Paint a Realistic Portrait in Watercolor. Welcome to Vietnam! | Yana Shvets | Skillshare

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Paint a Realistic Portrait in Watercolor. Welcome to Vietnam!

teacher avatar Yana Shvets, Professional watercolor 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.

      What you will learn here


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Painting face: first layer


    • 4.

      Painting face: second layer


    • 5.

      Painting a hat and a shirt


    • 6.

      Work on hair


    • 7.

      Work on details: make it look perfect!


    • 8.

      Finalizing: background


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About This Class

Do you like watercolor? Did you want to try it but never had time? Are you already painting but need more advanced guidance? This course is for you: all you need is to relax, follow each step and listen to the comments. I lived in Vietnam for a new months and got inspired by a beautiful nature there. But mostly I was excited about sunny kids that run everywhere with a happy smile. I decided to paint one and teach you how to do it. After this course you will understand that watercolor is not that difficult. This is not a magic pill and it doesn't mean a portrait of a child will appear out of nowhere ;) The secret is - I will not only show you the techniques but also explain HOW watercolor works. I will share tricks and tips, break down all the techniques and answer any question that you might have - just send me a message!So now you are ready.Jump into the course and let's create!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Yana Shvets

Professional watercolor artist


Hi there, my name is Yana!

I am a professional watercolor artist from Kyiv, Ukraine. This was my art studio, it does not exist since February 24, 2022:

This is where I focus on developing skills, learning new techniques, working on private commissions, and creating online courses.

I am a full-time artist making a living with my watercolor art. My original paintings are now in private collections in the USA, the UK, Australia, and European countries. I received multiple awards in international art competitions. 

My original art, as well as prints, are available for sale on my official website.


In 2014 I left home and became a full-time traveler. For 6 years, I have been moving around the globe, s... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. What you will learn here: Hi, I'm Yanna and I'm a traveling artist. In this course, you will learn how to paint a realistic portrait off Vietnamese kids. And what the color if you never painted portrait in watercolor before you want to improve your skills or just to get advanced guidance in what accounting you are in the right place . So in this course you will learn about proportions. What is layering and glazing and how to apply them in art and how to actually create a realistic portrait of a child? I will share with you a little tactics and trips and creeks that will help you to improve your art and to move to the next level. Because you know, portrait, painting and want equality are not so easy. But before you jump into the course, I would like to tell you a few words about myself. I'm a with a colorist and a traveler. I have been traveling around the world and settled down in Asia. I lived in Thailand for more than three years. I settled in yet Tom and traveled to Laos, Cambodia. I was adopted by Thai kids. I was hitchhiking in Thailand. I was in the middle of nowhere doing the meditation trade. Oldest things All this experience that happened to me I'm painting them in water color in the little sketch public carry with me all the time I was exhibited in art galleries and I sell my artworks online and find Besides, I also host what color workshops in the city's. I traveled to one of the common fears that my students face. Is that what the color is unpredictable? You can't control it. Well, in this course, I'm not gonna give you the academic skills, but, um, I will give you the understanding on how was Carlo works. You will follow each step in your deal of time, and I will explain everything I do and why I do it. You don't need any experience to start painting today. Just follow me and ask any questions. If your eyes I will be very happy to help you. And I'm super active in social media platforms. So fight may in instagram on fate or Facebook and type Yana travel art and ask me anything you want. This is not a history class. This is an art studio where you start now and you have results now. So join me and let's have fun 2. Sketching : Hey, guys, welcome onboard. Hope you're energized and ready to paint this lovely child with me. And, well, let's take a look at our workspace purse. So I'm using the brushes round brushes Number 16 and 13. Um, also, we need paper. I use the special watercolor paper, and I used to £100 and what the color said White Nights, which is a professional watercolor. But obviously any watercolor said semi professional professional that you used to be fine. I speed up the video here as kitchen is quite slow and well, you should take your time and do it in their own base. And, well, the rest videos will be in real time. Alright, So back to our supplies we'll need some pencil HB or to be razor. What a crab tissue? Well, a lot of issues somebody used be Pull it. I don't know. I like to mix colors already on paper, my painting and reference photo off. Give me child so you can download photo from the court and pleaded or look at it from the screen. Whatever is more comfortable for you change. It's 3. Painting face: first layer: all right, so when you're done with your sketching, it's time to start applying. What a car. So let's apply the first light wash on skin tone using, um, brush number six. I picked raw Sienna Ah, as it's an Asian kid. And while and in next layers the face will get more 10. Ah, by the way, you can see all the names off the what the color said in a document attached to this course . Ah, And also, if you decide to use Polet, make sure that, uh, the space where you mix your colors in your palette is clean before mixing a batch of skin colors and also a small tape if you use, um, pull it or you want to use bullet. Normally I take not the plastic one, but I actually take the piece of paper, which is the same paper I'm painting on, um, and a mixed color there because, well, that makes more sense, as you can see how the color change, Um, when when they're mixed and exactly on the same paper as you're using. So I pick up some rosiana and a drop the wet paint on the age of the phase, and I cannot build this color up and move it up so you don't really see the rough ages, and the color blends smoothly. I add a light or tamarine blue to create a shadow. Yes, blue, because by mixing to pains ever received the feeling off in nature of Shadow. Um, as I never used black black color black paint or in a very rare occasions, um, so for me, the blue collar is kind of a replacement off the shadow, especially when they mix with the other colors that we used before. A few words about layering what the color is transparent, and that means that when you add in you layer, the 1st 1 will be still visible in shine through New Year new layers. That's why, to create volume and depth, we apply few layers and build the color up. Continue dropping some wet paint. This time I used, um, the pink color. It could be any pink from your from your palate. As you can see, I'm building up the tones, the colors and I'm adding, Ah, the same burnt sienna right now to do the year into the neck. Also, I do not cover anything that is not skin right now. So I'm avoiding the parts. Um, where will be hat and hair and Koth and also the mouth? Because, well, we don't know. We don't want to make, like a Carrie, Otis and the face of the child. Every time when we dropped pained, make sure to rapidly wish the ages to make sure that you don't have rough lines left. You can use the semi wet brush for this so the water will not spread everywhere, not ruin the painting. As you can see, I'm using really tiny brush. So, um, and doesn't have to be exactly what I'm doing. But just make sure that you have, um, small brush, like one or two, um, size so you can work in details and you won't drop too much water. Too much paint on your painting. I'm waiting for every time I I wait for the paint, get drier a bit, and then I add the next layer. So is it concede? Now? I'm adding, um, again, a bit of a little bit of a darker tone and working on emotions. So painting that the ticks off Carmen red and chicks to outline facial expressions. So as you can see, it really takes time and patience. So don't rush. Take your time and just, you know, enjoy the process. So as you can see, I didn't speed up this video. Um, so if you want, you can follow alone If you have the time. Ah, but also, if you move faster well, jump to the next lecture where I cover the part off detailing Ah, and applying the second layer. 4. Painting face: second layer: Alright, guys. So this is going to be quite alone and not dynamic chapter. Ah, but well, it's up to you. You can you can watch it and move on your own pace. Or I would just like to improvise. So once the pain on the face, um, was mostly dry, I started to work on the bottom off the face again. My goal is to define the ages by deepening the color with ah burnt sienna again, You can use any brownish paint that you have in your pull it. It doesn't have to be exactly the same color I'm using. I'm just, um, guiding you, um, in in my process, but you don't need to do the exact copy. So I'm eight and a bit off off, um, ultra marine boot to define the shadows again. As I said in the previous video. And, um, at this point, I like to add a darker value colors to the painting to further define the forms. Also, as you notice, I used the tissue quite often to collect the water from the brush that I don't need. Um, and now we're moving to the details, so don't rush build up the picture step by step. Well, layer by layer. Um, because we're accumulating many transparent layers off the watercolor here. So I'm doing really tiny moves. I don't I don't rush. Um I'm adding dark it homes, which is again the burnt Sienna, More concentrated, burnt sienna in this case, into the area off eyes and eyebrows. It looks like I'm not moving and nothing changing of my heart work. But actually does it just It takes time and yeah, it takes time. Teoh literally build up the painting in a tiny, tiny steps because the artwork is quite small exigency. I really love kids like Asian kids. I spent three years in Asia and, um well, I was living in Vietnam for almost two months in a small city, cold down on by the ocean. And it was really, really nice and sunny and fresh. Obviously, um and they had lots of what's of kids running over there so funny and cute and free. Very Indus heads. Actually, the Vietnamese people, they're still where those has not all of them, of course, but that's quite funny to to see Wycombe Vietnamese kid, or like an old granny walking with this this cone shaped hat on the head. I'm using really tiny brush. And, um, I'm working on really small details in Make sure that your brushes not dripping water wet so it would be almost dry and should be semi wet. Almost right toe work and details. And, um, when I'm painting leaps, I used the mostly. I use dry pigment because you want to control the wonderful here. Exactly. Here. It's kind of too risky to make mistakes right now because it will be not easy to fix it if you have, like a water coming out in different directions. So having a dry brush will keep you safe. Um, and you will have more control over them. Over the paint? No, over your artwork. Actually, about that a lot of people. Um, Well, I I will talk more specifically. Oh, my students, I used to teach, um in when I was living in Thailand. In Asia, I was given workshops what they call a war shops and lots of my students they had troubles with the water. They were afraid to use water. And, um, because obviously the was er will go into different directions. You can't predict it, and then you will have, like, a messed up picture and stuff like that. But normally I would say you don't need. You don't have to be afraid of water. Water is your guide. Um, the area where the border goals is exactly the place where you want to color pigment that the pain will end up. So it's like a natural border or nature. Edge off your pains. It will not go further any further than ah than the but area the area where you just applied your water and also the more water you have on your paper. It's easier to fix any mistake because you can take your tissue and just pick up the water . You will pick up not just the water. You will pick up also the, um the paint. So you will just literally erase the paint as long as you have water in it. If if you use the dry brush or or dry pigment well, you will never be able to pick up this color, and you will never be able to erase it. So just keep that in mind and use it. Um, well, using smart, one of my biggest struggles actually is to pay in the teeth. Um, so every time when it comes to a smile, I'm like whole God, No. So I hope you won't have, as my struggle is I you used to have and the secret to pain the teeth, um, is to use the less concentrated big meant you have. Normally, I use really Rely, it blew any blue, and, um, it's better to pick up. Actually, the less Slaney boo, so it will be easier to pick the pigment. Meanwhile, also, erase some extra alliance off the pencil. Because, um, you remember I said that? What? The color is transparent. Um, well, it is very transparent. So if you leave your pencil and then you will apply like a really light, um, wash off any pretty much any color when it dries up, you will see the the pencil pencil lines through the watercolor, and it will be not possible to raise it afterwards. So you want to make sure you don't have any extra lines that could be possibly visible through the water color after it dries up. Um, also, um, I need to I need some time do to give my kind of my thing, the kids face to dry off. So I take this time, Uh, and I dropped some Ah, light wash off violet and bank. Um, on this trip that comes up to the to the hat. So Well, you can go have some tea or my way is to just move to another part of the picture and let the first part dry. I'm moving really slowly now. I'm working on the ear. Um, later, I will move to the forehead. Um, remember that you want to use exactly the same pigment that you started using in the very beginning on when you applied your first layer. You don't want to use too many different pigments on the face. I tried to make it simple. 5. Painting a hat and a shirt: Alright, guys. So when I now it's time to paint the hat and clothes. Um, I pick up yellow or come and I apply it on the whole space where we would have the hat. Um, don't use the very red brush. It should be Samuel. So you don't want to have too much water on on on your paper, but you have to be able to control the flow off your paint. So that's why the brass should be Samuel. Move from up to down and spread the paint. Ah, over the place on your head. Then when you're, uh, paper is still wet, you should add a little bit off. Um, darker pigment, darker tone. So in my case, I picked up the burnt sienna and, um, again using a semi but brush I just dropped. Um, a few, um, drops off burnt sienna pigment, um, in the corners where you see that they had the hat, meats, they had the hair. So this is the darkest spot, and that's why you will have more shadow there. And that's why we want to dip in the color in that area. So now I'm slowly moving up and creating a texture off the conical hat. Um, so, actually, I don't know if you know about the region off the Asian rice head. Or also, they could call it Farmers Head. Um, it's a quite simple cortical head that's are mostly originated in Southeast Asia. It's quite funny because even though people were using it for specific reasons to protect from the sun in the past while working on the fields and stuff like that. But people are still using it in and daily wife. I think it's more like a national costume in Vietnam right now, and also you can buy a lots of souvenirs and like little small things in the shape off those conical heads, it's quite cute. All right, enough about the hat. So let's move to paint in the quoth the shirt off the child and, um, the this time I decided to use wet on dry technique, which means that I dropped quite, um, quote. I used quite a wet brush, and I dropped kind of watery pigment on paper, and I allowed water to do to do the job and to spread the pain in the directions I need. I don't have any particular direction in how I'm applying pigment, but my main task is to make it look as natural as possible in terms of the fabric. So now I'm appoint another color in other pigment, Or in my case, it's Carmine, which is kind of pinkish. So it's different from the previous one. And using the more concentrated Carmen pigment, I'm appointed in corners off the tee shirt off the shirt, and I'm kinda outlining the places where the fabric is folding. So to make more nature off you and offer material so I don't use a black color to make shadow I used purple or in other cases, I actually prefer to use blue or ultra marine blue for the same reason. 6. Work on hair: So now it's time to paint the hair of a child. Um, I prefer to start from a really, really light, semi dry layer when we work on hair. Ah, the first layer. I'd prefer to use a really, really light our daughter Marine Blue Bush. Um, I don't like using plain black color, but this is going to be one of those moments when we actually will apply Just appointing black mixed with blue or purple. So why did I have decided to paint hair in the last moment? Not before I paint in the head. Well, because darker layer can always cover the lighter one. Basically, you can always cover the brown paint. The one we used to paint the head, uh, with the black one and make the shape of the head the way you need it. Ah, but if you started from painting hair and made a mistake in shaping the head because, well, you don't see the part of it because the head is on it and carvery mean so it won't be possible to cover the mistake with the brown treatment we used before. You basically can't are change the shape off the head that you painted in black using lighter tone. But, um, no, we have the perfect shape of the head because we already applied. They were already painted ahead with the brown, and now we have a perfect shade shape off the heads of the child. So the only thing we have to do is just basically insert the black pigment into blank space . Another reason why I decided to, um do pained the hair in the last moment is because now, when we're working with the semi wet brush using black pigment, um, because it's semi wet Ah, we can use a clean brush later on to kind of bush out the edges off off the hair and washing out insight they had creating a shadow in the place where hat meets the hand So it will look more natural because you will just literally washed out the edges. - Good . All right, so now, um, let your paint and dry your eyes rests and go take a break 7. Work on details: make it look perfect!: alright guys to sell. It is almost the last step. Um and it's time to add some juicy details to make this child look. Oh, really? Stick. So, uh, make sure you're using really small brush number one or number two or even zero dependent on the size off your painting and just work through small parts off your artwork. You want to add a little shadow under the strap off the hat? You want to add a shadow inside the head where the hair mates the hat? Uh, you want to To make a shape off the clinical part, um, more rounded. Make sure your brush is drying up because this is the moment when you need to control everything that's happening on your artwork. Because the moment you go out of control, evil basically ruined the whole thing you're working on before. So don't rush. Take your time. Ah, check everything you do on a piece of paper before. So if you have excessive amount of water, just like, um, make draw a stroke on a separated piece of paper to make sure that it's exactly the amount off paint and water that you need on your on your painting, and it will not ruin it. And with a really tiny brush, you see a changed it into a smaller one. Um, start outlining and making details and drawing eyes drawing eyebrows, um, and lips I take a song with, you know, I can so cold, pretty extreme they won't I wanna kiss feel Seoul time total new if you're afraid to loser control over the pain. Um, I would suggest, you know, to do all the small details I'm doing right now because it takes really lots of time and patients. And it would be really sad if in the end of your hard work, your handle sleepovers and then the high level just like about. I mean, if you feel like it doesn't worth it. And you're our pocketbooks already. Pretty good. You don't need to go into over detaining the artwork. We're not doing the super hyper realistic picture. This is the watercolor. It doesn't have to be like a photograph. So take a look at your artwork, maybe step away like our take a few steps back. Look at it. And if this lovely baby smiling to you, uh, then well, just believe it as it is. Oh, and another small tape. If you want to check, um, that your proportions air quite good. And everything is all right over if there some mistakes and that you didn't notice, Um, take a photo off your painting. That's a really great way to see if you if you've done some mistakes or if there is some, um, weird stuff happening with your facial proportions or whatever, because sometimes I can tickets all those small things. But if you take a photo on the photo, you will definitely notice that something is wrong and used to have time to fix it. Before you applied the the lost ah layer, which is a background, because after you applied the background, it would be really impossible to fix, like, for example, shape off the face. 8. Finalizing: background: Alright, guys. So we're on the very last stage off our watercolor painting, and this is the background. So pick up your the biggest round brush that you have in your collection. Um, I took him up and generously apply worlds of water on your paper. I mean generously. Like, don't be afraid off too much water off your on your paper. Drop it. And another thing move really quick. You're applying the green or the pain that you're using for your background as close as possible to the child. So you go as close as possible to the edge off their shirt and the hat. You go around it and you literally touch the corners off the head and clothes and, uh, on the face, give yourself a high five and you've done a great up. Um, I would really be happy to see your results. So, um, feel free to send me your pictures, your artworks to my email. Or you can also find me in Facebook or Instagram. The links are in biography and also here on the screen and share your artworks. Tag me and I will be super happy to answer your questions. This is a great way to talk to me directly and wealth. Don't stop practicing paint everyday practice techniques wet on wet, wet and dry pleasing in an older stuff. And I'm sure you will get better and better every day, so lots of inspiration hugs and see you in the next course.