Color Palettes in Procreate: Find Your Unique Illustration Color Style | Iva Mikles | Skillshare

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Color Palettes in Procreate: Find Your Unique Illustration Color Style

teacher avatar Iva Mikles, Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

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.

      Class Overview


    • 3.

      Color Language


    • 4.

      Finding Inspiration Online


    • 5.

      Finding Inspiration in Books and Around You


    • 6.

      Coloring Tips


    • 7.

      Exercise: Color Harmonies


    • 8.

      Exercise: Warm Color Tones


    • 9.

      Exercise: Complementary Bold Colors


    • 10.

      Exercise: Making Colors Look Brighter


    • 11.

      Exercise: Finding Unique Color Palettes


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


    • 13.

      BONUS Timelapse


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About This Class

Be more confident in your color choices and develop your signature color style!

In this class, we will go through different fun exercises to build your confidence in creating your color palettes and picking the colors for your unique taste and art style.

I will explain my color palette creation process step by step. You will learn about:

  • what makes a strong color palette
  • how to test colors, so they work well together
  • how can you start developing your signature color style

We will talk about saturation, color harmony, using references from real life, creating a mood board, and working with thumbnails. You will also learn coloring tips and tricks and other useful tips along the way. 

I will be using Procreate but feel free to use any other digital drawing program.

Whether you are a beginner just starting to learn about colors or a little more experienced illustrator looking into learning some new skills, this class is for you.

Let’s experiment and play with colors!

See you in the class!

©️ Copyright Iva Mikles | All Rights Reserved | Class content & structure for educational purposes only

Meet Your Teacher

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Iva Mikles

Illustrator | Top Teacher | Art Side of Life

Top Teacher

I am super happy that you are here! :)

I am Iva (rhymes with "viva"), and I'm a full-time illustrator, teacher, and nature enthusiast.

I love illustration in all its forms and my goal is to bring you to a world full of happiness, color, and wonder in the form of fun and helpful classes.

I'd love for you to have fun while learning, so I always aim for a fun, positive, actionable, and inspiring creative experience with all my classes.

I love when you share you had many "AHA" moments, learned valuable time-saving tips, gained confidence in your skills, and that it is much easier for you to illustrate what you imagine and you are very proud of your finished work.

I want to help you on your art journey with what I learned along the way by ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Eva Miklas and I'm an illustrator and designer based in Europe. I love working with colors and that's why in this class I would like to share with you some fun exercises with different color palettes so you become more confident in your color choices when creating your own unique color palette. I will explain my color palette process creation step-by-step. We will talk about what makes a strong color palette, how to test colors so they work well together, as well as how you can start developing your own signature color style. I include the different fun exercises to build your confidence in creating your own color palette and picking colors for your unique base and art style. We will talk about saturation, color harmony, creating a mood board, how to use references from real-life, working with thumbnails. I will also share with you my coloring process and other useful tips and tricks along the way. During my career, among many, I was lucky enough to work for local and international companies like Lego Dodoi company, Procter and Gamble and their brands like Ariel, Della and others. I worked on concept art, color scripts, character illustrations, animations, packaging and advertising concepts. Along the way, I learned a lot about the use of color in illustration. I wanted to help you to build your confidence when picking your own color palette or deciding what colors to introduce for your client when they ask you to experiment and create visual solutions for projects you work on. I will be using Procreate, but feel free to use any other digital software. Whether you are a beginner, just starting to learn about colors, or you are a little bit more experienced illustrator looking into learning some new skills, this class is for you. Picking colors doesn't have to be frustrating and it can be a lot of fun. Let's start experimenting and playing with colors. 2. Class Overview: For the project, you will be choosing the colors, which inspires you the most. The colors you are the most drawn to. For the demo exercises, I will be using the illustration with a girl with flowers in the village with few cute houses. You can download both of these illustrations for practicing the colors in the resource section. During the exercises, I will make sure to share with you my steps and why I'm making certain color choices. Here is what we're going to look at during the course. Before we start with different color exercises, I will tell you a little bit more about the color language and color mood, which you can create with your choice of colors in art. Next, I will show you how you can go about finding inspiration online as well as in books and other resources. I will also share with you the coloring tips and then we will move on to the first exercises of building a color palette using different color harmonies. In the second part of the course, we will play with references and practice building warm earthy color palette as well as using complimentary colors from references and applying it to an artwork. Later, we will look into how we can work with colors so we can make them look more bright and even more vibrant. At the end, I will show you how you can find unique and interesting color pallets, which feeds your color style and build your own balance color palette using your favorite colors. All of these topics are in form of exercises, so you can practice alongside with me. In my opinion, the more important is to have the right color mood in your art piece than to have a perfect color palette. Try to have fun and experiment with the different colors and ideas, rather than just copying some predefined color pallets from the color palette website. You will learn how to be more spontaneous with your colors and you will be also able to express yourself with use of colors in your art. I'm super excited to get started on exercises. Let's move on to the next video. 3. Color Language: Before we start with different color exercises and gathering inspiration, I would like to tell you a little bit more about the color language. The knowledge about the color language can help you immensely when building your own Color Palette. You probably already noticed how colors evolve different emotions. For example, you can feel the influence if the walls of the rooms are painted certain color, for example, pink room, will make you feel differently than the green room or the clothes you wear. You might feel very different when you wear black colors or when you were very bright bold colors. There is the same influence like in the movies. When you watch a movie with dark and gray tones, you might feel very differently compared to bright and colorful movies, which might make you feel very happy and even relaxed. Is because bright colors makes us feel happy and energetic compared to dark colors, which can make us feel moody or even powerful. Neutrals usually makes us feel calm. That's why you are probably seeing it a lot in interior design because lot of people want to feel calm at home. Color associations can differ based on the area where the person grew up and how the environment influenced them. But there are some general associations which a lot of people around the world feel when they look at certain colors. Let's start with the yellow. Yellow is often associated with optimism, creativity, and positivity. This color is often perceived as happy and enthusiastic and it's also often associated with energy. Then we have pink co-lours and pink tones, which are often connected with playfulness, love, love stories, and it also a gentle color with it's very often less saturated tones, and it can be also considered immature. It is also often considered delicate, and can play a big role in romantic associations. Then we have orange color tones. They are quite similar to yellow, considered as positive and font colors. Orange can be also associated with courage, joy, and overall vibrate. In addition to already mentioned fun and enjoy, orange is often considered as optimistic and enthusiastic color to you. Then let's mention purple. It is said that the purple colors were connected with the imagination and the royalty already in the past. In addition to this, if you want to create a sense of mystery, magic, and spirituality, you should definitely consider using purple colors. Similarly to royalty, purple can also be connected with luxury. Then we have black. As you can see, it's very dramatic, probably due to the lack of light and lack of saturation. You can use black to evoke power. Black is also considered to be a very bold color. In addition to all of these, it can evoke a sense of mystery, which is probably due to the lack of light because we don't see much, so therefore we feel more mysterious. If we talk about fashion, as well as in other areas of art, black can evoke elegance. If we talk about red, red is usually associated with passion, excitement, and energy. Similar to black, it is also considered a very powerful color, and creates a sense of urgency and intensity. Usually when we think about blue, we connect it with loyalty, security and therefore, you can very often see it connected with banking and companies who want to make us feel safe. But it is also associated with peace, confidence, relaxation, and calmness. Green is usually projecting safety, harmony, balance. It is probably because a lot of people feel like this when they are in nature. In addition to these, green is also connected with growth, nature, as I said, and refreshment. Then we also have gray, which is less saturated tones of other colors. gray tones are usually considered neutral, moody, classic, as well as calming and stable. How can you use all of these in your art? Think about the context and the mood you want to create with your art bees. Like if we take two examples. One, you are about to create postcards for children's festival, and the second might be creating a project for a very traditional bank institution. Bold and bright colors would be probably better choices for their kids festival. Classy blue tones might be good fitting for a traditional banking institutions. You should always think about the color choices based on the brief. What is the target audience, and what the art should communicate to this audience. With all of these in mind, I will show you some of my favorite color inspiration references. Then we will start with exercises. Now, let's move on to the next video. 4. Finding Inspiration Online: Now, let's talk about different sources of inspiration. I like to find inspiration in many different sources. Gathering inspiration is usually one of the first steps in any creative process. Here I would like to show you how I go about searching for inspiration and gathering references. Different resources can help you in different aspects of your illustration. Even though we are talking here about color palette, maybe some resources might even inspire you to think about new compositions, different patterns, and stories in your art. Here I would like to show you how I go about searching for inspiration online. A lot of people including me use Pinterest a lot. You already know that you can create mood boards on Pinterest and download pictures that inspire directly to your computer or tablet, so you can easily use them as reference when drawing. When collecting images online, always try to use more resources as a reference for your art, not just one. You would avoid getting too influenced by one artist or photographer. I also try to research artists from the past, not only current creators. For example, from animation artists, I really like Mary Blair for her choices of the limited color palette and beautiful simplicity and style in her artworks. Looking at the references like these, you can try to imagine how the colors can be used in different compositions. For example, one color is a dominant element in the composition, whereas the other colors are used only on small details. Then you can also think where you would want to see your art in the future. If you would love to see your art in the animation or games, check out your favorite studio or a game company. What colors are they using? Are they subtle or a very bright color palettes and imagine working with them and tried to apply some of these color palettes when creating your own art. That way they can imagine how it can look like if they would work with you. Another example can be if you always wanted to see your art on anthropology product, check out the type of colors they are featuring on their clothes or other products and what is selling the best there. You can also try to notice if the art and patterns have both loose shapes, delicate details or geometric shapes. Even for more inspiration there, you can check out their artist's collaboration page. Other places I like to get inspired for trends and color palettes are websites where you want to sell your art. For example, Society-6, what colors are coming up on the landing page in trending collections? You can always look at what is trending now and popular, as well what people are buying the most. You can get very much inspired by these color combinations for your own art too. I also like to look for color palettes inspiration in interior design and home decor. In interior design, you can choose one color trends, for example, warm color tones and create boards with various images for your inspiration. When you are happy with your selection, you could just zoom out, take a screenshot and importing into you're doing document to select some of the color combinations with the color picker and apply to your art. I will show you how to work with the color picker to pick the colors from photography in the upcoming videos. You can also check out the boards I have on Pinterest and I will leave the links in the description. When I feel like I gathered enough inspiration online from different areas and I have in mind what colors I would like to work with in my upcoming project, I try to find similar color combinations in real life. For example, when I see something with colors I want to work with, I just take a picture and save it in my photo library and later I can import it in my drawing document. As I mentioned, I will be showing you how I sample colors from a real-life photography in the upcoming videos. Now, let's move on to the next part. 5. Finding Inspiration in Books and Around You: Here in this video, I would like to show you more ideas how you can gather inspiration. As I mentioned to you, I look at the different sources of reference. But let's look at some of the things I collect, if I go somewhere and I see a nice magazine with full of colors, maybe also some nice forms in calligraphy. I collect some of these because as you see, you can get inspired by some of these really nice color combinations and the playful illustrations and you see how they are also limiting their color palettes. If I go through magazines like this may be even food would inspire you to do something. Let me see if there is something else. You can see also there are like nice mips which may inspire you color wise but from this one, I think I like the most this spread. If I would want to do like a reference image, I can take my iPad and simply take a picture of whatever I like So maybe it's inspiration of these two colors together and then save it in my references. And I can do it with all of my references like this. Take a picture and collect for the mood board so you can look through different magazines and maybe you find inspiration also in the interior design and other small things around you. If you're interested, this is Mr. Wonderful magazine. The next inspiration I really like to look at quite often is Alphonse Mucha. He was born in Czech Republic So Mucha, Mucha, Mucha or Musha, or a lot of people pronounce his name in different way but what I really like about his art are the detailed flowers and combination of colors as we are, of course, talking about color. Let's see some of his artworks are very monochromatic, combining few colors together, but still getting one feel and nice expressing shapes and others are little bit more colorful, But overall like these nice muted colors, and he was working a lot on packaging. I really like this type of illustrations and color combinations here. As you can see, I am also sometimes collecting packaging because it can be nice inspiration for colors. You can see these nice cool colors here on the packaging. And again, if you like this color combination, you can take a picture and save it in your library. When I travel, I collect more of these inspirational packaging, especially for color, and I have another one here, which is this nice thing and as you can see it has very nice details and the colors are nice and vibrant and very positive. So packaging design can be nice inspiration for you and when you are looking for inspiration in books, you might look just four colors at the first glance, but then maybe later on, you are very much inspired by the shapes or the composition of the artwork. This is one of my favorite books and when we talked about the product design, you can also go around in the shops and look for different color combinations on different products like napkins or candles or anything else which interests you. Just go around in the real life and look for different references and other inspiration which I look at are books from animation because they have beautiful color combinations. This one is ladies of animation, where you have different artists with different art styles, and there are a lot of different color combinations in this book. For example, I really like this feel of nice soft tones with purple and this brownish orange. I want to show you few more examples of animation books. For example, the bee movie has beautiful warm color combs. They have a lot of interesting ideas for layout and color combs and other elements. If, you want to be inspired by color and shapes as well. Then the other book I really like more backgrounds in the animation movies like Miyazaki movies, because there you can get inspired by really nice light, especially colors there are quite stunning, as you can see here, the combination of nice orange tones with the dark shades of blue. And you can take pictures of some of the parts of the images to get inspired by colors. I especially like this summary, feel, color combinations or when you feel really the light in the art work. So this is one of the books I really like as well. Other books like tangled, you can still get very much inspired by the colors in there. For example, how the tower was painted with small details and then you can see different tones from cool colors going to the warm tones to the neutrals here on the top. So you can look through different books and find different types of inspirations. And also what they like in these books are the storyboards where you have more inspiration for color. For example here, I really like the simplification of the animals and you can see how they use the unexpected colors. For example, the beer which you would probably see like, okay, I will draw brown, or why did the ear end here? You see it in green and it works really nice in this setting. And also the decorations they use in these books. I have one more recommendation for you from the books collection of the Pixar movies, which is super nice because there is a variety of different artists and different colors, how they are used together because if you just go to some of the websites, I'll look for one color palette it can be very hard to figure out how to combine the colors together if you know, like, okay, I have green, blue and yellow, but how do I put it together? If you look at some of the color tones, you can get inspired by, okay, maybe I used the blue and purple together for a character and then yellow for the environment. This is why I really like these storyboard inspirations, how you can combine the colors together in the image. Like you can see, the characters here are very colorful and then the background is green and yellow. So for example, Toy Story has beautiful color combinations when you want to look for bright colors and how you can combine it without [MUSIC] really screaming at you from the page. So this would be the recommendations for the real library franchise, and one more thing, what I am the mostly inspired by is the nature, right? So if you go out and look around, there are so many different color combinations which you can get use from, So go out and look at different things. Now let's move on to the next video. 6. Coloring Tips: In this video, I would like to share with you a few coloring tips and the ways I like to approach digital coloring of my artworks. I believe it's always good to try different methods of coloring in order to find your favorite way to work or just implement new tips and tricks into your own process. As you can see, I'm using the village illustration here as an example which you can download and practice along. Please remember that you will have to be on the computer and you can download the files if you're watching the class on your iPad or just a phone. So here, I would like to show you some of my favorite brushes and one of my top favorite brushes to sketch and color is the Dry Ink brush. It can behave similar to a pencil if you set it to small value, the small tip size and if you color with a bigger size of the brush, it also creates subtle textures. So I will use this brush, and now I will choose one of the colors and at this stage it doesn't really matter which one, you can just select anything, what you have in the color palette. And I will make the brush be bigger now on the slider, on the left side, and I will start blocking the basic shapes. In this first method, I'm using for sketching. I'm blocking the shapes and adding details, and cleaning up the edges afterwards. What is really helpful in Procreate? You can create shapes and straight lines, withholding your pen in place after drawing the shape. The app will help you straighten up the line and in other words, draw a line, stop and don't lift your pen until the line is straight. The other Procreate feature I really like, is that you can drag and drop the colors into the shapes you just created. So how do you do that? You just drag the color from the top right corner, from the color preview, to the shape you just drew. And when the shape is properly closed, it doesn't have any gaps, it'll be just filled with color right away. In the next example, I would like to show you how to use selection tool. Coloring with the selection is a nice way to keep the edges clean from the start. In order to use this technique, select your selection tool on the top-left and make sure you draw with a "free hand option" selected on the bottom section. When you draw the selection, you will see the selection is active. Which means you will see the small lines around your selection on the canvas. If you don't like how visible are these lines when the selection is active, you can always adjust the visibility in the Preferences in your app. Now, when you create with the selection, you can just "drag and drop" the color again if you want to be fast. As a next step, drawing this bush, select the different color to draw branches on top of this bush drawing. If I am drawing a bigger illustration, I will draw these branches on a separate layer in case I would need to change them later. For example, their color or shape, without affecting the background color of the bush itself. To create a texture you can choose from many texture brushes, which comes with Procreate, or you can just download new ones from Gumrod, for example. Here, I'm using the Oberon brush to create the texture. You can blend the colors very nicely with this brush. For example, light color on one side and dark color on the other side. And because rocks have very rough surface, this brush is a nice fit because it creates these quiet, strong, rough textures, and if I would be coloring skin, for example, I would use a softer brush with light texture. As I mentioned before, if you are drawing more elements, I really suggest you to create more layers to have better control over your artwork. For example, if I would like to add a flower next to the rock in my illustration and maybe I would like to move the flower later on, if I don't want to have the rock in the illustration, I would create the flower on a separate layer. Here, I'm using a free hand selection tool to draw the stems and the leaves of the flower and the ellipse selection tool to be able to create nice, very round control circles. To have a perfect geometric circle, just hold one finger on the screen while making the selection with a pen. When you are happy with your selection, just color it the same way as we colored the rock next to it. You can also easily recolor the elements. So first, select the layer you want to change, go to adjustments and select "recolor" and now you can drag the cross to the area which you would like to recolor. When the cross is on the area which you want to change, you can just select the color, from the color palette, you would like to be applied to this section of the drawing. To get the most controlled results with this recolor tool, every color of your drawing should be on a separate layer. Of course, you can also recolor the areas where more colors are on one layer, but there you would have to adjust the flood. You can see it on the bottom and this means you are adjusting how much you want to influence the other colors in that area. If I want to change only the light gray, how much of the dark gray would be affected as well? Now you can practice these different techniques I just briefly showed you in this example. You can place the line, I already downloaded, or your own artwork on a separate layer and you will color on the layer below this line art. Set the layer with the line art to multiply to be able to see the colors and read better. So for example, for the clouds, here I can use the sketching technique to have a little bit more texture, using the Dry Ink brush, for the fill of the clouds' shapes with the pencil-like strokes. Then you can erase the edges with the eraser to have clean edges. For the flowers, you can practice using the Ellipse and the Free-hand selection tool and coloring them with the Dry Ink brush. Same for the mountains, Free-hand selection tool to have sharp edges and the color with Dry Ink brush to create the texture. As you can probably already tell, the selection tool with a textured brush is my favorite technique. If you would like to have a consistent look in your illustration, I suggest you to use one technique for the whole image. Also, as I mentioned before, the most control you have if you have each element of the art, work on a separate layer. But sometimes when you are working with very big files, you are limited with layers. So I try to sometimes organize my artworks based on color and placing the objects which are not close to each other with the same color on one layer. Like this, I would still be able to change them easily, if necessary. So here, I would have one layer for dark blue, one layer for pink colored objects and so on. So, if you would use the recolor tool here, it would influence all the blues in the image because all the blue objects are on the same layer. So what you can do here, while using the recolor tool, is to play with the flood adjustment at the bottom and get comfortable with using this tool. Also, you can select, for example, only the house or only the tree within the layer, and then change the colors that way. As a last step, I would hide the line art or change it into different color to blend better with the coloring. For example, if you have a lot of blues, you can recolor the line art to blue. It is all based on your personal preference. And now, let's move on to the next video. 7. Exercise: Color Harmonies: When you are building new color palettes for yourself, it's nice to know the basics like color saturation, color brightness, and what you're actually looking for in terms of color harmony. So let's talk about how to work with color wheel and what is color harmony, and how you can use it for your practice. When you open the color tab on the top right corner, in the first disc view, you would see the inner circle where you can adjust the saturation and lightness of the color by moving the slider around. Saturation being how vivid and bright rich or intense the color is and the brightness is how light or dark the color appears from the black with no brightness to white with full brightness. The outer ring helps you to adjust the hue of the color. Green is the hue, and turquoise is the hue of both green and blue. Hue is the term for the pure spectrum colors commonly referred to by the color names like red, orange, yellow, and blue. If you split the color wheel in half you have warm and cool colors. Orange and red are considered warm colors, and purple and yellow are transitioned in between. Purple can be more warm with red in it or cool with more blue mix in it. Warm tones are more active colors and people are usually drawn to them more than to cool tones. So, which are the cool tones? You probably guessed it. Greens and blues are considered cool tones. Now let's look at the classic view. If you click the second icon from the left under the wheel, it's classic view. Here you can adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness with sliders. The next icon is harmony icon. So what is color harmony? Color harmony is the theory of combining colors in the way that is pleasing to the human eye. In other words, what colors work well together? These harmonies help designers and illustrators to achieve certain moods and aesthetics.As I mentioned to you in the color language video. Let's start with analogous color harmony. Here, the color sit next to each other on the color wheel. They usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs. You can move the sliders around the wheel to choose the combinations you like the best. You can also adjust the brightness on the slider under the wheel. I will use the colors like orange and yellow in this section. By clicking on the palette tab on the right, I can start adding them to my own color palettes too. Which the procreate app will remember if I want to use them next time. Now I will create a layer below my sketch and start applying the colors on bed layer. I always like to mark the colors next to my drawing as well. In addition to the predefined color palette in the color palettes tab, because I find it faster and more convenient to assemble the colors with the color picker from the area right next to my artwork. Even though procreate offers you a floating color palette window too. In the next exercise, I would like you to open the color wheel again and test out some of the complimentary color combinations. You can test out, for example, yellow and purple, and apply it to the village illustration of your own image if you're practicing with your art. As you can see, I'm showing these example with the colors with low saturation, but you can move the sliders and test out these complimentary color combination with higher saturation too. If you like the colors, don't forget to save them in your color palettes in the app. Now let's practice also the split complimentary color. This color scheme is using one base color and two secondary colors on the other side of the wheel. Here you can try for example, orange is a base and blue and purple as two secondary colors there. The next color harmony which you can test out is triadic color scheme. Triadic color schemes use three different spaced colors on the color wheel. While moving the sliders around the wheel might give you an interesting ideas for the new color palette. So here you can again adjust the brightness of the color wheel if you would like the colors to be more subtle, and move the sliders to the middle of the wheel if you want the colors to be also less saturated. Here you can try, for example, turquoise, purple and this orange beige. As a last example, you can test out that they tried to color scheme. This color scheme is special because there is no clearly dominant color. The four colors are evenly distributed around the color wheel, and this scheme is very vibrant and colorful. There is an equal tension among the colors because they're all very vibrant. If you decide for this color scheme in your artworks, this color scheme requires a lot of planning. This is not my favorite color scheme type, but I wanted you to know that it exists and you can practice with it as well. Now you know a little bit more about the color schemes and color harmonies, and what are your options when building different color palettes and how you can exercise the color harmonies. Now, let's move on to the next video. 8. Exercise: Warm Color Tones: In this video I will create a color palette and a mood board based on the warm and 30 colors for my artwork. The intention of my girl with flowers illustration is to be a poster or an art print. Therefore, I'm thinking about the current trending color palettes in the interior design, as we spoke about in the previous video. Of course, there are different color palettes trending right now, but you choose the ones that you are most drawn to. I did my research about different trending color palettes and I settled on the earthy warm tones because I really like this aesthetics. Of course, when following trends, you pick and choose what is close to your preference and to your heart. And you will probably not apply everything which is trending right now because it will be chasing something all the time. You might not be ever happy with your art. As I showed you in the previous video, you can call it inspiration on Pinterest and grab a full print screen of the bought and import it into your document. Or you can import your own photos like I am doing right now. I'm importing pictures I took in Lisbon and from which I want to sample already mentioned warm color tones. After importing all the pictures, I will merge them into one layer so I can move them around. It's just easier. And I'm also reducing the saturation and higher up the brightness because I'm looking for more muted colored zones. After I'm happy with the selection and the adjustments of my photo references, I am starting to sample the colors with the color picker. If you are in the real life, you can merge the colors by just looking at them without using any color picker and the photography reference. You get quite interesting results that way because the human eye sees the colors differently than the camera. For now, let's just use the color picker. From each photo reference, I start by sampling one color which I am most drawn to. For example, I really like this pink or yellow here. Then I combine it with a less saturated color in one or two contrasting dark colored tones. To keep the color palette more balanced, tried to find more neutral tones, like less saturated grays, low saturation browns and low saturation pinks. To create more intense bold color palette, you can choose more contrasting colors. I always try to sample more colors than I need from the references at the beginning, so that I have a wider range of colors to choose from when I'm building the color pallets, which I'm going to use in the artwork later on. You can also download this girl with the flower bouquet to practice the colors with me on this example. So for a start in this exercise, I would like you to use one of the lighter tones. For example, PG tone for the background. Use a similar color, just in the darker shade for the flowers. Next, I'm selecting the green in the darker tone from the colors we sampled from the references.Because it will contrasts nicely with my peachy light saturated background, but not competing with it too much because this green has quite low saturation. To create more contrast in the flower bouquet area, I'm choosing darker orange to stay closer in tone with the other orange like flowers. As I mentioned, I would like this artwork to be as a poster in the interior design. I want to create a calming sense, therefore, I'm using more toning tone color palette. This illustration example with a girl with a lot of flowers, has a lot of details. When you don't feel comfortable just yet with coloring big illustrations, you can always start with the simple shapes like circles, plants with pots, with limited color palette. As I mentioned to you in the previous video, limiting the color palette is a great exercise. It helps creativity too when you have these limitations because you have to think out of the box on how to combine the colors. In addition to these simple artworks like these are quite popular as prince, stickers or icons on social media. As you might have already noticed during this exercise, try to choose two to four colors. If you are using combination of two or three colors, try to use two, which are similar in tone as I'm doing here now. For example, peach and warm Brown. Then one contrasting color, for example, dark green. So you have these nice contrast, even though the illustration is very simple and has only few elements. You can use these small spot illustrations also as icons for your Insta stories. You can imagine one maybe for your food Instagram stories, or for your animal stories or anything you might like to share on Instagram. These will also help you to imagine a brief. For example, someone will tell you, okay, can you create few icons for me? One is concerning animals. One is about food. One is about writing. Then you already have some kind of brief like from a client. Then you are limiting also your color palette because you want to establish a look which would be consistent. You can also imagine you are working for a client directly. For example, a coffee company, and you are creating icons for their Instagram stories. You might be limited with brown colors or something very earthy. You are creating different icons within the same style. Or you are creating icons or simple shape or the packaging label. And you have to come up with these cool simple illustration. So there are a lot of ideas how you can implement this practice of creating simple illustration with a limit of two to three colors. I can't wait to see what you guys create. So here you have few examples. How would I brainstorm about icons? Now let's move on to the next video and another exercise. 9. Exercise: Complementary Bold Colors: In this video, I would like us to practice complementary color schemes. In trying to go more bold with colors compared to the ones we did in the previous video. If you remember when I showed you the color wheel and we'll look at different color combinations. Now we want to use the colors which are sitting opposite to each other on the color wheel to create a nice contrast. An example of complementary color schemes can be a combination of yellow and purple. I saw this nice flower and I took a photo because I thought the combination of the yellow and purple there, can be a very nice reference for practice for this exact color combination. If you don't like yellow and purple for this exercise, you can also find other complementary color combinations like green and red or blue and the orange color. You might be thinking, if I already know, I want to use purple and yellow together, why don't I just take yellow and purple from some preexisting color palettes or from a color wheel? Well, I'm using the real live reference because it helps me to decide what level of color saturation to use together. It gives me inspiration and also how bright the purple, for example, can be. How a bride or saturated yellow should be in combination with that purple. As you can see, I'm sampling the color from the photo again by just selecting few darker tones and few lighter tones of already mentioned the yellow and purple. The purple and yellow here will be the main part of our color palette. As a supporting colors, I am selecting a few greens and browns to see how they would work as an addition to our complementary color palette. I want to choose the colors which will support my yellows and purples not to fight with them. When you are done selecting the colors you like, from your reference, you can again import the flower girl illustration line art for practice as an example or work on your own art. Here I'm placing again the same image few times so I am able to create different thumbnails. In thumbnails, you don't have to spend too much time rendering and cleaning up the image when you are just deciding about the color combination. As a next step from all the sampled colors, I used from the reference, now I'm selecting the final color palette I want to use in my artwork. Here I already know that I want to have yellow and purple. But for example, if I'm selecting very bright yellow, I will try to go with less saturated purple so they don't fight with each other in the image. Here in this thumbnail, I'm starting with a purple background and then adding a few yellow flowers because I want to see how they work together in this saturation. If I'm happy with this combination, I can start adding some of the other colors to the mix of the flower bouquet. As you can see, the greens are very subtle and not very saturated, so they don't fight with the other colors in the illustration. The darkest greens in the bouquet help the other colors to pop and create more contrast and they also indicate a little bit of realism. Like in the real life, if you would have a real flower bouquet, there would be a dark spot where there is no light, just a lot of shallow. Therefore, they will appear to you as very dark areas. If you would like to learn even more about how light influences color in the real life, you can watch my other class where I talk about it in more detail. As you can see, I'm using white for the hair of the character and also for the clothes, because white goes with everything and I already have a lot of other colors in the flower bouquet, so I don't need to add too many other Hues. I'm also adding the yellow stripes to her shirt to repeat the same colors from the bouquet in the other part of the image, as well as creating leader be of visual interest on her otherwise very plain outfit. This makes the image more coherent and the colors are more distributed around the illustration. In the next thumbnail example, I'm using the same color palette, but with a light blue background. I am keeping the other colors the same. I think it works quite well with this background, so I don't need to change that much. The only thing is that the light green from a bouquet blends little bit with the background, but it's not an important part of my image, so I'm okay with these low contrast in this area. As a next example, I just copy the current thumbnail and I'm trying out these very desaturated brown gray as a background. As you can see, I didn't think about this really light gray-brown at the beginning when I was choosing my final color palette. But I decided to try it here anyway as a next option. I actually quite like this combination now. The one thing I would like to change here is the saturation of the flowers. Because now when we have these desaturated backgrounds which look almost gray, the whole image starts to look blend and not very colorful. I can just add more yellow to the flower bouquet, and that will do the trick. I like this thumbnail now too. As the last example here, I copied the thumbnail again, and this time I'm changing the background to yellow. This combination is very quickly becoming my favorite. This was definitely my first choice, but trying out different versions, you can come up with these interesting ideas of color combinations. Now, I will just hide my black line art to be able to see my selection of the colors better. If I need to change something or I like how it looks now. After hiding the line art, I decided to add a little bit more white to the thumbnails and also a little bit more of the dark yellow to the last thumbnail because it felt like it already had a lot of lighter yellow tones. Now I feel like I'm quite happy with this color exploration. If I want to save any of my color combinations, I'll just add it into my color palette. All right, I hope you enjoyed this exercise with this bolder complementary colors. Now let's move on to try different color combinations in the next video. 10. Exercise: Making Colors Look Brighter: And in this video, I would like to show you another exercise, how you can practice to work with bold and bright colors. Specifically, how you can make the bright colors look even brighter, vivid and more saturated. As in the previous example, you can choose your own reference or follow along with my examples. In this exercise, I would like you to start with one of the colors you are most drawn to. For example, pink. You can find a nice photo reference maybe from Pinterest or Google images, or the best is to take your own picture including pink, maybe from outside, from your walks, some of the flowers around your house and import it in your drawing app. You can also use the same photo reference as I'm using here now. You can download it in the resource section. When you have your reference imported, you can sample the most saturated version of the color you selected first. As I mentioned, I'm going to choose the pink, so here I'm going to look for the most saturated pink within this picture. After I found what I feel like is the most saturated pink I can find here with my color picker, I started to select more shades of pink to support the main pink hue I selected first. As a next step in this exercise, try to find and sample a few neutral colors as well. For example, let's saturate the browns or gray tones in the reference you have. This is one of the best thing you can do to help your saturated colors to stand out even more on the image. Then try to find some of the darkest tones from the image and add it to your color palette. Here, as you can see, I'm selecting one of the darkest tones from my image reference and in this case is this cold purple color, which looks almost black. Where you can find the darkest tones? Of course, it's the shadows in your photo reference. Try to notice that most of the shadows are actually not black. They have different hues, either they are blue, purple, maybe dark green. So always think about what color can you actually use in the shadows in your images trying to avoid black. To have more variety in my image, not to have only grays and shades of pink, to have this like monochromatic look, I'm sampling also a few other colors, like green and brown, which I plan to keep fairly desaturated too, if and when I use them. So in the first thumbnail, I'm trying out the light gray background and pink flowers in the flower bouquet. To add more colors to my thumbnail I'm also adding a skin tone. Here I'm choosing the pale skin tone to her arms because this color doesn't have a big contrast to the gray tones in the background and it doesn't stand out too much against the bright pinks in the flower bouquet. As a next step, I want to add a complimentary color to create the nice contrast in our thumbnail. So for example, pink and red tones, in our example color palette, has green colors as a complimentary sitting on the other side of the color wheel. Because, as I mentioned, I would like to keep the pink very vibrant and bold, I'm using desaturated green as a complimentary color to the pink tones. As you can see, to add one more tone of green to the variety and create this stoning tone field in the flower bouquet, I'm now taking the light green we had from the start in the color palette from the reference image, because it was very saturated green and this would fight with my pinks in the flower bouquet. So in this case, I will take the dark desaturated green we already have in our thumbnail and move the slider on the color wheel up and left, which will be brighter and a little bit less saturated. As you can see, colors always influence each other when you place them next to each other, so you always try if they work together. Because like here, you can see that our green is actually very warm, almost yellow, but next to our bright pink, it looks very different, so it actually looks more green than yellow. Remember to always try the colors next to each other, either in these thumbnails or in the color palette, to test if they go well together. As a next example, you can just copy the thumbnail and now I would like you to try another version for the background, how it would work with the color bouquet. Here I'm using the darker version of the saturated pink for the background, to see how it will work with the very light pinks in the flower bouquet. So what I'm thinking now that there is a lot of pink in the thumbnail overall, so I decided to add a little bit more green to balance out the image. Here I'm just using the drag and drop technique to recolor some of the leaves and the flowers to green. To add little bit more variety, you can play with some of the other colors from the color palette and don't be afraid to use some of the unexpected colors. For example, here I'm trying out light gray blue flower bouquet, and you can use blue also for the flower leaves or for the flowers, even though a lot of people expect the flowers to be more pinkish or orangey, when you first think about the flowers, even though there are blue flowers in the world, of course. So this light gray is very subtle and it's very similar to the white outfit of the girl, but it still makes the pinks stand out and it's not fighting with this color, it's supporting it to feel more bright and vivid. So as a next example, here I'm changing the background to the warm light green and I actually really like this color combination, so I'm actually not changing anything. Sometimes you have these happy accidents and you are like, "I actually really like this color combination." Try as many versions as possible to find your perfect color image. As a last example, I would like you to try one of the darkest colors you have in the color palette, to help the flower bouquet to stand out even more. As you can see, I take the darkest color I sampled from the photo reference and drag and drop it to the background of the thumbnail. As I mentioned already, my dark color is this dark purple. I actually really like this combination as well, because the dark tone makes the light saturated pink to pop a lot. Now, as in the previous video, I hide my line art because I don't really intend to keep it in my final work. If you like artworks with the line art, please feel free to keep it in your final illustrations as well. As I mentioned, feel free to experiment with unexpected colors as well, like dark purple for the hair, and even green for the flowers, and purple folder leaves. When you are happy with some of the color palettes, you can experiment with details and play around with some things in your thumbnails. For example, here I'm adding the skirt to the character to balance the image even more. You can also play with details like textures on the clothing, which can balance out the image very nicely. As I mentioned, when you are happy with some of the color pallets you created from this experimentation, don't forget to save it in your predefined color pallets in the app. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite color palette. When you are happy with the color palettes in your thumbnails, you can start to experiment with some more details in the image, like patterns to the outfits of your characters or you can add jewelry, like bracelets or earrings or some hair accessory, to bring more interest to your illustrations. I hope you enjoyed this exercise, and in the next video we will talk about how you can work on finding even more unique color palettes and start thinking about your unique color signature style as well. See you there. 11. Exercise: Finding Unique Color Palettes: You probably already noticed that some of the artists on Instagram or other platforms have their own unique color palettes. Not everyone, but some of them are very recognizable for their colors. Either there are very bright and vivid, they may be always use just these bright blue and pinks, or they are using always blue and red tones which are very contrasting and bold, or they are very much into this earth tones like beings and oranges and browns. So you can start thinking what would be your style or if you want to be recognized for your color palette. So different people are drawn to different colors and color combinations. Also based on your art, what you will create, you will attract different fans on the social media, create the community, and also attract different types of clients. You can look and explore some of your favorite artists and try to analyze what color palettes are they using. In this video, I would like to share with you how I approach finding my own unique color palettes, which aid to my art style. You can try this approach as well and start thinking about your art style by having these unique color palette you can be recognized for. So in this exercise, I would like you to think about one of the colors which you are recently drawn to, and yes color preferences can change, and that's okay. You don't have to stick with one color forever. Art styles evolve too as well over time, but you have to start somewhere and evolve from there. So in this exercise, I would take turquoise as an example, because for a very long time in the past, I was very much drawn to turquoise. I had turquoise earrings, begs, vases, and it was also showing in my art. So for example, turquoise can be one of the colors which always shows in your artworks. Even if you set it one color as the base for your color palette, you can create very big amount of different color palettes using the same color and even big variety of artworks using the same color palette. So let's exercise with one color palette and create different artwork ideas. So I will be showing you this exercise of creating more art works based on one color palette with turquoise, as I mentioned, this color few times. So choose one color and create one color palette based on this color you like the most at the current moment. So before I chose my photo reference with turquoise, I tried to notice this color everywhere. How Is it combined with other colors in nature, architecture, fashion, movies or books? You can notice how saturated or muted is it to compare to other colors around it. Save the photo references and color palettes you find interesting. On my quest to search for great turquoise color palette, I saw this interesting moistly branch in the forest and it had these turquoise stones. I thought if I combine it with some filter, maybe on Instagram over this photo, I can create quite interesting results. So I took a photo here, and here we are. If you remember from previous lessons, blue-green tones are complimentary to yellow tones and, therefore, creating nice contrast. So I will be looking for these tones and here I sample some of the colors with my color picker and I started with the blue turquoise color family. I choose one which is the most saturated, one pale and one dark turquoise stone to have the variety. I'm approaching selecting the yellow tones in the same way. I choose one pale or light yellow tone, another yellow is more mastered type of yellow. To balance out the color palette again as in the previous examples, I found two neutral colors, the less saturated tones. In this case, I found here the nice warm brown tones, which are contrasting quite nicely but not too strong with the cool blue tones here. As one of the last colors, I'm looking for some of the darkest tones in the image. You can practice with the village line art here. By the way, why not start creating your own art to see if the color combinations fit nicely with your artistic ideas. Now when we have our color palette, I will show you here a few of my sketches and the ideas of topics I really like to draw and see if I would actually like the color palettes on my illustrations and you can get inspired by these in your process as well. So think about what do you like to draw the most and if this color palette would fit. So I really like to draw botanical drawings. So let's start with that. Drawing leaves and flowers is somehow always relaxing and it's always nice way to test out your color palette. You can start testing the color palette by using the light tones for the background and darker tones for the foreground. So in this example, I'm starting with a light brown neutral for the background because I want to use the dark turquoise for the leaves and it will stand out better on the light less saturated background. Here, I'm also testing the light yellow if it stands out enough from the background, and it seems okay. If you are not satisfied, you can always adjust the brightness of your color choices. When you have the light background and dark colors, you can test out your saturated tones on top of these colors. So I'm adding the saturated turquoise and it fits nicely on top of the dark leaves. At the end to add contrast and details, I am also adding the dark brown and one of my other darkest tones. To create extra pop, you can always include white because it fits with everything and it is always a nice addition to any image. Now you can try the same color palette, but maybe with a character. When you look at the color palette, it might inspire you to create new artworks. When I'm looking at this color palette, brown and turquoise tones make me think of a deer. I'm creating the deer in white because I want to be able to use the yellow for the flowers and light brown tones for the leaves in the image. As I mentioned before, doing thumbnails is always fun and great way to test things fast without committing very long time for rendering images in detail and only later to find out that you actually don't like the colors and you need to change them again or start the illustration over. Here for the details like the nose of the deer and eyes are in the very dark tones like black, because I want to have the biggest contrast in this image on his face, bringing the attention to this area. Now let's try to come up with another idea with the same color palette. Now you can try the dark turquoise for the background and try to create another character, maybe with yellow. If you think about the yellow, you can think about parrots because they exist almost in any color you can imagine. So I love to draw parrots because you can play with different colors when drawing them. You can also sample beautiful color palettes from the photographs of the parrots in the wild. To bring the contrast again to the face of the character, I'm using white to help it stand out from the dark turquoise in the background. Now here I can use the bright turquoise for the leaves. Then you can challenge yourself to create the human character. If you don't feel comfortable drawing faces just yet or you are a little bit frustrated from drawing anatomy, you can draw a character from the back without focusing on the face too much. I thought that the two warm brown tones and the black would work beautifully as hair and the skin in the contrast with the white clothes with colorful patterns and that's what I'm going for here. I'm adding the turquoise to the hair band as well to repeat the same color from the shirt on top of the image to balance out the colors. Because otherwise there will be a lot of dark tones in the top part of the image and all the saturated bright colors would be at the bottom part. Maybe you can try to create another example. For example, moths and butterflies are great subject to draw if you want to do this color experimentation. Here as you can see, I use them in the same light background, but I distributed the colors differently. I really encourage you to try one color palette and test it on different thumbnails and different drawing ideas. You never know what you might come across, what color combination you will suddenly love, and you want to create your signature style around it. So keep practicing drawing different subject. The more you draw, you come closer to your goal. You can draw before the bedtime, before you go to work maybe if you have a full-time job, during your lunch break, basically draw during any spare time you find and keep looking for inspirational photos and create mood boards to help you find your signature color style, but also subjects you're drawn to adults characters, animals, plants, patterns, try to analyze what you like on the specific pieces. Is it the contrast of the colors? Are they trendy colors? Are they very muted and calming to you? So try to think about what color palettes and what colors are most interesting for you. There are many color palettes online. Now when we can access so many sources of inspiration, it can become sometimes overwhelming. So try to focus on one thing at a time. For example, first choosing one color, that you like the most, then adding more colors to the color palette. Then you will feel more comfortable with choosing and picking more bold tones and more color palettes on your own. So try to enjoy the process. Keep working on your new ways, experiment and practicing like you're doing now. Your tastes can change, so don't worry about it and just really enjoy the drawing process. Hope you had fun during this exercise and if you came up with some interesting new color palettes, I would love to see it and as well, if you practice along with this example color palette I shared with you here and you drew some interesting ideas of characters or animals or anything, it will be great if you upload it and we can share it with each other. I'm looking forward to see what you create and see you in the next video. 12. Final Thoughts: Congratulations! You have finished a class. Thank you so much for being here, and I hope you've learned a lot of new things about colors, and you feel more confident about trying new color polyps in your art works and if you want to expand your knowledge even more and learn about how light interacts with colors and how it influences how we see the colors in the real life and in the artworks, you can check out the color and life storytelling master class, to learn even more from real life experiences. You can just visit my teacher profile and click here and as a class project, I would like you to practice with different color palette and create thumbnails, either based on a flower girl illustration or create your own illustration experimenting with new color palette. Also, please share your projects with other classmates in the project section, I can't wait to see all of your awesome art works. If you would like me to share your illustrations on social media, please add a link to your website or social media handles so I can help you and your art to be discovered by more people and if you like the class, please leave a review because first of all, I really appreciate it and second, you will also help other students to discover the class and you might contribute to their artistic journey too. If you have a friend and who loves colors and art, please feel free to share this class with them and if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment in the discussion section. I would love to help out. So thank you so much again for being here and see you in the next class. 13. BONUS Timelapse: