Sketching Scrappy: Illustrating Your Pet in Photoshop

Sketching Scrappy: Illustrating Your Pet in Photoshop

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Have you ever wondered how people make cute illustrations of animals? Well, thanks to another Skillshare class, I know how! Anne Bollman’s class, Illustration in Photoshop: Professional Work From Your Sketches teaches you how to sketch your pet and turn it into an illustration that you can use on anything from notecards to t-shirts.

At first I was afraid to take on the challenge, since I am not particularly good at sketching, and I am *definitely* not particularly good at drawing outlines of figures correctly the first time. However, if you’re willing to be patient and keep trying, Anne’s method can make anyone an artist. The key is Photoshop and Ctrl-Z. Oh, and the eraser tool. By sketching your pet directly into Photoshop, you can tweak everything many times, and you can always change¬†everything. Literally every layer, every piece of your pet, you can tweak. Plus, the magic of layer masks means that once you have a clean outline of your pet (which you can still always change), you can hide everything else behind it to¬†clean up your edges.

I sketched Scrappy, my lovely kitty who passed away this week a year ago. I took an image of her and modified her pose a bit as a personal challenge, and freehand sketched it using my Wacom tablet. Amazingly enough, after only a few hours of work, Anne’s method turned my sketch into a really nice illustration of Scrappy, complete with texture to add some character. This project gave me much more confidence in my ability to illustrate, as the computer and Photoshop provides me with a process that emphasizes my strengths in sketching and image manipulation.