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This instructable will teach how to draw a spooky clown using Autodesk Sketchbook with a Wacom drawing tablet. I've had my drawing tablet for years, and it's a great tool for drawing on the computer. Even if you draw something on paper and then scan it, a drawing tablet is great way to add additional details and color.

What you will need:
Autodesk SketchBook (This can be downloaded from autodesk.com. You can download an evaluation version of SketchBook Pro to try before you buy, or you can get SketchBook Express for free. This can be found on the Apple App store, Android store, Windows App store, possibly elsewhere. This is a scaled down version, but completely functional.)

A computer (SketchBook will also work on tablet computers, like the iPad etc.). I have a MacBook Pro. If you are using a PC, some of my shortcuts will be different since you don't have a command or option key.

Wacom drawing tablet. (Mine is several years old; I got it in 2001. It's an Intuos Graphics tablet. It's USB and it still works with my MacBook Pro, so if you can't afford a new one, you could find one used on eBay. If you are going to draw on your computer, it's essential.)

Step 1: Come Up With an Idea

Open up SketchBook once it is installed, and plug in your trusty Wacom tablet, and locate your pen input device. 

Now, what to draw. First, you need an idea. My thought was to type in 'spooky' into Google and see what came up in the pictures. Haunted houses, some kids watching TV (?), moons, monsters, and lots of dark blue and black.

At least that gives me an idea for a back ground: a dark night sky.

So I selected a nice dark blue color from the color palette on the right, and used the paint bucket to paint the backdrop blue. Then I chose the marker, and changed the brush size by clicking in the 'Brush properties' circle, and dragging to the right to increase its size. I changed my color to black then I started coloring the edges, making it darker on the outside and lighter towards the bottom and middle.

If you look at night skies, they are typically lighter towards the horizon. If you mess up and make it too dark, switch to another tool, like the airbrush tool. The marker brush only makes things darker. I switched to the airbrush, increased it's circumference, and holding down the option key (which switches to the eye dropper tool) was able to select my blue background color, and go back over where I wanted it lighter.

Then switch back to the marker, choose black, and draw a horizon.

Step 2: Add a Moon to Howl At

Every spooky night needs a spooky moon, right? Let's add one!

First, let's add a new layer. I like to use layers because if I don't like something later, I can remove or hide its layer. That's a lot easier then trying to erase and having to fix edges and so forth.

So go to your lower right, click on the hammer icon and drag down to open the layers palette. Click on Layer 01. You are now drawing on layer 01.

Now select your pencil brush, then go choose a moon-ey color, like white or a very light yellow. You can either freehand a moon, or use the circle tool.

Click on the circle mode in the long toolbar. (If it's closed go to 'Window' and then choose 'ToolBar'). There's a slider bar under it to indicate if it's selected. Then choose a spot and click and drag holding your shift key; this will make a perfectly round circle. Then switch back to the freehand mode (the squiggle in the toolbar) and fill in your moon. Or choose the paint bucket, that will be easier. If you want to make it a little more realistic, find a reference picture of the moon, and color that circle like it. I first I chose a gray color by lowering the slider on the color palette, and then colored it similar to the moon picture. That's pretty good; a passable moon.

Now lets give the moon a little glow. Choose the airbrush tool, and give a diameter bigger than your moon, or at least pretty big. Let's add another layer under it, so you don't mess up your moon. Go to the hammer, select layers, and the click on Layer 02. Click on the right side of it and drag it underneath layer 01, so that you are drawing behind the moon.

Next take the airbrush tool and draw a glow behind your moon. To make a softer glow, choose the brush properties (Tool palette, upper icon in the middle that looks like sliders) and reduce the flow. If it looks a little of center, reposition it by clicking the side button on your pen. Then position your glow just so.

Take a moment to admire your work. Beautiful. So far, so good.

Step 3: Add Something Creepy... Like a Creepy Clown!

I went back to google, to my 'spooky' search, and found a creepy clown. That will be perfect!

First, choose a new layer, Layer 03, and select the pencil brush. Next, draw an outline of what you think you’ll draw. I drew a rough clown in foreshortened view, with a pumpkin in one hand and a rubber chicken in the other.

Once you have your rough, go back and fill it with rough estimates of what colors you want where. I gave the clown a red suit, a rainbow wig, and blue shoes. Also, creepy black eyes and a red clown nose.

The first thing I’ll add dimension to is the shoes. Using the airbrush, I use a dark blue to fill it in around the edges, leaving it lighter in the middle. Then I drew on some laces with the pencil, and went back in with a lighter color to give it some highlights. Yeah, that’s looking nice. Good job.

Step 4: Paint His Outfit, Give Him Some Buttons

Next, we’ll move on to his pants. Using a dark red and the airbrush, I add some shadows to the back, and add some wrinkles to his pants. Because this is farther away, we’ll want it to stay pretty dark.

Moving on to his shirt, I decided to give it some balls. I also begin to add some shadows to his shirt. Then start working on the ruffle around his neck, adding shadows and giving it depth. I’m also working on the shirt still, giving it wrinkles. I use the palette to choose a nice red, then lower the slider to make it darker. Or if I want a particular color, I use the eyedropper which you can access holding down the option key. (I don’t know what it is on PC, alt maybe. Experiment by holding down different keys to see what comes up.) Press the space bar to bring the pan and zoom thingy; click in the middle to zoom, on the outer circle to pan around your picture.

For some reason, I decided to make the pumpkin glowing green from the inside. So then draw some green pumpkin light on his chest.

Step 5: Draw a Spooky Jack-o-lantern

I then choose a new layer, and start drawing the jack-o-lantern. (SketchBook Express only lets you make 5 layers plus the background I have learned.) Fill it in with the marker, and start adding depth. Give it the characteristic ribs, making it darker in the cracks, especially toward the bottom. Then give it a nice green glow on the inside. That’s good, just like that.

Then draw some tips of his fingers under the pumpkin, so it looks like he's holding it.

Step 6: Make a Lovely Rubber Chicken

Next we’ll make a rubber chicken. I did this on Layer 05, which is the topmost layer, and the last of the layers. Oh well, let’s hope we don’t need anymore. If you have SketchBook Pro, this won’t be an issue. Again fill in the chicken, with a nice realistic yellow color, just like real rubber chickens have, and red comb, an open beak, and its tongue sticking out. Give it some depth using the airbrush, then move on to the body. The background drawing gives you a rough idea where to put things, but you may want to erase some of it if it’s peeking around the edges of the upper layer drawing. Once the chick is nice and smooth, give it some bumps. I did this with the pencil, and making dark spots, then coming back and making light spots on top. It’s not perfect, but it works.

I would have put the fist on a new layer, but I’ve run out so it’ll go on this layer. I erased the fist from the background and started drawing a new one. Imagine the planes of each finger section, and make that a solid color. Give it some shadow, and start building it up using the airbrush. I then added some blue shadow to the left side of it.

That chicken eye isn’t spooky enough. Add some white to the eyes, and give it a little iris and pupil. It looks very surprised now.

Step 7: Make That Clown Creepy

On to that clown hair. I filled it all in with the lighter colors, then went back over it with a darker color, leaving a light edge on the back. Then using the eyedropper, I chose some of that light color, and using the smallest paintbrush setting, began making swirls in the hair.

Now for the face. It looks far too friendly, even if it has black eyes. Start by filling it in with a light gray color. Then go around the edges with a darker gray, making the ears dark. Then add some high lights to the ears’ inner edges. Begin shading the nose using the airbrush, you may want to increase the diameter. Make it look like a nice ball, add a little white circle for a highlight.

Next draw some cheek bones, and add some shadows around the eyes. I made the mouth bigger and added some teeth with the pencil. Then increase the pencil size and give it some red clown lips. Add some highlights to the lips to give it depth.

I changed the eye shape so they weren’t just round orbs, and then used some red and the airbrush to give it a creepy look; red pupils in a black eye.

Add some green highlights where you think they might shine from the jack-o-lantern onto the clown’s face and body. I then decided the pumpkin needed more fingers under it, so I added some to the pumpkin layer.

That moon looks weird behind the chicken, so let's move it. Select the moon layer, and click the side button on your pen and choose the move/rotate option. Move the moon to the right hand side. Next move the glow from the underlying layer.

Now save it. SketchBook default save is TIFF, which includes layers. If you want to email it or something, save it as a JPG or PNG file, which will flatten the layers.

There you have it, a creepy clown. Beautiful. I hope you enjoyed my instructable, and learned a thing or two about SketchBook
creepy, reminds me of Stephen King's IT!
Thanks! Although, my wife said I could have drawn ANY clown and it would have been creepy.

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