The One-Palette Illustrator: Discover How Color Works in Your Art | Tom Froese | Skillshare

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The One-Palette Illustrator: Discover How Color Works in Your Art

teacher avatar Tom Froese, Illustrator and Designer

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.

      Class Trailer


    • 2.

      About This Class


    • 3.

      What is a One-Palette Illustrator?


    • 4.

      Possible Misconceptions (Am I a One-Trick Pony?)


    • 5.

      One-Palette Illustrators in the Wild


    • 6.

      Working with Limited Palettes


    • 7.

      Bonus: How do You Find Your Colour Sense


    • 8.

      Traditional Color Theory


    • 9.

      The Digital Difference


    • 10.

      Bridging Digital and Print


    • 11.

      Exercise 1: Color Self-Inventory


    • 12.

      Exercise 2: Color Inspiration Study


    • 13.

      Exercise 3: Simple Palette Builder


    • 14.

      Project Overview


    • 15.

      Project Setup: Choose a Theme


    • 16.

      Project Part 1: Sketches


    • 17.

      Project Part 1: Finished Art


    • 18.

      Project Part 2: Sketches


    • 19.

      Project Part 2: Finished Art


    • 20.



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About This Class

If you've ever wondered how to make colour seem less random, this class is for you! Join Illustrator and Top-Teacher Tom Froese as he guides you through his own approach to using colour. Spoiler alert: it involves very limited palettes!

Join Tom as he shows you what it means to be a One-Palette Illustrator, and how it’s far more powerful than you might think. As usual, you'll go through some key insights and theory in The Primer, and then do some self-discovery and personal palette building in The Exercises. And, of course, you'll get to put it all together in a juicy Final Project: two illustrations using your own personal palettes: one set of simple icons in a strict palette and then a more complex scene that builds on your theme, using a more varied palette.

Who is This Class For?

This class is largely geared toward digital illustrators (illustrators working with digital tools) but anyone hoping to learn more about how colour works in art and illustration, and even a bit of colour theory, will benefit from this class. Some experience working with digital illustration tools is recommend.

Why One-Palette?

Being a One-Palette illustrator is all about bringing more consistency and confidence to your illustration, all the while making it easier to choose from the 16.7 million possible colours in the digital space! It's about knowing more about the colours you love and how you can make that work with how you want to illustrate!

Benefits Of This Class

  • Learn to work more creatively within constraints.
  • Establish a stronger identity through more deliberate, consistent choices in your colour.
  • Present as a decisive and confident artist.
  • Gain more creative authority with your clients.
  • Apply same principles you use for your own palette to almost any other.

Skills Taught

  • Colour Theory
  • Working with Colour in Digital Illustration Tools
  • Colour for Print
  • Developing a Simple Palette
  • Developing Illustration Ideas
  • Sketching (in Procreate)
  • Digital Illustration (Photoshop)

If  you want to discover how you use colour in your own unique way, a great way to start is as a One-Palette Illustrator. Let’s explore what being a One-Palette illustrator means together! See you in class!


Special thank-you to all who contributed to the making of this class, including:

  • Tiffany Chow @Skillshare (Help with class concept)
  • Brandon Carter (animation of intro title and birthday party illustration)
  • My wife and children (who let me spend our entire summer making this class — I owe you BIG TIME).
  • All the artists that have ever inspired me as an illustrator!
  • Retro Supply Co. for many of the brushes used in the class (Woodland Wonderland)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Tom Froese

Illustrator and Designer

Top Teacher

Tom Froese is an award winning illustrator, teacher, and speaker. He loves making images that make people happy. In his work, you will experience a flurry of joyful colours, spontaneous textures, and quirky shapes. Freelancing since 2013, Tom has worked for brands and businesses all over the world. Esteemed clients include Yahoo!, Airbnb, GQ France, and Abrams Publishing. His creative and diverse body of work includes maps, murals, picture books, packaging, editorial, and advertising. Tom graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design with a B.Des (honours) in 2009.

As a teacher, Tom loves to inspire fellow creatives to become better at what they do. He is dedicated to the Skillshare community, where he has taught tens of thousands of students his unique approache... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Trailer: If you're an illustrator and have ever felt like you just can't get your colors right, this class is for you. My name is Tom Frost. I'm an award winning illustrator and a top teacher here on Skillshare, where I've helped tens of thousands of students unlock the world of commercial art and creativity. I remember a time when it seemed like I could do no right where it came to colors. It always felt like I was making the wrong decision or that my choices were just random. Even as an art school grad after years of learning color theory, well, it helps me talk about color, nothing seemed to make me better at working with it. But over time, I noticed something. I was using the same kinds of colors in my work and these same hues would turn up repeatedly. So I figured why not just formalize these into a single palette and use them more on purpose. Join me as I show you what it means to be a one-palette illustrator and how it's far more powerful than you might think. As usual, we'll go through some key insights and theory in the primer and then do some self-discovery and personal palette building in the exercises. As usual, we'll put it altogether in a juicy final project. Do you want to discover how to use color in your own unique way? A great way to start is as a one-palette illustrator. From there, the possibilities are, well, they're limited and thank goodness. It's only through intentionally setting and abiding by limits that we can be our most creative. Let's explore what being a one-palette illustrator means together. I'll see you in class. 2. About This Class: This class is broken down into three overarching parts: the primer, the exercises, and of course, the final project. The primer is broken down into two smaller parts where we'll first look into what it means to be a one palette illustrator and how that makes us stronger using color in our work and then we'll go through some key concepts in color theory just to get us all on the same page with the basics before going on into the rest of the class. As always, the primer is all about empowering you with understanding so you know, not only how we'll do things in this class, but why. These are principles that you can take with you into all your work moving forward. The exercises are where we'll start to put all the concepts we talk about into action. We'll start by looking for clues into what our own color senses by reflecting on our own work. We'll also look at some of the work of our illustration heroes for clues to what color might look like in our own work. On this foundation of discovery, we'll build up our own limited color palettes to use in the project and maybe even beyond. The project is always where we get to put all the theory of the primer and all the discoveries of the exercises to the test. Working with the palette we built in the exercises, we'll create two illustrations: one simple set of spots using a strict palette and one more complex scene, including a few people and some of the objects we illustrated in the first set using a more varied version of our palette. Of course, I'll be sharing how I think about color as I work through my own illustrations in the demos. In terms of experience, this class is for anyone who's ever struggled with choosing and using color in their illustration. If you've ever wanted to grow more confident in how you use color, or if you've wondered how to become more consistent in how color works across all your work, this class is for you. Whether you've been illustrating for decades or are just starting out, there's going to be loads of insights that you can take with you in your process moving forward. While this class is not a full-color theory class, I'll be going through the very basics and showing how they relate to the deeper questions about color and style in your own work. In terms of skill and techniques, this class focuses on using color in a very specific way, namely, working with very limited palettes using digital illustration tools and working in a flatter, more stylized way. Like the name of this class says, it's all about choosing just one color palette, and yes, I'm literally trying to sell you on working with one dominant palette in all your work. In terms of equipment, of course, some experience in digital illustration tools like Photoshop, Illustrator or Procreate is pretty essential. I use Procreate for sketching and Photoshop for my final illustrations, but you can use any digital tools you feel most comfortable with, whether on the iPad or the computer. In terms of time to complete, the exercises could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire day or more. The two illustrations in the project could take anywhere from an hour each to as long as you want. In my classes, I encourage taking your time and thinking through your decisions as much as you need. As this is all the discovering clues to your own style and how you use color, you may find yourself going down the rabbit hole and getting lost down there for longer than you expected. By taking this class, you will learn the power of working with a limited palette, both in individual projects and across your body of work. You'll gain deeper insights into the kinds of colors you're most attracted to and how you can incorporate these more in your own work. You'll discover how color and style work together and how using more consistent colors can empower you in both your personal and professional work. Just one last note. Color, like style, is something we should aim to be more consistent with, but it's also something that should evolve with us. Committing to a color palette is not a forced marriage or a prison sentence, it's a relationship between what you know about yourself in this moment. If the idea of committing to a single pallet both excites and scares you, you've come to the right place. There's no better way to work this out than here in this class. 3. What is a One-Palette Illustrator?: With all the color theory classes out there and all the tools available for making harmonious palettes, you would think that using color today would be a cinch. The reality is that you could know tons about color theory, and understand the meanings behind all the colors, and still not really know how to use it in your own way, in your art. Color turns out to be a lot like style where we want to be able to use it in a unique way. In fact, color and style are highly related and one informs the other, perhaps more than you might expect. In my style class, I talk about how your illustration style is based on your abilities and your proclivities. Your abilities are the things that you are good at, either by nature or through acquired skill and expertise. Your proclivities are things that you are naturally drawn to. They are the things you simply happen to like. Finding your style comes from working out where these two things, your abilities and your proclivities overlap and then intentionally developing them. Although you have only limited control over what you are good at and what you like, your identity as an illustrator, your style, is in large part a choice. You choose to commit to one expression of style at the expense of all other possible expressions. By making that commitment, whatever sacrifices you make, you're gaining something huge, the opportunity to master one thing, to become the best you can be at. From that place of strength, you can always grow and evolve any way you please. Just like style is a choice, a discovery of certain things you like and are good at, and then a commitment to developing these and using them in your work, color too is a choice. We must choose certain colors and certain ways of using colors at the expense of all other possibilities. This is the starting point for the whole idea of being a one-palette illustrator. Being a one-palette illustrator means first knowing what colors we tend to be attracted to and learning how to leverage this subjective taste or color sense on purpose with confidence in our art. This requires both personal reflection and even a bit of self critique. It also requires skills in using our tools and understanding how color works according to basic color theory. What is a one-palette illustrator? A one-palette illustrator uses one limited set of colors across most of their work. As a result, a one-pellet Illustrator's body of work is more consistent. Whether they are work in a strict style or mix it up a little, their selection and use of color binds it altogether more harmoniously. A one-palette illustrator always knows what colors they will be using even at the outset of a job. Even when we're given colors to use by our clients, we have so much practice using a limited color palette in our own way that it's easy to apply our techniques with their colors. Rather than limiting us creatively, using a single set of colors in our work gives us the kind of constraints we need to truly be creative. A one-palette illustrator proves over and again that creativity comes not from freedom from limits, but by solving problems within them. As one-pallet illustrators, our primary goal is to use color consistently and confidently. While we may need to use other colors from time to time, and while sometimes color will have to set the mood or represent certain ideas, for the most part, color functions to attract eyes and to balance out our compositions all while being consistent within our overall style. The goal with using a single palette is confidence, consistency, and efficiency, not flexibility and certainly not imitating reality. It's more about having a consistent visual identity. With that cat out of the bag, we'll now look at some possible objections to the one-pallet approach and see what being a one-palette illustrator does not mean. 4. Possible Misconceptions (Am I a One-Trick Pony?): I get it. Being a one-palette Illustrator sounds a bit too close to being a one-trick pony. But I really don't think this is the case. As I've already said, it's about identifying where your strengths and tastes overlap, and committing to building on these with more focus. This is how you develop a voice as an illustrator. But again, I get it. There's a fine line between being disciplined and decisive on the one hand, and being inflexible and growing stagnant on the other. Here are six possible and valid misconceptions about what it means to be a one-palette Illustrator, and some clarifications which I hope assuage any concerns you might have. The first misconception is that as a one-palette Illustrator, you can never use other colors. This just isn't true. Just as people who work in a limited decisive style in their commercial work can mix it up from time to time, you can vary your limited color palette whenever you want. The main thing to remember here, is that you should aim for overall consistency in your work overtime, especially as you present it to your audience, both on social media and on your portfolio. Starting all your work from a single palette, is a starting point that can lead anywhere. Even if you end up with wildly different colors in some projects, whenever you're stuck, you can always turn to your trusty old friend, your one go-to palette. The second misconception is that if you only use a few colors all the time, it means you don't know how to use color well. This is the one-trick pony fallacy. As we now know, using a few colors is about knowing what we like and what inspires us in knowing how to incorporate this understanding in our own work on purpose. It's not that we don't know how to use color well, but that we know ourselves well. If we've done our homework right, it's not just that we've taken someone else's color palette and decided to use it forever. Our go-to home palettes come from knowing ourselves, from understanding what colors work best for us and our style most of the time. As we use our palettes over and again, we become better and better at using them and in solving visual problems within our constraints. The third misconception is that by using only one limited palette, you are ignorant of color theory. If you're using your own palette right, you are in fact working within the best practices of color theory. As we'll see later in this class, our go-to palette will be built using color theory principles. In all the ways, we'll use our colors in the project are again, rooted firmly in an understanding of color theory. The fourth misconception is that by being strict about your colors, you're being unfair to your client's. Paying clients deserve to have you show them different options for colors, don't they? I'd say maybe, but only if that's a service you offer. When you think about your style as a brand, which it most certainly is, brands always have strict color palettes. It's by using these colors in a consistent discipline way, that the brand is reinforced. Just like we as illustrators often have to work with the strict colors of the brands we're working with, we too can enforce our own brand colors. Now of course, if we do have to work with other colors, we should definitely do that. The amazing thing is that as we become better at working with our own color palettes in our own way, we can transpose from our palettes to those of our clients, with minimal effort. Along the way because we're using the same kinds of techniques, any art we make with our palettes outside of our home palettes, will have a similar feeling to it. It's important to note here that a key to consistent color use is having a consistent style and technique. If you change these from project to project, you may find it hard to use color, in the same way, each time. The fifth misconception is that by sticking to a strict palette, you're limiting your own growth as an artist. This may be true if in fact you just choose a palette early on in your development, and never try anything else. But look closer at how the one palette is made. It comes not from laziness or the lack of growth, but by constantly paying attention to how you're evolving and along the way, what things remain constant. Identifying our constants is not the sign of a lack of growth, but a sign of maturity and experience. Of course, whether you choose to try new colors and different styles and techniques outside your main body of work, is up to you. As artists, of course, we should always be experimenting and playing with new ideas, whether that's in our sketchbook or a side project. Having set colors or a set style as your main publicly facing thing does not mean it's your only thing. Finally, the sixth misconception is that by sticking to a strict palette, you'll not have enough colors to represent everything that you need to represent in a given illustration. In a way, this is actually true. You may not have orange in your go-to palette, which would make it hard to represent an orange, the fruit, in a realistic color. If you don't have yellow in your palette, you'll have to choose something else for a school bus or a banana. But this is one of the most beautiful and creative aspects of the limited color palette. You work with what you have and the results are often surprising. A student once asked me how they could use color in a more whimsical way where the sky doesn't have to be blue and leaves don't have to be green. It's not like illustrators make these decisions arbitrarily. We don't just change colors to be whimsical. Instead, we start with a limited color palette and then work within them. 5. One-Palette Illustrators in the Wild: Now that we know what a one-palette illustrator is and is not, I'd like to share a few examples of illustrators who work in one dominant set of colors. I'd like to observe particularly how their color choices tie seamlessly into their style and help build up their brand as artists in the commercial space. I'd also like to point out that I'm handpicking work from these artists that all seem to point to one core group of colors. In many cases, you'll find work of theirs that use all manner of other pallets, but the examples I'm sharing, as far as I can tell, point to their most dominant or most preferred color schemes. Along the way, I'll be using some color terms that you might not yet be familiar with. Please keep in mind that we'll be covering many of these in the color theory section later in the class. Our first artist is Anna Hurley. Oakland-based Anna Hurley works in a delightfully simple and playful style. Working in a clearly digital medium, I see a lot of printmaking-inspired techniques happening here, particularly her use of bold, simple shapes or subtle or no texture, clear, delineated edges, and of course, simple pallets. While she, like most other artists we'll be looking at today, works in a variety of pallets, her overall body of work betrays her preference for cyan, blue, pink, yellow, red, orange, and green. She also seems to like a creamy or yellow-tinted background. Her palette seems to be rooted in an even more pared-back triadic set, deep yellow, pink, and cyan blue, which she combines using multiply or an overprinting effect, which we'll be looking at more closely in the color theory section. In her work, I observe the almost complete absence of actual black. In its place, an effective black is created by the darkest possible combination of all given colors in her palette. The next artist is Louise Lockhart. Living the romantic artist's life in an old mill in England, illustrator Louise Lockhart, aka The Printed Peanut, has a clearly printmaking-inspired style and the name of her online shop, The Printed Peanut, supports my allegation. Well, Lockhart clearly revels in all colors. The majority of her work is rooted in a triad of cyan, pink, and yellow, which can be combined like Anna Hurley's work through overprinting effects to create red, orange, blue, and green. Again, like Hurley, Louise Lockhart is able to do without black, instead combining various colors to create the darkest, most contrasty dark. Louise's work is a perfect example of how style, technique, and color all play into one another. Her work is literally made for primitive printmaking techniques like letterpress, and even when it's not, she seems to play within the same constraints. This is what makes her work so distinctive and consistent. Our next artist is Katie Benn. On her website, San Francisco-based artist Katie Benn says she is inspired by vintage packaging and all things color. While she works across various media, her overall style and use of color is consistently simple, with nods to American folk art, Warholesque printmaking and to me, somehow evokes a sense of [inaudible] barbershop signs. Like others in the set, she works with flat shapes of color, with clear delineated edges, with almost no evidence of blending or layering. Her limited palette recurs in both her paintings, and her more digital-looking work, pink, yellow, blue, red, and sometimes green, teal, and cyan. Additional colors are easily derived from combinations of these colors, especially in the primary like triads of pink, yellow, and cyan. Whether digital or physical media, Katie's style suggests the use of blunt brushes, chubby, opaque markers, and occasionally oil pastels. In my search for one pallet illustrators to share with you, I was delighted to find the work of Latvian illustrator Roberts Rurans. Rurans brings not only a strong sense of color to his work but an entire visual language inspired by Byzantine Christian iconography. Those work is mostly created using physical media. His style shows influence of more contemporary vector-based illustration in shape, quality, restraint in use and depth of color, and sense of abstraction. Rurans describes his work as a mix between the modernist that is a visual simplicity and traditional technique. His palette is quite similar to those we've already seen; a triad of primary adjacent hues, including pinks and reds, deep yellows, and cyan or blues, all seeming to inform additional colors like green, and occasionally steely blue-gray, red browns, and taupes. A blue tone black appears to be built up from other colors in the palette. Though colors are flat, subtle flaws and evidence of brushstrokes portray his physical media techniques. The next artist is Olimpia Zagnoli. If you've taken my other classes, you know that I can't resist an Olimpia Zagnoli reference. Based in Milan, Zagnoli works in a highly stylized graphic style that she admits is inspired by mid-century designer and illustrator Paul Rand. She definitely nods to his abstract shapes and almost exclusive preference for primary and secondary hues but, of course, she brings her own fresh take on these things. Olimpia Zagnoli's impressive career, she's managed to stay incredibly disciplined in both her formal language and use of color. She proves that you don't need many fancy tricks to be a successful and highly sought artist. You just need to be clever, confident, and consistent. Like I said, she gravitates almost exclusively around primary and secondary hues, all full-on and high-intensity. She rarely uses any of her colors halfway. Unlike the artists we've seen so far, Olimpia does use actual black in her work. But I also see blacks and almost blacks that are more based on overprints of her colors. Her palettes do vary, but I think she is a one illustrator at heart, owning printer primary adjacent colors, magenta, cyan, and golden yellow, and the green, blue, and red that comes from these. From there she tints back to pink and overprints the browns and burgundies. Also, don't overlook her use of white or negative space, which always helps her otherwise full-on colors to breathe and pop. The next artist is Barbara Dziadosz. Hamburg-based illustrator Barbara Dziadosz makes no bones about printmaking as an influence in her work. As she says on her website, her work is heavily inspired by vintage illustration and screen printing and uses a limited color palette and bold shapes. You can see this printmaking influence not only in how she uses and combines her colors like printer inks but also in her use of texture and simple shapes. Like most of the artists in this set, she too avoid a full black, letting colors combined to create darks by themselves. Dziadosz's one pallet includes pink, blue, cyan, magenta, and a rich golden yellow. These combined using overprint effects by overlapping shapes, either completely or just at the edges. Her colors have a warmth to them, resulting from the presence of creamy or light yellow tint. Our next artist is Diana Ejaita. Also hailing from Germany, Berlin-based artist Diana Ejaita works as an illustrator and textile designer. Among all the artists in the set, Ejaita is the most explicit about her one-pallet tendencies. She says that what sets her illustrations apart is a combination of dramatically contrasting areas of black and white with soft patterns, and white with soft patterns and textures. She could just have easily added that. She sticks mainly to primary colors: blue, red, and yellow, and the occasional green and pink. If I'm being honest, I can't say for sure she works digitally or in physical media or a little of both, but her work is clearly informed by the gentle back-and-forth strokes of colored pencils. The textural bright areas of color over a black background reminds me of black velvet paintings. Our next artist is Lisa Congdon. How could you not love the work of Lisa Congdon? Her work is a stylistic mash-up of Scandinavian and American folk art being painting-based but printmaking inspired. Whether she is portraying an animal or an abstract pattern or showing you that You Contain Multitudes, her colors are almost always the same: black, white, blue, red, yellow, and pink. She varies it up every now and then, throwing in a green, or maybe a yellow each hint from time to time. Like most of the other artists in this set, her simple palette shines with a flat style that gives each color a chance to flood its own shape. Colors may be mixed on the painting palette, there is a complete absence of blending of colors on the canvas. I want to turn lastly to the work of Sonny Ross, whose work I also discovered while researching for this class. I love Ross' busy, playful compositions and, of course, his steadfast commitment to being a one-palette illustrator. Ross clearly works using digital tools, but he also evokes physical media like colored pencil in gouache brushes in his work. All the while, he uses a restrained palette of pink, yellow, and blue, which he combines using overprinting effects to create reds, greens, and, of course, his darker darks. He too avoids pure black for certain details and also tends to avoid pure white as well. Overall, creamy tone casts a warmth on his entire body of work, which you can see most clearly on his portfolio website. Just as black doesn't always have to be black, white doesn't always have to be white. A light tint of just one color applied to your body of work can do wonders to hold it all together in harmony. 6. Working with Limited Palettes: Working with a limited palette and sticking to it in most of your work sounds like it should make everything a lot easier. Well, of course, eliminating the need to make new pallets from scratch for every project does make our job easier, but it doesn't solve every problem. Every project presents its own challenges, and even illustrators with the strictest style and color palette will struggle to make things work every time. Even though we know what colors we'll use, there's always a problem-solving aspect to working out how colors will play out in our work. If we understand how limited palettes work and don't work, we'll have more success in using them in our own work. In this video, we'll look at some strategies and best practices to get the most out of working with our limited palettes. The first tip is, keep your illustration as simple as possible. The more complex an illustration is, the harder it becomes to use a simple palette. This is especially true if an illustration has a sense of depth to it with a foreground and a background and overlapping elements and such. These are kinds of the things you might find in a scene. If you've been illustrating for any length of time, you may have noticed that it's easier to illustrate simple objects or characters over white or solid backgrounds than it is to illustrate more complex scenes. This challenge is one more of composition, but color is a huge part of it. Once you start adding in foreground, background elements, and lots of details in between, the illustration can start to look flat and overly busy. It lacks a sense of hierarchy. There's no one area of focus. The solution to this problem is to work with, not against our constraints. Choosing a limited palette generally means choosing a more simplified style. This is not the case 100 percent of the time but it's true as a general rule. In the class project, we'll be working with both simpler icon-like illustrations on a white background and a more complex scene with a background and even some people. We'll see how it's easier to be strict with the colors in the first illustration, and how we need to loosen our constraints to work with the second illustration. All the while, neither illustration is crazy complex. I'm working in a simple style, to begin with, and I'm being deliberate in my compositions about making sure it will work with my way of using limited palettes. When working with color palettes over time, your quest is to work out how your colors and your stylistic choices, including your tools, techniques, and compositions work in harmony. It should be noted that more complex illustrations can be made easier on the eyes through simpler pallets, but my whole point is that using simpler palettes for more complex compositions is more challenging than for simpler ones. My second tip is, use whitespace in your compositions. When you look at illustrations that use limited palettes, the compositions are often quite flat. As we just looked at, the overall style is relatively simple. Another thing you'll notice is that white space or negative space often factors in quite a bit. Because we lack the sophisticated nuanced way of using color that a painter or concept artist would have at their disposal such as lighting and ambient effects, we need other ways to build up a sense of hierarchy in our images. The monotony of our limited palettes can quickly be interrupted by strategic use of whitespace by allowing the white of the page or screen to cut into our compositions in interesting ways. Even artists whose styles and techniques allow for more subtleties and variations in their colors will use negative space to create stunning effects in their compositions. Take for instance Miroslav Sasek, whose lush watercolor illustrations were often brilliantly broken up with heartbreaks in color, allowing the weight of the page to let his subjects pop. The next tip is, use the most logical colors available. One of the advantages of working with a limited color palette is that your work automatically takes on a sense of whimsy. This is particularly true where it comes to representing objects in unlikely colors. When you have a very strip back palette, you just make do with your available colors. In the absence of fleshy tones, people can be purple, in the absence of red, apples can be blue. When working in my limited palettes, I usually use what I call color logic. By that I mean, given the palette I'm working with, I just used the most logical color on hand for whatever I'm illustrating. Let's just say I'm working with a two-color palette of orange and teal, and I'm illustrating an apple. orange is the closest to the typical red color of an apple, so I'll probably just use orange. Teal is the closest to the typical green color of an apple leaf, so I'll just use teal for this detail. What about skin colors and other things that are clearly not teal or orange in this example? That's where the whimsical part comes in. Some people might be orange, others might be teal. As for other kinds of objects, of course, in my more typical palette, I have reds, blues, yellows, and almost every color in-between. It's just that my colors are not quite pure hues. I can use my red, orange for the apple, and green for the leaf, and probably have a variety of colors available that will make more sense for skin tones. The point here is that whether you have the most natural colors or ones that are totally off, you can use them in your art. You can follow color logic to choose which are best for your subject. The next step is, mind your hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is basically how elements are ordered in terms of importance. Whatever you want to be most prominent in your image, this should be the first in your visual hierarchy. Then all other elements should support rather than compete with it. In a balanced visual hierarchy, the eye is drawn through the composition in an orderly way. In a book or a web page, for example, hierarchy is presented more linearly like with the title being number 1, the heading number 2, and then the body of the text as number 3 in the visual hierarchy. Of course, we can establish hierarchy and not only by the visual order or the linear order, but by the scale of objects in our composition, the largest things will be the most obvious, and therefore top of the hierarchy. The color will also determine how the eye moves around your composition. The three main factors in establishing hierarchy in terms of color are value, intensity, and color temperature. Value is the apparent darkness or lightness of a color. Primary blue is darker in value than primary yellow, for instance. It's likely that on a white background, blue will stand out more than yellow. Intensity, on the other hand, is the brightness and purity of a color. A really intense or fully saturated yellow will pop against a dark blue. Color temperature is how warm or cool a color appears to be. Red is a warm color and blue is a cool color. Warm colors tend to pop forward and cool colors tend to recede backward. If you place a pure yellow sun over top of a pure cyan's guy, the sun will naturally pop forward even though both colors are at their full intensity and even though the cyan has a darker value than the yellow. When trying to lead the eye through your illustrations, you should be establishing a clear hierarchy of what's most important and then all those other things that should be supporting it. When things start to look too flat or overwhelming, you're probably experiencing a breakdown in hierarchy. Be mindful of how value, intensity, and color temperature are helping or hurting your composition in this way. We'll look more into things like value and intensity in the color theory section of the class. The next tip is, add variety with shading and texture. A great way to break up the feeling of monotony in limited palettes is to bring in a sense of light and shadow or depth by introducing shading and texture. Shading and texture are really ways of tweaking the value of your core palate colors without departing from them. Shading will of course darken colors and texture depending on your technique will often lighten colors. For instance, I use a lot of brushy and printmaking-influenced textures that allow the paper color to show through. This will have a lightning effect. By strategically and consistently applying shading and texture in your work, you can stretch your limited palettes quite a bit. The next tip is, extend your palettes with O-A-Ts. As we'll see in the class project, you can create almost endless variations of your one palette by using opacity, adjacency, and transparency or the OAT method. Opacity is how solid or opaque a color appears. By reducing the layer's opacity, you'll decrease its value and intensity while making it lighter. This technique allows you to create tints of your core colors, which are naturally harmonious with your palette. For instance, you can pull back a red to 30 percent opacity, which will yield a light pink, which can then become the base for a variety of skin tones. We'll cover skin tones in-depth in the exercises and projects. Another way that opacity can make your colors more dynamic is by allowing colors beneath show through a little bit. This creates a lovely, subtle layering effect. Adjacency is a bit of a mouthful, but here's what I mean. Adjacent means beside or nearby. When extending your palette, you want to be careful not to choose totally different colors, which would look unharmonious with the rest of your palette. But sometimes in special situations, you might need to slightly darken, lighten, or change a color in your palette. In such a case, you can pull open your color picker tool, which is available in most digital illustration apps, and slightly push the color to a darker or lighter or more or less saturated version of your hue by moving the target thingy from its current position. You can even slightly push the hue in this way also. In this way, you're choosing an adjacent color or one that is very close to the one you started with and that prevents you from jumping too far into a totally different kind of color, which preserves the color harmony you established when building your palette. Transparency is the effect of see-throughness of your color. In digital tools, you can make a color appear transparent by setting the blend mode of the object or layer to multiply. As we'll see when we talk about the CMYK color space, multiply emulates or simulates an overprint effect where one solid transparent ink is printed over top another. Opacity, of course, allows some transparency. But if we're being really specific, I would say when you dial back the opacity of a color, it's translucent. It allows some light to shine through but not all. The color ends up being less intense and lower in value as a result. Transparency is different from opacity in the sense that the two layers are technically opaque. Meaning the layer visibility is still at 100 percent. Here, the color stays the same intensity, in value, and in fact, the resulting color from multiplying the two colors is even more intense and darker in value. In this class, we'll be mostly working with opacity and transparency in varying degrees to build and use our palettes. But adjacency is always a nice trick to have up our sleeve when we need it. We'll see if we get a chance to use it once we get into the project. 7. Bonus: How do You Find Your Colour Sense: One of the biggest questions about working with color is knowing what colors you like and how you can use them in your own work. This is an important question for all artists and illustrators, regardless of how simple you want your palettes to be. You can know all about color theory and you can have read all the books on the subject and taken all the classes and still you might be sitting in front of your screen stylus in hand, staring at your swatches and wondering where to start. I think it's pretty clear that color is subjective. It's about as subjective as it gets when it comes to art. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What colors are beautiful to you? How confident are you in bringing these colors into your art? I think we often get stuck using color because we feel like we have to use color in a certain way. It's as though there's a correct way to use color. As a recovering designer, I know that in some scenarios this is actually true. We often have to use color in a way that lives up to the expectations of our clients, or sets up the mood in just the right way or speaks just the right way to our chosen demographic according to focus groups in market research. But as illustrators, we can set a lot of that aside. I mean, if you're still watching this class, I think you're on board with the idea that color and our art doesn't have to be literal or tied to certain culturally assigned meanings, nor does it have to have perfect mass appeal. While red may mean anger and black may mean funeral a lot of the time in the broader context of culture, if we use these colors consistently in our own work in a certain way, they lose these cultural connotations, the colors lose these cultural connotations, we begin to see these colors as a language in their own right. For example, most text is in black and white. We don't even think about these in terms of colors, but all of those letters are in black, and black means death. So do all documents signify death? Of course not. Maybe that's a bit too simplistic of a reference. But what about the work of Gemma Correl? Her hilarious illustrated comics are red, black, and white. These are very serious colors. I mean, do you know who else love these colors? My sense is that Gemma is more interested in pugs and cozy pajamas than global domination by fascist rule. My point is that when you use a strict palette, regardless of the colors, when they become a core part of your stylistic toolbox, they take on a meaning that is specific to you far more than any emotional or symbolic connotation understood by the larger culture. Your work over time develops its own context, and it's in this context that your art, colors, and all will increasingly be perceived. But I think I'm circling around the deeper question. Let me get back on track. I can't teach you how to have a color sense. I can't tell you what your color sense is. I can show you what mine is and show you how I use it in my own work. That's all I know. But I do have some ideas of how you can start to find your color sense. The good news is that we'll be going through some of this together in the exercises. I designed them specifically for this reason, more on those later. For now, I'll just say you can find your color sense only by self-observation and by studying the work you love for clues to how to make color work. Paired with a basic understanding of color theory, this is about as strong of a start as you can have. For some of us, we know very well what colors we like and just can't seem to make them work in our art. For others, we haven't had a favorite color since kindergarten. Whether you fit into one of these camps or the other, we'll find clues to how we can use color in our work by doing the following. First, look for recurring colors in your own work. If you've been making art of any kind for a while, take stock of your favorite pieces and look for colors that seem to recur, which you seem to be attracted to most. Which colors turn up the most? Do you always use a certain color or are there certain kinds of colors you use? The colors you choose and integrate into your art can give you some clues to what colors you might want to more efficiently integrate into your one go to palette. In the first exercise, the color is self-inventory, I'll walk you through the process of doing this, as well as through a series of guided reflections to help dig even deeper. Next, look for the colors you are most attracted to in the world. What kinds of colors do you surround yourself with? What kinds of art have you collected to put up on your walls? Which of it was at least in part because of the color? What do you like to wear? Also, if you're to go onto Pinterest and start searching for illustration, art, and design, what colors would you be most attracted to? Do any of the colors really excite you and get your juices flowing? Which ones inspire you most? What is it about these colors that you like and how can you channel the inspiration you feel from them into your own work? This is something you can be mindful of at all times. Fair warning, if you're like me, it can become overwhelming. You probably like all kinds of stuff, sometimes very different from one another. That's okay though, being aware of what you like is important, but it alone can't tell you what colors you should be using in your work. More on that next. Next, look for how your heroes use color in their work. I believe one of my biggest insights about color is that color and style go hand in hand. This pairing goes deeper than you might think. As we've already talked about how illustrators use color is very personal to them, and how that happens will always be in part, a mystery to us. But their choices in using color often comes down to the constraints they are working with. In their chosen style, using their specific tools and techniques, the available colors and how they're used becomes quite narrow. For instance, painting based illustrator, Carson Ellis tends to have a black and white, or often cream toned backgrounds with pops of reds and oranges. Perhaps instead of black, she'll use variations of a dark navy color. Of course, she's demonstrating good color sense by tasteful pairing of complementary colors, blue and orange and red. But given her graphic folk art inspired style and the analog media she's using, it's all informed by naturally occurring qualities. To me, the creamy tone color in her work references the rich creamy tones of arches watercolor paper. She uses large areas of negative space to help her simple, stylized artwork pop out more without it all getting muddied together. She varies her colors with changes in opacity and transparency, working with the qualities that her paint media naturally afford. If you were to try achieving her sense of color using purely digital media, unless you had very convincing digital brushes and a lot of skill using them, you'd be hard-pressed to achieve a similar result. Now, in this class, I'm speaking as a digital illustrator, but my point is that colors may be chosen for personal or arbitrary reasons. But the way they appear is really shaped by the style and media you choose or choose to emulate in your digital media. How does this all relate back to finding your color sense? You can start to understand not only what colors you should choose, but how many and how they work by understanding the kind of style you would like to achieve, and the media or tools and techniques you'd like to work with. In the second exercise, the color inspiration study, we'll get a chance to look at the kind of work that inspires us most with a special focus on how color is used. The next tip is practice, practice, practice. Of course, we really just need to do the work of working out our colors in our art. You might have a whole wall of colors that you love, but you'll never know exactly how they'll work in your art until you actually try them with your hands. In the class project, we'll be going through this process of choosing colors and working them out in actual illustrations together. This might be the very beginning of your color journey, or you might be well into it and just looking for new ways to grow. Whoever and wherever you are in your journey, the project will be a great jumping point for further exploration on your own. Ultimately, you can't just think your way to knowing what your color sense is. You have to use your heart, your hands, and of course your eyes. I remember as a graphic designer, how I often felt like I had to choose the right colors. It was as though I had an angel on the right shoulder and a devil on the left with the devil telling me to just use the colors I really knew I loved, and then the angel reminding me that it's not about what I like, but the objectives of the design. As a designer, the angel's advice seemed very wise. The problem was sometimes two or more angels joined in, all telling me wise but opposing nuggets of wisdom. One might say, "Yeah, it's about the objectives of the design, but you know the client doesn't like these colors. So you'd probably you better stay clear on those." Then another angel would say, "Yeah, but also keep in mind your boss told you to never use these other colors, so you should also stay away from those." Then yeah, another angel would come by and say, "According to my core research, the colors you're choosing are very popular for young adults as they turn up to 25, and then [inaudible]." Then of course maybe some punk angel comes by and says, "You know those colors aren't going to work in print, right?" But meanwhile, the devil on my left was poking me with his pitchfork and saying, "Don't listen to those quires. You know what you want, just go with it." Well, I don't really like devils, but I also don't like contradictory advice from so-called sages. What I realized though, was that the devil's advice was the wisest of all, and in fact, it wasn't a devil at all. The angels and the devil in this case, we're just my own self, fragmented and divided about these voices, about these different opposing bits of advice or wisdom. Any one of them could be right or wrong, depending on the context. They could all be devils or they could all be angels. But the voice I was most likely to characterize as the diabolical one was the one that encouraged me to go with my gut. When I started learning to listen to my gut and not seeing it as the diabolical voice, this was the beginning of having a stronger color sense in my own work. Did I instantly start enjoying success with my colors? Not exactly. It still took time to figure out which colors I worked best with. But finally, I could make a choice of which of these voices to listen to. One of the hardest things to do in professional creativity is to make artistic decisions because you're creating not only for yourself, but for your clients as well, and of course, not just your clients, but their audiences as well. These all become voices in our heads, angels and demons on our shoulders giving us conflicting direction. So we get stuck trying to figure out which of these to listen to or we try to embrace them all with equal weight. We get pulled in too many different directions. But here's the thing, we are creatives. We are the ones who are supposed to lead the artistic vision. It's not the client nor the audience who should ultimately provide the strongest sense of direction when we make our art. Now, I know that's the best and the worst news all at once. We're called to lead the creative, and leadership is scary because it makes us responsible for what happens next. But in order to lead, we have to learn to trust our guts and know what we like and what we are most drawn to. It's our creative direction, our sensibility in style, concept in color that ultimately we are being hired for. When we have to sort out which voice to listen to, we should always prioritize our instincts. The catch is that we have to train and hone our instincts. We do that through study, application, and practice. If there's anything I want you to get out of this class, it's more of an ability to do these things with more intention and success. 8. Traditional Color Theory: As color theory is an essential skill for every illustrator, I wanted to go through the very basics. This is by no means a deep dive into the subject, but it will definitely get us all on the same page so we can talk more about color more precisely in this class and in our work. By traditional color theory, I mean the system of colors we learned probably in grade school, with red, yellow, and blue as the primary colors, and orange, violet, and green as the secondary colors, and the ones in between these as the tertiary colors: red-orange, red-violet, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and blue-violet. Theoretically speaking, you can combine red, yellow, and blue, the primaries to create all these other colors. In traditional color theory, these 12 colors are arranged in a circle to form the color wheel. The three primaries form a triangle pointing up. Then the three secondaries, form an overlapping triangle pointing down like a six-pointed star. Then the tertiaries fill in the six spaces between these points. Often you'll also see a dark or black circle in the middle, which is made by combining all the colors, theoretically. The color wheel is useful not only for showing how primary colors mix and create secondary colors and so on, but also to visualize certain formal color relationships called color schemes or harmonies. While there are many possible schemes, I would boil them down to just five. Monochromatic, analogous, complementary, triadic, and tetradic. Let's go through each. Monochromatic color schemes use just one color in various tints and shades. An old-fashioned sepia tone photo and a pencil drawing are examples of monochromatic color schemes. A monochromatic color scheme is considered a never-fail color scheme, meaning that no matter what you do, colors will always be harmonious. Analogous colors schemes use two or more consecutive colors on the color wheel. For example, red, orange, and yellow are analogous because they sit beside one another. Because the jump from one hue to the next is not a huge leap in an analogous palette, the colors naturally work well with one another because they either share a similar property, particularly that of being warm or cool, or they transition gradually from one to the other. Complementary colors schemes are based on colors opposite one another on the color wheel. Red and green are complementary colors, as are purple and orange. Complementary colors generally have opposite color temperatures as well. Red and green are warmer and cooler respectively. When two complementary colors are used side-by-side at full intensity, the effect actually can be quite jarring, which many artists use intentionally to create striking color schemes. When used at varying intensities and values, complementary color schemes create well-balanced, harmonious palettes. Colors that are near opposites on the color wheel are called split complementary. While these are considered separate color schemes, for our purposes, I'd like to lump them into the overall umbrella of complementary color schemes. Complementary and near complementary color schemes are easy to use, easy to like, and because of this, they're among the most popular. Triadic color schemes are based on three colors that form a triangle on the color wheel. The most essential triadic color scheme is red, yellow, and blue, the three primaries that form an equilateral triangle on the color wheel. Any three colors that roughly form a triangle can be considered triadic. Triadic color schemes, especially those involving primary or primary adjacent colors are also easy to use and very popular in commercial art. As we'll see in the project, a simple palette based on this color scheme can prove to be highly versatile and harmonious. The tetradic color scheme is the last bus stop on this tour of color harmonies. But there's not much to see. Tetra means four so you see where this is going. Where it comes to using simple limited palettes, once you have four source colors, you might as well have five, six, or 600. To me, color harmonies stop being easy to find or all that useful to most illustrators once we go past three root colors. For our purposes, we can ignore tetradic color schemes because they don't help us limit our colors in the way the more rudimentary color schemes do. Now, I've already bandied about some color terminology like hue, value, intensity, and stuff like that. But these are very important words for describing color. Let's talk about them. The following are what I consider to be the most important terms for describing color. Hue, intensity, and value. Hue, intensity, and value are three words you'll hear a lot when talking about color. They're considered the three properties of a given color. While they're interrelated, let's just look at each component separately. Hue is often what we mean when we say color, but hue is more specific than color. Hue refers to one of the 12 source colors of the color wheel. Hue can be thought of as a color at its most pure form. A color, on the other hand, is more generally an expression of any hue or mixture of hues in any shade, tint, or tone. Value refers to the perceived lightness or darkness of a color. On a pure gray-scale from black to white, the white would be the most light in value, having no value at all, and the black would be the most darkened value having maximum value. Hues have inherent values. For instance, pure yellow is inherently lighter in value compared to pure blue. Intensity refers to the purity of a hue. When you squeeze a pure spectrum red out of a tube of paint, it is said to be at its most intense form. Anything you do to modify this pure red will lessen its intensity. It will become more dull as you add other colors to it or as you add more white to it or otherwise dilute it. In each case, the red pigment particles are literally becoming less concentrated. A given color will have a unique hue, value, and intensity. There are two final terms to define before we move on from this little primer on a traditional color theory: tints and shades. I think we all know what these mean, but in color theory, they have a very specific meaning. Tints are the result of adding white to a color. The more you tend to color, the more white you add to it until it eventually disappears into pure white. This is confusing since we use tint differently in common language. In fact, I've even used it incorrectly in this class in the technical sense. For example, when you want tinted windows on your vehicle, you want them to be darker. When we say someone is seeing life through rose glasses, we mean the glasses they are looking through have a color to them. We do not mean they're looking through glasses that also have white added to them, that would just be milky and weird. Using our new vocabulary to describe what is happening here, when you create a tint of a color, you are lowering both its intensity and its value. Pastel colors are made by adding white to source hues, which makes all pastel colors tints. Shades are the result of adding black to a color. The more you shade a color, the more black you add to it until you can't get any blacker. The word actually makes sense when you think about shade and shadow and how they sound similar, shadows darken things. Anyway, now you know that technically, a shade is a darker version of a color created by adding black to it. Just don't go around correcting people about their misuse of this term or you won't be invited to parties anymore. That concludes our brief education on traditional color theory. It's not everything there is to know, but it's everything you need to know for the purposes of this class. Coming up, we'll start looking at some different color models that are highly important for illustrators. 9. The Digital Difference: In traditional color theory, we review the basic color principles we've mostly known since we were really young. Perhaps all along you've thought that red, yellow, and blue are the only primary colors and that's the end of the story. Well, I'm sorry to say that you haven't been told the whole story. There are other primary colors and sometimes even the colors we have always thought of as primaries are actually secondary. Let me explain. What makes traditional color theory traditional is that it's old. Old doesn't mean bad, it's just based largely on more traditional ways of creating and mixing colors, namely with paint or pigment. Red, yellow, and blue, are pigment based primaries, and you can literally mix these paint colors to create the secondaries and tertiaries more or less. But I'm going to hustle the guess and say that most of us are not illustrating using pigment. Even if we use paint somewhere along the way, it all ends up in pixels. I'm talking about screens. If you use digital illustration tools such as Procreate, Photoshop, you no doubt have encountered the term RGB. RGB stands for red, green, and blue, which is the color model or color space used by digital devices outputting to screen. In the RGB color space, red, green, and blue are the primaries and secondaries are totally counter intuitive. Cyan, magenta, and yellow. If you know your way around printing, you'll recognize these secondaries as the printer primaries, but we'll get more into that in the next section. In the traditional pigment based, RYB color model, when you mix two or more colors, they become darker. Adding all the colors will effectively create the darkest possible color, which is in theory black. As new colors are mixed, the amount of light reflected off the page decreases, which is why we call this model subtractive. Adding color to the page decreases how much light certain wavelengths is bouncing off of it and into your eyes. The RGB color space, on the other hand, is light based. New colors are made by adding more light of certain wavelengths. For instance, to get cyan, you add blue and green, which on a screen are actually tiny little lights that dim from off or black all the way up to their brightest purest form of red, blue, or green. Because of how light is added to create new colors, this color space is called additive. While the terms additive and subtractive are largely inconsequential for us as illustrators, it's helpful to know a little bit about how and why colors behave so differently on screens than on paper. It's because of this difference between additive and subtractive color. If there's anything you take away from this, you should at least understand how RGB numbers or codes work and how they correspond to the colors you're using. To demonstrate this, I'm going to open the color picker tool on Illustrator just to show you this. When I set my RGB values all to zero, the resulting color is black. When I set them all to the highest value, which happens to be 255 or FF in nerd friendly hexadecimal format, I get white. As an aside, this little box down here is where you can type in an RGB value in hexadecimal format, or you can copy a resulting RGB code to use elsewhere, such as on a website design. Now look at what happens when I set just read to 255 and the others to zero, I get the purest form of red available on my screen. Doing the same for green and blue while setting the other two to zero gives me each color in their purest form. To get the secondaries, I just set any two colors to 255 or FF and leave the other one at zero. It's in varying these numbers that all 16.7 million colors are possible in the RGB color space. Again, you don't have to be a computer nerd to work with RGB colors. This is all just helpful in making these numbers, codes, and sliders seem less random. What you do need to know is how the color wheel changes in digital color and how this in turn changes the color relationships or schemes that we came to know in the red, yellow, blue color model. The color wheel in RGB is often displayed as a circular spectrum or gradient of colors blending from yellow to orange to red to magenta to blue to cyan and so on. But for our purposes, it can also be arranged in a more basic way with just three primaries and three secondaries and if you want some tertiaries as well. When you apply the five color schemes mentioned in the last video here, you can see that the actual colors in these relationships are different. Green is no longer the complement of red. Instead it's cyan. Blue is the direct compliment of yellow instead of purple and so on. Now in traditional color theory, we talked about hue value and intensity. In digital color, we talk more about hue saturation and brightness. These are similar but a bit different, mostly due to the differences between the additive and subtractive color spaces we were just going through. To demonstrate these terms, it's helpful to bring up my color picker tool in Photoshop again. While we're here, I'll just point out that if you're using one of the Adobe programs, you should get to know your way around this color picker tool. Particularly get used to working in the HSB model using hue mode. You do that by clicking the radio button beside H, right here. This gives you a spectrum of RGB hues, and a slider in the middle of the color picker toolbox. Wherever the slider is, that's the selected hue. Then in the large square on the left is a gradient of all the possible tints and shades for that hue. The resulting color from all these sliders and whatnot appears in the new color box. A little rectangle just to the right of the hue strip. As we go along, I'll show you what everything and the color picker tool means, or at least the things that are important for our purposes, for those working with Procreate. If you use classic in value color tool modes, you'll basically have the same thing to work with. It's just that they're on two different menus instead of one. Hue remains the same here as in the traditional RYB color space. It's the source or purest form of a given color. Here in the color picker, hue is expressed in degrees. If you were to wrap the color spectrum strip around in a circle, the degree value relates to a position on this circle. Personally, I never think about the particular numbers for hue saturation and brightness. It's all very visual for me. I pay more attention to the color itself that I see on screen. Saturation is a lot like intensity. The more saturated a color, the more intense and pure the result in hue will become. Hue is expressed as a percentage, with zero percent being the lowest saturation and 100 percent being the highest or most intense. When you change this number, the target over the saturation brightness gradient square goes left and right with lower or darker saturation values toward the left and higher or brighter values toward the right. At zero percent the result is a black and white value only. There is no color. Brightness is of course, a lot like value. Brightness of course describes how light or dark a color is. It too is described as a percentage was zero percent being the least light or darkest, and 100 percent being the most light or brightest. By changing this percentage amount that target over the gradient square goes up and down, getting darker and lower as a number decreases and brighter and higher as the number increases. At zero percent brightness, the color is reduced to black. What's interesting about the HSB model is that it's an alternative to describing colors in terms of RGB values. What I like about the HSB model is that it's more intuitive when working with digital color. That's because in digital, I don't really think about mixing primary and secondary colors like I would using paint. Colors aren't mixed. They're just there available by punching in a code. Hue, saturation and brightness are helpful because they provide a description of the color that is more intuitive. Once I set my hue, I can easily understand what it means to make it more or less saturated, more or less bright or both. While we're here, I just want to point out a few more things happening in the color picker. Like I said, just keep it in hue mode and you'll be good for the rest of this class and probably for life. We've already seen what happens when we adjust numbers in the HSB boxes as well as the RGB ones. There are four models represented here, HSB, RGB, lab, and CMYK. You'll see how a change in value in one of these models corresponds to changes in all the others. They're all different representations or models used to represent color on screen. I'll just say I don't know anything about lab color model, so we can totally ignore that probably for the rest of your life. As for CMYK, we'll get more into that in the next video. But for now, we should know that CMYK is a print based color model with each letter corresponding to one of the printer primaries, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. In CMYK or offset printing, all colors are created by controlling how much of each of the primaries as laid down on paper. The percentages here refers to how much of each ink is needed to create a given color. While we'll go more into CMYK in the next video, I do want to point out something that you'll see from time to time when using the color picker, which is the gamut warning. You might see a little warning mark and a small swatch to the right of the new color box. When you see this, the color tool is warning you that the color you're seeing on the screen cannot be printed. That's because RGB has a much wider gamut or range of possible colors than CMYK. There are colors possible with light based screens that would be impossible to represent in ink. Compare 16.7 millions colors in RGB to a mere 16,000 possible colors in CMYK. When you see this gamut warning, it's basically saying if you will be printing this image, you better change the color to something more CMYK friendly or someone else will do it for you, and you may not like the result. Colors in the RGB space can be electric and often very garish. By comparison, colors in the CMYK space will appear duller on your screen. You'll notice this difference especially in Procreate. 10. Bridging Digital and Print: In this section, I just want to go through how color works in print. As illustrators, we probably work digitally and much of our work lives only in the digital space but of course so much of our work will end up on paper, whether that's in the pages of a magazine or a book, or on a package or a poster. In these cases, color must be translated from the digital space back to a pigment-based print space. In standard commercial printing, the four printer primary inks: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, are all used to create all other colors. As we saw in the last video, in the RGB space, C, M, and Y are actually the secondary colors. In CMYK printing, this is flipped inside out with cyan, magenta, and yellow now as the primaries, and R, G, and B, or red, green, and blue as the secondaries. Whatever you do with that information, if there's a similarity between RGB and CMYK spaces at all, it's the color schemes. Analogous complimentary and triadic color schemes are pretty much the same in both. The big difference is the gamut, colors are less intense in the CMYK color space. A huge thing about CMYK printing is how new colors are made from these four inks namely using halftones. When you look super close at anything that has been printed, you'll probably see that it's made using tiny dots of these four primaries. We'll see this most obviously in an old comic book or in color newspapers. In offset printing, each ink is printed from its own plate or separation. The four plates go down on the same spot on a sheet and results in the appearance of thousands of colors. Halftones were invented to solve a problem in printing, which is this. The plates for inks are basically big stamps psychic covered in one color of ink and then laid down on a sheet of paper. An image might have many different colors in all kinds of variations, but a stamp can only place ink down one color at a time so for each color and variation, you'd have to have a separate ink color on a separate plate. For full color art, that becomes technically complex and very expensive. In digital illustration, you can easily take a color's opacity down to say 25 percent, no big deal, but you can't lay down 25 percent cyan ink with a stamp, strictly speaking. But if you can place ink and a whole bunch of tiny little dots that cover 25 percent of a given area, then you get an effective 25 percent tint of that color. While it's not perfect, it's the next best thing to mixing cyan and white inks. Over time, clever people invented a way of using just four inks to create almost every color perceptible to our eyes, making full-color printing the affordable and ubiquitous process we have today. While most printing uses halftones to create new colors, there's another way that has been used by more traditional printmaking techniques called overprint. Of course, I've been talking about overprinting a lot in this class already. Overprint is just like what it sounds like when it gets printed over top another. Because ink has some transparency to it, a new, darker, and more saturated color is created where two inks print over one another. While you can't get anything like the range of colors possible with halftones, there is something quite lovely about how two colors look when they're overprinted. When illustrating digitally, overprints like this can be emulated using the multiply layer blending mode. It's no secret that so much of my own work has been influenced by limited traditional printmaking techniques such as letterpress and screen printing. What I love about these techniques is the physical properties of the ink as it appears on the page. But I also love how the limited palettes are used in creative ways. Because each ink adds complexity and expense to a print, colors must be limited. Because inks can only go down solid, images must be made using more solid blocks of color, punctuated perhaps with one dark line working or clever use of negative space. 11. Exercise 1: Color Self-Inventory: The next three exercises are designed to help you find clues to your own unique color sense. The kinds of colors you love, and the way you want to use them in your work. These exercises are the necessary link between the theory of the last section and the application we'll actually get to do in the final project. The first exercise is called a color self-inventory. A color self-inventory is collection of 5-10 favorite pieces of your own illustrations or artworks, especially in terms of color. In this exercise, we're going to make some observations or notes and we're going to write them over top our images or write them out separately. An optional part of this exercise is making some deeper reflections about this set in response to some prompting questions that I've posted in the Class Projects and Resources page. The purpose of this exercise is to identify colors we're already using. Especially those colors we seem to be turning to repeatedly. This will be a big clue to our natural color sets. Another purpose for this exercise is just to find links between how we use color and the tools, techniques and style or media that we're using in our work. The outcome of this exercise will be a stronger sense of the colors you like and how you use them in your art. We'll also be using the findings from this exercise in Exercise 3, where we build a simple palette. We're going to be using the colors that we observe or pick out from this exercise as the basis of our simple palette later on. I'm going to just quickly go through the instructions of how to do your own color self-inventory and of course I'll show you my own color self-inventory as an example. First, spend some time looking through your body of work, aiming to select 5-10 of your favorite images, especially in terms of color. In my example that I'm going to be sharing with you, I limited the set of images that I put in my set to my commercial work between 2013 and 2015, which was a time when I was still a little bit all over the place with my colors. I was definitely coming close to something more consistent, but I wasn't quite where I am today. Another reason why I chose this window of time in the past, 2013-2015, is simply because today, in 2021 when I recorded this class, I now have quite a consistent sense of color, I've been using it for a while. I wanted to take myself back to a time when I was less confident, which I feel would make this exercise a lot more powerful and perhaps more relevant to a lot of you in your own situations. The next thing you'll want to do is arrange your selections on one page so you can see them all at once as a set. The page should be roughly eight by 10 inches in vertical orientation. I use the default screen dimensions on my iPad using Procreate. A lot of you will probably find that the easiest thing to do. Once you've created a new file or document, you can add a title right at the top that says Color Self-Inventory, and your name. Now it's time to make some quick observations about your set. If you're able, write them somewhere on the same page as your images. You can use arrows and lines to call out specific things, and you can also write down your observations in point form. I made a list on mine called, What I like/observe. As an optional deep dive, you can download the prompting questions from the Class Projects and Resources page, and write out some more thorough observations about your set. When you're done, post your set of images and your notes, if they're separate, to your class project. Here's my color self-inventory, and like I said before, I wanted to just focus in on work from 2013-2015. Again, this was just a time when my colors were still quite all over the place. I feel like I was definitely getting to a better spot, but I wasn't quite there yet. This is just a nice window of time or a point in time for me that doing an exercise like this would have been really helpful. I probably spent two or three hours just really going deep and looking for all these images. Took a long time partly because I had to get hold of hard drives and stuff like that. But also took a long time because there was just so much work to choose from. What I've done here is I've just made a bunch of notes and reflections about my work, and I've just written it over top on the page here. If you find this too busy, you can just type your observations out on a separate page, that's totally fine. I just like the immediacy of this and then I can just upload this to my class project quite easily. Just looking through this, going through my little scribbled notes here, my observations and things that I like are things like printing textures, a lot of handmade elements and little hand-lettering, a lot of these physical media textures I've placed within shapes to give it more visual interest and a sense of texture. Of course, calling out some of the colors I've used, even though colors are all over the place here, you can see I've used a lot of red. Red is probably my most dominant color, or red's tinted cousin, pink. I have a lot of pinks as well in here. I would say one of the other dominant colors is this deeper golden yellow. They're not all quite like this super bright yellow like I have in the line here, they're more deeper golden tone to them. You see that definitely in this arrangement here, and you see them in this bull Even though there's other shades of yellow, those are the ones that I like, so I've just called them out. Of course, I've talked about pink. I have a lot of light pinks here in various tones, I don't know why, I'm just drawn to them in my work and so I'm going to definitely call those out. Of course we have sort and cyan. I don't have any real blues going on in here, but teals and cyans definitely show up. Then of course, one thing that I thought was notable, even though I'm using black in some of these, I think over time I started to use this deep navy as my darkest color. Once I started cluing into doing that, I actually started just doing that. That's one thing that I definitely switched over to probably actually when I was doing this project here. This was a project I made for a winery in San Antonio. For whatever reason, I can't remember if it was a client's request or if it was something that I just felt like I wanted to do, I used this deep navy instead of black and I just felt like it made the images a little bit lighter, less heavy than if you use a full-on black, and much more distinctive and now that I use it all the time in my work, I think that's a signature part of my work. Anyway, I've taken all these observations and I've just written them out here in point form. The other thing that I did, and this is the next step, is to just go and use the color picker tool in whatever app you're using. In Procreate I just do something like this, where I can pick out the specific colors that I like and then I just drew in some swatches based on those colors. Now there's whole whole bunch of colors going on here, we just need to choose six. When you're picking your six colors in this set, don't worry about picking the wrong colors. Just find the six that you're most drawn to and make sure that each color is distinct. If you have an orangey red and a more carmine red, maybe choose one of those and let the other one go for now. For instance, in my set here I have a much more magenta type red and then I also have some more red oranges. I know just from experience that I love red orange way more than I love the more magenta red, so that's the red that I chose. Same with pinks, I have a whole bunch of different pinks, but I chose more pale pink because I think I just like that pink and more than the darker or deeper or again, more magenta ones. Once you're done your exercise, be sure to post it to the Class Project's page, and of course, if you wrote your notes separately, you can just add those as well or even type them out right directly in the project. That's it for this exercise. Now let's move into the second exercise, which is going to be color inspiration studies. 12. Exercise 2: Color Inspiration Study: This exercise is called the Color Inspiration Study. In the first exercise, we looked inward at our own way of using color so far and named some key strengths and weaknesses. We also started to envision what being more confident using color might look like for us. In this second exercise, we're now going to look outward at things that most inspire us when it comes to color. A color inspiration study is a collection of 5-10 images from one of your favorite illustrators. To get the most out of this exercise, I recommend doing two or three studies, each one featuring a different artist. Of course, just like exercise 1, we're going to make some observations or notes over top these images or in point form, and of course, just like the last time, you have an opportunity to do some deeper reflections about the set by following some of the prompting questions that you'll find in the Class Projects and Resources page. The purpose of this exercise is to identify your key sources of inspiration or your heroes, and specifically to find links between their style and use of color. How does their use of color and their style techniques or media relate with one another? Another purpose here is to find connections between what you're inspired by and what you want to make yourself, especially in terms of color and style. I think a really important thing to do as we learn and develop is to learn from the masters in our own sphere of influences. Whoever it is that you look up to, whoever you admire, whoever your illustration heroes are, you want to observe what they're doing and learn from that. It's not about copying or imitating, but about just learning from their choices and seeing how you can apply that in your own way to your own work and your own style. The outcomes to this exercise are more clues to your color sense and how that relates to your own artistic vision. You also get some insights into how color and style influence one another. Another possible outcome from this exercise is finding some inspiration to try color techniques we've maybe not considered before. If you skipped exercise 1, then this exercise can also be the basis of the palate we'll build in exercise 3. Again, I'm going to quickly go through the instructions here and then I'll show you my own example of color studies. Now, the first thing to do is name 2-3 of your favorite illustrators. Include at least one from the past and one from more recent times, if you can, and the reason we do that is just to have a little bit of diversity in our influences. It's always good to be influenced, not just from people working today, but people who worked in a different time before. Probably the people that you're heroes of today were influenced by themselves. Now, for each artist, do the following. Again, to get the most out of this exercise, I recommend doing 2-3 studies, each one featuring a different artist. Collect 5-10 images from each artist. Well, of course, it helps to choose these in terms of the colors you like, the colors that are going on in images by these artists, is not totally necessary. It's okay if you love the art, but not the colors so much. We can still find clues about how they're using color regardless of the exact colors they're using. Now, arrange the images on one page just like you did in exercise 1. You can add the title, Color Inspiration Study. Somewhere near the top of your page, write down the name of the artist and their style or preferred media, such as collage painting, vector illustration, or that kind of thing. Similar to exercise 1, make some quick observations about your set. If you're able, write them somewhere on the same page as your images or over top them, just like you did in the first set. You can use arrows and lines to call it specific things, and you can also write down your observations in point form. As an optional deep dive here, you can also download the prompting questions from the class projects and resources page and write out some more thorough observations about your set. When you're done your color inspiration studies, post them along with any writing that you did on the side to your class project. Here we're looking at my first color inspiration study. As you can see, it's just the title up at the top and then a collection of 5-10 different images from one of my favorite artists. At the top here, I've listed the artist and the style or technique. You could also write media there. So style, technique, media, I'm using interchangeably here, and that just means, what are the physical visual properties or qualities of the work? Then of course I have a few notes just written over top calling out some certain things with arrows and stuff like that. Then a little less what I like, observations down here just in point form. This artist in particular is Paul Rand and as you know, Paul Rand is one of my favorite illustrators. He worked in what I would call a collage print-making influenced style. Because a lot of these are actually, I wouldn't call these pure illustration, they're posters or book covers, it's more like graphic design, so I just added that as well just as a note. He's using a lot of collage, more cutouts where he'll, just in this case, he's actually literally cut out a piece of newspaper and use it as part of the image. Otherwise his shapes just have this improvised feeling to them. Like you just cut them out with scissors and put them down, which he may very well have done exactly that. Another thing that I love about his work or that I observe about it is just his use of whitespace. Whitespace is used as an element, as a compositional device, and in some cases, the white is used as a color. Here in this Second Man book cover, white is just like a cutout or a negative space from this brown color behind and so it almost acts like its own color. Then here I think Paul Rand has brilliantly used whitespace to suggest the chicken. He didn't draw a chicken anywhere. He's put a few shapes there and you just see it. Your mind puts that puzzle piece together. In terms of his actual colors that he's using Paul Rand's work, he uses a whole bunch of different colors. But I would say his main go-to pallets or palate is primary and secondary colors. That's both the use of yellow, blue, and red, but also green, purple, and orange. You see these colors come up a lot. I think Paul Rand also likes pink. You see a lot of pink in his work, and that's probably why I like or have been inspired to use pink a lot in my work. I don't know for sure, but I'm going to hazard a guess that because Paul Rand is such an influence on me, it's highly likely that I've been inspired by his use of pink. Now of course, in terms of his style or technique, one of the things that he does that I do a lot of as well and have talked a lot about is the sense of overprints, where I'll take these two colors and then there's this darker color that happens by combining them. I find that is just like a lovely way of using a limited color palette, and it's of course also a clue into his process. Like he's actually thinking about how these inks will print over in the printed end product for whatever he's designing. Now quickly switching over to Klas Fahlen. I believe he's a Swedish illustrator. I love his work. His work actually reminds me a lot of another one of my favorite illustrators, [inaudible]. He worked more in the 1950's and 1960's. So that's why I've included him here in one of my color inspiration studies. Again, at the top I just have the artist's name Klas Fahlen and his style or technique, and I would say his is more printmaking inspired as well. I also put retro because his work does have a retro feeling to it. In terms of tools, probably, it looks to me like he uses Photoshop or maybe even Procreate. So I just put digital and vector in brackets because you definitely see a lot of these hard aligns that remind me of vector. Or even if he's not actually using vector, that's just what it reminds me of. So what I observe in his work is the use of overprints, just like Paul Rand and just like some of the work that I showed in my color self-inventory. You can see some of these overprints, especially happening here with these handbags. Now one thing that I love about his work that I also liked about Paul Rand's work is their use of abstraction. So these are just a bunch of boxes printed over top each other. But when you see them hanging off these strings with these women here, you get a sense of them being shopping bags. There's nothing really specific about them that would tell you that it's a shopping bag except for the context and the way he's just composed and arranged them in this particular scene. I love Klas Fahlen's use of delicate line work as well. Whether he's using actual black for that or using the opposite of that white over darker colors, I think that's a consistent thing that he does. Now in terms of the actual colors that he's using, I find Klas Fahlen's palettes are pretty versatile. But when I look at his overall body of work, I observe that he uses black as his anchor, dark color, and he likes orange. He uses orange in almost all of his illustrations in some way. Here we have the clocks have an orange to them. Some of them are just shades and tints of oranges, but that's definitely an orange. He has orange here. He has orange happening even here, and of course, in this kitchen scene that is illustrated. In terms of color schemes, I say he keeps colors definitely on the simple side. A lot of these are very monochromatic. Like I would say that this image here is quite monochromatic. He basically just has orange, and different tints and shades of oranges plus black. Arguably, he has something similar here. If it's not monochromatic, it's analogous at least. You just have reds, yellows, and oranges playing together here. Just like [inaudible] that his work reminds me of, he uses a lot of negative space that cuts into the composition and that helps colors really pop and stand out. He does that in almost all of his work, probably the most different of his images is this one where he has this guy pruning a bonsai tree and there's a lot less whitespace, but it's still there. Everything's still very flattened, and everything's still quite flattened and simplified even when there is a background, his arrangements tend to be more conceptual and flattened. Here we have a lady who's the central figure here and then she's surrounded by the elements of the kitchen, but it's still really flat. You still just have that blank background and everything else just supports this idea of this person in the kitchen having a lovely time making delicious food. Another example of his arrangements is that he just has that white background again, and things just popping over top of it. He's very minimal about what to include in the scene just enough to suggest what's going on, doesn't get too bogged down in the details. Again, the most full scene here is probably the guy clipping the bonsai tree, but also the people standing in front of this house, this Globe magazine cover illustration. I think it makes more sense that he would have included a background in this one because it's a magazine cover. It needs to pop more and just look more attractive as a cover piece. He's still just keeping it simple. Everything's pretty solid in the actual shapes and stuff. It's just that he's used a little bit more full color everywhere and even a little bit of a sense of lighting and depth. Still, however, I don't find his colors to be too all over the place. He really just uses the blue, black, and orange, and he'll use maybe a shade of that black overprinted or multiplied over the blue of this house, just to create a sense of shade, and it's just beautifully done. It looks like a really rich image, but at the same time, there's just such a simplicity in the color. He's done a really good job of handling that. I will add that of course, he does have the pink for the skin tones. Other than the skin tones, he hasn't really used those colors elsewhere. So he was able to suggest people and skin tone without having to go crazy with putting that color anywhere else. So I think it worked successfully. Another thing to point out in this piece is just his use of skin tone in this one where he's just gone right out the window with any sense of realism in skin tone, and he wanted this guy to stand out and pop against the green and he just made his face super red. Of course nobody's skin is that color, but it just works to help this character really stand out with green being the most dominant background and surrounding color. Using this complimentary color of red against that green really helps it pop. Those are just two examples of color inspiration studies. These are artists that really inspire me and have influenced me and that I admire. Yours are going to be totally different. I learned so much about what you guys are inspired by these kinds of exercises. In fact, I discover artists and illustrators that I had never heard of before. So please be sure to post your exercise, your color inspiration studies to your class project page, and that way we can all see what you are inspired by. Of course next, we'll jump into the next exercise which is building a simple palette and this is going to be the foundation of the project. Let's get into it. I'll see you in the next video. 13. Exercise 3: Simple Palette Builder: This is Exercise 3 where we're going to build a simple palette. This is a step-by-step process for building a simple palette based on the colors we chose in our color self-inventory. If you didn't do the color self-inventory, you can use colors you choose from one of your color inspiration studies, or also just follow along with the colors that I'm using in the demo, that's totally fine as well. Purpose of this exercise is to come up with a unique, simple, and versatile palette that we can use in the class project. The outcome of this exercise will be a personalized palette based on a triadic color scheme. The palette will have simpler version with just six colors plus a dark, and then it will also have a more extended version with tints and shades all based on that simpler version. For this exercise, you can just follow along with the demo that I'm doing onscreen, and you can download the file that I'll be working with from the Class Projects and Resources page. I'll be doing this exercise in Photoshop and the file that I'll be working with is a Photoshop file. If you have Photoshop, then great, but if you're like many using Procreate, I've also included instructions in the class projects and resources page that you can follow and build a palette in a similar way. Now, these steps that I'm using to create this palette are just made up, it's something I designed for this class so we can all come up with a palette that has these six colors plus dark plus the way I extend these palettes. That just gives us all something similar to work with for the project. It's by no means meant to give you colors that you'll use for the rest of your life, that's something that you all figure out as you go along but this will definitely give you some clues and it will really teach you you lot as you learn how to use a simple palette in the project. When you're done this exercise, be sure to post your finalized palette on your projects page. What we're looking at here is the palate builder Photoshop file. I'm on my Mac, I'm in Photoshop and the palette builder is just a Photoshop file that I've placed some instructions for how to build a simple palette. The really cool thing about this file is that it's almost automatic. All you have to do is pick your colors from your color self-inventory or wherever you're getting your colors and you're putting them here in step one. Then whatever you pick here ends up cascading into everything else. I'm just putting some random colors in here just to show you what I mean. I'll walk you through what I've done in these steps and what I'm recommending and then I will also just bring up a few challenges that might come up along the way. Step 1 one to use the eyedropper tool to choose your six favorite colors from your color self-inventory. I'm going to open my first exercise here and along this side, I have my top six picks that I picked out of these colors. What I did is actually just copied and pasted these and plot them in there like this. However, you can get your colors in here, you want to do that first. The next thing to do is to choose three colors from your set to form an approximate primary triad. Now, just for convenience, I did include color wheel here, this is a traditional color wheel with red, yellow, and blue as your primaries, and then a triangle here just to show how a triad works. A triad color scheme made made from the colors that form a triangle on the color wheel so red, yellow, and blue is a triadic color scheme, if you were to rotate the triangle where will these things point, that's your color triad. You can be pretty approximate here, my colors aren't pure traditional primary colors, the point here is to create something close to red, yellow, and blue or red, green, and blue if you're using the RGB color scheme, or even cyan, magenta, and yellow. Whatever color wheel you are going by whatever color model, it should be a triad of that color model. For me, I picked this yellow and I picked this red and I picked this cyan color. These shapes are made with the pen tool, they're essentially vector shapes or vector layers, and it's really easy to change the colors. You just double-click on the layer of the color that you want to change and then you use the color picker to change that color. Again, you just choose the layer that you want to change, you should see that turn up in the layers panel here, you just double-click, use the color picker and then you can make those changes. Well, how this file works isn't as important as what it's doing, I'll show you just a quick look under the hood here. All the yellows that I've created here are one layered and so where I change one, it changes them all, and same with the reds. All the reds are the same layers, when I change one, I change all, when I change all these ones, I change all. Some of these overlap like the yellow here, overlaps the red here and it also overlaps a blue and that's how we end up getting these extra colors because if you look here in my layers panel, the colors all multiply over one another. The yellow and blue, the blue multiplies over the yellow and the red in this case here. The same thing down here in step five, when I include a black or a dark color and we'll get here, I'm jumping ahead but when we change this, whatever we change here ends up being changed everywhere else and same with this shader that creates shades of these colors, and you can create this shade and then it shades everything else around it. That's just how this works looking under the hood. Now, I'll go back to step two and then go down a little bit more in order. You can see in step 3, we're creating three secondaries by multiplying the primaries over one another. This file does it automatically, but you could also do this manually in any program that allows you to have separate layers like you each color on it's own layer, and you can multiply each one of those layers. The next thing we do in step four is we create tints. If you remember from the color theory part of this class, a tint is when you add white to a color and it becomes lighter. Now, in the digital color space, you don't add white to a color. It's not like paint we add a glob of white to your red, your blue, and your yellow, you have to do that a different way. One way of doing it is just to take a color and to then change the opacity down to a certain percentage. I have 50 percent and 20 percent and that's what I'm effectively doing here in these two rows. I'm creating a 50 percent opacity of my six colors here, and then in the second row beneath it, I'm creating a 20 percent opacity version of those colors and that gives me some tints to work with. In step 5, I choose the darkest color that I picked out from my color self-inventory. Fortunately for me, I have something dark to work with. It's very dark. I talked a bit about that before, where I really prefer to have a dark blue versus a black. That's what's going on here. I just use that. Now if you didn't choose a color that you think is dark enough to work with sort of an effective black, you can go back to your color inspiration study and just look for a really dark color that you think will work well. If you don't want to get too hung up on it, or if you prefer, you can also just use black. Going back to step 5 here, I also have a tint of this dark color, and I've multiplied that tint over my six primary and secondary simple palette colors. In this worksheet, this is just one extra step you have to do. It's not totally automatic. I've created this dark from my blue and then I need to create a tint of this dark. I just use the color picker here and choose that dark. Whatever color I choose that becomes the shading color. Of course I want it to be based on my dark color so everything's as harmonious as possible. Just looking at the whole palette builder file in one view here, just by choosing three colors from our top picks from our color self-inventory. Just by changing these colors, we've created an entire palette of six colors plus a dark, plus shades, plus some tints. These result in your simple palette with just your six colors plus your dark, and then your extended color palette, which has all these variations here, your tints and your shades specifically. These two palettes are all we'll need for the project. Now, I think we should make it official and actually create swatches out of these. Depending on your program, you're going to have different ways of doing this in Photoshop. I just have the swatches panel open. I'll bring it down here so it's in view. I just create two swatch groups. The first group, I'm just going to call my one pallet simple. Then I'm going to create another swatch group called my one pallet extended. Then from here, I can just click into this swatch group and start adding my swatches. To create swatches, I just need to use my Eyedropper tool and start picking the color and then adding the swatches. You can name these if you want. It's up to you. Then I'm going into my one palette extended group here and doing the same thing. Now in my extended palette, there are a few redundant colors and I'm going to just go and weed those out just so they're not as distracting when I'm working on the project. I already have a white to work with. This last color is a bit redundant. If you want to take the time and sort your colors by hue, you can do that. I'm just going to leave them as is. For the most part, I'm going to be focusing on my simple palette in both parts of the project. Then when I need them, I'll start using some of these extended colors as well, especially some of these pinks and browns. Those will come really in handy when doing things like people and you need skin colors and stuff like that. Now I said that I would show some possible challenges you might have when picking colors and using them yourself in this palette builder. The most notable challenge I think will be coming up with colors that are distinct enough in your secondaries. Let's just say that you use the pure primaries on this color wheel here. If I choose a pure yellow, a pure red, and then this pure blue, you'll see that it creates a color palette that's not that great, especially because the two colors here are pretty much identical. When you have this pure yellow and it's over the pure red, it really doesn't make much of a difference. Then I find the other colors just either not really attractive or they're just too intense and garish. What I would do in this case, if I wanted colors that were close to yellow, red, and blue, like this pure, I try and modulate one of these colors so they're not so intense and that will help create the secondary colors. For the red, I might just knock the intensity of that or the saturation down a little bit, just a little bit. You can already start to see a distinct color emerging between the yellow and the red. I might even take the yellow itself and modulate that a bit. I could modulate the hue, a tad. I could also modulate the saturation of that. Now I'm starting to get something a little bit more distinct. Same with this blue, I find this blue is just too intense. Maybe I can add a little something to it that will help distinguish it or bring it more along the lines of the other colors. Another possibility is to make these colors printer primaries, and just see how those work. I think they'll work a little bit better actually. Let's just do 100 percent cyan, 100 percent magenta, and then 100 percent yellow. Here, you get some very distinct colors and quite attractive as well. Now, I find these a little bit too pure for my taste, but it is just showing you just one possible way of working with these colors. It's up to you. You can tint these back and make lighter colors. Any combination you want. Of course, this is just to show how to use this palette builder in a way that might work better for you and to just avoid the situation where you're getting these colors that are not really that distinct. I think that as long as you're using colors that you picked from your own color sense, colors that you know you like, colors that you sense that you turn to again and again, you can use this palette builder to create your palettes and hopefully you'll get something out of it that is both harmonious and does reflect something connected to the colors that you've already been using. Something connected to your own true color sense. Whatever you end up choosing as your palette colors, be sure to finalize that, make it legit by creating some swatches and then those will be handy to use in the final project, which of course we'll be doing next. 14. Project Overview: Okay, it's time to do the actual project. Let's get into it. The project takes what we learned about ourselves in the exercises and gives us a chance to test it out for real. The project is divided into two parts. In the first part, we'll ease into some simpler illustrations and stick with just our core home palette, which we created in Exercise 3. This will give us confidence in using our limited palettes and give us a sense of how we can be highly creative when faced with strict constraints. In the second part, we'll create a more complex illustration and see how we can use our strict palette in a more varied, flexible way. By the end of the project, you'll have two overall illustrations, our simpler one and our more complex one, which you can share on the class page and, of course, on your Instagram or other social media accounts, and maybe even on your portfolio. To keep this class efficient, I'm going to focus on the color aspect in my demos. In my other classes - including Sweet Spots, Drawing Toward Illustration, and The Style Class - I show in more depth how I come up with ideas and create sketches before going into the more final color artwork. In this class, while I'll touch on sketches, I'll be turning the spotlight more on how I work color into the final illustrations. If you need more help getting up to the sketch part, I recommend watching Videos 10-12 in Sweet Spots or if you really want the full experience, try my entire class Drawing Toward Illustration. 15. Project Setup: Choose a Theme: The first thing we want to do is choose a theme for our project. To make things easier, I'm giving you all a prompt that I think we can all sink our teeth into, and that's food. The nice thing about food is that it gives us all something we can relate with, and it provides all kinds of possibilities in terms of items to illustrate. Food also happens to be a very colorful subject, which should provide a nice challenge, when using a strict palette. Here we'll just go through choosing our theme and making it more personal and fun before moving into the first illustration. On my iPad here, I've just written out a quick little thing here that we can go through together and this is just how I suggest you go about selecting your theme for your project. Here we have theme and then food times blank. In the blank where it says activity or context, break down an activity or a context of your choice. The food we eat, what it looks like, and how we enjoy it is always different depending on the context. An example of an activity or context might be cycling or studying. So your project theme should be something like food times cycling or food times studying in these examples. Just by adding a context like this, you suddenly have specific foods and situations that come to mind. You can then imagine what sort of food, utensils or other kinds of tools and that kind of thing that might fit the theme as well as what a scenario involving that food and activity might look like. I'll just go through how I went about this, just to give you a quick example. The first thing that I did is just picked my theme. So my theme is going to be camping and I chose camping because, first of all, it's just something that I enjoy. 16. Project Part 1: Sketches: In this part of the project, will illustrate four to five simple objects in flat lay arrangement on a clean or solid background. This is a lot like the tools of the trade postcards we made in my inky illustrations class. We'll use just six basic colors plus our dark or black in our simple palettes. We're not going to vary from that too much. The purpose of this part of the project is to practice using a very simple palette, using our chosen style tools and techniques. This will demonstrate how it's easier to apply a simple palette to simpler illustrations. Of course, the outcome of this part of the project will be our first illustration, which is based on our food times activity theme, and it will have five are so simple objects using a simple color palette. Now you can go to the class projects and resources page to get the full specs for the project. But real quickly, it's going to be eight by 10 inches at 300 DPI, and this can be in vertical or horizontal format. In terms of tools, I'll be using Procreate for sketching and Photoshop for the final illustrations and of course you can use whatever digital illustration tools you please. Once we have our theme and our list of five objects, we can, of course, start sketching the mode. In this video, I'll quickly walk you through my own sketching process, and I'll just be giving you a quick overview of my thinking here. If you want a more full and deep look at my sketching process, be sure to check out my class Drawing Toward Illustration. For almost all illustration projects, I almost always start with image searches. The images I find will inform my sketches, which we'll be getting into in a moment. I find this step always helps get the juices flowing. I allow myself some time just to get lost and look for images that can inspire ideas, and inform me on some details of the actual subjects or forms that I'll be illustrating. When I set out to find images for this project, I went onto Pinterest and looked up the most obvious things like camping food, and of course the actual items from my list like camp stove, frying pan and so on. But I also use some search terms that are maybe less obvious but of more personal interest to me. When I think about camping, I get very nostalgic and think about the equipment my family used when I was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s. The equipment my parents would have had at that time probably was from the 1960s and 1970s. Those are the objects that I get most nostalgic about and inspired by. Turning to my computer here for a sec. These are some images I pulled from my image search for this. As you can see, there's lots of camping stuff and a lot of it is retro, from the era I talk about. For me this builds up a nice story, and of course gives me some interesting things to start drawing from in the next part of this process. When I'm done collecting reference images, I move into what I call observational or O-mode sketching. In some of my classes, I've also called this free sketching. This is where I just draw from my reference images with no goals except to just download visual information about my subject. I'm not thinking about ideas so much at this stage, really. This is just about stepping deeper into the process and keeping the juices flowing. I'm not worried at this point if my drawings are good or bad, they just start drawing from my images. When I sketch, I use a simple pencil and procreate, but sketching can be done on plain paper or in a sketchbook as well. Take as long as you need for this step. I would say at least 30 minutes should be enough for you. When you're done, you can move on to the next step. Sometimes it's helpful to take a quick break between these steps, just replenish your mental energy and come back with a fresh mind. As you can see, these are my O-mode sketches. Nothing too special about them really. I would just put an image on my screen, look at it, draw it, move to the next image, draw it, and so on. These are really quick, it's just really about putting some information in my head to inspire me and to give me enough information about the objects I'm drawing. This is especially useful if I'm not familiar with some of the details of what these objects might look like. It's just amazing how much more you really look at something when you draw it, compared to just looking at it in the image or something in front of you in real life. Every time I fill a page, I create a new layer and start drawing on that and I'll do that just over and over again until I feel like I'm done. After I'm done my O-mode sketches, the next step is to do what I call ideational or I-mode sketching. This is where we start thinking about our actual ideas and intentions for the illustration. Here we focus on what I call the three C's of sketching, concept, content and composition. My ideational sketches start a loose and rough and then as I go, I'm able to get more refined and decisive about my ideas. Our task here is to end up with a composition that we're pleased with, which we'll then use to illustrate over. Here in Procreate, you can see I just created some thumbnails, just six up here and there, the same aspect ratio as my final print will be, which is 8 by 10. I started off quite unsure. This is like the awkward stage of my sketching process where I really don't know. Like I said, I don't have any preconceived notions, I just start drawing, and from there I start to get a sense of what objects are working and what pieces will fit best and, I move onto a new layer when I fill up the page. Here you can see by my second page, I'm starting to get pretty good sense of what objects are working and what the story I'm trying to tell is. Then I keep going and try a few other things just to make sure I have tried enough things to get the best possible idea. After a short break, I went back to evaluate and choose some of my favorite ones, which I marked with a red dot. We have this one here with, we have a camp stoves, a coffee, some matches, coffee maker. In different variations with those objects, I stuck with the idea of breakfast. I was starting to gravitate around the theme of breakfast and getting some nice compositions happening here. I always like my sketches to be as refined as possible before moving into my final art. That way I can work out the small kinks that might get me stuck later on. I find that if I don't figure things out now in the sketch stage, I end up having to re-sketch them later anyway. In these more refined sketches, I took my three top selections that I marked with a red dot and re-sketched them with more clarity and refinement. Here are my three final selections for going into refined sketches. These I felt or just my strongest compositions and given the time that I spent on them, I was happy enough with what I had and it was time to move on. I've just put my original sketches down on the bottom here, and my refined ones at the top, my rough down here, my refined or at the top. As you can see, I just made a few subtle changes to this first one, and that's the orientation of the butter. I added just a few pepper dots for some extra detail. I refined the shape of the frying pan and added a match. With the other two, I did also refine those, but I found even in my refinement things didn't really get clear or less awkward. Again, I went with the top-left one here, and I was pretty happy to move on with that. By now you should have at least one sketch or a composition that you're happy with, which you would like to use for your final illustration. If you can't decide, just choose one and promise yourself you can do one of the others later. The important thing is just to have one clear composition you can work with. In the next video, we'll start making the actual illustration. 17. Project Part 1: Finished Art: Now, it's time to create our first final illustration. That means we'll be using are chosen style and media or tools and techniques to flesh out the sketches we developed in the previous step. Now for this first illustration, as a reminder, the goal is to use our simpler palette of six colors plus one dark or black. We want to be as strict with ourselves as we can about using only these colors and not using extended variations. The fact that we used simple objects as the basis of this illustration will definitely help in this regard. Now as I go into this video, I'll be showing you my own process, which of course is very specific to my own style, tools, and techniques. Of course, I'll be using my own simple palette as well. But as I go, I'll talk you through my thinking and decision process, which I believe will be useful for anyone working with a limited palette in their digital illustration. When you're done through illustration, please post it to your class project. Also, please feel free to share your work on Instagram. I love seeing your work in the wild, so please be sure to use the #onepaletteillustrator. Since I'll be illustrating in Photoshop, I have Photoshop open and I'm just going to create a new file and that file will be eight by 10 inches at 300 DPI. I'm just going to create that. Right away, I'm just going to save that and I'll just call it simple icons, V1. I copied my sketch from procreate and I'm just going to paste it here in Photoshop. Now, one thing I like to do before I get into the rest of the process, I'll just show you what I do for setting up my file, so I can trace over my sketch without the sketch getting in the way of my illustration and without my illustration blocking the sketch. I like to put my sketch in its own layer group called sketch. In that way, anytime I add or changes sketch, if I have two, I put it in this folder and it keeps things organized. Then, I create a layer group on top of it called art. All the artwork I create is going to go within this art layer group. That's all going to keep it separate from the sketch. Now, the real power of this setup here is when I do this, I set the opacity of the sketch group down to around 20 percent. Of course, that helps the sketch not overwhelm you and I'm making the art. Then, I set the blending mode of the art layer group to multiply. That ensures that all the shapes that I make in the art layer group are transparent to the sketch, but not to other layers within the art layer group. If I add other things going on here in the art layer group, just other artwork. You can see if I hide the sketch, objects themselves are opaque to each other. They're not multiplying over one another. But the overall layer group is multiplying over the sketch layer group and then what I'm illustrating, I can see the sketch, and it's just a nice way of being able to do that. I just wanted to show you that working before I jumped into speed mode and talk to you through the rest of the project. Now just starting right into the illustration, I'm going to start with the eggs. I'm using texture brush just to fill that in with the solid color, but the texture gives the objects a little bit more of a, it's just a lighter feeling to them. I just like texture in my work in general too. Doing the same here with the skillet. Using a little opportunity here to let some whitespace come through that object. I do the same with the contents of that frying pan. I'll add some eggs probably in there. We use the same textured brush that I use for everything else pretty much. Moving on to the butter package. I'm just going to use this opportunity to use another one of my colors, this time that cyan blue, filling it in with the texture brush. As you can see, I'm just filling in each object more generally at first and then I get into the details of each next. If the beak and I'm going to add a strip of fat in there with white and then copy that, set the opacity back to maybe 30 or 40 percent. That's just of course adds a little bit more interests in detail to that object. Moving now on to the cooking stove like the camps dose cylinder, that propane cylinder, and the apparatus that combined makes it the camp stove. I'm just working out some of those details and what colors they'll be. Moving on to the shapes of the salt and pepper shakers. Here I just let myself cut and paste and change one of them just a little bit. It's not totally cut and paste. I choose for now to add green to the pepper shaker there. Now, I'm going to use my inker just to create some line work. Most of my liner details are going to be this dark or the DV. Then, I multiply those over whatever color they're over and that just helps make everything more integrated. Now of course, a lot of my illustrations incorporate lettering of some kind. Here I'm taking that opportunity. I like to my lettering separate and larger. Then, I shrink it down and place it in to whoever it belongs later. This is just a very simple lettering style that I use a lot. I use the grid in Photoshop just to make all my letters a consistent size. I like to also refine the letters as much as possible by erasing the little bits of the ends, I hang passed where the grid lines are. Here for the egg pack, the lettering really helps create a more interesting visual. I think the egg pack with just some color or texture or something wouldn't be enough. Adding the lettering here, as long as it's notional and not too detailed, really adds something to the illustration. I multiply that color over the yellow too, and again, that just brings some more harmony to everything. I've decided here to change the color of the side lettering, like fresh and one dozen, just to the dark color instead. Now, I'm working out the texture. I'm trying to figure out what brush will make the best texture for all the objects in this piece. I'll use the same texture brush and color and technique throughout my illustrations. I decide on this brush finally, and then I set it back to 30 percent and multiply it over whatever it's sitting above. Now, here, I'm just adjusting the lettering, I felt like it was too tight. This is just the finicky detail but it looks a little bit more like what I had in my sketch, the letters are more spaced apart, has a more graceful and also a retro feeling to it. Now, I'm adding the yellow of whatever is in the frying pan, the eggs here, using the same texture brush, and moving on to adding more details throughout here. I'm creating the graphic on the butter package using the yellow first, and now, I'm about to work out the lettering style. I'm picking a brush for the letter. I'm going to do that lettering in white to start. Again, use the grid in Photoshop just to make my letters a bit more even and measured rather than to freeform feeling. Once I'm done my lettering, I put it in place in here. I'm going to actually put it beneath the yellow of the butter packaged graphic. That yellow, multiply it over the white will still be yellow, but multiply it over the cyan or the blue creates that nice green color. This is just an interesting way of working with the different colors in using opacity and multiply in this case. I could have chosen to make the word butter white over top the yellow, but this works also, and of course, we know that green is a mix of the cyan below and the yellow above. There's just a ton of color harmony natively happening right here. I'm taking the opportunity to add a few more lettering elements, always just add a little bit more visual interest, keeps things interesting, just making up a brand name. Farmfield's Butter, it should exist, sounds real to me. Adding some of the line work with my inker again, just for the folds of the ends of the butter pack. Now, I'm going to use the same texture from the eggs and just paste it here in the butter pack and set it to 30 percent opacity and multiply it over. I'm going to do that pretty much anywhere there's shading in this illustration. Now, I'm working on some of the graphics in lettering details of the propane cylinder of the cooking stove. I'm using my inker brush as my lettering brush here. Then of course, cutting in with my eraser tool just to refine the ends and overall shapes of these letters, just to make them look a little bit more intentional. I shrink that down, throw it in to the propane cylinder shape, start adding some more details. I'm going to fuss around with this a little bit, and I decide that I want those details, that triangle and the lettering to be white. It's allowing a bit of white space to come through. Now, I'm going to figure out how to get this flame to look flamey. This would be a little bit trickier because of the nature of a flame, it's ephemeral and never has a real shape and it's transparent. What is a flame? I'm just using different combinations of colors to see what works, and I end up with this yellow, white, and blue, and it seems to work well. Now, it's time to add the matches. I'm just going to copy and paste those so they're all even in size, and to create a little bit of repetition in the image. Then of course, add the match heads to each one of these. A little bit of white with enough texture so that red comes through, and that makes sure that you can at least make out the roundness of the tips rather than them looking totally cut off and blend in too much with the page behind. Here, I'm just going to add more burnt to a crisp feeling of this match stick and add some crumbs. Add a few final details to the piece, just bits of pepper that I can scatter throughout and of course, finish off the salt and pepper shaker. There's some details, and go in with some lettering just as I did elsewhere, doing it separately and bigger, and then adding it to the object shape later. I'm just looking for an appropriate brush for the salt and pepper shaker here. This one is a little bit weird looking when it's big, but when it shrinks down, it looks all right. Of course, adding in some of that texture of my texture brush and getting indecisive of the color. I'm just trying to figure out how to balance out the colors in that top corner. It feels like there's a lot of red going on now. I decide that the propane cylinder is going to be green, but those details at the top, I'll keep as the navy or the dark, and I'll just fuss around a little bit here with the color of the salt and pepper shakers. Add some texture to the propane cylinder, of course. Here, I'm just darkening the lettering, making it more intense and contrasty. I'm fussing about the colors of all the fonts now for the lettering. Second guess, but then I go back to my original. I do that a lot. Of course, add some spicy red to the eggs, just to add a little bit more nuance there and bring in some more red lower and just distribute some of the colors more evenly throughout the image. Trying to keep my colors as simple and true to my strict palette as possible. Now, when I'm done, I add my signature, fuss around a bit with the color of that, and then end up back with navy or dark. Just some tiny finishing details, and I think I'm done. 18. Project Part 2: Sketches: In the first part, we illustrated simple objects without any background, and we used our simplest palette of six colors. In the second part, we'll illustrate a more complex scene. This one will include the food and activity we chose earlier, but also some people interacting with one another and the food and objects in the scene in the foreground. Of course, because it's a scene, you'll also want to include some background elements to set the scene. This illustration will be more complex because we'll be dealing with different skin colors, as well as creating a sense of foreground and background. To do all this, we'll be using our extended palette, which we've created in exercise 3. We may even have to extend and modify it even more as we go. The trickle be in keeping the colors consistent and as simple as possible, using extended colors only as needed. Now, just a note, if drawing full people is intimidating for you, feel free to illustrate just the spread of food with maybe some hands coming in from the edges. This is a great workaround for those who want to jump into the illustration but are not yet confident about how they draw people. I do have a class called odd bodies, which addresses the specific pain for people, drawing people in their illustration and I encourage you to take that at some point and maybe even come back to this part of the project after taking odd bodies. The purpose of this part of the final project is to practice using the same colors from one illustration project to another regardless of complexity. Another purpose is to demonstrate how a palette can be extended without losing its sense of consistency between illustrations. In our first illustration, we had a similar palette, and now we're going to have a more complex illustration with more extended palette and they'll both be consistent because they're rooted in the same core set of colors. Another purpose is to demonstrate how to meet more complex demands, such as varying skin tones and complex compositions without losing the feeling of color simplicity of a stricter palette. Again, you can check the projects facts on the Projects and Resources page of this class, but we'll be using the same format, 8 by 10 inches, 300 dots per inch and you can do this in vertical or horizontal format, it's totally up to you. Again, I'll be using Procreate for sketches and Photoshop for the final illustrations. You'll probably find it helpful at this point to do some more image searching, this time with an eye for settings scenarios in people. For this stage, I went back to Pinterest and searched for things like people camping, retro camping people, and even things like 1960s picnic. I just wanted to find people gathered in a camping context. Again, because I'm nostalgic about the idea of camping in the 1960s and '70s, I need my search more specific to this era. Just turning to my images that I collected at the step in Bridge, you can see it's all still camping themed, but this collection has a more of a focus on people dining around a table or picnicking. It's just basically if the first set of reference images for the first part of the illustration, we're more dialed in and focused specifically on the food objects. This is like pulling back and looking more at the environment or the context. I would say it take some time to do some O-mode sketching of people in your scenes, especially if you think it will help get the juices flowing for the ideational sketches. Here you can see my O-mode sketches. They're really not that extensive. I just doodled at a few of my images and I don't know why, but I think I just felt like I had already done a bunch of O-mode sketches for the first part and I was just really eager to get into the actual sketches for this. I will see in a moment, I actually ended up having to do a ton of I-mode sketches and I think that's making up for how unprepared I was because I skipped this step. Just like the last time, after you're done your observational sketches, if you choose to diligently do them, the next step is to go into ideational or I-mode sketches. In these sketches, be sure to be thinking again about the three Cs: concept, content, and composition. What is the illustration about? What objects and characters will be used to represent your concept and how will you arrange it all in the composition? Just like the last time, I have my six thumbnail spots in Procreate and then I just started sketching, trying to have ideas. As usual, I started out quite awkward with just putting down whatever I had this initial idea of, maybe I could avoid drawing full people by throwing just their hands coming out of the edges. I kept thinking about maybe there was like a picnic table and then I got stuck a few times and thought, well, I had those objects from the first illustration. I guess I should throw them into the composition somehow. Here I tried doing just that. Again, avoiding drawing full people in this one and trying to include the things like the bacon, the coffee, the idea of a camp stove, just trying a few other things getting lost a little bit, which is totally fine. Then thinking, oh, maybe there should be more contexts, more of a background. Maybe there should be a tent and someone chopping wood or an ax or something in the background. Just to really set the scene in terms of a camp site. I think I started getting more bold and just having people having the table. I was getting a sense of what that foreground background relationship was like and what the actual objects in my scene would be. Then, yeah, I kept coming back to this idea and then I switched back to, oh, maybe I should just do hands again and then maybe I should actually bring the people back in. Going back and forth, being indecisive, it's okay to be indecisive at a stage like this because it's just you and your sketch pad. If you're not satisfied yet, then just keep going and you know a good time to stop is of course, when you start repeating your themes over and over again. But you're not seeing any huge change in terms of content or composition. Also if you start feeling frustrated like you're starting to get some negative energy going, then that's a good time to call it, take a break and come back to it with a more critical eye. That's what I did just like the last time I started putting red dots on the ones that I thought were the most promising. I liked this one because it had the three people, it had a nice sense of foreground background without being totally detailed. I just had like a part of the car in the background and part of the tent and I really liked that feeling. I also like this as a possibility where instead of having a whole person in the foreground, I had someone off in the background somehow setting that human element, but also connecting with the people in the foreground. Just like the last time, I took my top sketches and placed them in a new document to trace over them with more clarity and refinement. In this case, I actually decided to refine just one that had the full characters in them rather than just the hands. As I refined my sketches, I made my drawing as clear and confident as possible. Paying closer attention to the details, including what the characters look like, what they're wearing, and importantly how things overlap. Now, just looking quickly at my refined sketches, on the left, we have my rough sketch where I had the three people in the foreground and then a bit of the camp site in the background just to set the scene and then I iterated over it a few times until I was happy with the level of detail. I did add more detail, the image did get a little bit more complex here. But of course, I'm thinking now in terms of details like what's included. I have my camp stove, I have my bacon, the coffee, the eggs, the salt and pepper shaker. The idea of coffee. I added a few trees in the background because to me, when you're camping, there's trees everywhere. That's what I ended up doing in the sketch and really being specific about things as possible. It's still just a sketch, there's no color, there is no textures and shading really. But I am starting to think about where things will fit and sit in the final composition. Now you should have one final composition you're happy with to bring into the final illustration. Again, try not to get stuck on the perfect composition. There comes a time when you have to just move forward. Choose your favorite sketch for the full scene and just go with it. If you find by the next step as you get into it that is not working out, you can always go back and refine your sketch more. 19. Project Part 2: Finished Art: Now it's time to illustrate our full scene. For this one, we get to use our more extended palettes, which I think will come in handy as we try to apply them to our more complex compositions. The goal is still to be disciplined about sticking within our palette; is just that we get a few more tints and shades to work with. What you'll hopefully find is that you don't need tons of different hues. You'll find that your simple palette of six colors plus dark plus a few tints and shades is more than enough to create beautiful artwork. By sticking with your palette, the illustration you make for this one will be consistent with the first illustration. This is how you develop a consistent sense of color across all your work by having a simple home palette and then just using variations of it when you need to. Just like the last time, I'll be showing you my own process, which of course is very specific to my own style, tools, and techniques and also to my own palette. But just like the last time, I'll be talking you through some of my thinking as I went along my process. Again, when you're done your illustration, please post it to the class project. Again, please share your work on Instagram using the hashtag onepaletteillustrator. I can't wait to see what you guys make, but until then, let's get into the demo. Of course we're just going to start by setting up the file in the usual way. Create this again at 8 by 10 inches and then get that sketch in there, get it all set up to illustrate over. Don't forget to save your file at the beginning and throughout the process of making your art. I just pick one of the people to start with. This foreground person will be a nice entry point into beginning the illustration process here. I like to just make sure all my paths are looking good before I start filling them in. I'll start right away by picking a skin color from one of the skin-adjacent or skin-like tones that I set in my palette. I'll figure out what the exact skin tones will be, as I go along, I just pick something and start with it. I kind of block things in for now, get some of the clothes in there, of course. I've got the hair color in there, I used my darkest color and then I just multiply that over the skin tone. What I'm looking for, the clothes and the skin tone and the hair, I just want to make sure I have enough contrast between each of the elements. Here I'm working on the line work details between the fingers and the mouth here. This is just my shader that I've multiplied over the person's skin tone. I'm just going to add some details in the shirt. Of course, because this is camping, a nice plaid flannel shirt is in order. I'm just using a broader brush here. I'll use my dark color, but then scale it back in opacity to 50 percent so that when I overlap it over other copies of this same pattern, it creates that nice plaid effect. Of course, I'm multiplying it as well, so I have a multiplication and an opacity adjustment in this plaid element. For some of the little details here, just to separate the arm from the rest of the body and a little crease there, I'll use my inker with the darkest color and it just helps set apart those little details. This is just a nice little opportunity to add some white. At the page kind of come through this other white solid illustration. I'll add a little blushy cheek here. Now I'm starting to get more specific about the skin color. What I'm looking for is something that will be a nice balance between a dark skin tone, with something that will contrasts well with the clothes, and then also, let some of those details like the lines between the fingers and the smile and the blush also be visible. I'm working out just exactly what that tone will be. Once I have this person done, it's time to start blocking out the table. I want to just make sure that the color is not too intense. That full on yellow is too much and so I went with a lighter yellow. Now I'm starting to work out the details of the first object in the scene, which is my little cooking stove, my little camp stove. For some reason I started out with red as a color. I believe that color was green in my objects, but I'll work out that detail in a moment. As you can see, these more full-on, intense, pure colors from my simple palette are really standing out nicely against that tint of yellow as my background. Just adding some of the details that I remember from the object. You can of course, refer to your previous illustration to get any of these details right, which I will be doing a lot in this illustration. Here is where I take a look at my first illustration and realize, yeah, I made that propane cylinder green, not red. I'm also just going to borrow a few elements from that previous illustration just to save me a little bit of time. I like to redraw my elements fresh in each illustration as much as possible rather than cut and paste. But for little details like this, I give myself a pass and let myself do some copy and paste and also just make sure I have consistency between the two illustrations. I'm just bringing in a few other elements that I had already made, why not just reuse them rather than reinvent the wheel. Now I'm working on the coffee guy, the next person in this illustration. Just starting with the head. Now this guy his skin tone will be more of this yellow tint, which is basically the same color as the picnic table here. Working with a very simple limited palette, you're going to find different objects sharing the same color, whereas in real life, they would probably be very different colors. I don't know anyone who's the color of a picnic table, but you can do that with a simple palette. I found his jeans are just a bit too intense, so I used a tint of that color for my extended palette. Now I'm moving on to this arm detail. Making his shirt a darker brown from the palette, and then he's wearing a vest, which is that nice, bright red. It's a nice contrast there. Now I'm just working out his background arm, the arm just behind, coming in from behind the espresso maker. Now, time to illustrate the espresso maker itself. I'm going to use just the shader color, which works well as a metallic gray here. Now adding in these details always takes a few tries, like how is this handle going to work out and then seamlessly integrate with the line of the espresso maker? For some reason I'm not super happy with any of these. What I end up doing instead is just using the pen tool rather than a free form brush. This just gives me a little bit more control over this particular shape. There, I think, I've got it. I'm just going to add some more details to the espresso maker. Here I'm just using some white lines instead of my darker line work, and this just helps keep things lighter. I think if I use the dark line all over on the espresso machine, that would have just looked too heavy. Now just throwing in a bit of shading with that texture brush. Of course, adding the guy's hand coming around to hold it. That would probably be too hot to touch with your bare hands. But this isn't a realistic illustration anyway. Adding in some of the line work details of the hand. Again, using exact same shade or color multiplied over the skin color that I did with the foreground character. For the hair, I just multiplied the navy blue or the dark over the skin tone. Again, using the same blushing technique that I used in the foreground character, it's the same color, the same opacity, the same multiply. Of course, it takes on the tonality of the skin tone underneath it. I'm using the same weight incur that I used for the coffee pot as for the color and the zipper of the vest. Now, I'm going to give this guy some nice yellow flannely plaid pattern here because he's feeling the flannel vibes as well. Here's just that yellow and I'm not back the opacity to a certain amount. Then that allows that darker color of his shirt to come through. Now of course, it's time to add some coffee cups, giving you bit of shading. Then I allow myself to copy and paste that between the three people here. That adds some nice repetition in the image. I also realized I I forgot to add some of the plaid pattern in the background arm there. Now, I'm just taking it back, so it's not quite as intense. It's a little bit more subtle. Here I'm just trying to figure out the shape of the head and where the hair shape will land. This person's going to be a more pinky skin tone. There'll be wearing a turtleneck. Just working out some of those little finicky details of hands. Hands are always a paint point for me. I've decided in this case just to avoid it for now. I'll do the hand later. Now I'm filling in the green and finding it to be pretty intense. I'll probably scale that back somehow. I'll use a tint that I found in my extended palette. Now I'm just trying to multiply it and then take back the opacity so that it's still a form of that green. It's taking more of the nuance of the person's skin tone. I like that best. I found the tint for her shirt here just a bit too milky. Again, just applying those same properties to the arm sleeve as I have with the rest of the sweater. Now filling in the hair. Now here the hair shape is tricky because it needs to go under the hat, over the face, over the color, and then behind the shoulder. I'm just fussing about that. She's going to have hair that's brown, that dark brown color from the palette. All the eyes in my people here will have the same color people, which is that dark navy. Again, her facial details also get the same treatment as everyone else. For the hotlines, I think a dark line is too heavy, so I'm using the same white lines that I used in the coffee pot. Just adding some details, now just to separate the different parts of her body in the color. Now, I'm using that same inker that I use for the hotlines and the coffee maker. I'm using those now is a pattern in her sweater. This pattern will help, it breaks up the solidity of her form. It also helps contrast her against the foreground person. Just adding some lines helps give a sense of differentiation between these overlapping shapes. Then I take back the opacity of that weight too about 50 percent. That just makes the pattern a little more subtle. Of course, adding the line work details here just as I did everywhere else. You'll notice, I multiplied the dark line work separating her arms from the rest of her body. That appear a bit darker than the navy dark blue that is everywhere else. Just fussing about with this hand shape. Again, it's a big pain point when illustrating people just how to get those hands not looking too awkward. I'm okay with sausage fingers. I just like to make sure that the shapes like an intentional and not accidental. Just completing some of the pattern that was missing there in the sleeve or the cuff. Then of course adding some final details of line work over the skin there. I also like to add some blushing, same as what I have on the cheeks over other parts of the body just to add more contrast when necessary, and just add some more new ones to the person's skin tones as well. Of course, adding in some shading using my texture filler, just like we did with the simple spots. Here, I'm thinking a little bit about like having everything have the same light direction, but I'm not super consistent about it. Now, it's time to add that plate of bacon, adding a nice big area of white here for the plate, will just really help bring some of that paper color or that negative space through this otherwise solid lower third portion of the image where the table and all the objects are. Starting to draw in some rashers of bacon on this plate. For the bacon, I don't want a super solid edge, so I let some of the edge be a bit rougher. Now I add those strips of fat. Those help separate or differentiate the two pieces of bacon on the plate. Then I use a more pulled back in opacity version of that fat strip to further separate the two pieces of bacon and also of course give the bacon pieces more character. I'm going to use shading as well, which will add both of the character of the bacon and of course, give a little bit of contrast between the two, since the shading appears at the bottom of the bacon and not at the top of each piece. In that way, it helps the two pieces stand up from one another more. Now, I'm just perfecting some of these shapes with the hand and the plate where they're interacting. Now, to add in the spatula in this lower left part of the image. Again, this is another opportunity to bring in some negative space or some whites pace, this just helps open up this really solid lower third portion of the illustration. Helps it breathe a little bit more and gives it more visual interest. I'm going to spend a few moments here just perfecting the shape because it looks awkward and off to me in a not-so-good way. I'll just fuss around with this a little bit until I feel right about it before moving on. Here I'm going to give myself a pass. Let myself just copy and paste the salt and pepper directly from the objects illustration. Those are minor elements, so I don't feel I need to spend a lot of attention on them and drawing them again, reinventing the wheel. Of course, I need to add a couple more plates of food there where the coffee drinkers on the other side of the table are. I'm just going to notionally had some eggs and bacon on their plate, it's using some textured brushes and keeping it really simple. I like how the red of the bacon and the overall just bacon motif here is repeated. You have it in the foreground, and then you have it repeating in the background and just copy and paste it between the two plates. I can sneak it behind the egg on the other plate. That just helps it look like I didn't totally bluntly copy and paste it. Here I'm just going with a more solid edge on the plate in the foreground, and adding a bit more detail. Foreground elements and get more detailed and background elements. Bringing in some of those matches. Just like we had in the simple objects illustration. Now, I want to bring in some sky color. I do want to preserve some of the whites pace in the middle ground. I'm going to leave that way and then just add some sky color in the back, background at the top of the image. Then from there, I move on to bringing in the car with the canoe on top. Add some simple wheels. I think just the white line as the circles enough to suggest hubcaps don't need to go in too much detail there. Now for windows, we know that windows are clear and that maybe the background, the sky or whatever is behind it would show through whatever is behind the car. Here I'm just going to fill it in with my shader and use multiply just to give the sense of that darkening that happens when you look through the window of a car and it's darker inside the car than outside. Of course I'll just add some subtle details, handles and a steering wheel. I don't need much for background elements. I like to draw my cars really simple too. Now I'm going to add the canoe, bringing some of that bright beautiful yellow tone, which is reflected also in the eggs. Then I found the car color was too intense. I took it back to one of the tints of that blue, that I had my extended palette. Now I'm just going to add some details in the roof rack. Again just using my linework inker, and my dark. Now here I'm going to add the little flag that I had on the tip of the canoe. This is going to be a little Canadian flag. I'm going to make it a little bigger so it's easier to see and make and then I can shrink it down to size after. How it trying the Canadian me believe for me is super hard. I'm going to take a few tries here, and try not to make it look like a cannabis leaf, which for some reason it kept looking like the marijuana leaf as I was drawing this. I think I'm overly fussing with this, especially given how small the flag is going to factor in. But sometimes it's easy to just get pulled in on a detail and lose perspective of the bigger picture. I'm happy enough. I side it in place and move on. Add some shading to the canoe into the car. Now, here for the shading, it's the same texture, same technique as the foreground elements, but actually pour the opacity back more, so that it's even fainter than it is when I've applied the shading in the foreground. That's just because any object in the background will tend to recede in value. That includes the colors, includes the saturation even, and of course it includes how dark the shading is. Moving on to the tent. I want to make that tent green, but of course that green is just too intense for our background color. No pun intended. I use a tint of that green, and then add some shading just to suggest how the tent is dimensional. How's that side and the front? Now I'm adding a tree. I have a certain way of creating trees, which is mixing red and green. I have the red as the background and then I'm going to have the green. I'm going to multiply over it using my textured brush and that just gives this tree trunk a nice organic bucky look. Then I just use a layer mask to cut out some of the details of that wood texture. This is basically the red below, showing through the green that's being multiplied above. Now I'm going to add some of the branches of this tree. Here I'm okay to use the more full-on intense version of the green. I'm going to fuss around with these a little bit. I think I give up here and just copy and paste it, which may look a bit too symmetrical. For me, drawing trees is just about suggesting the tree more than capturing its total likeness. I'm okay if these details are very symbolic rather than literal. I'm doing what I can to make it look a little less cut and paste between the two sides. Now I'm going to add a tree in the background. Objects way off in the background are going to usually just be either white or dark in my illustrations. Here I'm just trying to find the right brush for that distant tree. I end up going with the same texture brush but just at a smaller size. Eventually here. Then once I figure out what my stroke looks like, I'm happy to just start drawing the tree. Again, because it's way off in the background, it has less variation in color and much less detail as well. Things further off just don't need as much detail. Just adding the Sun here and the cloud, now to make the cloud a bit more fluffy and subtle, I just set the opacity back. That helps the yellow of the Sun peek through and makes the cloud look fluffy and light. Now I'm moving on to the stump. The stump in the middle ground here using the same technique I used as the tree behind the coffee guy there to make that brown and to keep it looking organic, then I used the same color as the tabletop, as the wood top of the stump. That allows some communication between the middle ground and the foreground. That same light yellow is happening in both places, which brings a more united composition overall. Now with the ax, I'm just adding a few details in it, I'm trying not to get too overboard, but the metal of the blade, it's going to be the same color as the coffee maker, the espresso maker. Now I'm just softening the bottom of that stumps so it doesn't look so sharp. Then I'm going to add a few finishing details in the scene, such as this beer can. Now this may be overboard for how small that beer can is, but I decided to include some lettering there. Any opportunity to do some lettering, I usually take it. Here I'm just adding some of the guy wires that hold up the tent and then something similar that is tethering the canoe to the vehicle. By using this same line quality for those two things, it just creates a little bit more unity around the image. If I just use those lines just for the tent, they might feel one-off, but by also using them on the canoe get a little bit more of a pattern going. I'm just doing some tent pegs, add a few birds in the sky, and I'll fuss around with some of the tufts of grass here in the middle ground area. Can't forget about that coffee pouring. This is a great opportunity to use that dark brown and to use multiply, since coffee is a transparent liquid. I'll add just some final shading details throughout, just to bring a little bit more atmosphere to the photo. Of course, if I added texture on one character, I should be adding it on all. I'm not being super strict about the direction of the light and where the sun is. I'm being super literal about that, I use the shading more just as a way of giving a little bit of volume and depth to the image and allowing certain elements to contrast against others. Finally, just adding some lines to the tabletop or some increased visual interest. Of course, adding some spicy red a little bit to the eggs. Again, just a small, tiny colorful detail. It's very subtle, but it adds a little bit more interest to the image. It makes it look a little less flat. It's time to maybe, revisit these tree branches. Now that I figured out other parts of the image, I feel energetic enough to go and pay a little bit more attention to these branches of the tree and make them look a little more interesting. I'll just use my eraser just to shape those branches a little bit more. Another detail to add here is just the knots on the tree and bring them also onto the tree stump. I think I'm done. I'll just put these up side-by-side and see how the simple objects and the full scene compare with one another. Of course, how we should add my signature to my second illustration. Where to put that signature, that looks good to me. 20. Celebrate!: That's it, everyone. We've learned what it means to be a one palette illustrator. We learned how mastering a single palette can help us overcome all kinds of struggles in our own work, including knowing what colors to use with each project, having a stronger style, and even learning how to use any color palette in a more decisive and skilled way. Let me tell you, this was one of the hardest classes I've ever had to teach. Harder even than teaching style. Color is so subjective and there seemed to be thousands of different approaches to it. I know you're also different and will likely find your own ways of using color as you move forward. That's my biggest hope, that you can take something from this class and build on it in your own way and in your own work. As you work on your exercises and projects, as always, please share it on the class project page. The best way to get feedback from me and from others is by sharing it here with the rest of the class. I love seeing your projects so much. I know this is one of the biggest and most ambitious projects yet, and I thank you so much for your time and engagement here. As always, when you share on Instagram, please be sure to use the hashtag, one palette illustrator. You know, I love seeing your work out in the wild and this is the best way for me to discover it outside of Skillshare. As always, thank you so much for taking the class. I can't wait to see what you make for the project and I can't wait to learn more about what you learned in this class and how it's helped you in your art.