Draw on the Road - A Simple Guide to Travel Watercolours | Maria Lia Malandrino | Skillshare

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Draw on the Road - A Simple Guide to Travel Watercolours

teacher avatar Maria Lia Malandrino, Story / Illustration / Animation

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.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      The Journey Begins


    • 5.

      Find the Perfect Spot


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Turn Experience into Artwork


    • 8.

      Inking for Watercolours


    • 9.

      Watercolour Painting


    • 10.

      Painting Demo


    • 11.



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About This Class

Learn how to turn a simple holiday into an artistic journey! Keeping a journal while you travel will help you connect with the places you are visiting uniquely, recording your experiences and providing new inspiration when you look back at your sketchbook.

This Skillshare class is going to focus on keeping an art journal using pencils and watercolours, as they are a portable, easy option to carry around even if you are backpacking. You will learn which materials you're going to need, how to spot the perfect location for some quiet sketching, how to set up your workspace in cafes, bars and even outdoors. Most importantly, we will explore together some of the reasons why you may want to keep an art journal during your travels and how this could benefit you not only to remember a precious holiday but to grow as an artist!

There are several ways to keep a travel journal - one of these is to create an on-the-road project, like a set of handmade postcards from the places you have visited, or a collage of keepsakes and artwork. Each one of these is valid and by exploring them you'll be able to figure out the best technique for you.

I took the footage for this class over half a year ago, in November 2019, when I went travelling in Thailand for three weeks. Since then, many things have changed following the Covid19 pandemic - however, I think that this is the best time to remember that holidays aren't about exotic destinations - but rather about what we can learn from any experience. Summer 2020 may not allow us to go abroad, or in some cases even to leave the house, but a 'staycation' can be just the same as a backpacking journey if approached with a curious and adventurous mind.

Keeping an art journal can help us find and connect with the extraordinary in our daily life, in our city or a foreign country: it's about how we observe and actively elaborate the world around us.

This class will touch the basics of drawing and is suitable for absolute beginners, as well as advanced watercolour artists who wish to explore the concept of keeping a travel journal.

Some of the concepts explored in this drawing tutorial are below:

  • Gathering references
  • Workspace set-up and tools (portable waterbrushes, portable watercolour set, additional watercolour palettes, sketching pencils)
  • Composition
  • Sketching
  • Watercolour technique with Pentel Aquash waterbrushes

My name is Maria, I'm a digital illustrator and character artist - you may have already taken some of my classes here on Skillshare like Turn a photo into a Cartoony Artwork with Procreate (or its Photoshop edition), Hairstyles 101: Draw and Colour Hair for Character Design or my best-selling Marketing class Start a Successful Art Account on Instagram.

*EDIT* I've recently changed my Instagram handle - you can find me here as @art_bymemo

You can learn more about me and my work as an illustrator on my website: www.mlmillustration.com or at my Skillshare profile page! 

Preparing this class has been an amazing experience as I don't usually work with traditional media - and has helped me evaluate and remember my own backpacking holiday from last November. I'd be delighted if you wanted to join me on this artistic journey, so grab your sketchbook, pencil, brushes and let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Maria Lia Malandrino

Story / Illustration / Animation

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome: Hi. My name is Maria. I'm an illustrator and character designer from Turin, Italy. In this class, I'd like to show you how to keep an art journal, filling it with sketches, making pencil, and watercolors, and how to turn this experience, based on the places you're visiting when you're traveling, into a beautiful art project. Keeping an art journal or even just creating artwork while traveling is very much about traveling and not so much about technique. You're not doing this as a chore or as coursework or even to improve your drawing skills, even though that may be a welcome consequence. You're doing this as a companion through your travel. Just like experiencing a typical meal or visiting a landmark or going on a trip can be a cultural experience, drawing and painting the places you're seeing can help you feel more connected to those places and improve the quality of your traveling. I decided to keep an art journal in my latest travel back in November because I wanted to make the most of my time away from drawing tablet. I am digital illustrator, so I spend most of my time looking at the screen and not very much time drawing with traditional sketch book. The idea of going to these exotic places and taking time to sketch and record these landscapes and flora sounded very appealing. It was also a challenge, of course, because as I said, traditional media isn't really my go-to. So I had to really learn a lot of the sketching techniques and waterfall techniques. I sort of created my own blend and mix it all together to create a portable workstation that I could carry anywhere with me in a backpack. In these videos, I'm going to show you my materials, the prepping I did before leaving, and some sketching and watercolor techniques you can literally do anywhere, at an island, cafe or at a rock-climbing site as you can see. At the end of the journey, I am going to show you how to make the first opposite of postcards I've meaning to create based on my journey and experiences in Thailand in November. I'm going to show you my step-by-step watercolor technique using a portable brush pen. I'm also going to share some of the footage I took while on holiday and some of the footage that will be taken here at my home when I get into the last part of the project. I'd like to point out that all of the footage abroad was taken before any COVID-19 restrictions were put in place anywhere in the world, since I went on this journey in November 2019. About COVID, it might seem strange to create a course about art, traveling while most of us are still stuck at home and cannot literally leave the country. However, to me, it makes actually a lot of sense. I believe that keeping an art journal or just keeping a journal is a way of connecting with the reality around us and be more mindful and appreciative of our surroundings, wherever the surroundings may be. Even if you can't leave your house or your town, you can still keep a journal and that will help you to look at this reality in a different way. This class is for literally anybody. I am going to be talking about sketching and watercolors and a lot about how to spot a good location for sketching while you are traveling, how to spot a good cafe. Literally, this is not a course about difficult techniques. It's more about how to keep your art journal and tips and tricks to make it easier for you. By the end of it, I hope you would have started your own creative journal, and the final project, summing up all of the experiences that you collected in your journal. If you end up sharing your creations on social media, please don't forget to tag me. I'd like to give your shout out. If you're ready, let's get started. 2. Materials: Hi guys and welcome to the first videos in this series where I talk about what to bring with you on your journey, when you're traveling or just if you want to go paint or draw around your city. My advise in general is to pack light, I mean especially if you're going to go backpacking. But even if you're staying somewhere for a week in a cozy spot, nobody wants to lug around 10 kilos of art supplies especially when you don't really need them. For this trip that I took in Thailand, I knew that I was going to have to fit all of my clothes, shoes, and toiletries, and art supplies, and anything else I wanted to bring in one duffel bag and one small backpack jailbreaking size. This is because I knew that we were going to be in adventure like situations like trekking around in the jungle and jumping on wrong boys from beach, so of course, I couldn't really bring the trolley. I tried to strip back as much as I could in terms of supplies. In the end, this is where I got to. As you can see, this is my Fjallraven Kanken backpack. It's very old and it's broken. But I'm really happy that it survived the trip because I absolutely love it. I love the fact that you can open it all the way around and you can fit things inside that you didn't think you could fit inside because it's actually quite portable. Here's my bank case and I've got loads of stuff that doesn't need to be there like this head band. Instead, these are very important they are the pens that I used to do inking before going in with watercolor painting. They're called Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliners, and they have six different tips from 020 millimeters to 050. They are very versatile and they are waterproof, of course. So if you use them on a paper and then you use watercolor, they will not smudge as long as you wait a little bit between the two stages. These are the water brushes are used for watercolor painting. I bought these from Pentel in two sizes small and medium, so that one can be used for larger portions of paper, while the other is good for detail. The only difference from regular brushes is that they have a refillable barrel for water and you can gently squeeze for the water to move through the brush and onto the paper. So this way you don't have to bring with you a jug of water or anything. You can just recharge them at home and then bring them with you and use them whenever you need. You can see I have an assortment of other things and pens that are from different packets and sets that I bought before and erasers. This is my very compact watercolors set, as I call it. These water color set is by Winsor and Newton. It's called Cotman set brushpen with 12 colors and one water brush included, which I must say is not the best quality like I prefer the Pentel brushes which I bought, especially because of this reason. The colors are very good so I'm very happy with it. Equally, I'm very happy with these Corilo set of metallic colors. This set is called Magical Creatures. The cool thing about it is that when the color dries up, it becomes translucent, giving the paper the gold leaf effect that looks really nice. My sketchbook is by Mossery, which is a stationery brand that I love because with the sketchbooks and the planners, you can ask them to emboss your name or whatever you want on the front cover, which feels really special. Also, the paper is really good quality for watercolors and other media, and the color will not bleed on the back of the page unless you really go at it. I got this watercolor pad in Bangkok at a BitWare shop inside the biggest department store I've ever been in. I ended up not using it because I was afraid of ruining the paper since I was working in pretty precarious spots. However, I'm happy I got it now so that I can use it to revisit sketches and ideas I had during the journey. Another pretty useful tool to bring with you is a tripod, especially if you want to feel in your process and share it later on social media. I chose this Octopus dial tripod because you can wrap it around things and get different angles, even if you don't have a flat surface to place it on. Last but not least, bring with you a water bottle. First, that way you don't have to constantly buy plastic bottled water, which is bad for the environment, and second, you can use it to easily refill your water brushes on the go. So this is the final look of my portable workstation. As you can see, everything can be backed up quickly and efficiently to fit a small backpack or even a Beachpack. But how did I know that this was going to be enough? I'll talk about it in the next video. 3. Prepare: Hi guys. Welcome back. In the last video, I showed you my materials and how they all fit in one small bag. But how do you know how much to bring with you and what kind of materials? Of course, it all depends on which kind of materials you would like to experiment with when you're under journey and also, I think it comes down to one simple tip which is to prepare, to plan ahead is better than sort of rushing the dark and not being prepared. The weeks before my departure for Thailand, I started experimenting with watercolors. I bought these sketchbook, which I showed you before and I started in my free time and in the weekend, I started by sort of creating small watercolor pieces to figure out exactly what materials I needed to bring with me. What I encourage you to do is to decide what kind of technique you would like to use in your travels and if it's watercolors, that's very good because this course is about watercolors. But if you want to bring with you some watercolor pencils or some brash, there's another squash portable sets too. Basically just gather the materials that inspires you, that you feel like you want to challenge yourself with and for the couple of weeks prior to your departure, start making sketches and working out your workflow so that you know exactly what to bring. I started by creating these small character sketches. That is one of my OCs. For example, if I was going to use the left-hand page for my color palettes and the brighter page for the actual drawing. I did some sketching and this one was before I departed. This one as well and this one as well. I think, well, first I could also improved my knowledge of the watercolors and also my materials. For example, here I used the blue pencil for sketching and then, of course this was a problem when I started coloring because it kind of went off the board, so then in the second sketch, I use a normal pencil then I could erase easily. Here that's when I realized that my old markers where running dry and I had to use some really big markers as you can see here as well. Some pretty big markers. I knew that I had to buy more markers before leaving. The first assignment for you in this course is to prepare my list of the techniques that you'd like to approach during your traveling and the materials you'd like to experiment with and start making some preparatory sketches in some studies and you can kind of share them in your project folder. I will be very happy to take a look and I'm sure your classmates will give you feedback as well. It would be lovely if you uploaded all these to your project and see you all in the next video, where I am going to start the journey. 4. The Journey Begins: Hey guys, and welcome to the video where it's finally time to start your journey. I think that drawing and creating something new, is an act of re-elaboration of the reality around us. Before you can start actually producing artwork and sketches, you will need to be on your holiday for a few days. The first few days of your traveling, are going to be filled with sightseeing and relaxation, which is fair enough, because it's a holiday. It's only after a few days then, that I think you will start feeling the need of processing, what you've been seeing, and therefore, you will feel ready to start sketching. While you're recharging and relaxing, it's good to use these first few days to start sorting the things you see and experience, into what I call your inner reference folder. This is basically the place at the back of my head, where I sort away places and people, that I might want to include in future projects. One thing that I tend to do immediately as soon as I arrive in a new place, is to start taking tons of pictures, not of myself and my travel companions in front of attractions, well, I might take one or two of those two, but it's mostly pictures of things that catch my eye, like interest in architecture, or if I'm in the outdoors of leaves, and plants, and landscapes. This partly because I like to have my own references when I'm back home working on other projects, say if I'm working on a jungle illustration, and I can pull up my own pictures instead of having to Google someone else's, I feel the project is more personal. Also, the other reason is that taking pictures, sometimes of the smallest details that might not even look important to other people, is my way of connecting with a new place. This is my favorite way, of getting inspired by my surroundings. However, you may find other methods more true to your way of experiencing things. For example, collecting tickets, maps, and other keepsakes, that you can glue to your journal, maybe something that makes you feel connected to your journey. Or even taking cooking classes, or going on unconventional tours like bicycle tours, or experiences organized by locals. These can all be good ways of seeing a part of the place you're visiting, that is not immediately available to everybody. Personally, I love to just walk around new cities. I will, of course, go to the main landmarks, but I always try to organize my day, so that I have one big site to see, and then have a few hours to just walk around into size streets, and get lost so that I can find cafes and restaurants off the beaten track. At the start of my holiday in Thailand, I spent a few days in Bangkok. It was a super busy time, because the city's gigantic and full of awesome things to see and do. I didn't have much time for sketching. What I did instead, was, of course, to take a ton of pictures and to start thinking about the goal I had in mind for my art journal. I had this idea of making a set of postcards of the places I visited. Instead of buying them, I wanted to make them with watercolors. I ended up only making two of those, and only on my sketchbook rather than on the pad I bought for the purpose, because I mostly painted in cafes and on the beach, and literally at rock climb besides. I was worried the paper would get ruined. However, by taking pictures and sketching in various places, I can now make them from the comfort of my own kitchen, which is a lovely way of revisiting my journey. After staying in Bangkok for three days, we headed south and went to the province of Krabi, which is a marvelous place where there are literally thousands of different things you can do, like hiking in the jungle, visiting temples, or thinking about ride and explore these archipelagos islands, or you can just chill at the beach, or go rock climbing. I promise this video isn't sponsored by the type or the tourism, but I just loved my time there so much that I had to talk about it. I'm sharing these videos and pictures, because my time in Krabi, especially the trips to the jungle and the Tiger Temple, consolidated the [inaudible] for the foliage, the abundance of greenery, the trees, and the saturated colors of the temples. I started developing the aesthetic that I wanted to convey in my postcards. I love drawing girls. It's just one of my main themes. I started picturing the set of cards as a collection of girls traveling to these amazing locations, surrounded by leaves, and plants, and clothed in brilliant blues and in golds. Especially after getting into the last destination in our trip, Tonsai Bay, which is this tiny strip of land that is actually on the mainland, but feels like an island because you can only get there by a boat, or after a mosquito redone trek through the jungle. After getting there, I started to feel I had the time to sit back and start put him down some sketches and some artwork, which is what I'm going to talk about in the next video. As part of your assignment for this course, I would encourage you to reflect on why you are keeping this journal. It isn't necessary to have a set idea at the start of your journey, as I said at the beginning on this video, I believe that the process of creation is as low coming together of various bits of inspiration, so time is a key component. As you move through your journey, the idea of what you'd like to create with your art journal, will consolidate in your mind. Perhaps you just want to keep it as a collection of sketches, keepsakes, and pictures, which is totally fine. But then again, perhaps you want to use it as the foundation for a bigger project, to complete when you're back home. In my case, I decided to turn it into a series of watercolor postcards. You can follow me in this project, or perhaps create an illustrated set of recipes, a booklet containing pictures and writings. Anything goes, as long as it reflects your journey. Remember to share pictures, videos, and any bits and pieces that you have put together, as part of your inspiration for the project. If you have an idea of what your final project will be, please share it as well so that your classmates and I, can give you some feedback. See you in the next video, where we're going to talk about how to find the perfect spot for your sketching and drawing. 5. Find the Perfect Spot: Hi guys and welcome back. In this video, we are going to talk about tips and tricks to spot a good location for sketching and painting with watercolors, and how to set up your portable workstation in a way that is comfortable for you and for the people around you. As I mentioned in the previous video, I did most of my sketching and water colors when I got to Tongsai Bay in Southwest Thailand. Tongsai is the most laid back and rugged place you can find in the area of Krabi. Compared to Railey Beach and Ao Nang, it looks like a deserted hangout for climbers and all-time hippeis, which is basically what I loved about it. The beach has a really extreme tide, especially close to the two ends of the moon phases. So basically there is a time where most of the beach becomes a weird and picturesque moonlight landscape from the lush tropical paradise it usually is. I didn't mind it, especially because as I said, this and the lack of expensive resorts keeps the majority of tourist away. In Tongsai, I found I could really relax and let the days simply happen between a class of yoga, hours spend dozing, and some exploring. I did a lot of my water coloring in this tiny little cafe run by an older Thai couple, where I saw a lot of people smart working, chilling on the hammock, and reading. I figured it wasn't really a big problem if I were to set up my watercolors and stay there for a couple of hours. Also, the food and the smoothies were absolutely epic, which was a big plus. A good way to spot a great cafe for drawing is to make sure it checks most of the following boxes. Find somewhere where there is WiFi because you might need to get some extra references. Also, you're traveling companions may want to get in touch with you if they're going somewhere different, so that's always a consideration. Find somewhere with plenty of sitting room so that you don't feel like you're taking up space and people are queuing outside. On the same note, check how big the tables are. Depending on how much stuff you're using for your chosen technique, you might need a bit of space to feel comfortable. Last but not least, choosing somewhere local and family run rather than a big chain is great to help the local economy and get to know the place better. If you take some time to get to know the owners of the cafe or the bar, they can help you with tips about their place and they won't be annoyed if you sit at the same table for three hours. Of course, you can also be more adventurous with your chosen sketching locations. I did most of my sketching on the beach actually because I was really inspired by the quiet of the location, especially around five or six in the evening when there was this huge tide that meant that most of the beach was actually dry and deserted. The jungle was also quite a good place for me to feel connected to nature because of all the greeneries and the immersive sounds of course. This is an incredibly subjective topic because it has to do with what makes you feel inspired and connected to the environment, be it urban or natural. I would say as a general rule that a good place to sketch is somewhere where there aren't that many people to distract you, unless being surrounded by people and noise gets you in the zone. Somewhere where you can be comfortable and undisturbed for some time, maybe even hours is pretty important. You may want to avoid things like being in the sun or under the rain, or in general, places where you might get tired after a short time. I think also somewhere where you can sit in peace, but you're also not too far from civilization is a good compromise. You might want to get a coffee or a snack in between your drawing session. So somewhere with easy access to a coffee shop, but also secluded is a good balance. If you're in the forest, jungle, beach, or any natural environment, it's a good idea to scout around the area before choosing the exact location. Look for flat rocks, even patches of grass, and look if there are any trees or rocks you can attach your tripod to in case you want to take pictures or a time lapses of your artistic endeavors. In general, good practice is to ask the locals if there are any insects or wildlife you should be aware of. Speaking from personal experience here, as the first time I traveled to Southeast Asia, I didn't know about the existence of sun flies and I laid down on the beach without a towel. Well, let's just say that I spent several days in a very uncomfortable situation of having fly bites all over my body in the extreme tropical heat. Not fun. A final tip about your workflow. In order to be more respectful of the establishment where you are drawing, may it be a cafe, or a bar, or the outdoors and also for the sake of tidiness and not losing your supplies, it's best to only take out the supplies you need for each stage of the drawing. For example, if you are at the inking stage in your workflow, take out your fine liner. But when you're done with it and you're moving onto watercolors, or color pencils, or the next step, put the fine liners back in their case and take out what you need for the next step. This way, you can keep everything tidy. The cafe owners will not complain because of your mess and you won't accidentally misplace any of your supplies. As an assignment for this video, I would like you guys to go out and scout some locations around your house, or if you're already on holiday, some locations in the areas that you are visiting today. Try and think of what makes you feel comfortable, relaxed, and inspired. If you take some pictures of your sketching place and/or the way that you have set up your workstation, don't forget to upload them to your project. Looking forward to seeing them and to seeing you guys in the next video. 6. Sketch: Welcome back. In these videos, I'm going to show you some of the sketches I did while traveling, here is where the sketches start. I used to sketch mostly at the beach so all these sketches that were done at the beach. Then first as you can see, my mind wasn't really on holiday, it was more still in urban context. Then we got to Tomsai, this is one of the sketches I did the first day that we got there, on the 4th of November. As you can see and I think this is probably the sketch that I am going to be using for my first postcard, there's these rock formation that is very specific of Tomsai. This is a middle line that sticks out between Tomsai beach and Rayleigh Beach. This is just a girl which I guess is me relaxing on the beach. I think in terms of a postcard that these works well because of the composition and the girl is in the lower part and then there's these other geometrical elements that are very present in my watercolor postcards composition wise. It works well as a sketch and also represents a lot of the themes that I recognized in also freeing my references and stuff in Thailand which is the feeling of calmness and the idea of the slowness of time there. Everything takes time to be done and you have time to relax and appreciate what's going on around you, which I think is very present in Thai life. These colors like blue, the prominent yellow and gold of the temples, the rock formations and the beautiful landscapes. All of these is included in this sketch, which is why I think it's a good sketch potentially to pursue as a postcard. These was also something that I consider as you can see, I kept re-drawing girls in relaxing locations. This is a sketch that I did for these final piece. As you can see I included the foliage that I was researching during those days then the colors like the golden, the greens and the white, cream. All of these colors are very Thailand for me and that's why I wanted to include them in the postcard, and in terms of composition for the postcards in the small thumbnail, I already knew that I wanted to have this very geometrical shape created by the plants and the girl. I think that's why it works, because there is a central element that is flagged and can be shiny when you turn the page and then there's one main character and then is surrounded by foliage and I think that's the aesthetic of the postcards that I want to pursue. I was obviously really interested in drawing girls that were chilling and relaxing mermaids and different body types as well and different people just having a good time in their own way. This one is not very visible, I like the idea again of the central frame, like geometrical frame and then a girl in the picture. I like this idea of the hats. This is why I pursued this as well as a postcard because there's this elemental circle at the back and she got the hat and I felt the colors we're going to be different from the first postcard as well, this is the final result. This is at sunset, as you can see I included a different type of flowers that I also researched there in Thailand, then there is also these colors like the prominent gold and the blue, which are very much and everywhere in the landscape and either that pulse. After that I did some more girls and then I did one day where I went to this rock climbing site and everybody else was rock climbing and instead, I started taking pictures and drawings of plants that were really interesting to me. I think I definitely want to feature these ones in my boscar that I'm going to do now and here's some poses of the people that were climbing and hungry. Then I did a little Sabrina sketch, which was at the sea side and then I think these ones where from spring so they don't really relate. As you can see I took some sketches once I was there and i think the point is that all the sketches are like a picture of my time there. I think I'm going to either pursue this one because it's very topical or this one and just fix it up a little bit and maybe include some more foliage around here. I'm going to do that in the next video where I'm going to show you how I make the postcard from start to finish. 7. Turn Experience into Artwork: Hi guys and welcome back to this video where I am going to show you step-by-step how I am going to make a postcard based on my experiences as they are recorded in my journal and based on the wealth of references and memories I have of my traveling. I think I'm going to use this sketch to base the postcard on. For this postcard, I'm going to finally use the paper that I bought on holiday. Based on this picture here, I'm going to do a preliminary sketch also because I didn't have ruler with me traveling, I used to use this as my ruler, which I'm going to do now still. With this blue pencil, which is very useful because it doesn't really stain the paper too badly so afterwards you can delete it pretty easily. I'm also going to set some side. If you have paper tape you don't have to draw rulers on your paper because you can just mask the area of the paper where you don't want to paint. This will also help you make you feel less anxious about going overboard with the paint. Now that I've missed my paper pad, I can start drawing the basic composition for the postcard. In Illustration composition is really important to make sure that the eye of the viewer focuses on the parts that you would like to pop out more. I needed the aesthetic of my pieces was going to be something geometrical, a basic shape, like a circle or a square or a triangle. In this case, there is a circle that is central. Then here there's going to be some foliage and maybe also here and then there's going to be the rock formation over here, which is like the crowning of the circle underneath. Here there's going to be the foliage that I'm going to find from the sketches over there. Here there's going to be the girl. Basically, the composition of this piece, I think works because you have a very organic, wavy girl figure over here and you have the circle that actually [inaudible] that encircles all the composition. The composition itself is reminiscent of the golden ratio, which is the very appealing mathematical recurrence in nature and here there's the plants that break out the image as well and then I'm going to do some framing of the illustration on the sides of this. Maybe including some tie designs, these wavy flowers that record a lot of the imagery, and temples and stuff and so this way, I'm going to combine elements of the things that I saw and also elements of my mood and my feelings of kindness and lowness of life when I was over there. What I'd like you to consider when you do your postcard is to make sure that you're combining all the elements that you gathered along the way in a composition that will enhance and combine together like with a circle or sense of the geometric shape, all of these experiences at once. 8. Inking for Watercolours: Hey guys and welcome back. In this video, I'm going to finalize the artwork so that we can start painting with watercolors. At this point, we have established the composition of the piece, mostly based on the initial sketch from the art journal, but it's still very rough. At this stage. I'm going to use the references I took and drew went on holiday, to put more detail into the sketch. I'm going to start by adding some detail to the character and the rock formation, to then move on to the foliage. For this purpose, I have my antenna drawings of plants and leaves from the jungle at the Eagle Wall in Ton Sai Bay. I want to add different varieties of leaves according to how best they suit their position in the scene. When I'm happy with the level of detail, as a rule of thumb, this is roughly when you can see every shape clearly and there are no unfinished elements. We can move on to inking. Before you move on though, you can take your eraser, take it out of its rapping, and lightly erase with the long flat surface to get rid of the heavier the pencil strokes. The goal here is to get to a point where you can still clearly see the detailed sketch, but you're not confused by the multitude of lighter strokes that we usually draw when sketching. Now that the sketch is properly filled with detail, I can proceed to inking. To ink this piece, I'm going to use some of my sacra fine line markers. I usually use three different tip sizes, to make sure that the line art isn't all the same weight. I use tip size 05, 03, and 005 for inking. I use a 05 to ink the outer lines of the artwork, and 005 for the finer details inside the artwork. 03 is the average weight of the line art, and that's the one I start with. This is a stylistic choice, so you can opt for a uniform line art or a varied one, completely up to you. I'm going to use marker 03 to ink all of the lines in the artwork, aside from the finer details inside the elements. This is because I want to save those for the final tip marker. Inking can be very daunting, especially in traditional media where you know that, if you make a mistake, you can't go back. The most important thing when inking is to keep your hand and arm relaxed. If you stiffen, the lines are going to come out all jagged and lacking strength. Try and breath in before putting pen to paper and breath out when you trace your line. This might help keeping your arm loose. Don't try to draw long lines without raising your hand from the paper. It's better if you break your stroke at convenient points, like joins between one element and the other, so that you can keep better control of the stroke. Most of all, don't panic. When you paint over this with watercolors, the lines are going to appear much less prominent. I definitely cannot draw a smooth circle in the middle of the artwork unaided, so I'm going to take the paper tape and use it to trace a perfect circle. If you don't have the tape, you can use any other object available, like a large mug or a plate. Especially if you're on the road, you have to get creative with the tools at your disposal. When I was traveling, I didn't have a ruler. I constantly use my own sketchbook or the flat side of the watercolor case, or even my phone case, to trace straight lines. When you are finished with the basic outlines, you still have to fill in the inside of the elements, but that's something we'll do later on. Take your eraser and delete all of the pencil strokes, so that you can only see the clean inked line art. Now it's time to take the 05 deep marker, the heavier one, and go over some of the outer outlines of the elements in the artwork. This is a very common comic book technique, and it's done so that you can really separate the main items in the picture from the background ones. The goal is to do it only on some of these lines. Be careful at this stage, because if you end up going over all of the lines with the marker 05, then you will have invalidated the purpose of this technique. The idea is that by outlining only some of the external lines, you can attract the viewer's eye to specific parts of the artwork and make some elements pop Instead of others. As you can see here, I'm definitely focusing on the outer line of the character. Not only interior details like the clothing and hair lines, but rather on the line separating her arms and profile from the rock formation and the seed behind her. Again, be very careful which lines you choose to make heavier. As a rule of thumb, any external line and separation line between elements is good. But make sure that you're keeping a balance of about 50 percent of lines at 03 and 50 percent at 05, so that the viewer can subconsciously appreciate the rhythm between thicker and thinner lines. Now it's time to take the final tip marker number 005 and fill in the interior of the shapes with details. I'm going to start with these traditional recurrent patterns at the side of the frame. They say the devil is in the details, and in the case of line art, it is actually weirdly true. The thing is, the beautiful delicate strokes in the interior of the design will really set off the powerful, heavier strokes on the outside. It's the balance between the two that makes great line art. The pattern on the skirt is definitely going to be the most complex part of the drawing. In general, I don't like to over-complicate the outline when I'm preparing for watercolor painting, because I feel that the watercolor technique is best set off by a more abstract context. However, in this case, I want the skirt to represent the beautiful intricate patterns of Thai temples. When I'm done with all the final detail lines, it's time to move on to color, in the next video. See you there. 9. Watercolour Painting: Hi guys and welcome back. In this video, I'm going to show you how I approach watercolor painting while traveling. Since I have a limited palette and tools I've strict back this technique to the bare minimum. I also use some tricks to make the process easier as I'll show you. First, I prepared the artwork color palette. As you can see here, I have taken the original sketch and quickly colored it with shades taken from my reference pictures to make sure they work together at a glance. This is a trick I've learned from digital art as I usually make several quick color thumbnails when working on an illustration. Of course, in digital painting, I can simply duplicate the layers and make as many as I want. In real life, you can do this only once if you do it on your original sketch. You should be reasonably sure of your color choices before you commit. After perusing my references and having made two boss cards with the same times before, I was pretty sure of the colors I wanted. But if you're still exploring, you can make smaller thumbnails on separate pages in order not to ruin the original sketch. I knew that I definitely wanted to include gold, blue and green, the most significant colors in my journey. For contrast, I also decided to include red. Since I don't have pale pink in my portable water color set, I use a simple trick to make sure I don't mess up the skin tone with too much red. I brought with me a salmon pink pantone marker, which I use as base for skin color. I can then add some more red or okra or yellow to this base to modify the skin tone of the character. But at least I have a solid base color to start with. Incorporating different markers, pencils and ink pens to watercolors is an interesting process and totally worth it as it will allow you to accomplish much while using a very limited and portable watercolor set. I definitely encourage you to explore with some mixed materials before leaving. Aside from the basic watercolor set which I will use for most of the elements in the scene, I used the Coliro metallic set to highlight certain elements and lift the illustration off the page. In this case, I'm going to be using them on the rock formation and as detail on the outfit. Another important tool you must have near you is paper towels. Paper towels or clean paper napkins taken from a cafe in a pinch, are a fundamental tool to make sure you don't place your hand on wet paint as well as useful for soaking up extra water that may have ended up on the page by mistake. When you're on the road, they're also great for cleaning your water brush between one color and the other without making a mess or [inaudible] in a sink. So always have them near you. It's time to fill up the rechargeable barrel of the water brush from my water bottle. I simply unscrew the barrel and fill it with water. Then, you can gently squeeze the water directly on the colors which you want to use, and then dip the water brush in it. To make sure that you have control over how much color you want to actually use on the artwork, it's best to create the mini-swatch somewhere. I usually do it on the page next to the one I'm coloring because I'm lazy. But you can use a separate piece of paper or some plastic containers. When you have your mini-swatch, you can dip the water brush in it when you need some more paint and when that swatch is dry, you can simply make another. As I was mentioning before, when you want to clean your water brush to move on to another color, you simply take your paper towel, squeeze some water into it to clean the brush, dry the tip with a towel and repeat the process until the water is clear. Now that we have the basic technique down, let's move on to the real artwork. 10. Painting Demo: Hey guys and welcome back. In this video, I'm going to show you the actual painting practice of my postcard, and hopefully give you some good tips on watercolor technique. First, I'm going to quickly use the pantone marker to color the skin of the character. I was careless and didn't check to make sure that both tips of the marker, it has a thick tip, and a thin one were clean before using them, so I ended up transferring some darker color on the cheek of the character. Here's the first suggestion, check the markers tips for dark spots before you color on the actual artwork, if they seem dirty, draw a few strokes on a separate piece of paper until the color is uniform. As you might have noticed from the skin parts I already colored, I left some empty space between the colored part and the line art, I did that because with watercolors, the negative space is just as important as the colored one, since you can cover up the watercolor painted parts with brighter colors, it's important to start with bright shades and progressively move towards the darker ones, lest you make a mistake by accident. Similarly, if you leave some white empty space, you can use it to give the impression of highlights and in general, to convey a more whimsical look to your artwork. As you can see here, where I'm coloring the small details in the skirt, I'm keeping some space between one element, and the other to properly use the negative space, and to avoid the color mixing. When you use too much water, it's easy for different elements to start to collide and the colors to mix, making a mess, to avoid this just keeps some distance between all the elements and you should be fine. In case a few extra drops threaten to spill the color onto the wrong area, don't panic, simply take your loyal paper towel, and firmly place it on top of the extra water, don't move the towel around, or it will smear the color underneath all over the place, instead, simply press down for a few seconds and then raise the towel vertically without moving it about, the extra water should be dry, taking some color with it. When you approach the page, you should divide it in mantle layers, what I mean, is that you should approach one element at a time, decide which areas of this element are to be left blank to allow for highlights based on the general lighting of the scene, and then proceed to color it with a flat shade, the lighter shade that you intend to use on the layer, for example here, I'm coloring the sea, so I've mixed two blues to achieve the lighter blue I want to use for this element base. I'm coloring it, leaving some blank areas to give the impression of the sun's reflection on the moving sea, at first, I left three vertical areas for highlights, and then I colored one and left only two to the sides of the character. As you can see, it's better to leave more negative space that you can always fill in later instead of coloring everything at the start, and then you can't just go back and uncolor the areas that you already painted. When you're done with the basic color for your layer, you can move on to different shades and special colors, in my case, the metallic ones, for example, here I'm using this light Ocher Culitone for the rock formation, when I'm done with the lighter color, I can switch to a darker metallic brown and color those areas that are in the shade, providing some three-dimensionality to the shape. The concept of leaving some areas blank, and really playing with the negative space is particularly evident when I painted the foliage. In this case, I start by laying a brighter green from the center of the leaf stem, the idea is that the more you move away from the center of the leaf, the more the color becomes faded, so I'm going to leave a large white border along the inside of the outline, when I'm done with the first layer of bright green, I'm going to switch to a more intense emerald and go over the very center of the leaf so that I can create a nice gradient from dark green, to bright green, to white, which gives a lot of life to the image. If you want to amalgamate different shades more, you can simply drip some more water on the painted areas and gently swirl around to mix the brighter and darker tones. Be warned though, if you drip too much water, everything will amalgamate and become the same shade, defeating the gradient effect. I'm going to apply the same technique of laying a bright base color first, and then overlaying it with darker or more saturated hues to create shadows, gradients, and color variety on every element of the piece, starting with the hair. Stylistically, I'm not looking to create something realistic with these postcards, so I'm happy to keep them quite flat with some color gradients and variation. When I'm done with the main image, I'm going to quickly color the geometric frame before we move on to the finishing touches. Remember to always leave your artwork to dry before moving from one step to the next, or all of your efforts will be spoiled. When the watercolors are dry, I'm going to take the fine liner with the 03 tip and go over some of the outlines that have been covered by the color. This step is fairly big, but I think it does a lot for the final look of the image. Now that we see the picture in full color, we can also spot the areas in the outline where the elements have become less clearly divided, so we can use the weighted liner art technique to isolate them. With the fine liners 005, I'm going to do the same thing by going over the finer details in the inner outline and make them pop a little more, and that's it. When you have made sure that everything, watercolors, and ink is dry, you can proceed to gently peel off the paper tape. I must admit this is probably the most satisfying stage of any artwork, I simply love that moment when you peel of the tape, and the color on top disappears to leave the crisp-edges of the masked illustration. In my case, I had drawn the outline of the page in pencil before placing the tape, so I have to erase that, but if you use a tape from the start, you don't have to draw the margins, so you will skip this part. Finally, you can sign, date, or write anything you like underneath your artwork or at the back of it, it's up to you. I hope you enjoyed this time lapse, and I'll see you in the next and final video for some considerations. 11. Reflections: Hi guys. Welcome to the last video in this series. I just want to take a moment to reflect on what we hopefully learned in this journey and possible future obligations of the art journal, and how can it be useful? As you've seen, I created a postcard based on my memories and based on the experiences, and the wealth of references I took during my journey. I think that's the best thing about keeping an art journal while you're traveling because it gives you not just an objective picture of what you're seeing, but also a moment that is recorded by your artistic vision. For example, I have taken a million pictures of this view of Dons eBay when I was there, but the sketch that I did when I was actually there is conveying to me what I felt when I was on the beach, which was the landscape. When I came back home, I was able to do this piece, which of course it's based on the references and the [inaudible] pictures that I took, but also on that specific sketch that framed in time my feelings for being on the beach. While I was taking the time and drawings [inaudible] others this afternoon, I actually remembered all of the moments that I spent on the beach and it was really beautiful. It helped me framed in a different way that journey and the way when you feel. Keeping an art journal, whether you're on holiday, whether you're staying at home, is always a good idea because when you look back at your own sketches, at your own interpretation of that reality, you'll get a whole new perspective on how those moments were and how you were feeling. You can even reevaluate some of the events of the past because you can now look at those sketches that art with the eyes of today and put those things back into a bigger frame. I hope you're enjoying this class and I look forward to seeing your creations in the project gallery and again, please tag me if you upload any of your sketches or any of your watercolors on social media. Here is my handle, please leave me feedback and comments on this class. I'd love to hear what you think and suggestions on possible new classes. Thanks again for joining me and I'll see you soon.