This is a continuation of the series of designs based on the alphabet from our Creative team. Each post will include their designs and a peek into their process. Here’s a look inside Oliver’s process. Enjoy!
The letter Z is really cool. The faster you write it, the better it looks. If the letters of the alphabet were competing in extreme sports, X would admittedly win gold, but I think Z would get silver.
I had multiple ideas for how to design this letter that I attempted early on, but I ultimately decided to illustrate it freehand.
I was partially inspired by street art and its very raw, natural process. Now, I understand that digitally painting something is much more forgiving than if this was painted up on a wall, but you’ll notice in my design that the strokes were kept intentionally fast and messy.
I wanted to capture the feeling of speed and almost have the Z look as if it were “hastily” drawn.
This illustration was created in Procreate, so I was able to export a time lapse video of my entire process from the empty canvas to the final image. I love this feature because I always enjoy watching an artist’s process (even my own).
I grabbed screenshots of each stage in the process so I could explain what was going on a little better.
I started off with the crazy squiggles in blue just to get a shape of the letter without committing to any specific style. Then I went over top of that with the initial sketch lines to form the Z.
Refining the Line
I traced over the rough sketch and refined the line work a little more, giving the lines just enough “messiness” to get the look I was going for.
I filled in the line work with color and gave highlights to the individual shards that make up the Z.
Lurking in the Shadows
I masked off individual pieces to paint in the textured shadow.
This Cracked Me Up
I battled with indecision to choose a base background color and then I started adding cracks around the outside of the Z.
Some extra shading around and underneath the Z to give it a little extra depth and I also added some lines for subtle texture into the background.
This was one of the first “real” pieces of art I made using Procreate, so it was interesting to see how quickly I could get used to the app while using it. It turned out to be a pretty smooth experience!
–Oliver Greenbarg, Graphic Designer