Paint From Your Sofa: Realistic Food Illustration in a Comfy Setting | Kendyll Hillegas | Skillshare

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Paint From Your Sofa: Realistic Food Illustration in a Comfy Setting

teacher avatar Kendyll Hillegas, Artist & 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 (49m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Set Up & Supplies

    • 3. Choosing a Subject to Paint

    • 4. Taking a Reference Image at Home

    • 5. Sketch and First Layer

    • 6. Colored Pencil Part 1

    • 7. Colored Pencil Part 2

    • 8. Finishing Touches

    • 9. Wrap Up and Next Steps

    • 10. Timelapse & Process Refresher

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About This Class

When I first got started in illustration, I made all of my work sitting on the sofa, drawing and painting things I had around my house (including lots of food). Even though I work full time from a studio now, there are still plenty of reasons for making art from the couch:

  1. You don’t have a dedicated workspace
  2. You aren’t feeling well and need to work from home
  3. You just want to relax and just have fun! 

Whatever your reason, making art from the sofa can be great as long as you use the right supplies (take a look at the class project for a supply list).

So in this class, I’ll take you along with me as I create a mixed media illustration from start to finish all from a comfy armchair. We’ll also focus on one of my favorite subjects and something pretty much everyone will have around the house already: food!


  1. We’ll talk about how to choose a subject for your piece 
  2. How to set yourself up to make art easily (and mess-free) from the couch
  3. I’ll share my entire process and explain what I’m doing at each step, so there’ll be quite a bit of mixed media technique as well


This class is best suited for folks who have some experience with art-making already, and want to try a different set up or subject matter. My style is very realistic, but anyone with any style can use these methods.

So, if you’re stuck at home and feeling the urge to be creative, or if you’re without a dedicated workspace, but still want to make art, come along with me and we’ll get comfy and creative together!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kendyll Hillegas

Artist & Illustrator

Top Teacher

My name is Kendyll, and I’m an artist and commercial illustrator working in traditional media. My background is in classical oil painting, but I’ve been working as an illustrator for the past 5 years, completing assignments for Real Simple, Vanity Fair France and The Wall Street Journal. 

My illustration is used commercially in packaging, on paper goods and clothing, and in editorial applications, as well as displayed in private and corporate collections worldwide. My work has been featured in Supersonic Art, Anthology Magazine, Creative Boom, DPI Art Quarter and BuzzFeed.

I try to create work that is realistic, but still full of vibrancy and feeling. I'm probably best known for my food and botanical illustration, but I lov... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hey guys. My name is Kendall Villegas and I'm a full-time freelance commercial illustrator. Our work is used in newspapers and magazines on retail products and packaging. I've worked with clients like the Wall Street Journal, Real Simple and Oprah Magazine. I think pretty much anything and everything that you can imagine, people, places, animals, things, really whatever the client needs, but one of the things I invest down for, is my realistic food illustration. Now these days I create most of my work from a drafting table in a studio. Back when I was first getting started, I created everything that I made from the couch. In those days I tended to focus on subjects that I had mostly around the house, like ordinary objects and food. Even though I work full time from a studio now, there are still plenty of reasons that I or you might want to create worked from the sofa. Maybe you don't have a dedicated workspace at home or maybe you don't feel well and you're having to work from home or maybe you just want to be a bit more comfy and catch up on your favorite Netflix show while you're creating work, whatever the reason, making art from the sofa, from the couch is totally possible as long as you have the right setup and the right supplies. So in this class, I will take you along with me as I create a mixed media illustration from start to finish, all from accompany armchair. We will focus on one of my favorite subjects from back when I was a full-time pouch painter myself, and that is food. So in this class we will talk about how to select the subject for your painting. We'll talk about how to get set up in any sort of special equipment and supplies that you'll need to create art from the couch and then of course, the main course of the class will be the creation of a demo piece. I'll show the whole process from start to finish in real time and explaining what I'm doing each step, each phase of the process, so that you can get a good sense for what it looks like to create a piece in this way and since I'll be showing that bowl process and the working and mixed media, this class will have quite a bit of mixed media technique sort of baked into the course as well. You do not have to be an expert to take this class and you don't have to have the same kind of realistic style that I do, but you should have a little bit of comfort and experience already with sort of foundational art-making, stuff like values, lights, darks, color, basic stuff from observational drawing. We're going to touch on all of those things as they relate to the demo piece. But I'm not going to go super in-depth into any one of them. If this is like the first time you've ever picked up a pencil, I would suggest going back and taking a look at some of my more fundamental foundational classes that are really geared towards beginners. But if you have some of that initial stuff down, if you've tried a few things and you're just looking to experiment, to try new subject matter or new setting, then this class is definitely for you. So if you are stuck at home and feeling the urge to be creative, or if you are without a dedicated workspace, but still really want to find a way to draw and paint regularly, come along with me and we will get comfy and creative together. 2. Set Up & Supplies: A couple of things that I think are helpful to keep in mind when you're creating art from the couch or from a comfy chair, is that you still want to have decent lighting. If you're not going to be working in the daylight, if you're going to be working in the evening, make sure you have a task lamp or table lamp next to you. It can be helpful to also have a small table, whether it's a side table or a coffee table to put your supplies on and then personally, I strongly prefer having something that has an arm rest. If you're not going to be able to lean forward on your table, it's nice to be able to lean back and use an arm rest to study your arm and to study your hand while you're painting. As far as supplies go, you'll need a small to medium size drafting board. Drafting board is just like a piece of masonite that has a little clipboard attachment on it. You can even just go to the hardware store and get a regular piece of masonite and use some art clips or rubber bands or a drafting tape to secure your work to the board. You can also use a big flat book, that's what I used initially when I was first making art from the couch. Kids books are especially great because they're big and flat, but they're not really heavy like a big table atlas, which is what I was using. You need something hard and flat to put your work on since you're going to be working from your lap. For paper of course, you can use any paper to make art on the couch, they don't have anything to do with each other, just choose your favorite paper. But if you are going to do the similar process to what I'm doing here, if you're going to use mixed media, I suggest getting the heaviest weight paper that you can find, something that is at least 300 gsm or 140 pounds. If you can get something that's even heavier weight than that, that's great. It's just going to allow you to put more pigment into the paper, that paper can take a lot more working over than a lighter weight paper. I'll be using something that's actually 400 gsm so it's a really heavyweight cold-pressed watercolor paper, cold-press means it has a bit more texture on the surface. I'm going to do a combination of watercolor pencils and colored pencils, so that's my favorite paper to use for the combination of those two mediums. Now that bumps us forward really nicely into talking about supplies. When working from the couch even or sofa you can use any dry media that doesn't create dust. Colored pencils, most graphite pencils, markers, actually I don't know whether markers would be classified as wet or dry, I tend to think of them as dry, but they are technically a liquid. We will table that discussion for another day, but any media that doesn't create dust. For wet media, you can use just regular watercolors in your own palette like tube watercolors or liquid water colors but I find that using a little portable set of pen watercolors or even better yet, if you have them, watercolor pencils, which is what I'm going to be using in this class. Using either one of those is a bit easier as it allows you to hold onto the color yourselves, get into comfy position rather than having to constantly lean forward or lean to the side to dip your brush in a new thing of paint. If you want to use just one media, that's totally fine. You can use a single media or you can do what I'm going to do and blend a couple of different mediums that I get the strengths and the best of both worlds. The last thing you'll need is a printed reference photo or a reference photo on your iPhone or iPad, some other portable device that you can have near you to look at your reference photo. If you have taken a class with me before, especially one of the beginner's drawing classes, you will have heard me talk at length probably about why it's really good to draw from life and how when you're first beginning, you should really try to look at the actual subject rather than a printed photo. That is still true, but a challenge with that when you're drawing from the couch or from a chair is that you're constantly leaning back and changing your position. When you do that, if you're drawing from actual life, if you're drawing from the objects sitting in front of you, it's going to change the position that you're looking at it from, it's going to change your perspective, it's going to change the angle, it's going to change even the proportions depending on how far you move. It's really tricky to do, if you're creating work from a comfy seat like this, I really recommend using a photo rather than working from life. 3. Choosing a Subject to Paint: When it comes time to choose your subject, you can of course create work focusing on any subject that you want this way there's no particular constraint. But for the purposes of this class to tide in thematically, I thought we would focus on food since it's something that most people have around the house already and if we're going to take that analogy even further, it's something that is comforting and we're going to talk about that a little bit more. If you're creating work from the couch in that more relaxed, cozy atmosphere, I just feel like those things go well together. As I said already in the intro, it's the biggest thing that I drew when I was first getting started making work from the couch all the time. To choose your subject, pick something that you already have around the house. That may seem like a redundant thing to say. It is a little bit redundant to say, but I find for myself and for a lot of other artists that when they're first starting out to make a piece especially in their free time, if it's something that's undirected, there's a real temptation to say, "I have to get the perfect subject or to sit and spend a lot of time thinking about what the perfect subject would be." and of course it's inevitably something that you don't have around the house. For this class, I am challenging you to try to paint something that you already have around the house, whether that's going to be food or not. It may not be your most perfect ideal subject but try to find something that you can connect to as a subject and get excited about by the things that are already in your house. To help make that choosing a little bit easier, I would say make sure whatever subject you select meets at least one of the following criteria and better yet two. The first and biggest criteria is that you just want to make sure that whatever you pick is interesting to look at, and I mean interesting for you to look at. Of course that's subjective, we are going to have different definitions of what that is but you are the one who's going to be spending a few hours looking at this thing so it makes sense to you. Try to make whatever you are drawing to try to choose the subject for whatever you're drawing is something that you are actually interested in and enjoy looking at and can look at for a period of time, so however you define that, make it number one is something that you are interested in looking at. The second criteria is that you feel emotionally connected to it in some way and again, that's very subjective, but all I mean by that is that it's something that means something to you, that it's not something that you're completely disconnected from. If it's food that's in your house already, you probably already are somewhat connected to it. Like if you have jam that's in your house it's probably the jam that you like as opposed to just some other random jam. Same thing with objects and that's another reason why it's really great to challenge yourself to choose something from your house, so whether it's your favorite kind of that thing or that you have a story about that thing or that food or a particular sacred memory that is really special to you. Try to choose something that you feel some emotional pull or connection towards. It doesn't have to be super deep and meaningful, it doesn't have to be the specific apple that your grandmother said that she liked on her death bed and then passed the recipe down to your mom. It doesn't have to be that dramatic, that big, just something that you feel somewhat connected a little bit of an emotional bond with. I would say that those criteria would hold true whether you're drawing food or objects, whatever subject you're selecting from around your house. Those are a couple of ways to make sure that it's a good subject to focus your time on. Now we're going to get more into the nitty-gritty of what makes for an interesting food subject. Again, these are all things that I'm hoping thinking that many people will have around the house already so there are of course, lots and lots to the infinite numbers of ideas around here but I'm going to focus on three main buckets. Number 1 is fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are always a great idea, they're always a great subject.j Inherently since they are grown and not man-made, they have interesting organic shapes and colors, lots of natural little imperfections that are really fun to notice and look at, so I tend to prefer to choose ones that are oddly shaped or that have interesting marks on them. I also like to choose a surprising angle or a different perspective on the subject. Another thing I like to do to keep it interesting is to cut it or peel it or take a bite out of it to change the look and feel of the subject. You do want to keep in mind that some fruit and vegetable subjects in particular with lots of detail like strawberries, raspberries, any roughly leafy greens. Those are going to be a lot more complex and may take much longer to draw depending on your style. The second bucket is packaged foods. Packaged foods can be really interesting as well. Not just visually, but because people often have really strong connections and memories related to particular branded foods or packaged foods. For example, they might have favorite cereal or favorite hot sauce, a favorite jam like I already mentioned. Labels can also just visually be really interesting to draw and very challenging as well so if you're looking for a challenge, something to tackle, that's something to consider there. Personally, I love things with reflective elements. I just find those really fun and interesting to look at, challenging to draw. You can also of course, take something out of the package if you are a real big fan of the food, but not necessarily a big fan of the package or you can choose to simplify the package or label if you like the idea but find all of the detail on it intimidating. The third and final bucket is foods that have some mix of different textures. For example, here I have some bread and jam, which is both highly textured and non-reflective in the bread, and shiny sticky reflective in the jam. Again, taking a bite out of it can make it even more interesting to look at and can change the feel of the subject. Some other examples of things that would have different textural pairings could be milk and cereal, so if you have the cereal that is really dry and non-reflective, the milk is liquid and reflective. Some baked good with a scoop of ice cream on top. Basically, any way that you can think of to pair different textural elements that usually will make a really good food illustration. 4. Taking a Reference Image at Home: Now when it comes time to take your photo, there are four really important things that you should keep in mind. Number 1, is that you want to make sure to take the photo from far enough away so that you can include the entire subject without any distortion. If you get really on top of it too close, the camera, especially if you're using a smartphone camera, like I did, you may end up with some weird distortions in it. So be sure to take it from far enough away to include the whole subject and avoid that. Number 2, is that you want to have strong indirect natural light coming from a single source. Say, you're going to draw an apple rather than putting it in the middle of the table and turning the light on, try putting it next to a window at the time of day when there's not sunlight directly streaming in on top of the apple, but there's just light gently coming in. That's going to give you a much nicer lighting environment. It's going to be really easy to see all of the colors that way. Of course, you can ignore this really strong. Either direct or natural or unnatural light, you can totally avoid all my suggestions there. But if you want to have something that you can see all of the colors of peace and something, it's going to be the most straightforward to create a realistic illustration from, try doing it next to a window with indirect light, and I give you off to a good start. Number 3 is to avoid filters. So if you're using any camera app, just use your regular camera. Don't have a filter on it, just leave it as is. You can always edit the photo later, but try to capture it just as it is. As I've already alluded to several different points, you do not need to have a fancy camera. I am using an iPhone here to take a picture of the subject that I'm going to be painting. I did that on purpose to show you guys that you don't have to have any fancy equipment, just whatever camera you have around is fine. The most important thing is that you have it in good lighting and you get it in focus, and stand from a good distance away to get the whole subject in the frame. You can see some of the different reference photos that I have shot with an iPhone. Here's the one I'm going to use for the painting. So we are finally ready to go ahead and dive into the demo. 5. Sketch and First Layer: Getting started here, I have my reference photo on my iPhone, and I'm just going to lay it down on my drawing board next to me so that I can see it really well. You can see I have my graphite pencil and I am starting to work on my sketch, since I'm trying to keep this simple and relax, and this is actually a relatively straightforward subject. I'm just doing this sketch directly onto the watercolor paper. If I was doing something more complicated or if I had my full onset up in the studio, I would probably do a sketch while not probably. I would definitely do a sketch on some scrap paper or sketch with paper first and then transfer it to my watercolor paper. But in this case, since it's basically two circles and all I have to worry about are the proportions, I am just doing it directly onto this cold press watercolor paper, cleaning up any edges as necessary, and then I am ready to move on to watercolor pencil. I've chosen my colors based off of my reference image, and I tend to just choose all the colors that I think I am going to need, so I've put together a little palette here, and I'm going to put these in a separate container rather than having the whole big container of watercolor pencils with me sitting on the chair, which I would have to dig through every time. I basically just take out this small section of them. I won't necessarily use all of these, but it makes it a little bit easier to be choosing from the small section rather than digging through the whole big bucket every time. For the first color, I'm going across pretty much the whole surface area of the meat of the avocado with this soft cream color. Now I'm coming in with a warmer green, just going really super light here around the edges and actually bouncing back and forth between a warmer green and a cooler green and the very outer edges. When I lay down the cream, I was actually laying it down pretty heavier as pressing decently hard. But with both this warm yellowish green and the cooler spring green, I'm going really light and just faintly gliding it over the surface of the paper. Then I am coming back in here and redescribe in some of those details with the och-re, and then bouncing back to the green colored pencils. I think that's a good start on the meat of the avocado. I'm moving on to the seed, the pit at the center. I'm starting there with a really pure saturated orange, since I see a lot of warmth and orange coming through in the reference image. Then I'm going back on top with a warmer sienna color to describe where some of the shadows are, and then back over that with the orange. Now I'm taking a softer round umber type color all the way around the edge of the avocado. Yes, again this is one of those areas where the color rates seem counterintuitive because we think outside the skin as being black, but I want to go in with a softer color first and then I can add some black on top of that. Even though the peel is really flat, it's not actually flat. It has dimension to it, so coming in here earlier on with something as lighter is going to give me some flexibility and enable me to make the peel feel like it has dimension later on. Now I'm bouncing back over to the pit with a darker, warm brown color. I just starting to add in some of the shadows, and then bringing more of the orange in again. I'm just popping back and forth between all of these colors. You can see the ones that I'm holding in my left hand and I will periodically transferred over into my right hand. This is the base layer. The watercolor pencils are all laid out here and you can see it next to the reference. The thing I would point out at this point is that it's way lighter than the reference image. If you have never use watercolor pencils before, good tip something to keep in mind here is that watercolor pencils will look significantly darker once you actually blend them out with water. Be pretty tentative if this is your first time applying watercolor pencils. Be really tentative and delicate when you lay them down. Don't put them down too heavy unless you know what you're doing and have used that color before. Now it's time to blend out with water and you can see I've got just my regular paint cup with me. I'm going to hold it actually in my left hand. Then I got a paper towel tucked underneath the paint cup. You can see I've got my paintbrush here and I like to use a round brush that is actually meant for acrylic. This is a synthetic acrylic brush. I believe it's a size four. I prefer this brush for watercolor pencils because it's nice and stiff. You can blend watercolor pencils with a watercolor brush. But I find that it doesn't really do a great job blending and to totally get rid of the little lines that are left from the pencil which I like to do. You end up needing to have a brush that has a bit more texture so that you can use friction to blend. Since I'm working with watercolor pencils and not regular water color, I don't need to have any little test strips of paper because I've made all of the color decisions when I chose the pencils. My main goal with this whole process is just to have a really basic colormap laid down. I'm not trying to do anything super nuanced. I just want to give myself a little roadmap with some direction later on when it comes time to apply colored pencil. I've just dip my brush in the water. Again if you're new to watercolor pencils, something that's maybe counterintuitive is that you really don't want to put too much water on your brush. That is yet another reason why I prefer working with stiff brushes that were meant for acrylic, as opposed to brushes that were meant for watercolor is they just don't hold as much water. If you use too much water when you're blending watercolor pencils, in my opinion, it makes it unwieldy, you lose control and sometimes it can just break down the paper a little bit more than you want to or need to. Additionally, if you're working on the couch or in a chair like we are in this class, it makes things messier than they need to be. That is another big advantage of watercolor pencils is that you can do all of this and blend all this with relatively little water. I am just working my way across the surface blending and each time I did my brush, I dip it, I add a little bit of water, but then I blotted off on the paper towel. I'm keeping it as far as water colors go relatively dry. The way I like to approach a blending is to blend each section individually, one at a time so I typically will choose the lightest area first. Then started with blending the green part of the avocado and then I'm going to go around and blend the peel, so that it can melt a little bit into the green part of the avocado. Then the last thing I'll do is blend the pit of the avocado. Even within the pit, I pick the light areas first, and I go section by section, plane by plane in my blending, rather than just doing one big huge wash all the way across. When I blend, I like to use little circular strokes since yes, I am blending with the water, but as I mentioned, it's not actually that wet, so I'm using a good amount of friction to blend and get rid of those little marks into work some of the pigment into one another so that I get a nice smooth effect. Here we are at the end, and this is the blended out version next to the reference image. Now it's time to move on to colored pencil. 6. Colored Pencil Part 1: All right. Getting started with the soft core pencils, I will be using Prisma pillar soft core pencils, and I've done the same process that I did with the watercolor pencils, I went through and I chose my pallete, put together my pallete, the colors that I expect to use in the piece, and I also have my sharpener, and I'm putting those both in the little container next to me, and doing essentially the same setup as last time where I had my reference image on the phone right next to me so that I can see what I'm doing. Just cleaning up a few little odd marks around the edge of the illustration before I get started, and I'm going in here with spring green, I think it's Prismacolor spring green, which is a nice, cool, delicate green, and similar to my approach with the watercolor pencils, I am going in and relatively soft initially. Now this is a really heavyweight paper as I mentioned, so, I actually will have to get pretty hard and press pretty firmly to get all the pigment down into the little nooks and crannies of the paper, but initially I tend to go really softly, be really tentative just so I can make sure the color is looking the way that I want it to look, since when you lay something down really, really hard, it's tough to dial it back. So I'm hanging out with these first two colors initially for quite awhile, and here you can see as I have the pencil a bit more vertical, I am actually pressing quite a bit harder trying to work that pigment down into the tooth of the paper, and I'm using the cream colored pencil to do that. Just like I did with the watercolor pencil layer, this is actually making up a good amount of the surface of the avocado, and then the green is really going to fade in from the sides. So I'm using the cooler green towards the edge and then either layering the cream over that to create a warm, cool gradient, or in some places, I am using the warmer green in between the cream and the cool green, and just working my way all the way around again trying not to get too dark or too intense. The cream however, whenever I go in with the cream, I'm pressing quite a bit harder, because I'm using the cream not only as the color, but I'm also doing some blending and some burnishing with the cream once I'm fairly confident in the color choices that I've made. Once you burnish, which basically just means pressing directly down really, really hard with your colored pencil, it is a lot harder to lay anything else on top. This is especially true depending on the type of paper that you're using. That's one of the reasons why I like to use this really, really heavy weight cold press paper, is because it can take quite a lot of pigment, quite a lot of media being layered down onto it before it ends up completely full. So if you're using less heavyweight paper or a paper without as much texture like a hot press paper, you'll find that, yes, it is a bit smoother and it is maybe easier to get things to lay down, which is a positive paper, but a challenge with that paper is that, it's going to fill up with pigment really quickly. If you find that you are not able to get some of these same kinds of results or I should say, when I hear comments from people saying that they can't get some of those same results, or that the paper just doesn't seem to want to take as much as I would put onto it, it's usually because they're using a kind of paper that really isn't meant for this. So this is one situation in which having the right supplies does make a pretty big difference. So definitely try to find that heavier weight cold press watercolor paper if you're going to attempt this same application of media. All right. I've just gone back and forth for quite awhile here with those two colors, the Prismacolor green and then the, excuse me, the Prismacolor spring green and Prismacolor cream, and now for the first time I'm going to come into a few little spots here with a different color. This is marine green, I believe, it's a dark desaturated green, and I'm using that just to mark out some of the little shadow spots in a bit of the detail areas in the avocado. Most of this surface area is just really smooth and creamy, but there's a few little imperfections here off to the side, which to me are the most interesting part by far, so, I'm really enjoying taking my time going back and forth with the same color that I had been using, the spring green, and then the marine green, and the cream just trying to really clearly describe some of those little details. Whenever you're working with a subject like this where there isn't a ton of natural contrast in the subject and the surface area is relatively flat, it is very easy to go overboard with shadows in details. I do want to describe these and I want to draw attention to them, but I don't want them to get out-sized for the rest of the subjects, so, they are part of the subject but if I get really, really dark in super, super intense in this area, it'll just take over and it won't end up working well with the rest of the piece. All right. At this point I'm going in with a warmer green and a darker green, and that same marine green, and then a darker ocher green. I'm using these around some of the areas of the edge of the avocado where there is actually some dimension, it's really not super noticeable, but I am differentiating that color, and then after that I'm coming in with ginger gold to try to describe, actually excuse me, ginger root is name of the color, to try to describe some of these little dots that you can see in the surface texture. I'm actually experimenting with a few different ways to add those in. The ginger root is a really great color, but I was feeling like it wasn't quite right initially, so, I tried it a different sort of yellow and then some green on top, but then have ended up settling back on the ginger root since I think it is not perfect, but it's the closest to perfect that I'm going to get, and since I'm trying to do this piece relatively quickly in the grand scheme of things for me, many of my pieces take upwards of 10 or 20 hours, but when I'm doing one for skill share, I like to try to keep it under a few hours if possible, so, I'm just going to settle with, [inaudible] is good enough for this color even though it's not quite perfect. Then I'm bouncing back over to the little detail area, and now I'm going to start to add some of the cast shadow for the pit of the avocado. It's not a super strong shadow, but this is actually one of the areas where I think I may diverge slightly from the reference image. I want to actually overemphasize this surface, this cast shadow here, I just think it's an interesting area of the piece and it's not super visible in the reference, it is there, but I definitely want it to be a bit more visible in my piece than it is in the reference image. So I'm using the ginger root color and I'm also using yellow ocher in some of the warm response and just gradually building up that cast shadow. Coming back in once again with the cream, the Prismacolor cream to blend and burnish the edges of the shadow, so that it doesn't feel quite so sharp against the rest of the avocado, and now I'm using the yellow ocher to go over the top of the ginger root colors since it wasn't quite exactly right, I'm just tweaking it with this golden ocher color to get it closer to where I want it to be. A few last little details around the edge. All right. This is all done and I'm ready to move on to rendering the pit. 7. Colored Pencil Part 2: I am getting started on the pit of the avocado, I'm going to be doing a very similar technique to what I did in the green part of the avocado. I'm going in a bit on the softer side initially. This is a dark brown here and I'm trying to work section by section, thinking of it in terms of fields of color.. Wherever I see this darker brown color, I'm getting that laid down initially, and then I will switch colors and add some more new ones after that. Going color by color, area by area, especially when you're working with something like colored pencil, is really helpful and saves time in the end. Here, I'm just trying to figure out which color exactly I want to use. I used quite a saturated orange when I was going in with the watercolor pencil, and I don't think I want to get too intense with this, but I am still going to use a pure, just saturated orange here but I'm laying it down rather softly. I've now reached another area where I'm going to not quite diverge from the reference photo, but I'm going to take some creative libraries from what I see in the reference. Down on the edge of the avocado, it looks like the reflected light there. It actually has a tiny bit of a green tone, I see that in the reference image here. I think I want to amplify that so I'm going in with the spring green and then bouncing back and forth to some of the darker brown. There's quite a bit more of a range in values. Really, really light-lights and really, really dark-darks in the pit of the avocado than there was in the green part of the avocado. I'm going to be bouncing back and forth quite a lot as I complete this. When I go back and forth between two colors, the way I am with the orange and the brown here, that also enables me to blend at the same time. If I go really hard with one color and I fill up all the tooth of the paper, then it's going to be harder to lay the next one on top, but this dance back and forth lets me lay down color and blend at the same time. It's similar to how you would if you were working in something like oil paint. Colored pencil is a medium where it works best to stay light in the areas where you are going to want to stay in light and then add dark on top. Some of these areas on the side where I have kept it pretty light for the reflected shadow, I'm going in in a few little spots and adding some more shadows there, some darker colors and that's because part of what gives this pit the lighter color on the side if I'm looking really carefully at the reference image, yes, it is a reflected highlight, but it's also that there's some actual avocado sticking to the pic there that makes it lighter. I want to make it feel not just like a reflected highlight, but like there actually is something dimensional and light down there. I'm trying to go in both with that lighter green and with the darker color in some of those shadow areas to give it a sense of dimension and form. When I was working on the green part of the avocado, since it was pretty uniform overall, I mean, there was that one little area that had a bit more detail on difference, the imperfection on the right side of the avocado. The pit is really different. The pit has way more detail, way more nuance, little areas that are really irregular and erratic in the best way possible. I'm happy to pay quite a lot more attention to the reference photo. With the green part of the avocado, once I figured out what I was doing color-wise, I will just cycle, I repeat over and over and over. Again, I would lay down the cream, lay down some of the spring green and then a bit more cream on top of that to blend. Of course there were a few little other nuances, but that was the main idea across the entire green part of the avocado. With the seed, with the pit it is taking me quite a lot longer because there isn't really any command V, so to speak. There's no way that I can just quickly copy and paste the process that I am doing. It has to be different throughout the entire pit. So I'm constantly going back and forth between different colors, different values, trying to follow what I see in the reference image. Once I have the basic forms laid out, I'm going to go back and forth more with colors and values that are more extreme. I tend to start out with colors and values that are closer together, more towards the center of the value spectrum, and then the further I get along to a piece, the more I push things at either end. So the darker colors get darker and the lighter colors get lighter. You start to see the separation of form and the dimensionality of the subject image. As I usually do, I'm saving the pure white for the end, and this subject is going to really have very little pure black so I'm using really dark browns and really dark reds like Tuscan red, but I'm trying to stay away from the really dark black. Adding in some little shadows around the edge of the pit here to make it feel like it's actually sunk into the green part of the avocado. I think that is nearly it for the colored pencil here, we're getting close to the end. Time to move on to finishing touches. 8. Finishing Touches: Getting comfortable again here with my setup since I've taken a little bit of a break. Now that I have been away from the piece and I have finished doing the pit of the avocado, just as I mentioned might happen, I have had to come back to the green area of the avocado because some of the dark areas are no longer as visible, no longer as accurate, now that I have completed the pit. This is a really good indication. A really good illustration rather of how dark and light are really only visible to us because of their contrast to one another. Before I had any real dark colors around, this cast shadow looked pretty dark compared to the rest of the green part of the avocado. But now that it's right next to this really dark pit and the dark side of the pit, all of those dark values are calling so much more attention to themselves. It's pretty much impossible to see the cast shadow that I had built up earlier. Now I'm coming back in and adding a lot more saturation and a lot more darkness in the value so that I can hopefully see the cast shadow more. I'm using some of the same colors that I used before, the golden ocher yellow color and the warm darker green, but I'm just pushing a lot harder. I'm also coming back to the little details section, little detail area, to add in some darker shadows there and increase the level of contrast since having the darker colors in the pit really demands that. I've done a few little highlights with the white colored pencil on the pit of the avocado already, but I haven't really used any white on the green part of the avocado. I'm just coming in here adding some little tiny highlights along this edge, this little imperfection where the knife nicked up the edge of the avocado. I'm adding a few little bits of highlight with this white colored pencil. I'm going to go over the top of these as well with a Sharpie paint marker, but I always like to mark out my white highlights with the Prismacolor colored pencil first, since it gives me a sense of where I'm going to put them and it's not quite as glaring as the Sharpie paint pen. It also softens the highlights so it makes it feel more like it goes with the rest of the colored pencil as opposed to just being this really hard opaque thing that sits on top. Anywhere I select, I might want a highlight. I'm blocking that out with a white Prismacolor. I'm also just adding some across the surface of the avocado as well to give it that sense of shine and shininess, since the avocado is really fatty and glossy, the white Prismacolor on top gives it that feel. Going back in or once again to the cast shadow, since it's still not quite dark enough. Now I'm finally ready to pay a little bit of attention to the outer edge, to the peel. Most of what I've done so far on this has been that ocher and amber color or combination of the ocher and amber colors. Now I'm coming back in, rather than black, you might think to do black on the peel, but rather than that, I'm coming in here with a really dark green. It's just Prismacolor's dark green, which is almost black, but it does still have some color to it, and it just really looks nice on the edge of the avocado here. I'm getting that same nice sharpness that I would with a black, but it still has color which is always preferable to me. Then adding a few more details on the edges where the avocado meets the peel, there are now some areas that I feel again like they need to be a little bit darker. Now it's time to switch to the Sharpie paint pen. I'm more or less just following along with all the little areas that I had blocked out with the white Prismacolor pencil. Sharpie paint pen is very similar to a Posca marker. If you have a white Posca marker, you can use one of those too. The reason I prefer the Sharpie paint pen is that there's slightly more opaque than a Posca marker and isn't shiny at all. It's totally not. It goes really well with the colored pencil. These are a water-based paint marker so it's really easy to use, isn't stinky like an oil-based paint marker, but you can just add that really nice bright highlight that you can't quite get with a white Prismacolor. Here on the pit of the avocado, rather than just doing a really big solid shape of a highlight in these center here, which would look really cartoony, and that's fine if that's what you're going for, but since I'm aiming for realism, I want it to be softer than that. I'm doing little tiny dots here all over the area where I had previously laid down the white colored pencil. That's going to increase the brightness of the highlight, but it's going to keep it looking nice and soft and realistic. Here is the finished piece. All in all, this piece took me a little bit over two-and-a-half hours to complete. The footage that you've just seen is closer to 25 or 30 minutes. Do keep that in mind when you're watching this, a lot of the time that is cut out is time that I spent waffling, going back and forth, thinking through which color I want to use. All of that time is real time that's invested in the piece, but it's not necessarily interesting for you guys to look at. If you are watching this and thinking, "Well, gosh, why can't I make something like that in 30 minutes?" I can't either, it takes me longer than that. Hopefully it's helpful for you to have a little bit of a sense of what that time involves. To the class project. 9. Wrap Up and Next Steps: That is the class. There is the demo piece done. You guys have made it through the whole course. Thank you so much for sticking with it and coming along. It is time now for the class project. Of course, thinking back to where we started, choose your company spot and make sure you've got a good chair or a couch with some good arm support, maybe a table, some lighting nearby, then gather what you need for your supplies. Whether you can use a combination media like I did or single media, take your reference photo. If you want to go back and watch the lesson again on reference images and choosing a subject, do that as a refresher. I'll also have some of those notes in the class project section about what makes for a good reference image and how to choose good reference images, specifically, when it comes to food illustration. Then of course, follow along with the process in your own style, how ever you want to adopt it and use it in a way that makes sense for your art-making. Very broadly, you'll create a pencil sketch based on that reference image and then you'll use whatever combination of media or single media you're going to use to lay out that initial color and value map. Then gradually build up those layers bit by bit, creating more depth, more value differentiation, and form and color with each subsequent layer. As you're working along if you're able to, if you have your smart phone next to you using it for reference images, take some photos of your setup, maybe where you're working, where you have your supplies, your subject, the reference photo that you're using, share not just the finished piece, but the process in the class project section. I find that sharing the process instead of just the end result, is really helpful and inspiring to other people and it's hopefully encouraging to you to share wherever you're at, even if you haven't been able to finish the full project yet. Share whatever you can of the project, both the process and the product. Please do. When you do that, please do let me know if you're looking for feedback, if you're looking for any critical constructive feedback, let me know so that I know how to give you the feedback that's going to be the most helpful for you. That is really it. Thank you very much for taking this class. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. You can put those in the class discussion section. If you enjoyed the class and found it helpful, please do leave a review. That is a really great way to support the class, a really great way to support me. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing this time with me and I am really excited to see what you make. 10. Timelapse & Process Refresher: So here we are in a time-lapse of the entire piece where I have not cut out any of the sections. This is just the whole piece from start to finish. So I'm going to go ahead and explain again what I'm doing at each phase, just roughly, so that you guys can have a little bit of a refresher before you launch into your class projects. So I have again just done the graphic pencil sketch, and I'm going in here with the watercolor pencils laying down cream all across the surface of the avocado, the green part of the avocado and then going in around the edges, really light and soft with a warm green that's closer to the center of the avocado and a cool green that's closer to the outer edge, and while I'm working with watercolor pencils, just trying to keep it really soft initially. Then I'm going into the pit of the avocado with a bright, more saturated orange and then some of the warmer browns, and then all around the edge with the amber color. Then darker browns again in the pit of the avocado, trying to build up that color road-map, I give myself a sense of where I'll be going with the color later on without getting too dark. Now it's time to blend, and I am using that round acrylic brush the size four dipped in just a little bit of water with most of the water blotted off so that I have a lot of control when I'm blending. And I am just working my way across the whole surface of the avocado, blending in really tiny little circular strokes. I'm going section by section. So I'm doing all of the green area first and then I'm going to do the border of the avocado and blend that in too, rather the peal of the avocado, excuse me, and blend that into the green part. Then last of all going to blend the pit of the avocado. Even in pit, I'm going section by section according to color. All right, now I'm cleaning up the illustration a little bit and switching to soft core colored pencils using the prismacolor soft core colored pencils here, working my way across the whole surface of the green area in a combination of the prismacolor cream and the prismacolor spring green. Then there are a few areas where I'm using chartreuse to blend between the spring green and the cream. But mostly it is the green and the cream all the way around the green part of the avocado. I'm going softer in my strokes with the green and harder in my stroke with the cream. Since I'm actually using the cream, not just for color, but to burnish and blend as well. Then in some of these little tiny more detailed areas I'm going in with the marine green to just give a little bit of sharpness, a little bit of definition and darkness. But I'm trying really hard not to go overboard here or make it look disproportionate with the rest of the avocado. If you weren't aiming for realism, that wouldn't be as big of a deal. But since I am aiming for realism, I'm trying to mostly stick with what I see in the reference and take creative liberties in a really restrained way. All right, now adding in some of those little dots on the surface of the green part and continuing my back and forth dance between the green and the cream all the way across the surface. Now just starting to block in the cast shadow next to the pit using the ginger root color and the yellow ocher color. Finishing off those last few little dots on the green part of the avocado. Then just a few little finishing touches, and I'm onto working on the pit. Now for the pit of the avocado, I'm doing some lighter tone, some lighter values in some green around the edges since I see a little bit of a reflected highlight there and then I'm going in with all sorts of different browns, warm browns, cool browns, orangey brown, reddish browns. I really just trying to follow what I see in the reference image. So I talked about this during the lesson, but in the green area, I was able to really come up with a formula that i just did over and over and over again for the most part across the whole surface of the avocado. But with the pit, I have to be a lot more careful to follow what I see in the reference image. So depending on what kind of subject you are doing it for your class project, just take note of that, whether you're able to come up with some sort of a repeatable pattern, a repeatable sequence that you can do over and over again, or whether you need to really stick close to your reference image. All right, and now that I have gotten the pit of the avocado done, and I can see all those really nice stark values, it's clear to me that I need quite a bit more development in some of the areas of the green here. So I'm going into the cast shadow, trying to darken up the cast shadow, make it a little bit more visible and then adding some more detail and crispness around the edge, the peel of the avocado with the prismacolor dark green. Then continuing to just tweak and blend, tweak and blend to tweak and blend in every area of the avocado, especially in the little sections that come right next to the peel. Okay, now coming in here with the sharpie paint pen for the nice bright hard white highlights. Whenever I lay it down too hard or too much too heavy, I'll just blot it with the edge of my finger to soften it a little bit and pick some of it back up. All right, and there it is, the finished piece once again.