Watercolor & Photoshop - Playing with Autumn Leaves! | Karen Ciocca | Skillshare

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Watercolor & Photoshop - Playing with Autumn Leaves!

teacher avatar Karen Ciocca, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Fine Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Intro Watercolor Painting Autumn Leaves

    • 2. getting started oak leaf

    • 3. more leaves

    • 4. Photoshop ,silhouettes and composition

    • 5. Exporting for print or web

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About This Class


Watercolors are a great choice for painting autumn foliage with the vibrant bursts of color everywhere we look. Here in New England, it can be very spectacular! In this class, we will simply paint leaves! Then we will bring your art into Photoshop * to learn how to isolate and output your creation for either print or web applications.

What will you do with your autumn leaves? Maybe print out placeholders for Thanksgiving, or create an invitation. Use it as a digital wallpaper or web banner? The possibilities are endless!

This is a free class! Yay!  Please use my link to join Skillshare and please check out my other premium classes and subscribe to my channel to have access to all my new classes. 

**This Photoshop class mainly tips for general use. I will be teaching more specific and in-depth Photoshop and  watercolour classes in the future.

Meet Your Teacher

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Karen Ciocca

Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Fine Artist


Hello Friends!

I am presently the Art and Marketing Director at a Granola-Nut company who also distributes organic and all-natural nuts, seeds and fruit to supermarkets and chains nationwide. 

My career has been as a corporate and boutique agency in-house graphic/package designer and digital illustrator. My packaging illustration and design work have been on retail and supermarket shelves for over 30 years. Including Pilot Pen, Bigelow Tea, Perrier, Lindt Chocolate, Poland Spring, Aurora Products.  

I am also a professional fine artist and I love to paint animals and nature. Having been commissioned numerous times. 

I am excited to share my skills as a Graphic Designer and Fine Artist here on Skillshare! 

 <... See full profile

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1. Intro Watercolor Painting Autumn Leaves: everybody. My name is Karen Yoka, and this is my first border color on my channel. I wanted to start now because it's autumn here in New England and leaves are full and they looked like water colors, so I thought they're not really that hard to do. So if you're a beginner, you'll be able to do this course and what I've done with the illustrations, we're gonna bring them right. It's a flower shop and we're gonna isolate them, and then we're gonna put them so you can use them for different applications. So thank you again and I'll see you. 2. getting started oak leaf: - I penciled in my leaves separately on one sheet of 1 £40 hot pressed watercolor paper by arches. And I'm using my number eight round rush And I'm feeling in the shape of my oakleaf here with water, just plain water. And I'm just gonna basically feel the whole thing in this fire. After you're done with that, you're just gonna go find a color that you love premixed one. I'm using little yellow joker here, and I'm spring my tray with water because my watercolors air very dry. Yeah, looks like my Lucas set here. And it's like yellow Oakar and credit cadmium yellow. And I'm just adding it all over. I don't really care where goes and you want to bleed in that wash that you just put down of Clearwater and I'm adding a little greening and it's gonna blend on the paper into that yellow that I already have down. And I'm gonna go for academy and red color. It's kind of a brownish color, and I'm adding just a teeny bit agreeing to it to make it more of a brown. You know, it's pretty and a little bit more right to it, and I'm mixing literally right on the leaf because I know that because that washes there and it's not super wet at this point. It's sort of just starting to evaporate into the paper and into the air. So it's sort of practice a little shine, and I'm pulling those veins down the collars a little bit where I want him to go. I'm not being super exact with it. Um, I'm having fun. I just think it's fun. And as I'm filming this, I'm not really close to my work. I think that sometimes when I paint I actually I get closer to my work visually, and right now I'm kind of far away. So I think I'm missing my mark, but it's still the same process. So I just went outside my line. It's gonna dab it, and you literally wet that. And I did it right here, waiting it, and I'm gonna dab it again. It's going to get it quick enough in. Your paints are more on the transparent side. Some of them are not as transparent. Some of them are, will not Lift is well depends on what the chemical IHS of that particular color so I'm just free wedding areas that have dried a bit and add more color, and this is basically the whole process. We're just adding color round around the edges, and I'm drying my pain in. I wanted to believe a little bit that vein and as it started to dry, it's not completely drive. I'm dabbing more of those spots in that the leaves get when they're starting to decay outside. And that's just little bleed a little bit and create a really natural effect adding more veins. And this is just gonna soften up because my paint is wet. Still, it's not super soaked. It iss lightly wet as long as it's what it's going to plead. So when you experiment with your watercolors, that's a fun thing To do is just make a super super wet block and add color to it, making some May watt wet black and add color to it and then work with dry over it and dry means just simply letting your brush, putting in your paint and painting with it, not adding any extra water, just enough water to get it to work. I feel like there's never too many mistakes and watercolor because it's so especially was a project like this the more I worked with it. It just makes beautiful natural looks. Guts brown. I'm taking, I think, into go here, which is a bluish black, mixing it with other colors. British around there. Just Teoh. Make those I never really used straight black. I like to mix my legs because they're not as rich when it's just straight black from the to Here's my little dots. Darker dots. So pretty and there stood expand and lead a little bit. Veins going over my veins again. It's trying. That was a smaller round brush leave. It was two or three now, taking the back of a brush that has a sharp edge. And I am just tracing my veins because what this does is it condense the paper, and when the pain is still a little bit wet, it will sort of flooded into that little ditch that you made on your paper and create a beautiful name. And so I don't even have a main there. My colors in there they will basically still in a little bit, and it helps with the bands later run as well. You can use, even like a razor, lay using old 10 that's dried up head Dan. Anything to just make that little line, and it really works well for making gains already. Kind of find my work and you need your water close. That kind of flooded in a natural way. Now that all of this flooded right away because the light that was a little bit on the dry side, it turned my lead over to see where the veins were actually going. Keep adding color. There's a lot of varieties of folks here in New England. There's red oak there, slack folk. There's white. Oh, this'd either red or black or the white ones have more roundish that have those points. It's just kind of fun to go out and explore nature and figure out. You know what's growing in your environment, the more you know more, you want to protect it, and it's a good thing. - So as my dots air drying, I'm actually adding more of a dark color to the middle of them. Just make it pop where it that's how they look in nature. Even more little baby nuts dryer it gets, then you start using orbit, dry brush hair. I am spraying it. I didn't like the harshness of and I guess so. I just prayed. And now you realize that it's gonna go beyond the lines of your painting there, So it might have made that spread a little bit on the edges. So sometimes you need to mask an area with cloth or something if you just want to spray a little area. And so that's what I usually have at my tables. I have spray bottle. I have a razor blade. I have multiple brushes. I have paper towels and tissues tiles or just for plotting your rush. I don't really use it for blotting out my painting. I used tissues this little softer. They will. Any kind of scratch you make on your watercolor paper. It's gonna show up. Your pain is gonna just gravitate to that like we just scratched it. I'm here. I'm just giving it a little spray with my pains. Makes fine dusts. E love watercolors Just get to play so any kind of scratch you make them on your border colored paper is going toe soak up the color. A lot more might not be good. It could be good with other Thing is, you don't want to wear anything on your skin when you're doing watercolor like lotions or oils. Because if you could you get oil up on your paper. Your water color is not going, Teoh. So in that area you're gonna stay in your paper or it's just gonna make it repel the water color and not performed. So you really want to have clean hands and it's a meteo based paper. Down were hand rests so that you don't soil or get oils works We're not using any kind of resist here It all just using all colors. Another video I will over using resists like with guests waxes At this point, I'm just adding the last details color, right? Think it needs it now? It's already dry in an area And you still in old You gotta dio is wet your brush Do you buy that? And just slightly What I'm doing there is blended with water. You can get rid of that harsh pinch before dries completely any more color. So the other thing I forget a lot is that I put my water bucket water pale to right where I'm working and sometimes in drips as I bringing it over my 18. So just be aware of where your water dish is. How you're water over your painting. This? Yeah, I tend to make drops for five painting, and sometimes I'm not happy about it, but in this case, it does America's. We're gonna still let thes shop there, so this one's just see, just tidying up the edges a little bit and in your final details, So you were wet on wet. In the beginning, you let it dry a little bit, and once it starts drying and you have your base colors down, start adding details and more dry brush manner. Usually, the final touches on your painting are all Dr Rush and your Color watercolor. You always wanted work. Right now, it says in your painting, obviously choose of. Sometimes I see artists. They will. You start your life washes down, but working at a big painting, they nagel and actually darkest darks next, because they want to see you know what their Middle Bali's are just figure out, but their value ranges. But it takes practice. I think this is a really great star and were you to start Morning watercolors is just practice and leaves. Can't make a mistake. Really? All right. The next video, We're just gonna keep doing more of the same. Just a different leave. I'll see you there by 3. more leaves : So the next thing we're gonna do is an elm tree leaf. I live right next to a state forest in my backyard is full of l'm and thes maples and also ash. And And I think, of course, these beautiful oaks, different species, folks so teary and mixing my colors. I'm using sort of like this salmon e, yellow orange. And I'm gonna do the same thing like we did in the last one. I painted it with water, and now I'm adding in my color and I'm going with the strokes of the leaf. So, you know, I like to follow the way it grows when I paint my colors in, because it's gonna show up in the end that way. And I'm just going around the edges and trying to make them sharp with a brighter color, which is my red orange color there. And I'm using like my smaller. It's probably similar number eight brush. I tend to use a powder brush if I could get a point to it. It's great. Um, I want to go switch to my smaller brushes for fine details. And so right now just going around my edges and we're going approach this the same way we used. We did that the last fully so we start off by putting the water cold water wash first. And then we are infusing when I'm wet, What color into wet water. And now I'm taking the back of my brush That is sharp. And I'm adding my veins while while this leap illustration is wet. And I'm just making this in debt into and Tim illustration and the water is gonna sort of pull in there and make a little darker color. Go in there, and later, when I more color, they will. It will just go into those veins. It's a lot of fun. Can't make a mistake. So now we'll just go back and we'll add more color while it's wet. So I'm just going in with a burn number with my fine brush, and I think it's zero that I used, and I'm just going to follow along with my lead next to it. And at that brown, wherever I think it needs to be, and when I hit one of those veins is just gonna sort of believe into that vein. Now if you work with water collars a lot. You will find that some color staying the paper and you can't lift more than others. It's because of the chemical makeup or whatever it's made out of whatever stone or whatever the pigment is made up, some just staying more than others. I find some blue stain more, some greens, pretty intense to staying more that some of these yellow Coker's they don't you can lift, Um, and it could be very forgiving. So I'm just following along. I'm adding this sort of samity reddish yellow color following the veins, leaving some whites for highlights. Think of it like calling your hair highlights and low lights. So if you feel like you put too much down, you could always go in, um, with a clean rush that's not supersaturated and lift it up to make a highlight. I think this is looking really pretty, and this is just a wet on wet charge. I'm adding this color dot and get in, cause I know it's gonna believe I know it's gonna and this is not super wet. This is just slightly shiny, but it was filled with water if it was very like a drippy, wet and it would have a much different look to it and would be not easy to control. So basically, I'm just gonna go back and forth with my brushes and the color and just do exactly what we did with the other really romantic little dots, battle lines, somatic detail. So once you're happy with your background, that's when you to start adding detail. I'm going to see the rest up so you could see the rest and get out to the next two leaves, which are pretty much the same process. 4. Photoshop ,silhouettes and composition: When you're finished with your illustration, you're going to take a photo with your with your phone, which is a nice camera usually, or you can scan it at 600 to 1200 DP I on your printer if you have that. So what I'm doing here is I brought into photo shop and I double clicked by layers palette . I went over to my rectangle tool and I am cropping out most of my image. Then I'm going into my levels, image adjustments, levels and I'm going to hit the right. Uh, I drop her, there was just white and I'm going to select the background and then I'm gonna just little bit to bring up the colors back. Now I'm gonna take my paintbrush and I'm going to paint out the background where it's blue over here. And to add a layer, you're gonna click on the add layer icon in the palate, and I also I'm gonna add a text layer. Okay, I'm done with that. And here we are, all cleaned up, and I'm going to now select some of the background with my rectangle selection tool, and I'm just going to go down and grab similar and I'm going to hit Delete. This is gonna make my backgrounds train spirit. Now I'm gonna add another layer and and create my background layer that is gonna be just white. So if you have on your tools, the foreground color should be white. And before I did that, I am going to just tidy up my leaves with a brush that is 100% hard and it's a round brush . I mean, it's good. And now going to add my around there coming indeed De select. We made a layer option Delete creates the foreground color, drag it down in a rename my layers to leaves and background Awesome. Now they're select my original leaves and I'm gonna take my lasso tool and I'm just going to circle around my separately. It could be in C and command D. But when you do this, make sure you're on the right layer. You always want to be on that original layer and then do your last So Tool Command C Command D. For some reason, this didn't work, so I just kind of redid it and then it works the second time. Here we go. You see community. Go back to your original layer, Use your lasso tool and C command deep. Now I'm just gonna de select my layer. That is my original. I'm gonna drag each one of these separately, flares down to my new lay your palate duplicating them. Awesome. Now we're select to leave and I select my mate Belief here. I'm gonna go toe adjustments, vibrance, And I'm just gonna punch it up a little bit just to make believe a different color than the one that's under it. So you have some variations in your leave colors This way, get lot of mileage out of your illustration, and I'm just gonna do the same with some others. I hate the auto select layer here because when I tap on a leap, I could just move it anywhere, and it will just go to that layer that that we resides on. If you were to select command T, that is a free transformation tool and you can move your You can transform your lead, rotate them, you can scale them, so command t you can scale. If you hold the shift key down while you're scaling, you will have, um you're constrained your her portions. It apply. So I'm just gonna keep doing this somewhere. Play with the colors here. I'm using the hue saturation to make that leave more orange. That looks really pretty. And I'm going to just keep playing with my colors and my scaling and rotation until they come up with a designed that I'm happy with. So I'm speeding up my radio here while I say the leaves. And so I'm just using the anti for free transformation. I'm moving them constraining the edges with my shift tool. I'm changing the vibrance for adjusting the colors. And I'm just trying to make a nice composition here, and I'm gonna add a couple more leads to it by just dragging the lead down to another layer to create a new layer. And then I'm going Teoh, move my layers around, literally grab a layer and her down to go behind. Do you think it should go? So this is the fun time. Have fun playing with your please in your design, wherever you're gonna use it for. Maybe you're using it for Thanksgiving. Invitation, baby, you're using it as a Web banner, maybe a sale page for black Friday. Whatever you need. Todo it's your heart and just have fun playing with really pretty red leaves there. I just can spend hours sometimes doing this. It's just so much fun to me. When you're happy with your design, Turn off the background. Their turnout are tied layer by getting the eyes and then we're gonna grab the layer that we like. We're gonna go they emerge visible holding down our option key. This will make like a stamp of everything that happened back to my layers. I'm gonna poke out the eye on all of the single league players leaving me with just the top layer would grab all of those layers that are single just holding your option key your shift key and then hitting that older, it puts all of them in a folder. And if you missed one like I did, you just basically screwed it in there. I'm really naming this my originals that single week in there and go up to that merge layer and I'm gonna do looking that used my Manti yet again and also just go up there and slip it transformed. Rotate 1 80 degrees. Beautiful. Which where you needed to go. We're still on the auto select layer, so I could just grab it and then duplicate this again Player. I'm going, Teoh. Transform it, Teoh Rotate degrees just with your transformation tools and move it to the right or the left. And that layer and look that one for everything. Sort of looked opposite of each other. Moving around like and type player back on that center on a free transfer for that size. I want to be so much fun now. We just made a beautiful background banner using four leaks. Awesome. Okay, guys, I will see you in the final video. 5. Exporting for print or web: So here we are in our final illustration and we're ready to output. Are art to either a print, maybe a car to some sort of invitation? Or maybe a Web banner or something like that for the Web. We're gonna go to image size and look at your resolution. Its original, because I brought it in from my phone. 72 DP High. It's in pixels. It's 2632 So when it converted two inches a hit re sample at 300 DP I for print, you can see that it changes to 8.73 or 6.73 inches, which is the biggest. You can make it resolution wise for print if you make it any bigger here or lose resolution . So I'm gonna cancel this out. And now let's go up and we're doing RGB, which means that's for the Web. Anything didn't seem like a is for print, and RGB is for the Web. I would leave everything at RGB and make a new document and then open that document and change it to see him like a. If we export this now, you could see that you can do a format of a J peg or a paying or And here's the with in size and by export this Get another box so you could rename it and you can put it wherever you need it. Your file to go on your desktop were in a folder somewhere. We'll cancel that out, too. Somewhere closes and I want to get all of those leaves. We still elated, um, to be a separate file and it's gonna be a transparent peeing file, and it's gonna be argued because I didn't change my documents yet to see him. OK, um, so here I am turning eye on all of my layers that I want to export as a pain. I'm going to go down two layers export lawyers to file and what's gonna happen your brows and figure out where you want to put them in what folder you want, Same folder. And here we go and you're just gonna hit run. It's gonna be visible layers only, and you're gonna duping 24. So then you hit Run. So I do this already. So I'm gonna cancel out of this and I'll go open the files so you could see what they look like hands. I made an extra, um folder called pings. I just have to find them. Here you go. There, there. Now you can see that all of these are a separate file and they're high resolution this heist, you know? But I didn't lower any of the resolution. And they look pretty good there. All the transparent pain file. And here's one that opened in photo shops. You could see it better. It is still RGB, and you could change it to see him like a if you need to to use imprint. Okay. So just delete it. Was it out? No. The image size So you can see it's still 72 dp because they didn't change any of that yet. I change it to 300. It's only two inches by Wantage, so just keep on mine when you're creating your artwork. How big you want? If you're gonna scan your artwork instead of taking a photo with scanned it in at 600 dp I or 1200 d p I. And it would be really large. Okay, Now I'm just going to export safer the way This is the old fashioned way to make like a web document. And, um, that kept the legacy there. And this is paying 24 it is transparent. And I mean, I would have cropped this first. Or you could make a J peg which would make the background opaque white or whatever. Your for background color is hands. I'm making a medium kind of revolution. The qualities is high, and you could change the percentage here. I wanted a little smaller. Maybe my Whenever you upload something to the web, you wanted its smallest possible, so it loads fast. So if you know the dimensions of your web design, um, criteria, then make sure you make your document is close to that. Size is possible here on you would hit saying and not done because it So I'm gonna leave you with a few tips for you to remember solely. Screen up for a second, make a screenshot of it if you like. Thank you so much for joining me for my leave Water color and Photoshopped course Help. Liked it. And if you did, please like and share so I could bring more. Thanks again and