Oh My Gouache: Introduction to Painting Portraits with Gouache | Ann Shen | Skillshare

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Oh My Gouache: Introduction to Painting Portraits with Gouache

teacher avatar Ann Shen, Illustrator & Author

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Drawing the Head


    • 5.

      Drawing the Eyes


    • 6.

      Drawing the Nose


    • 7.

      Drawing the Mouth


    • 8.

      Drawing the Hair


    • 9.

      Transferring Your Drawing


    • 10.

      Mixing Paint


    • 11.

      Painting the Base


    • 12.

      Painting the Details


    • 13.

      Painting the Hair


    • 14.

      Finishing Touches


    • 15.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to have your portrait painted? I'll teach you how to do it yourself! In this class, you'll learn how to paint a portrait in gouache.

Gouache is an opaque water-based paint that came into popularity in mid-century art. It's now seeing a resurgence due to its rich, matte colors and beautiful textures. I’ve spent over ten years painting portraits (and more!) in gouache, and I’m excited to share tips and secrets on how to work with this tricky but rewarding medium to create unique portraits that would make great gifts (even for yourself)!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • How to draw a simple face and create a likeness
  • Best brushes and materials to use for creating miniature portraits
  • The perfect consistency for the best gouache results
  • Mixing colors for skin tones
  • How to paint with gouache

This class is perfect for beginner to experienced artists alike who are interested in learning to draw and paint stylized portraits. I’ll go step by step to show you how to create a small portrait by using the techniques and tools you’ll learn in the class.

Even if you’ve never drawn a face or painted before, you’ll find simple and effective tips for improving whatever level you’re starting with. You’ll need watercolor paper, a set of water-media brushes, and a set of gouache paints.

Here's a link to the list of art supplies I recommend.

Follow me on Instagram for more of my work and peeks behind-the-scenes.

Check out my portfolio.

Subscribe to my newsletter!

Meet Your Teacher

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Ann Shen

Illustrator & Author

Top Teacher

Hi there! I'm Ann Shen and I'm an illustrator, author, and hand-letterer based in Los Angeles. I have a degree in Writing from UCSD and a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design. I've worked in the art and design industry for over ten years, taking the leap to work full time for myself in 2014. My artwork has been on everything from doll packaging, digital stickers, book covers, editorial illustrations, calendars, theme parks and more for companies like Disney, Facebook, and HarperCollins.


I've written and illustrated three books: Bad Girls Throughout History, Legendary Ladies, and Nevertheless, She Wore It, all published by Chronicle Books. My work's been featured on Forbes, HelloGiggles, The Cut, and so much more.See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Ann Shen and I'm an author and illustrator based in Los Angeles. I written books like Bad Girls Throughout History, Legendary Ladies, and Nevertheless She Wore It, all published by Chronicle Books. I worked as an illustrator for 10 years on everything from theme park design to doll packaging to book covers editorial illustrations with clients like Disney, Adobe, and Facebook. I love painting with gouache and I love teaching people the joy of gouache and the tips and tricks it takes to take their skills to the next level. I also love helping people explore their creative abilities and helping them see what's possible with themselves. I get asked every single day for portrait commissions. While I can't take that on with my busy work schedule, I'm here to teach you how to paint your own portraits. With the skills you learn in this class, you'll be able to paint self-portraits and portraits of your loved ones from photographs that will make amazing gifts or to keep for yourself. I'll be teaching you the basics of how to draw a face and get a likeness and then paint with gouache so that you can find your own signature style. Why gouache? Well, it's my favorite medium because it's a water-based medium that's opaque, which means not see-through, so you can paint with it like acrylics or oils, but there's no downtime and waiting for it to dry. It dries nice and mull which gives it a nice, rich, beautiful color. While we're using gouache for this class, feel free to use acrylics or any other opaque paints you have on hand. This class is perfect for all levels, from beginners to more experienced painters who want to try their hand at gouache because I'll be going step-by-step on my process, so maybe you'll learn something new. By the end of the class, you'll have a self-portrait that you just painted in gouache. Isn't that exciting? Let's get started. 2. Class Project: Hi. Welcome to painting portraits in Gouache. Today's class project will be painting a four by six inch self-portrait. Why four by six inches? Because it's an easy-to-frame size, and it's a good manageable size for your first painting. Portraits are a great place to start because we all love drawing faces and we all love looking at people in art. We'll start with sketching the face, and I'll go over different ways to draw different features so that you can find your own unique style for approaching it. I'll also teach you the secrets to getting the likeness to a person's photo. Then we'll learn to mix colors and then the secret to the perfect consistency for painting with Gouache. Next, we'll paint the base and add in all the details that make a finished painting. By the end of the class, you will have completed a finished portrait painting. Isn't that exciting? Let's get started. 3. Materials: In this video, I'll cover the materials you'll need for this class. But first, a brief history on gouache. Gouache came into popularity in the 1950s with artists in the fields of advertising, illustration, children's books, and animation. Artists like Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, and the Provensens used gouache because it was matte, which meant it was non-reflective, and could be scanned or photographed easily to be reproduced. First, you'll need a sketchbook or drawing paper. Anything that you have will work. Then you'll need drawing tools. I like to have mechanical pencils, one colored one and one graphite one, because mechanical pencils always stay sharp. I also like to have an eraser of course. I like a skinny eraser because it gets into all the little details. This is a tough stick eraser, and then I just like a ballpoint pen for transferring, but we'll get into that more later. You'll also need some tracing paper and a ruler. Tracing paper is optional, but if you are using tracing paper, you'll need a pair of scissors. Now, the brushes you'll need to have on hand include just a small handful. I like just any type of watercolor brush, so I usually have a flat, a couple smaller flats, a couple double zero small brushes, two number 2 brushes, and a number 4 or 6 brush. Now you'll also need watercolor paper. I personally really like the Arches watercolor paper because it's already on a nice block that's already stretched for you, and I prefer hot press because it's smooth. But if you like cold press, that's a matter of preference. I also like to have a scratch piece, a watercolor paper or illustration board, so I could do test swatches of color on it when I'm painting. Now let's talk palettes. You can really use anything for a palette as long as it has a little bit of a wet. So I use anything from a simple ceramic plate to these very cheap plastic well dishes that you can get at any art supply store, to vintage egg plates which I personally like to collect to use as my paint palettes. Now let's talk paints. While you don't need all these colors to paint today, I just want to give you an overview of what would make up a good complete first set, and I'll tell you the ones you absolutely need to make some skin tones. You need a large tube, a permanent white. Everyone needs that in their kit. That's a must-have. Now, the paint skin tones I always have yellow ocher, burnt sienna, and burnt umber on-hand. Now, for a full set for anything I want to paint, I always have a warm and cool of every color. What I mean by that is for red, I have permanent rose and flame red. Permanent rose is a little cooler and bluer, and flame red is a little warmer and a little yellow here. With that, I also have an orange lake light. Then I have a primary yellow and brilliant yellow, a olive green and brilliant green, an ultramarine and a primary blue, a spectrum violet and a brilliant violet, and then of course an ivory black. With this set, you can pretty much paint anything. Since we're painting self portraits, you will need a well-lit photograph of yourself for reference. You'll also need a roll of paper towels for your paint brushes, a jar full of water, and a spray bottle filled with water. Now that you have all your materials, let's get started. Join me in the next video. 4. Drawing the Head: Hi, welcome back. In this video, I'm going to be teaching you how to draw the head shape because it is the foundation on which our entire face and hair are wrapped. To start, we're going to draw a four by six inch box on our piece of paper so that we know the frame in which we're drawing in. It doesn't have to be too perfect. To start, everyone's heads starts with a circle which makes up the bulk of your skull. No one draws a perfect circle. What I normally do is lightly sketch a ball circle shape until I get a pretty good shape that I'm happy with. Next, we're going to draw the jawline. The jawline really helps create a lightness because it helps define the shape of the face. You draw down from the ball, the sides of the face and the cheeks, and then the jawline. There are about five general shapes of faces that most people's heads fall into. It is round, square, oval, long, and heart-shaped. My face is generally heart-shaped because I have a chin that points out a little bit more. Once we have the head shape defined, we're going to draw the axis's in which all your features will fall on. First we'll do the vertical line, which is the one that goes down the middle of your face. It goes straight through the middle of your nose and the middle of your mouth. Then we're going to draw the one that your eyeline falls on. Your eyeline is actually in the middle of your head, not the top of your head like you would normally draw as a kid because your hairline actually takes up maybe the top of your head. The eyes fall in the middle of the head. I'm going to draw them about here, which is where my eyeline is in the photo. Always refer back to your photo a lot. That will help you. Now that we have these axis's defined, I'm going to erase a little bit of the ball guide that we had underneath just to not get confused. Now we have where the eyeline is, we're going to draw where the nose is. I'm going to show you proportionally how faces generally break up, but everybody's face is a little bit different. Always refer to your drawing This is just a guide to get you started for placement. Between the eye line and the chin, halfway between that is usually the bottom of the nose. Then halfway between the bottom of the nose and the chin is the center of the mouth. Some people, you could see their ears like their hairs is not covering their ears, like mine is. To draw your placement of your ear, it's usually where the eyeline is and where the bottom of the nose is. This will make more sense when we start drawing more. But as a guide, I'm just going to show you; this is where the eye is, this is where the nose is, this is where the mouth is. This is the chin. Now that we have your head drawn, let's draw a little bit of a neck. Some people have thinner necks, some people have thicker necks. I mean, some people have necks hidden by their hair. You just draw a general shape and then we'll define it more as we work on the painting. Now that we've drawn the general head shape in, let's move on to the next video where I'll show you how to draw the eyebrows and eyes. 5. Drawing the Eyes: Eyes are the windows of the soul, and that's because eyebrows and eyes are the most expressive parts of the face. In this video, I'm going to teaching how to draw the eyebrows and the eyes from your reference photo. All eyes start with, again, a ball, a circle because that's your eyeball, and then the eye shape is drawn with the eyelids that go over the ball. So that's why there's a little curve on top because you have to imagine it going over a three-dimensional ball. Now everyone's eye shape is different, so pay attention to your reference photo to see what type of eye they have. There all sorts of beautiful eyes you can draw. There round eyes, almond-shaped eyes, monolid eyes, hooded eyes, it goes on and on. Now that you've drawn the eyelid, some people have a little bit of a crease, some people have a beautiful monolid, some people have a hooded lid. But you want to indicate a little bit of the top lid. Now once you've drawn the lids, we're going to draw the iris. The iris is bigger generally than the eyelids, so you only see part of the circle. Then on people with layer eyes, you usually can see the dark pupil, which also is a little bit covered by the eyelid. Then we'll add a little white sparkle touch. Now I always like to add a lot of eyelashes, especially when I'm drawing women or feminine identifying people because that's just my style. I love eyelashes. There's also bottom eyelashes that you can add to add a little bit more flair, but that's up to you. That's a stylistic choice. Now this is a more realistic eye. There a lot of different ways you can draw eyes too. I also really like the dot eye when you're starting, and you would just place the dot eye where the eyes are in general and then maybe you'd add eyelashes or maybe you don't. It's up to you. This is again, a stylistic choice. You can change the style of the dot eye too. You could also do an oval dot eye, a dot eye with a slice in it like an old timey cartoon. That slice is meant to replicate this white sparkle. But again, that's up to you. I'm going to draw a more realistic eye just to show you from my reference. Imagine there's an eye in-between the two eyes and that's generally where the placement of the eye is. Of course, some people's eyes are a little wider and some people's eyes are a little closer together. That's when you want to really look at your reference so that you make sure you get the likeness of the person that you're painting. I usually start with the top eyelid and the center is where the eyeline is, and that's where I'll draw the iris. Then the bottom eyelid, to get a smiling face, you want the bottom eyelid to curve up a little bit. When your eyelid's like this, it curves up a little bit and that indicates a little bit of a smile because your cheek is going up and pushing the eyelid up a little bit into the eye. Trying lots of eyelashes because I love eyelashes, and that's the eye. Now eyebrows are really fun part to draw because they're actually very expressive and give you a lot of the expression of the face as well. Eyebrows are also fun because they're indicative of the time era. If you're drawing someone in a '20 style, they might have a really thin, long drawn out brow, and then if you're drawing someone in the '70s, they might have a really bushy natural brow. It's funny how eyebrows change with style. Now to draw an eyebrow, the inside of the eye where I usually starts where the inner corner of the eye is and then it ends extending past. If you took your eye, if there was a straight line from the corner of your nose to the corner of your eye, that's where the end of the eyebrow is. Draw a little arc to match your reference photo and do that again here. The beginning of the eyebrow starts where the corner of the eye is and then the end of the eyebrows goes in a diagonal line from the outer corner of the eye. Draw little arch and then again, just match what your reference photo is. Now when eyebrows are a little more open like this, that's when you have a smile. Eyebrows can also be far out or raised, be more playful or way raised in surprise. Play around the eyebrows to get the kind of expression that you like. Now that we finished the eye, let's move on to the nose. 6. Drawing the Nose: In this video, I'll be teaching you the tips and tricks from drawing a nose. Now, noses are hard because they're actually coming towards you in space. So instead of drawing the nose, we're going to be drawing the shadows of the nose. That's the trick, to actually drawing a nose in a portrait. What I mean by that is the shadow is underneath and nose, that define the bottom of the nose. The nostrils, little bit of the foot of the nostrils and the sides of the nose. Now, some people have wider noses, some people have narrow noses and people have high noses. Again, that shadow can indicate how high. If you have a high nose, you probably have more of a shadow underneath. Then if you have a wider nose like I do, you'll have shadows on the sides of your nostrils that are a little wider. I also like to draw a little bit of a shadow, on top of the bridge of the nose, to indicate where the top or button of the nose is. Anything that just adds a little cuteness to it. Now that you've learned the secret to drawing a nose, let's move on to the last part of the face, the mouth. 7. Drawing the Mouth: Now we're going to draw the mouth, which is the second most expressive part of the face and one of the keys to getting a likeness to your photograph. The mouth is actually broken down into several parts. We're going to start by breaking down the anatomy of the mouth to draw the top lip, you usually start again with a little ball, which is the middle of your lip. Then you'll have each side of the lip come up. Usually there's a little tip for cupid's bow not everyone has one though, of course. Let me draw the other side and it comes down and then there's a little bit of a dip in the middle of the lip. Then the bottom lip, you build out from there, and there's usually a fullness in the middle as well. That's a general shape of a mouth that's closed. Now you'll look at your reference photo to look at the type and shape of the mouth of the person that you're drawing or yourself in this self-portrait project. When you're smiling, your top lip thins out because it's stretched out. One of the most common mistakes people make is drawing the mouth too far from the nose. The fulcrum, which is the space, the little dip between your nose and your mouth, is actually not that long. Just watch that wire painting. But I'm drawing a little bit of an open mouth because I'm showing teeth here then drawing the bottom. I think this is actually too high so I'm going to go back in with my tiny eraser, erase it back down, and draw back up again. There you have it. That's well. There are a lot of different ways that you can draw the mouth. You can draw it closed for a more sophisticated, serious look like in old timey portraits. You can draw it a smiley mouth because it's very friendly. It really depends on how you want to portray the personality of the person that you're painting. Now that we've drawn them out, let's move on to my favorite part, the hair. 8. Drawing the Hair: In this video, I'm going to teach you how to draw hair. Hair is one of my favorite things to draw because it is one of the things that people use to express their personalities. Now, the secret to drawing hair is not to draw it strand by strand, but to actually draw the shape of the hair first. We're going to start with, again, using a reference photo, almost like you're outlining the shape of it to get the big shape of the hair. Now the hair sometimes covers the neck and you want that because that looks like the hair is actually on your head. Now that you've drawn the outside, you want to go in and define a little bit of the inside of the hair width little hairs where your hairline is. I use these little hairs actually to define where the hair is on the head instead of a straight line because it looks more natural. I like to exaggerate the hair because it's a drawing. When you exaggerate it and make it more full or bigger, it just looks more fun in a drawing. It looks less stiff, too. That's also your way and making it your own versus having it look like an exact reproduction of the photo. With the hair on, I also like to draw in the color at this point because we're filling in all the details. There you have it. There. Maybe in the next video we were going to start our painting. 9. Transferring Your Drawing: In this video, I'm going to show you how to transfer your sketch onto your watercolor paper. First, you'll take your watercolor paper and draw a four by six rectangle on it. I like to make little marks to show where the measurements are just so it makes it easier for myself when I am measuring. Now that you have the four by six on here, you will take your sketch and place it over your watercolor paper so that the squares line up. Next, you're going to take your transfer paper. Again, and you can find this at any art supply store. I would actually recommend getting the red one because sometimes it'll lift up a little bit into the paint and with red, it's less noticeable. I have the graphite one because that's what I have on hand, and I'm just going to use what I have on hand. Now you'll cut a small length of the transfer paper enough to cover your sketch. I already printed that. You'll place your transfer paper between where you lined up your drawing in your watercolor paper. Now I usually press down on one side so that the watercolor paper and the sketch don't move. Then you'll slide the transfer paper with the transfer stuff side down and slide it between your drawing and your watercolor paper. If you don't have transfer paper, you can also just color in the back of your sketch with graphite so that you can just draw over your drawing and transfer the graphite on to there. Or you can also just copy your drawing over to your watercolor paper. Or you could take a photo of your sketch, lower the opacity in Photoshop, and print it out on your printer. There are a lot of different ways you can transfer your drawings. Now back to the transfer paper way. I take a ballpoint pen because you want something that you can press down hard on to transfer the paper over, but not too hard that you engrave the watercolor paper underneath. So it's a fine, happy medium [inaudible]. You'll just simply transfer over by tracing over your sketch to transfer your drawing onto the watercolor paper. Now you have a rough transfer of your sketch onto your watercolor paper. Now let's move on to our next step and play with our paints. 10. Mixing Paint: Now that you finished transferring over your sketch, we're going to actually get to play with paints. Now the first part we're going to do is mixing skin tones. Skin tones can be tricky because there so many beautiful varieties of skin tones. But I'm going to teach you how to break it down a little bit to make it a little simpler for yourself. Now the thing to pay attention to is the undertone of the skin. Most people either have a golden or warmer undertone or a cooler undertone. Some people have also a neutral undertone. Again, you really want to pay attention to the reference photo you have to help identify that for you. Looking at my reference photo, I can tell that and also because I'm doing a self-portrait, I know that I have more of a golden undertone. So that means warmer colors. Now to start with mixing skin tone, I always start with a base of permanent white just because it is the base upon which we will build on and what all color pigments actually are mixed in with. Then I'll start with a burnt sienna, which is a good skin tone range to start with. A little warmer, but it is still neutral enough. Sometimes you may have a hard time opening your gouache, I use my paper towel to help. But I'll squeeze out just a little bit. You'll notice that I squeezed out a tone more of the white than I do of the color because the color payoff is really nice with gouache and you don't need a lot to get a lot of pigment. I'll take my number 6 brush and dip it in the water to get a little bit wet because the color right out of the tube is a little bit on the thicker side. So you want a little bit of water to thin it down. I like to add color to white because then you can see what color. You can mix it and control a little bit more slowly. If you add white to color, the color just eats it up. Now the trick with mixing gouache is making sure that there's enough water but not too much water. The perfect consistency for painting with gouache is heavy cream. So you always want to add a little bit of water as you're mixing, but never too much because you'll thin it out too much and it won't be opaque anymore. Can always add more but it's hard to take some out. Now I'm getting a peachier color right now. Another thing to remember with gouache is that, generally it dries darker than it looks when it's wet. So to keep that in mind, I always have a piece of watercolor scratch paper on the side to do swatches on. Now you can already see it's actually quite pink and quite rosy and darker than what it looks like when it's wet there. Because my undertone has a little bit more golden, I'm going to add a little bit of yellow ocher. But if you have a skin tone that's got a cooler undertone, I would add burnt umber because it's a cooler brown. I touch, just a touch of yellow ocher. Adding a drop in there. Now I have a little bit more of a golden color and I'm swatching it again to see what it looks like. I'm giving it a little time to dry so that I know what it will dry down to in its final color. It won't change color again after that, so you just want to see what it looks like when it's dry. To speed up the drying process, you can also grab a blow dryer or a hair dryer and then just blast a little bit. It'll take a second. I'm getting in the zone for the color I want. I might want to just darken a little bit, so I'm adding a touch more of the burnt sienna and a touch more of the yellow ocher. You can see I'm adding very, very small touches and it's already changing the color pretty dramatically. Also, when you're mixing up the skin tone, you want to make sure you mix up a lot of paint because it'll be hard to match this. It's always impossible to match a color again, I don't know why. We here. I'm happy with what that is and I'm adding another drop of water to get it more to the consistency of heavy cream now that I'm ready to paint with it. I want to also mention there a lot of different types of brush strokes that we can use. When I'm laying down the base, I like to paint and have it at the consistency of heavy cream, which is a little bit on the wetter side. You can see that lays down a nice, flat, opaque color. That'll dry nice and rich. Another technique that I use a lot is called dry brushing. With dry brushing, I'll just use this color that I'll mix up on the side as an example. We usually use dry brushing for contouring or shadows or anything you want to add a little texture to. With that, I don't add a drop of water and I actually brush off a little bit of the paint on my cloth or on my paper towel because I want it to have a dry brush. With that, with a really light touch you'll create more of a texture look because you're painting on just some other paper and that's creating that beautiful, fine texture look. If you don't have it on your paper towel, you can have a little bit more of a wet or dry brush, where you have the texture but it's darker. There different areas that you might want to use that with. Those are the two main techniques of brush work that we're going to use. Now let's start the actual painting. Join me in the next video. 11. Painting the Base: In this video, we're going to paint the base of the portrait. Think of it as the foundation on the face. We're going to take the skin tone that we've mixed, and my number 6 brush, and we've got that beautiful heavy cream consistency. We're going to paint in the head and the neck. If you find that consistency is a little thin, you could add a little more white into it, which will thicken it up. But then you'll also want to make sure to add a touch more of your colors, of your burnt sienna, or your yellow ocher, or your burnt umber, whatever you're using, then mix it all together again. It's just troubleshooting, you'll love troubleshooting as we go. These are all very common things that you'll stumble across as you are painting with wash. I'm going to test that sample paint again, that sample swatch. It looks like it could go a little bit darker. Add a little more burnt sienna. Now it looks better. Our consistency is heavy cream, and I'm going to paint a second layer over. Now, I'm happy with this because I can't see through the paint to the drawing underneath and that is the consistency we want for quash, where it's nice and opaque. Painting the neck as well, and that is our foundation. Don't forget the ears if you're painting ears. Now that we've painted the flat foundation, we're going to blend a little bit of shadow paint. To blend the shadow color on your face, you want to add a little bit more of the color that you've already been using, which is burnt sienna into the skin tone you're using. Then I'm going to add a touch of burnt umber because there are cooler tones in chateaus. I do a little touch of that, add it into the paint, again to the base skin tone paint. This is quite a bit darker, but I like that. You might not want as much of a huge contrast, so you can make some more of the base skin tone and that will give you a little bit less. It depends on what you're working with here. Now, I'm going to take that shadow color, again it dries darker, that's why I did the swatch there, and a smaller brush. This is the number 2 round brush. I'm going to draw back in my jaw line, just the bottom. I refer back to my sketch and my photo for reference. Then underneath, I'm going to paint a rounded shadow because the shadow is of my head and my chin, which casts around a shadow on my neck, which is also a round form. Now, I'm also going to take the shadow color and paint where the shadow of the nose went. It's a very, very light, maybe a downward arrow shape. Then a little bit for the nostrils, and then the side of the nostrils, and then the bridge of the nose. I'm also going to use the shadow color to paint in the top of the eyelids to give it a little more definition. This works whether or not you have a double eyelid or a monolid or a hooded lid. If you have a hooded lid, it might be a little bigger. If you have a double lid, it might be a little bigger and then a monolid might be a little smaller. Now that we've painted in the foundation base, we're going to work on the details in the next video. 12. Painting the Details: Now that you've had some practice with gouache, we're going to add the details. The first step is actually to contour the face with a little bit more a blush. To do that, I take my skin tone and a touch of flame red. Again, because I have more of a warm golden skin tone, I chose to use the red that is a warmer red. If you have a cooler skin tone, you might choose to use something like permanent rose, which is a cooler red. Now, I take my slanted flat brush, do a tiny corner, mix it in with my flesh tone, and again, everyone's flesh tone will be a different color. Then I test it here, that's a nice pink. I'm not adding water because I want to do a dry brush technique with this. Again, to do the dry brush, I'm going to load my brush up with color and then brush a little bit off on my paper towels. Then I'm going to with a light touch, go over my cheek area, a little bit over the nose too. You're basically blending it. At first, it won't really look like much, but when it dries, it will really show up. You don't want to be too heavy handed with it because then it'll get really dark. We're going to set aside our skin tone paint. But before I do that, I'm going to just add a little spurts of water to it to keep it nice and wet because gouache does dry pretty quickly. Now I'm going to take my next palate, it's always good to have a couple pallets on hand. For the details, I like to use a pallet with wells so that I can keep the colors nice and separate and mix a lot in each one. I'm going to take my double zero brush, which is really easy to find. I actually get these from a beauty supply store and their nail or brushes. I just love how small and precise they are. We're going to move top-down in the face as we're going step-by-step to paint it in. My eyebrows are a bit darker, so I'm going to use a burnt umber. Now with this, I'm going to get a drop of water on my brush and then mix in the paint straight from the tube. Now, referring to my photo, sometimes I like to put my photo right next where I'm painting so I can just look over and then also I have my sketch nearby to see how I've stylized it. I start with filling in the eyebrows. I always do it hair by hair, like little tiny strokes, so it feels more like hair, which is what eyebrows are. Again, using a very light touch and small stroke. I paint in the general shape of the eyebrows. I like smaller strokes at the beginning of the eyebrows on the inside, so it looks like the eyebrows beginning instead of like a solid shape, so it's not as solid and harsh. But again, that's a stylistic choice, so you could do what feels right to you. I don't have too much water in my paint so that it's not too runny. There we have it, that's the eyebrows. Now I'm going to squeeze out some white for the eyes. Again using my double zero brush, put some brown in it. Always make sure your brush is very, very clean. Little fix, so I'm adding a couple drops of water with my brush. Now I'm going to paint in the eye. Clean my brush. Now, I'm going to paint in the iris. Now my eyes are brown, so I'm going to use the same burnt umber. But at this point, you might want to mix the color of your iris. I always want to make sure I have enough paint on my brush, but not too much so that my brush isn't thunky like this and I make sure that it's nice and loaded but still got its nice point and brush shape. Now I'm painting in the iris. You also want to make sure that both irises are looking at the same direction. I'm a little bit angled so they're looking a little bit to the left. They're looking a little bit off to the side. Now that I've painted the iris, I'm going to go back and I'm still going to use the burnt umber, but I might use a little more of a thicker brush umber, so it's a little darker than the thin burnt umber to draw in the top eyelid and eyelashes. I always like to start in the outer corner and then draw my way in. Again, I love to load to load up those eyelashes, but that's my thing. Then on the right, I like to just draw from the inside. I think I like to draw the way that I write, so it feels more natural to me. You want whatever feels more natural to your hands, so that you're more confidence with your brush stroke. The paint is starting to look a little to dry me, so I'm adding a dot of water, just a drop. Now, we're going to do the lower eyelid. Remember what I said about if it's flat or curved up a little bit, it looks more like you're smiling. There we have it. Those are the eyes. Now, if you have lighter eyes, I would add a dark brown just like a dot of it to pain in the pupil. That's an option. You could also just leave it the solid color of the iris if you want. It is a painting, so people know it's not going to look hyper-realistic. One thing I do like to add though, on every eye is a little bit of what I call the sparkle pass, where I just take a drop of the white paint and add a highlight on each eye. This really looks good on paintings because it makes the eye look like it's wet, because our eyeballs are wet. Now that we're done with the eye, we're going to move on to the nose to add a little bit more detail because before we just painted in the shadow. I'm going to take my skin tone color that I mixed. It's looking a little dry, so I'm going to add a spurts of water, and then I'm going to add a touch of the brunt umber into my skin tone over here, so it's a little darker than the shadow shade. Then I'm going to just add a little bit more definition. It's not looking dark enough so I'm going to add a little bit more the burnt umber, then add a little bit more definition to the nostrils to the bottom of the nose and then do the center of the nose. I'm doing it really thin just so it doesn't overshadow the shadow. This is also the point that I might add a little white to a lighter part of the skin tone to get a lighter than the skin tone color, to add a little bit of a highlight to the nose. That just makes it look a little more dimensional. It's optional. Everything is optional actually in this, it's all up to you how you want to paint. Now, we're going to move on to the mouth. Since I'm wearing red lipstick, I'm going to make my own custom red, that's more of a true read since I have a warmer red that is flame red, and a cooler red that is permanent reds. You could also just use a color shader out of the two if you want or if you're doing a more natural lip color, you could just add a touch of red into your skin tone color like this. If you're doing even more neutral, you could add a little more brunt umber or brunt sienna to create a more neutral lip like this. It's more neutral lip color, but I love a bright lip. For my portrait, I'm mixing my own custom red lipstick. You always want to be wiping off your brush because some water can be stored on the barrel of the brush, I guess. The worst thing would be just as you're painting, that water rolls down and drips onto your painting and leaves a big wet splotch. That's happened to me a lot. Watch out for that. I mixed a true red here that I'm happy with. At the consistency of heavy cream, I am going in and I'm painting the top lip, referring to my photo a lot and also to my drawing. Remember the top lip is thinner because it's stretched out more when you're smiling. Now that we have the lips, if you've ever painted a little like I did, don't worry about it. We're going to go back with our skin tone like a concealer and clean up the outside edges of the mouth. You do want to wait until it's dry because again, if you're painting wet on wet, it'll pick up the paint underneath, which is great if it's a technique you want to use when you're painting a gradient, but not for most of the time when you're painting a portrait. I picked up the skin tone color that I've used. I am going in and cleaning up the edges of the mouth. Especially, the corners, you want them to be too big unless they're bigger on your face. You just want to make sure everything is intentional. Now I'm picking up a little bit of the red because it's not totally dry, so I'm going to let it dry for a second. You can use your hand or a fan or a blow-dryer to dry it faster. Now we're going to go back. Painting in that top lip again. Paint in the red. If you pick up a little bit, just wipe it off. Make sure your brush is clean. Now I'm going to go back and actually touch up that top lip again because we are painting pretty small [inaudible]. I'm also going to clean my brush and pick up some white. I going to drop more water, so that it's a little bit more fluid and again, the consistency of heavy cream. Then I'm going to paint in my teeth. But maybe you have open mouth smile, you don't have worry about it. I'm going to add a little bit more red again on the mouth color just to clean up the edges. If you do have a closed mouth or if you just want to add a little bit more detail, I do like to add a little bit of the cooler, darker color, whatever lip color you're using to define the upper lip a little bit more because the upper lip is a little bit darker than the bottom lip because of the way that the lips are formed. There you have it, the details of the face. In our next video, we're going to paint the hair. 13. Painting the Hair: Hi, in this video, we're going to go over painting the hair. Again, we're going to start with mixing your hair color. Since I have black hair, I'm just going to go straight to ivory black in my paint box. But you want to look at the base tone of your hair. If you're painting someone with lighter brown hair or blonde hair, look at the darkest shade of blonde or brown that they have in their hair and mix that hair as the base hair tone, because we're going add highlights on top of that and strands of hair so you want something for it to pop out over. Now, I use heavy black for black hair because it's a nice, rich, black color. I'm taking my number 6 round brush, adding a drop of water on it, but not too much, so doesn't drip all over the place, and mixing up the paint that I just squeezed straight out of the two. It feels pretty good to me right now, like heavy cream-wise, the consistency of heavy cream. I'm going to dab that, water drop off, make sure your paint brush is always pretty dry so it's not going to drip water down onto your painting. I'm going to paint in the shape of the hair. I'm going to exaggerate the hair shape a bit, just because it makes it a little more fun and appealing. Then once you have the general shape in, I do like to go in with a bit more of a dry brush. A white buffalo paint to add a little hairs around the forehead that make it look more like hair that's attached to your head instead of a wig that you're wearing. Add a couple brush strokes for that hairline. Then I also like to add a couple dry brush strands so it doesn't look too much like a solid shape. You break it up and it looks more like hair, because just like real life, hair is better when it's a little messy and a little imperfect. Now we've painted in the base of the hair. We're going to add the highlights. Now from a black hair, I'm going to mix a burnt umber and a white to get a highlight because the highlights are a little bit more of a golden brown than they are a gray, which is what you would get if you added white to black. But if you're painting red hair, blue hair, pink hair, blonde hair, you might just add white to your base color so that you get a lighter version of the color that you're painting with like a highlight. Now I'm going to take my number 2 brush, a smaller brush, and mix a little bit of the burnt umber with a little bit of white to get light color. That's a little too light for me, so I'm going to add a little bit more burnt umber because again, we're doing a highlight on black, so it's not going to be that light. You could also do a blue highlight if you want to on black hair, that looks cool. Now, I'm going to take the two brush into little on the drier side because we are adding highlight on top of paint, so you don't want it to be too wet and reactivate the paint underneath. It's still heavy cream, but I like a thicker heavy cream, that makes sense. Now I'm going to add highlights where there are curls in the hair. Usually your reference photo will give you a good idea of where those highlights should go, and I don't mean highlights like the kind you put in your hair, mean, highlights in terms of where the light is hitting the hair. It doesn't look like a solid block hair, it actually is individual strands of hair. This is also where you can show off the texture of hair if you have natural hair or if you have curly hair, you could go even more dry brushy and give a little bit more of a curly textured look. I usually like to use two or three strokes to indicate the highlight, but that's really up to you. Sometimes I go highlight crazy and add a lot of highlights, because I think it's fun. Now this is also the place where you could add details into the hair that will express a person's personality. You could add a hat, a barrette, you could add a bow, you could add a flower in the hair, you can add a rhinestone barrette. There are a lot of things that you could add that really personalize the piece to the person that you're making it for, even if it's yourself. Now that I've finished painting up the hair, I'm just going to do the color of the shirt. You can actually do this before they hair too, if you'd like, it's really up to you. It's not a big deal which order you do it in. My sweater is pink, so I'm going to mix up a pink. It is a little bit of a cooler pink. I'm going to have a little bit more permanent rows in it than I have from red. I'll take the photo that I already had before, and then add it to the white. Because again, we like to add color to white because we can control it a little bit more. It's a little thick, so I'm going to add a little bit more water, and I didn't squeeze out enough white, so that's my bad, squeeze out enough white if you can, but if you don't, it's not a big deal. You can always just add a little bit more. Since it is a light color, you see the white makes more of an impact. I'm going to test this on my little swatch, and that feels a little cool. I'm going to add a little bit more of a warmer red, that was my true red actually. I'm going to add a little bit more of the flame red, which is my warmer red, which means it's a little bit more of an orangey red. I'm going to paint here, and that feels more true to the color. However, I think it's a little too dark now because remember, gouache dries darker. I'm going to start a new pallet or a new little well over here with more way. I'm not going to clean off this pink actually because the pink is the right tone, but I'm going to use that darker pink now for the sequence on my sweater that are a little darker. I'm just going to add that pink into the new white to mix up a new batch of color at a drop of water because it's pretty thick. It's pretty cool in terms of temperature of color. I'm going to add a touch more flame red to this. That gets me way more in the color realm that I want to be. Again, it's pretty thick and there's a lot of paint on there, so I'm actually going to use my spray bottle instead of adding drops with my paintbrush. That color's good. I'm going to take some paint off my brush because it's a little too thick to comfortably paint with, I want it to be heavy cream, and I want to still be able to see my brush so I can lay down a nice flat color and not have it be too build up to be too clunky. I'm going to paint in the color, and the sweater. Now, since this is a portrait and it's a little stylized, I actually just like to let it do a couple of dry brush strokes to feather off a little artistic flare. We'll have a little sweater here too. That's a way you can get artistic and creative with your brushstrokes. Clean up the color a little bit. Now I'm going to go in with my clean number 2 brush and touch the darker color. Here, I'm going to paint in the diamond pattern on my sweater because it's a sequence that's a little darker. Anytime you want something to sparkle, just paint a darker color underneath and then put a white or lighter version of that color on top and that'll look sparkle, I'll show you what I mean right now. I'm also going to use this darker color to indicate the knit color. I'm not using a ton of color variation in this because I want it to be pretty subtle so that the attention is still focused on the face. Now, to add that sparkle I mentioned, just get some white gouache on your brush. It's a little thick. I'm going to add a little spray of water. You want it thick but not dry thick. You still see the paintbrush, but it has a lot of white on it, and then you just go in and do this [inaudible] and add a couple little white dots to indicate that it's prickly, and there you have it. You finished your portrait. 14. Finishing Touches: Now that you've finished your painting, we're going to do a couple of finishing touches to wrap it all up. We're going to sign it, of course, and to do that, I take my double zero brush, my tiny brush, and I like to pick a coordinating color that I already used in the painting. So I'm going to use the pink that I used for my sweater. Now you add a touch more water to your paint so it flows more like ink. Again, making sure your paint brush doesn't have any water on it and that you can see the point of the brush. I'm going to sign it with my initials. I also like to date it with the year because it's fun to look back and see your progress. Now that you've signed it, you can take your watercolor paper and trim it down to the four by six inch size. If you're using little Arches Watercolor Block, you can use a palette knife or an exacto blade. Then at this little part here, you can lift the paper for the first page and separate the painting from the rest of the block. If you used just watercolor paper, like a single sheet, you don't have to worry about that. But then you can use scissors or a blade to trim the perimeter of your painting. Once you've trimmed your painting, you're ready to frame. Now we did four by six inches because it's a really easy to frame size in the US, you could do whatever size is standard in your country if it's slightly different. Now my favorite places to get frames in the US are places like Target, Ikea, flea markets, vintage stores, and antique malls, eBay, Etsy. Basically, I always keep an eye out for frames. Now to keep, wash safe and archival, you don't have to do much to it. You don't need a varnish it or spray fix it. You just need to keep it out of the direct sun because the color pigments are not all light fast, which means it won't fade in the sun. So just keep it out of the direct sun and keep it framed and you'll be in good shape. Now that you've finished, let's wrap up the class. 15. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you did it. We made it to the end and now you have a framed, beautiful self portrait. You learned the different ways to draw a face, and you've learned how to paint with Gouache. Congratulations, that's a big deal. Remember the more you practice, the better you get so practice drawing faces that you see in magazines, on TV and films, and online. I hope you'll use this new skill you learned to paint more portraits as gifts for loved ones or even for yourself for fun. Please share your self portraits in the project section below, I would really love to see them. Thank you so much for joining me for my first class. I hope you had as much fun as I did. See you soon.