Style Icons: How to create your character in Procreate? | Ceren Dabag | Skillshare

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Style Icons: How to create your character in Procreate?

teacher avatar Ceren Dabag, Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Gathering Inspiration


    • 4.

      Sketching Your Character


    • 5.

      Sketching Your Pattern


    • 6.

      Exercise: Clipping Mask


    • 7.

      Adding Colour


    • 8.

      Adding Texture


    • 9.

      Bonus: Export Speed Paint


    • 10.

      Speed Paint and Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Today's class is all about creating an iconic character illustration in Procreate. Class is packed with exercises, tips on picking your reference images, creating eye-catching patterns and illustrations. I've included fun exercises to get you to feel comfortable creating and applying your patterns to your character.

In this class you will learn:

  • The basics of Procreate: Focusing on Alpha Lock and Clipping Mask Tool
  • How to research and find inspiration: Creating a mood board to stylize your character
  • How to stylize your character: Creating initial sketches for character, accessories and pattern.  
  • How to create a distinctive pattern: Creating a pattern
  • How to apply your pattern to your character: Exercising on Clipping Mask
  • How to decide on colours: Color Blocking
  • How to add texture
  • My whole process from start to finish on how I create my fashionable girls
  • Bonus, How to save your timelapse video ready to post to Instagram.

Who should take this class:

This class is for beginners to intermediate, but all levels might enjoy creating eyecatching fashiobale characters to add to their portfolio. No prior knowledge is necessary except basic Tablet knowledge, and Procreate software on your tablet.

This class is a great way to get more confident in Procreate and work on creating your unique character illustrations and pattern designs.

What you need for this class:

  • Ipad, Apple pencil or any stylo that works with your iPad
  • Apps: Procreate, Pinterest


Download my Color Palette file!

Thanks so much for enrolling on my class- I am so excited to have you here! and can't wait to see your projects :)

Music by Jeff Kale - Sunday Afternoon

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ceren Dabag


Top Teacher

Hey, I'm Ceren!

I am a freelance illustrator and designer based in Lisbon! I love drawing colourfull stylish characters, interiors or patterns. I am working with Ipadpro and Apple pencil. My style is very colourfull and geometrical. 

I’m also a verified GIPHY artist with more 50 GIFs on Instagram, and I’ve more than 600 millions on my GIFs. 

When I am not creating, I am most probably spending some time caring my plants, playing with my cat, walking at the beach or swimming. 

I love sharing my latest work, process videos and mini tutorials on Instagram and Youtube  so feel free to check them out :)

See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Ceren Dabag. I'm a freelancer, illustrator and designer based in Izmir, Turkey. I love drawing very colorful and stylish character illustrations that you might think they are the fashion shows. In this class, I'm going to show you how to create one of this unique character illustrations in Procreate by using iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Procreate, a bit learning process. First you'll learn the tools that you need to use and some tips on how to use them. It's really easy and fun to work with. This class, we will create our unique character illustrations. We will start with picking our reference images, creating a simple line sketch for the character and accessories, then we will work on the pattern. After that, we will go to adding some colors and finalizing our illustration with extra touches and textures. As a bonus, I will show you how to save your time-lapse videos in Procreate and some tips to share these videos to your Instagram. During the class, I will be using Procreate app on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. Even though class is more efficient with iPad, you can always create your illustrations on paper with some colored pencils, watercolors, ink, it"s really anything you like. You should take this class if you enjoy illustrating and want to improve your skills while creating your character illustrations in Procreate. This class is from beginners to intermediate, but all levels might enjoy creating their unique character illustrations and adding them to their portfolio. This class is a great way to get more confident in Procreate. It will really help you to create unique character illustrations and Patreon design that might be a little different than something you did in the past. Are you ready to create your facial icons? Then join me in this class to create one. I'm really excited you joining the class and let's get started. 2. Class Project: I'm really excited that you have decided to take this class. For this class for Jackie you will be creating a unique character illustration and one patrolling designed to stylize your character. You will also choose accessories to draw and use those accessories to give a unique personality to your character. We'll give you three different color palette to choose in order to finalize your sketches. To create your class project, your first step will be finding inspiration. You will decide your character style and choose your friends images. Second step is sketching. You will sketch your characters mood and accessories. As next step, you will create a pattern and exercise with tools to see down on your character's accessories or plots. You will really spend some time here to work on the personality that will help you later on. After that, you will refine your sketch and decide on your color composition. In here, you will find out which colors will work better in where, and as a last step, you will add textures in some part of your illustration. We really have to give a normal and a hand drawing failing to our illustration. We will go step by step and therefore, I suggest you follow the lessons in order. If done, you can share your rough sketches for the character and for the pattern, your refine sketch, your color blocking sketch, and final illustration with textures. If you have any questions or a feedback, please leave a command in the comment section of this class. I can't wait to see your projects. Now, we are going to start with finding inspiration and the reference images for your illustrations. I want you to start thinking about your character's personality. Is your character a vintage lover or intersperse look or really into panky looks? Let's start with our first step. 3. Gathering Inspiration: The first step of creating process is gathering your reference images. I mainly use Instagram or Pinterest to collect my reference images. I always save and categorize the images that captures my eye, even when I am just scrolling for fun through Instagram. I suggest you to collect your reference images in categories such as accessories, clothes, patterns, scenes, interiors or moods. Even simply your accessories sometimes can be like necklaces, earrings, watches, hats. So then it will be really easy to find your reference images when you need to use them. But today we will start from the beginning and create the Mood Board in Pinterest. I am going to type in fashion accessories and flowers. So you can start to look at different poses, clothes and accessories for your character and get inspired this way. I really like this girl's pose and I think this is a good place to start. Now, I start to think about what accessories I want to bring in to stylize my character. Now I can type vintage sunglasses, vintage dress, vintage shirt or watches, earrings, or hat as an example. I like getting this in different categories. For example, accessories I like in one category, poses and pattern ideas in other categories. For the pattern inspirations, I like looking at flowers, plants, animals, especially birds, for me. I don't suggest you to lookup to patterns references directly. In this way, you will be able to create more unique patterns and not get affected by the patterns you have already seen. So it's really about what catches your eye and about how you want to style your icon. You don't need to worry about colors or patterns at the moment. I want you to just focus on your shapes and general idea. We will change the colors with our Color Palette later on, so don't worry about that one. So I can save the references I choose by using a screenshot, which is pressing the tab button and volume button at the same time. So I spent about 10 minutes gathering my reference images. I really suggest you to do the same otherwise you will give more time that you should really give. In the next class, we will be gathering all our favorite reference images and regarding our iconic character inspiration. So I want you to start thinking about your character style and which accessories and patterns works right with this style. 4. Sketching Your Character: For this lesson, we are going to work on the sketch of our character by combining our reference images. We are going to decide which kind of style our characters have and combine our reference images to create our first sketch. There are many ways to create your character, for example, your character can be into vintage style or can be really into sportswear, it's definitely your choice. At this point, the accessories you choose or the pattern you create will determine your character style. Just make sure that the reference images you choose works well together with the style of your character. Since we have already collected our reference images, now we can pick our favorites to start our sketch. The first step we are going to do is create our canvas in Procreate. To create a canvas for our drawing, I'm going to press into plus sign in the right corner and then press "Create custom size". We're going to open the canvas, 3000 to 3000 pixels and 300 DPI. We create that, Then you should have something that looks like this. I chose the size because it gives me these six layers and 300 DPI, which is enough for our use. Remember that this stage of the process, starting with creating loose sketches and trying to figure out your character's mood and style. Now, I'm going to bring the reference images I picked to my canvass. To use reference images in your drawing, you have two options. You can either take your reference photos to your canvass by clicking settings in the left top side, and then insert a photo, and you resize your photos by clicking arrow sign on the top. I also suggest lowering the transparency and add another layer on top, and now you can start drawing. Another cool trick to look at your reference photos while drawing is splitting the screen. If you swipe off your finger at the bottom of the screen and you see a popup of your last use apps, if you click and drag your Pinterest app or photos, it will be clicking the players and you will be able to see two apps at the same time on your screen. This is also a really useful, I use it all the time. Now, I want to go with the first way and bring all my reference images to my canvass. Now, I have all the reference images and I can start drawing. I suggest you to draw every piece in different layers, in this way, you will be able to resize, move, or unshove your sketches easily. We'll start with my character's general pose, so I resize my reference image and lower the transparency. Then, I choose my brush to sketch, I like to use 6B brush tool, just because it feels like relaxed sketching mood to me. A cool trick before starting drawing here is changing your brush settings. If you want your lines be more like a pro drawing, you can level up streamline option, then your lines will look more like a pro. To do that, go to your brush sections, tap on the brush you want to change, and then click on stroke paths to the brightest streamline option. Now your lines looks cleaner. At this point, you don't need to worry about your final image, you can just draw all the things you like from your reference images and enjoy the process. You don't need to draw the reference images directly, you can always add up or leaves some parts as you like. It's always about your imaginary and how you would like to see your character. Things to remember in here is, just play with your reference images, and no need to be precise. Draw every element in different layers, so you move or resize if you want. I also like to keep my layers as group layers if I want to move down together, it's faster. Another thing is that, you don't need to think about colors in this stage, I want you just focus on the general style of your character. Always change your accessories if you think they don't fit, for example, I think I want to change the earrings to more simple one. Now, we have our first draft sketches for our character and accessories, and a more clearer idea about the style we would like to usher in our character. I want you to sketch your character together with accessories in separate layers, and now we can focus on creating our own pattern design in the next class. 5. Sketching Your Pattern: Now you should hire your schedule for your character. What we are going to do next is creating a unique pattern to slice our character. I close all previous layers to work on my pattern design and now, it's a very clean commerce. I first want to ring my reference images to my commerce. I really like using flowers or animals, especially birds. It depends on all my compositions and today I'm thinking about going with flowers to my reference images. This time I want to split the screen inside of important images to my colors. As you can remember, if you slip a bit your finger at the bottom, you see a pop up off your last use ad and if you click and drag your Pinterest, it will be clicked into place and you will be able to see two app at the same time on your screen. Now you can just start drawing in perfect lines to have the general idea of your composition. I like sketching with Monoline brush here, cause later on I will use Claire drop command to fill in my shapes. Monoline Brush allows my car drop to stay inside of my shapes that's why I'm using it. The style and the look of the Patreon is totally up to you. It can be simple, just like drawing a few geometric shapes, or more complex, like a more detailed floral illustration. You can start drawing by getting inspired by your reference images and then go with your imagination. Or you can mix up two or three reference images at the same time. Like maybe one flower and one animal images together. Learn drawing your Patreons, you should only draw within your colors. This is really important because drawing outside of the box will crop your illustration and you wouldn't want that. After drawing your first sketches, you can always copy and create a new layer from your current layer by tapping select option on the left corner, and selected row when you wanna copy, and then click copy at the bottom. Now as you can see, you have two layers. Or you can add a new layer with the plus icon and just sketch out rest of your pattern. I like working on layers cause I can move them independently and decide the final composition of my pattern. I also like working with flight colors here, cause you can easily change colors by dragging your new color to your drawing. The paternal merging now is not the simplest pattern, so I'm comfortable with moving them around just the way I like. But if you want to create a simplest pattern group you're drawing and then move your group sketch first horizontally, and then duplicate another one and move it vertically. Take your time to make sure that the layer is centered and perfectly aligned to the commerce. Once you move your pattern in all directions, you can have some gifts in each beams, but don't worry, you can always add a few small items to fill these gaps. I want you to draw a few different elements to try different composition in the next class. 6. Exercise: Clipping Mask: In this class I will be showing you how to use Clipping Mask Tool and how useful it is while applying your pictures to your characters, accessories are in close. I just want you to open a new layer and turn off your pattern layers. It's easier to turn off all if you collect your pattern into one layers in one group. Then I want you to draw three different squares and fill down red colors. You can even choose white color, but you still need to draw a white square to use clipping mask later. To draw squares, you just click on selection tool at the top and then at the bottom you'll select rectangle. You can get help from from drawing assist here. To turn on drawing assist go settings on the left corner then select "Canvas" and turn on drawing guide. Now you can't draw your square. It doesn't need to be a precise square in rights managers. Just use assisting line to get an idea and then dropped our color in it. To apply clipping mask , I'm going go to my layers. Select the layer that my pattern zone and bring that layer to the top. Then select the layer again and just click on clipping mask. You can see that it grabs the only what you have impervious layer. The nice thing about clipping mask is that you can work on that layer whenever you want and you can move that layer as you like. Now I want you to apply your patterns on your squares by using Clipping Mask Tool. This was a little exercise to see your patterns clear and learn how to use Clipping Mask Tool. Now you can use same tool to add your pattern on your characters clothes or accessories. Alpha lock is another tool that can help with that. But it's not as well like Clipping mask. To use our collect feature, you just tap on your Layer and select "Alpha lock". It can be very useful but as I said, there is no turn back or change later, or move or scale the texture. It's just now in different layers. I want you to work on three different pattern idea and when you finish this class you will have three waxes read three different pattern idea is applied and you choose which pattern will be applied in which accessory. 7. Adding Colour: Since we do have all the rough sketches for our character, now, we are going to refine them and add some colors. To decide your color composition, you can follow two different methods, and the first one, like the one on the left, you can draw refined outlining lines of every element in your illustration and then fill them with colors. This method can be definitely faster, or like the one on the right, having a bolt brush and color your illustration very roughly first. Then later, you refine your lines and go with the colors you had decided earlier. It's definitely, your choice, but I personally like having [inaudible] brush and color my illustration very roughly like in the second method. It's like a meditation to me and I somehow feel more free in this way. I will start with this method and enjoy my time coloring because this part of the illustration is definitely my favorite part. I have already to give you a tray of different color palettes and I want you to choose one of them and start your color composition in your character. To start coloring, I want you to bring opacity down to around 40 percent. As you can see, I've already got my color palette safe here and these are the colors I'm going to be using for my illustration. Having a limited color palette, it makes my illustration modifying. In this way, I can control my color composition in a better way. I first create another layer on top of my sketch. It's important to color every line in different layers. This gives me the freedom to change down very firstly when I need it. I personally like using a lot of primary colors like red and blue on my color palette. I also like creating contrast with orange, I guess, blue. In this way, they really shine together. I use light pre annual low, work as complementary colors to others. I always start coloring with the biggest piece in my illustration. Since I generally choose the background white in my illustrations, in this case, the biggest piece is the shadow of my character. If you want to color the background, I really suggest you to choose your background color first. Then the remaining anemone is the hair. I just try to choose colors instinctively and see how they look after applying them to my illustration. Those threads are here to choose your final color at first. Just try and choose the one you like most. You can always change them later. Now, I am going to obtain new layer for her skin. I have already have different skin colors, say, all my color palettes. I mainly choose among them and I did tray off them to your color palettes, so you can choose any of them. Since I choose very blue tone colors so far on my main pieces, I'm thinking about using red, orange, and yellow on my accessories to make my character more exciting. Now, I decided to color composition and I'm going to refine outlining lines of every line of my character in different layers. Working in different layers is really important to me, because it helps me when I want to make changes in my drawing. Now, I'm going to open a new layer group for every accessory and redraw my rough sketches with monoline brush. I also want to talk about another cool trick here which is Quickline. This tool is very easy and perfect for anyone with difficulty drawing straight lines. To use Quicklines, simply, draw a line and hold your pencil on the screen after you're done. The app will automatically perfect the lines for you. It's so helpful for creating straight lines and I use it all the time. Categorizing layers for each accessory will help you to be more organized and find a layer you want to change easily. I also suggest to name every main category and to do that, you just need to select your group and type the name. Now, I drag and drop the colors I choose inside of my outlining lines. At this point, it's important to create closed shapes. Otherwise, your color drop will be everywhere. I wanted to finish adding colors to your character and think about where you want to add some textures in the next class. In the next class, I'm going to show you how to add textures to your illustration. 8. Adding Texture: Okay, we almost completed our character illustration, now it's about adding more detail and having more fun. I think adding textures really gives a normal and atrophying feeling to your illustration. There are another phase to a texture on your illustration, it disappoint, I like using Alpha lock tool. To use Alpha lock tool, I first select the layer I will apply with it and turn Alpha lock feature on. In this way, everything I draw stays in that shape. The brushes I like using for texture is 6B and Derwent brush mostly. I like choosing different tones of the color I choose to paint. Like for this blue shirt, I like to choose a little lighter blue and white. I also lower the transparency sometimes and find the colors in between. It's just playing around to find out what work best for you. Getting texture carried up your illustration quality. Even though I use Alpha lock tool to add texture, the other tools that you can use to add textures are clipping mask and select tool. Alpha lock simply means that you can only paint all pixels that already exist in that layer. You can paint the relevant texture you first see onto that layer and it will only paint on your object. You apply a texture, but it's all on one layer. If you don't want to mess up your layer, you can use clipping mask tool instead. But procreate can have layer limitations. When you increase the background size or DPI. So if you work on a small number layers, this tool is really effective. If you have a big piece in one layer and you want to choose only a part of it to add texture, you can always use select tool. I like to use free and select option if my piece is an organic shapes like in here. I don't like having textures in everywhere. I kind of like keeping balance between flat color elements and texture elements. I have already had a big pattern and loss of accessories in drawing. So balance is really important to me. But it's definitely up to your taste. You can try and find out in which way you like them most. Okay, we've finished our character illustration. Now go to settings and hit share, is a PNG file and save image. So go ahead now and finish adding textures to your character and then export as a PNG file. In the next class, which is my bones class, I will be showing how to say your time in next videos in procreate. 9. Bonus: Export Speed Paint: Procreate remembers every step you take as you create your drawing, and let you share this process. This is called time-lapsed recording. You can find this in action then video, and top of the list you will have time-lapsed replay. Then you tap this, you see a replay of your process of your drawing. Then replays starts you can scrub with the one finger through the timeline and then lift away to continue to play it. You can free to zoom and turn at anytime during a replay, which is really great if you want to focus on a specific part of your process. To enter a play, you tap down in the corner here to share your time-lapsed video, go back to the video tab, and at the bottom you will see export time-lapsed video and in here, you can export the entire time-lapse or if you tap the "30 seconds button", then your process video will be condensed to 30 seconds video. The toggle here is your time-lapsed recording. Then we toggle the recording off. We get asked if you would like to purge the time-lapsed video entirely? When we purge this is if it's gone, it's gone completely, so be careful here. Since I want to keep my time-lapsed video, I skipped this part. To set up the quality of your time-lapsed recording you need to jump on the settings and scroll down until you find Procreate and then time-lapsed recording quality. There are a few options here. You can even disabled time-lapsed recording completely. It is important to know here that every Canvas keep their own time-lapsed quality recording settings as they were run the Canvas was created. Only changes here will only apply to a Canvas created after this time. If you want to check your Canvas information, you need to go in actions then Canvas Information, and then you will see all the video information here. When I say my time-lapsed videos, I like to choose for long option because this allows me to have more materials, if I want to edit and delete some parts of my process. Now you save your video. I usually open this video on iMovie and speed up some parts or delete some unnecessary parts. After saving my final video on iMovie and other app I might use sometimes is Square Edit. This app allows me make my video sizes however I want. I like to keep it square mostly to post on my stories, and this is just a personal choice that I used from time to time. Now you're good to go, to post your video to your Instagram. 10. Speed Paint and Final Thoughts: Thank you for joining my class. I cannot wait to see your projects. When you finish your projects. Don't forget to upload it to Project Gallery and this way I can have a look and comment. If you have any questions, you can always ask me, I'm so happy to help. Since you have completed your project here, I hope you continue to experiment in illustration, in procreate. I'm so happy that you join in my class. I'm hoping to see you in my next class.