Mastering Illustration: Sketching, Inking & Color Essentials | Josiah (Jazza) Brooks | Skillshare

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Mastering Illustration: Sketching, Inking & Color Essentials

teacher avatar Josiah (Jazza) Brooks, Artist, YouTuber and Entrepreneur

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.



    • 2.

      Exploring Your Style


    • 3.

      Tools and Materials


    • 4.

      Brainstorming Your Piece


    • 5.

      Starting Your Sketch


    • 6.

      Refining Your Sketch


    • 7.

      Inking Your Sketch


    • 8.

      Inking Complex Characters


    • 9.

      Inking Elaborate Environments


    • 10.

      Choosing Your Color Scheme


    • 11.

      Adding Color with Pencils


    • 12.

      Adding Color with Pens


    • 13.

      Creating Effects with Color


    • 14.

      Final Thoughts


    • 15.

      Bonus: Project Feedback From Jazza


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About This Class

Transform the way you draw with an in-depth illustration class like no other from creative mastermind and YouTube star Jazza! 

With over five million followers on YouTube, Jazza has crafted a career out of helping others find the fun in illustration. Now, he shares his own creative process in never-before-seen detail, distilling his favorite tips, tricks, and techniques into a comprehensive masterclass for artists of all levels.

Working with your medium of choice, you’ll learn the basics of sketching, inking, and color, building to more adventurous techniques like texture and lighting effects. With an emphasis on practice over polish, Jazza’s step-by-step process empowers you to take risks, explore your style, and trust that you’ll improve every time you put pen to paper, brush to canvas, or stylus to screen. 

Think of each hands-on lesson as a mini bootcamp for an essential skill, including:

  • Brainstorming original concepts even when you feel uninspired
  • Sketching to quickly find your favorite ideas and the best way to combine them
  • Inking for depth and dimension while leaving room for happy accidents
  • Using color to add intensity, evoke emotion, and play with lighting 

Plus, see how Jazza tackles and troubleshoots two illustrations in contrasting styles, one stylized and cartoonish, the other realistic and complex.

This entertaining and thorough two-hour class is designed for absolutely everyone, whether (like Jazza) you’re a self-taught doodler who loves drawing made-up worlds, or an experienced artist looking to take your character designs from good to great. By the end, you’ll arrive at an illustration that feels intentional, imaginative, and unique to you—and you’ll have skills to get there again and again! 


Get personalized project feedback from Jazza! We're excited to share that Jazza will be selecting projects from the class to feature and critique in a bonus lesson launching in the coming weeks. All you need to do is share your project by August 20th, 2020 for consideration. Click on the Projects & Resources tab (desktop only) to submit your project!

This class is appropriate for aspiring and experienced artists alike. Follow along in your medium of choice, on paper or digitally. Even if you're working with different tools, Jazza’s tips and techniques will still apply to your process.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Josiah (Jazza) Brooks

Artist, YouTuber and Entrepreneur


Start watching here!

Whether you want to draw super muscular superheroes or more true-to-life characters, understanding anatomy is critical when drawing bodies—and yet it can be one of the most challenging subjects to master as an artist. In his new class, illustrator and animator Josiah “Jazza” Brooks will break it down to the basics and make drawing human anatomy as easy as possible.

To start, you’ll get an overview of Jazza’s three-step process to drawing realistic bodies, and learn the basic blocking techniques that will support you throughout the class.

After that, a new lesson will be released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until September 27th, going through each core area of the body—the arms, legs... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: I think the thing I love most about art is that there are no rules. You can create your own world, your own stories. You can be whatever you want to be through the medium that you're using. Good day, everyone, I'm Jazza, I'm an artist, animator, illustrator. Today's class is about empowering you with the core steps that I've found and followed that have enabled me to get to a result that I love. When you see a final illustration that someone's done that you admire, it feels like something you could never attain or you can't see how they got there. I want to demonstrate that no matter your style, you can follow these steps in your own way and in your own medium to get the best results for you. Now, I've approached this class a little bit differently. I've actually created two final artworks that I'm going to be sharing with you how I got them. We're going to be going through quite a few things, starting off with a discussion about style, we're going to move on to some idea exploration, and then when we get our hands dirty, we're going to do some sketching, we're going to do some ink work, both basic and advanced, and then we're going to move into color. Too often, we get caught up on the fear of the next step or the intimidation of the outcome we want to get to, it stops us or makes us too self-critical. Though every artist is at a different stage, if you can find the fun in the process and capture the feeling that empowers you to create, then there's no stopping you. We're going to start off with a little bit of walking, then running, then a bit of flapping, and then you'll be flying. That sounded beautiful in my head, a bit stupid out loud. So I think we've covered everything we need to by way of introduction, I think it's time to get started. 2. Exploring Your Style: There was never a point in my adult life when I decided, I am a professional illustrator. There was always just this gradiation from the time where I was very, very young, and just loved drawing and became who I am, rather than something I decided to do. When I started my YouTube channel in 2012, it was really centered around art and animation tutorials. Over the years, YouTube has changed as a platform and it's become much more entertainment focus which is really fun for me to do as well. But I've also learned a lot, especially in the last few years, that I'm excited to come back and hit hard with you guys in this course, specifically around illustration. Illustration in particular is one of those things that I've found, one of the coolest ways to discover stories, and projects, and things that you can dive into. It's the place you can explore with no boundaries. There's no such thing as a wrong answer or a mistake. It really is just a limitless place of fun, but before we jump into a bit of a hands-on stuff, I want to start off by talking about style. Reason being there's going to be people of all different skill levels and with all different mediums and styles that watch this class. I really just want to say right from the get-go, that it's for everyone. The process and the steps that I go through will apply to your medium and to the results you want to achieve, no matter what level you're at or what style you have. Now, in order to demonstrate that as effectively as possible, I'm going to be creating two artworks through all of the lessons. Just to show you that all of the things that I'm going through in the same steps can be applied in two different styles to achieve two dramatically different outcomes. The first piece I'm going to be creating is going to be much more whimsical, simple, cutesy, fun, and lighthearted. The second, I'm going to really challenge myself. My hope is that by doing that, if your style is different, even from those two which it will be, because everyone has a different style, you're still going to feel empowered and take away a lot of the things that you can apply to your style and at your skill level. Another thing I just wanted to touch on when it comes to style, is the question I get asked a lot which is, "How do you develop your own style? How did you get your style?" The reality is, we often see other artists as these complete packages. We can identify their style and their artwork and we don't see ourselves as having any particular style. But the reality is, we all have a unique style. I, myself don't necessarily feel like I have that unique style, but I've been told time and time again by people who watch my illustrations, animations, my videos that I have a unique style that they can identify with me. It's like that whole grass is greener on the other side thing. We can clearly see what we want, but not necessarily what we have. Don't worry about where you're at because if you're an artist, you'll be doing that for the rest of your life. Just instead, focus on the process and the things that you can take to empower you and make you feel like you can take confidence in each step as you take the next step. 3. Tools and Materials: Stuff you're going to need. You're not going to need all of this. You're not going to need the same stuff. You might have different stuff, you probably will have different stuff. That's fine. You will be able to go through the steps and the process and apply it to yourself, whether you're a digital artist or a painter, it doesn't matter. Process is going to be the same and going to get to an outcome you're proud of. However, I'm going to be using some specific materials and they are pretty easy to access, and most of you should be able to have something similar to them. First and foremost, a pencil and eraser. Nothing all that fancy, a basic eraser from any stationary shop or news agency. I have a favorite mechanical pencil, but you can use your basic lead pencil that you sharpen. It's really straightforward. What you're going to need to make sure of though is that you have the ability to keep a sharp pencil, particularly when we get to our refined sketching. A blunt or soft pencil tip is going to make your sketches less controlled and a little rougher and more misty. That's why I prefer a mechanical pencil, because the tip is pretty much always sharp. Then if you feel it getting a little softer or blunt on one end, you can't just rotate the pencil and keep going. But, if you're using a wooden pencil with a sharpener, that's fine too. I'm going to be using some ink pens. Now, when I say ink pens, these are fineliners. They are very basic, you can get them in a whole bunch of different brands. I'm using a 0.2, a 0.4, and a 0.8. Basically, a thin medium and slightly more bold, but even the bold one is pretty thin. All of the ink work that we'll be doing will mainly rest on these. Then for the advanced inking, when I get a little bit fancy, I really like this pen. This is a tombow calligraphy pen. It's like a brush pen, but with a fine and hard tip. I don't use this a huge amount, but I love it when I get to use it, so I'm just going to include that. Then also sometimes I like to use something called a brush pen. I've got two brush pens here. One is called a copic gasenfude, I think it's how it's pronounced. This is a brush pen made up of bristles. The tip is made up of all individual fibers that come to a point and that has ink flow through it. That feels pretty organic, like you're painting with a brush and ink, which is pretty cool, but you don't have to dip it. But then if you want something a little bit more rigid and reliable using a tombow brush pen, this is double-sided and can come in different colors as well. But the brush tip of this pen is soft, but also holds its shape and it's quite broad, so I can color in large areas and have a lot of line, white variation control. So they are the things I'll be using for the foundation of my illustration. But when it comes to color, there's a whole world of options out there for you. Now, at the end of the day, I can't cover every medium in this class, so I will do my best with two, pencils and alcohol markers. I know I'm flexing with my big collection of copics here. But even with a set of 12 or 20 alcohol markers, you can pretty much get the whole spectrum of colors to make your piece standout. Same goes with pencils. You can apply everything we're going through with the packet 12 pencils. The great thing about both mediums is they blend really well together, and you can mix new and unique colors and create contrast through blending and layering. But at the end of the day, all you really need to participate in this class, and really to draw pictures, is hopefully at least a pencil and eraser. The line stuff is optional, and I'd encourage you to have a couple of fineliners, and certainly something to draw on. But once you've got everything together, strap on your enthusiasm and your creativity, and we'll get started on making some cool illustrations. 4. Brainstorming Your Piece: About the stage, you should be pretty ready to go. You'll know the materials that you are going to be working with for your illustration. You'll be excited to start, so I would encourage you to grab your materials and pack them away temporarily, and grab something like a laptop or your smart phone, or a desktop, or small encyclopedias from the attic, because the first thing you want to do is prepare yourself. I know what you're thinking, "Jazza, I already have prepared myself. I got my materials. Can we stop drawing already? I thought this was the illustration class." It is, but you'd be surprised how important it is to really think through and plan your illustration before you get started. It's extremely important and helps you avoid problems that could show up later and also discover things that can really enhance and bring out the best in your potential illustration. I'm going to break down the research and exploration phase into three approaches that you could take. You could use one or more of them and mix them together. The first is the quickest and simplest, which many of you may want to follow through with just some of the simplest illustrations or something you really just want to get started on, and that is simply just a bit of a brainstorm. It's important to do this because you might find that if it's something that bears to have a little bit more explanation behind some things or has been done before, this is the phase where you catch yourself in some of those pitfalls. It's also the phase where the things that could be the most interesting things about the illustration or the character or the same, can be identified and enhanced or looked into a little bit more. How can you make more of some of those things? Out of the two illustrations I'm going to be doing in my class, the first one is going to be a little bit more simple. I don't really need to do a lot of researching or mood boarding for the two kids playing in some playgrounds. I'll just put down some dot points, playground scene. This is just for myself to help visualize what I'm about to be drawing and we can do that more in the brainstorming session. But it can simply be that they're, let's say age 2-3 year old children, gets you thinking about places as well. l have the option of doing something like a backyard or a public place. I'm going to go backyard to make it feel a bit more homey. I'm going to go really primary colors. Really is that simple. This is the simplest thing that you might want to do just to make sure that you're covering the foundation before you dive in. Like I said, there are three main ways you can approach this research and preparation stage. The first is the rough brainstorm, which we've just done. The second is a bit more of an intensive research and study, which really for this illustration we don't need to do. But the third, which I find really useful for most illustrations that I'm going to really get lost in, is doing something called a mood board. This is where you can start to incorporate a bit more of that visual feedback system to get some information or inspiration. I like to do this simply by just coming to Google Images and looking up, kids in play ground. You can do this in some stock image websites or whatever. This stems from the whole thing people used to do, like cutting out magazines and putting them on inspiration boards and stuff. It's basically that. None of this is really doing much for me. But if I write kids in sand pit. This is the thing that starts to be a lot closer to what I'm thinking about. Two kids interacting at their eye level. What a bright colored things around them that they're playing with. I like that log behind these two little girls playing here, so I'm just going to copy that. I'm literally just pasting this into Photoshop as one idea. I can also do things like look up cute cartoon children. This is where I might get ideas as to styles that would suit what I'm going for. Obviously there's going to be a huge variety of ways to draw cute cartoon children. But just looking at what other people have done can give you ideas for proportions or color schemes, just attributes that you think work really well, and I like that proportion of the kids, and I think that married with the bright colors and that environment could be really cool. Even looking up something like sandpit toys gives a visual things I can include and a reference that I can go to if I get a bit stuck as to what I should feel the same with. This is pretty simple mood board. I would call that perfectly adequate. It doesn't have to be neat, or orderly, or pretty, and you don't have to fill every gap in your board. You just need to do it until you feel empowered to get started. That's our playground scene done. But what about our battle scene? Well, this is going to be one where, frankly, a few dot points probably won't cut it, especially if there's a context that's a bit greater than the illustration itself. Say for example, the battle scene that I'm creating is for a client who has a graphic novel or a book that I'm either doing a cover or a promotional piece for. Now, obviously for this course in my illustration example, I don't have a rich story or character law that I've got ready to anchor off of. But let's improvise something a little deeper than we have with our playground scene and see where we can take it. Obviously, the illustration I'm going to be creating is going to be a moment in time, two people battling in some fashion, mainly because I like illustrating battle scenes as my cup of tea, and also creating an interaction between two people is a really great way to practice your dynamism in the way characters interact with each other. With my first few notes on the battle scene, I've just fleshed out a little bit about the world, two forces have been at war for thousands of years; the noble civilization of Delma'ar and the primitive barbarian tribes of Krogathar. This is a new course I'm writing. Okay, I'm not an author, but that's the foundation I'm starting off with, and our two characters are going to be from each of those groups, one of the Delma'ar and the other of the Krogathar. Now, before I dive into that, we're doing a bit more research. First is, have those names have been taken? Do they existed in any other form? Best way to do that is simply copy the name, paste it in Google. What have we got? What is Delma'ar? Delmar private hospital, Delmar as a place. It's just spelled differently, and that might be slightly problematic. That's good to catch that before we dedicate a lot of time to realizing this place and these people. I'm going to change the name, because I'm even attached to it at this point. See where I'm coming from. I'm going to go with Thunissia. There's three results, and nothing is relevant. Done. Let's go with Thunissia, and let's move on to just some dot points that I can follow for my illustrated scene. I'm going to divide my dot points into two groups, one for character 1, and the other for character 2. We'll call that the environment. Because really the environment should be treated as a character, and have as much effort and input or research done on it as anything else in the scene. Let's imagine that this scene is an illustrated depiction of one champion from each of these groups coming to battle so that the people of each group doesn't have to go to war. That's a thing, isn't it? I think it is in some fictions. This is the champion of Thunissia. He's noble, wears full plate armor, and fights with a big sword. This character's name can be Voth and he is the champion of Krogathar. Let's start to shape this a bit. He's an older man, but also the most powerful warrior that the tribes know, so they sent in the old guy. He's a battle-hardened warrior. At this point, I feel like my choices are starting to taper off a bit and I feel like I'm pretty close to what I want. So I couldn't move on to mood boarding, but also I could think, "You know what? It doesn't seem all that original." If I'm creating my own idea, my own illustration or my own world, I personally like to do things a little differently, or at least in ways that I don't immediately think of. Because at the end of the day, if you do things that you think of the first time round, you're not going to come up with many new, original idea, which brings me to a little element I'd like to introduce into this phase sometimes of random idea generation. A great way to not only take the pressure off, but introduce some really cool stuff, is to flip a coin or roll the dice, literally. So coin, dice, wish I had this works. It's really simple. Let's say you're not basing this off of any particular work of fiction, and you're just trying to come up with a cool story or scene to create. One way I might shape the way I approach illustration like this is to flip a coin and see if Davin or Voth is the protagonist, the one we're vouching for. So heads, Davin's a good guy, tails Voth is the good guy. Heads, Davin is the good guy. Davin is our hero, Voth is the villain. Here's an interesting one. We might have a perspective as to who the hero is. We don't know who's winning. That might be an interesting thing too. So heads, Davin's winning, tails Voth is winning. Tails, bad guy is in the lead, defeating Davin. All ready you can see how super quickly just flipping a coin shapes the visceral reality of the illustration we're going to create. What we're making has a really clear picture all of a sudden just through involving a little bit of chance. It's super fun. Where you might involve the dice is if it's a little more gray than black and white, let's say the environment, for example. Dice time. Six, top of a tower. Sounds good. I'm going to leave it there. I think that really gives me everything I need to start making a mood board, because it's pretty clear in my head. Now I just need to see some things that match that clarity. I want to set the scene a bit. Before I get to characters, let's look up some barbarian cities. I like the idea that there's a lot of wood structures, barns, ropes. Sorry, I'm not seeing a lot of what I like, this is the closest so far, but I might just refine my search and add wooden tower. That's pretty cool. See, all of a sudden, just by refining the search, I really like that as a visual. I'll paste that in my mood board. Really like that, that certainly captures the feel I'm looking for. That's cool for the tower. What about the city? I'm looking for something really roped together and quite rough and rustic looking. Maybe if I try looking up a barbarian battlefield, primitive city. It really is just moving through search terms until you start to see the idea of what you're actually looking for. This is actually the closest so far, which is good, but it's not grand enough. But under related images, you can start to see that it's getting a little bit closer to the thing I'm looking at. I think that's enough for the environment. Let's have a look at what we can find regarding our heroes. Now, I like this image, it's nothing like how I picture Davin, but it's the full plight aesthetic and really noble warrior with a large sword. I'm going to put that on my mood board simply for the armor that I think is a really cool thing to gain inspiration from, not copy, but referred to if I get a bit lost in certain elements, so we'd like some inspiration. Even that, to be honest, is really all I need in a mood board. I really feel like, at this point, I've laid down a great foundation. I've got some really exciting visual references to get some ideas and inspiration from. Now, we're ready to put pen to paper, or pencil to paper, because we're sketching. Ink comes later. 5. Starting Your Sketch: We are finally putting our pencil to paper. But you'll notice that there's obviously a bit of a step-based buildup approach that I've laid this class out in. That's simply because that's the approach that I follow and I think is most reasonable. The reality is drawing something really cool comes with a lot of pressure, and the more you want it to look good, the more pressure you put on yourself, and sometimes that can be a barrier, which is why I find this stepped process really helpful. This rough sketching, the brainstorm sketch, is what I'm going to be covering in this lesson, and that really is a way to loosen up and take the pressure off. I'm just going to use my pencil, a colored pencil, and my eraser, and that's all I'm going to use for both of my illustrations and the brainstorm sketching phase. We're going to start off with a bit of brainstorm sketching for alcuta. A little more stylistically simple illustration. I'll break down the process of the brainstorm sketching with you. Then once we've gone through that and it's thumbnails, when we get to the more complex and ambitious image, you'll have an idea as to what I'm doing when I get more messed into a little bit more of a demanding brainstorm sketching process. Now keep in mind with both of these illustrations brainstorm sketching sessions, my mute board is open off to the side, so I can reference it and just get some ideas and remind myself visually and aesthetically what I'm going for. I really I'm just going to start off by scribbling. I don't need to be neat, I don't need to be orderly. I don't have any pressure that I'm going to do anything at all resembling what my final outcome will be, unless you can see, I'm really scribbly here. Now, we might tighten up as we go. I know is a horrendous sketch, but guess what? It doesn't matter. If anything, it's good that I've just put the pencil down and drawn something horrible so that I can think, "You know what? It's not going to get much worse than that, let's just keep going." I'm going to start off just thinking out the proportions of the characters I want to draw. I'm thinking big foreheads and I'm done whether I want big eyes or little eyes, so I will with both. The general approach really is if you have a thought or a doubt or a question, you just put it down visually. Do I want to do a more two-dimensional face shape or something a bit more three-dimensional? Do I want to get bubbly or a little bit more blocky? The great thing about this is it acts as both an exploration and a Walmart. So as you brainstorm, you find you're naturally just getting a little bit sharper and, a little bit more refined and a little clearer with every line that you draw. The other thing you'll notice is I'm really simplifying everything first. I'm not drawing eyes or nose or details. I'm starting off with the broad geometry very roughly. This is universal across every way of sketching, whether it be refined or rough. I'm not bringing in the details once I have a rough idea of the shape or proportions, and where I want to go from there. If something feels right, chase it, if it just doesn't feel right, move on. There really is no need to waste your time. It's just focusing on what feels right and developing that. I'm starting to get some ideas coming together, but they're also in the same realm of how I tend to draw. The great part of this process is you can start to push outside of your comfort zone because there is no wrong way of going about it, and you might discover things that work because you haven't tried them before. I'm going to dedicate this whole page to just different stuff. Maybe I'll draw a face with entirely rigid angles. Now let's do a character with entirely ridiculous proportions. Eyes are as big as the the head almost looks like Invader Zim. Tiny little mouth, big ears, lower in the head, big bubbly eyes. That's actually not too bad, we're not even done with hair on the sides of the head, that looks pretty cool. I'm going to go really rounded with this one. Really little round cheeks, big forehead, little bubbly tuffs of hair. Maybe for this one I'll just go ultra simplistic. Little dots for eyes, tiny little [inaudible] , little nose, little mouth. To be honest, it is actually my favorite so far. I think the really simplistic approach is starting to capture that bubbly cute easygoing, carefree feeling or one in my illustration, so this is the direction I want to go in. When I feel like that about one of my rough sketches, that's when I bring in my color pencil, because what I actually like to do is just draw a little shed behind it and color that in. Almost framing my little sketch. This is more just to give an embodiment to my thought process, more for myself than anything, so when I look through my sketches, I can see clearly where I've framed or identified the things that I feel works best. Let's start to shape these two characters with that aesthetic in mind. Now, you'll notice I'm still sketching quant scribbly, but my lines are getting a little more certain. It's not that I'm settling on anything in particular, but the style and the feeling of what I'm trying to capture is starting to take shape. As a result, my drawings are naturally as well. I'm not telling myself to draw less scribbly, but are naturally I'm, as I find my feet in the aesthetic that I'm really enjoying. I feel like I'm in a place of enough clarity and confidence that I can move on to a few thumbnails. Now, this is a really simple process, and it's the same approach and style as you brainstorm sketches, except it's in the context of the construction of the image itself. The best way I find to do thumbnails is to literally draw out four pages on one page. That way you're forcing yourself to work in a little bit more of an enclosed area, and if you let yourself keep nice and rough, you know you have a few more attempts ahead of you, so unless you relax a little bit more with the one that you're on. The first one should always be fascinated comes to mind. If you have an illustration that you already setting out to create chances are by the time you're at this phase in the process, you have a picture in your head already. For this first illustration, this is the rough composition that I had in my mind when I first conceptualized doing a cute simple little picture of two kids playing in the sand pit. From Tom picture with them side-by-side in a fairly symmetrical scene, maybe something in the background like a fence, maybe a little cubby house back here. Maybe a little swing set or something in the background and a little dog over here on the side. By getting out there and then just putting it down, it just lets me release the first thing that I had in my head. I'm done, I've tried that, let's try something else. Perhaps with this shot, we'll go much closer. Essentially the same framing, but this time we're of a mid-shot of the two kids. I'm going to keep the action between these two characters the same in all of my different thumbnails that the girl is helping fill the bucket that the boy is holding. For this one, let's go a little bit different in the background. Maybe add slightly angled perspective in the background rather than just keeping it all flat. If I want to create something that pulls you, in a bit more or feels a bit more like a scene of a little kids TV show or something like that. That might be the approach I'll take. Maybe I actually want to simplify it even more. What if we go back to our original idea and strip everything but the bare necessities. Maybe for this thumb now, the focus is a little closer in and on the characters. We do want the environment, but let's keep it really simple and basically just allude to the background elements. Maybe there's just some simple shapes that might resemble a swing set, but we're not going to add some detail, we're just going to have some simple silhouettes. Then for our last example, let's really push ourselves a little bit further at the moment with all of our examples. It's front on with the two-character side-by-side. Let's switch it up a bit. Let's have our boy over here in the foreground, and he could be facing in this direction. I miss Tom, we've created some perspective. We've got the little boy and the dog in the foreground facing the girl in the midground, and maybe we can just have some shapes in the background alluding to the backyard that they're in. We do a thumbnail sketches, you might want to explore more and push yourself further in different directions. This is a pretty straightforward concept and I feel like after going through all of those, I must like this one. My simplistic background approach, a little bit more focus on the characters, but complimenting the simplistic stall that we're going for with the characters by simplifying the background, maybe even in a stylistically over the top way. I've got a thumbnail, I'm going to follow from our refined sketch. I've got a stylistic approach. I don't have it set in stone, but I have enough clarity and confidence to move forward on a refined sketch where I can find that lost 10 percent of clarity to make an image exactly what I want. I'm going to put this across to the side and I'll get to you, the refine sketch of this later in the next lesson, but it's time to move on to a slightly more complicated characters and seen. Even though both pieces will end up completely different in complexity and aesthetic, the approach to get the end result is exactly the same. I begin my process by brainstorm sketching out Davin, the champion of Tunisia. There's very little I know about him. Other than that, he's a protagonist, he is noble and he's wearing armor. I kept my brainstorm sketches really loose and played around with as many visual audiences I could, just trying to tick off those boxes. I started off by focusing on the face, and once I felt like I had a decent foundation for our heroic character, I moved on to a few of the body parts and armor pieces. Now, at the point that Davin's characteristics and proportions and costumes started to feel like that was shaping together, I moved on to a forth character. Starting off with a few old guy barbarian faces, I actually found that giving him a long mohawk or just some hair at the top of his head that could flow in front of his face might add to the drama of the scene, especially if the tower is quite high. I wanted to look windy and unstable. The hair of this character was probably a way to communicate that, as well as making him look a little bit more mysterious and looming. I found that as slightly more primitive approach to Voth's costume was beneficial, especially given that the tribe that is from has a lot of wooden towers. It stands to reason that his clothing is probably consisting of just leathers and pelts. Occasional pieces of metal may be, but much more ropes and animals and wraps and all that stuff. Before moving on to the thumbnails, of course, the tower itself has to be traded a bit like a character. How much space is on the tower? What shape is it? What the silhouette like? What are it's proportions? All of these things will contribute to how intense the same fields and what the culture of the [inaudible] people looks like. Now, it was time to move on to the thumbnails. I made it pretty clear that I had set myself up for a challenge. My first thumbnail was really flat and I approached it that way, basically starting off safe and getting more extreme from there. It was basically in our level front on view from the perspective of the top of the tower, seeing Voth looming over Davin. My second thumbnail, I got a little bit more ambitious and thought I would have a bit of a perspective from below the tab and looking up as if Davin was about to be pushed off of the edge, which would make it clear that he's losing. Thumbnails 3 and 4 are where I really started to feel like I was getting that dynamic. The third being more from the perspective of Davin in that where under the battle scene and being dominated by Voth. While I felt like this was a really cool perspective for the scenes to take place and I didn't know this guy was a little bit too MD, and I didn't really feel like we were at the top of the tower. Thumbnail 4, I feel like I started to see all of the elements come together. Voth will turn slightly towards our perspective in that he's holding the acts ready to take a final strike at Davin. The scene we're seeing allows us to see that Davin is losing. He's about to be struck off of the tower, and we can also see over the edge of the tower where I planned to have lots of other city elements of the barbarian tribe and also maybe some of those tribes people cheering Voth on. I suddenly feel like after going through this whole process, I have something that I can anchor myself to and work with clarity from. Specifically thumbnail 4, I really feel like I've got a scene that's going to have a lot of impact. Now that we've all gone through that process, we have everything we need to start off with our final artwork. Keep your rough sketches as a reference for when you start your front sketch. But at this point, now that we're ready to start our front sketch, we can pace ourselves and take out time with that final piece. I'll see you all in the next lesson. 6. Refining Your Sketch: In this lesson, we're going to start our final piece. It's still sketching like the last lesson however, you'll notice it's going to be a little bit different. First of all, I'll be going a lot slower and I'll be drawing a lot lighter. Second of all, I will be featuring this little guy a lot more, using an eraser as I go. Now, just because we're working on the sketch that will become our final piece doesn't mean that we have lost any room for flexibility or experimentation. There's still a bit of room to play, but it's just a different kind of playing. It's a little bit slower and more methodical. Which is why the refined sketch process is physically very different. It's a much lighter sketching simply because first of all, you get a more purposeful result visually to work from when you move onto your inks light up. But secondly, because it makes erasing easier and cleaner. What you don't want to do is have really rough gouged-in sketch lines like the ones we've been doing that are then difficult to erase. The more then you erase, the more paper you slowly pull apart or create those micro-tears that mean that eventually you're going to wreck your paper, or you just get these dark ghosty smudges throughout your sketch. So before we get started, all the work that you've done so far really comes into play here. I've got my reference images in my mood-board over there on my side, and right in front of me, I have my thumbnails and my character sketches that I can refer to as I get started on my final piece. So I'll work through this in two or three stages. The first is like a rough composition. This is where I'm really lightly and you're barely going to say this on camera. I can barely see it in person. You're really lightly putting in things like your horizon line, character positions. You'll notice, even the way I'm holding the pencil is quite different. When I was sketching on here, it was quite firm and towards the tip of the pencil and really rough. Over here, I'm actually really loose and light. Really I'm letting the wide of the pencil itself make the marks. So following on my thumbnails, I've got two characters that are going to be roughly around this position. I'm going to draw the head first for each. Now these can change that's why I'm drawing really light and I'm just going to start ghosting in where their poses are. Then just some directional lines like, what way are they facing? I'll have a line in the middle to show what direction they're facing on a horizontal plane and either curved upwards if they're looking up, or down if they're looking down to see where they're looking on the vertical axis. Maybe you will have this guy looking down towards the bucket being filled creates just a bit of a difference, a variation in their high-lines. That's the essential stuff done. So I'm going to just fill the rest of the piece with things that balance that out or compliment it. So now I'm trying to play around with what I want to do with the horizon, and I know I want something behind these characters. To make it look like a backyard, I feel like a fence might help, but it also might harm a little bit. But I can still experiment and try things out. So I'm just going to very loosely put in a horizontal line at a level I think I might want a fence. So that's my fence line, but I want to break it up a bit. It's just boring if it's just the fence. So I'm just going to put in some shapes in the background and I'm not going to be too crazy with this. I just want to compliment the scene. Obviously, I'm not there yet, but that's a really nice place to start off from to then define it and add more detail. So now I'm going to go back to the subjects of the piece. The two characters in particular, I'm going to start to shape the silhouettes a little bit more and start to put in a little bit of the details of the expression, their clothing. I'm not going to go too crazy or too solid, but you'll notice that my lines start to get a little bit firmer and I can also erase some of the more confusing construction as I go to neaten it up. The first thing I notice before I dive into doing the details of the head, is for this interactive pose, his head is actually a little too far back. It's like his whole body is leaning forward holding this bucket and it looks a little bit like he's pulling back with his head. So before I go in and do the details, we'll just go in and reposition that. All right, that's looking a bit more natural for me. So I'm going to start doing the details of this character. Starting with his expression, which is the most important thing to get right on a character's face. It is the window to the soul, and this kid's soul is extremely happy that he's getting out, filing his bucket. It's the little things, isn't it? So I'm just going to go through the rest of the scene and define things a little bit more but the most important thing to do and get right is what I've already got. Also there's not going to be a lot of detail elsewhere. So I am at this stage, really happy with my refined sketch of my kitty piece here. I think that's really fun. It captures exactly that feeling and atmosphere I wanted. It isn't over the top detailed in the background. In fact, it's going to be even simpler when we get to the long work in the next lesson. But before we do that, I'm going to put this aside and I'm going to go through this whole process again with a completely different style and more intense approach. The process I'm going to be following with my second piece is the same, but the way it unfolds is going to be a little bit different. Mainly because there's much more of a focus on realism and on drama, and it takes a lot more messing around and fine tuning to get something to look natural and organic and epic especially if you're going for something with more realistic proportions, and an ambitious angle, which I'm trying to do here. You'll notice that I go through ebbs and flows, focusing on the main character in the foreground, this barbarian character because a lot of the direction of the image is going to be focused on his motion. Everything really depends on if I can get his angle right and that feeling of motion like he's about to make his final strike to our protagonist. Now, there's a couple of problems here. First of all, I want to show you his face, as well as our protagonist's face but in doing so, really I have got to have him somewhat facing away from the protagonist. Now the way I'm trying to get around this is by having him hacking back or twisting away in preparation for his final blow. But this twisting anatomy pose is really difficult to make look natural, but that's okay because it's really no pressure. I am not adding a lot of details and as soon as I can see that, at the end of the day, this pose is not going to look organic, I'll start again. Finally, I found a pose that I felt was working. He's facing away from the protagonists ready to make his final strike without necessarily looking like a soap opera, when the characters are facing away from each other and talking to each other, and it looks really unnatural. I like this pose because I feel like he's really twisting in for a final strike, but we get a really good view of him and his design and his face, which was really important for me at least to demonstrate the process of getting from the beginning to the end here. Now that I'm happy with the foreground character that takes up a large bulk of the image, it feels a little risky putting in the background when I don't really know what's going to work best. Now when I say I don't know what's going to work best, I really I'm going to be approaching it the way I put it in a thumbnail sketches. But it's at this point that small tweaks like the angle or the perspective of the platform they're on, the pose or position of the protagonists, all make a huge difference. I took the pressure off myself by just taking a photo of the image I have so far, and going back to my scribbly sketchy mode by just scribbling in on my phone a few variations of what might work. My third variation, I felt was really dynamic. A really high view of the platform with our hero clamoring and scrambling backwards, perhaps having just fallen back, but potentially able to pick up his sword and defend himself. Then knowing how I wanted to move forward with confidence, I filled in the rest of my refined sketch. Taking it one step at a time and filling my way through until I found the things that I felt were working really well and then just doubled down on those. Finally, my refined sketch was taking shape and at this point, I filled in the background a bit, added more perspective and a sense of scale and scope by putting in some towers further in the background to sort of show you what the barbarian city looks like. Rather than fill the background with a crowd, which I thought might muddy the scene up with too much detail, I thought it would be really cool to have smoke and even some flames visible in the background as if the city was burning. The only thing left was to go back to my foreground character and add a lot more detail. Specifically where the outfit elements were going, where the ropes were tieing bits together, and even scratches, scars and dense throughout the character and his amour. So after all of our research and brainstorming, and now our refined sketching way of two artworks ready to be inked. They are very different styles and extremely different results, conveying a completely different atmosphere and feeling. Yet to me, they both just really cool and fun. So I'm really happy with these, which means it's time to move on to inking. Now in doing that, I'm going to split these up starting off with my kitty illustration here. I'm going to go through this a bit slower and go through some of the core inking elements that are going to help make your pieces stand out if you're using line work. Then after that we're going to dive deep into the nitty-gritty and get some real details, textures, and contrast happening with our inks in this piece. I'll see you in the next lessons. 7. Inking Your Sketch: All right everyone, it's time to ink our first of the two artworks that I'm going through today, and this is a point at which a lot of artists, including myself, get a little bit nervous. See up until this point we could always go back, and ink is one of those things where when it's down, well certainly feels like there's no going back and there are ways of fixing or tweaking or repairing some mistakes with ink. But the reason we've gone through the process that we've gone through so far is that we've allowed ourselves to be a setup for certainty as possible, so that when we put the ink pen down, we have a really clear guide to know exactly where it should go. So there's not a lot of guesswork. Now, we're going to start off simple with this first piece we're just going to use three basic fineliners of three different sizes. Any fineliners will be fine, and these are just like a light, medium, and a slightly heavy fineliner. I have 0.2, 0.4 and 0.9. Inks can be a way that you can create contrast and depth in your piece, even with simple lines just by how you place them and how you approach it. So we're going to start off with our medium pen, my 0.4, and I'm going to go around my two main characters and my dog. This is a pretty straightforward process. I'm literally just tracing over all the work I've done, I've removed so much guesswork because I did a lot of exploring through the refined sketch phase, and I'm sure you can tell by the states there's a bit of a pattern happening with the steps that we're taking. Each part of the process lends more certainty, confidence, and structure to the next. So now that I'm moving on to inking, because I put all that work into my brainstorming my final sketch, am just drawing with my ink pens. When drawing with your ink pen, there is no right or wrong way to make a mark on the paper, but it is worth keeping in mind that it's more natural to pull the pen towards you rather than push it away for couple of reasons. If you're pushing the pen away, there's more force on the nib of the pen, and you can't really see what you've just drawn as it's under your hand when you're pulling it towards you, you can have a lot more control, both because you can use your whole arm and then also you can get all the details and you find gene drawing with your wrist. Now you'll notice there are a few points at which I haven't drawn a line, such as the bottom of the legs and the bottom of the shovel, that's because I will be drawing the background and some props with the final felt tip pen, so I'm just leaving those until I get to that one. I'm going to move on to the little boy now, and while it can be nerve wracking for some artists to start working with ink, at the same time, if you can take the pressure off or adjust your mindset about how it feels to work around it or empower yourself by preparing beforehand as much as possible, this process can actually be really fun. It can be one of the most satisfying things because you feel you're slowly revealing it. You'll notice sometimes I stray from what I've sketched, and that's because even though I'm doing ink, believe it or not, there is still a degree of feeling your way around. Even though you're inking, still make sure to give yourself some room to play around a bit. So that's coming together, I'm pretty happy with that. I'm ready to move on to the cogee, but I have just made a little bit of a mistake where in my sketch I'll have sand dropping through into the bucket, and I've drawn a line over there. It happens with ink, it happens all the time. You just work around that and I'll get to that later and show you how I overcome that when I get to my thinner fineliner. But I'm going to finish off with this 0.4 with the cogee here. I'm pretty happy with that. Now, I'm going to move on to my thinner fineliner, my 0.2, and I'm going to be the whole background with this thinner fineliner, and I'm also going to do it a little bit differently. With a 0.4, all of the lines are really clean, clear, and solid. With a 0.2, I'm going to be sketchy. Not sketchy in that are going back and forth over the same area with the same pen, but more in that I'm really light and I'm letting the way of the pen itself do most of the work. Now, remember here with a sand, I didn't leave that gap, no problem. I'm just drawing inside the bucket to show that the sand is going in there, maybe do a few little dots in there and that's enough. So while you might think of something like that is a big problem, obviously I had plans to have sand going in there. I can still get the same effect by working around it and just thinking outside the box and relaxing a bit. But of course, the best way to avoid those mistakes in the first place is to lean back and take it all in as much as possible. Now the sketchy look with really relaxed light inclines works particularly well with the sand and in fact, I can let myself get a little bit shaky and break up the lines, but even with the props, I'm still keeping things really loose, say with the ball here, I'm leaving some gaps in my lines, just keeping it really relaxed, not worrying about little shakes. Now we're starting to close the gaps a little bit between the characters and the background, simply just by drawing those light lines where they meet the ground that they're on, and you can see that blends them into their environment, even though they're drawn with stylistically different lines. So that's all of the sand done. Now, I do you have this log back here, which I could do with the same line. I'm actually going to go back to the 0.4 just because I want there to be a little bit more separation between this mid ground and the background behind them. So I'm not doing anything drastic, and in fact, I'm still keeping my lines pretty relaxed and loose, not doing them as bold as I did those characters, but I just want this line to show up a little stronger to create some contrast and follow along my horizon. Now that I'm back from 0.2, I can add a little bit of that wood grain that are sketched in. All right, so now we're onto the back background and I'm going to take what I've been doing with that light 0.2 even further. I'm going to barely touch the paper and I'm just going for really light wispy lines. Gaps and little shakes are fine, I'm just trying to make it as light and gentle as possible. It's almost a bit of an ambient effect, like half things in the distance, less visible than things in your immediate presence. I'm using my lines to create that effect. Now, with the clouds, you might think, okay, they are clouds, I probably don't need some solid lines and that's true. I'm barely going to touch it, in fact I'm going to let the wide of the pen do all the drawing and I'm just going to let this really unevenly and organically draw this almost dotted line around where I've sketched the cloud. So all in all, I'm pretty happy with how this is come together. Now, I'm going to come back to the 0.2 in a minute just to add a few little textures, but before I do that, I'm going to create even more separation between our focus and everything else by going to our 0.8, our thicker fineliner. With this, I am simply going to trace around the silhouette of the characters that are in focus. I'm going to go back to my really even solid style of drawing. But I'm not going to break into the details or the inside of the characters. I'm literally tracing around the outside edge and this is barely thickening the character. The benefit of this also, is it can allow you to neaten things up a bit. Sometimes I'll save this step four after color because if you're using alcohol markers for example and you go over the edges in some places, you can clean up those edges by coming back with a thicker pen and just going around the outside. You can also undo certain choices, for example here, when I drew the hair, I did a split end which normally would look fine, but with this style, I really was going for simplicity. So I'm going to undo that choice just by drawing a thick line over that, and just like that, I've undone it and simplified the shape of the hair there. So that's hair, I haven't gone inside to any of the details or even where the head overlays the arms or anything like that, I'm just going around the other edges and I'm going to do the same with that little boy. Now while I have my thicker pen, I'm actually going to go in and fill in some of the details that I want to, for example, the eyes. I'm going to make these black with just little dots of highlights on the edges and I'm going to use this to fill in the inside openings of the mouth. This is really come together and I'm almost done with my inking. I'm actually going go back to my 0.2, my little guy and I'm going to use this to add just little flourishes of texture and detail, not over the top, because obviously the style here is focusing on simplicity. But with something like sand, we really do need to add some little dots, little indentations to communicate to the viewer that this is indeed sand. Now, we don't want to put dots everywhere throughout the piece that's going to look too busy and ugly, but I'm just picking a side in general, I'm going with the left side of little mounds of sand, and I'm just putting in a few dots, a few little circles. Occasionally in the middle, I'll do a cluster of a few dots just to remind the eye that this is all the same substance. Now, we have something like these dips where they've dug out from. I can't really just do lots of dots in there. It's going to look a bit odd, but I'm just going to do some simple lines all in the same direction, really certain flat lines just like this. This is called hatching, and that's a way of shading. Then when I look at this pace, as cool as it is so far, I'm really enjoying it. My eye is struggling to differentiate between the background in the backyard and then the sand pit, and the thing that is separating the two is the log. So what I can actually do to embolden that log as a separating factor is do the same thing again, that single hatching line all the way across. Now, I'm not going to go all the way up to the top of the log. I'm going to treat it like there is a highlight on top of the log from some loading from the sunny day above. Much you're going to start this line hatching about a quarter of the way from the top on the same angle, it's not a particular angle, I just like doing it on this angle, because I'm right handed and I can naturally pull in this direction quite easily, and I'm going to just try and keep that consistently all the way across, and just like that, I finished my line work for my kitty piece. I'm really happy with that. The cool thing about the way that I've approached it is even though I've just used three simple pens, you can see really clearly there is a foreground, a mid-ground, and a background. There's only one thing left to call this inked artwork finished, that is to erase my construction lines. Make sure before you do this, you give it a couple of minutes to completely dry because ink goes down wet. Just make sure you test it a little bit first to make sure you're not getting any smudges, and then when you're confident you can erase or you construction lines. I love this, I'm really happy with it and it's ready for color. Now, it is at this stage, I highly recommend if you're going to color your inked artwork that you scan it, it's worth having just so you can maybe try some experiments with color lighter, but also that you have a backup just in case things go horribly wrong. That is it for my process during the ink on this illustration. Next, I'm going to do the ink on my more intricate and complex illustration. If you enjoyed the process of saying how much she can do with three simple fineliners, you're going to love the next lesson where we dive into some nitty gritty, exciting stuff you can do with some ink, textures effects, all sorts of stuff. But that is for another lesson and I will see you there. 8. Inking Complex Characters: The party is about to really get started. We're going to do some more advanced inking techniques in this lesson. The things we've already covered that we are going to be going a little further into in this lesson are things like creating depth, using our inking tools, and creating a little bit of texture. But something we're going to be working on in here as well is adding intensity and accentuating the style. Next, I want to get my materials and I'm using the same three pens as last time for a majority of this, but there are a few extra pens I'm going to be introducing. One that I really love using is this one. It's a calligraphy pen by Tombow and it's actually just like a hard tip brush pen. It's almost somewhere between a brush pen and a fine liner. Let me show you visually the difference between all of these. We have a 0.2, a 0.4, and a 0.8. These are pretty straightforward. The differences between them are quiet subtle but apparent. So this calligraphy brush pen allows me to get the same effects as all three, but in the one pen. The harder I press, the more pressure I can apply and get a really thick stroke. The great thing is, I can get some pressure variation and create some really unique, interesting strokes here. So the first thing we're going to be inking is our foreground barbarian character here. Now, I'm going to approach this very similar to how I did my previous sketch. I am going to be a little bolder with my lines on this character. In the mid ground, I'm going to go a little more simplistic and push things a little further back into the background. I'm going to go much more with fine lines and textures. So I'm going to start off with my 0.4 pen, and I'm going to start going around the major areas and edges, like this shoulder pad here. Now, in some places, I'm improvising. For example, if there's a scuff or a bump, I might just introduce a little bump that I can add a scratch to later. Then you'll notice I'm going to move on from that. I'm not going to fill in the details inside that. I'm actually going to do that with my 0.2. I'm separating areas of geometry. I started with the shoulder pad because it was very visually commanding and it was in front of most things, but I'm actually going to break away from it and come to this hand here. Now, I'm going to move on to the glove. We have some texture here with the fur, that's on the outside of this leather, and I'm keeping my lines pretty loose because to create a texture, I need to make sure I'm capturing the feeling of that texture rather than just drawing lines around the shapes that they are. With this fur in particular, it's going to feel it's a bit fluffy and coarse. Speaking of stringing, now we have rope around his wrist. Then slowly, I'm just working my way backwards. Now, even though this image is more daunting to ink, there's still some room for experimentation. At the end of the day, it's more detailed and exciting. I might feel I want to add the things here or there. Such as in the biceps area, I feel like it's going to enhance the three-dimensional look of his arm, as well as add some detail to the character by having some steel ring wrapped around his biceps. I'm just going to draw that. There isn't anything in my sketch that tells me what to do there, but I'm just trusting my instincts, just lightly drawing something in that could be a steel band and just doing that all the way around. Then I'm going to draw the muscles underneath here. I think that works pretty well actually. I feel like it's bringing the arm forward and making sure that we know that this shoulder pad is lifted up a little bit and the arm is lifted up even further because we're trying to show that the arm holding the ax at the front is as far forward as we can visually make it look. Speaking of being far forward in our image, that is the foremost area of our image of this barbarian character, but that is covering up the face. Now, the face is something that we'll pay particular attention to. I'm not going to draw the details of the face, like the eyes and nose with this 0.4. I'm actually going to switch to my 0.2 just because it gives me a little bit more detail and flexibility. The eyes, nose, and mouth, in particular, in detailed images like these, are areas you don't want to muddy up with thick lines. It's better to start off thin, and then once you get the expression and things right, if you think areas need to be thicker, you can go back with a thicker pen and light up. I'm going to be really honest with you right now. This left eye, I'm not a 100 percent happy with. I feel like it's a little too far to the left and a little too low. It's not the end of the world. Don't worry, we can use some ink magic to push that one in a place a little bit, and we can actually move this other eye in the opposite direction. What I'm actually going to do is ink underneath the eye, just thicken that up, and I'm going to add a little mass to the right side. I'm going to do the opposite over here. I'm going to push down the right bottom area. Just like that, and it's very subtle and we can even that out later with our shading, but I'm just pushing that with thicker lines. Obviously, it's a bit much right now, but the most important thing is finding that balance. It is a bit of a mistake, but you'll find that once all the ink is in there and the whole image comes together, it's going to be a non-issue. But just by pushing the lines in certain directions, you can actually, slightly reshape the proportions even though you're working with ink. I have done all I want to do with the 0.2. I will come back and texture and shade the face and hair with the 0.2 lighter, but I'm just going to go back to my 0.4 and go back to focusing on the solid areas of mass throughout my image. I don't want to get too caught up on the details just yet. I've now blocked in most of our barbarian character here. I'm actually going to get back to my 0.2 fine liner, and you'll notice there are a few areas that have been left to fill in with details such as the shoulder pad, some of the leather areas, the hair, but also the ax. I haven't drawn the outside of the edges of the ax, which itself is a very solid object obviously, but I've left that because I want to help employ motion. This is where we can use a bit of almost like a blur effect, which we can create with ink. To do this, first of all, I'm going to go back to my thinner pen simply because when something is blurred, it's less solid, so going with a thinner pen is going to help create that effect, and then I'm going to start drawing the outline of my ax but I'm just going to leave some gaps. So I'm very lightly going around the outline of the ax, but I'm almost doing it in little dashes, going all the way around, not filling in all of it intentionally. Now, what I'm going to do is make sure that I do this with confidence. I'm going to go back to my pencil and map out the motion. If he's whirling around like this, I want to just do some lines in that direction. If that feels good to me, which it does, then I'll have some guidelines that I can follow like that. I'm going to get back 0.2 now. In that direction, I'm just going to add some blurred lines. Some of these can be quite long, some can be short little ones. Just to break up the motion, we're following that guideline that we've created and we can even add some to other areas of the ax just to show that it's more than just the blade itself that's moving, even his hand. But we're following that guide that we've already set up. We can be pretty rough at least with this. We can go over certain areas, again, some long, some short, some over the whole direction of the ax, but it is quite random. Just like that, that ax has a lot of motion to it. Now, if you want to add some strength to the silhouette, we can going back to our 0.4, and just go around some of the areas of the very edge that aren't intruded on by that line just to make sure that the eye knows where the outline of the ax is. We're not going over all of the lines, were just making sure that the silhouette has some clarity. I am very happy with that. That certainly looks like he's moving and swinging it around. Now, with my 0.2, I'm going to go inside some of these areas like the shoulder pad, the hair, the leather, and I'm going to add some details. I'm going to be really relaxed in how I do it. I am extremely happy with where he's at. We're not done yet, but I don't want to overdo anything there. I want to find the balance of the image. To do that, I'm going to go through the rest of it with a similar approach. Then we can look at the whole thing and find out better ways to add contrast, and depth, and separation between these elements. I'm almost ready to move on, but before I do, and now that the ink is dry, I'm going to erase the construction sketch underneath the barbarian character. Now, you'll notice it looks a little bit dark and muddy where the construction sketches are. When you erase it and just show you the ink, it looks a lot cleaner. It's really clear if there are any areas or details that you've missed out that are worth adding. So that really simplifies what I'm looking at. I'm really happy with that. It's looking pretty epic, and also it gives me a lot of confidence moving onto the next stage. 9. Inking Elaborate Environments: Enjoying my midground with my protagonist in the platform, I'm going to stick to the 0.2 fine liner which just means that it's going to be a little less heavy than the foreground character, but I'm really going to approach it in the same way, working foreground to background, starting off with our protagonist because he's the most important part. Now, 0.2 is the thinnest pen that I've prepared here. But I actually have a thinner pen, and I'm going to go get it. This is a 0.05. Where that's our 0.2, that is at 0.05. You can see next to each other, they are close but this is fine and detailed enough that I'm going to have a lot more flexibility when it comes to the details of the face. Coming together, I've got my midground roughed in. I'm going to start doing a couple of things to make it an even fancier than it's starting to look. First things first, let's finish off the midground by adding a bit of texture. Now the cool thing about having this square platform with the planks in this direction does, unintentionally, but fortunately, is it creates these action lines that direct towards the impending doom. That's my good friend, Bob Ross, likes to call it a happy accident, but really quite cool. We're going to accentuate that by getting my 0.05 here. I'm going to start adding in some wood grain really lightly, just lines following along here. Just pick a few random places just to add planks in the direction of their perspective. Now I'm going to go up the length of all of these planks with just some wavy lines. Sometimes I'll add a knot in the wood, but otherwise it's going to be pretty random. But these are going to add to that feel of motion directing towards where the action is headed. Now, the other thing that this texture does, aside from helping emphasize those action lines, is it separates the characters from the platform, which is really quite effective. Now I'm going to take that a step further and create even more separation by getting my calligraphy pen and going around the outlines, the very outer silhouette of our barbarian character. Then I'm going to get my 0.4 and do the same around a protagonist. Let's start off with the barbarian. Now this is going to be a little different to the simple inking that we did. We are going to go around the outer outline, but we're also going to go in some overlapping areas just to make sure we're adding depth. The other thing too is because we're using the calligraphy pen, we're going to be able to go thicker in some areas and thinner in others. I'm going to start off with the ax and the hand. This is going to be quite thick because this is the most prominent and foreshortened area of the character. I'm going to follow along with the ax and get thinner as we get further away. That's my barbarian character done. Now, with my 0.4, I'm going to go around the protagonist and just the edges of the platform. Now that I've done those outlines, you can see that I've created quite a decent separation between the foreground and the midground. The texture of the planks really also helps highlight the characters themselves. Now we're going to move into the background. I'm going to grab my 0.2 and my 0.05. Now, I want to move into the background. I don't want to do so much that I make the whole scene busy. There's already a lot happening and it's working pretty well. I'm going to focus on two things. One, I'm going to make the towers and some of the spikes stand out. Two, I'm going to set the atmosphere, and the scene, and depth by adding a little smoke, and clouds, and dust in the background. Before we get started on the towers, which are going to be the main focus, I'm actually at my 0.05 and I'm just going to draw some very rough clouds. These are just going to be over top of whatever I'm drawing. The reason I'm drawing this first is because some of the towers are going to be drawn through areas of the clouds and it's going to change how I'm going to draw them. For example, wherever the clouds are in front of the objects I draw, they're going to be silhouetted behind the smoke. It'll be drawn differently. But wherever they're behind, of course, the lines will be thicker and everything will be clearer. The smoke is all moving with the wind in the same direction. I'm going to push it all that way. I'm going to add more later, but I'm just starting off with a few basics that I can use as a bit of a guide moving forward. I'm going to go to my 0.2. I'm going to start drawing the tops of spikes and towers. Here's where we can start to get a little bit of fancy. We can add some more depth to our background without adding too much busyness or detail. We can also add to the effect of this smoke and ambiance, by switching to our thinnest fine liner and just simply shading in where shapes would be. Let's say, for example, we want to allude to a tower structure behind here. We might have a different shaped one to what we've got. Little peaked roof, a little square top spike over here. But this is more submerged in the smoke. I'm going to keep shading in the direction of our vertical perspective. As more lines go across, I'm going to go on more of this angle and all the way across, I'm going to gradient towards that angle. Just like that, it gives the illusion to there being a shape there behind the clouds. That I can add some layers of smoke by shading in here, but leaving that gap in the middle there, even adding a few more plumes, a bit of dust. We can also use this to continue the structures that we've started like this tower here. As we go deeper into the smoke, we can start to add our shading. The more dense the structure, the closer to the line should be together, so it looks a little thicker. Also, the thicker the smoke, the thinner the lines. That's also a bit of playing about here, just get it near enough that the eye thinks you've nailed it. Honestly, I'm really satisfied with the background. I don't think it needs anything else. I haven't done a whole lot, but I really don't want to do a whole lot. I think what I've done is exactly what I wanted to do. Add to that barbarian vibe, the smoke adds to the intensity and the environment, and all of that good stuff. But now, we're back to where we want to focus on our characters here, which brings us to the very last thing I want to touch on with inks, which is shading. We're going to be doing a lot of that with color. I don't want to go over the top, but there are some areas that certainly needs some attention. For example, under his pelt here, that should be pretty much fully shaded in, but I want to add to the texture. I'm just going to rotate my image and just, using my calligraphy pen, go thick to thin in rapid succession, leading out from under the pod. That will just create that feeling of being shaded, but also a bit of a gradient. I'm going to grab a more even pen, let's say my 0.2. There are some areas I just want to completely shade in, such as this torn cloth. I want this to be a texture and a material that sort pushed to the background and has a familiar consistency wherever it appears. Last but not least, I just want to add a little bit of depth to his face. To do this, I'm going to stick with my 0.2 and I'm just going to add some really thin line shading underneath the eyebrows here. This is going to darken under the eyes. It will make him look a little more menacing and intense and it has the added effect of slightly hiding that little line mistake I had before, and just generally giving his face a little more shape. I'm going to do the same around his face. Just pick a few areas I want to deepen and push a while a little bit, and just add some of this shading just to push the lot around a little bit. Again, we'll do a lot more with color when it comes to lighting. But sometimes, using lines to push things around is really helpful. For example, in the tongue, this is the inside of the mouth. I don't need that to stand out. I'm just going to use my lines and really put a lot of detail in this, and really fine lines to shade that in. There we have it. This is my completed extremely cool artwork of a fight on the top of a barbarian tower. Now I could be happy with this, just as it is, and I am very happy with it. That being said, I am going to scan this as well just so I have a backup, but it is time to move on to the main event; color. 10. Choosing Your Color Scheme: In this lesson, we're going to experiment and do a bit of brainstorming with the colors. Then in our next lesson, we're going to apply those colors. Now, as you can imagine, I'm not going to be doing that on my phone, a lot of works. I'm going to tuck this off to the side, and this is where there's another advantage for scanning your artwork in. Because I've scanned them, I was able to duplicate them and put four of them on a page each, which allows me to just have a few different options and have a bit of a play. Starting off with some wise, safe guesses, and then going a little bit outside of my natural instincts to see if I can find something cool to work with. Now we have two very different artworks here. It stands to reason that where you have two different approaches with color, we're going to go through the same process to achieve an end outcome, but the mediums themselves will be different. For my action-packed complex piece, I'm going to be using my color pick markers. Then for this piece, my whimsical happy go lucky little kids in the playground piece, I'm going to be using some colored pencils. We start off with the color scheme that first comes to mind. If we get that out of the way, that leaves room for experimentation. As you can see, it's a really relaxed process. Don't worry about textures, don't worry about keeping in the lines. This is not I refined coloring process. It's really just about slapping down the colors and seeing what things look like together, and finding a good balance. Just like doing our thumbnail sketches and our brainstorms sketching, this is a brainstorm coloring. Well, the time I get to thumbnail number 3, I try and experiment with some new elements or ideas. For example, in the background here I have a bit of a sunrise, and a bit of a dark offense, some broader colors in the swing set and coffee house, and in this case, the illustrations quite simple. After having done three thumbnail-sized color samples, I have a pretty clear idea of what I think works, and attempt to create a compilation of those things into the fourth thumbnail, which I think turned out pretty good. Bit of a simple blue gradient in the sky, [inaudible] in the girl, and [inaudible] in the boy. In general, the colors in the background and the environment are much softer than those on the characters and the props. Overall, I felt like number four, pretty much hit the [inaudible] on the head. I'll be very confident moving forward with this color scheme in my final piece. Now onto a more challenging illustration. Believe it or not, the process is pretty much exactly the same. It's messy, it's pretty haphazard, slapping in the colors that come to mind in the first terminal, and then starting to experiment. The only difference between this and the simplest illustration is there are a few more things to keep in mind, in particular, lighting, shading, and I guess you could say some special effects. For example, we have some smoke and fire in the background, and we might want to play with how the light reflects off of skin and how shadows might dance around the scene. In thumbnail 2, I went a little more extreme than maybe I should have, with really brought yellow rim lighting around the edges of the character facing the background, and some harsh hot highlights facing the opposite direction. This was a little extreme, but it did tell me that I could play with this. I just was playing with it the wrong way. I did, however, like how the horizon looked. The wavy orange and yellow smoke worked to separate the foreground and midground from the background while setting the scene. For thumbnail 3, I decided to experiment with much more neutral turns in the foreground and the midground, with the idea that once I [inaudible] all these out in a way that I was happy with, I could experiment by adding more extreme colors and highlighting on top. I went pretty extreme with the background which enhance either, I was a huge fan of. But the goal with around the characters and the more orange hues in the shadows of the characters, I felt worked really well. Another thing I felt worked really well too, is adding shadows on the platform that the characters were on in the opposite direction of the flames below them, adding to the intensity of the heat and the fire that are protagonists might be fully into anytime now. I attempted to put all of this together in a fourth thumbnail to try and represent all the bits that I liked, and I didn't get it exactly right, to be honest. I felt like some of the elements were balanced pretty well. But in general, it tends out there was a bit of something in every thumbnail that I really liked. In my first experiment, I really liked the color scheme of the protagonist. It felt noble but also a little bit down to earth, and nice and grief. I was going for that term, which I am. In the second experiment, I really like the sky in the background. In the third experiment, I like the way upside with shadows on the platform, pushed away from the direction of the flames. Then the fourth, I really liked the balance of the lighting on our barbarian character in the foreground, the gold edges and the hot orange shadows. After going through the same process with both my illustrations here.. On one hand, I have an illustration that has a pretty clear direction. On the other, I have a few directions that I like, that I'm going to attempt to put together in my final piece. Coming to a final result and moving forward from that is really good. But also you don't have to have one color scheme or thumbnail test that works perfectly, you can just discover the elements that you like well. When you feel confident enough to move forward, you can just take those pieces and put them together in your final illustration. Either way, the next stage, which involves taking what we've learned here and applying it to our final illustration is bound to be exciting. 11. Adding Color with Pencils: Is it just me or just it's very really monumental? We have gone through an intense journey to get to this point where we're going to add color to both of our illustrations. It feels like a big deal, and it is, but at the same time, it doesn't have to be scary, much like approaching ink yes, to a degree there's an element of not being able to undo what you put down, and that can be scary. But at the same time, we've established enough confidence in our experiments with color. Also in the time we've spent getting to know the illustrations that we're creating, that we should be able to move forward and really just enjoy the process. Starting off with a bit of a simpler approach and using my color pencils and then moving on with some, I guess you could say, a little more challenging elements with this piece. Thinking about things like dynamic lighting and shading and rim lighting effects, and all sorts of cool stuff. We'll get to that later. Let's start off with our colored pencil piece. So I'm going to go for a pretty flat coloring style, but I don't want too much of the pencil texture to show, at least lines of the shading. To achieve this, I shade really light, keeping in-between the lines and keeping my strikes really smooth and consistent. Soon as I feel like I'm going to be trapped into a bit of a corner where after apply more pressure, I just rotate my angle to get more consistency. The more experience you have with the pencils, the more you learn to feel what shape the tip of the lead is under your hands. So when it starts to feel a bit blunt, you rotate the pencil to get a sharper tip down, so you can get more pigment down the paper. So there's one layer of the flat color, but I'm actually going to go over from the very beginning and I'm going down in a different angle this time from the first layer I went down in. I'm just going as smoothly as possible over the entirety of the same area of color. Now, you will notice also that close to the edges, it's a little bit lighter because we're also trying to not go over the edges, and in doing that, we're not really going all the way up to the edges all the time. So you can just go back and add a little bit of extra love to the edges there. Now, it's important to think about the sort style and aesthetic you're going for, and in this case, I want some really bright beautiful, rich colors with our main characters, the dog and the bowl. With everything else, I'll keep it to like one or two layers of really soft, smooth colors. This is the third layer this time, and I'm getting a pretty smooth flat color, altering my direction every time and keeping my strokes really smooth. But by doing it this way, it means I'm not denting the paper in my first layer and creating harsh textures. So there you got that shaped up pretty well, I'm finishing it off now and this is my fourth layer of color for the single color of the shirt. That's pretty straightforward when it comes to a single color. But what I will demonstrate is blending. Sorry, the skin tones, for example, when it comes to pencils, I'm notoriously not great. I mean, for characters like this, if I wanted a peachy skin tones, these are the colors that come in the pencils and to get the pigment down, you have to end up pressing pretty hard, and the final result is actually pretty bland, or at least I think so. So what I like to do is mix my own colors. So I've got three pencils here. I've got a light pink, a medium warm brown and a yellow. I like to start off with the pink and do what I did with the red shirt. But over all of the skin tones, just get a really even color of a very light pink. So I've gone over this character's skin with a couple of coats of the pink, keeping a pretty lot with enough room to add some more colors without it being too saturated. So now moving to the warmer brown, and I'm going to do the same thing, but this time going to be even lighter with my application. This is going to neutralize the skin tone a bit. Using a warm brown adds a little bit of depth and warmth to the skin tone, but it also makes it a little more earthy and a little less saturated. The other benefit of working with multiple colors like I'm doing for the skin tone here, is it enables you to work in five, six, seven layers as opposed to one or two. Doing this with multiple colors and working with your strokes in different layers and directions, in the end I believe results in a much smoother result and a more vibrant and variant application of color. So I've done a really light layer of that warm brown. Now I'm going to move on to my yellow and I can't stress enough how light you need to be with this yellow. It just adds a little bit of life to the skin. But keep in mind, there is yellow in brown, so really keep it light here. This is just to add a bit of a glow, which I find, especially with a whimsical illustration like this, is pretty nice. Now I've just noticed myself, and it's worth pointing out that when I'm applying really lot applications laced with the color pencils, I'm holding the pencil quite far back and allowing myself to have really light but fast and very gentle applications of the color. I don't know I feel like it gives me a little more control, but also keeps the application nice and subtle. This result in these tiers of color is just, in my opinion, really cool. So I'm going to move through the rest of the piece and do the same thing. As you can see, the process pretty much repeats itself. Layer by layer, adding color, occasionally I'll mix in a different hue or another color just to move the tone in the direction that I want. But otherwise, in general it's about three or four layers, if I'm going for a really strong color, which I am going for the two main characters, the dog and the ball. By the time it get to background, my approach stays the same, but the application is just a lot lighter. So I'm still doing three or four layers for each section. Occasionally mixing another colors, but I'm just not applying as much pressure. If anything, I'm holding the pencil a little further back. My movement is a little broader and I'm just trying to create a separation in intensity between the focus of the piece and a soft background. Here we have it, the first of two finished artworks. Everything was a discovery process, but it was not 100 percent certain until I was finished. Now finished, I love it. I certainly hope you enjoyed coming along with me to see this piece through from start to finish. Speaking of which, it's time to finish two out of the two pieces. I'll see you in the next lessons. 12. Adding Color with Pens: We have my line of work for my more ambitious, gritty piece here. I've got my color picks that I'm going to put over to the side is a reference here, simply because I never settled on one thumbnail, I have a mix of things I know I like. This is where it's important to highlight, again, that I don't know what I'm doing moving forward. I know what I'm going to attempt. I don't know if it's going to work, but I'm looking forward to seeing if it does. Now, markers are very much like color pencils. You're working in layers, you use blending to create mixes of colors. So finalizing this piece with color is going to be similar in its approach. It's just going to take a bit more time and thought. I'm just going to go a lot slower because obviously there's a lot more to take into consideration. As I go through working with the markers, I'm going to highlight some of the differences between these and the pencils. The first, the most obvious one is they go down very strong. Pencils take a lot of encouragement to get the pigments to attach to the paper and get a really even look. Markers, even the lighter colors, when you apply them in a couple of strokes, they go down pretty strong. Then when you apply them even further on top of that to get an even look, it's quite dark by the time you're finished. This is a very light color. If this is a skin tone I'm working with, that's quite dark for a base. I tend to start off with the skin tone that's as light as possible for the tone of that you're working on with the skin. In this case, our foreground character has quite a lot skin tone and our background character is a bit more of a sepia and brown skin tone. I'm just going to get some light bases for each of those skin tones and put down the base colors. The way I am applying color here is going to be very incremental and I'm also keeping in mind what's coming next. In particular, in this case, I have some lighting effects I want to add around the edges, the bottom edge on the front of the character, a bit of an orange heat, and then on the back edges, some yellow. So I'm actually not going to color all the way up to those edges in particular, because I want to make sure that the colors I end up choosing for those lighting effects are going to be able to stand on their own without needing to blend on top of the skin tone I've chosen. You'll notice I'm going over the edges in some places, because I'm working with such a light tone, it doesn't matter so much. Once I get to the shadows, I'm going to have to be a lot more accurate, but I'm still pretty relaxed. So I've just done the highlights of the skin tones. I'm going to move on to the midtones, but I'm not going to worry about shadows until later. You find a skin tone, midtone, that's pretty good. With markers, you can create some nice gradients by blending further. So once I've put down my midtone, I can go back to my original tone and blend that in to create a nice mix. The alcohol will mix on the page and blend between your midtone and your high line, which is the reason on love using alcohol markers. That's all the skin tones in my image done. Really, it's quite simple moving forward. I'm doing that for every section. So just to be as clear as possible, here is how I'm building up all the colors. I'm just putting down that flat highlight color, leaving some blank white around the edges where there's going to be some light reflecting later. Then I'm adding a midtone that I blend in that's sort of in the middle and to the right, creating a bit of a three-dimensional look, setting up the scene to have a bit of a consistent set of lighting. I'm going to do that through all of the different sections: the alma, the cloth, the tower itself, and the background is going to be a bit of a different beast. So we'll cover that in more detail when we get to it. This is really coming together, but we haven't even gotten to the crazy stuff yet. We've just put down some foundational colors in the main areas. Now I'm going to move forward and fill in the background. I'm going to keep it pretty rough and loose because at the end of the day it's the background, I want to push it back, keep the focus on the fun, but we're going to start to incorporate a little bit of heat. Before I get to the fiery stuff, I'm actually just going to simply fill in some plane wood colors for the top areas of the platforms and spikes. Like I mentioned, I'm keeping this pretty rough because I'm going to be layering in smoke and then I'm going to be softening it all with just alcohol laid on top later; very loosely, filling in the top areas, specifically the wooden towers that are pricking up out of the fire and smoke. I'm just doing all of this with the one color, the ropes, the platforms, and the pillars simply because once I start layering in all the smoke and all the fire effects, well, if I took time doing different colors, you wouldn't notice it. That'll do just for the wooden areas. Now I'm going to start to move into the smoke. I'm going to start with my grays and I'm going to slowly add the heat. 13. Creating Effects with Color: Now I'm going to start to move into the smoke. I'm going to start with a number 3, which is a mid to light warm gray and I'm going to slowly work my way back to number 1, which is very light. I'm just filling in the deeper areas of cloud and I'm just very loosely billowing this smoke upwards, picking the indentation areas of the clouds that I want to darken. I want the clouds to get darker the higher up we get because I want the bottom to look like it's a glow with fire. That'll do for my warm grays. I'm going to go back to my grays in a bit, but now I want to start to put in some heat. I'm going to find a nice, really desaturated light yellow. I'm working out from the bottom of the platform, which is the lowest part of the burning city behind them. I'm just pushing up like this and then I'm going to slowly work that into the clouds. The thing about clouds and smoke is it is made of particles and particles that have light interact with them, which is why we are going to shade our smoke from underneath because the fire is underneath. I'm just bringing in this yellow and pushing it up against the bottom of the rough clouds that I've laid down. I can be pretty aggressive with this because I want the whole background to be quite hot. I'll start working this up into all my warm grays. This is almost going to fill the entire background. I'm not going to lay it, just hold down flat because I do want some light areas and some room to lay down some even hotter colors. We're starting the heat up in here. I'm going to move into a warmer direction. I think I want the edges to be quite light and look aflame, which means as I get darker and more saturated into the heat, I'm going to go up into the cloud. I'm going to start in the deeper areas of the clouds, work my way up and become heavier higher up here. I'm going to go back and forth between my yellow and this orange and then start to blend them and then now mixing together and create something between the two as they blend. I'm going to go with a bit of a hot orange like that. This is getting quite a bit darker so I'm going to be a bit majored here, but I'm just going to pick areas between the clouds and more towards the top where I want the piece to be heavier. Just lay in some trials just to give the clouds a bit of form. With alcohol marker is it's good to get used to going back to your previous times, specifically as you blend from light to dark stepping back to the previous time you used and bridging them into a gradient is the best way to create a smooth look. Now, I'm nearly done with the background. I just want to build on that intensity a little bit. I'm just going to make this look like black smoke is styling to form the further away we are from the flames. This does an extra little trick of keeping the hot directed down and in towards the intense battle scene. I don't want too much intensity and warmth too far away from where I want people looking. I'm going to do the opposite now and I'm going to grab a nice hot yellow. This is an acid yellow and I'm going to go around the edges here and really roughly at these little leaks of light. I'm almost indicating the flames. In fact, let's do it. Let's just add some flames. I'm just flicking up and away from the edge of the platform. Going to go back to my light yellow and blend that in. Pretty generous with my blending here just to make it nice and soft and sort as if it's blurred in the background. I'm going to pick some areas to add a little bit of shadow too because of the intensity that we've got going on here. I don't want to go too crazy, but I think if I get this orange and I'm just going to go over some platforms that are going to be clearly in the opposite direction of the light and flames. Let's just give it a little more dimension, and the last thing I'm going to do in the background now that I'm pretty happy with the level of heat we have going is get my colorless blender, which if you're not used to alcohol marker seem like a useless thing. It's literally just blending alcohol and it seems like it really doesn't do anything, but it's really useful with. For something like all of this business happening here, I can generally soften the, I guess you could say the intensity, saturation, and texture of the background by going over all of it with a really thick code of colorless blender. It just merges all of the ink that's all sitting there in the same place into a bit of a mix there in general, and it forces it all to hold the same texture. Slightly blotchy, slightly desaturated distant looking texture, which almost acts like a depth of field effect. It's really useful to push something in the background. Now that the background is looking pretty well in the background, let's make the foreground and midground really stand out. This is worth stopping and just talking about briefly because you could look at this piece and say that's pretty good. I'll call that a finished piece. Some people might. This is the point where doing anything really intense takes a lot of bravery and you very well can ruin your artwork. I don't know what's going to happen next, but it might not be great. But at the same time, I have learned that by taking these risks and being really daring with some of my choices, I've always ended up with more of a chance to get something I'm extremely impressed with and proud of myself for drawing. Let's try and we'll see where we end up. Now, I've decided to separate this into two areas. One, yellow facing outwards towards where that heat is coming from and where it's all visible, and two, orange and a darker hotter color more directed towards the viewer's perspective. Let's get a really light yellow and I'm going to go around all of these outer edges that are facing towards the source of heat. Now, already you can see how important it is that I left the edges light and white because as I'm mixing in this yellow, it's really clear how intentional this lighting effect is. You'll also see how pretty quickly just doing this is really making sense of the image, especially with areas like this where we have a blue tinted amour. If it's too blue where I'm trying to mix in the yellow, it's going to end up looking green, which is not the effect I'm going for. What I do want to do is get a slightly more intense yellow and I'm just going to go over some really sharp edges in the areas that are most going to be hit by this light source. This also includes the platform. So I'm going over the edges here just to make sure that the platform feels like it's right up against the heat as well. Now, it's important to know when to stop and that tends to be one of the things that I struggle with because I get a little overexcited. I'm pretty happy with this and where it's at. The last thing I want to do is add some intensity to the shadows and I could again call this a finished piece and who knows how the next bit is going to go, maybe this is the place to stop. But I really want to try adding a lot of intensity to the shadows by using some hotter colors in where I would normally use some shadow colors. This is just that light orange, but using it in place of where I would normally put shadows and uniformly on top of all the colors I'm hoping is going to title in together and add a feeling of intensity. Now, if we want to soften it, say for example, on the skin tone, I can just go back to my original colors, blend it back a little bit. I keep the effect I've added, but it just softens the application very slightly. I'm pretty much happy where the barbarian is, and as you could see, it's made a pretty drastic difference. He's mostly yellows and oranges now with the original colors pushing through and shaping the overall look. I'm going to move on to our protagonist here and I'm going to do the same thing. Again, focusing on the areas of shadows or wherever shadow would normally be cast, or in the opposite direction of the yellow highlights that I've placed and the fire behind him just working in this orange. So that's working pretty well, and then last but not least, well, they're on the platform and I haven't done the shadows to the platform. I'm going to do just the same thing. Wherever the shadows are of the platform, I'm working in this orange. I'm also going to start building up a bit of an orange in a gradient away from the flames throughout the whole platform. It's going to add a bit of a uniform heat over the whole piece because this is the only area of the image that hasn't received the same amount of love and warmth, and then last but not least we're finally at the end of that piece. I have one little trick I like to do, which is simply grab a white gel pen and I'll just use this to clean up some edges or add some accentuation. Particularly on a piece like this, we should have a lot of hot spots, especially the closer we are to the flame. I'm just going to use this pen to add a real bright edge and a few dots and reflections right up against where the fire is. Aside from adding a little bit of cleanup and intensity, this also helps separate the elements again. Because now that it's all blended in and everything feels hot and similar in a way it might make it all feel a bit flat. The final steps do a lot. They just add a lot. Whether you think it works or not is always a matter of your own opinion. But I really feel like what I was going for here was a hot intense battle scene and I feel like that's what we've got, and there we have it. We've arrived at our final destination. Two completely different artworks, completely different styles, levels of intensity to create levels of challenge for me personally and yet I feel so satisfied with both of them. I really feel like I set out to do something very specific with each artwork and I was able to achieve that because of the steps I went through that I've shared with you. I really hope that you have felt empowered and you've gotten a whole bunch of tips and tricks that you can apply to your process moving forward. I really hope you've enjoyed yourself and I hope you enjoy the end result of my artworks because at the end of the the art is about making stuff that you'd like people to look at and I hope you liked looking at these. 14. Final Thoughts: We made it. We are on the side side. Now, I wanted to finish up by sharing a few of my thoughts because at the end of the day, this whole thing is a journey and you are at one point in your journey. I just want to share a few perspectives that I've gained on my journey through being an artist in different mediums on different platforms. I think the most important thing that I would like to stress and have you take away from my class, is a feeling of empowerment and confidence. Not that you're going to get it right every time, but that you're going to be moving forward, and that's it. If you're moving forward, you're going to get better. It doesn't mean every artwork you're going to make is going to be perfect. Doesn't mean you could not make mistakes or ruin artworks. That will happen a lot. I just think it's really important in your journey that you don't trap yourself in the feelings of fear or intimidation that all of us are prone to. But instead replace the idea of uncertainty with possibility. Because the end of the day, yes, we can look ahead and see a lot of unknowns. We don't know if this artwork is going to turn out all right, or if we're going to mess it up along the way. But there is every possibility that you could make the best thing you've ever made next, even if the thing you just made wasn't all that good. That's a matter of perspective, might not be all that good to you, might be a whole lot of good to someone who's looking up to your artwork. Here's an exercise for you, to stop for a second and think of the top three artists in your mind, the people you aspire to be like and want to emulate in your style. Think of the artworks of theirs you've seen that have made you really hunger for that level of skill. For every piece you see from an artist that inspires you, there are a thousand that you won't see that got them there. I'm sure, especially to budding artists who have gone through this class, you'll have seen me go through the processes and the steps and thought that I look really confident, like I know what's coming next. But here is the secret. I never know what's coming next. For me, that's the fun. Yes, there are stuff-ups, and there's plenty. I've document them and put them on YouTube. That's part of the fun. So if you can embrace possibility and not worry about uncertainty, then all of a sudden the whole world is open to you and you're only going to go onwards and upwards. If you made an illustration as a result of this class, please share it in the project gallery so I and your fellow classmates can see it. We can all feed back and build each other and help each other improve and encourage each other along the way. I'd encourage you to do more than just share your final result. It's really helpful for people to see the steps you made. If you share your mood board, your rough sketches, your refined sketch, and then the final process. That's going to be really helpful for other people to see how you got to your outcome. But really I think that about wraps it up and it's everything I can think to share in this class. I've poured my soul out to you and I hope you've enjoyed the results and you feel empowered. Thank you so much for joining my class. I wish you all the best on your creative journey. Until next time, I'll see you later. 15. Bonus: Project Feedback From Jazza: Give everyone this is a bit of a bonus video that I'm adding to the end of the class. First of all, thank you for the amazing response to the class. I'm incredibly grateful and blown away by your feedback and by your submissions, which brings me secondly to what we're doing here. I'm going to go through some of your class project submissions. I'm going to point out some of the things that I think are really strong in some of these particularly outstanding submissions. Hopefully we can all learn from each other in that regard, I'll be learning from you. At the same time, I want to take the opportunity to maybe share a thought or two, a point of constructive criticism or feedback to help share some of my experience in whatever way might be helpful to you. But anything that I add is a suggestion or something that comes from experience, but only with the hope to help empower your creativity in the ways that I've learned over the years. In the same way that you're helping empower other people's creativity by sharing your projects and the things you learn along the way. I just wanted to start of by thanking those of you who have submitted class projects for your bravery and enthusiasm, and for participating in the class. All of which counts so much for helping other aspiring artists as well as helping you develop on your journey. I'm going to be going through class projects as they were submitted on skillshare. Every now and then, if there's something I want to point out specifically, I'll open it up in photoshop so I can draw on it and just outline a few things here and there. But I'm looking forward to sharing some of the exploratory things that you guys have shown in your class submissions. Kelly submission, Nights Scrying. First of all, I have loved going through and seeing yours and so many other people's process. The way you share your thoughts. If I were to give any feedback, it would be on separating that composition a little bit, guiding the eye to the right place. It's very clear where the eye needs to go, and we can emphasize that, we can lean into that even more. The clearest way to do that, from my perspective, is to use the light, and the layers of these trees in this forest to further frame the image. Just to give a really loose example, I'm just going to paint over these front foreground trees in a solid black in Photoshop. Without touching too much of the mid ground or even background, I can bring the opacity down. You'll notice just by having it quite a lot darker, it actually gives a clearer silhouette indication that the shapes are trees, which also helps the eye and brain very quickly understand that everything behind that is trees too, without needing to even look there. Another thing that is, one of my favorite things to do is to add something called rim lighting. This is where there's a direct source of lighting behind an object, especially if that object is a point of focus. Say for example this character here. It's a really visually appealing way to sharpen and bring attention to that subject. That is simply to add lighting to the very edge that is most against that light source. We have a light source right here, it's this moon right here in the sky. Just by simply adding that rim light, a really sharp edge in that direction. It's really important to know where the light would be bouncing off of. We have the staff here, just working with those areas of the image that would be most impacted by that light. It's a great illustration, but with just some simple little tweaks, the eye very quickly understands a lot more about what's going on without even changing the illustration itself. Georgina's project. Ruined Faith, is a fantastic example of the building of an idea into something really solid. First of all, online reference and also going out and taking on location photos. The more you can immerse yourself even into the research phase, the more you're going to be really enriched by the process of creating an illustration. Likewise, as you've gone through your sketches and your idea exploration and refinement, you can really see that the level of commitment has obviously led to a level of satisfaction, which is absolutely something that a lot of students and I can learn from. You've done astoundingly well. I think my only point of feedback would be to lean on the rule of thirds, when it comes to a composition like this. Especially when there's a lot of things that we can put our attention towards. The rule of thirds, for those of you who don't know, is basically if you have any image composition and you divide it into a grid like this, into thirds vertically and horizontally, the points of most interests should somehow intersect where these points are. For example, if you have a horizon, it'll look most appealing either here or here. If you have a subject, they'll look best either in the middle or at the intersecting point between those lines and those lines. The reason I bring that up is when I look at this image, is beautiful as it is, it feels like I'm missing out on something or the here because the focus point is quite clearly here. What this character is looking at. While there's a lot of white in this area visually, it does just feel a little off screen, if that makes sense. Simply by centering our characters position, you needn't necessarily fill the top and bottom. You can just widen the image of it. Just by filling in a little bit more of that information of what this is. Is it a tomb or a stone? Is there something that he's looking at or are we just looking at him, look off into the distance? If so, maybe we can create some space for his contemplation to feel like it fits in. But in the rule of thirds, it makes sense to put him on the left side rather than on the right side, simply because there's a story happening behind him and the location is as much of a character as the characters. Brilliant piece. Really well put together and composition is one of those things that, I'm sure some of you were seeing thematically through the entries I'm going through, is a really cool part of directing people's attention and making a piece feel just right. Catherine Cook. Dancer in the Firelight, goes through a fantastic learning process before she submitted the final piece, which is great. Thank you for showing that. I love the dynamism in your piece. I love that you've got some hot and cold and you've got some really great contrast. The lights are really bright, near white because they're facing the flame and the darks are near black as we see the darkness of space behind the characters. There's some really strong elements there that you've put to good use. I think my feedback will be on accentuating the point of focus. One of the coolest tricks to create a little bit of a focal point is to literally put things out of focus. I'm going to do this in both the background and the foreground. Again, keep in mind this is a very loose example, but if I copy and paste those elements that I've just isolated, those. In photoshop to demonstrate, I'm just adding a bit of a gaussian blur. I'm just going to put in a slight blur. But as you can see by just doing that slight blur, it counteracts and sharpens the point of focus. I'm aware that I'm doing this in Photoshop and you're piece is a traditional artwork. But with that said, I think it's the sharp lines on the edges of the mountains. They could be softened with the watercolors, these flames. Again, just by blending those materials into each other, just that little bit more loosely in areas that aren't the point of focus, will help create that blurry effect. Something that is really extra fun to do every now and then, is to create an element in the mega full ground. Because she's dancing in front of flames here, you could if you wanted to, add just like a few licks of flame that are just in front of everything. Just in front of the view and the camera, slightly overlaying elements. Maybe we have like a few little bits here or maybe some embers in the air. Helps create a sense of depth and ambience without adding complication or detail. The last thing I would suggest is rim lighting. I love rim lighting, particularly up here when we get into the darker areas where the character skin and hair blends most with the horizon and the sky. You don't even need to show a light source to allude to a light source. But just having a really simple thin little edge of light in the direction of the supposed light source, we created a little further separation and a little bit more contrast and sharpness. It doesn't even just have to be on the edges of the character. It can be on parts of the character that seem a little muddy when connected to other parts of the character. We have the hair and the shoulder here. You can put a rim light here that, if there's a light source coming in that direction, might have hit both surfaces. Some really simple, easy and super fun little tools that I'm hoping you'll find useful in future illustrations, which by the way, beautiful illustration, really well done. Samantha's piece, Meet a Mermaid is another great example of showing the process of coming to an idea, and also using some random generated ideas to create something unique. I love that she's used the d20 method, one of my favorite methods, especially as a Dungeons and Dragons lover, to get to your outcomes and your idea generation. It can be a really great way to, as you can see, do something you might not have thought of otherwise and really stretch yourself creatively. I think my feedback, Samantha, if anything, would be based on what I'm going to call density of detail. I guess what I'm referring to here is, let's say I'm just going to crop and copy and paste just that little area. You can see the level of texture, the level of line and contrast happening within that specific section of the image is at a certain level. It's quite deep. There's quite a lot happening in the textures and colors. I don't think anyone watching this would argue that the focus of this piece is actually these characters. If I isolate them from everything else, I think it's clear to see that the density of those textures, and of that contrast is much more in the background than on the focal point. Even if you kept the same color scheme and you didn't change too much, if the background had a little less contrast or the characters had a little more, that alone would help re-shift [inaudible] the eye wants to go. But on the other hand, I love this level of detail and contrast in the background, and I like that there is a slightly different aesthetic to the characters than the background. Another way you can create visual interest is simply by using a different color. What that is would be entirely up to you. But we have quite simply a piece that is overwhelmed with a lot of green and just a little bit of blue. That's great and it's working really well for the feel, but it might be just well worth just painting over the focal point of your image like these characters here. I'm just doing it with a simple white. Obviously these alterations are very quick and simple digitally, but you can certainly accomplish this in different ways in traditional medium. I'm just switching this to a color blend mode, and as you can see, that's just turned it into a black and white push in the image because I made it white. But now when I change the color overlay to different colors. If you're looking at the overall image, it's a great way to experiment and see that not only can we quickly pull the attention aggressively into the focal point, but we can also see how that can affect the feel of the image. It might feel a little warmer or inviting if it's golden, it might feel a little lustful if it's pink. It might feel a little cool or cold and tie in a little more with the water and the mermaid element, if it's blue. We don't have to go flat like this, but I'm trying to show as clearly and simply as possible, is that even if you wanted to keep that level of density of detail in the areas that they're in, color is another fantastic way to tell the eye exactly where to look. Isaac's submission, Space Western Shootout. First of all I certainly appreciate your choice of topic and I don't know, I'm a bit of a sucker for the adventurous and wild and crazy and fantastical. Not only do I love your outcome, but I also love how in gathering resources, you've really gone in every direction related, not just for Space Western things or something close to that, you've gone classic Western, you've gone solely space and alien, you've gone for mechanical items or costume items both in illustrations and then in photos. This is a really fantastic example of how far and wide you can and should go with your mood board to bring as much in and find as much inspiration to bring your piece to life. Likewise, going through your character design phase and especially playing with the poses and the framing, the composition, it's great to see you really stretching yourself and being as inventive as possible. Now it's clear to see that with the three thumbnails you didn't choose and the one that you did, you really going for action adventure and a little bit of calamity because you've gone with a bit of a Dutch jangle. You've gone with that slightly skewed perspective on the camera or the perspective of the viewer. What I'm interested in seeing here is especially in a scene that is really going to benefit from being a little crazy up. You might benefit from really stretching yourself and seeing how crazy you can get and how much you can learn in the process. It might be as simple as taking a final piece or your sketch before you do the final piece, and just rotating maybe going in the other direction. Even doing that, that's adding some visual interest. Playing a round the edges a little bit. Now thinking post there's probably not a whole lot you could do, it would have to be through the sketch phase, if you wanted to go a little more extreme, which if you did want to do that, I think one of the best ways to do that will be perspective, because at the moment you've got a character who's obviously in this foreshortened mode where it sort of being really pulled in to the gun. As a result, it creates this sense for almost one full perspective. If you follow that line, we've already got this perspective that if we followed that, we'd get a really clear emphasized sense of direction. If in that sense you followed those lines for the background, but still went on that slightly Dutch angle that would probably create an even more intense sense of drama. If you wanted to go even further, you can walk that, you could bend the perspective like this. Rather than having flat perspective lines, you have this almost like a fish-eye lens, something that's wrapping the scene around this moment that we're being pulled into. That can be a really fun way of adding extremity. If you wanted to even further stretch yourself. Another thing you can do is create sections of blurring to create motion. We can emphasize the motion and the chaos without even changing the perspective of the background. I have made this selection almost like a burst of different lines in that perspective. If I copy and paste that, could be quite as simple as just shifting that out of place or stretching that section. I know that seems a little weird, but then if you select both of those and if you create a radial blur, obviously you're working digitally, so I'm letting myself be more free to use some more digital tricks. You can use a zoom blur method, and you can change the focal point and the amount. As you can see, it adds a lot of intensity. Now that's like a high level blur, you could do a lot more subtly. Radial blur let's bring it down to even nine points of blur. It makes sense of the way that I have dislodged those areas and it creates almost like this shaking effect because we've created that separation and stretched out those lines. We lose a lot of the background detail, which is why we might want to use other methods to create a bit more of that motion and intensity. Isaac is very clear, you're a great artist, and now it's time to push the things you can do to affect that outcome as much as possible. Using color overlays and filters to intensify things. Highlighting edges to create an extreme sense of drama. Using the dodge and burn tool to really sharpen and make pop areas that are going to really benefit from added intensity. Also to use the burn tool to push areas in the background away to keep the focus on the areas of most sharpness and contrast. The point is whether it'll be through challenging yourself with the construction of the scene and the perspective, or by amping up certain effects or things you can use to accentuate the goal that you are going for because it's really clear that you've already come so far. I think that brings us to a place where we've explored a lot of projects. I'm sure you'll agree that it's so inspiring to see what areas people are drawn to explore and also what we can gain from their perspectives and approaches. I'm really excited to have shared some of those class projects with you today and experience going through them myself. I want to thank everyone who submitted their class projects, so far. I'd love to encourage anyone watching this who hasn't submitted a class project to really give it a go. You'll have noticed that the unifying element between all of these projects is that when people push themselves and explore their ideas, they get to their best possible outcome, which is the best thing you can do as an artist. From a community perspective, from a learning perspective, when you share that process with other people, not only does it benefit you, but it's also an invaluable resource for other people at all different levels to see how their colleagues and peers learn and how they can apply those lessons to their own process. Please go take a moment to explore the other projects submitted to this class. They were so many I couldn't include in this video unfortunately. They're all so inspiring and really uplifting. Most of all, I want to thank you so much for challenging yourself for being a part of this class, for supporting me, by supporting this class and for challenging yourself and taking steps to take your journey to the next level. I am so grateful to have been a part of that in some small way and for the kind words of people who feel like it's been helpful, I really hope it has been. I encourage you to keep creative, have a lot of fun on your journey, challenge yourself, but always come back to the possibilities and the endless excitement that you can create. The worlds and stories that you have yet to tell through your art and creativity. Thank you so much for watching and until next time, I'll see you later.