Try your hand at Fresco on the iPad (and iPhone)

Explore a whole new world of digital drawing and painting with Adobe Fresco in this 15-minute hands-on workshop. Quickly learn to work with layers and clipping masks to conform paint and textures to a base shape. Follow along with designer/developer Chris Converse to recreate part of a still life illustration using Fresco and Adobe Stock.

Okay, so with that, that leads us into our workshop. So as I mentioned before, we have two different ways that you can work with the files in the workshop. You can import the Adobe Stock image, which I’ll demonstrate during this workshop here. But the other option, which is a brand new feature, is you can actually add a cloud document directly to your cloud documents using the link that was supplied in the email that you got and the link that is in the resources pod. And what that will do is basically give you a brand new document that will show right inside of the iPad screen here that will get you up and running much quicker.
So with that, I’m going to start from the beginning by importing the Adobe Stock image just so that we’re all working from the same group. And so to begin, we’re going to start inside of Fresco with a brand new document. So from the main screen, what we’re going to start with is we’re going to start inside of Fresco, and we’re going to come down and we’re going to create a brand new document. So let’s come up here and let’s click this option here called Current screen size. That’s going to give you a brand new Fresco document that’s exactly the size of your screen.
On the right-hand side, you’ll see the layers panel showing up. And on the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll see all of your tools. We’re going to come over here and select this image tool here. And you want to locate the file that you saved from Adobe Stock.
So I’m going to come down here and I’m going to click Creative Cloud. I saved it into my Creative Cloud files.
Going to navigate to the folder.
And we’re going to pick this image here. This is the illustration that I want to work with, this still life. Now on the bottom right, once you’ve selected this, we can come down here and tap on the Open screen. That’s going to now import this into a brand new layer inside of Fresco. We can see the layer showing up on the right-hand side.
Now this will bring us into transform mode automatically.
So I’m going to tap on the lower-right corner to scale this. While I’m scaling this, I’m also going to tap on the modifier tool. It’s this little circle showing up here. And what this will allow me to do is tap on this and hold. And we can actually scale this from the center. You may have to stop transforming and tap it and then click it. Once that snaps into place, you’ll see that we can now scale from the center. So we can scale this up.
So the goal is just to get this rather large. Center it in your screen. Then when you’re done, come up here to the upper right and just tap on the Done link. That’s going to transform our changes, and we’re going to be able to go in and start working with our content.
So what we’re going to do to give you a sense of how these tools start to work together and just to give you a sense of how to set the brushes and how to paint a little bit, we’re going to recreate this peach shape here. So what we’re going to do is I’m going to hold two fingers and I’m going to zoom down a little bit and move into the upper right into this negative space up here. And let’s go over here and create a new layer. So we’ll tap on the plus sign.
Let’s tap on the original layer. Let’s click the ellipsis, and let’s come down here and click on the lock. We want to make sure that we don’t paint on the original image. We only want to be able to paint on the top layer. So that’ll just save us from messing up the original image. So now that we have our new layer at the top, let’s come over here to the left. Let’s tap on our brushes. And let’s come down here and let’s choose a painting brush. If you’re in one of the sections, you can click on the little left arrow right here and go back. We’re going to go into Painting, and let’s come down and let’s choose the Cezanne 1 brush. So with Cezanne selected, you can tap anywhere to sort of make the menu go away. Tap on the brush again. Now down in the lower left, you want to come down here and change some properties. So first, let’s click on the eye dropper tool. You tap this once, you can see this little eye dropper showing up in the stage. If you tap on this, you can move this around. And we’re going to come down here, and we’re going to select this sort of medium reddish-orange color.
Now if you tap with your finger instead of with a stylus, you’ll see that you get this little loop icon that shows up here, which shows you with the little crosshair what you’re actually selecting underneath, which is really cool. And Fresco knows if you’re touching the screen with your finger or a stylus. So this tool will actually change depending on what you’re using. Let’s get this medium orange color here, and then let’s come up here and let’s get our brush.
Going to bring the brush up to maybe around 100.
And then let’s come up here and let’s paint a shade.
Now the cool thing is you don’t have to get this perfect right away. What I tend to do is I tend to start from the middle and sort of paint around a little bit. And then I sort of paint around to get that sort of shape. So there’s a little bump in the upper right here.
And continuing to paint, we’ve got sort of a bump here, and then it sort of smooths out down at the bottom. Just going to paint around here just a little bit. Doesn’t have to be perfect. We just have to get something that’s going to look pretty close to that shape.
If it’s easier, you can paint with white. You can paint with any color that’s going to help you sort of get that shape.
And then if you want to change anything about the shape, you can always come over here to the eraser tool on the left-hand side. And the eraser tool has the same sort of settings that we have for brushes. So I’m going to choose the Hard round brush. Actually, I’m going to choose Gritty brush here, and I can come in here and just sort of erase parts of this that I don’t want, just to get the shape.
This is completely up to you. I’m going to get to the point where I have something kind of close.
So once I have something close, I’m going to go back to my main brush.
Going to come down and select my brush here. And I’m just going to paint in here just so that I have a nice solid color showing up.
Now let’s come in and let’s increase our brush size a little bit.
And again, all these instructions are in the PDF. And I want to emphasize again , you don’t have to follow exactly what I’m doing here. I really want you to get a sense of how these tools start to work together, because you can come in here and start to play with these however you like. You could make color changes that you want.
Let’s come in here and let’s select a lighter yellow color, so I’ll come down and pick something like this here.
Select my brush.
I’m going to come down and pick the Cezanne 2 brush here. That’s going to give me a little bit more texture. For the flow, I’m going to come in and change this down to maybe about 35 or so, somewhere in this range.
I’ll move the size down a little bit. And then I’m just going to paint in the upper right-hand corner. I’m going to undo first, let me create a new layer, and let’s add a clipping mask. So let’s add a new layer and then we’ll add the clipping mask, little icon here. So on my screen, it’s this little icon here. So this adds a mask above this shape. So now if I come in here and paint with yellow, I can paint on the main area, but I can’t paint outside that main shape.
So you want to come in here and just paint a couple strokes, paint it in here a little bit. With the flow set really low, we can come in and paint a couple of times and we get this really sort of mottled texture for the artwork up here.
We can start to paint around. Next I’ll come down here. Now a shortcut to get a new color is I can just tap on the screen and hold. I’m going to come down here and I’m going to select this really dark reddish color down here.
So with this color selected, we’re going to come back up, and now I’m going to paint on the lower left-hand side.
So back in our shape, and I’m going to stay on the same layer as the yellow. I come in here and sort of paint in here a little bit.
I might come in and change my flow a little bit, so it’s just a little bit smaller.
Paint this around.
And I’ll paint in a little bit so we get some of the mix of the colors.
And then we’ll add a little bit of reflected light in here.
So let’s come in here, let’s tap and hold and let’s select that same medium-orange color we had earlier, something very similar.
Now with that selected, I’m going to paint in the center here.
And I’m really just doing this because we’re sort of building up all these different colors, getting these all to sort of match and move around. And I’m also going to get down and paint on the lower-left edge here. I’m just going to create a little bit of a reflected color sort of feel here.
And as you’re going through, you can just continue to modify your colors a little bit, moving these around, and be pushing them around a little bit. 'Cause they will allow you to sort of mix them live.
And the other thing that you can play with is we can come in here, once you get some of your shapes looking the way you want, is you can come up here to the left, click on the mixing tool, which is this little hand icon we can see right here. And what this will allow us to do is, tap on this, I’m going to choose a dry media, come down to like Soft chalk, and this is really just going to give us the texture of that shape. Then we can come in here and we can start to mix our colors, but they’re going to mix as if we were using a sort of soft chalk mixing paper.
You’ll see these in art stores, it’s like wrapped up paper. You sort of peel off the paper and sort of push your colors around. And so you can really sort of simulate all these different pieces. And at this point, it doesn’t matter, I’m going back and forth a couple of times with different brushes and paint and figuring out how you want to start adding some of that content and sort of moving this around. The real trick to this, and what you’ll see in a lot of art books, is this idea of sort of building up the medium.
And so with that, I hope you got a lot out of today’s session. My goal again was to just show you a bunch of different things that you can do inside of Fresco, how the tools work, the live brushes, how to work between different applications. I think there’s something in here for every type of graphic designer and artist. And so with that, I would just encourage you to launch Fresco and start playing with it. And with that, thank you so much for joining us today. I want to wish you a good rest of your day, wherever you are in the world. And I hope to see you again in a future episode. -

Download Quick Reference PDF Guide

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