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Color Techniques for Drawing

with Cleo Papanikolas

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 Color Introduction

  •   03 How to Apply Color Using Gouache


Class duration: 2h 42m

See all 17 lessons
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  • 44% recommended

    9 student reviews

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About The Class

Add Dynamic Color Combinations to your Drawings

Are you ready to work with color on your drawing but overwhelmed by all the possible options? In this class, professional painter & illustrator Cleo Papanikolas shares fun, beginner-friendly color application techniques that can turn anyone’s drawings into vibrant finished pieces.

In this class Cleo will teach you 8 different color styles ranging from spot color techniques to using metallics with illustrations.

You'll also learn how to:
  • Load and Apply color with your brush 
  • Use different mediums: watercolor, gouache, brush pens and colored pencil 
  • Create harmonious color palettes
With your finished color pieces, Cleo will show you how to move your drawings out of your sketchbook and out into the world. Learn how to display your drawings on gallery walls and onto physical products, from iPhone cases to large scale tapestries, with sites like Society6.  

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Color Introduction

  2. 02

    How to Apply Color Using Watercolor

  3. 03

    How to Apply Color Using Gouache

  4. 04

    Color Materials & Setup

  5. 05

    Color Style #1: Pen and Watercolor sketch

  6. 06

    Color Style #2: Doodle style using Pen

  7. 07

    Color Style #3: Brushpen

  8. 08

    Color Style #4: Chalkboard Technique

  9. 09

    Color Style #5: Spot Coloring Book

  10. 10

    Color Style #6: Add Color with Your Background

  11. 11

    Color Style #7: Create Color Combinations with Metallics

  12. 12

    Color Style #8: One Color Value Study

  13. 13

    Using Multiple Colors for Shading & Highlights

  14. 14

    Develop your Style by Showing Your Work

  15. 15

    Ways to Display Your Art

  16. 16

    Turn Your Drawing into a Digital Product

  17. 17

    Paper Crafts with Your Drawings


Meet Your Expert

Cleo Papanikolas

Cleo Papanikolas is a painter, author, illustrator, and maker of Cleomade products. She has a BFA in printmaking from California College of Arts (and Crafts), and an MFA in painting from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author and illustrator of Cook Until Desired Tenderness (North Atlantic Books). She illustrated The Comfort Queens Guide To Life (Random House) and a line of over 100 licensed products based on the book. ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Color Tools and Materials List
  • pdf Candy Drawing
  • pdf Daisy Drawing
  • pdf Sharks Drawing

44% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • ginna baker

    ginna baker

    November 2017

    A great student for this class is someone who is newer to art and just wants to try a bunch of different mediums. The course is not the right fit for me personally. It's more of a "here's an interesting medium" class than a technique class. It scratches the surface but doesn't have the depth I'd like to see. One way I'd suggest improving the class would be letting students see the process from start to finish using slightly sped-up frames with narration in the background. I'd like more information about the technical parts -- just more depth. I'd like variations for more advanced students including color mixing or other more difficult techniques. I wish I could rate this with stars instead of just thumbs-up or thumbs-down. It's not just one or the other.

  • user 43495d

    June 2018

    Cleo does start quite nervous, and not very clear in her explanations. Thanks to the guy asking the questions throughout the class…I guess he was as confused as us in the beginning. BUT…the class does get better!! She gets more confident and does give good examples to take your simple drawing to a colorful piece of art you can sell on products or share on social media. I really enjoyed later lessons. And I always say-if I can get a least ONE good advice or trick – then it was not a waste of my $20.

  • Carmen Martins

    Carmen Martins

    November 2017

    So sad to say this, but I was expecting MUCH more. Cleo is really fun and creative but I thought I was going to learn some new and exquisit artistic technics but instead I saw things I could discover by myself on Youtube :( I´m very disappointed. Thanks, Carmen

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