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5 Lessons (47s)
    • 1. supplies

    • 2. pencil sketching & masking

    • 3. inking

    • 4. adding color & detail

    • 5. Outro

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About This Class


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Erin Kate Archer

art & illustration

Top Teacher

erin kate archer is a new york-based artist & illustrator with an ethereal, magical style. her work aims to calm, comfort, and soothe the soul. from immersive knitted seascapes and pastel galaxies to charming children’s book illustrations –  erin makes what was once a static image a tranquil visual journey. 


erin is the illustrator of finbar & fiona; was selected for the sing for hope NYC piano painting project; is a skillshare top teacher, and has created work for a number of consumer brands. 


follow along with her on instagram, check out her portfolio for some finished projects, and vis... See full profile

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1. supplies: To begin, we'll look at supplies your need. Of course, you need watercolor paper. There's hot press and cold press. I prefer cold press. It has a little more texture. hot press is more smooth. Masking tape to mask out the edges, micron pens in size is point one, point three and point five. For your choice of waterproof pen, a white pen to add highlights, a watercolor paintbrush or two. I usually get by with one big round brush and one small round brush, but it's really a matter of preference. Water, paper towels and watercolor palette or paints. There are tons of great watercolor pellets, but I really do like this one by Angora and it's pretty cheap. So I'll leave a link to that one in the description box. 2. pencil sketching & masking: So I've gone ahead and matched at the edges. This keeps the watercolors from leaking into the sides and creates a nice border. I've gone ahead and done my sketch, and I wanted to just do a quick note on creating your sketches, and choosing your subject matter. Here I've used my little baby Pippin, my pet bunny, as a reference. But a really great reference is to use images that you find inspiring on Pinterest or on Instagram. If you're just starting out, I want to encourage you to try tracing and whatever works best for you because it really helps build the muscle memory and it's nothing to be ashamed of, it's great way to practice. After you do a light pencil sketch, I've used a basic mechanical pencil here. Then you can move on to doing your pens. So I'll move on to that next. 3. inking: So next up we are going to work on our pen outline. You should start with your smallest pen and make sure it's waterproof one because we're going to watercolor over it. So this is my 01 micron pen. I also sometimes use the 0.05, but in this case I'm going to go with 0.1. Then you are going to want to go over everything that you've sketched and maybe do a couple of details but not get into in depth with it yet. Then we'll come back and we will do thicker outlines with the 0.3s. Then an even thicker outline in specific places or color in any black areas like in Pepin I, with the 0.5 pen. 4. adding color & detail: Now that we have our align we're going to start with the fun part, doing the actual painting. So we're going to work with our watercolors and a little background. You want to work from lightest to darkest when you're working with watercolor, so any parts of the paper that you need to keep white you want to have just literally be white paper. You generally don't use white paint in watercolors although for watercolor illustrations I often use a white pen to come back in and really flesh out the highlights that are difficult to keep white, like this tiny dot in the eye I will probably end up having to make a little bit of white spot there. We're going to go from lightest to darkest and working as if the light is coming from this direction, making sure this side of the paper, all of this part of the illustration is darker than this side to keep create that depth. Another little tip, when you're creating in an illustration on blank space like this its helpful to create the sense of space by darkening the bottom and maybe even a little bit around the books and the figure in general, and that makes it seem more realistic. 5. Outro: Just some final notes. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. Feel free to ask me a question in comments below or you can always reach me on social media at [inaudible] I'm really looking forward to seeing your projects and seeing what you make of this. I know this is only a short and sweet class, but I'd love to do more specific classes in the future, so if you have any ideas for them, let me know. Thanks again. You're so famous Pep, so cute. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you really enjoyed that.