You may have noticed that Redbubble has recently created a pretty awesome Partner Program. The Partner Program connects you (awesome independent artists) with popular brands so you can share your inspired (officially licensed!!) fan art with the world.
We’ve invited the super amazing, super artist, and super fan Anushbanush to share her tips on creating characters for Steven Universe. Not only did she share her tips but she shared a step by step process of how to create your own Steven Universe characters 🤩
Rough Sketch – When creating rough sketches it is best to show the overall layout of the piece with simple shapes that show the pose and placement of the characters.
Sketch refinement – Refined sketches show more details and have cleaner lines. It is best to finalize what the full piece will look like in this stage so that there will be minimal edits or changes later on.
A part of this step is knowing how to draw the characters. This involves either sticking with the original Steven Universe design or re-imagining them in a different style. In my case, I like to draw them in my style! Whatever you choose, have as much fun as possible with it!
Set the sketch opacity to 20% – My style in particular is line-less so I always set my sketch layer at a lower opacity so that it acts as a guide when I color above it on a different layer. Making it lighter helps to be able to see the shape enough to follow it but not dark enough to get caught up in it when remaking the shape again.
Flats – When making the flats, open a new layer above the sketch and redraw the outline. Make sure to draw all the possible shapes that don’t touch so that it will be easier when coloring them later on. Try coloring the shapes in with black so that the new shape formed is more noticeable against the sketch. After doing the outline, fill in the middle with a bucket tool. After the first layer proceed to the other layers in the same manner. To make it more organized, make the top layer the darkest color which later on gets lighter the more layers are added.
Color in the flats… by adding another layer above the flat layer and set it to clipping group so that it is possible to color within the shape without affecting the other layers. Do the same thing to the other layers
Coloring After all the shapes have been filled in and sorted, start adding color. In this particular piece I stuck to all of their original color palettes of the characters.
Gradation – Using the clipping method add another layer and do gradation. Gradation is the art technique where one color gradually transitions to another color.
Adding gradation helps add more volume and contour to the flat colors. Gradient are usually done by taking two colors and smudging them together with a blur tool or a water brush to create an ombré effect. Usually this is done with either a lighter color transitioning to a darker color or 2 different colors altogether.
Details – Open another clipping layer above the gradient layer and add all the missing details such as the face, clothing designs and other additional lines that help separate similar colors.
Lighting – Putting in either a lighter color or another clipped layer set to overlay or luminosity creates lighting. Adding in lighting helps give emphasis to the parts that are illuminated.
Sparkles! – Bedazzle the final product with some sparkles and you are done!
In a nutshell, this gif highlights the entire process!
Share your links to your own Steven Universe character designs in the comments below!