Find Your Creative Voice: Mix Illustration & Painting in a Powerful Portrait | Osheen Siva | Skillshare

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Find Your Creative Voice: Mix Illustration & Painting in a Powerful Portrait

teacher avatar Osheen Siva, Visual Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Finding Your Voice

    • 3. Starting Your Project

    • 4. Brainstorming

    • 5. Making a Moodboard

    • 6. Sketching

    • 7. Creating a Color Palette

    • 8. Adding Color

    • 9. Finishing with Ink

    • 10. Next Steps

    • 11. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Have you always wanted your art to represent who you are and what you stand for? 

Multimedia artist Osheen Siva is known as much for their distinct, colorful style as for their bold characters and groundbreaking themes. A culmination of their unique worldview and experiences, Osheen’s work imagines a more inclusive and equitable world through art. Now, join Osheen and learn how you can tap into your own voice and vision to create work that is truly, singularly yours. 

With thoughtful, hands-on lessons, you’ll tap into your interests, history, and heritage to create a portrait that expresses your unique point of view as an artist, whatever your medium.

Alongside Osheen, you’ll learn how to:

  • Discover the passion and purpose behind your creativity
  • Expand on those ideas through sketching and character design
  • Combine colors and materials to create a unique portrait
  • Connect with others through your art

Plus, Osheen shares tips and tricks from their own journey as a self-taught artist, from choosing surprising color combinations to creating depth in 2D art.

Whether you’re a practiced artist or a beginner looking to develop your own style, Osheen’s class will inspire you far beyond the final lesson. By the end, you'll have everything you need to dig deep and translate your thoughts and beliefs into your work, one creation at a time!

Osheen’s class is open to students of all levels. While Osheen uses acrylic paints, spray paint, and an ink brush, their techniques are not specific to those tools, and you should feel free to use your favorite medium or mediums.

Meet Your Teacher

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Osheen Siva

Visual Artist


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1. Introduction: Art could be a wonderful way to create your own world. To go beyond the limit of this realm, to imagine and birth new characters, new ideas, and bring them to life. Hi, I'm Osheen Siva. I'm a visual artist from Bernardo in India. My work revolves around themes of my family inheritage, queer and feminist power, environmentalism and conservation as well. When I was growing up, I didn't really see a lot of characters that have a similar background to me or looked like me. As I grew up, I tried to include as much of a diverse, colorful and fearless characters and worlds that correctly represent the diversity that we have around us. In this class, we're going to be learning about how to visualize your creative voice to a powerful portrait using illustration and painting. Expressing your unique voice is so important because you never know who is going to connect with and it has the immense power to make people feel seen. I will take you through some of my process on how to create a character by creating a mood board and an inspiration board, how to form your own color palette. We're also going to learn a bit about inking and how to give your artwork depth. This class is for everybody. You do not necessarily need to have a ton of experience or technical skills. All you need are some simple tools for you to be able to confidently express yourself in a creative way. I can't wait for you to join me. 2. Finding Your Voice: One of the reasons why I love creating art is the fact that you can take your thoughts and ideas and manifest them in the physical realm. My practice for me is a medium through which it connects the past and the present to re-imagine a more inclusive and diverse future. I love working in the speculative fiction realm with sci-fi elements. It helps me create this wonderful world that I can escape to. Representation is a very important aspect of my art practice as well. I think it's very important to identify who you are and where you come from, your roots or your heritage, and reflect your personality into the work that you do. I also just happen to be part of a lot of marginalized communities, including my fellow community and the queer culture and just generally being a brown, creative in person. I love the fact that people reach out to me that belonged to my same community and I love to be able to have a conversation and relate to somebody in that deeper level. In the beginning of my journey, the artworks that I created were more aesthetically inclined as I've kept going, my characters now have a fully fleshed-out idea. They have backgrounds, they represent certain things. They have a powerful voice and this is something that has taken many, many years for me to arrive at and is still an ongoing process. A good way to figure out what you want to say is to identify different things that you're interested in and bring those into a unique cocktail that represents you. We will be doing a little exercise that breaks down this process and helps you find what you want to say. All you need is a piece of paper and any pen. We can start this by jotting out broad categories, such as books or music, movie, and animation, or cartoons. Start populating these different categories with things that you like. For instance, book that I like, book series is dunes, Hip hop, fantastic planet as an animation and Strange days as a movie. As you fill out these categories, you might be able to see connections and similarities between these things. For me for instance I can see ideas of revolution, dystopia, otherworldly characters, cosmos. We will drop those commonalities down. Evolution, fantastical worlds, cosmos, dystopia, aliens, and the unknown. Another thing that's common in all of these are a strong protagonist or lead character as well. Writing these down will also be a good idea for you to start out on your journey of identifying what you want to say to your artworks. Be truthful to who you are, you all have something very uniquely you. Do identify that and explore, you might feel pressure to keep up with trends, but it's very important to keep in touch with yourself as well in order to create a more authentic journey. In order to catalog my thoughts, I find it easy to have an archive online. For me, I have a Tumblr account and a Instagram account dedicated to pictures that I take of my hometown, pictures of family archives that I refer to create my works. There are many, many different ways in which you can archive things that interests you. Some of the platforms could also be interest or Tumblr or blogging. If you're an up-and-coming artist, remember to be flexible and try different mediums, try different topics over the years the themes and ideas that have explored have changed and morphed and become stronger or weaker as well. As you continue on with your journey, what you believe in the most will become stronger and stronger. 3. Starting Your Project: Today we're going to be creating a portrait of a futuristic character using illustration and painting. I like portraits as a composition because characters tend to emote ideas and thoughts in a more understandable and tangible way. It's interesting to mix illustration and paintings for me because it gives me more to play with and also gives the composition more depth and dimension, especially because I predominantly work in a 2D space. Working with mixed media might also lead to some mistakes which you can use to your advantage in terms of thinking on your feet and problem-solving on the go. The solo show that I did recently, I used woven tapestry, acrylic on canvas, ink on paper, and also acrylic and mural on the insides of the gallery as well. The exploration of mediums helped me express what the show was in a more deeper and elaborate way. The tools that you need for this class are pencil-and-paper, a glass of jar with water, acrylic paints, 4-5 colors, a couple of brushes for painting, a masking tape, a spray can, and a brush pen. If you don't have these specific tools, that's completely all right. You can always find alternatives with what you have at home. For instance, if you do not have a brush pen with you, you can also use a thin brush with black ink. If you do not have a spray can at home, you can also use a dry brush technique, which is basically a toothbrush with any kind of paint. You can spray it across and get the same effect as a spray can. A good thing to also try out could be to customize your own tools. There are artists that make their own brushes or natural dyes. You can also make anything into a brush like a chiseled piece of wood from bamboo or anything else. These customized tools can also help you defined your style and set you apart from what anybody else might have. Now we're going to go through my process of how I go through with a project. But do remember that you can always add on or subtract things to make it personal or adaptable to you. My process to begin with includes brainstorming, in which you will be making an inspiration board with all the different things that inspire you. Then we move on to mood boarding, where you pick out aesthetic elements that you're attracted to. We will work on creating your own character, where I talked to you a little bit about the basics of making a portrait, how to create basic proportions and perspective. We will then move on to the coloring section, where I talked to you a little bit about color theory and how to mix and match colors to create your own color palette. This is where we will be filling in our portraits with colorful paints. We will then work on spray painting and creating a gradient for your background. Finally, we will move on to the inking section, where I talk about how to add an outline and dimension to your composition. Your project for this class is to create a dynamic portrait using illustration and painting techniques. Gather the tools that we spoke about to get our process started. 4. Brainstorming: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we are going to be doing a bit of brainstorming with the use of an inspiration board, and at the end of it, we will arrive at a theme that we can use for our portrait today. Brainstorming is a process of collecting ideas from different sources to be able to conceptualize and ideate a theme. We will be collecting pictures from your interests such as books or movies. I like to make a board on Pinterest. You can add pins and ideas here from your own personal collection. These could be pictures that you've taken or we can also do secondary research by typing in things that interest you. When we have a collection of these, we will refer back to them and pick elements from them to add details and depth to the character that you'll be creating. This is a poster of one of my favorite movies. Another thing that I'm interested in are Indian matchbox designs. I really love the surreal element that is happening in this design. You can also research on your favorite artists, I love the artworks of Soramaya. This Japanese artist that works a lot with the theme of cyberpunk and futurism. I'm also researching another artist called Pater Sato, who is this 17th Japanese airbrush artist who makes these colorful portraits that live in this futuristic and powerful worlds. This poster by Pater Sato. I love how the composition creates a very striking portrait. You can see the character's personality and energy through the artwork. I'm also researching a bit about thumper jewelry and thumper heritage. I love the fact that it represents my history. Everything that you've been collecting so far should be added onto one common board. You can add as many as you like. I have about that much so far. You might notice that when you put your board together, there are thematic elements that arrive at one particular idea. In my board, what I can see is that I'm attracted to strong characters with retro futuristic elements that also connects back to thumper culture and vintage thumper elements as well. From this, I know that the artwork that I'm creating today will have themes of surrealism, futurism, and my culture as well. I will use these elements in creating the sketch. Your student exercise for this lesson is to create a inspiration board so that we can come up with an overarching theme based on it. [MUSIC] 5. Making a Moodboard: [MUSIC] Now that we've figured out the idea of what we want to make, we will now explore how that idea might visually be represented. Mood boarding is a process of identifying things that you are aesthetically attracted to. The difference between a mood board and an inspiration board is that the inspiration board contains the ideas and the concepts, and the mood board is a collection of visual representation of those ideas. This is one of my digital illustrations called Mollem. The idea and inspiration for this artwork came from the Western Ghats and the Mollem forest here in Goa. Specific elements from this composition, like the lily and the lady's hair, and the flower and the monitor, butterfly are creatures and flora and fauna that are present in the forest itself. These could be examples of things that you might add to your inspiration board. The colors present in this artwork, such as the orange flowers and pink lily, were picked from the elements present in the forest, which you might add to the mood board section of your process. In this mood board, we're going to have a collection of things that you like visually, and from that we're going to pick out specific elements that you can use for your artwork. I've chosen this image because it's a vintage circus poster. I really like the quirky and serial nature of the poster, as well as the bright neon colors and the aesthetics. I also have a matchbox design and my mood board. The technique of this artwork is screen printing. The colors are very bright. I like the fact that it has a limited amount of colors in them and how those are combined and put together to create a composition. In this one, I have an image of home in South India, Tamil Nadu. I love how the colors in them are very bright and contrasting, and this is something that I might use in coming up with a color palette. I'm also going to look for comic book artists and illustrators that I love. These include Mobius, this French sci-fi comic artist, and one of my favorite illustrators called Charles Burns. I love the texture and the color combinations that he uses in this. I like the idea of how the skin tone and the background are monochromatic but are very complimentary. One of the other things that I love about his work is also his inking technique and the way that he brings out the light and shadow of a composition through his pattern of inking. I loved the fact that Charles Burns' works are quite surreal and mutated otherworldly, but also have a dark twist other than a secondary research for your mood board, you can also pull from pictures that you might have already taken. For instance, does thumb or topography that I saw in your local Xerox shop in my hometown, and this truck design in thumb area as well. It could also be from costumes or jewelry. This is a picture that I took in Fungi temple, Tamil Nadu. I loved their brightly-colored series and the colorful flower hair adornments. When we put all of these together, we have a mood board. Now that we have our mood board and our inspiration boards, we will move on to the sketching and coloring where we will be using these. Our student exercise for this lesson is to put together a mood board and analyze what aspects of it that you are attracted to aesthetically. [MUSIC] 6. Sketching: [MUSIC] For the sketching part, I prefer to stand up or look at a piece of paper from a distance. You can also do this when you put it on the wall. It's always a good call to sketch a bit away from the paper so that you can see the perspective and the proportions and the dimensions correctly. For this composition, I chose a perspective towards this side just because I wanted to add more elements on the ears, I think the jewelry is a big part of this character that I'm creating, so I wanted to show that aspect of it the most. You can choose the perspective of your character in any way that you prefer. A good way to figure out the perspective of the portrait that you want to draw is to look in a mirror and perhaps try a self portrait. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you'll notice the different lines and shapes and how they change as you turn your face. For instance, when you view your nose from the front, it would just be a line and the bottom bit. But as you turn to the side you can see a slant line and the perspective that way, and if you turn all the way to the portrait, it again becomes like a singular line. Now we'll start a little bit on the basics on how you make a portrait. You want to figure out where you want to be in the middle of the page equally. Now, I'll take about this much from the top and this much from the bottom. You also want to figure out the shape of the face that you want to do and the perspective of it. I'm going for an oval type shape like that. Just a general blob would do. Then since I'm going for a perspective portrait about that much, I want to do the middle, somewhere over there. That will be where your nose will be and the middle section of your face basically. Then we divide this shape into half approximately, and that is where your eyes would be, and then you divide the bottom section into another half, like so and that's where your lips might be. If we were to do hair, you can divide this further into half and then the hair would come down. Now we can start somewhere like that for your eye. The general rule of the distance between your eyes is that there should be another eye in-between. I think it's called three eye rule or something like that. [LAUGHTER] Don't quote me on that. You want to see how this much distance is there for in-between your eyes, and then you can draw your other eye somewhere over here. A little almond shabby thing would do, and then your nose can come somewhere like that. Since we're doing perspective, you will see a lot more the side that is towards you and the one in the back would be somewhere like that. Now it already looks like a face. [LAUGHTER] Then your mouth would go somewhere in-between this line at the bottom of your chin, like that, and something like that. Now that we have the basics of a face, two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, you can now start on shaping the face itself, whatever shape that you want to the face. For me, I usually go for the cheekbones first, and then drag it down, make a chin. Then attach that to the end. For the ears, you want to put them somewhere between your eyes and the tip of your nose. They come somewhere along the middle of your head and your face. We want to put that somewhere around there about that big, and then attach the edge of your ear to form blob to your forehead because the character that I'm creating will be fault. I like using features in my characters that are not considered conventionally beautiful. They come in different colors, they come in different shapes. I'm just in general interested in creating as diverse and as inclusive set of characters as possible. Now we can add a bit of eyebrows on top of your eyes. Make one more eyelid for your eye. We can do this part and very rough strokes because we will be cleaning them up later on. Now that we have the base space of your character, we can now add on elements that make it uniquely yours. One of the elements that I constantly add to a lot of my characters is this space and cosmos that are present in the middle of their head. That for me, was picked up from this fantastic planet movie. I like to add it, something like that. Just for me, it represents how we all have the universe within us. You can pick out certain elements that represent where you come from in your heritage, the add-on to your characters as well, to put more of who you are and what you want to say into the artworks that you create. Now I'm going to start with these elongated ear lobes. I'm going to add that to my character. This is because there is a tradition of elongating your ear lobes in Southern New where I come from, and my grandma also had these giant gold earrings that she wore all the time that helped with elongating your ear lobes over time as well and I found that very interesting. I'm just adding a very rough draft of what I think the jewelry would look like in the end. The different kinds of elements that I'm putting into this character are coming from the inspiration boards that we created earlier. So you can add everything that you have collected in bits and pieces into your artwork. I'm adding a bit more of a vintage summer jewelry that I've collected in my inspiration board. Also just drawing a bit of the ear details, so I can add earrings. We have these really beautiful gold earrings that would go along your cartilage and jut out, which I find very beautiful and also super sci-fi and cyberpunk key. We also have a tradition of having multiple earrings spaced all along your ear lobe, so I'm adding those as well. Other than this, I want to add a little bit more of sci-fi elements to my portrait. I will refer to this image by Jack Kirby. I will pick up a little bit of metal and armored type elements from there and add it to my artwork like so, something like that. I'll do so on the other side as well, like that, and perhaps some jewelry over here. There is no right or wrong way to do anything. You can add on, leave it as is, make up things, [LAUGHTER] create things. I also I'm going to add a bit more of futuristic jewelry, perhaps something like that. They can go as big or as small as you like, and the fun thing about sci-fi related things is that you can pretty much go wherever you like with your imagination because you're speculating what it's going to be in the future. I want to focus a little bit on the borders that we've created for this artwork. I want to add a little bit of nature and conservation side of my practice to this piece. I'm going to start with perhaps stylized sparks/sun to the corners, and maybe beautiful snake just because I've seen a lot of them in my house during the monsoon and I'm surrounded by forests. I'm just picking up elements that I see around me. Something about being symmetric with things approximately is quite appealing to me. I'm creating patterns that are more or less similar on both sides. I'm adding geometric patterns on the side of the artwork. Inspired by the Chettinad pattern tiles from South India. I'm going to keep it slightly simple that it doesn't take away from the main character in the middle of the composition. [MUSIC] Then we're going to do the same thing on the other side. [MUSIC] Your exercise for this class is to pick different elements from the inspiration board that you've made earlier and incorporate them into the composition that you are creating today. [MUSIC] 7. Creating a Color Palette: [MUSIC] I'll talk to you a little bit about my favorite thing to talk about, colors. I can give you a very brief introduction into what a color theory is but it's always very helpful to dig a little deeper into all that color theory entails. Color theory is how we as human beings perceive colors, how you can mix and match colors, the different color schemes, and different types of color groups that exist. Color theory also gives you an idea of how you can mix and match colors and combine them to create your own color palette. A visual representation of the color theory can be seen in the color wheel. Colors in general are divided into primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. We can also divide all of the colors on the color wheel into cool or warm colors. Cool colors generally consist of blues and greens and warm colors are more of yellows and oranges and reds. They're also different colored groups and color schemes. There are complementary color schemes, there are analogous, there are monochromatic. The color palettes that I use in my art practice and in my artworks are very much inspired by the surroundings that I grew up in; my childhood, clothes, architecture, handicrafts, food, pretty much everything that I grew up around. The color scheme that I'm most attracted to are complementary colors and this just means that they're very bright and colorful and they come from the opposite spectrum of the color wheel, it's also culturally relevant. In Tamil Nadu and in South India in general, I believe, bright colors and complementary colors represent joy and energy, and togetherness whereas darker colors like black, for instance, represent a darker mood. This image is very commonly seen in Tamil Nadu in South India. You can see the very colorful contrasting color palette that we use. We're very much attracted to complementary colors, for instance, you can see how the greens are next to oranges, which are on the opposite spectrum. Purples, and oranges as well, yellows and blues. It is also quite reminiscent to the Memphis design theory. The Memphis art movement is something that started in the 80s, I believe, where lots of contrasting paisley colors came together in a geometric form. I think it's quite similar to the architecture seen in [inaudible] and in South India. Another fun and easy way to pick out colors is to pick it out from the mood board that you've already made. Basically, you import the mood board that we have made onto Illustrator, which is the software that I prefer, but you can also try Photoshop. I imported and then I select the screenshot of the mood board. You go to Effect, Pixelate, and Crystallize. I set the cell size to somewhere around 48-50 just because then you can get a clear sense of the colors being segregated. For me, I like restricting the number of colors that I use to around five or six, this is because aesthetically I'm very much inspired by matchboxes, screen printed posters, vintage circus posters, vintage packaging stuff, and all of these have like restrictive color palettes. But I find it very interesting to have a limited amount of color palettes because then you can experiment as much as you can within that structure. Now I have created around five shapes in which I will fill colors from the mood board. I select the shape and then I'm selecting one of the cells that we had pixelated earlier. When I'm doing that I'm also making sure to pick complementary colors. I'm choosing yellow and blues, and purples and greens, you can go with any of the color or hues that you like. There we go. You can tweak it a little bit if you like. I just made the colors a bit more vibrant and in the right top-hand corner. After that I always like to try out different combinations to see which one I like and end up with and for that, you can either take a picture of your sketch and import it onto Photoshop and then try different colors or you can also make a rough digital sketch like I have here. For us to try this in different options I am saving the image, File, Export, Save as. It doesn't have to be a very high rise and import that onto Photoshop. We will also import the color palette that we had made. Once you've imported this onto Photoshop, I like to extend the Canvas, for you to do that you go to Image and Canvas size, and the width about three times what it is now. I will go for about that and you want to multiply this about three times because we want to see three different ways in which the color palettes can be used in this composition and you can pick the one that you like the best. For filling in the colors on the sketch that you have made, you can press I, which is the eyedropper tool. Select, the color that you want to select, G, which is the paint bucket tool, and then fill in two different blocks up the portrait that you've created. You can mix and match the colors just to see what looks good with or next to each other. A narrative around your character feels the color palette and all the elements that you might add on. A good way to also imagine where your characters would be like is to imagine where there are living. Are they living in real-world now? Are they somewhere in the future? Are they based in the past? I want this character to live in this utopic, futuristic, fiction world. For this composition, in particular, I'm not sticking to skin tones per se and are going for a bit more vibrant alien-ask color palette. Now that I have all three options, sometimes I will go back and change a little bit of element, for instance, this red is too common to the rest of the face. Maybe I want to change it to yellow to make it stand out. Maybe I'll do that, maybe I'll change that bit to bring out the fact that they are cyberpunky elements and there we go. I'm leaning towards the first one because I feel like it highlights the areas that I wanted to highlight, for instance, the jewelry and the tech. The blue really brings out the alienness and complements the rest of the colors that I had chosen for this palette. Now that we have our color palette determined, we can set the laptop aside and start painting. [MUSIC] 8. Adding Color: Before we start coloring, I like to lightly erase off the harsh pencil marks. I'm going to lightly erase so that it's slightly visible still, I'd like to start color by color to fill it onto my composition. I will start with lemon yellow and go in and paint wherever I think the color yellow should go. I'm starting with the jewelry. The paint that I'm using here is acrylic on cartridge paper. But you can also use gouache or watercolor or poster. Anything works really, depends on how rich you want the paint to be on paper. Now I will move on to the blue of the face. I also like to do the borders first, and then it becomes easier to fill in the colors inside. As I continue with the blue, I got a bit too eager and wanted to change colors, so I filled in a little bit of pink as well. I tend to jump back and forth with colors and textures as well, which is also fine. There's no right or wrong way to do things. You should just do whatever feels right to you. I'm doing a second coat on the blue. I flipped the page because it's much more convenient to do it this way. I'm also just doing very wide strokes, uneven strokes. That can be a stick signature for you as well. But this is because I will go on top of it with another layer. I will let this section dry and in the meantime start on another color, the red background I like to hand draw my edges. But if you'd prefer something much more crisp, you can also do a masking tape here so that when your paint goes over it, it won't show in the final work when you take out the masking tape. I also personally like the little imperfections in your sketch because it gives it a bit more character and depth. Also in terms of strokes, what I'm doing is making my colors in one direction and going over it with the opposite direction. It's called a crisscross way of painting. This is because I want to minimize the amount of one-sided strokes when it dries. We can also use this technique with pens when you're shading. After I fill in the red for the background, I will go in and finish the rest of the yellow in the eyes, for instance, and a bit more black for the cosmos and her forehead and also the eyebrows. Now I have moved on to the lime green on the borders of the artworks. As you can see, it's not the cleanest way of coloring. In some of my artworks, I like experimenting with rough strokes because I think it brings out another dimension to the composition. For instance, that self-portrait that I did. It also has a lot of light green and dark green in the background with a lot of texture. I think it really brings out the character in the middle After I've done with the base colors, I will now move on to the background. For that, I'd like to use spray paint to start off with the gradient that you want in the background. Do you want to block out the bits that you want to protect? Then only expose the areas that you want this gray paint to be in. The idea for me is to start with red and transition into fluorescent pink as we go towards the top. I'm only blocking out the top half of the composition. You can also do whatever side that you want. You can do the whole thing or the bottom half or the top half, or just some elements and the frame or the background. To make your blocking more precise, you can also cut the masking tape into little pieces so that it's easier to block and maneuver in little pointy or very geometric shapes. You should make sure not to leave the tape on your painting for two long because depending on the paper and how strong the tape is, the tape might just get stuck to your artwork. You want to do the spraying painting as quickly as possible and take it out so that your paint doesn't come off with the tape as well. I'm making these weird shapes on this side because the shapes themselves that I've drawn are a bit more points here, I'm dividing the tape in half in order to fit that section. You can also use a Exacto knife or scissors if you're good with that to make any shape that you want. For anyone trying spray painting at home, please make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area so that you're not inhaling the spray too much. Ideally, you should have a mask or you're doing it outdoors with your nose and mouth covered. I only did a little bit of it here. But if I was doing a bigger surface area, I would probably do it outside. Your student exercise, for now, is to pick four to five colors that we've decided on for your color palette and fill the colors into the composition that you've created. You can also experiment with different mediums. You don't have to stick with acrylic. You can also try oil-based stalls or pastel colors or crayons or color pencils. The more that you experiment and different things that you try out is when you find out what you like and what you don't like. 9. Finishing with Ink: So now I'm taking out the tape that we have blocked our artwork with. I love the taking out of the tape bit. Now, I will start with inking process, which is also one of my favorite parts of creating an artwork. So I started out my art practice by only doing black and white ballpoint pen type artworks initially, and then I graduated to experimenting with pen and ink and brush pens. Since then, I've fell in love with colors and after that I've added on pen and ink and brush pen on top of colors, because it brings out certain elements and makes it more punchier. Also, Charles Burns, the illustrator and thinking artist that I had mentioned earlier is a huge influence on me. Comic book inking artists and the way that they ink just brings out a lot more emotion and character to the artworks that they create, which is where I picked up my love for inking as well. I like the process of inking as a form of therapy as well. Just because it's so soothing and it takes me a while to finish inking and I usually listen to my favorite podcasts or my favorite music that I'm obsessed with. These external things stimulate my brain and makes me concentrate more in this beautiful process of inking. We've already drawn the outline of the year in the previous class. I'm just adding a bit more detail to our composition to give it a bit more depth and definition. I'm just adding a bit more texture and stray hair outside of your eyebrow to make them big and bushy. Add some lines that make the character look a bit more mechanical. So what I like a lot about brush pens and this inking, is that you can do depths from thin to thick, depending on the pressure that you use on your pen or your brush. For me, it brings out more depth in your artwork. You can use them to create light and shadow effect. So for me, I like to add in the brushstrokes on where I think the shadow would fall on a particular object. For instance, on these jewelry elements, if the light were to come from top, the top part would be empty and the bottom where the shadow would be is where I'm doing the inking. Can also give an illusion of highlights or 2D highlights by circling where you think the white light would hit on a face. These are just ways in which you can bring in a bit more dimension to your 2D artwork. I'm also quickly going to outline the border elements as well to connect the mid section with the rest of your composition. You can also add in as many or as little details as you like. You can add texture inside this element as well. But I want to keep it a bit more plain for this composition so that the focus goes on the central portrait rather than the sides. Here's our finished piece of work. I'm really happy with how it came out. I'm happy with the shading and the wibbly wobbliness of the lines. I think it adds more texture. So your student exercise is to finish your inking, try to add different dimensions through different brushstrokes and finish your artwork. 10. Next Steps: [MUSIC] Now that you know how to create a dynamic portrait, I thought I can share a little bit of tips and thoughts on what you can carry forward from this class. The first thing is that I think style should be ever-evolving. It's important to keep in mind that your style will and should change over time. It's good to have that form of flexibility which connects back or relates to how your personality might have changed over time as well. Think outside the box and perhaps keep things fresh. It could be either by maybe trying to draw on a hand that is not what you predominantly used or trying different mediums or trying to get inspiration from different places. For me, it has really helped me get out of artistic ruts that I've been in, and just to think of new ideas and to evolve my art practice in general. Taking breaks is vitally important for me and I'm trying to do more and more of now. Visiting a new place, visiting new people, go for a track, go for a swim in the sea. It really helps you reconnect with your work when you come back. Also, you have no idea where you're going to get your inspiration from. In fact, I actually have a whole series based on my dreams and nightmares. Just jotting it down and illustrating my nightmares helped me get it out of my head. Something that I've learned over the years is to know why you're choosing a particular client when it comes to commission projects. For instance, there are certain projects that I do because it highlights and emphasizes what I stand for. They are also projects that you might not necessarily have your entire personality in it, but you can use the time that you have afterwards with your personal projects to hone in what you want to say and what you want to stand for. Also, something that has worked out for me, is that during my free time, I ended up doing a lot of personal projects that have a deep connection to my voice and what I wanted to say when you keep putting up work that you stand for and what defines you eventually you will also be approached by clients that resonate with that same thought and ideas as you do. This is also a great way to attract like-minded people. Even if you've been doing this for some time, there's still ways you can keep learning, sharing things online can help you find your community, get feedback, collaborate with creatives that you might like. Collaborations are helpful in creating new ideas where you might have your strengths and the creative person that you're collaborating with might have their strengths and by combining these two together, you're coming up with something brand new and exciting. You can also share your work on the discussion board on Skillshare right here, or on other platforms online like Instagram or Twitter. Your art practice doesn't necessarily have to be for the outside world, it can also be a way for you to just explore your inner world as well. I use my sketchbook as a journal of sorts, when I'm feeling certain things or when I'm not necessarily articulate about ideas and thoughts, I find it easy to do some rough sketches, keep things down. I think a lot of times it's also more important to keep a sketchbook rather than a collection of final products because it's more an in-depth view into your thought processes and is also a good way for you to visualize and articulate your personality and also a way to get a bit closer to your voice. If there's one thing that I want you to take from this class, it would be to keep practicing, keep evolving and keep sharing. I know in the beginning it might be hard to find your style or your voice or what you want to say through your artwork, but eventually, you will find a point where who you are as a person will reflect into your artwork, and a good way to get there is to just keep practicing and not give up on what you're doing and just keep doing you and I promise you that you will find your place. [MUSIC] 11. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on finishing your class. I hope that this class has helped you get a bit more closer to finding your voice as a creative, and how to put them down in a concise way on paper. I hope that your journey continues and I can't wait to see what you've made. Please share your project in the project gallery so I can check them out and you can share them with your peers as well. If you want to check out more of my work, you can find me at ocean.siva on Instagram or Thank you so much for joining me in this class. I hope you had fun and don't forget to embrace the mess.