Syd Weiler’s Illustration Workshop
In preparation for leading a workshop at the ICON illustration conference, Adobe Creative Resident Syd Weiler dived deep into using Adobe mobile apps—and created a set of 87 brushes (based on items in a box of her childhood art supplies). In this article, she shares her story and the brushes, which can be used in Adobe Photoshop Sketch, with us:
I’m pretty new to the world of illustration and don’t have a clear view of how things work outside of my pocket of Twitter and Pinterest. After attending PAX East in April and meeting hundreds of creatives making games, I wondered if there was something similar out there for illustrators. A quick Google search turned up ICON.
I’d already gotten a ticket to attend ICON when a hosting spot opened up at a workshop focused on using mobile Adobe’s mobile apps. That spot was offered to me. And although I had very little experience running this sort of workshop, and very little experience using Adobe’s mobile apps, I said yes.
EXPLORING THE APPS AND CREATING THE BRUSHES
I had about a month and a half to learn the mobile apps, create a project, and build a workflow. I wasn’t interested in making my workshop especially commercial, so I had to approach the apps thoughtfully. I spent a few weeks playing with the apps, and I built a project that highlighted their strengths.
As further preparation, I sent a survey to the attendees to learn more about how they were using digital tools and what they wanted to learn. The group of attendees was composed of illustrators and designers, and helping them learn how to use the tools in real-world ways made sense.
I wanted people to not only learn the tools but also have a unique set of digital assets to play with. Being a digital painter, I’m very interested in brushes, so I decided to make a set for the attendees. While preparing for the workshop, I was spending time at home, where I found a box containing many of my childhood art supplies (stored by my mother but likely headed eventually for the trash). Using Adobe Capture CC, I turned those dried markers, old pastels, and mucky glitter paints into a package of 87 digital brushes—some useful, some wacky—that can be used in Adobe Photoshop Sketch. I shared the brushes with attendees before the event. (And now you can get the brushes from this Creative Cloud Library.)
WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
Since this workshop was early in the morning and, for most attendees, the first official thing at ICON, I wanted to get people drawing as quickly as possible. Before everyone arrived, I laid butcher paper down on the tables and set out Sharpies. When everyone came in, I shared the theme for the day, “what gets me out of bed in the morning,” and immediately put them to creative work.
After everyone had time to sketch, they used Adobe Capture on their iPads to grab and vectorize their drawings (learn more in this tutorial). I then passed out the analog brushstrokes I had made with my kiddie art supplies, and they used Capture to practice making a brush. The final step took everyone over to Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Photoshop Sketch to finish their drawings, using my brushes.