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Jolly Rosa

I really wanted to create a cheerful pirate full of character. I used techniques from the 'Build a character with Shape Language' class, also on Skillshare, to help add extra details - the traits I used as starting points were a circle, an explorer and a sea otter.

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I looked at a lot of pictures of sea otters and they often are reclining with a smile on their face or yawning so I took this as inspiration for Rosa's expression.

I had fun adding little nautical details that reinforced the circular, happy feel such as the monocle, the ships wheel for her belt buckle and the hoop for her trusty telescope.

Once I had a sketch I was happy with, I opened my file in Illustrator and started adding colours. This was a really quick and effective way to bring the sketch to life. I wasn't too precious about getting all the colours exactly right at this stage. The only tricky thing about this was that some of the facial details were lost in this process so I needed to be patient!

I found the process of using clipping masks and locking pixels on all layers in Photoshop really useful. I could change colours, add texture and shadow freely and quickly and it will definitely be a process I use again in the future!

And here's the finished jolly Rosa!

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