Paint a Whale with Mixed Media for more Expressive Freedom! | Eline Stolp | Skillshare

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Paint a Whale with Mixed Media for more Expressive Freedom!

teacher avatar Eline Stolp, @elinestolp on insta

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Whale Painting Intro

    • 2. Whale painting Overview

    • 3. Whale painting Supplies

    • 4. Whale painting How to draw

    • 5. Whale painting underdrawing

    • 6. Whale painting Watercolor phase

    • 7. Whale painting Outlines

    • 8. Whale painting Outline bonus

    • 9. Whale painting Dry phase

    • 10. Whale Painting recap

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About This Class

This class shows how I combine watercolor, coloured pencils and more to create expressive Whales with personality and a smile. I elaborate about my choice of materials and techniques throughout the class to give you insights in the artist mind and process. Join me in this fun class with these beautiful and magical creatures of the ocean! 


Meet Your Teacher

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Eline Stolp

@elinestolp on insta


Hi, I'm Eline. I'm an art teacher and mom of two in the Netherlands, taking up illustration as a side thing because creativity is THE way to find a balance in a busy life, I'm sure you agree :) 

You have to know that I have recently launched three different Skillshare Classes on creative subjects: Making a ZINE, Painting a Wheel of the Year with watercolors and Drawing fearlessly on the streets with sidewalk chalk.  If you'd like a notification when next classes go life, make sure you follow me here on skillshare. Thank you for your support!!  

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1. Whale Painting Intro: Hi, I'm Amy. I'm an Dutch art teacher and watercolor artists. In this class we are going to draw a humpback whale. If you are looking for ways to expand your library of effects and materials that you can combine in new ways in order to express your own voice or style better than this class is for you. Also, if you are still a beginner, I think this class will be very good for you because I'll be elaborating a lot about choices I make artistically in like why I choose to draw something in a certain way, or why I choose for certain materials. And that can give you lots of insights. If you have any questions during the class, you can already create a project and ask for advice or feedback. I usually very quick to respond to my Skillshare students. And I love that interaction bit that we can have as a student or a teacher relationship. I'm just here sending out, but also open to help you along the way. So yeah, let's take a look at what you can expect to be doing during this class, okay? 2. Whale painting Overview: We are going to paint a whale in a sequential lesson, No class. We will be importing our whale drawings into Photoshop and create an image with a clear background. So you can use your drawings to create stickers out of them, or Prince, a Notebooks or what not. But for now, let's focus on the analog parts of that process to be able to draw whales, we will first look into their anatomy. We'll be studying some reference material and just practice drawing them. And then after that, we can let go of a specific reference photo to be able to draw our own whale with a movement that you like. Then I will show you my way of using watercolor, which is quite loose, our expressive. And if you're a beginner, maybe a little scary because you might want to be sure you're doing things that rise way. I really believe that we need some looseness and being able to let go of perfectionism when we are creating art. And that's exactly why creating art is such a great activity to do, to recharge your batteries and fuel some flow. After the watercolor phase, we'll throw in dry technique phase, which means I'll be adding more layers of color and texture with both colored pencil and white gel bands for some highlights. And I will show you a way of creating contours without using a brush. And to me that parts of dry techniques is adding a new layer of fun and free, like expressive freedom in creating a piece. Or you're ready to take this class with me and dive in with the whales. Let's get our materials ready. 3. Whale painting Supplies: Here's a list of all the things we will use. You've ever read it as well in the description the no. There's only a few things here to point out as to my choices in material. And that concerns the paper, the colored pencils, and the dip pen. For this project, I choose to use hot press watercolor paper. I use this one by Arches. Hot press means it got like RER and in the production process, which leaves the servers are really soft and smooth. Does Harvey and the texture in the paper left? And for years I used the cold press paper because I really love texture in my watercolors. I'm not sure, but you could see if it's difference here. But anyway, I was using this one or the Winsor and Newton cold press paper and they're good, that is good paper. But for this project, I choose the hot press for couple of reasons. First is the hot pressed paper absorbs the moisture really, really fast, faster than the cold pressed paper does. In the results, the texture of the pigments is more visible because you don't get this tractor, it's bad that texture of the paper. And another reason to choose for hard-pressed paper. For me right now is that use of the dry face dry techniques over the lots of colors. So I can use the color pencils in a very subtle way. If you color over cold press paper, you'll get to see the texture of the paper really clearly. And if you color on the hot press paper, it becomes smooth layer. What kind of paper you use is of course, up to, up to your own preferences and whatever you have at hand. Or maybe budget is also a factor that influences your choice. And that's all, okay. There's no rules as to what stuff you're going to use in this class. But as I said earlier, I just want to give you some insights in why I make certain choices and the things we use as material is already part of that. So yeah. Then about the colored pencils, it took a while for me to start using them in my process. Cause I did experience experi, experiments with them before. Never really liked working with color pencils. And once I had, I guess we're too hard. And also the lighter colors didn't show very well on the darker watercolor layers. So that they just didn't give me the effect that I was going for. But recently I got a new set of watercolors, which are the colors soft pencils from Durban in the UK. And they match my projects are really well. Also they are, they are, they are softer. And these do show over the lot of, sorry. These do show over the watercolor layers. So you may want to test the color pencils that you have in that way, you could alternatively use soft pastels. I know they are very opaque as well, over darker, over a dark background. And again, is not set in stone. I'm just modeling the process of making personal choices and experimenting until you find techniques and supplies that you're really early love. Lastly, I dip pen. That's not really something you'd expect when you're stuck in a watercolor project. I am aware of that, but any type of dip pen will work. I have a couple, but I prefer this this calligraphy one. And well, it just go ahead with whatever you've got. You could also use like this bamboo, bamboo then, or even just a skewer. Just go ahead with whatever you've got and let's experiment and see what results in brain says it may lead to new, fascinating discoveries. That's enough about the supplies. Now, let's go ahead and we will start practicing sketching the humpback whales. 4. Whale painting How to draw: Oh, we need, right now is a sketchbook, drawing pencil and an eraser. Let's talk about drawing from reference. And it'll, for a lot of students, this can be frustrating. They look at drawing, so pictures, and I want to copy them, starting with the line somewhere and trying to follow it along the same path as they see in your reference. Only to end up SEM, they're completely different with a messed up drawing. I teach my students to start looking at basic shapes, main shapes, and sketch them roughly onto paper. First, also tried to find a central line that captures the movements more or less. But that paper to. And then there's a second step which we connect all those loose elements into a hole. And then there's a third step in which we add characteristic features to the drawing, making it more personnel and recognizable, and adding the final lines. So let's try to see what the main shapes are within the anatomy of a humpback whale. There is this round belly, the torso, so to say. And then they have the tail part is coming this way, imagining this B9 continuing from the middle to the back, forming a bit of a triangle. The front end mirrors that triangle, but a bit shorter. Not make an oval shape. Her2, it's been Blaine some kind of a skull that helps to find the place where the eye later on and also might start to flip brush her from here we can already start connecting the shapes together, form a whole. If I'm adding some characteristic features like this small dorsal fin and something they call a partial ridge behind it. Then line of the mouth that follows that, the upper jaw through that and then bends down quite sharply. And that's a place where the front flippers started to come out. On top of that belly oval because he How long does flippers are they almost reach to that dorsal fin and he would continue that line. The fins of the tail are connect sets to detail horizontally, like the tail of an airplane. And it reminds me off the hook as it can't know it used to build stuff with cardboards and make two slits in the pieces and put them together like that. This is the same way of connecting that fins. The flip our shelves, the tail to the whale. Flipper sorta pectoral fins of the humpback whale are very typical, except being very long. They also have these slopes or humps, tubercles there, So kinds of names to be found. But anyway, they remind me of a human hand says that first fronts knob kind of looks like a sum. And then not a finger's, not five in total, but just a row of them. And the other way is more smooth by this kind of shape. Not directly Beck intuitive, like armpits parts. There's a bit of a wave. And then we continue connecting all the parts and shapes all the way to the front. And also that right there it's got this protruding chin with the same NoOps and cubicles on it. And then with a bit of a wave, well, so connecting to that Betty, again, I'm drawing the line of the mouth and seeing where it makes that curves. And usually it just it, it follows that wrinkle of the fin, the armpits, so to say, I like my whale's to smile and it'll, So I make the mouth with a bit of an upturn around the eye there. But in this class for the sake of anatomy studies, I'll go ahead and draw the mouth line like it should be, and then adding some more lines and wrinkles. They are called ventral plates. Because that chin of the chin is its throat. It's expandable when, when the wheel gulps up. Logo, seawater, capture the cradle. And I'm done. That's almost done. Actually, all we need is a few tubercles on the top of its mouth and a flashcard and blowhole right over here. Now finally, the eyes. They are kinda like Allman shaped like human eyes, but they are, are really round and they have this on their phones and protruding both sides. Like when you see a whale, I'm facing front of you. We shape something like this, brand and mouse curving down. And then the eyes will be like, like frog's eyes but on the sides of the head. So it'll, will look oh, directions. And then the whale is complete. We can try to play a little that this shape because this is just a side view. How about we take it to a curvy line of the movement. And then along that line at the Ohio Valley and all the other elements and features, that would be something like this. Connecting, curving down and I continuing to go back to this, the dorsal fin. So you can see with these kinds of building blocks, you can create any kind of movement, any kind of bows that you would like. So just for practice, I'm going to show you two more. And you can try some of your own, just as many as you would need to find the place that you would like to draw for your final project. Just to remember to keep looking at photos, several of them. Then find the main shapes. Find the central line of the movement. Align the main shapes, and then connect them step-by-step and then adding the typical features that belong to the humpback whale. And the last demo is in time-lapse mode. They understand that time is a valuable thing. And the next lesson we'll be jumping into drawing our wheel onto the watercolor paper and start our final projects. 5. Whale painting underdrawing: I chose one of the practice drawings to use flood projects. And keeping that sketch book as a reference next to the watercolor paper. But still following the same steps as we did during plexus. Drawing the main shapes first and then connecting them and then adding more and more characteristic features. As you can see, I only have a loose sheets of watercolor paper. I did not tape it down on the surface because we're not going to use that big amount of water on it. So to chance off the paper, buckling is fairly minimal. Depending on how dark your pencil lines are, you can decide to erase a little of it. So it's still visible enough to paint over. But the, the, the pencil lines won't show as much. I personally like to keep my pencil lines are a little bit feasible though, because I love the sketchiness of it. So I'm not making the lines as light as I used to. And that's all about your personal preference and your style. And you want to put into your works or experiments and test out different ways of doing this so you can make it your own. And improvising a little bit like I'm doing here, drawing a heart shape coming out of the blowhole. It says pray, maybe using it for our texts are some fun. And then we can move on to the first well to call our layers. 6. Whale painting Watercolor phase: I'm only using two colors for this whale and indigo. I've got nine from royal talents already on my palettes. And I've got this orange hibiscus by Prima watercolor confections in my 10 sets and dilute it with a lot of body tension to a beautiful blush, kind of pink, orange color. Michelle, I'm going to use quite a lot of water to make this into the colon. I want creating like a quite a big puddle of it. And using the test sheet to see how dark it actually is. And still a bit dark. So I'm going to dilute it a little extra. And there we go. I'm going to do to Whole Whale in one go to indicate orange allover. And then when that is dried, I'm going to do the indigo as a second layer on top of it. So this is really loose and okay, it's sped up the video. But still, I didn't really care much about drawing within the lines or keeping it needs and even adding a bit splashes. And once it's dried, you can see what the well to color hot press paper creates. There are these dried lines from the areas where the water got soaked in faster than an audit areas. And this is something that is and parts of working with lots of color. And that makes the charm of working with watercolor as well. There's no need to fix it. So same as we did with the orange paint. Create big enough puddle so you can paint the whole whale in one go. And I'm going to add the blue, the top of the whale, leaving the belly and throat and line on the thin and an area around the eye, the blush color that it is. And in watercolor, you usually go from light to dark. And as you can see, this indigo is a lot darker and the blush we have underneath. As for the use of your brush, you can see how I am both using the tip of it and the side of my brush. I'm using the tip to draw along the edge of my shape and then fill with color using the side of my brush. And while you are finishing up those arrowheads, be mindful of the pressure you on your brush. Cause more pressure on your brush means there's printing out a thinner layer of water and pigment. And that, those differences calls Ken calls those hard lines like we saw in the orange layer. And another thing is when you leave a part yet unfinished to work on another part, like now I'm moving from the tail to the fin. I need to keep in check that meanwhile the tail will not completely dry. I want to come back to it while it's still wet so I can blend and stay on the same layer instead of starting a new layer. So even though the color is a bit unpredictable, there are still a lot of things you can do to control whether water flows of other pigments are and how to paint will dry. And as you can see here, I'm moving around the puddle to spread the pigments evenly. And I'm leaving the puddle on the far side of the tail fin. So I know there will be a little bit and a little more darker than the rest. And then move into the third and final layer. This indigo layer has dried. You can go back in again and add some details or darken up a few areas that needs some more. Shadow, making it a little more. And there's a trick to blend in those darker, those extra layers with the layers below. And that's by using clear water like I'm doing here to blend it into the rest of the area. That I can also use the clean and damp brush to pick up big months where it's too much while it's still wet. You can see right here. And you can play with this until you are satisfied. And then we're going to leave this to dry and move on to the next lesson, where we will add the outlines of our beautiful whales. 7. Whale painting Outlines: I'm taking out my calligraphy pen here and also using the brush. So I'm going to use two hands now. So I can outline with the indigo color that I already have my pennants. We're going to create a puddle of quite a dark hue of this paint. And then when the partial is loaded and use that to fill up my dip them like this on the inside of the pen. So just continue doing so until you have quite a, I've had so far already with which you can draw. While using a dip pen, you should say Mr. brush, use a pooling movement, never pushing movement. And also same as the amount of pressure. Means you can vary the thickness of the line. Different from approach is that the dip pen has a fairly precise point and it is easier to control. But you have to keep loading there S over r very often. But it's still like this technique because you can use any color that matches the painting made. I also like doing these details and wavy lines and drawing tree handedly spots and speckles and stuff like that, which matches the texture of the wheels. Zooming in, drawing the lines around the eyes, eyelid, coloring it in. But leaving a highlight I look at that. She's so cute. So let's finish these outlines. Then. We'll have to lease the painting again for awhile because the outlines a pretty wet and it's going to take some time to dry. So that's going to be a good moment to grab a cup of tea. Before you go, don't forget to dry off your dip pen if that's what you've been using. This they can be they can get Hursti, we don't want that. Next lesson. We'll be adding more texture with our colored pencils. 8. Whale painting Outline bonus: So if you don't have fancy calligraphy depends and stuff like that. There's a few other options that I'd love to show you. And that includes a bamboo pen and a secure. And I'm using the same technique to load up those pens, sticks with the paint. And then I'm just gonna go ahead and practice and test stuff out, hearing my sketchbook. And as you can see, the paint flow is pretty nice with this bamboo pen. And then this cure is a little bit thinner, are in luck thinner, but also just from the supermarket. And it works very nice. Bamboos cure. And I will definitely be using these as well in my car, gets my future projects. 9. Whale painting Dry phase: So let's just take a good look at our whale as it is right now. The lines have dried, but to my preferences, the color is still a bit too flat. So I'm taking out my colored pencils and I'm using colors. Match, then pains, indigo mins, a blush pink, darker pink rooms. And I am using the indigo pencil to accentuate, accentuate some shadows and details. And also to bring back some of those pencil lines that we painted over earlier. And I just think this gets to design more character. And then I'm using the green pencil to two, give the illusion of depth, suggesting that the tail is farther away and thereby it's called Art greenish by the ocean. And since these pencils are quite soft, I can use my finger to blend in the color with the underlying layers. And then moving on to the light pink. And with that color, I'm gonna touch the protruding bits of the whale bag of chips. So fix fins and forth in blowhole around it's I and this chin. And following the lines of those ventral pleats. Oh, it's tripped. And again, you can blend in the lines a little bit, soften them a little bit by rubbing over with your finger. And then I'm using the darker pink to color in the cheek, giving it a blush and also adding to its personality. So finally, taking out the orange pencil to go over the lines of throat again for some more color variation. And also I'm taking out the indigo again to be a data bit of shadow there, the bottom of the throat. And again, improvising and drawing some outlines for the splatters we have on there. And well, just finishing up like that. All we need now is few highlights and we'll add them in seconds. Parts of this lesson. Further highlight. I like to use a jelly roll. Cut this pen from Saqqara. And you could alternatively use white being the lightest pencil, but a lead pencil wouldn't stand out as much as this gel pen does because this paint off history is pretty opaque. So starting with it, I just touching on the highlights that I already left. But in some cases, it could use a little more brightness. I'm also going over old parts of the wheel. When light from above would HIT, going to put a little highlight there. So that includes the dorsal fin, all the tubercles around its mouth, the blowhole, and the pectoral fins. These highlights really make the design books. And finishing up. This is the final result. 10. Whale Painting recap: So there we are at the end of the class. Look at what you made. Isn't it awesome? It may look a little bit lag my demo or completely different, and both is awesome. You learnt so much. Let's recap what we have gone over, okay? First, you learned to choose your own specific supplies and test them for desired effects. And you learn to apply those watercolor washes in a direct freehand way. And you outline them with watercolor too. Then we use color pencils and white gel pen to give you a whale more texture and dimension, I love to see all the difference results because each and every we'll expresses your personal choice as your personality. And if you want to share something about your experiences and own choices in texts, you can add that as well in the projects gallery. And we're going to read it and give some encouraging feedback to each other as well. In the sequential class, we will take our whales or any artwork that you have and put them in Adobe Photoshop. So we can create some shapes with a clear background to get a notification when that class or other classes go live, you can follow me as a teacher. I wish you a lot of smiling lines from your painting moments and see you again soon. Yeah.