Live Encore: Dreamy Landscapes With Mixed Media | Claudia Melchor del Rio | Skillshare

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Live Encore: Dreamy Landscapes With Mixed Media

teacher avatar Claudia Melchor del Rio, Architect and Illustrator

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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

10 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Art as Escape

    • 3. Find Your Inspiration

    • 4. Sketch Your Outline

    • 5. Choose & Mix Colors

    • 6. Paint the Base Layer

    • 7. Add Texture With Mixed Media

    • 8. Finishing Touches

    • 9. Q&A

    • 10. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Play with different materials and let your imagination run wild by creating a technicolor, texture-filled landscape.

An architect by trade and an artist at heart, Claudia Melchor del Rio loves juxtaposing the modernist buildings she loves with bright, plant-filled landscapes in her work. And in this hour-long class—recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community—you’ll get to see exactly how she does it!

Follow along as Claudia talks about where she finds her inspiration, sketches out her design, paints a base layer of gouache, and then uses a variety of mixed media to bring the landscape to life. While, yes, you’ll learn all about how Claudia achieves her vibrant, layered work, you’ll also gain an appreciation for her approach that prioritizes play over perfection. 

Along the way, students who participated in the live session were able to ask Claudia questions, so you’ll get to learn even more details about her process, plus get insight into how she makes time for art on the side of her job, where she gets her unique ideas, her advice for other artists who are just starting out, and more.


While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Meet Your Teacher

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Claudia Melchor del Rio

Architect and Illustrator



My name is Claudia and I am an architect, artist and illustrator originally from Spain but now based in Basel, Switzerland.


I enjoy illustrating colourful scenes focused on architecture, texture, materiality and shapes.

My passion for animals, my beautiful hometown in Tenerife, my drive to discover the world, to meet new people and to leave a little indent in our society is showcased through my illustrations.

My medium choices often vary from the digital realm deep into watercolours, gouache and acrylic paints using bold colours and contrasting shapes, loose childlike lines and a somewhat architectural approach.



In my first class, you will learn how to draw your childhood home usi... See full profile

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1. Introduction: You should just enjoy creating, and enjoy doing what you do and not feel restricted or not feel like you have to always follow a certain style and always have to show perfection. I think [inaudible]. My name is Claudia Melchor and I'm an architect and artist based in Basel, Switzerland. I think my style is well childish and playful. I use a lot of mix media and gouache. So I like to have fun and experiment with art. In this class we will be recreating dreamy landscape, using [inaudible] technique. So while preparing for the class, I was on a trip in the Swiss Mountains and I got inspired by the landscape, and I just wanted to show you how I merge architecture and organic shapes [inaudible] together. I think it's a very great way of relaxing, meditating, and just like enjoying life a little bit taking time to look at their surroundings, create visual diaries and we will not have time to create like the full [inaudible] from A to B, because I take quite a long time to paint. But you will be able to see basically my whole process. So from analyzing the picture, to laying on the stage, to laying down the base layers and I will also teach you about how I look for colors that bring the illustrations to life. You can use whatever materials you want. Hope that you will. basically just see, using mixed media as a way of expressing yourself freely and creatively. I just want you to have fun and experiment, not feel pressured to use any specific materials. But just try out and create colorful combinations and colorful collages of the things that inspire you. Something to note is that this class was recorded live, so I got to actually interact with you guys as I was creating. So let's start painting. 2. Art as Escape: Hi everyone. I'm Danny, from the Skillshare team and I'll be hosting this online class today. Claudia, we're so excited to have you today and would love for you to open up by just sharing a little bit about who you are and the work that you do. Yeah, I am actually I'm an architect, so I studied my bachelor's and my master's degree in Munich. But I'm originally from Spain, from the Canary Islands, which is actually the island that has the highest mountain in Spain, it's a volcano, very similar to Hawaii. I am guessing I never been to Hawaii, but everyone tells me that it's very similar. We are right close to Africa. It's super nice vegetation and I really enjoyed living there, but I also realized the freedom that you have in Europe of going places normally not with Coronavirus, sorry. We have to mention it at least once. I came to painting because for me, it's a little bit stressful this whole architecture procedure where you have to wait for permits and you have to talk to many different experts to get something done so it's a very long and exhausting process. Through painting, I could bring out my alter ego and be more spontaneous and just use paint to show the concepts and ideas that came to my mind very quickly. Also I think it's a very great way of relaxing, meditating and just enjoying life a little bit, taking time to look at your surroundings, create visual diaries to just connect feelings and what you're seeing together. Through color, I love to do that a lot. I just take the colors that inspire me at the moment from a scene and just put them down on paper. Yeah, well, that's exactly what we're going to do today, my favorite thing which is basically creating landscapes that have a lot of emotion, and use a lot of colors. Amazing. Claudia you have a really interesting background that you mentioned around architecture. Can you chat a little just a bit about how you developed your approach to mix media landscapes and how you got started with this art form? Yes, of course. Well, as I mentioned before, being an architect you sit a long time in front of the computer and do mostly two-dimensional drawings on AutoCAD, ArchiCAD or Vectorworks, whatever program you use. That's fun and all for a while, but I really enjoyed, when in the first semesters, we had to draw all the plans by hands, so we would just have these huge plans and we'd have to draw them with a pencil and make details and work on how thick you would do the lines or how thin so that was actually my favorite part. Concept finding like reading about Urbanism and about all the things, we had architecture and how architecture can make society better and influence it. Finding a cool concept, working on hand-drawn plans was always my favorite part and because in your daily life and the office life, you don't get to do that, that much because of a client that has request, is all about a little bit about budgeting and calculating areas and all the things that are not that fun. So I decided that I could take this passion for analyzing things, finding concepts, and just drawing with my hands into my work. For that, I found that mixed media using different materials allowed me to really be free and just create things spontaneously and things that wouldn't have a fixed image. One day I would maybe just use sprayons, the next day I would just use wash and then I would mix them together. Sometimes I would collage things from other paintings. I think that, that's basically my approach to art, not to be too serious about it and playful. Maybe even with a little bit of childish-like approach, which is basically what I think about, it should be fun, you should just enjoy creating and enjoy doing what you do and not feel restricted or not feel like you have to always follow a certain style and always have to show perfection. I think perfection lies in imperfection. When you find what makes your art unique, which is probably a flaw, let's be honest, it's probably the thing that you do wrong in comparison to other artists is what's going to make your art unique. Just like use that and create fun art, which is also the funnest thing to look at. You notice when someone is having fun while creating art. Thank you, Claudia. Yeah, I'm really excited to see all the different ways that you approach your work and its different layers. Just to dive into what we'll actually be doing today for this live stream. Can you just give a little bit of an overview of the steps that we'll be going through? Exactly, yes. First, I'm going to show you the picture that I will be basing my painting off. You can take whatever picture you have on hand, but I will be basing it on some modernist architecture from Belgium. So everyone from Belgium maybe you can visit it, I exactly don't know where it is. I'll have to, in Ukkel, Belgium. It's a Belgian architect that I really like and I'll be basing my whole [inaudible] around it and I will be creating a fantastic landscape, like the ones that I do with lots of mountains and vegetation around. For this, we will first, as I said, analyze the picture, then we will create the sketch and I will tell you a little bit of how I go about creating the sketch and what things I choose to portray and what things I choose to omit. After that, we will be laying down the base layer which will be with wash. Always how I start with things is just with a very thick layer of colorful wash. On top of that, we will then add the mixed media layers, which would be more oil pastels, POSCA pens or POSCA pens, however you pronounce it, colorful pencils and what else, wax pastels we can also use, but actually you can use whatever you have laying around, it's very free form of creating. So don't feel constricted by the things that you have or you don't have, because it's all about having fun and not spending a lot of money on materials. I actually, when I just started using the four basic primary colors for wash, and I didn't have much else, but I could create a wide range and I really improved my skills just by trying to limit my color palettes and really work and focus on colors most of all. Awesome. All right, I think with that, we should get started and jump in. 3. Find Your Inspiration: To get started, I'm going to talk to you about how I found my inspiration. For that, I was actually in the mountains this weekend in a super nice cottage in Ticino, which is the Italian part of Switzerland, down south. While, I was there looking at this picture of the Belgian architect. I wanted to incorporate it into the landscape I was looking at. I was sitting there in front of this amazing view of the mountains. I was just thinking how to incorporate and make a composition with this very rigid architecture, modernist architecture, which is basically like squares layered on top of each other with this natural very organic landscape that I was seeing. Yeah, I also felt happy light feeling and that's the colors that I used, that I felt reflected it. I just liked to be inspired by the place that I am or things I am looking at or travel. I think that's a good approach that you could have. Also I normally tend to keep a little sketchbook when I'm traveling. I only take a few materials each time and I tend to switch them off. I'm not always using the same materials. I force myself to test different things while I'm traveling. This is the picture I was talking about. It's a building by the architect, let me look at it, Louise Hartmann. He's a Belgian architect. I think this is quite a nice building because we basically can see that it's very square and it will be a good juxtaposition against the very organic landscape behind it. When I'm looking at the picture, what I see that I want to translate into my drawing, is basically these square shapes and these round windows and the little round chimney. What I will not want to put into my picture is, for example, this weird wall in front of it, like the gate. I will probably also keep it without perspective, so it's just as it is, just a up-frontal view. Because I also normally like to work without much perspective and more like either in axonometry or in full frontal. Let's then start sketching. 4. Sketch Your Outline: Let me see. When we are going to start sketching, I normally try to make a compelling composition, and for that, there's this rule of thumbs that I follow very loosely. But we just divide the paper like this and try to place our important things in the places where the lines crossed. I think I want to place my building around here. Why don't we start by sketching it. I'm going to take the rough shape of it and I'm going to sketch it very lightly, so you may not be at this point be able to really see everything. But I will for sure, push it up to the camera once I'm a little bit further with the sketching. We start sketching these two main squares that we saw before, and just like the chimney, which is very fun and very important, and we do a little chimney here, then the base of it, the ground floor of it, just like this. Then we do very quickly the windows, they had a line of windows around here. No, sorry, this is the railing. Yes. Then we do the three windows and just fill out very roughly the other shapes, like this. Now that we have the building down. Let me show it to you a little more, like this. We will do a cool landscape around it. Because I told you before I was in the mountains on the weekend. I think we're going to do like a vegetation fields in natural mountain, rocky landscape. I like to start with the main mountain, which in my case is going to go from here to the bottom creating a diagonal, so that we split the composition in two. One side is going to be more focused on the building and the other side is going to be more focused on vegetation. We start like this, we do some weirdly things. Continue the mountain like this. Then I like to layer many mountains on top of each other. This is one, we're going to do the next one around here, and maybe we bring one that is in the background through here, and like this. It's going to be a little psychedelic. It's going to be a lot of layering of mountains. Claudia, for these sketches. It's really cool to see. It sounds like you are taking your photo of the architecture that inspires you and then combining it with a completely other image that you've seen that's more of creative and from your memory. Exactly. That's what it tend to be, just base it on one specific image, and then the rest of it is maybe inspired by a landscape I have seen or by the landscape I'm currently in. But very loosely, I rarely ever do one-to-one copies of what I'm seeing. But yeah. Now I have like a loose shape of what I want to do, where the mountains are and how the building is placed. For the fun part is to fill it up with cool vegetation. I normally would look at the references from plants that I like. But I already have like a dictionary of plants that I do in my style, in my head, so I just draw them from memory. But if you're a little bit unsure, just like look up some plants, and you can even take inspiration from my lovely Bob Marley behind me or my amazing monkey monstera. She's grown so much. Well, sorry. I guess old plant ladies will feel me as well. If you saw this room it's filled with plants. But let's put the plants down. Sorry for the little segue. No. It cool to see how the objects in your room are inspiring your more good creative from your memory work as well. Definitely.No, definitely. It's very nice to have everyday objects around you that you can just like draw from. Basically also my next future class, little intro here will be around that. Around choosing things that are surrounding you and putting them down on an Illustrator. It will come out mid July, I think. Keep your eyes out. Also I just so you know you're not alone with being a plant person. There's some another plant lady in the group and she says [inaudible] I saw. Yes plant lady unite. Let's put the plants down now. I think I want to do like a big banana leaf around here and around here to feel the space because it looks quite empty. Then maybe this little hairy guy. Some triangular shapes around. I don't know, I really have no science with this, I just put them wherever I like them to be. Just like filling up the spaces and basically in the bottom half of it. Then, on my trip there was this super nice, I don't know how it's called in English, but in Spanish they're called Fleur du Monde or the Spanish people here they will know. It was a huge tree filled with flowers and they were super beautiful. We will do that one down here. Just like sealing up the space, very loosely. If you notice, I'm not really holding my pen all the way down here. But I'm just holding it a little bit more back. Because that gives my hands a little bit more freedom. The lines are little bit more swirly and sketchy. Super cool, Claudia. Maybe after this plant you can lift it up so we can see some of the details. Yes, I will. Yeah, it'd be awesome. Let me just, and. Awesome. I think for now this will be my finished sketch. I really don't care that much about lines that overlap because they will be covered with gouache. Of course, if you don't use a very thick gouache you will still see them underneath. I'm not too bother about pencil lines showing up. I like when it seems a little sketchy and rough. But I actually think that we can continue with the portion of color finding and gouache painting. 5. Choose & Mix Colors: For this section, let's say I have a little water thing, mix colors. To test those things, I use just a sheet of paper and I have a palette. I'm so sorry, I didn't have time to clean it before hand. So you're seeing the raw state of it. I normally just lay your paint on top of it and hope for the best. We need some brushes. So these are all the brushes I have actually. So you see that they are not that many. They are not real hair because I don't like hair from little animals. But I think these one's work just as well. They're synthetic, they're cheap. When they break, you can just replace them. You don't look that long as you see these are all the ones that I use. I think we're going to be using this number 10 for bigger things, bigger portions. Maybe the number six and maybe we will leave the number four, but we'll see. For now, these two. I like to start from actually left to right. If your left-hand then the other way around so that you don't get in the way of your own painting. Let's start with this guy. I think this painting should be filled with contrast and vibrant colors. So I'm feeling like using pinks, reds, blues, greens, and yellows. Basically that's all the colors of the rainbow. But we will be combining them and placing them in ways that they don't look too chaotic. Sometimes it can look chaotic and that's also cool, but this time, let's try to make it nicer for you guys. But don't worry sometimes things fail. I also fail many times and that's also okay. So the thing that I used the most actually is white. You can see from here my tube of white is completely almost gone. So it's always good to have a spare too. Marjo, why do you think white is your go-to? Yeah. It's a good question because white is actually when you combine it with other paints, it makes a more opaque. So by adding white to any color of gouache, you will create the more dense and opaque color. Of course, it will turn out a little bit more pastel, but then you just add from the normal tube liquid something distinct. If you want it to be this bright pink and you mix it with white, but it turned out little pastel, then you add more of the pink on top, but you will get a very opaque color. So that's why I use a lot of white basically. Cool. So let's get it. Lets see the colors. Yes. Let's start with what is that before the white. Let's put it down. Well, this is really almost empty. I'm completely filled with white now. It's a messy process. You have to embrace it as well. So I just put some pink and some white there. Now I'm going to wet my brush and mix the two together. I like using gouache with creamy consistency, so actually quite thick. There're some people that like to use it more like watercolor because gouache has this ability of being able to reactivate with water. So in case, you would like to do some gouaches that look more like watercolor, you totally can. Of course, if you want to just make a gradient and you mix two colors together when they are already laid down, you can also do that. It's no problem. But I like it to be quite thick and opaque. That's a personal preference. You really can do whatever you want. So now that we have this creamy consistency, maybe you can see that it's quite creamy. I'm going to test it on the sheet. I like this color, but I would like to make it a little bit more vibrant. So I'm going to add a little bit of magenta to it. Like this. We use a little bit more water and we mix it in. So let's see what turns out. It's a lot of trial and error way. Looking for colors and a lot of mixing and mixing. The good thing about gouache, as I mentioned before, is that if you take a long time in deciding and it dries out, you could just put water on top of it and it would reactivate. That's why my pallete actually looks like this because I can use these quarters again. So let's see. Still not vibrant enough. So I'm going to add more of the magenta. Like this. Oh no, I lost it. So some people don't like mixing with the brushes and they use a knife for it. But I don't do very big paintings. So for me it's okay to me if you just mix with the brush and water. If you're mixing a big quantity, then you maybe can harm the brush by mixing with it. But I think if you're just mixing a little bit with it and you're careful not to and just do on top of it, you do it sideways, it's okay. I think I like this one it's much more vibrant. Maybe you can see. We went from this very pastelly one to a more vibrant pink color. Now we're going to apply it to the sky. Looks like this. We have a question here about types of gouaches that you prefer and someone asked if you had tried himi jelly gouaches or if you have a preferred brand of gouache. Oh, yeah. Actually, I've seen them on YouTube. They look crazy. I have to say they look interesting. But, I don't like the fact that they come in this pots. These jelly gouaches. They come in these pots and then you cannot reseal them. So they will automatically dry. I don't mind when they dry out, but sometimes I really like to have wet paint, so I prefer the tubes. I know that there's some gouache that is acrylic gouache. For that gouache, you can actually not reactivate it with water. So you're a little bit more constricted. It's more like acrylic paint instead of water color. For me personally, I like to have the option of reactivating it with water and my favorite brand is actually this one, Schminke. They have a lot of different types. We have the designer gouache, which is a little bit more expensive, but color fast. So the color will not fade away with the direct sunlight. They have a cheaper version, which is this akademie gouache. I don't know if you can find this in the States or anywhere else. I know in Germany they sell this everywhere. But also another one that I really like and it's mostly because of the packaging. Because it's so cute, look at this. It's this John Byrne artist gouache. From this one you have to be careful because I know they have two types. They have the acrylic gouache and the normal gouache. I really do prefer the normal type of gouache. Yeah. Just because of the fact that it's more versatile. Very cool. Maite, sorry if I've mispronounced your name but Maite or Maite mentioned that we can get that gouache in the States as well. That's cool. 6. Paint the Base Layer: Maybe you could just give a quick overview of how you approach painting over your sketch. There's really not much that I take into consideration, basically just that the colors match. If you're already starting here with a pink, I can explain on the other sketch more about the colors. But if we're starting here with a pink maybe you want to use the same pink somewhere else in the drawing to make the match. You can choose to actually put masking tape around the corners if you want a clean line around and then you just either blow dry it so that the glue may get softer and you don't rip the paper, or you do like this against your clothes so that it gets a little dirty and then it doesn't stick so much in the paper. But lately I have not been liking anything that's very strict. I just free hands the lines and I like when I don't hit the corner and it's rounded out, like you can see here.The corner is not completely straight, but it's a little properly. I'm liking this. Should we switch then to the almost completed? Yeah. Let's jump to see what the full base there looks like. Yes. Okay. Look how quick I was. Wasn't this quick? No. Actually, this took me one hour entirely just to do it testing the colors. But as you can see, there's this pink that I have used up here and then I mixed it with a little bit of white to have a little variation then I used with these plants down here. I just made a sub color. A tone out gradient using the red next to it. This, in my opinion, to be interpreted as another mountain. But maybe it's more of the sun rising behind the mountain. You can interpreted both ways. I just chose to do a little bit of black accents because I think that makes the illustration a little bit stronger when it has some tiny specks of black. But one thing I always do black last because I put down all the colors and I see where it kind of needs a little bit more strength and I maybe paint on top of bright colors with black. I'm like, "Okay. Here it needs a little bit more fun accents." We can see that I have framed the building with the black. It comes from one side pointing towards the building. It's on the base of it, making a little bubble for it. I've used the different shades of greens around and yellows, which is a little bit contrasting, a little bit complementary but also tertiary colors. I have a very hard time explaining how I use colors because I do them by filling. Most of the time, I might also go back and paint over that. For example, here this yellow was another type of green before, but I felt that it blended out too much so I put yellow on top. It's a lot of experimenting and sometimes I do test sheets like this with all the colors that I'm going to use to see if they work and then I use them. But sometimes I do the test sheet and I don't end up using any of those photos. I put one down and I just choose random orders. Let's get started with the mixed media partner. 7. Add Texture With Mixed Media: Now that we have finished up the base we can start adding up the mixed media touches. I think I've been super obsessed with these chunky oil pastels. They're extremely messy. They're from this brand Sennelier, but I love them. So I think I'm going to use this one to create some texture on this part which is supposed to be like trees. Now it looks like a cow with pink spots, a blue cow with pink spots but we're going to try and make it look like trees. It's very chunky and we're just going to do some mark making like this, on top of the whole thing. As you're going with the textures Claudia, I have a question which is just around if your process is different for client paintings. If you've ever done any mixed media work for client paintings. Is that work any different from when you're just creating from your own creative process? Yes, definitely. When I took client paintings, I'm a little bit more careful I would say, with what I do, and the techniques that I use. I normally will show them a painting that I have already done for myself, and say, "Hey, do you like this? Is this something that you will be comfortable with?" If they say, yes, then great, but you also have to look at what the client is like. Sometimes clients they tell you straight away, "Just do whatever you want." You have the creative freedom, and that's great, then you can just do what you want, but sometimes they have seen a picture that you have done already. They will be like, "Oh, I like this style." So you kind of have to mimic the style that you have already done before and not experiments that much, which is a pity because if you start getting a lot of client work, then you really don't get that much time to work on your own projects. Sometimes I feel like I really want to experiments. I'm very happy when a client comes around, and says, " Yeah. Do whatever you want. So you can just be free, try whatever." I hope I answered the question. I don't know if I went [inaudible]. Yeah. That was super helpful. Just in terms of being more careful checking it with the client as you're going through the process to make sure that what you're creating resonates with what they're hoping for. Exactly. So now, as you see, I'm very loosely, using this very chunky boy to make some marks. Also here, we will do some other marks. As you see, I'm really not very careful. I just do what I feel it needs, then I do a lot of mark making. You can always correct it, if it doesn't look good. I think we're done with this pastels, the oil one. I'm going to use this amazing Caran d'Ache Neocolors. They're water soluble, so if you'd like to work with a lot of water, you can just smash them, swoosh them around with a little bit of water. I like to use them dry, because the colors are more bolder. In case you haven't noticed, I like bold colors. For this I'm going to create some texture on this plant, just by very loosely rubbing it like this. Maybe even mixing it with the color that we have already used before. I'm going to do some lines around here, and some mark making. Sometimes I have to stop myself, because I go over bored, and just do mark making everywhere, and it looks very messy. I think it's good to leave some parts as they are. Just plain colors, because it gives the painting a little bit of contrast. It's cool. So I did this idea of creating some space, and some areas where there's more contrast, and more happening. Exactly. And some areas where there's a little bit more. It would be called the negative space, I would say. 8. Finishing Touches: Now finally, we're going to define the building and add the final details. It's just fill it in with a foster. I have this amazing cream colored one, like this. I will just feel in the shapes. That is not white. Like this and like this. Now it's color white but it has a green color to it. It's like we can use some other details like the chimney and so on. But for now we'll let it dry and we'll use my other posca pen in white. Could do some other mark making around here. If you do very tight marks, it also looks like the surface so I also like that. You do this tiny marks. Now I'm going to define a little bit the building so that we actually can see it. For that, I will be using another posca pen, but this time a thinner line. Just in black. Thank God you're not seeing the mess that I'm doing behind the cameras because it's quite spectacular. We're doing the window. It's really cool to see her using different types of materials for different elements in the piece. Is that an intentional choice to create a different texture or aesthetic for the building braces, the more natural elements? Definitely. I feel like using this chunk here mediums like the wax pastel or the neon colors and you create more free forms. If you have to define something a little bit closer than anything, definitely I like to use something where I have a better grip like the pink colored pencils or these markers. It's definitely a conscious choice, this type. I think we're also done with the building. I've done some details to it. Doesn't look exactly like the one in the picture, but it's okay. I just got inspired by it. No one is checking. I hope the Belgian people at least are not checking. Now if we have a few minutes, then I would just like use some pencils now that we're honest. Some colored pencils because with those, you can actually do pretty cool shadow effects. For example, this little section here, maybe we want to make it look like it's behind the others, so this shadows. We make a little circle with a pencil and we make it look like half a shadow. Also notice that I'm using a lime-like instead of a dark red because the colors complement each other and make each other pop. Now to add some texture to the trees around here. That's supposed to be trees. But just do a little bit of circular motion and maybe another shadow behind here. Claudia, for this last step of the work, are you usually saving pencils for last for these types of shadow and light touches? Yeah, definitely. Sometimes I do full on pencil pieces, but normally when I'm doing mixed media, I really just save them for last for details, sorry, I'm erasing something so that'll be a little bit shaky, when I need to make details or shadows or just add some more fine extra to pieces. I think I'm pretty happy with how it looks. Let me show it to you. I think you'll hold it up for a few seconds so we can see all the details, that'd be great. Amazing. It so beautiful. It's really cool to see just how the different colors from the different mediums that you used work with each other. I think it's one of previous. Cool. [inaudible]. Definitely looks like a little bit of this wild nature. Amazing. There was a question specifically about the mixed media work that you made. How do you seal the oil pastels so it doesn't smudge? That's a very good question because I already smushed it all over the place, all over my hands. I normally use a hair spray. Do like [inaudible]. I spray and let it dry and then do another layer of hair spray. That normally works against light smudging. If you put a lot of stains and you rub it, then it would still smudge. Lately, I tried a creeley sealer in mat so that you do a mat thing on top of it. It really creates a thick layer. It was extremely expensive but it works well because it creates a layer on top. I think you use it when you're painting over plastic so that you can still bend the plastic and the paint doesn't chip. I got it in an art store where I just asked, "What can I do to cover my unequal pastel so that it don't smudge," and they gave me this. It works. But also many layers of hair spring, if you're not starting to cough your lungs out because of the [inaudible] , it also works. How much time does one of your mixed media works typically take? The pencil will [inaudible]. I would say A3, something like this, might take me about two and a half hours to finish. If I have to go back and forth to the colors a lot and I'm a little bit unsure about the feeling that I want to convey, then it might be longer. I paint people, but it takes me a long time to paint the people because I do quite simplistic faces, and in order for you to recognize the person, you have to get the nose shape right and the eyebrows so I go back and forth with how the eyebrows, nose, face, everything looks like. I do just like look at this tiny features and you say, "That's my uncle. That's my cat." 9. Q&A: Now that we've gone through the full process of seeing Claudia create the piece of art we will move to a general Q&A to learn more about Claudia as an artists. One question that was repeated and there's has been a lot of interests is just advice for new artists, people who are just getting started out for life, you know after college, how do you get started getting your first commission and just general advice for young artists. I have to admit I myself think that I'm a young artists because I'm of course, still living from my main job as an architect and do this as a side job which is like now taking off. So I'm in this threshold of being between a full own working professional in an office to freelance artists. What helped me in the beginning to first of all, not get frustrated by not getting any permissions or any time work was to just create work that I want to create. So create work that's fixed to my line of interests, and not just create one piece, but maybe a series of things. So that you have time to explore the concepts and explore the mediums that you're using. For me, the breakthrough point that I found was starting my modernist architecture series, where I took my favorite modernist buildings, which is my love for architecture and I combine them with my love for nature from the place I come from which is Kerry, and I put this modernist architecture which normally is in cities or in very concrete filled spaces in this very organic landscapes. I think that was quite something that just came naturally to me because I love both things and I made a series out of it, so I illustrated 12 of those things and at the end I had enough images to make the calendar out of it. So I didn't feel like a waste of time just doing it for nothing. So I had a goal in mind and make this calendar that I had in the end and I could give it to my parents and to my friends. I could even sell it on my Etsy store and I also through that practice of wash, so my technique of wash and practice how to create compositions and how to have a series that is still coherent, but not all the pieces look the same. That's one thing, basically just creating the work that interests you and another thing would be, for sure you've heard this, but create the work that you want to be hired for. So if you are totally into editorial illustration or something like that, then go through your local newspaper and for sure they have like a million stories that are not illustrated or are not supported by pictures, and maybe try to create a portfolio out of illustrating the most unusual stories that you find in the newspaper. The newspapers normally have quite silly stories, especially if they are local. Like the neighbor from the third floor, just like found the pig on the street where you illustrate then how the neighbor finds the pig on the street and make like a collection of those little stories and then just illustrate them. Create the work that you're interested in and experiment. Create the job that you want to be hired for and post it online. I know it's redundant, but 90 percent of my jobs come from Instagram. It's the way it is like your online portfolio. You don't have to treat your Instagram with super care because people do like to see the process. So I think for example, this collaboration with skill sure came because I made a video just like introducing myself and how I changed my name from little spider monkey, which was my name before, to my real name because I want it to be more of a serious artists and they found out. Another commission for a speaker company came from when I illustrated that scene from The Lion King and they saw it and they liked it and they were like, "Well, we did the speaker and surround system for movies, now The Lion King is coming out do you want to illustrate. I was like, "Oh, great this kind of fits." So I did that and a lot of client work from mouth-to-mouth, like friends of friends recommend. So the more that you get out there and the more people tell about your work and the more open you are about civil work and what to do and how you would like to get permissions, the more you will get. For sure someone needs you to draw a present for their aunt or uncle and then this person will give it to the aunt or uncle and the uncle or aunt will say it to someone else, and it will take a little bit of time, about 2-3 years until I started like getting some real commissions, like regular work, and I'm still not at a point where I would say that I can leave my job completely, but I'm getting there slowly and for sure you just have to have patience, not get frustrated and really just try to enjoy what you to do and not think too much about what is going to happen. I know that from the beginning I want to get this, like the New York Times cover and I want to be the best, but that's not going to happen in the beginning. Maybe you're super lucky but it will for sure be slow and you just have to find a space where you bring all your unique hobbies and all what makes you, you into your little art style world. People will find it, like you, you share the process, you share about things and you'll be okay. Amazing, that has so much to dig into it. That answered, thanks so much Claudia. Also we got a reminder that bad advice goes for all artists regardless of your age. I think being consistent, sharing it in a lot of different places, doing work you love, but also doing the work that you want to get hired for so much there. There's got us a couple of great questions just about more specifically, how do you work. One you mentioned was posting your stuff online. So I'm going to ask how you edit your art for Instagram. Someone also asked if you have a YouTube, so they're just curious about how do you get your work from the mixed media medium and into a digital format. Basically I tried the scanner, but I think it's flattens out the colors in the picture to much, so I normally just either hold against a pretty background like this with my hands and I show my hands holding it so you can see the scale, and I take a picture with my phone, and then I do some editing. Maybe if the light was no good. Or I put it against a nice backgrounds with all of my friends, maybe, something like this and I just take a picture of it, basically. I so flat lays, and for a while on my Instagram I tried to square with very colorful background, square with a picture of the Outlook somewhere, process picture and I wanted to keep that going for a while, but at some point there was too much of a hassle to think about how the Instagram would look. For sure it would look cool if you have the motivation to do it. But people in the end just want to see what you're currently working on and how it's how it's looking and the things that you're trying out. With you good old camera of the phone, you don't have to be a professional. Just find cool background that is a little bit quiet and not too distracting from the art piece. Maybe some things around it make it artsy and just post it. I don't have big advice about that. I don't think I'm the best one on Instagram. Hey, about YouTube channel, I don't have one. But I would like to start one. I'm lacking the time right now, but once I will, I will let you know over Instagram one day when the sky opens and I decided that it's time for me to show you my sketch books, for example. Then the last set of questions have to do with just your lifestyle as an artist. You mentioned you're working full time. So just at a high level, how do you schedule or make time for your creative and illustration work and between your schedule with work and other things that anyone else might be having going on? How do you create the space for that? Yeah. So I'm a very organized person, I'm not the only one that says it, so I think I'm allowed to say that I'm very, very organized, and I love lists. So in the beginning of the week, I made a list of things that I wanted to have achieved by the end of the week, and then I subdivided it by days which I think I can do them, and on the weekends they are normally fully packed like this. Like I have almost no time. I have to make time for social life, so I right social life and then I go and meet my friends and when it's like, oh, it's been two hours. I'm so sorry. I have like three commissions to do so see you later. I know it's a little bit stressful, but they also take days off. Sometimes if I don't feel like painting, I'll be just like, today, I don't paint and I will do it another time, and sometimes things get pushed back and I normally never get to do everything that I want in a week. But at least I kind of have to do this list system an overview of the things that I want to do. After work, I do once a week, some work or twice a week if I'm very, very stressed. If I have a big commission that I've done it before, I come at the lunch break home and I work on it, and then I come directly from work and I work on it until I have finished. But normally it's more like okay, Tuesdays and Thursdays I will do art. After work I make my dinner and I do my art, and then on the weekends I block out like 5-6 hours to do my art, maybe five hours and Saturday and like three hours on Sunday or nine hours on a Sunday, or I'm just like here watching movies all by myself painting. But it's a lot of self-discipline basically. I sometimes feel like I'm fighting against myself, but I love painting so much that when I have fun commissions to do, I just look forward to sitting down and painting. Awesome. That's really great advice around being organized and finding time, but also not trying to overwork yourself. Definitely, you have to still find joy in it and if it's not fun anymore then it doesn't make sense to do it if it's not fun. Awesome. The last question that I have here from someone in the chat was just around on your way of actually coming up with ideas and the experimentation with different mediums. One person asked if you sketch constantly or keep idea books and another person asked if you experiment with digital mediums. So just curious about your creative process in these different areas. I don't sketch as much as I would like. But as I said before, I keep lists. I always write down ideas with words, which is maybe a little weird. But because I come from this background of architecture where it's always concept driven and they always try to like put that concept in a sentence, I know that it's going to be a good concept for a painting if I can just make a quick note and a few days after I remember what it was. That's my logic. I also have a lot of pictures. I take a lot of pictures for references. I like this plant, I would take a picture like putting a folder and plant it. I like this building, I'll take a picture put it in my folder build it. So I have a lot of resources. Also on Pinterest I keep all my different boards organized. I have all my different resources which are more graphic for inspiration or my lists and then I will sketch when I start the piece. When I start painting, I will do little thumbnails to see how the composition work and then I will start sketching it in bit. The other question was, I forgot. Experimentation with any digital mediums. Yeah, I got an iPad from my parents on Christmas. So I started working a little bit on it. I have to say I haven't had enough time to go into Procreate pane. But it looks cool, I'll go into it. I have a few digital pieces on my Instagram. They are fun to do and I think it's prone to being more fun with the iPad that you can directly schedule in. Before I had this tiny tablet and I was sketching on the tablet and looking at the screen and it was a little bit uncomfortable because I didn't know whether left or right well and how the hands work. But you will be seeing some digital pieces, I hope. Yeah, I think that just about wraps it up. Thank you so much everyone and thank you Claudia. 10. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] Thank you to you all, first for joining and being so awesome. I hope you'll start experimenting a little bit with the things that you have at home. Maybe you don't even need a white paper, you can do it on a newspaper. Then you'll see what happens or on top of photographs. I hope that you just have fun while making our [inaudible] about it and experiment a lot. And then if you have any further questions, you can always reach me on my Instagram, which is @ [inaudible]. Look, I can answer any other questions that you have. I normally respond quite quickly on Instagram. You can find more of my classes and my process over my Skillshare profile, and I encourage you to share your project because I would love to see what you have created. See you.