Illustration Techniques: Paint every day objects in gouache | Julia Bausenhardt | Skillshare

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Illustration Techniques: Paint every day objects in gouache

teacher avatar Julia Bausenhardt, Nature Sketching & Illustration

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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.

      Choosing and mixing colors


    • 5.

      Painting cups


    • 6.

      Painting kitchen utensils


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class, I’m going to show you how to paint objects like kitchen utensils, cups, or just every day things you might have at home, and how to paint them in a simple and fresh way.
We’ll take a look at some basics for choosing a color palette, mixing your own pastel tones, how to combine colors, and how to put single objects together into a composition. We’re also taking a look at decorative elements and adding visual interest to your objects.

I’m going to work with gouache paints in this class, but feel free to join if you usually use watercolors. :-)

Meet Your Teacher

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Julia Bausenhardt

Nature Sketching & Illustration

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Hey, I'm Julia! I'm an illustrator & field sketcher from Germany.

I've been passionate about the natural world all my life, and I'm dedicated to connect art and nature in my work. With my work I want to increase awareness for the natural world we live in and its fascinating fauna and flora. I share my sketching adventures regularly on my blog.

I work mostly in traditional techniques like watercolor, gouache or ink and I love field sketching and nature journaling.

Showing people how they can discover and connect to nature through making art is an important part of what I do - that's why I teach here on Skillshare. Drawing and painting are excellent ways to learn more about nature. I want to help people deepen their connection to na... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello, and welcome to this class about painting everyday objects with gouache. I'm Julia an illustrator, designer from Germany. Thank you so much for joining me. In this class, I'm going to show you how to paint everyday objects, like kitchen utensils, cups, or just things you might have in your shelf and how to paint them in a simple and fresh way. We'll take a look at some basics for choosing a color palette, mixing your own pastel tones, how to combine colors, and how to put single objects together in a composition. We're also taking a look at decorative elements and adding visual interest to your objects. I'm going to work with gouache paints in this class, but feel free to join if you usually use watercolors or critics. We'll do a warm-up exercise and then paint some fun kitchen utensils. You can use whatever you have at home as a reference. At the end, you'll have a lovely illustration of your individual everyday objects. I hope you'll join me in this class about painting everyday objects in gouache. Let's get started. 2. Tools: Let's talk a little bit about the materials that you will need for this class. I do my demonstrations with wash paints, so that's what I'm going to use. It usually comes in these little cubes. If you don't have gouache, then it's fine to use watercolor or acrylics. You're going to need something for mixing, so if you have a pen set, then you can use the mixing palette or any other kind of palette. I will show you later how to mix pastel tones from these tube paints. For mixing these other pastel tones, you will need some whites. This gouache white comes either in a tube or in these containers. Just one or two brushes will be fine. I use Size 4 brush for the regular painting work, and then I also have a smaller brush for the details. Then you will need some paper. Irregular sketchbook that suitable for watercolor is fine. So just take what you have. You could also use these loose paper. Just make sure that it's watercolor paper and that it can take a little bit of water without back links, so if you have that, then you should be fine. Now that we have all materials, let's get started. 3. Examples: I just wanted to show you few examples of the exercises that we're going to do in this class. As you can see, this is a page full of different tea cups with decoration, and I think this a grade warm-up exercise. In fact, we're going to do this in a few minutes. You can see that these tea cups just have really very basic simple shapes. The decoration is applied in different colors and just experimentation with different effects that you can achieve. I do have another example of these cups here, and you can see I mainly just used really two colors, blues and reds. I tried to experiment a little bit with the different hues that are in these color families, and I kept the details to mainly white paint. This a beautiful exercise to do and you can see that this is quite diverse. Then here we have different items, different motives that mainly, I don't know, this was just on a weekend and what was around me, some food items and other set of cups, and some kitchen items, and I thought this was just a loose tumble to get warmed up and yeah, just some pleasant painting. Then here we have a shelf scene. This is what you could turn these exercises into. We have a few lines indicating a shelf, and as you can see, these are kitchen items and I arrange them into a really nice shelf scene. That is what could be your end project, if you wanted to do in an organized fashion. Here we have another shelf scene, you can see that you can do different arrangements for these scenes. You will notice with all of these scenes that I, that they're really colorful and really diverse, but I also tried to limit myself to a certain color palette and a lot of these work with pastel tones. Turn down colors that are really a little bit more on the pastel side. I tried to limit myself in the example of this one I really just used to, or if you want to count wide three colors. All of these mainly use just 6-8 colors. That's what we're going to do as a next step to really work with the color palette and find out what makes up a good color palette and then stick to it for the rest of your paintings. That's our next step. 4. Choosing and mixing colors: I wanted to talk a little bit more about how I choose my color palette and it's usually best to limit yourself to a number of colors. In my case, I've chosen seven colors. Usually it's best to stick to six to eight colors at the most, you can get away with less. You saw in my example of the tea cups that I only used really two colors in there, and we won't count white as a real color in this example. If I added white, then I would have eight colors and that's already a lot. You can definitely use less if you're just starting out. Let's have a look at this. I decided that I do want a basic blue, red, and yellow. Then I do have two different types of green and you wouldn't even need two different ones, I'm not quite sure if I will use these at all. Then I do have my white that I'm going to need for mixing and for achieving these pastel tones and then I have a gold ocher, which is a light brownish tone. I'm not sure if I'm going to use this Prussian blue with it, which is a dark blue. But for contrast and details it might be cool to have a contrast tone. The way that I would do this, and sometimes I use these little swatches to remind myself what the actual color looks like, I would just sample each one of these on my palette. You don't need a lot of paint with these wash tubes they usually come in a very concentrated quality, so sometimes they're a little bit difficult to open. I would just put a little bit of paint onto the palette and sometimes you get these dry bits which you can take off. For such a small format like this sketch book format, you don't need a lot of paints. For these little containers, I do have the spatula. You could stir it before you take out the paint. Now, I'm just going to use very little of this. Actually, I need to clean this off now before I can take the next tint of paint, and the paint in these containers is actually a Russian brand which I've been testing for a while now and it's fairly good quality.. Now we have our white. Be sure your spatula or your brush is really clean before you take this out. I'm going just to take a really, maybe not that much, but a really big blot of white into the middle so I can mix all my other paints with this white, and combine it to different tones and you can always get more later if you need to. Now, I'm going to add some water. You can see that this is a beautiful light blue here. If I wanted, let's say I want to have a more pastelly tone, I would just add white. You will see that this is almost a white color at the moment but as you might remember, gouache always dries a little bit darker. I'm just going to make color swatch with this and you can see on the white paper, it already looks a little bit like a darker hue. If this has dried, we will know the exact color that it will have. I'm just going to add the regular, I think this is cerulean blue. I'm going to add the regular cerulean blue to this and while we're at the blues, I will add this Prussian blue, and just by having two different kinds of blue paints, you already have a beautiful contrast between these three colors. Another thing that I could do is add a little bit of white to my Prussian blue and you can see this will be a different kind of pastel blue. It's actually really nice and just like this, you have four new colors. You can do this for the rest of these, let's see what this cadmium red can do. I'm just going to continue like this and then I'll add a little bit of white to this red and you'll get a lovely pinkish tone. If you turn this down even further, you can experiment with this. Also our yellow, it's a lemon yellow, and if you just add bit of white then you'll have a lovely pastel. You can always adapt these, that's what these flat palettes are great for. The very limited palette that I have here makes me think of summer and ice cream, and all things flowing and light. This is the great thing about choosing your own palette, you can work with themes or feelings, and then think of the colors you would associate with these, and then work your way through the paints. I will add a little bit of this ocher, and I think this will work great with the blues, just a little bit of white, so we can find out what this does to the ocher. I think that's another beautiful pastel. You can of course add some contrast, just going to add this dark green to the mix and you can see this really pops out. I think this is already a great palette, I'm not sure if I should add this light green at all. I'm just going to let it sit for now and you can always activate it by adding a little bit of water if it has dried. I think this palette is quite cool and I'm going to work with this for now. One thing I wanted to show you is that when you work with watercolor pen sets, then you would do this a little bit differently because you don't have these tubes to squeeze out the paint onto a palette. You would take a little bit of the color that you want to have, let's say this beautiful lemon yellow, and I don't have a clean space on my palette here, but let's just imagine that you put down your lemon in this place, and then I already have this white. Then you would just add your white, and you can see that you don't really need a lot of paint to make a pastel turn out of this, so that way you could use your watercolor pen set to achieve these beautiful pastel effects. One thing is, just don't put your brush into the white and then back into the pen because that will really just make the pen look not very nice. With a clean brush for the next color, which is this beautiful orange and we really didn't have anything like this in the other palette, but I'll just demonstrate. You have this beautiful orange here, and then I'm going to add a fairly large bit of white, and I'm going to add a sample of this. You can see this is similar to the gold ocher pastel that we did earlier. Just going to show you a little bit of the original and you can see that when you use watercolor paints like these, when they're really almost more paint than water, then they can be really opaque. They're not in this traditional watercolor effect where you would have these flowing paints together. Just wanted to show you how to work with your watercolor pen set to achieve a similar effect and of course, if you would use a red like this here, and you can already see that my brush has some white pigments left so it's a little bit spoiled at this phase. But I will clean it later and then you will get this really nice pastel pink, maybe it's still a little bit too dark because as you can remember, this will dry a little bit darker but you can fix this if you want to work with this later. So just like this, you have beautiful set of colors and a finished palette that you can work with. 5. Painting cups: Our first exercise will be the tea cups. I've decided that it might be nice to work with a color palette exclusively, and just lay down the colors that we sampled earlier. These basic colors, each of them has a torn down version, as a pasta version, and just to lay down these basic colors in these tea cup shapes, and to get a really good grasp of how colors can work together as a finished palette. I'm just starting with the simple shapes and don't ever think that you can use some reference from your own shelves. You could just go with the shapes that I paint here, and I'm going to add a handle to this. Since we need to let each shape dry, I will simply continue with the next one before I add any details. Don't think too much about this just go with a color that you think might work beautifully, and think a little bit about contrasts, and about placing these different plops of color so that they make the page look balanced. Not all blue items in one space and all the others in another place. Also, think about the handle, I just saw that I forgot the handle for this one, so I'll need to add that later. Don't make them all go onto the same direction. You can also vary the size of your cups a little bit. That will make for a nice page two, if you have all of your cups look differently. When I paint these I always like to imagine what kind of beverage I would drink out of them. I'm mainly a tea drinker, so I always fantasize about the different blends of tea that I would serve with these cups. But I don't think I would drink tea out of such a small cup like this one here. This may be more like an espresso cup. You can see I usually make an outline first, and then fill it with paint. If you're using watercolor for this exercise, then you might want to lay down a water reshape first and then just let the color flow into this. This won't work as well with wash because wash paint doesn't flow as nicely as the watercolor paint pigments do. Essentially, they are the same pigments, but you have the chalk additive in and wash that what makes it react a little bit differently to water and to the paper. I don't think that these handles need to be realistic, just make them look nice. Of course, I'd absolutely want to have all of these cups in my cupboard. I think I don't have a yellow one yet, so that would be a great addition. Now, I'm going to add details and I'll switch to my smaller brush now. You have basically two possibilities here, you could either use some quash white, like I showed in one of my other classes where you can add white details on top of your motives. You can see how I did that with these cups, or you could use the colors from your palate to add to a second layer on top. I think I'm going to do this, and I also have white on my palette, just a big plop of white paint so I can add this if I feel that I want to have some exclusive white. As for the kind of decoration you want to add, it's really up to you. You can google a little bit to find some inspiration or have a look at some fork out. You could really just add any small little dots, or lines, or flowers shapes, or geometric shapes. I usually don't think too much beforehand what I want this decoration to look like, I just go with the flow and that's usually working out pretty well. Floral shapes are always great, and even if you just want to add little dots or lines, that's great too. You can notice that there a little bit inconsistent because this one has five petals, so to speak, and these only are four. I don't think that's too important. It's just about adding a little bit of interest to your cup shapes. You can try to keep your elements in one color family. I painted this with the pesto version of this yellow ocher, and now I'm taking the original darker color to add the details. I think that will work very nicely. You don't actually have to use that many colors to add a grade effect to your cups. You can see that it's important to have a little bit of contrast in your pellet. If you would only have very dark or bright tones, then it would all look the same and you wouldn't be able to add these interesting contrasts and different elements to your items. Now as for this yellow cap, I don't think the bright yellow, the pesto yellow that I have here has enough of a punch to really make a difference. I think I might just go with this dark blue, which is almost a complimentary color contrast. If you don't feel comfortable with these small brushes, then you could also try to add details with a gel pen. But I find that I usually prefer these brushes because they give you the ability to really use the color palette that you've chosen and that makes the page look a little bit more coherent. When adding light paint on dark elements, you always have to be a little bit careful because you will activate the layer below when you add a new layer of paint. At some point, this light pink will get a little bit of a greenish tint if I don't pay attention. You can already see this in my payload where I dab into the pink that the brush had a little bit of green in it. That's just the way that these wash paints are working. Actually this cup is now a little bit creepy, but I'm just going to leave. It the eye carpets, it's all right. I think we're finished. I could add another layer to all of these, but I think I'm going to leave it at that. It's a great exercise. I love to see a page of your cups. Yeah, please share your results in the project Gallery before we go on to our next exercise. 6. Painting kitchen utensils: The next exercise is going to be centered around kitchen utensils, and just think of any items that you might find in your kitchen or in coupled and shelves and just little everyday objects that you would find around your home fine and yeah, feel free to use these as a reference. I've decided that I want to have a square format. So I've indicated this with too faint pencil lines and I'm going to use the same color palette that we used earlier with for the tea cups. So I've already shown you a few possible items or motives that you could paint and yeah, it's really up to you. I'd love to see what you have lying around your home in your kitchen and so that's going to depend on what you find and what you like to draw. Not everything does have to be absolutely realistic. I would love to have such a teapot like this, but unfortunately, I only have a teapot like this. So sometimes you can take a little bit of artistic freedom and just make things up that you think look cute. So let's get started. One thing that he can find in every kitchen. These ones. I'm not going to talk through the whole exercise, just a few words about color choices and it's mainly everything applies like it did in the last exercise. Try to find a nice balance between colors and how to arrange different objects on the page, and don't add large blobs of color in one area and keep them out in other areas. So make sure you have everything nice and balanced. Yeah, apart from that, try to experiment with different shapes. You might need some kind more neutrals in this because for some items you may want to simulate steel or metal use and for that, it's good to have an additional black that you can mix with white so you can get these gray or neutral terms into your painting. Apart from that, just really have a look around. What can you find in your kitchen that might be worth drawing or have an interesting shape could also draw fruit or vegetables and that's actually a great idea for a whole painting on its own, I think. Could make a whole page with only fruits or vegetables. When you refer to real objects, it's always a good thing to think about the most simple shapes that you can break these down into. So for example, with this kitchen scale, actually a lot more complicated and it has a lot more moving parts. But I've decided to keep it nice and simple so that everyone will still see what this is, what kind of an object this is. But that's not too complicated or too realistic. That's not what we're aiming for here and just keep that in mind when you start painting. I think I filled my page, and I quite like how this turned out. You can notice that the gray added a lovely component to the color palette overall and I quite like the composition. You can see that I have used the darker colors like the red and the blue very sparingly. This gives it a very bright and very cute look overall, and I'd really like to see what you come up with for this excess highs. Please share your results in the project gallery. I'm very looking forward to seeing everyone's kitchen utensils. 7. Final Thoughts: I hope you've enjoyed this class about painting everyday objects. I think it's a really fun exercise to look around your home and take a closer look at the things that you use every day and arrange them in your painting. You can collect and observe the objects and paint them as they are or it could also be an imagination exercise as you paint the items that you wish you had or a collection you'd like to have in your house. I know I've painted a few scenes like that, and it's always a lot of fun. Making a decision about a color palette before you start painting can help you to create stronger illustrations and develop your style as an artist. By creating a color palette, you will learn which color combinations you're drawn to and what works best for you and for your style. I'd really love to see all of your teacup collections and assorted kitchen utensils, so please take the time and share what you've created in the project gallery. I'm so excited when I see someone sharing their work, so I'm looking forward to this part. This class has so many possibilities. Thank you so much for taking this class with me. I hope I'll see you in the classroom and I hope you'll have a fabulous day. Bye.