Quirky Watercolor Pet Illustration : From Sketching to Painting | Gintare Budvytyte | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Quirky Watercolor Pet Illustration : From Sketching to Painting

teacher avatar Gintare Budvytyte, Watercolor Illustrator

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

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.

      Class Overview


    • 3.

      Materials Needed


    • 4.

      Choosing Reference Photo


    • 5.

      How to Quickly Sketch


    • 6.

      Transferring Sketch


    • 7.

      Color Mixing


    • 8.

      Painting and Color Blending


    • 9.

      Adding Textures


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts!


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This class will encourage you to loosen up when drawing, forget about proportions and just enjoy the process. Too many of us think that a painting can’t be magnificent if it isn’t ‘perfectly correct’. It is a great class for those struggling with an artist block as it gives you ability to draw without thinking. So therefore this skill becomes quite handy whenever you feel stuck in the process. 

This class is NOT going to teach you how to paint your pet in a realistic style, instead we’ll be focusing on colors, mark making, and giving your pet a personality. We’ll be trying not to use rubber and just let your eyes and hand guide you. 


Key lessons that we will cover during this class: 

  • Materials. What we will need to start a simple watercolor illustration.
  • Color mixing. How to mix watercolors and get beautiful earthy tones.
  • Reference photos. How to choose a good reference photo.
  • Sketching. How to quickly make a bunch of sketches
  • Sketch transfer. How to easily transfer your sketch onto a different paper. 
  • Painting. How to blend colors as you paint.
  • Textures. How adding textures can make your painting pop out. 

If you want to start creating using watercolors but are not too sure where to start then this class is for you! I will walk you through a process that will help you to step out of your comfort zone, forget about the rules and enjoy the process.

You don't need to have professional watercolor or even a lot of different colors to start this project as I will be showing you how to get variety of different colors only using the very basic shades. 

It can be daunting to start using watercolors if you haven't used them before but with the easy steps that we will cover during this class I will show you very simple ways how to apply and blend your watercolors, how to add some texture and have a quirky watercolor illustration in just over an hour. 

At the end of this class you will have one illustration that depicts a dog or a cat and a bunch of sketches!


I can't wait to begin this journey with you! Let's crack on and start creating!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Gintare Budvytyte

Watercolor Illustrator


Hello, I'm Gintare and I am an illustrator behind my brand One Tooth Moose. I specialize in watercolor and love working on a large scale. My paintings are full of texture and little details as I absolutely love studying paintings that have lots of texture. 

I recently started focusing on producing short creative process videos of my paintings for my youtube channel and it has become something I absolutely love. 

Since I have found my voice in art I decided it would be amazing if I could teach other people the things that I know and help them out with their artists blocks. I want to share my tips and tricks with everyone and give back a little bit to the community that has tought me so much!

See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hello, my name is Gantana and I'm an illustrator based in Worcester, United Kingdom. I have been creating pretty much all of my life and I've graduated from University with a degree in illustration in 2016. Now, I make these expressive and bold paintings and I'm currently focusing on female portraits in particular. My paintings are full of texture in little details I absolutely love adding a little bit of detail in every one of my paintings. This lesson, project is geared more towards beginners but fear not my friends, fear not. It's actually a great class for any level artist, especially those that are struggling with the most famous artist block. During this project, I will show you how to quickly batch out 10-15 sketches of a dog or a cat, how to select a good reference photos. I'm going to teach you how to mix colors, apply them. We're going to talk about mark making and textures, how they can make your illustration pop out a little bit more. At the end of this project, you will have a final piece of illustration that is going to depict a dog or a cat. It's going to be quick, is going to be fun to look at. You also going to have a bunch of sketches that are left over that you can use later on to create another little illustration. I really hope you're going to make use of those sketches. They have helped me a lot when I was just starting out with this journey and I would have no ideas whatsoever what I wanted to paint, what I wanted to do and what direction I wanted to go, I would just pick up one of those leftover sketches, would transfer it into a final piece of paper and in just under an hour, I would create brand new illustration and I have that sense of achievement. It made me feel like I'm actually doing something, I'm going somewhere. I think that's extremely important when you are struggling a little bit. We all been there, we've all done that. Right guys, without further ado, let's crack on. Let's get creative and I really, really can't wait to see what you create. I really hope you're going to enjoy this lesson as much as I'm going to enjoy teaching it. Guys, I'll see you in the next lesson. Bye. 2. Class Overview: Hi guys. For today's project we will be creating a quirky water illustration depicting a dog or a cat. We will be learning how to make quick sketches and transfer them on to our final piece of paper that you will be using for your final illustration. The reason why I chose this project in particular to start with, is because it has helped me tremendously at the beginning of my artistic journey. It has helped me with coming up with my own arts style. It has helped me finding my own artistic voice. Also, it has helped me when I was struggling with artist's block. It gave me a sense of achievement and I really hope it will do the same to you. The main goal for this project is for you to loosen up a little bit. You can treat it as an exercise before you begin your more serious work, or you can treat it the way I did, and have one painting a day, using the techniques that I will show you in my lesson. This exercise has helped me a lot at the beginning of my journey and I really hope it's going to do the same to you. Now before we begin, make sure to open those project files where you should be able to find around 10 reference photos that we will be working from. We won't be fully relying on them, we're rather going to be taking bits and bobs out of those photos and making our own illustration. I really hope that you are as excited as I'm. I really can't wait to start this project with you. I can't wait to share what I've learned through my artistic journey, to show the tips that have helped me and I really hope you will take something out of this lesson and put into your own work. Let's see what we're going to create. We'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Materials Needed: Let's talk about the materials that we will need for this project. Pencil, yes. We will definitely need a pencil and I would recommend having a very soft one for sketching and I think 4B and softer we'll do, and a regular HB pencil for transferring that sketch onto our final piece of paper. Next on our list are paintbrushes. For this type of painting, I normally go for around 0 point paintbrush as it makes it easier to apply color and gets into those edges. Make sure to use a paintbrush that is suitable for watercolors, then we will most definitely need watercolors. You don't need anything too fancy, as I will show you how to mix very standard colors and gets very beautiful color tiles. Next on our list is paper. For sketching, you can use either sketchbook or if you're anything like me, and ruining a brand new, expensive sketchbook scares you. You can use a very standard printer paper or really just anything you can draw on. Then we will need a pallet to mix the paint. I like using my kitchen plate the most. Let's not forget about a jar for water. All those jars that you said you won't throw away and reuse them. Well, that time has gone. I personally use a few jars as it saves me a trip to the sink to clean that dirty water. We'll also need some colored pencils or pastel for that mark-making and the last optional step is masking liquid. For those of you that don't know what masking liquid does, it masks the area that you do not want to get paint on. When you peel it off, you have a nice untouched area. Great to use for eyes, but also love making fear marks with it. I think that is all we will need so get that ready and meet me in the next lesson, where I will briefly show you what makes a good reference photo for our project. 4. Choosing Reference Photo: During this short lesson, we will quickly go over what makes a good reference photo. When it comes to choosing a good reference picture, there are few things you want to be looking for. An interesting pose and an action picture, whether the animal is running, jumping, stretching, yawning. You want also full body instead of the profile only. When I first started doing this exercise, I was heavily focusing on during cats, probably because I've got couple of cats myself. But they are also extremely fun to draw because you can find so many cats online being in weird poses, and when they stretch they make these very nice curves. You can actually experiment a lot regarding poses. If you don't want to find them online and if you do have a cat and if you want to draw your own cat, you probably have tons and tons of photos on your phone like I used to have. Before I have my son and I used to just quickly snap snap snap photos of my cats doing the most boring things like just sitting on a window seal, which brings me to extremely hot tip for you guys. If you are a beginner, I would recommend going for more simple poses like sitting, laying down, standing, where you can see all four legs. This will allow you to easily see the shape of the body and outline it and draw it. Well, I think we have talked a lot about cats and it's time to me to mention a little bit about dogs. When it comes to drawing dogs, if you are a beginner, which most likely you are, if you're watching my lesson, I would recommend going for breeds like sausage dog, call have, greyhounds because those are very fun, breeze to draw as they have some rain blogs adoration, like sausage dog, we've got these long bodies and very short legs, same with Colgate's, but instead of long bodies, you've got long and chunky bodies. Greyhounds got very long necks and very long legs. There's so much frame for exaggeration and you can make them look so weird and unique at the same time.I would also recommend staying clear of breeds that are very fluffy, or very wrinkly, because when it comes to fluffy breeds, if you are a beginner, it might be a bit hard for you to outline the body and put the face on them because in my lurk like a giant fluff cloud with a smiley face on it. So when you nail those less complex breeds, you probably going to feel comfortable enough to start drawing more complex breeds. You don't want to get discouraged too quickly, too soon. While I believe that practice makes perfect, I also think that you should start from the first step instead of from the tenth step, which I've got a little tip for you when it comes to choosing dog breeds. If you are again a beginner, try and choose dog breeds that are more from the side because it will be easier for you to draw the face as you will be able to see the shape of the head more easily than it would be if you were trying to do a profile of drawing of the same dog. I think we have discussed everything you need to know about what makes a good reference photo. Meet me in my next lesson, where we will start sketching. 5. How to Quickly Sketch: Hi guys, and welcome to our first lesson where we will start creating. This lesson is a very short, quick, informative lesson about how I make this illustrative sketches from start to finish. I will share my tips of how to make it easier for you, especially if you are a beginner. These sketches shouldn't take too long, so don't feel too precious about them. These sketches, are just very quick, raw, childlike sketches, but we're focusing on loosening up a little bit, letting your hand guide you instead of just trying to make it look as perfectly as possible. These are very imperfect, very quick sketches. So gather your materials like pencil, sketch book, lease piece of paper, or whatever you are drawing on. Let's learn together and let's make it fun. We begin our sketch by just quickly outlining the body. Look at the reference phasor and just let your hand guide you just like you would if you were practicing continuous drawing. Glance at your sketch every now and then, but don't fix it on those mistakes. As you can see in my sketch, the poles of my cat aren't realistic, but you can clearly see that they all pose indeed. So we continue quickly outlining the body. This should only take you a minute or two, and as the clip as part of this sketching. When we lay of to adding some facial features, try and exponent about the placing of nose and mouth. Plays them very high or maybe very low, give it a big smile, or maybe a very, the intellect or one, make eyes very asymmetrical, play with proportions. I left in my illustrations one eye bigger than the other, or making them very tiny, and drawing these circles around the eyes is thought of as mellow signature now. After the outline and face is done, we can now move dividing a little bit of shading and a few marks, that will help you to see the sketch more clearly. You can start seeing how it may look after you painted it. You can even introduce some color if you would like, with your colored pencils or pastels. Yes and this technique start sketching other reference photos. Don't be too precious about them as they are only sketches. I know it might be tempting to use that rubber, but instead of constantly erasing, just tar, tie a bow on a new piece of paper on a new page. Or maybe try and incorporate that mistake into your sketch. I remember reading about how children just enjoy the process of drawing, and they don't care about those mistakes because they don't know those rules about proportions, shading, etc. So with this exercise, I want you to become that child again. Let go of those fears of making your drawing ugly. Our goal is to make that pet quirky and ugly is also considered quirky. When it comes to sketching dogs, start with your least complex reference pictures. Duck fetus with the docker space in you might be a little bit harder to draw than the site profile of the dog. Again, don't forget to let your hand guy, Jay, I want to remind you that we are only using these reference voters as a guide to the pose of your pet. So don't look about sketch and think it doesn't look anything like the picture because it won't, and none of mine ever look like the photographs that I draw from. Choose breeds that are fun to draw and have some room for exaggeration, like sausage dogs with a short legs and long bodies or grayhouse with a long necks and legs, or [inaudible] with a chunky bodies and short lurks. My other tip would be to experiment with the darkness of the areas, make some landmarks and then draw some very dark blobs around the body made and make the outline of the pet darker than the marks in the body. This also lets you sketch stand out a little bit more and add some character to it. If you haven't done this type of sketching, I know you might feel a tiny bit uncomfortable with how roar and childish your drawings may look like. But remember, we are learning how to listen up here and we want to feel like children that are just enjoying the process. To them, drawing and painting is all about fun. I think as adults, we often forget the importance of making drawing and painting be fun to us. Instead, we're just criticize our painting or drawing or sketch doesn't look like the picture that we're trying to draw. At the very beginning. I was very precious about making my sketch look very pretty, but after making tons and tons of sketches in this style. I have learned that it is all about making that animal look weird and in a way, ugly. Also, after you paint that pad in a little bit of color, it will look so much fatter, and it will just pop out and suddenly, you'll have this beautiful quirky illustration. I really hope that this class has been of benefit to you. I really hope that you learned something useful and will be putting it to use in the future. Meet me in my next lesson where I will quickly cover how to transfer that your favorite sketch onto a final piece of paper that you will be using for your final illustration. We'll then quickly going to cover how to mix paint and get those beautiful healthy times and how to paint your final image. 6. Transferring Sketch: So now that you've got your 10 sketches, it's okay if you haven't got 10 sketches, if you've got or less, we can still work with that. Now it is time to choose your most favorite one out of all the ones that you've made and I will choose. I'll go for this one. Now we'll show you how to quickly transfer that sketch and Jeff final piece of paper. Then we'll start mixing those colors and begin painting. When it comes to transferring sketch into a different paper, all you need is a window and good thing. We all have windows. Just put a sketch underneath your good paper and trace the outlines. Don't worry about the details as you can use your sketch as a reference, we just need the outlines. You can also use a light box if you have one or copy a sketch just the side-by-side. I use this tracing method to be sure that my sketch will fit into my papers. You can easily misjudge how big or small your sketch is if you are just copying it side-by-side. 7. Color Mixing: Hi guys. Before we start painting, we will need to mix and prepare our colors. In this lesson, I will show you how to quickly get those colors mixed. So you have beautiful tones. We're not going to be working with a lot of different colors. For these small pieces, I normally go for around four, maybe five colors. That really depends. Sometimes even less than that. Because when you start blending the colors as you paint, it's going to create them in a different tone. Meet me in a few seconds and I'll show you how to blend those colors and from very standard yellow, red, blue get beautiful at the tones. I will begin creating a green blue color palette. Here I'm mixing viridian and cadmium Orange, and it makes this nice, vibrant green color, I then paint a test strip on a separate sheet of paper and write down the combination at the bottom. Next, I'm mixing viridian and red. Any shade of red will be fine. When I first started, I only had 24 colors, so color mixing became my friend. I didn't know much about the names of the colors, so I just tried using the closest one to the one that was being used. If you don't have viridian try using what other green you have. It will make different shades, but it will still make beautiful colors. Viridian and Burnt sienna makes an amazing deep green. It is very dark. Again, I do the same process of painting a test strip and writing down the combination for everyone of my colors. It allows me to remember what colors I've used in case I run out of them while painting. Now moving onto some orange blue tiles, here I'm mixing both Burnt sienna and Prussian blue. Burnt sienna is probably my personal favorite as it creates some amazing earthly tones with every single color that you mix it with. Burnt sienna and and hooker's green make a very nice deep green. Play around with the quantities of each paint. Add more darker tones for deeper colors and lighter tones for some nice lighter colors. Remember to write down each combination as it can lead to, also serve you as an inspiration. You can always get that sheet of paper back, look at the colors and recreate them for a different pieces. This little tip has saved me so much of my time. I remember wanting to recreate the specific shade, but not being able to do that because I didn't remember what I had mixed. I now use this technique less and less because I remember more. But at the very beginning of my journey, this specific tip has helped me tremendously. We have now moved into create the neon green tones, mixing any color with a yellow will always give you a lighter tone. This palette is quite soft and summery, I would suggest you always choose one darker shade or contrasting color, for example, because the spud is quite green, my contrasting color will be an orange tone. Red and purple palette is probably my personal favorite because it's so vibrant. If you haven't noticed yet, I use pretty much the same colors. Burnt sienna, orange, yellow, green, blue, viridian and violet. As you can see, you can create so many different colors within extremely limited palette. Color mixing is also so relaxing and fun. I should probably warn you, you might get addicted to it. Now violet palette will in most cases give you some nice deep dark colors. A little tip for you here, these dark colors work amazing instead of black. If you are painting an animal that is black try using some very dark shades of blue, brown, green, or red. Spice things up a little bit by adding a few spots of Yellow. Here we have some nice purple red shades, some nice green blue shades. In the middle, we have some nice orange brown tones. In the left-hand corner we have very dark tones, and right-hand corner has some very nice yellow green tones. Guys, I hope you learn something about color mixing, I hope you learn how to get very nice earthy tones and also some contrasting color. Now before we start painting, choose the color palette that you would like to work with. Mix if you have those paints if you haven't done so already, and meet me in my next lesson where we will start painting your beautiful animal. 8. Painting and Color Blending: Hi guys and welcome back. In this lesson, we will start actually painting. I'm going to show you how to get this beautiful painting. Well, not necessarily this one. I'm sure you'll choose a different one, but I will show you how to nicely blend the colors. How to add a little bit of texture with the paint before we apply any texture with the pencil. So without further ado, get all those paints ready. I'm sure you already got everything ready. Get all that fresh clean water ready for yourself. In a few seconds will start painting. Until you have chosen the color palette you love to work with. Start painting your illustration with either mid tones or light tone. I love starting from the ears as I can then move downwards as I paint. Probably is, and a little bit of the top of the head with your light of time, make sure that the color you applying has some wetness to it, but isn't too wet. You can then start introducing some darker tones. Pop some darker colors on the insides of the ears just underneath the eyes. Then paint the entire face switching from lighter tones too darker. You can scatter some dots around the face with a contrast and color as that gives a little bit of texture and creates different color tones. Don't be afraid to leave some negative space lines as you paint back and really save as an additional texture. When you paint around the legs. Make sure to pop some darker colors, where shading should be. While the colors are still wet you might want to scatter more dots around just don't overdo it. Now when you start painting the body start from the lightest tone and put it on the back of your pads or on the part that would be closer to the sun. Again, don't forget the shading as you move along your base as that will make an illustration more contrasting unbelievable. I've got a little tip for you, because most likely your illustration is going to be very small. It is very important not to overdue with darker tones as that will be very hard to fix. You can always introduce more darker colors if you are saying it is missing some contrast. Same goes for painting the rest of the body. Work from the lightest tones to darkest scatter some dots or lines, l love scattering these little dots around us when it dries it leave this amazing textures and in a way looks like as a spot thirt. I've got another tip for you. If some of the parts, body parts are overlapping with each other, you might want to leave out the piece to dry out a little bit. This will allow you to paint around that body part without old paint blending with the new. Remember being afraid of letting a painting to dry when my illustration wasn't finished, thinking that I won't be able to connect new paint with the old one and make that smooth transition. I have later learned that with enough wetness if you can make very smooth transitions. Now we'll even noticed that you've painted your illustration in few settings. Don't be afraid to switch around with the colors. Just experiment with colors and scatter around some dots place some line. Go from dark tones to a light tones and my space. Sometimes that transition between old colors and new colors don't need to be smooth. You can just add some lines or leaps and when it dries, it will leave some beautiful marks for you. As you can see, this leg is overlapping with the body, so I had to let the paint dry before working on it as I didn't want the very light tone mix for the very dark tone. While I wait I will catch up with any gate chip videos that I'm watching, so wouldn't be sitting and staring at my paper. As it can take a while for the paint to dry. You can also make these lines around the body to indicate some fur. I actually forgot to do that for this piece as I went along and only remembered as my piece was nearly finished. But when you introduce it, when your piece is still wet the fur lines will nicely blend in with the rest of the body. If you decide to apply fur lines after the paint is all dry like I did because I forgot. I would suggest using some similar times that are around the body so it would look more like a fur than just some lines around the body if you want to bend the fur lines with a very contrasting color, like blue. Now when the illustration is more less dry, you can add more color to red. I like adding back chaise, just making feather-like lines around the body. Again, don't forget to switch colors every now and then to have some change going on in your illustration. You can see me going from very brown slash green color to then some benzenes aligns. I just go over the entire bade thing, just adding those fur like lines. He's a little tip for you. Don't overdo with fur like lines as it can then become too distracting and you might not be able to see your beautiful color blending that you have done at the very beginning. You can also accentuate that smile while giving you a little bit of shading underneath the smile. In this manner, go over your illustration, deepen those shades by adding darker color, like those mid tones in the illustration. Just keep in mind that all of your colors don't need to blend together. Especially when you are going over the painting the second time you might feel the need to blend all the colors, but honestly just try and leave the abrupt shading the way it is. It will add some character to it, it's actually going to end up looking real quick. So when you feel happy with the result, that thing that the color part of your illustration is more or less done. This when you will note to start introducing some texture by using colored pencil or pastel. Guys that was the end of this lesson, I really hope you took something beneficial out of it. I hope you learned something about blending, about how to just listen up all but because that is the main goal of our lesson. Now my next lesson is going to be all about adding a little bit of texture where your colored pencil off faster. I will show you how to add a little bit of that like rainy showery bit. How to add little bit of lines to solve indicates fur, and how to add a little bit of blood Just to make your character stand out even more. I cant wait to teach you a lot about texture. So meet me in my next lesson. 9. Adding Textures: Now that we have our illustration painted, it is time for some final textures. First of all, you want to finish off that face by drawing eyes, nose, and that smile. I like giving my characters these circles around the eyes, but you can experiment with some different textures and lines. Adding a few lines on the muzzle and around the eyes will give your character a different look altogether. You can do that either with a marker, pencils, all are guided here with some paint. Next, grab your colored pencil or pastel and start introducing these lines going from nose all the way to the top of the forehead. If you want you can extend these marks all the way to the outside of the body, wrap it around the body or just leave it the way I did. Now, either with the same color or different, place these circles around the body. Make sure to vary them in size. Don't make them all the same. For very dark parts of the painting use light color. Draw some more of these lines, but don't overdo it. Just scatter them here and then you will start seeing your painting come together. I love this part of [inaudible] I can really start seeing this character come to life. Experiment with colored pencils. Maybe introduce marks that are green or red. Red and yellow go really well with blue color, green goes amazing with red and vice versa. When it comes to tail, add a few dots or some bigger circles. Don't be scared to go out of that line. Some of my paintings have tails with some crazy marks. Keep working in this manner and soon you will have your finished painting. Here's how different my paintings looks from my sketch. I love how paint and some textures can make your illustration come to life. It is truly amazing. I can't wait to see your creations, guys. Please post them in this project's gallery. 10. Final Thoughts!: Guys, that is the end of our lesson for today. I really hope that you have enjoyed it, that you have learned something from it. Hopefully it has been of benefit to you and you will maybe used that in your future projects. If not, hopefully, you loosened up a little bit and maybe it gave you that little bit of a kick to stop creating something different. Please post your pictures for everyone to see. I would love to see what you have created, your color blending, the colors that you choose and the marks that you made. Post it four pairs to see for me to see and if you ever create more, feel free to post them in this class gallery so I can see them every time you post. I'll make sure to see everyone of your pictures. It has been a pleasure to teach you this class. I have been wanting to teach the class for so long. It has helped me so much and that has given me that kick to start creating something bigger. I really hope it has done something to you as well, maybe inspired you to create something different or it has been a very useful exercise. I really hope to see you in my feature classes. I hope you enjoy what I'm doing and thank you so much for choosing this class. It has been an honor to teach you all. I really hope to see in my next class, which hopefully I will post next month. Guys I really hope that you going to go on creating beautiful pieces of art works. I will see you next time. Thank you guys. Bye bye.