Creating Character Illustrations with Gouache and Coloring Pencils | Celine Moya | Skillshare

Creating Character Illustrations with Gouache and Coloring Pencils

Celine Moya, Illustrator - Animator

Creating Character Illustrations with Gouache and Coloring Pencils

Celine Moya, Illustrator - Animator

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
8 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:43
    • 2. Class Project

      1:29
    • 3. Understanding the Materials

      4:49
    • 4. A Little Bit of Color Theory

      1:55
    • 5. Turning Random Marks Into People

      5:56
    • 6. Turning Your Mark Drawings Into Sketches

      5:25
    • 7. Final Project

      7:43
    • 8. Final Thoughts

      1:04
35 students are watching this class
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

116

Students

4

Projects

About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to combine gouache and coloring pencils to create your own character illustrations.

You will also learn about:

  • the materials we are going to use
  • some colour theory
  • how to use mark making to generate new ideas for your character designs

This class is for everyone from beginners to experienced illustrators and artists. 

One of the aims this class is to have fun with colour and paint and overcome the fear of the blank page.

These skills are useful not only for creating character illustrations, but in every area of your creative practice!

For this class, you will need:

  • gouache paints
  • colouring pencils
  • round brushes
  • hot pressed watercolour paper
  • containers for your water
  • a simple pencil and paper

If you're interested in seeing my work, you can find it on Instagram or www.celinemoya.com 

Make sure to check out the other great illustration classes on https://www.skillshare.com/browse/illustration

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Celine Moya

Illustrator - Animator

Teacher

Hi! My name is Céline and I’m an illustrator living in London.

I enjoy working with traditional media because I think it opens the doors for creative discovery while also creating a deeper connection with the viewer. 

I try to share my passion for traditional media in my classes and help you discover the joy of making marks on paper. I struggled with the fear of the blank page for a long time, but now I draw in my sketchbook on a daily basis. I want to help you do the same and to let go of your fears about creating. 

I look forward to seeing you in my classes. Let's get creating!

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

phone

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Celine Moya, and I'm an illustrator based in London. I'm currently studying a Masters in Illustration. This has really helped me to understand my practice in greater depth and it's also what got me into using traditional media in my own work. In this class, we're going to learn how to create character illustrations using gouache and coloring pencils. We'll also learn how to use these materials together. A little bit about color theory and how to use mark making to generate new ideas. You need no prior drawing experience in order to join this class. This class is suitable for anyone from complete beginners to more experienced illustrators who would like to learn a new skill. This is a class about character illustration, but it is also a class about mark making and experimentation, and unlocking your creativity. Throughout my practice, I've learned that some of my best ideas come from my mistakes. The art block is a real thing. We all deal with it from time to time. The aim of this class is to help you get creating again, defeat the fear of the blank page, and embrace your mistakes. These are skills that will help you in every aspect of your creative career. By the end of this class, you will have learned a new technique, created your own character illustrations, and unlocked your creativity. If this sounds good to you, you can join me in our first class by clicking on the next video. I look forward to seeing you there. 2. Class Project: The final project for this class is going to be character illustrations of your own creation made with gouache and coloring pencils. The reason I chose this project is because people are really born to draw. There are lots of things you can vary such as the age, the size, the hair, the clothing. It's a really fun subject to work with. Another reason I chose this project is because character illustrations worked really well as standalone illustrations. Whereas if we were working on a scenery, there would be lots of different elements to think about. I thought this would be a fun and simple project to start using gouache and coloring pencils. Most important thing here is to have fun and not be afraid of making mistakes. This is as much a class about mark making and experimentation as it is about character illustration. I really want you to experiment with the materials as much as you can, make a mess and have fun. The first thing you're going to need is to get your materials out. You're going to need your gouache, your coloring pencils, your hot press watercolor paper, your brushes, and containers for your water, as well as a color palettes, a tub or a bowl to put your paints on. I will link a list of all the materials I use in this class to the project description so you can have a look. Once you've got your materials out, you can click on the next video to join me in our first class. I look forward to seeing you there. 3. Understanding the Materials: In this first class, we're going to test the materials that we're going to use. I'm going to give you my top tips and tricks and show you how I use these materials in combination. Let's get started. Now, I'm going to show you how I paint with gouache. I'm going to show you a few different ways of painting with it, but I want you to try this out for yourself. First, I'm going to paint without any water. As you can see, it's not very fluid and it's quite hard to paint with. I'm going to clean my brush in the dirty water container and then I'm going to add a little bit of water to the gouache, not too much. It's still quite thick, but it's definitely a lot more fluid and easier to use. Gouache is an opaque paint, so it's quite close to watercolor but it has more pigment, so it's less transparent. That's what I really like about it, you just get a really nice matte finish with gouache. But when you work with these dark colors on their own, they are not that opaque, so I find it quite helpful to add some white to them to increase their opacity. I'm not going to add too much so that the color stays the same. See now that's really matte, you can't see the paper underneath the paint. One of my top tips for you is this, it's really important to have a thin layer of paint because if your layer is too thick, you won't be able to draw on it with coloring pencils. While we are waiting for this to dry, I'll tell you about the difference between hot-pressed watercolor paper and cold-pressed watercolor paper. The reason I like using hot-pressed is because it's smooth, whereas cold-press watercolor paper has a grainy texture. I just find it a little easier to draw on hot-press because it's smoother. Now yellow is a lighter color, I find that doesn't need as much white to turn opaque. As you can see, that already looks quite opaque without any white. But some gouache paints already have some white added to them, so you might not need to add any white to your paints at all. That's why you need to test them out and see for yourself. I'm going to add a little bit of white to this, so you can see the difference. As you can see, it's a bit more opaque. Now our colors should be dry and we can start drawing on them with the coloring pencils. I'm going to try out a few different colors and see what they look like. I'm first going to try this orange, because I think it'll create a nice contrast. This yellow also looks really nice on this blue, this is why I like working with gouache and coloring pencils. You can have a really dark color for your background, and then draw on it with lighter colors and coloring pencils and get really nice contrasts. But not every light color will work well on these darker colors, so you need to try it out and see what works and what doesn't. While we're doing this, I'll tell you why I'm using the same color palette. So I've used acrylic paints on it before and they've dried up, and now I have no way of cleaning them because they don't reactivate with water, whereas gouache paints can always be reactivated with water, so you can use them again after they've dried. That's something that I really like about gouache, but also something to be wary of. If there's a stain or a mistake somewhere on the page, I will put some water on it with a clean brush and then I will take a clean cloth and then dab it on the water, and that will remove the stain. You can also try out different textures, for example, you can try drawing with the side of the coloring pencil. Those are my top tips and tricks for you for using gouache and coloring pencils together. Make sure you don't paint too thick a layer because otherwise, you won't be able to draw on it with coloring pencils. Mix some white into your gouache paints, if you want to achieve capacity. Remember that gouache reactivates when you add water to it. This can be good for correcting mistakes, but be careful not to reactivate if you don't want to. Try lots of different combinations of coloring gouache and coloring pencils to see what works and what doesn't. Now why don't you have a go at making your own test sheet. Experiment with the materials as much as you can, try different combinations of colors and materials, see what works and what doesn't. In our next class, we are going to be talking about color theory. I'll see you there. 4. A Little Bit of Color Theory: In this class, we're going to talk about color theory. I don't want you to worry too much about color theory. This isn't something I constantly think about when I do my own work, but it is still useful to have a basic knowledge of it. There are three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. You get secondary colors by mixing two primary colors together. You get tertiary colors by mixing the secondary colors with the primary colors. There are different ways of using these colors together. These are also called color schemes. The analogous color scheme is when you use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the wheel. When used together, these colors create a high contrast. Then there are split complementary colors. This scheme uses a base color and takes the two colors next to its complimentary color. A triadic color scheme consists of three colors that are at equal distances from each other. A rectangular scheme is when we use four colors that make up a rectangle on the color wheel. In my work, I tend to use colors that create a high contrast. So my color schemes are usually triadic or split complementary. But I tend to choose my colors more intuitively. I don't really visualize the color wheel every time I set up to draw. I just think it could help you to know some of these color schemes to help you get started and understand how you like to use color. Now, why don't you have a go at making our own color wheel? You can do this with gouache or coloring pencils. If you do make it with gouache, you could try combining the primary colors to make the secondary colors and the tertiary colors, which could be a useful exercise. Once you've done that, make sure you post it in the project gallery. In our next class, we're going to make some random marks on the page and turn them into drawings of people. I'll see you there. 5. Turning Random Marks Into People: In this lesson, we're going to make some random marks on the page and turn them into drawings of people. The aim of this exercise is to generate new ideas, but also to defeat the fear of the blank page and not be afraid of making mistakes when you're drawing, and to show you that not every drawing you make needs to be perfect. Let's get started. Now we're going to make some marks on the page. I'm going to use the paints from the previous classes. This is a great way of not wasting all paints because you can reactivate gouache with water. Now I'm going to make some random marks on the page. I'm going to do this with a few other colors. Remember to clean your brush between each color in the dirty water container. I'm just going to let these dry now and come back and draw on them. They should be dry now. I'm now going to try to find the people in the marks. I know these marks don't look like anything at the moment, but give it some time and you'll definitely start to see it. Here I'm seeing a nose sticking out. I also see a hand holding something. I feel like that could be some sort of a brass instrument. I'm not exactly sure what this looks like, but I'm just going to follow the mark. We don't need to worry about what these drawings look like right now. I'm now going to have a go at this one, and I'm going to use a different color for this. Once again, I see a nose here. I also see a chin and maybe a mustache. It also looks like there's a big scarf here. Why not also give him a hat? In this one, I see these two bunny ears. So maybe this could be their hair, and this could be their nose. You can also move the page around and see if they make more sense from a different angle. The only self-imposed limitation we have for this class is to turn these marks into people and not animals or objects, for example. If you're struggling to see faces, don't worry. Try to see full characters or maybe just some parts of their bodies or some clothing that could also give you inspiration for your character illustrations. This is one of those things that gets easier with practice. I've down so many of these pages that it comes to me quite naturally now. But don't worry if you can't see people in the mark straightaway. It takes time, so you need to be quite persistent and use your imagination. It's very likely that these drawings aren't going to be proportional anyway, but don't worry about that. These weird proportions could also work as new ideas that you can incorporate into your drawings. It would have never occurred to me to draw someone with hair like this but trying to see people in these marks forces me to imagine people with features that I wouldn't normally think of. That's why I really like this exercise as a method for idea generation. Now we have all of our characters. Like I said, these drawings are far from being perfect, but this is just a fun exercise to generate new ideas and defeat the fear of the blank page. Even if you make mistakes that's okay. It's hard to make perfect drawings out of these marks. It forces you to embrace the ugliness and the mistakes and just go with them. My top tips for you for this exercise are: use leftover paints if you have some, this is a great way to stop them from going to waste. Take a break from it if you need to and come back to it later and you will start to see things in your marks. Try turning the page around to see if the shapes make more sense from a different angle. You can use these marks as faces, as bodies, as clothing, but just make sure that you turn them into people because we're going to use them as character ideas for our final illustrations. I hope this exercise showed you that not every drawing you make needs to be perfect. It's perfectly okay to make mistakes. We can use these mistakes to generate new ideas. Sometimes we need to draw for fun and for experimentation and we should do that as much as we can and not be afraid of the blank page. Now I want you to make your own marks and turn them into drawings of people. Once you finish this exercise, make sure you post your drawings in the project gallery. I'm looking forward to seeing your mark characters. In the next lesson, we're going to take these mark drawings and turn them into more developed sketches that will form the basis for our final character illustrations. I'll see you there. 6. Turning Your Mark Drawings Into Sketches: In this class, we're going to use the mock drawings from the previous class to generate more developed sketches that will form the basis of our final character illustrations. So let's get started. Now that we have our mark drawings, we're going to turn them into more developed sketches. For this exercise, I recommend you use some cheap paper and a pencil. Using cheap paper takes the pressure off and stops you worrying about perfection. Now we're going to pick some characters to develop. We're going to pick three, but you can do more if you feel inspired. I'm going to go with this one, this one, and this one. When you're developing your own characters, you should think about what this person is like. So what they like to do, what they do for a living, what they're doing in this moment. This adds a lot of character and richness to your illustrations. If you're not used to drawing people, don't worry. I understand that drawing people for the first time can be quite daunting, but there are different things you can do to make drawing people easier. One thing you can do is to give them noodle arms. This is basically drawing limbs without any bone structure in them. So you can draw these really loose cylinders and they will look good. Also remember that however you draw people is completely okay. These aren't meant to be realistic drawings. This is how you draw people so embrace that. There are lots of illustrators who draw the simplest, most unrealistic people and they look amazing because they still convey an emotion. This is why I encourage you to try and think about what your characters are like as people, because this really shows in your drawings. Now this man is wearing a big hat and the scarves, so I imagine he's in a cold place. He's also looking down, which makes me think that he could be sad or just thinking about something. So I'm going to try to take these elements and try to put them into my drawing. Our first character is done. What about her? We know that she has a crazy hairdo and we know that she's looking quite happy or enthusiastic. So maybe she could be on a night out and dancing. What I like about this character is that he has a really big nose and really big hand, but quite a small head. I think I'm going to keep those features because I think they are quite interesting. When you're developing your own characters remember that if there's something that you don't like about your mock drawing, you can always change it. Just keep what you like and toss what you don't like. So for this drawing, I actually Googled trumpets because I have no idea how to draw it. I'm not going to make it super realistic. I'm just going to try to get the basic shape right. I love that this trumpet is way too big for him, but don't worry about him. He's a pro. My top tips for this exercise are, think of who your characters are and what they're doing to make them richer and embrace the way you draw people/ now I want you to have a go at developing your own sketches. Make sure you think about the personality of your characters, what they like to do, what they do for a living. This will really show in your characters and will make them a lot richer. Once you've finish your sketches, make sure you post them in the project gallery for everyone to see. I look forward to seeing what you make. In the next class, we're going to create our final character illustrations. Looking forward to seeing you there. 7. Final Project: The time has finally come to create your final character illustrations. In this class, we're going to use everything we learned in the previous classes and create our final character illustrations using gouache and coloring pencils. Let's get started. I've already decided on the colors that I'm going to use for my character illustrations. Now I'm going to try to mix them using gouache. Sometimes when you squeeze the gouache out of the tube, some of the binder comes out, so I'm going to squeeze it out before I start mixing. I'm not going to add any white into this color because I want it to be quite transparent. I'm going to mix some more of it now. When you're mixing your colors, think of how much of it you're going to need. But if you run out, you can always make some more and match it to your original color by testing it on your test sheet. Now that I have all of my colors, I can start painting my characters. I've already lightly sketched out my character illustrations onto the watercolor paper with a light blue coloring pencil. Before you start painting, I recommend that you take a picture of your outlines because they will disappear under the paint. It'll be good to have a reference for when you're drawing with the coloring pencils. When you paint with gouache, you want to start with the lightest color first. First, I'm going to paint the yellow zone. Next, I'm going to paint the browns. I decided to add some white to my blue to make it a bit more opaque and different to the rest of the colors. When I decide how to use these colors in my drawings, I just try to make sure that I use them in different quantities in each character. If I made one characters go brown, then I'll make the other characters go blue, just so that they don't look all the same. Finally, I'm going to paint in the reds. Now I'm going to let the gouache dry and come back to it and draw on it with the coloring pencils. Now we're going to add the finishing touches to these illustrations with coloring pencils. I'm going to try out my coloring pencils on the test marks that I made. When you're working on your own character illustrations, try different color combinations on your test marks. I personally like to use colors that create a high contrast. I'm using my photo reference to help me draw with the coloring pencils. I'm drawing patterns onto the clothing that I've seen in clothing throughout my life. Things like checkers or zigzags, these are all common patterns that I can think of off the top of my head. As you might have noticed, I don't really add outlines to my illustrations, but this is just a stylistic choice, you can do if you like to. Here we are. All of our characters are done. Here are my top tips for you for painting your character illustrations. When you're mixing your colors, think of how much of each color you're going to need. If you run out of the color, you can mix it again and test it on your test sheet to match it to the original color. Change the ratio of color in each character to make your painting more interesting. Use the coloring pencils to add details to your characters, and have fun with the patterns on their clothing. Now you can create your own character illustrations. If you need any reminders, feel free to go back to the previous classes where we talk about color theory and how to use gouache and coloring pencils together. Once you've finished your character illustrations and once they're dry, make sure you take a good quality photo or a scan and post it in the project gallery so we can all see them. I look forward to seeing your creations. In the next video, we're going to go over everything that we've learned so far and wrap things up. I'll see you there. 8. Final Thoughts: In this class, we learned how to create character illustrations using gouache and coloring pencils. We also learned how to use gouache and coloring pencils together. You learn a little bit about color theory and we learned how to use mark making as a method for idea generation, and how to embrace our mistakes and use them as new ideas that we can incorporate into our drawings. I really hope you enjoyed this class and found that useful. Make sure you post your finished projects in project gallery. I really look forward to seeing what you've created. Don't forget to follow me on Skillshare if you'd like to keep up to date with my new classes. You can also follow me on social media, celinemdraws on Instagram, or celinemoya.com to see more of my work. I really enjoyed working with you and I'll see you next time.