An Exercise in Chaos | Skillshare Projects

Abigail Southworth

Illustrator & Designer



An Exercise in Chaos

Phase I: Sketches

I'm not exactly a stranger to digital painting, but when approaching this class I wanted to get 'back to basics.' I spent a lot of time working with vector artwork the past few years, and am looking to move back towards my roots.

To start off, I'm working through some character concepts. My first one was pretty straightforward- a 3/4 view of a woman staring straight on. Not exactly the most ground breaking, but it's a start.

The next one I turned towards something more dynamic- a man shouting. The horns seemed to come out of nowhere, but I guess you never know what's going to come out of your tablet when you're given free reign!


The third one, and probably the one i'll go with, started out as a cheeky young woman jutting out her bottom lip, but turned around completely into an older woman brushing her teeth (and possibly checking for tooth pain with my luck.) Something innocuous, but a practice in facial expressions and candid settings. I have a flair for the dramatic, seems how I do a lot of editorial illustration, so this is new territory for me.

The only issue is that as it's getting more into a setting and movement that it may be too much for this particular project, which is about the character.

The last one flew in a different direction, focusing on a pouting youth.

Overall, it was nice getting to just sit down and do some characters sketches free of expectations and too many requirements. 

Phase II: Inking

I decided to go with the older woman, as I was eager to get in some good practice with wrinkles and less-than-perfect skin. I did a run through of the basic lines, then thickened some, then went through and added some thinner lines to better get the wrinkle effect.

This was a bit of a challenge for me because I'm used to inking by hand or with Adobe Illustrator. I'm by no means new to photoshop, but I mostly use it for sketching, not fine line work.

Let me know if there's anything I did wrong! Thank you for taking a look.


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