Gouache portrait for beginners | Cécile Yadro | Skillshare

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Gouache portrait for beginners

teacher avatar Cécile Yadro, Digital & Traditional Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your project

    • 3. Supplies and materials

    • 4. Standard drawing

    • 5. Drawing

    • 6. Painting first layer

    • 7. Painting second layer

    • 8. Painting face details

    • 9. Painting third layer

    • 10. Painting the hair and final details

    • 11. Outro

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About This Class

In this class I will teach you how to paint a gouache portrait step by step.
We will work from a photo reference, that is enclosed in the project and resource section. 

I will explain the basics of a standard face so we can learn how to place the facial features accurately


After that, we will draw our portrait from the reference photo 


We will then build our portrait layer by layer, adding details and refining colors and values  


At the end of the class you’ll be able to paint a gouache portrait from a reference photo in realistic colors.


Meet Your Teacher

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Cécile Yadro

Digital & Traditional Artist



Bonjour and welcome to my Skillshare page !

I’m so happy you found me! I’m a French artist, both digital and traditional. I love drawing and painting portraits, landscapes, still life... art is an endless journey, I hope to help you with my beginners friendly classes.

You may want to subscribe to my newsletter: art tips, upcoming classes, polls and more!

If you are a gouache painter or willing to be, join us in our Facebook group 'Gouache Painters' for more fun!

I post a class per month, more or less:

- Procreate classes

- Gouache classes

- Sketchbook classes 

I would love to see you in class!


See full profile

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1. Introduction: Bilbo to come to my new dress. Cecile French artists both digital and traditional, and this last I want to teach you how to paint Quest Portrait. It's This class is meant for beginners. I will explain everything step by step from the stunned out drawing two drawing from a reference or two and you are different layers until you achieve a beautiful glass portrait . I hope you enjoy the class, and I can't wait to see what you're going to do with it, so just join me and let's go. 2. Your project: it would be to make a glass portrait from a reference for to this user copyright free for two. And it's attached to the resort section of the class. So you can you this one, or select another one as you prefer. But I will really detained step by seven struck tions with this particular photo. So from this for two, we will get this portrait. It's This is a personal style. I like to have bowled separation between the different colors. I don't like too much to merge my colors that for these type anyway. So grab your stuff. We'll explain everything in the next video and let's go. 3. Supplies and materials : So what would you need for making this glass portrait? Percival The paper I buy, um, package off sheets of paper. It's already kept at the good size. I mean the size of like it's 24 by 30 centimeters and the weight is about 250 GSM. This is a regular growing paper with very little choose that may show you this. This is a package. The tooth is quite smooth would be like hot press, but I've got paper if you want. It works also very well. To draw. You will need, obviously pencil one hard. It's to H and one soft three, for example, sharpener, because you really need to have sharp pencils, a regular razor and unreadable razor that you can squeeze on. Make a roll with it, so it's very convenient to remove the excess for a fight. This is for the first stage, and then when we have made our drawing, we will go for the painting pallets. This is a broken tile from some work are made in my bathroom. Like it because it's white and it's a very strong and you can really clean it very easily. So while I'm at it. Some cloth. This is an old toll. I kids on mayhem around it so I don't use paper anymore. Just fabric. I wash it from time to time to In my tools, I use a knife because I get my quash in our tight books from This is very convenient because I paint daily found. I don't like to squeeze from the tubes because there is always too much, and with this method, you can't really get everything chipped. A amount of paint you need off course. Some paint are drawing and really depends on the ground. And I get Chinea mount of the paint with apart knife. For this portrait, we will need Redd's regular red vermilion readies. Okay, Oakar, This is very important. Arrange. If you don't have it, that's OK. You get a red on yellow and burned amber. Very importance and burnt sienna and white white. We will need a lot. So I buy my white in large tubes and there was one are different. Brown's really depends on what I get when I order it online. You won't need much more than this. I love thing we'll need is brushes off course brushes is a personal choice. I always use synthetic brushes because I'm not very would I say, not very careful with my brushes, so sometimes they get a big damage beyond. So I don't want to wait too much money in it, because I sometimes you them to just tap on the paper. So it's not good for them. I like flat brush, which he's a size 14 a size six and some round brushes so you can have fine details. Really, it depends on your taste, um, two jars to place water in it, unless thing you will need is as prey. This one is plain water, and you will need it to reactivate your paint on the plate because it will dry. No matter what you do, it will dry. Okay, so I get that. It's That's all we need And no, we can go home. Move on to the drawing 4. Standard drawing: I want to show you the basics of the Sundar Reserve mints in the face. Those this is very standard and not every person will fit in this. But this is a good really a good way to draw a face that is right in front of you facing you. So for this were, well, dro the next shape a Noval and I think Okay, well, then I will divide it in two. And this is a skill. Okay, top off the skill on but another chin. Let's say here I will take how for its Maybe around here and the seas the army's on top of this. I will place the Aib Rose line So make sure this is, uh, really perpendicular. And this from the eyebrows to the chin, I will divided in two on This is a nose line between the nose and the chin. You have different ways to do it. Either you catch it in house for you catch it in three. It really depends on people. Let's say we will divide it in two. This is the middle of the mouth. The line between the two lips on this hate. I will place it on top. And here it's the hairline. Okay, on the airlines, I would get a measure and this if the wits of a night. So I get three eyes in the wits I middle of the I and I and this wit here in the wits of the nose. I'm basically with this. You can draw face, believe it or else. So what I proposed to do now is removed all my construction line with unreadable razor. I'm just rolling on top of it, so it's not too visible, and I like to begin with the nose. Some place knows bowl, so let's say she's facing us. So knows bowl nostrils, and that's gets, um, not too large nose. Sorry, It is too large. It is not symmetrical. It's better if she's symmetrical, even if we are not, Uh, this is standard, but this part. But I'm off the nose can go very lower. It really depends on people. Let's say that's the way she is. I like to place the eyebrows. I have no reference for tothis Israeli astound are a theory. Okay, if you can't defend to compare with real people and this is the same for the limbs off the eyebrows. It really, very depending on people, but basically on top of the nostrils should be okay. And from there you have a slight curve. Call him to the nose crane and the eyes. It's the same. You can have the pure pill on the middle, off the line or on top off the line. It really depends when people I like to place it's sitting on the line. Um, the only thing is to make the same size on both and also true. Place the iris. This is a natural face, no particular expression. And now I can Jerome it I shape. You will never see the top of the circle of the people unless she's so surprised that her eyes are open wide. But usually it's cut on top, and also usually you don't see the white below the eye. There are different ways to draw a ni. This is a basic one. I'll make the upper lead as well. So let's place the features on. We'll have details after this is you see, I have misplaced this corner. This eyes is a bit too on the rights of her face. So with Cheatham, it's she has very separate eyes should be here ready. Let's do it because if I place some distance, it's better or if I use them and then the mouth and usually mouth is the corner is at the either is the center of the Eid or the corner here. It really depends on people. Let's say a middle value would be at the edge of the people. And here I told you, you can do this by third or by house and really depends on the people. So we said we would do. It was a little and this will be from this cornered mouth and usually don't drove. It is our lip, because it's really not necessary. Usually you have a little bump here, and this is the middle of the chin. Like to make March bowl as well as bones for the cheeks. It really helps me to place my volume. Okay, so now we have to place the pipeline, the general shape Usually you have kind off and curve here, and this is why I like to have those goals for my chicks at the outer edge of the I. This is where, as a job is turning. So this is supposed to go straight and then you get a turn. Go to your chin, stoned out, I said, Okay, and for the years, the lower part is usually just Where is the bottom up? The nails on the top of the year is somewhere between the high bro, and the eyelid really depends on people. Let's say middle of it. Okay, on she She's quite robotic. Let's cut Cem hair. Maybe that could help. And the hairline is here, so it really depends on the her style. She's gods. Let's say something like this. And obviously the hair is somewhere above Cisco. They found the young, whole thick is her. You gave her hair. It's fine. And for the neck, it's some somewhere just inside the turn. I have the chills you can on more construction lines. If you want, should be online here for from the corner of the mouthy edge of the industrial, on the art of part of the eye, and you can at circles. You can't measure whatever you want, so I wouldn't give you this with all the Germans. You can find it in the results section, so let's put this in practice now. 5. Drawing: This is the face we're going to draw on our paper. We will need very basic supplies piece of paper and two pencils, one soft and one hard to age and to be, for example, a regular razor and a need able razor to remove the excess for a fight. The first thing is to place the top on bottom off the face so we can decide where to place our portrait in the paper. Then I will lose. Lee drove a novel or a neck shape and I'm trying to place ah main shapes, though the shoulder, the hair, everything. Just to be sure I won't black space at the end of my drawing. This is ah, rough guide. You don't need to be precise just to fix the main features. I have traced it with softer pencil so you can see better. Then I will split my old in two sections and I'm trying to get to same angle as my photo. And now I'm just applying what we just saw in the previous listen with the town that my Germans, this is just to show you that astound out can also apply to a real person. So go back to your lesson here. I'm just adding a large by circuits because I think it helps, and also some overalls for the cheeks and the chin. This is the first sketch, so you don't need to be so precise just to be sure where all the features are placed. And when you're satisfied, you get your need. Herbal, razor, make a roll with it, and you will roll it over the paper just to absorb and remove. The excess graphite so you're drawing is less noticeable, and you can go ahead with a softer pencil just to refine everything. So I will use a three b two b four b whatever. And now I want to be more precise because I knew my features are correct and, um, always referring to the fertile, and I'm trying to achieve a kind of likeness. I like to draw the pupil because it helps me to show her stare how she's looking at us, and it's very important to achieve a kind of likeness. The outer shape of the hair is very important as well, and I don't want to be too detailed andro her. Stranz. I'm refining some lines. The outline of the hair especially, gave me a lot of trouble. So you just compared to the reference for two. And here I decided I didn't want you at the the straps because I prefer her to be naked. So just shoulder line. Um, nothing on the chest will be fine, I think, for the drawing, and now it's time for painting. 6. Painting first layer: before painting. I have raised the access graphite on my drawing was my needed razor, and this is why it's less visible for you on the camera. But as we will have skin tones, it's quite light. So it's better if we lower the intensity of the graphite. So first age that is placing your paint on your palate. I'm using this knife and I will begin by the skin on. She has quite a arrange a tone and this is the warm color coming from red. Red is really powerful. You don't need much. And after I have taking my color, I dipped my nice in the water was the paper. I just cleaned my knife for the next car and for the skin. Next color will be Oakar A bit off. Um, this is bronze. You know, a bit of burnt number. Rid of humans found a lot of white course white is in the tubes and I place the white in lines. Let me show you on the camera. Just make a straight line so I can get a piece of white pure white on each side. So push this aside on I will mix the mid value. First, I think it's easier to begin with me values. You have to watch your photo very well and decide which is, uh, mid value. Make a mix quite a large mix because mid value is almost the most important. I would use a flat brush. This is, uh, size 14. So what? Red, you really don't eat much, okay? And you have to find this quite glowing orange itoen, maybe a bit off brunt, you know, And remember, the watch is drying in the different value than when it sweats. So I'm placing large shapes of mid tones. Having a large brush makes you simplify your shapes. We will fix it d tastefully tour. This is the first stage. And don't forget the year. I tend to forget them. It doesn't matter if you just go on the other color, because we will go on top of it anyway. So many values that the lightest one and not the darkest one. And on the photo, she has a kind of a top. But I decided she she would be naked, my nuts and, um, just keeping my mix here. There's a bit left over, and now I will dark in it. I was, uh, burned Amber burnt Sienna. Okay, there is already watching my mix, so I don't need toe work. So this is the darkest part. There is even darker with industrials. I gave the wrong angle to my neck mind I will fix it later. And she has actually quite a light carnation. So there is not much very strong shadow, so I can maybe invents, um, which is to push up my contrast. Two Don't make too complicated shapes. That's I'm beginning to like paint. So basically, the rest of it should be almost the same value with quite light carnation. So now I have to mix is one off the mid value in one of the darkest I will give the meat value, and it's already dry because there is a very seen layer on my parrot. So you will miss Praised a bit of watcher. Um, well, so are your blobs of paint. And I will give this and add quite a large amount of white for two reason because I need a large amount of color because this is all I have left. Also, it's very light, so I'm a bit more car or in it because it's really very white. Sometimes I make some very slight changes in my colors on. I'm not sure you can really see that on camera, but if you're doing it, you'll see the difference on your palates and especially on your paper. And sometimes a very small change can make a big difference. So nothing too fancy here. I'm just feeling everything. It was a light tone, except for the rose on the eyes and the mouth, because I don't want to do is in my pencil drawing. So I see there are some problems here and there. This should be made values plight. And as you notice, I don't have my mix anymore. But I will do it again. Maybe it will be slightly different, and there are big chances that it is slightly different. But that's OK. We'll add more variations to my paint. Okay, so this being done now it's time for the second layer. We will begin to add more vary eight 7. Painting second layer: musings a leftover of the dark one and I'm creating. And you value something between the darkest on between the main value actors to begin to be more precise and to add volume because values are about volume. And I'm still still using my large brush since he's on purpose. So I don't get lost in details because I know I can go very, very fast in small details. And it's not time for details yet. There is something a bit lighter just on the ship on the cheek. This is reflected light, but I've gone too far here with my mid tone. I know all the mistakes I'm doing. Okay, Time to get more different colors because this is a with same variations for the moment that's making other makes. I want something very orangey, but not to rights to the difference on. You will find this some quite bright color, just at the edge between the light and dark color. I don't remember she's a red hair. This is a rangy Justin undertone for my hair and another mix. I want to go dark. Really. I'm not sure of being dark enough in some parts, and I want to integrate the hair on the face. So I think the best is to use the same color. Maybe I will even need a darker one. This is pure burnt umber. You really have to be strong with your dark colors because they are really fading when they cry. Yeah, we won't paint the hair with the individuals trend. Of course, I will just make large brush strokes to figure out the different values in the here, and I want to bright orange. If you'll use a lot of water in your paint, he will be able to mix with the previous color you see here on rubbing a bit on. This is integrating with the darkest one. So, really, this is another painting for my hair. So I'm trying to get the colors from the photo, so I'm using quite a liquid paint at this stage. 8. Painting face details: before I go further honey to make their details of the futures in the face because it will greatly help me with the rest of the colors. So I will change my brush of your sleep because this time my flat brush will be too large. So it really depends on what you like for working and will use a round brush. This is a size eight and it looks really huge. But once you what The brush, You can really have a fine tip. So this is a very versatile brush. I like it on. The first thing I want to do is the white of the eyes, which ours never. Whites actually bullets the wind. But it's not quite I will get back some poker because you don't have it anymore. On my palette, some red as well. I used everything. Maybe a bit of black, really on time. Amount of black. This is a simple collect for this one. So the white of my eyes I will take a tiny amount off gray. If it is very cold, I will add a bit off all coronets. This will go So the right is coming this way until the two sides here are darker and the other one except here because it's under the eyelashes. I know I clean my brush and I get whites on a very tiny amount of this color for the night part here, and we will fix the detainees after pretend for the mouse and mouth should be in this kind of tone, but like her. So maybe it's time to good this with, uh, initial makes were made, and now we need to be a bit more precise with our painting. Even if we make a mistake, we can still fix it later on to make a difference between the two lips. It's interesting to very slightly the corner. My paint was a bit too, um, liquid Here total. It is trying to see that after the color of the eyes, we really new color, obviously who was green? This green here is a very region green, so it's I too bright for this. I have a bit of poker inside and a bit of red, also too dark in its I need to be to bride. So I like to integrate other colors from other parts of my painting, so I'm sure everything is fitting together very well. So you make all the I we would go Top was the pupil. I turned to make very large choice. But I like this as long as the two are symmetrical and I want to indicate the light coming from this side. So I will have a bit of white to my mix and you have to do that while it's still fresh. It really helps keeping volume to your eye. What? We are in the eyes. Let's make a black pupil. There is something I want to show you here, which is the droplets right here. You're really want to clean this because you can have ah, why it's drop on your paint and you don't want this. And it's not time yet for Irish is because we haven't fixed our colors here on the lids. And while I have black my brush, I will mix with this brown here to get something very dark towards the nose. Trails on the shape of the nostrils are very important justice Want to fix the shape of the I She looks a bit side at this stage. Here is what my drawers are looking like. Really. This one is so dirty. This one is almost dirty. So I have to clean my watcher 9. Painting third layer: right at this stage, we're ready to fix our shapes in the face to add more details to be more precise. And this is time to change your brush again. I like to work with flat brushes and I will you this one, which is a number six. Can we still have our palate? It's time to sprays again. It's really normal if your paint is drying, so let's make it interesting. Shifts in colors and beware with the red. It's really powerful. Something that can be hungry for you is using a scrap piece of paper and place it on, see where it goes. And this is really looking like my mid tone. I didn't mean to do that, but I just found that almost the same, and I see have field my ear. Small details, big effects. Maybe it would be good to get a bit the color from the lips on. May kill fun color on the cheeks and don't rep too much because you will lift the paint below. So is she coming to life? Not yet quite soon. This is what I call the ugly stage. Nothing really fits together on your wondering what you are doing but be persistent. Eventually, everything will come together any more white because I have, um, dark and the light boards finger is a good way to snatch. This is very, very light, not white, but white pail paid pinkish. Remember that to see the values the best way is to squint while you're looking at the photo and squint, Why looking at your pains on this way, you will be able to see where the problems this is always what I do. I constantly change the values from one place to another until I'm satisfied with the effect. So this is the style I like was really sharp edges between the shapes. But maybe if you don't like this, you can still blur the edges. So let's sell. Fix some small mistakes, removed the mouth corners and for the luscious. You can do this with brush if you want. If you're brave enough or with a pencil with a fountain pen, I felt pound whatever you want. Already. This is a part. I I don't like to do eyelashes, so I make them with brush. Why notch two? It is dry. It will fix some problems after maybe I can fix the mouth of it because this is supposed to be quite her. Now it's time for the background. So you have two different ways to do these. You can leave it in white, and that's cool also. Or you can make a complementary color up that will make your people your character in the middle. Papa, I think for this one I will leave it in warrants. 10. Painting the hair and final details: so time to make some bright around mix for the hair and the best maybe would be to kick this and get some ready made orange. Because I know we want to be brave. Go back to a large, flat brush. I think I will avoid my green, but otherwise I can't get a ranch and go here just to lower bit my orange. And it's time to see the big shapes. And once I will have done this, I will go back to my face. I'm sure I can find other problems bit more red in that big picture, - and I will leave the white paper I can't make like, you know, the hair is going out. Not too much anyway, just with your dry brush. Some lose strands off here, going out on. I think it's too much here who sometimes you can ruin something. In just a second, Andi, I will get the black here on, uh, very dark brown, which is a burnt umber, and I will dark and some ports because I think it really needs to to have more contrast in my hair. My brush is very dry so I can make British troops feeling like hair strand round toe. Most difficult thing is to know where in just up just before you where you stay were thing you did, Just picking the edges. I think it's better if I stop here. We're almost done. But now it's time for fixing problems here and there. I see. There is a big problem here on the EPA. Lied Ah, the dark shadow with going much too far away on to fix this, I will take my small brush. Number six on My mixes are old mixed If I can't say so So I have to go back and re activate with a bit of white. Maybe you see this is already better. Was just a problem fixed. Also, the eyebrows could be a bit more present, a bit more visible, and it's happier still have my colors find the good color? Not too hard. She was lucky. This and I will do something that is really not on the photo, but I don't care. I just want to give life to the eyes. And for this I will take my round brush on. I will take here. It's titanium white, just you know, droplets and This is the moment I prefer. I will just place tie in the whites, but and it's really giving life and also a bit on the mouth. Usually it's some the lower mouth sound a bit on the tip of the nose, apple lead and just outside the corner of the eye. And what I like is, um, light the hair so white arrange. I'm very dry. Brush can practice on scrap of paper before going. You see, small thing, big effect. But of course you don't want to place it everywhere on the hair just like this. I think it will do. I don't like this edge. It's too harsh. And I don't like this. It's really dirty. So this is what I'm doing now is just fixing some problems here and there. I I think I will call this finished. I hope you can show me what you were doing with this 11. Outro : before you leave, I want to show you different examples of the portrait you can achieve with this technique was very simple palette on new background at all. This one is very simple, Corporal. It just as we use in class on this one has really difference between the different colors. There isn't as our example with black skin you can stay. Use a very limited palate. This one is very bright in colors and the blue makes pink colors puppet. I hope you enjoy the class. And I can't wait to see what you're going to do with this technique and see you soon. For the more advanced level Gua Sha Portrait tests. See you soon and thank you for following my cast.