Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Shading and detailing color, part of Adobe Draw for Illustration.
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- We're now going to start adding some more shading and detail to the bird. This is to really kind of breathe life into it, and really make it immersive in terms of its overall aesthetic. Now, the whole reason I picked a blue jay, is because I had never illustrated a bird like this before. And I always like to challenge myself, as well as challenge those who watch my course. And I've said it before, but I'll say it again, i tend to learn just as much as what most people do by watching my course when I create a course, because I'm trying new things myself.
And I don't always know how those are going to play out. I'm going to show toy one specific thing regarding this illustration where that was the case. But right now, I want to add some nice shadowing detail to the feathers. I think we have a good base going, but I think it needs more dimension, in terms of darker areas of the blue hue to kind of push back, just to create a nice interest in depth of the overall illustrations. So when you load color, we're on the brush tool right now, you just go to color, you tap it.
You can load it with whatever color you want. Now, there's a lot of different ways to utilize color in Adobe Draw, and I've touched on this in a previous movie. And some of you might of wondered, well, why did I bother to set up my color tonal family in the Illustrator, why didn't I just do it on the fly in Adobe Draw itself? Well, I could've, so what you could do, is you could go to RGB, and you could start noodling around with colors, and you pull these sliders down, so maybe this one is 50.
And you could pull this down to, let's go to 86 or 87, you can pull this one down to 123 or so. Now, these work, and you can see I have a nice shaded color we could use in this illustration. The whole reason I don't do that, is because these controls are kind of wonky of sorts, meaning when you pull down, like this one, I want on 123, I'll go there and I go, that looks, Oh, as soon as I let go, it goes to 124 or so.
You can't really type in the numbers, so you're just kind of visually trying to do it with a stylus. if you do it with your finger, it's like doing it with a Vienna sausage. It makes it a lot harder. So, I like knowing exactly what my color is, and knowing exactly what it's going to turn out like. Therefore, I'm kind of a control freak with my color. That's why I do it in Illustrator, push it through Creative Cloud, into Adobe Draw. But, we can utilize this color. I think this is close enough we could use this.
Another way I've done it, is I've just loaded it from my tonal family down here, in the History column, you can see it showing up as the fourth over in the top row. So we're going to click that, and we're going to use that. Once again, we're on our brush pen. We're going to zoom into the head. So we'll zoom into an area where I want to put some detailing, and we're just going to draw out, like we've done with the other colors, and we'll just draw out some of our detailing on this character's, on the top of his head.
Now, because the back of his head is where the light source is least showing up, in terms of our composition, that's where the dark colors are going to go. So lighting works the same way, regardless of what style you're specifically doing. In this case, it's more of a stylized look, but I'm using the same thought methodology, when it comes to applying my highlights and shadows. So, I think that looks pretty good. We're going to go above the eye here.
And once again, layering is key. You can see this is following behind the white, and that's kind of what we want. We don't want to worry about the base. We're just worrying about where it pokes up over the top here. So, I'll go through my entire illustration. I'll add this kind of detailing. It really adds a lot, I think, to its head. But also, on the base of his feathers. Those also need areas of dark detailing. So, if I go to layers, and let's see, we'll turn off that one.
And we'll turn on the one above it. And this is where I've done that same methodology, and I've created all the shading on its head. Let's go back to Layers, I'll toggle it on and off. You can see how, especially in the feathers and the tail, and the feathers on his back, they really come to life, and they start emerging with more dimension, as I toggle that on and off. So that's how I used a darker hue, the blue, to form the shading in those areas. Now, there's other areas I could go in and do that for.
But, it's kind of a balancing act, especially with this bird, because what really makes a blue jay a blue jay, is its unique pattern that is on its wings. It has this nice black and white pattern that falls on its wings. And I have to be honest with you, this was the most intimidating part of this illustration. Because I wasn't exactly sure how to pull if off, and so what I did, and as I suggested in a previous movie, if you're not sure about something, just create a layer, and draw on it, and just give it a test.
So that's exactly what I did. So, I'm toggling this layer on right now. And we're going to zoom into his back. And you can see that right now, these are pretty crude. And that's because their intentionally crude. So we're going to go to our tools. We're going to go down to the eraser tool now, and I'm going to demonstrate for you how this works, because we're just going to erase this line, so we'll make sure we're right here, on the right layer. And now, this drawn line on this one wing, we're just going to go, Oops, let's undo that.
We're way too big, so we're going to make our nib size smaller. And we're just going to draw over this area where that line was. And that's how you can use the eraser tool to erase it. Now, the whole reason I erased it, is I want to show you how I figured out how to approach this. Right now, it's green. We're going to load some black into this area. And we'll make sure our nib is pretty small, like around four. And once again, I'm drawing on this layer right here. You can see it highlighted.
And this is where I looked at photo reference, but I didn't try to draw it in the style I wanted it to, I was just trying to figure out the composition of the pattern itself. Meaning the lines that go through the wings. I wanted to figure that out before I committed to actually inking out that detail. And that's all I did, is I just took the pen tool, and I just roughly would draw out, now once again, that's way too fat. Let's undo that. We're going to go down, it's probably one.
Let's try that. And I think that looks good. So this is all I did, is I just drew those areas out, and I use that as a guide to do my inking. Now, if I go back to layers, we'll go up to a layer above it, we'll select that. This is when I went back to my brush tool. In this case, we want to go back, load it with black, and this is where I'll zoom in. And zooming in is critical, because this is where I'm going to be doing some really fine detail, now this is way too fat.
So we want to, we'll try two just to see if that works. Yeah, that's a little too thin, let's undo it. We'll go up to like four or five. And, nope, you know what, that's too thin. Maybe we're at the right spot. Let's go back up to nine, where we're at. Okay, that looks pretty good. Now, this is exactly how I'm going to handle this detail. And this is really fine stroke work.
And this is all I did, is I used my underline drawing to guide where I'm doing it. But I'm using the brush pen to actually draw it out in the style that matches my overall illustrations. So if I zoom out, you can see how that's working. Now, that's a lot of little brush strokes. And there were probably a good, I don't know, maybe about 1,000 when it was all said and done, so, like a cooking show, I'll turn off the base we had, turn off the one I just drew, and we're going to turn this one on.
And I will zoom out so you can appreciate the pattern. So you can see, that's how I figured out how to draw my pattern. Now, once I had this figured out, it was like, I was so relieved, I was like, oh, okay, I'm not going to make it look really bad now. This is actually going to look half way decent. So, I was really happy with the way it looked. Not only that, when you zoom in, I just think it looks really nice, so it fits with the overall aesthetic really well. So that's how I kind of planned out the pattern, and executed the pattern.
And I think it worked pretty good, so form can be dead on, but if the color isn't quite right, it still won't look that great. I've seen a lot of illustrations that, the form of it, the actual figure, or whatever the content of the illustration is, is drawn well, in terms of its proportion, or its overall form. But the color they use is just off somehow, and so it kind of degrades the whole illustration.
So, tonal values, and using these kind of methodologies to compose your illustration, are really important. As you create your own art, once again, you may get stuck at some point. And you don't know what to do next. That's normal, that's the creative process in a nutshell right there. In which case, just pause the creative process, look at your reference material, and just think through it. Don't proceed until you know the next stage you're going to approach clearly.
This type of struggle is normal, so don't fight it, just work with it, and go with it.
Follow along for a tour of Adobe Draw's best features and get techniques for refining line work, coloring a sketch, drawing, and adding shadows and highlights. At the end of the course, Von shows how to create new brushes and textures with Adobe Capture and then shifts his illustrations to the desktop to capitalize on the full-fledged power of Illustrator and Photoshop CC.