Drew a pup at Jessica A. Dawn’s request for her boyfriend. Cute little guy named Bubbles. It took me the better half of a day to draw this, having just gotten my iPad literally the day prior.

I drew it using the award winning app Procreate. I have used a handful of other apps on friends iPad’s, and they never really had an interface that felt intuitive and minimalistic. The only thing is that I wish this app had an eye dropper, so I can take natural colors instead of using my eye. However, it’s not a big deal since the iPad has nearly perfect wide gamut HDR color replication.

I have uploaded the photos here taking various snapshots of the drawing, so you can have a rough idea of a good work flow. Basically, I start by getting the general body shape and colors down with a watercolour-like paint brush. I usually follow it up with a second, more detailed, layer using the same paintbrushes, but adding in finer details. From there, I use tattered acrylic paint brushes to get that stylized fur look. Acrylic paints tend to be darker, so it starts to bring the image alive. However, it never looks life-like yet – something still feels off.

So, as you can see in the fourth picture, I focus heavily on the eyes, noise and mouth. I have learned to draw in the eyes, nostrils, and possibly a bit of the mouth with a studio marker to get deep blacks; this will add soul and depth to the picture (I say soul because usually your drawing will resemble a tv-like demonic possession at this point). To get rid of the demonic look, you can then use an air brush, or another soft brush, to add in the light reflections into the eye to bring your drawing to life.

Finally, go over everything adding shading where needed in a final layer to bring everything together. And voila, you probably drew a very competent stickman! I joke, but I find that in digital art, how you layer your brushes is what can bring a good traditional illustrator into the digital world. While the brushes can stand alone to give traditional looks, digital drawing has a unique ability to quickly and easily mix the different mediums to give a unique, glossy look.

Feel free to show me what you can do over on Twitter or Instagram

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Written by Tyler J Wenzel
Tyler J Wenzel is a Scientist, Filmmaker and Educator based out of British Columbia, Canada. He is available as a Director of Photography, a Director, a Live Producer, an Audio Technician, and an Educator. He has worked with Juno award winners, international music festivals, weddings, school districts, and published scientists.
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