Watercolor for beginners: Vintage Portrait with a Twist! | Nefeli-Christina Kyriakidi | Skillshare

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Watercolor for beginners: Vintage Portrait with a Twist!

teacher avatar Nefeli-Christina Kyriakidi, A quirky Greek 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

8 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Class Overview

    • 2. Let's Gather Inspiration

    • 3. Sketching our Portrait

    • 4. Applying the First Layer

    • 5. Applying the Second Layer

    • 6. Let's add Details

    • 7. Final Touches

    • 8. Let's draw a line! And one more?

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About This Class

Vintage is a really hot topic in the interior design industry. More and more artists are using old-school portraits and are altering them, to create a super modern look.

In under one hour, you’ll have not only one, but two of your own quirky artworks, ready to be framed. You will learn how to use watercolor in combination with acrylics and charcoal, even if you have never done it before.

In this class you’ll learn: 

  • How to use a photograph as a reference
  • How to sketch with a pencil a first draft of the portrait
  • How to use layers in watercolor painting 
  • How to add details for contrast and depth
  • How to create a paper that looks super old, by using tea!
  • How to achieve a very trendy vintage look with different textures, by using various media (watercolor, acrylics, charcoal)

This is a very easy-going and relaxing follow-along tutorial. Almost like doing yoga! You’ll be creating your own trendy home décor in no time.

Even if you’re new to drawing or painting, you’ll find these simple and effective techniques easy to use and you will feel confident in your artistic voice!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nefeli-Christina Kyriakidi

A quirky Greek artist!


Hello, I'm Nefeli, a Greek artist living in the UK. I love to explore in art; I always want to find the unexpected, no matter the media. I love fine art, digital and motion design and I gather inspiration every day. I fall in love with different pieces of art.

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1. Class Overview: Hi there. Welcome the vintage watercolor painting. I am not Felli. I'm a Greek artist. And together we're going to do a vintage portrait with a modern twist. In this course, we're gonna paint a vintage portrait with a watercolor. But we're gonna add the cool line that will be a final product. We're gonna look at some bookshelf inspiration, and we're going to look at other artists. If I'm gonna walk you through all the steps from sketching to the final details, let's get started. 2. Let's Gather Inspiration: Let's look at some inspiration. Let's find things that will inspire us and will help us create. Look at this bookshelf. Um, these two last things will be the things we will be seeing together today. We will create together today and that's some plasticine Donald Trump me know in the comments. If you want to see a tutorial on that, you see the vintage element is very present in the modern world. Let's take a look at Pinterest of saved some boards. Is my board sophisticated? You can find it on my Pinterest account. I really like this very abstract, but cool This also. This face also is something that we will try to create but on a different kind of paper. On this one, you see key elements are drawn on top of it are blurred. You see, an ancient statue has a cool line element. Let's take a look at this. This is Josh Young. Let's take a look at his website Now. This is something we will try to achieve. This is a bit different. Of course we'll go for a no older look off off the portrait, but this is the same idea with a line off over the eyes. Other work. His other workers really cool, too. I'm just showing you that for some inspiration. Bibliotheque is also very interesting. You see, he uses different techniques, and this face with the red is something we will get in, spite from and create for our own home. Let's go back to Pinterest. See modern vintage. The core is really happening right now. This is really interesting. I really like that. See endless sources of inspiration. Portrait's really cool. Really nice in your space. Please let me know in the comments, your source of inspiration. We also find cool techniques in the graphic design world as well, not just in the home decor. A hint of vintage is really on trend right now. Nice colors and shapes, right? Let's get started. 3. Sketching our Portrait: First of all, we should add some music. Okay, let's start by sketching. Um, I found this picture on interests. I'll share it, so I'll start with a hat. It's a key element. Someone will make sure that I know exactly where it is in, my friend. Let's continue was the face. We don't need to put into this too much detail. It's just the rough sketch. So we know where to color would go on with the neck and the beginning, off the dress, the sleeves and the chest. Just roughly. I want to know where the facial expressions will be. So I'm gonna just roughly do the eyes. I wanna have too much off the pencil because we're gonna call her on it anyways. And the nose and the mouth also, you can see it's very rough. We will adjust later on. This will be the hair on on the other side and the eyebrow. Let me fix the nose a bit better. I think the face is a bit wrong. Let me fix that. All right, that's that's good enough for now. - Just when I had a few more details on the dress so we couldn't show the texture later on. That's fine. All right. We're almost done for this part. Um, you should have been more on the hat, but bigger. Maybe fix the neck. I don't like the neck right now. All right? And this is it. Let's move on to the next part. 4. Applying the First Layer: So in the first section, we just roughly did this catch. Don't go for realistic. Necessarily feel. So don't be too upset if you don't like your pencil sketch who? Fix it now. So now I want to mix, um, some black with some okra so I can achieve this sepia feel. As you can see, you can adjust if you if you don't like this. But I like this for now. And we're just gonna do the first layer, so we'll just apply, um, to the background. So we're not gonna touch the sketch of the lady right now. We're gonna work with layers, So this is the base, and we're gonna add on to this layer. No need to be too precise. I'm just gonna add a bit more as I know it will be darker. See, I'm not too careful with my brush. I just want to cover the part in the picture I can see will be the background and in one matter, so much so you look bad with covered pretty much all of the background with their first layer, I chose more of a green feel you'll see at the end why you can feel free to choose whatever shade you want. See, I'm gonna add a bit of the okra, so it's not just green, but I'm trying to seeing the original picture where I can see some differences in the background. As we said, it's the first base. So it's the first layer with a lot of water on my brush. I'm just gonna go ahead. I'm just gonna go and put some paint where I can see the shadow is more on my brush. I'm just using what I had originally very thin. See, it's just basically water and a bit off my paint off water home. I want it on the whole sketch. I'm just trying to avoid the areas that are really light would do this so we can have a difference in tone. So that's it for now. Let's move on to our next later 5. Applying the Second Layer: we're now ready to move on to the next part. Let's add the second layer off paint. As you see I start again with the darkest areas to remind you I'm using a combination off. Black and okra mix together. No, I'm a bit more careful on the edge off my sketch. This area, as we can see no reference, is darker. Same on the other side. If it's too dark, then I'm just mixing some of my paint with border in another area of my palette. And as you can see now, the sketch of the lady really stands out. It will be easier to add details onto that if you can see it correctly. Now, let's continue with a hat. Let's add the dark tone where it's needed, and I'm just slightly tapping my brush so we can have the effect of the texture off the off the roses, all the flowers. And he's using the same color as before. I'm just stopping. This is the darkest area, and then I'm gonna some details, and you see, I haven't put on more color on my brush, so as it fades, it creates this nice effect a bit more dark as I'm seeing in my picture. And if you see an edge that is really harsh, then just with your brush top on it and tried to mix it. So it's not very clear where the line begins. Let's define the face. Thank you and again, really Remember the the light and the darker tone? I'm added a bit off okra, just slightly tapping. No, this is the shadow on the face. No, just added some water, so it's not too harsh. Don't worry. If it seems too much, it will get absorbed. So will fade so approximately. That's where the shadow should be. Just be patient. They will. We're really good at the end. I'm keep seeing the shadow here. See? Ever haven't added more color it just what's left on my brush. No, I keep spreading the same watercolor on the rest, so it's you sees a bit more faded. I'm really focusing on the face right now, as it's really important, just really focusing on the shadows action. So don't think in terms off shape, but think in terms of shadows, just water. All right, let's move on to our next lesson 6. Let's add Details: this section will be a bit longer, but it's the most important one. See, so far. We weren't so careful. We added lots of layers because of one. Achieve this old look. A winner make it look like the paper is a retired from the time that has passed. But now it's time to add the details. So I'm just using black as you see pure black mixed a bit with a color off. Let me clean that right? So mostly back. So we're adding the contrast. See, I'm looking at my reference picture, and I could see the darkest areas, some applying black to those No, I want to define a bit off my elements the hats, for example. And again, don't worry if it's if it looks like too much black, um, it will get absorbed or we will fix it. Now it's time to add the detail, so we're a bit more careful with our lines as before and topping so the line is not too harsh. Another dark area again. We're working with light and dark now. The hat is a bit tricky because of all the flowers, so we'll do the best we can to create the texture I'm happy without for now. So I let it dry and I will move on to the dress more flowers here. So we need to be a bit careful with our shadows here. Seattle I don't go too crazy with the original is just a reference. I still want to make my own creation, but it really helps in terms off proportions. The sleeve has also shadows topping again to create the texture off the garment. Again, I'm I'm using a bit more watery caller now because I don't want to be too harsh. Let's add some okra. Let's not forget about that sepia look thing blends nicely and this way. Also, we can make the lines less defined, a bit more blurred together, like it would look with oils if we used oils somewhere. Sepia on the line is a bit too white, just basically water in a bit of my color. So we have a thin layer off paint. See now again, I'm not too careful. We have a big area to feel. Let's go back to adding details now that it's dry, adding black again. See how it starts to really pop out. I think it looks really nice, like it's a really old photograph. See, I will not define the shape again. So I need the background to be actually darker. Something just gonna go ahead and add a layer of black C really stands out. If there is a contrast in color, someone's gonna feel that interest same on the bottom with the background. See, when you have done, um, an area and need needs to get dry work on the other side, then you don't have to stop and wait. So we have really dark background there. Same other picture. It's him. Blur out the lines a little bit, say now we really need to think over these details. Let's go ahead and use white again. Working with contrast, you can choose to leave this areas blink, so don't use color to begin with. But if we've made a mistake, I think the white looks quite nice. This side of the face is really light, so I'm gonna add some weight. Same with the dress helps with the texture. Pure white. This side is lighter. No, the hairline. That's what's gonna help us to create the air. Look on your reference picture. We see that some areas are a bit lighter. That's how we understand. That's her hair. Let's go to the difficult part. You need to be precise. Just slightly. Touch your brush. I have pure black from starting with the eyebrows. No, we need some accuracy. Still lightly touching for the nostril. Same for the mouth. We're going for it. This black and white picture. So I'm not using any color on her lip. See, now I needed to dry. So I'm gonna work on there and the garment. We need some lines there to understand the shape of the flower. I think some shadows again. So whatever you see and you've feel that in its to be better now it's the time to do it, Bond. We're almost ready with our details as well. I think no bigger lines there. Great. You can add as much detail as you want. It's finished when you say it's finished. 7. Final Touches: We are almost finished. Don't give up. I know it's the hardest part, but it's the most rewarding home. So now, with just my dirty water, basically, I'm just adding the shadow. So very careful. Uh, let's go over the the lines on the border off the face. See if every small movements now we don't want to ruin what we worked for and blurred, blurring up cm blurring out the nose a bit. The line was too harsh before. Let's do you this part. I feel needs to be much darker so we can see the the arm a bit butter. I'm gonna add some light. I think I've added too much color on the side and some just come and try and fix it. Same on the neck. Kind of mixing these together. No, I'm a bit more careful, but I think we're almost there. See again? Pure white. So half of the face is lit and the other one is in the shadow. See, I know we're gonna add that pink lying at the end, but I still think we need to go ahead and create this, um, like it won't have Ah line. Maybe you don't want either line. I'm gonna work a bit more on the garment. But again, it's up to you to decide how much detail you want. A few shadows. Very little coddler on my brush. The face is dry, so I'm gonna work on it a bit more last details and we're ready. You see, we have the first border color creation on the left, but I'm not looking at that. Um, every time you do, this is gonna be unique. It can be copied. So don't worry. If you made it before and you want to do it again, it's not the same. Every every time is gonna be different. No need to define the face a bit. And we have color bone and the necklace. I'm very happy with how this has turned out. I hope you are too at home. What else do you think we should do? What's left to do? Tiny details. I think I'm happy. Come on. On a few shadows there, but I think we're ready to move on to the last Listen 8. Let's draw a line! And one more?: I'm really happy with us. There you go. That's the 1st 1 that created, and that's the second. Not identical, but I do like them both. I want to show you. Ah, trick. Let's do a super quick new artwork that will go really nice with the one we've created already. So I will show you a trick that is t not needs to go away. We're just gonna use the tea bag, has black tea, anything that works best. And then you can just tap the t like that onto paper. It will create an amazing illusion off. Like really old paper. I really like this technique and you'll see how we can super quickly create a very elegant artwork that will go great on her bookshelf. Just topping it. Be careful if it's too hot. Now, this is what is gonna turn out to be, like realize. So no, um, I'm gonna find my favorite point, right. You can find your own, and I'm just gonna get a pencil and write that I won't get not right. That born have chose the chose Pablo Neruda won. You feel free? Teaches whatever you like. You don't need to see me, right whole thing. You get the picture. And now we're just gonna blur that again. Like it's really old. And now we just coming true. I'm using charcoal. I'm just gonna You do a quick abstract face, just like the you can use whatever reference you want. I'm not using any ums going ahead and doing whatever I can think of. You can do really simple lines, or you can do more like of a sketch with more details, whatever you like. Whatever you think will look good in your home. I like to enhance a bit. The key elements. So just like that? No, I'm happy without let's say I'm gonna add a bit off color, some just using acrylic. It's not watercolor. Now it's acrylic. It doesn't really blend done much, so it creates this. Can't trust. No, we've signed it. This is it. No, for the moment of truth. But, uh, don't get so afraid. Just using white and red have created a pink and it just touched it. Not too much thought so. That was it. Thank you so much for watching. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Thank you for watching eyes