Sketch Colour

  1. Sketch Colour Drawing
  2. Sketch Color

With this latest Mac app update, we’re introducing three features that we think you’re going to love. First, Color Variables — a long-requested feature and a foundational building block for any design system. Then, a new Components View — a proper home for your document’s local Symbols, Text Styles, Layer Styles and Color Variables. Finally, a new Insert Window that makes finding and inserting Components easier than ever.

How do I edit a Color or Material in the web-based version of SketchUp, SketchUp For Web? Change eyes color, turn your selfies into portraits, create a coloring page from a photo.

Color Variables

Whether you’re working on a one-off project, or managing a complex design system, keeping the colors you use consistent and up-to-date is important. And with Color Variables, we’ve made that a lot easier. They work exactly how you’d expect them to — you can apply them wherever you’d normally apply a solid color. And when you make a change to a Color Variable, you’ll see that update reflected automatically across every layer that uses it.

You can create Color Variables right from the Color Popover. We’ve also introduced a menu to help you quickly access and apply existing Color Variables. You can edit them either from the Color Popover or from the new Components View.

Color Variables replace solid color presets. When you open a document, we’ll automatically convert any existing solid color presets in it. Any global solid color presets will become their own local Library, available for every document that used them. If you want to edit them, simply open the Library document from the Libraries preference panel, like you would with any other Library.

We’ve had plenty of requests for something like Color Variables over the years — and throughout development and testing we’ve found them to be incredibly useful. We hope you will, too! For more information, take a look at the documentation. We’ve also put together a short video to show you more and released a Color Variables Migrator plugin to help with adopting Color Variables in your older documents.

Components View (Beta)

Along with a whole new type of Component, this update also introduces a new home for them. The new Components View gives all of your document’s Symbols, Text Styles, Layer Styles and Color Variables the space they deserve.

Clicking on the Components View tab in the Toolbar will switch out the Canvas for a whole new view in your document’s window. There, you’ll see a grid with a preview of every Component in your document. From there, we’ve made it easy to organize them into groups, rename them, and even edit them in bulk using the controls in the Inspector. In other words, you no longer need to manually create a page full of text layers for the sole purposes of viewing and editing Text Styles.

This new Components View is all about organizing and editing Components that are local to your current document. Components from other Libraries are (by design) read-only, so you won’t see those here. To view and edit those, you’ll need to open the Components View inside that Library’s Sketch document.

Conceptually, the Components View has been a long time coming and we couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you. With that in mind, we’re launching it in Beta and we’ll bringing some additional improvements and polish to it over future updates. For now, though, you can take a video tour of the Components View or read the documentation.

Insert Window

The new Components View makes it easy to keep your Components organized. And we thought inserting them should be just as easy, too. Our Insert toolbar menu does a great job of that, and in this release we’ve improved it with a search field that we previously introduced to the Symbol swapping and Overrides menus.

But we knew we could improve this workflow even more. So in this release, we’re introducing the Insert Window. As the name suggests, the Insert Window is a separate window, built specifically for browsing and inserting Components — from your local document or any Library you have enabled.

We’ve worked hard to make using this new Window fast. You can simply tap C on your keyboard to open it, type to search for what you need, filter between Component types, or browse through specific Libraries and groups in the sidebar.


When you find what you need, simply drag-and-drop it onto your Canvas. The window hides itself when you do this so you can see the entire Canvas, but you can also pin it to have it reappear automatically.

We’ve also added a few nice drag-and-drop features — like the ability to drop a Text Style onto a text layer to apply it, as well as Layer Styles and Color Variables with other layer types. You can even drag Color Variables onto Color Wells in the Inspector, and Symbols onto overrides.

For more information on the Insert Window, you can take a look at the documentation or watch our video.

More updates, improvements and fixes

Along with Color Variables, the Components View and Insert Window, version 69 of the Mac app also includes:

  • Smarter grids — Re-ordering layers in grids, by dragging on their circular center handle, works in a more natural way. Layers will now shift around in way that avoids adding extra rows or columns.
  • A new name for Symbol masters — As part of an industry-wide change with Figma and Adobe, we’ve renamed Symbol masters. We now refer to a Symbol master as a Symbol Source.
  • Offset Path improvements — We’ve moved the Offset Path controls into the Inspector and now temporarily show you an outline of the original path to give you a sense of scale while you’re making adjustments.
  • Crash and bug fixes — As always, we’ve squashed some pesky bugs and fixed some unexpected crashes.

Version 69 of the Mac app is available right now and we hope you’ll enjoy these latest updates. We always appreciate your feedback, so if you have questions or run into any issues, please get in touch. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the next update which includes a nice UI refresh for macOS Big Sur. 😉

by Julie Carlisle

The desert experience is so enchanting with sun-baked hills, prickly plants and rock formations where you can truly see the evidence of time. In addition, having native lizards and birds around while I sketch a desert landscape … stacked in layers of colored rock is a treasured time.

With that being said, sometimes you just have to work from photos that you brought back from the trail. So, let’s recreate this Nevada desert scene step by step in a stylized way with a black ink pen and watercolor paint.

Step 1. Sketch with Free-Form Lines

I suggest that we get daring and start with a black ink pen. You need to find the kind of ink pen that does not smear when you get the ink wet. Test it out on paper first by allowing the ink to dry and then paint some water over it. I am going to begin by drawing on a 9 x 12 inch watercolor paper in the same proportion as my photo.

Throwing down some free-flowing lines in a bold direction with a black pen has a kind of liberating effect on you. You know you are going forward, and there is no going back! Don’t be nervous, you can always get another paper if you don’t like how it is going.

1a. Choose the Divisional Line

Although it is exciting to draw freely, we will need to have a bit of restraint and choose the lines that we need first to capture the landscape. The most important divisional line would be the horizon line. This line that divides the sky and the landscape will also divide your sketch into two halves on paper. In this sample photo there is a large rock formation on the left, which contains important lines for this sketch as well.

So, start with the horizon line and begin drawing it with your eyes on the photo at the same time as you sketch it on the paper, looking back and forth constantly. Continue using this method of drawing and looking at the same time with the big rocks on the left.

1b. Directional Lines

The directional lines of this dry desert riverbed lead all the way back to the horizon. For this particular scene, the vertical-bound lines are very important as they lead the viewer’s eye all the way to the point where the rocks meet the mountain on the horizon. That pretty much describes how you draw the lines as well. While following the lines in the photo with your eyes, flow your pen down the page with nice curves. It is ok if they are not exact; it’s the flow and freshness that really matters.

1c. Secondary Directional Lines

On the right side, we can see some directional lines in the rock but they are not as prominent so we can call them secondary directional lines. Therefore, they can be sketched in a little bit lighter (or you may paint them in later).

1d. Contour Lines

These Contour Lines are a great way to illustrate the form of the rocks while adding interest with the curved lines. They are called Contour Lines because they literally follow the contour of the rocks, in this case showing off the layers of rock. Again, we don’t want to draw each and every line in black pen. Group a few contour lines together and then move down to sketch some more together. The gaps will be filled in with paint later. Continue throughout your sketch with this method.

Sketch Colour Drawing

Step 2. Clouds and Sky using the Wet-on-Wet Painting Method

Wet-on-Wet painting is the act of putting wet paint onto wet paper. This method involves painting the area with water first, and then adding paint to it. Brush sizes can vary from #4 to #8.

I find this to be another free-flowing way of creating and it can also be a little daring. In other words, you will be relying on gravity and the way that paint interacts with water to fill in the sky and clouds. It is quite fun to allow the paint to make forms on it’s own with a little bit of direction from you. Also, like all watercolor painting, it does require some drying time.

Step 3. Landscape Forms using the Wet-on-Dry Painting Method

The Wet-on Dry Method of watercolor painting involves using wet paint on dry paper. The paint is much more controlled by the brush with this method.

3a. Highlights and Midtones

In order to keep this desert scene very contrasty and animated I am going to go with bright colors like yellow and orange. Mix a little yellow paint with some water and slide your brush across the tops of the rocks, around the contour lines and down the stripes of the riverbed. This will give the effect of the sun shining down on the Highlights.


Sketch Color

For the Midtones in the rocks choose a medium brown, add some red to it and mix with a little water. Fill this color into the darker shadow areas of the rocks, Additionally; add some stripes of the midtone color into the dry riverbed. Choose a different brown to add color to the mountains and the shadows under the shrubs.

DOWNLOAD your FREE guide here: Key Tips for Sketching, it is loaded with information that will help you on your creative path. You will receive 5 .pdf’s covering tools to technique. I will be referring to the tips in the FREE guide while we go through the weekly lessons.

3b. Pop the Color, when you sketch a desert landscape

Desert rocks in Nevada radiate natural orange and red hues. To emphasize these colors mix up a nice orange with a brushful of water keeping it bright. If the orange looks a bit too neon you can mix a tiny touch of blue or brown into it to tone it down a bit.

Generously brush the orange into the rock formation on the right. Paint around the yellow and shadow areas only overlapping a little bit here and there. It is ok to have some of the white paper showing through. Keep your brushstrokes fresh and only go over the areas once. This method of quick painting is perfect to use on location as you will be able to finish the sketch in a couple of hours, even with drying time.

Now, add some water to the orange paint to wash it out a little and begin to fill in some colored stripes to the dry riverbed and the desert floor on the right.

3c. Use Thicker Paint in the Shadows

Mix some dark brown paint with a brushful of water and using a small brush (like a #3 or #4) begin filling in the shadow areas. Concentrate mainly of the deepest shadows and crevices. Try to go with the flow and let the paint dry before going over it again. Use a smaller brush to follow the contour lines and add some shadows into the mountains.

Add a few dots with the brush for texture here and there. Also, add some green into the shrubs and add a little bit into the background scene just to balance the color on the page.

Step 4. Final Details for Sketch a Desert Landscape

For the last touches, I ended up putting some patterned lines of dots across the hills in the back and also into the shrubs in front. The clouds needed a bit more drama, so I painted in some metallic grey just to make them look more like rain clouds.

Takeaways from ‘Sketch a Desert Landscape’:

1. Drawing free-flowing lines in black ink is inspiring.
2. The Horizon Line is the first step in landscape sketching.
3. Wet-in-Wet watercolor painting lets the paint work for you.
4. Wet-on-Dry watercolor painting gives you control of the paint.
5. Using bright colors keeps your sketch fresh and interesting.

Download the printable PDF Now! “Sketch a Desert Landscape” for only $3

It is always a pleasure to sketch the desert, I am glad you could join me. Follow me on instagram to find out when new lessons post at: juliesketchincolor.

Download your FREE Ebook ‘The Key Tips for Sketching’ – a 5 part series of printable .pdf’s to assist you on your creative path!

All artwork and lessons copyright© Julie Carlisle