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Key Art

Lesson 4 in Creative Illustration

Lesson Information

This lesson will collect everything you've learned so far, by combining the character and environment designs from the previous two lessons into a single hero illustration. You'll also adapt your finished key art into one or more alternate versions, for display in different kinds of media. At the end of this lesson, you'll have multiple portfolio pieces showing off your new illustrated property. 

Coming Soon

Use the character and environment designs you created in the previous lessons to come up with a compelling composition for your key art. You can make this look like a movie poster, a widescreen image, or any format you think works best for your illustrated property. 

Simple and Clean

Choose whichever key art design you like best, clean up the linework, and begin to ink the outlines. Though Amin does this on paper, you can use any traditional or digital method you prefer for this stage. 

All Shapes and Sizes

Once you have your outlines done, you can start adding shapes into the image. These don't need to correspond to specific values or lighting (which will be covered later), they just need to be different enough to overlay various colors on top of them in the next chapter.

Reference Point

It's helpful to create a lighting reference at this stage. Amin chooses to build his in 3D, but you can also take photos of friends and objects with your desired lighting, or use nicely lit photos from the internet when making your piece. 

Coming to Life

Using your newly created reference as a guide, add color and lighting to your key art. To start, you can simply apply colors to each one of the value shapes you created earlier. Try to use a compelling color palette to ensure your image really stands out.

A Thing of Beauty

It's time to finish your main key art for the course. In this stage, after taking another look at your image, you'll do any extra steps needed to bring your image to completion. This might involve changing the colors, adding details, or even altering the composition. 

New Perspective

Try adapting your main key art into new formats. This is a very useful skill to cultivate for the modern of world of art creation, as your project may be shown in different ways. Your new images could be widescreen, tall, square, or whatever sizes you choose. 


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Lesson Plan

Homework can be cool.

Check out some of the amazing work Key Art students have created by doing their homework.