Chasing Mary Blair's Work + Impact: Create 3 Inspired Illustrations | Amarilys Henderson | Skillshare

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Chasing Mary Blair's Work + Impact: Create 3 Inspired Illustrations

teacher avatar Amarilys Henderson, Watercolor Illustrator, Design Thinker

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

16 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Chasing Mary Trailer

    • 2. Class Overview & Artists

    • 3. About Mary Early History

    • 4. Be Inspired

    • 5. Mary, Chasing Inspiration

    • 6. Mary at Disney

    • 7. Inspired by Scenic Design

    • 8. To Create a Moody Scene

    • 9. Mary Freelancing

    • 10. Inspired by Shape

    • 11. To Create a Fruit Face

    • 12. Mary's Masterwork

    • 13. Inspired by Color

    • 14. To Create a Small World

    • 15. More Mary: Books

    • 16. Big Thanks

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About This Class


Mary Blair was a force, rocking through the art world with her gorgeous work! If you admire illustration, animation or design, you've seen her influence. Her style was unabashedly vibrant, surprisingly flat, and deeply emotive. Her career spanned over iconic films to pop culture art. 

We will take in her work, notice its earmarks, and apply inspiring principles to our own. You will be guided through three project exercises that each mark an era of her career, a simple principle, and a different medium to really experiment and experience a taste of Mary Blair's creative journey. 

This documentary-style class includes the voices of these respected artists: 

Brigette Baragger • Jeff Granito • Jill Howarth • Ira MarcksAnn Shen

Their full interviews will be on YouTube soon!

Meet Your Teacher

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Amarilys Henderson

Watercolor Illustrator, Design Thinker

Top Teacher

Hello! I'm Amarilys. I process on paper and I problem-solve with keystrokes.

As a commercial illustrator, I've had the pleasure of bringing the dynamic vibrance of colorful watercolor strokes to everyday products. My work is licensed for greeting and Christmas cards, art prints, drawing books, and home decor items. My design background influences much of my recent work, revolving around typography and florals.

While my professional work in illustration is driven by trend, my personal work springs from my faith. Follow along on Instagram


Learn a variety of fun and on-trend techniques to improve your work!

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1. Chasing Mary Trailer: When I first saw Mary Blair's work, I was taken aback. There's so much motion, joy and liveliness. Her influence for that era that has translated so well to so many artists that are influenced by her. A lot of us don't even realize it. There's a dozen reasons why everybody should know who she is. She is a [inaudible] any perceptive [inaudible] I knew exactly who Mary Blair was, and exactly how influential she still is to this day. Basically the hallmark of mid century illustration and design. We've all been chasing Mary, and in this class we will look at her work and learn from it to create our own. 2. Class Overview & Artists: In this class we're going to look at a lot of Mary Blair's work and we're going to soak it in and learn from her. You'll have the opportunity to create three pieces, each in a different medium and they're each going to cover a different time frame of her career. We'll go through the history of Mary Blair's career step-by-step and follow in her footsteps. All the while, you'll get to hear other artists chime in on how Mary has influenced their work. For me, it was her unexpected use of color and then the shape, language and design and the movement of every piece. I would apply that to my own work where I use a lot of graphic shape and design drives all of my artwork before anything up. Actually never really anticipated, I would ever get into illustration. But it just evolved over time. I think first of all you have to have a feeling for the palette that you want to go towards as a starting base, but use unexpected colors together. It was kind of just a presence and your childhood has been. Ages five through eight, living right outside Orlando, Florida, so I'd been to Disney World a bunch of that. Disney vibe was a big part of my life. It kind of showed somebody how that work has influenced mine. It's always like just kind of a deeper level, like the mood and the tone of it. I'm Jeff Granito. I [inaudible] I would always call myself a graphic designer and doing that with the parks for about 22 years now. Yeah, and I ended up doing a lot of Hawaiian influence art because I spent a lot of time there growing up and I just got the [inaudible] worth it but we [inaudible] tiki-inspired work. Brigette Barrager had a lot to say about Mary. So I let her handle the Mary history, where she got inspiration from, how she journeyed through her artistic career. Bridget will also share the reason I reached out to her, a book that she worked on called Pocketful of colors. 3. About Mary Early History: Hi everyone, I'm Bridgette Barrager and I'm going to be talking to you about the life and career of Mary Blair. Mary was born in 1911 in Oklahoma. She went to art school at the Chouinard Art Institute is where she met her future husband, Lee Blair. It was the great depression and there wasn't a lot of opportunity as far as being a fine artist was concerned. Out of necessity after graduation from Chouinard, Lee and Mary both got jobs in animation. Mary started working at Disney Animation Studios in 1940. She was doing what we would now call being a visual development artists, which means that she was doing a lot of initial exploration work to figure out what the films we're going to look and feel like and what the characters in those films are going to look like in those environments. It was a lot of exploring and having fun and figuring out colors and how everything would fit together to give the movie the feeling that they wanted it to have. She had always had an aptitude for color, but that aptitude really took off and became amazing after on 1941 trip to South America with Walt Disney and a lot of other Disney artists, her husband Lee included. Mary wasn't initially on it and which her husband was going on as she marched into Disney office and was like, "I'm going on this trip too" and he was like, "okay, you're going on this trip". That was really to me captured the spirit of this amazing woman who was both revolutionary in the way that she designed things and painted and was an artist and as a person. Something about the colors, the environment, the people, the sites there just really opened up her color ability and made it into something incredible and truly know where they. 4. Be Inspired: The most important takeaway from this class is going to be not just learning about Mary Blair and her work, her influence. It's how to incorporate those things into our own work. How did we look at someone's work and bring it into our own while still keeping in our own. I think that that fear sticks in your mind when you're browsing other artists like you come upon somebody's work you are like, ''I just wish I could embody this feeling I'm getting from that artists.'' The way that I define copying is by looking at a piece, having it right in front of you and doing it exactly to the letter. I wanted to tell you that that is a great way to learn and I think on Skillshare a lot of times it's great to go step-by-step and follow someone's process. It takes the guesswork out of what to do next? What colors to incorporate? How can I make this my own? What's the subject matter, et cetera and so you're just focusing on how to do this thing. Those pieces are wonderful to build into ourselves and then they're great to stash into a drawer, take out a fresh sheet of paper and do our own thing. At that point, we transition from copying to learning. When I sit down to actually work, I try to just not recall anything specifically and just let these things be like vague impressions in your mind so that way you're free to create. Now let me talk about the transition from copying to learning to being inspired by. The type of learning that you can gain without taking out your art supplies and just being inspired by, is by paying attention. You have to really study what you like about it, what drew you in to it. One of the greatest traits of an artists, one of the greatest skills of an artist is to notice things. Van Gogh said that I don't really look at something until I paint it. There's something about having to paint and notice every highlight, every detail in whatever you're creating and that's when you really look at things. The more you grow as an artist you will be driving down the road and notice the different shades of green in a forest. You'll notice the different shades of blue in the water. You'll notice how things interplay. You'll notice shapes in your environment. You look at Instagram, you look at somebody's piece and you say, ''Wow, how did they do that? How can I do that'' You'll look at different areas of their work be it; shape, color, skill level in detail, the composition, be it subject matter, mood. There's so many things that we can pick up on in a piece as we appreciate it and take note of what it is that you've really reacting to and that's what you're going to draw from literally. 5. Mary, Chasing Inspiration: Mary Blair's three main influences. Pruett Carter was one of Mary Blair's teachers and mentors at the Chouinard Art Institute. He remained her mentor after she graduated as well. He was an illustrator in the classical sense, heat ranger in wash, oils, and watercolors. He was actually a fine artist and he did a lot of illustration for magazines. Back then, magazines were what YouTube is for us today. It was fun stories and the illustrations in those stories really had to pull the reader into the content. He emphasized composition and color, but he also emphasized storytelling through the Word. Because again, he's illustrating for these stories. Some of the story has to come through in that work and Mary's pieces are always about storytelling. You see a lot of that one-to-one influence there. You can tell that he's really thinking about how am I going to get across the idea of this story in one image? Number two, Raoul Dufy. Raoul Dufy was part of a group of artists called the fauvist. These guys were not interested in just interpreting reality and doing a painting of something the way that it looked. They were working in the first part of the 20th century, so photographs existed already. If you wanted a realistic rendering of something, you can take a picture of it. These guys were about looking at something and figuring out what is it feel like and then interpreting that, and bringing it onto the Canvas. They were really about expressive, vibram, wild colors. Their painting is a lot of fun to look at because they are so bright and beautiful. Dufy in particular uses a lot of painterly loose brush strokes and his watercolors. They give it a lights, playful, almost childlike feeling. He definitely doesn't paint things the color that they necessarily are in reality, which gives it like a dreamlike or childlike feeling. I see a lot of Dufy's influence, especially those loose painterly brushstrokes on Mary Blair's work for Alice in Wonderland. There's some scenes where Alice is sitting at the Tea Party and all the bushes behind her have this calligraphic shapes in D-shaped throughout them, and I really see a lot of Raoul Dufy in and that. The last one is Henri Matisse. Matisse is probably the most well-known of all of the fauvist. If you've been to an art museum, it's likely that you have been in the presence of a Matisse before. I find them to be really arresting pieces always. Matisse would often abbreviate space. If he was painting a room or a place, he would abbreviate that space into a flat plane of really bold color and the pieces never felt flattened out. They definitely felt like they had depth. But that choice to make something into a flat plane of vibrant color that was really bold and very unusual for that moment in painting. Matisse also use a lot of expressive and painterly brush strokes to get the paintings to feel the way that he wanted them to feel. Matisse begun making paper cut out colors in vibrant colors and if you look at that work, I really see a connection between his paper cut out work and the work that Mary Blair was doing for it's a small world. Some of that work was also paper collage using a lot of bright, bold colors, and shapes. 6. Mary at Disney: In this segment, we're going to focus on another huge aspect in Mary's work, creating a mood and atmosphere. During her time at Disney, she worked on the following films. Saludos Amigos, Song of the South, Make Mine Music, Melody Time, So Dear to My Heart, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and two of my personal favorite Disney animated films, the Three Caballeros and Alice in Wonderland. Three Caballeros is especially wonderful and colorful and full of her artistic direction because she was an art supervisor on that film. It also contains the only background painting that Mary ever did for a film. That's the only work of Mary's book she drew on film. 7. Inspired by Scenic Design: The way that Mary approached a landscape is similar to a pop-up book. When it is popped up, you see all of us flat planes of let's say, a castle. You see the shapes of the castle, you see something else layered in front of it, and all these layers make the environment. I'm trying to necessarily make the foreground, middle ground and background. She was pretty at all up front, and flattened perspective. But what was really unique is that she also created a mood within these pieces. To create the mood she used color. She really put her feelings into pieces. With those contrasting colors, with details of mysterious fog or haze or a glow in the distance. These little cues really add a lot when you put the picture together and draw the person in, into this environment of wonder and beauty. 8. To Create a Moody Scene: You're going to see me take my paints out on the road. I am at the skate park, and I'm setting up shop to do a Mary Blair-like take on my atmosphere. I took the environment, and I wanted to bring in a bit of a Peter Pan feel. I've got all my needed supplies. I've got these little golden books of Peter Pan, and really I'm just taking from it some of those cool greens and blues so that it would feel like he was in the middle of a lush area and in his own imagination, this is his own little wonderland. I always have my paints on the go, this is the sketchbook I use by Strathmore, and it does the job. It's five and a half by eight. I'll flip through it real quickly. There's really nothing terribly impressive in it. I will sketch at my car, at church, at work, at home, wherever. The boys also sketch in there too. Here's my page. Now the paints that I use are Mission Gold watercolor paints, and they are tubes that I squirt out into this $2 palette that I carry with me, and I use a water brush by Pentel. The first thing I want to do is survey my environment. Obviously, there's a lot of green. I want to bring in some of that pinkish-purple color that I think I'll incorporate in the ramps themselves where the activity is. Now by far, the hardest thing to do when you're creating work is to start. I start very light and very wet with my paints. The way to use water brush is you squirt, and you get the water out of the body of the brush, that you will later replenish and create just a little pull on your palette to then draw from paint and create your watercolor paint consistency that you need. Once I've laid out the page or broke in the picture, I want to look at my focal point. This is it, my son on a scooter. I jumped to this stage because I really enjoy drawing figures straight from reference with no pencil lines. The way that I do that is by focusing on the shapes that I see and prioritizing which ones are most important. I felt like the thrust of his body going forward, that jet camera shape that he has to his body was the most important thing to start with. This is my first layer. This is my base layer, and really most of the work is done. The layout is done. I'm bringing in the colors that I wanted to do. I still don't have that mysterious feel yet. I'm going to want to push that at this point. We're going to add some details with some watercolor and maybe some chalky texture with colored pencils. Here's a quick zoom out so you can see how I'm drawing from the book, inspiration, and then putting it on paper. These pencils are overkill. I'm not going to need that many they're Prismacolor, a set of 72, and the one that I'm using now is a peach. The reason why I used that one is because it's a light color that unifies that purple with the green. In order to make these leaves really stand out, I'm taking a hint from Mary and using warm colors right on the very cool colored leaves. Another color you'll notice a lot is ultramarine blue, which is tying it all together. I used a lot of it in the background to add a little more mystery. It's hard to work on just white paper. Mary usually worked on dark paper, but with watercolor, it has to be that way. I'm pretty happy with my boy, I just added some shadows with that color pencil, and it really added that texture that you feel in so much of that mid-century work. [inaudible] really pushed through her concept art. The thing I always loved about it is, it's so design-driven. Meaning, it's got a great balance of positive and negative space. Like she's just a master of bringing the right amount of darkness. [inaudible] is off the charts is just amazing that a level of detail that she couldn't accomplish in such a small scale. It's just [inaudible] away, and the color is just so much more vibrant if you can see it in person. In summary, I took shapes, and I made them flat. At least I wasn't worried about being anatomically correct in each one of these things. I focused on design motifs, and I focused on colors that would have the feeling and impact that I wanted to create. My piece is not a Mary Blair piece, it is mine, and those are the ways that we can incorporate or take cues from other artists. 9. Mary Freelancing: Just as Mary was inspired by Matisse, we're going to look at the use of shape. In 1953, after working on all those films, Mary left to pursue her freelance career. She did lots of advertisements, lots of illustrations for advertising, and she also did a lot of iconic children's books, including the Little Golden Book, I Can Fly, which is still in print today. Now, Mary did most of her work, mid-century, along with a lot of other booming artists at the time that had a different perspective on how to do art. I think just something about her, is that blend of like 50s 60s design and the gouache technique they are also just timeless and trendy at the same time, they're very hip. A lot of digital artists still embodied these textures. We're still trying to recreate them through our digital tools. At the mid-century artwork, you see a lot of flat shapes, you see a lot of boldness, and you see a focus on shape, color, and composition. That's what we're going to focus on in this segment. We're going to focus on some of the advertising. Mary was very clever in her use of shapes. We're going to play on something that's pretty famous of hers. As a disclaimer, the project that we're going to create now is very much derivative of Mary Blair's work. The whole concept of taking an object and metamorphosing it is nothing new. You don't need to be afraid of ripping off that idea per se. But as you'll see, it's pretty easy to get pretty darn close to Mary Blair's concept that she actually used repeatedly in her work. 10. Inspired by Shape: We're going to take a face and incorporate it with a drink or a fruit. Take whatever drink you might like or you might want to highlight, maybe a teacup or a coffee mug and we're just basically going to use that as half of the face and the top half be the actual face. I will be incorporating a fruit into my face and that's going to be a pineapple. As you can see a lot of times I'll just flip my hair into a very messy bun. It takes me seconds to do and it can easily look like a pineapple. So in the projects that I'm showing in this class, we've done watercolor. Now we're going to work in cut paper another one of Mary's favorite ways to work. She would often work in cut paper because it is very graphic, very bold, very flat, and with an emphasis on shape. So some of the supplies I'm going to use are paper. I have some very bright card stock paper. They are the brand Astrobrights. You can use magazine papers or origami papers. Any of that would be fun, just according to whatever fruit or drink you're doing. So I'm obviously going to need yellow and I'll use some other elements in it too. I'm also going to need watercolor papers. So I'm going to have my watercolor paper be where I paint my face and then the cut paper will be the pineapple. I'm going to first cut the pineapple. You can use scissors to cut your shapes or you can use an X-Acto knife and a cutting board. I usually do like to use an X-Acto blade, but I'm going to use scissors just to make this quick. We're going to cut out my pineapple shape. That's interesting. That's the thing with cut paper, the shape will always be maybe a little more interesting and imperfect. We going to cut out some fun shapes to try to display the hexagon pattern that there is on pineapples and the more I work, the more I understand kind of why Mary did some of the things she did. So I'm going to get even more and more simplified with my shapes. It's that mid-century feel and it's very much alive right now. Just too predictable into rhythmic. The biggest challenge is trying to [inaudible] the imperfectness. When you first look at her work it's pretty perfect. The shapes are perfect, the lines are pretty straight. But when you really get into it, it's that imperfectness that creates the interest. It felt like you could do it and that was the deception was that it was so brilliantly designed, simple, brilliant design is the hardest thing to do that [inaudible] So now that I have an idea, let's say this is the chin, at least to have an idea of how big my face is on this page. I'm going to start painting. In my paints here for my skin tone, I'm going to use tropic gold of Dr. Ph. Martin's liquid watercolors. They're the radiant concentrated line. So tropic gold and amber or yellow. I also on here I have Indian yellow here. I'll probably bring in some sunrise pink for my cheeks. I'm using a Filbert brush and this is a size 15. I'm using a large brush because I want to and keeping this playful, not get too bogged down with how I think things should look. Now in Mary's works, they were mostly the entire body of the person. I didn't particularly want to describe myself as having a pineapple body. But I also wanted to keep this relatively simple and approachable. Not just to keep it easy, but just so that we would do it. I'm reaching for my ice pink for my cheeks. Mary and I both really like pink. This is antelope brown for my hair. Just going to drop in the pink. If you're interested in faces, I do have a class called Expressive Little Faces, where I show more of my method in the proportions and select a fun aspects of drying faces. We will get tighter and tighter and more detail later but for now I just start with a wet on wet technique where I start with water, drop it in, and then add some color so that the color really bleeds and we celebrate and enjoy the fun and madness that comes with watercolor doing that. All right, let's test this with the pineapple half of my face. Let's do my messy bun and there's always a curl that's little skew. We're going to let this dry and we'll do the eyes in bluer shades though. All right, so I added some ears because I felt like my face really needed, it was just bugging me there were no ears. But you're seeing how this is shaping up. We'll paint the background, add some shoulders here to really add that look and add in some eyes and eyebrows. Let's do that. Take these pieces off again. This brush is a number two, round. The brand is Royal & Langnickel, and it's from the espresso line. The eyes, the way Mary did are more often very graphic, also just shapes. So I'm just doing a couple of half circles, and filling them in with watercolor. This is definitely taking a cue from one of her paintings with two little boys and we know that this is not going to show. But as I'm exploring shape a little more in trying to make this face as simple as possible with just a few shapes. I'm having fun learning at this point. Were going to use the same color that I used for the face tones, for my eyebrows and I'm going to put in a couple of lines here too so that something dips in underneath the pineapple. Put in some shoulders that are going to peek out from underneath. It's keeping with the same color scheme. I think I'll make the background also blue but with a hint of a violet tone to it. Don't be afraid of showing brushstrokes. It adds to that playful, quick feel, that dry brush look when your brush is just running out of paint and it's little edges of hair start popping out. One more thing as this dries, I'm going to add just a little bit of white and the white I'm using is Copic white. It's a very nice opaque option. This is a craft brush, this is size eight round. It's a little big for highlights. That's okay. Again, we'll wait for this to dry and we'll add our cut paper pieces and we'll be done. 11. To Create a Fruit Face: First I'm going to glue these little pieces onto the pineapple. It hurts me but I'm going to just move them off. I'm going to use this acrylic gel medium, I've also used the Liquitex brand. The biggest difference that you're going to encounter with gel medium is that it'll leave a glazed look on your sheet, and I find that the Liquitex definitely does have that clear coat. If you don't like that, look for a matte finish gel medium. Now, find a junkie but clean brush, I say that because you're probably not going to use it again, and you want to make sure that it's clean or else it's going to leave some color if they're in these bristles on your paper. Just to make sure that my brush is clean, I'm going to dip into the gel medium, and use it on a scratch sheet of paper, and it's coming off clear. What I like about using lubing in this method, is that first, I am comfortable with a brush. But secondly, I can cover the entire surface and not worry about where exactly my pieces are going to land. The other thing that I like about it is that it's a method of also sealing the work in. Because once you place it down, you're going to brush over it again with that gel medium. You want to make sure that you cover it entirely with the gel medium, or else you're going to have little corners that start popping up. Keep your brush wet and a little tacky, so that you can even pick up your pieces with it. Now, I'm going to show you a different way to glue. A more accessible way to glue is with a glue stick. Now that my pineapple is all full of its detailed pieces, I can place it on top, use my glue stick on the back, and go ahead and tack it on. For fun, just trying out this look. I just felt like I had to have glasses to look like myself, a little bandit. What do you think? We look likely?. 12. Mary's Masterwork: You'll probably hear the word color, over and over and over again. Male>> Yeah, I especially like her use of colors. There are just so great. Female>> In the color, the color is just so much more vibrant. She can see it personally. Female>> Because that's what Mary was best known for, her unique use of color. Female>> Even if you think that you're not familiar with Mary Blair's work, if you think you may not have heard of this person before, if you've been to Disneyland and you've been on the It's A Small World Ride, then, you know Mary Blair's work. She came back to Disney in the early sixties to work on the Small World Attraction that was going to be in the 1964 World's Fair. There are now many different versions of it at different Disneylands, but the original is at Disneyland. If you've been on that ride, you've seen her work, she designed continents of work. Male>> She evokes a lot of the culture, sort of like the design patterns. Female>> Definitely the most iconic thing that comes to mind, although she worked on that with other imagineers. Male>> Everybody our first introductions was Small World Female>> Working on the It's A Small World Ride was the pinnacle of Mary's career. She really loved it. She had free reign of what she could do. She was appreciated for the gifts she brought to the table. She wasn't only working on the ground level of a great work, she was working throughout it in the concept, the design, even in the implementation. Mary really put her heart and soul into this and we're going to take some of that fun, focus on shapes, drawing from different cultures and create our own piece by being inspired by the work that she has done already. 13. Inspired by Color: I'm going to admit that I have been long intimidated by doing a Small World type piece. But we're friends. In that spirit, we're going to do it together. She liked working on colored paper, particularly black paper, and that's where I'm going to start. I'm going to use gouache. I have not used gouache in 15 years. I used it in college. Those design classes, they really want you to use gouache and I hated it. It's a chalky substance. It has its own personality and I was not jiving with that personality, but I'm ready to give it another go. I am using the Arteza gouache. Again, my first time. But the reason why I really wanted to use this brand of gouache is because it's a starter set with a ton of different colors. Mary Blair didn't often mix colors, if at all. She used colors right out of the tube and they were vibrant and consistent. I wanted a set that had a lot of different colors, especially some peaches, some violets. I've found that with this set. Here we are. We're going to do a it's a Small World type layout on black paper with gouache. Three things that are scary to me. But it makes it exciting too. All right, I'm going to use black paper from Strathmore. I've done a lot of colored pencil work back in the day with the Canson papers. But what I like about this one is that actually has a very flat finish for creating these geometric shapes. It'll be good to not have something that's textured. I'll be using the Arteza gouache set. They have a lot of different colors, which is wonderful. I especially like this flashy pink and this mof I'm going to use a lot of this ultramarine blue. 14. To Create a Small World: First we're going to start with the white. When you want a color to be predominant in your piece, you start with it and you end with it. I know I want my white clock to be predominant. To add more interest and to make it feel like there's light cast on it, I'm going to tape off half of my circle with masking tape so that I can work right up to the edge here. The great thing about gouache is that it's not going to leave a plasticy film as acrylics usually do. Gently take off my tape. I have a nice crisp line. Mary painted with her paints right out of the tube, so we are going to wash our brush often so that we have those pure colors. One of the questions that you might ask is how do you know where to paint? What color? I start out with, the color that I want to be predominant, and then I choose, am I going to now start work with. Warm colors first, and then cool colors. Reason being that this type of piece, instead of representing something that necessarily looks like this, it really relies on rhythm. This is a piece that's all about color theory and rhythm. You work at it somewhat systematically and around your page, you can have a much better rhythm as you're working on things. The way that I keep distributing color consistently is I start out with the white, again, start and end with the color that you want to be emphasized the most. Then I started with warm colors, so those peaches and the red. I did it mix a little bit of the white with the vermilion red to create this pink. It's not my faith to mix gouache and I think maybe that's my Mary didn't do it, I don't know. Now I'm ready to work with my cool colors. Something I've learned gouache is that it goes quickly, so you should score it quite a bit of it. A painting tip is when you are trying to fill in a color to press down and go wide with your brush, and when you're trying to add definition to an edge to use the very tip of it. I really do like the edge that the gouache leaves this chalky edge, such a fun dry brush look, bringing some of those architectural elements. These are shutters. But I want you to focus more on doing fun, colorful shapes. It's just fun to take this strategy of working and see where it leads you. I got plenty of that sky blue going, so pretty, I really do like these colors. Now I'm going to bring in that ultramarine. I'm just going to keep filling with my cool colors now. I've got some warms, I've got some cools. Note about gouache that it dries quickly, miss to my watercolors always be in there for me. This yellow ocher, it's going to bring some definition. It's one color that's slightly different and it ties them together. You're starting out with nothing and you build and you build, and you build. I'm going to switch from my eight round. This is just a craft sable brush, really nothing fancy, and now moving to a number four liner brush. The reason why I'm using this is because I'm going to do some lines with them with it and I want them to flow. I love when the brush just bends with you. It creates really irregular shapes and lines. Something that's fun about gouache is that you can reactivate the paint with some water. It won't have the same consistency as the paint coming straight out of the tube and fresh, but it is possible, and it's a nice little detail. Something that I really enjoy about Mary's work is that a lot of times she'll show little details of the molding, these tiny little suggestive lines, using it a little wet to reactivate some of these paints so that their fluids looking a little more 'Alice in Wonderland', than small world. But I really don't mind. Fun fact. When I was about five, I watched Alice in Wonderland every night, I'm really not exaggerating. Again. I'm coming back to that white here at the end to add little motifs, little details, to add definition to what I'm doing here. This is the fun part. Free hand drawing some geometric shapes. It's hard to get the right consistency between water and paint to make it fluid but still keep it opaque. If you are experiencing that, I totally understand, I hear you. I almost forgot to tell you, that if you want to buy your own set of paints, the same Arteza paints that I have used, let me take it around through the box, use the code below to get a discount. 15. More Mary: Books: I'm going to show you some books that I've really enjoyed to get your Mary Blair juices flowing. The Art and Flair of Mary Blair. It's really got a ton of her work. It goes through her whole story and I've underlined quite a bit of it. I wish a lot of those pages where like this space so I could put them up and frame them. This book is by Joey Chou and he has some beautiful color palettes in here. Basically every spread is a different color, focal, feel. It's called, "It's a Small World" and it's to commemorate the, It's a Small World. Of course it has Mary Blair Flair. Finally, Pocket Full of Colors. This book was illustrated by Bridget Barrager herself and I'm going to let her talk about the creation of this book. Pocket Full of Colors is the book illustrated by me about Mary's life and career up to the point where she creates, It's a Small World. I almost didn't agree to work on this book because my background is in animation and I knew exactly who Mary Blair was, exactly how important she was to the history of animation, and exactly how influential she's still is to this day. I was pretty inseminated with the idea that I was going to have to represent this legendary artist. Ultimately though, I love the way that the writers told her story and I decided that I had to overcome my personal fears about working on it and do my best to make Mary proud. I didn't ever set out to make the art in the book look like a weak or watered down copy of Mary Blair's work. One, that wouldn't do her justice. Two, it wouldn't do any good for me because I don't set out to be a weak copy of someone else, but I really want to be myself and all the projects that I work on. I had to figure out a way to interpret her work and make it my own at the same time. The best way to do that for me was to focus on the story and focus on what was happening on every page and really make the page about whatever the feeling was that was supposed to be happening in her story. Figuring out what that mood, what that emotion is, what's the point of this particular beat in her tail? My process went a little something like this. The first thing that I did was a ton of research. Because Mary was a real person working in a real studio, interacting with other real people in real places, working on real movies. It was really important for me to be super familiar with what all those places and people and things looked like. I read and bookmark a giant stack of books that was sitting on my desk. I did a million Google image searches. Formally for this book, I use the shape-based style, which means that there just wasn't an outline around any of the objects that I was painting. I thought that that would emulate Mary's work the best since most of the work she did was paintings and didn't have any line work around the edge. It also gave me more opportunity to have fun and be more painterly. I sketched out each and every page before I start coloring it. I usually do a super rough version of the sketch just to get everything laid out and then a more tied down version of the sketch where I get the more details figured out. Then I go to color it from there. I did my finished work using Photoshop. I did this for a few reasons. One, I already knew that my painting ability was not up to par with Mary Blair's painting ability. I wasn't one of Pruett Carter's pupils so Photoshop is what I usually make my books with. I also knew that I would have a lot more opportunity to play with color and make adjustments if I was working in Photoshop versus working in traditional medium. A good example of all of this work coming together is the South America spread in Pocket Full of Colors. There are tons of photos of Mary on the South America trip, so I could see what she was wearing and what kind of art supplies she was using and just like what she looked like in that particular era of her life. I used the actual paintings that she made on the trip as reference for the colors and the kinds of shapes that I wanted to use. I also used the title cards, artwork from three cameo arrows as inspiration for the patterns and shapes that I wanted to use on that page. I wanted the reader to see Mary in this vibrant, living, magical, tropical place that inspired her so much by focusing in on the feeling that Mary was having while she was there. The colors are literally flying and streaming around her from the environment into her paintbrush and right into her suitcase, which is a metaphor for all of the inspiration that she got from South America, coming home with her to the studio and influencing her work from there on out. I feel that there's something magical that happens when the way that something looks and the way that it feels comes together. It feels magical and it feels like truth. 16. Big Thanks: Through the creation of this class, I've really enjoyed diving deep into Mary's work in life. I encourage you to look deeper if this has piqued your interest. But first please do dabble with how you might be chasing Mary in your own work. Post your project with any of the projects that I suggested throughout this class. If you felt you were inspired by or influenced by a certain aspect of our work, incorporate that and tell us how you did that. I think it's a bit of a mystery, how we can be influenced by each other and yet incorporate it into our very own style and it's pretty exciting to see those two come together. I want to thank the artists that were a part of this class, grateful for everyone who has documented about it and I will post links to Moore, if you want to read more about Mary, or even watch a YouTube video that I really enjoy watching a documentary. Let me know if there's any other way that I can help you and I'm happy always to respond to projects. It's pretty exciting to see how all of our pieces influence each other, as we're contemporaries and how we can grow in the future. Tell a friend about this class if you think that it would be helpful to them. [ MUSIC ]