Learn to Layer: Achieve Realistic Results with Colored Pencils | Ritika Sridhar | Skillshare

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Learn to Layer: Achieve Realistic Results with Colored Pencils

teacher avatar Ritika Sridhar, Artist, Calligrapher

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

12 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Orientation & Project

    • 3. Supplies & Tools

    • 4. Choosing a Reference Photo

    • 5. Sketching

    • 6. Building Your Color Palette

    • 7. Base Color Methods

    • 8. Applying Base Colors

    • 9. Layering & Blending

    • 10. Shadows

    • 11. Highlights

    • 12. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Have you ever wondered how to draw a realistic color pencil drawing, but don't know where to begin? Bored of using colored pencils in the same old way?

Join artist and calligrapher, Ritika Sridhar, as she teaches you how to level up your colored pencil drawings using mixed media techniques. 

Techniques you will learn:

  • Selecting a reference photo
  • Choosing your colors
  • Blending¬†
  • Layering methods
  • Creating shadows with markers
  • Enhancing your highlights with acrylics or gel pens

Who is the class for? There’s something for everyone! Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, you can expand your toolbox and experiment using a new technique. 

Make your colored pencil drawings POP with Ritika’s tips & tricks! 

Check out my Pinterest board of Ice cream References Here ! 

Get in touch with Ritika on  Instagram   ||    Facebook   ||   Youtube  ||  Pinterest   ||  WEBSITE   

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Ritika Sridhar

Artist, Calligrapher

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1. Introduction : Have you ever wondered what makes an art just an art or a realistic art? The realistic art will have a lot of richness in it and it will reflect all the fun that you put in to create it. Here are two important factors that makes an art a realistic one; the shadows and the highlights. Hi, my name is Ritika. I'm an artist and a calligrapher from Tamil Nadu, India. I mostly do portraits with pencil shading techniques. I've also been taking client orders for almost three years now. That's actually my favorite thing to do apart from teaching you. I'll also love doing colored pencil, realistic artworks, and brush lettering. In this class, I'm going to show you how to create a color pencil artwork with the help of other mediums. I feel comfortable doing pencil shading, but I always struggle with color pencils on how to mix the right colors and how to create a realistic look. I'm going to be teach you which I wish I knew when I started with it. Firstly, I'll share in detail about all my favorite tools and supplies. Then we can jump on to the process of selecting a beautiful reference, and later we'll be working on how to use layering technique. How to pick the right colors for your reference. How to bring in the depth in a color pencil drawing using markers and the highlights using acrylic paints or gel pens. Another way you can utilize this skill is to apply it on your own style, but apply these methods with other mediums that you work on. You can even experiment this with portraits. This class is a beginner-friendly class, which is also great for side hustlers, freelancers, or even hobbies because you can learn right from basics. You can also learn the concept of realism to enhance your artworks even more. I started my art journey as a pencil shading artist which I love because you can recreate a realistic black and white photograph. A few years ago, I also stepped in color pencil artwork because now I can create objects as we truly see them in real life. All the colors of reality. I'm so excited to share with you my tips of using mixed media with colored pencils. I'm also eagerly waiting to see what you-all create. So go ahead and watch the next video and I'll see you there. 2. Class Orientation & Project: The object of art is not to produce reality, but to create reality of the same intensity. After a tough two class projects for our class, one is the color swatches with different techniques and the other one is the ice cream, which I'll be drawing and explaining you throughout the class or you can choose any image of your choice. Throughout the class, I'll be helping you and guiding you at each and every step. If at all, if you have any questions, you can feel free to shoot out your questions in the discussion section. I hope you've got a clear idea of what this class is about, if not these FAQs will help you. I'll be sharing you all the commonly asked questions regarding this class. Now, the first thing that you might have got in your mind is, can I create a realistic art once after I finish this course? The answer is partly yes and partly no because the objective of this course is to help you understand the process of creating realism. Once you've done that, it's time for you to apply and practice it. The more you practice, the better you do. The next common question that you might have is what to do if you don't have the same brand of markers or color pencils? No worries. You can find an alternative with the same or the similar quality. But even then, I will show you all the materials that I'm using with the name of the brand. One more common question is, what to do if you don't have a marker or a brush pen? You can simply use watercolors or acrylics for this process. Even if you don't have watercolors or acrylics, you can simply apply this method with only color pencils. But you have to understand it will be time-consuming and the objective of this class is to help you save time with using other mediums. What if you are a beginner? This class will really help you to learn mix media techniques right away so don't need to have any second thoughts. What if you are an intermediate or a pro? This class will be really helpful for you and you'll be benefiting out of it a lot because I'll be using mixed media techniques and it focuses on realism. In the next class, I'll be showing you in detail about all the supplies that I'm going to use. Even if you don't have them, you can simply apply these techniques with the other mediums that you have. Let's get onto the next video. 3. Supplies & Tools: I don't think outside of the box. I think of what I can do with the box. All you need is papers, pencils, and markers. The first thing you need is pencils. There are a lot of options in pencils: Prisma colors, Faber-Castell, Derwent, and many other. I'll be using Prisma colors in this class, but you might be comfortable with Faber-Castell. It doesn't mean you have to use the same thing. Instead, focus on the characteristics of the material. Find the one that is available to you and also does the best for you. I'll show you in detail about all the tools and the materials. I'll also tell you the alternatives that you can use. Let's talk about the paper. For the technique that I'm going to teach you, it's best to use ultra-smooth 120gsm paper, or even more than that because we're going to work on many layers and we'll be using watercolors and markers. You need to have a thick sheet. Even if you don't have an ultra-smooth paper, you can use any other alternatives like rough or medium-rough papers. But the thing is you have to test it out before you use. You have to apply the markers and the watercolors and test the paper well before you start drawing. The next one is pencils. If you take Prisma colors, the tip is very soft and it is made of more wax and less oil. But if you take Faber-Castells, the tip is very hardcore. It is made up of more oil and less wax. What I'm trying to say is, each and every brand works differently, but if you test it out before you use, it will be comfortable for you. The next is markers or pens. To add depth to our art, I'll be using brush markers. The one that I'm using, Karin Brushmarkers Pro. It is actually water-based marker. The other markers might be alcohol-based or water-based. The process of application will differ for each and every marker, but the concept of using that is the same. You can use any of those, whichever is available to you. If you have any one, that's more than enough. For highlights, I'll be using glass marking pencil, or acrylic paints. You can even use white gel pens. I'll use randomly or all these three at different places depending on the place of application. If you have picked your supplies, go and test it out. Then let us go for the next lesson to pick our reference image. 4. Choosing a Reference Photo: The first thing you need is an inspiration. Look around your workspace at home, and start finding an inspiration, like an object, a flower, or any other thing. Even if you don't find any other thing, you can simply start by picking stuff on the Internet, or you can choose the image that I'm going to draw. I'll be guiding and teaching you by drawing an ice cream, so you can pick the same image and follow along with me at each and every step. I have chosen this image to keep it simple, to avoid focusing much on the background and other complex subjects. It will also be super fun to draw an ice cream, especially if you're a foodie. I mean, who doesn't love ice creams. I'll also include the reference image in the resource section and allow to add other few references for your reference. It will also be beginner friendly. It's better if you have a hard copy of the reference, because if you have a printout, it will be easier for you to choose colors and sketch it perfectly. Grab your printout and let's get started. 5. Sketching : In this lesson, let me show you my process of outlining. The outline in this subject you can use various methods like grid geometric and freehand. Freehand drawing is the one that we're going to see in this class because we don't have a complex subject, it's just some basic lines and simple curves. As the name says, it's done without using any guides or grids. Let me show you how it's done. First, let me mark the height of the subject. Make sure your subject lies in the center of the sheet. Don't make it look misplaced. I'll also measure the width of the subject. I'll just mark it here. Now let me start outlining it. The height and the width of the drawing is proportional, and make sure to use a light pencil for outlining because you don't want to keep it dark. Now I have outlined the subject, let me add in all the details also. While sketching, make sure to use a HB or a B pencil to keep the outlines very light. This is just a rough sketching, you can correct the outlines later too. I'm drawing with the partitions as well, so that when we color it, it will be easy for us. Now I've done a rough sketching of the ice cream. We can erase it and make it even lighter, and then we can define the outline. I'm using the needed eraser for doing this. Now you can see the outline is becoming light, so this will be enough for us to color it. Even if you want to make any changes, you can do that. You can dab the eraser or just roll it over just like I did. Now, I'll roughly draw these. You can see since this is a 3D object, line changes like this, it's not just a straight line. Similarly, this side also. Make sure you bring the rotundity in the cone. Now again, I'll lighten this. Now we have our outline done. This is how you'll have to draw using freehand method. If you're not comfortable with this method, you can go for grid method so that you can refer to my other class on drawing portraits using grid method. Make sure to use the right method that is comfortable for you. In the next lesson, let me show you how to pick the right colors from your reference image. 6. Building Your Color Palette: There is a reason that we don't see the world in black and white, so it's important to choose the right colors for your reference image to create realism. Actually, picking the right colors will make your work even easier. Have you ever thought about which color you should use first and which one at last? I'll tell you there is no specific order to use the colors, but the one that I'm going to suggest to you work best for me and will also work best for you. Let me tell you, use dark and mid tones first and then use light tones for smooth blending. I'll explain what is dark, mid, and light tones. You'll see the overall color that is present here is the mid tone, without the darkness and without the lightness. That is the mid tone for our drawing. This pink here and here, that is the base color for our drawing. Then the dark tones are all these shadows that are formed here, here, and here. Then light tones are nothing but the highlights. Here we have a highlight and here we have a highlight. Whenever you pick a color, make sure to pick dark, light, and mid tone for that particular shape. For the ice cream, I have to choose the light, mid, and dark tones. First, for the light tones, observe the reference image and search for the highlights. Then I'm picking peach, blush pink, white, and salmon. For mid tones, I'm selecting henna, carmine red, magenta, and mineral orange. For the dark tones, observe the areas wherever the shadows are present and compare it with your color pencils. After that process, I have picked dark brown, sienna brown, tuscan red, crimson lake, and dark umber. Similarly, I'm also choosing the colors from the brush markers. Those colors are henna, sepia, rosewood, and for the ice cream I'm choosing magenta, magenta red, soft peach, and red. It's time for some doubt clarification now. I'm going to share with you the most frequently asked questions so that you can understand it better and you can clear your doubts. What to do if you don't have any particular shade. If I don't have this particular shade, try to pick the colors that are similar to it. Now, these tones are similar to me. Even if you want a darker shade of this color, you can add brown and black with this. Suppose if you don't have this exact light shade, you can mix white with this. This is how you can combine various colors to pick and choose the right color for you. The next common question that I get is what to do if you're not able to identify your color. Simply pick out all the colors and just compare it with your image. Pick the one that is the right choice for you. 7. Base Color Methods : What if you want to make a pizza? The first thing you do is gather all the ingredients and decide upon which pizza you need to make. Then you'll have to prepare the pizza base. Just like that, we have gathered all the materials and we also decided what to draw. The next step is to lay down the colors like a basic layer. That's what I'm going to show you in this lesson. You can do applying the basic colors with the help of two methods. The first one is to apply a basic layer of brush pens first and then adding details with the color pencils. In the next method, you can use color pencils first and then adding details with the brush pens. You can choose the one that will fit for you and it will be easy for you. You have to understand that the first layer will be covered with the second, so you can choose the one that will be useful for you and easy for you. If it's confusing for you, I'll show you a demo of how to do this. Here, first, I'll show you applying a basic layer of brush pens and then adding in details with the color pencils. Now I'm just scribbling over the markers on the palette. Then I'm using this aqua brush pen to dilute it just like this. Then you can apply a basic color of this. This will actually save a lot of time so that you don't have to spend a lot of time coloring with the pencils. Suppose if you have a very big subject and it will take a lot of time for you, you can choose this method for that. Now let it dry, and then I'll color here with the color pencils. This is the second method that I'll use the color pencils entirely and I'll add in the depth with the markers. You can see it will take a lot of time to color like this. If you have a very small subject, you can choose this method. This is just a sample to make you understand the methods, and then finally, you can choose the one that will fit you. Now I'm smoothening it out. Now see I have a basic layer of the brush pens here and a basic layer of the color pencils here. Now, here I'm going to add in details with the color pencils. If you want, you can add in another layer of brush pens too. I'll use this color. Now I'm adding a layer of colored pencils. This is done now. You can see it saves a lot of time for us. Here, now I'll use the markers to enhance the shadows like this. Then before it dries, just blend it down with the color pencils like this. You can see it's bringing a lot of darkness to the art rather than using a single colored pencil. This is also done. Here I'll show you how to use markers and then color it over. Here I'll use a basic layer of the markers. As you know, this is is an alcohol-based marker. If you're not having a water-based marker, you can use this. Now the first layer is done. For the second layer, I'll use color pencils. This is almost done. Even if you want to add layers with markers or brush pens, you could do that. 8. Applying Base Colors: For my drawing, the ice cream is actually little dark and the cone is actually little light. For the ice cream, I'm going to use the second method that is color pencils followed by brush markers. For the cone will be applying brush markers as our first layer, and then we'll color it with the color pencils. I'm starting off with a light tone now. Since this is our basic layer we'll only work with mid-tones and light tones. Slowly shade every part of the paper, so like this. This is our sample for the basic layer. Like this, I'll do for the rest of the ice cream. I'm adding the other shade as well. Throughout the process, you'll be seeing me pick random colors from this set. I've almost applied all the basic colors that we need for the ice cream. Now, let me proceed with the cone. That I'm going to use these lighter shades as a basic layer. I'm diluting it a little. Let me also draw the lines and the squares in the cone. See due to the roundity there is varying in height at each place, so try to replicate the same height in your drawing. First, I'll mark all those lines with this pencil, and then later we can shade it. I've shaded these squares using oranges and browns. After that, while we're building up the layers, we can add different colors to it. Now we have our basic layer done, so the next step is to build up layers and blend them. Let me show you that in the next lesson. 9. Layering & Blending: Don't forget to have fun in the process of creating as we have basically read on. The next step is to build up layers and blending. After that, I'll be using both dark midtones, and at times I also be using light tones. That is what I'm going to show you in this lesson. Now to create the depth in this cone neck, I'm using this dark brown like this. I'm outlining each and every square and then lightly shading it like this. To bring in the depth and to bring in the the realistic look, you have to use dark and light tones for this. First I'll use this dark brown, and also you can see the depth in these lines here, and there's light falling right here. Based on that, we'll have to shade it. You can see I'm darkening all the top side of the square. That is where we have the shadows. I'm using different browns because it's not having a uniform tone. The tone is evading due to the light so I'm using similar browns. To create depth in these lines, I have already given the standard color. Now I'm going to give brown. I'm going to add dark tones on this side of these lines below the lights, just like this. 10. Shadows: Now comes a secret essence of hiding realism, adding depth to our art. If you make the dark tones even darker and the lighter tones even lighter, you can make it even more realistic. So far we have relayed our basic foundation and we've also blended it so well. The next step is what you can do to enhance it even more. Let me show you how I do it. I'm using these markers at all the edges and all the places where I have shadows, and then I'm diluting it with the aqua brush pen. For the cone as well, I'm adding the depth of this specified markers. Don't add the markers directly. If you do so the dry so quickly and you will not be able to blend it. Now after darkening the shadows with the markers, I'm also adding a few layers of the colored pencils. That way I feel the pencils and the markers are non-blended, I'm shading or wet it. Also, I'm layering again for making sure I get a smooth finishing. 11. Highlights : Now we have come to end of our drawing. The next step that I'm going to show you is actually like having a dessert after your meal. Of course, a good dessert is important after a good meal, and so is this step. The highlights are actually the second most important factor to enhance your drawings. You can do that with the help of three mediums. Acrylic paints, white gel pens, or white benzenes. Actually, I love to use all the three, but you can use the one that is comfortable for you. First, I'm shading all of these small lines and edges with the last marking pencil. Normal white colored pencils and gel pens can also be used for this purpose. The reason I use glass marking pencil is because it's different from that of a normal pencil. Then you apply it, they add a thick layer of white color and it reduces the dawn of the colored pencils below it. I'm using these paints for the areas, wherever I need a rich white color. 12. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. Now, you have drawn a beautiful ice cream with me. I hope you feel confident enough learning some really good tips about color pencil drawing. Just a reminder, you can apply this technique and medium with other subjects, so try different subjects and try to use different other color combinations. You can even experiment it with various other tools and supplies, and then stick to the one that you love. Try different styles with your materials and play with your creativity. You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the better you have. Just remember the few points: start out with a basic layer, keep adding layers and blend them, and at last, don't forget to add shadows and highlights. You should definitely draw your favorite food or your favorite subject and share it with me in the resource section. I'm really excited to see what you will create. Thanks for joining me on such a lovely day, and create more and spread love.