Introduction To Cartoon Character Design | Denis Zilber | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Introduction To Cartoon Character Design

teacher avatar Denis Zilber, Freelance Illustrator and Cartoon Artist

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

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.

      Initial character exploration


    • 2.

      Building up simple shapes


    • 3.

      S-curves and C-curves


    • 4.

      Checking anatomy


    • 5.

      Pushing things further


    • 6.

      Checking silhouette


    • 7.

      Polishing your sketch


    • 8.

      Adding values


    • 9.

      Creating basic color blocks


    • 10.

      Adding light


    • 11.

      Ambient occlusion


    • 12.

      Refining light


    • 13.

      Adding details and lighting effects


    • 14.

      Explore Design on Skillshare


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Are you an illustrator trying to hone in on your style? Or are you a beginner who wants to know the ins and outs of cartooning your character? On paper or on screen, this class is for you!

I am an illustrator specializing in character development and design. I have been developing my stylized, cartooned characters for years, and I am going to share with you my best illustration tips and processes for developing your own!

What You'll Learn

You will learn the entire character creation process. We will begin by working with photo references and inspiration resources, and go into rough sketching and more refined value sketches. Then, we will explore exaggerated shapes and cartoon features with S and C-curved lines, keeping correct character anatomy. We will finish with basic three-point light rendering.

  • References and Character Exploration. We will begin with gathering resources for inspiration and exploring the qualities of your character.
  • Rough Sketch. You will compose a sketch of your character.
  • Exaggerating Shapes. You will refine your sketch and learn to exaggerate your character's shapes with S and C curves.
  • Anatomy & Sketching Values. I will cover anatomy basics with exaggerated features, and you will add value to your shapes.
  • Color Blocking. We will discuss color and you will add it to your drawing and explore rendering techniques.
  • Final Rendering. You will refine the details of your sketch and add special effects.

What You'll Make

You will design, create and color your own cartooned character with an exaggerated style. This project will inform your illustration process and expose you to new techniques. You will be able to properly proportion your own characters and render your character with exaggerated realism.

This technique is valuable for editorial work with portraiture and cartooning. These skills will help you approach your future character design projects with a solid basic understanding. It is quite difficult to get a character's cartoon correct- and to spot what the error is! This class will train your eye to see a character or a figure like a cartoonist.


Class Outline

  • Initial character exploration. Whether you want to learn to draw cartoons for an animated series or for children’s book illustration, this class is for you. You’ll begin by watching Denis Zilber play around with different lines and shapes to make rough sketches in Adobe Illustrator using the pencil brush tool.
  • Building up simple shapes. Now you’ll hone in on one of the rough sketches Denis created as he defines discrete shapes in his character drawing.
  • S-curves and c-curves. You’ll learn the two basic curves, s-curves and c-curves, that make up many a cartoon drawing. You’ll learn how these curves can apply to all parts of a cartoon character’s body and accessories, and you’ll get a sense of why it’s important to avoid straight lines in your work.
  • Checking anatomy. Your character may be a cartoon, but to keep it believable, you’ll want to check that its anatomy lines up. Denis will teach you how to get a basic understanding of human body ratios and how to apply those to your character by, again, drawing in Layers.
  • Pushing things further. You’ll watch as Denis applies his rule for making cartoon characters appear more expressive. By making small elements of his drawing smaller and enlarging the bigger elements, Denis will create a creature that’s decidedly fit for the cartoon realm.
  • Checking silhouette. If your character is readable only in silhouette, that means it should work in full color. You’ll learn how to make sure your character’s silhouette highlights all of its most important parts.
  • Polishing your sketch. Starting with the outlines, you’ll learn to make a clean trace over your character, getting rid of extra lines and adding details in a separate layer. Ultimately, you’ll see how to create a character sketch that you can present to clients.
  • Adding values. You’ll learn how to shade your character to preview tone value for your clients.
  • Creating basic color blocks. Denis will teach you how to use 3D masks to separate various elements of your drawing into layers to which you can add color independently. You’ll learn to figure out how to arrange these layers by grouping elements made of the same material.
  • Adding light. You’ll learn to create shadows by detracting color instead of adding it. Meanwhile, you’ll discover how to add light to accurately reflect an imagined light source and how to use light to add texture.
  • Ambient occlusion. Denis will teach you that ambient occlusion is really just a fancy way for alluding to “shadows within shadows.” By adding these to your work, you’ll learn how to amp up the volume of your character and make it jump off the page (or rather, the computer screen).
  • Refining light. You’ll learn how to realistically mimic real world lighting effects on color in your work.
  • Adding details and lighting effects. You’ll watch as Denis makes a great character drawing excellent by adding minute details. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to draw comics by applying the skills you’ve gained from this class.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Denis Zilber

Freelance Illustrator and Cartoon Artist


Denis is a freelance Illustrator and cartoonist working out of Tel Aviv, Israel. He specializes in exaggerated, cartooned features and characters. . . and he creates them from start to finish in Adobe Photoshop.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Initial character exploration: Hey everybody. My name is Danny Silver, and today, we're going to paint a pirate. First of all, I have to apologize for my poor English. It's not my native language, so I'll be making mistakes and be mumbling. So, just be patient. I hope you will enjoy the lecture, and let's get started. Let's open a new file, a new layer. I'll be using my marvelous, amazing pencil brush, and let's starts doodling. Let's start creating basic shapes. This is going to be our bad pirate. It's going to be our more robust pirate, bulky, and this is going to be our skinny pirate. Let's place them be the side and this is going to be a more thug-like, more superhero, his wide shoulders, strong one. Yeah, it's very basic and very fun stage, basic doodling, playing around with different lines and different very simple shapes. Nothing too complicated, nothing too fancy. His head, his nose, his hat, and then buckle and the saber, boots, kind of style that you do in kindergarten. Very simple. The buckle, the belt, no eye patch for him. The fat guy, short legs, big belly, long arms. This one is going to be more dangerous one. The big dangerous guy with big strong arms, kind of pirate Hulk. His head and his chin, his belt, once again, fingers, saber. Four more or less different body types. Nothing too fancy, nothing too complicated. Very fast. Very easy to do. Let's put these guys into some action poses or just more interesting, not too symmetrical poses. This is going to be walking, pacing, very determined, very eager to kick some butt, I guess. He's swinging his arms and just walking toward his target, his enemy. This fat guy, I guess, he will be leaning against some hard surface, some wall, or some table, or some barrel, for example. This one like bend, one like straight and holding something like pipe, for example. Yeah, barrel it is and a saber, of course. The robust guy, bulky one will be holding something or carrying something pretty heavy, a barrel of rum, for example. His back is bent, his arms are straight, his legs are bent also, and his sword, his saber and let's add some couple of barrels to the pile, and his head is falling off. Really simple and really fun stage of the work. We are not getting into any details so far. We're just doodling, playing around, fooling around with different lines and different shapes just to understand which character is more fun to do. Usually, I do at least 10 or 15 of these little doodles, little sketches, just to understand what I'm going to work on later. But for the sake of time saving, I'm going to do only four of them, then we are going to choose one for the next step. He is holding in some rifle, sneaking around. Let's look at all the company, all the band. They look pretty nice. I think that this one is going to be fun to do, fun to work on. Let's enlarge them a bit, and let's work on him just a bit more. But once again, without getting into any details just working, just basically working on simple shapes, simple lines, simple shapes and pipe, I'm not sure it's going to work. Let's do something else, a big cup, what do you think? His nose, his hat, and a cup. He took any cup of wine or rum. He's going to make any toast. You can see, nothing too fancy, nothing too complicated, nothing too hard, too difficult. It's very easy so far, at least. That's the really part of character creation process, doodling. Right here, arm and the barrel. We are almost done. We are ready for our next step. We will be refining each sketch just a bit more, working on simple rounded shapes. Yes. Oh, yes, we will. 2. Building up simple shapes: Let's get into some really nice shapes. Let's build up some basic lines, basic shapes, and the key here is to keep the lines, and the shapes as a result, as fluid, as flowing, as liquid, as possible. As you can see, I just flick the image so I can see it in any fresh eye, more. It's a good habit to flip your image once in a while. I try to do it but I definitely should do it more often. Anyway what I'm doing right now, I'm creating basic shapes of my character. And I'm trying to make them as rounded as possible. And I'm also trying to avoid making straight lines. The more flowing your line, the more flow in your shape, the more natural it looks. Natural and at the very end, more appealing, and more nice to look at, and more interesting. Okay, right here. Even at some spots where seems like I have to use straight lines. But even in these spots, I'm trying to somehow make these lines more smalls, and more on flowing. Trying to keep some curvature on the lines not making them straight. This is very important, here. This sketch, for right now, it looks pretty messy, pretty, pretty and dotty with all these black lines but we will refine it, later. So, no worries. Okay, a few fills here, and a line here, and here. Fingers. Once again, we are not getting into any details right now. We're just working on simple shapes. Okay, right here. Let's move it a little bit, aside. And buttons. Here and here, boot. Okay. That looks okay. It looks pretty nice. Let's flip it back. Okay, there's some access to be, to make sure that it looks okay. Okay, [inaudible] here. Okay, we're almost done. This is our first preliminary sketch, initial sketch. 3. S-curves and C-curves: Okay, let's move on and refine our shapes a bit more. Let's implement two basic shapes, two basic curves into our character. C and inverted C, S and inverted S. These are two basic shapes I always use in my work, and I strongly recommend you to use them, too. How does it work? Let's see. It's going to be a C shape. It's going to be inverted C. It's going to be S, inverted S. So, basically what I'm doing, I'm breaking all the shapes of my character into a more simple and more flowing, more nice looking and natural looking C and S shapes. I'm trying to to implement them as much as possible, as much as I can. What else I'm trying to do? I'm trying to avoid, as much as possible, straight lines and angles. The more I use C and S shapes, the better my overall shape of my character looks. Now, a simple rule but very neat and it works well, for me at least. I don't need to use straight lines. I almost don't have such places. Not in any place, not in any point in my work. There's no need to use straight lines, for me at least. I was starting to get into some details. Not too much. We are already at the stage when we are starting to refine the character, refine his shapes and his facial expression a little. Not too small but not only basic shapes as we did before. This handle, for example. I could use straight lines but I don't. I used C shapes, C curves. I don't like this place but I will refine it later, I think. You see, all these lines are basic shapes, very basic. Try to avoid complicated shapes, try to avoid complicated lines. You can do almost everything with C and S shapes. Almost everything. Sometimes even S shape is too complicated for your shapes. So, sometimes you can even replace it with more simple C shape. Just to refine this a bit. I need to make it more rounded in here. We are almost done with our C and S curves. Next step is going to be checking anatomy. Yeah, checking anatomy. 4. Checking anatomy: Now, let's check our character's anatomy. I do this quite a lot frankly, especially when my character is placed within some complex pose with a lot of intersecting objects and shapes. So, I just want to make sure that all his limbs and all his joints are placed correctly within three-dimensional space. So, what I'm doing right now, I'm basically drawing a really simple, not too detailed skeleton on top of my initial sketch. I'm just trying to make sure that everything fits okay and everything looks okay. Shoulder, elbow, all the fingers, and this just right here. You don't need to get into any details here, just really basic shapes just to see if the skeleton looks okay. You don't need to know anatomy that good, just as I said, only basic. You have to have a really general idea of how human bone structure should look like. Knee and his spine. Okay, here. Right now, I can easily see that his left foot is much shorter than the right one, so I guess I have to correct it. Sometimes, you need to get into muscles too, but not in this case. You can see the fingers. The fingers are too short comparing to the other hand. Now, I'm going to correct all the stuff that I found just to make these fingers a bit longer. Here, the elbow to move it just a bit inside. His shoulder is okay. Another one can be tweaked, just a bit. This is okay. Just to make this foot just a little bit longer, bigger. That looks okay for now. So, next, I guess we have checked our anatomy and we can move on to the another step. Looks okay. Great. Let's just make it red so it won't blend with the break lines. Yeah, it looks okay. Cool. Let's move on. 5. Pushing things further: Now we're going to make our character just a little bit more interesting. We are going to push in just few steps or a few tiny steps, or even one tiny step further. By that I mean that we will use some basic rules that I use always in my work. The rule sounds like that, to make small things smaller and big things big shapes. But by things, I mean shapes and make big shapes even bigger. In other words, we are going to exaggerate our character just a bit more. For example, this hat, just make it a little bit smaller and these finger, just more expressive, more interesting to look at. This simple rule, it adds variety to shapes and therefore it makes your character look more interesting and more appealing. Here we go. A few little changes. Teeth. Let's make the cup just a little bit smaller. His sleeve, maybe just a tiny bit bigger, wider here. Okay. The buckle will be much bigger, not too much, but bigger. The belt itself should be also bigger. Here. Let's make it two pins, not one. Let's do here and nostrils. I don't think I can do too much but I can't change this segment too much this far but maybe just a bit here. Let's try to make four buttons. No, not good. You also have to change the fingers within your shape. I don't think I will change what's in here. It looks okay. just to make his shoe a big pointy, just a little bit more, his boot. I think it's okay even flipped. Right here i'll just make it more rounded, more nicely flow in shape. That looks pretty nice. So, the only thing before finalising our sketc, we have to do, we have to check our silhouette. It's a lot of our character and that is, we are going to do right now in the next video. Okay. 6. Checking silhouette: Now, we're going to check our silhouette here, and the main rule, and basically why I'm doing this, I'm doing this because of, if your character looks okay within silhouette when it's only basically a black silhouette. Then, if it's readable, if it's understandable, if you can easily understand what is going on with your character when it's silhouette, then your character will look just fine in full color. That is the basic rule. So, right now I'm just closing all this, and I'll be filling these outline with solid color. So, I just closed all the gaps in the outline, and let's modify, expand the two pixels and inverse, and let's fill it with black, yeah. So, okay. What problems do we have here? I have few problems here. I can see. Yeah, these few lines are just blending and not too readable. These two shapes also blending, and here, and here, yeah, that is basically all. But we're going to check it right now and correct all these little mistakes. We're also going to emphasize the B-shape of the the saibor by editing his other edge, his binder edge. Some other time we definitely going to move up just a bit. Let's make it multiply, and then let's fix all these little mistakes. I'm on it right here, just a bit, to close all these gaps. The other edge, and here we will add some little gap between two legs, and here we will change the head a bit. That's amazing, that's so nice. The shape is bad,maybe this one not natural. This one is better, this one just a bit tighter, a bit nicer. Name the ring, looks okay. Up here, fill those lips. Well, I think we are ready to polish and finalize our sketch. It is almost done, it is almost complete. Everything looks okay. See we had everything anatomy, all the lines, all the shapes. So we are almost there. 7. Polishing your sketch: Okay, let's polish our sketch. By polishing I mean we will create another sketch. By the way, we are only two steps away from coloring, so be prepared, and we will create another sketch on top of the old one, but this time it's going to be a really clean sketch with really fine lines, and this time we're going to add all the nitty details, all possible details we want to see in our final illustration. Okay. So, let's do these little guys. Right now, I'm doing all the basic lines, all the outlines on my character, and then I will be adding more fine details in a separate layer, just to make sure that I'm not destroying everything when I'm getting those little, really tiny details. So, I always put these in a separate layer on top of the basic lines, basic outlines. Okay, add this, give him bad teeth. Buttons here. By the way, this is the kind of sketchy I'm usually showing to my clients, so we are almost done with our sketch, it's almost final version. Here, fingers. All the barrels, three barrels on the background, they're just not important right now, so I'm not getting into them too much. Here, a few folds. This is the exact moment when I add some folds. Every tiny detail that you want to see in your final illustration, that is the time, that is great time to- I'm not going to add another buckle, that is another time to go, that is the exact time to insert all the fine details. Let's define this line a bit, this one here and guards. Okay, cut off this here. We're almost done, almost. Here, here, and here and here. Good. Just to show them them here. Here's the last one. Okay, here and here. Now in another layer, on top of everything, I just add all the fine details, all the smallest details I will create. [inaudible]. Hair sleek or I don't know, little bumps on surface. Everything not so important but something that I have to show to my client because illustration is always a client-based, client-oriented occupation. Just keep it in mind, always keep it in mind. Okay, we are almost done. So, let's proceed to our next step, to the barriers, here, here, here and yes. Yes, we're done. Cool. 8. Adding values: Okay. Let's do our final step. Before coloring this sketch, let's add some values. Basically, why I'm doing this? Why am I adding values to my line art? I'm doing this because I want to show my client everything, the most complete stage of my illustration before I get into color. So, basically this illustration, when we finish it, the sketch I mean with values, we'll have the most information of our illustration will be within the sketch, except for the column. That is important in terms of professional workflow with different types of clients. Also, I'm trying to decide on lighting in this stage for myself, and also I'm trying to create a lighting references for me. So, I won't be thinking of lighting too much when I'm doing color. So, what I'm doing right here, I just created that flat color gray color block, and I'm going to add some darker and brighter areas to it. I usually do it within separate layers so the workflow is more flexible, so I'll be able to change things, to adjust these values, but you may do it as well in one separate layer or even on top of the main block. I started with 50 percent grey but it doesn't matter actually, I can start with with white to black. Black is not too comfortable to work with because you just lose all your line art against the black color block. So, I usually start with grey and add some darker and brighter areas, darker and brighter parts of the illustration. From now, I'm not dealing with any lighting, just basic relations between different parts. For example, I know that his eyes and his teeth will be definitely more and more bright, brighter than his belt for example, or his boots, or even his skin. So, I paint them almost white not completely. For example, I know that my boots here and his belt would be probably the most dark areas will in the entire illustration, so, I paint it with almost black. Once again, I'm not getting into pure black or pure white, just to leave some space for adjustments. Okay. Let's make his and his pants. There's no need to invest too much time in this stage, but it's good to do it. I always do it always, but I don't use too much different values, too much different brights and darks, four or five maybe sometimes even less, just to show my client basic relations between dark and white areas. So, my clients, for example, knows that his pants of my pirate would be, for example, bright and not dark. Right now, I'm adding some light. I decided that my lighting would be from his left side, from the top and little bit from his back. So, I'm just adding some white on top of my values, all my values in the same clipping mask. I'm just deleting all the channels. I'm deleting all the paths that will be shadowed, and his back light a bit just to emphasize the shape, and here are some highlights. Okay. I place the light layer on top of everything, so I can easily turn it off and turn it on and I can easily change it or even add some another light source. So, it's very flexible workflow, easily adjustable, background light spot here. Once again, I just delete shadows and that is all. We are almost done with our sketch, almost, lighting. We're done. 9. Creating basic color blocks: As you can see, this time I had to speed up the video just a bit, a few times and turn down to one. So, you also can see that I have adjusted the previous sketch just a bit, added a few details. Again, I added stripes to these bands. It's not so important so just let's pretend it was like there before. What I'm doing right now, I am creating an outline of my almost entire character except for the background bars and I will separate them. These are going to be three, my major color blocks, which I will be working on later. Creating the outline, I will fill it with one basic color and then I will use clipping masks to separate almost every detail, major detail, big detail, not tiny ones, into separate layers, so I will be able to color them without destroying all the rest. Okay, right here, outline here. Okay. Once again, I choose this area and then I rotate and I color it, color. Why am I separating the source, is because just in case I would like to do move it a bit, so it will be in its own layer and it will be easily adjustable. Once again, the barrels, most barrels. Okay, let's set to go. First, clip the mask. I use clipping masks because I'm used to these workflow and I find them very accurate. I also use them because they group objects into one pile so I can just turn them off or on whenever I want. It's nice workflow. It works for me. I don't know if maybe you know something more efficient, some more efficient way, but it works for me. Okay, here I place all the skin part, open skin parts into different layer. Different now. Yes, hold it. Okay. I just experimented trying different colors for the skin, and another layer. I'll do all the metal parts, all the buttons. I usually place all the metal parts in one layer or two layers, separate layers of course because metals are a bit tricky to render. Once again, I will have more flexibility here. This is also going to be a metal cup. Little cup, tiny one. It's also a metal beam. This buckle, I just decided to place it in the zipper layer on top of all the buttons and metal objects, just so I'll be once again will be able to play around with it. Okay. The exact color is not too much important at this stage because I will be playing with different colors later. Okay, right here. That was pretty simple. Yes, now videos, it's almost now videos. Yeah, one basic color. The colors that I will eventually choose for each each part, they're not random of course. These colors are the exact colors that should be in this particular lighting conditions. For example, if I have something white like either teeth of my character, in cold light, they will be of course more cold, more bluish. They will have more bluish tint. Basically, every part, every object I paint at this stage has to have something that is dependent on overall lighting. So, that is a major game here. Here, the sleeves. It looks like I use a lot of layers and yes I do. But no, I'm not using too much layers right now. I'm using just a couple dozens of layers and it's pretty flexible while it's still manageable. I can still find my layer, the layers that I'm working on right now. So, it's balanced situation when I still don't get lost in all my layers but I still can change things on the fly. In here, come the stripes. Okay, here. It's a little bit of a boring process. Okay, so let's build them with color. Okay. Just tweaking the shapes a bit. I placed my value sketch on top of everything on the top layer so I can easily switch it on and off and just to use it basically as a reference just to see what lighting conditions or this is place, this support. I also usually create another different layer for mouth and eyes, sometimes even for teeth for just to, once again to keep things easily adjustable. Once I'm done with each layer, I just look its transparency so I went through and I was in after accidentally just making some lousy brush stroke and putting my work. Okay, I just place his hairs on the separate layer on top of everything. Once again, both for the flexibility and I've taken because I just forgot to insert them into the main shape. Okay. 10. Adding light: Okay, nice. Let's get some lighting. I had to split this video two, speed it up a bit, a few times because it was too long. But I just hope you understand everything I'm saying here and everything I'm showing here and you understand the basics of my actions. What I'm doing here, I'm creating the light spot just as like as i did for better sketch. And I'm creating the light and then I'm deleting a shadow from this, extracting the shadow from this light. That is the most correct way to create shadows by extracting, not by adding shadows but by extracting shadows from lighting. Just a bit of the ambient, occlusion we will deal with it more deeply in the next video. It's not very important right now. What I'm doing here, I'm not trying to create the finalized and perfect version of lighting but I'm doing some kind of sketch for, or reference for myself. A very rough first passed over lighting on my character, just to see how it goes in terms of color. I will refine the lighting later. Here and here and the nose, all these. Okay. I'm not inventing anything here, anything new here on this stage, I'm just using my balance sketch as a reference. So, I'm kind of not exploring this stuff, I'm just doing the technical job of blocking colors and painting light. I'm not trying to find the correct lighting here because everything is done on the sketch, that sketch stage. Here, a bit here. Once again we color here of the lightning is not correct because it will vary from object to object, for human skins, it will be one color for leather or for fabric, it would be another color. So, right now it's just a rough preview, i'd say so or a preview of final coloring, final lighting. Okay. Here we'll just delete the shadow, add some light here. Shiny objects as I said before, render differently. So for now I don't render them, I don't place too much light on them because they are a bit tricky to render. Just a few spots. Here. Because of the fact that I place my lighting in a separate layer on top of everything, I can easily, very easily adjust it, I can delete it, I can make it less bright or more bright or i can change the color, change the hybe on the lighting. Okay. Right here. You can see I'm still using the previous line art sketch on double-barrel scene with really low opacity. So, I can see all the details without guessing where everything is placed. So, sometimes by the way, I just turn it off because the lines just abstractly some details I just turn them off and work on solid color blocks without any details. You see I just made the lighting layer a bit more transparent about 40% or 70%. Now, I'm adding another light layer, this is much more bright light. This is going to be a highlights layer. And this one I believe, I won't change it. This one is going to be almost, this one is going to stay till the end. No. I won't change it. Oh I will change it but not too much. Okay. Once again, it's not the final lighting, I will refine it, I will work on it much more to refine it, to create it more, to make it more correctly looking. So. Okay. We're almost done. Next step, we will create a ambient occlusion, ambient shadows which are very important for creating the right volume. Right now that's going to disable. Okay. Okay guys. That is it and then we will move to another step in just a few moments. Light here as to finish this up. And yeah here. Yeah that is all. 11. Ambient occlusion: Now, we will be adding some ambient occlusion. By ambient occlusion, I mean all shaded places, all the shadows where the light is really diffused and where the light is not reaching all the tight places, all befalls, all the places where two surfaces can actually placed close to each other. Basically, it's shadows within shadows. That is really, really important for the volume. If you want to show volume in your artwork, you have to use ambient occlusion, it's a must. So, what I'm doing here, I'm painting. I know all these foreground. This sleeve is going to be in the shadow, but there is a deeper shadow between this sleeve and the coat or under the sleeve. So, I'm deepening. I'm emphasizing the shadow here. Here, for example, it's a tight place. Light almost not getting there, so I'm just making it more deep, more dark. We use some folds, and the deep shadow here. For all the deep shadows, because they're diffused, really diffused nature because they are created by diffused light, ambient light, from which come from all different directions. So, for these type of shadows, I use really, really solid brush, even airbrush with low brush of course. Because the lower your opacity when you're working with airbrush, the better the result, the less chances that you have to ruin everything. Frankly, I don't recommend for students or for people who are for beginners. For the beginners, I don't recommend to use airbrush because of its nature, really, really nasty nature. The airbrush make can ruin everything within seconds. So, if you use it, just use it within 10 to 30 percent opacity range, not more than that, even less. As you can see, the sleeve, and the coat, and the belt are already looking okay in terms of volume, though the light doesn't get there. Even without the light, just with ambient shadow, ambient occlusion, they look okay. Here, undo this, and this. Go in here. All these folds is going to be really dark shadows. The darkness and brightness of your ambient occlusion, ambient shadows, depend on overall lighting. For example, right now, my overall lighting, my diffused lighting, ambient lighting, is blue, I don't know, grayish blue. Blue, but not too saturated. Anyway, it's kind of dark. It's not white. It's not white, it's not yellow, it's not warm color. It's called color and it is kind of dark, break and modular. So, all of my ambient occlusion shadows will tend to gold colors, to gold range of spectrum, and would definitely be dark, rather dark. Okay. Some few shadows on the skin, under the chin, and under his nose. With ambient occlusion, one of the rules is very simple that all surfaces that face upwards should be more bright than surfaces that face downwards. It's a very simple rule and if you use it, you will get your ambient shadows, ambient occlusion really nicely done. However, this rule doesn't apply to every possible situation, because each time your lighting conditions would be different, you can easily find yourself in situation where the light that comes from beneath the character, from the floor, for example, would be more strong than the light that comes from the sky from the top. It depends on each lighting conditions. It may vary depends on lighting conditions. Once again, on this nose, for example, you can easily see that the surface of the nose, the skin of the nose, which is facing upwards is brighter than the one that's facing downwards. Here, try to make him rosy cheeks, but I'll say not to. As you can see, this ambient occlusion thing just creates your volume in no time, without any lighting involved, any direct lighting, I mean, because it is lighting, yes. But it is diffused lighting. Showing videos here. We are almost done, almost but not yet. Right here, right here. Emerson looking pretty good right now. Not bad at all. Just need few more adjustments, and we are almost done with our ambient occlusion. Looks not bad. Just to change the tint a bit. Hit my nostrils and make his teeth more yellow. Yes, that is it. We're almost done here. It's a major light source, and she'll need more details here. That is all. 12. Refining light: Okay. Now, the most tricky part. We will correct the lighting and we will refine it, and we will almost complete our illustration right here, right now, in this video. Almost complete. Not entirely, but almost. So, what I'm doing right now I'm just refining the lighting and I'm trying to correct all the little mistakes that I've made along the way. Time to soften some areas. Okay. Now the maybe a bit not too intuitive part. Not too intuitive way of doing things. But what I'm doing right now I took the transparency of my lighting layer and use this transparency as a mask. I'm painting my objects. Painting on top of them with correct colors. That will give me a really soft lighting, really soft and correct lighting. Later on I will just delete the lighting and the lighting layer that I created before two years ago. Right now I'm just using as a reference as a mask. Okay. You can see the highlights layer, it remains the same. I'm not deleting it. I'm not coloring it. At this stage it's all at the final stage of this illustration. At this stage, I insert all the details., almost all the details. In terms of lighting, I will be adding all the reflections and I'll be rendering all the shiny objects, all the metal objects. I'll be illustrating a backlight and all their reflections on all the dimension. Okay. I think the boots. Okay, that is the tricky part. Metal buckle. Right here, I'm not using any references or further references or whatsoever. But that is because I have a bit of experience in ranger and stuff. So, you may of course use references as much as you want. Just look up for different shiny objects in the Internet. Just observe them. Just try to understand how they react and interact with the light, and based on this observation, you can achieve almost everything. You can understand the main principle of any tiny reflection or any tiny light interaction with any different surface. So at some point, I'm pretty sure you won't need any references to paintings. You will just know how each different type of material of any surface would look within some particular lighting conditions. This is kind of gold surface, but not the real gold. It's more kind of more diffusing, more light diffusing surface. For example his earring or even his buckle and the highlight. My little bells usually reflects more bluish tint of light, of course it depends on light conditions. But the leather reflects light in very good way and in very certain way, which is a bit of a blue tint, and here. I'll get to this barrel and the background barrels. So they are not too important. So I didn't want to waste my time on them. Okay, using highlight. It's not something that can be correct color. So that is much better. The background barrels is. A bit of less spilled wine. Okay. Now, I'm creating a back light. I can basically choose any color I want but I decided to make it blue. So it looks natural for the blue background. It'd be more natural. Okay. Here and here. Back light helps you to emphasize the shape of your character. So here and all the shaded part won't get lost. Okay. We are almost done here, and all is left is to work on some details, and then add some lighting effects and that is all. We are almost there, almost done. Right here, and that is all. 13. Adding details and lighting effects: Well, this one is going to be a really short video, really short one because we are almost done just fine details. Just working on some highlights and some lighting effects. We are almost done here. Just because I'd be leather texture here. Currently the ambient occlusion here, and let's start to add some fine, really very fine details. Yeah. Here and here just a bit. He'll legal Duchess. Here I will add some wood texture. Here I will also add some more texture. Really fast, nothing too fancy. A bit of some ambient occlusion for the background barrels, which I haven't done before. So, writing on here. Let's add some facial here, but I'm not sure if it's necessary here. Let's try, just see if it looks okay. No, doesn't look okay. So, I will just erase it. Okay, right now I'm picking some orange yellow color and making some highlights. With screen blending mode, it looks pretty nice right here. So, we're almost done. The last thing I do here, I just measure all the layers. I create a achromatic distortion. I just move the red channel a bit to the side and that will give us a nice lens effect. I also add some noise on top of it, not too much. Okay guys, that is basically it. I hope you enjoyed the lecture and enjoyed the lesson. I want to once again apologize for my poor English. It's not my native language, so I mumble it all the way, but I hope you understood everything you wanted to understand. I help you understood the basic principle of my workflow. Once again, I hope you enjoyed it. See you soon guys. Good luck with your projects. Bye-bye. 14. Explore Design on Skillshare: way.