How to Illustrate a Winter Scene Using Lines & Fills in Procreate

by Guest Author January 09, 2020

How to Illustrate a Winter Scene Using Lines & Fills in Procreate

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a simple winter scene using a combination of line work and fills. Combining these two techniques creates visual interest in your illustration and helps to focus your eye on the important parts of the composition.

In order to follow along, make sure you have the following:

  1. iPad and Apple Pencil
  2. Procreate (available in the App Store)
  3. Woodland Wonderland for Procreate

1. Choose a scene.

First, you’ll need to choose what type of scene you want to illustrate. Let’s stick with the winter theme here for the sake of consistency — so choose something with a cozy vibe.

Maybe that’s a little fireplace with a cat out front, maybe it’s a snowy hill with a little kid sledding. Whatever you decide, make sure to keep it simple and don’t include too many unnecessary details.

For example, I’ll be illustrating a businessman walking in the rain with an umbrella. He’ll be holding a briefcase, since that’s important to the scene, and there will be rain drops. I’m not going to draw in any buildings, sky, etc. because those will take away from the focus of the piece.

2. Sketch out a rough outline of your scene

Open up Procreate and create a new 8’x10” canvas. Open your layers panel in the top right. Tap the + to create a new layer and rename it Sketch, or something similar, by tapping on the layer and selecting Rename.

Then, sketch out a rough outline of your composition. Like I mentioned before, I’ve included only the necessary details here. The sidewalk lines add context, so I’m going to sketch some of those in. I want it to look like he’s rushing a bit due to the rain, so I’m positioning his body in a way that says that.

3. Choose a color palette and block out your fills

This is where you’ll decide what sections of your piece you want to be filled in with color and what sections you want to just be line work. The combination of the two is going to give your piece plenty of dimension and a unique dynamic.

I’m going to start with my fills. I think his coat and his pants should definitely be fills, as well as the umbrella. I’ll also choose to make the handles of his briefcase fills.

Before you start creating your fills, we want to make sure that we have a different layer for each element of our composition because later we will be adjusting the blend modes of each layer to create dimension.

Change the opacity of your Sketch layer to 50% by tapping the N and dragging the slider to 50%. Make sure this layer stays at the top so you can see it while you’re drawing your shapes.

Create a new layer for your first fill shape. I’ll start with the umbrella. Grab the Broken Micron brush and draw your first shape. Do this for every shape you intend to fill in but make sure to draw around the areas you’re not filling in (I’ll draw around the man’s head since it overlaps with my umbrella).

Fill in these shapes with a solid color by dragging the color circle in the top right to the middle of your shape and then releasing.

Once you’ve filled in all your shapes, let’s add in a background color. I’m going to choose a ‘way too much milk in my coffee’ shade.

Then, for each of your shape fill layers, let’s set the blend mode to Multiply, so that any overlapping areas get a little added grit. Do this by tapping on the N next to each layer and selecting Multiply.

4. Add in your line work

Now that we have our fills, we want to complete the composition by adding in just enough line work to complement the fills.

In my case, I’ll be adding line work for the shoes, briefcase, hand, head/hat, road, and rain. I’ll also add in some lines to create detail on the jacket and pants. You can do this in any color, but I find that black works nicely most of the time.

5. Add in some grainy shadows

I’m going to assume my light source is coming from the top right of the scene. All of your shadows don’t necessarily have to be perfect in terms of how the light would *actually* fall. I give you creative license to play around with it!

Create a new layer above each of your fill layers and name them something like “Umbrella Shadows”. Then, create a clipping mask so the shadows only appear where you have your fills. To do this, tap on the layer, then select Clipping Mask.

Set all of your shadow layers to Multiply so you get a bit more color blending rather than just hard black over your colors.

Grab your Heavy Grain I and set the color to black. Fill in some areas where you would like shadows.

6. You’re done!

Now you have a seasonal piece that would work great as a holiday gift! I’d love to see what you create, so please tag me on Instagram (@kb.kb) with your finished pieces!

About Kristen Best

Kristen Best is a graphic designer and illustrator based out of Portland, Oregon. She works alongside her husband and sister-in-law at their creative agency, Sunnyside Creative Co.

Her favorite coworker is her cat, Mary Berry, who tends to make her way into her illustrations and absolutely hates it when she works.

You can check out her work at Sunnyside Creative Co and purchase prints in her shop. You can also follow her work @kb.kb on Instagram.

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