Blueberry Time. The True Story of One Sketchbook Page | Olga Bonitas | Skillshare

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Blueberry Time. The True Story of One Sketchbook Page

teacher avatar Olga Bonitas, Watercolor girl

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.

      How the Story Began


    • 2.

      Materials Needed


    • 3.

      Black Background


    • 4.

      Colored Backgrounds


    • 5.

      Page Design


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      My Sketchbook


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About This Class

This class tells the honest story of creating one page in my sketchbook
. From idea to finished illustration. Inspired by nature, I transfer my impressions to my sketchbook.

What you’ll get out of this class:

  • Learn a simple and effective technique for creating botanical illustrations
  • Tricks and tips for working in a creative sketchbook
  • Understand the logic in the page design and the choice of details
  • Feel the value of working in a sketchbook for your creativity, enjoyment and preservation of memories

This class is for you if you have a creative sketchbook (or plan to start one) and are interested in peeking behind the scenes of another artist's work.

For all skill levels.

with care for your creativity,
Olga Bonitas

Meet Your Teacher

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Olga Bonitas

Watercolor girl

Top Teacher

Hello, my name is Olga.
I'm a professional illustrator working both traditional and digital media. But my passion is watercolor.

I like to experiment and come up with something new (for example, mix watercolor, collage and embroidery ...), to make small animations and film my creative processes.

For the past few years, my passion has been sketching. This is an absolutely exciting and mind-changing topic for me. The world of a creative person changes once and for all when he begins to draw from life in a artbooks. I have created several classes that help you to start your very first sketchbook and keep draw regulary.

I share my creativity and workflow on my instagram @olga_bonitas.

See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. How the Story Began: Hi, guys. I'm Olga Bonitas and today I want to talk to you about creative sketchbooks and show the process of creating one page in my sketchbook. Creativity always reflects what happens to the artist. There is a whole story behind every page on the sketchbook. It is an atmosphere, emotions, memories. By the way, the sketchbook stores memories much better than a photo. This summer we often went to the forest. There were a lot of blueberries. Lots of blueberries. Of course, the blueberry page appeared in my sketchbook. In the fall I discovered that blueberries become like this. It was so beautiful and so amazed me that I decided to make another blueberry page and show the seasonal changes and I'm going to do it right now. I come up with a very simple but effective way to create natural pages. It is suitable for almost any plant with small leaves, therefore, it can be useful for many natural botanical stories and experiences. Also, this fall, I saw lingon berries for the first time. It often grows with blueberries and only in the fall it becomes obvious that there are different berries. I think it will be great to display this change in my sketchbook page as well. Now, I have a general idea of my future page, but I don't know all details yet. I'm going to create it and film it to show the process as honesty as possible. Along the way, I will show my life hacks and tricks which I use in my creative sketchbooks. For example, you will learn on what to do with pages which you don't like. I will explain my logic in planning page composition and choosing details, which point to pay attention to make the image looks vivid and natural. You'll see how much creativity and freedom comes from working in sketchbooks. I invite you on this amazing creative journey with me. Let's go and see what happens. 2. Materials Needed: Let's talk about the materials we need. Of course, your sketchbook with any type of paper. It is not necessary to use only cotton watercolor paper, any type. Separate sheets of paper, also any type. I usually use draft, are rarely used on the one side. Watercolor, your regular watercolor set. Later I will talk about the colors I use, but whatever you like will do. Blake acrylic all Gouache paint. Glue, scissors, brushes, one is resilient synthetic for acrylic paint, the other is soft for watercolor. Wide jaw pen, one is enough, of course, not two, pencil, and I'm going to use acrylic of other colors, bond there's optional, you can do without it. Palette and cotton swaps. That's all I think. 3. Black Background: Let's start. As I said before, this story started with the fact that in the summer after a forest walk, I created blueberry page in my sketchbook, green leaves, lots of berries. Then I discovered that blueberry leaves take on a beautiful crimson hue in the fall. I want to reflect this change by creating an another page similar in composition, but in autumn colors. See, I'm going to use this page. There is already a sketch, but I don't like it. I want to reuse this page. I need black acrylic paint. Gouache paint is suitable too for this purpose. I just cover the entire surface with black paint. Every silent synthetic brush is perfect for this. The paper in my sketchbook has a peculiarity. It doesn't not tolerate water at all. So I don't paint with watercolor in my sketchbook. Another reason not to use water right now is that is better that the ground is very, very dark. This can be difficult to achieve when using water. Also, I like to use acrylic for the background because it doesn't stain my hand after drying. There is another way to give a second life to a spoiled page. Stick paper on top and draw on it. For example, craft paper is great for this. I won't be using this technique in this class, but you just know you can do this way. In the very last video, I'm going to show you the entire sketchbook and there will be examples of this technique. Done. Remember that it is very important to rinse the brush well with water after painting with acrylics. Once dry, this is extremely difficult to do and the brush may be damage. I put the sketchbook aside, let the paint dry well. 4. Colored Backgrounds: Now I need paper. It can be of any type. It is not necessary to use only carton or article paper. For this purpose, I often use drafts that already have a drawing on the one side. It's okay if there are any defects or stain, it doesn't matter. Water color. I will try to create a color red background for the leaves. To do this, I should carefully without haste, examine the tweak remembering which colors from my palate may be suitable to paint it. Have a few sheets of paper to feel at ease with your color experiments. I pour water and start the process. Carmine. Olive green. Scarlet. Quinacridone lilac. Remember that [inaudible] from the colors become pale as they dry. It depends on paper and watercolors; therefore, don't add too much water and let the colors be saturated. I've explained in details how to mix a rich tone in watercolors in my class, secret of the perfect watercolor washes. Watch it if you find it difficult to make the watercolor bright, intense, and flowing, it will be useful. Olive green. Let it dry. I usually put such backgrounds right on the floor. Let's create another background. I start with a neutral tone, Naples yellow. You can also use oak yellow for example. Let it dry again. See what colors I used. Quinacridone lilac, carmine, scarlet, cadmium orange, Naples yellow, olive green, dark green. It's not necessary to use them exactly. Use the ones that you have in your palate and that you like. I will also draw one green background in order to cut the stem. Done. Look how beautiful it is. I took the backgrounds out to my balcony garden. The sun and wind will help water colors dry quickly. 5. Page Design: Meanwhile, the black background has dried, and it's time to think about page composition. I want a big branch here and a small one here. On the left is a place for text or some nice detail. I want to place a drawing of lingonberry here. I stayed here for the first time this year, and I learned to recognize blueberries and lingonberries by the shape of berries. Until the berries are ripe, these plants are very similar. Why am I talking about this? I want to show their relationship, how my experience and discoveries are reflected in my sketchbook page. This is not just a big shot, it's a all-story research. As for me, this is the best way to preserve memories. Also, I want to draw your attention to the fact that the leaves are not the same. We see them from different angles. This helps make the tweak looks more natural. This leaflet is drawn sideways and looks like this. Keep this in mind when cutting the leaves from paper. 6. Branches: The colored backgrounds are dry and ready to be used. Note that they have become slightly paler. Remember, I said about it early. Let's start by looking at the stem. It is slightly curved, crooked, not straight, its color is pale green, and I draw it this way, imperfect. This line is not visible. One second, I'll show it closer. I'm going to draw this branch here. Look, the lines are not perfect, just how the hand draws. It's okay. You can even cut it straight away without preparative lines. I think that's enough. Start cutting. Don't be afraid to cut inaccurately. It's important that the process, it's easy and enjoyable. Keep your movement light and confident. I like this. It looks like it needs a couple of more twigs here. That's good. One more small twig is needed. Done. Now I can stick it on. I don't really like this thick part and I'm going to cut it off a little. Look, this is interesting. This looks good too and I'll leave it that way. This one is superfluous. It's done. Now I take a colored background and cut out the leaves. Let's start with this little twig. Cut quickly to avoid making this process boring and tedious. I find it difficult to cut and stay in focus. I'm sorry for that, guys. I cut out one leaflet from a new place. Pay attention to how the leaves are arranged. Go to the large branch. I will cut out without prior pencil sketch to speed up the process. Sometimes I pause, try on the pieces of paper in place, and see whether I like it. The cutting process is pretty uniform and understandable, so I leave it behind the scene. Just remember about the different shapes of the leaves. Everything is ready and I can glue it on. I just take the leaves one at a time, glue it, and put in place. This stage of work is ready and it's time to go to the details. 7. Details: I'm going to add some berries. A very few berries remain on the branch until they fell by their own. To do this, I take acrylic paints of two colors and mix them on the berry. It turns out such a dark purple shade. I take a cotton swab and paint berries with it. The berries are barely visible like real berries in nature. I love this interesting effect. They are clearly visible if you look at the page from an angle. Now I take a white pen and outline more branches. I look at a twig and draw what I actually see. I really enjoy the combination of a dark background, white outline and textured cut leaves. Done. I like this combination. Now I am going to add a color, I'd stick it here with information about the season. Green is better. No, I still like pink better. I'll try again. Once again on a more saturated background. I like this one. Now I'm going to draw lingon berries. I opened this photo on my phone, I'm looking at the photo and trying to copy the nature of the leaves when drawing, their shape, dent, location. Have you noticed that they are different from the look of their leaves. From time to time I force to look closely and decide what else I want to add. That's good. I'm painting berries with the acrylic paint. I look at these berries and to realize that I don't like the way they look. I think it's better to cut them out of paper like blueberries. I put them directly on the paint. It hasn't dried yet and will work like glue. Done. I think my page is ready, such an illustration with secret berries. Do note the variety of textures. They're acrylic backdrop has a slight glare, and the vertical leaves and weight, the berries are slightly convex, a white outline. I really like this richness of objects. I hope you enjoyed the process of creating this page as much as I did it. I tried to show it as honesty as possible, without embellishment. I would be very glad if you get inspired and create something like this. Please share your sketchbook page on the projected or on a social media. It means a lot to me. Take me, I'm always open to communication. In the next very last little video, I invite you to look through this sketchbook with me. Maybe it'll be interesting for you too. As for me, I love looking at other artist's sketchbooks. This is the beauty of creativity. 8. My Sketchbook: Please. Okay. Okay. Okay.