Be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn.

This was made using the Paper app on my trusty ol’ iPad 1. Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn…

Whether I’m sketching on paper or a digital device I always start with a rough version in light blue. This is a nod to my old drawing/animation days where I’d draw on paper, then scan each image or frame to tidy up and colour in Photoshop.  Blue pencil doesn’t show up on scanners, and it doesn’t muddy the paper like a regular pencil would.

Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn blue pencil layer

Blue pencil sketch


I did the initial sketch with my finger, but decided to do this next layer with a stylus. It was slightly easier, but the quality of the stylus wasn’t great. That’s not an excuse before you say anything!

Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn red pencil layer

Red pencil layer


A lot of the time I call it quits after the red version. I don’t like images that are too neat and clean, and I’ve always felt the pencil sketch is the real deal; the raw energy of the first sketch. Outlining it in pen (or a pen effect on the app in this case) almost feels like cheating, because I’m just tracing my own image.

Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn pen layer

Pen layer


If I do make it past the outline stage, the Paper app does have a very fun ‘water colour’ style brush, which I used below to give Unicorn Girl a splash of colour.

Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn colour wash layer

Colour wash

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