Painting Animals! Simple Details to Dramatically Improve Your Artwork | Tabitha Watts | Skillshare

Painting Animals! Simple Details to Dramatically Improve Your Artwork

Tabitha Watts, Freelance Artist & Aspiring Author

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4 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Skillshare Intro

    • 2. Skillshare Ears

    • 3. Nose

    • 4. Eyes


About This Class

In this course you will discover simple practices that will change your artwork forever for your fury friends. You'll learn how to:

  • Paint hair
  • Create glistening effects
  • Shade, highlight, and make eyes come to life

Easy step-by-step instructions are given throughout each video. 

Grab a paint brush and let's make the magic happen!


1. Skillshare Intro: Hi, everyone. My name is to have that and welcome to my course. I am a self top painter, also over a sketch artist and a graphic designer. I like making you think, and I'm guessing that you are here because you are beautiful. Sometimes difference between amazing paying pretty good painting is just details. And this class, that's what this is all about. The devil's in the details, trying to take our paintings from pretty good to amazing and with a few little steps you make that happen in your artwork as so without further ado, let's get started. 2. Skillshare Ears: Okay, so let's get started. As you can see, right here we have our basic dog. It's just three colors black, white and gray. And from these were going to make a beautiful, realistic looking dog. So let's go ahead and get started with a focus on the hair right now. I'm gonna grab tape brush. Here we go. Check it. What I'm going to do is really wet. The surface very filled it in. But I want to make sure that when I'm doing hairs kind of using whatever's left over in my brain, you can see it's just blocked out. But we really want this fine wispy years. So we're not gonna do re with surface, then grab a little bit white. Not a few months. I'm gonna try to focus on where my highlights three. Now, this is pretty bright, but the fact that I've got it moisten on the surface and because my brush leftover black and really nice smooth, I don't want too much of a just a little bit work. Tell a lot of people that the enemy of art, his impatience, you just got to be willing to work in this already is looking 10 times Better switch over different brush here, and I'm just gonna fix. And you over here here again. Rocking motion. Now, Still with some black in my brother. I want to really highlight this edge where the bones were just softly working it back and forth. Excellent. Okay, Brush clean. I'm gonna go back in with my original big brush. Grabs black. Not too much. I really just want a dry brush. If it This is where the hairs were really gonna look awesome. So I'm gonna start on the inside of the ear right in here, and then whisper the mouth just like this. Now, I don't want to get too close to the edge because I want to figure out where in Egypt there were there and always had already looking awesome, doesn't it? I can tell that I'm not getting much. I'm just getting this little guy. Of course, he looks a little bit ragged here. A little old man. I know that, dogs. The hair does get a little thicker out here. Looking good. Looking good. Trade off. I'm going to switch off and get slanted brush here. Angle brush gets and I want some more defined. Here's now when I was telling people have a hard time with the angle brush is that you need to use this edge appropriately, this little side right here, because otherwise you're changing the effect of what the brush can actually do. I was tell people the easiest way to know how to use this brush, because I see a lot of people instead of going like this. They're like going like this and scrambling everything around, and that's not good. So you want the dog's tail. Always follow behind. That's what I was tell people the cat or the dog tail always goes behind. It's just a little easy way to remember stuff. Here you go get some more line. You definitely want come down at the surface that blocked out surface that we have his hair's. Of course, they get sparse as they go out from the skin. You were fewer because they're all going whatever direction they want to get. They were. It just takes time to get it. And just even these little effect real strength right here they're not not very visible. I'm telling you to make a world of difference. I'm gonna get a little bit you right in here that really making a change. And also tell people Maybe it's not perfect. Gotta roam here. What happened there? No problem given to friends. Here we go. He looks a little bit happier there in my purse. You already see how great this year is already looking. All we did, all we did was just And is it a risk? A lot of times when I'm making paintings like this and they require these wisps, I make little noises that kind of go with them. You hear that sound? You just kind of make that with your own nail. Somehow it just helps. I don't know. There's like a correlation between the noise and hand movement gesture. Like when little kids play. They're always making those noises with jet engine stuff. I don't know. Sometimes it tells who cares, even if it doesn't help it just kind of and a little something there. But it's fun, and you know what most of time people paint by themselves. There's nobody else around. It's just them and their painting. And who cares? If you make noises, nobody can hear you, so whatever it takes for you to be satisfied with your artwork. Just do it right. They do want some hairs to kind of cross over because our hairs do that not to dramatically , because for the most part, they do tend to go in the same direction. You're like my dog. Her hair is really, really crazy. And it goes wherever it wants to just at a few of in there. And then the important part is the longest, as you really don't want the air, the ear to be visible per se on your blocked out lines. What you could do instead of whispering, you could continue to whisk, but if you wanted to go a little faster, just kind of dry brush delicately in there. Not too much. Looks like there's a bunch of middle. Fine. I really don't want to see that edge. There you go. That's how we make realistic looking hair really simple. We're gonna be adding that we added some highlights right up in here just to give that year a little bit of a curl. And that's really all there is to it. Now. One step further, I'm gonna take that same brush dip it my black, my life, my white. And you know, the hair that is right here in a dog's ear. It's forward. A lot of times it's not hidden in the shadows because this alcove of this ear recessed. But I said, It's an So when I'm gonna do that just couldn't kind of put little wisps here. Now these air really bright what I'm gonna do, put them down first, I'm gonna get more black China over top of We just didn't want to follow that. The same style, same pattern. They don't have to be totally noticeable. It's one of these things the devils, something there and how old this dog is to write most of time. Old doggies. He has antlers. Well, he doesn't really have antlers that we call them antlers because they come in the side of his head like right here and they go really high and they're just they make a crown on the top of his head. Darndest thing. So cute. So whenever we given haircut would make sure that we don't cut that hair too short. So that way he always has grounds. Little Prince here just depends along here very gently do I want to make this top hair? I don't want too much. I really just want a lot of it to be here. Here you have hair on the tips of their peers. Naturally, naturally. I just wanna scratch him. Not even done yet. He's just cute. This guy, ever And in some way you can never go wrong with hair. I mean, you could you could get uncontrolled, wild and everything like that, but that's that's the things here. It's gonna kind of do whatever it wants to write. And that's pretty much it on making hair. Follow the shape of the body. Highlights here and there. Nothing back. I just wanna blend the noises you go. The next step is we're gonna worry about how to make a new theory. Right? Listening. How are we gonna make this great love commits and not there, But stay tuned 3. Nose: Okay, so now we're gonna work on our dog's nose is already looking really fantastic with that hair. But let's take it a step further and let's get that nose to look nice and moist and healthy . So again, we blocked off my car, just creating this gray. And now we're gonna add in some more details, like nostrils and the glistening from the from the moisture. Okay, so I got my paintbrush, and I've got a dipped in some black and some white, and what I'm gonna do now is create the nostrils. It's more here. And of course, nostril aren't necessarily perfect circles and some white, and I'm gonna create a darker, great inside of the national. The innermost part is going to be the darkest more. Yet if you need to make some of the noises all although I don't know that noise is really applied a circle. Now I'm starting off with circles to give myself a base, but I'm going to eventually just kind of let the paintbrush have lightning a little bit just because I can and help me out a little bit more. Now I'm gonna start and making it darker going. I just have an idea of weird star. Where to go konolige shape here even always make it bigger blended over into my lyre areas . And we're talking about balloon impatient. Patience is key Here. We got that. They're over here. I can always adjust the sizes as I go. Sometimes people just make noises like I just did that. Follow the beat, if you will air swishing her movement of the paper, whatever floats your boat, whatever gets the job done. Cows news. You can see. I'm kind of going outside of the lines a little, but that doesn't scare me One. Yeah. Drives and white here. Push it into the a little around, starting to look like a news. Yes, it is from with these years, you kind of looking like a goblin's cute Harry gobbles. Here we go. Now I am gonna go back in and I'm going. Teoh really cut some edges here with my paintbrush. So that way because we know that the nostrils nothing is fluffy. Nothing interferes. There's no hair. We really, really, really, really want to have a nice clean cut. But first I'm going to start shaking knows creating that listening effect that we really, really want. So this is my basis is just kind of like what we did with the blocking off place to start. This is our second place. Never gonna move on. Okay, so we said we got our base going down. I'm gonna darken it at the bottom a little bit. Kind of give him a mustache there. Just gonna cut a throw A little bit of this in here. Wipe out my excess, if I have any, and then just go right into some white. And this is where strokes are really important. Strips were always important. Sometimes you can just kind of wing it. But in here we're just going to give ourselves a little crevice. That doggies. Having your new images here we g o and doing that blending again board. It's more here. We G o Yes, that's look at night. That crevice done is in the shadows. We know that, right? It's going to be darker and again. It doesn t perfect. Because of the flesh. We're gonna make this look fantastic. First, we're gonna get our structure going More white, black go stroking. And this is where we start to really chisel. Now I can always go back in lighter coming along. I'm gonna put a dab of white up here. I really want the top to be lighter than Bob, because that's it facing light, and we're gonna be adding some more highlights in here really shine. Mr. Cut my edges around making darker with just I need to be right outside of go looking, being pretty desperate. So they're a little bit of black When I meant to get a lot of times when people are blending, they're not really focused on the blending. They don't realize that blending takes a little bit effort and concentration. It's not necessarily difficult. People just they don't realize what all goes. Teoh, do you think? Just blend. Well, look. Okay, there it is. It's blending, but it's not seamless. Not perfect. Well, blending takes a little bit more. Go over a couple of times. Maybe 15 20 100 times maybe. And that sounds daunting. But really, when you're going like this and just constantly going like back and forth, really doesn't take that long time, people just kind of forget. Maybe have a little bit of a hard time concentrating because they want results, right? What did we say earlier? That impatience is The enemy is the foe of Army because anything worth doing is an old fable. It says here that old proverb says, Anything worth doing. We're taking you. What is it in Lord of the Rings at One Tree guy? That's street, Berry says. Anything worth saying takes a long time. I don't know if I necessarily agree with that part, but I get where he's coming from. Anything of value. It really does take. Now. The great part is now. Just mess up here. That's just come on in. I cut into my nostril little bit. I'm not too worried because you know what? I gotta go back in there. Any way to fix stuff? Don't you worry. I just go over it with black. It's a lot harder to fix something, and I was not impossible. I just say a lot harder just because again, if you don't have the patience for it, which is more work, But it's a lot harder to readjust and fix something that is in mixed with the with the blended shapes and stuff like that. So what harder to fix those because there's, you know, 47 different shades of black, white and gray in here. And when it's something solid, so easy to fix, So all right, go. He's looking pretty cool, right? It looks pretty moistened. Don't let that dry a little bit and I'm gonna go in and fix my nostrils here for my dog. I really want this inner part. I really want the inner part to be dark. Really Be blood. Can't know the dark without the light and vice person. That's where I'm gonna clean My agent kind of blend amount to this section. Should be dry. She could feather it out. Noticeable. She went back in tricks of tree here. Nice to really get those listens then listening in a little sparkles on the news way, then really wanna have right Chinese docked here in their place. Kind of like what we will be learning with catch lights. The note has catch one. It just depends on how what you wanted to be. I don't necessarily want to start quite just yet, So you're right where I want to be. Look at that. Just places placing the finally and again If you don't like something to that way. It's also not so contract. Now when I say dots, they really don't need to be perfect. I know we keep saying that, and there is a bit of perfection that needs to come with our but all the same time. The nose is so porous and it's surrounded that perfectly white dot isn't really there even when you look in the eyes. Now, when we do, our eyes were gonna have perfect dots just to keep it simple. But a lot of times we don't have perfect dots in her eyes, depending on what light is shining in there. A lot of Times Square because of coming from windows or different things like camera flash and stuff like that. If you're shining perfect circles into their eyes or soft boxes, they create also squares. It really depends on the shape of the white that shining into your eye, put a few. Maybe he just licked his news clean up. I just looked Is I'm a little bit of highlight a one here, have some over here and embrace it. Yeah, he's got himself a little bit of a nun there. Next, we're gonna be working on our eyes 4. Eyes: Okay, let's get started with the final portion of our dog, which is going to be his eyes. He kind of needs those. Right? So we've only been working with two colors right now, black and white, but because dogs have actual pigment in their eyes, I'm gonna be incorporating a little bit of some yellow. But okay, let's get started with our eyes. We're gonna be using a lot of the same ideas. And we've been already doing and working with this far as highlighting and blending and Tae Shin's because, as we always say, the flow of artwork, ISS impatience. That's right. So, again, we've already blocked this off. We did that earlier. And because of the iris and the pupil and everything in between, we don't really need to do a lot as foreign as the people concerned, if you will. The people is already there. You just can't see it just haven't outlined it, kind of like with our nostrils. We started with that that one color and then we worked our way in and added everything else in between. So let's go ahead and get started. We're gonna imagine that that people is already there And so I am going to switch over to my smaller brush because this is going to make it a lot easier. Simply working the details. Still carrying the same idea. Okay, I then important to get a little bit of white, get give it a base coat in my brush already, and I'm gonna take a little bit of yellow Kind of brighten it up. Now we're going to do a lot of back and forth like we've already been our dog. He's kind of looking. I accidentally put a little blush there. Don't worry. Remember what we had said earlier, that it is a lot easier to fix issues and areas that are a solid color rather than issues that are going to be inside of a radiant multiple colors. Just make it changing. You might tell yourself, Well, this is all fine and dandy, but it's a weird perspective of this dog, and I just don't know if I could accomplish that. Well, we're not dealing with perspective, and we're not dealing with, um, positioning and all of that. We're merely focused on the technique and how to accomplish different things. You can integrate this into anything what we're working on really are kind of basics for highlighting shading, texture, things like that. You can use the same ideas in drawing with Brown's markers. You can do this with oil paint. You can do this with virtually anything that requires color. Now, when you're drawing the river when you're drawing, the difference is that you don't want color in this part and work backwards like with with us. I made this dark with pain and made this dark, and then I'm going Teoh, lighten it up as I go with paper. If it usually starts up your white, you don't want to cover that up because then it's gonna be hard to like. You can use a gel pen, but again, it's almost like working backwards for no reason. But the idea is still the same, highlighting using lighter colors, being patient with yourself, giving it a practice try because this is acrylic paint. It does dry pretty quickly, so you see the difference in the color already of what we're doing. He almost looks like he's asleep or very sad. We don't want girl that it Okay now, kind of like what? Our nose and everything else and even our ears. We have our pupil, but I'm gonna go in and cover this with black. To that way, I can put some gray in there because the eyes are pure blood. It's also will help me find that shape that you could do this in the beginning. All well, And it is amazing how strange picture will book in any medium when you're not done and complete with it. You know, it just looks kind of strange. Very strange. That's wear Make it 10 in here. It's already kind of like creating that highlight. Working into black just a little bit back in with black starting to see a little bit of face here More whichever to find what I'm gonna be working on next, right underneath your eyes. Kind of reading. Did nostril. We have a little bit of a highlight. That's what I worked there again. I don't necessarily want to be pure white, Not right off the bat light image. Agree. I want there to be a little bit of a gap between it's not. Times don't have that very have that portion on. Yeah, I like you can get really into detail with the eyes. There are going to be several shades of this yellow If it was in the I light is hailing from different parts and from different directions. But again, we're just gonna try to keep this simplified. I want you to be able to do this and feel confident and see that. Yeah, there are maybe seven other steps, but to get started and be proud of ourselves, we just need to make a few of these steps again. My fine brush with a little bit of white on here. And that's where I'm gonna put my highlights. Now again, my I like my catch light here. We rephrase it and we're gonna put them to the top. You got to be conscious. Now, remember, we've got to get our highlights on the portion of the nostril right here. The outside, it's little bit raised and then right here on the nose. And it looks like a lot of our light is coming down from up here. And so we want to make sure we remember that when we are doing any kind of a highlight. Remember? We had a highlight up here in the ear. We have our highlights over here and also on the outside of the dogs, beer, his girls. These are also well lit. You can see it's darker as it goes to the middle. And so we want to try to keep everything consistent. If I put catch lights here and I'm highlighting over here in the snows and this portions highlighted is that it's not really realistic. In fact, it's not unrealistic at all. So we're gonna make sure that everything is consistent with ourselves with itself. Make sure that you are highlighting in the same direction and that you were adding lights in the appropriate spots. Imagine the light shining down on this dogger, but shining over here than everything closest to that light. That's where it's going to be the brightest. Okay, go. I'm just gonna start by adding a little bit of a doctor a bit of a dot Remember when I said catch. Lights are perfectly round. It really just depends on what kind of light is shining in the on court. Try and keep highlights. Consistent shape could be kind of tricky again. We can always kind of restart if we need to look at the Magic that has happened here. Look at that. Amazing that Woods already remember where we first started from. And now we're here. That's just wonderful. And there you haven't step by step. I'm getting realistic details for your dog. Whether you want to use this for other things, you can Simple highlights, texture. You got this.