Creating An Animal Portrait With a Whimsical Twist | Lisa Mellows | Skillshare

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Creating An Animal Portrait With a Whimsical Twist

teacher avatar Lisa Mellows, Freelance Illustrator and Art teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Class project

    • 3. Generating ideas

    • 4. Sketching

    • 5. Watercolour 1

    • 6. Watercolour 2

    • 7. Fineliner

    • 8. Final Artwork

    • 9. Bonus Time-Lapse

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About This Class

Create a watercolour illustration of an animal portrait with a whimsical twist.

Learning how to bring your own charm and magic into illustrating an animal portrait.

This class is for those wanting to learn a new skill or those wanting to find inspiration and reignite their creative spark. (beginner and intermediate).

The skills learnt in this class can be applied in different scenarios, you can take the processes used to create a variety of other projects:

Finding inspiration and generating ideas; how to sketch out your ideas and add your own elements while sketching; bringing your character to life; looking at watercolour techniques and how to add finer details.

Meet Your Teacher

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Lisa Mellows

Freelance Illustrator and Art teacher


I am an Art teacher and freelance Illustrator specialising in children's literature.

I have had a love for drawing for as long as I can remember, and rhyming and picture books have been lifelong friends of mine. I am at my happiest when illustrating, and relish the challenge of telling a story through pictures. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, which has grown my passion for inspiring others and nurturing their imaginations through Art.

​My illustrations are colourful, vibrant and full of whimsy. I work traditionally and digitally, and I often combine both methods to create captivating imagery.

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1. Intro: Hi David, my name C submitters and I'm a freelance illustrator and art teacher. I specialize in children's literature. And for as long as I can remove that pinch books, being great friends of mine. I love creating an illustrating charming characters. I've exhibited and sold work at various markets and illustration phase in London. I've illustrated picture books and I've posted work all around the world. If you have an interest in illustrating, or perhaps you just starting out or looking for a new project, inspire you in this class is for you. And I'm really excited to share in my talent with you. So let's go on this adventure together. Today, I will show you how to create an animal portrait. The ones he called twist. You'll need some pictures to help with inspiration and generating some ideas. Sketching pencil and eraser, watercolor paper of any thickness, preferably a41 size. Watercolor paints, brushes. And define Lana needs get stopped. 2. Class project: Welcome back to creating an animal portrait with a whimsical toast. In this lesson, we will have a look at an overview of the class project. We're going to start by generating some ideas. I've made a pin board and saved it on Pinterest. You can find the link saved under resources. Once you have selected your animal, I'm going to talk you through how I sketched out my illustrations, sharing some of my top tips. We will then have a look at painting using watercolors. Again, I will share some of my tips with you. I will show you how I select my base colors and how you can then apply the same theory to your own illustration. We'll continue using watercolors, adding richer colors and finer detail. This should help you animal puppet and bring it to life. We will then finish off with the finer detail using a fine line of pain. Now that we haven't overview, let's get started. 3. Generating ideas: Welcome back. In this lesson, we're going to be looking at generating ideas. This will help us find inspiration and it's a great place to start. I've saved many of my illustrations as well as various animals. And while we'll be picking up on realistic characteristics of our animal, the fan is in tuning your illustration into something whimsical and playful to. I've included penance of Fen glasses, head bands and flower garlands, hats, and even some clothes options to get the creative juices flowing. You can, of course, look up your own. I've decided to draw a fox in a tweed jacket with a book. This would be a good time to mention that this is a great way to learn in looking at what other artists do together ideas. And this helps you to create your own art, but it is never okay to copy the, our copyright laws. So legally, you could get into trouble. But as I said previously, finding inspiration and motivation from a selection of artists is fine. It's perhaps he like a flower garland and one illustration. And you like how nose is drawn in another, and you pick up on a different element in someone else's work. This is a good way for you to learn and eventually you'll start to develop your own style and unique ideas. Again, although I have pictures to help me with my illustration concept, I'm using these merely as inspiration and will be creating my own piece unique to me. So once you've selected your images, we're ready to get started. 4. Sketching: Welcome back. In this lesson, you'll be following these sketching out my animal. I will share some tips along the way. Sketching is the foundation of our illustration. It's putting ideas into motion. Now that you've chosen your animal gets, get started. I'm using an HB pencil, my papers A3 and sides, but once a trauma illustration dam, it will be a standard A4 illustration. My paper is smooth, heavyweight paper, 220 grams per square. Heavier the paper, the more paint you can apply without ruining the page. I've chosen to draw a fox. And while it is important to observe and draw what we see, we can use more than one picture to help us along the way. I would suggest starting with the nose and drawing out from the draw the mouth, and then the bridge of the nose and start on the sides of the face, and so on and so forth. I draw symmetrically rather than drawing one side completely. Thinking terms of lines and shape. Is your face round? Is it box-like, 4X squared? Are the sharp angles. You can always soften up the lines once you have the foundation. I like to keep my lines loose and light. And you can keep referencing your picture that you are drawing from, as it is important to pick up on recognizable characteristics of your animal. In my case, my FOX. I would like him to look foxy. Look at your picture from different angles. Sometimes I look at my drawings upside down. This helps with proportion because as you draw, sometimes one i might appear bigger than the other, or maybe an EM or pointy. So I can just adjust my illustrations as it develops. And having a look at it from a different perspective highlights this. Then I encourage you to add your own charm and whimsical twist. This is where your own artistic license comes into play. For example, exaggerated overlies. This is also when you might think about how you would like to bring your animal to life, dressing him or her. So perhaps you're popping a flower behind an ear or a hate Garland Rahat. In my case, I'm going to start to draw the bow tie, the color, and the tweed jacket. You're ready to get started just before you go. Here are some of my top tips again. Start with the central feature are either knows, keep lines loose and draw symmetrically. So for example, one i and then the other eye, one year, then the next year, illustrate recognizable characteristics. Add your own charm and draw soft p. If you would like to use my template of the Fox, I have saved this under the resources. Otherwise, it's time for you to shine. I look forward to seeing you in the next lesson. 5. Watercolour 1: Welcome back to creating an animal portrait with worms ECL twist. In this lesson, we will be applying our base colors using watercolor paints. Again, I will show you some of my top tips as I start painting my FOX. I like to use round watercolor brushes. The soft Brussels work well with a fluidity and delicacy of watercolor paints. I use many different watercolor pellets. It's up to you really. Currently, I'm using daily. And Ronnie, first things first, the amount of water that you apply will result in different effects. The least water that you apply to the paint or to a page, the richer and bolded the colors will appear, as well as your brush strokes being more controlled. The more water that you apply to your brush or paint, lighter and more free-flowing. The colors will become. I quite like to use the technique called wait on weight. This is when you apply water to your page and then add the paint to the weak part of the page. The color flows freely and bleeds into each other. Bleeding is when the colors mix and blend from running into each other due to the amount of water applied. I will quickly so as to get an even color down on my page before the paint dries, allowing colors to mixing blamed. Remember, you're painting watercolors. So water is the key word. Don't be afraid to use water. The paint will, however, run wherever the pages wheat. So be sure to keep in the lines of your illustration. My FOX, I've selected the colors I observed in the pictures I'm using as a reference. I always use more than one color to combine and make unique caliphate. More you paint and the more you practice beta I will get at picking out the correct colors. A fox is not just Orange or just brown. I would like to blend orange, yellow, brown, maybe even some rate, experiment and have some fun allowing the colors to flow freely by applying water as you paint. Be gentle with your paintbrush. If you continually paint over the same section or rub the brush up and down the page, you wide risk of damaging the paper and little paper balls will start to form on your page. And now one color to dry before applying a different color so the paint does not run into each other. For example, my tweed jacket is green. I do not want the green mixing in with a brownish rate of the Foxe's way. Same thing with the jacket and the purple bow tie. I will wait for the jacket to dry before applying the color of the datetime. Did you also feel free to regularly change a water pot, keep your brushes clean, and keep the water. Care for mixing with colors as you paint. Having seen how I have added my base colors, it's now your turn. Harris, Just a quick summary of my top tips. Less water applied equals colors will be richer and brighter. More water applied equals lighter and more free-flowing color. Uses selection of colors to create your base could be gentle with your brash, allows sections to dry before starting in a completely new color. And regularly change your water in your water pot. Remember to upload and share your project in the project section. And I really look forward to seeing you in the next class. 6. Watercolour 2: Welcome back to creating an animal portrait with a whimsical twist. In this lesson, we will be adding finer detail. I always add a really light color instead of leaving white, just white. As mentioned previously, mortar dilutes the paint and makes the color lighter. I've made a really like Brown for the white f2 of my FOX. I've made sure all the paint is dry before adding detail to the nose and the oval eyes and even the ears. You can get a boulder richer color and have more control over your brush strokes by using a smaller brush and adding less water. Take your time when adding detail. Again, to keep my chute and color light. I've added mortar. Remember to wear K50 because as mentioned before, we ever the pages weight, the paint will run. I've used bolder colors to add detail to my, my bowtie. Again, bolder, brighter or richer colors are from using less water. And for smaller detail, a smaller, thinner brush is easier to control. Also, the closer you hold your brush to the bristles, the more control you will have over the brush tricks. Sometimes it is good to take a break and do something else. Then go back to your artwork and see it with fresh eyes and see where to add detail or tweak your illustrations. If you would like to add a patent you Illustration, leave that to almost the last stage. You should always have your base colors down and dry, as well as the second layer of paint, if you've added dark tones to show shadows or crisis in the clouds, for example. Something to remember is to start to paint on the opposite side of the page, whichever hand you paint with. For instance, I'm left-handed. So I will try as best I can to start on the right-hand side so as not to smudge the paint accidentally. Take your time. Don't rush the stage when adding the finer detail, like the stripes on my jacket and dots on my bow tie. Now that you're ready to start to add your finer detail, he has just a quick summary of my top tips. Your page should be dry before adding detail. Lace, water, plague equals colours richer and brighter. More to applied equals lighter and more free-flowing color. Use a smaller, thinner brush for finer details. Paint on the opposite side of the page to your painting hand. Take your time, take breaks and see your work with fresh eyes. And lastly, leave the finer detail like patents. Until last. I look forward to seeing you in the next class. 7. Fineliner: Welcome back to create an animal portrait with a woman's equal twist. We have now completed painting and just time to add the finishing touches using a fine liner. I find this finishes the illustration of really nicely. And Nathan's up all the lines emphasizing various elements. You want to have a steady hand and get a single solid line around the entire illustration. Lift your hand up for regular breaks. Root carefully and neatly, and it is easier for you to enter illustration around as you draw. Whatever is comfortable for you. Make sure your page is completely dry. Before you add the file liner, you can use any fine line uranium and choose from various thicknesses. I like to use in medium size nip, not too thick and not too thin. I am currently using and Costco fine line that you can create free lactic strap or feel like detail with your fine line up. For my Fox, I'm sort of adding short sharp dashes in various places to illustrate pay for, for the photo. I call him the pupil in the eye to finish off the flux and go over a few of the lines in the clothes to add dark detail. And just like that, I am finished. Just as before. Sometimes it is good to take a break and do something else. Then come back to your artwork and see it with fresh eyes. You may want to add an extra touch here or they don't overwork it. And finally, notice your tune. Don't forget to upload and share your project in its various stages. You can save these under the project section below. Just before you go, here's a summary of my top tips. Your page should be dry before adding detail in file anna, applying the illustration in a single solid line. Create fear like texture using short sharp dashes. Turn your page as you draw if you find it easier. And lastly, take your time. Take breaks in C, work with fresh eyes. 8. Final Artwork : Thanks so much for taking my class and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Just a quick recap of what you have learned. We've learned how to generate ideas and find inspiration. We've looked at how to start our sketches. We've added a base coat in water colors with lighter, more diluted paint, and a second layer adding richer and bold colors and finite detail. Finally, we have looked at ways to complete our Portrait using the fine liner to bring out the detail. The more you practice these learning skills and techniques that beta you will get at them. I hope you've picked up some useful tips from me. I really can't wait to see your final animal portrait with a woman's cycle twist. Be sure to upload to the projects section below, along with images of your work in progress. If you've enjoyed my class, please give it a thumbs up or leave some feedback. Reviews really helped to give the class more exposure, allowing more people to find it and to take part. Thanks again, and I hope to see you soon. 9. Bonus Time-Lapse: Okay. I don't remember. Okay.