We'd like to give a warm welcome back to the master of mixed media painting himself, Nathan Brown from Trailhead Design Co.!  If you've never attended one of his sessions, then you're in for a treat. Nathan is one of the best teachers and designers to grace our hangouts, so we hope you're ready to fire up your Adobe Fresco and learn all there is to know about mixed media painting!

Understand Fresco

Adobe Fresco is completely unique and different than Procreate and Photoshop. However, some of the brushes are similar to Photoshop and some of the features have Procreate aspects. It is easy to adapt to Fresco if you have previously used Photoshop and Procreate.

Adobe Fresco has beautiful Live Watercolor and Oil Brushes.

Pro tip: Change the dark theme by clicking the cog and app settings. 

Understand Brushes

Paint using the Live brushes. Choose the Watercolor Round Detail and add two colors. Set the water flow to 100 to notice the water blend and bleed. They continue bleeding after the stroke. The Wet Splatters Brush acts like a real traditional watercolor brush. The color picker has a feature where you can select the icon and move it around. This will select multiple colors with which you paint.

Pro tip: Put two colors side by side and take the picker using blue and green with a hard-edged transition. Then choose the Live Brush to blend the colors together. 

Draw the Sketch

Choose the paintbrush and size it down to a pencil. Draw the leopard and paint some spots.

Pro tip: Avoid using plain black to paint the spots to make the leopard look more realistic. 

Add Color

Use a purple color mixed with some blue color to get some of the darker spots. Use the Soft Round Brush and blur them together. Gently tap and let the color flow.

Pro tip: Blur the edges to maintain a hard and soft blur between spots. Use the Smudge Tool for blurring and blending. Under the effects category, there are two brushes called Ink Stains and Ink Spread. These work well for smudging water color as well. Use these to smudge the watercolor flow.

Add a new layer to add colors to the leopard. Use a color scheme, primarily orange and purple because they're opposite on the color wheel and are complimentary colors. Blend the colors and check for their flow.

Fill in the darker areas with a deep brown-orange color and color the sketch.

Pro tip: Instead of switching back and forth, if you want to erase something, press the button below. It will erase the area using the same brush that is selected. If you double-tap, it will heap. It'll keep the eraser selected, or it'll keep the eraser as the active tool until you double-tap it again.

Add Highlights and Background

Pick a light yellow color and paint the highlights. Add a background wash using the Soft Wash Brush. Scale it to let the water flow up all the way making clouds. Choose the Blur Tool and smoothen it out to create a watercolor wash gradient in the background.

Add highlights with an overlay using a purple color shadow layer. Add an overlay and paint shadows in some areas. Use the Hard Round Variable Brush, size it down and paint details to define fine whisker lines.

While painting the whiskers, avoid drawing them in the same direction. Add a variation to make it look more realistic. Use splatters and paint the brows. Use two colors and blend them.

Pro tip: Blend the colors together. Use the blend mode and add a purple color. Use the overlay to bring the color tinge.

Pro tip: All the tools used to draw this painting are used with free Fresco tools.

Congratulations, you have successfully learnt mixed media painting in Fresco. 

Here’s another example:

Draw a Sketch

Use the B pencil from the Ultimate Brush Wax Pencil Pack. Draw the bird.

Use the live paint watercolors - orange and yellow color. Gently blend them together.

Add Highlights and Shadows

Add yellow color on the highlight side and orange color on the shadow side. Add a purple tinge color using the same brush to blend in the shadows. Paint above the paper for the color to stand out.

Add a big splotch of yellow to bring some brightness to the center and set the layer to overlay. Add highlights to the bird’s feathers.

Add Lighting

Create a new layer. Add highlights to the rim light and make the areas darker where the light bounces.

Build up the contrast which adds more depth to the picture. 

Paint in the Background

Paint in the background using the Wash Brushes from the Ultimate Brush Toolbox. Use the watercolor set in order to get some of the textures in the background along with some splatters. Add an abstract background and a contrast color. Add a purple color and blend everything.

That’s it! You’ve created another beautiful mixed media painting in Fresco.