I started with Tom’s Sweet Spots illustration course, then discovered that I needed to take this Odd Bodies class. Along the way at about exercise 13, I realized I also needed to take Tom’s Pen Tool Wizard workshop first. Great way to isolate at home during COVID-19!!
01 Action Figures & 02 Action Figures from Memory—Skiers
To build my confidence with paper and pencil after many many years, I also started with a skier in the 80s. I tried to keep with Tom’s style and keep it simple and more abstract.
I agree with other students who talked about having trouble simplifying when looking at a photo or previous iteration, so sketching from memory (Panel 5) was a surprisingly useful exercise. I think I’m happiest with my 3rd iteration (Panel 4 above) before I tested my memory.
03 Page of Poses—Tennis Players
The projects other students have posted are simply amazing! I needed to build more confidence for these poses so stuck with the tennis players and worked along with Tom while rewatching his steps. Yes, that’s the same player in her unitard but I also included the same tennis player in a different pose to figure out the pose on my own. Such a weird tennis-tard and pose! I took each sketch to the next iterations on paper and in Procreate (also new to me) in the 2nd and 3rd iteration.
03 Page of Poses—Surfers
When searching for inspiration before starting this exercise, I collected reference photos of bartenders, lawn bowlers and surfers. Surfers seem to get into extreme poses so I also played with a page of them on paper for the original sketch and then took them into Procreate where I experimented with different line styles.
04 People in Shapes
Fun exercise! I experimented with several shapes first in Procreate and liked the pipe and wine glass themes. I took the the Man in Pipe a little further with pencil on paper and the Woman in Wine Glass in Procreate.
Different People in Shapes
Man in Pipe
Woman in Wine Glass
I used white printer paper, then smeared each one with some dye ink. This was a quick, fun exercise that helped with the next steps (probably could have helped with the first sketches too!)
Since I enjoyed working with the pipe shape in the ‘People in Shapes’ exercise, I followed the steps Tom gave for his Telescope Guy to illustrate “Grandpa’s Pipe” in Procreate. Similar to Tom’s telescope, my pipe is exaggerated in side view. I decided to also exaggerate Grandpa’s hand holding the pipe but kept the character and his stool small.
I liked my Exaggeration sketch, Woman in Wine Glass and a surfer (#2), but chose Grandpa’s Pipe for my Bonus Project.
As soon I took my sketch into Photoshop, I quickly realized I NEEDED Tom’s workshop on using the pen tool in Photoshop…and I watched it again and again. I ended up skipping the steps to make my own inky layers for this project because I really want to practise sketching and Photoshop pen and layer skills before introducing channels: definitely excited about taking the Inky Illustrations class next (or after I get back to Sweet Spots).
I started with a similar colour palette to Tom’s Telescope Guy and then was able to easily swap the colours because my layers were labeled and organized. Almost everything in this illustration was new to me so the shading with brushes and lines might look amateur. I’m really pleased with the result though and can’t believe how much useful content (including industry tips) Tom packed into this course. Thank you, Tom, for being so encouraging, thorough and inspirational!