Inky Illustrations: Combining Analogue and Digital Media | Tom Froese | Skillshare

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Inky Illustrations: Combining Analogue and Digital Media

teacher avatar Tom Froese, Illustrator and Designer

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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.

      The Project


    • 3.

      Required Skills and Equipment


    • 4.

      Good to Know


    • 5.

      Lesson 1: List Five Objects to Illustrate


    • 6.

      Lesson 2: Sketch Your Postcard


    • 7.

      Lesson 3: Choose Your Colors


    • 8.

      Lesson 4: Start the Base Illustration in Photoshop


    • 9.

      Lesson 5: Make Ink Marks and Textures


    • 10.

      Lesson 6: Bring Ink into Photoshop


    • 11.

      Lesson 6: Bring Ink into Photoshop

    • 12.

      Lesson 7: Complete the Illustration


    • 13.

      Recap and Concluding Remarks


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About This Class

Only real, physical media gives us those imperfections we love so much — bleeding ink, wobbly lines, grainy textures, etc. — but how to bring them into our digital illustrations? If you've ever wanted to have a more hand-crafted, personal illustration style, this class will be perfect for you. Illustrator Tom Froese is known for his whimsical, energetic illustrations that combine digital techniqiues with physical textures, linework and hand lettering. Join him as he shows you, step by step, how to illustrate a postcard featuring your favourite tools of the trade — those things you love to use every day to get your job or hobby done. Along the way, you’ll pick up some very handy skills in sampling physical marks and textures digitally using a scanner and Photoshop, and of course, have an insider’s look at his personal process. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Tom Froese

Illustrator and Designer

Top Teacher

Tom Froese is an award winning illustrator, teacher, and speaker. He loves making images that make people happy. In his work, you will experience a flurry of joyful colours, spontaneous textures, and quirky shapes. Freelancing since 2013, Tom has worked for brands and businesses all over the world. Esteemed clients include Yahoo!, Airbnb, GQ France, and Abrams Publishing. His creative and diverse body of work includes maps, murals, picture books, packaging, editorial, and advertising. Tom graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design with a B.Des (honours) in 2009.

As a teacher, Tom loves to inspire fellow creatives to become better at what they do. He is dedicated to the Skillshare community, where he has taught tens of thousands of students his unique approache... See full profile

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1. Hello: Hi, I'm Tom Froese. I'm an illustrator and designer in Yarrow, British Columbia. This class is called Inky Illustrations: Combining Analogue and Digital Media. In this class, I'll show you how I combine the two worlds of physical and digital to create soulful, whimsical, iconic illustrations that have a very tactile quality to them, even though they're composed mostly on the computer. With a focus on creating simple illustrations of everyday objects, this class is for illustrators and designers of all levels who aspire to gain a more personal handmade feeling in their illustrations. While computers are great for giving us control over every aspect of illustration, they're not so great at reproducing the kind of imperfections we love about physical media like bleeding ink, random wobbly lines, grainy textures, that thing. Of course, too many imperfections, an illustration is going to start looking messy and unintentional. In my work, I like to straddle the line between the fine control of digital media and the randomness of physical media. The result is a style that's both highly personal and whimsical, but which carries an iconic, timeless look in both printed and digital environments. One of my favorite projects is this Tools of the Trade Postcard that I created to promote myself as an illustrator. I call it Tools of the Trade because it features some of the things I use every day. It's basically me geeking out about my art supplies. In this Skillshare class, you get to geek out and make your own Tools of the Trade Postcard to promote your business or to represent your hobby. I'll walk you through the entire process from brainstorming to final artwork. Along the way, you'll pick up some very handy skills in sampling physical marks and textures digitally, and of course, have an insider's look at my personal process. Are you so excited? Great. So am I. Let's do this. 2. The Project: For this classes assignment, you get to make your own tools of the trade postcard to represent your business or your hobby. I will walk you through the entire assignment, starting from brainstorming right through to final art. Along the way, we'll be doing some sketches, laying down the preliminary design in Photoshop, we'll be making our physical marks on paper with ink, and we'll take that all in Photoshop again, put it all together, and we'll make some awesome illustrations. The deliverable for this project will be to end up with a digital version of your tools of the trade postcard. During the course of this class, you will be asked to share your process along the way, including some preliminary sketches, some work in progress on your actual illustration, and then of course, you want to share your final project so everyone can see it, can like it, can give you feedback on it, and that personally, I can't wait to see what you guys do. This is a great project, especially because that really helps you learn about yourself. It makes you take an inside look at some of the things that actually help you every day. This project, I'd say is between beginner and intermediate in terms of its difficulty. I don't think it's that hard, and especially if you follow along the lessons, it will be very easy. Some very basic steps. This project could take you as little as the time it takes to go through these lessons, all the way up to a day or more. It really depends on who you are, how you like to work, whether you like to mull over your options, whether you like to spend a lot of time in the preliminary stages, but I'd say if you're fast you could do this in maybe an hour. If you're not so fast, it could take as long as you want. I wouldn't recommend taking too long though, because then of course, you start to overwork and overthink things and you lose that spontaneity and ultimately, you'll be unsatisfied with your work. 3. Required Skills and Equipment: In this lesson, I'm going to show you everything you need to get started. I'm going to talk about the technology that you need, the art supplies that you need, and of course, any other things that would be nice to help along the way. On the technology side, you're going to need a scanner capable of scanning at [inaudible] dpi, and a computer, whether that's a PC or a Mac, it doesn't matter, with Photoshop installed. In order to complete this class and the project, you're going to need basic Photoshop skills. That includes most people. You'll need to have familiarity using the Pen Tool though. The Pen Tool in Photoshop is a lot like using the paths tool in Illustrator. If you use Illustrator a lot, I think you'll be fine in this class. But if you need a primer on how to use Photoshop's Pen Tool, and some other basics, there are some pretty good Skillshare classes available to that end. I highly recommend you go and brush up on your Photoshop skills and then come back and then you'll be able to enjoy this class a whole lot more. In terms of art supplies, you're going to need just some basic art supplies. You don't need anything fancy. You can see I have a whole bunch of stuff here. I've been doing this awhile, so I collect a lot of junk and it just stays there. But really, you just need a sketchbook with white paper or even Xerox paper would do. I do a lot of my sketching just on clean Xerox paper and even some of my inking and brush work I do on Xerox paper if I want a smooth surface. The only reason I use a sketchbook paper is that it tends to have a little bit more texture that I can pick up with the scanner. If I want that extra warm, fair texture that it gives then it has that, but otherwise, that's it for paper. I recommend having a nib pen. This is a speed ball nib holder, and then this is the nib that I'm using. It's a 512 B-styled nib. I liked this one because it has a nice fine point, but not too fine that it starts to get caught on the texture of the page. If you get some of the nibs that are too pointy then it gets caught on every little fiber on the page, and I don't all like that. I also like to use round watercolor or acrylic paint brushes. I don't buy the super fancy ones. Just a pretty basic, as long as it's round. I use any size between a 0 and a 1 or a 2, which gives me enough of a fine point to do little or small detail work, and a broad side to do some of my lettering or other broad strokes. Of course, you're going to need a pencil. I use whatever pencil is in front of me. I just happened to pick up a 4H. A 4H has a harder lead. That's going to be great for sketching because it's light, you don't have to feel like you've committed so much, you can go over your lines more. Really it doesn't matter what kind of pencil you use. Of course, have an eraser near by, you will be doing some undo. This is my physical undo tool here. Those are the basics. But I'm forgetting one very important thing, ink. This all happens because of ink. Now why do I use ink instead of acrylic paint or gouache, for instance? You could use those. But ink works for me. It flows nicely or works very nicely with mended pen. I couldn't use mended with gouache or acrylic paint. In terms of why is it black or not a color? Well, ultimately, we do everything in black when we make our physical marks and textures. Then we scan them in and we add the color and edit the colors in Photoshop. Black is of course, the most saturated of all tones. It gets the darkest and that gives us the most crisp and strong marks. That's what you really want when you're working in the techniques that I'm going to show you. 4. Good to Know: Now, before we really get started, one very important character of the kind of illustrations that we're creating here is that there's a bit of spontaneity to them because of the physical nature of some of the marks we're going to be making. So be experimental and look for ways for the unexpected or the things you didn't mean to do, or the things you couldn't control. See how you can exploit those. This is a chance for something very unique about you to come out into your illustration work, so as you're sketching everything that comes out of your hand, whether it's your sketches, whether it's the physical marks that you're going to be making with the ink, those are your signature. What comes out of your hand is your signature, and will be your signature style. Another really important aspect of this technique that I'm teaching you is that, it combines the fine control of digital with the spontaneity of physical, so you have a lot of marks that you make or your sketches are rough, and so that's where we start, but then we bring it into Photoshop, and Photoshop gives us a lot of control on how we let those become incorporated into our illustration, and that's where the contrast and the excitement and the dynamism, the energy, comes into the illustration. Illustrations should always tell a story or reveal something very personal about you or both. So when you're thinking about what objects to include in your illustration, and how you're going to depict them, and how you are going to arrange them and all that, think in terms of how they'll tell a story. It's almost like a stylist for a catalog photo shoot. They might set up a living room and then, put a throw on the couch just so, and some pillows just so, and some books on the table and all that builds up to tell a story, about what might have happened or is happening in that living room, and similarly, when we're illustrating our postcards, putting our favorite objects on there, we're not just picking, like, I like the pen and I like the pencil, we're arranging them in a way that they may tell a little bit of a story. So just think in terms of that, and it will help make your final piece a lot more interesting. 5. Lesson 1: List Five Objects to Illustrate: It's now time to start the project. Now, the project is to create a postcard with five of your favorite go-to tools of the trade, or five objects that represent your hobby. So first, we want to list what these objects are. You might have five in your head right away but if you're like me, you want to think about all the possible options and think about all the possibilities. What five objects are going to look the coolest in your print and maybe what combination of objects will tell the most interesting story? So let's do that. For this demonstration, I'm going to do a tools of the trade postcard for a serial killer. I figured I should do something spooky since Halloween is just around the corner. So to kick-start my brainstorming process, I'm going to just start an Internet search. If you're like me, you may find it hard to narrow down your options. So what I like to do is create some constraints. When you're making your list, be sure not to just think about the direct tools, but you might want to add one little thing in your five objects that helps tell the story a little bit more. For my serial killer, I think I'd like to have something that's not a weapon or a sharp object, but something that just adds a little bit more mystery to the story. In my case, I'm thinking, what kind of books would a serial killer read and how could that add to the creepiness or the story that I'm telling? At this stage, I sometimes like to start sketching my candidate objects just to get a sense of them visually. I find that if I draw something, it commits to my memory and then I can draw it from memory later on. Of course, these sketches are just for brainstorming, although you may like them enough to use them in your final sketches, you can take as little or long as you like on this step. For some people, it will be done in five minutes, and other people might want to take an hour or even two just to get lost in the whole world of whatever it is you'll be depicting. Of course, don't make your job too difficult by giving yourself too many options. Eventually you just have to pick five objects. You can take as little or as much time for this step as you like. I find that too little time, you might just come up with something obvious. Too much time spent and you'll get lost in your research and you'll also have way too many options to narrow down. So give yourself enough time to get excited and interested in your subject and then ultimately, you really want to just narrow it down to your five or so objects. So think about which objects are going to tell the most interesting story. Not just what looks great, but also how can you tell a more conceptual story. Of course, this is optional. If you just want to make pretty objects, that's totally fine and totally legit. When you're satisfied with your research, you can then move on to the sketching stage. I'll see you there. 6. Lesson 2: Sketch Your Postcard: This is a completely optional step, but this is something I like to do just to make sure I'm sketching in the right proportions. I mean in design here, if you're more comfortable in Illustrator, you could use Illustrator. I'm basically going to make a thumbnail template that I'll print and do my sketching in. Here, I'm going to make a rectangle, with the rectangle tool and make it the width and height of my final print dimensions, 4.25 inches by 6.25 inches. It okay, and just make sure that there's a nice line around that. Now with thumbnails, you don't need to make it the full size of your final print dimensions. It does happen though that my final print dimension is 4 by 6 will allow me to fit two at a 100 percent on a letter sized page. I'm just going to fit two of those here and center them on the page so they print and print a few copies of them. I like to do a lot of different schedules, so I might print five copies of this pretend plausible sketches, print and away I go. Now I'm sketching my arrangement as it will appear in my final postcard. I probably do 4, 5 or 6 sketches, maybe even 10, before I land on an arrangement that I'm happy with. What I'm thinking about here is how did the objects work together as a set, and what aspects of each object do I want to include. For instance, now maybe I want a noose hanging down here. The detail that makes a noose, a noose, is that little knot bunch thing up here, and a little piece of rope that comes out there, and of course, the twist of the rope itself, gives it that rope look. I'm thinking about what will be drawn in Photoshop and my base illustration, which is basically the outline of this. I'll get into that when we actually start doing the artwork in Photoshop. Then there's the lines like this, these details I'll end up doing in ink, and then scanning it into Photoshop later. One thing that I always look for in my reference images when creating the sketch, are timeless things. I prefer objects that look a little bit more classic. There's a lot of crap in my opinion on newly manufactured objects, lots of plastic, and there's like form for the sake of form, lots of different curves, and personally, I don't think that's as interesting as older objects which seem to have more of a purity to them. Some functional and pragmatic look to them, and because it's classic, it's iconic, everyone can relate. It's a very simple frame of the saw, and then the blade, and then adding that old tiny handle is going to just make it look all the more like an old saw. For the Bible, what makes it a Gideon Bible, for instance. How will people know that it's not some other book? Obviously in the titling, and then Gideon Bibles tend to have a little lamp or something. I'll figure that out when I started doing the ink. A lot of the time, instead of writing anything, I'll just replace writing with squiggles and it brings attention to the overall object rather than exactly what's on it. Especially with this one, I want to be careful. I'm not making a thing about a Bible and perhaps in this sketch, this is too much in the center. Now, one interesting thing we could do, we didn't want to show the entire shovel, is perhaps, just do the blade. It's a bit too narrow. That may be all we need to get that sense, but I want the longer handle. Yeah, I'm going to abandon this sketch. I'll actually, I'll complete it, but I'll just add my cleaver here. Sometimes you go back to a sketch you didn't think was going to work, and you think that actually looks pretty good and I'm going to use that. We'll see, we will keep that for later. I am missing my sharpening skill. I'll try it again. Perhaps it's just like spots of dirt around the shovel. There'll be blood smears on the saw, on the blade here. You can see from a first sketch actually, that here I actually wasn't looking at my reference images very carefully, and things look pretty naive. Then once I went online, I actually realized like the proportions of things a little more like what the actual objects have, and that's a choice. I may want to make it look more cartoony and super quirky, and lexical or just a little bit quirky and lexical and just have these. If I didn't look at the images, for instance, I wouldn't know that the cleaver had a handle that shaped like this, and these three dots here, and this hole in the actual blade. I think I've scanned enough. I have some elements. I have a rope that's wound up on the ground. I have a rope [inaudible]. Here I have another rope on the ground. I have Bibles in various positions, with the various configurations. At this point, I can just scan, copy, and paste, and move around in Photoshop if I want. 7. Lesson 3: Choose Your Colors: So before we get into creating our base illustration in Photoshop, I'd just like to give you a few pointers on choosing a color. Now, we are going to be using just two colors, black plus a color of your choice and the reason for this is that, well, first of all, I choose black as the fixed color, a color that's not optional because it's really appropriate for a lot of the details and traditionally, the kind of illustration that I'm inspired by from the sixties and the fifties, the black would usually be used to define some of the contours. There would always be like one or two colors plus black and I just think that helps make these look more traditional in that sense. Using black, make sure that you don't use it all the way to 100 percent. It's going to be more of a 90 percent black and the nice thing about that is that when it's multiplied over another color, it creates kind of a bonus color, a richer more colored, a tinted black and I think that's always a nice effect and of course, when you later press something and you actually print a color over top another, when you actually overprint like an orange over black, then you get that richer third bonus color as I'm calling it. So I just like that simplicity and of course, having fewer colors means you're going to have less trouble creating an overall unity in your illustration and that's the beauty of a limited color palette. Now, I chose, of course, for this postcard an orange, almost a warm red. I usually like bright vivid, bold warm colors, but just make sure that the color is, it contrasts well against the black. I wouldn't recommend for instance, like a navy blue or a deep purple because it's going to be hard to see the black against that. So I would choose something, it can be pastel, it can be light, it can be just bold and out there, or it can be very subtle, but as long as there's contrast and as long as the ink is the bright color or the color that's not black that you end up choosing, as long as that stands out against white, then you're good to go. 8. Lesson 4: Start the Base Illustration in Photoshop: So we have listed our five objects and we've sketched them out. We've chosen our sketch and we've scanned and shared that with the class. Now, we are ready to start taking this into Photoshop and making this an illustration. If you haven't already, scan in your sketch at a 150 DPI. So now you've posted your sketch, received some feedback and chosen one direction to illustrate. It's time now to bring your sketch into Photoshop and lay down your base illustration. The base illustration is the part you make in Photoshop and basically comprises solid shapes of color based on the shapes of your objects in your sketch. To start, in Photoshop, create a new file that is 6.25 inches by 4.25 inches wide. I like to make my files 600 DPI. For print you only need 300 DPI, but setting it to 600 just gives you room to work in the event that you want to use this for something larger. Now, if your composition will bleed off the edges, like in mine the way the shovel or the news goes off the edge, you probably want to add an extra eighth of an inch all around for a bleed, and here's how I do this. First, I just make sure that snap is enabled, and then I bring in my rules to the very edges of my Canvas, and that will give me my artwork area. Then I hit option Command C to get Canvas size. You could also just go Image, Canvas size here and make it relative, and we're going to again set it in inches. We are going to do it from the center, the anchor will be in the center of our Canvas. We just want to add a quarter of an inch to both the width and the height, and then that will add a 0.125 inch bleed all around. You probably scanned your sketch already when you shared them with the class. But if you haven't already, it's now time to bring it to Photoshop. So I'm using a Canon scanner and using the image capture program that actually comes with Mac OS. So because this is not artwork where we're just scanning in the sketches, we can just scan at a lower resolution to so it's quick and saves room on your hard drive. This is something that is good to know. It's not crucial, but it does help to have image correction turned off. So if your scanner software has the ability to automatically correct and adjust contrast and exposure and stuff like that, turn that off because you want to be in control of what information in your file to keep or not keep. I'm going to turn off image correction and now I'm just going to preview my sketch and see which one I want to scan in, and this is the one I picked. So just bring that in, open it up in Photoshop, and then you can copy that and paste it into your Canvas. Now, you can see that it's a lot smaller than your Canvas size that because we scanned it at such a small size, at a low resolution I should say. But it doesn't matter because just the guide under your sketch, we're just going to set that to the trim size of your document and we're going to be using this as a reference. We probably don't want it so dark that it's distracting. So what I like to do first of all, is go to Image, Adjustments and Levels, and then use these sliders to make the background of the page texture to go away a little bit. So if I slide on that right slider, makes that page texture go away. Then of course maybe I want some of that definition of the pencil marks to come back. I'll give you more on levels in my next part of this lesson, but we can just go Okay. Now, here's your sketch, we want to be tracing these in Photoshop. So what I like to do is make the opacity a little less. That's probably enough for me. Then make it multiply and then I lock the layer. You can also rename your layer, so you keep track of it. All the artwork that I'm going to be building in this file, all the layers are going to happen under my sketch. I now have my sketch placed precisely on the Canvas. I can now start layering down what I call the base illustration, which involves tracing my sketch with the pen tool and creating solid shapes using fillers. Sometimes to start, I like to try illustrating just one key object just to get a feeling for the illustration and for some motivating immediate gratification. Just choose any one of your objects, whichever you want. I've chosen work my shovel, which I think will have some really interesting depths to it. First, I'll use my pen tool to trace the outline of the shovel. Notice how I'm just following the trajectory of my shovel shape, but I'm not getting into all the little details. Be sure to close your path when you get back to the first point you made. Notice how I'm following my imperfect sketch, but also smoothing certain sections out. My goal is to maintain the sort proportions of my raw sketch, but make it look like I meant it. I want to avoid any weird facets that look accidental. With your shape path selected, go to your layers palette and create a new solid fill layer to fill your path with a color. Now we'll do the same for the handle of the shovel. Now one thing I must say is that Photoshop handles paths in a very strange and somewhat mysterious way. Unlike Illustrator, which lets you continue making new, fully distinct shape after closing the previous path, Photoshop may or may not. It depends. I find that I need to keep my paths panel open and each time I close one shape path to start a new one, I need to click the path's panels somewhere outside of any of the path layers. In this lesson, we started a new shape without too much trouble. So I'm creating a new layer which will be my shape, my layer for the handle. I'm going back to the pen tool. I just want to make sure that no path is selected and then create a new one. I'm going bleed this right outside into my bleed area here, and then I'm going to fill it with a new solid color. Now, I obviously only have two colors, so this one's going to be black. Once I start getting the physical textures in here, I intend for there to be a wood grain. What might end up happening is, is this black handle will actually only have the wood grain to define the shape, and then it won't be such a heavy black there. Maybe before I do anymore, I'll just make sure that I name my layers. I'll call this shovel and shovel handle. Then I just group those together either by hitting the folder or Command+G, I should say. I'll call that shovel. Now I'm going to make a new layer and I'm going to start on my saw. Again, I'm following the trajectory of my sketch without being overly influenced by the wonkiness of it. I actually want this to look a little bit more intentional and crisp, and of course, I can always go back and make that look more refined if I need to. I just want to even out the look a bit in a solid color. Now you'll see I just made my shape, filled it with a color, and then I went back to work on it. Suddenly, I have this path that isn't working. This is what I was talking about. Photoshop does these weird things. For whatever reason, it defaults back to working with the working path rather than the shape path of the current object. What I need to do is just click out and click back into the shape and the paths' panel, and then I'm back in the game. I'll also want to do the handle here. New layer, going back to my pen tool. I'm going to do my handle. This is actually a good shape to be showing you because it has some negative space to work with. Here I have a handle shape, but I also have an inside hole. I just draw that hole in there just as is. Now, of course, when you fill it in with a solid color, that hole doesn't actually become a hole yet. Also I want this handle to be black. But this is where we use the path selection tool here and select just the part of the path that we want to turn into a hole. Then up here in the toolbar, we have the little tool that helps us subtract from the shape below it. Again, this is Photoshop being silly. The word path was selected, I needed to click the color shape path instead. Select the path that you want to be the cut-out shape and then subtract from the front shape. There you go. I'm not really sure I like the shape. I may go back later and edit it, to make it a bit more refined. But one thing that I'm finding here is that I can't see some of the details that I would want to trace over because this black is too black. Sometimes what I do is I just make the black, not so black until later. Then that lets me see beneath it. I wanted to have basically some of those circles here. This is where I'm going to turn snap off. Now, one thing I actually don't want to have is three identical circles because it's a telltale sign that I've cut and pasted. I'm going to just make each one just a little bit different, and of course, my saw blade. Now that saw blade should have sort serrated edge to it. I'm going to try this, and you know this is going take a long time. What I sometimes do is cheat a little bit, I'm going to just make one little shape out of that and repeat it. Here I'm using the path selection tool. You can press A to activate it and that just helps me select the paths. Then to copy it, I'm pressing Option and dragging with the mouse. The paths tool in Photoshop is just a mystery to me. Sometimes it works a way you think it'll work and sometimes it doesn't. That's something I've just learned to tolerate. One of the good things about cut and paste here, I've made a small unit, these three teeth, and then I get to cut and paste. There's a level of uniformity by repeating those three. Then also a level of quirkiness, just in the fact that each one of those is imperfect and asymmetrical. Here is part of my base illustration that has two of my objects down. I can just turn off my sketch layer to see how they'll look. I think that's going to look pretty rad. I love how the black and orange are working. To recap. In this lesson, we created our new Photoshop document. We pasted our scanned sketch into our document, and we created a path-based illustration of one of our objects. I showed you how to trace your sketch using the pen tool and then create layers of solid colors out of these shapes. Now let's get our hands inky. 9. Lesson 5: Make Ink Marks and Textures: In this lesson, I'll show you how to start making ink marks on physical media that you can then scan and bring into your Photoshop, add to your base illustration and that's where your artwork is really going to come alive. We have our sketch that we've scanned in and it's in Photoshop. As you remember, put a base illustration using vector or path shapes and those solid colors now exist in our Photoshop document. We made the shovel in my example, and I'm going to show you how I'm going to make some marks for the shovel and I'm going to add some of the texture of the rusty blade of the shovel and maybe some dirt. Then I'm going to move on to add some of the wood grain of the handle. I'm excited. This is where I'm going to show you where I get my hands dirty. You're going to want to have your water on hand, some pen, stir thing and some brushes. I'm going to just start with the wood grain and I'll also need to get my ink out, that'll be important. It's also good I find to have something just you dip your Ink in here. It's going to be super full and saturated with ink, makes drips like that. You want to avoid messes like that. I like to have just a scrap sheet of paper on hand where I can just let some of that extra Ink run off a bit. Referencing my illustration, I just start to make a wood grain. Now, these details where you're just, I'm just swinging. I'm not actually referencing wood grain. This is just coming out of my head and there're some things you want to reference photos for and then other things that you're perfectly confident to just wing it, do whatever is in your head, improvise. By doing that, it becomes definitely more unique and personal to you. Another thing you want to be mindful of is to make your artwork bigger than you expect it to be in your final artwork. Make your physical media, line work, your squiggles, etc bigger so that you can scale it down in your artwork file and that will give it a crisper look like if I just made my wood grain this big it might work, but I'm going to expand this larger and that's going to end up looking more like a fat line like that. I don't want super fat lines in the wood grain. That'll just take too much, you'll just draw too much attention to that feature and I just want it to be subtle. You can see that I just drew a line. I had too much ink on my pen here and it made this blot here. The thing you want to do with that is just blot it out with some paper towel so you don't accidentally smudge it and get it all over the place. Just remember, the more choices you give yourself at this stage, the more decisions you need to make later on, which is not always a good thing. Then of course we have the actual rusty blade of the shovel. That's going to be something more smudgy. I might even just take some of that ink there and that might just do the trick. I might also use a dry brush effect. Just get a little bit ink on there, get the excess off and this will be some dirt spots. Maybe even try doing some speckles. Not sure if that worked, there. Here I'm getting a little bit messy. But this is where some of the spontaneity in energy come. Don't try and predict everything. Maybe some of this will work, some of it won't. But there's a good chance that some of this is going to be really useful material. I now have one sketch paper sheet with some of the marks that I made for my shovel there. I've done my shovel. I now need to do the physical marks for the rest of my illustration. I'm going to start with the [inaudible]. Then I know I'm going to need some straight lines for the rope and possibly for other parts of the illustration. What I like to do is just make some straight lines that I can sample them later. I'm not using a ruler because if I used a ruler they'd be really straight and perfect, which sometimes I want, but I don't think I want it in this. Now for the rope texture. Sometimes what I do is I'll just get a light pencil mark here so I can have a guide. Another thing I'll need is the scroll for the spine of the back. Some circles for the ring at the top of the sharpening blade here. I make my circles wonky. Everything's wonky with me. Depending on your style and your preference, your lines are going to have your quality to them. I'm certainly not trying to teach you to duplicate what I do, which would be fine but you have something unique to share and offer to the world. I encourage you to try and embrace your own personal approach of what we're doing here. Now I need my brush strokes for the vertical line textures of the knife sharpener. Those might do, as might those. I don't think I need to do much else with that. Working in the style is very forgiving, almost anything you give it you can turn it into something. Sometimes you just make a bunch of stuff and you know that something is going to work. Try not to overthink it. That's always my big challenge. I should have used my little thing here. Just got some ink here that I can play around with. Fingerprints. There's going to be bloody fingerprints on some of these things maybe these will actually factor in on the handles. If I really want to be literal about having blood maybe on the handle of that saw then why not just mess up my hands, get some hand prints on there. Might just be the trick I need. 10. Lesson 6: Bring Ink into Photoshop: So we've made the physical marks on paper, we've got our hands dirty, and now it's time to marry the two worlds of physical media and digital media. We're going to scan in our textures, we're going to clean them up, and then we're going to get them into our document and just see how they interact with our shapes. This is as experimental step as the making the marks themselves, because now it's discovering how those marks interact with our shapes, and how best to use them for a given part of the illustration. For this scan, we're going to increase the resolution to 600 DPI. Again, we want to have the maximum possible resolution to work with just in case we need it. So we're going to scan that, and here it is. Zoom right in there at 100 percent. You can just see how having nice high resolution scan gives you lots of information to work with. What we want to do is remove some of the paper texture, so that we have up pure black line and a pure white background. So what I like to do is go to the Levels Adjustment Tool. You can press Command L, if you want, and use these sliders to make the whites whiter and the blacks blacker. By holding down option, while you move that slider, you get a much clearer picture of those levels adjusting. Here is no adjustment, and you can see that even the white background is black. But as I slide that, it gets whiter and whiter. I want to basically stop sliding at one site, have a mostly white background and all that noise is gone. Any further, then I'm going to lose too much detail in my actual lines. So now I'm going to bring up the darkness of the darkest parts. Basically you want to stop once you have a satisfactory level of black in your lines. I am holding option, while I'm sliding this. You really want to pay attention to more subtle things, like in the smudge here. If I take too much white and bring in too much black, I'm going to lose some of those subtleties. Sometimes it's nice just to have a little bit more subtlety like that, then hit "Okay". Now the first thing I'm going to try is the wood grain in my handle. This feels like the most promising one here. I'm going to mask out a sheet just around there, so I can cut it out. I use the path tool sometimes to do this, so I've just made a path using the pen tool. I'm going to hit "Command'' and "Enter". That turns that path into a selection. Now I have this, I'm going to copy this, Command C. Now switch over to my artwork. Now I'm not going to paste the scanned bit directly as a layer here, I'm going to actually paste it as an Alpha channel. So with your channels panel open, create a new channel, which will then be called Alpha-one. Invert that Alpha channel by clicking Command I, or you can go image, adjustments, invert. So I want that white background because the background of the scan, that I just copied has a white background also, as you can see. Now, my scan is bigger than the canvas, or it's at least wider than the width of my canvas. I don't want to lose that portion that bleeds off the canvas, I want the whole thing. So what I'm going to do before I do anything else, I'm going to hit Command T, and that gives me the ability to transform this object. I don't need to do anything else to make it fit within my canvas. I have all the information there, so I'm going to commit that change by clicking the "Check-Mark" or hitting "Command Enter". Now de-select the object, and now you have your cleaned up object on a white background in your Alpha channel. Now, we're going to invert that Alpha channel again. The reason we want to do this, is because we're going to create a selection mask out of this Alpha channel. Holding the command key, click the Alpha channel that you just created, and that will load a selection mask out of the image on that Alpha channel. Anything white will be selected and anything black will be outside of that selection area. Now, it's time to create a fill layer. In your Layers panel, create a new layer, and then create a new solid color fill layer. That fills in your selection with the exact image that you copied from your scan. Now, I want this to be black and I'm going to make it go all the way black there, hit "Okay", and there we go. The next thing I want to do is create a Smart Object out of this layer. The reason being, as I'm going to make this go up and down in size as I work with it, and I don't want to lose any information. If I were to take this now and make it smaller, and then change my mind and make it bigger again, it's going to get very pixelated and lose a lot of quality. So this almost makes it like a vector, where I can scale it up and down without it losing any quality. So I'm going to just right-click on that layer, convert to Smart Object, and now I can just move this around, willy nilly, no worries about losing information. I'm now going to move this layer. Now you can see I'm having a bit of trouble selecting that. Sometimes I like to just turn off auto select, and that helps me just move things around, no matter where I click and drag, the layer is still active and lets me manipulate that layer. As you can see, we have this with green, but we also have a black handle, so it's not going to show up. This is where I'm going to experiment a little bit with some negative space and use a paper color. I'm also going to use the shape of this handle to contain my wood grain. The way I do this, is I go to the shovel handle layer here and I make sure that the path selection tool is active, and I select that shape and I copy it. I'm just going to turn off that layer for a second. I'm going to go back to my wood grain layer here, and then I'm going to paste that path that was the shape of the handle. I'm really satisfied with how that turned out. You can see that it just looks like a wooden handle and I think I lucked out here. I might make it just a little bit smaller, and how I'm going to do that, is I need to unlock the link between the shape vector mask and the smart object of the scanned line work. That just allows me to adjust only the line work, and not the shape around it. If I had this still locked, I would be adjusting everything together, and I wouldn't have that tidy mask exactly where I want it. So I think that looks pretty good, and I might just let that be. Let's turn off the sketch for a second. Yeah, I think this shows a lot of promise. I'm going to go back to my scan file, where I have my black marks that I just inked up, and I'm going to start playing around with the dirt on the end of the shovel. I think this shape here looks like it has promise. Just going to make a selection, copy it, go back over to my file. Now, I don't need this Alpha channel anymore, I've already created my smart object of the wood grain. So I can select this Alpha channel. I can then "Select All", Command A, hit "Delete". It gives me a blank Alpha channel again. Because my background color was set to white, it made the background of this Alpha channel white, which is what I want. I can now paste my skinned black ink mark here. Again, I want to invert the entire Alpha channel, so that I can make a selection just of the ink blot. Anything white will become my selection. I'm going to hit "Command", click the Alpha channel layer, and then go to the Layers panel, hit "New" and solid color. Again, I'm going to pick this black. Once I make that fill layer, I'm going to convert it to a smart object. Now, I probably want this over top the shovel. That's cool. Now, I want this shape also contained within the shape of the shovel. I'm going to just turn my auto slipped back on. I'm going to click the shovel blade, and now I want to copy that shape. So I go to the past election tool, and then click that shape with the past selection tool, and then I copy that, Command C. I'm going to go back to that color, which I should rename, I'm going to call that Dirt. Now I'm just going to paste that pass shape over top. Again, there you go, I have the dirt on the end of the shovel contained nicely in the exact shape. Now if I want to play around with that mark within the shape without affecting the shape, I click that link, so that it's off. Make sure I select just a smart object. I can now start manipulating that a little bit. Here's an edge of the chip I made, and here's the contour of the shovel. This is where I start thinking about how I can exploit the qualities in my mark and make it work alongside the qualities of the thing that it's interacting with. If that's a mouthful, all I'm saying is, this might work as shading for the end of the shovel, if I place it just right. Now there are some cases where you may not want to use black for your line. Like in this case, maybe I'll use a white line instead. Now I've already created my smart object out of the black object, so I can just double-click into there, change my color to white, and then it will be white in here. Another thing I can do that keeps my layers a little bit more accessible, is I double-click the layer, and I just create a color overlay. I can just toggle that between my black and white just to see what works best. Maybe on second thought, I want it to be black., and I probably don't need the rest of this part here, I like just this amount here. So I'm going to create a layer mask. This layer mask allows me to non-destructively erase this part of my scanned mark without losing it permanently. So I'm going to just click on that layer mask, use the brush tool, we going to have B for that. Just make sure it's a full hardness and just big enough to cover your stroke. I'm just going to paint over that. You can always go back later, remove that mask, and all the line is still actually there. Here we have the basal illustration made from past and Photoshop, and the physical textures added by creating them physically, and then scanning them in to Photoshop. So what we're going to do now is just take the object that we created. I'm going to copy merge and that makes sure that I copy all the layers, and not just the current layer. I'm going to make a new file say, 1500 pixels by 1500 pixels square, and make it 72 dots per inch, because it's just going to be for screen sharing, and paste. This just gives me something I can share with the class. Now, mine is kind of funny because it's very long and narrow and doesn't really fill the whole square. So there's different things I can do. I can maybe go diagonal or in my case, just make it a little bit bigger. 12. Lesson 7: Complete the Illustration: I wanted to jump ahead to my final illustration here just to show you how I concluded starting from the sketch right through to the end. I just wanted to point out to you that along the way, your sketch is your guide and you always can base your illustration on that, but it doesn't mean that you can't change things along the way like the way I changed the rope to make it a little bit more interesting up there. You can also see that I ended up making the news just a lot more whimsical and a scribble really instead being more literal. The handle of the saw, I made it a little bit more detailed and contoured just to make it a little bit more visually interesting. I think it's just nice to show you how I can take a crappy sketch and then use some of the soul of that sketch as my guide and then filter out any of the roughness of it and keep any of the roughness that I feel adds to my final illustration. You can just follow the techniques that I've given you in the previous lessons up till now. Wrapping up, I think one thing you can do that will be helpful to you is grouping things by objects. In your Layers panel, you're going to have your layers all over the place and eventually you just want to bring those all together. I've already started at doing this where I have each object in its own group and then I can just isolate them as I need if I ever need to do that. Another thing just to note is that I've used this orange over top, the black, the smudges of the orange over top the black. In order to get that overprint effect, I've just multiplied the layer. Another thing you can do when you're done is play around with the background color. We're not printing this, so you can have a solid color rather than a paper color, and of course, you're going to change the colors of your foreground objects. But this is another way of making your card look interesting. I decided to go with the white. When you are satisfied with your illustration, you can save it and then save a second copy. I'm just going to call my tools of the trade, flat and save it. Now is not flat yet. I'm going to flatten it by going Layer, Flatten Image. Here I have my flattened version and I'm going to save it again now that I've actually flattened it. Now we want to save this down to a screen resolution. Make it 72 dots per inch and 1,000 pixels wide. Save it again and save it as a JPEG and upload it to the class. 13. Recap and Concluding Remarks: Congratulations, you are done. I hope you had a lot of fun doing the project, and I hope you learned a lot of new tricks along the way. In this class, you created your own tools of the trade postcard, featuring your own illustrations of five of your favorite objects. You learned how to tell a story about your trader hobby using simple illustrated objects. You learned how to use flat shapes, simple color palette, and physical mark to create an iconic dynamic illustration. Importantly, you learned how to take marks that you made on physical media, sample them digitally, and use them to bring your illustrations to life. Finally, you hopefully became more confident using visual material that comes from your own hands, and we're inspired to adopt some of these techniques moving forward. Thank you so much for taking my Skillshare class. I'm really excited to see what you guys came up with, and I look forward to answering any questions you might have along the way.