Learn to Paint Watercolor Portraits: A Stylized Guide | Korey Edmonson | Skillshare

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Learn to Paint Watercolor Portraits: A Stylized Guide

teacher avatar Korey Edmonson, 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

14 Lessons (2h 15m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Gathering Materials

    • 3. Drawing the Head

    • 4. Watercolor Basics Part One

    • 5. Watercolor Basics Part Two

    • 6. Finding Your Reference

    • 7. Starting Your Painting

    • 8. First Two Layers

    • 9. Layers Three & Four

    • 10. Layer Five

    • 11. Layer Six

    • 12. Adding Background

    • 13. Final Touches

    • 14. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Push the boundaries of watercolor and learn to have fun while painting portraits! We'll be focusing on basic watercolor techniques, how to draw the face and combining those skills to paint a portrait in style. 

My work has been sold in galleries, festivals, shows and online. I take portraits and strive to bring out the essence of my subject with colors, layers and composition.

Class Resources:

Materials List:

  • HB or 2H Pencil
  • Eraser (Kneaded eraser recommended)
  • 4 round, 6 round and 12 round brush
  • 1 1/2 flat brush
  • 11"x15", 140 lb watercolor paper
  • Paper towel or napkin
  • Watercolor paints (Winsor & Newton set of 12 watercolor paints recommended)

Additional Resources:


Meet Your Teacher

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Korey Edmonson



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1. Intro: [MUSIC] What is going on? My name is Cory Edmondson, I'm an artist from Pittsburgh, PA. Welcome to my class. Watercolor is my currently remedium that have been honing my portrait skills throughout my career. My work has been shown in galleries, shows, and festivals throughout Pittsburgh. I'll just share my work on TikTok and Instagram. Making process, painting videos, work in progress shots, and sharing artists tips. Throughout this class, I'll teach how to draw the phase by breaking down the features, watercolor basics that include layering and blending. Last but not least, how to the portrait in watercolor with style. I will also show you what materials I use to create my pieces. This class is aimed at students with big enough skill level all with expertise looking to add a new skill set. This class is also great for freelancers, side hustlers, even hobbyists. You can use these skills to improve your portrait paintings. Another way you can utilize these skills is to think outside the box, push boundaries, and have fun. By the end of this class, you'll be able to draw the face, paint watercolors and paint a portrait with style. Let's go. [MUSIC] 2. Gathering Materials: Welcome back. You decided to join the class which is awesome. In this lesson, I will show you the materials I use to make the pieces that I made. [MUSIC] These are the materials that I use to create my pieces, starting off with the 2H pencil, I like to keep a sharpen like this also, so I'm sketching. This allows me to lay it more flat on my surface and to be able to sketch out those strokes with my arm and not just my wrist and lay down that foundation. Next, we have our brushes. I have my six-round brush right here. This is one of my favorite brushes because it allows me to get those smaller details and there we are going to get those smaller detail, we're working with the eyes, maybe some details in the lips. Next is the brush that is always hard for me to find when I'm looking forward. The 12 round brush. Actually, these are even really expensive brushes or I think I've got a set of these all together. There are more brushes with these, these is just a main brush that I use when painting watercolors. They're not costly. They're inexpensive. Next, when I'm doing backgrounds, I like to use a thicker brush like this right here. This is a 24 brush. This can lay down the water, and I'll show you guys that later on. Why I use this brush lay on the water. This brush allows I lay it on the water and maybe some colors on the background as well to get more quicker strokes out there and if we do that process. Next, also I have here a flat brush, that's also allows me to lay down the water and also get those square-like strokes. If I want to add square-like strokes in there, I use this one right here on my favorites. Lately, I've been using this brush right here to give the background some texture. I wanted to add more pots to my pieces, so I want to give a rough right here. It gives those nice rough scratches and the strokes. It helps that background stand out a little more. Next, this is really not so much on brush, it's a one and half inch flat rubber-like thing. Pretty much what this does is, this also helps me give different effects on the background. Maybe you going around a portrait well, and you will see me work with this to maybe enhance the piece add some embellishments and things of that sort. Next, we have the watercolor. This is a Winsor and Newton watercolor right here. Noticed some of my paints are going down. They're going down [LAUGHTER] because I use those the most. You'll see some of them are actually much more full. Cleverly use those. You'll see me use most of these paints in here for the next couple of lessons as well. You'll see me use those, and these are Winsor and Newton watercolor paintings right here. A set of 12, really not expensive at all things I don't like rolling 14 bucks. I got this from Amazon and they recently just started selling these in Hobby Lobby I notice. Sometimes they don't carry certain price, but they recently started carrying these. Now excited when I've seen that. Twelve set of Winsor Newton watercolor, square paints, and you can also use two paints as well two watercolor as well. I use these because it's a nice, small size. If you want to take it somewhere, you can easily take it somewhere as well that carry about two around and worry about losing one because everything, all your paints are in here. Also the palette, so palette, you can have right up top as well. I like to use this palette sometimes, and then also have a separate palette. Some even 2-3 this one's, a separate palette to mix different paints. What I'll do is I'll sometimes leave some of the paints on there for the different palettes because maybe I'm probably use the same colors in future, anyways, such it was skin tones, things that I saw. Things I'll leave those paints and it could use is reactivated with water, since watercolor. You also want to have either a paper towel. Have a toilet paper. This is TP right here, this toilet paper. You want to use something that's more absorbent paper towel, maybe even a cloth as well. That'll allow you to do is definitely draw that brush off sometimes. Also if you make a mistake on your paper, you can use the paper towel or toilet paper to soak that up and remove it. I'll show you all how I do that as well, an example of doing that, once we start jumping in and give more painting. Next what I like to do is I like to have a sample sheet next to me. What this does is this allows me to test out some colors. Before I went to land down on my piece I mix them up not testing on this sheet right here, see how they look, if I like them I apply, if don't I keep mixing and then using this as I go along. You'll definitely need one of these, maybe two, maybe in a bigger one. Last but not least, actually this is not the last thing right here, but the paper. The paper is important. I use Canson watercolor paper and this is 140-pound paper. I cut my pieces down to let my 14 sometimes, well, pretty much all the time and working with size like this. It's just nice, simple watercolor paper right here. The tooth is not to raise, it's cold press, and tooth is like just right for this paper. You definitely want to get some very similar to this. This is Canson, watercolor paper. Eleven by 15, 140-pound. Again, not expensive. It's a good price. Now, this is the last but not least, pretty much. Are the water jars that I use, I use two of them usually because I use to keep one clean and that definitely you use one for a lot of the mixing the colors. I use one to really keep it clean and the other one for allow the mix in because sometimes when it's completely clean my brush off, I'll use a more so clear one. Or if I work on the background and I notice that both of these are mixed completely and failed to repertoire, you can't see through them, having new water. Having new water and do that, and yes the jars that I use two, you have three of them set up right next to that, I use two. One's cool too, but you might while end up getting up and changing the water. That's all right. Now that we took a look at the materials that I use, let's go ahead and jump to the next lesson, where I'll show you how to draw the face. [MUSIC] 3. Drawing the Head: Welcome back to the next lesson. In this lesson, I'll be teaching you how to draw the face and this method allows you to get an idea of the proportions of the face and where the features land. Let's go. Let's jump right in to drawing the head. What we are going to start off with is the sphere of the head. Let's go ahead and make that a good size so you all can see that. What this example is going to do is, it's going to help you understand the structure of the head. You don't want to use this as an exact formula. You want to use this as a reference to keep in mind when you're structuring the face on your portraits. Now draw a line going straight down the middle. Next, we'll draw a horizontal line going right across the middle and this is going to be your eyebrow line. Next, let's crop the sides of that head. No one's head is perfectly round so let's go ahead and cut those sides off. I'm going right about there, across, the same thing. Next, what I'll do here is we will get the nose line and the hair. Let's go to the top of those lines, near the top, and go right across. Also, I'm using my HB pencil, you could use a 2H pencil if you want to. I'm using an HB so you can see these lines more clear. Then down at the bottom, let's get that nose line in. What we want to do here to get where the chin is going to measure at, let's go ahead and measure from the eyebrow line to nose line. Go down to a little bit right there. Let's say right around there, is where the bottom of the chin will be. From the side of the head, let's go curve and get those jawline. Add a curve in right here and right in the middle, I break further in and then go more towards the chin. The same thing to the side. Break further in. Cool, next one we want to do here is, I want to get the eye line. Let's go from the nose line to the eyebrow line is cut that into thirds, right about there. This is going to be your eye line. Let's go right horizontal line across to the other side. There we go. Let's get the width of the nose. We can go about like right here. Ladies' noses, the nostrils are smaller than the guys' noses are, same with the mouth. The mouths are smaller, but the lips are more full. For this one, we're going to go lean more toward the structure of a woman's face. Not too wide on there, let's say right there. Then let's go straight up to the eyebrow line. What's cool about the features of the face is, some of the features, well, actually a lot of the features line up with the other features on the face. This is actually on the line with the corner inside part of her eyes. We'll get to that later. I go straight up. Now, let's go ahead and get the bore of the nose. I'm going directly above that line and do a little curve here and then go out, in, and then back out to the top of that eyebrow line. Do the same thing to the other side. Now let's start in the nostrils, for the nostrils, I'd like to think of it as a bat symbol without the ears and the points on the wing. If you think of it that way, if it helps you remember, and then there's one wing on one side, there's a wing on the other. Without the points of that wing, let's go ahead and curve down at the bottom of that nose. There we go. To get the side planes of the nose, let's start from the side here, go up just a little bit, staying on that line, and then go ahead and curve in towards that notch, and the same thing to the other side. Now go ahead and throw in the nostrils. There we go. I can go ahead and add in the nostril holes down there if you want. There you go. Next, let's go ahead and get where the mouth is going to lie, along with the chin, just like we did from the nose and the eyebrows, let's cut from the nose to the chin into thirds. Get that line down there and say about right there and there. This first notch that we made, let's go ahead and go across a tad bit. Get the width of that mouth, and this line is going to be where the lips meet, that's your top lip and the bottom lip. That's going to curve, I'll give it a little smile in there. I know you're smiling outside this camera. You're going to tell me, you are going to write in the comments and then you smiling. Let's go ahead and get that top lip and I'll go up right here. Little M-shape and go back down on the outside. Let's go ahead and get the bottom lip. You can cut the bottom lip into thirds too. You will go down one plane, then a flat plane on the bottom. That plane right there, and you see this is in thirds too, there's a lot of stuff into thirds on the face. Even above the top lip, you can cut that into thirds as well. So one plane right there, the next plane, and then the next plane. Next, what I would like to do here is let's go ahead and draw a little circle just above this notch. A little circle, that's going to help us get our chin plane. Next, let's start from the outside of the mouth. What I'd like to do here is this helps us get the form of the cheek and then also help us get some top of the ear. Follow me as I go up and go towards that nose, nostril, now curve in outside, I mean, the top of that eyebrow line, and then the same thing to the other side. It's going to pull this one down. We're going off there. Went a little off track there. I'm sorry. Since we're up here, this is going to be the top of her ears. Let's go ahead and go on the outside here, like a rectangle that curves in and then meeting at the bottom of the nose. So the bottom of the ears meets the bottom of the nose and the top of the ears meets the eyebrow line. Let's do the same thing to the other side. I end it right there. Now while we're in this area, let's go ahead and round off this square shape that we made on the head. Get that a little more a round shape. Then curving down and doing that to this side. There we go. Next, we want to do here is let's go ahead and get where the eyes are going to be at. I'll start just on the outside of that line that we made, going up, going toward the middle, cutting through the middle. Let's go across and then going down on the other side. This is going to be where the eyes are going to be at. That helped us get the eyelids. Let's go from that corner line where the nose meets the eyes, out toward the top of the eyebrow line in the corner. Doing the same thing to the other side. Notice how it gets more of a shape of her eyes. Next, what we'll do here is let's go ahead and get in the planes of the forehead. We will start on the outside the eye where that plane meets and I'm going to curve up going towards the outside where the hairline is going to be, start with the corner of that square that we made within the sphere of the head and do the same thing to the other side. This is going to help us get the forehead plane. Notice how we have it on the side here and if you want to get a better idea of it, we can put that in shadow, I'm going to put it in shadow while we're at it. Top lip, using the shadow. Let's try and get the form of that face a little more here. Here we go. This is not really needed, but we could throw that in there as well. Let's go ahead and start from, right about here, this notch. I'm going to go ahead and make a circle that meets the top hairline. This is going to help us get the plane of the forehead, use it as a highlight on the forehead area. That is the planes of the face. Again, you want to use this, not as an exact formula for drawing the face, more so as a reference to get the idea of the structure of the head. Now what I want to do here is, I'm going to outline the main areas on the face. The features, I should say. There we go. Also to remember again is, to not use this example as an exact formula. We should keep it in mind to use this when you're building a structure of the face. We just got done learning how to draw the face. Gearing for the next lesson, where I'll teach you watercolor basics. 4. Watercolor Basics Part One : [MUSIC] [NOISE] Now that we're back in the next lesson, let's go ahead and right write learning watercolor basics. Let us go ahead and learn watercolor basics, a part that you're all excited for, yes. To my left, are my color wheel, and a little bit of an illusion, this is not tied to the paper. I encourage you to create your own color wheel yourself and use it as a reference, I have all my colors on here. In this example, I'm going to show you three different application techniques, mixing, and then lastly, layering and blending. This example is going to help you to get a better understanding of watercolors, how to apply them, and how to mix them as well. Let's go ahead and start that. First at the top here, we're going to learn the three different applications. The first application is going to be dry on dry, the second is wet on dry, and the third is wet on wet. At the top here, let's go ahead and start with those three different application techniques. I'll go ahead and draw a rectangle, this is going to be for the first application technique. Draw that in there, I'm going to put the other two rectangle boxes here. I have my watercolors on my right. For this first technique, it's going to be dry on dry, double D, there we go. Next, it's going be wet on dry. Then lastly, wet on wet technique. For this example, I want to use my 12 round brush. I'm going to get some water, let's get some water here. Now, for this example, I'm going to use orange. I think orange, besides teal, green is my first favorite color. I think, then it comes teal. I think orange is my third favorite color. Also, another reason why I like the color orange is, because it's very vibrant. The psychological meaning behind the color orange, one of it is communication, which is pretty cool. Little golden nugget for you there. Let's go ahead and get that orange. Now, I'm going to get to wet the brush, not too wet. Let me actually get that more dry, make that as dry as I can. Now, what we're going to do here is, let's go on the dry area, the dry rectangle, and we'll start applying that orange. Notice right off the back here, we can see a texture that the brush lays down as I begin to put that out more, I'm using no water. I used a little water at the beginning of it, but I'm not repeatedly putting it back in the water, I'm actually dabbing it on the napkin just so that it can become more dry and pulling that outward. With less water, you get more of a texture. This can help you with, let's say, you're doing hair and you need it to be a certain kind of texture for the hair, you can use the dry on dry technique. Now next, let's go ahead and do the wet on dry technique. I will go ahead and load my brush up with some more water and some some more paint. Test that out on a test strip, and go ahead and apply that. Notice when I lay that down, we can see more transparency through it and it's more flexible, so I'm adding more water to it and pulling it out. Dabbing it in more water, really letting the paint run out of the brush. This also is going to help with blending as well. Now next for the wet on wet technique, I'm going to clean my brush off. If you want to, you can use a completely clean brush. Make sure your water is definitely clean, you lay this down. I lay down our water first, make sure that is nice and active. Then once you feel pretty good about that, go ahead and grab some more paint. Then notice, once I even touch this, watch what happens. It's already spreads out by itself, because that water is there. This is also a cool technique to play with, is wet on wet technique, because you can create different effects. Now we'll go ahead and keep on pulling that outward. There we go. This example was a dry on dry technique, wet on dry technique, and then wet on wet technique. Now, let's go ahead and move into mixing. In this example, I'm going to show you how we use water to lighten up a color, and then we'll use the secondary complementary color to darken it. I'm going to create a square right here, and then create a little more going alongside the right. Then two more going down. Let's see what color we're going to use. I'm going to use my six round brush for this, and I want to use a green color. Again, my favorite color is green, yes. Go and test it out, see how that looks. It's directly green, so straight out of the green here. I want the color to show through, so it's not too much water. I'll go ahead and fill in that first square. Now, I'm going to lighten that up. Go ahead and dab in some water to our brush off. Test that out, see how that looks. Add little more water to this, and I dab it on the napkin to lighten that up. I'm letting the brush absorb that paint. When you're going light, you don't want to add more paint, you add more water and then let your brush absorb that paint. For this last one, I'm going to go ahead and get a lot of water. I'm going to load that brush up with some water, make sure that. Then test it out on the strip here. See how that looks, it's looking nice, it's light. Now I'm going to go ahead and lay that down in our last square. If it's looking like you laid too much paint down, go ahead and water that brush and dab it out, get it dry, and then let your brush absorb that paint. This one is much more light than this right here. Maybe a little difficult to see, but that was the whole point, is to get it light. Now next here, let's go from this one. We're going to make this one just a tad bit darker. I want to use the secondary complementary color for this one. Let me go ahead and get my paint, a nice green, let's get that back into action. Then now with this green, I'm going to get some orange, mix that in there, and that's all right that that's getting darker. There we go. Go ahead and test that out. That's looking pretty nice. Now let me go ahead and add that in here. We immediately notice that creates that darker shade of green. Now for my next square, let me go ahead and add a little bit more orange. The orange is strong too, so if you grab a little bit of it, it's effective. We're going to keep that green effect going on in their. A little bit orange. Test that out. That looks pretty good. Go ahead and add that in there. You could also notice that this creates a nice, dark, earthy tone. There we go. That was a quick example of the mixing with water, allowing it to get lighter. Then using the secondary complementary color or even the complementary color of the colors you're using to make that shades darker. Now, I'll move it to my right, and we are going to do the layering and the blending. [MUSIC] 5. Watercolor Basics Part Two: For this example, we'll undo two spheres, you notice on my right side I taped off this area just because I want to use a background layer and then layer the other paint on top of that, and we'll see the difference between laying down paint without a base layer to it and then laying down with a base layer. Let's go ahead and draw our spheres. I'm going to draw one right here. Next, I'll draw my other sphere right here and set the same size, roughly. Now we're going to do here is we can draw a little bit of a highlight over in this area, so we know the highlight is going to be here, the same thing to the other one. For my background layer, I'm going to go ahead and use my 12 round brush. Let's go ahead and get some blue, and then we use orange on top, go ahead and get that blue, water that down. If you want as well, you can go around that highlighted area and so we can leave that standing out. Soften the edges, that's a tad bit there, there we go. Now next, while we let that dry, Let's go ahead and move to our left here. Now, what we'll do here is I want to create the layer, we're going to use orange for the both of these. We can see the difference from layering with a background and layering without a background, our base layer, better said. I'm going ahead and get some orange here , water that down. Let's go ahead and get it a nice watered-down orange, just so we can move that around a lot, as it's going to be our base layer for the one on the left. As easy always is reflective light on the bonds, let's go right around that, and it's a blend. What I'd like to do here is if I have a harsh line, either add some water, dab my brush out and let the brush absorb what you have. Keep one around, go ahead and reactivate that. I'm spreading that paint. Cool so now we've got that base layer. Make sure this is dry if it's not dry yet, you can either wait to let it dry or use a hairdryer and which will speed up that process. Just like we did with those sphere to our left, for this one, let's go ahead and add that orange layer. This is my 12 round brush for this one as well. Making sure I'm loading a lot of water in there, that stand out, it's looking pretty good. Let's go ahead and go right around that, cutting through this side. Remembering there's a highlight reflective light down at the bottom of that sphere. Here, I can go up, that's my water in there, and then as I'm going towards the top, I'm letting the brush absorb that paint and blending it out towards the top. I'm going right around, go ahead and soften that hard line. I really allow my brush to absorb that paint, I'm good. Now, once you feel good about that, let's go move to the left, or we will be bouncing back and forth. Let's go ahead and move to our left. I'm going to grab my six-round for this one. I'm going to get a little more, get some orange in there. Make sure it's a little less watery, more of a deep orange, pretty good, that's adding that second layer. Now there's this deep shadow right in the middle of this sphere, at the angle so I'm going around. Really drawing with my brush. Down at the bottom [inaudible] and soft that line-up, I'm blending out as I go to the top. Notice how I put some paint off right there. Ask me overdoing, is I'm adding some more paint into that. Let's bring that back, there we go. Here we go. I was feeling pretty good about that one. Go ahead and let that one dry, and for this one's pretty dry by now, I'm going to do the same exact thing to this one. Add that paint right in the middle. Our shadow right here, it's a harsh line around this part of it and it starts to get soft down here. You will see how we just did that one, you will see how it starts to blend out down that area. Soften that up. Layer that out. Now Let's go ahead and throw in a little bit of a shadow. Going on at the bottom. Megan draws before you go ahead and lay down the paint, I'm going to go ahead and draw it from paint itself. Here we go. This shadow is not the perfect. I don't think this shadow has to be perfect, it most certainly doesn't. Going around. Here we go. If you can know is already the back here is, when we left this space open for that white highlight, it knows how the background is that blue color. This highlight stands out much more than to the left. I'm going ahead and let these dry for a second. Once I feel comfortable enough, I m going ahead and add another layer to it. Once that feels nice and dry, let's go and add that darker shadow to it. Now for this example, for this shadow, I want to add a little bit of blue to my orange here. Actually, the blue is stronger, as you can see already. Look how quick that changed. I'm going ahead and add some orange to that. I'm going to add a little bit more orange to that. I guess we got test that out, feels pretty good. This leads back to the example of us using the mixing techniques. Now let's go ahead and start to my left here. Just nice and good. Really spread the brush, allow the brush to do that work. You really want to get the use out of your brush and let the shape definitely help you. Spreading that out there. Soften that up. I'm going ahead and get this shadow in. Remind myself to draw with a brush. I'm going to do the same thing to the other side. Go ahead and start right there. Going up is more of a harsher line. Then once it gets to this area, I'm going to make that line a little more soft, it's often those ones up. Then we blend that out. Go ahead and throw on that shadow. Spread more dark down here. Look extra touch to the shadow. I'm going to soften that edge out. What I did to soften the edge up is, add some water to the brush, I dab it on the napkin, and then I allow the brush to absorb that paint. I have said like 3 or 4 times already, but it's okay. It's all right. I'm going ahead and blend that out. Same thing this side. Harsh line right there and I'm blending that out. Here we have a two quick examples of layering and blending. The big difference that I like also is, once you lay down that base color behind the layers we plan to lay down, it allows our highlights and shadows to stand out much more than as if we were to just lay down without any base layer underneath it. It doesn't give it as much depth to it. This is an example of overworking an area and what that could look like too. You want to make sure you don't overwork an area and do it just enough, but not overdo it. This is a basic overview of watercolors. You have your color wheel. I encourage you to create one for yourself. The three different application techniques, how to mix from to lights all way down to darkness and also how to layer and blend. We just explored the different ways of how to apply watercolor. Now, let's slide on to the next lesson, where I'll show you how we find a reference. 6. Finding Your Reference: [MUSIC] You're back. Cool. I knew you would be back, I had a feeling because we like built this bond, is it just me or you're feeling the same way? I think you are, I'll assume you are. Cool. In this lesson I'm going to share my screen with you and I'm going to show you how we find a reference. [MUSIC] All right, so let's go right here. I'm on a website called Unsplash. This website helps me find photo references some nice ones at high quality as well, without having the whole commercial licensing attached to it. There are other websites out there such as Pixabay and Pexels that allow you to find these nice photos without the commercial licensing as well. Let's go ahead and look through these. Right out of the bag when I see this one right here, I used to do references of women. This one stands out to me. Let's go ahead I'm going to download that one. Keep that one in there. Let's keep looking through. You find these photos, the photo with contrast, and that's how there is contrast on the face. That's how there's contrast in this face right here as well. Even with the hair, the hair is contrasted as well. For something like this to my left, you may want to try to avoid photo references similar to this one, especially just starting now. Because the blue light we have here on the side of her face can be more so difficult to capture and paint, especially just started now. So you want to avoid photos similar to this one, avoid the reflective light knowing on to your subject. This is definitely a good one with the contrast. The contrast is very strong on this one. Even with that one up there. Awesome. Also I like looks similar to like definitely how this is and this is in color, it would be definitely awesome reference to use. The contrast on this one is pretty awesome because what the contrast does is when it's much darker and I want to take our photo. I'm going to show you how I edit that to bump that contrast up. What that does though is it helps us see those different shadow shapes. It helps us see those different forms in the face. When we're laying down colors we're able to find those different shapes and lay them in there much easier once they're more highlighted. The face is usually soft such as a child's face is usually soft. There's less form to it, no wrinkles or anything like that. That can become difficult to find those different forms and lay down those different shadow shapes. What I want you to do is, I want you to go ahead and look through the different websites, similar to this one and find that photo reference that you're looking for, for this one, I pick this photo right here. Go to my downloads. Open this one up. Now I'm going to show you how I edit this. Just so we can pull that contrast out just a little bit more. I want to bump that contrasts up just a tad bit there. Highlights up as well. You can see it already has edit to it and it has those colors and contrast already popping out. For the sake of your subject and your pic that you'll be painting, you may want to see that just a little more. Let's go ahead and add those, pull those down, and see the shadows. Then I'm going to go ahead and use clarity. The Clarity actually helps tell me a lot, because notice how it is right now. Then once I bumped this clarity all the way up, we can see those forms much more clear. We can see those sharper edges, much more clear, the cheekbones much more clear. I'm going to go ahead and make that just a little bit warm to bring that color back out. Cool, and so play with that. Once you to play with that, place your lights and the contrast of that to a point where you feel like you see those shapes. Let's go ahead and save that. Awesome. Let's dive in here and I'll show you actually let's zoom in. Once I've zoomed in, we have the hard-line, the hard edge, going up on the nose, that's much more clear to see. Then we have this down here, the highlight down here, the highlight on the cheekbone. We have these highlights that really pop and stand out on our piece. We really want to show that. In this lesson, we not only went over how to find a good reference but also how to edit it and get it ready to paint. In the next lesson, the lesson that you all have been waiting to jump right into, I'm going to show you how we're going to jump right into our painting. Let's go ahead and do that. [MUSIC] 7. Starting Your Painting: Welcome to the next lesson. In this lesson, we're going to start the part that you all have been waiting for, we're going to start our painting. I won't wait any longer, let's go ahead and jump right in. To my left, I have my photo reference and straight in front of us I have my paper that I'll be doing the structure of the face on. Let's go ahead and jump right in and sketch that down first. The tape I have here is for when a paper gets wet, it starts to bubble up and form a different way. I use a tape to keep that down. What I would usually do is I line it up and go right across and line those features up of the face. You want to have your photo reference quite close to your paper. While you're placing your subject on your paper, you want to place it in an interesting way. Consider the composition of your piece when you're landing down your subjects. Consider where the head angle was turned at and also where the eyes may be looking at. Those things are good things to take into consideration once you're laying down a composition of your subject. Notice how I'm holding my pencil at the end of it. It helps me get those better strokes in and longer lines. Let's make those shapes as simple as possible through this fake plan out of the way. Right now I'm just begin as basic shapes, blocking those basic shapes. You'll notice that it's very sketchy right now. What I must fix is all these lines that you make. You've to ask why I make those lines as guidelines pretty much. We don't want to marry all of those lines. Even though I've made this previous line right here, you'll notice me go on around it. Now we're up to where the eyebrows are. Sure we get those shadow shapes in there. Go ahead and make scar layer of the eye, the ball of it, and I work around this. This is what I like to do when I'm drawing the eyeball. When we get those basic shapes in that basic shapes. Notice how on most of my subjects here, I'll put it in a lot of hard lines, a lot of straight forward lines because then after once I do that and I get the idea of the direction of a curve, I could then lay in that curve after, and that first line makes it much easier to do that. Let's grab that highlight on the cheekbone, on the simple shapes. Add techniques to help yourself to get into the mindset of breaking down those shapes into less complex shapes, give yourself a time limit. The time limit is going to keep you from pretty much taking too long on certain areas of the face and really thinking about simple ways to break those down. This may look like a lot of lines, but yours is not had to have as many lines. These are just to help me remember where certain forms are out of face and to lay down certain values and shapes and shadows. Highlights in their on lip and break that down, simple shapes. Little highlight on the breath there. This goes up, there's like little shadow shape right there. I really want to capture face. Now what I'm going to do here is I'm going to start cleaning this up. Erasing some lines that I don't need and making it look much more clean. You'll notice what I'm doing here is I'm not only erasing the lines I don't want, but I'm enhancing the lines that I do want. 8. First Two Layers: We're going to lay down that paint here and we're going to lay down that undertone. You'll notice how I use this undertone to really make those highlights and shadow shapes stand out. I'm going ahead and water that down. I want to be using my 12 round brush to really get those in. More of that down, I have my test strip right next to me. I also have my six round brush right here as well. I'm using that mostly, really watering down that blue. You'll notice I'm using blue as an undertone, as I use more of oranges and brown tones to complement that tone. Once I feel that that's good, go ahead and really water it down. That was my water jar as I froze my right can't see them on camera, but they're off-camera. Just know that they are there. Also notice how I'm loading my brush with a lot of water. This helps me keep the paint flexible and when I lay it down, I'm still able to move it around. I'm also using my 12 round brush to cover a lot of area much faster. It's good to make some areas just a little more darker so you can remember where those shadow shapes are and those darker shadows are. Another good idea when painting is, what helps me is to combine those either highlights or shadow shapes combine them. Combine those masses and that helps me put it together and make the painting more simpler and faster to cover. Combining those shadow shapes and highlights. Now what I'm actually going to do here is I'm going to take my six round brush. I just want to use it to gain those details in the eyes. Now, once you feel pretty good about that first base layer logo here, let that dry. You can either use a hairdryer, which I'm going to use this, because it's much faster. I will just let it sit and I'll hang out. Now, for this next step, what I'm going to do, I'm going to show you how I get the darker turns in here. We're going to use the same blue. Then next let's go, it's good enough there. I think that's pretty good. I'm going to use orange. I'm actually running out. That's okay, I still have some in there. I'm going to grab some orange, and mix that in with that blue tab and make a little more dark. Then get it to what I think it looks pretty good. Water it down and test that out. A little darker. Let's get that little darker. I think that's slope and a nice. Little more one on. Cool, I think that's pretty good. Now, what I'm going to do with this, this is what I help me to get those darker shadows in their liners down and so I can see it does much better. Again, notice how I'm drawing with a brush. You actually notice sometimes you will make marks on accident and you may just want to leave it there. If it looks good sometimes, you just say its okay. Cool and just leave certain marks there. There may be an accident but look good. I'm a little quiet because I'm focusing on these parts and now I'm just drawing away pretty much. A good thing to do is, also keep an eye on the darkest sides as well. Like the right side of my subject is much more dark side. That's why I'm going to focus more dark values on that side, going along with the contour of my subject as well, as I'm going along with the cheekbone. Now, once that's looking pretty good, go ahead and let that dry or use your hairdryer to make that process much faster. 9. Layers Three & Four: The next step, once you feel that that is pretty good and dry, I am actually going to to create an undertone. It's like a colored highlight that we're going to lay down here. This is going to be the wet on wet technique. Let's go ahead and make sure we get a clean jar of water. I'm going to rinse on my brush here. I'm actually going to grab a thicker brush for this next step. But before I lay down that water, let's go ahead and mix that color that we want. For this next step, we're also going to use a 12 round brush. Let me go ahead and you can all look deep into your subject and see which color is really standing out. I notice that in mine, it's more of a golden color. I'm going to get some orange. Mix that in. You want to mix a nice bit of it so you do not run out. Let me get some yellow in there to get that gold color. What I also like to do is get some red to get a little bit of flesh tone in there. It's nice, almost goldish color. Now, once you feel comfortable with that, go ahead and grab that cleaning water , fill the brush up. Now, look for the spots on your subject to where you may want to apply that new color that you got. There we go. A cool thing about laying this water down. What it does is it also actually blends in to some of the current paint that you have down. What it helps is also to know where you lay down the water is get a different angle on it while you're looking at it. You can see that the light reflect right off of it. That's looking pretty good. Now while that water is still active, let me go ahead and lay down the areas that I want here to be highlighted with this color. If you lay down too much, that's okay because you can spread around. Definitely on the cheekbone, the eye. You do not want to add it everywhere because you want to make sure it stands out in certain areas. Then what I'm actually going to do here is I'm actually going to quickly mix in a light color for the lips. On my subject, they are a little red, so I want to go ahead and make sure a darker red if I want to add those highlights in there, but with a different color. My water is still a little active, so let me go ahead and do that. On the rest of the video, I decided to do a voice over. My family was in the room and I didn't want to kick them out. On this part, you could see me laying down that made skin tone layer. Once I do this, I begin to blend it out, dabbing it on my napkin, and allowing the brush to do most of that work. For this part, I'm using my 12 round brush to cover more area with broader strokes. Another thing that you see me doing here is laying down that paint with enough water to where I can spread it out to other areas of the face. Right here, I switched to my smaller brush, which was either a four round or a six round to get in those smaller details. Also notice how I'm moving around to different areas and not staying in one place for too long. You can see me here laying down the skin tone to the eyebrows. I'm doing that because once I lay down the darkest darks, that extra layer helps me make the eyebrows the darkest darks. Now when working on the lips, you really want to keep the contour in mind to get that protruding look. Don't forget to let those highlights stand out. Now that that's looking pretty good, lets go ahead and move into our fifth layer. 10. Layer Five: Let's go ahead and jump in with the fifth layer, the fifth and sixth layer. I'm going to do here. Let's start off with a fifth layer. This layer is going to be the shadows. We're going to blend those shadows into the fourth layer, recent layer that we just laid down. Let's go ahead. For this, I'm going to go ahead and use a four round brush, I use the six round or four round brush. Let me see actually, let me use my six. Let's use the six round brush, get that ready. When do you hit? Let's go ahead and blend. I already had this pre dark color made from the previous colors I was making, so let's go ahead and activate that. Let's get some orange in there, let's lighten that up. You want to make sure you mix enough, because you don't want to run out as your paintings and have to remake that color and try to match it. You see the way you just made, so make sure you get enough paint mix in there, sets that out. I'm going to go a little darker here. To get that, make sure that darker tone, you want to mix the orange with the blue, that are complimentary color of it to get those all tones. Test that out. It's pretty dark. I'm liking that actually, I'm liking that. You know what? I think I'm going to use that. Notice how I'm using the tip of my brush to get those fine lines. For this part, I might want to use my four round brush. Since this is a smaller painting, I'm going to have to go in and get the details, we'll get the surgery going here. What I'm doing is dark layer here, this fifth layer. I really want those layers to stand out in those strokes and stand out. See I'm not blending as much. At least I'm trying not blend as much. Sometimes I try not to blend those strokes that you laid out. This part here we switch right back to that six round brush. I always mix more than what I think I need. More is less than what the background eating [inaudible]. Now as I lay that paint down and then spread around after. We really want those strokes to stand out. If you want here also to be a little darker, go ahead and let it dry and then apply the paint to it to add a little more darkness to it. This area needs to be a little darker, so let me go ahead and add a little bit more darkness to that. But not too much, because I don't want to overdo it. I do not want to overdo it. I think that's good enough right there with that. I'm going to add towards the eye. Cool. Now, let's move on to the lips real quick. Let's darken those up. Let me grab some red hair. I'm just going to dye right back into that same color. Always notice this is like oranges stain, because I'm so used any orange of the skin, but I notice this orange stain to the lips as well. You know what? Let's brighten it up. What also helps me is squinting my eyes. When I squint my eyes at my subject, I can easily break down those features and those shapes. Let me make some lines and lip here showing the contour that's going around. Going up, let's do that as well. Dope. I'll go ahead and let this dry a little more here. I'm going to use a hairdryer of course. We're going to go ahead add that six layer, the dark shadows that we'll put in the eyes. 11. Layer Six: Now we're going to do here is we are going to add in [MUSIC] the six layer of the darkest shadows. It's going to be the eyebrows, the eyes, the nostrils, and where the mouth area is. The darkest shadows you can find on your subject, we're going to put those in [MUSIC]. Also, to do this you can use the four round brush or the six round brush to get those details in. Notice that I'm still using those same paints that we're previously using. Go ahead and test that out. When you're using a black color, you don't want to use black, either straight out the tube or even one of these as a black. Those all actually, none of these are a straight black color. Because what that does sometimes is, is if you use a straight black color rather than mixing it to get that black, it can throw off your piece and it can almost look as if the darkest shadows aren't really a part of your whole, entire piece itself. To get that black, you can add blue, yellow, and red. Once you feel good about that, go ahead and start to test it out on your test strip. That's looking pretty good. I'm actually going to add a little bit orange to that, just in case I might blend it in with my skin tones. Go ahead and here we go. It's looking pretty good. Now to switch right back to the four round brush to get those smaller details. Again, for this part, I'm actually using more of the tip of my brush to get those fine lines in there and blocking in those shapes. Try to get those eyelashes in there. Sometimes hard to see. It is okay to throw some things in there that you know are probably there. You just might not be able to see them [MUSIC]. Also, notice how I'm bouncing around on my piece. I'm not just stay in one spot and focused on that too much because when we do that, sometimes we can get tunnel vision into that spot and forget about everything around it, so you want to bounce around and move around. You got to move freely. Not think too much about it. [MUSIC]. I'm actually going to add the eyelashes in a little bit after we add the eyeliner. Add those little hairs in there. I'm actually going to move a little bit of this paint over in this area. Then for the lips, I actually know, since this is already blue, I'm already putting a darker color into, I'm actually going to use this for the eyeliner. That blends. Make that a little more dark. There we go. That's pretty good. What's cool is we can actually see the first layer that we lay down, the blue. We can actually see that underneath all the other layers, which is pretty cool, too. Notice I didn't fill up every single part on my subject. I left some areas open for the highlights and that allows us to see those base layers. Let me make this area just a tad a darker. I just want to add a little bit of orange to it. I want to get that to start blending in to the skin tone. [MUSIC] Now, for the lips, what I want to do here is notice that we already have that red tone for lips. Now I want to take this darker shadow and I'm going to add a little bit red to it, just so once we blend into the lips, we can still see the red in there. It is not completely dark, completely a black color. Little smile going on, there we go. Adding color right around there. That actually darken that up. Let's get that. Bring that up just a little more. Blend it up. I'm actually getting paint on the side of my hand right here. That is all right, that is okay. Be careful as you're moving your hand around. Then another part, that nose within the eye. I'll go ahead and get a nice little orange going. Very light, that very faint orange. Add that right in here. A little bit to the other side. Now I'm going do here is I'm going to grab a little bit of blue actually. Sometimes, usually like this blue reflected light in the eyes. Let's go ahead and add a little bit of blue in the eye. Make that little light and we'll add it around the rim of the eye. Around the pupil and add it around. It's going to help bring her eyes alive and they'll look more realistic, more life like. Cool. Now once you're feeling pretty good about that, go ahead and let that dry. I'm use my hairdryer as usual, not just for my wife's hair and mine, but we use it for this as well. 12. Adding Background : Now you want to make sure that you have a clean, you want to refill your water here, your water jar with a clean and clear water. Then what we'll do next is, I was going to add in this last highlighter later to really make it pop. But what I'm going to do instead is, we're going to throw in the background first and then add that layer over top of it. Just so it makes our portrait look like it's more in with the background and not really separate from it. I got my favorite brushes, this is actually a 1.5-inch flat brush. We're going to use this to lay down that water and then want to add in a color. I got a new test strips to my right and new dabbing paper. Let me go ahead and choose whatever color you want choose for your background, you want to be contrast of the colors you already have for your piece. This is more of orange. We do have a blue undertone to it. What I'll actually do is I'm going to use a blue background to really make this portrait pop. To mix that, let's go ahead and actually, I'm going to use this palette for ones. The blue is actually very strong so I noticed. [MUSIC] I really watered-down that there, that was very blue. Very, very blue. This is going to be that wet on wet technique. Load your brush up and then go right around. You actually don't have a fill in all areas of the background. You can leave some out because when you do that, it sort of creates a texture with the background as your laying your brush down. The dry areas create a scratchy texture to make the background more interesting. Right around the portrait, I made in some part of my portrait in there. I am going over some of those areas. You'll notice when we do the background, we laid over the portrait in a way just so it looks like the portrait is coming out of that background. [MUSIC] Don't forget or wait to see where that water is laid down at. Get an angle on the view of your piece, and you can see the light reflecting right off of it. I'm actually going to use the same brush for this. I'm using the same brush, adding a little water and [inaudible] that just a little bit with water. Going directly in that blue. That blue is not mixed with anything else, it is straight off the pallet. I'll go ahead and add that in there. [BACKGROUND]. I'm going vertical with this. [BACKGROUND]. It's going right down into our piece. [MUSIC]. Since the right side of her face is angled, it looks further in the background. I'm actually going to use the background and go over that just a little bit to play with that perspective. [BACKGROUND] [MUSIC]. I [inaudible] go about that background. Go ahead and let that dry. Again use a hair dryer if you want to use that, or you want to chill out and let that dry by itself. [MUSIC] 13. Final Touches: [MUSIC] Now as you feel that that is drying good, the second to last step is really going to make our piece pop. Let's go ahead and jump into doing that. Now, the color we want to use. We actually want to use our 12 round brush first. [MUSIC] Let's make sure that it's cleaned off. Now I'm going to use an orange to help our piece stand out. Straight orange right here, and notice I'm using this palette just a little more. I felt bad for not using it previously, so I'm going to use it now. Let's go ahead and test that out. Add a little bit of yellow in there. Get a little more of a golden color. Now that we're not going to add into all areas of our piece. We're going to add it in certain areas. Similar to how we did the wet-on-wet technique in the beginning. We only add it in certain areas of that orange highlight. We're going to do the same here. [MUSIC] The only difference is, for this technique, this is wet on dry. [MUSIC] It's going to cover a lot of area. Real quick with a 12 round brush. Make sure we get the golden highlights in that nose area. [MUSIC] If you listen close, in the background, you can hear my turtle scrambling around. Very excited about painting. Stop the [inaudible] [LAUGHTER]. If you want a cheekbone right there. [MUSIC] That little darker color. That's okay though. That's all I have to do to make sure your palette's clean. Mine is now completely clean. That is okay. We're definitely going to make sure when we are remixing a new color, we want to make sure our palette is clean. Definitely around the eyes with this one. [MUSIC] Now, I'm going to do the same thing with the lips. I'm going to mix more of a brighter color with the lips area. Pull that up so you could see that to tap it. This is red straight out there. A little bit of orange in as well. Also, with the lips, you don't want to put too much detail on the lips or it's going to look like there's lipstick on the lips if there's no lipstick on your subject, and you may not want that look. But if there is, that's totally cool. You may want more detail. [MUSIC] Actually, I don't think I need to let that dry, and I want to do the last step here. Let me grab my pencil, either 2H pencil or HB pencil if you want to see darker lines. I'm going to go ahead and grab that. I got my 2H pencil for this last part, and I'm going to outline the parts that I want to stand out. I'm going to add some fun to our piece. These lines do not have to be perfect. You want to make them sketchy. Give your piece that almost finished look. Not fully finished, but finished in on our eyes. [MUSIC] Darken these lines up. Awesome. I'm going to take this tape off and let's go ahead and get a closer look. A quick tip when you're pulling the tape off of your piece, off your paper. You want to pull in the opposite way. You want to pull this way outward instead of pulling inward because that can tear your paper. Pull outward. There we go. Let me show you how I dress our piece up for some nice photos. You got to get the aesthetic in there. [MUSIC] Now, I almost forgot the number one main important thing about our piece is, I'm sure you're already probably thinking about it, signing it. Go ahead and pick a corner. I like picking the right corner down below, and go here and sign that. I like using pencil to sign. It makes it seem more traditional in a way, to use it. Now let's go ahead and get some shots of that. 14. Final Thoughts: You've made it. Go ahead and give yourself a round of applause. Go ahead, I'll wait. Good. [LAUGHTER] Thank you for taking the time to join this class and join me on this journey. Next, I encourage you to continue to learn new skills, to continue to push yourself, and to continue to create. Also, if you haven't yet, go ahead and share your work in the project gallery. I've had a blast and I hope you have had a blast as well. Again, thank you. I will see you next time.