Paint Produce! Intro to Drawing Fruits and Vegetables with Watercolor | Jessie Kanelos Weiner | Skillshare

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Paint Produce! Intro to Drawing Fruits and Vegetables with Watercolor

teacher avatar Jessie Kanelos Weiner, Watercolor illustrator & author

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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 (43m)

    • 2. TOOLS




    • 6. QUICK COLOR 101



    • 9. DON'T [email protected] IT UP


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About This Class


Always wanted to learn to paint with watercolor? Join artist, author, and illustrator Jessie Kanelos Weiner to learn how to sketch and paint fruits and vegetables using watercolor.

This class is for anyone who loves the beauty of the edible plant kingdom and would like to celebrate it using watercolor, whether you’re a beginner or an already seasoned artist looking to develop food illustration or watercolor skills. This course is to help you retrain your artistic eye, learn watercolor basics and use this notoriously difficult medium to recreate what you see. 

We’ll be covering:

  • Choosing the tools & supplies for your project
  • Searching for inspiration in a Parisian green market
  • Sketching to reconnect your hand with your eyes to create an authentic rendering of your muse
  • How to understand light, volume, texture and color and how to replicate it in a watercolor representation of a fruit or vegetable "portrait". 
  • Learn simple color theory and watercolor mixing techniques in 3 different sample watercolor paintings
  • Easy watercolor methods and how to best use them

You will gain valuable insight into how to see and communicate visual ideas including tips and tricks from a professional watercolor illustrator, and how to apply these methods to your own creative practices. 

And the final project will be an evocative, true-to-life rendering of your fruit or vegetable muse

Suggested Materials

  • Watercolor paint (I use Kuretake)
  • At least 1 round watercolor paintbrush (what I use: Gerstaeker Kolinsky 22466)
  • Watercolor paper (what I use: Fabriano Artistico, Cold Pressed 300g/m2)
  • 1 big jar or vase of water
  • Drawing paper or a sketchbook
  • Paper towels 
  • Large palette, dinner plate or mixing surface
  • HB pencil
  • A fruit or vegetable muse (from the fridge or elsewhere)

"I’ve always been a huge home cook so I was naturally drawn to fruit and vegetables as a subject matter when I launched my career as an illustrator almost 10 years ago. Obviously there is the beauty and proximity to the subject which I found appealing AKA there were no excuses to not get started. You’ve really got to learn how to draw one thing before you can go nuts and paint from memory and beyond. So let this be a masterclass in knowing the medium and reacquainting yourself with a timeless subject".  -JKW

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Watercolor illustrator & author


Paris by way of Chicago & NYC. Illustration by way of costume design. I've published in The New Yorker. I've drawn an Oreo hotdog for Vogue. Welcome to my watercolor world!

I illustrate all things food, travel, lifestyle and architecture for clients like WSJ, NYT and Chevrolet. Lately I've enjoyed drawing the humor found in life as a new mom, being a long-term American in Paris and making sense of this crazy time.



I've taught watercolor workshops all over the world and teach drawing/illustration at The Paris College of Art.  I was once a young artist who didn't know "what" to draw. Let me teach you everything I've learned along the way.

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1. INTRODUCTION: Hello. My name is Jessica Kanales Weiner. I'm an American illustrator and author based in Paris for over 10 years. If you follow my work, you know that I am very much inspired by color, and food, and all things, living, and beautiful. Like all artists, I had to get started somewhere. In this course, we're going to retrain your eye to look at fruits and vegetable differently, and then I'm going to break down all of the things to consider to create an authentic rendering of this said subject. With that said, I'm going to take you along to my local market and we're going to find some inspiration. Then we'll come back here to my home studio, then we'll go through a few drawing exercises. You can pretend you're still in art class, in art school, or elsewhere, just to really help you loosen up and retrain your eye and consider some things before we get started. Then I will execute one of these beautiful fruits, and vegetables, and watercolor. Drawing fruits and vegetables is a really great intro just to volume, constructing a composition, texture, light and shadow, and all of these little things. Feel free to apply these to your other practice, or if you don't use watercolor, feel free to use colored pencils or pastels. I'm really going to share just some color mixing concepts and ideas just to really help you create more evocative work. But these are all really good skills just to have in your own drawing practice, whether it's food, or objects, or anything at all. When I moved to France indefinitely, as we can say, there is a moment where I didn't have a job. I knew I had a little bit of creative energy to me, and this is the moment where I really started drawing every day, building up my skill set, and really finding my views which was in food. Now I work for clients like Vogue, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. This really is time for you to work on your skill set, and hopefully set you on track to your artistic journey along the way. With that said, please join me, and let's have a little bit of fun while we're at it. Let's go. 2. TOOLS: Before we begin, I'll just show you what I use in my watercolor practice. You'll need a watercolor kit. This is Kuretake, I like it because it's very transparent, but it can also paint quite thickly like a gwash. You could see this is very wash like, and then if you add a little bit less water, you can get a really good range of colors. This is what I like, but feel free to use whatever you have and just make sure that you use the best quality that you can. I like using a big basin of water, which is great because you don't have to change it as often and things don't get muddy, which often happens in watercolor. Also paper towels are an essential in my opinion, because they can mop up any mistakes, and then you can also dab your paintbrush on it to see what the color looks like. Then something else that's quite unique to my own practice, is I mix directly on a surface itself. I like to use a large pallet because it makes everything color by color. This is just a kitchen plate, or you can also mix directly on a table top, if you have a marble table or a glass top or anything like that. Then also you'll need some round brushes. This is my favorite, I'll put the description below of what it is, but I like it because it has a fine tip and then also it's thick enough to hold water and get good surface area as you can see like this. Then you also need some sketching paper and a pencil or charcoal, whatever you want to use, and then you need a muse of some kind. This is my market find of the day, this really lovely color blocked zucchini. You will also need some watercolor paper. This is my favorite, it's not cheap, but for me it's really great because it's sturdy. It's 300 grams per meter squared, which means it doesn't warp. A good sign of a good watercolor paper, in my opinion, is if you shake it like this, it sounds like thunder. Now you should have everything you need and let's move on to the next step. 3. INSPIRATION / RESEARCH: In this first exercise, we are going to go on a little field trip into a market of Paris and find some inspiration. Though going to the market is a way that I not only stack up on the things that I need, but also just connect with the season and the community aspect as well of living in a French town. I'm just going to think about what's beautiful, what's different in texture and size and I'm going to pick up a couple of things, and we'll decide what we're going to paint later. Now, hopefully you have at least something from your fridge or have an idea of what I'm looking for when I'm shopping at the market. In the next exercise, we're going to get started. 4. REVISITING RESEARCH : I'm back from my market haul, and these are just a few things that I picked up from my local fruit and vegetable seller. I'm going to pick this beautiful color blocked zucchini, because it's just something to look at and something completely unique that I'll never find again. I also like the reflection of eggplant because its super shiny texture as you can see in the super bright highlight on the bottom right-hand corner. I also picked up a black radish. Of course, this doesn't really look like much, but it's a good example of comparing and contrasting between the reflective surface of the eggplant and then the light is completely absorbed in the black rough skin of the black radish, so these are all things to consider. I have some broccoli as well, which could be a nice play in texture. Will creating the little florets. Then also a kale leaf. Believe it or not, I've drawn kale a lot so I think I'm going to pass on this. Also there's celery, which could be a good transition from light to dark, and also some nice textures. Before I begin, I'm just going to identify a few things just to give me enough visual cues to really execute this in the best possible way. First of all, I want to think about the light source. Where do you see the light coming from? Obviously, it's coming from the window. Excuse the dirty dishes behind, okay. This is white space that I'm going to save later in the sketch process. I'm not going to paint this so I get that lovely reflection. Remember watercolor really is a game of keeping the white space to save it for later, because if you cover it all up then you're not going to get that really vibrant watercolor effect. Then also my shadow is down below, then I'm also looking at the texture, so you can't really see them in yellow part, but in the green part, I see almost little white spots, lighter green spots on the surface. As far as my colors are concerned, I really like this almost ombre effect between the yellow and the green, just looking at my color palette here, options. I'm not going to have to mix too, too much, but I think that this is going to be easy as far as mixing is concerned. As you can see, they're almost different planes on the surface as well. See how I'm moving it and you can see the light is on each plane. That's something else I'll try to highlight as well, just to understand a little bit better the detail of the volume. With all this said, I'm going to start sketching and figure out how I'm going to execute this. 5. SKETCH SKETCH SKETCH: The more disconnected we are with having a regular drawing practice, the more we feel like we need to control everything and have the result that we want each and every time. But a lot of drawing and developing any skill is really keeping up your skill set. I'm back in my home studio, aka my kitchen, and we're going to run through a few drawing exercises. You might have a practice like this already, it's very much going to be in the style of a drawing class if you studied art in college or if you've taken our classes before. Feel free to skip this if you choose. But this is a really great way to loosen up and to connect your eye to your hand and to really capture as much as you can in the moment. This is a moment to either set up the still-life of your object from the market or from your fridge, or you're free to paint along with the zucchini. A few days have passed since I filmed the first part. It's a little bit aged, I should say. It doesn't look as good as it did a couple of days ago. But in the spirit of keeping it consistent, I'm going to paint this anyway. If you have a long object like this, feel free to pop it up on a glass, I'm using a jar here. What we're going to do now is a few drawing exercises which I do with students just to loosen up. Take out at least 5-10 pieces of drawing sketch paper and a pencil. This really is just a way to loosen up and retrain your eye with the object in front of you. Feel free to paint along and I'll walk you through everything step-by-step. The first thing we're going to do is take out a sheet of paper, I have a sheet of paper here, and you're going to just mentally mark it into four different parts like this. We're just going to use this in first round as some really quick drawing exercises. In this first exercise, I'm just going to have you draw everything you see in front of you, more or less just the object itself that you decided to draw in five seconds. This isn't a moment to feel like it has to be good or not, this really is just about trying to get down as much information as you can. We're going to start that starting now. Stop. That went by really quickly. As you can see, I just sketched this while you were sketching too. This really is just about keeping it loose and gestural. On the next part of your paper, I'm just going to find another angle here. If you're on a big table, feel free to play musical chairs and move on to another spot. Here we have our next proposition. This is going to be 10 seconds but with your opposite hand. If you're a lefty, use your right hand, and vice versa. 10 seconds starting now. Stop. In this next exercise, I want you to render the zucchini in continuous line. That means you're going to observe what's in front of you and capture it all in 10 seconds without taking your pencil off the paper and looking exclusively at what's in front of you. Ten seconds starting now. As you can see, if you look down at your drawings, they might not be entirely evocative of what's in front of you. This, for example, if I do a quick reveal, it doesn't really look like much. But this is just a really good way to snap out of what you think something looks like. Here in the first one, for example, in five seconds I just drew what I thought a zucchini looked like instead of really looking at everything that was in front of me. These are just things to keep in mind. Then here this is super quick too. I just really drew the stem of the zucchini, but already this is much more true to life because I really studied what was there. As you can see, another thing that young artists often do is really sketch with a very sketchy line like this. Which is great if you're not comfortable with living in the moment. But I really challenge you to use just a continuous line when you're sketching just so that you really train your eye. Once you get a little bit more acquainted with drawing regularly, it will come a little bit easier. But just avoid this as much as possible because you're still very much undecided in every little move. Eventually, with time, it'll turn out a little bit more of something like this where you can just really draw with a confident line. In the fourth section, I want you to draw this zucchini continuous line. Which means you're not going to take your pencil off of the paper. You're really just going to use the time to look exclusively at the fruit or vegetable itself. This means that you shouldn't be looking at your paper. This really is all about the gesture, understanding all the nuances and the curve is in the swoops and then the form of the zucchini itself. Feel free to add shadow if you want to. I'm going to give you one minute starting now. Don't look at your paper. Once again, you can use the line to also replicate the texture of the zucchini, you really see the curves and the little plane to each of these surfaces of the zucchini itself as well. Continuous line, don't look at the paper, I know you're doing it. You're about halfway done. Get out as much information as you can. If you're already done, then just stop and keep looking. You have about 10 seconds left. Do you have everything you need? Stop. Here we have our first four. Now we're going to move on to a full page. Take out a clean sheet of paper or flip over your last one and we're going to draw a little bit bigger this time. In this next exercise, I want you to touch all four corners of your paper if you can. This is all about drawing big. In the spirit of torture, I added another element here. A still-life is our teacher's way of torturing students. But anyway, already I put this flatness, you can see the reflection on the zucchini here which is something to keep in mind later on when we start building color and contrast. With that said, in this next exercise, I want you to draw the full composition. I want you to touch all four sides of the paper if you can. I'm also going to show you a little bit of a trick, which is helpful. If you see, I have a pencil here. I'm just going to hold it out. I'm going to hold it out as far as it will go. If you go close to your body it'll change every time, so it won't work. I'm going to use my pencil to really measure what's in front of me. For example, the apple is about this wide. I can use this to count how many apples there are; 1, 2, about 2 and 3/4 apples in the length of the zucchini. If you're stumped and you really need those fine details, then feel free to use this technique. It's also good to measure the angles of the technique as well. This is only the case if you hold the pen with your arm completely stretched out. Here, for example, I'm going to just take down this angle. Then if I just make a reference on my paper, I can study that the zucchini creates this angle like this. This is just a way to copy down the information and to make it as accurate as possible. Feel free to use this moving forward and also in your own still-life work. In this next exercise, I want you to draw everything you see and use this pencil trick and really mark done everything you can and think about the lightest parts and the shadow, the lightest part's here, the shadow is here, they give out the use of color as well. What's the most saturated color? What's the brightest color? For example, I see mostly, the zucchini because the colors are the most saturated. Ask yourself, how are you going to duplicate this as well as you can? Your very gestural sketch of all of these elements. What does gestural mean? It means, you're not overthinking it and it's almost like the five-second drawing. You use a light touch and create a gestural sketch. I'm going to give extra you 10 seconds to do this, starting now. As you can see, this is my own gestural sketch. It doesn't look like much, but I feel like the energy of the moment is there and then from here, I can start building it up. We're going to revisit our still life, and I want you to start building this up. It's never too late to add more information or clarify. Use this pencil trick material, arm is completely extended, and think about the highlights as well. Drawing the highlights like they're part of the composition, this will really come to play later, especially when you merge your observation with the execution itself. I'm going to give you five minutes to draw this, feel free to speed through this if you're drawing on your own terms. I want you to get down as much information as you can and I'm just going to talk along the way, so feel free to add a playlist. I won't add any music here, so I'll give you some tips along the way. Let's get started. You're building on the previous sketch, and you're going to start building out your information. Five minutes starting now. If you've taken any drawing classes before, you know the still life is always in the back pocket of the drawing teacher because it's really best to learn from what's in front of you because you're in the moment, you see things, and you're not drawing what you think something looks like, but you're actually drawing in itself. If you're just getting started drawing and painting every day, you got to start somewhere. If you have these things on hand already, this is just a really great way to learn about color and proportion and all of these different elements that really make something unique and help you understand all of the elements of design and how to execute them. As you're drawing, I'm just going to talk through a couple of things that I'm noticing too in the still life. Here for example, there's this flat surface of a zucchini and it's almost completely white because it's reflecting the light from the window and funnily enough, on the apple, I only see two little highlights like this. What does that say about the texture of the surface of the apple and the zucchini? This is flat so it's reflecting the light a lot more profoundly than it is on the apple, and the apple is also round. Already, this is a way to really think about the form and how even just understanding and observing the light can really give you the effect that you want. Another reason why I picked this zucchini is because it's a long, a vegetable as well and it's always difficult to play with perspective. That's why I really recommend this pencil trick is because it'll help you identify and recreate the angle. From there, you'll be able to have a little bit more of an authentic representation. Yeah, just from drawing is good for a base sketch and then a second sketch, it's a good method to verify everything you have and to get any more information that you might need. This will come into play a little bit later on, but look at how the colors are merged or not merged as the yellow and the green don't really have much of an ombre effect, but it's just almost, as I mentioned before, color blocking. The green just goes into the yellow, but on the apple, there's a little bit more of a transition between the pinkish-red and the green. These are all things to think later on. If you're new to watercolor, this is a good way to teach yourself some technique and also if you're a little bit more familiar with watercolor, it's also a good way to practice your technique and also get the effects that you want. You have about 30 seconds left, so look at your sketch. This might be the moment to step away, really look at what you're drawing, and from here, you can start building up little by little. This is a good moment just to start wrapping it up, get all the information you need. You can also draw any of these little details as well if you need them, it's not over until it's over. But if you feel like you need to stop, feel free to stop as well. Ten seconds and stop. Just a few things about drawing in general. Of course you're wondering, okay, this is a watercolor class, why am I learning about drawing? But of course, drawing a sketch is the base and the foundation for the watercolor. There are a few things that you can keep in mind when you're sketching in general. This is just a normal sketch, I'll add a scan later so you can see it a little bit better. As you can see, the line is just a straight line. It's the same line all the way around, which is fine. But another way to really train your eye to think about the weight, aka where the object meets the table or the surface, is to use your pencil and add a light line when necessary whenever you see the object hitting the table is to add more pressure to create a more contrasting line. As you can see here, just with a little bit of nuance in my line work, already I get a much greater sense of the moment because there's more weight. There's already that thicker line adds a little bit more shadow to whatever it was I was drawing. Keep that in mind moving forward in your sketches as well. I hope you're pushed a little bit outside of your comfort zone and now you are loosened up and ready to execute this beautiful still life in watercolor. 6. QUICK COLOR 101: I'm not going to go deep into color theory here, but I will just walk you really quickly through a few tips and tricks on how to use color strategically and also not use the colors directly from the palette itself, which can work if you have a really extensive palette and some watercolors like to make a chart and really map everything out. But at the end of the day, I find that oftentimes your work will be one note and it'll always look the same because you're not mixing up. Let me just break down the essentials of color in an easy way. You have your primary colors, red, yellow, and blue. If you add the next phase of colors, you have orange, purple, and green, which are the secondary colors. If you need a watercolor, draw a circle into three parts and add the primary colors, and then do the same with the secondary colors. Break it down into six parts. This is just Color 3, 101. If you mix yellow and red, you get orange, so on and so forth. Hopefully you know this already, if not, then we've got some work to do. From there I can also use this color wheel to really understand color mixing. For example, if your red is looking too red, you could add a little tiny bit of green, which is the opposite end of the color wheel, and you get a less red, red. You could also add a little bit of black as well, but it's changes the intensity of the color. There's the saturation. I'll talk a lot about how flashy color is. As you can see behind me, some super saturated colors are this pumpkin, these flowers are really fuchsia. The more water you add, the less vibrant or saturated the color will be. You could also add the white which you have in your watercolor kit. But you could also, if you add white, it adds more pigment because the white is essentially the same as watercolor. It's a pigment. It'll add more pigment on the page so you won't get the transparency you would if you added more water to the watercolor itself. 7. WATERCOLOR TIME PART 1 / TECHNIQUES: So delving into watercolor is a little bit complicated because there are many schools of thought as far as how to use watercolor and how to get the results that you want. I am self-taught, so don't be shocked when you see my methods. It's no problem at all but I'm just going to walk you through things that I use and how I conceptualize color and execute it as well. Feel free to adapt to your own personal practice but this is just how I do things. I have my own names for different methods as well. So don't be shocked to learn. I feel like an artist really should develop their own practice in whatever it means necessary. The first method of watercolor is wet on wet. If you know anything about watercolor, you probably know this already. So wet on wet is when you dip your watercolor brush into the water and you get as much water as you can on the brush. You apply it to the surface of your watercolor paper and then you add the pigment on top. In this case here you see that the wet on wet method, it's actually quite evocative of the courgette itself or the zucchini. But the thing about wet on wet is it often reveals itself many moments later when it's fully dried. In this case, I'm really optimizing the planes of this zucchini and I'm going to use the wet on wet method to create each line of the surface of the zucchini and I think that the wet on wet method will be a good option for this. Let me just show you what I'm going to do. I'm going to wet my paintbrush completely and I'm just going to add it on the first line of the plane of the surface of the courgette. Then I'm going to add my color and let that dry and then I'm going to do in the next one. I'm going to add this yellow, just like this and as you can see, just by mapping out this certain plane in particular, that means only that section is getting water and so I'm a little bit more in control than if I were just wetting the whole surface. Even within each method, there are many ways to execute it. So that's the first plane. I'm going to wet the second plane, like this. Oops, a little bit of green, but that's all right. Wet the surface completely rinse your paintbrushes and all things rinsed. That's what I like to say. I'm going to add the yellow again to this plane and then I'm going to let this dry and then I add the next. As you can see, there is some nuance in each method it's not like this is totally out of control and only for abstract things. There are ways that you can use a certain method strategically in your favor. I'm going to paint in the next section and we'll see how that look. In this method, this is what I call 50 percent flood. I'm getting my watercolor brush as wet as possible and then I'm just going to dab it on a paper towel. If it's still wet, but it's not dripping wet, and I'm just going to apply this to the surface here, just like so. This gives me a wet surface that I can blend on. Essentially, I'm blending on the surface itself and then I'm just going to add the color like this. As you can see, this is much more wash like, it's less saturated and it's not moving around like crazy like in the previous method. I'm just going to build this up little by little. This is my go-to method. I use dry on dry, the next method that I'll show you to add detail, but I like this because I'm in control and I feel like I still get that washiness too that I really like. In this case I'm going to just use the planes like it did before and also see how I just added this pigment directly on the page itself. I didn't worry about wetting the surface, but I'd say my go-to technique is really between dry on wet and full flood. So sometimes they add directly to pigment on the page itself. Just because if I know I want that color, then I'm not wasting time adding layer after layer. This is good exercise in being bold too. If you're new to watercolor and you feel like your work is super washy, this is just a good way to really challenge yourself to be bold with color and not lose time with feeling too timid. I'm creating these planes and I still have really good control and when this dries, it's not going to be a complete surprise. I know exactly how it's going to look. At this point it's still wet. This is what I call watercolor go time and I'm going to take the opportunity to add a little bit of texture. I just got the paint brush completely loaded with color and I'm just going to add some little dots like this or stippling and this gives me a little bit of texture. That looks a little bit too strong, so I'm just going to add some more water and just work this out little by little. Already in one go. Not only am I strategic about what I'm doing, but I already get a lot of information as far as what I'm doing. I'm just going to add them more saturated green here, a darker green and I'm just going to build this up like this. Just so once it's water to color go time, I'm adding down as much as I can and the paper really isn't charge of mixing the color itself. So as you can see that's the 50 percent flood method and this final method is dry on dry. So this is almost like painting with gouache. I'm just going to use the color directly from the palette itself and I'm just going to add it wet on wet onto the page. This is perfectly fine if you like this method, but I don't get a lot of transparency. You could add a little bit more water if you wanted the color to be a little bit lighter. This is a good method if you're adding detail on top of something. For example, if you wanted to add the texture to the zucchini and could let this base layer dry and then you could add the detail on top using the dry on dry method. These are just all things to play around with until you find your own signature style but these are just the basics and there are many little nuances in each method as well. As you can see, this is a much more saturated, much more bold. There's not as much nuance, but you of course, can add more water if you need it. These are our three basic methods. The first is wet on wet, 50 percent flood, and dry on dry, so these still aren't completely dry, so time will reveal itself. But in this case, in the first method, the water is really in control of your final results. In the 50 percent flood, the paper is in control and on dry and dry, you are in control. You can use these as you like and really dose them out sparingly depending on what kind of effect you want to have. At this point, paint whatever it is that you are drawing today and using three different methods and really take note of what's working and what's not working and from there you can move on to a final watercolor based on your research paper. Of course, this is very much a variable as far as what kind of watercolor paper you have, the cleanness of your water. There's things that change because it's not looking transparent anymore and of course, the quality of your watercolors. Here is another example too of bananas, and this one was created with the wet on wet method. So as you can see, it's a little bit haphazard and not as precise as the bottom version which was 50 percent flood and then I added the detail on top once the first layer was dry with the dry on dry method. There is no right or wrong, but it really is dependent on what you want your final results will look like. As you can see here, I haven't completed this yet, but I'm just going to add the third line to create that nice definition of the courgette. I'm just going to mix. In case your yellow is looking a little green or like any other color, I'm just going to dab up near the excess pigment like this just to clean it. That's a good way to get out of the inevitable gray zone, which happened a lot in watercolor, so keep your water clean and rinse, for instance, your brush as much as possible. Already as you see, just having three different planes means I have a little bit of the same texture as the surface area of this courgette. I'm just going to add a little bit of green here. This is painting really thick. This is why I love this because it's very gouache like. I'm going to dab on my watercolor, paper towel and I'm just going to build this in like this. So as you can see, this creates really nice definition if that's what you're going for. As you can see this is a mix of three different methods but that's the great thing about exploring watercolor is you can really use it in your favor, once you know what you want to do. 8. WATERCOLOR TIME PART 2 / EXECUTION: Now we're going to execute the courgette, now that I've tried all the different methods. Feel free to do as many experiments as you need to to figure out what method is best for you. Even now, sometimes I'll just sketch and I'll just add some color just to make sure that I feel confident moving forward. I'm just going to walk you through step-by-step in all the micro choices that I'm going to make to execute this beautiful courgette. I found a new ambiance. I like the light in the other room, so that always is helpful. Of course, I'm not drawing from the same light every time. This will just be representation of what's in front of me. The light is coming from the top of the courgette. I'm going to create planes like in the exercises I've done before on my own research. I'm going to put the lightest colors on the top just to give it a good sense of volume. As you can see, I'm mixing the colors little by little. I made a wash and applied it directly to the top just to give it that lightness and that good transparent quality. Tip alert, I added a paper towel under my hand because I know how these things go. I'm just going to start building this up little by little. Another great thing about watercolor or one of the ways you can optimize your time is to work on different things at once. Otherwise, you'll wait forever for each layer to dry. I'm just going to fill in the next layer. As you can see, I'm using a much darker green. I'm adding water a little bit at a time just to create transparency and also to give myself a good amount of volume. As you see, sometimes the surface is wet with some transparent watercolor. I'm always rinsing my brush, rinse and all things rinse. I'm adding water to work the color on the page and to get as much bang for my buck, so to speak. From here, I'm going to merge it into the yellow on the right side. As you can see, I added my saturated yellow. This technique, the paper is doing the work by blending for me and by not adding too much water, at least to have a little bit of control as far as making sure that it does what I want it to do. I got a little bit of a splash attack here, but that's no problem. You can always damp that up with watercolor. I'm going to add a darker layer on the bottom just to give a good sense of weight and shadow already. Each shadow in watercolor, when you're working in color, isn't just black and white, but it really is about finding a darker version of the color. In this case, I added a little bit of orange to the yellow that I'm working with. From here, I'm adding a dark more blue, heavy green on the bottom as well. I'm moving right along here. You can see, I'm just adding some wash-like lines to the stem of the zucchini. This is just a good way to differentiate the highly saturated body of the vegetable and the stem itself. As you can see, I'm putting several colors at once. Then I'm going to add a little bit of water to blend them out. They're applied very much in the dry-on-dry method. As you can see, these techniques are hand-in-hand. The more you get used to them and the more comfortable you feel, the more off the cuff you can go, which is quite exciting actually. I'm just going to use my little paper towel and necessary to dab up any little mistakes. I'm going to keep building little by little. As you can see, the stem is attached to the body and there are these little ribs, I guess you could say to differentiate the stem from the body of the courgette. Much like always thinking about the weight and where the fruit or vegetable hits the table or the surface that it's on, it's always good to add these little details and contrast just to make it pop and to understand the volume. Moving forward, I'm taking a look here. Luckily, I was working on the sun and I could see that this is still wet, so this is what I like to call the watercolor go time. There's a moment or so where the surface is still wet and you can still add detail as much as possible. Very much in the spirit of being bold and painting with color right after that and not torching yourself with layer after layer. I'm going to layer on a few details using stippling, which is adding dots to create a pattern. This gives me a base texture. Then from there, if I want to add more, once this is fully dry then I can go back and do dry-on-dry and add some more little dots just to recreate that texture on the surface of the zucchini. I'm adding this second line since the top layer is completely dry and I'm just going to make it a little bit darker than the top layer just to understand the volume. As you can see, there really is a push and pull as far as getting the watercolor to do what you want it to do, and then also how all the pieces come together. Definitely optimize your time and work on several layers at once. This is better method than looking at Facebook or Instagram or whatever the children are doing these days. I'm just going to keep mixing my colors little by little. This is coming together quite nicely. As you can see, I don't exactly have that zigzag effect as the courgette has, but I think the colors are true to life and I really get a good sense of the volume. Even see how the little touch of white in-between each of these stripes really creates volume as well. Don't be afraid to leave white space. Of course, we can go into as well, saving the white space but also creating other tones within that. Here's my lovely zucchini and or courgette. It looks quite nice, but it's floating in space. That's a problem because there's really no context and it's a little bit disturbing to look at. Instead, I'm going to create a dark wash, add that under the zucchini and then add water little by little to work it out just like this. This is my final zucchini rendering. I'm quite happy with how it looks. I think that the technique of saving little bit of white space here and there and creating those lines really helped us create an evocative entry to life version of this vegetable. Now is your turn to get started and paint with confidence based on all of your research and techniques that you've been developing in the past exercise and ask yourself all those questions from the visual checklist. It's your time to shine. Get to work. Please upload your sketches and work down below and I can give you some feedback. 9. DON'T [email protected] IT UP: [MUSIC] Watercolor is notoriously difficult, so there are few steps that you can take to avoid any mix-ups. The first is to take a paper towel and fold it in half and put it under your hand when you're painting directly on the page itself. This protects the paper from any false [LAUGHTER] moves of the hand that can potentially ruin your watercolor. Another thing that you can do is keep paper towels on hand if ever you have a splash that you don't want or need to double color. It's always great to have a clean kitchen towel or paper towels on hand at all times. Another essential thing that often still happens to me, unfortunately, ten years in is I don't wait for it to dry completely before I use an eraser to remove the pencil line. If I'm using drying them to remove that as well. Make sure that watercolor is completely dry before you rub it or remove a pencil line or anything like that. Sometimes unfortunately this isn't entirely go friendly. But if you've taken your watercolor too far, then sometimes you just have to scrap it. 10. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Before I wrap this up and let you get on your merry way, let me just give you a few illustrated tips to keep in mind moving forward. The first one is to find your muse. This could be something you have already on hand. But the more organic, the more interesting. Just keep your eyes peeled for something that inspires you and it could really be anything. The next one is to draw from life, as you can see from the drawing exercises earlier. This really is important just to connect your eye with your hand and to really start working on that play between what you see and what you can draw. Draw every day if you can and recreate these sketching exercises too. It's really important to maintain your skill set and also develop it if you're not there yet. The next one is to give yourself a visual checklist of all the things to keep in mind when drawing a fruit or vegetable. For example, what is the light source? What is the shadow? The light source determines the white space you're going to save later, which is really important because you're not going to paint that. All these really create a much more authentic and true to life watercolor later on. The next thing is to mix your colors and not use a paint by number style of technique of just using the paint directly from the palette itself, but really mixing colors, understanding how to use them and to apply that to whatever it is that you see. Once again, look, if you are drawing from life, if you have the luxury of drawing from life then all of the information that you need is right in front of you. It's your primary reference and it's everything. Really go back, draw from life if you can, because it really makes a difference. Also if you're drawing over an extended amount of time and you can't take a picture and work from that. But as you see in the drawing exercises earlier, the authenticity of the drawing really is dependent on being in the moment. That's one of the beautiful things about watercolor too. Thank you so much for joining me. Feel free to follow my work. I'm Jessie Kanelos Weiner. Pick up a copy of my New Victory Garden calendar. It's a perfect 2022 gift for a mom, someone who loves food and gardening. You can also see when many reflections and observations on food and fruit and vegetable illustration. Please check out my other Skillshare courses and follow me on Instagram. Thank you so much for your time. Take care and don't drink the watercolor water. Bye.