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Ben Eblen Illustrating a Stylized Character – 7 hour real-time walk through

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Release date:2022, September

Author:Ben Eblen

Skill level:Beginner

Language:English

Exercise files:Yes

From short IG tips and tricks to this long-form walkthrough
This is a real-time walk-through filled with actionable, in-context explanations of my thoughts and techniques when it came to creating this character from sketch to rendered painting.

Diving deeper and sharing more than I ever have online
Taking you behind the scenes into my thought process where I explain my techniques and more importantly ‘why’ I’m doing certain things that otherwise might have been a bit too tricky/lengthy to tackle through a social media post or short video.

Have you ever thought ๐Ÿ’ญ…

How do I exaggerate the shapes and make the character feel ‘Stylized’?
When/how do I shade things in certain ways to make them feel ‘realistic’ yet ‘stylized’?
What brushes should I use? (It’s really not that important!)
How do I steer away from the realistic photo reference and create my own character?
How do I take a black and white painting and convert it to colour (‘convert’ isn’t the right way of thinking about it btw)
My drawings are feeling very ‘flat’ how do I give them ‘life’ and ‘dimension’?
What do ‘layer modes’ do and how do I use them?
In this 7+ hour walk-through, my goal is to show you my answer to these questions in the context of illustrating this character from scratch.

What you’ll learn ๐Ÿง 
By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have an understanding of…

  • What I’m thinking about when I’m simplifying and stylizing from photo reference
  • The artists that were on my reference board for this illustration
  • My thoughts around ‘thinking in 3D’ (accompanied by some 3D models to study from)
  • How I think about line-work and some actionable tips to achieve ‘dynamic’ feeling line-work
  • My thought process around inventing the illusion of light (rendering)
  • How ‘thinking clearly’ leads to ‘cleaner’ work
  • ‘finishing’ the illustration and adding those fun things like ‘rim lights’ etc
  • Technical tips on layer modes & layer organisation (demonstrated in both Photoshop and Procreate but it applies to most painting software)
  • All the tools I used
  • I’ll be sharing some of my recommended resources that personally helped me with topics like anatomy and rendering for you to dive deeper into
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