Still Lifes are Cool! Contemporary & Traditional Art in Acryla Gouache | Dylan Mierzwinski | Skillshare

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Still Lifes are Cool! Contemporary & Traditional Art in Acryla Gouache

teacher avatar Dylan Mierzwinski, Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

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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

26 Lessons (2h 14m)
    • 1. Acryla Gouache Still Life Intro

    • 2. Class Project and Resources

    • 3. Materials

    • 4. Still Life Inspiration

    • 5. Working from Reference Photos

    • 6. Acryla Gouache Overview

    • 7. Color!

    • 8. Traditional Study Overview

    • 9. T1: Tonal Ground

    • 10. T2: Contour Sketch

    • 11. T3: Adding in Dark Values

    • 12. T4: Adding in Highlights

    • 13. T5: Color Blocks Pt 1

    • 14. T5: Color Blocks Pt 2

    • 15. T6: Refining

    • 16. T7: Final Details

    • 17. Contemporary Study Overview

    • 18. C1: Contour Sketch

    • 19. C2: First Layer of Paint

    • 20. C3: Color Correcting

    • 21. C4: Adding in Expressive Dark Values

    • 22. C5: Adding in Highlights

    • 23. C6: Details and Decoration

    • 24. Publishing your Project!

    • 25. BONUS: Paint-by-number Still Life Project

    • 26. Thank you!

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About This Class

In this beginner-friendly painting class, students will follow artist and Illustrator Dylan Mierzwinski through two still life demonstrations with Acryla gouache (it's a matte and flat acrylic paint adored by illustrators!) - one in a traditional style, relying on value, color mixing, and building layers - the other in a contemporary, graphic, and self-expressive style. Students will get to see how art and painting fundamentals never go out of style, and yes, still lifes can TOTALLY be cool. Don't forget about the bonus paint-by-number still life included in the class resources!


Meet Your Teacher

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Dylan Mierzwinski

Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

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My name's Dylan and I'm a strange combination of creative endeavors. From mixing cereals and making sand art as a kid, to graphic design, illustration, sewing, and general craft enthusiasm as an adult, creating and making beautiful things has not only been my constant, but an obsession. With an everlasting love of learning and trying things with my own hands, I've found joy in sharing what I've learned along the way in my eight years as a professional graphic designer turned illustrator. I believe in taking small steps forward, community over competition, fresh flowers, and Michael Scott quotes.

I'm so happy to share this creative space with you!


P.S Let's be insta-buddies :) and if you post any projec... See full profile

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1. Acryla Gouache Still Life Intro: I think, well, I mean, at least for me, the idea of a still life used to conjure up images of middle school art classes and trying to draw wine bottles that always look crooked and lop-sided. Sure, still life can be that. But it's really a canvas like anything else and becomes what you make of it. My name is Dylan Mierzwinski, an artist and illustrator living in Phoenix, Arizona. I want you to paint two still lifes with me. One in a traditional method that helps us understand fundamentals like value in color mixing, building up a painting in stages. Then another in a contemporary style, where we take all of those fundamentals and intersect them with our own self-expression and preferences. Best of both worlds. Together, we'll get inspired and talk about materials. I'll show you the acrylic wash we'll be using and explain why it's awesome. We'll cover color fundamentals, and then we'll work through both painting studies. By the end of this class, you'll not only have two pieces of completed art, but I hope you'll be itching to find your next reference and get painting because it feels really good to look at an image and know exactly where you're going to start with your blank page. Hey, for days when you're just looking for something light, a small project to pull you in, I've also provided a bonus paint by numbers still life. Come paint with me. Let me show you why it's still lifes are cool and a great stop along your creative journey. 2. Class Project and Resources: In this lesson, we're going to cover the class project as well as the provided class resources and how to access them. We're also going to chat about a fun bonus project I've included. For your class project, you're going to paint along with me to create two still life paintings from a reference photo. The first will be a traditional rendition of the reference photo, which will get us up to speed with sketching, interpreting values, mixing colors from a limited palette, and building up the painting in layers. The second still life will be a contemporary interpretation of our reference photo, we'll take the crucial information we learned from painting the subject in the traditional style and use it to create a striking and self-expressive contemporary piece. Even if painting traditionally isn't your end goal, by learning the traditional method, you have a reliable way to interpret images and recreate them on your page. It also helps you really get to know your subject matter. While the contemporary version may be the one you like more, it relies on the structure and fundamentals of the traditional to really drive it home. I guess what I'm trying to say is I really hope you'll do both paintings with me to really reap the benefits of this course. I've provided a few class resources to help you with your project. Anytime a Skillshare class mentions class resources, they're talking about the attachments they've included on this class project and resources tab, over on the right-hand side. If you're on a mobile device, the app will provide a link that says, "Tap here to access the class project details and class resources." As you might expect, it takes you to a browser page with the resources ready to be accessed. Here are the resources I've included in this class to help you along. Firstly, I've provided you with two versions of a reference photo, one in full color, the other in grayscale with the crosswise grid to mark the center points. It'll be more impactful for you to follow along with the references I'm using, but if you'd like to choose something else or are looking for something to paint after we finish our bowls of cherries, I've provided a link to a gallery of other reference images I think would make really lovely paintings. Additionally, if you're wanting to set up a true still life and paint from observation, I've supplied some articles with tips for composition and props, as well as instructions for making a picture plane to help frame your scene. We're going to cover materials in the next lesson, but there's also a detailed materials list included in the class resources. I've linked to some of the products, where it makes sense and FYI, those are not affiliate links, just plain old hyperlinks that take you to a page on the Internet. In a few lessons, we're going to chat inspiration so I've listed the artists I mentioned in the class resources for easy finding. Lastly, I've included a fun bonus project in the form of a paint by number contemporary still life. Artists create for all types of reasons, and so while the main class project really helps us build our technical and stylistic skills, I wanted to provide a bonus project for the tired, burned out, or weary creative among us. This template will provide marked areas to paint with specified colors, along with guided instructions to allow you to leisurely create a still life on a lazy afternoon. The paint by number project has its own video lesson at the end of the class. In the next lesson, we'll cover materials. 3. Materials: In this lesson, we're going to cover all the necessary and optional materials to complete your still lifes, don't forget a detailed list is provided with the class resources as shown in the last lesson. First is the star of the show, Acryla Gouache. Now, Acryla Gouache is actually going to get its own detailed lesson after this. But basically, Acryla Gouache is a flat matte, opaque paint that makes dreams come true, Acryla Gouache may not make dreams come true. The colors needed to complete each project in this class are listed in the class resources materials list. If you already own a regular acrylic paint and want to jump in, you'll absolutely be able to follow along and create beautiful paintings. The main reason I use Acryla Gouache over regular acrylics is because of its illustrative qualities. The flatness of the paint makes it much easier to scan and manipulate in a digital space, and I just love how powerfully pigmented and opaque the paint is. But like I said, you're welcome to follow along with what you have. Next, we need a surface to paint on. I'm actually going to be working in my sketchbook, it's a Strathmore 500 series soft cover mixed media journal. There's two reasons I'll be working in my sketchbook as opposed to separate sheets of paper or canvas. Firstly, it focuses the class on the painting processes and techniques themselves. Secondly, painting on camera while trying to demonstrate and teach is very intimidating, and my sketchbook has become a very safe place for me to show up. However, if you don't want to paint in a sketchbook, here are some options. If you want to work on paper, a budget friendly brand I love is Canson XL Watercolor paper. I like to buy in pads and tape off my painting area with painter's tape or cut the pieces down to size. If you're looking for a fine artist grade paper, I'd recommend getting an Arches Hot Press Watercolor block. Arches paper is made from cotton as opposed to Canson's cellulose, and it's priced by fine artists around the world, the price reflects this. The hot press refers to the smoothness of the paper, which is closest to my sketchbook paper and the Canson paper, though you're absolutely welcome to use a more textured cold press. The word block means the paper is glued down on the side so no clips or tape is needed to keep it from buckling. You can remove a completed sheet from the block by sliding a bone folder or skinny paintbrush tip into the opening at the bottom and carefully sliding around the perimeter. If you want to work on canvas or wood boards, go for it. I recommend getting one already primed with gesso, essentially a specialized and thinned out white paint that primes your painting surface. I'd also recommend starting small if this is your first time, to keep the project manageable. Next, we'll need some brushes. I don't want you to get too hung up on getting the exact brushes I have, but more so getting brushes that you like that accomplish the same things that mine do. Here's what I mean. I have three categories of brushes, brushes for filling large areas of space, brushes for redefining shapes and adding expressive strokes, and brushes for details. For filling large areas of space, I like a larger round brush or a flat brush. For refining shapes and adding expressive strokes, I love a smaller, medium-sized round brush, a filbert brush, which has these rounded edges and a flat brush. For finer details, I like smaller round brushes as well as a liner brush, which has long bristles that hold a lot of paint but dispense it evenly as you glide across the page. The exact brushes I'm using are listed in the materials list in the class resources. Now one other thing that honestly took me a long time to catch onto is that brushes and brush sizes are not standard. A size three round brush in one brand maybe a completely different size than a size three round brush of another brand. For this, it's helpful to pay attention to any measurements provided, especially if you're purchasing online. Also, some brushes have long handles and some have short, and sometimes the sizes of the same brand between handle sizes can change. A long handle size three round might be smaller than a short handle size three round of the same brand. Why? Obviously brush manufacturers are playing a very long game trying to drive us all crazy, and it's working. Since it's all madness, just know there's no right or best brush, buy what you can afford, try it out and recalibrate. One last thing about long handle and short handle brushes. With long handle brushes, you can move your hand further up the brush handle, allowing your strokes to become more loose and expressive. Whereas a short handle requires a more controlled grip and therefore a more controlled stroke. During and after painting, don't leave your brushes sitting in jars of water as this can break them down prematurely. When you finish painting, promptly rinse your brushes with warm water and mild hand soap if necessary, and dry excess water with a paper towel or towel. We'll then need a surface to mix our paints on. Some that I recommend are an old plate or a dish that you can fully dedicate to art purposes, or an enamel tray or a glass palette or even plastic coated disposable palette paper, which is definitely the least environmentally friendly of the pack, so definitely something important to keep in mind. We'll need a vessel to hold water, as well as some paper towel or a dedicated painting towel. You can either look at the reference photos on your computer or print them out, but either way you want to have them handy to refer to. Some other tools that aren't required but may expand your options are colored pencils to use under sketching, I like these Prismacolor Col-Erase colored pencils because they're erasable, but I do recommend using your own eraser as the ones on the pencils often leave a pink residue behind. You can use a regular pencil for this, or even just a small brush and paint. But erasable colored pencils allow you to sketch with the tone or color palette in mind and don't leave as obvious graphite dust behind when you paint over it as with a regular pencil. In the end though, whatever you choose is going to be 98 percent covered by other paint, so that's why this is an optional material. You'll notice that I supply the reference photo in full-color as well as grayscale with guides. This makes it much easier to see the underlying values in a piece, as well as makes the composition easier to draw on a paper. If you already have and use Photoshop, this is a great tool to be able to desaturate your images, aka make them black and white as well as any other manipulations that may make it easier for you to work. If you don't have Photoshop, even a photo editing app on your phone is a great option to create a grayscale version of your photo. Whatever app you're using, you want to look for a desaturation slider and slide it all the way to the left to drain that hew out. Luckily, I've already taken care of our cherry bowl reference, but if you get a hankering to paint beyond this class, which I hope you do, this can be a really helpful way to make your reference photos more informational. If you're just taking this class for fun, then looking at a color wheel online will totally be sufficient. But as I've started to paint more, it's been really helpful to have a reference like this on hand, we're actually going to talk about it more in the color lesson coming up. You may want a ruler for drawing guidelines on your paper, though I tend to eyeball it. You may also want to a spray bottle to keep your paint wet on your palette while working for extended periods of time. A small palette knife, while more helpful with true acrylic paints can aid when test mixing colors so as to not bog down your brush bristles. This is listed as optional though because the amount of Acryla Gouache that gets squeezed out at any given time isn't usually enough to knife around without turning it into a thin layer that quickly dries out. But like I said, it's been really helpful for me to like test mix colors with. If you're looking to make your paint as economical as possible, I would recommend purchasing these lidded containers that allow you to scoop some paint in, close the top and keep it fresh for painting beyond one session. Lastly, if you're working in a sketchbook like me, you'll want some binder clips to hold the pages down. If you're working on separate sheets of paper or want to create a border around your painting, some painter's tape will take care of you. In the next lesson, we'll start getting inspired and start wetting our still life appetites. 4. Still Life Inspiration: In this lesson, we're going to cover what still life is and can be and some artists I'm inspired by. Well, at least for me, the idea of a still life used to conjure up images of middle-school art classes and trying to draw wine bottles that always looked crooked and lop-sided and sure, still life can be that. But it's really a canvas like anything else and becomes what you make of it. In its essence, still life is the painting of inanimate objects, except plants and flowers are allowed and accepted. I love still lifes now because they tell a story by slicing out a little moment of life that may have been otherwise overlooked. They also don't bring with them the overwhelm of depicting characters or large landscapes. Lastly, my favorite part, they're just begging you to add your spin. Want to do a traditional piece of an old sitting chair and a cup of coffee? Do it. Want to totally flatten out a classic fruit scene and cover it in shapes and bold colors? Do it. It's a really exciting and informative and broad subject matter and so I think it's a really good idea to take some time to look around at what other artists have created to see what stands out to you. Here are a few traditional and contemporary artists I'm inspired by if you'd like a starting place. Beginning with traditional works, let's start with Charles Ethan Porter, an American painter who lived from 1847 to 1923. He studied art and was one of the first African Americans to exhibit at the National Academy of Design in New York City. His fruit pieces are of special note because they were atypical in their exclusion of glassware, silverware, porcelain, and other tableware often seen depicted in still life. He let the natural beauty of the subject matter be the star. When I look at Porter's work, I'm inspired by bold contrast, thoughtful highlights, subtle and realistic strokes, and unfussy and intriguing composition. Next, I'd like to talk about Rachel Ruysch, a Dutch painter who lived from 1664 to 1750. Her works were appreciated for their dimensional, natural, and accurate depiction of a variety of flower personalities, all rendered in brilliant color against moody dark backgrounds. When I look at Ruysch's work, I'm inspired by the drama juxtaposed with weightless petals and dancing light. I also appreciate her straightforward compositions, allowing the towering bouquet to stand tall in the center of the canvas. Next we're going to talk about Henri Matisse, the French painter who lived from 1869 to 1954. While still life painting is not all Matisse is known for, there's certainly some of my favorite works from the painter. I like that Matisse's still life depict flattened subject matter, often livened up with unexpected color or pattern applied to them. I'm sure art scholars would disagree, but to me Matisse's still lifes border on illustrative bridging the gap between fine art and a playful vision or message or story. Moving into today, an artist I love to follow on Instagram is Heather Ihn Martin. She paints everyday scenes and objects in gouache and oil and transforms them into art. I think what inspires me most about her work is the references and scenes she's painting from never seemed that exciting or interesting to me. Then she paints them and they're beautiful and interesting. It reminds me that sometimes just rendering any boring old thing in our hand is more than enough. She's generous with her process and has a Patreon where she shares painting demos and Q&A's. Find her @heatherihnart and at Next step is Ekaterina Popova, another artist whose work I enjoy seeing on Instagram. She works in oils and focuses on interiors a lot, which I consider part of the broader still life category. Her work is vibrant and bold, the brushstrokes are confident and I love how she sets a definite vibe and mood with her color palettes. She's not only a skilled and inspiring painter, she also provides support in classes for fellow artists and business owners. Find her at Katerinaspopova and Another artist I follow is Sarah Ingraham. Her still lifes have that illustrative quality that Matisse's do, but are a little cleaner and feel like folk art to me. She has a knack for florals and bringing pink and blue to life. You can find her @sarahingraham. This is just the tip of the iceberg with still life creations. But I think it begins to demonstrate just how widely this art can range. So take a virtual art tour and get your wheels turning as we move forward with our project. The next lesson we're going to talk about working from reference photos. 5. Working from Reference Photos: In this lesson, we're going to cover the reference photo we'll be using, how to look for your own references, and what to look for, and how to manipulate your photos to assist with painting. For my demonstration of both the traditional and contemporary techniques, we're going to be working from this cherry bowl image by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash. You're absolutely welcome to set up a true still life and paint from observation. I've supplied some helpful information in the class resources if that's what you're interested in. But if you're just starting, using a reference image, or even taking a photo of a still life you've set up, takes the pressure off to figure it all in one time sitting, or to capture the light in a certain time. If this image doesn't strike you, or if you're looking for something to conquer after we finish our cherry bowls, I've put together a gallery on Unsplash and linked to it in the class resources. You can also go and find your own reference images. But if you do that, make sure you don't just go to Google or Pinterest and find any old image. Every image that you find online has rights tied to it, and you don't want to steal from others. Unsplash is an awesome resource to use because any image you find on there is free to use for personal or professional use. When you're looking at reference photos, here are a few things to look for. The first is to start simple. A single object or focal point may look boring in a photo, but when it comes to painting, especially starting out, keeping things simple keeps the overwhelm down, giving you a better shot at actually working on, completing, and learning from the project. Piggybacking off the first tip. The next is to keep your reference's true still lives and to avoid figures or complex landscapes. Not forever, just to follow along with this class and demonstration. My third tip is to look for photos with a broad, interesting, or exciting range of values. If everything is moody and dark, or blown out and white, or similar in tone, it'll be harder to create an image that clicks together and drives home the form and atmosphere of your still life. When you look at an image, try to pinpoint where the lightest parts are, where the darkest parts are, and if the tone ranges from dark to light, your golden. Lastly, especially for our contemporary still-life, look for a reference photo that gives you opportunities to show your personality. This can happen through the subject matter, like pretty cocktails, or cozy blankets, or retro toys. But it can also happen through surfaces, dishes, canisters, walls, book spines, all are surfaces for us to add our spin through print, and pattern, color, and or detail. For instance, I think it would be really funny to create a more realistic depiction of a classic book scene like a traditional take, but all the spines have different absurd titles, like Cat Astronauts for Dummies, and The Secrets of Highly Effective Tacos. An FYI, I'm just providing these tips for those of you that must break out of the mold and do not want to follow along with what I'm doing, which is totally fine, and for your adventures beyond this class. But if you're just starting out, I really recommend just sticking with me and following along with the bowl of cherries. The last thing I want to discuss in terms of reference photos is to make them work for you. As you know, I've provided the cherry bowl image in two versions, one full color and one gray scale with center markings. As you'll hear over and over, value is a really important piece of information to extract from a photo. When your first training your eyes to see, it can be difficult to differentiate these values from their hue. Making the image gray scale strips out the confusing information, so we can really see those values. The center markings, as you'll see, will make the sketching process so much less overwhelming. If you happen to already have and use Photoshop, taking your references in and adding a hue saturation adjustment layer and guides, can really enhance the process of translating your reference to your page. If you don't have Photoshop, sending the photo to your phone and using a photo editing app will allow you to see the photo in gray scale. My preferred photo editing app is Lightroom, but a solid free one to try is Snapseed from Google. Next, we're going to talk about acrylic gouache. 6. Acryla Gouache Overview: In this lesson, we're going to cover what Acryla gouache is, how to use it and how to store it. Holbein Acryla Gouache is a specific brand name of acrylic gouache which is what we're really talking about here. It's a vibrant acrylic paint, meaning after it dries, it cannot be reanimated with water but unlike regular acrylic paint, acrylic gouache is opaque and the dry texture is flat, matte and a bit velvety. As an illustrator, I really appreciate it because I can paint vibrantly while keeping my work flat and matte and totally scannable. Regular gouache is more like watercolor in that the dry paint layers can be reanimated once it comes in contact with water. While regular gouache is layerable to a point, acrylic gouache is virtually limitless in its layerability. If you'd like to learn more about acrylic gouache in the context of regular gouache and even watercolor, I'd recommend checking out my class, Getting to know Your Paint, which I've linked to you in the notes below. A tube of acrylic gouache lists the color name on the front, as well as some information about the hue, value and chroma or saturation of the color. Don't worry, these terms will make more sense in the next lesson. The back of the tube also supplies the pigments within the paint and rates the opacity of the color. Colors with a low-star rating are less opaque and a bit streakier in a single layer, whereas high-star ratings are very opaque. To use acrylic gouache, you'll want to mix the paint with water to create your desired consistency. You can use gouache water down to create a textured washy look or you can keep it thick and opaque in all stages in between. Not all pigments are the same, so some colors will be naturally stickier than others, but layering on top of a previously dry layer can help with this. If you go into a wet paint area with more paint, you can blend the colors together. This is known as wet-on-wet. If you go onto a dry paint area with more paint, you can create sharp layers of varying light and dark. This is known as wet-on-dry. You'll get a better feel for acrylic gouache as we move through the demonstrations. If you plan on using regular acrylic paint, keep in mind the texture and effect may not be the exact same as demonstrated, but you'll still be able to practice the fundamentals being taught with success. If you're planning to use a regular gouache, be sure your layers are extra dry before layering on top. Since acrylic gouache cures all the way, the paint stays in the tube until it's time to paint. Try to only squeeze out little bits at a time to keep it from drying out too quickly and being wasted. If you're mixing custom colors and are going to be painting beyond one session, you can try using a stay-wet palette or putting the paint in leaded canisters to keep it fresh. I like to keep my tube separated by color temperature, which we'll actually talk about in the next lesson, with neutrals being in their own section for easy finding. Next, we're going to talk about color. 7. Color!: In this lesson, we're going to cover color basics, color temperature, color relationships, mixing colors, and swatching colors. We're going to start by talking about the primary colors; blue, red, and yellow. Now, these are pure colors that can't be mixed from any other colors. You can mix virtually any color hue from these three colors. Let me show you by painting a color wheel. I'll start by swatching down our red or primary magenta, yellow, and blue, in this case, ultramarine blue. Any color I get from mixing two of these colors is known as a secondary color. Mixing red and yellow, I get orange, mixing red and blue, I get purple, and mixing yellow and blue, I get green. Now if I mix a primary color with a neighboring secondary color, like red and orange, I get a tertiary color. In this case, red, orange, orange and yellow make yellow orange, yellow and green makes yellow green, etc as we move around the color wheel. What we explored here is known as hue, and it's one part of what makes up color. When someone says something is blue or something is green, they're talking about the hue of the color. Value is the second part of a color definition, and it refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. White is the lightest value, and black is the darkest value. Shades of gray make up the scale in between. Working with my color wheel here, if I mix a color and add white, I'm able to lighten that hue's value, and this is called the tint. If I mix a color and add black, I'm able to dark in the hue's value, and this is called the shade. If simply saying blue describes the hue, saying dark blue would describe the value and the hue. The last part of the color definition is saturation, sometimes called chroma, and refers to the intensity of the color. Here we can see how our color definition is much more descriptive if we bring our blue example back. If I say dark muted blue or dark bold blue, we're able to picture two different blues in our head. We'll talk about this more in a minute. But if I mix the color and add gray, I'm able to tone down the color or bring it saturation down a little bit. To brighten it backup, you would want to add more pure pigment or hue to bring it back to life. Additionally, you can mix a color with its complement or opposite on the color wheel to tone it down or to mix in neutral. But again, we're going to cover that in a minute. Another helpful descriptor for color is its temperature. This works two ways. In general, it's accepted that the colors from yellow down to red violet are warm colors. The other half of the color wheel, the greens, the blues, and the purples are cool colors. Think of the hot yellow sun versus the cool blue water. We can also use temperature to compare two similar colors. While green is technically a cool color, a yellow green is warmer than a Kelly green. Yellow, a warm color can have cool yellows and warm yellows. Now that we're talking about this, we can go back to the primaries we pulled to create our color wheel. One thing to note is ultramarine is a very warm blue. When warm blues are mixed with warm or cool yellows, they create very warm and sometimes a bit desaturated of a green, pink olive and leaf green. While blue is certainly a primary color, not all blue pigments are created equal. If I bring in primary cyan, a cooler blue and mix that with my yellow. The green, we get is much more gem toned, cooler and create much brighter hues of turquoise and bright green that ultramarine just can't quite conquer. If you really want to be able to mix all of the colors, especially your full range of greens, it'll be helpful to have both a warm and a cool blue. If I only had to choose one, I might actually go cool blue because I think you'd have a better shot of warming up a cool blue than cooling off a warm blue. You follow? When we work on our traditional study, we're going to use a minimal palette of titanium white, burnt umber, ultramarine, primary magenta, and primary yellow. The reason for this is ultramarine is generally better suited for traditional painting as the greens and colors that it mixes aren't overly vivid or intense. As you move forward in your painting journey though, you may take on references that have more vivid colors, in which case, it'll be helpful for you to have this understanding if you prefer mixing from a limited palette. When it comes time to combine colors to make a color palette, there are certain color relationships that sing in harmony together. One you may already be familiar with, is monochromatic or sticking to a single hue and varying the saturation and value. Another common one is analogous, which means using colors that are next to each other. Complimentary colors are ones that sit across from each other on the color wheel. These palettes are pleasing for their contrasts they bring to a piece. From there, the harmonies get a little bit more complex. I have this color wheel here and on the back it actually has a cool quick reference for creating palettes with these relationships. If I put the spinner on a color, I can follow the arrows to see what colors I can pair with the main hue to create a cohesive palette. But here's one of my favorite most used and practical ways to use the color wheel and these color relationships while painting. When you mix two complimentary colors together, you make a neutral. These colors work like a tug of war affecting the others saturation. For example, oftentimes greens come out of the tubes just too vivid and really need to be toned down. Now, earlier we talked about using a mix of gray to tone down a color. But I want to show you the difference between mixing a gouache color with gray and mixing that same color with its complement. Let's use green, as I mix it in with an even mix of black and white or gray, you can see the color becomes more opaque and certainly less saturated. It's a little duller, but it also came out with almost a filminess to it. This is the effect of white gouache, even as part of a gray mix being added to a color. It's a beautiful mix, but sometimes you want to tame the saturation of a color without making it milky. This is where compliments come in. Across the color wheel is warm, bold red. I'm going to add just a dab of scarlet paint to this green. If I were sticking to the primaries, I would need a little yellow and magenta to make a warmer red to offset the green. Notice how it immediately tones down the green without lightening the paint or making it more opaque. That's the power of compliments and it really helps take a color down a notch and intensity. I now want to show you the process for attempting to mix a color that you see. This color swatch here is showing one of my favorite acrylic gouache colors olive. If I happen to run out of olive, I wouldn't have to fear because what I know about color theory, I bet I can mix it. First we're going to start by picking out the most obvious hue, which in this case is yellow. If the main hue were a secondary color like orange, green, or purple, I would mix that and then start there. But since this happens to be a primary, I can squeeze some yellow out onto my palette and begin. I'm going to swatch as I go so that we can see the color evolution. Next, we're going to compare this color to our reference and see what we notice. The first thing I see is the color temperature. The yellow I have is a lot cooler than my olive and I know that I can warm this up by adding a little bit of magenta. Since an even mix of the two would make orange, I'm going to go a little lighter on the magenta just to tint it. Now when I compare the colors, I can see the color is warmer but still not quite right. It looks too orange. What do I do if I want to lower a color's intensity? I look to its compliment, which is blue. I'm going to add a dab of blue. The hue is starting to look really good, but now the value isn't quite right. I'll adjust that by adding a touch of white and if I add too much of a color, I can balance it out by adding in the pigments that are missing. I'm able to get pretty close here. Of course, if the color you're trying to mix is very much darker or lighter than the color, then you're going to need to bring in those neutrals in order to get the value of the mix correct. Before we head into the traditional demo, I have two tips for your gouache. The first is to make color swatches. It can be as simple as putting a few blobs on a piece of paper and labeling the colors, but I recommend making separate swatches that you can shuffle through and group together, especially because the cap color on the tube is often not an accurate representation of the actual paint color. I use large sheets of Canson XL watercolor paper and use painter's tape to create a grid. I paint the swatches and the windows, let it dry, remove the tape, and cut them apart. I make a quick note of the color on the back and I'm good to go. You'll see how we'll use these in the contemporary study. Finally, if you think you'll be painting regularly in the future, and I really hope you will. I would highly, highly recommend making a color mixing chart. It's a reference for you to be able to quickly see how all of your paints mix together, allowing them to really go the distance. I share the process for how to make one in my class, getting to know your paint specifically in lesson 4, it's linked as a note on this lesson. That was a lot of information, but hopefully I've been able to give you really practical knowledge around color and color mixing. In the next lesson, we'll go over the traditional study. 8. Traditional Study Overview: In this lesson, we're going to go over the process for the traditional study. In our traditional study, our goal is to recreate our reference photo utilizing observation, color mixing from a limited palette, and paint layering. I've said it earlier in the course, but even if painting traditionally isn't your end goal, practicing this skill really helps us to take all the pertinent information from a reference photo and wield it intentionally. Here's the order in which we'll build our painting. First, we'll pick a color to use to cover our page. This color helps immediately tone down the bright white of the page and gives us a middle ground to build in dark and light values. This tonal ground can set a mood for the painting, and often this underlying color will shine through in the bits of the finished piece, adding depth and interest. After the background layer dries, we'll do a contour sketch using center guides to ease the process. We'll then use burnt umber to start blocking in darker values using our grayscale reference photo to help. After our dark values are added in, it's time to add the lightest highlights with titanium white. With the completion of this step, our underpainting and skeleton for the painting is ready. The next step is to begin applying blocks of color. We'll mix colors from our limited palette, getting them as close to the reference photo as we can. From there, the name of the game is layering the paint to correct values and complete the picture. We'll finish it off by using our small brushes to add finishing details, and we'll high-five ourselves because we didn't even know we could paint this way, but we totally just did. In the next lesson, we'll get the paint out and work on our traditional study. 9. T1: Tonal Ground: All right. We're ready to jump right into our traditional study. I've got both references printed out here. I've got the full-color one and I also have the gray-scale one that has the center guides on it. I've got my limited color palette up here: titanium white, burnt umber, and ultramarine, primary yellow, and primary magenta. I've got a palette knife, I've got my brushes here. I've got some water ready to go, mixing palette, sketchbook. You can see it's clipped down with this clip that's going to help keep the page secure. Then I also have my color wheel, handy-dandy and ready to go to reference as needed. I have my ruler here too, just in case. The cool thing is, is the very first step of a traditional study, you can't mess it up. Even if you get it wrong, it can be corrected later. So it's nice. The first step is the painting and underpainting. We don't even have to sketch first. We're literally just going to cover this entire sheet of paper in color to start off with the tone or mood. In this case, I'm going to choose a neutral because the overwhelming tone of this image is neutrality. We've got these taupes and browns and tans in here and then the background is gray. Then of course we have the pops of yellow and deep red from the cherries. When you're considering the underpainting, you either want to go with the color that is the majority that speaks to you, or just your artistic idea of what color you want to have shining through. The underpainting, like I said we might paint over it, but it really is just going to peek through and all of these places and it gives us a really nice starting spot so that we're not trying to create values off of white. I'm going to try and mix a light brown-gray. I'm going to start with the cue that is closest to that, which is my burnt umber. I'll squeeze some of that out. Now I can already see with my eyes that this color is going to be too dark, and so I'm probably going to lighten it with some white. I don't always lighten with white. Sometimes I lighten with yellow or a different color, but in this case we know that the value of this needs to come up a lot. We're just going to grab one of the brushes that is larger and great for covering a large amount of area. I like to use my size 10 or size 16 round. In this case, I think I'm going to go really big. Sometimes when I'm still getting a color, figuring out what the color is going to be, I use my palette knife just so that I don't get the bristles all worn down. I'm going to grab some brown and scrape it over here. I can see, it's obviously very dark, it's almost close to the value it needs to be for all of these darkest areas, so I'll just mix in some white and see what color we get there. That's looking nicer. That's looking closer to the warmer tones of the cloth down here. It's not as cool as the background up here, but I think that this medium brown is going to be a good start. If I want to see what it's like to cool it off with some blue, let's do a dab, I can mix that in. I don't think I'm going to need it, but you never know. That may have been too much. It did grayed out though nicely. You see at first that blue looked so strong, and then I added in a little bit of white and now we have a much closer tone to the background. It's up to me on which one I want to use. I think what I'm going to do is just make a watery mix of all of this and just get it on the page. This layer is going to be thinner because we can always build up more paint but it's hard to ever get it back to this first stage when it's the first layer of paint going on the paper. I like it to be watery. In case I want to hold onto that texture, I have the option to, and then if I don't like it, I can go over it with another coat. You can see that my strokes are a bit wild. I really like to create a sense of movement with the underpainting. I don't want it to be perfect up and down strokes. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just a personal preference of what you like and what you want. I'm using water to keep the paint moving across the page so that none of these edges get too hard before I can get paint on it. Let's just dials back the brightness of the white because when we look at the black and white, you can see that the very lightest values are all the highlights of the cherries. Those are actually our brightest spots. Everything else is mid-tone and darker than that. We're really just giving ourselves a leg up by tinting the paper so that it's not as bright. You can always add those bright whites back in, but it does a lot of heavy lifting for us. That's it. That's step 1. Let's say that you got started and you painted a whole page and realize that you wanted to have a cool undertone and you actually want it to be blue, you can just mix up another color, wait for this to dry, and then do another coat. But I do want this to dry all the way before we get to the next step, which will be sketching on top. So I'm going to let it dry, do its thing. 10. T2: Contour Sketch: My first layer, my under-painting, which will provide some warmth, then gives us more of a mid-value to start with, is totally dry, dry to the touch. If it were wet still, especially since we use so much water to spread this out, even if it were just a little bit damp, when we go to do this next part, it could potentially bleed those colors. That's why we want it to dry all the way. Now we're going to go ahead and sketch. I'm going to use this black and white version that has the center bar. Normally when I would sketch, I would use like I talked about in the materials video, these Prismacolor colorize colored pencils and I would use it with a different eraser than this one. But since I listed these as an optional material, I don't want to use them. I want to show you what you can do just using the paint. There's a few ways that I'll pick colors. Sometimes. I'll pick a prominent color like we did for the under-painting. Maybe even just using burnt umber because that's a tone that goes with the painting and it will be mostly covered up. That's what we need to remember. This color is going to be mostly covered up. But the important word is mostly and there's going to be a few places unless you are diligent and really want to paint over them. But it's a good thing. There's a few places where this might shine through. We do want to be a little bit thoughtful. I don't want to pick a color that's going to be garish with this. I wouldn't want to pick maybe a very vibrant lime green because that color doesn't really mean anything to this picture and if it shines through, it might be more distracting. Whereas if I had a little bit of burnt umber or even a red or a pink that shone through it would add to it. It would just show the process of the artist. All of that said, I'm just going to use my primary magenta and a skinny brush to do my sketching. The reason I chose magenta is just because of the warmth of the cherries and if it shines through, I think I'm going to be okay with a little pop-up magenta. I'm just going to put a little bit on my palette. I'm not going to grab my smallest brush. I have these two small round brushes. One is a size 2 and one is a size 6. But my smaller one, it's just these bristles are going to run out of paint and water so quickly and it's going to be frustrating to me and I can get a fine enough tip with this bigger one and it has a little bit more mileage in it. Go back to my center one and one thing I want to do with a pencil, whether it's a [inaudible] or not, you can just do this with a regular pencil, is I want to draw where these center lines are and I don't want to just like draw them too strongly because then those will show but I do want to at least know. You can use a ruler if you want, but if you don't have one, I will just put my fingers on either side and try to move them at the same speed towards the center, and then where they meet is my center point. It's not always accurate, but it's good enough for me. I'm going to just ghost trace along so that I can find where that center point is and now that's really going to help me with orienting where this painting is. I'm just going to lightly ghost trace those lines. Now with my pink paint and my skinny brush, I'm going to go ahead and transfer some of the information from this page to this one. We're going to use these center lines to help us figure out exactly what our scale is. I'm going to start with the bowl. I'm going to look at the center and I'm going to go down and I'm going to see where it crosses these lines and I can see that. Let's see, here's halfway, quarter. It's like an eighth of this space, I'll go like about an eighth and make a mark. That's where that bowl is going across there and then we have that second lead. Then the bowl is going to curve underneath this line. See how the bowl starts to curve underneath. I know that I'm not going to go too high. Then over here where it crosses along this line, I can see it's gone past the midway point here, so I'm going to go a little bit further than halfway, make a mark there and that's going to give me a good start to figure out the shape of this bowl. You can see I'm being loose, so I'm not trying to be too precious here. I'm also not trying to over sketch. We really want our lines to be minimal here and not confusing. I'm right here where these line up on that center line and I'm trying to determine how much further I need to go down for that curve of the bowl. [inaudible] and then the bowl curves in. Without having to know how to draw these or know about perspective, we are able to get the scale of these down pretty easily, which is really nice. That's why I like this method a lot. Now, the crossbars, that's where one of those cherries are and so I'm just going to put that in there. I don't need to draw everything. It's just anything that I might need help with. Moving down the center bar, we've got these cherries in the foreground, and I've got this fold in the fabric that hides those cherries. That's pretty prominent. I'm going to get that in there. It looks like it goes up like that. Now we can start using all the reference points we have down beyond just the center bars to help us place things. For example, this cherry right here, the right side of it goes past the left side of this bowl, here's the bowl. That means the right side of that cherry is going to land somewhere around here. This is how you can see that drawing is really just about seeing and paying attention to what information you already have. This cherry, I know that this curve is going to not go too far into this one and just little key points that we can use. The other thing is I've got this edge of this fold in the cloth and I just want to get where that's going to be. We have these cherries in the foreground. If you notice my sketches longer than my working area, the aspect ratio isn't the same. But that's okay because I've got all this empty space up here, which means that I'm not going to lose any important details. Even though this space is stretched out further than mine, it's not going to change the integrity of the layout. I know that I'm going to have some cherries here in the foreground and so I'm just going to work on adding those. This is a good example, I was too quick. See how the bottoms of these are almost lined up. You can see in the reference photo that this one right here is actually quite a bit up the bottom of it and that is an error in my what I saw, I was trusting what I know of the picture instead of looking at it. But again this reference photo is very forgiving and so even mistakes like that are okay. I also just want to grab there's these two little cuties in the background and since they're in the background, look at the size of this cherry versus this one, see how it's a little smaller. I just want to pay attention to that and just not make it as big as those other ones. Then he's got a friend here. I think the last things I want to get is there's a little full, do you see the edge of that cloth napkin or tablecloth there? Then I just want to get my horizon line. I want to get the edge of this. It's a little hard to see because the depth of focus in the photo is blurry. It's very shallow and so we can guess, but I don't want it to be perfectly straight. I like the movement that this cloth is providing and so I'm just going to try and follow those shapes I see back there, which it looks like it dips down and then goes back over here. That wasn't so hard you can see that sketching doesn't have to be this very difficult or intimidating thing and you don't even have to "Know how to draw" to do it. You can just use the pieces of information that we're getting just from the center crossbars and having that same thing on ours to start transferring the information over to your page. 11. T3: Adding in Dark Values: We finished our sketch. The sketch hasn't totally dried. I can see there's some thicker, watery parts of paint, but that's not going to impede me for this next step. What we're going to do next is we're going to start looking at the values of this photo and start trying to add in some of the darker areas. The first step we did when we painted this whole thing brown was to try and tone down the whole piece because it's not going to be as vibrant as the page. We got it to a middle ground. It's still pretty light, so I wouldn't even call this a mid-tone. This is a light mid-tone. But we at least toned it down a little, but now we want to start really bringing out those values. I'm going to use my burnt umber and my large round brush. I think for the main step I did my size 16 round brush, I'm using my slightly smaller but still large one, my round size 10 right now. I'm just going to go on with the burnt umber and start adding in these darker values that I see. As I see back here. I'm not worried about painting over that cherry because if we are just looking at the values, you can see that that cherry actually blends right back in with that shadow back there. It's actually going to become part of those values. Got some shadow and folding in here, definitely around the cup. I know I didn't like to hear this when I was starting, but try to trust your instincts, try to trust what your eyes are seeing here, instead of what you think you know about the scene. I'm in this dark area here, and already just by adding in some darker values, we're able to start adding in some dimension. Down here, see how this value is darker than the cloth right next to it, going to take that information and replicate it down here. It's a pretty noticeable value shift on the bowls down here. That's a pretty good start but the thing that I need to add in are these cherries, the cherries are actually the darkest subject matter on the paper. I'm just going to add in. Now we have one step darker from our mid-tone but I actually want to go one step even darker than that now to really make these cherries pop. I can just use thicker burnt umber less water down to make it darker alone, which is normally what I do regardless of the color scheme, I either use burnt umber or burnt umber and ultramarine to block in the dark areas. But in this case, since those cherries, we know they have a red tint to them, I'm actually going to use some of this magenta I already have squeezed onto my palette to make a thick dark red to start blocking in these darker cherry shapes. I'm going to be a little bit more careful with this because this darker value really is dedicated in the picture to the cherries and so I don't want to blend it too much with the shadows right now. I want to see that separation between them. You can start to see how we're already covering up that pink drawing to the sketch. Even though this is like one big massive cherries, I'm still trying to carve out where I can see clear forms of them so that it's not just one big pile of dark red and brown. I'm going to really water it down, go back and add some of those mid-browns that help us see the form. Some of my magenta has mixed in with the burnt umber and that's okay. Well, when you cook, if you cook something in a pan, there's all these little black and brown bits at the bottom of the pan and they look like just caked on mess. But that's actually the magic of what you're cooking, that's where all the flavor is and so you want all those black and brown bits. That's what I think of as the under-painting, the sketch and these little tonal marks that were making, those are all little pieces of flavor that are going to shine through at the end as we build up. You feel pretty good about these values, I'm going to add in a touch of blue to darken this all a little bit. I just really want these cherries to be much darker. With that, I think we're ready to move on to the next step. I'm going to let this dry all the way. Once again, we need this one to be all totally dry before we move on to the next step. 12. T4: Adding in Highlights: Now that we've got some mid tones, we've got some darker tones, we want to go in and add where the brightest highlights are. For this image where the brightest lights are, so the things closest to white are these really sharp reflections on the cherries, those are the brightest. We also have a tiny really bright white reflection on the bowls right here, and then there's a lighter value going around the rim of the bowls, and then the light also catches on some of these parts of the fabric. I'm just going to take my pure titanium white and I'm going to keep it pretty thick for this. I'm just going to go through and dab, get those whiter values in there. You can already see that this is how powerful values are. They sound, at least to me, it just sounds like boring, like whatever, that kind of thing. But then, when you really start to practice and utilize it, you see like, oh, this is what makes a picture feel complete, is the values feel correct. It's really exciting to get in here and add these highlights. As you can see, the picture start to click into place, even though we haven't really worked on color yet. You can see that I'm really not too concerned with precision or beautiful brushstrokes, I just want to get the information in here so I can build on top of it. There's just the thinness highlight going down the edge of this fold which separates it from the background. You can see I went much, I exaggerated that a lot, but we're going to be able to cover it, but I at least want to make sure I get that in there. Then there's a little bit of highlight going here and these aren't, as you can see, like this value is not as bright as the brightest white but it is lighter. For me, I'm just trying to leave notes for myself so that I can know what am I building in this painting. I think that's it. I'm going to let those highlights dry, and then we'll move on to the next part. 13. T5: Color Blocks Pt 1: Everything we've done up until now is what I consider the under-painting. Some of this is going to shine through, but all of this that we just did was to set up a really nice structure for us to paint on top of to continue to render our painting. This next step is we're going to start adding in blocks of color. I'm going to go ahead and switch back to my full color reference here. With the first step of color is, I think of it more as correcting. We don't need to nail it, but we want to at least correct it from what it is here. Some of the things I see is the background up here. I want it to be a little bit cooler than down here to mimic what I'm seeing here with this cooler background. I'm going to want to add in a more even brown and tan tone to start filling in this. This isn't going to be as light as it is here. The cherries, I want to start refining those a little bit. I want to add their stems in and then of course, the yellow on the bowl. Let's start with this background area, which we were able to mix up earlier a little bit with our palette knife. I'm going to need a little bit more umber here. It's probably too much. Just like before, I'm going to use my palette knife, just because I don't want to get a bunch of paint caught up in the bristles as I work. I know that I'll be able to use the paint quickly to get it on the page so it'll be okay if it's spread out from being mixed. Scrub some of this burnt umber and some white. That's the mix that we made before for the background. I've got that creamy mocha color. But for the background we need it to cool off a little. Just a little dab of ultramarine. I can also see I'm going to need more white because my color that I mixed is too dark. Transcript the rest of that white in there. I'll also grab just that dabble blue. I think we're getting closer temperature-wise, but it's much too dark. You can see it's darker than even our undertone. Palette knives really work better with full acrylic paint or oils. But it is enjoyable and I like that you can see the color become mixed. It's been really good for my own education. A lot more white. That's looking really nice. Hold that up. Still little warm, can you see that? You never have to mix colors exactly, if you want to be a really traditional, realistic painter, then that's great. But for this, we're trying to get close because we're trying understand the colors that are being mixed and how they work here. That's closer. It's still a little bit warmer than the picture. But I really like this color. That's the other thing. We're trying to get close, but also use your own brain and your own taste to decide if you like it. It's no good if you mix a color exactly as it shows in the painting, but you're in the reference, but you hate that color. Then what's the point? Also going to get a little bit more white in here. Great. Beautiful. So still using my size 10 brush only because I'm filling this large background area. At this point now that we're moving forward from the under-painting, I would actually start sizing down to a size 6 round or even begin using maybe my filbert or my flat brush. But this area is going to be easy enough to fill with this big size 10. So I'm just going to keep using it. My paint is really thick now, this is all paint because we were using the palette brush. I'm going to go ahead and start introducing water. Just start correcting up here. I still want that movement that I started to introduce. I'm also okay with some of these tone shining through. If we look at the image, you can see that the background is lighter in this middle area, and then gets a little darker off to the sides. If I want to fade this out, I'm going to get some water on my brush, and while it's still wet, get in here and move it around. Now it blends more nicely going from that dark, darker, cooler gray to the warmer top in the middle. Each layer we do now we're going to start being a little bit more careful with our brushes, trying to refine shapes where we can. I don't need to totally define these cherries right now, but while I'm here, I can at least be careful and start that process. As you can see we're already painting over a lot of the pink that we brought in with our sketch. That's a good example of how the spirit of it will still shine through, but for the most part, it will be covered. If you want it to fully be covered like I sense, you can go over and paint over all the places that it's sticking out. If you're using a sketchbook like me and you want to paint under the clip, let's take it off for a second. Paint that area and then put it back. Since this is a big area of whitespace that balances out our painting, I really I'm letting the texture have a moment up here because it's not going to be much else going on up here. Thumbprint there. It's okay. What I really love about this process and working with these paints, is nine out of 10 really is okay, and you can correct whatever mistake you think you've made. Just layer it up and there's lots of happy accidents along the way. I'm going to leave the background for now and I'm going to start while my burnt umber is still here on my palette, I'm going to start adding that in for the fabric. This color, just the burnt umber alone, it's not creamy enough. Doesn't really represent what's being shown here, so added a little white and that will help for the lighter tones. I'm going to go in these lighter areas, at this point, I'm going to cover up these cherry stems because we can repaint them. Since this is gouache, the lighter color could cover some of these darker areas. Where I've got these values over here, I'm going to let those darker values stay. I'm not going to paint over it. See how this is lighter here. I'm going to get a much more watery mix and just lightly go in here because I don't want to cover all that up, if that's where that highlight is. I'm just going to buff it out with water. A creamier color shows here too along this edge where I put that highlight. You can see how I'm able to use the layers before to guide me, like it's helpful. When I look over here and see there's lighter tones, and then look back to my painting and see that I put a stripe of white there, I'm like, okay, I'm oriented, I'm in the right spot in my painting. It's almost like leaving yourself bread crumbs to follow along the way. I just mix the burnt umber with some of this leftover gray we had from the top. It's nice to use colors that are already on your palate to help pull everything together. Now I have a really light, cooler, creamy color that still goes with the brown, but it's going to help me determine some of these lighter spots. We get to use a paint that was already on our pellets, so a mutually beneficial thing here. I'm going over these lighter spots in this cooler color. You're welcome to try and get every fold that's showing here in this napkin. But for me, I just want to get the general, I want some of the geometry of it to be correct, some of the perspectives. Just by creating this little swoosh right here, I'm able to communicate that cloth a little bit, and it's a lot darker in here. I'll come back in here with the darker color. I want leave just this strip of white. We'll just going go back and forth with doing lights and darks. We've got some lights in here. This area is going to be darker and we've got some darker areas back here, but I'm going to let those dry. I'll go ahead and start working on the yellow bowl. To mix the yellow, we obviously know it's going to have some yellow in it, so we'll start there. Actually before this lighter color dries, I want to cover over this stem because we're going to paint it again, but I don't want it to be that thick and I don't want that big pink line to be too distracting. We'll start cutting in close to this pink line too. You can see how nicely that sketch gets covered. It's really not too difficult to do. Now I'm done with this bigger brush. I need to go smaller. 14. T5: Color Blocks Pt 2: Got my trusty round size six here. Let's start with the palette knife again. This is the yellow we're starting with and the first thing that I notice is the temperature. This yellow is way too cool for the yellow and the reference. I'm going to go ahead and warm that up with my magenta. We'll start with a little dip, so that definitely warmed it up. We're getting closer, but now it's just too vibrant, this is a very vibrant orange. This is when we get to use the magic of our color wheel. If my color is too orange, then I can add its compliment to push that orange back. If I go across, I can see it's compliment is blue. I'm just going to add a little touch of blue and see what that does for us. I might need a little bit more paint than what I'm mixing here. You can see we still have orange, but it just got tone down a little bit, it's just not as vibrant. If there's any trick I can give you, it's like when you can see that a color is wrong, if you can identify that color, then you can add its compliment to help tone it down. Getting closer, it's like it might actually need another touch of magenta. The cool thing with these is if you get it wrong, if you think it needs more magenta and then you're like, oh, that is not what it needed, you can add more use to it and keep correcting it. You won't make mud if you keep correcting it. I'm wondering if we need a little white to lighten it up. Do you see how I'd rather squeeze out paint multiple times than squeeze out a bunch at the beginning and then it all dries? Let's take a look at where we are at this color. The titanium white is really strong, so that may have been too much. We're getting close though, it's looking good. Now, I at least know the makeup of this color. It's mostly yellow, but it's got both magenta and blue in it to help tone it down and it has a little white in it too. I'm going to go ahead and mix in the rest of this yellow and I'm going to go ahead and mix for real the color that I'm going to use. This again might be too vibrant, a bit more red. That magenta is so powerful, I always grab more magenta than I need. Again, if too much red is showing here, too much red, orange. We're going over here, the compliment to that is green, which we know how to make green, that's blue and yellow, so that means I'll need a little bit more blue added in and I need to put more yellow in it. That's really how this process works, it's just back and forth and using color theory to figure out what you need to do to mix the correct color. I think with a little bit of yellow, we're going to be close enough even if it's not exact. I have a nice warm, full yellow that's toned down a little bit, not too vibrant and that's going to be great. This darker color I'm getting here that I'm mixing is actually going to be really nice for these darker tone. I'm going to leave it, I'm going to stop using my palette knife, and just go ahead and wipe it off and I'm going to start using my brush. I'm going to carry some of this over here and just add some white so that I can have both of those mixes. I'm going to go ahead and start painting and I'm going to paint right over that darker value and you can see what I mean by structure. See how that darker value is shining through and helping us hold on to the form even though we painted over it with that yellow? Very cool. Now, I'm going into my darker color that we mixed, I'm going to start adding that in. Because I can see that it gets darker as we go on the side over here. You don't have to start worrying about the values right away, we could have just painted at all that light color then gone in. But if you notice that while you're painting and you're able to key in the values you need, then that's good. I went over my highlight where this second bowl is. I'm just going to use the edge of my paintbrush to scrape that back out so that I don't forget it's there. I'm thinking that this is all getting too close in tone, I know I still need to fix down here. I'm going to add in a little bit of white to my gray mix down here and I'm going to go over that again because I think it will really help the value if this pops a little bit lighter. Again, I'm going to be careful going around my cherries and know that each time I go in here, I can refine them a little bit more. Got a little bit too much yellow stuck over in my brush. I didn't wipe it nicely enough, so I'm seeing a little shift in color here that I don't want. I'm just going to add in some more blue, this white. This lighter background against where these dark, dark cherries are is just going to help them pop more, which is what we want. We don't have a lot going on in this still life, the cherries. These playful cherries are the stars of the show and so we really want to make sure they can be the star. One way to do that is to play with the contrast to make sure that they're really sharp. I was trying to avoid puddles and any strokes that look just too straight or too uniform. You can see each step lighter I go, it makes those cherries pop more. My gut is telling me that I'm getting dangerously close to overworked territory, so this is a vast improvement from before. We, at least, have a nice value shift that happened, so that's going to help. But I need to move on to other parts so that I develop the painting as a whole. Let me go ahead and fix this area down here. We are using burnt umber, it gives a little bit of red. It actually gets pretty dark over here. I try to really mix things without black if I can, but I'm just feeling like I need to be able to punch up these values just a little bit. I need to make my burnt umber a little dark for some of these areas and black is very powerful. I don't need a lot, I probably already added too much. I'm just wanting to hit some of these darker areas with this darker mix, I want to be careful to not ruin this highlight I created. This is when the back and forth that I talked about starts. We worked on values earlier, but they're not done. We've got to move back and forth until they feel correct with the color I added in. Remember when I talked about bits of flavor, that little wash that I did earlier that had some of that magenta in it is just showing through a little bit and it's really nice, just adds interest. I don't want to worry too much, we can refine the background as we go. I really just want to add the first bits of color. Let's go ahead and work on the cherries now. The main thing I want to do is just add a bit more red to the cherries. Make their color pop a little bit more. I'm going to take magenta and mix it with that burnt umber again. Let's make a really pretty dark cherry red. You can even touch on my black since got it here. Now, I've got a really powerful dark color mix and so I want to be careful. This next layer is really going to help them pop to get that value story back in place because the cherries are supposed to be the darkest thing and now their value is mudding here with some of the browns, so I really want to go in and correct their color. I want to preserve the highlights, because the reflections on the cherries really was the brightest spot from my reference, so I want to hold onto that. I don't want to cover up all of this because we want that variety of reds to show. I'm just using this darker color to block out for sure where the darker cherries are and then we'll let that red show through in different ways. We can also separate the mass here a little bit. We've got our first layer of color in. We ended up building up layers as we were doing it and correcting, but at least from the last stage, we at least now know like the main colors that we're working with. We know that bowl is yellow, we know this fabric down here is a neutral, we know the cherries are dark red, we know the background is a little cooler. I'm going to let this dry and then we're going to keep building up on it. 15. T6: Refining : Now the majority of what's left is just going back and forth and correcting what looks wrong to us or what could be further refined. Then the last stage will be adding any very fine details. The best way to approach this, because at this point everybody's painting is going to be a little different and is going to need different things and so what I asked myself is, what's the most wrong about this? When I look from this to this, what's the most glaringly wrong thing? For me what stands out most honestly is the lightness of this fabric here and how that lightness is mimicked here and here. It just looks a little flat here. I'm going to see what I can do to fix that and bring it to life. I'm going to have some of this gray that we used for the background to mix with some umber. I might have to start squeezing some more paint out. When I mix it with this gray, looks like it needs to cool off a little bit, honestly. I'm going to refine. See this dark areas where that shadow, I'm going to refine that a little bit here. This looks like a little gray and a little murky here. I'm just wondering if touch of yellow is all I need. Too yellow. What do I need to do? It's too yellow, I need violet, which is a little bit of blue and a little bit of magenta. We're back to that mocha color, but it needs to be lighter in value. Which means we may have cooled it off a little just now, but that's already better. I just want to try and define this a little better. Already that helped a lot. Next to each other, do you see how gray and muddy that first one was that I put down and how this one is much nicer? I'm going to go in here and try and catch that light and then that also shows up here. I'm going to trace over this. I'll highlight with this lighter color too because that's more accurate for the picture than that bright white. Will shadow here that I missed. I'm going to leave that for now. Next what I see is the bowl. Now the bowl looks like too vibrant and flat. I want this darker tone and I'm just going to come in here mimic this shadow. Even just that helped it so much just to not feel like this big, flat shape that was standing out. Now the thing that stands out to me most are the stems. If I look really closely, the stems are actually like a yellow green. While I've got this yellow mixed up for the bowl, I'm going to make it more opaque. It's very watery, so I'm going to make it more opaque with just a touch of white and I think I can. I've got a fine enough tip on my size 6 round. But if you are nervous about this, you can use a smaller brush. I'm just going to add these stems in real fine. Now the shadow part of the cup got covered up quite a bit. I'll just use the dabble black and totally decimated that yellow color. Black is a very powerful pigment. That's why, and especially when you're starting out like it's nice to be able to mix things without black, but sometimes you need it. I'm going to let these stems dry because we're going to need to go over them again to make them more solid anyway. But if I do it now, there's a chance I'll disrupt them and make them thicker and I want them to stay nice and fine like that. I'm going to take some of my yellow, some of my blue, which of course is going to make a green, then we can take some of that green out by adding in the magenta. What I'm looking for is I'm going to mix some darker tones that help me get some of these shadows in here. Still a little too green, get some magenta back in there. There's a very, very, very fine little shadow that separates those bowls and so I just noticed that. So that's a little detail I want to key in for later. I want to remember that. That little bit of color is helping the stems seem to catch the light. This stem is actually a lot and that might not even be a stem, that might actually be just the thing in the towel. Is a lot darker, so I'll probably actually go over that one with a darker color. Actually do have a stem that I didn't paint here. Comes out, it's pretty cute. It's really satisfying to have these thin, fragile little stems next to these big bold strokes. Like I said, now it's just really a game of back and forth. What is my eye see? What's incorrect about this over here that's not incorrect over here? I do think that I got to muddy in here. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to salvage this. Let's see if I can make that mocha color again. Because this looks like just one flat plane back there and it's making these cherries. See how in this the value of this is much lighter than the cherries. Well, back here it's almost the same as the cherries. That was an error. For this exercise, we're trying to see, that's what we're doing. We're trying to see correctly. Even if we don't love the final piece, which this is pretty cool. I'm cool with it. But even if we don't love it, it's such a valuable way to help train your eyes to know what they're looking at. This is going to help a lot I think. I'm going to go in there around this cherry since that's the thing that was keying me off that the value over here was incorrect. I think that is going to help a lot. 16. T7: Final Details: Now, the last thing I want to do for this traditional study, I'm feeling pretty good about it, but I just want to do some fine details. I'm going to get out my small round brush. It's a size 2. I'm going to go along with this dark, dark cherry red color I made. I'm just going to look to see like there was this lineup here that helps separate the cup. That was much bigger and darker than the one that is in the reference photo, but it does the job. I'm also going to go ahead and add a little value to these cherry stems. I'm going to paint almost all the way over this one, because this one is in the dark, that shadow. Also, maybe have those cherries, look how much higher my cherries are in my drawing. I didn't even notice it. This one should be aligned to the top of it with that bowl, and like not even my second cherry is there. I think maybe that's part of the problem that I'm seeing too, is it's not necessarily an issue of value, it's that those cherries pop the composition. It would look nicer if they were down here. But that's okay. As we fall back into shadow over here, get a little line. Then we also, one thing that might help, see how much separation there is right here. We get this little shadow back here behind the bowl, and I'm not getting that right here. I'm wondering if going in and exaggerating that along the bowl will help. You are welcome to keep going back and forth on your painting until you feel it is complete. I feel good about this one. The only thing is I might just add some darker values to those cherries stems, and we're good. After I stopped recording and after I got a little bit of space for my painting, I did go back and alter it a little bit. You can see that I added in some different values in the background with the cherries after lightening up that area that was bothering me. This helped create some more dimension back there instead of it just being this black stripe in the background. I also added some lighter tones to the front left of the cloth. You can see there's some grayer tones there. I also added just a few details to the cherry stems and darkened the shadow on the bowl a little bit. 17. Contemporary Study Overview: In this lesson, we're going to go over the process for the contemporary study. In the contemporary study, our goal is to take our favorite and most important bits from the traditional study and turn them into an expressive and fresh interpretation of our reference photo. We'll be using the same elements and even the same vocabulary as we did in the traditional study, but the process is going to be a little bit different and the end result is going to be vastly different, less reliant on an accurate portrayal of our reference photo, and more an opportunity for self-expression. This process will exercise building color palettes, using gestural strokes, and simplifying our reference. The process will go like this, we'll start by sketching on the blank page, then we'll cover the page in blocks of color coloring the different parts of our page like a coloring book. After those dry, we'll correct any blocks that need color adjustments, we'll then use expressive and gestural strokes to add in dark values, followed by adding in highlights, we'll finish off our piece by adding in fine details and applying any fun prints or patterns. In the next lesson, we'll begin our contemporary study. 18. C1: Contour Sketch: The first step in the contemporary is to do the sketch. Unlike the traditional when we did a ground first, we're just going to go right into the sketch, and just to keep things consistent, I'm going to use my magenta paint and a thin brush again. This is my size six round, and I do want to grab a pencil to do my center marks. It's the same process as yesterday. I'm going to use these marks along the guides to help me figure out where I need to be placing my sketch. Yesterday, I put the cherries in the background too far up, and so I'm really going to try and get that more accurate today. I can hold my brush to see where the bottom of it hits the bowl. It hits like almost right where the bowl intersects that center line. Again, I don't need to get every cherry, but it does help me if I at least draw them in so that I'm not just making a big blob. I think I've got my main elements in there. I'm not going to worry so much. When we sketched yesterday, we sketched in more of the folds of the fabric, but the contemporary style is going to be flattened and simplified a little bit. I wanted to catch this one because it interacts with those cherries, but other than that, I'm not going to worry about those. Our sketch is complete. 19. C2: First Layer of Paint : For the next part of the process, we're going to do coast to coast color. I like to think of it as similar to our underpainting that we did in step one of the traditional. We just want to cover the page and cover all the white and we want to replace it with color. We want to start thinking about how we want to divvy up colors among this painting. For me, for instance, I know I want all the cherries to be the same color. I know the bowl will be a color, the cloth down here will be a separate color, and the background up here will be a fourth color. With that in mind, I'm going to go ahead and use my color swatches that have all my colors in here, and I'm just going to start picking out colors. If you already know a color, like for instance, I do know that my cherries, so that they come off as cherries in this contemporary piece, I want them to be vibrant red. I'm actually going to start by just finding my red, and then I can build the color around that. Yeah, nice fiery red. But I'll also look at my other ones because it doesn't have to be red red. I could also do pink. I don't want any fluorescence. Pink. I could go peachy pink with the cherries, but I don't think I want that. I think I do want to stick to a more true red, but can't help can't hurt to go through and see. I think the hot one, it's either going to be this carmine red or this scarlet red. I don't think I want to do pink. I want to stick to red for the cherries for this. I love a hot red. It's hard for me to pass on scarlet. Starting there and now, the best way I can describe this process is because it isn't intuitive one, and it's really hard to teach people to use their intuition or to trust a feeling or to notice a feeling. But that really is what I'm doing here. I'm going through one color at a time, making sure that I don't want to see all of the, I just want to see the top color, and I'm looking at the other color to see if I like how they interact. That's this green and red isn't going to hit me today. I'm just going to through, and I'm just going to pull colors that stand out. I don't have to worry at this point of if they worked together. I can just pull them out. This is just a really fun way to build color palettes and try to do it intuitively. I like these three together a lot. So hard for me to pass on yellow. Look at those together. Don't forget neutrals, neutrals help break things up. That violet is pretty in there. If you remember, I only need four colors, and we already have one. So I want to find three colors that go with this. When we're thinking about the colors for these items, right now I'm picking a single color for the cherries, a single scarlet, but we are going to be adding in different values. It's important to remember that this is just the base palette. We're trying to think of what is the mid-tone color that I want to be present for each of these. I can always build on darker colors for shadows and lighter colors for highlights. But I'm just looking for that base palette that is all going to work together. I know scarlet for the cherries. Since the closest thing to the cherries are the bowl right here, maybe I'll start looking for which of these colors works best with the bowl. Love pink and red together. All of might be too harsh next to that red. Misty green is so pretty, I think I want that for the background color. If I do misty green background, pink cherries, pink bowl, probably this lighter pink, I think. Then so now we're just looking for a color for the tablecloth. I like that a lot. I really liked those when I was first doing this. That's definitely a contender. The purple doesn't really work there for me. This is too dark. Same for these two. Well, I like that yellow kind of a neutral. I don't want the neutral in there, so it's between these two. I think the focal point of this one is the cherries, and so I'll let them have their moment. I'll use this color for the tablecloth. I've got my colors figured out. If that process was too daunting for you, then an alternative is, let's say you start, just start with a color that you're drawn to, whether you know what it's going to be or not. Let's say you were just really drawn to this violet color, and you don't know where it's going to go yet, but you know this is your north star. You can actually grab your color wheel, and you can go to where that color is. That looks like it's a violet. I can actually remember, use these color schemes to try and help me out. If you were really unsure, then you could, let's see if I point this straight, then I can start with a triad and say, okay, I've got this light purple. I think I like that light purple here with this light green. Then to balance it all out I'll bring in this dark sienna orange color. If your intuition isn't there yet or you're not trusting it, or you just are stuck. Go ahead and try and use your color wheel and try and use traditional color families and relationships to see if that helps you. We can see that actually I have a complimentary scheme going on here. Red and green are compliments, and so even though this is a very pale green, it's still red and green. I have a complimentary color scheme going on here, especially because these pinks are just a shade of red too. So it ended up working on both fronts. Now the fun that we get to have is to actually squeeze these colors out, and we're just going to essentially color in, it's a coloring book in color in the areas where those items are. Since I'm doing larger areas of color, I definitely want a bigger brush than this. I'm going to start with the largest area, which is my misty green background. Since I'm using a tube color, I can really start by just squeezing out a little bit and adding more to it if I need. Can be really easy. I even squeezed too much magenta out for the sketch. It's really easy to be squeezed happy, and then waste paint. My size 10 round brush. Just like with the traditional piece, I want my gouache to be more watery because this is just a big empty area. I think having some texture up here is going to really be successful and be nice. Since this is coast-to-coast color, meaning we don't want any little white parts to be sneaking out. We're going to overlap some of these sketched areas. I'm going to go into the cherries a little bit, go down here just so that if we don't cover fully with the red, we don't have white poking through, we'll have the background poking through. I can always add more paint and make it more opaque, but I can never go back to this first pure layer where it's just the paper in the watery paint interacting. Next color. I'll work biggest to smallest would be the flesh color for the tablecloth. I'm just going do the same thing and just start covering down here. In the reference photo, you can see that down here the table is sticking out a little bit. Even though we drew that line and I'm going to call it out later with some values. I'm just going to paint it the same color as the tablecloth because personally, I really light color blocking and keeping my colors as minimal as possible. I just don't think it would add much to the painting to have this random colored strip down here being something else. I'm going to let this dry a little and then I'll go back over and try and cover these bolder lines a little bit. Do the cherries next. I'm using a really light color now, pale peach, and so I'm going to keep it really thick so that when I go over these pink lines, I'm able to cover it. Now I'm just going back over and try and cover with some thicker paint where the magenta is showing through. Last part of this step, I can just see a little bit of lightness and whiteness peeking through here. I'm going grab my background color and just really make sure we don't have those white spots. First layer of paint is down. 20. C3: Color Correcting: This next step is correcting the colors that we just put down. Sometimes even if you really love the palette here, you get it down and you notice that something isn't working together. Maybe a color needs to be brightened or darkened or just changed altogether. One thing that I'm noticing in looking at this is when I looked at these together, I really liked that you could really see the pink and when I see this down here, this all looks really flat and then these cherries just kind of pop out of nowhere. I'm wondering if maybe a darker pink, this shell pink is going to help with that contrast a little bit more. Since this layer is dry, I'm going to go ahead and go in with some shell pink and cover it and see if that satisfies it. This is nice because if you are new to picking out colors or still learning to trust yourself, you can kind of at least get paint down and then thanks to acrylic wash, you can just keep covering it to figure out what's going to be right for it. I'm not sure if it's coming across in the camera but this color is just like a single step down in value and one step up in saturation so it's just a little bit more pink. But even seeing this down here, I think it's still not right actually. Even once I add in some darker values, I don't know the tone of it. There's just something I don't know I can't even put my finger on it. It just still doesn't look how I thought it would. It doesn't look how I see when I see these colors together so I'm actually going to correct it again. I usually only need one layer of correction, but in this case I'm still not quite getting it. I kept those colors, the ones that I was interested from the beginning, I kept them separate so I can go through these again. Now the purple doesn't seem as bad of an idea. The purple might bring it out. The yellow is not going to work. Going neutral, that's going to be too light. I like the boldness of the green. I kind of like that, thing I thought I was going to do all of it, but then I thought they would be too close and too intense but looking at it now, I wonder if it will bring the emphasis to the bowl that I'm looking for. Oh yeah, this was the right choice. I feel it already. My gouache is a little watery and you can see through the streakiness that that pink is shining through. It's actually kind of nice. Gives it a really glowy feel. But if I want it to be perfectly matte and flat, then I can let it dry and then do another layer and it will be nice uniform color. This darker color is just bringing the bowl to the foreground more. It's kind of lighter colors drift towards the back and since the tablecloth is already light, it just made that all recede back and it just looked like these cherries were floating on nothing but now, it's prominent. It's like there it is. There's the bowl of cherries. If I just keep painting over this while it's wet, I'm just going to make more streaks and so I'll let that dry and then trying to decide if I like the streakiness or if I want the flatness. I think I want a more flat look, so I'm going to let that dry and do another coat. See how it's going down really opaquely over here but over here I'm getting some weirdness, that's because I didn't let it dry all the way there. That's why it's really important to be more patient than I just was if you want flat coverage. I'm not going to keep going over that spot because I know it's just going to keep aggravating it. That's it for my color correcting. I am going to wait for this to dry yet again. I want this to be one flat color just for this style. That's what I'm really feeling right now. There are other times where maybe I would have left the streaky first layer and really been into that texture but for this just right now, I'm wanting more opaque colors. Go ahead and correct your color blocks. Even if that means repainting literally everything, that's okay. If you decide the background needs to change and then you change that, realize this needs to change, just follow that thread. Keep following your intuition. If you get to a point where you've done ten layers on top of this thing, maybe slow down and try to pick a different color palette that you know you love for sure, but go ahead and correct your colors. 21. C4: Adding in Expressive Dark Values: While I wait for this to dry and to add another layer I'm going to go ahead and move on to the next step, which is my favorite because things really start to pop and that's when we start adding in our dark values. If I look at my reference or if I just look at my painting from yesterday, I'm able to look and see where those darkest areas were. Obviously, we know there is a lot happening with the cherries, so I know for sure I'll be layering on a dark value on top of the cherries. We have this pretty dark value on the bowl, so we'll need some there. Then I want something that shows some of these folds, but doesn't necessarily get all into those values. Similar to what we did earlier, I like to then go through my colors. This is where we can really do some interesting things. We can bring in some unexpected colors to liven up our palette. I can even bring this dark green back in, which is interesting, and use the dark green to create the darks and use those for the shadows. That's interesting. The blue comes back into play. Obviously, I'm just looking at the swatches of the colors right from the tube, but if you have favorite mixes you can look at your color mixing chart too to see if anything stands out. This is unexpected. I did not think that burnt umber would catch my attention, but I love how dark it is and warm it is and it could be interesting even if I mixed it with a little bit of the scarlet to make it a little bit more red. It's really hard for me to pass on straight black sometimes, I just love the power it has. Of all of these that I picked out the one that excites me the most; I don't know if that'll work, is actually the burnt umber. So I think I'm going to ride that wave. I'm going to use this dark tone all over the painting. This is going to be the dark values for not only the cherries, but for the bowl and some of these darker areas. I think that this is going to be too strong to get the values in this cloth in here. It could it then start to look muddy, you can't tell what shadows are which, and I don't want this to dominate. Since this tablecloth is such a light color, I think I'm going to find a value color just for that, that's not as dark as this. For instance, even this. Maybe this'll be the winner, Jaune Brilliant. I don't know if it's Jaune Brilliant, or if it's a soft j and it's Jaune Brilliant. But you can see that this is almost just a darker version of the color and it goes really well with the story, so that might work. Similar, it's very similar to that color. I like that too. I think the Jaune Brilliant is going to win. I think it's bold enough that we'll notice it, but not so bold that it'll make a mess. I'm also going to switch my brush. I've been using a round brush, and I'll need it still to go. Maybe this is finally dry enough, let's see. I've been using my round brush to fill out those shapes and to use the point to get right in there. I just ended up lifting that, I really just need to leave this alone. You see how all that water just stripped off that paint that wasn't quite dry yet, so I'm just making a mess. But do you see how over here we got that really nice uniform color? Anyway, I've been using my round brush to fill those shapes in, but now I'm going to switch over to a brush that I really love for expressive strokes. This is when I'm going to bring in a flat or a filbert, because where in the traditional we're trying to have things work together and things blend into each other; in the contemporary, I really want this to be bold and strong, and I want these strokes to be really confident. So I really love a flat brush for this. I can look to yesterday's painting; the traditional demo, or I can look at my reference photo to find the values again. Before we had multiple values, so we had lights, and mids, and darks, and we blended. Right now we're just stepping it down to there's a light tone and there's a dark tone. I really at first just want to pull out the main areas that need it, so this doesn't get messy. Obviously, the main one is this one that we sketched in. I'm just going to go in there and just really let the integrity of the brush make my shapes. I'm letting more of those flat, straight edges show through to give it a more geometric and contemporary feel. We have this fabric fold here. Even if we don't develop it anymore to look more like a fabric fold, it's still an interesting shape. Cut the shadow around the bowl, let's try and get that. You can see my strokes are a lot bolder with this one. I'm not even going to worry about this darker value and the fabric here because the strokes that I have down already are giving me that. They've started to communicate that there's some value, there's some texture happening here, so I don't have to spoon-feed it as much. In the contemporary one, I can let fewer strokes speak for themselves. If I had done that with the burnt umber, I just think it would have been too intense. Now I'm ready to move on to the darker values in the cherries, so I'm going to do some burnt umber. I'm going to mix it just with a little bit of the scarlet so that it's a red-brown and not just brown. Same thing, I'm going to let my strokes be bold. I'm not even trying to round them for these cherries. I want those stiff confident strokes to really help set this off. I'm leaving some red showing through to show the highlight. Then these are going to be almost fully covered because they're in the background back there. Can you see how it's just popping? This is the power of value. If you don't know from traditional painting or if you don't know from the fundamentals of painting how important value is, maybe you wouldn't have thought to put a really dark brown on top of these red cherries. I wouldn't have. I'm going to use this super dark brown for the darker color here, but since I can see that it's still wet I think if I go over it I'm just going to make an even bigger mess. So I'm going to leave it for right now and I can revisit it because I know that I want to do that. Well, I've got this dark color. I'm going to end this brush. I'm going to go ahead and add their little stems. I'm not going to do a perfectly straight line. Even though the brush is flat, that one got a little thick. Sorry. I made that mistake while speaking. What I just did is that stem is just a little bit thicker than I wanted, and so while it was still wet I went in and dabbed all the moisture out of there. I'm going to let it dry, and then I can go back over it with some of the flesh color and then try again with the stem because that one was just a little bit too thick. But what I'm saying is even though I'm using a flat brush and I want this to be geometric, I don't want it to be perfect. I still want it to have interest. A computer can make straight lines, but a computer can't decide that a stem is going to turn this way and then that. I'm off-camera. I'm just going to finally let this dry all the way. I might actually heat it with a hairdryer just to really make sure that I'm drying it, and what I'm going to do is cover this spot with the olive so that it's flat. I'm going to let that dry all the way. Then I'm going to mix up a little bit more of this burnt umber and scarlet just to come in here and add those dark shadows. But other than that our dark values are in, and they've really provided really satisfying contrast. 22. C5: Adding in Highlights: As promised, I went ahead and painted the darker values over the bowl here. Now the only thing I remember I need to do is add this cherry stem back in. I'll go ahead and do that. The last one got too big because I had too much water on my brush, so I got a little bit drier mix of paint here. That's a much better result. I'm happy I corrected that. But our next step in the process, as you may have surmised, just like before, we've got the dark values in, now it's time to go in and add any highlights. Which for this painting in particular is the rim of the bowl that catches the light and also the whites of the cherry reflections. You can use a neutral, like white or an ivory white. Since I actually have this light flesh color here, that's already part of my palette, I will try to shop my palette first. I'm going to see if this flesh is actually going to be light enough for the highlights. Because if so, it'll be nice to not introduce another color. I just want to go in here and dab where these cherry reflections are. You can use your pinky if you don't want to lay your wrist down, if you don't know where wet paint is. You can use your pinky as a support. But my painting is dry so I can lay the heel of my hand down. I think those are the only highlights I want to add. I guess in the reference photo, just like from yesterday, we have these tiny little lines that catch the light right there. I'll get those in there. That's it for our highlights. 23. C6: Details and Decoration: We're almost done with our painting, and honestly you could call it done here. This is a beautiful painting and you can see that I've done others like that before where once I've added in the final details, it's just done. But the thing that I want to show you is that now is a really fun especially for those of you that are surface designers. This is now a fun time that we can add decoration and pattern to things, or just little details that we didn't capture earlier on. To me the tablecloth, the bowls, and this wall back here are all opportunities that I could add pattern to. In fact, I think I have a painting, yeah. Look at this weirdo that I did the other day. I was just playing around. But I wanted to see what it was like to try and put a print on multiple surfaces and it's just enjoyable. It's just a way to add interests and to help with the form of the object and the perspective. Then so you can definitely use multiple surfaces. But in this one, I actually just want to add something to this wall back here. I really love the strokes that I have created down here to create the texture of the cloth and I love that the cherries pop. I don't want to busy something down here and distract from that, but up here we have this big wall of green and I think it would be really nice just to have a little bit of a wallpaper back there. I went through my color swatches as I really didn't know as open to brand new colors being introduced to this. I had considered even bringing in this weird bubblegum pink, and you know that I was really interested in this ash rose. But what ended up standing out to me was just this ivory white, neutral and I had considered at first using the flesh color because that's the lightest color in here and it's the color we used for the highlights, and so I thought I'll shop my palette first and we can use this. But I'm worried that the value of this flesh color in this misty green are just too close that you're going to get that weird vibration that it's like your eyes almost can't make out what's happening. So I think just keeping a neutral and just bumping it up to this ivory white is going to really help them play nicely in the background without distracting what's happening up here. I've got my ivory white. Squeeze some of that onto my palette, and I'm going to grab a small brush. I am a surface designer. I make a lot of patterns and repeats and so for me this part is just like whatever comes to mind I just paint. It's not hard for me to come up with little patterns and prints that would be queued on things. But if this is your first time, you're not used to thinking that way. Head back to Pinterest and Google and just take a look at different types of patterns. You could even paint a full-blown floral pattern on the wall or something like that and really make it fun. But for this, I'm going to do something that's a little bit more simple and repetitive. I think I want to do chains of these diamonds squares. I'm just going to paint the diamonds first, and I don't want these to be perfect. That's what's important. The rest of the painting has a very casual, expressive look and I don't suddenly want the pattern up here to be really tight. Inside the squares, I want to do a little daisies. I love flowers and while I don't want to paint a distracting floral pattern back here. A little daisy is a nice little touch. I'm just going to keep going, and I'm going to cover my wallpaper with this pattern. I've gone through and finished adding that diamond floral pattern and as you can see it's very faint. With the background, it fades in and out and gives it this really cool effect. I'm really happy with the design, but it still feels a little empty. It feels a little unfinished and I don't want to color in each square because I think that'll be too bold and I don't want to add outlines because I think that will be too bold. But I think what I want to do is we use to live in a centennial farm house, and there was this old chicken and teapot wallpaper in the kitchen. It was really old and so parts of it looked like it wasn't quite colored in all the way. I actually really liked that effect and so I'm thinking I'm just going to use this gold olive color to go in there and mimic that effect where it looks like it's not going to be colored in all the way. It's not going to be this bold uniform weight up here, but it will just help color in and maybe carve out some of these ones that are lighter and add some interest. I don't really have rhyme or reason. I'm just going to try to be imperfect and loose and just follow my gut with adding and markings up here. Yeah. I love that effect already. It's just what I was looking for enough to draw your eye up here to know that what we did up here was intentional, but not so much that it steals the show from her cherries. By bringing this color up here, we also help keep the bowl shape from being too dominant, since it's just one solid block of color down here by pulling it up, it's almost like we're scraping it through the top area of this painting. With that, we have completed our contemporary study. Actually, one thing I want to say is you should always take a minute even if you step away and come back and just be on the lookout for any tiny details that maybe you want to add in. For instance, on this bowl in the traditional study, I really liked the little tiny line, the dark line that we had here on the bowl and I also really liked the two tone cherries stems. Maybe I've got some of this olive and some of the ivory white on my palette. I'll mix them together and just come in here and add just a little touch to the stems where they catch the light. I think I am just going to squeeze a tiny bit of burnt umber out and just add that tiny little line there. Now our contemporary study is done. 24. Publishing your Project!: When you're ready to share your class project, snap a picture with your phone or camera of both still lifes and upload them to Skillshare. If you use a reference photo other than the cherries, we'd love to see that too. You'll want to create your class project from a computer or laptop as mobile support for project uploads isn't available at the time of publishing this class. You can do this from the Project and Resources tab by clicking the big green "Create Project" button. There are two main parts of the project. The cover, which is like a book cover that shows in the project feed with everyone else's work and the body of the project where you can add photos, texts, and other media. When you've added everything, click "Publish". Your project is always editable if you want to go back later. Don't forget to scroll through the project gallery to see what other students are doing and leave them an encouraging note to spread some positivity and community to your fellow artists. Then for real, high-five yourself, because you didn't even know you could paint this way and you totally just did. 25. BONUS: Paint-by-number Still Life Project: If you're looking for a low-pressure project to work on, look no further than this citrus still life paint by number I've provided for you. I've provided a color palette and guide for you to follow along with, but I've also provided a blank one in case you want to assign your own colors without getting confused. The first step is to print the template. It's intended to create around an 8 by 10-inch painting, but you're welcome to scale it up or down a little if you need to adjust it. The next step is to transfer the template to your paper. You can use the window transfer method, where you tape the template and paper to a window during the day and trace the sketch onto the paper, or you can color all over the back of the template with a regular graphite pencil and use it as a carbon sheet on top of the painting paper. You'll then use your pencil to gently trace over the template, taking care to transfer all lines and markings. Then going one color at a time, follow the template to paint in the areas of color. For tight areas, use a smaller brush or the point of a round brush, and go slowly. Voila, citrus still life. 26. Thank you!: Thank you so much for spending the day painting with me. I hope that you're A, impressed with your new ability to recreate a reference photo in a traditional method, as well as a self-expressive contemporary piece, and B, encouraged to keep painting and trying, and showing up. Because your creativity matters, and I don't tire of reminding you. To be notified when I publish new classes, give me a follow here on Skillshare. For regular encouragement, follow me on Instagram @bydylanm, and you can also find me at Until next time.