's that way I can choose my favorite and then move forward with the final finished drawing. This allows me to explore different ideas that maybe I wouldn't have considered or in some cases, this help me become more certain with my original idea. And so that's why I'm using a larger sheet of paper because today I'm going to be drawing five different sketches. Now you don't have to draw five yourself. If you're not feeling quite as ambitious, you could do three or four. I would definitely recommend at least two. That way you can experiment with different angles for expressions and just get a feel for which one is the best one to give you an idea of how big I'm drawing exactly. Here is a standard US quarter for scale. And if you're not from the U. S. I happen to have a 50 cent euro piece in a 10 pestle coin from Mexico. Now that I've completed my five rough sketches, I'm gonna go back to each sketch and do some further refinements. That way, when I decide to think my sketches, it'll be clearer and easier for me to see the pencils underneath and just have a better drawing. I will be refining each of the five sketches, but to save some time, I'm going to just show you the process for one of the sketches. The very first thing of going to do to help with the refinement process is to erase any stray lines that could potentially be confusing. And so putting down a few lines as possible not just in the inking stage, but also inthe e sketching or penciling stage is a good idea. So I'm just gonna spend some time erasing the lines that I know that I don't want. I'm also gonna do my best to clarify the facial expression as much as possible. And this could mean putting down some heavier lions were redrawing certain things altogether. In this sketch, I'm wearing a very thin sort of loosely implied necklace, and I'm actually going to go ahead and erased this line and enlarge the necklace. This way it will be clearer and easier to see from a small size. It comes to making profile pictures. Clarity is more important than accuracy. It's OK to exaggerate certain things or in large things, if it will make it easier to see. And from the rough sketch, this is the finished pencils for this drawing. I've done a side by side before and after, so you can really see the difference between the two, and you can see that the after image is gonna be a lot easier for me to a Okay, so now that we have done all of the rough sketches and refined each one, let's move on to the next phase 3. Inking: Yeah, Thinking refers to the process of creating is solid outline around your work that sort of acts as a container for all of the shapes that make up your drawing. When it comes to thinking, the best tool to use is really in the name itself. Anything with think, so this could mean solid black pens. Or you can use a pot of ink and distribute the ink with a dip, pen or brush. And, of course, you can also Inc digitally. Personally, I would recommend using an inking style that you're already comfortable with and reflects your style. Make sure that whatever tool that you use, that the ink comes out opaque and solid later on, when you color, you may want the colors to be more blend herbal and radiated. But when you're thinking it's really important that your inks are solid and clear so that the viewer knows what they're looking at, even from a thumbnail size. Some people like to think using different colors, but black is the traditional choice, and I find it tends to be the easiest to work with. So that is Thean concolor that we're gonna move forward with for the purposes of this class . You can use any tool you'd like to Inc. In this particular case, I'm going to use to different pens, first of which being the pilot G Texi four, which is a fine tipped pen for the thinner lines and then a paper mate flair for some of the liquor line. Since I try to put line variation in my actual work, I want to make sure that my avatar picture reflects that. So I am putting some thin and thick lines. I would definitely recommend having at least some thick lines in your drawing. That way they stand out and can be seen from a small size. I would also caution you against penciling and inking details that might be too small since they won't be seen. But you could easily remedy this by enlarging certain details. Once you've finished thinking, he sure to wait for all of the ink to dry, depending on what you use. The wait time will vary from anywhere. Teoh A few seconds Teoh, even a full day definitely want to make sure that the ink dries completely before erasing, and once that time has passed, you can go ahead take your eraser of choice and erase all of the pencil lines to reveal your freshly inked to drawing. Now that you've removed the pencils, you can go ahead with your thinking tool once again and make sure that you make any corrections that you might have missed. And once you've done your finishing inking touches, you're ready for the next phase. Let's continue on to the next video. 4. Cleaning Up Your Line Art: Now, let's take some time to talk about cleaning up your liner. At this point, you should have gone ahead and erased all of your pencil marks to the best of your ability . Then you should go ahead and scan your document. And for the best possible results, I recommend making sure that you're scanning resolution is at least 300 d p I. And make sure that you set the scan to gray scale rather than black and white or color. I'm gonna edit these drawings with an older version of photo shop, but if you have a later version, that's fine. And I'm gonna go to the top bar where it says image adjustments and go down to where it says threshold adjusting. The threshold will take out graze. It will take those greys and turn it into either black or white, depending on where you move the slider. Moving it this way turns the greys into white. And then, as you can see here, moving it in the other direction makes the blacks more prominent, so you're going to do your best to find a balance of the two. At this point, you can select everything that is white and delete it and you'll be left with just your black lines. And this will make it easier for you to apply color layers underneath your light art. I'm gonna create a separate layer, fill it completely with white and then police it underneath my lionheart layer. And this way I can make changes to my Leinart without interfering with white backdrop. A white backdrop will make it easier for me to see the lions and decide if anything needs to be changed. You can see that there are still some stray pencil marks and a racer dust left from the scan. And to get rid of these stray marks, I'm gonna go ahead and use my eraser tool and erase any marks that I want to get rid of. You could go ahead and also make adjustments like here on this drawing. I'm adjusting the mouth to be a little bit more anatomically correct, and even now I'm just filling in any white spaces within the blacks so that the blacks will be clearer. This is actually helped me decide which drawing I want to move forward with, since the drawing on the bottom appeals to me the most now, a bit of an indecisive person. So if you're able to decide on which drawing, you want to do first before making all of these edits and adjustments more power to you and definitely feel free to do that. So now that I know that this is the drawing that I want to focus on, I'm gonna go ahead and fix some of the mistakes that I see. Don't worry about making too many edits or changes, since this drawing is going to be scaled down and teeny, tiny details or little mistakes won't be so noticeable to the viewer, you can see that all I've really done to fix this particular drawing is I've made the width of the necklace the same on the both sides, and I've also adjusted the smile a little bit, too. And that's pretty much it. Don't forget. It also really helps to organize and name your layers. That way you can find things easily and save some time. And so now that you have adjusted your Leinart, let's move on to the next video, where we will work on applying flat colors 5. Applying Flat Colors: in this video, we're going to talk about how to apply a flat colors using your photo editing program. There are many different ways to color using Photoshopped. I'm just going to show you the one method that I used to color in this picture of myself started by creating a layer called skin Tone. I'm gonna go ahead and select the lasso tool. I'm gonna open the drop down menu and select the magnetic lasso tool in. I'm gonna then take this tool click once to generate a starting point and then select the area that I want tohave this skin tone flat color. If you look closely, you can see that as the mouse moves, there is a Siris of either lions or vector points that create the selection. And I'm just gonna keep going around the face until I reach the beginning point where I first clicked. Click again and that will select the entire area for me using the paint bucket tool. I'm gonna go ahead and fill in the selected area with this kind of peachy color that is not really accurate to my actual skin tone. But it's close enough and we'll adjust this later, you can see that there are a few places where the lasso tool didn't quite. Reacher didn't quite get my selection correct. But it's fairly easy to just either erase those parts or to take your pencil tool and apply color to those areas that were missed. Basically, I'm going to just repeat those steps until all of the colors are on. Now I'm creating a new layer with hair, selecting the hair with the lasso tool, applying color with a pencil tool in the places that I missed, using a brown that's close enough to my hair color and just filling in the places that the lasso tool wasn't able to reach. For smaller areas such as the eyeglasses, the iris and the lips instead of the lasso tool, I'm just gonna actually go ahead with the pencil tool and draw those in. I'm doing this just because these smaller areas require a little bit more precision. Lasso tool I find, is more successful for large areas that need color, and I'm just rearranging the layers so that they are all visible and this will make the next step easier. I have all of my flat colors down and each one is on a separate layer. And at this point, I'm going to go in and make adjustments to every single layer to make the colors a little bit more pleasing and a little bit more accurate to how I actually look. I'm gonna start off by adjusting the skin, because to me, the skin tone is the thing that is the most sort of glaringly wrong here. And to do this, I'm going Teoh, select the skin tone layer on the layers top, and once the skin tone layer is selected, I'm gonna go to the top bar where it says image, go down to where it says adjustments and select the hue saturation. I like doing it this way because knowing a little bit about color theory will help you determine how your color needs to change or be adjusted. So, for instance, this skin tone is much to read or orangey to reflect my actual skin tone, and it's probably also a bit too dark, so that lets me know that in the hue saturation tool, I have to add more cool tones to the skin and lightning as well. The hue saturation tool allows you to adjust the variables such as hue, lightness and saturation in a way that's really easy. The hair doesn't need quite as much adjustment as the skin tone just going to darken the hair. And then once you complete another layer, elect another and repeat the process over and over again. At any point, you can go back and make adjustments to any layer. If you need Teoh, the hair is a medium brown, and the glasses are kind of a burgundy color, which is accurate to how my hair and glasses are colored in real life. The problem, though, is that I am worried that these two colors might be too similar and make it lost within each other when scaled down to create some distinction between the glasses and the hair, I'm gonna go ahead and darken the hair a little bit and also lighten the eyeglasses. That way you can tell the two apart, so it's OK to take certain creative liberties as long as it will enhance the overall drawing. Finally, I'm going to adjust the necklace and the hearing, and with that we're done. If you wanted, you could actually stop right here. But I want to go ahead and add some shading and highlights, so we'll take a look at how to do that in the next video. I'll see you there. 6. Highlights and Shadows: in this video, we're gonna talk about adding shading and highlights. I've got ahead and created of older, specifically titled Shadows and Highlights, and I'm going to create a new layer and title. It highlights have chosen a basic white from my highlight color, but I reduced the opacity so I can layer the white and make the white more opaque in the places where there's more light. And I'm just gonna go ahead and roughly lay some white down on the places where I think there should be highlights, namely the high points of the face and the right shoulder. These whites are a bit too harsh, so to soften them, I'm going Teoh, go up to the top menu bar where it says filter, scroll down to blur and then hit Gaussian Blur. And this will soften the whites and make them a little bit more natural. So even after applying the Gaussian Blur, there's still a few places where I think the whites are still too harsh, and in that case I'm going to use my eraser tool, set it to a lower opacity and gently smooth out and erase any of the excess white that I think is too harsh. The reason why I'm doing this separately is because Hera reflects light differently than skin does. I feel like separating the process will help me achieve sort of a different look. So just is, before I'm gonna roughly lay down those whites and gently delete using the eraser tool any of the whites that I think are too harsh since I want the hair highlights to be stronger, I'm not going to apply a Gaussian blur, right? So that's it for the highlights. Let's now go to the shadows to shade in the skin. I'm going Teoh, go with a purple lee sort of red toned brown. I've created a new layer called shadows, which will hopefully complement the skin color, just like with the shadows. I'm going to go ahead and roughly lay in this brown color at a lower opacity so that I can build up the shadows in the places that I'd like. Once I've done that, I'm going to apply a Gaussian blur and then softly sort of erase the shadows that I find to be too harsh. Now that I've shaded the skin, I'm going to actually go and shade in the hair and the other shoulder with a black isn't gonna be solid black, though it will be reduced capacity just as before. So I can build up the color in places where I want the shadows to be darker. And this is because that brown color that I was using before to shade in the skin isn't quite dark enough to shave the hair or the shirt. So that's why I'm going with black. In this case. Now, using the political last will tool, I'm going to select some of the darker shadows. That way, the lighter shadows won't be affected before applying the Gaussian blur and justice before I'm going to softly erase the dark shadows that I think are too harsh. If you wanted, you could end here, Justus. You could end with the flat colors. But for this particular drawing, I did also add color holds, and I do have a video on that as well. So if you are interested in learning how to do color holds, then check out the next video. Thanks for watching 7. Backgrounds: so the last thing that we're going to do to complete our avatar image is to add a background. You could add a background earlier if you wanted to, but the reason I'm doing this last is because I wanted to make sure that I had my flat colors, highlights and shadows decided on before adding the right background color. Because I want my background color to complement the existing colors within this self portrait. Because I want to keep things simple, my background is going Teoh, just be a flat color. I want this to be a color that's bright that will pop but will also draw your eye towards the center of the image, which is to the drawing that I've done going to go to my Flat Colors folder since the background will be a flat color, create a new layer called background and place it all the way at the end. That way, this background layer won't go on top of any of my other flat colors or banks or anything like that. It will be in the back from there. I'm going to take a square shaped selection and using the I picker tool, I'm going to first try picking out a color that is already within the image. Using the I picker tool to taken existing color from an image is a great way to determine a background color, especially if you're stuck and you're not sure what will match or what will work. So you can see I'm trying out this pink from the lips, but I'm not really satisfied with it. So I'm going thio, try some other things. The softy yellow that I've picked up from the hearing is a little closer to what I'm looking for, but it's still somehow not quite doing it for me. So at this point, I'm going to open up the hue saturation window, and I'm going to repeat the same process that I did before, where I adjusted the sliders to fix my flat colors and make the more accurate and more pleasing to the eye. I like the brightness and the warmth from this yellow, but I want something a little bit stronger and at some point in this process, it occurs to me that I use orange ah lot in some of my art and also in some of my skill share brand ings, though I figure that a shade of orange might actually be the best solid color for my background. Orange will also complement the skin tones within the self portrait and also the blue tones in the shirt. And with that, that's the finished background now. I kept my background very simple, pretty much as simple as you can go. But if you want to do something a little extra, you do have some options that will still be easy to read from a small size. And give your profile picture a little, Um So, for instance, you can use Thebes Viant tool and create Grady ated background. And there's different ways that you can execute this with, say, a radio Grady int or a diagonal or ingredient coming from the top or bottom. You could also do some eye catching stripes. These are just a couple of quick, simple suggestions to keep in mind, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. What are some of the kinds of backgrounds that you like to see an avatar? Images. Let me know whenever you're ready. Let's head on over to the next video 8. Saving Your File: the current standard for a profile. Picture image and image dimensions are 2 50 by 2 50 with a maximum megabyte file size of 100. Although it's very possible that this could change in the futures and social media is changing constantly, profile pictures tend to be very small in size. You can save your image to a resolution of 72. You really don't need a high resolution profile picture. I just prefer to scan all of my drawings at High Rez that we have the option to save them to a low resolution later if need be so exhumed out of my document a little bit. And as you can see, the document that I've worked in still has remnants of two of the sketches that I've inked but ultimately rejected. So we're gonna create a new document by cropping these two images out and leaving just this image in. So I'm gonna take my crop tool input the desired with and height, and it will automatically re size it 2 to 50 by 2 50 hit, enter and there you go. Now I have a 2 50 by 2 50 image. That is gonna be the right dimensions. I still want to save my original image because the resolution will be higher. You never want to take an image that is, to 50 by 2 50 let's say and try to scale it up to 500 by 500 you're going to really degrade the quality and have kind of just a blurry image that's not going to look good. I'm going, Teoh, save this new image that I've just cropped and created under a different name. And that way this file name will be the file that I go to to access the original document. So I'm gonna go to file, save as and right within the file name. I'm going to add the dimensions of this particular document. If, in the future I want Teoh access my profile picture, that is, to 50 by 2 50 instead of my original document. This is gonna save me a lot of time because I will know which one I need. Just by looking at the file name, I'm gonna hit save, but we're not going to stop there because my profile picture features a more blended, radiated coloring style. Most the time you'll find at J. Peg files work best. However, if you don't have any shading or highlights or any great vacation in your work, you might find that the PNG file type will work better for you. I think it's helpful to create both A J Peg and PNG file because you can't really predict how your profile picture is going to look on a particular social media platform until after it's uploaded Your profile. Picture my it look better as a J peg on Facebook and then on Twitter. It could look better as a PNG, so that's typically my saving process. When I am creating a profile picture, however, some folks like to go to the same for Web and devices Tab. Instead, it will give you more options for different J pegs and PNG's. It'll allow you to select a different range of quality from low to maximum, and you can even resize your document here if you need Teoh. If you don't have Photoshopped, don't worry. There's tons of other programs that you can use to crop and save your document to different file types and dimensions. I like using preview on the Mac, but there's a ton of other programs out there. So just use what you have or which are most comfortable with. A quick Google search will help you if you're not sure. Now that you have saved your document, you are ready to upload your new profile picture on to all of your social media accounts. Whenever you're ready, why don't we head on over to the assignment video? 9. Assignment: for your assignment video. You will incorporate all of the things that we talked about throughout this class to make your own profile picture that you've drawn yourself so you'll start out by making a few rough sketches. From there, you will select the sketch that you think has the most potential or, you think reflects your online presence. The best. You'll refine your sketch I think you're drawing, and then finally complete it with coloring, whether you choose to do that digitally or using traditional tools. And I also have a video demonstrating how to color with traditional tools. If that is the method that you prefer to use, a couple of things that you might want to keep in mind while you're working on you're drawing is 21 work large. That way, it will be easier for you to scale down to fit any avatar profile picture size and also try to keep things relatively simple because your profile picture is going to be displayed at a small size. This means that intricate details are very delicate. Patterns are not going to be visible, so it's a good idea to simplify wherever you can, and also it's a good idea to save your profile. Picture specifically, four images that will be displayed on a monitor rather than images that will be in print since saving the document this way will allow your picture to have the best possible settings and resolution and what not? Don't forget to also experiment with different poses, different facial expressions and also keep in mind different color screens that you might want to use. And while I recommend keeping things relatively simple, it's totally okay to do a few different versions of each face of each color scheme and even to experiment with different clothing or jewelry or makeup options. If you'd like to do that, keep in mind that your profile picture is one of the first, if not the first thing that someone sees when they visit your social media account. So it's a good idea to make sure that the aesthetics of your profile picture reflect who you are as a person and how you would like to be perceived by others. Remember that if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and let me know, since I'm here to help and best of luck with your drawings 10. Closing Thoughts: Hello again. Welcome to your conclusion video, and I just want to say congratulations for making it to the end of this class. I really appreciate you taking the time to take this class. I look forward to hearing about any feedback you might have or answering any questions that you have. Please do reach out if you have any concerns or just want to make any comments. I love that scene. What people have to say. Here's a couple of quick closing thoughts before I let you go. Remember that you want Teoh. Make your profile picture of reflection of how you want to be seen on social media. Do your best to keep things relatively simple and work large. That way, when you scale down the image, it will be clear for the viewer. It's good to give yourself options, so be sure to try out different expressions and poses and sketch at least two or three different faces that you want to do for your profile picture. And lastly, don't forget to have fun. Just enjoy the process of making your profile picture and personalizing it to you and your tastes. The more you enjoy the drawing process. The more it will show in the drawing itself, does it? Look with all of your drawings and your creative journey and general And I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. Thanks again. Bye. 11. BONUS VIDEO: Coloring with Traditional Tools: If you're gonna color in your profile picture with traditional art making tools, I would recommend tools that will allow you to place color evenly. It's important that your colors will display evenly, because when you scale your picture down, too much texture could be confusing to the I. So a couple of examples of art making tools that don't apply color evenly that would not be feel for scaling down would be, say, crayons or using watercolor paints with a highly textured watercolor paper. Other options that might work, though, is watercolors with a smooth paper colored pencils and markers, which is what I will be using for this video. I'm beginning with the skin tone. So as I've discussed in previous videos, it helps to not only draw big, but also use coloring tools that will allow you to color in large spaces smoothly. Also, keep in mind that unless you're using wash paint generally, a good rule of thumb is to begin with a color lighter than what you think you'll need, because afterwards you can build the color up to become darker now that I have the base skin tone down and I have given it a little bit of time to dry. I'm gonna go back in with the same marker and create some shadows just enough to add a little bit more dimension and depth to the drawing. Now that I had the skin tone down, the lips are looking a little flat to me. So I'm going to take a moment to color those in. Since the lip color almost has more of a mob or purplish sort of undertone to it, I decided to go with yellow for the stars, since that's a contrast in color that will pop nicely against the purple undertones before filling in the hair. I wanted to actually go in and fill in the background. And since orange is the color that I use in a lot of my art and on a lot of my social media , I thought it would be the best color for a background. There's a few spaces, particularly around the base of the neck and around the stars, where the marker is kind of streaking and looking a bit uneven, which we don't want. So because of that, I'm going to go ahead and apply another layer of orange to smooth this out, and you can even go ahead and use a blending tool to disperse the ink a little bit more evenly onto the paper because I don't want to go too crazy with a variety of different colors. I'm going to actually match the color of the iris with the shirt color. And this is the color that I think also complements the orange and the yellow. No, I'm going Teoh. Go ahead and fill in the jewelry with a sort of muted gold color. And I've left a few white spots to end of left. A few white spots to suggest a highlight or places where the light might be hitting the jewelry. Finally, I'm going to go in and color the hair. I picked a warm brown that I think complements the background and starting with the root of the hair where the hair should be at its darkest, I'm gently spreading the color downward. I'm also going ahead and adding an extra layer of brown to the places that I want to imply shadow or darker hair color or darker hair tones. Unfortunately, this is the point where my camera cut out and I lost a little bit of footage, however, we were reaching the end anyway. The only thing that really is not captured on film is the process of me putting down white gel pen to increase the highlights in certain areas. And doing this helps add an extra little bit of contrast to the drawing. And so the places that I added highlights were the clavicle, the right side of the stars, the hair, certain high points of the face and a small dot on the eyes. And doing this, I think, adds a little bit more life to the drawing as well. Do you prefer coloring traditionally or with digital tools? Let me know. I'd love to hear what you think.