How to Draw a Retro Bubble Gum Vending Card in Procreate

by Guest Author March 04, 2020

How to Draw a Retro Bubble Gum Vending Card in Procreate

Remember being drawn to candy and toy vending machines at the entrance of grocery stores?

Packed with cheap, sugar-filled treasures these vending machines pulled you in with colorful novel vending cards that were put on the front of the machines.

The High-Margin Business of Kid's Vending Machines

Gumball machines were the perfect working man's side hustle. With a gumball costing around two cents and being marked up to 25 cents the margin on each sale was high.

Plus, because gumballs have a long shelf life the working man can run his candy and toy vending business with a minimal time investment.

If you've ever had the inclination to create eye-catching art for the kid's vending machine industry this tutorial is for you. We'll be recreating a popular piece of vending card art step-by-step.

We will be using the Procreate app on the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and a variety of RetroSupply brushes.

Most brushes we will be using are found in the The Complete Mid-Century Brush Collection, plus a few others that I have listed in step 2.

1. Document Setup

To get started, create a new canvas in Procreate. My default size is 2400 x 2400 px at 300 DPI.

Since we are going to be recreating and working closely from a reference image, let’s set things up so Procreate and the images can be open alongside each other.

For inspiration, I did some visual research by searching for vintage candy packaging and ephemera on the internet.

The image we’ll be drawing from can be found by doing an image search for ‘leaf monster balls bubble gum.’ Once you have found it, save the image to your photos.

Make sure you have the Photo App in the dock. With Procreate open, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the dock.

Touch the photo app icon, hold and drag it to the right of the screen, then release.

2. Brushes

To draw this image, we will be using a number of different brushes from several different RetroSupply packs, so let’s create a project folder in the Brush Panel. We will place duplicates of the brushes here so they will all be in one spot.

Here is what we will be using:

The Complete Mid-Century Brush Collection

  • Perfect Gouache  from The Mid-Century Brush Pack
  • Blotty Inker from The Mid-Century Brush Pack
  • Gouache Butter from The Mid-Century Brush Pack
  • Dry Roller from The Texture Brush Pack
  • Fine Scratches from The Texture Brush Pack
  • Portly Filler from The Liner Brush Pack

The Classic Procreate Illustration Pack

  • Pencil

Revelation Halftones for Procreate

  • Smooth 02

Tap the plus sign at the top of your bush library to create a new folder and name it after the project.

For each of the brushes listed above, duplicate by sliding the brush to the left. Drag your duplicated brushes to the new folder.

3. Sketch and select colors

Sketch the image using the Pencil, set the layer to Multiply then drop the opacity to about 25%.

Create a new layer and paint swatches of the colors similar to the original art. While painting, I find it quicker to sample my colors from these swatches rather than going to the pallet every time.

4. Draw graphic text and elements

Create a new layer and draw the monster text with the Blotty Inker. Do the same for the 1 cent, leaf logo and balls text using the Perfect Gouache Brush.

5. Draw the monster

Now, hide all of the layers you just created by unchecking the boxes on those layers. Draw the monster on a new layer using the Pencil from The Classic Procreate Illustration Pack. Turn the other layers back on when you are done with your monster.

Create another layer under the monster drawing and paint the background. Do the same for the orange parts of the eyes, mouth and hand.

Name the layers for easy identification. This step is especially helpful when having to make edits in Adobe Photoshop.

6. Add a halftone texture using a layer mask

On a new layer, paint the entire canvas with one stroke using the Revelation Halftone Smooth 02 brush at the largest size.

Scale down the layer so it’s big enough to just cover the face.

Tap the halftone layer and select Mask. There now is a white layer attached to the halftone layer.

Paint on the mask layer with black to hide (conceal) parts of the halftone and paint with white to show (reveal) the halftone texture.

There is a saying to help us all remember- white reveals, black conceals.

This is a great method of applying texture because it is nondestructive!

7. Create an offset

Duplicate the monster text layer and hide the original. Tap the duplicated layer and select Alpha Lock.

With the Perfect Gouache Brush, paint the monster text white then turn back on the original.

With the white monster layer selected, tap the arrow. Touch anywhere on the screen in the direction you want to nudge the layer. Tap the arrow again when you are done.

8. Add bubble gum and ingredients type with texture

With white selected as the color, tap the wrench and add text. You may edit this text to your liking.

Rasterize the text so it can be roughened up some by tapping the layer and select Rasterize. Do this for both the Bubble Gum and the Ingredients layers.

Tap the Bubble Gum text and select Mask. Select a gritty brush and size it at 1%. I used the Portly Filler Brush from the Liner Brush Pack.

Set your color to black and paint some of the edges for texture. Remember you can paint in white to bring those areas back.

Do the same with the Ingredients layer. I used the Dry Roller Brush at 1%.

9. Texture

With white selected, work with each texture style on separate layers and name each layer after the brush used on that layer.

  • Gouache Butter
  • Dry Roller
  • Fine Scratches

    10. One last step

    Add a new layer to the very top of the layers and fill with a cream color. Change the layer mode to Multiply.

    And that's it!

    About Seth Cochran

    Seth Cochran is a Seattle-based artist with a Graphic Design and Advertising background.

    His real passion is drawing and has just recently taken the giant leap into digital drawing and is working towards becoming an illustrator.

    Follow him on Instagram @sketched_by_seth

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