Skulls and Sketchbook


Over the last month and a bit I’ve been trying to teach myself to draw with a tablet. In particular I am learning to use Sketchbook Pro, which is a windows drawing program. It’s a nice one for me as it’s exactly what it says on the tin, it feels (sort of) like drawing on paper, with a few added extras.

Last week I tried to teach myself a shading technique, and I’m going to talk you though the process with some imagery. Must of been feeling a bit macabre cause I decided to draw a skull.

Skull layer 1

First stage was a very basic sketch to act as a guide. My favourite thing about working with a pad so far is I can do rough outlines without having to worry about rubbing out later. I can just make the layer invisible.

Skull layer 2

Next comes the main line drawing built on top of the sketch.

layer 3 tone

Now for tone. I’m just working with a grey-scale here to test out the colouring tool in a moment. One thing I found really useful for this stage was to create a pallet on the page which you can see on the right. Just making some blobs of colour (or grey) means I’m never going to lose them, and I don’t end up searching though all the colours of the spectrum for a slightly greyer shade of grey.

On a side note this guy reminds me a lot of skeletor as this point.


And on to the colour. By setting this layer to “color” I can apply whatever colour I like and it will pick up the black white shades below and reflect it. Keeping up the children’s tv show villain for the colour scheme.

7 Finally I added the “glow” layer, which essentially makes the light super light and the dark very dark. I had to do quite a bit to get this right, the first time I tried it the skull was too white and I lost my retinas from the blinding light. I darked up the tone layer a bunch then worked my way back.

Hope you’ve enjoyed with week. I’m feeling in the mood for some material world stuff, so next week I’ll probably have a pen and paper drawing. Thanks for reading.