Paint the Rainbow - How to Plan a Rainbow Watercolour Pet Portrait | Charlie Proulx | Skillshare

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Paint the Rainbow - How to Plan a Rainbow Watercolour Pet Portrait

teacher avatar Charlie Proulx, Watercolour and Textile Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Your Project


    • 3.

      Colours and Values


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Selecting Colours From a Tone


    • 6.

      Selecting a Primary Colour


    • 7.

      Selecting Colours for Maximum Contrast


    • 8.

      Painting the Lights


    • 9.

      Painting the Midtones


    • 10.

      Painting the Darks


    • 11.

      Painting the Final Details


    • 12.

      Wrapping Up


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About This Class

I've always loved maximizing colour in my pet portraits to really bring them to life. In this class, I'll share with you three easy ways I plan out my rainbow palette before I begin painting. I'll then walk you through my entire painting process for the most complex method.

Learn how to plan out your rainbow pet portraits for maximum impact and balance.

This class is for anyone who wants to paint rainbow animal portraits or explore painting with every colour in one piece. The painting demonstration assumes you have a basic knowledge of using watercolour, but the colour planning portion can be used with any medium.

You will learn:

  1. Three different techniques to plan out rainbow colour palettes for animals with complex colours.
  2. How to implement the most complex colour method on a tri-coloured dog.
  3. Lots of tips for how to separate colour areas while painting and how to build harmony with very diverse colours.

Meet Your Teacher

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Charlie Proulx

Watercolour and Textile Artist


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Hi there!

I'm Charlie, a watercolour and rug artists who specializes in colourful animal portraits. I also go by SquidTarts on social media and around the web. I absolutely love animals and color!

I'm a self-taught artist and have been a professional artist since 2019. I've sold prints of my paintings all over the world, and I currently sell custom rug portraits as well.

In a previous life, I was a dog trainer, and I absolutely loved teaching both dogs and their families how to communicate with each other clearly. I hope to bring that level of two-way communication to my classes here on Skillshare. Please feel free to reach out if you ever have any questions about my lessons or work.

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Welcome!: Have you been doing watercolor for a while and are looking for your next challenge, or maybe you're tired of using the palette that you've been using all along since you begin your journey and you're looking for something new to spice things up. This is the class for you. Hi there. I'm Charlie. I'm a watercolor and textile artists from Atlanta, Canada. And I specialize in rainbow colored animal portraits in this class. And I'll walk you through three ways that I select a color palette for rainbow themed animals, specifically for animals that have three or more colors on their bodies. So sneak a tiger and a tricolor dog will tell us how colors interact with each other to create new colors, as well as how putting one color next to another can completely change the feeling of a piece. After discussing the watercolor theory, we'll go through the entire painting process for this portrait of a Bernese mountain dog. I'll narrow my thoughts along the way. Thank you for joining me on this painting journey, and I hope you really enjoyed the class. 2. Your Project: The primary project for this class is creating color mockups so that they gave you a map for what you want to paint, will discuss three different ways that I like to paint. Rainbow and more gradients and the advantages and disadvantages of each of those and the end of the class, you'll be able to apply these theories to your own paintings. I've also added in the entire painting process for our third and most complicated option. You're more than welcome to paint along with me and show me what you've created. 3. Colours and Values: Liking which colors to use where it really helps to have swatches of them showing the entire tonal range. So I'm just taking my yellow here and painting it with some nice clean water. So I can see both how it is in its mass tone, which has its deepest form over here, and when it's more diluted, I'm going to do that with all my colors so I can see what they look like at their darkest. And as they get lighter, Here's my warm yellow smoke crack on rows. This is quinacridone coral, but again, you can use any warm red color that you like. Chiral Scarlett is a very popular choice. This is phthalo blue, green shade. You can tell just by looking that the cooler colors tend to look a lot darker. This is my ultramarine, which is my warm blue and ammunition to dry this off. If you take this test sheet and convert it to grayscale. And it'll be really easy to see the tonal range that each color can get. These yellow colors, especially the cool yellow, tend to be quite pale, whereas the blues tend to be quite a bit darker. So it's a good idea to save your blues and any color that contains blue, like purple or green for darker areas. Likewise, you want to focus your bright colors like your yellows around your lighter areas. Because we're painting a white subject, this isn't as vital because the shadows are going to be that super, super dark. But it is something to keep in mind. It's also important to know that the eye tends to be drawn to warm colors, but everybody has their own preference. So e.g. if you find that your eyes are drawn to the pink more, you might want to say pink fur around the face. Or if your eyes are drawn more to the yellow, might want to use yellow around the face. It's all down to personal preference. I like to use wet on wet for color mixing. So the first step of that is just to wet the paper with clean water. You want the paper to be shiny but not have any sobbing puddles. If you find that you've applied too much water and you get a bit of puzzling, you can just dry off your brush a bit and sop up any of that excess water. We want it to have a nice even sheen. When you're selecting which colors you want to mix together. You want them to be near each other on the color wheel. So e.g. if I want to mix an orange, I'll use the warm yellow, which is the orangey yellow. And my warm red, which is the orangey red. Allow these to come into contact with each other and mix on the paper. Mixing your colors on the paper allows them to feel more organic and lively. You can mix on the palette if you'd like. But I find mixing on the paper just gets a better result overall. If you are really having difficulty getting your colors to mix, you can lift your paper and tilt it a bit. So that way your pigments just drift towards each other. Here you go. You can see we've created a nice vibrant orange here between our yellow and our red. Just for comparison. Let's go up here and we'll mix are cool yellow. This is what you want to avoid. So mixing a cool yellow which is more on the greeny blue side, and a warm red, e.g. which is more on the blue science. So neither one of these is leaning towards orange. And let those mingle a bit. You'll see that the orange we get Zelman more muted and earthy looking. So if you want a really vibrant colors, make sure you're mixing the colors that are closest on the color wheel. Another tip for deciding on your colors and use a complimentary color for areas that you want the highest contrast, that's usually the eye. So for the bunnies face, I've chosen pink. So in order to find the complimentary color, I'm going to remove any other colors from the color family. So in this case it's this warm red. And then the compliment is just the mix of the two other primaries. Now, I have yellow and blue left. Yellow and blue make green. And the way to make the most vibrant green is with a cool blue, that means yellow, and a cool yellow that leans blue. So I'm going to remove the warm blue and a warm yellow. And then when I combine these two pigments, my fellow blue, green shade and my hands yellow light. I'll create a vibrant green and I see compliment my pinky quinacridone rose. 4. Materials: The materials you'll need for this class. All right, Good. 100% cotton, watercolor paper. I'm using Fabriano artistically, Oh, hot press. But any 100% cotton paper will do nicely. You want your watercolor paper to be 100% cotton because it will allow you to use more water, which is really good for getting smooth washes. Personally, I prefer hot press paper because I find it makes the colors a little bit more vibrant, but it does make blending the colors a little bit more difficult. So you may want to try out a few different paper types and see if you prefer hot press or cold press or another brand. What's really most important is that it's 100% cotton in terms of brushes, I personally like to limit my rush to use. So for this class I'll just be using a single number 12 round brush and a number zero liner brush. But you can use as many or as few brushes and use like. In terms of color, I prefer to use a split primary palette. So this means that there's a warm and a cool of all the primary colors, blue, yellow, and red. For my blues, I use ultramarine for my warm blue and phthalo blue green shade for my cool blue. Can use any greenish blue as a cool blue and any purplish blue and a warm blue. Now, what do you want to look out for is that these are single pigment blues that just makes mixing a lot easier. Now the yellows in my palette are hansa yellow light for my cool yellow, It's my green yellow. Hansa yellow medium for my warm yellow, That's my orange yellow. However, I've also used this quinolone yellow as my cool yellow and this permanent yellow deep as my warm yellow before, I've also used new gamboge as a warm yellow, and that also works fantastic. Again, you just want to make sure that whatever color of yellow you're using is a single pigment to make mixing easier. And many people will really like lemon yellow for a cool yellow as well. For my reds. I'll be using quinacridone rose for my cool red and quinacridone coral by Daniel Smith for my warm red. And I've also used spiral scarlet for my warm red before. And it's worked beautifully. So again, you can play with any colors that you'd like. Just make sure that they're next to each other on the color wheel. So you have a cooler pinky red and a warmer orangey red. The last thing you'll need for this class is a reference photo. I've included a reference photo in the class description, but if you're choosing your own reference photo, just make sure you're looking for a photo that has very dark shadows and very light highlights, they'll make creating a 3D effect in your painting much easier. 5. Selecting Colours From a Tone: First of all, we're gonna do is we're going to open up our reference photo into a digital editing app. In this case, I'm using Procreate on my iPad, but any art editing software will work. As you can see, I have the top layer, which is the color photograph. The second layer is a color layer. So you go into the layer settings and select Color. And the final layer is the black and white layer. I'm turning off the photo color layer and I'm going to be looking just at the black and white. What I'm going to be coloring on top of the color layer. When I'm testing out colors, I like to use a soft brush. So in this case I'm using an airbrush set to soft brush texture. That's just personal preference. If I'm imitates the color shifts seen in watercolor most accurately. First type of color we're looking at is we're just ignoring the actual color properties of the subject. We're just looking at the tones exclusively. So this snake has a lot of dark colors on top of its head. So I want to choose a dark color as my primary color. Darker colors, usually our purples and blues and some greens. So I'm going to start with purple here. And it'll feed that into a warm blue on the muzzle here. And maybe a cool blue back here. And down into some T-cells and greens. Then anywhere I want to draw the eye, I will add a complimentary color. So because this picture is primarily purple right now, I might use a yellow or orange for the eye because that will really stand out against the purple little bit of orange for the darker area. That could work. I'm going to add another color layer. I'm going down here, making sure that my layer says it's color here, something different. So another way to do this is just to ignore the lights and darks entirely and just choose a primary color that you really like. So let's say I want to make this snake pink. I'll start out with pink around the eye because that is going to be where the viewers look first. And maybe I'll bring it to purple it here on the nose. And I'll fade it back to some reds and oranges down the back. When you're selecting these colors, you don't have to use a gradient, used to have to be cautious about where are the colors and up. Alright, so now I have a purple to yellow gradient on this snake. And again, because I want the I to stand out, I want to use a complimentary color to the color around the eye. The complement of pink is a green color. So I'm going to choose this bright grassy green as the primary color for the I. I think that balance is quite nicely. So the advantage of using this technique is that it's very simple, it's very fast to get started. And especially if you're not considering the darkness of the color, you can create some very interesting and unique compositions. So e.g. if I had used yellow around the eye, This black would actually look incredibly light, like we discussed in the previous lesson. And yellow is going to look much lighter than a blue, e.g. so now we have two different compositions to try out. One that's a cooler, darker color around the head. And another one that's quite a bit later around the head. 6. Selecting a Primary Colour: Moving on to our second type of color selection, this technique is choosing a primary color and then basing all our other colors around that color. So e.g. we're looking at this tiger. And of course, when you think of a tiger, you think of orange server and use that as our base color. Again, I'm going on to this layer that is set to color. And it said over top of a black and white image, I'm using a soft airbrush. Two pretty large, and making sure that I use lots of orange around the eyes and the head. And right now I'm not paying attention to the lights and darks just sitting in these base colors. So I'm gonna go from orange here down to yellow, then going to a cooler yellow. Remember from our color theory that the yellows and colors with more yellow in them tend to look a bit lighter than colors with more blue and red. So you might want to save those for your lightest areas. Adding a bit of green here. Some teal for this leg. And maybe we'll bring it into blue on this leg. Right up to a little bit of purple. For the back there. Maybe we'll add a bit more of a yellow orange, which I've changed my mind on that. Just going to undo that. I'm going to try adding a bit more green in there, maybe a little bit more teal. Now then we have our primary colors established. So all the colors are base colors. We're gonna look at the standard traits on this tiger. Aside from base color, what you want to stand out most is the stripes because they're the highest contrast area, because the stripes are very dark, we want to use dark colors and dark colors, or pink or purple or blues, and all the way to our greens, with the exception of grass green. So the TLA greens are darker and the purply pink are darker as well. I want a color that's going to contrast fairly nicely around the face. So I might choose a blue to start out because blue is a compliment of orange. So I'm just going to draw in these stripes as blue. And notice that I'm not worrying too much about coloring inside the lines because cold air is not going to overwrite the layer underneath it. You're not actually going middle C, the blue over top of the black. So I'm just putting this in. So I have a general idea of this is where I want this color to be. I'm going to fade from that blue into a purple as we go down along the face here. This is just to give you a rough idea of what your piece is going to look like when it's done. So you don't need to be too perfectionist about it. Maybe it will break that down into a pink down here along these stripes. And when we go into the back there, maybe I'll use an orange across the green. Actually, I think we use a cool blue across the green because I don't want too much attention drawn there. I've chosen the cool blue across the green because I want that area to be a lower contrast. The highest contrast with the complimentary colors of orange and blue in the face. And lower contrast of analogous colors, the teal and green with the blue. And again, for the eyes, I want that to be my highest contrast and area. So I'm also going to use a cool blue for the eye area, the nose, you may choose to use a slightly different color. So right now it's orange. So maybe I'll set it to be red. And that's pretty much it for this one. So we can see, we look at the tiger over top and you can see that the white areas are very distinct from the orange areas. But in our color composition, we're actually blending those more together by combining all the white areas and orange areas into one area and focusing our contrast on the stripes. This tiny works best. If you want to create a center of contrast, e.g. on a pet portrait, where you may want the viewer to look exclusively at the animal's eyes and not necessarily look around the picture as much. And this also simplifies the palette quite a bit. So it's a bit flashier than using just the tone alone and ignoring the color families. But it's not as busy as if we assign different colours to the orange and the white and the black altogether. 7. Selecting Colours for Maximum Contrast: This third color palette technique is based on using the maximum amount of colors possible. So again, we're looking at a color photo of our subject. This is a Bernese mountain dog. And I'm going to turn off this layer. I'm going to draw on top of a color layer. So this is an empty layer that's set to color and I'm be painting over a black and white version of this photo. Now this is very similar to our previous lesson, using the primary colors when we colored the tiger clip, we're going to make it a little bit more complicated this time. So I really want to focus on the blacks, as we discussed before. The dark colors are purple, blue, and the blueish greens, as well as some pinks. I'm going to go in here with purple around the eye here. And I'm going to fade that down into blue over here. And maybe some teal on the body back here. And then over here, going to use, maybe use a little bit more pink around the eye there. Then over here I'm going to start with a teal color and then bring that into a cool blue, down into a warm blue and a bit of purple at the bottom. Essentially the opposite is on the other side. And you'll notice that I colored just the black parts of this dog. And that's because I want to really emphasize that this dog is multicolored. So if we turn back on the colored section, you can see this dog has two orange eyespots, some orange in the cheeks and ears, and orange along the muzzle and sides of the face here. But I really want to emphasize those colors. So in order to do so, I'm going to go back to our color layer and I'm going to use our warm colors and I'm going to lay those over top of those warm areas. Gives us nice orange eyebrows here. We'll go down here and the cheeks. Maybe I'll bring that into a warmer orange note here. Now, if you lose track of where your colors are, don't be afraid to go back to your colored image. Orange carries out down here. I can even bring it into a bit of yellow. Nice cool yellow there. Might keep that cool yellow for doing the cheek and the ear over here. And we'll go back to the other side of the dog. And color in this cheek with that nice warm yellow color. And I'm continuously checking my reference to make sure that I'm adding these colors and the correct location. This will be easier when you're painting it because you'll have these colors mapped out in your sketch. Right now. We're just testing them out to see if we like the way that they look. I think that's pretty accurate. I'm actually going to go in and color this knows, maybe it will turn it purple on this side and have a little bit of teal down here just to break up the color a little bit. And you can do the same thing for the tongue. We haven't used a lot of pink yet. So maybe I'll add a bit of pink here on the tongue. Going back into purple in the back. Don't want caused me to expected. Could do the same along the mouth is a bit of pink and purple and the dark bits can be purple there. Now the area that we have left is the white. In order to maximize the contrast and the colors, we want to make sure that we're using colors for the white that are not the same as the colors we're using for the surrounding area. I usually like to start out with cool colors. So he's a little bit of blue here around the face. And maybe on this other side. And transition that to green because we're already using some blue down there, carrying this green through the bottom here. Maybe we'll carry it on out to yellow, your brands that purple. And then whether this that yellow, we'll add maybe a bit of orange instead. I feel the color is maybe a little bit too busy with the orange leading into yellow and orange. So I'm just going to redo that part. So maybe I'll try using a green down here and it'll bring it into a teal color. And then where it's teal over here, I'll swing into a warm blue color. I think that feels a little bit better. Now if you want to try another color palette that's similar to your current one, you can always go to your color, your color layer, and duplicate it and just turn off the extra layer. This allows me to play with the colors without losing that color layer that I actually already like quite a bit. So I'm trying some warmer colors down here. Maybe some orange over here, some pink up here. That green isn't gonna go well into orange or pink. So maybe let's try light blue there. And that'll fade a little bit into purple as it goes across the pink. And that's pretty good. We'll just compare those two. So I've turned off the one layer and turn on the other. I think I'd like my original concept a little bit better. Just how the colors are a little bit more monotone as they go down. And that brings more contrast and more attention to the face. But you may decide you like a different composition instead, it's good to always play around with these, do several color compositions before deciding on one that you like the best. The last thing we have to color are the eyes. And of course, we always want the highest contrast area to be the eyes. So over here we have a purple and the compliment of purple is yellow. So I'm going to use some yellow for that. I usually like to call them that my yellow with a bit of green. So I'll add a little bit of green there. Then over here is blue, color of blue is orange. So I will use a warmer yellow with a bit of orange in it. The only thing I'm pretty content with that. The advantage of this color scheme is that you can maximize the amount of colors that you're using. So it makes the piece feel very alive and energetic and a little bit chaotic. And if that suits your subject, That's fantastic. The drawback is it takes a little bit more time and skill to paint around these areas and make sure that the paint's still blends properly. So attending like this can take a little bit of getting used to just because the amount of attention to detail that it requires. 8. Painting the Lights: We're going to start out by doing the white college of the dog. So looking at the blaze area up here and the chest area and have been around the muzzle as well. Especially because I'm using hot press paper. I want to pre wet these areas. And I'm using a size 12 round brush for this. And I'll even size 12 because it's large, but it also comes to a nice point. So I don't have to worry too much about getting into those nooks and crannies. So the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to cover the entire white area with clean water. This may take several coats. You want the paper to be shiny but not sopping wet. So there shouldn't be any puddles. And do your best to stay inside the lines. But it's also okay to go a little bit outside just because this first wash is going to be quite light. So it's very easy to cover up any mistakes you might. And this way you want, you want it to be nice and shiny. So let's start out with cool blue. We have around the muzzle, strong muscle here, just gently drop in that color. And the water will allow the color to bleed out and creates a nice soft edges. You want to be careful with your lightest wash, especially for your whites, is area may only take one wash. This may be all the color that you put down for this particular area. So you want to make sure that you're keeping your lights. Very light with watercolor. Once you've added color, it's very hard to go back The Green Road to the edge. You can switch to a smaller brush for this if you'd like. I just personally prefer to use the same brush as much as possible. But if you're more comfortable the smaller brush, then absolutely go ahead and use that instead. Little bit of color here. The base, the muzzle. This isn't in the reference photo that I can see. I want to really emphasize that there's a bit of a stop there at the top of the dog's head. And that is muzzle is separated dimensionally from his forehead. I'm gonna go ahead and let that dry and I'm going to move on to the lower jaw. And just like before, with our clean brush with a bit of water, would go ahead and add just some water is pretty wet this area. I'm actually going to bring this down onto the chest as well. Or you may choose to do this in more sections. And that is perfectly fine. Take as much time as you need and use as many sections as you need to feel comfortable. I find that using a larger brush and completing later sections all at once helps the piece feel a little bit more fresh. But if that's either not what you're looking for or you're just not confident enough in your brushwork. And then you can absolutely use smaller sections and smaller brushes. When you're doing the chest, you'll notice that the reference photo shows area as being quite dark. We actually want to be a little bit conservative with it because you want to make sure that there is a distinct difference between the light colors and the mid-tone colors. And you also want to make sure that you're preserving your highlight. Highlights are incredibly important for watercolor. Because as I said, once you've covered up an area, it's incredibly difficult to bring that back to a lighter color. Just looking at my reference photo, using some of these sweeping strokes in the direction of the fur. It's always good to refer back to your reference photo. This first layer is just going to give us the main shadows. Shadows as much as possible. There's a sweeping shadow that goes from under the chin here and then around I'm leaving the center of the chest a little bit more open. And I think that's good for my first wash. I'm going to dry this off. And then we'll go in and darken up some areas with a second layer. I'm going to first layer of the white areas has dried. I'm gonna go in with a second layer. So in order to see where I want to add more paint, I've gone ahead and turn to the color layer off on my reference. So I'm looking at just the black and white image and looking for areas that are just especially dark. So I'm seeing that under the nose, there's some exposed skin That's quite dark. I'm just gonna go ahead and add that color right in there. Doing this on dry paper. Because I like the texture that is in that hair. And I want to make sure that I convey that with these brushstrokes. If you prefer. Instead of adding this texture, you can also adjust, wet the paper and the paint fade out like we did for the first layer. Do you wanna go ahead and darken this side of the muzzle? So I'm pretty wetting this area because on the reference photo I see this area is quite soft. You can't really see the detail as much premium the area allows the water to draw the paint out, keep everything nice, smooth. So I think I'm gonna move on to the body now. For this area, I'm wetting the white of the chest separately from the jaw. Because if you look on the reference photo, there is a very distinct shadow underneath the jaw that helps to separate it from the body. I want to make sure that I create that look to emphasize the dog's face. Then I'll use yellow, green and put that under the jaw here and create some little sweeping lines back up into that area. If you're using cold press paper, your color is going to travel a lot faster than on a hot press paper. So you might not need to pray with the area at all to get those soft edges. You can just use a damp brush and run it over the edge of the paint after you've put it down. Or you can just use less water on your paper if you find your paint is traveling too quickly for you. I'm gonna go ahead and add a little bit more texture in the main for you. Groups of color here and there, the paint will lighten as it dries. I'm just using a brush to soften those off as just a little bit darker than I wanted. It's always better to be a little bit conservative in the white areas. You can always go back and add an extra layer if you need to. Using the shape of my round brush to create some little swishes. And I'm keeping these quite soft and a little bit minimalistic just because I don't want a lot of attention drawn down to the chest. I want to keep most of it up in the face. Alright, so I'm gonna go ahead and draw off that area and then come back and do the lower jaw. Alright, now we're looking at this jaw again, just like with the top of the muzzle, actually want this area to be a little bit more texture than the rest of the painting, because I want the eye to be drawn up here. I'm painting on dry paper. I'm just gonna do flicks with the end of my brush to bring this darker paint color down and make a little bit darker up here. It's area does fade in with the black of the lips. So it's okay to make it a little bit darker. And I'm revisiting the chest. Before that I don't want very much texture on the chest because I want it to be out of focus. But I do want a little bit of color to come up and create some for in the face. Wet the chest a little bit. Bringing a few flicks up onto that muzzle, the water on the chest will help the color look a little bit fuzzier and not as distinct on the chest and will help it up here. Nice and sharp on the map. Okay, with that, the white areas are complete. 9. Painting the Midtones: So now that we've completed our lights, our next step is to paint the midtone on this dog. The midtones are all the brown areas, so that includes the eye spots along the cheeks and a little bit of the ears as well. My first step is reading these eye spots. And I like to work from the top of the image downward just because I find that's a little bit easier for us to my hand. And again, I'm presenting these eye spots because I'm working on a hot press paper. If you're working on a cold press paper, and this isn't absolutely necessary. If you don't want them being a little bit of texture, you can also skip this step. And just like the eye spots, I'm going to pre wet around the mouth. This is a larger area just like I recommended to what? The chest and the face. If you're a little bit uncomfortable with painting on such a large area, you can break it up into smaller areas. Let's try to find a natural groove in the animal for where you can break up the composition. And again, I'm using my size two round brush. For all this wedding. You can use a smaller brush if you'd like. I'm transitioning here from light orange to warmer yellow color. So I'm just a little bit more yellow and my orange. And then I'm going to go straight into a warm yellow here. Remember this is just the base coat. So we're not worried too much about getting the values correct. You just want to make sure that we don't go too dark. I'm going to add some shadows. The next step to bring it some depth here. Spot on the cheek here because it's so minuscule. I'm painting on dry paper. Same with this tiny spot on the ear. Now moving on to the other cheek. This is a pretty small area. So again, it's up to you if you want to prevent it. I'm going to do so because I actually want there to be a little bit of a gradient and ingredients are always easiest if the paint is wet. A good bit of orange up at the top here, bring that down into my warm yellow. Just making sure not to cover up the white areas that we've already established. Then the lower part of the cheek here comes onto the chest. It looks like there's a bit of dark color mixed into this. I'll do a base wash of our warm yellow. Let me answer a little bit of cool yellow in there as well. And it's alright if it's a little patchy because we're actually going to come in and add some dark color over top of it. Final step when we add the darker, that is it for establishing our warm colors. So this is the first layer done. And the second layer will be establishing the shadows within these colors. Just like with the whites. I want to take your reference photo and convert it back into black and white so that way you can better see the values. So as these eye spots have quite a bit of texture near the bottom here. So I'm going in with a reddish color, bit redder than the base color for our orange. This just adds some extra color to the piece. Just a little bit more interesting, and I'm just flicking in the direction of the fur. You see that a reference photo shows a sort of sweeping motion for these little hairy areas. We want to make that as much as possible. You can see that the shadow mostly stays on the bottom of this area. Alright, so moving on to the muzzle, see it, it's actually quite dark up top here. So I'm going to get bit of red mixed into my orange here, quite a bit darker. And then I'm taking a clean, damp brush and just softening off the edge there. Now that area is drying, I'm going to move on to the other cheek. This one is quite a bit darker. I'm going to quite a bit of a dark orange here around the side of the mouth. And it looks like this is quite a strong and well-defined shape. Just a little bit of fur flicking out here. Then down here on the chest, there's quite a strong shadow because this area is so dark. Probably need another layer and that's fine. Company here with a little bit of this cool yellow as well. I'm going to make sure that the cool yellow overlaps the warm yellow because I really want those areas to blend together, create a nice little gradient. And I'm just gonna wait for this to dry. At the area around the other side of the muzzle has dried. I'm gonna go ahead and add the shadows around the mouth. So again, it looks like it is quite a strong shadow here. So I'm going to use orange on my dry brush and it'll bring that around the bottom of the nose as well, just here along the lip. And then there's this shape under the jaw as well where it's quite dark and that shadow seems to come up into the latency. We've already established part of the shadow here with the cool colors, the white area that I just want to make sure that we're carrying that through the rest of the way. Again, using some flicking motions, making sure that I'm following the direction of the fur as seen in the reference photo. And I don't want that to run into the shadow that we put under the jaw. So I'm going to wait for that area to dry and then come back to it. Now, the mouth area is dry and I come over here to this cheek area again just going with the direction of the fur. I don't want to be too dark on this first path. Let's go over to these ears. And supposedly zeros are quite small and dark. So I'm just gonna go in here. Single tone is colored Rosanna directly. Looks like I also missed a little area over here on this ear. Just a couple of flux of color. We'll fill that in. Now this is where it's good to go and always check your reference photo to make sure that you're filling in these areas? Correct. So again, I'm gonna wait for that to dry and then I'm going to do a third layer to help homogenize this. I'm going back up to the eye spot and again I'm using are reddish orange. Just come in here with your wet brush to help smooth that out a bit. Same for this other side. Don't want there to be a huge gap between the mid tones and the darkest tones. I'm just darkening that up a little bit and see what extra wash just helps homogenizes areas. But I'm also being careful to preserve some highlights near the tops of the eyespots, moving back down into the muzzle, just going to wet this entire area because I want these shadows to be a little bit softer and more homogenous and just carefully going over the areas that you've already painted. And again, using a larger brush helps with this. But if you want to break up into smaller areas using a smaller brush that is perfectly fine. He's just going to look a little bit more cohesive if you the entire area all at once. Going in here, my orange and see there's a nice shadow around this shadow here on the mouth. And just generally darkening up the shadow area. I am switching a little bit between colors as well. So I used more of an orange for the top bit, more of a warm yellow for the bottom bit. And I think those soft shadows help even things out a little bit. I actually made this top area just a little bit darker because it does overlap quite a bit with dark blacks on the dog. Would that done? I'm going to move on to this other sheet. Again painting, this is a coat of water. And then coming here with mid-tone orange, pretty thick consistency. And you'll see that this area is actually all quite dark. The highlights are very muted. So I'm actually only going to leave a very small area of pilot. She's going to pull up that highlight a little bit with a clean damp brush and come back down damping over this area on the chest right now just draws the eye a little bit too much and it's also not dark enough. Again, they go in with some of this orange, mix, some warm yellow into it. We don't want the entire area to be orange and just adding swoops in the direction of the fur. I'm going back into this ear spot. You a little bit darker and same with the ones the other side, a bit more red to this one. Just to add some variation. I see that this area near the cheek needs to be actually quite a lot darker. So I'm going to take a bit of pink, just dab that in there and recreate that dark shape. This is my Quinacridone Rose and over top of the orange color, it's going to look a bit more like a fire engine, red. It's going to be nice and dark. There we go. I think it looks a bit more like the reference photo now would do the same down here where the cheek meets the chest and speeds I see on the reference photo, but that is quite a dark area as well. This is a good time in the piece to stop and take a photo and convert it to black and white, and then check it against your reference and see what areas need to be darkened. I'm seeing for my reference photo that this area under the jaw here needs to be darkened again. Same with here around the lip. I'm gonna go ahead and put those on dry paper. And then I'm just going to soften them off with a clean, damp brush. This just allows me extra control over where these colors bleed. So I want to keep a bit of a hard edge on the bottom of the jaw here and softer markings and have it fade out. I'm actually going to darken up this soft shadow we added before up here. Being careful to avoid this edge here that I want to keep hard. Important to remember that these warm colors are going to appear lighter when you convert to your colors to black and white regardless of how dark there. And that's just because warm colors in general tend to have a very light field. So I've gone back and reinforced some of the darker shadows under the jaw here. And then I've softened off with a clean, damp brush. I'm gonna do the same on this other side. I do like some of the texture that I'm getting from using thicker paint here. But I don't want this area to draw too much attention and that's why I'm softening off these edges. Actually want to darken this side of the cheek a little bit. It's been a little bit left out. Here we go. That helps define the jaw line as well. It's a bit of a line that comes here. We'll just let that paint in nice and softly as part of the jaw. It's always good to go back and correct any shapes. I've gotten a little bit out of hand, especially if you're using a lot of wet into wet technique, your shapes may need a little bit of finessing at the end. Here we go. I'm pretty happy with that. So let's draw that off and we'll move on to the darks next. 10. Painting the Darks: The final color area that we're going to focus on is the darks. Just like before, we're then going to fill in dark areas with water. I'm going to focus just on the right side of the drug or the left side of the portrait right now, be careful to paint around the eyes and try not to get too much water on the areas we've already painted. Improve wetting the paper. It just helps the colors blend together more smoothly. If using a cold press paper, you may not need to pre weight your paper for this. If using a hot press paper, then do recommend pre-writing. I'm going around the edges of the dog. I'm not being too careful to stay within the lines. I actually want some of the water to go outside the lines, help blur out the back, the dog. And this is just help the body feel a little bit less important. It's just like we're making sure that our markings on my chest area or soft to help the chest area stand out a bit less, can do the same thing by creating an out-of-focus look around the dogs back to have all that water down. It's time for the first layer going in with a mid tone of pink, little bit lighter than a mid tone. And you really want to watch your reference photo here. During that you're not going too dark. You're saving those white highlights. And at first your dark layer is going to look lighter than your midtone and light layers. Going into a pinky purple. Notice right away that the purple looks quite a bit darker than the pink. And again, that's because of the blue and the purple. Blue tends to make colors look quite a bit darker. Just trying to follow the basic colormap that we mapped out. The paint right up to the edge of the sketch here and just letting it bleed over. Transitioning to our heel down here around this blue in the light-colored for, and again, I'm painting in the direction of the fur, paying really close attention to my reference photo and toward the dark for me, it's the lighter areas. If you paint over the light areas, that's not a big deal. Just softening off these edges a little bit. Actually good if these colors can mingle together a little bit, creating a softer feel. The base layer down on the left side of the image, on the right side of the dog, and then go over to the opposite side. Remember that your goal, the first layer, is just to map out where the colors are going to be. Your biggest focus should be on preserving the white highlights. Here. First layer, we're adding some blue and quite light with it. There's quite a bit of highlight here on the dog's forehead. That's it for the first layer of darks. So I'm gonna go ahead and let this dry off. And then I'm going to go into the second layer. With that first layer, dry it off. We're going to go into our second layer. I'm going to again convert my reference photo back in black and white. And I'm gonna pay a special attention to the shadow shapes. Can see there's quite a strong shadow shape over the eye here. Make sure I got that in mind. I want this to be fairly dark and they'll add a homogenizing layer afterward. And I'm painting on dry paper. When will this area to be softened off? So I'm just going in with a brush with clean water, softening off that edge and around the eye here, it cuts down to the face here. Using the edge of my brush just to fade that out a little bit. And then I'm going to come back here with water on my clean damp brush just to soften that edge. Again, you really want to be paying attention to your highlights. So those are the areas that you cannot bring back after you've been too dark. She make a mark you don't like, you can just add some water to it and debit rate up a little bit too much pigment here on this pink. So I'm just going to wet it down a little bit. Again, looking at my reference photo and following basic pattern. Now, all these little hairs appear just the way that I'm painting them. But the basic pattern. We'll give the impression that the hair is constructed correctly. Carefully painting around these shapes on the face, a little flicks of color up into them. Then here when I get to the body, I'm gonna go ahead and create it with some clean water. Because again, I want this dark area to blend and fade out. So I had my dark blue here. Say that into nice teal green here. Ideally, I like to keep the contrast on the body a little bit lower. So I'm not going to go super, super dark down here, going to maintain the highest contrast in the upper part of the face right now to go onto the other side. So again, starting over here, there's this strong shadow around the eye. I'll make sure I get that in nice and strongly. It's going to fade this out too little bit with some clean water on my brush. Again, always going back to my reference photo to make sure that I'm putting the shadows in the correct areas. Right now, focusing just on the darkest shadows. I'm building a map for the next step. And again, am I reached the body? I'm just going to free what it want to keep it fairly light here because I want the focus to be on the dog's face. Go ahead and dry that off. That shadow establishing layer has dried. We're gonna go ahead and add another layer to unify everything and darken some of these deeper shadows. So again, I'm just paying special attention to the darkest shadow and I'm trying to observe the highlights as much as possible. This shape here on the forehead. And I'm just looking at the reference photo to make sure that I get these shapes correct to give the dog proper form. There's this wedge-shaped shadow with the eye. Then the shadow comes down here to really darken up along this muzzle. And I'm going to use a clean damp brush just to soften that out a little bit. I'm really emphasizing that highlight underneath the dogs, either just to create a little bit more interest in the face. Just adding some more detail to the dog's ears. And shadows in general, we won't have as much detail as lighter areas just because you can't see into a shadow as well as you can see through light. So you don't have to worry about adding too much detail to these areas, but a little bit really helps elevate the piece. And again, I'm using a larger brush for all this. You feel more comfortable with a smaller brush, then go ahead and use that instead. It looks like the ear gets a bit darker as it goes down. So it's a bit darker on the outside and then it gets a bit lighter on the inside as it moves toward the face. And I just want to try to capture that detail to add a little bit of realism to this piece. I'm actually not going to add another layer to the body right now because I want that area to be quite a bit lighter than the face, just so it doesn't draw as much attention. While that dries. We'll go on to the other side. Once again, we're darkening these shadows a bit, especially here around the eyes where we want the focus to be. Again, using my clean damp brush just to soften off those edges, just make it a little bit darker over on this side, around the blaze. A little bit more on the side here, just to emphasize that these scholars really rounding there under the eye is extremely dark. So I'm going to add a lot more color there just to start really pushing that contrast. It's using a lot of thick paint to really darken that area. I'm using a few switches on my brush to create some texture around this ear and around the cheek. Again, I'm just going to fade that color out when it reaches the body. And I'm going to dry that off and then it's time for another layer. 11. Painting the Final Details: Moving on to the final phase of this painting, ready to work on the final details, renew the mouth, the nose, and the eyes. And this is where the piece is really going to come alive. Good to start with the mouth and most of the mouth and the reference photo is in black. So I'm going to make this really dark right off the bat. I'm using quite a thick consistency of purple, just paying attention to where the darks are in the mouth shapes. So if you can't see on the reference photo, you don't need to paint it on your painting, even though the rainbow colors do make things appear a little bit lighter, still read a shadow, just because you can't see what's inside of them. And it's also okay to simplify the shapes bit, but I'm choosing not to paint those. Just want this area to be nice and simple. I'm going to go around. And if you're more comfortable using a small brush, definitely feel free to do that. And I'm opting to use purple for the entirety of the gums because there are quite a dark color. Purple is always going to appear, darkness. And the dog and this reference photo is missing a tooth. And then you can choose to paint that in or not. Again, just pay attention to your shadow shapes where your lights are. Don't need to add too much detail around the mouth and then just lightening some of the highlights on this myth. Here we go, just to make them feel a bit more natural. Now to make sure that's dry completely before going on to the tongue and gums. Now that that purple area has dried, I'm going into the gums and the first thing I'm doing is establishing my shadow shapes. There's a strong ridge between the gums and the lips. So I'll make sure I get that in my use a little bit of purple inside my pink, just to make it a little bit darker, I'm going to present the tongue and clean water. The ad that a purple here at the back. I want this to fade into the back of the mouth. And also there's a strong shadow. I'm about halfway up the mouth and make sure we're getting that shape in there. Really emphasizing the roundness of the tongue by adding a few extra highlights that are actually not present on the reference photo. The shadows are going to be pretty subtle. I'm doing this all on one layer, just adding the shadows directly on top. I think that looks pretty good on the tongue. Then when you go back to the gums over here, it looks like there are no strong highlights on the gums. So I'm just going to paint pretty flat wash over top of this nice mid-tone. Go in with a little bit of a darker pink near the back. Create that rounded effect like it's in shadow from the dogs myth. Just using my damp brush to pull that color a little bit of a cast shadow from the tongue, just a smidge of darkness there. I'm pretty happy with that. So I let that dry off and then we'll do one more layer on the tongue and also do the teeth. Now that's dry. I decide to add one more quick little cast shadow here on the gums, just because I felt like it wasn't quite dark enough to really convey the depth in the mouth. So while that's drying, we'll go back over here to the tongue. And I'm gonna use my pinky purple mix here and really emphasize that cast shadow going on here and covering the purple in the mouth as well. Just to help that all blend together and look a little bit more harmonious using the damp tip of my brush just to soften that out a bit. And then folded the tongue down on. Dry paper. Might emphasize bit of texture here, just using the side of my brush with very little paint on it, emphasizes the shadow and creates a bit of that tongue texture. You can use a little bit more purple to emphasize that time range. Quite happy with that. So make sure that's dry it off and then we're gonna do the teeth. The teeth, I'm going to use a warm blue color, just going to gently paint over all of them. I don't want any white showing through here. We really don't want them to appear like they're in highlights and while they're still damp, I will darken a back of the mouth here just to really push into the background and some little curving shadows here and wait for that to dry. And then we can add some final finishing details on those teeth. Now this area is dry and I'm just using my brush at a few little teeth details. There's a little pocket of the tooth here. I'm gonna get that, just drawing it in with the tip of my brush. And likewise, a bit of a divot in this tooth and a bit of a cast shadow from the time we'll get those all drawn in, then I think that's pretty good. Not super happy with the shape of how the teeth look against the tongue. So I'm actually going to go in here with my purple and just refine that shape a little bit. Give it a little bit more than messing. I think that helps it read a little bit more toothy. And I also noticed when we were painting the lights, I forgot to paint this area here that's actually quite dark, but it's still showing the white of the dogs muzzle. Going to go ahead and paint that in with some green. I'm just making it quite dark because it's almost black in that deep shadow there. Now we're gonna move on to the nose. The nose, I'm going to pretty wet because I want this to be a nice blended area. Handing a dab in some teal over here. Some purple over here where the teal and the purple meet, they will create a blue color because teal and purple have blue and common heating. This first-pass relatively light because I want to make sure that the highlights still stand out. I'm just picking up spare paint with my clean damp brush. So I remove the water from my brush on the towel and then allows me to pick up some of these highlights, can wait for that to dry and then do the second layer now that the nose is dried and you go ahead with my shadow layer, the first thing I'd like to establish is the very darkest shadows. So there's a bit of a line that goes down the center of the nose here. So the mouth goes along the edge of the nose here and it covers up little bumped the bottom and then goes up to his nostrils, going to paint in the nostrils, just using the tip of my brush to draw in that shape to really get the rainbow effect, make sure that you're following your colormap. So you didn't want to start with a light under base of teal and then cover it all up with purple or else you're going to have almost homogeneous purple painting at the end. And those are the darkest shadows, established. Ones, those are dry. We'll go over with a mid-tone layer that'll homogenized things and then a final layer to darken everything. We've mapped out the dark layer on the nose. So I'm gonna go over this with a clean damp brush, darkness on the nostril. We come in here with bit of teal. Likewise on the other side, I'm going to come in with a bit of purple darken around that nostrils. Again, just make sure you're paying attention. Your reference photo, it looks like there's a pretty strong highlight along the top of the nose, so we want to make sure that we preserve that area. I think that's pretty good. So we'll wait for this to dry and then go to reinforce the nostrils with another layer. And now it's time for the final layer on this nose. So I'm just using very thick concentration of purple here to really reinforce this nostril, I'm going to re-emphasize this ridge on the dog's nose as well as edge of the nose here. And again, going back in here with a bit of teal and reinforcing this nostril just a little bit. And again, feel free to use a smaller brush for this if you're more comfortable with that for the detail work. Alright, and without the nose is complete and the last step is the eyes. And finally, the last major fissure we have to work on is the eyes. I'm switching to a smaller brush for this area because it's very small and delicate. I'm using a size four round brush, dabbing in my green over here and then coming back in with some pure yellow, try to keep the yellow to the areas of highlight within the eye to make it look a little more natural, the opposite eye. So it means my formula, base and dab some red in there, just run the darker areas. Now the edges here near the pupil, just to create that nice orange color. Looking at the reference photo, it looks like handover bit of area that's supposed to actually be eyelid. So I'm just writing that down, Debbie up on this repaint, any areas that I've covered over. Once, that area is dry and come back with a bit of darker green. For this, I on the left, which is the dogs right, I add a bit of a shadow along the top, the corners here to help give it some rounding depth. I'm also going to draw in the pupil. Just a little bit more darkness here, feathered out with a clean damp brush. And likewise, on the other, I going in with a bit of our red shadow around the rim here and also just painting in that pupil wants the area is dry. I'm going to come in with some pretty thick consistency paint and paint and the eyelids, the eyelids, his dog, or extremely dark, paint them with a thicker consistency paint. Using the tip of my brush, just add a little bit of flux in the tear duct shape here. I like to wait till the end to add the eyelids because I feel like it gives me a little bit more control. Likewise, on the other side, now I'm coming back in with some black. Black and I'm using is neutral tint from Daniel Smith. But you can use any sort of dark paint. A purple would work really well for straight from the tube, like lamp black. I'm just using this to paint in the pupils to add a little bit of extra darkness. You can even mix your own black using complimentary colors. But I just prefer to use this neutral tint because I find that having this is the only area of black and the painting really helps the eyes pop. With that. The main painting is complete and the final step is just adding some details. Now we're finally on the very last step, which is clearly elective and it's just you add any final details. First thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to come in here and add a little bit more definition to the shadows and the ears. I'm looking at my reference photo and just following the basic shape of. The ears and the for using a small size four round brush. For this, you can use any size brush that you're comfortable working with. And I'm just adding this little bit of black tilt, define the difference between the ears and the face a little bit in the shadow. I'm just adding a few flicks of fur texture around the eyes, emphasizing this shadow here, really want the eyes to have the most contrast and draw the most attention. Though, adding a little bit of extra detail really helps with that. My absolute last step is adding some white highlights using opaque white paint. I guess a little bit of texture really helps bring the piece to life and some spotty texture to the nose here, a little bit of broken highlight on the tongue, few dots on the mouth, and a few flicks of white fur around the blaze just to help tie in the darker areas a little bit. Same with here around the muzzle. And a few flakes coming down from the lips and name at the bottom of the chin. These little details are unnecessary, but finally, add a nice little bit of extra detail and attention. I want to go down here where there's oranges and add a little bit of pink over top of it, just here in the ear area. And that's just going to find the orange and the blue are complimentary colors, so they're just a little bit too sharp right here. Or the ear should be blending in Madison pink, which naturally has a bit of blue mixed into it. And that just helps knock that back a little bit more natural. There was quite good. And then my final step faced you add some whiskers. So again, you want to look at your reference photo when you're drawing whiskers because every animal has a slightly different whisker pattern. And you really want to make sure that you're getting it right, not just for dog whiskers, but for the most crucial for this particular individual. Having watery paint really helps with keeping these fresh and flowing. And I think that's it for the white highlights. And now's a good time to add any final background elements, because the blaze at the top is pure white, want to add some color behind the dog's head just to help that stand out a little bit carefully. What error on the dog's head? Bringing that right to the edge of the paper. Back analyst or someone that you should also plan out your color planning phase. And they can help balance a PC with a little bit unbalanced. Go in here with some orange of that around the top of the head. A little bit of a halo pattern. I'm going to add some warm yellow to it and just let that bleed out over the top of the paper. If you have cold press paper, you're going to see the paint to move a lot more strongly and you'll get more interesting patterns. So in a few splotches here and there, I'll come down and continue that. So along the sides here, just a little bit of color swatch here and there. This piece is complete. 12. Wrapping Up: Inflation we've covered in this class is just three possible ways that you can use a rainbow palette to create colorful animal portraits. It's important to remember that there's no wrong way to paint with color. And as long as you're enjoying yourself, You're doing a great job. I hope you found some fun exploring color with me and that you're feeling extra motivated and inspired for your next piece. Please be sure to share any color compositions that you create or any finished pieces that you create in the project area below. I'm really excited to see what you all great. And please let me know if you have any questions along the way, anywhere from the co-creation process to the final piece. I'm happy to answer any questions that you have and also leave any suggestions for how I can improve this class down the comments section. Thanks very much and have a wonderful day.