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Preliminary Sketches

Lesson 2 in Freelance Illustration

Lesson Information

In this lesson, you will prepare an image for the painting stage. You'll use the Brief Builder to come up with a concept, then take various steps which mirror the process of dealing with an art director. By the end of this lesson you will have a refined line drawing, and you'll be ready to start painting. 

Build Your World

Using the Brief Builder, come up with an idea for your illustration. You will work on this idea throughout the course, so make sure it's something you're passionate about. Then, take your completed idea from the Brief Builder and write down key words which help to capture the narrative. This will help flesh out your artwork as you move forward.

Small Sketches, Big Ideas

Using the keywords you came up with earlier, sketch 10-15 thumbnails which capture the spirit of your idea in different ways. 

For extra credit on this exercise, complete five more thumbnails. The more you do, the better your illustration can be. 

Zeroing In

Pick three of the thumbnails you created and turn them into rough sketches.

Splash of Color

Pick your favorite of the three sketches and bring it into Photoshop to map out its color placements. 

Say Cheese

Gather reference photos and turn your color comp into a photo comp.

End of Line

Use your photo comp to create a refined line drawing. Once this is complete, use one of the techniques outlined earlier to transfer your image to watercolor paper.


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Lesson Plan

Homework can be cool.

Check out some of the amazing work Preliminary Sketches students have created by doing their homework.