Graphic Gouache: Paint Stylized Tropical Fruit Illustrations | Ann Shen | Skillshare

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Graphic Gouache: Paint Stylized Tropical Fruit Illustrations

teacher avatar Ann Shen, Illustrator & Author

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 Orientation


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Finding Reference


    • 5.

      Design Element 1: Shape


    • 6.

      Painting a Pineapple


    • 7.

      Design Element 2: Color


    • 8.

      Painting Citrus


    • 9.

      Design Element 3: Space


    • 10.

      Painting a Dragon Fruit


    • 11.

      Finishing Touches


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

If you like bold, graphic illustrations with lots of appeal and want to incorporate that into your own style but you’re not sure where to start – this is the class for you! In this class, you’ll learn how to paint graphic stylized illustrations in gouache.

Gouache is an opaque water-based paint that came into popularity in mid-century art. It's now seeing a resurgence due to its rich, matte colors and beautiful textures. I’ve spent over ten years painting with gouache, and I’m excited to share my best tips on how I use this tricky but rewarding medium to further my unique style influenced by great mid-century artists like Mary Blair and Alain Grée. 

Graphic illustration is a term I use to describe artwork that is more design based – featuring bold flat shapes, limited color, and minimal rendering, resulting in a style that is both fresh and nostalgic at the same time.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • All my best tips and tricks for working with gouache
  • Three elements of design that are key to a graphic illustration style
  • How to gather and use photo reference to design your art
  • Designing interesting shapes that still read as your subject
  • Creating sophisticated illustrations with limited color palettes
  • Using negative space to help design a better composition

This class is perfect for beginner to more experienced artists who are interested in drawing and painting graphic illustrations in gouache. I’ll go over step by step on how to simplify a subject in your sketches all the way to a finished painting that’s ready for scanning.

Even if you’ve never drawn a fruit or painted with gouache before, you’ll find simple and effective tips for improving wherever you are!

Here’s a link to the art supplies I recommend.

Follow me on Instagram for more of my work and behind-the-scenes peeks.

Check out my blog for more art tutorials.

Subscribe to my newsletter for free Introduction to Gouache Guide, along with weekly challenges, inspiration, and more freebies.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ann Shen

Illustrator & Author

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Hi there! I'm Ann Shen and I'm an illustrator, author, and hand-letterer based in Los Angeles. I have a degree in Writing from UCSD and a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design. I've worked in the art and design industry for over ten years, taking the leap to work full time for myself in 2014. My artwork has been on everything from doll packaging, digital stickers, book covers, editorial illustrations, calendars, theme parks and more for companies like Disney, Facebook, and HarperCollins.


I've written and illustrated three books: Bad Girls Throughout History, Legendary Ladies, and Nevertheless, She Wore It, all published by Chronicle Books. My work's been featured on Forbes, HelloGiggles, The Cut, and so much more.See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Have you ever wanted to paint in a more graphic illustration style but you don't know where to start? Do you admire great mid-century artists like Mary Blair and Alain Grée? But you want to find your own modern style inspired by their work? Then you're in the right place. Welcome to Gouache Painting Graphic Stylized Fruit This is a hands-on class where you'll be learning to paint with gouache and use the elements of design to help you find your own art style. I Ann Shen and I'm an illustrator, designer, and best-selling author based in Los Angeles. I've worked with clients like Disney, Adobe, and Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. I've also written and illustrated three books titled Bad Girls Throughout History, Legendary Ladies, and Nevertheless, She Wore It, all published by Chronicle Books. Together they've all sold over 400,000 copies. I attribute all of this to finding my own voice and style, in which I'm going to show you the building blocks of in this class. In the following lessons, you'll learn about three elements of design that are key to a graphic illustration style. How to gather and use photo reference to design your art. How to paint with gouache to get the effects you desire. Designing interesting shapes that still read as your subjects. Creating limited color palette and using negative space to create a better composition. If you're ready to level up your gouache painting, whether you're painting for the first time or the 40th million time and find your own illustration style, join me in this class! I'd love to have you. 2. Class Orientation: Hello and welcome! In this class we're going to be designing and painting three tropical fruits. The exercises in this class were designed to introduce you to three of the main important elements of design, shape, color, and space. Once you learn these elements, you can incorporate them into your own illustrations down the road, We're painting tropical fruit because they are a fun and trendy motif in art licensing and illustration work. Also they come and beautiful shapes and colors, nature is the ultimate designer. First, we'll start with finding good reference photos or taking our own. Every artist uses reference photos and I'm going to show you the way to use them properly so you don't infringe on anyone's copyright. Second, we'll simplify the fruit down to graphic shapes for sketching. From there we'll learn to mix colors and learn how to get the perfect consistency for painting with gouache. Then we'll paint the fruit and add our own little design touches. Finally, we'll clean up the painting and prepare it for scanning. By the end of this class, you'll be able to take any subject and turn it into a graphic illustration. Isn't that exciting? Let's get started. I'll go over materials in the next class. 3. Materials: In this class, I'll be going over all the materials needed to paint with gouache. As with all my classes, even though I'll be teaching in gouache, you are free to use any materials that you have on hand, be it markers, acrylics or even your iPad. The design elements that we'll go over apply all the same. I do hope you'll explore gouache with me in this class though, because it is a beautiful and rewarding medium once you learn how to work with it. Why gouache? Many mid-century illustrators used it as their medium of choice because of its beautiful, opaque quality and matte finish. It also dries fast so you can work quickly. The matte finish makes it a dream to scan or photograph, which makes it easy to reproduce either as a print on your own or for client work. First, let's go over paint. My favorite brands are Winsor and Newton and Holbein, which are great quality paints that you can easily find in your local art store or online. I usually try to have a warm tone and a cool tone of each color. Warm shades have more red or orange undertones, and cool shades have more blue undertones. If you're interested in more info on color theory, take my Painting with Gouache: Introduction to Color Theory class. Here are the colors I always keep in my kit: A flame red, alizarin crimson, opera pink, brilliant violet, spectrum violet. And that's an example of a warm purple and a cool purple. Ultramarine. And primary blue. Turquoise blue, brilliant green, permanent green middle and olive green. Linden green, brilliant yellow, primary yellow, yellow ochre, and orange lake light. My neutrals I always have on hand are burnt sienna, burnt umber, and ivory black. And then of course, I always get a big old tube of permanent white. You'll find and tailor your kit as you discover your color palettes that you like to work with. For example, I always have turquoise and opera pink in my kit. But that may not be for everyone Here are the painting tools that you'll need. Brushes, of course. I like a synthetic watercolor brush and it doesn't have to be very expensive. This is a place where you can play around with different price levels of brushes and see which one works for you. You'll want to have round brushes in a variety of sizes like 0, 2, 4, 6, 8. You'll also want an angled flat brush at about a quarter inch, and then two flat brushes, about half-inch is a good size. I always get my really tiny brushes from the beauty supply store. Nail art brushes are great for this and they're pretty cheap. You'll also need a water jar, a spray bottle with water. Again, another thing I like to get at the beauty supply store because they have ones that have a finer mist. You'll need artist's tape or washi tape, and then a palette. For palettes. I like to find ones that are ceramic or ceramic coated because they're easier for cleanup. One of my favorite things to find are vintage egg dishes at flea markets. You'll also need a roll of paper towels, which you'll put your brushes on. Now let's talk paper. For painting with gouache, because it is a water-based medium, you'll want to use a type of watercolor paper. There are so many options available at all different price points. The main thing to know about watercolor paper is that there are two types of finishes. There's hot press, which is totally smooth. And then there's cold press, which has a texture. Now which one you use is a matter of preference. I tend to like the hot press because it's totally smooth, which goes with the flat graphic illustration style I like to do. But with a texture, you also get a nice, beautiful textured, more painterly edge. So it's up to you. It's a matter of personal preference. Other options of paper that you can use that are more economical and good for practice are sketchbooks and Bristol board. Bristol board is a multimedia paper that's thick and relatively inexpensive. I love using Canson's Bristol board. It mimics the texture of a hot press paper. I also love a watercolor sketch book. This one is by Arteza and what I'll be using for this class. When I'm painting more full paintings for gallery shows and things like that, I'll use the more expensive Arches paper because it's worth it to have it on a block where the paper is totally stretched and flat so that when you're painting it doesn't curl up or get distorted. This paper also has better archival qualities is because it is a higher-quality paper. Okay, we're almost there. Here are the last few things you need for sketching. You need a Col-erase pencil. Any color really works. Erasers like a Tuff Stick eraser, which is a very skinny eraser like this. And a rubber eraser, a ruler, a sketchbook, of course. Then any round caps you have laying around the house. Now that you've learned about all your materials, let's get started. I'll meet you in the next lesson. 4. Finding Reference: In this class, we'll go over finding reference images. As a bonus gift for you, I've included a pack of royalty-free images that can be found in the Class Resources section. These images come from Unsplash, which is a great website for finding royalty-free photos. Every artist uses reference. It's how we learn what things look like, especially things that we may not be able to find in real life. The key to using reference correctly as to not copy directly from any photograph that you find on Google or Pinterest. Those images are copyrighted by the artist who created them. That includes the images that I designed for demonstration in this class. You of course, can copy me step-by-step for practice, but you cannot sell or use those in your portfolio as your own. So how do you make sure you don't do that? Collect a lot of reference images, and do a lot of study sketches so that you understand what the object looks like without referencing any one photograph. A fun bonus exercise: do a bunch of studies from photographs. One way of doing studies is sketching a bunch of images so that you can learn how a subject, say a pineapple, really looks. You're trying to draw as realistically as possible to the image. So in this case, you may be copying the photograph you're referencing. But these are for your own private practice only and not for art that you would sell or post online. That's an important key distinction. When in doubt, always give credit. For more on drawing from reference, checkout my Iconic Women in History: Draw Your Inspiration class. The point of doing these studies is to really see the subject and understand what makes it what it is, the color, the shape, the details. Another thing you can do for reference is of course, license the image from the photographer. You can do this by using a site like Adobe Stock or reaching out to the photographer directly to ask if you can license their image for reference. That usually includes a fee. I personally rarely do this because I'd rather create an image of my own. But it may be necessary for things that need to be very specific and difficult to find. A third thing you can do, of course, is create your own reference. Go out and get your own pineapple and take photos of it. That way you can draw directly from your photograph all you'd like. Now that you have three ways to find and use reference, Let's start making art with it. 5. Design Element 1: Shape: In this lesson, we're going to talk about one of the main elements of design, Shape and Line. In the most basic terms, shape is a two-dimensional area that's defined by an outline. There are two main types of shape that we're gonna deal with in this class. Organic, which is natural forms found in nature, and geometric, which are shapes like triangles, squares, and circles. In graphic illustration, we often use geometric shapes to simplify what we're designing. Most objects can be simplified into circles, triangles or squares, or a combination of all three. We'll use those three shapes in addition to line, to design our fruit, I'm going to show you how to put this design element into practice as we sketch our pineapple. First, we're going to pull up all our reference images of our pineapple and our studies. That will help us understand the basic shape of the pineapple. Now let's simplify the pineapple using geometric shapes. Coming off from our studies and our reference, we know that the body of the pineapple is more narrow on top than the bottom. I'm going to draw a curved oval shape that's more narrow on top than on bottom. And then one common theme is using curves, against straight lines in graphic illustration. So I'm going to actually make the bottom a totally flat, straight line. You can see that the pineapple is already more stylized than a natural, it's natural organic shape. Now for the leaves, I'm going to do curved triangles to simplify that top topiary. And sometimes I might use the curve against straight again. Another common theme of graphic illustration is symmetry. And so what I'm gonna do is actually make this top leaf part reflect each other. And be symmetrical. And then I'm going to add a little leaf in the middle. And then another element of graphic illustration is using a straight line down the middle to help represent form that we're going to show through color. And then finally, to simplify the texture of the outside skin of a pineapple, which is kind of a diamond texture with little triangle points. I'm going to do this cross pattern. Then to illustrate that little pointy part, we're going to do a triangle in the middle of each diamond. Mine's not perfectly symmetrical on both sides as you can see, and that's okay. Just kinda up to you how perfectly symmetrical you wanna go. And that's part of your stylization. There we have it. So now our sketch is prepped for painting. Meet me in the next video where we're going to break out our paints. 6. Painting a Pineapple: Now that we have the sketch designed, it's time to break out your paints. It's easier to start out with a general idea of what colors you're going to use so that you can get into the flow of painting more easily. We'll start by looking back at our reference images. We can go with a more realistic palette, yellow, green, and brown for the colors of this piece. Or we can go more imaginative, maybe pink, blue, and gold? The world is your oyster! We'll discuss color more in the next lesson. So for mine, I'm gonna go with a more traditional palette, which will be yellow, green, and brown. So first you're going to squeeze out paint into your palette. You want to squeeze out a good amount so that you have enough paint because the worst thing is not having enough paint and trying to re-mix that color. One thing to know about gouache is that colors tend to dry darker unless they're darker colors, which then tend to dry lighter. So in order to best understand that, you might wanna do little swatches on the side of your sketchbook to understand what color it's going to be. But to re-mix that again is very challenging. So that's why you want to mix up, that's why you want to squeeze out enough paint. I'm going to take my round number six brush and there's it's wet but not not dripping wet. And I'm going to take that brilliant yellow, add a touch of that primary yellow. And what that does is neutralize the yellow so it's not too warm or too cool. I'm going to use that actually as the base color of my pineapple. So actually what I want to do is mix up even more. So adding more paint to that. Paint straight out of the tube is the consistency of butter. And what you wanna do is add drops of water, one at a time, to get it to the consistency of heavy cream, which is the perfect consistency to get that flat, opaque lay with gouache. So what I'm gonna do actually is also another pro tip is taping off your painting to get very clean lines. What I'm gonna do is take a piece of scratch paper and my washi tape. Measure about the length of the area that I want to mask off. Another pro tip is I like to tap my tape on my shirt to get it kinda lint-y so it doesn't stick to the paper as much. Because if it's too sticky when you're peeling it up, it'll rip the paper. Another good rule of thumb with painting with opaque mediums like gouache or acrylic is to paint from back to front, and largest to smallest object. And so since there is no back on this, I'm going to paint the largest object, which is the pineapple body. And so now that I have that tape all nice and cleanly applied, I use my thumbnail to kinda make sure that edge is clean and tight. I'll start painting. You'll see the blue is showing through, which is why I prefer to use a vermilion or a lighter color when I'm sketching. But for the purposes of this class, I want to make sure that you can see it on camera. And plus it's not a big deal because I'll just apply another layer of paint in order to make sure that it's fully covered. So this is the first coat. You don't want to go over areas too much when they're dry – I mean because when they're wet, because they'll just kinda pick up. So what you wanna do is just make sure you have that clean edge. And it also helps to pull your brush towards you to get a smoother edge than it is when you're pushing away from you. I always try to move my canvas if I need to, make sure I'm pulling towards myself, pulling my arm down. And now you want to make sure it's completely dry before you paint on it again. One thing about gouache is that because it is a water-based medium, it can be reactivated by water. So we're going to paint back over places you've already painted with gouache. You want to be careful and not go over the strokes too much because then you can start to pick up and reactivate the paint on the bottom. Now one thing you can do to help speed up the process is use a fan or a blow dryer. You can tell it's dry when it's no longer shiny. So your paint may have dried a little bit in texture while you were waiting for your painting to dry. So all you can do, All you need to do is just add a little light mist and you'll get back to that nice heavy cream consistency. I'm going to go back and do another layer. So you can see now I'm getting more coverage over the sketch blue lines. The blue sketch lines. Again, I'm trying to just go over it once, so that it doesn't reactivate the paint underneath and start to pull up. This is not a big deal when I'm painting over the same color. But it can get tricky when you're doing more complex paintings and painting over things. Now, for our next step, we're going to peel up the mask. And you'll want to just pull straight up so you get a nice clean edge. Perfect. You want to make sure that the paint is totally dry even on the edges there. Okay, and now what we're gonna do is going to carefully tape that edge and mask off the other side. Now. Now we're going to also mix the color for the other side. So I'm gonna do a darker yellow to give the impression of a shape or form. So now I'm going to take my yellow ochre, which is a darker yellow, take more of that brilliant yellow mix over here. And some of that primary. Again, you want to make sure you mix enough color. I'm actually going to add a little bit more brilliant yellow and a touch more yellow ochre. And a drop of water because it's starting to feel a little thick. Okay. Now I'm at a nice heavy cream consistency. I'm going to use that round brush again. I'm going to start painting in with nice flat strokes. You wanna make sure that the edges of the paint are all smooth flat. So make sure you use your brush to go over it a couple of times so that there are no edges so you don't get it like ridges on the end of where your brush went through. Now that we pulled it up, you can see both sides of the pineapple. Now you can see it's a little asymmetrical, which is totally fine. I'm going to just adjust mine a little bit by bringing up the curve on this side because I can see it's a little lower. But otherwise I love that nice clean line in the middle. All thanks to masking. Okay, next we're going to paint the second largest shape, which are the leaves. For that, I'm going to use an olive green because it is more in the yellow tone side of the family. Maybe a little of the linden green, which is also on the more yellow tones side of the family. I wanted to have a little more harmony. And to create color harmonies, you want to use colors that have similar undertones. So for painting with green, I'm taking a clean brush. Again, just loosening that texture straight from the tube. And I'm going to add it to the linden green. One of the tricks of using gouache is also adding darker colors to lighter colors because you'll see the adjustment happens so much faster. Whereas if you're adding lighter colors to darker colors is going to take a lot more light color to lighten up that dark color. I like this color. I like the consistency. I'm going to just start jamming on it. Now again, what I said about you can rotate your canvas or the piece that you're working on, the paper you're working on. So that it's easier for you to pull down. Which is more natural and control for your arm. You're pushing up. It's harder to get a smooth, curved edge. This is important in graphic illustration because you want those nice clean lines and edges. Don't worry if your hand is shaking in the beginning. With more practice, you'll get a steady your hand. Alright, so one coat of the green will do for the leaves. Now what we're gonna do next is we're going to let the leaves dry. We're going to add in the details of the skin on the pineapple. Do that. We're going to take a smaller round brush. And I'm going to squeeze out some burnt sienna, which is a warmer toned brown, and some burnt umber, which is a cooler tone brown to get a little more neutral brown. Also going to add a touch of white. Overall, lighten it up. Okay. To do those criss-crosses, you'll either reference your sketch from before or you can just eyeball it, which is what I'm gonna do. And again, I'm just pulling straight down. And I like that there's a little thick and thin texture. That's just for me, if you want it totally even, feel free to go over it again until you get a very smooth, flat line like you'd like. Add a touch more water. Brown is a bit dry and you can see because it's picking up that dry brush. Okay. And now that I have the lines painted in, I'm going to paint in the little triangles. Okay. Now, now that the leaves are dry, I'm going to add a little dry brushing, which is a painting technique that can help create a little bit of texture and also dimension without making it look like too rendered of a painting. I'm going to take that olive green, which actually is pretty wet. And then I'm going to take off a lot of that paint on my paper towel. And then, and then you'll see you get this nice dry brush texture where you can see the texture of the paper come through. This is where using cold press is nice. Because you can have that texture of the paper work with the texture of your dry brush. I'm going to use a little bit of dry brushing here just at the roots of each leaf to give a sense of dimension that they're coming closer together. You can see that in your reference images. I'm doing it just on the bottoms of the leaves, the bottom curve of the leaves to give more of a sense of dimension and texture. All right, We're almost done. We're just going to add a couple more details and then some sparkle passes, as I like to call it. I'm going to take this green that I used for the leaves and a little bit of the white to make a lighter green. I'm actually going to just add a little dab on the tip of each triangle. Just to add a little bit more dimension and detail that's reflected from the organic shape of the pineapple. I might actually go in and take straight white out of the tube. So when you're doing this sparkle pass at the end, you want to use paint that is like the texture of butter where it's thicker so that you get that nice opaque touch. Also, once the white has some color in it, you just have to use white paint straight from the tube. And now I'm going to take that straight white and add another dot on top of that lighter green to really make it pop and sparkle. And I might do some on the leaves to dry brush. A little sparkle. There we have it. Our first tropical fruit is done. Join me in the next video where we're going to learn about color and painting citrus. 7. Design Element 2: Color: In this lesson, we're going to learn about another key element of design in graphic illustration. Limited color palettes. By limiting your colors to just three, you create more stylized and sophisticated palettes. This is an opportunity to set your brand apart or create a collection around a set theme of colors. Even though you're limited to three colors, you can use all shades and values of that hue. For the sketch, which I did a rough one here, you're going to use the elements of design that you learned about in the last lesson. Shapes and lines. You can use the bottom of glass or the cap of a candle to help you draw round shapes. So I'm going to just use this to help me assist drawing some of my citrus slices. I'm drawing lightly so that it'll be easy to erase away the parts that I don't want. I'll even use the bottom of my tea mug to help me draw a circle, whatever works for you. Having a rough sketch helps me remember what my final sketch should look like as I refine it. Now that I have all my curves in place, I'm going to put in some straights. I'm going to use those geometric elements of design of triangles, squares and circles to continue help designing the rest and simplifying the rest of this design. For the orange slices inside, I'm going to use triangles. Then I'm going to add some leaves on this side. Fun to add some more dimension and playful details. Now that we're done with our sketch, we're gonna do a little color study. A color study is just a tiny thumbnail version of your sketch that you paint with the colors that you want to paint your piece. And that way you can kind of explore and see if all those colors are going to work together before you go into the full painting for this piece. I'm gonna do a grapefruit, orange and lemon. So I'm going to use orange, pink, and yellow. I'm squeezing out a good amount of paint for each color. Since we're using the warmer tones, I'm only using the flame red and not the Alizarin. And for yellow, I'm going to use the brilliant yellow, but because it's a lemon, I want to use more of a neutral yellow. So I'm going to use both the warm toned and the cool toned yellow to get the color for the lemons. Alright. And then we're definitely going to need white. So first I'm going to mix up my pink for my grapefruit by adding red to white. So what I'm gonna do is probably do this little color thumbnail. I'm going to paint in the pink there. And then I'm gonna do the orange, which will probably be a pretty orange straight out of the tube. And the second one is also orange straight out of the tube. We're going to do that yellow, we're gonna it mix that neutral yellow. That's gonna be the lemon here. And then this slice here. Good to me. Then I'm going to take this brilliant green, which is a more warm toned green. I'm just going to indicate the little leaves on the side. That's my little rough color study. So I think the green is actually too light, which is good to know because I learned that doing this study. So I'm going to add a permanent green deep. It's a little darker. I'm gonna try that one instead. And that feels better and more balanced to me. Because it's darker, The brighter colors in the middle are more contrasted, and it makes everything pop more. Now that we've done my color study, I'm going to move on to painting the full piece. So meet me in the next lesson to get started. 8. Painting Citrus: In this lesson, we're going to practice painting with gouache and mastering our limited color palettes. We're going to start the same way we started the other piece by painting in our largest shapes. So I'm going to mix more of that pink I had for my grapefruit. I'm going to add a touch of orange. Just get a lovely peachy pink for this grapefruit. And now what I'm gonna do is paint the inside triangles and the outside rind. But I'm going to leave that white pith part of the citrus free and just the white of the paper, which is a more modern approach to painting with gouache. Make sure you're getting that consistency of heavy cream. Right now I'm using a number six round brush, which is good for using the fine tip to get into the little more detailed parts. And then you can lay it down broadly and spread it out to get more coverage when you're painting. It's an overall very versatile brush. If you make mistakes while you're painting where the edge is not as clean as you'd like. Don't worry. You can always go back with white gouache to clean it up, which will do at the end of this painting. I'm painting over it a second coat to get it totally opaque again. You can't see the blue pencil marks underneath. Okay, now that we're done with the grapefruit, let's move on to the orange, which is the second largest object. So for this orange, I'm actually going to lighten the orange a little bit by adding a touch of white. Okay, so I'm going to use this darker orange right now to paint the outer peel, which is this part, and then also the outer rind here. Another tip for painting curves smoothly is to rest your wrist on the paper and then just move your wrist. Rotate your wrist down while you're holding the brush. The angle of your wrists creates a nice smooth curve as well. Then I'm going to do that again here. I'm going to anchor my wrist on the paper. And then just rotate my wrist to get a nice circle. You can choose to mask this off like we did in the last class if you'd like. But I'm not going to at this time because it's a smaller portion and I feel like I can handle that. Again. You want to go back and smooth all the ridges so you don't have unwanted texture. You want everything to lay perfectly flat and smooth. Alright, now I'm going to mix a lighter orange over here for the inside orange slices because they tend to be a little bit lighter inside. I make sure I have enough so I'm going to take more orange, more white to create that color. I'm going to swatch it over here because remember, colors sometimes dry darker, and then dark colors sometimes dry lighter, but this is a lighter color, so it's going to tend to dry a little darker. I don't want it to look too close to that peachy pink though, which it kinda looks like here. So I'm going to add a little more orange. When you're choosing colors for your composition. You want to make sure you're creating enough contrast between colors in order to, for things that you want to pop the pop or to look different because I don't want the orange look too much like the grapefruit. I want to make sure that my orange really reads as a rich orange. You can always rotate your palette so that it's closer to you. You just want to work smarter, not harder. Okay. I'm going to finish up the lemons by mixing up a bunch of that yellow. When you drip on your painting, don't worry about it. It's gouache so it's opaque. You can pick it up with a clean brush. And then we'll paint over it again with the grapefruit color once it's dry. So what I'm gonna do is paint the rind yellow and then the full lemon. This deeper yellow. Gouache really works well for graphic illustration styles because it is so flat and opaque. So when you're painting, you can get really clean edges. I'm going to mix up a much lighter yellow for the interior slices. Now I'm gonna go back for a second coat on that yellow of the lemon because you can see the pencil lines still coming through. I'm using a flat brush this time to get more smooth paint coverage. I'm going to let that yellow dry while I go back over the grapefruit slices. And look! It's like the yellow never dripped there at all. Okay, now let we got it mostly painted in, we're going to wait for it to dry so that we can clean up some edges. Then you're gonna take your Tuff Stick eraser, which has the smaller tip, and go in and erase away all the pencil lines you can see on the white paper. Then we're going to take a clean brush. A double 00 is good because it's really tiny and detailed. And we're gonna take that white. I just want a touch of water. We're going to go back in and clean up some lines. The slices got too big over here, but it's no problem. Just use your white gouache. I'm rounding off the edges of the triangles just so it looks a little bit more like the fruit which has this center in the middle that looks like a star or a bloom. And then for the lemon, because I didn't paint slices, I'm going to draw in those straight lines with the white gouache to indicate the slices. White gouache is your best friend for cleaning up the edges. I'm rotating the canvas so it's easier for me to reach the orange up here without having to put my palm or hand into all the other painted parts. I love getting into flow while I'm painting. It's just one of the best feelings in the world. I really think that painting is a form of self-care because it's one of the few things that you can do that puts you into a state of flow, which is a state of deep relaxation where you're just totally focused and present in what you're doing. I think we could use more flow in our lives these days. It's all getting into a good point. So I'm going to continue painting in more of the smaller details, which includes the leaves. I had this darker green which I liked for the leaves, what I wanted to add just a touch of that lighter green. I'm going to test the color over here. It looks great. Then I'm going to paint in all the little leaves. I'm using a round brush again because I liked that it can give me that detail to do the edges, the flexibility to do these curved edges easily. All right. Now I'm going to use dry brushing to add in the textures and shadows of the piece. For the lemon, I'm going to add in a little yellow ochre. Using my angled flat brush and mix in some of that yellow a little bit at a time since it's dark already. Then I'm going to swatch it over here to see how dark it is and that looks perfect. I'm going to dab it on my paper towel so that I have a dry brush. And then I'm gonna go in there and paint in that bottom curve of that lemon to give it a little bit of dimension. And I might add a touch right here. Where this lemon rind is behind the lemon in the front. I'm gonna do the same with the orange. I'm going to use some fresh orange that straight out of the two. Then I'm going to add a touch of that red to get that darker orange color, but without sacrificing the saturation of that beautiful hue. Again, I'm swatching it here. I can see it's really lovely. So I'm going to wipe off the paint on my paper towel and then go in and dry brush that edge, that curve in. The thing I like about dry brush is that it's very light. So you can add more and more to build it up. Adding some shadow here as well, just a touch. Great. So now we've added texture and dry brush to our citrus fruits. I'm going to add a touch to the leaves. I'm using olive green to mix a darker shade. Swatch it here. It looks nice and dark. Dry brush some of that. Just at the root of the leaves where it would connect to the stems because that's where it would be darker. I love that you can use it straight and create more of a thin line. And you can also use it on the side to create a broader line. Okay, so for the last touch, I'm going to add all the sparkle pass details. And so for that, I'm going to add a touch of white into all the little slices. So it looks nice and juicy. We're using those dot elements, which are like little circles to create the impression of the juice and the pulp. That's another simplifying your design into graphic shapes. I'm going to add just a couple more here. And then I'm going to wipe off some of the white paint so I can get a dry brush and get the top of the lemon. And a couple of more sparkles to get that shiny lemon. And then we're going to not forget the leaves and go in with a brighter green. I want this contrast to be much more subtle than the white on the oranges. And so I'm gonna go in with that green that's lighter, but it's not white. I didn't even add white. To do some of the leaf details. Maybe I'll add a touch of white into that green. There we go. We have our citrus design with a limited color palette. So I can't wait to show the last design element with you in the next lesson. Join me there. 9. Design Element 3: Space: In this last lesson, we're going to discuss the importance of space in your composition. What you don't paint and draw is just as important as what you do. Making use of space in your design will help guide the viewer's eye around your piece as you intend. Positive space is the space your subject matter takes up. Negative space is the space around or inside your object that you don't paint. We're going to draw our last subject, which is my favorite fruit, dragon fruit. If you haven't had it before, I encourage you to try it. It's like a nice blend between a kiwi and a pear. Once again, we'll pull up lots of references. See how the dragon fruit is a nice rounded shape, like a long oval with a wider bottom. Do that as the fruit. And then I'm going to add the spiky leaves, but I'm going to stylize them a bit. I'm making the top leaf spiky part that comes off the fruit a little symmetrical. And then I'm going to present the other half of the dragon fruit as the inside flesh. Now this I wanted to offset because design is difference. And creating this offset is more interesting for the eye than if they were right next to each other. And so it's gonna be offset and a little bit behind what I'm going to have as the outside of the fruit. And also the inside. I'm going to draw just the edge where you can see the skin. And again, the leafy top. So there you have it. Now the outside of the, now the outside of the dragon fruit also has these little kind of triangular spines. And so I'm going to draw a triangle, but instead of a flat bottom, I'm also going to have that point up. So it's almost like a little arrow. And then you'll notice, I'm kind of mimicking the pattern of what it looks like on the fruit. Then the inside, I'm just going to leave blank. This is my negative space. And we don't need to draw the seeds. We can do that with our brush later. Okay, so now I've drawn the dragon fruit. We're gonna move on to painting it in the next video, I'll see you there. 10. Painting a Dragon Fruit: In this video, we're going to paint our dragon fruit using a limited color palette and examining the negative shapes. Using the same tools we learned from our last lessons, I'm going to tape off half of this dragon fruit. I can paint one pink and the other a darker pink to create a sense of shadow. So I'm going to use my opera pink for this beautiful dragon fruit exterior. Going to add some white. So some colors tend to be more transparent, like pinks and yellows straight out of the tube. So what I like to do is add a bit of this permanent white to give it a bit more body and a bit more opaque texture. Just a touch. Alright. Swatch it a little thick, going to add a drop of water. And here we all are going to do that first layer. One of the things I love about dragon fruit is how beautiful that exterior hot pink can be or interior depending on which variety you get. Peel up that paper. There's a little bit where it went into the overlap. Don't worry about it. Not a big deal. I'm going to use some more tape because this tape means a refresher. Okay. Then I'm gonna go back in, use more of that straight opera pink. And a touch of alizarin crimson because that's a cooler red. And this opera pink is a cooler pink. Remember, cooler means more blue toned. I'm going to add a touch of water. There we go. You can tell it's dry when it goes from shiny to matte. I'm going to go back and touch up a couple of little points on this side and then we're good. Alright. Now I'm going to take the darker pink that I mixed up and paint the exterior skin of the dragon fruit. But we're looking at the interior flush now. The inside is white and I'm just going to leave it the white of the paper. That's maximizing our use of negative space, baby. I'm using the darker pink here because it's like the darker shadow color, which then shows that that piece of fruit is behind the other piece of fruit that's up left. Okay, now what I'm gonna do here is add green for the little leaf spikes on the plant. And I'm going to use that linden green again and some olive green, just a little bit. So we're going to take that linden green, add a touch of the olive green. One drop of water to get more of a heavy cream consistency. I'm going to paint it in. So the way these leaves attached to the dragon fruit, it's more like it's a part of a fruit than separate. Like say in the way citrus leaves are. So what I'm gonna do is try and create a blend between the pink and the green using dry brushing so that it looks like it does in life where it's attached. Like it's part of the whole body of the fruit. I'm also going to add a little bit more, just that like bright, lighter green on top. And I'm gonna do this while the green is still somewhat wet, just so it blends a little easier. See how it blends smoothly versus a dry brush where you can see it more on top. It's a really subtle. When you're doing wet on wet blending, you're gonna get more of that smooth rendered effect. Okay, now I'm gonna go back with my pink. And this time I'm not going to add water because I want that dry brush effect. I'm going to dry brush up into the green a little bit. So now we're not trying to create a smooth gradient, we're just trying to create like a visual gradient and that just gives it a little more texture and play. I like that green texture more than a smooth texture. Sometimes I think the contrast of having that smooth green on top. And then there's more contrast-y pink to blend just feels like a nice design difference. That not everything is like. Same, same. So it's not like a perfectly blended gradient, but it's a visual gradient which is nice. Okay. Now you're gonna go back with another brush. Nice clean brush. We're going to pick up more of this light green. And actually I'm going to add some permanent white to it to again, bulk up that texture. Like we did with the pink. What we're doing here is adding in those little arrow points. Again, in simplifying this shape from what it is as the fruit. Just for the sake of creating a more designed and graphic illustration. This is a symbol of a dragon fruit and not an exact medical illustration of it. Let's say. Alright. Now that we've done that, I want to add a little bit of shadow underneath the arrows and that's just like as simple as a little darker green line. Again, to give that little bit of a contrast and dimension, the details are really nice to draw that out. So again, you'll see that we've simplified this dragon fruit into a graphic illustration by simplifying the shape into an oval, triangles, lines, and curves. It's easy as that. Now we're gonna do our finishing touch, which is to add all the little dots that are inside the dragon fruit. So we're going to take black. However, we're gonna do two different shades of black. We're going to do like a lighter gray block. We're gonna take our fine point double 0 brush and go in and do the dot work that's like the inside of a dragon fruit. The dots vary in shape and size, and so you can play around with that. The key to making it look more realistic is that they are not evenly spread out like polka dots. It's not a pattern like that. They're more in like little clusters. And it looks more random than a polka dot pattern. Okay, then you'll take that black, which I added a touch of the gray to so it's not like the darkest black. If it was super, just the darkest black, you could do that too. It might be too much contrast. And the eye would just keep going to that because it's black and white. But you do want to make sure there's a little bit of difference enough that you can see that there are two shades of the black seeds. That gives it again that more dimension like seeds that are a little further back in the flesh would be a lighter color. And the ones that are more at the top would be a darker color. Alright, there you have it, a dragon fruit. Meet me in the next video for our finishing touches and preparing it for scanning. 11. Finishing Touches: We're almost there. We finished three graphic illustration paintings. And now we're just going to put on the finishing touches. The first thing is to make sure your pains are completely dry. You can wait a day or you can blast it with your blow dryer to make extra sure. Once you're sure everything is totally dry, go back in with your eraser and erase any stray marks. I like the big rubber eraser for anything larger. And of course I like my little Tuff Stick eraser and for all the spaces in between. Second, one of the most important parts of being an artist is signing your work. Always have a more legible signature so that when other people are looking at your work, it's easy to read and they can find you. I like to use a graphite pencil to sign because graphite is actually archival, whereas many inks are not. Sometimes you might even want to date it so you can look back and acknowledge your progress. Finally, one of the best parts of being an artist, sharing your work! Go ahead and scan or take a photo of your painting and then upload your painting to the student gallery. Do this by going to the projects and resources tab under this class and then click on the green button on the right that says Create Project. Once you're there, you'll have the option to upload a cover photo, add a title and a description if you'd like. I'd love to hear about your process, learnings, and which painting you enjoy the most in the class. Once your projects are uploaded, it will be live in the student project gallery where you can see each other's paintings from the class. I encourage you to like and give feedback on each other's work as well. There's nothing like fostering and support of our community to help keep you inspired and motivated. Meet me in the next video to wrap things up. 12. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for joining me in this gouache painting class that's an introduction to graphic illustration. In this class, we went over three elements of design to use when you're creating a graphic illustration: shape, color, and space. Tips for painting with gouache to get the effect you're looking for, including the perfect consistency for each type of brush stroke. And how to create illustrations that feel modern and vintage at the same time, creating your own unique style. I hope that you'll incorporate the lessons that you learned in this class into your own art practice. If you'd like to learn more about painting with color in your art. Take my Painting with Gouache: Introduction to Color Theory class, where we practice with butterflies to explore different types of palettes. For more gouache practice, I recommend my Painting Flowers in Gouache: Making a Floral Greeting Card class, where we explored florals and make a practical gift. You may find these classes and more by clicking my name and scrolling down my profile. Make sure to click Follow button this video too, so that you're always be the first to know when I have a new class up. I also send out special messages to my followers which include inspiration, announcements, and gifts just for you. If you enjoyed this class today, please leave a review. I read each and every single one of them and appreciate them so much. These classes take a lot of work to produce and your kind words keep me going. If you share your work on Instagram, please tag me at anndanger or using the hashtag, #ArtwithAnnDanger so that I can see your work and share it to my Stories to get more eyes on your work. Say hi Dolly! Thank you so much for joining me in this class. Until next time, keep painting!