Crazy Monster Time - First Time Digital Sketchers or Painter

Introduction: Crazy Monster Time - First Time Digital Sketchers or Painter

Alright everyone. I hope this helps some people getting into drawing digitally as I'm just venturing into this myself. I doodle here and there and this is just a jump into a field I am growing to love. If you love Monsters and who doesn't ;), then you may enjoy this hopefully simple Instruct-able. 

Idea is simple: Create a Monster to whatever idea pops into your head.

Become inspired by other artists and take that inspiration and combine it with your ideas. Then we'll sketch it out on actual paper. From there, scan it in or use a camera to take a pic and bring it into any digital paint program you use. For this exercise, we will be using Alias Sketchbook Pro, it's got a free trial and comes with rave reviews. Plus my favorite creature designers use it at Shameless plug for them, but I hope I didn't cross the line, just mentioning those who inspire me.

Back on topic, once in the digital paint program, we just start using it and learning as we go. We'll ink it up, color it a bit and provide some little details for us aspiring artists. From there, hopefully it'll be the tip of the iceberg into our venture of digital art..

If any comments, suggestions, thoughts or concerns, please let me know.  Now, let's get to some fun and get to create what we have on this front page. ^_^

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Step 1: Gather Supplies & Sketching Up

First up, just a household Pencil and paper. Granted you could use any type of paper and any type of writing tool. Just I feel more comfortable using this and it's easy to erase more so than a pen.

Alright, from this point we start sketching the idea we have or at least visit a few awesome sites for inspiration, maybe check a movie out, listen to some tunes to get us motivated and psyched even more, and just start having fun.

Here's the idea that I came up with: A small buddy just somehow juggling his eyes and mouth that somehow have been removed and he has no way of putting them back in at the moment. Ah, by the way, for this picture, there really isn't a reason why I have this happening to the character, as I thought it would just be fun. 

Remember, this is YOUR ART, so you make it what you want.

Step 2: Launch That Digital Goodness

Now that we have our sketch out and ready, let's scan the baby if we have a scanner or maybe take a snapshot with our trusty phone or camera. I opted for the picture from a phone as I don't have a scanner. By the way, we aren't looking for an awesome picture here, just one where we could see the lines clearly so we could clean it up with the power of the computer digital paint program.

For the purpose of this Instructrable, we are using Alias Sketchbook Pro 6, but any digital paint program would work.
I'm using them because they have a 15-day trial on their website and it's really responsive feedback, light and very intuitive to use to draw. I would highly suggest to give it a test run just to see how you feel about it. It's mainly for drawing + painting, but it's really great at what it does and no lag from what I experience in registering the mouse clicks. Oh, almost forgot, I'll be using just a mouse as that's all I have with me besides my pencil and paper ^_^, but tablet's can work with this quite well I'm told. However, if I may suggest one small tidbit of advice if you are going to use a mouse: Take your time, there's no rush ^_^

Okay, this first picture is mainly how the program looks when you first run it. Left side palette has all the pencils, brushes, markers, etc. Top Bar has Undo, Redo to fix mistakes or make mistakes :), a selection tool to move object,s more brushes, color picker and Copic Markers. Right side Palette is the Layer Editor that allows you to build up your pieces of artwork and the two big colored wheels on the left side are these: Grey is the Brush Size selector and Red one is the Color Changer.

I'm only offering a brief overview as this is my first time using the program and we are using the basics here, nothing fancy.

Step 3: Select Your Fave Brush or Brushes

We can open our picture in Sketchbook Pro and if we select the "Move" tool on the Top Panel we get this circle and this allows us to resize our picture if we already haven't done it.  The middle small button in the circle is to resize, I just couldn't get a screen grab with the Snapshot program by Alias, will have to continue to check that out later. Great so far!

In any case, click any paint tool and just start scribbling, see what feels right for you. I ended up going for the Ballpoint Pen for it's clean rich line. Also, Sketchbook Pro has a tool on the Top Panel that allows you to guide your stroke, so it becomes a clean line and doesn't have those jagged edges you get when you draw.

Also, I'm using basic presets here and haven't messed with anything else within the program.

Step 4: Let the Ink Fly

Now just create a new layer with that Plus symbol on the right panel of the program. For typing purposes I'm going to shorthand Sketchbook Pro as SBP, if that's alright with you.

The new layer is so you could technically trace your drawing on top with the brush you selected. This is where the fun begins, kick back, grab a nice soda or juice box and go at it.

Before you know it, you'll be done with the process and you'll have a finished digital character. But let's not stop there, let's have some more fun with this. It's crying for more attention.

Step 5: Shadows (Option 1)

Let's saw he looks a little bland there. I mean it's good, but it can be better no? If you're okay with it now, then you are all done. Just go to "File -> Save As -> "and name that baby and continue to make more.

However I felt it needed some more and felt more inspired by the music that was playing. so I tried my hand at the "Airbrush Tool" and started trying to add shadows and highlights to give it a bit more depth.

Again, I just selected the "Airbrush" Tool on the left and just started to paint in strides and build up the value of the shadows and highlights to the best of my ability.

Step 6: Color (Option 2)

Now even after we went and gave ti a little depth with shadows and highlights  I thought it needed color to bring it out even more and add more emotion to the picture. Seeing other artists and studying their work helped me along this path and it could do the same for you.

So, still using the "Airbrush" tool, Create another layer, but move it all the way to the bottom with a "Drag+Hold Mouse Button" Motion on the arrows on the layer. With that done, a night sky would suit this image better, maybe a bit darker mood for a Monster :)

Select that "Color Wheel" on the Top Panel,  pick a random color close to the night sky and just start going crazy with the Airbrush to fill in the background.

Step 7: Color of a Night Sky

However some may think what Night sky is purple, but more or less a very dark blue or purple that slowly fades into black. At least that's what I've seen in most paintings, but this is our drawing, so it sticks to our rules.

I tried my best to convey that image of the gradation by slowly building up the fade of these colors and then decided to add some spark of a sunset at least to give it more synergy to the whole picture.

At least to me it made sense. Heck the night sky could be red for you and you could make it work. It's all in your vision and how you want it to come across and don't let anyone stop you.

At this point, there was mainly 2-3 colors used and I just kept alternating between them, Later on I realized I could store the colors under that "Color Wheel" by dragging it down. In any case, just keep swashing the colors around until you get the desired result. It's a little harder to explain, but if you look at a sunset or the night sky and study it, that's what you are trying to convey here.

Just keep working at it. You could start with light bright colors at the bottom and build over top of it to the darker colors or vice-versa.

However, at this point I'm noticing our little monster is getting drowned in a sea of colors. Let's fix that shall we - >>

Step 8: Color for Monster Time

To make our Monster POP out, let's take the base color of the Night sky we used, "purple" and then select three different values of them with one being lighter, another base middle color and one darker. 

You can see now we have dedicated colors chosen below the Color Wheel and so we could keep going back and forth in blending the colors still using the airbrush tool, 

Also, to change the brush size on any of the tools, you can go to that Big Color Picker on the left, the Light colored one is to change brush size and all you have to do is click+hold inside of it and drag up or down on the mouse. and it will change it's size. From there on,  it's all in tastes of what you're looking for color wise and the fun you'll have doing it.

Also, I added a new layer to put the Highlights on top of our monster.

Step 9: Stars Shine So Bright (minor Details)

Okay, so I still felt our monster felt alone in the night sky and tried to add some stars as simple as that could be. Nothing wrong with just taking the "Line Tool" Above, selecting the color yellow and drawing out stars. But in this case, it wasn't working out like I hoped it would.

I'm showing this to let you know that it's alright to make experiment and head down a path that just doesn't work out. The beauty is in the process that we'll learn something along the way, especially in art.

In any case, I decided to go back to the Ballpoint Pen tool with the color Yellow and just started to click like crazy everywhere, adjusting my brush size as I went along. The idea is to make it look like stars by making them dots in the sky. These Stars were also created on a separate layer, but could have been on the same layer in this case.

In the process I felt it needed a border as at this point as I was running out of what to put in it to make it feel complete to me. However at this point, if it's done for you, than you are good to go.

Remember, keep having fun, if your still with me, one more step left.

Step 10: Finale - Crop and Done.

Alright, so I didn't like the border before, so I chose a different brush all the way at the bottom on the Tool Palette that had some random sketch pattern. I selected the Box Selection tool on the Top Panel and drew a border out with the appropriate color.

I did that a few times, but on a new layer that I called Border, which you can change the name by clicking and holding the left-click inside the layer and a pop-up of small boxes come up, the one on the right give you the option to change the name.

After that, I decided to bring in the border by selecting a portion of it with the Box selection tool and moving it with the Move tool on both sides. Then I got the "Crop" Tool which is on the Top Panel and then proceed to crop and save the file.

Viola our completed piece.
Hope you had as much fun as I did and thanks for sharing this moment with me.

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    well done, I like how you merged traditional and digital techniques. It's "tradigital."