I recently got a new sketchbook. So I’ll be continuing my tradition of painting on the cover and of course, I’m gonna take you along with me and show you the entire process. ♪ Starting a new sketchbook is intimidating and exciting, you’re face to face with countless empty pages. The possibilities of success and failures, as you start this new adventure. Of course, it doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can just start sketching, which is what I’ve done in the past but more recently I’ve enjoyed the process of creating a project out of like my first illustration in the sketchbook or the cover as I’ll be doing today. So I
really like to focus on each step of the creation process So first, I’m gonna be starting with, as you can see, thumbnail. As an artist, it can be easy to look at something and kind of see how you want it to look. But the way you’re seeing it in your head, doesn’t always translate onto paper. Which is why thumbnails are your best friend. By drawing small and simple and just visualizing your idea onto paper, you can see what’s working, what’s not and make small tweaks without having to erase large mistakes or find your issues way further on down the process and not being able to fix them. After creating a very small thumbnail in the top left I started drawing a little bit bigger so that I could pinpoint some more of the elements of this thumbnail as it is. So I want to focus on the character design. So the clothing, the hair, maybe a little bit of personality in the face as well as pinpointing the pose a little bit better and I also took this opportunity to play around a little bit with the color scheme that I had chosen. I thought a little bit of a teal, coral would be fun. I can go way overboard when it comes to colors. So what I’ve been doing. especially when painting, is just picking my colors in advance and really limiting my color palette So what I chose this time, was a bit of a teal and coral color scheme. That way I don’t get up and go grab more paints and end up just muddying up the whole illustration. Again, I’m not trying to be too exact. I’m not trying to be too detailed. I’m just trying to see how the colors are going to look laid next to each other. Do they look good next to each other? How do I have to separate my tones? How do I have to separate my hues? We’re not worried about rendering. We’re just exploring ideas Mixing colors without having to worry about making gross colors because if they don’t work, we don’t have to use them later. Thumbnailing and sketching has always been my favorite part of the art process because there’s no wrong way to do it. You’re trying to find the right way to do it but by finding the wrong ways to do it, you’re hopefully heading in the right direction to find the right way to do things.[Laughs] and I like that it can turn out bad without it being a failure because you’ve just found one more wrong way to do it, still teaches you something and I just love that feeling of making
a mess and not being upset with the way it looks. I happen to suffer from being a lazy perfectionist and it means that I try to find a lazy way to do something and when it doesn’t turn out well, I hate it. [Laughs] So by learning to enjoy the sketching process and not hating what I make because it’s part of how it’s supposed to be. Little victories I tell ya’ and then this second drawing of the character, I tried to come up with a different outfit because I realized I draw a very similar outfit on many many characters So I thought let’s try something a little bit different. But, well, I would never wear that and then I was like, well, I don’t really want to draw that. So I moved on to something else. But even though I drew a character and the outfit didn’t out well and it wasn’t really what I wanted and I found other little aspects of this drawing that I liked that I can then carry on into the next illustration in the next sketch So from here I want to explore the pose a little bit more because
I wasn’t crazy about the one that I had colored earlier So here I am just like trying to draw a very scrunched, slouchy
person because I happen to be a very slouchy sitter and I don’t know how to sit in a chair properly. So I like drawing characters just like that. The small inspiration that I had for this illustration was kind of focusing on like the digital world So like a character on their phone and then I used speech bubbles or text bubbles. However, you want to call them, to put the information that I’m looking for. So whenever I do a sketchbook cover page, or draw on the cover of a sketchbook I like to include the number of my sketchbook and then sometimes the word sketchbook a lot of the time the word sketchbook actually. [Laughs] I’ve currently completed 23 sketchbooks, which makes this my twenty-fourth sketchbook so I’m trying to make the number 24 very prevalent in the design and I thought it would be cute to stick it in a little text bubble and have the character on their phone and then it’s like a notification that goes boop and it’s like 24. [Short laugh] As soon as I did that first thumbnail, I kind
of fell in love with the fact that there was no background and there kind of floating in internet space you could say. So that’s why I’ve kind of pushed back from drawing inside a square and really focusing on the character, the character design and the layout of like the… Speech bubbles. So you can see this last one, when I drew the character I curved them in a little bit of an L shape, a reverse L and then I included the speech bubble inside that gap that I created that says 24 and it kind of creates – So the character is still fitting within a square, but it’s open and free and then to add a little bit of depth, I included some speech bubbles behind the character and then
some like emojis encircling her in this thumbnail. This
is definitely one of my favorite sketches so far of the day So I went a little over rendering on it. You can kind of tell that I was inspired a little bit by like egirls So kind of fitting into that Internet theme. I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but, I don’t know, just happened. For this next character sketch, I was falling in love with her. [Laughs] She was just so cute. So I wanted to like explore her a little bit more. Make sure I had an outfit that I liked because You can’t go ahead and start drawing on the cover, unless you’re 100% sure of what you’re drawing. So I wanted to make sure I knew exactly what the outfit looked like. After drawing that sitting pose, I was pretty sure of what I wanted, but
I wanted to draw her in a little bit more standing up pose so I can see more elements of the character design. So that I know if I run into any problems when I’m drawing on the cover, that I can reference this drawing and kind of see from another angle what everything looks like so I can pinpoint a solution when I’m working on the cover and since I decided I was going to use this as a reference for everything going on, I decided to add color to this as well. One of the biggest changes is that I moved away from the coral color and more to an orange color and I thought the orange and the teal gave me more of a futuristic vibe, which I really liked because again, it’s the illustrations kind of based around wireless communication and that makes me think of the future. So I think that’s why orange kind of fit in so well, whereas coral, it’s seen in nature a lot more often, you know flowers and things, actual coral. and I think it grounded it a little bit too much. While that was drying, I actually started drawing her again I was having a lot of fun with this character and after seeing a character with the orange and the teal I actually started thinking egirl while I was drawing it so then I thought maybe some space buns with a little half-up half-down and I started really playing with it and accompanying my idea of an egirl. I didn’t do any research. I should put it out there. It’s just what I’ve kind of come across in my life. Mostly the last two months probably. Didn’t really want to look up any references because I kind of wanted to stay away from it being… exactly like anything that’s already out there and keep it my idea of it. So if you think that doesn’t look anything like an egirl, that’s probably why. Then by this point the acrylic paint was dry, so I went over it with a fine-liner on that last character there and when I was writing the 24 inside the speech bubble for this sketch, I ended up – I actually added some extra lines to make the number look – I thought it looked more future-y I don’t know why it has like this sort of like fake language vibe to it and you can see now with colors on that 24 in that speech bubble right there, It has like a stencil appearance, like
I used the stencil to paint on the numbers or something and
for some reason that just gives me super futuristic vibes and at this point I thought I was pretty well comfortable with
the character. I knew how I wanted to lay out the pose I knew where I was gonna put the letters and the numbers and everything like that So I decided to move on to the cover. To sketch, I am using a watercolor pencil in the color white So I’m dipping it in water every once in a while and as I sketch so that it’s visible. I think previously I’ve used a white charcoal pencil, but I think this works a lot better and for the first step, I’m just using big blocky shapes and making sure that it’s laid out properly on the cover and it’s exactly where I want it to be before I start adding in any paint or lines that aren’t erasable. Then from there, I start pinpointing the shapes and breaking them down into more complex shapes and making sure the knees are in places that make sense and all the elements of the character are visible that I want to be, like the cellphone and then there’s also a silhouette, so the legs are kind of separated and the
head isn’t overlapping with any shoulders or anything. So it’s all pretty well formed and should be visible from a distance that it is a human being. So then I’ve got this really messy sketch and It’s time to start adding in some paint. I ended up doing one color at a time. Waiting for it to dry then adding another layer because the paint’s seem to have thinned. I later found out that I just hadn’t mixed them enough, even
though I was shaking the crap out of this bottle of paint but that’s why I wasn’t opaque. So this ended up taking me forever even though it is a pretty simple Illustration in my opinion It ended up taking me almost three hours for the painting section alone. [Short laugh] And I was feeling a little disheartened but I stuck with it, even though at one point the face looked like this So anything’s possible guys, especially with opaque art supplies. So with the skin I mixed the orange with the white and then for shading and for blush I just mixed in a little bit more of the orange. I watched an egirl makeup tutorial once back in the day like two weeks ago and they used a lot of peach blush and sometimes eyeshadow, too. So I thought this fits. [Laughs] I eventually just covered the whole face in like a skin tone and then used orange to block out where the main facial features are so we have two eyes, eyebrows, a nose and a mouth. It’s almost like sketching in paint is how I would describe how I did that. That’s not how it’s going to look in the final but it’s gonna help me figure out where they belong without trying to do one eye completely and then trying to do the other eye and then realizing that they’re not well balanced and then oh, that’s just a… terrible idea. [Laughs] Then I added a couple layers of the solid orange and the solid teal until it started being very opaque and you couldn’t see the sketchbook cover through it Also
mixing in a little bit of white where I thought it would work [Laughs] The white was the most opaque paint that I had, so I ended up mixing it in with a lot of things just so that I could use less layers of paint. I also used a little bit of teal to shade the hair, so even though the hair is orange, adding a little teal adds a little bit of a hue shift and makes it look a little bit darker and pushed back and more similar to the black background. I want to weird route when it came to coloring in that speech bubble so reason I colored in the number first, then tried to add the white background but I ended up like chopping into the number a little bit but here you can really visualize the little stenciling approach that I went to it. Even though it’s not like straight up and down numbers. They have fluidity and like angle to them but also have that stencil appearance and I really like it I just check the time stamp on my video and without editing anything out, we’re at the three hours and 15 minute mark and it doesn’t quite look like too much yet but that’s kind of just the painting process here. You gotta work at it. It’s not gonna look like much and eventually you’re gonna chisel, chisel, chisel, chisel. You’ll find the details hidden in the mess. I ended up actually mixing a little bit of my acrylic ink in the color black with some of my paints to just add a little bit more depth to some areas because I thought
they were a little too mid-toney in some sections. I know I got paint on this side there, shoot. Now since I had the black acrylic ink out, I decided to use it as a little bit of a liner and
I also went around the character cleaning up the edges. From where I was sitting, you really couldn’t see it as much it almost looked like the same color and texture of the sketchbook but Looking at the footage, I can tell that it is a lot shinier and almost deeper black. At this one I used a wet paper towel and just removed the rest of the watercolor pencil and at this point I thought these white specks were all just from like smudging the watercolor pencil around but
it was actually from smudging the acrylic paint around they were a little bit more difficult to remove and some of them are still there. So it has a little bit of a messy look but it’s still significantly cleaner than it was with the watercolor pencil So, you know small victories. Then
here after looking back and forth at my original sketches Which I liked and looking at my illustration on the cover Which I didn’t like as much, I realized that the face was the issue and I was very nervous So I grabbed my pencil again and tried to sketch over the acrylic paint on the face putting in where the facial features are again and realizing that the shape of the face was wrong. So I ended up adding some acrylic paint for the cheek and really adding more shape to the face and making look a lot less flat Of course I had to add a lot of peach blush because I loved that in the sketch as well and I used it to shade a little bit of the face too. So it wasn’t too flat. My original idea for this illustration was very flat colors and I did maintain that for the most part, but obviously I wanted to have a little bit of fun with it too Here I’m using a fine liner and adding in some dark lines on the shoes. I was going to use the paintbrush for this but I just do not have a steady enough hand or a thin enough paintbrush, I guess and then I use the paintbrush with some paint to add some lines to the speech bubbles. Obviously,
I couldn’t write words with a tiny paintbrush on these so I thought little lines would suffice and these are supposed to be like background elements so I didn’t want them to distract too much anyway, so this worked perfectly. The only problem
was I thought they’d look better with a lighter color So I did end up changing that to just like a lighter teal mixed with white on top of the darker teal speech bubble Then the face was dry again. So I went in on that with the fine liner on the eyelashes. Then I used
some white paint to fill in the eyes over the eyelashes and
then I used more paint to paint over the rest of the face So it’s definitely just layering and layering, trying to get the look that I’m wanting Constantly
looking back at those sketches that I really like. It’s hard to capture the life of a sketch in a finished illustration at least for me. So by looking back and forth, It definitely kind of keeps me grounded and stops me from going too crazy stiff with my finished illustration. It also helps me look back and see what I liked about the old sketches and kind of compare and contrast along the way. While the cover was still drying, I added in the title on the spine of the sketchbook It just writes sketchbook 24. I kind of had a little bit of a rhythm to this and I kind of make them look very similar to all my past sketchbooks. So not too much creativity over here on the spine. Adding in the pupils definitely help the character look a lot less creepy. So I’m glad that happened. [Giggles] Then I went in with the acrylic ink and started outlining this white speech bubble, trying to just harden the lines, sharpen the lines, that’s probably the word. I want the lines to be a lot sharper around this. They’re a little… Fluffy right now just from the paint and touching it with my hand and blending it all about I also used acrylic ink to add a little bit of depth to the letters to make them look like they’re popping out of the speech bubble. I really like the way this looks and I kind of wish that I had made the letters popping out of the speech bubble completely So like the speech bubble doesn’t make it outside of the lines of the number. and I also use the acrylic ink to clean up some of the other speech bubbles and at this point, Looking at it, I thought oh, there’s so many areas with like shiny ink now, so I thought maybe I can use that as a design element So I added a heart… Behind the character in the shiny acrylic ink, but I wasn’t sure it was quite visible enough, So I tried adding a white stroke around the heart and I ended up carrying that white stroke around the speech bubbles and the rest of the character and it made her look like a sticker kind of slapped on the sketchbook. Which I like but I thought it was just too distracting on the speech bubbles because they’re not really supposed to be prominent They’re not a prominent part of the design. They’re kind of just a background element, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to do there. So while I was thinking I just wrote sketchbook over the speech bubble to kind of make it look like You know, when you receive a text message and it says like the date above it and the time on the side So I added like those in there and of course for me, it wouldn’t be an illustration If I didn’t regret some of the final things that I did to it, so I tried to “erase” (finger quotations) the
white strokes around the background speech bubbles just to kind of push them back a little bit and I want the character to pop more than those. So that’s what the thought process was here. And then I opened up the sketchbook and started working on the back cover for the back cover For the back cover, I like to keep it pretty simple. So I just put two speech bubbles and then I included that 24 and I made sure it looked very similar. So it’s almost like a logo for the sketchbook and the top speech bubble I put in the word sketchbook. Took a bunch of – [Laughs] Layers and trial-and-error, much like the rest of this illustration. I mentioned earlier that I am lazy perfectionist So the fact that I spent almost five hours on this and it doesn’t look like the Mona Lisa, kind of tears on my heart a little bit but then when I started thinking like that, I definitely need to just take a step back and realize you know, it’s not me that’s the problem. I was kind of fighting with the art supplies, getting them to show up, making sure that they were opaque. Taking multiple layers to do a simple kind of tasks, even if a half an hour into most illustrations, I already want to start a new one, [Laughs] but luckily it’s a sketchbook. So there’s lots of room inside for sketches. Just perfect. After a few final tweaks, this is what it looked like. Here we have the sketches that led us to that cover as I designed the character and kind of laid out the illustration as we went and then we have the cover with the front and the back and yeah. That’s how I spent my day. Let me know if you draw on the cover of your sketchbooks. and what will I do on the first page? It’s funny doing this voiceover because I’ve already drawn in this for a few weeks [Laughs] but I have not drawn on that first page yet. Anyway, thank you guys for watching I’ll see you guys all next week and I hope you have a delicious evening full of waffles! Bye! ♪