Sketchbook Playlist: Draw A Jar of Pickles in Mixed Media | Esther Nariyoshi | Skillshare

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Sketchbook Playlist: Draw A Jar of Pickles in Mixed Media

teacher avatar Esther Nariyoshi, Published Illustrator based in the US

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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.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Finding Inspiration And Beginner Hacks


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Adding Colors


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Final thoughts


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About This Class

Get better at drawing with fun sketchbook exercises with the Sketchbook Playlist series

Like how athletes get better by practicing muscle memory and language learners get better by speaking more, art is learnableRegular sketchbook practice is one of the best ways to improve your artistic skills!

Drawing can feel very daunting for (even) experts and beginners alike. Drawing relatable topics with simple techniques can make the process much more enjoyable. This Sketchbook Series is designed for any experience level. Each class tackles one single topic/theme, so it's perfect for 1 drawing session. 

Esther Nariyoshi is an experienced Skillshare Top Teacher with over 30k students and 1 million minutes watched. Her classes are known to be approachable and easy to follow.

What can you expect from this class?

  • Explore basic mixed media materials like markers, crayons, ink pens, etc
  • Discover how to keep the visual reference manageable and less overwhelming
  • Layering techniques using different mediums
  • And some very relaxed time making art, of course!


Connect with Esther:  Shop Esther's Handcrafted Procreate Brushes | Portfolio | Instagram 

Follow Esther on Skillshare for her new upcoming classes on Illustration.

Looking for more relaxing creative exercises? Look no further

Meet Your Teacher

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Esther Nariyoshi

Published Illustrator based in the US

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Level: Beginner

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1. Class Introduction: [MUSIC] Hi, my name is Esther Nariyoshi. I am a US based illustrator and a top teacher here on Skillshare. This class is part of a quick and easy series called a Sketchbook Playlist. Where we explore beginner friendly drawing topics and techniques in short classes. This serie consists of five-sized paint with me type of lessons that fit nicely into the morning commutes, lunch breaks, and evening decompression routines. This series is a great excuse to pull out the art supplies you were given three birthdays ago. The focus of this class you're watching is on food illustration, where you're going to utilize a few different mediums that you already have lying around your house, and turn that into nice illustration exercise of pickles. Whether you are a beginner or just looking for the next thing to draw, or you're a seasoned artist who got stuck. Either way, we're going to get you out of that pickle. Without further ado, let's get started. [MUSIC] 2. Finding Inspiration And Beginner Hacks: [MUSIC] There are different places where you can look for inspirations. Two of my recent favorites are magazines and recipe books. Because the photography is so nice, it usually captures a lot of details that got lost on just an online blog post of a recipe. For example, over here, we have a plate of mussels, and you can see this reflection and a texture of the shell of the mussels, I think it's really nice if you want to go for realistic. But also at times it can be overwhelming if there is a lot of visual information coming at you, if that's the case, you can just look at a recipe and simplify it into geometric shapes. For example, if we look at this piece of mussel, it's basically slightly squished oval laying on top of each other, and then you can maybe draw on some polygon onions in-between. If you think of that way, it can reduce a lot of the overwhelm, so this is a really nice magazine to flip through where you can even get color inspirations and see how different ingredients contrast each other, which is really nice. For our class, instead of drawing dish of all the ingredients, we're going to draw a jar of pickles. One of the benefits of drawing jars of pickles is the containment, because every ingredients has to fit in this nicely outlined jar. In that way, you don't have the obligation to draw an entire plant, sometimes that can be overwhelming. Let me show you just in a second what I mean by that. Here is a practice page in my sketchbook where I was trying to draw a single ingredients. As you can see, or maybe you can't, because it's mostly what was going on in my heart, I really enjoyed drawing the roots part of the plants, but I got rather frustrated drawing the leaves. It's haphazard and I haven't really arrived at a happy place, not yet I'll keep going, but for a relaxing exercise, like pickle jar, we really have the option of omitting or not drawing every part of the plants. For example on this page right here, also, I was drawing carrots and I know that I wouldn't enjoy drawing the leaves of the carrots plant, so I just cut them off because that's what you can do in a pickle jar, you don't have to pick all the leaves of the carrots, while most people don't. I found the freedom to use all the warm colors that I really enjoy, I could even draw the stems, but I do not have to draw the leaf, and same thing for you if you really enjoy drawing part of the vegetable or section of it and you can do that in a pickle jar without having to study the entire plant. Whenever you feel comfortable and you want to try again, and you can just start a new page. For our class, we're going to draw a jar of pickles. I will see you in the next lesson. 3. Materials: [MUSIC] The materials of this class can be very flexible. The goal is to get you going without having to buy anything new. You will be surprised by how much mileage the regular office supplies can have. Basically, you will need a piece of paper and it can be a nice printer paper or artist grade watercolor pads. You will need 2-3 drawing or painting mediums. I will be using a range of different mediums. That's just because I'm an illustrator and I already have those in my house. But don't feel like you have to get any of those to just get started. You can find a cheaper version of everything that I use here today from your grocery store. Over here, I have some artists, crayons. They are actually water-soluble, which means that they react with water and the pigment can flow with water once they're wet. But you can also use the kids version from the grocery store and they do just as well. [NOISE] These are some of my markers. They are dual tip, which means that they have two sides. One side is the brush tip and the other side is the regular fine liner. You can get the washable version, which I use for my babies. They will do just as well. These are my colored pencils. It might seems like a lot of color options, but bear in mind that I have been collecting them for over the span of 10 years. These are some brush pens which draws like a self inking brush with black ink. You can just grab any watercolor brush and dip it in black ink. I use it for the outline and the definition for my vegetables. I have a pencil here, ballpoint pen, and a highlighter. If you have any watercolor, gouache or acrylic gouache, you can also use them in your project. These particular ones are acrylic gouache, but they do not reactivate once they're dry. But they do have this really beautiful matte, thick look. Keep in mind that we can also use collage as one of the mediums. For example, I just colored my sketchbook and just cut it out as an asparagus. These are my brush pen marks. There are different creative ways to use our materials. You will also need a piece of paper, whether it's a printer paper or a watercolor artist grade paper. I'm going to use somewhere in-between, which is a page from my sketchbook. Take a minute or two to gather all the materials that you want to use for the class. I will see you in the next lesson. 4. Sketching: In the next few minutes, we're going to test our materials. What I mean by test our materials is we're going to use the edges of our sketch book page and just to test how different mediums interact with one another. In this lesson, we're going to test our materials. Don't feel like you have to have the exact same supplies to be able to do the exercise. What I really encourage you to do is to look around your house and see what you have. Sometimes a piece of paper from the printer and pencil could do the job. But I am going to teach you and show you some method that I use to learn my materials. I'm going to start with my marker. You can start with anything. Basically, what we want to do is to understand our materials. For example, over here, I can just draw a few marks and you can layer on top with the same medium, like a different color of the marker, and see how they interact with one another. Depending on the medium that you choose, you will be able to find out the coverage of your material. For example, these two colors don't really interact too much. I can see a tinge of yellow that is coming off of this red we've just layered on top, but it's not too obvious. However, if I layer blue on top of this red and you can see the overlap color is quite obvious. That's some information that we can learn about our material, whether it's a highlighter or ballpoint pen or something else that you have in your house. For the same method, we're going to learn how our colored pencil work. There's a little patch. Also you can vary your pressure as you draw and there can be different opacity produced, which can give you a lot of mileage just by using one single pencil. You don't have to buy all the colors that are available, you can just vary the pressure. It could produce the result you're looking for. Let's layer something red because I'm thinking of carrots. I wonder how these two colors interact. It is not super obvious. Even when I'm drawing, I can refer to my little swatches that I know how the color would layer on top of each other. Here is like a darker brown. If you already know what you're going to draw, you can use these colors. But I have not really set my mind yet, so I'm going to try a different hues. This is artists grade crayon. This crayon is also water-soluble, which means that if I grab a wet brush pen, it's going to dissolve like the pigments are going to dissolve like watercolor, which can produce pretty neat result. Maybe sometimes you just want to test the colors because the cap color, the color that shows up at the cap or the body of the colored pencil, maybe different than what the actual color look like on paper. It's good to have a little swatches. I'm not super particular for this project. I'm just showing you some simple exercise that you can do to learn your materials. You don't even have to layer the same medium on top of each other. For the crayons, it actually doesn't work too well if I use my color pencil on top of it. The color just doesn't really show and it also just feels really slippery when I draw on top of it. However, on the other hand, with the same colors, if I use my color pencil first and the crayon on top of it, it works super well. You see how easy the crayon glides over the color pencil layer for you to draw your jars of pickles. What I'm going to do next is to grab my pencil and draw the outline of my pickle jar. If you have watercolor pencil, I would really recommend you to use a color that is lighter than the graphite pencil so that you don't have to do a whole lot of erasing later. I know I want to draw the beetroots. I'm going to use a light pink that is in the similar color group. Basically we want to outline, this is the opening of the top. You can be super realistic and faithful of how the jar look like or you can simplify. The top can be like oval here, or can be rectangle. It's really up to you. I'm not following the strictest sense of perspective because this is an illustration and you can have your own personal flair in your illustration. That's the top of the jar. Don't worry too much about symmetry and everything. The point of a sketchbook exercise is to enjoy your drawing process and discover your preference, your material, and learn from that experience. We don't want this to be stressful in any way. Here's a rough outline. What I'm going to do now is to start using the same pencil to outline the vegetables that I want to put in. It's really up to you. Would you want a pickle in your own jar. I think I'm going to go with some sections of the beets. You can choose one single ingredient that goes around the same jar, or you can add different ingredients. I'm going to draw my beets. It might be a good idea to vary the angle. Over here you can see the entire section of the beets and you rotate it a little bit and only see maybe parts of it. You can draw 3D if you would like and I'm content with 2D. Over here you can see one extra line that I wasn't able to erase completely off of the page. But don't worry because I'm going to layer this with much darker color so you wouldn't be able to tell later. Right now we're focusing on just the outline of things. I'd like to add some green beans. Maybe I'll start using a different colored pencil, maybe a little bit darker, so it's easier for you to see on screen. In real life, I would use a lighter color so that it will not show through it. That's the direction of the green beans and usually have like a little waves. Let me just draw an example here. You can draw one direction and then start sharp and then do a tiny waves for the actual beans that live inside. That's what I'm going to do here. Can finish off at the bottom. That's my bean. I want to add another piece of beans that will stay somewhere around here. Because the glass is curved, you don't have to start at the very top. You can imagine this bean has been curved around the glass. It doesn't always have to start sharp. That's the nice thing about drawing a jar of things, because whatever you don't want to draw can be cut off. Maybe I want to do like just tiny bits of dill, that's herb, around it. Like you have the pickle juice here and you see like a literal herb thing flowing around. Right now I'm drawing very lightly because I know that I'm going to color in. I just want to indicate the location and then draw much harsher line on top later, after this shape has been filled in. Some beans, even behind the beans you can draw something else. Maybe some asparagus that might be nice. I will use actually the same color because this shows up really well on paper. The asparagus is green, for the most part, maybe slightly yellow because it's pickled and the green bean is also green. You want to think about how you use two shades of green to contrast each other, which you can test over here. I'm going to save this spot for the garlic. You can see the full outline of it, but this is my little garlic. You can also do like a translucent onion slices that can just be floating around. Sometime two slices can be stuck together. You can do that as well. I am going to add just one stick of carrot just because I love orange color and yellow color. I will have to give myself an excuse to add that in. Because I don't want to draw the leaves, I'm going to only cut this carrot in half. There you go. That is the sketch that I have. In the next lesson. We're going to color it in with the materials that we have. 5. Adding Colors: Now that we have our sketches done, let's pop in some colors. I'm going to deal with my onions first because that's the lightest. If you have acrylic pen or some medium that is really opaque, cut out piece of paper to put on top as onion, you can do that. Because most of my mediums that I'm using today do not cover very well, so I am going to color around my onions, so it has a lighter color. The first thing I'm going to use is my colored pencil. As you can see, I have a few different slices of beets, and don't feel like you have to use the same medium to color your beets. I'm going to start with my colored pencil and maybe for later slices, I will use a different medium. Feel free to turn your sketchbook around so that you're drawing at a comfortable angle. Sometimes we're too focused on drawing on our sketchbook, we can be overusing our hand muscles. You want to make it as easy and enjoyable as possible. That makes returning to your next page a lot easier the next day because you have remembered the good experience. That's the first outline. It's that simple. Like I said, I'm going to use a different medium for the second piece. If you're not sure how your colors is going to turn out, you can always just test your colors on the side and decide if this is what you're looking for. This one looks a little too red for actual beetroots. I'm going to choose something that is slightly colder. Let's see. This is a little colder. Maybe tad too bright for an actual beets, but it's a good resemblance. I'm just going to go ahead and color it in. For the next piece, I'm going to use a different shade. This one is slightly colder than the one that I just used, just to add a bit of visual variety. I used to really get bothered by the so-called unevenness of the coloring because I'm so used to a digital illustration, where you can just color everything uniformly, but I have grown to the human touch of actual paper. You can see this different shading, different shades of this particular purple, which I think is pretty charming. For the next step, I'm going to color my green beans. I want to be mindful of where the onion is. Also don't feel like you have to use one medium per area. For example, you can layer this marker on top of the colored pencil just to reinforce the definition of the green beans. I will use my crayon for my asparagus. We talked about how we want these two greens to contrast one another. We can test the colors just on the address of the paper. We want to be careful what we choose. I'm going to use this green on the side and maybe choose a yellowish green for the green beans. You know when a vegetable stays in a pickle juice for too long, they lose their vibrancy of the original color, so I'm trying to mimic that effect over here. That way you can tell that's two different vegetables. Basically we're just going to go around and do coloring. [MUSIC] 6. Layering: As you can see over here, we have two beet slices sitting on top of each other. You can use two different medium to distinguish even if it's like the same shade, it will still help to distinguish the color, or you can use a completely different color to emphasize the difference. For example, I have this cooler purple that can go around and you can still tell the boundary. Right now I pretty much have everything. This space feels a little too empty for me. In real life, you don't really see the jar of pickles have like an empty space in the middle. So I'm going to fill that in with another carrot, and this one is slightly lighter. This carrot is closer to yellow than to orange so that the two carrots don't bleed into each other. I'm not too worried about this piece of teal because I will go over it with a darker colored pencil, but I do want to be careful around to my tiny little onion slice. Last but not least, I'm going to add the color for my onion and right here as well. I will use the brush pen to enhance my definition at the very end. Right now, they just seems like a bunch of geometric shape on top of each other, which is okay, we'll do the outline and very light shading at the end, and I will also color my middle clove of garlic. Last but not least, we're going to color our pickle juice. If you'll look at a pickle jar, rarely it has very clear white water. It's usually clear with some like attentive color depending on the vegetable. So in my group of vegetables, beets tend to be the one that gives more color. So I'm imagining this pickle jar has a bit of like a pink tint. I can go around. I'm going to draw, that's the top of the water line. As I was drawing, I realized that I should have tested this colored pencil. It's a lot darker than I want it to be. Before I color in everything, I'm going to switch to a lighter kind of creamy color. So this pencil, it's much more suited for the job. I'm going to just go around and color my pickle jar and fill it with nice juice. Last but not least, I'm going to color the top of the jar. This is entirely imaginative. I'm just going to color this neck of the jar darker pink because, why not? One of the fun and most challenging part about illustration is finding your comfort zone, finding your balanced distance between reality and your artistic interpretation, and you have to think about how close you want your illustration to resemble the actual object and how far do you go before the thing becomes unrecognizable, or if the thing become unrecognizable, does it matter to you? So these are good questions to figure out while you're drawing. In my case, I decided the top doesn't have to be super realistic. I'm going to give it a fun color for the lid. I don't see a lot of blue here. There's a lot of warm colors in my composition, so I'm going to add a blue lid just to center of this jar. It's not even completely blue because the pink still come through it. There. It usually goes down a little bit, so you can tell it covers the top of the jar. I love how the pink come through each gap of the strokes of the blue. It's like a mixture of the two colors, which I think gets richer than just one. For the next step, I'm going to use this brush pen with black ink. This is quite strong if you look at those strokes here. This brush pen can make marks that are super textured. Right now the tip is pretty thirsty, so the marks are super coarse, and I just want to squeeze the belly of the pen and more ink will flow down to the tip, it will give me a little more less thirsty strokes. Let's see. There you go. You see the difference. The color is really opaque and it covers whatever that is underneath. As you can see, you can barely see the color that is underneath. So we're going to use this to kind of give our jar a bit more texture definition. I'm just going to go around and add the textures and bumps of our illustration, if you will. I'm going to draw the outline for onion. That's pretty dark. I think I've squeezed too much ink, so I'm just going to draw the concentric half-circles of the beets. I'm not looking for perfect precision, for example, like the ink skipped over here, which I think it's pretty cool. I'm just going to leave it that way. I'm going to do the same for here. Here might be one of my favorite part is to draw the little hairstyle of the asparagus. As you can see, this just immediately tells you it's asparagus instead of being like a green blob, and you can also draw the wrinkles of the carrots. Not sure if they're called wrinkles, but you know what I'm talking about. Because this is a cut-off section of the carrot, I'm going to use the ink to emphasize that. Here's my cute garlic. I'm going to outline it because it's so quiet in the corner. Also, I would like to outline the lid of the jar so it stands out a little bit more. All right. That is our pickle jar. 7. Final thoughts: Thank you so much for taking the class. I hope you're inspired to fill the sketchbook with ideas that make you smile. If you like my teaching style, be sure to follow me on Skillshare and check out the other 20 plus classes that I teach here. I will see you in the next class. [MUSIC]