I contributed a tutorial to 3DTotal Publishing's new book "Creating stylized animals" which just launched in May 2021!
Last year I was fortunate to be working on a tutorial for the sequel of the successful book "creating stylized characters" - now called "creating stylized animals". I just received a few copies of the book and I'm excited to show you the tutorial I illustrated now!
The amazing team from 3DTotal asked me to design a bird character (a robin or pigeon) in a similar style I drew my chickens I posted on social media earlier that year. The design was supposed to be very stylized and I decided to go with a cute pigeon since these poor birds are so widely hated!
ABOUT THE PIGEON TUTORIAL
In this quick tutorial I'm showing my regular process of creating a very stylized character. Usually I start by searching for reference pictures and poses. Once I found something useful, I try to create a sketch based on multiple references. After I cleaned up the outlines, I create various color thumbnails that help me finding a good color scheme. In this book I'm showing you 4 color scheme versions I created for the pigeon. In the end I decided to go with the one on the top right because I like analogous color schemes and I like that there's contrast to the background but it doesn't feel like there's a huge contrast in the hue. It makes the overall image look soft and pleasing to look at.
After that I start blocking out the main shapes on separated layers. So each object or shape gets placed on a separate layer. This way it's easier to make changes to the shape and also color it faster. Once I finished the main shapes, I alpha-lock the layers and start adding texture to the main shapes. I like to use big brushes that have some sort of charcoal texture.
Then I add more details (such as the feather details etc.) on separate layers that I set as a clipping mask, so they're laying on top of the original base shape. This is super helpful to make changes to these extra details later during the process. Also I try to not use more than 1-3 different brushes to make sure there's a consistent style.
THE FINAL ARTWORK: CUTE PIGEON
This is basically the final version of my cute, stylized but yet simple pigeon design.
If you're interested in purchasing a copy of CREATING STYLIZED ANIMALS by 3DTotal Publishing, feel free to check out these links: