Getting into Gouache - Creating Bold, Brave Gouache Paintings | Arleesha Yetzer | Skillshare

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Getting into Gouache - Creating Bold, Brave Gouache Paintings

teacher avatar Arleesha Yetzer, Watercolor Illustrator & YouTube 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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Building a Limited Color Palette


    • 4.

      Gouache vs Watercolors


    • 5.

      Warm Up Sketching


    • 6.

      Sketching in Gouache


    • 7.

      Blocking in Color


    • 8.

      Adding Details and Fixing Mistakes


    • 9.

      You Made it! Share Your Project ♥


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About This Class

Gouache is an incredibly bold, versatile medium! It can be used in so many different ways - but it can also be a bit tricky to get used to. Well, it's time to overcome those obstacles and have fun with this awesome medium! 

In this class, you will learn: 

  • How to build a limited palette for clean, cohesive colors
  • The differences between watercolor and gouache
  • Sketching directly with your paint
  • Building up gorgeous, expressive layers
  • Blending colors together 

Let's get painting! 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Arleesha Yetzer

Watercolor Illustrator & YouTube Artist


Arleesha is a watercolor artist and YouTube creator based in the northeastern United States. Her work primarily features dynamic and whimsical representations of the human figure. Primary professional endeavors include her budding YouTube channel with a current subscriber community of over 100 thousand as well as this growing library of Skillshare classes!

Here, you'll find classes on anatomy, figure drawing, and watercolor techniques - all directed to help you improve your portrayals of the human figure. 

If you'd like to connect with me and see more of my work, you can follow me on Instagram or check out my YouTube channel, where I post videos every week. 

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is [inaudible] , I'm a YouTube content creator and artists and welcome to my newest class, getting into Gouache.While I do a lot of work with watercolors, I absolutely love working with Wash. It's such a graphic, bold and versatile medium. You can water it down to use it a little bit more like watercolors, you can use thick opaque paint as well as so many different things in between. In this class, my primary goal is to help you become more confident with this sometimes tricky medium.I want to walk you through the steps of creating a limited palette. We're going to go over some of the differences between Gouache and water colors as well. After that, we would get some hands on exercises.We'll talk about using thicker versus thinner paint. How to layer color on top of other colors, blending out your gouache, and in the end, I will have given you tons of tips for working with gouache and you'll have an awesome class project to show for it. Whether you've never used gouache before, you're just getting started. Or maybe you are a watercolor artist who's interested in checking out this system medium.I cannot wait to share these tips with you and answer your gouache questions. Let's get our materials together and start painting. 2. Materials: First things first, let's talk about the materials you're going to need for this class. We are better to start then with a paint. I want to show you a few of the forms that you can normally find gouache in, with probably the most common being tubes. Gouache tubes can be found in many different brands, sizes, and qualities. Working with gouache fresh out of the tube is my favorite way to work with it. We'll talk more about that in a little bit. If you're familiar with watercolors then the idea of squeezing paint into a palette like this and allowing it to drive may sound pretty familiar to you. This is gouache that I have squeezed into a palette and allowed to dry, and I simply reactivate it before I get started. You can work with it this way, even though I think this isn't the best way for individuals who are just getting started with gouache to learn how to use it. Another affordable option is pallets like this one. This is an 18 color palette of gouache, and you can see that when I take off the lid here, the paint is in very large little cups. These are 30 milliliter cups and to compare, this is a 15 milliliter tube of gouache, so you're getting twice as much paint in each of these cups. It's not as high of a quality and you don't have any information on how permanent or light fast the paint is or what pigments it's made out of. So you don't really know anything about it, but you get a lot of paint for not a lot of price. I have found that the quality of this doesn't get in the way of learning how to use opaque paints. So if you're looking for an affordable option, this might be something you want to check out. This one is by the brand Himi, and I will leave links to all of the products that I'm talking about throughout this class. In the about or the project section so you can see everything that's there. You can also find gouache that is dried in pans and sold that way by specific manufacturers. I don't have any of that here, so I can't really speak to it very much, but I know it's out there and it's available. For this class we're going to be focusing on working with gouache straight out of the tube as this is my preference and I find it to be the easiest way to learn about the medium for beginners as well. Of course, we're going to need more than just paint for this class, so I also have a watercolor sketch book here. When you're working with gouache, you're going to want to have either a mixed media or watercolor paper to work on, and that can be in a sketchbook form, which is what I have here. I found that with gouache, you sometimes need less water than when you're working with watercolors. So you can sometimes get away with a thinner paper when working with gouache than what you might need for watercolors. But I still find that a mixed media or watercolor sketch book or paper is going to work the best. When it comes to brushes for gouache, you may be tempted to pull out some of your natural hair watercolor brushes, or brushes that hold a lot of water that you might be used to using for watercolors. I find that if you're used to watercolors using these natural hair brushes can actually get in the way of helping you to learn about the medium. I would recommend instead opting for some super cheap synthetic brushes. These brushes are not made out of natural fibers, so they're going to hold less water and I find that it gives you a lot more control when working with this opaque medium. You're adding a level of difficulty because working with natural brushes can often end up that your colors end up with too much water, and then it's hard to get that nice flat mat gouache consistency. So cheap synthetic brushes are going to work perfectly for this class. We will be doing a small amount of sketching to prepare for our class project. So you can go ahead and grab your favorite pencil and an eraser as well. As usual when it comes to painting, we are going to want to have a couple of containers of water, as well as some rag or a paper towel to wipe our brushes off on as we go. When it comes to working with opaque mediums. I also have one more material that I like to add to my general setup and that is a tabletop easel. This one was gifted to me and I've found that having my paintings at more of an upright angle when I'm working opaquely and I'm not working with watercolors that are just going to run off the page. I find that it's really helpful for me to have my painting up at a higher angle. It's more comfortable for me to sit at a more appropriate posture so I'm not leaning over something and hurting my back, and it helps me to be able to see my image better as I'm painting. With all of our materials laid out before us here, let's go ahead and jump into our paint specifically so we can choose our limited palette. 3. Building a Limited Color Palette: With our materials covered, we're ready to move into setting up our limited color palette. Working from a limited color palette is really important all the time, but especially when you're first learning about gouache, because one of the quickest ways to get muddy colors is to have too many colors available to you at one time, and you're mixing a lot of things and your color palette isn't cohesive, the colors you're using in your piece may not look good together. So by limiting it to really three max four colors, you're really going to help yourself out in the long run to, learn about your gouache more effectively, and also to keep your colors cohesive and looking nice together in your final piece. We always want to have white when working with gouache, because unlike with watercolors, you can't just water it down to make the color lighter because you want to slowly be building up opacity, at least in the technique we're going to be learning in this class. Then my preference is to have one of each of the primaries in some variation. I could go with a cooler yellow or something a bit warmer like this or like this. I'm going to go with a cool yellow for this class. I'm going to be using also a combination of student grade paints and artist grade paints, which is totally fine. I also really want to use a warm red. Yeah, let's go with this. For my blue color, I could go with a Payne's gray or something closer to a silurian blue. I think I'm going to go somewhere in-between and stick with a cobalt blue. I could work with just these colors if I wanted to, but I think I'm going to add one more color for convenience. That's going to be my burnt umber. This brown is going to help me to mix deeper tones with my blue. That will be a nicely saturated gray. If I mix it with my red, I can keep the warmth of the red and darken my tone without cooling it down and making it more purple with the blue. So I have a lot of options by adding the brown. If you do decide to work with your gouache in tubes, you're going to need some mixing surface. This is literally just a little metal lid tray thing that I found at our local secondhand thrift store and picked it up and knew it would be perfect for our palette. You can also just use any plastic or porcelain plate. Or if you have some other paint palette, whatever you want to mix on, just needs something to mix on. We're going to take some time to get to know our palette before we actually start working on our piece. I'm going to just go ahead and squeeze out paint here. We're going to make a little color wheel and perhaps a color chart as well. I'm going to start with relatively small amounts of paint. Then if I need more, I can always just squeeze it out a bit later. I'm pretty notorious for squeezing out way too much paint onto my pallet when working with gouache like this, you can reactivate it at a later time. But I definitely have several pallets that have paint on them currently that I keep saying, I'll just reactivate it later. So going to try to start with less. Oh boy, come on blue. Because they are lighter, softer, less powerful colors, I tend to run out of white and yellow the quickest. So don't be surprised if you need more of those along the way. I'm going to start with this synthetic round brush, and we're going to start by just making a color wheel. I am going to mix my gouache with a small amount of water for this. This exercise is also a great way to start to learn about how to control the consistency of gouache, I don't want it to have so much water that it's just like watercolors. But I don't want it to be thick, streaky paint on a paper and you have to find somewhere in-between. We'll start with our yellow here, and then our red. There's already some water on my brush from where I rinsed it, so I'm going to go ahead and put this color down. You can see from the dry brushing that we're getting, we could add a little bit more water. You can see I was getting that dry, scratchy look and that meant that my paint was a little bit dry. You can work with it that way. You just have to decide what you want at each particular point. Then our blue. You can see how this feels pretty streaky the way I'm working with it here on the palette, so I'm going to add just a little bit of water and smooth that out a bit. While gouache is generally a more opaque medium, you still have some pigments that are more transparent than others. So they won't all be exactly the same in transparency or opacity, that depends on the pigment. Now that we've got each of our base colors here, we're going to go ahead and mix secondary colors in between them. I'm going to mix a little bit of red in with my yellow, and you can see that this red is much stronger than the yellow. If I want to get a color that's actually in between, I need a little bit more yellow. We'll do purple next. I can choose if I want to try a warm purple or get a little bit cooler by adding more blue, which goes something like this, it's still pretty warm. You can see the dry brushing again here, how it's a bit scratchy. You don't have to add more water, but I'm going to add a tiny bit more to smooth that out. Then we will use a little bit more yellow down here to mix a green. As you can see here again, I'm going to need more yellow to balance out this blue. It's also always a good idea to experiment and see what your colors look like when you start to mix them with white as we're going to be using a lot of white throughout the course of this class. Like I said before, that's how you lighten your paints. We're not just going to be watering it down like you would with watercolors. Adding white is also a great way to add opacity. This exercise can be so helpful in learning about your paints. I'm seeing here that I have to add quite a bit of white to this red as this is a very strong color. So moving forward, I'm going to have to be very careful when working with this red as it puts down a lot of pigmentation in my mixes. So lots and lots of color from that one. Because we're adding brown to this palette, I also want to take some time to see how the brown mixes with our colors as well. As you can see, the browns add a lot of range to our palette overall, a lot of variety. Another good thing to do is just to mix each of your three colors together and see what dark, black, gray value you can get from them. We can get really dark value from mixing all three of our primary colors together. I'm going to experiment with adding a bit of white to that, to see what that gray looks like. Is it a bit warm, is it a bit cool? It looks pretty warm to me actually. We could adjust that by adding a bit more blue and making this a cooler gray over here. So we've got a lot of range here, a lot of options. This is only a small amount of what we can mix from this palette, but it's a great way to get started and get the hang of the paints that you're using before you jump right into our project. 4. Gouache vs Watercolors: Before we jump into planning for our demonstration piece for this class, I want to take a moment to make a few clarifications about the difference between watercolor and gouache. I'm going to be working with a watercolor palette over here on the left, and my gouache over here on the right and and I just want to show you a few of the differences between these two mediums. Will start with our gouache here on the right, what I'm going to do is just lay in the three colors that we're working with. They're still pretty thick, but I have watered them down a bit and I want to show you what happens when we lay these colors in right next to each other and have them touching while the paint is still wet, you're going to notice some spreading. But because this paint is just a thicker, opaque substance, it's not going to really flow a ton from one color to the next, they stay pretty separate and kind of keep to themselves.They do mix a bit at the edges, but in thicker consistencies there not going too far. We can see that our color is bright and bold and very vibrant. We're going to try to work with similar colors over here, they wont be exactly the same, but similar on our watercolor side. Right away we can tell that the white of our page is showing through more. Our color is still really nice, but it definitely doesn't have that pop off the page like our gouache. It's much more transparent. We can tell the colors want to blend a bit more at the points where they meet, and the colors will flow into each other much more on our watercolor side. You can tell that watercolors tend a lot more towards this luminous, transparent look. To our gouache gives them much more Matte solid appearance with watercolors, if you wanted to build up to this sort of vivid color, you would just have to use multiple layers and that can be a really interesting effects as well. The primary difference that most people think of when they are comparing gouache to watercolors and that has to do with opacity. I have this dark stripped down here, and we're going to just kind of layer color on top of this black sharpie line, starting with what will probably be our most opaque gouache color and that's our white. I'm going try to keep this pretty thick so I can show you the opacity and this is titanium white. You can see it covers quite a bit of our black line there. Our yellow, you can see while it's covering up some of our line, it's not a completely opaque color definitely not as much as the white. Our red is a bit more opaque and there's our cobalt blue. As you can see that's covering varying amounts of our black line depending on the color. Each pigment has its own transparency level and let's do the watercolor side. I don't use white watercolor. I personally don't, but I do have buff titanium, which is a considerably opaque watercolor. Let's see how that compares to our gouache. This is buff titanium to watercolor. You can see it does cover a bit of our black line, but when compared to our gouache, it does seem much more transparent. Here's a yellow, red and our blue. Now that all of our swatches are dry, hopefully you can see pretty clearly the differences and opacity, even some of the colors while they are covering up a little bit of our black lines so they might not be considered completely transparent colors. There still considerably more transparent than our gouache colors over on this side even the ones that we first watch them look like they might not be quite as opaque. Our watercolor naturally has more flow, the colors will mingle more on the paper and more translucency, more transparency. Our gouache is going to be more opaque and give us that flat, vibrant, bold color. 5. Warm Up Sketching: Before we jump into our project walk-through, we're going to take a few minutes to warm up. This is going to get our hands moving and kick-start our brains to think creatively. I've chosen one of my most favorite drawing and painting subjects for this class and taking a reference photo of my own eye. It's a little bit creepy looking and just staring up at as here. But I have a picture here to use for reference or if you have a mirror, you can be looking right at yourself if you're going to be painting an eye like I'm, or you could grab something else to paint. Maybe your favorite mug, this one is one of my most favorite mugs. Anything that you can either take a photo of or paint and draw from life is going to work perfectly for this class. I really enjoy painting eyes. There's so many ways to be bold and expressive. This is a subject I am going to be using. Let's get it to stay out here. It's not just staring up at us the whole time. I now have my reference off to the side, and I'm just going to start warming up with some sketching. My sketchbook is currently flat on the table, but I may occasionally prop it up like this so that I can see it at a little bit of a better angle. I'll do something similar to this for the final project when I have my sketch book on a tabletop easel, when sketching and painting, I always try to think about the largest shapes first. This whole shape here represents the eye socket with the actual brow bone sitting up high. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is, when you're drawing something, maybe something you've drawn before, whether you're drawing or painting, is to try not to focus too much on what you think you are subject looks like and actually draw what you see. When I was working on this eyebrow, I automatically made this downward curve here. But the eyebrow itself actually just goes back in space. It doesn't actually curve down quite as much as I made it curve. Just roughly thinking about that shape. Then the relation of where the eye starts from the eyebrow and where it ends coming in. This outward curving shape with a brow ridge. Again, keeping to those larger shapes, I'm trying to think about the distance between here and here, and roughly sketching in the shape of the eye. Keeping in mind that the eyeball itself is round. If you'd like more information about how to draw eyes and how all of the different parts of the eye are broken down, I have a class about that, how to draw eyes. As you can see, my lines are super sketchy. This is the first time I'm drawing today. My brain is not really warmed up. I haven't really been thinking too much about drawing it today. My lines are sketchy and a bit indecisive. For my picture, there's actually the reflection of a window, the window that is in front of me. I'm going to roughly put that shape in. The eyeball is not the entirety of this section. It curves as you can see here. You've got eyelids and then got some bags under my eyes. Now we've got a rough sketch. Another thing I really like to do in this initial sketching stage is to start to think about values. This is going to be really key in bringing your final project piece together is values. I can't overestimate the importance of a value, sketch in particular. Laying in the darkest areas, just see if you have an understanding of where it's darkest. This doesn't have to be perfect obviously, this is just a sketch. I'm looking at mine and the crease of the eyelid is pretty dark. Then of course the area of the eyelashes, the iris and pupil. We'll start by shading in that entire area. Then I will add a little bit of a darker edge around the outside as well as some more darkness in the middle for the pupil. This is already looking a lot like an eye. Going to add a bit of shading to this corner here. Also it's important to think of the eyeball is a sphere. This is a rounded shape that's going to curve, so it's going to have some shadows in it too. Generally speaking, the white of the eye is actually not completely white. It has a bit of a bluish gray tint to it. Then we will add some shading under this edge of the bag of the eye, which is created by this sphere of the eyeball. Pushing out against the skin a bit, which is what pushes out the shape down here. As the eye curves back, there's some shading around this side and then of course as it goes up and to the brow bone, this edge is a bit darker. This is a really, really rough sketch and just trying to warm up my brain at this point. But the establishment of values is really, really important. You can kind of go crazy with whatever colors you want, as long as you've got those values correct. If you find that your painting or your sketch is starting to not make sense at any point, it could have to do with the fact that you've lost contrast, so you don't have your darkest darks in anymore or your lightest light areas of those highlights have been lost. Reestablishing those can really help to bring things back into perspective and have things start to make sense again. Now I am thinking about what I would want to be different for my final piece, or what I really like about this shape that I want to maintain. For example, I'm looking at this, I'm looking at my reference, I'm seeing that I've made this shape a little bit too small, which I can just roughly adjust here and they get larger. Kind of changes the expression a lot, it goes from more of a surprised, intense expression to something a bit more calm when the iris takes up more of the space. Because this is a rough sketch, we can really just scribble on it as much as we want. I like this darker area here, just this whole eyelash area and how that creates a lot of darkness in shadow there. As the skin folds here, we can see we've got shadow here, shadow here and then a lighter area there, and lighter area up here. Lighter area here, we kind of overemphasized this shape, It does curve out this way. A bit more, there we go. It only took a couple of minutes and I'm gonna go with this for our initial sketch. I'm already starting to think about my values a bit more than I was a few minutes ago. It only took us a few minutes to sketch this out. It's really worthwhile to whatever your subject is. Take a few minutes to sketch it, add it to your class project. Let's go ahead and get started with something very similar, but with our squash. 6. Sketching in Gouache: To get started, we're going to do something similar to what we have with this eye over here, we're going to do it on this side and we're going to be sketching in gouache. Over the course of the next few exercises, I'm going to be walking you through the creation of my class project. During this time, I'm going to be sharing the entire process with you and walking you through all of the most important elements of how I create pieces with gouache. You can think of this as your initial sketch or something of an under painting. When working with gouache, I would always recommend working from thin to thick. If you're going to be watering down your pain at all, you want to work with the most watery paint earlier in the beginning. If you try to glaze on top of thicker layers of paint later on, it's just going to react with that paint underneath and you're going to end up with money color, and you're going to lose a lot of the definition that you've put down. I'm going to be starting my sketch with some very loose paint with lots of water in it. As you can see on my palette here, I'm going to be using that for our sketch. I'm also going to be using this angled brush as I find it's really helpful for having a point in some instances, but also being able to lay in broader strokes. We're going to start with one of the largest shapes. I'm going to just lay in my eyebrow shape as I did before, doesn't have to be a perfect likeness here. Just want to get the shapes similar and definitely using this a lot as a guideline for proportions. I'm going to treat all of this as one big shadow shape here coming down into the ridge of the nose, and then straight out from there we'll start laying in our eye shape. Keeping in mind how much distance we want to have between these different places. What we're creating here is ultimately going to be pretty similar in this initial step to what we did in our last exercise. But we're starting to get our hands into the actual paint with even more of a focus on values as we're blocking in larger, darker shapes at this point. If I do something that I don't really like at this point, it's okay. I can always change it later. Like I technically made that iris area way too big, but it's okay because I'll be able to cover it up in future steps. I really like to use big broad strokes when working with gouache, so I'm starting to think about that already. If you would like to have your finished piece be on watercolor paper and be a bit more refined and a bit more defined, you are more than welcome to do that. I'm just treating this like a sketchbook exercise for myself. What I've done here is I just went back and got a little bit more paint, so now this color is going to be a little tiny bit thicker and a little bit darker. We want to gradually increase in opacity of our paint. But contrast is going to be a very relative thing, so is color. What I mean by relative is that, our shadow color looked pretty dark before we had any other values in, but once we start to lay in something that's even darker, we can see a bit more accurately what our values look like. Trying to think about where the peak of the eyebrow is in relation to my eye. It's actually like here. Something like this. They don't have the eyelashes in and but I'm not going to worry about them too much right now because we're going to paint over a lot of this area. Add a bit more value in just to gauge our values. Some of this color may show through in the end but it's not a necessity. It's really just to establish our value and think about where the lightest areas are, like there's a highlight down in here and up here. We've actually got some highlights in here that I will define later on, like the wetness of the eye that's really going to help with the realism, and then also the highlight that's in this actual shape here. All of those things that vary in contrast is really going to bring this together in the end. 7. Blocking in Color: Now that our initial sketch or under painting is in, we're going to start to move in with more color and develop our values even more. It's your choice whether you want to go ahead and start with the darkest values, or if you want to just lay in color and then work in contrast later. I personally tend to just start by laying in color, a mid-tone and then add contrast a little bit later on. We want to start with the biggest brush possible if you're going for a painterly look with lots of brushstrokes and lots of movement. I have this flat brush. It's not super big, but compared to the size of our eye here, this is going to work really well for laying in some larger brushstrokes. You also want to make sure that your sketch is completely dry before you start to lay paint on top of it, unless you want those colors to blend together. I really love to push my colors when I'm working with gouache. You're going to see me using a lot of unnatural colors here. This is a pretty dark value to start with. This is a bluish-gray, and I'm just going to use this to block in a few areas. We'll be able to come back and define some things a bit more later on. But I want to get the basic idea in as quickly as possible. A flat brush is really nice for laying in larger areas. You can use the edge for slightly smaller details. You can see I'm already changing what I have in my sketch to change this pupil shape of it. It's always good to test your colors because they probably will look different on the palette than they do actually on the page. Getting to know your palette is so important. This color doesn't look quite as dark on my palette as it does on the page, so it looks darker when I actually lay it down here. I've opted for going in with darker values first here. I'm going to be adjusting the color as I go. Still a very deep color here, but a bit more red for the inside of this eye. I love adding areas with more redness to them, especially when working with skin tones. I'll go ahead and provide my references as well if you guys are interested in following along more specifically with what I'm doing. I'm looking at my reference and thinking about the subtle shifts in color. There are some areas where skin folds over skin and the shadow underneath has a lot of warmth to it. I want communicate that redness a little bit to where some shadows like over here are much cooler. I'm just exaggerating that difference in color. I've added just white to that mix I already had to get a lighter reddish color to lay into some of these areas. I'm thinking about areas of warmth, but this is also a dull red. It's not super warm, but I can add a little bit more yellow, maybe a little bit of brown to get something that has a bit more warmth while still having lots of red in it, for areas like up here where it's pretty warm but not entirely just red. As you can see, I'm using big strokes to lay in my color here. Sometimes I'll change my mind and just cover things up and that's totally fine. Most of these areas, it's very uncommon to go over an area for me at least just once. I usually do lots of tweaking and changing and adjusting, which is one of the great things about working with an opaque medium. At this point, we've got lots of dark values in. I want to lighten things up so I'm going to add more white. White is a bit cool naturally. It's going to not only lighten, but cool down your color. If you want to keep that a bit warmer, it's good to add a bit of yellow. Let me show you here, on my palette I'm actually just working in one space. I'm just continually adjusting the color that I already have in my palette and changing that for a new mix. That's really helpful in keeping your colors a bit more cohesive. We're doing that not only by using a limited color palette, but also by mixing all the colors from previous mixes. That's also really helpful in keeping things cohesive and working together. Adding a bit of red to this mix for under the eye and around the outside of the eye, while this is still a slightly lighter color. You may be wondering at this point how this is all going to come together. There's not a ton of definition between our individual values at this point, but that's mostly because everything is pretty dark. Once we start to lighten things up as we go, you're really going to see the form start to pop out and things are going to start to come together even more. This is even a little bit lighter here. The paint is relatively thick at this point, not a ton of water. Even lighter there, under the eye and in here. There was a highlight up here on this brow ridge, but I'm avoiding that because it's a cooler toned highlight. I don't want to just put in one of my warm colors there, I want to save that for a cooler spot. Before we do that though, I'm going to go in and put in the color of the white of the eye. I have a grayish blue here, which is going to contrast a lot of the warmth that we've laid out already. That's okay if we lose the roundness of our iris, we can always go back in and define it later. This is not the lightest that the sclera, the white of the eye will be. Just laying this in as a bit of a base tone. I think I want to go in and define the darker area of the eye again, almost right away pretty quickly. It's a really interesting exercise. You can choose how close you want it to be to reality or how much you want to push your values in a different direction. This is a purplish brown, very dark. You can see it's reactivating some of the outer color. Because this value is so dark, this is where you're going to start to see some of our forms start to make sense, especially once I place this darker value up in here around this edge of the eye, like so. That shape is making a lot more sense now. We can do the same thing up here, with the crease of the eyelid. Already it looks so much more like an eye now. You start to realize that the darker values we had put in before weren't super dark, especially now that they have other values surrounding them. It's like magic. Much more like an eye now and all we did was add some darker values. As I said, going over things multiple times, I'm redefining this red area with something even a little bit darker. I really want to keep some of the redness in the eye because I love that effect so much. I want to add a bit more contrast on this edge too, so we'll do that. Now as you can see, I haven't really been doing much blending out of my color. I've just been working in a very painterly blocky way. But I do have a wet, clean brush here and I'm going to soften this edge over here. I don't want that contrast to draw a lot of attention. But I want it to be there. I want this area to be a little bit darker. This is just a wet clean brush on my wet paint. This is a little bit redder over there, but at the same time it's not distracting from the eye itself. Once our base color is in, it becomes a lot more of a game of values. Because that's what's going to make your subjects look like whatever it is you're trying to paint. Another tip I would give is if you're using a specific color, try to use that color in more than one place. This lighter, cool gray, I'm adding to multiple areas of my painting. It helps that color to be a bit more cohesive and to work in more areas. What I'm starting to notice at this point is my larger blocky shapes are starting to cut into some of the areas I've already defined, which is telling me that it's time to switch to a smaller brush. Let's go ahead and step away from blocking in our larger shapes and start to work on some smaller details. 8. Adding Details and Fixing Mistakes: Now, we're ready to move into fine tuning and smaller details. For the next exercise in this project, I'm going to be focusing on a couple of smaller brushes here. I have a pointed round brush. This one is a size 7, and then a very, very small detail brush in a size 1, I believe. These are just super cheap synthetic brushes. The labels are already coming off of them and I can barely read them, super cheap, and they're going to work perfectly for this. At this point, I need to decide what it is I want to change, what I want to push further, and what still needs some work in this eye. I want to experiment with something a little bit darker in the crease. Now, it looks like it's already so dark, but we can push that contrast even further, and now we're not going to be fighting with that square brush. One of the easiest ways to actually ruin your values is to put your darkest color in too many places, and you can do the same thing with your highlights. You really want to only have the focal points have the most contrast, and then lessen the contrast in areas that are less important. At this point, I could go in and add darker values to the eyebrows as well because they are very dark. But I think I'm going to leave that eyebrow, the color that it is, so that it doesn't draw as much attention because it'll have less contrast. I'm also starting to think more about using pure color to add pops of color in various places. This is just our straight red here. I love pops of red around the inside corners of the eye. Vibrancy is a great way to draw attention to specific areas. I'm going to turn down my red with a little bit of brown, while still keeping it relatively vibrant to focus on some areas of the face that do have redness in them, but I don't want them to be quite as much of a focal point. Here's a good example of what I was talking about before with consistency. I'm just playing around here, and this color, this orange is actually pretty thin paint and has a lot of water in it. You can see it's really just reactivating the color that's already there. I'm not actually making a lot of progress in laying down new color. I'm okay with that in some instances, especially if I want to here blend a little bit on that edge. I think we need a bit of definition around the eye. I could just leave this as one big dark blob, but I actually want to change, have some variation in value. This is still pretty dark, this is a greenish blue layer, that inside. If I feel like that's not really making a big difference in value, I can just add a bit of white to that color and we'll instantly just lighten that value quite a bit. What I'm going to do is I actually want this to be a relatively soft transition because the eye overall, at least my eye for the reference, is pretty dark. I don't want to have too much variation if I'm trying to keep it close to what I see, so I'm blending this out a little bit with a wet brush. I think I do want to have a pop of color down here at the bottom, so I'm adding even more yellow to push this closer to green. The thicker my paint is, the less it's going to blend into the layers underneath. Of course, I'm blending this into wet paint, I'm doing this all at the same time. It's going to blend either way. I'm trying to be careful not to hit the outer edges of my eye because I want to maintain that deeper, darker outer edge. Then before we add our highlight, I'm going to push this just a little bit more at the very bottom. I do want this to be soft and blend. It's a wet on wet thing. I've got wet gouache going into layers that are wet underneath, and you can see that slow build gets a nice blend on that color. There's some depth where we've got the darkest at the top and it slowly transitions into something lighter at the bottom. But even this is all going to look pretty dark once we add in our highlight depending on how light we make the highlight because it's all relative, remember. Once we add in a very light color, even that lightest eye color is going to look pretty dark. I feel like adding in my highlights to this point would be really helpful in helping me to see what else I need to do to finish this. Once we've got that full range of values, then we'll be able to more clearly see what else needs to be done. I'm blending out this red edge a little bit with a wet brush just to create a bit more dimension so the shape isn't so flat. Having a combination of sharp edges and smoother blended edges is really great for creating a well-rounded piece. I don't want everything to just be a super sharp brushstroke edge, you can do that, of course. But you're creating a lot more variety and interests when you have some edges like this that are blended out, and then some areas that are sharper. I have to decide at this point how close to white I want my highlights to be. I can make it a warm highlight, I can make it a cool highlight. I've got a light bluish color here, and we're going to go ahead and lay that in as our highlight. Even though it's the shape of the window, I'm going to curve that rectangle a little bit. That gives the illusion of the eye being round. Adding highlights is one of the most magical parts because it really makes that pop and brings so much dimension right away. My color is a bit streaky, a bit dry, and that's because there's hardly any water in it because I don't want that color to mix with the colors underneath. The more I fiddle with this, the more it's going to start to blend with the colors underneath, so I have to decide whether or not I'm okay with the way it looks right now, and I think I'm going to leave it. Then to contrast that, I'm going to add warmer highlights in this corner near the tear duct where the wetness of the eye is. I'm going to use something a bit more red with lots of white as a highlight in this area. I want to add a bit more saturation to this. Before I go in with that tear duct highlight, I want to add a shadow that would be cast by the eyelid over the eyeball. I've already seen that the value I chose for the shadow is a bit too light, doesn't really give the effects of a shadow, so I'm going to darken that up. Mistakes happen sometimes, but I will maybe use this color here little bit, place that in a couple of places. Let's see how dark this has to be to read as a shadow when we look at it. Here's something a bit darker, a bit less saturated, let's try putting that in. I think that's a little better, but our value didn't change too much. I'm going to have to make this much darker. It's little experiments like this, like just trying laying in color in the same areas multiple times that I find really helped me to learn. I'm just redefining what I lost of this darkest edge. As I stated before, the areas of the greatest contrasts are going to be the areas that draw the most attention. By having our darkest value, which is this area around the pupil, and our lightest value or highlight right next to each other, it's going to draw the eye to look there first. I actually think that the blue I added is a bit too saturated, it a little bit distracting. Under the eye, I have a wet, clean brush here, and I'm just going to soften that transition and intentionally blend that. I'll try a color that might work a little bit better with this overall palette, and this area is still really wet, so I actually want to wait for that to dry first because I do want a clean edge for my shadow. The only things I haven't added at this point are some eyelashes, saving them for last, because they're finer delicate details that you don't want to cover up. I want to be decided in my other areas before I put them in. Eyelashes tend to be thicker down towards this edge, and then thin up around the inside edges. Still pretty stylized, and then just a few individual hairs maybe in here, not too much detail there. Let's go ahead and do a highlight that would show the shape of the eyeball around this edge for the tear ducts, lots of wetness in here, and then that sometimes is down in this corner as well. Going to blend in some of this blue edge a little bit as I find the color to be a tiny bit distracting. It's [inaudible] to be there. As one last final step, I want to back up and compare our eye to the original sketch that we did. Now, because I intentionally included values in that sketch, I can compare and see, did I get the darkest areas as dark as I wanted them to be, do I have shadows where I want them to be, and then I can fine tune and make the last few adjustments at this point. I didn't really emphasize this area under the eye quite as much as I wanted to. We'll just go in with something a little bit darker down there, reinforce the shape, and also this corner. My pink is pretty thin here, which is why you're seeing lots of blending. I also want to see what I can do about darkening up in this corner of the eyelid just a bit, lots of little fiddly adjustments at this point, and also this corner here. I really love when sketching eyes in particular in this style, you'll get really nice exterior brushstrokes around the outside that add a lot of expression to the sketch or peace or painting overall. I think I'm pretty happy with it at this stage, even these colors are a little bit more natural than what I usually paint, but I really recommend at the very end to take a step back, look at your sketch, looks at your reference, compare them, and see if you've done everything that you wanted to do. After we've spent all that time in looking at tiny little details, it's good to just backup, take a step back, and look at things overall and see you if you're happy with it. I am at this stage, so we are done. 9. You Made it! Share Your Project ♥: Congratulations on making it through the class. If you've got your class project down, please do share it with us over in the project section and if you have any other questions, you can let me know in the discussion section. Thank you guys so much for joining me for this class. I cannot wait to see what you come up with and I'll see you in the next one.