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Adobe Illustrator & Gouache: How to Successfully Vectorize Your Paint

Hey there, I’m Melissa Lee, a designer and illustrator living just outside Sacramento, California. There are so many different ways to mix traditional media...
(19 reviews)
876 students
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Platform: Skillshare
Video: 1h 18m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

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Detailed Analysis

CourseMarks Score®

8.9 / 10

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Freshness Score

8.0 / 10
This course was last updated on 3/2020.

Course content can become outdated quite quickly. After analysing 71,530 courses, we found that the highest rated courses are updated every year. If a course has not been updated for more than 2 years, you should carefully evaluate the course before enrolling.

Student Feedback

8.9 / 10
We analyzed factors such as the rating (4.6/5) and the ratio between the number of reviews and the number of students, which is a great signal of student commitment.

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Content Score

9.2 / 10
Video Score: 7.7 / 10
The course includes 1h 18m video content. Courses with more videos usually have a higher average rating. We have found that the sweet spot is 16 hours of video, which is long enough to teach a topic comprehensively, but not overwhelming. Courses over 16 hours of video gets the maximum score.
Detail Score: 9.9 / 10

The top online course contains a detailed description of the course, what you will learn and also a detailed description about the instructor.

Table of contents


Hey there, I’m Melissa Lee, a designer and illustrator living just outside Sacramento, California. There are so many different ways to mix traditional media with digital, but for years I only really used Photoshop. It’s the first digital program I learned how to use, plus it’s pixel based, rather than vector based, so it just seemed like the obvious choice. But then I learned Adobe Illustrator, and after using it for five years, it’s now my preferred program. 

Bringing my gouache work into Adobe Illustrator and vectorizing it, so that I can use some of the awesome tools that Illustrator provides is one of my favorite methods for combining traditional and digital media, and I’m often asked about my process for doing so. So instead of just explaining it, I wanted to provide an in depth, visual demonstration that I can point people to. And thus, this class was born.

I’ll show you how I paint and ink in order to get the best results in Illustrator and make the digitizing process as easy as possible. Then I’ll walk you through vectorizing your work and assembling the elements. I’ll also go over all of the most common Illustrator tools I use for drawing, coloring, and assembling motifs. I love working both traditionally and digitally, and this method is a really fun way to combine the best of both worlds.

I’ve noticed in my time in various online art communities, that figuring out how to incorporate watercolor and gouache into Illustrator is something that a ton of traditional artists with a love of texture struggle with time and time again. I struggled with it myself. How do I keep the integrity of my traditional work using Illustrator? The unfortunate truth is that it’s just not possible to keep every detail once you vectorize something. The sooner you understand that, the better. I essentially spent three years developing a style in Illustrator that I’m happy with, so if you’re feeling frustrated by this process, you’re not alone. And hopefully this class will provide you with an option for creating a traditional-esque effect that you can feel happy with.

Some familiarity with Illustrator is recommended, but I will be going over all of the tools I use in detail, so even if you’re a beginner, you can still follow along just fine. 

So get out your painting supplies and let’s get started.

You will learn

It’s time to create your own gouache influenced vector illustration! Follow along with the videos to get your project underway, or look to the following steps for a refresher:

  1. First, remember that your workflow doesn’t have to match mine exactly. If you find certain things that work better for you, edit them in to make your own custom workflow.
  2. Don’t be shy about looking to reference for help. If you plan to make a floral or fruit illustration, consider buying some flowers or fruit to take pictures of, or use Pinterest/Google/etc. to find images that inspire you. Just remember, if you use the internet, be careful to not trace other people’s work line by line. Instead, think about which elements inspire you. Composition? Color? Different ways to apply line work/details? Variation in shape? Abstraction or detail? Etc.
  3. Paint and ink your motifs! Just start. Try not to overthink it at first. Embrace happy accidents; they just might end up working for you later on!
  4. Bring your work into Illustrator to vectorize, color, assemble, and compose!
  5. Don’t forget to post your class project!


  • JetPens.com
  • E+M Gemini Nib Holder
  • Brause 361 Steno Blue Pumpkin Calligraphy Pen Nib
  • Brause 29 Index Finger Calligraphy Pen Nib
  • J. Herbin Perle Noire Ink (Pearl Black)
  • Winsor & Newton Gouache
  • Holbein Gouache
  • Canson XL Watercolor Pads
  • illo Sketchbook
  • The Pigeon Letters Studio Round Brushes
  • Colour Shaper (Taper Point Size 2)
  • Tracing Paper
  • Scanner


Basic knowledge of Scanning is required to start this course, as this is an intermediate level course.

This course is for

This course was made for intermediate-level students.

How much does the Adobe Illustrator & Gouache: How to Successfully Vectorize Your Paint course cost? Is it worth it?

You can enrol in this course with a Skillshare subscription that costs $8/month, but you start with a FREE 7-day trial. You can also enrol in thousands of courses on a variety of topics with your subscription, including several Scanning courses.

Does the Adobe Illustrator & Gouache: How to Successfully Vectorize Your Paint course have a money back guarantee or refund policy?

There is no money-back guarantee with Skillshare, but you can start with a free one-week trial to learn without risk. With the subscription, you can download classes to your tablet or phone using the Skillshare app.

Are there any SCHOLARSHIPS for this course?

At the moment we couldn't find any available scholarship forAdobe Illustrator & Gouache: How to Successfully Vectorize Your Paint, but you can access more than 30 thousand classes for $8/month on Skillshare, including this one!

Who is the instructor? Is Melissa Lee a SCAM or a TRUSTED instructor?

Melissa Lee has created 13 courses that got 602 reviews which are generally positive. Melissa Lee has taught 32,610 students and received a 4.4 average review out of 602 reviews. Depending on the information available, Melissa Lee is a TRUSTED instructor.
allow yourself to fail before you succeed

Hi! My name’s Melissa Lee, and I’m an illustrator and surface designer living in the hilly forests of Northern California. Alongside doing freelance and art licensing work, I’ve spent much of my time cultivating my love of sharing what I know and encouraging others to nourish their creative side through teaching online art courses on Skillshare and Teachable. I love making patterns, character art, and watercolor paintings. I’m endlessly inspired by animals and nature (whether living today or extinct), science fiction and fantasy, space and astrology, witchy things, and bees.

Always bees. 

The classes that I teach on Skillshare focus primarily on illustration (digital and traditional), watercolor techniques, and character design. I hope to see you there! <3



Website: melissaleedesign.com

Email: [email protected]



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CourseMarks Score®







Platform: Skillshare
Video: 1h 18m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

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