Colouring With Markers - Create Texture & Effects | Bärbel Dressler | Skillshare

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Colouring With Markers - Create Texture & Effects

teacher avatar Bärbel Dressler, Pattern designer & history nerd

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

    • 1.

      1 Intro


    • 2.

      2 Welcome & Overview


    • 3.

      3 About alcohol based markers


    • 4.

      4 The colorless blender


    • 5.

      5 Fix mistakes


    • 6.

      6 Exercise 1 - Moving color


    • 7.

      7 Brighten a color


    • 8.

      8 Exercise 2 - The shoes


    • 9.

      9 Create textures


    • 10.

      10 Exercise 3 - The bracelet


    • 11.

      11 Fade to white


    • 12.

      12 Exercise 4 - The pearl earrings part 1


    • 13.

      13 Exercise 4 - The pearl earrings part 2


    • 14.

      14 Class project - Create your illustrations


    • 15.

      15 Class project - scan, isolate & assemble


    • 16.

      16 Show your work!


    • 17.

      17 End note


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About This Class



Because of the diversity of professional markers you can use them for so many types of illustrations: fashion and beauty, technical and industrial, comic and manga, book & magazine and commercial illustrations.

In this course we take the next step in learning how to use professional alcohol based markers - this time to add depth to our illustrations with more shading, reflections and creating all kinds of textures.

The class focuses on the very specific marker called the (colorless) blender, that was briefly introduced in the introduction class ”The fundamentals of coloring with markers”, but this time you will get the full on program on this useful tool.

The blender is an essential tool if you want to create life like illustrations with texture, reflections and seamless shading. But a lot of people starting with markers misunderstand it’s purpose and start using it the wrong way, with the risk of messing up their illustrations and end up not using it anymore. Which is a pity since you can have so much fun with it and create really cool effects.

In a handful of fun exercises you’ll practice using the blender and it’s features and at the same time create a bunch of illustrations that you can use for different purposes - like adding them to an illustration portfolio, uploading as artwork to print-on-demand services like Society6 and Redbubble for example or use on your social media platforms.


• How alcohol based markers and the blender are constructed, explaining the DNA of the two ink versions on the market, their components and differences between them.

• What different nibs that you can get for the blender and what you can do with them.

• The most common misconceptions about the colorless blender and why they exist.

• How the blender really works.

• How to fix mistakes with the blender.

• Three techniques for creating depth and effects with the blender.

• How to create life like and commercial illustrations that you can use for all kinds of purposes and also include in your portfolio.


This is a beginner to intermediate class about using professional alcohol based markers.

If you have never tried markers before and need an introduction or just want to refresh your skills, I recommend you take my course about markers ”The Fundamentals of Coloring with markers” first. In that course you will learn the basic stroke and coloring techniques, how to use layers, basic shading, how the color system works and get some exercises to practice using markers and this will get you started.


1) A pencil and eraser

2) Marker paper, that doesn't bleed through. 

3) 7-12 markers of various colors:

- At least one natural blending group with 2-3 different shades

- 3-4 grey tones - with at least one light and one mid tone

- 2-3 very bright shades, anything from 0000 to 00 is great

- Any other colors you have available and useful for your class project

4) Optional: A fineliner if you want to make a contour or fine details in your illustrations.

5) For your class project you can use a row of inspirational sources like pinterest, google, brand websites, magazines and products you have at home.

6) A scanner to digitalize your illustrations.

7) Adobe Photoshop where we will edit and assemble our illustrations for the class project.

8) Optional: Adobe Illustrator for creating an inspiration board for the class project.

9) Optional: Instagram - If you want to, join me in displaying all our illustrations and class projects on Instagram too, by using the hashtag #MyTrendCollage.

So let's get started and have some marker-fun! See you in class :-)


Meet Your Teacher

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Bärbel Dressler

Pattern designer & history nerd

Top Teacher




 I'm Bärbel Dressler, a surface pattern designer and educator living in Stockholm, Sweden - where I run my business Bear Bell Productions. 

My big creative passions ever since I was a kid are drawing and history. When I discovered that surface pattern design was an actual profession I found the perfect way to combine these two.

Studying historical patterns and styles is how I've learned advanced pattern design and it also helped me develop my own style.

With my courses I want to share this magical world of drawing, pattern design and history, help aspiring pattern designers learn how to create patt... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. 1 Intro: Hi, I'm Babble at Babble Productions and I'm a Pattern Designer and Illustration Artist. When I create my illustrations, one of the medias closest to my heart is alcohol-based markers. They are easy to learn how to use and you can create great effects with professional markers. But there is a one specific marker that can be difficult to understand how to use. I'm talking about the colorless blender or the blender. The blender is actually surrounded by some misconceptions about what you can do with it. You wouldn't think that you can use it to blend colors, right? Well, wrong. In this class, I will address those misconceptions, straighten them out, and show you the real features of the blender. In a bunch of fun illustration and coloring exercises, you will learn how to use the blender in different ways, and also get to practice some new techniques. I have designed the exercises and also your class project for this course in a way so that you can use those illustrations outside of this course too. For example, you can include them in an illustration portfolio. So come join me, learn more about markers and the blender, and you will graduate from this class with a bunch of professional looking illustrations. 2. 2 Welcome & Overview: Hi and welcome to class. I'm Barbel at Barbel Productions and I'm a pattern designer and illustration artist from Stockholm, Sweden. I'm so happy you want to join me in this class about coloring with marker, and this course is going to be about a very specific marker and what you can do with it, and that is the blender or the colorless blender as it's also called. The blender has many uses, but there are some common misconceptions about what a colorless blender is and what you use it for? One reason for that could be the name itself, the blender, because it's actually quite misleading. But in this course, I'm going to teach you the what and the how's of the colorless blender. This is a class for all kinds of levels; beginners, semi-beginners, and even season marker users can pick up a thing or two. If you are a beginner though, I recommend that you take my first class about coloring with markers. It's called artistic illustrations, the fundamentals of coloring with markers. In this class you'll get all the basics you need to get started. What markers are, how the color systems work, recommendations on what markers to start with, and the basic coloring techniques. Learning about the colorless blender and how to use it is also a part of the basics, but it's better if you have start to get to know this media a bit first, before you start using the blender. This is what we're going to cover in this class and what you will learn, what an alcohol-based marker is. This is essential to understand how to use them and make use of their characteristics. I'm going to talk about the common misconceptions about the blender and then how it actually works and what you can do with it. I'll touch on different types of blenders or rather the different nibs to use. After that, we'll dive into the different uses with some exercises where you can practice each feature at your own pace. Last but not least, I will give you a fun assignment, as your class project. One that you can use to broaden the scope of your illustrating skills, and something that you can also include in an illustration portfolio. We're going to make a collage of colored illustrations, like a trend page in a glossy magazine, but more on that later. For this class, you will need some markers of different colors and you can use as many as you want, depending on what theme, or what products you want to create later on in your collage, but you're going to need at least one natural blending group within a specific color group of your choice. If you don't remember what a natural blending group is, you can re-watch lesson 3 and 11 in my other course, the fundamentals of coloring with markers. If you don't have many blending groups with three or more shades, you can get pretty far with just two shapes within the same blend in group two. In some of the exercises, I'm going to use just two shades in a blending group. Another great resource for the exercises is a bunch of really light shades. Everything from four zeros to two zeros is very useful for the exercises we're going to do. I also recommend that you have two or three shades of gray. No need for a 50 shades of gray here. You also need a colorless blender of some sort. If you can get both a standard one, will this small ballpoint tip in one end and also one with a brush nib in one end. You need paper too, of course, and you can pick any of your favorites if you have any. I have been using a paper from Canson a lot. It's their marker pad called The Wall of a 120 grams or a 135 pounds. It's a bit thicker and sturdier and the color will not bleed through to the other side with this one, and I use an A4 size. For the exercises, I will use a larger sized paper, that Copic marker pad, which has thinner paper, only 70 grams, and it's a lot flimsier, but it will work well for what we're going to do. You also need a pencil and an eraser, and you can also have a black fine liner at hands too in case you want to use that for contours. If you're ready, let's get this show on the road. 3. 3 About alcohol based markers: In order to understand how the colorless blender works, we need to get some facts about what an alcohol-based marker really is and how it works. So here comes a short chemistry lesson. Inside the marker is a liquid and a color substance; It's the ink and the alcohol is the vehicle or medium that carries the color substance and transports it through the nib and applies the ink onto the paper, and the alcohol dries or evaporates leaving a code of color. The alcohol in alcohol-based markers, either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol which is also found in cleaning products like alcohol rub and hand rub. Because alcohol is used as the carrier and the binder and not water, the color will be permanent. The color substance in an alcohol-based marker can be either a dye or pigment. So what's the difference between dye and pigment? You wonder, well, a way to explain it is to compare them with mud and sugar water. If you scoop up a cup of mud water from a mud pool, the water is brown and you can see that there is dirt and small particles dispersed in the water. If you would set the cup on the shelf and leave it alone for awhile, those particles will settle and fall to the bottom and be separated from the water. This sort of mix is called a suspension using chemical terms. If you mix a spoonful of sugar into a cup of water, the sugar will completely dissolve into the water and if you leave it for a while, you won't get a layer of sugar particles settling at the bottom. Chemically, this is called a solution. The sugar, the solute is dissolved into the water, the solvent, to form a solution. Now how's that for a school throwback for you. Pigments are like the mud, finely ground particles of color which are suspended in the medium, in this case, alcohol to create the ink. Dyes are chemicals and like sugar, they are dissolved in the alcohol to create ink. The effects and difference is that since the pigment ink consists of small particles, they can't go past the fibers of the paper and when they are applied onto it because they are not small enough. Since they're not physically bound to the alcohol on a molecular level, the fibers are physically stopping the particles to travel through, so it won't sink into the paper stay on top. A dye, on the other hand, is bound to the alcohol and we'll chemically bind to the paper and become a part of it. What does this mean when it comes to markers? Most markers like Copic and Promarkers are using dye-based ink, but recently more pigment markers have appeared on the market, with examples like the pigment marker from Winsor and Newton. The differences and effects are that since pigment markers sits on top of the paper, they are more opaque. Dye-based colors are more translucent, so mixing colors of die usually gives a better blended result. While pigment colors can often look muddy. A pigment color does not bleed through the paper or fade as easily as the dye colors do. Markers with dye-based ink tend to fade when exposed to natural or artificial light, so it's important to protect your originals from light by using UV resistant glass or archive them in a way that they're not exposed to light. In the next segment, I'll talk about how the blender works and what you can use it for. 4. 4 The colorless blender: There are some common misconceptions about the colorless blender and what it does. In this segment, I'm going to straighten them out and talk about what the blender really does. But first, a little note on the blender color code. So if you have watched my first course about markers, the fundamentals of coloring with markers, you know how each marker has a number and name that indicates the color family, saturation, and shade, and this is a code-based in some way on how the color is mixed. For example, with kopecks the letter or letters say what color group it belongs to, and the first number what saturation, the lower the number the more saturated it is, and the higher the number, the more grade seems. The third number indicates how light or dark the color is. When it comes to the colorless blender the number is zero naturally, since it doesn't contain any color at all. As you know, markers come in different versions and with different kinds of nibs, and the same goes for the blender. There is the standard version with a small ball pointed together with a chisel nib, and there is a brush nib combined with the chisel nib also. They all can help to create different effects as I will show you later. But first to those misconceptions. The first misconception about the blender is that it's used for blending colors, but it doesn't. So if you can't use it to blend colors, what do you use it for? Well we'll get to that soon. Another misconception is that you can erase color with it, but that's wrong too. Once a color or a dye or a pigment is applied to the paper, it's stays on the paper all thanks to that sticky alcohol, and it's also why it's called permanent, remember. Because the secret about the blender lies in exactly that, the alcohol or actually this solvent as it's called. The way that the alcohol and the blender works is that it repels the ink that is applied on the paper. It's like if you do that classic experiment with oil and water, and then pour a drop of dishwasher liquid into the water, and then you will see how the oil would spread away from the dishwasher liquid. If you press the nib of the colorless blender to a colored area, you will see that the color is fleeing away from it, creating a white or at least a brighter spot. The dye is going away from the alcohol to the sides, but also through the paper to the other side. This phenomena is something that we can use when using the colorless blender, because we can use it to manipulate the colors. So when someone says that the blender can erase or take away color, what they really mean is that you can use the blender to push and move the color. For example, if you have colored outside of the lines in your illustration, you can use the blender to push that misplaced color back inside the area where you wanted. Another way to use it is to create some cool effects like brightening a specific area. Or you can add textures to your colored illustration and also help you to create a perfect fade to white. In the coming segments, I'll show you how to use the blender in these ways and give you some exercises too, so that you can practice creating these effects. First out is how to fix those mistakes. For those of you who have taken my first marker course, it will be a little bit of a repetition, but this time I'll dig deeper and gives some additional tips and tricks on how to do this. 5. 5 Fix mistakes: One way to use the blender is to fix mistakes. Like if you have colored outside of the line in your illustration or, if you have use the blender for some of the effects that I'm going to talk about later, and the color has spread a little bit outside of where you wanted. Then you can come in and use the blender to push it back in. Here is some color that I want to clean up. First, I'll show you with the small ballpoint nib and what I do is just start with soft strokes with that nib. Just slightly hold it to the paper and sweep it in small movements outside of the misplaced color and you'll see how the ink will try to get away from the solvent from the blender, and start to move in the opposite direction. Then let it sit for a while, letting the solvent do its job before you go back in. You can push it in front of the nib, like using a broomstick, but be careful not to rub too hard, or you'll risk tearing out the paper fibers and make the surface a bit rugged, depending on the paper of course. To make sure that you get rid of all the misplaced color, you're going to have to go in several times and you have to be patient and persistent. Let it sit in between, and go back a few times before you have pushed back as much of the ink that is possible. Another way to do this, is to use the chisel nib on the other end of the blender. Use the short side of it and use it as a little shovel instead of a broomstick and shovel it back behind the line. As before, when you do this, do it a bit at a time, move a bit of the color and let it rest and dry, and then go back at it again until you have moved as much ink as possible. Because some colors are more easy to move and some will be harder, and most of the colors will leave some small residue that the solvent can't get to. The lighter the color, the easier it is to remove everything. One factor that is important when it comes to the ability to move ink and clean up a mistake is the paper, of course. Here's that Canson again on the wall. I'll show you how it will react, when I come in with a blender on the edge of this colored square. This paper has a smooth surface and this dark blue color is fairly easy to move, and there's not much ink residue left behind. Here's a piece of watercolor paper and the same dark blue color. Because the grain is much rougher than the Canson's paper, you would think that the ink would be much more difficult to move but it's actually not, it's quite easy. Not as easy as the Canson though, and after just a little while, it doesn't seem to be able to push it further back in than this. The paper is really wet from the solvent, but you can see that there is almost no residue left on the area where the ink once was, so that's good. Next is an ordinary but a bit thicker printing paper, and because it will bleed through, I use a scrap paper underneath. With this paper, it's more difficult to move the ink. Some portions are sticking to the paper and the edge is uneven. It will move eventually, but it takes a bit more work. As you can see, it spreads to the sides more too. You can say that this paper is more unpredictable and it's more difficult to control the ink. Still, when you have worked with it for awhile, there is not much ink residue though. Now I have the first exercise for you, and it's just going to be a simple one where we test out the blender and see how it works and how it behaves on different colors. 6. 6 Exercise 1 - Moving color: Here is your first exercise where you can practice the different ways to move the color and clean up a mistake. First, let's test how moving a light green or blue works. Make a simple shape like a circle or a square with a fine liner and color it in with a light green or blue with the last number between any zero and two. Make sure you color outside of it and now test to different techniques I showed you to move the ink. With the small nib, circle and push the color back behind the line like a broomstick and let it rest and dry in between and repeat until you can't move anymore of the ink. Then do the same thing with a chisel nib using that shovel technique I showed you. You can also use the same thing using the brush nib and just to get to know the different nibs and the way they work and how it feels to move the ink in this way. Then repeat the same exercise but with a darker color of blue or green and see the difference and ability to push it back in. This was just a small and easy exercise to warm you up but if you want something a bit more hardcore on the same subject, here is another one that's a great way to get to know your blender marker. Make a bunch of color swatches like this. Make a row with the lightest shades that you have, some mid tones and some dark ones with as many other color groups as you have. Then test how you can move and manipulate the ink with the blender. Start with just pressing the nib of the blender to the edge of one color swatch and also with soft swipes, try to push it into the square and see how the ink will move away from it and also how much ink residue there will be left. When you have tested all the colors, you will see which ones are easily moved and which ones where you can get rid of everything or that will leave some ink residue behind. As you can see, the lighter colors are more easy to move and the more bright and darker colors are more difficult. Some colors will just create a mess when trying to move them, like the orange and also this darker yellow green. You can actually see how the solvent of the blender has separated the yellow and green ink and spreading them around so not a great color to mess with. For this exercise, I used at copic marker paper. I actually think that this one is the worst of all the papers I've tested. It's more difficult to move the ink than the others and there will be more ink residue that won't be pushed back. In the next segment, I'll show you how to brighten a color, so I'll see you there. 7. 7 Brighten a color: Welcome back. In this segment, I'll show you another way to use the colorless blender, but this time how to create an effect. Because since the blender can move colors, you can also use it to brighten up a color or to create highlights. If you have a colored area with a gradient color like this, from dark to light with either a blending group of three shades or just one single, and you think that the lightest area came out too dark, then you can brighten it up with a blender to increase the effect of the brightest section. You do this by moving some of the ink to get that brighter spot. One thing that might occur when you do this though, and it most likely will the first times you do it, is that the area where you apply the blender will just become a circle of brightened color and also with a thin rim of color that has gathered at the edges and not make the nice graded effect that you want. This is something that you just have to practice, practice, practice because it takes some getting to know to have it work the way you want, because it all depends on how much you apply, how hard you press and the smoothness in the way you use the marker. Try to be as light handed as you can. Just press slightly or even just touch the paper and do small, small movements and flicks outwards, careful and a little at a time and let it set in between. See how the solvent does it's thing before you continue and let it rest. For this specific effect, I think a brush nib is the best way to go. It allows you to do that flicking movement and create a smoother transition. If the blender does create that gathering of dye anyway, a little tip is to come back with a color marker and with flakes, smoothen it out a bit and that will make that low rim disappear. Another situation for brightening a color with a blender is if you have a motif colored with only one shade, and now you want to have some highlights in it. Here's a little flower for getting up. I want to brighten up the petals in some places to give it some highlights. Carefully, carefully, I apply the blender a bit at a time and then let it sit and let the solvent do its job. Then I go back until I'm happy with the result. Important, use the small strokes, apply a little at a time to avoid too much gathering of the fleeing ink surrounding the highlighted area. Next, I have another exercise for you where you get to practice this effect. 8. 8 Exercise 2 - The shoes: For this exercise, I want you to try this too by coloring and adding highlights to a shoe. It could be any shoe that you want; flats, high heels from the side, or from above. The lesson here is to emphasize the spot where the light hits it and is reflected and giving the show live and make it pop from the paper. At the same time we'll practice some shading to. For this you will need just a few colors. First, the color you want your shoes to be or just a color that you have. Pick a midtone though and I'm going to use this denim blue color called B34 or Manganese Blue and then you'll need a couple of gray tones for shading. One light and one midtone. I'm going to use the N1 and N3. You'll also need one or two complimentary colors if you want to color the inside of the shoes or the heel or any applications, for example. My complimentary colors will be a couple of light earth tones, E31 and E000. A tip is to test out the colors first to try to make a highlight and just to see how the blender will affect it. Now let's start sketching. Start out with sketching the rough shapes of the shoes, the outlines, and any details. Then bit by bit enhance those lines. Define them further until we have a distinguished outline that you're happy with. Then go ahead and erase the excess sketching lines and try to make the outlines of the shoes as thin as possible. Because otherwise the lead of the pencil might contaminate the color and make it look a bit dirty especially if you have chosen a lighter shade or an earth tone or a yellow color. With a blue I've picked, it won't be any problem at all, it's too dark to let the pencil lines shine through. Then start coloring by laying down the color you want for your shoes. Make an as even coat of color as you can. But where you want your main highlights to be, you can go over with a marker with swift flick strokes like this and keeping the code color quite soft and light in this place because that will make it a bit easier later when we come in with a blender, but don't leave any areas completely white for this example. Now grab the blender and start brightening up the places where you want your highlights, using small and swift flicks with the blender and remember to do just a little bit at a time. Press the nib slightly to the paper so that you don't release to much of the solvent at a time. Let it sit and dry in between and then go back and work on it again. Smoothen and even out the blue or the color that you have and don't press the blender too hard to the paper applying too much of a solvent at a time, because that will just create that ring. As you can see, I have that ring, it's a bit an even at the edges in my illustration too. But let's fix that by coming back in with the blue marker and with flicks toward the center of the brightened area, smoothen up that ring and even it out and that will make the transition from the blue to the highlight look great. I'm going to have another highlight over here at the heel of the shoes. Then coloring the other shoe if you have one, because if you've chosen to make a shoe from the side, then it's enough to have just one shoe, I think. Then when you have colored in, use the blender again for a brightening the color for that highlight and smoothen and even out any gathered ink with a color marker again, using flicks. Now it's time to create some depth in the illustration by adding shades. For this I'll start with the lightest shade of the two gray tones I've picked, the neutral gray Number 1 and I'm applying this along the edges and areas that should be darker and this is the transition of the shade. Because then I use the darker of the gray, the neutral gray Number 3 in my case and enhance that shade, deepening it and this will make the shoes look more realistic and pop out from the paper more. When I'm happy with the shade, I'm switching over to the darker of my two earth tones, the E31 in my case and start coloring the inside of their shoes, the soles. I'm trying to create an as even code color as I can without saturating the paper too much yet. Because then I'm going back to deepen this color in some places where I want the color to be more saturated to create the impression of shade and also depth, like here in the front, at the toes and at the heels. Next, I'm grabbing the lighter earth tone, the E000, which I will use for the inside side of the shoe. Now I want to bring in some more depth and shade to the insides of the shoes as well. I'll use the N3 again and with swift flicks, apply it to the places where I want more shade. I'll do the same thing with the side inside. But first I'll use the lighter gray, the N1 for this because the earth tone is so much lighter. Then I'll go back and deepen it with N3 as well. For the final touch, if you can apply a logo or a tag for your shoes. My shoes are just some imaginary shoes, so I put down my own logo there using a brown fine liner. But if you have depicted a shoe or a pair of shoes that does exist in real life, put down that logo for that brand, trying to copy as best as you can, like I did with that decleor or facial cream because this can come in handy and I'll show you later at the end of his class. This was another way to use the colorless blender to brighten a color. In the next segment we're going do textures. 9. 9 Create textures: Now we have come to my favorite part of how to use the colorless blender. That is to create textures. Creating textures means that we will take advantage of the fact that the dye in the colors will try to escape the solvent from the blender. We will make this work for our purpose. For example, this is the most simple one. You can create brighter dots on a colored area. So instead of creating spots by coloring around an area you want to keep white or brighter, you go in with the blender like this. Here I'm using the small ballpoint nib and just slightly hold it to the paper with not much pressure at all, and the ink will flee away from the solvent, creating this dot. You can make them tight together or with more space in between or perhaps overlapping a bit to create the impression of different textures. Like I did on this shoe. I wanted to create the impression of a surface covered in sequence, or it could be a leather printed with metallic colors, perhaps. So first, I made this gradient with light gray and darker gray to create this shiny part. Then I used the small ballpoint tip blender and pressed lightly to the paper to make this impression. I had to go over and do it a couple of times to make the dots more clear. Here I'm using the brush nib for the same effect of creating dots. This leaves the slightly more Eden dot i think. You can also use different nibs to create all kinds of texture. Here, I'm using a brush nib, again, making lines or stripes and sweep it across the colored area once first and let it sit, do let the solvent do its job, then repeat to apply more solvent and make the strokes even brighter. The more solvent you apply, the more ink you will move away from that line. You can make a plait pattern too, with crossing lines like this. Another type of texture you can create is with the chisel nib. With the broad side of the tip, you can create a brick pattern or texture. Now, you might get the idea of it all. The limit of the textures you can make is just how far your creativity or imagination will take you. You can make up an endless amount of textures. You can play around with the different nibs, turn them around, use the short or the broad side of the chisel nib, for example, and use them in various ways. You can create diamond shapes, or you can create scales. You can create all kinds of different tiles. So your imagination is the limit. This is a really fun way to use the blender. Before we start with the actual exercise of this section, grab a piece of paper and make some solid colored squares like this. Also, a gradient color. Try out and practice the texture techniques I just showed you. Try the different nibs and see what you can make with them. Just play around a bit. Also, see if you can come up with some new of your own. When you have done that, I have a fun exercise for you. 10. 10 Exercise 3 - The bracelet: For this exercise, we're going to make a bracelet with a textured surface and you can choose any texture that you want. I made this one with dots. First, let's sketch them out lines, create the shapes of the bracelet. It's one of those chunkier bracelets and I'm making this right next to my shoes. When you have those outlines done, it's time to lay down the color. I'm going to use the same blue as for the shoes because it's going to be a color theme here, I guess. I'm starting with the border and then working towards the middle with flakes following the shape of the bracelet to get that rounded shape. I want a highlight on the left front side of the bracelet. I'm making my flakes toward that and keeping that highlighted space almost untouched, just making a very light kowtow color in that area using flakes. Then I continue with the inside of the bracelet, coloring the whole thing with an even coat of the same blue. Since it's on the inside, it's going to be more shaded. I'm making a quite saturated in solid coat here. Then I get the same grade mid tone as before with the shoes, the N3 and start applying this from the edge following the curve again to give the shape some depth and the same on the other side. This gives it an almost metallic looking surface, right? I keep working on it bit by bit, a little at a time. Let it sit in between trying to mold that shape with the shade. I need some shade at the bottom too to enhance that rounded impression. I'm adding a little bit more of that blue to darken it even more and creating a glossy impression. Now I'm adding some gray to the inside as well, adding shade first with a lighter of the two gray to create a good transition. Then I commend with a mid tone gray in the corner, so to speak. If a circle can have corners to deepen the shade here and make it more three-dimensional. When I'm pleased with the base colors, I come in when the blender finally to create that texture. This time, I'm using the brush nib and I'm making small dots by pressing slightly to the colored area for a couple of seconds each time to release some of that solvent to the paper. I'm making them sit tight together to create a look that will resemble a hammered metallic. That's what I'm after. Here is the finished result. I made one more illustration to show you how you can work with textures. Here is a scarf or a napkin, perhaps with a very light blue green and some light gray for the shaded parts. With a blender, I have created a subtle pattern of corals. I don't know if you can see it properly, but here's another image that maybe is a bit more clear. Here's that same type of pattern on a red color that's more visible. It's easier to get a glimpse at. This was about creating textures with the blender and I hope you really enjoyed it. Next is how to create a perfect fade to white. 11. 11 Fade to white: Sometimes when you color with markers, you're going to want to create a gradient shade where the lightest shade is fading into white instead of a very light color shade. For example, when you want to create a very bright reflection, or if you want to color something that's supposed to be white, the technique to cover something that's white could probably be a separate course, but here's a quick lesson about that and how to create that perfect fade to white. When you want to illustrate something that is completely white, you don't color it white because there is no white marker. Instead, you give your illustration a bit of a shade and then leave the rest untouched. Then you want this shade to fade perfectly into the white without any border or a visible transition. The same goes for creating the effect of a reflection in a colored object like in this bronze looking bracelet, to get that perfect borderless transition from the shade of the color, you use the colorless blender. Let's start with a simple example. A circle that I want to turn into a whites fear. It could be a marble or a snowball or something, and for this one, I'm using two shades from the copic blue color group B 02 called The Robin's Egg Blue, and the B double 0 called frost blue. Usually when we create a gradient color, we start with the lightest shade and then work towards the darker. But now we want to do the opposite. So I'm starting with the darkest one. Lane down at kowtow color along the bottom right of the circle where we want the shadow to be, something like this. For this, I just need a fairly thin area of their darkest shade. Then I grab the lighter shade, the B double 0, and start applying the color right on the border of the B 0 2. I'm trying to blend them a bit and soften up that darker shade. Now I also go all the way in all that darker shade, which is not something you do otherwise. When you create a gradient using three shades and unnatural blending group, because then the lightest color is of the lightest marker, not white, but here it will be white and to create that perfect transition, they fade to white, I want to make the shades melt together. So I'm working with the lightest of the blue shades, softening the darker one like this. You have to do this a couple of times or several times and also let the ink sit and rest in between. What you actually do here is pushing the ink toward the edge and then also toward the white. You can expand the area of the lighter shade using flicks, which will make the next step a bit easier, then get the blender and do the same thing as you just did with the lighter shade. Start applying the solvent of the blender on the border of the lighter shade, softening and brightening it up, and then you go further into the darker shades, softening and brightening the mob, and at the same time, pushing the ink around and to the edge. I prefer to use the brush nib for this and just make small movements, don't press too hard, just really careful and bit by bit, work this area. Let it sit in between. That's very important and see how the solvent does its job and then continue some more if necessary. Add voila, a perfect fade to white. Now you try the same thing, make some circles and cover a part of it with a darker shade first, and then the lighter softening and brightening up the darker one, then do the same thing with a blender and go all the way in into the darker shade too and try different types of shade, warm, cold, and gray and with different colors like this. Then I have an illustration exercise for you where you will get to use this technique. 12. 12 Exercise 4 - The pearl earrings part 1: For this exercise, we're going to illustrate a pair of pearl earrings. They're quite simple in shape, but let us focus on how to create that pearly shimmer muted gloss, which is a perfect effect to use the colorless blender for. First, let's sketch the outlines, and for this one, I'm making it simple by just using something round to create the pearls, and here's an egg cup that I'm using by the way. Then I want to have this attachment or the stud of the earring but only for one of the earrings. The other one is going to be behind it and not visible. This is the little clip to hold the earring in place. Now to the other pearl, right next to the first one, I'm going to add some shadow over here, here and here. I'm just marking that area softly. I have also marked the areas where I want the reflections to be in the pearls. I'm going to start by coloring the pearl, and for this, I'll use a couple of gray tones. You can make a light or a darker pearl. This is going to be a dark one, so I'll use my neutral gray number three and number one. Also, the lightest gray I have, which is the cool gray number zero and the blender, of course. I'm starting with the darkest shade, the neutral gray number thee. I'm just marking the border first where I want the darkest shades. Then in between those reflection areas that I've marked, I'm adding some more other darkest gray. You just have to get some ink onto the paper and don't bother too much about how even in looks because we're going to smear this around a lot later on. Just get the ink down in those areas. Then I'll switch to the mid-gray, the neutral gray number one, and I start applying the ink right on the border of the first gray, smoothening it up and blending them together and go all the way into the darker tone towards the edge. Do this along all the borders of that darker gray and go all the way into blending and smoothening. When you have smoothened all those borders, you can continue with this mid-gray and extend the shade along the edge of the pearl. This will create the impression of roundness, making it look more 3D. I'm continuing to shade some more almost all over just leaving some area surrounding the reflections that I marked. I'm also continuing to smoothen the darker gray with this mid-gray, letting this ink sit in between. Next, I'll switch to my lightest gray, the cool gray number zero and start doing the same thing. Starting with a border of the mid-gray smoothening and softening. Then I also go all the way in, in the previously colored areas of the dark and the mid-gray. This will smear the three colors together beautifully, creating an almost marbled effect, which is perfect for this pearly look that we want to accomplish. I'm working with a lightest gray on the border of the untouched and the mid-gray area first, then coming further and further into the darker gray. You have to do this repeatedly, letting the ink sink and rest and do its job in between and then come back again and again until you have a really smooth gray gradient. I'm also careful and trying to leave the most of the marked reflection area untouched. Now, I'm using the colorless blender again for the last step of this gray area. I'll start right on the border between the lightest gray shade and the white untouched reflection softening and smoothening that light gray. I'm pushing the ink out towards the edge as I go, and this will create that perfect fade to white eventually because I have to work on it for a while to accomplish that. So now, I have smoothened the whole area, but I feel that the white areas become a bit too dark. I have pushed too much of that light gray out into the white while I was smoothening this up so now I want to brighten it up a bit again by going back with a blender and start pushing out that ink towards the edge somewhere. My blender is getting a bit dry and actually needs to be refilled, but I'll see if I can manage anyway. Then I'll continue and do the same thing on the other reflection area, and when I'm satisfied, I'll start with the second pearl. I have already started to apply that darker gray tone along the edges and between the reflection areas. Then I get that mid-gray tone and start applying that on the border of the dark gray, smoothening and blending them together. Then I continue all the way in on the dark gray, working towards the edges and the middle of the dark gray. When I have smoothened and blended the two darker gray, I'll continue with a cool gray zero again. I'm smoothening and softening and blending and brightening at the same time all three grays together and always working outwards toward the edges. Finally, I get that blender again and start on the borders to the white area, working into the gray and toward the edges and the middle of the gray area, softening and brightening and creating that fade to white. Don't forget to once in a while, let the solvents and sit and watch what's happening with the ink and then go back in and continue. There, I'm satisfied with the gray colors and the fade to white for the pearls, and now, for a final touch, I want the pearls to have a hint of color too and not just gray. These pearls are shimmering with all kinds of color when you look at them, and here I'm going to add a very light shade of a tan color. The E triple zero. I'm just going to apply a little bit of this into the gray just to create a shift. I'm using just swift flakes to apply this on both pearls. There, I think that looks good and gives the pearls more of an organic look and feel. 13. 13 Exercise 4 - The pearl earrings part 2: Then it's time for the stud or what it's called. It's going to have a shiny gold look. This will be a little bit more advanced color. To accomplish this golden look, we're going to need a few different colors. Depending on what markers and colors you have at home in your collection, you can see if you can match the markers I'll be using as best as you can. The first marker is a very light yellow. This one from Copic is called Y double zero. This is going to be my base color. See if you have anything similar, a light yellow or a light yellow red or earth tone could also work, but it should have at least a double zero and not higher. The second color is an orange or actually is a darker shade of the yellow, yellow number 17. This we'll use to add that warmness in the reflection. Third color is a mid earth tone E31. This is going to be great to bind the different shades together and see if you have anything similar. I think anything from E11, E21, E41, E51 could also work. The fourth marker I'm going to use is another earth tone, the E71. With this one and the last marker the E74, we're going to create the darkest part of the gold reflection. This will also make the earring pop out from the paper a bit more and create that 3D look. Last but not least, we're going to use the blender again to smear them altogether nicely and to brighten up some of the reflection. Let's start with the base color, that light yellow. You can color the whole area in and that will create a great transition between the colors. But with every layer of color you apply, the more saturated the paper will be at risk that the last colors we'll use will just start floating around. So I'm going to just color some of the areas where I want the brightest part of the reflection to be. For this stud, I'm not going to have any white in the reflection. I'm still coloring most of the area, but I'm leaving some parts where I think the shade will be the darkest and I'll have most layers. Then I'm grabbing the orange marker and I apply only a little bit here and there in the yellow and do it in a couple or three stripes like this from the center of this dot out towards the edge and also a little bit on this thin rod. Then I commend with that mid earth tone right on the border of the orange ink softening that up. I also lay down some of this where I want the darkest part to be. With the same one also go out toward the edge and follow the edge a bit and that will add a roundness look. As you can see, it's already starting to look like gold. In the clip, I'm adding this mid tone on the inside where it's supposed to be darker. Now I have the darker earth tone, the E71. I'm applying that similar to how we use the orange. Create a stripe or a cone shape from the center out toward the edge and also a bit along the edge. Now it will start to get more of that 3D feeling to it and where the darkest shade will be. It's really easy to overdo it here, so be careful. Pause and take a look at it now and then to get a feeling for how it's coming along. Remember, just apply a little bit at a time and don't press too hard or apply too much ink on the same spot. Finally, we'll use the darkest earth tone to add the last touch that will make it pop from the paper and apply just a little bit here and there to emphasize the darkest shades. I'm also applying some here to create a distinct reflection. But now it looks a little bit rough. I'll go back in first with the previous color, the E71 to smoothen up that darkest one just like you do when you're coloring a gradient with a blending group. I do the same with the next one up the, E31. This will soften the borders between the colors even more. I want to make this rod a bit more distinct. So I'm using the darkest shade again to add some more depth. Then go in with a base color, the light yellow to bind them all together even more. At last, I use the colorless blender to smear the colors together a bit more and also to brighten up the light yellow. I'm working from the lightest area toward the darkest so that I won't push any other darker ink into the brightest. As a final step, I added some shadow underneath both pearls and clip by using the gray tones again, the N3 and the N1 and I used flicks to do that. So here is that finished result, two pearl earrings with golden stud. I also made another couple, but that's a little bit lighter. By using less of a darker gray, by coloring a smaller area with it, you can create a brighter lighter look. That was how to use the blender to create a perfect fade to white. In the next segment, I have a class project for you where you get to practice and use all the coloring skills that you now possess. 14. 14 Class project - Create your illustrations: For this course, you're going to have to have a fun assignment. I have come up with a class project for you that I think you will enjoy. I also wanted you to be able to use the illustrations for your class project for other purposes and other areas. We're going to create something that you can use commercially and to perhaps include in an illustration portfolio. You most likely have seen these types of collages in glossy magazines where they have picked out some items like garments and shoes, accessories, jewelry, beauty products, make up, perfume, and home decor, all within a trend, season or a specific color or pattern, for example. It's a curated assimilation of different products according to a theme. For this class project, we're going to create our own trend collage of some selected products and illustrate them and color them and use the colorless blender to add effects like highlights and texture for that glamorous and flared look. What I want you to do is to think about a theme for your collage. It could be based on a current trend like say, jungle motifs or greenery or silver or anything that you have picked up. It could also be based on seasonal trends like a Christmas gift collage or something surrounding Easter, Spring and Summer or Halloween, or any other occasion where your collage would be a guide for trendy or current products. You should consider your collage to be an editorial advertisement. To find your theme, you can browse the Internet and social media, look through Pinterest and fashion blogs, for example, or just look through some of those glossy magazines. When you have picked your theme, decide what products you want to include in your theme and they can be a total mix of all products. Here are some examples and ideas for you to get started. A theme could beach necessities and then you could depict sunglasses, flip-flops, beach towel, sun cream, a bikini, picnic basket, or a straw hat, just to mention a few suggestions, or a theme could be the ultimate after work bag, what would you put in your bag to go straight from job to after work? That could be like, I don't know, high heels, lipstick or perfume, a black top to change into or hairspray. A male oriented collage could be the bearded guide and you could then include products for growing and maintaining a great beard. My trend collage is going to be about Beach 2017 and include products that I will present as beach necessities. I have gathered a bunch of images from different sources, like product pages from a range of brand sides because I want my trend collage to include real brands and products. That will open an opportunity to showcase my illustrations on social media and tag those companies. When I create illustrations and collages like this, I like to gather my source materials in terms of images and photographs and magazine tears and other in an inspiration board and that can be a folder on my computer or perhaps an Illustrator document, or it can be a physical folder or on my pinboard. Then they are easier to find and access when I'm starting to sketch and to color and I can have them easily available to refer to whenever I want to. Here's my inspiration board that I created in an Illustrator document and from these images, I can then pick and choose which products I want to depict and illustrate for my collage. I have some sun hats, some beach towels, this one's from Missoni and here's Lexington and Pottery Barn over here. These two are from a Swedish home textile company called Hemtex and I want some sandals and swim wear and a couple of beach bags. The products that I picked are from brands that I like and also actually would like to work with someday, so I'm trying to catch two flies within one blow. After deciding the theme and the products, and you have gathered your inspiration source materials, it's time to start sketching your products and items and then color them and use the blender to create effects like highlights and texture. A great addition to your trend collage is to add a flower as a decoration and something that can emphasize and also bind your theme together nicely. Last but not least, create a headline for your collage with some beautiful hand lettering for example. Here are all my trend collage illustrations and components. Now it's time to assemble your motifs for the collage and that we will do in Photoshop, but first we need to scan them all. 15. 15 Class project - scan, isolate & assemble: When you have opened your scanner, you'll get this view and for settings will choose color and 300 DPI is fine. I'll name this one beach sandals. Then click on the drop-down menu at image correction, because we need to ensure that the colors and hues are picked up the way we want by the scanner. First, make sure that it's preset that all those little handles are in the center like this and then we can start playing around to get the optimal scan. For brightness, I want something like this, not too bright or the colors will lead to faded. The hue was fine with the preset, I think and the temperature also, the saturation is fine too like this. When you're happy with the color, select the illustration by dragging the marker like this and you can adjust the selection box by pulling these little blue and red handles and then the press ''Scan''. When all illustrations are scanned and saved, open them up in photoshop. As you can see here, I have all my scans available. Now, open a new document. I'll choose centimeters here and create a square document. I want 30 times 30 centimeters and resolution set to 200 DPI, so that we can use it for different purposes. The reason why I wanted squared shape is because I'm going to use it for Instagram. Now, let's open one of the illustrations again and since we scan them with color, the white background is probably not going to be exactly white, now we have to cut out the illustration, so that we only have the glasses without the white surroundings. We're going to isolate the motif and there are a few tools to use for this. First, I'm going to show you this one called the magic wand and with it clicks somewhere in the white area. What we've done now is to select all the white area surrounding the glasses, but we want to select the glasses. To do that, go to select in the top menu and then to reverse and now the markers are surrounding the glasses instead. Now, the color of the glasses by pressing command C on your keyboard, if you have a Mac, then go to your collage document, the square document and paste them by pressing command V. As you can see, the glasses are just too big, I need to scale them down and to do that, I go to edit and free transform or you can use shortcut command T and then hold down shift and grab one of the corners and drag to scale it down. I'll move it over here somewhere for now. Then double-click on it to get out of the transform mode and then go to the next illustration. Now, I'll see if I can use the magic wand again to isolate this one too, but as you can see, it doesn't select everything the way that I want. It excludes some of the gray shades on the sides here. Just to show you what happens if you include the white surroundings, I'll use the rectangle marker. I'll drag the box like this to select the bag and also some of the surrounding white and then I copy and then paste into the collage document. As you can see, the white surrounding the bag is a bit more grayish than the white background and we don't want that. I'll delete this again and now I'm going to show you how to use another selection tool. First, I de-select the markings I did before by pressing command D. Now, I'm going to try the Magnetic Lasso Tool instead, this one over here. You click with it's somewhere on the outline of the item on a border between the white and the color, then without holding down the mouse, just slide it along the outline and it will stick to the colored borders like this. Once in a while, you have to click though to secure the marker line because in lighter areas, the market might miss the border and make an unwanted detour and also click in corners and such, because it's good to secure the marker and make sure that it stays there with a click. When you get to the starting point, a little circle will appear to indicate this and it will appear right next to the marker like this, then you'll know that you can complete the selected loop. You do that by clicking on the first marker point you made. There the bag is selected and isolated, nice and easy with a magnetic Lasso Tool. Now, I'll copy and paste and then I'll scale it down with the Free Transform and then I'll place it over here, I think. Now, I'm going to go ahead and do the same thing with the rest of my illustrations. For this part, I think the Polygon Lasso Tool will work well since it has quite straight and not so complex outlines. All illustrations are now in their own layers. Now, I can select every layer and move them around if I want to rearrange my products and my collage. Now, I'll bring in the headline and the flower. Here, I have my beach necessities collage the beach 2007 trend collage. I'm going to save it as a PSD file of just in case I want to continue playing around with it another time and then I'm going to save it as a PNG. First, I merge all the layers by selecting them and then press command E. Then I'm going to save it for the web. Go to export and Quick Export as PNG and I'll save it to my Dropbox for easy access from my phone later on. That was how to create an illustrated and colored trend collage. In the next lesson, I will talk about how to share and show your work. I'll see you there. 16. 16 Show your work!: When you have completed your collage, create a project in this section called your project for this class. Here you can upload images of your illustrations and the final collage so that we all can see what you will come up with. Also, it would be fun if we could gather all our contributions on Instagram as well with #MyTrendCollage and when you post your collage to really show your work and create maximum exposure of your illustration skills. Make sure that you also tag every product in the image with a brand company name. In that way, they may check out your image and your account and who knows what that might lead to. Then also make sure that you include the #MyTrendCollage and any other hashtags you want to include like the different product names perhaps, or Skillshare and I would also like to ask you to tag me and my account @bearbellproductions so that I will get notified when you have posted your illustrations because I can't wait to see everything that you will create. 17. 17 End note: This is all I have to share this time. I hope that you have enjoyed this course and that you have learned something new or maybe picked up a trick or two. If you did, please give me a thumbs up and also give me a comment in the review box, I would really, really appreciate it. If you would like to see more of my work and illustrations, you can follow me on my web page and blog at, or on Instagram at bearbellproductions. On my Skillshare page and profile, you can check out my other Skillshare classes in classic pattern design and artistic illustrations. Thank you so much for watching and taking this course and I will see you in the next one or one of my other classes. Take care.