Gouache Portrait Masterclass - Monochrome to Color! | Arleesha Yetzer | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Gouache Portrait Masterclass - Monochrome to Color!

teacher avatar Arleesha Yetzer, Watercolor Illustrator & YouTube Artist

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

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.

      Exercise 1: Color Wheels


    • 4.

      Exercise 2: Value Scale


    • 5.

      Exercise 3: Value Sketch part 1


    • 6.

      Value Sketch - part 2


    • 7.

      Monochromatic Portrait - part 1


    • 8.

      Monochromatic Portrait - part 2


    • 9.

      Monochromatic Portrait - part 3


    • 10.

      Analyzing our Reference!


    • 11.

      Color Portrait - part 1


    • 12.

      Color Portrait - part 2


    • 13.

      Color Portrait - part 3


    • 14.

      Final Thoughts!


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class, you will learn: 
- How to choose colors and build a custom limited gouache palette 
- How to create a value scale using one color and white 
- How to measure and place values effectively
- How and when to manipulate the consistency of your gouache throughout the painting process
- How to build an effective portrait with interest and contrast

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

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: Intermediate

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Arleesha Yetzer, and I'm an artist and YouTube content creator. Well, I love to explore several different mediums in my art and on my channel. Gouache has always been one of my favorites, and there's no denying that I love to paint portraits. Today, I'm really excited to walk you through my gouache portrait master class. This is going to be an extensive class to help you get to know your gouache from color to building structure and value. We're going to walk through several preliminary exercises before we jump into not one, but two finished gouache portraits. During that preliminary exercises, we're going to be focusing on two key components; color and value. For color, we're going to be experimenting with several different combinations of primary colors, and seeing step - by -step how shifting those colors slightly can help us to create widely different color palettes. Then we're going to take some time to focus on value. We will make a simple value scale and then move into a full value study. I'm separating color from value here because these are both two completely essential skills, so we're going to tackle them one at a time, and step - by - step. Feel free to complete as many or as few of these preliminary exercises as you would like. If you already know what colors you want to use and you feel like you have a pretty good handle on value, you can skip right to our portraits. But as always, if you want to walk through things step - by - step alongside me, I would be more than happy to have you along for the ride. We're going to be covering a lot of fundamentals and building up a lot of skills that are just going to make our portrait be so much easier, and keep an eye out for this icon during our preliminary exercises for a bunch of extra helpful tips and tricks. Once we've got those fundamental exercises done or feeling confident and we're ready to jump into our portraits, I'm going to be doing something brand new for the first time with this class, and you can find downloadable versions to both of the sketches we're going to be using for our final portraits in the resources section of this class. You can grab those, download them, transfer them with a light box, hold it up to a window and use that as a light box. Copy the sketch, however you want to take those sketches, and use them to create your final portraits, they're there for you so we can walk through each part step - by - step together from the same foundation. If you'd like to know what gouache is, as well as how to get started with some more casual sketchbook exercises, you can check out my previous gouache class. There's a lot to do, and I am so excited to jump into this class with you, so let's get painting. 2. Materials: Let's start off with materials. Jumping right into things with paper, I've found that Gouache can be relatively forgiving as far as what paper you choose to use. For myself, I often find that even just a simple mixed media pad or achieve watercolor paper is going to work very nicely, especially when you're not using a ton of water with your gouache. Another thing that's relatively forgiving is a pencil and an eraser. Often times I like to use a colored pencil for watercolors and a kneaded eraser, so I'm not being too abrasive on the paper, but with gouache because it's opaque, we're going to be covering up our pencil marks. I tend to just stick with a standard graphite pencil, mechanical pencil is really nice and then an eraser to correct as needed. For brushes, it's another thing that we're keeping pretty simple. I've got some cheap synthetic brushes and I'll leave as many links to the products I'm using as I can, in the resources section of this class. These are just some synthetic brushes of various sizes that came in sets as long as we've got something large to make washes and something smaller for details, you'll be good to go. I've got a couple of different types of tape here, we can use them to tape off the edges, but I'm also going to be using them to trace the outside of these circles for our next exercise when we make our color wheels. Speaking of future exercises, if you have a light box, you may want to grab that just because for the first time in this class I'm going to be providing downloadable versions of my sketches so that you can actually paint along with me with the same sketches I'm going to be using. If you do decide to print my sketches or if you have that capability, you can use a light box to transfer this sketch to watercolor paper, or you can hold it up against the window and use the natural light as a light box. When it comes to choosing paint, we mostly want to stick to white and some primary triad of magenta, yellow cyan, or red, yellow, blue. In our next lesson, we'll talk about some variations on that primary triad but there are a lot of different ways that your particular setup could look, if you're looking for a particular set, I would recommend, M Graham has a really nice mixing set that looks like this. Because I'm going to be using watercolors fresh out of the tube here. I'm also going to want to have a palate, some mixing service, that I will clean before I use and then a towel for cleaning and wiping off my brush. I've started to use towels like this instead of paper towels because they're reusable, which I really like and then we will finish this off with a couple of containers of water. I'd like to have two for squash because it gets messier faster than with watercolors. Once we've got everything all set up, we're ready to go. So let's move on to our first exercise and talk about building your color palette. 3. Exercise 1: Color Wheels: Up next, we're going to get to know our chosen colors and experiment with a few color wheels. In this lesson, I want to talk a bit more extensively than I have in previous classes about building your palette. What variations on different combinations of red, yellow, and blue can do to affect the overall look of your painting that we're going to create at the end of this class. We're going to walk through a couple of different variations. Paint some color wheels, and I'm going to explain to you how these three colors work together in different ways to create palettes with different looks, different atmospheres, and different color combinations. We're going to start here with something pretty standard for palette number 1, how this template is going to work and you're welcome to follow along if you'd like. Isn't going to swatch each of the three colors individually and then make a color wheel that's going to include the primary colors as well as secondary colors. Mixtures of each of these being orange, green, and purple. Maybe not in those exact spots, but we're going to do those colors, primary colors here and secondary colors in our wheel. Just to see what this palette can do, starting with the baseline and then we'll do some variations. I'm going to start by swatching my read and adding a tiny bit of water just to help this paint to flow a little bit more. If you would like to label these individual colors as you go, you're more than welcome to do that, to keep track of what you're using. Next is our yellow, and this is Ezo yellow from M. graham, part of that mixing set that I mentioned. It's a nice bright yellow and our blue is a cobalt blue. Synthetic brushes are nice for wash, they're cheap and easy to get a hold of. They don't hold a ton of water, which is why you're seeing me use as many strokes as I am to spread this around. You're welcome to place these wherever you'd like on the wheel. I've just gotten into the habit of doing it this way, so I will just put our red on top. I'm going to work my way around and when mixing in orange, you have to be careful not to use too much red because the yellow is going to be the color with the least amount of tinting strength. You're going to end up using way more yellow than red in your mix for orange. We'll Talk about this more in future lessons. But when you're trying to get like a smooth gradient from one color to the next, one way to do that, we'll talk about some other ways in the future is to work while your paint is wet, which can be helpful. If you're doing this exercise, working in this way can help you to get a smooth transition working around the wheel as opposed to doing the primary colors and then coming back to the secondary ones. Here this is the pure yellow now and my paint is still a little bit wet which is helping those edges to blend together a little bit more. Then from yellow we would move into our blue. You can see I've used up almost all of my yellow already with a tiny touch of blue and we'll slowly start to transition this toward green, starting with a warmer green. Warmer because it is currently closer to yellow and thereby orange and red that it is too blue which is a cooler color. Now I've added lots of green and we can mix an in-between color right here on our paper. With a clean brush, just adding some water to that area, shifting our paint while agitating it as little as possible. Not a perfect transition but there it is and then we need to get our blue in here, this is pure blue. If you would like to mix a color that is more specifically between them, you're more than welcome to do that. I might even just try to get a middle green little bit stronger and there I go and now between a red and a blue we're going to be working towards purple. Again because we're starting from the blue end, we're going to start with mostly blue with a tiny bit of red. We can just soften this edge with a bit of water where you can always go over it with more paint and it is actually my paint here is thin, it's not super thick. We could mix the in-between color a couple of ways. We could just agitate our two colors together here, it's easier to just mix the color, get it there, and put it down. Because you're playing a balancing game between agitating the color to mix with the color next to it. Just very gently blending them together and also not wanting to just lift everything and irritate your paper too much. We're going to shift our colors here a bit and for my red, I'm going to shift a little bit closer to purple and use quinacridone rows our yellow is going to be a little bit cooler, and we're going to have a lemon yellow. Our blue is going to be so brilliant blue, which would technically be a blue that's falls a little bit closer to green than it does towards the middle or towards purple. It's a little bit of a cooler blue as opposed to a warmer blue that would be closer to purple. When you look at one individual color wheel all by itself, it can be difficult to see just how unique that wheel is, so creating multiple wheels can be really helpful for understanding how colors mix looking at those things side-by-side. In comparing my first two palettes, you may even be able to see that some of the overall mixes in this here, this magenta yellow cyan color wheel produces cleaner colors overall especially in the greens and even in some of the purples. Then when you look at this mix over here, which is going to give you a little bit warmer red. The warmer colors tend to like to mix with each other, so a warmer red is going to mix brighter, more vibrant oranges and it's going to struggle to mix purple. These purples are a bit dustier, and while still very deep when mixed with our cobalt blue, the cobalt blue can lean a little bit more towards ultra marine and like a Prussian blue, that would be closer to purple, so then it suffers a bit going in the opposite direction, meaning that our greens get a bit snappier. They're not bad green, of course, and really this is all a matter of personal preference. But even just in looking in these first two triads, you can see a lot of differences, a lot of subtleties, and a lot of ways that you might prefer one over the other. One thing that might be a good option is when you're working with a limited palette to have all six of these colors and then you can mix all of these variations and it would be just a nice go-to standard palette. I like to keep things pretty limited when working on a project like this, so I would say pick one or the other. But for your general everyday palette, you might want to have access to all of these colors just so you can mix some of these earthier, more all of the greens, and at the same time you can get some of these cleaner and nice colors that you see over here. It's really up to you and your personal preferences. For my third palette, I wanted to add a lot of variation so you can see what happens when we vary these colors a lot. I'm going to be using rows, which is going to be similar to our quinacridone rows from the previous color example. But my yellow is going to vary a lot and I'm going to use yellow och-re, which is much earthier, and you're going to see how that changes the oranges and greens we're able to mix. I'm also going to be using Payne's gray instead of blue. So this palette overall is going to vary most significantly from our previous two. Another way to make a really earthy palette with these three colors would actually be to exchange the rows for something closer to like an alizarin crimson that would be really pretty too. Backing up a bit here we can see all of our color wheels together at once. I think it's really, really fascinating. This is just three examples and it feels like there are so many different variations you could create by just varying these three colors. We're still keeping it in that red, yellow, blue area, but we're shifting things a lot and it can be really helpful to see how having certain colors can help you to get to your desired effect sooner. Using yellow och-re as you are yellow as opposed to something a bit more primary is going to get you to those natural skin tones much, much quicker. I like this a lot and I'll probably be including yellow och-re in my final mix. Then once you start to combine these colors with white, you're just adding even more variety and even more subtlety and opportunity for variation. Having too many color options can make learning about contrast and values even more difficult. Start with just one triad add some white and go from there. If you've been following along with me and created your own color wheels and variations on this limited color palette, I would love to see it, so please do share that with me over in the class projects section. Let's go ahead and move on to our next exercise where we're going to put our color aside for a little while and focus on value and building form. 4. Exercise 2: Value Scale: Let's begin our focus on value by creating a simple value scale. For this exercise, we're only going to need two colors, just titanium white and Payne's gray. I tend to always have a larger tube of weight, especially titanium white a set of color, I go through very quickly. I also have a tiny sheet of watercolor paper. You may noticed that the gesture with my hands may not match up with what I'm saying at this moment, but that's because when I originally filmed this section of the class, I thought my microphone was on and it was in fact, not on. For this first sketch, we're going to go through it pretty quickly because I want to show you a warm up example, then we'll go into more of a real time one, where I will actually have my microphone turned on and you can hear what I'm actually talking about, going to be using a small flat brush for this first one. How I like to do these exercises is to start with my white value. I know that watching white onto white paper isn't super effective as far as being visually is stimulating, but there it is. Then we are going to gradually add more of our dark color to that white until we get to just the dark color all by itself. I'm using Payne's gray here, but you could also use black or any other color that has a very dark mass tone when used by itself. Something like burnt umber or even a purple or a quinacridone red. Any of those could work really nicely, as long as your darker color, can be very dark, so you can get a nice wide range of values. In this first example, I was rushing myself a bit. We've got some streakiness of color and also some areas where my pink consistency could've been better. Let's jump into our second example and I'll talk about some tips to make this exercise a little bit more effective, especially because I rushed the first one so much. With our first example done here, I was thinking it could be helpful to try one more, and that we've got the gist of the exercise, and this time I'm going to be talking a little bit more intentional. Take my time and see how much progress I can make with some more subtle shifts in color. As I said, I do think it's a little bit easier to start from your lightest color and work into gradually adding a little bit of color at a time, because once you're dark, you have to add a lot of white to get that color to be lighter. It can be a bit more efficient to work this way. As you can see, I'm just going to be adding a little bit more of my darker color, that Payne's gray to my white area as we go. Each one is just going to have a little bit more of the Payne's gray in it, and it would be much more of a fight to work from the opposite direction. I also find it helpful to work within a limited area, even just off my palette when I'm trying to keep things a bit more subtle and a bit more gradual. That's working with not just a monochromatic system like this, but also with color. When I'm mixing my colors, I like to try to pull from the same area and have little bits of my other colors in my mixes. It's a much more gradual transition here that we're seeing. Didn't need that. Well, maybe I will. See now, I'm backtracking a little because my paint is just getting a little thin. Lots to learn here, because I didn't quite have enough paint in that initial mix to do the whole scale of my white even, so we can just add a bit more. What I'm doing now is, this color may not look much darker than this, but I'm checking to see. Yeah, as you can see, it looks a little bit darker from the palette to here. That could just be because we're seeing it next to a dark color here. We're not seeing the true value. Also, the gouache just tends to look a bit different on paper, especially once it dries. You can really see a bit more of the blue in this color now, when white has been added as opposed to when we used to en-masse tone for our color wheels, that definitely just looked a bit closer to black, and here we can see a bit more of that blue having the white to add some opacity really helps to show how different this is from a true black. This is the progress we've made so far with our white being right up there at the top of that strip and moving down, we're making some nice progress. Definitely a bit more subtle than the last time. This is a visual exercise and that we are observing with our eyes or seeing the color change with our eyes, but it's also just a practical exercise because you're spending time using the paint and becoming familiar with the consistency of it, because while a lot of people think of gouache as being this completely opaque medium, it can have a lot of variety in opacity and then texture. This swatch feels a little bit more water color like, I know my swatches are getting a little bit more unruly as we progress through the page. I haven't really been keeping track now of the number of swatches I had been doing, I've just been gradually adding more of our Payne's gray. You may start to see our shifts become a little bit older, a little bit more striking as we near the end of our piece of paper, and I definitely want to hit that last tone. Now, let's see how far away we are from our darkest tone. I'm just going to jump straight to that. Grabbing that straight Payne's gray. There we go. We've got our two different scales here. Definitely looking quite different from one another. This one has a lot more of a gradual shift and especially in the very beginning with some leveling out here towards the middle, and then becoming very dark. A paint was also a bit thicker here. I just did this one we're adding a new day today. This was what's my fresh paint, and some of the paint was actually dried on the palette that I used for this one from yesterday. That can affect your consistency as well, especially if you don't give that a ton of time to really sit and re-wet before you start working with it. There's just lots of variation and neither of these took very long, so it can be very helpful to just take your time and do as many of these as you'd like, and also experimenting with other colors like red or blue or green. We want something with a dark mass tone so you can get that nice shift. You may see how the titanium white specifically as a really opaque white, you'll see how that can change the hue of your color as well. An opaque white like this tends to make the color a little bit cooler as well, which you can really see happening if you want to do a scale like this with a red or something like that. If you give this exercise a try, you can share this along with your color wheels in the class project section, but being able to discern values, being able to see how things compared to one another and what they look like sitting next to each other, and how to manipulate your colors to get them to that point, is going to be really really important when it comes to making an effective portrait. It's something that you learn over time, so it doesn't have to be perfect in every single one, but things like this are going to be really fundamental as we move forward. 5. Exercise 3: Value Sketch part 1: For our final exercise before we jump into our portrait, we're going to do a value sketch of a simple three-dimensional form. For our next exercise we're going to paint this sphere. I'm going to be using, just like on our value practice, I'm going to be using just titanium white and paint gray. You can use black if you'd like or any other that's going to get very dark when it's just used by itself. The point of this exercise is to show you how to work with some wet on wet techniques and some wet on dry. We're going to be using our previous values study here to gauge some of the values and estimate where we're at, and we'll talk a bit about the difference between a cast shadow and a form shadow. I've just used the inside of my masking tape here to get this nice circle, and I'm also going to go ahead and sketch in some of the other things I'm seeing in this reference just for a little bit of context. I'm going to use this flat piece of paper to get in the line that runs behind that's the edge of the table that I see, and then we can take that line straight back like that. Then I also want to capture the other edge as the table goes back a little bit less of an angle like that. It doesn't have to be super perfect, I just want to give a little bit of context to our shape here. I'm also going to roughly sketch in the shape of our shadow. What I'm doing now is measuring. I'm looking to see how far up our shape the shadow comes, where does it start. Doesn't have to be completely perfect. We're not necessarily going for photo realism here, our biggest goal is actually just to understand the range of values and to get something that looks less like a flat shapes and more three-dimensional. All right. We've got something rough in here. Now, you may want to jump in right away and start painting our sphere, but I want to quickly analyze some of our values and get some general tones in before we get started. We're actually going to start with the background. Instead of cleaning off my palette here and just getting rid of all of the paint that I've already laid down, I may lay down just a little bit of fresh paints grade so I have that to work with, but I'm going to generally leave what's here here and work with some of the moisture and the paint that's already on my palette as that something that you may be doing as well. I want to keep my palette as visible as possible so you can see how I'm mixing my colors and what I'm doing to get to where we're going to go. We're going to start with the background and by starting with the background, it's going to help us to gauge our values a little earlier on and what I see is I see a gradient from something slightly lighter on the side to darker on this side. But it's all falling into our mid-range value. If you have your value scale, you can look at the reference image. I have mine on my phone and you can just gauge where does that fall if you squint at it to see the values. Where does that fall in here in this range because it's not as dark as our darkest dark. Somewhere in the middle, maybe right around here for our background on the one side and then it gets darker off to the other side. Having that little value scale that we did handy can be super helpful. I'm going to start with something a little bit darker that I we'll add white to. One thing that commonly happens with me laying down that first color is I have to make it a little bit lighter than what I think it should be, just because it always tends to either look darker on the page or dry darker. If you'd like to tape this down, you're more than welcome to do that. I'm just going to leave mine loose as it just a bit of a practice exercise at this point. Using a flat brush that in theory will help me to get crisper cleaner lines and just cover a larger area, but I'm also not trying to be super precise. So it might get a little messy. While our paint is still wet, I want to go ahead and darken this color as well as we transition to the other side. I'm going to be utilizing some of the paint that's already on my palette like I've talked about already. It just keeps everything a bit more cohesive even though we're only working with white and our deep dark paint gray. Just gradually increasing in the amount of paint gray we use, and we can even go in drop in a bit more of that darker color towards the end because I can see that this corner in particular, right here at the edge of the table gets especially dark. If you make a mess don't worry, it's squash, it's opaque, we're going to be able to reclaim those crisp clean lines a bit. If you look very closely, I can also see that the edge of the table is a bit darker even here. Now, I don't necessarily know if I want that to be as dark as our darkest tone. Values are funny like that, it may look it's dark but if you were to actually put those two side-by-side, might not be quite a start. That's all right. Just something in the rough area is fine to get started. If we want to come back and fine tune this later we can. Our table value is going to be much lighter but still has a little bit of that gradient going on from something especially light up in this corner to gradually getting darker as it fades in with the background a little bit more here. But now that our background value is in, I'm actually thinking about going in with our next very dark value, which is the shadow form. Shadows are really interesting because they tend to diffuse as you get further away from your subject depending on the angle of the lighting and how everything works. I'm just laying in something that's going to be a gauge at this point, and I'm already having my background in. It's going to be helping me because it's already going to be helping me to better gauge something other than just the white of the paper. If I didn't have my background in I might not make this dark enough, but because we already have some values down I can see a little bit better what I'm doing and how I'm getting to where I am. Something big just like that is going to be just fine to get started. If I want to clean up this edge a little I can. Even shadows are going to have sharp edges and softer edges. As we move away, the whiteness will increase. Another thing you can do with glaciers, you don't necessarily have to cover every surface in completely opaque paint. I'm just kind of taking some wet paint now to smear around this edge. Just like with watercolors, I can add a bit of water here to lighten the outside edge even if over, just our shadow, and already you're starting to get a rough idea of where our light is coming from and the fact that this is something with a bit more form as opposed to just a flat shape already with just a couple quick minutes of painting. Now, let's say we wanted our sphere to be relatively smooth. We didn't necessarily want super harsh lines for this first example. One thing you can do is just wet your area before you start painting and just work wet on wet. Having wet paper is going to allow your paint to flow a bit more smoothly. It's the same thing that you might do with watercolors. Dropping in our wet paint onto our wet paper is going to allow that to flow. I'm starting with a darker value up here, and my paint is pretty loose right now. Lots of water in it. That's fine. Another thing you want to gauge is the contrast and the difference from one value to the next. I can see that right down here at the bottom it's going to stay a little bit lighter ultimately, when compared to our shadow. There is some reflected light that's highlighting off that bottom edge right down here. So it's very dark at the very bottom of our sphere as we lose that light. Then there's a little bit of reflective light right in between that space before we transition into just our transitional shadow here. I'm working in-between my mixing areas too, so pulling a little bit from one place to the other, and when I look at contrast I want to keep in mind that this ball is technically a white ball sitting on a table, or at least the very lightly colored ball I don't know. This picture has been made into gray-scale or if it was always that way, but I'm just shifting things around moving in the paint that I already have, to get that nice and soft. Already, we've got a decent amount of form. We want to think about this as chunks of light and shadow as opposed to going, okay, I know this is a ball, I know this is a sphere, and I know what that should look like. You have to throw your preconceptions out the window a little bit. I want to think about the lightest areas also where my sphere is going to look the lightest. Of course, we've got that white highlight, everybody loves those white highlights, but also just this entire edge of this sphere I want there to be lots of contrast because we also want to be thinking about the color in relation to the colors around it. There's a lot of contrast from this edge to the background and I want to keep that pretty clean. Because our paper is still pretty wet, I can lift away some of the color we had already laid down. If you are like me and you've got your reference photo on your phone or a smaller device that can actually be pretty helpful to have it on a smaller device, because it helps you to see the image as almost as though you were squinting at it. You're seeing it from a little bit further away because it's small. So don't try to bring it up super close to your eyes early on trying to see every little tiny detail, because it's probably going to benefit you even more to squint at it to see the larger transitions, the larger shapes of shadow and light. I'm letting this whole shadow area blend in with each other so you can see I'm swiping across not just my shadow, but also a bit of the orbit self, because that's definitely a thing that happens in shadows, you lose track of the details in a shadow. I'm trying to leave a little bit of space for our reflective light, which falls right in this area. My brush is very wet here but we're making nice progress. At this point, you just have to decide when you're happy with it. My paper is drying, so we're starting to see our brushstrokes a little bit more, so the light is coming from this direction here and is striking here and as our shape curves away from the light, we get a little bit less light and then into our actual shadow on this side over here. On the orbit itself, all of these transitions are pretty soft. You can see if I were to leave this line too sharp, it ruins the idea of a soft perfectly round orb. At this point, I've blocked in a lot of my larger shapes and what's really going to sell the realism of this and make it really look effective is just going to be crisping up some of our edges and really defining the contrast. Keeping that contrast strong is so important in here and it's going to be also very important with our portraits. So I'm trying to go around my spherical shape and make sure that this deepest shadow where our two forms are actually meeting to touch, it has that high level of contrast that we want. I'm looking at our shadow to see where it is the darkest, where it is the deepest and also the shadow itself is relatively crisp along this edge. I want to maintain that a bit without it being too messy. 6. Value Sketch - part 2: We'll trail off as we head towards the back. But for this initial area where that light is very strong, I want that shadow to be relatively well defined. I also want to look at the color of the deepest part of our sphere. That value coming up around this edge and consider how dark that is and where that darkness comes from and extends to. Again, because it's not really a cast shadow here, meaning that we don't want it to be super harsh, it's more of just a turning shadow and the shadow is occurring because the form is turning away from the light. We don't want it to be a super hard shadow. I also want to maintain our reflective light, which runs up through this area. I'm going to go in with a mid-tone and add a bit more white to that as we get closer to the spot where light is hitting the table very strongly, which is causing that light to then bounce up off of our sphere. I'm just doing little bits of tweaking now, adding a little more white in some places, a little more Payne's gray in some places. Tweaking can be fine as long as it's tweaking with a purpose. My paper is actually relatively dry now. I'm working less wet on wet and a bit more just wet on dry. I have to be careful of how I do that. Then I just want to soften out this edge with a bit of water. We're getting very close because I don't want to overwork this too much. There are a couple of things at this point that are disrupting the overall reality of our image, just a couple of subtle tiny little things. For example, we haven't really painted much of our tabletop, which is a little bit difficult and I did save that for last intentionally because I wanted to have the surrounding values in place so that our table could just be relative color. Now, I'm making this edge back here the darkest for our table. This is also going to be the opportunity to get that as crisp or as fuzzy as we want, and also as straight as we want. Try to get it where you wanted and then not have to agitate that again. I'm going in with a lighter tone overall for the table, but it is going to shift a bit as we get closer to our form, to our sphere. As we get closer to that light source, it will become a little bit lighter. I'm allowing these edges to meet and this is also going to help me crisp up that edge of my sphere and clean that up a little bit. When it's time for our two forms to meet here in terms of the tabletop and the shadow being cast, we also want to consider how sharp this shadow is. Where the shadow meets the tabletop on this edge, it starts off sharp and then it fades out. I want to create that effect by adding a sharp line on this side and then allowing this transition to occur where our paint gets a bit wetter and just a bit softer overall. We're mostly thinking about relative value. What color is something compared to the color next to it? We're also thinking about soft edges and hard edges. We've got some hard edges in our shadow, in the edges of our table. We've also got some soft edges in our sphere itself and having a combination of those things and as you'll see when we get to the human form, it won't be the separate pieces that some have soft edges and some have hard edges. You're going to see that within the head itself. There's going to be lots of combinations of soft and hard, as there are different types of shadows happening. When you've got a cast shadow, a really strong shadow, that's going to create a harder edge and we'll talk more about that here. For example, a cast shadow would be the shadow that is being cast by our sphere, by our orb. As the light hits here, it's casting the shadow onto the ground and that's a very sharp shadow, as opposed to a transitional shadow, which would be, for example, our orb itself. The light is shining on one side and as the form curves away from us it's creating this softer shadow. Getting in some values for our tabletop now is going to be really helpful because it's going to allow us to see something very close to our final values. Then from there we can move into placing the last bits of whatever it is we may need. I'm allowing my paint to be very watery here because we don't actually need a ton of color. Our tabletop is very, very light. Thinking about this light edge and how different I want the values of be next to our orb. Are they very similar or are they both very light? Is there any contrast against that edge? You can see that our pencil line is actually disrupting the overall reality because it's a very hard line and hard lines like that don't really exist in nature. What I'm going to do is I'm going to add a slightly darker edge here, just where our table goes behind that sphere and then just manipulate that a tiny bit. My paper is curling now, which you won't experience as much if you tape yours down. It's not too bad with quash. It's not quite as well as watercolor, that's okay. We're pretty close here. I haven't put any straight white onto our piece yet, which I think I may do. You may think that there are some values here that are already very close to white and while that is true, if you haven't added any straight white, just 100 percent nothing but white, you may be surprised by how much of a difference it can make. Contrast is going to be the number one selling point of reality and effectiveness. When it comes to painting with opaque mediums or any medium really. Even if you have a really nice colors that you've mixed really well, weak contrast is going to make it really difficult for the viewer to engage with your subject. I've got some street white that I'm putting down here for this reflective light. It's going to want to mix with our other colors because this paint is wet and because our paper is still a little bit wet, they're going to want to mix with each other, which is just the nature of glotch. You'll have to decide how much you want to let that happen. We've it got a little bit of a crisp white there. Then also, when you're working with whitewash, the more water you add to it, the more it will fade as it dries, the more that color's darken and then disappear. When I'm going in with my whitest highlights, I try to use as little water as possible. Somewhere around there is where our light is going to strike. We also have a very light edge over here and I want to see if I can disrupt that pencil a little bit. Don't get carried away and just put this around the whole edge. It'll ruin the effect if you have too much of it. I do want to drop a little bit of our white on the edge of our sphere that we can fade out. Because like I said, that light is reflecting off a bit. We've got something very light here, and I can either do this by adding water to make this transition softer or by adding paint, and I think I would prefer to add paint to keep a bit of opacity to it, as opposed to just adding too much water. You got to be careful not to disrupt our edges at this point, which is difficult to do and you can always go back over it if you do mess something up or can get paint on a spot where you maybe weren't trying to. Opaque mediums are pretty forgiving in that way. Just softening this up a bit. Learning to observe in this way, looking at your reference and looking back and forth. It's so important to be able to take the time to do this. It may not be as exciting as painting all of those colors in a portrait and jumping right into the fun stuff but there's so much to learn here, and I could do this exercise everyday for years and years, and it would only help if I approach it with the intention of wanting to learn and thinking critically about what I could do better next time. There's a lot to learn from taking the time to do things like this. I think this one is just about done now. Because of the perspective of our reference, this back edge is actually blurred a bit, and I'm curious as to what that would look like if I was to just soften the back edge of this table. It's not quite in focus. Just allow that to fade into the background a little bit more. We still have the implied edge of our table, but it's just fading off a little. Then of course, we'll keep the edge closer to the foreground here. Keep that a little bit sharper, but just fade off that back edge. I'm pretty happy with where this is at currently. I know that I could tweak it and tweak it and keep making tiny little changes but one of the most important things is just being able to know when you're done. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's perfect, but you're saying I've learned what I wanted to learn or as much as I can learn from this example. Sometimes the result will be that you just immediately start a new one, which is fine. But if you're comfortable with what you've learned in this instance, it's okay to go. I'm done, I'm going to step away, and that's going to be fine. Because we worked wet on wet, we had a lot. We were making quite a bit of contact with our paper itself, pushing things around a lot in our sphere. But I do really like the overall effect of this one as a final tiny little tip. When you really want to push your white, sometimes just putting white on top of white can be really helpful. Because like I said, especially down here, the white wants to blend in with your previous layer. That will remain true in additional layers. The white that I'm adding now is on top of more white. The whole layer underneath it, but it may want to blend with, is just white. I'm going to add a tiny bit of a stroke of white in here that I want to blend out to get that reflective lay a little bit more. I'm keeping my brush wet so that I can let that color blend and bleed because it's not as white as our highlight. While I do want it to be lighter, I don't want it to be so light that it distracts from the form which is where it is right now. It's a bit too light. See now I'm just fiddling. That looks much better. If you decide to make a sphere of your own, I do recommend keeping your little value chart that we made handy to reference as you go looking at the lightest areas, even our reflective light down underneath here, as you can see, can be darker down here. It is light, but it's not going to be as light as our lightest areas up in here. The table has some nice contrast where the front of the table is a bit lighter and the back of the table falls a little bit further down our scale. The same thing with our background. While it is darker overall, even on this side, once we get to this other ends, it gets much darker on our scale. Nice, subtle transition. I'm happy with this as an example. If you decide to do this exercise as well, please do add it to your class project. I would love to see what you come up with. Again, this was done with just our titanium white and our Payne's gray. 7. Monochromatic Portrait - part 1: With our foundational exercises complete, we're ready to jump into our monochromatic gouache portrait. For both of our portraits, I'm going to be working with my watercolor block, propped up on a table top easel. This is going to help me to see it from a slightly better perspective, and I'll have my reference image off to the side as well, right next to all of my materials. Now that we are all set up, I've got some fresh paint squeezed out onto my palette, and we're ready to start with our first gray scale portrait. My intention here is going to be to focus on values, within the structure of the base, and you can find the downloadable version of the sketch in the resources section of this class. You can download this sketch if you'd like, and you can copy the sketch, you can print it, and transfer it via a light box or hold the sketch up against a window with your watercolor paper, or whatever you're painting on, on top, and work that way. However, you would like to have this sketch, because I want to focus on the structure, I didn't want the sketching to be too much of a hassle for you. If you'd like to just paint exactly what I'm painting, you can go ahead and download this version of my sketch, and paint along with me. Just like last time, we're going to go ahead and start with our background, and according to our reference, we've got lots of mid and darker values, going on in that area. We don't want anything too light in the background, we do want it to be subtle, and just hanging out back there. I'm going to be starting with the largest brush size that I have here, and slowly decreasing in size to smaller brushes, only as necessary. You want to start with a larger brush, and keep with that brush for as long as you can. This is going to help you to block in larger shapes getting started, and to keep you from focusing on the details too soon, because you don't want to jump into those details right away. We want to block in our big shapes, and then refine things as we go. Your paint doesn't have to be super thick. As you get started, you can add more water, especially in your background. We can always layer things up as necessary as we go. I really like the contrast along this edge here, where the background needs the skin. There's some really dark values down there. I definitely want to capture that. We want the background to have some interests as far as values go, just a little bit of variation, so it's not completely flat in this instance, but it doesn't have to be super fancy. Working the wet paint into wet paint, is going to help to help things blend together. If you would like to switch to a smaller brush, to carve out some of these inner edges, you're more than welcome to do so if you feel like you don't have as much control with a larger brush. I'm also thinking at this point about the difference between the value of the hair, and the value of the background. There are some places where the hair is lighter than the background, like up here, this edge. We can let our background be a little bit darker, and there are some places where the hair is darker than the background, specifically down here. Particularly along this edge down here, we're going to add some lightness to our background, so that our hair will contrast when we get to that point, and then things are going to just be very dark, down at the bottom here, as the hair shape will merge with the background, and that's another important thing is we want to think about all these different pieces as geometric shapes, before we break them down into what they actually are. I'm actually going straight into the hair area now. We've got some of our darkest values right here in the hair. It's up to you if you want to start with the darkest values, or a mid tone. Like I said, I like to start with the background, in instances like this where I want my values to be visible and strong, and I'm thinking about the hair as one large mass, and then we can break down the pieces. You want to think of it like sculpting. I've used this example quite a few times in various instances. We're carving up the largest shapes first, and then we will come back in, and carve out finer details. If you think about it in this way it can really help to speed up the process as well. Covering as much area as possible getting started, without too much of a focus on details, especially in this first laying inner color, and we're constantly going to be comparing our values. I'm looking and seeing that the shadow cast by the head onto the neck is lighter than our hair value, but at the same time it's darker than the skin surrounding it. We want it to be somewhere in between these two values, and because this paint is wet, you can see that this is [inaudible] blend together this giant shadow shape over here. That's just fine. I'm also going to go in and add a bit of shadow here, and then nice and dark down in the corner, and we can manipulate some of these shapes later on. One edge that I don't want to get lost as much is where the chin is. I want the chin edge to be pretty visible, but at the same time, I want to definitely read as a shadow, and we will be coming back to soften this edge, as this is a form shadow. As the cheek is curving away and the jaw is curving down, we're getting a bit more shadow there, and it's more of a transitional thing. I will want to make sure that we think about the form, in all of these instances. Like I said, I'm focusing on my largest brush possible. I don't want to switch to something smaller too soon. It can be really easy to start to lose your sketch as you work, and that's okay. If you start to find that you're covering up your sketch, and maybe changing some of the features as you do that, don't worry, you can always come back and rework things. Hopefully, you have your reference in front of you, so that you have that to look at. Now, the shadows on this side of the face, the lighter side of the face, even the shadows themselves are going to be much lighter, than the shadows on this side. While we've got some shadow on the cheek here, it may even end up lighter than what you're seeing now at the end. I'm just looking at where I see shadows, and blocking those spaces in. It doesn't have to be perfect at this point. Now, I did a pencil sketch this time around, because I wanted it to be something that would be easily assessable to you, but oftentimes when I'm doing portraits in gouache, like this, I end up just sketching directly with my gouache, and I found that to be very, very useful, in establishing some value, and laying in my sketch at the same time. Most of our hair is going to be darker here. I'm going to go ahead and lay in some of this, and we'll come back in, and define our shapes a little bit better later on. At this point we're already starting to see some of our values come through. There's an interesting thing happening on the neck here where we've got the cast shadow there, but there's also a bit of form shadow. As the neck, if you think of it as a cylinder, is curving away from the light too. We've got something light there. Another important darker value that I'm seeing, other than of course, the features on the eyes is the shape of the hair, and the more precise you are now, the less you'll have to come back to it later. If you cover something up or you need to do some tweaking, it's okay to do tweaking, but patience now could save you some time later if that's something that you're concerned about. This is one of those instances where I want the bottom section of the hair here, to be darker than our background. If that's something I'm not able to achieve easily, just by laying in my darkest value, I may need to lighten the surrounding background. You'll see me making some decisions here. I'm using a lighter gouache, so I can still see my sketch underneath, I'm planning to build on top of it. I'm going to be covering this eye area, with a slightly darker color. Just to remind myself that this side of the face is in shadow, and even though in my brain I know that the white of the eye is white, the color is all going to be relative. It's all going to be compared to the colors around it. This inside corner of the eye is going to be whiter, than this side of the white of the eye. I'm trying to keep those things in mind. There's also a bit of cast shadow down under the nose here. There is a little bit of a high light there. Once we start to get more of our other values in around this, the forms will become more apparent. Now that we've got lots of stuff blocks in here, I want to go in and define some areas with a bit more detail. I'm trying to be conscious of the fact knowing that I have shifted the form a little bit, and I want to think about how that's changing the overall facial features. I think one thing that's going to be important is to sculpt in the face, so that it doesn't get too wide here along the jaw. We'll do that by shaping the hair. Let's see if I can get a slightly larger round gouache, and here, while the shoulder is relatively light, this part here, I'm going to tone it down just a bit, and this is a decision-making thing, I want to tone this down, just because I don't want the shoulder itself to be the focal point, I want to keep the focus on the base. I'm going to put a little bit more of this in shadow, than what I might see in my reference. Just giving a better contrast for that top edge. There's also a bit of light shining on the collarbone, which I actually really like the look of. Even if I don't finalize that now, I can just place that shape now, to remind myself that it's there. 8. Monochromatic Portrait - part 2: Let's continue our portrait and build on our value range. Where we're at now, I want to start to be able to see the face come together a bit more. We've got some big blocks, and now I'm going to jump into pulling some things out specifically the focal point being the face. I'm going to start with my eye over on this side, and this is my pretty much straight pins gray. I'm laying that in, I may make some tiny adjustments from where the eye later in my sketch. You don't have to worry about covering up that highlight, because you can always come back in later. Just getting a rough eye shape in there. As well as we'll put the crease of the eye lid as well. This is going to be super helpful for seeing our darkest value, and keeping some things a bit more defined. Also cover out a little bit of that jaw as this shadows also very dark. Dark shape in this area is going to be brow, which doesn't need to be perfect right now we just want to get the general shape in. There's a dark shadow that flows down into the crease. Here, this fold under the brown, the curve of the eye socket. I'm going to lighten that just a bit, but still keep this and overall shadow shape right through here. My paint is much thicker now, and then we've also got this shadow under the eye and it's large. I want to think about the larger shadow shape that also extends down here into the brow, and I want this to all be one big shadow. So I'm going to connect that entire area around there. I'm also thinking about how this white of the eye, like I said, it's dark. Got some shadow over here. I'm thinking about values first, like we're doing here, before we even start with color. You could spend so much time in this zone learning and allow giving yourself time to see relative color. Something like a color that may look very dark in one space, can look much lighter when you put that same color somewhere else, and taking the time to see how colors relate to one another. It's just absolutely invaluable. It's so very important. I like the shadow of the nose as well, and how there's still so much variation in value within the nose. Closer to, say, the tip of the nose, there's a little bit of a lighter value as that's catching a bit of reflective light, so we can make that a little bit later. Something that may be a lighter value within the nose can be used as a shadow in some of these other areas. Because like I said, that color is relative, and even here it can be used for highlights. So I'm using the same paint on my rush to do a highlight here, shadow here, and then I'll highlight here again, it's all the same color that looks different in different places. Then walk into places as our darkest shadow on this eye. I haven't done anything with my brush up to this point. I'm just using the same paint on rush to lay in some of the shadow values here. Then we'll get some of the darkness in this other eye as well. This shape is a bit messy as I'm pulling my brush at a weird angle and also trying to stay out of the way of my camera. There we've got a bit of our darker values in there, and it makes a big difference and I almost forgot the nostrils. One of another landmark for dark values in the nose. I really love how this side of the lip is also very dark. Just implying again that the shadow is going in the direction that it is. We can reinforce the shape of the chin by placing our dark value there as well. We're making a lot of progress already, loving that. I'm trying to be aware as I paint of changes that I may not like that are occurring. For example, I can see that the face itself seems to be a widening slightly as I paint and fill in areas and going outside of my sketch in allowing things to get a bit wider. I do overall like the look of the face. I'm pretty happy with the structure, and then just have to decide at this point how far I want to stray from my reference. With the lips here, again, I'm thinking in blocks of value. The upper lip is overall darker with the lower lip because it's actually facing upward is catching a lot more of that light. So we can leave a lot more highlights in that lower lip laying in something that's a very light value just to cover some space that I had been leaving white. It's not completely white here, but it's still going to be a very light value overall. There we go. Just eliminating some of the last of the white on the page. We're reaching a point where you can choose at what point you want to be done. I can think about the things that I would want to change. Things I might want to be different, like carving in the shape of the jaw again, and bringing that back. I find it very interesting with portraits looking at something at this phase, and telling myself that, this could be it, it could be done. Now I could step away and knowing that if I choose to spend more time on it, it has to be to make specific decisions. I have to tell myself how it can be better, what I can be doing to improve, and knowing that if I don't have a clear goal in mind, all I'm doing is fiddling for sake of fiddling. So smething to be mindful of. I'm going in with some sticker, very light color here and noticing that this is actually a bit too light. Because like I said before, with the color being relative, a color that may work as a highlight on this side of the face over here on the lighter side, may be too late for a highlight on the other side of the face, which I believe is what's happening here. So I'm actually going to darken the highlight on the shadowed side of the face of it. Tone that down. So it doesn't stick out quite as much. Also remembering that this is a form shadow here, the curve of the eyebrow, so we want that to be subtle and a bit softer as the shadow. You can see that by increasing the lighter area, dragging that light being around, I've actually changed a bit of the facial structure. I went to rein that backend. It's a little bit of a push and pull, tugging and pushing and pulling it at this point. Just shifting shapes and getting them to a place where I'm happy with them. At this point, I also want to think about which features I want to focus on and bring out and define a bit more, and which I want to leave more abstract, which is something in my work that I really enjoy. You may want to add a ton of detail everywhere and you totally have the freedom to do that. I personally like to have a focal point, so having a area where I know I'm going to work on more, and allowing other things to be less important and to be defined less. I'm going in now and putting in like in between values. On this particular eye, we've got some dark values, we've got some light values, and I want to work on the spaces in between. Now, we're shifting at least in this one area of the face away from blocks of color and into a bit more of thinking about the design of the individual shapes. I'm going to curve my shaping carve off a bit of the side here. I feel that it's a bit wide. There we go. Noticing also that we've done the same thing on this side. It's just gotten a bit wide overall. So I'm using a dark value to curve up this shape in a bit. Also the nose is a bit wide just because we haven't done a ton with narrowing the nose. It doesn't take much to do, just giving a bit of shadow to some of the other areas. There are just so many areas here where the form curves on a face. We've got lots of shapes all built up together. Got the larger dome of the forehead. How that goes down and depths into the sockets of the eyes. The nose comes out like a wedge. One thing I love is actually eliminating a lot of the white of the sclera, the weight of the eye can be really helpful for making your white highlights path out because they're not competing as the latest part of the eye with some of the other parts. I'll tone that down so that my white highlight, which I do think I want to be able to place more specifically. I'm actually going to cover some of the things I had left before. While I've got this darkest color on my brush, I'm going to pull out some of the darkest values again. 9. Monochromatic Portrait - part 3: Let's finish up our monochromatic portrait with final details and those last highlights. I am backing out here so we want to flop between thinking about smaller details and thinking about larger ones. Remember that contrast is your best friend, and if you find yourself feeling like you are losing details or you can't really see what's happening, you can always add more of your darkest value or more of your lightest value. I would like to say if my white highlights the whitest, lightest values for last. But that's really going to make everything pop. I really love the experience of putting in those white highlights last. At this point, I like to better define the actual shape of the hair. We've got a lot of dark values down here. I want that to become very clear. Now that we have some of our other darkest values in, it's a lot easier to see the shape that hair should be and the value that it should be. I want to keep some of the details within this larger shadow shape, pretty loose and vague. Adding too many details to a shadow area is a great way to lose your overall shadow effect. Things get lost and hidden in the shadows in nature, and I don't want to lose that here with my piece. I want to connect some of my larger shadow shapes. One of them being the shadow cast by the nose here. Bring that down towards the mouth, and connect that to the shape of the form shadows of the jaw, lips, and cheek like that and helps to reinforce our light source. I am noticing tiny little details now like how this jaw has dropped a bit low. We'll just curve those out a bit. Just lots of little things that can be fun to shift. I want to make sure that the shape of the hair, especially even the hairline, is clear and visible and we can see the flow of the hair and decide where we want that to start in the forehead. Maybe some areas like here where the line between the hair and the background that gets a bit blurred. You can exactly see where one starts and the other begins, doing this with a mix of water and paint. I actually really like the little silver of light, whether it's a highlight from the hair or light from the background that pokes through here. I like that a lot. Getting a bit more gestural now, as I want to add just a bit more interests of my brush strokes here. Couple of things are going to start to happen as I feel that I am nearing the end. That's going to be final details and also stylistic choices. I didn't want to do this earlier. But this is a point where I would consider adding individual strands of hair to add some visual interest, and flow, and rhythm and style, to our piece. You can switch to a smaller brush or less if you'd like. I usually end up wishing I had if I don't. I am going to reinforce the darkness there of that edge. Remember, we are thinking in terms of light and shadow. That's almost the entire purpose of this exercise. Instead of going, I am painting a strand of hair. We want to think about the general value of what we are doing. One thing I love, even when you are just painting in individual strands of hair as you may want to go around with this dark color that I have here, which is pretty much a straight paints Grey, and put strands of hair all over with this color. But that's not actually what we're seeing. There are some strands that are catching the light more than others. While some of the individual locks and strands maybe dark, they will all be. Some of them will catch the light. I think I am at a point where I am comfortable now moving into our highlights. For this whole time I have been using these two brushes, both larger brushes and only now at this point am I going to switch to a smaller pointed brush and even this round, the label is mostly gone, but I believe this is around size seven. Now even a super tiny brush, but I'm going to move to this now for my white highlights. Some of that is going to include just really light valued strands for some of our hair. This is where we are going to start to see a lot of life being added. For example, on this light side of the head, we are going to try to do this as best they can from this angle. We can add some strokes, texture, just some places where light is going to hit, and catch, and reflect. If we want to come back with an even lighter value we can. No pressure to get it exactly right now. It's always fun to build up the highlights and let them flow, come in and disappear again. Always listen to your brush. If you feel like you're getting a lot of dry brushing, strokes that don't have a tone of paint on them, you can always add a bit more water if you would like or not. You can let that dry brushing texture happen. But you're always in control of how much paint and water is on your brush and in what combination and you just have to be willing to listen to what you're feeling. This is even lighter here. Contrast is going to be your friend in making the whites to stand out. If you find that you're putting in a super light value and it's not showing up as much as you wanted it to, that could just be partly because the area around it isn't dark enough. Then you can make the decision as to whether or not you would like to go in and adjust those surrounding areas. Going to add a little bit of a highlight to the bottom of the nose here, as well as to the cupid's bow, this side of the eyelid, as well as this curve here. They're going to catch a little bit more light as well as the inner edge of the eye.That inner corner always tends to be quite light. I know what you're thinking of those white highlights right in the pupil and I'm saving those for the end. They're very striking and have a really nice effect on pulling things together. Sometimes the painting doesn't even feel done until they're in, but we will get to them. I'm just savoring the moment. I want to add a bit more contrast to this top edge here. I am going to take my darker color, bring that in. I have to be thinking about how much fiddling I want to do. Do you want this shadow shape to be a bit different? and realizing? Because one thing that happens is the brow curves down here, right here. But then the cheekbone starts and it's a definite shift in the planes of the face. While this is curving down from the light, as we start into the cheekbone, it curves back up towards the light. This surface actually starts to catch more light. Just by leaving that as a hard edge, you're showing that plane shift because we are not talking about a form shadow. We're talking specifically about the shift in planes. We want a hard edge right there, which I think is very nice and pretty effective. We're getting very close to our white highlights. I know, you're waiting with anticipation for the moment. I'm going lighten up this layer just a tiny bit. Actually darken that one, it [inaudible] whiter the paper in it. Sometimes with gouache go back to my palette just wanting more paint. But if things have started to dry out I may have to actually also add more water. It's a combination of adding paint and adding water sometimes. Which of course can affect your consistency. But practice is going to be the key to mastering consistency with gouache. Just going to give yourself some time. One thing I'm going to almost over emphasize because I like it so much is the light catching this edge of the jaw. I'm a big fan of that. I like it very much, so I'm going to leave that lighter than it actually would be. I might go in just on this side of the jaw just a little bit and add a tiny bit of light down there. Or if I think it's too much, just block that away with my finger a little, tiny bits. All right. We're almost there. I want to imply a little bit of a lightness to the corner of the eye. Right here where the eyelid meets the eyeball. Same on this side. Like that. There are multiple things that can change the expression in a piece. We haven't talked about the expression in turn. But it's not all just whether the person is frowning or smiling as far as looking at the mouth, there are a lot of other things. The angle of the eyebrow, whether it's sitting up very high, like a surprise or scrunched down low in a scalp. There are a lot of things that can change the expression. These eyebrows are lifted and a bit soft. It gives us, almost like the character's looking up. She's also smiling a tiny bit. Got a little bit of softness to her expression, to her case. Let's get those white highlights in, on the eyes. Then we can see if there are any final touches we want to make once they're in, see if there's anything else that still feels like it's missing. For the white highlights, the light is going to be hitting the eyes pretty much at the same angle. We want those two for the most part be in the same spot on the eye, like that. You don't have to be exactly the same shape. Usually, whatever is causing the highlight is going to be the same for both eyes, so the shapes may be similar. Then after that, we may think of other places that we want that same lightness too. I'm thinking specifically of these edges here. I may want to bring out the underside of the nose where light bounces off the skin here. The light reflects right in there. Same thing in some of the edges of the bottom lip, they tend to glisten a little in this top edge. Just pulling out a few of those highlight areas and remembering that the wake wash reactivates layers underneath, you may be losing some of the lightness of your color. As you work in an area, we're going to define this cheekbone a little. I went in a little too far here and actually disrupted the curve of the face as it curves down in a way it does get a little darker, so I don't want to disrupt that too much. I'm going to keep that little darker. As you can see here, there are some structural things I could change, some little things I could continue to fiddle with. But our portrait is pretty much done. It's interesting because I feel like it looked very similar to this even 15 minutes ago. The initial blocking in stage, and getting 80 percent of the way there, even 90 percent of the way there happens relatively quickly. Our painting is just about done now and I spent less than an hour, which for a portrait is pretty quick, I think. It doesn't have to take a long time. You can slow yourself down a lot by starting with brushes that are too small and fiddling too much with the details before you've locked in some of your larger shapes. The only thing I might do is actually go back to a larger brush and add a bit more interest and range of value to our background. Specifically when I'm thinking is that I want a little bit of lightness here, I want this to contrast our hair shape a little more and I can carve out that hair shape a little more too. Something a little lighter there. Then something a little lighter down here. Let's see, like that on this corner. You can choose how much you want to blend these strokes in that you can leave it really brush strokes the way I have it currently. You can go in with a bit more water and adjust those edges. Another important thing on note is that I have been adding bits of paints grade to my palette as I've been working because I've been using it all. My white is stretching a bit further, but sometimes you do have to add a little bit more paint to my palette and that happens. If it happens to you, no big deal I'll just add some more. Feel like I lost this shape a little. That's okay. I do want a relatively crispy shape here for the hair, so keep that in place. I do feel like I've lost some, I don't want to say key things, but definitely lost even a bit more of my likeness as I've been painting here. This sketch was already not 100 percent accurate to the reference photo. But as I've painted, it's taken on even more of a life of its own. This character is just looking even different, little bit more unique, which is fine. We're going more for value and structure as the point of study than for likeness and 100 percent accuracy in that regard. At this point, I just have to look at my portrait and decide if there's anything I want to change. I've considered chiseling out this shape of the jaw a little bit more. I've also thought about adding eyelashes, but I don't think I'm going to do that. I'm pretty happy with where this portrait is at currently is different from my reference. But by focusing on the values, I'm able to get something that I'm relatively happy with. The only thing I think I am going to shift. Of course once you start shifting one thing, you end up shifting a lot of things, is I want the shadow on the side of the face to be a bit darker in some of the areas. Like specifically from here and up into here. I want it to fade into that other area a little bit more. All right, I have been sitting here looking at this thing for a few minutes, and I think it is finally done. If there are any of the exercises that you've chosen not to do up to this point, that's totally fine. You're welcome to pick and choose what you would like to do throughout the entire course of this class. But if you're going to start anywhere, I would recommend at least starting here. Some of our earlier exercises, like our sphere and our value scale, these are two that are going to be really helpful in making this project a lot easier for you. You'll be a lot more familiar with how to understand your values and how to establish different types of shadows. These three work really well together. But now we are going to bring in our color, get our final color palette together and work on our final color portrait. 10. Analyzing our Reference!: Before we jump into our color portrait, let's take a minute to analyze our reference and choose our final colors. So before we jump into our color portrait, I want to go over a couple of preparatory things with you, specifically the color palette I've selected, as well as taking a deeper look at our reference photo here. As you can see here, I've got a variation on our primary triad. The red that I'm going to be using is going to be quinacridone rose. My yellow is going to be yellow ocher, and my blue is going to be cerulean blue. I have chosen these colors specifically because I want something that's going to mix. Mixes that are a little bit less saturated actually. The quinacridone rose being a little bit cooler, bringing it a little bit closer to purple, mixed with our yellow ocher is going to get some really earthy, less saturated, not super bright, vibrant oranges, which is something that's going to be really helpful for the reference for using. The same thing with the cerulean blue and the quinacridone rose. The purples that we get from that mix is going to be different than if we had used something else. I'm really excited about this particular mix. If you are going to be painting from the same reference of me, for which I will also be providing a downloadable version of my sketch, and you have colors similar to these, I would recommend something like this if you would like to do something very similar to what I'm doing. Then, of course, we can't forget a nice big tube of white. If you have a bigger tube, I have a lot of white gouache because it seems to be the color used the most of. A couple of other colors I'm going to have handy, but I haven't completely decided if I'm going to use them yet. I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to brown because we have lots of brown in this reference. I'm going to take a little bit of a shortcut instead of mixing my own brown every time and probably incorporate some burnt umber into our mixes. This is also going to be really helpful to mix with our blue to get some really deep, dark tones in certain areas where our values are the darkest. The other two colors I'm keeping nearby, I'm not sure if I'll use them or not, is a warmer red. So something closer to orange, and a truer, more pure yellow than our yellow ocher. I haven't decided if I will want to use these or if they will distract from the color palette that we have here or not. But I'm keeping them nearby just in case, if I do use them, of course, I'll let you know. To be honest, I would really like to see what we can do with just these colors here. I've also printed out my reference photo. You can find the links to reference photos in the resources section alongside the sketches. I have this here so that I can have a regular, visible reference to look at. So I can mostly gauge the facial structure and the values. You'll notice that just like our monochromatic painting that we did before, I'm not going for an exact likeness here. I'm mostly I'm using my reference for color shifts, value shifts, facial structure, things like that, and I've omitted the hand here as well. Because I want to focus a lot on skin tones. I printed a second version with a close-up on the face so that we can better see the transitions and color. For some reason, my printer has printed some dark little circles on here, you can ignore those, of course, they're not actually part of the reference. What I really want to see in a close-up are the shifts in color. So let me bring you in a little bit closer. We'll talk about what I mean by shifts in color and how we're going to amplify and exaggerate those in our painting. Exaggerating subtle shifts in color is one of the biggest tools that I use to create very colorful portraits that still look like they work and like they make sense. Let's, for example, start with, I feel like the reds are the easiest to pull out. We've got some redder values over on the curve of the cheek here, as well as where the hair casts a little bit of a shadow back here along the top of the hairline. So those reds are very obvious to see. We've got a little bit of red up in here in the curvature of the form from the forehead down into the brow bone. Then, of course we've got some more reds around our lip area and even down here by the chin. A really interesting color profile that I see in this particular reference is the combination of reds and greens. Now, you may be looking at this saying "green, what are you talking about? I don't see any green." But I'm talking about relative color and how things can just appear slightly more green. For example, if you take this color here, the red as it shifts down into the jaw, this color right here is a little bit more green, then the red up here. Having those complimentary colors next to one another helps them to pop in there a little bit more visible. Another example that you may be able to see a little bit more clearly. Let me bring you in as close as I can. If we come in very very close here, you can see a subtle shift happening. We've got some red on the chin shifting into a less red color, but it's not as brown as up here. What I may do is have red, a little bit more brown, and then add a bit of green to the mix down here at the bottom of the jaw. Of course, we're not going to just put straight quinacridone rose, burnt umber, and some mix of green here. All of these colors are going to have bits of each other in them, and that's what's going to make the color palette work. I'm also probably going to be adding a fair amount of green to the shadow mixture on the neck here. In order to keep my palate relatively cohesive, there's a pretty good chance that I'll be using a mixture of green and grayish blue in the eyes, so that we can really pull that palette of brown, reds, greens, really earthy sort of autumn fall colors altogether for our portrait. We may see a little bit more green on this edge over here as well as down here and in the deep shadows of the eye socket, in this curving out area, and perhaps under the eyes. I just wanted to take a minute to kind of talk about some of these subtle shifts in color because these are the things that we're going to be exaggerating and amplifying in our final portrait. We've got a nice warm color down here at the tip of the nose that lightens up and becomes more red as we approach the bridge and then the curvature up into the brow bone. If we look at our reference for our color portrait next to the monochromatic painting that we've already finished, one thing I noticed almost right away is that the lighting in our color portrait is going to be much more ambient and less harsh. While with the lighting on our monochromatic portrait, we had a very strong light source from this area that casts a lot of this side of the face into shadow. We don't have that strong lighting scenario nearly as much on this. The shadows that occur in this portrait are much more based on the natural curvatures of phase. So we end up with a lot of natural shadows, like the hair casting a shadow onto the forehead as the eye socket curves down by the eyes of those shadows, shadows cast by the curvature of the sphere of the eyeball down under the eyes, creating the bags of the eyes, and then down underneath the nose, of course, as the nose sticks out over the rest of the base and casts a bit of a shadow down onto the upper lip area. One of the biggest, strongest shadows you can see is down here as the head is casting a shadow down onto the neck. Of course, we're going to have some deeper values in the creases, the eyes, and where the eyelid meets the eyeball, as well as where the darker hair, which is already a naturally darker value, is going to have lots of darkness in it, and the parts of the hair that are catching less light are going to be darker than the top edges of the hair where there are fewer hairs out around the outside and creates this really nice halo effect that we may amplify and exaggerate in our final portrait. As we look at our reference next to our portrait sketch, you can see that the features themselves are different. There are some similarities and shape, and in facial structure of course, but there are also a lot of ways that they're different, which I'm actually really excited about. This is the difference between going for photo realism and just using your reference as a reference to guide you as you create your own unique portrait. Now that we've talked about our reference, we've talked about our colors, let's go ahead and set up our sketch and our pallet so we can start painting. 11. Color Portrait - part 1: Now that we understand our reference a little bit better, let's break out our sketch and start painting. [MUSIC] As we prepare to get started on our painting, I have to decide where to start first. I think it would be a good idea to get a dark value in first, which could either be the background or starting to lay in some of the darker shades of the hair. Again, what I'm going to start with the largest brush I can. I've got a large three-quarter inch flat brush here that I'm going to use to start blocking in color. I'm going to use that for as long as I can. I think I'm going to go ahead and start with the darker values of the hair and for that, I'm going to mix burnt umber with nice cerulean blue. One thing that I think is really interesting about cerulean blue is the fact that it's a little bit closer to green. What it's going to do when mixed with our burnt umber which is a bit warm and it's a bit orange, is going to create something that has a slightly green tint to it. There's not actually a lot of water in my paint here. I'm just going to be blocking in the color. Sometimes what I will do instead of painting in this way, is I will start with very loose washes because if you're going be painting with wash and you want to use looser layers, especially when you're blocking in color at this early stage, you want to start with those loser layers if that's what you're going to do. For this particular painting, I just want to start to block in my darker values now. I'm going to actually extend the hair a bit beyond what I had originally sketched in with something like that. I have a feeling that the hair shape is going to change as we continue to paint. I don't want to go in and put this color in on the eyebrows or anything else like that currently, just because I want it to have this dark value. I could go in and block in some larger shapes and the eyebrows tend to be a smaller shape. If I start working on them now, there's a very good chance that they're just going to get covered up later as I paint in the rest of the skin around them so I'm not going to do that. Just as an example, in slightly shifting color, I'm going to now do a lighter color within the hair. For that, I'm mixing a bit of white into my burnt umber mixture, the one that I was already using and white tends to cool the color quite a bit. I'm also adding some of my yellow och-re and a little bit of my Quinacridone Rose to give the color some warmth and then some burnt umber where I want it to be more brown. Right now for the hair, I do want this to be blocky and loose, I'm going to add a little bit more water to my paint. I'm not trying to get it perfect right now in any way. I'm just getting colors in and thinking about what I've got and where I might want to go next. Remember, nothing has to be perfect at this stage, we literally just started painting and laying in color. [NOISE]. Now that we've got a loose value in, I want to go ahead and work into the skin. I'm going to add a bit of my Quinacridone Rose to the edge of our brown mixture to get something that's a bit more red. It's also pretty loose. This is a pretty light wash. I'm just going to place this up around our edge here, and perhaps with a little bit more yellow och-re to warm that up as we push it with the yellow och-re, it's just going to become more brown as well. I was just thinking that while I'm working on these initial layers, it may be helpful to have more of my palette visible so you can see how I'm mixing my colors. Keep in mind that nothing has to be completely perfect at this stage. We're just blocking things in and really getting to know the painting if that makes sense at this point and making notes for ourself in a way. At this point, I'm reminding myself that I want this side of the neck to be lighter and there are also some areas that I will want to be warmer, some areas that I will want to have more red and more yellow. I'm keeping that in consideration as well and we're just going to block things in at this point. If you keep your paint more transparent here, meaning it has more water, the benefit of that will be that you can still see your sketch underneath. I'm looking at my reference and I'm thinking about value. I'm also thinking about as we said before, those subtle shifts in color. Just blocking in some areas that are not necessarily super highlights, but that they are so relatively warm. That's my goal at this point and then thinking, what does this need more of before I make my next color? I've added a tiny bit of red to that mix and I can start to add values that are a bit more red, if you cover something else up, that's totally fine. Lots of red over here near this cheekbone and we'll put a bit on the tip of the nose as well. Like I said, you can think of this initial layer, just this laying in of loose color as something within the realm of making notes for yourself about how you might want the piece to look as we progress. One thing I really love to do with wash portraits is to keep the ear relatively red unlike lots of red in the ears. That's just a personal preference of mine with ears and also around the eyes, it adds a lot of emotion when you can keep some red in those areas. I also tend to find myself very prone to forgetting to paint the lips at all. Oftentimes when I'm getting started my lips will have nothing on them at all for a very long time and then I'll think, later on, I guess I should probably put some color on the lips. I think we need to get into some of that green I was telling you about before. You're going to notice that it's not a super green color. I'm mixing it right here, just with bits of yellow and bits of brown. It's just going to read as more green than the colors we've put down so far and that's really the goal. I'm also using this as a shadow color, which is very important to note. In some areas that shadow is going to look darker than in other areas. It looks pretty dark when I place it up here around the eyes. But when I get closer to the bottom where I had already established some darker colors, it doesn't quite read this dark. I'm actually going to mix that something a bit darker just pulling bits of color, keeping it around the edge of my mixture. If I was to put this on as it is right now, this color right here would be fairly saturated and could be pretty distracting. Let me show you what I mean just by doing it. If I was to just drop that in there. It's definitely very green, because it's so dark, it's actually not too bad. I may even just leave it for a little while, I like that. Yes, definitely much more green than the other colors we had been using. To deepen and contrast the rest of the shadow. Red and green are complimentary colors, which means obviously they complement each other very well when placed next to each other. But when mixed, they neutralize one another. By mixing my red and my green, I'm getting this nice desaturated brown, which is going to get me a deeper tone for some of my shadow areas. I can leave that in darker spots. Since I've got this dark color on my brush, I may go in and place that in some of my darker areas. This is when I will definitely feel that I'm using a brush a little bit too large for the job, but that's okay. We'll also block in some approximate eyebrow shapes here. Those are obviously not going to be the final shapes we'll use. But we'll get them in there. Oh boy, that one eyebrow trying to get away, isn't that? I have to make some decisions about this edge of the face here. As in our reference, there is a hand there. That's going to be something that's a little bit up to our imagination as to what that's going to look like. But already we've got some really nice color forming. What generally tends to happen with me is, at this point I'm seeing some areas that I'm leaving white that I want to cover so that I can focus in on smaller areas. I need to make decisions about the tone of some of the lighter areas. Making good progress so far and it's only been a few minutes. A big part of that has to do with starting with a large brush right away. In thinking about my highlights, one of the first things you can do obviously is just start adding white. What I'm going to do is just add white to an area we already have and lay something in and see what we've got. You can see this looks relatively gray in comparison to our other very warm colors. That's just because light has a natural cooling effects on other colors. It's naturally going to make things cooler and closer to blue. I'll end up covering a lot of that. Even this is warmer but still not super warm, it can look a bit dirty. One thing that you don't want to do which I may or may not be doing right now is if you know a color is wrong, if you know that it's not what you want and not necessarily, it's not even part of your note-taking process where you're just laying things and to get started, that's one thing and that's fine. But if you're not doing that and you're just laying in a color and you know, it's not right, don't put it there. If you already know that it's not what you want and it's not helping you get closer to what you want, it may be a good idea to just spend the extra time mixing and getting closer to what you do want. Right now, I'm looking for an earthier red that's slightly darker for the edges of our nose here. I don't want to lose the crease of the eyebrow. Yeah. Now I'm getting very close to feeling as though my brush is too big, as I've covered a lot of the area and using a brushless size is very soon just going to start getting in my way. Now is when I want to start thinking about switching to a smaller brush or just about there, for sure. I'm mixing in a bit more red, a bit more brown. Of course as you add more paint, you're probably going to want to add more water because your paint is going to slowly be drying. I like how we've established some blocky shapes here. But I see some form is starting to get lost. I think it's time to switch to a smaller brush and reestablish some of the form. I don't want to switch to something too small at this point so I'm actually just using a relatively large round brush. I would love to tell you what size this is but it's a bit worn down and doesn't have much. Just for reference, this is a size either six or eight next to it here. You can see it's still a relatively large round brush. I'm switching to this now so that I can establish some landmarks. Now that we've got some basic structure in, the color that I'm mixing now is my combination of blue and brown. I'm going for something very dark because our cerulean blue is so close to green. I may even need a bit of red to tone the color down and get it nice and deep. Almost like we're mixing them purple with brown instead of just blue with brown, which is essentially what's happening here. I'm going to go in and establish the eyes so that they don't start to drift as I build them. I want to keep those dark landmarks in place. We've got some darkness in there for our eyes. Again, I like to take advantage of a color while I'm using it. I'm also going to use this for some of the darkest values of the hair. Around the bottom where the hair curves down and away from the light if you think of that as one big sort of orb shape, we can get some of that darkness in there. Perhaps some even down under our chin where we've started to lose the chin shape. We can redefine that a bit with something a bit darker. Like I said, details seem to sort of disappear in shadows. We don't want to have too many harsh lines down here for our shadow value. Taking a wet, clean brush, I'll just blend that in just a bit. This can be, of course, a good opportunity to redefine some of our features. As we're getting into a little bit more of the details now, I find that the most important things to do once you've blocked in color is to get those landmarks in as soon as you can so that your features don't just get lost. I'm thinking about the curve of the nodes here trying to keep hold of that. It's okay, we can go in and work out the details. In a future step, you'll notice that I made this eye shape very, this darkness is very thick. Part of my purpose for that is that I want to enlarge the eye overall. Again, that's me making a note to myself that I noticed that I was led allowing the eye to get a little bit small, that one in particular. When I come back to it, I'm going to want to make it darker. My eyebrows may stay very similar to what they are now when the piece is finished. I may not do too much more to them as I don't want them to necessarily be a major focal point but I want them to be there. Again, still just using this dark color because I have it on my brush. A lot of those notes that we made for ourselves in the early stages were really helpful in making. Now we're starting to go into slightly more detailed work. We can do that comfortably and without fear. It's almost thinking about it from low resolution to high resolution which is an analogy I heard an artist make recently. I really love that idea. We're asserting, if you were to squint at your painting, and you can only see some of the details, you can only see the larger chunks of value, what would it look like? The things you would see when you squint, would be the dark areas and the light areas. Once you can get some of those values in, you can get them established. Then you can squint a little less or move a little closer or up that resolution and see the details a little bit more clearly. One thing I don't want to make the mistake of is doing all of the facial structure and ignoring the background, and needing to do that later, which could prove a problem if we encroach on some of our other areas. I don't want to do too many details now only to need to paint over them later. With our background, if we look at our larger reference photo, there's a lot of darkness that contrasts the lighter skin. But then also up here there are some lighter values that contrasts the darkness of the hair. I think I'm going to play with the background color and make it different from what we see here but keeping those fundamental aspects of value. Darker values down here at the bottom to contrast the skin with something lighter up around the top to contrast the hair perhaps with leaving a little bit of wiggle room for this halo effect. We want some contrast there with maybe a little bit darker around the edge of the hair for the background but still something, some bits of lightness to contrast the overall darkness. We should get something down in here for the shirt area as well which is going to be very loose and not super defined. 12. Color Portrait - part 2: With our foundations in place, we're ready to add some style with our background and some fun details. The color I have on my brush right now is a mixture of yellow ocher, a tiny bit of cerulean blue and lots of white. I'm just curious about how this would look on our background and just by placing that on the corner, I feel that it's very similar to our skin tones. If I add a little more blue, it becomes a tiny bit green and what I'm feeling overall is that these two colors are very similar to some of the colors I have in the skin. Now, if I want to keep things super cohesive, that's totally fine. I can play with that color mixture just as is. But I do want to try something a little different, which is starting with white, adding a little bit of blue and getting something a little bit cleaner. Playing with something that will contrast our background and playing with something that will contrast our facial features a little bit more and the colors in the skin. As you know at this point, I have used up almost all of my fresh whitewash, I have some dried white underneath it that I'm just pulling from, but it doesn't take long to go through a whitewash, which is why it's something that I always like to have a larger tube of when I can. I want to get some more of that clean cerulean blue mixed in with lots of white, so I can have something that actually has less yellow in it somewhere. Having something too similar to our skin tones would just cause that to blend right in. I do want to keep, of course, my values in mind and think about whether I want the background to be lighter or darker than the skin. As I said, I wanted it to be darker in the area closer to the skin and then lighter in some spots near the hair. By adding this darker bluish mixture down here at the base, I can then just add white or even just add water to this color near the top to contrast the hair. That Brown is still going to be darker than the color we had. At this point in the painting I want to focus more on the eyes. I've left them relatively unpainted so far, but I don't want them to stay that way. Because the eyes are going to be a big focal point for the painting. I want to get some detail in on them now. What I am doing now, is I'm mixing a relatively light color for the whites of the eyes. I want that to be a bit cool. It's got quite a bit of blue in it, but I don't want it to be blue like our background, it's also got a little bit of red in it to change the hue of the color. A common mistake that is made when people are painting eyes is that they will make the white of the eye too white and sometimes doing that can actually mess you up. Because then when you go to put in the highlights, there's not enough contrast between the highlight and the rest of the eye. I'm not using a pure white here. I'm laying in a slightly grayish blue color and it's always okay to go over spaces if I want to change the shapes of things. Got a very neutral color of our blue and brown mixed in together right now and I'm going to just get us this really dark color in. Just because at this point I need to gauge the shape of the iris and the pupil as a whole before I try to differentiate between the two. Just like with our larger overall painting, we wanted to get the larger chunks in first and then work on the details. We're doing the same thing here, just in a smaller area, getting those larger chunks in first and then we can go in and work on the details. Once we are sure that those pieces are right and already I am much happier with this. The eyes, because I want them to be a focal point, they are often a nice place to add pops of color and my favorite color to pop into eyes is definitely red. I think it can add a lot of emotion to pieces. I tend to, in the corners of the eyes, add a bit more red. I'm going to lighten the bottom of the white of the eye and leave the top a little bit darker just to show that there is some shadow created by the eyelid. In observing the differences between my two eyes, I can see that this eye curves down a little bit more in the corner and I want to keep that edge nice and high. If you're going to be painting over previous color like I'm doing here, you want to make sure you keep your paint relatively thick and not too wet. You may have to do a couple of layers especially if you are covering up a darker color with a lighter color. But if you keep your paint a little bit thicker as opposed to watery, it won't reactivate your paint nearly as much. We've got a nice flat color in now for our eyes and I'm going to experiment with something really green, but something that should be relatively light, just to pop in a lighter value at the bottom of the iris. Down here like that. This can add a lot of light and life to your eyes pretty simply and then with a wet, clean brush, I can blend that in. As you can see, I did maintain a dark ring rarely around the outside of the eye and this iris is a little too small. I want to add an even lighter value in the light of my eye and I really love gradually building up to lighter values like this and I have to be careful of whether or not this paint is still wet. Because if I'm adding just more of color to wet paint, it's going to blend together, which I may want, or it may just muddy my colors. I have to be very mindful of when I'm adding my paint. As you can see in just a couple short minutes, our eyes are much livelier than they were before we started. I often times end up jumping back and forth at this stage to fix mistakes as I make them. At this point, we're going to be working on a couple really simple objectives. It may look like I'm jumping around a lot, but I'm focusing on just a few things. First, I wanted to add a little bit more color variety. I went in and added a little bit more red to balance out all of the yellows and browns that we're in the face. After that, I wanted to reclaim and reestablish some of the lighter values and those lighter planes, the areas of the face that are going to be facing upwards a bit more and catching some more of the light, like the cheekbones and the brow bone, the top of the lip. I wanted to make those lighter so that the planes of the face stand out a bit more and we're giving more dimension and form to our portrait. Once I've got those lighter values in, I can build that contrast even more by going back and establishing some darker areas. Again, I'm really just working on subtle shifts in color variety and building up our contrast to make that structure even more solid. I'm also going back in and filling in some areas that I had previously allowed to be a bit more transparent, some areas where I may have just been laying in lighter washes, I'm going back in now to increase the overall opacity so that everything is uniform throughout the piece. At this point in our painting, we're at a stage where we could very easily get a bit lost. There's a lot of structure that's already defined here. If we look at a picture of our painting in grayscale currently, we'll see that there's actually not a ton of value variation. We have some clear spots that are a bit darker. Even though we have several different shades going on in the base, our values overall are relatively flat and our reference photo is also relatively flat, as far as value. So I'm not too worried about that. But there are some changes we can make to just bring everything together as we hopefully come into the stages of finishing up this portrait. One thing that I think is going to be very helpful in getting us there, isn't having one area that has the full value range. Well, before we waited until the very last step to add the highlights to our eyes, I'm actually going to go ahead and do that now. I have an area of my face that has the full range of values. Our eyes are going to have the darkest value and we'll drop a highlight in, so that it will also have a lightest value. Then we can just bring everything in line with that range. For me currently, it actually has been a few days since I did the first sections of this painting. I'm actually working with reactivated gouache today. If you're looking for something really opaque and would be easy is to use consistency on a fresh day, you can always squeeze out fresh paint. I'm just going to drop in a highlight up at the top of the eye, right there. That's really helpful for just gauging where we're at and where we want to be and I'm going to drop this light color very gently down at the bottom of the eye. What this helps to do is to keep the eye spherical. As the eyeball curves back in space towards the top, it gets darker as it disappears behind the eyelid. Now, we have lots of range within there. I just want to work on making sure that the values in the other areas are very clear. At this point, I sometimes also like to, it may seem a little counter-intuitive, but I tend to start to ignore my reference photo a little bit. What I mean by that is, this is the stage where I want to allow for room for some creative interpretation. What I'm going to be doing is, I'm just going to start focusing a bit on what I want to communicate with this piece. If there's some specific atmosphere that I feel that I would like this piece to share and to communicate, this is the time to do that. Also, to get some cooler colors in, we've got some very warm values currently. I think that contrasting that a bit with something a bit cooler could be really helpful. This color is a grayish color, but it has much more of a surly and blue in it and I want this to be a dark value. When you're introducing a new color in your pieces, one of the best things you can do is to make sure that, that color exists in more than one spot. It can seem really out of place when you have a color, you bring it in and it only goes in one place. When I'm working on a portrait, there are very few instances where I will add a straight, fully saturated color without mixing it with anything else. Usually that's a really easy way to mess things up, if you have too much saturation all over the place, your colors won't work with one another. For me, the exception to that is usually one accent color. One color that I specifically choose to allow to be much more saturated. Nine times out of 10, that color is red, for me. Especially when working with portraits, red can often signify warmth to the skin in area with higher blood flow. I feel like it's a color that does a great job of just adding more emotion to pieces. I've got my brush a little bit wet here and I'm softening some of these edges. I'm doing that a bit selectively because I do want the red to stand out. But I don't want it to be distracting in some areas. But I do want this red to be a combination of hard edges and soft edges. There will be some spots where I will soften that out, and in other spots I'll just leave it nice and crisp. I love when redness blends up into the eye as well. There we go. Another thing I'm really missing in this piece are some very light values in the skin. I feel that the skin, even our lighter areas they got a bit grayed out. I'm going to try to add some warmth to the highlights of the skin, with just white and a touch of yellow ocher. Try to keep that color as clean as I can. It should also remain relatively opaque. If this color gets too watery, it's just going to reactivate the layers underneath. I'm laying this down, it feels still pretty watery. But we're going to start here and if the result is that we need to layer on some more color on top of this, that's fine. I'm just trying to pull some of my highlights back out on the skin, and there's a lot of light areas in this particular example. I've got a very rich brown on my brush right now that I'm just testing out, it's the color that primarily up to this point has been reserved a bit more for the hair. I may want to use it to add some warmth to our face. You can decide as the artist, how much you want to think on your paper, or if you want to make those decisions prior to painting. Choosing to think on your paper, which is something that I'm doing a bit here, like just laying down a color and then deciding how I feel about it. The danger with doing something like that, of course, is that if you think about something and then you change your mind, for example, then you are responsible for changing your colors. It can be a lot of back and forth in that way. I'm also at this point doing a lot of squinting at my paper to gauge the values and see the areas that are darker, see the larger shapes a little bit better. I think I'm going to soften this edge a bit. 13. Color Portrait - part 3: We are almost there. Let's add some finishing touches. Now that the face is looking pretty much how we wanted to it's time to work on the hair. The face overall has a lot of large, smoother shapes so I wanted the hair to contrast that. I wanted deeper values, darker overall and I also wanted to add some texture that would contrast the face while being less detailed because I want the eyes and the face to be the focal point of our piece. I want the hair to be interesting and have a lot of movement and a lot of texture to it but I don't want it to be so detailed that it distracts from our face. I'm feeling as though finalizing some color for the hair is going to help me to know what I need to do to finish off the rest of the painting. One thing I really like about this flat brush that I'm using is it's actually a little bit free that's not in the best condition. When I apply it straight to my paper like this, it gives me a bit more texture and will work really nicely for this hair. I do really like that, that we've got some nice contrast between the hair and the backgrounds here. Our hair shape is getting away from us a little bit. I'm really interested in whether I will have the contrast necessary to add a bit of a glow, a ring around the edges of the hair. In theory, it's something that I would really like to do. But what I need then is for the areas around whatever that highlight is to be very light, for example, like down here, I would need this to contrast very well both the hair and the background and the same would have to be for wherever else I choose to place this lighter value. I'm observing at this point to see if there's anything that I have lost while I've been painting any values that could have been better preserved than I would like to bring back. I'm mixing up a deep dark brownish purple to regain some of my darker values specifically like the crease of the eye here. This can really help to sharpen everything up just by redefining those lights and darks, cleaning up any messy edges and this is feeling much better already. Again, as this purple is a new color that we're introducing, I don't want to put it in just one place. I'm going to make sure it exists in several pieces throughout the painting and purple as a dark shadow value for darker skin tones is actually really nice. It adds a warmth to the shadows without making them look a bit dirty or ashy, especially when you keep lots of red in your purple. Then I want to get a nice, relatively warm highlight to show some reflective light. Hi mom. Hi buddy what's up? Making a book. Oh, okay. Are you going to read? Mom would you like to come down here and read with me? I can't right now buddy, but I will read that book with you today. You can go look at it. I love you. I love you Looking at our portrait in black and white now, I'm much happier with the range of values and I feel like it's a bit more balanced than it had been. You really just have to decide at what point you are going to stop fiddling. Because I know that I could continue to fiddle with this piece and make changes and make adjustments. It will keep changing. It's not that I won't change anything if I keep fiddling. But I could also take it away from a place that I may have really liked without even really realizing it. I like that we've got a bit of the shifting plane here from the forehead, which is facing up towards the light, and then curves down here with the brow bone away from the light a bit and gets a bit darker. We can add a bit of a transitional color between there and then coming back up into our light area. Because this is a curving shadow, I want this edge to be a little bit softer and not quite as harsh of a curve. Wet brush on your gouache, there we go. Add a little bit of warmth to this transition as it curves back towards the light as well. You can see I can pull that light value right up into there. When I want to move paint around like this, I have to be very mindful of the amount of water that's on my brush as that's going to determine how much I'm moving paint and how much I'm reactivating previous layers. We're just about there. I have put off painting the clothing area here as I've been unsure what color to make that. I don't necessarily recommend leaving an entire section of your painting and wait until the very end. That was also something I forgot about. What I'm going to do is I'm going to drop in an experimental color and if I decide I want to cover it up later, I'll just cover it up. But I was thinking about experimenting with something complementary to our bluish color and making this orange. It's important to remember that our clothing is not the focal point of the piece. It can accent and complement the piece as a whole, but it doesn't have to be as detailed as the rest because that's not really the intention. But again, if you establish something like this sooner than I am basically at the end, it can help to give you a better understanding of the atmosphere of your painting. I feel like complimentary colors are very friendly and when you place them together, they just want to work nicely and help each other to shine and it gives that friendly, happy atmosphere to a painting as long as they don't mixed too much because then it gets muddy and less nice. I can also decide if I want to leave this as a solid color or if I want to add a bit of shadow value, something nice and subtle to our clothing. What I did now is I've just actually mixed our orange with some cerulean blue and because those colors are complimentary like I said, they neutralize one another. These values are going to be bit grayer. Usually the last thing I asked myself with a painting is if there are any more highlights, I want to pull out, any areas that got a little dark that I might want to lighten up. I'm going to the inside corners of the eyes with something slightly lighter. Remembering that the eyelids are facing up towards the light as is the bridge of the nose curves up a bit. I don't want to add too much light to the underside of the face because I want the light to shine primarily onto the top of the head and then the whole bottom side of the head curves away from the light. Maybe something reflexive on this edge just for some dimension. A little bit of reflective light can be really helpful for just adding that touch of 3-dimensionality to a piece as long as it's properly contrasted with something darker. Another tip I might recommend while you're working on your portrait, if you feel something might be off I'm pretty happy with this one and even if this does reveal anything to me, it probably won't change it. You can take a picture of your painting and then flip it horizontally to see if there's any skew. For me I can see that there is a little bit of a tilt, a little bit of a shift. But when I flipped this either way, I'm pretty happy with how it looks in both directions. This jaw is obviously a little bit wider on this side, but we can also see more of this ear. I'm okay with how that looks. Can see the mouth pulls up a little bit here. Yeah, flipping that canvas horizontally can be really helpful for seeing if any of your proportions are getting skewed and I believe that brings us to the end of our color portrait. 14. Final Thoughts!: Hello again and congratulations on making it to the class. If you've been working on different exercises over the past couple of hours, I would love to see them. Please do share anything you've created over in the class project section. If you have any questions or comments, you can leave a review on this class or leave any comments or questions over in the community discussion section of the class. I hope you are feeling so much more confident when it comes to approaching gouache, when it comes to approaching portraits, and all the other things we have discussed. I can't thank you enough for joining me in this class and I'm so excited to see what you've created. See you in the next one.