Fun Florals with Gouache - Paint with a Limited Colour Palette | Jessica Smith | Skillshare

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Fun Florals with Gouache - Paint with a Limited Colour Palette

teacher avatar Jessica Smith, Illustrator and Dog Lover from the UK

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.



    • 2.

      Making your mood board


    • 3.

      Sketching out your florals


    • 4.

      Tools and your colour palette


    • 5.

      Painting your base colours


    • 6.

      Painting your details


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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to paint a fun page of florals using gouache, we will explore colour palettes, composition and how to build a mood board to fuel your ideas!

You will need:

  • Various colours of Gouache (I'll be using Winsor and Newton + Holbein Acryla Gouache)
  • Various Paintbrushes
  • Paper (minimum 200gsm)
  • Water
  • Pencil 
  • Eraser
  • Coloured Pencils (optional) 

This class will be full of techniques that you can put into practice with a wide range of flowers and leaves at your own leisure!


You can find me and more of my work here...

Instagram: @jessica_smith_illustration


Music throughout: Ben Sounds 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jessica Smith

Illustrator and Dog Lover from the UK


 I'm Jessica, a freelance illustrator from the UK currently based in Bath. I'm represented by the Bright Agency and work on lots of leafy painted pieces as well as digitally with procreate, come along and learn how I make my bright fun illustrations.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Jessica Smith, an illustrator and designer from the UK I worked with gouache on in today's class. I'm gonna teach you how to create an illustration from using photos or pieces of foliage and flowers from life. We're gonna be looking at how to build a mood board in this, particularly we're gonna be using Pinterest. But you're more than welcome to use Google or collect pieces off flowers or leaves from your garden. A wire out on a walk. I'm really talking you through how to build a successful color palette using complementary colors with pops of colors. We're gonna be looking at which colors work best together, and I'll let you know what I think is a good color combination. Then I'm going to talk you through painting the base colors, how Teoh successfully and neatly paint all of your what based colors down first before we have details. Then I'm gonna talk. He threw adding in details with smaller paintbrush shares, pencils or final depends if that's something that you would prefer to use. I'm also quickly just gonna show you a few examples of my work where I've painted florals which might give you a little bit of inspiration for your pieces that you're about to pain . So here, a couple of pieces of my work that I want to show you just to give you a little bit of inspiration for the pieces that you are about to create. As you can see here, I'm working with more of Ah, OK, kind of set up still a very limited color palettes. I'm only using two colors and this is something that I will explain to you in this video. The next couple are the kind of thing that you re creating. So I'm not worrying too much about composition here. I'm just filling the page with lots of different colors and shapes similarly here, as you can see, I've added in lots of little details which will also be exploring in this video on this one as well. Again, as you can see, I am any working with two colors here on, then varying the shades and tones. So that's something that I'll be doing in my make my painting on. I encourage you to try that as well. Here I've painted a pot plant, which is also something you can dio after this video, if you feel confident enough. So I just wanted to show you that one on then Finally, this one is a bit more kind of free. I've used my imagination a little bit more as you can see, these not too lifelike, but the colors a really fun. Andi, I've been working Mawr like this recently with more bright, blocky colors. Andi again focusing on composition here, which is something that you're more than welcome to go away and try after. But for this video in particular, I want you to just fakes on feeling the pain. Lots of fun shapes, Andi. Then you can move on to this kind of thing afterwards. So in the first video, we're gonna be looking at creating a mood board, putting together different images for inspiration on putting together on Pinterest. I hadn t really excited for my class and I hope that you enjoy 2. Making your mood board: So, first off, what we're gonna do is we're gonna open up Pinterest. You can use Google or a similar website that has a database of photos. Andi, what I'm gonna be doing here is just searching for some fun florals, bright, nice flowers, Andi leafy pieces to include in my painting. I've set up a separate ball separate board where I can add all these pins s so that I can see them all together later. But what I'm doing is typing in. I think I talked him bright, fun florals first and then I've typed in floral photography because I find that these ones have really nice compositions. Their Semb. Okay, Is there some flat lays? There's some flowers in the wild, and it's quite nice to have a nice range that you can then pick and choose your pieces from at the next step. So I'm kind of choosing some bright ones, some muted ones, And I'm also gonna be choosing some leaves because when I paint florals, I think it's quite nice to include some foliage. Just sort break up all the different flowers that you might be adding. So go ahead, Andi, find some nice photos that capture I and that you think you'd like to include in the flower illustration? As you can see here, there are so many different colors on varieties of flour. So don't be too overwhelmed. If it's too many, just pick ones that really capture I on that you see here, I'm also using Pinterest to find some nice color palettes. Um, I'm just going to save a couple and then I'll have some nice colors to go by when it comes to actually painting the peace. So as you can see here for my pins that I have collected so far, and I'm just gonna try and find a couple of extra ones So the next step to this class is gonna be sketching out your design on it. Be a good idea to keep your board open when it comes to this stage, just so you can refer back to the flowers and images that you have chosen in this step 3. Sketching out your florals: So I'm just going back to my pin dress board that I made previously just to check which flowers I'm going to use for my piece. And I really like thes yellow and blue colors, and I think I'm gonna use most of these. So I'm gonna be using a really limited color palette on you can do the same if you'd like to. Or if not, then feel free to pick a couple more colors to mix in. Um, so I'm just showing you the ones that I'm gonna use and then just some examples of the kind of colors that I'm gonna be using in the next video. So now we convey it. Begin with the sketching. I'm using this, a four heavyweight cartridge paper from See White of Brighton. It's nice and smooth. The pain goes on really easily on I just like the kind of effect that it has. Once you painted. It's easy to scan on that kind of thing. So I'm not worrying too much about composition for this piece. I just wanna get the flowers on the page and show you the kind of techniques that we can use to paint them. So kind of just fill the page with lots of different flowers that you've collected from your mood board. Andi kind of space. Not nicely. Try overlapping some see what that looks like. But don't worry about composition for this particular class because there will be another one where we focus a lot more on composition. This one I just want you to kind of get comfortable with painting. Withdrawing the flowers on the leaves. Yes. So fill the page up with lots of nice, lovely little sketches on. One thing to remember is that you are really painting favor these pencil lines so you don't want to make them really, really heavy, but not too like that. You can't see them. Goulash. Luckily, does cover up a lot of pencil lines. So that's quite nice that you know, you can still have a guide, Andi. Then when you finished, you won't necessarily be able to see them all through. So just make your lines, you know, so you can see them. But don't be pressing really hard because you might want to rub them out or make them slightly lighter, You know, before you go in and paint with them try and pick a nice range of different shapes and sizes kind of mix up between the frog floral elements on the foliage that we spoke about earlier. Just kind of get a nice mix in there. So, as you can see here, I've just assumed in a little bit so that you can see things a little bit closer. I'm just filling in some gaps with a little bit off eucalyptus. Yeah, and just sort of playing around with placing things on the page and fill in in some little gaps. And then all I want you to is carry on filling the page up with different elements that you collect from your mood board. I'm gonna speed this but up of me just sketching on. Then we'll move on to the next video. So the next video is gonna be mixing up color palette and choosing the colors for your final piece. 4. Tools and your colour palette: So to get started, you're gonna need a palette, a pencil and a razor, a variety of paintbrushes on a pot of water. You're also gonna need a range of different color. Gouache is in the palette that you have chosen. You can see here that I've chosen yellow blue with some whites. So I start off by putting some of the pain in the palate. You don't use too much because we like to avoid wasting paint. But don't you too little because you wanna be able to, you know, cover all the pieces that you painted and then what you want to dio I'm using a size four brush here. I'm using the pro Arte Range. It's just add a little bit of water into your, um paints and just makes them just to you dialect them slightly and make them a little bit thinner. As you can see, I'm adding the white into these blues just to vary the tones and give myself enough different variety to work with on the page. So these colors are just for the base colors. We will then go in with some light and dark tones in the next video, but for now, keep it quite simple. I'm using six colors here, but if you want to use less or more than feel free, but just make sure they all very slightly in tone and shade. I'm just gonna swatch out some of my colors just so I can see how they go together next to each other. You can skip this step if you want, but I just want to make sure that I've got enough colors. Andi, the shades of right for what I want to use them for. If this color palette doesn't suit what you want to do, then don't worry, because I am just about to talk you through some different color palettes with complementary colors that you might want to try out. So just in case this color palette isn't Teoh kind of thing that you want to do, I just want to talk you through the other complementary colors that you could work with. So why I want you to you look at are the colors are opposite each other on the color wheel on those air called complementary colors. I think that they work best when they used together. So, for example, red and green, blue and orange or yellow and purple. Um, they just helped make your peace look really strong. Andi, like you've really considered the colors that you're putting together, just gonna quickly show you some other examples or photos that use complementary colors. And hopefully you can see how kind of powerful they look together. So that's the kind of thing I want you to consider when you're choosing the colors that go together in your piece. 5. Painting your base colours : So what we're gonna do here is we're gonna start painting in our base colors, which covers that we mixed up in the previous video. So I want you to just block in the main shapes that you've got here kind of ignoring any detail that you're thinking about, because that's something that we're gonna add in in the next step. So I'm starting off with a well, if the yellow bits and then I'm gonna move on to the I'm using a size four brush here just to allow myself to be able to cover the area quickly on painted on really smoothly with a nice big brush. And I'm just gonna zoom in here so you can see a little bit close throughout the detail again. Not being too precious about the lines here, I want to just give a little bit of texture by sort of blocking the paint into these little circles. - Just carry on with a little bit. You might use a slight, dark chain that would be difficult to the blue. Now I'm just gonna be wants the blue and I'm gonna paint the largest flour in center. I think this one there's three flowers, the left and then the love into shape ones. This kind of nice shade wanted that I have here is kind of load your paint brush up with quite a lot of pain because it makes it easier to apply. I find that it glides on a lot easier on the more pain you have on the brush. Just getting back just to make sure that the lines covered under six license made. So now I am gonna go and pick me up a little flowers that are to the left. - So I'm just gonna go ahead and add a little bit white into the lightest revive. Go because I want to marry this shades and a little bit, So mix it up. And if you feel the same, when you want to add a slightly lighter color in there, feel free and white on. Likewise, if you'd like a slightly dark one, then you could use a more concentrated cover or add the darker version of one of colors that you're using. So I'm gonna go ahead and paints from these light leaves in, I'll come back and as you can see that I just in here, I am using right the very tip of the brush. Just make a slightly thin line. I could use a smaller brush, but I've already got this one on. I kind of want to save the thinnest lines. For what? The detail That we're gonna be added next. So, as you can see can get a really nice point. When he used the end of the bush in the next video, we are gonna be adding in lots of little details using a much finer brush on some pencil. Just to really bring this piece life on. I want you, Teoh reference back to your mood board so that you can see a little details that we are going to be adding in next. 6. Painting your details : So in this video, we're gonna be adding in the smaller details. I'm using a pro up size full brush here. Andi, I'm just gonna mix up some kind of a dark yellow I'm using and color here. Just add in some of the details on the yellow flowers. Now, I want you to bring up the mood board that you made previously. As you can see here, this is the photo I'm working from. So we're just gonna add in some of the darker colors onto these little butts. - So now I'm gonna paint some of the details on the logically flower. I'm switching into Windsor. New tenants size zero brush. It's a really nice thin tepes and gets, um, re fine Details on what you do here is again Bring up the photo that you are working from that. You see, this is the one that I'm referencing from. So I'm just adding in some little dots into the middle of the flower with this ochre yellow before I'm just going Teoh kind of copy the details on photo. But you my imagination a little bit instead because I don't want it to look really lifelike . But I want to get, you know, the details that make it recognizable enough. I just walked a slightly bigger brush. I'm gonna add in some of this dark yellow into this kind of spotty flower. Talk is quite nice to mix up different tones of a color that you're using. So after this, I will later add in a lighter color as well, just to give it some depth. And I mentioned, - I'm now just mixing up a kind of mid blue because I want that some veins and details onto some believes. And I often if you've got a like a light kind of leaf, I always try and add in dark do so it's obvious enough. But if you've got a really dark leaf, then you could try adding a lighting with top. That's a massive advantage of good go ashes. Well, because you can paint a light and dark really well without much showing through. So I've swapped back to my Windsor nuisance I zero brush air, and I'm just gonna add some really fine little lines onto something. Believes and here I just next a little bit of the Navy blue into the ultra Marine. Just get a really nice deep blue. And I'm just kind of adding some little dots into these Lavandera shaped flowers again for this one, I'm actually not working from a picture, but more imagination. So you can extra to if you feel confident enough. If not, then work all from reference images that you collected from your mood board. So once you're finished adding that dark blue, what you want to do is mix up white and add in some of the little little inner details off the three flowers. I'm walking from that previous reference image here kind of half that half imagination just to make it look a bit more like my style, but also still keep me keeping it recognizable. So for this next, But I want to talk you through a gouache brush technique that's really nice for creatives in texture work. So I'm just gonna be using a little bit of this blue on. Why I want you to do is take a large brush than what you've been using. I'm using this one. You can see on. What I'm gonna do is had no water onto it. And what you want to do is keep the brush really dry and sort of create, like a kind of like a scratchy kind of texture on. It's really lovely for adding texture on surfaces or otherwise quite flat colors. Um, so, yeah, what you do is you don't add any water and you just sort of dip into the paint on you get this really lovely texture. I'm going to zoom in on these next ones so you can see it close up. And then what I'm gonna do is just continue to add in lots of little details using my final brush to the rest off. Believes Andi, you can carry on doing that. You can eat, choose whatever color you want. But you can see I'm using a slightly dark colored leaves just that they really stands out. So, yeah, go ahead on carry on, adding lots of little details. And then sometimes, if I'm thinking that the peace may little bit empty in some places, I will add in like extra little bits. And don't be worried if this is something he wanted as well. Don't worry that you have a planned it or anything, just as you can see that gap right at the bottom in the middle. It just looks a bit big. And they're so I'm just gonna add in a couple of little leafy bits into the gaps that I think need a little extra something. And I just want to show you a little something extra that you can add to your piece. So these kind of pencils are great for going over the top. You can add in low till extra details that might not be able to get with a brush. I think they just give a nice extra texture. If that's the kind of thing you might want to try out. Try different colors over whatever. I think they look really lovely. So, yeah, give it a go.