Best seller

Expressive Animal Portraits in Watercolor

A course by Sarah Stokes
Artist. Bewdley, United Kingdom.
Joined February 2020
, Artist

Bring the animal kingdom to life through captivating artwork by exploring a wide variety of watercolor techniques

  • Best seller
  • 100% positive reviews (904)
  • 22128 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Bring the animal kingdom to life through captivating artwork by exploring a wide variety of watercolor techniques



  • 100% positive reviews (904)
  • 22128 students
  • 31 lessons (7h 44m)
  • 24 additional resources (16 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Watercolors give you the opportunity to paint with expressiveness, color, and storytelling. For artist Sarah Stokes, watercolor painting is also a meditative practice. She specializes in wildlife art and has had her work displayed in galleries around the world.

In this course, Sarah takes you through the steps you need to create enchanting portraits of animals that highlight the beauty of the world around us. Follow your intuition and elevate your watercolor skills with a range of different techniques.

This is Sarah’s third Domestika course. In her first two, Artistic Watercolor Techniques for Illustrating Birds and Artistic Charcoal Portraiture: Creating Atmosphere, she explores other subjects and materials you can use to express yourself.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Seeing Tone and Exploring How Watercolour Works
  • U3
    U3. Working With Colour, Loosening up and Working With Texture and Shadow
  • U4
    U4. The Stag
  • U5
    U5. Fox With Full Moon Background
  • U6
    U6. Exploring Colours and Backgrounds and Taking Photographs
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Get to know Sarah and find out how her family inspired her to become a professional artist. She shares where she finds her inspirations for drawing and painting, as well as how her artistic style has evolved over the years, and what you can expect from the course.

Familiarize yourself with the materials used to create professional-looking watercolor portraits. Explore the importance of tone, how to build layers with watercolor, and how different brands and pigments vary in quality and application. Then, learn how to use black paint to paint a white horse.

Experiment with painting different animals and subjects to practice your watercolor skills. Learn to merge colors on paper by painting a cat, interpret complex patterns with a fox, and mix colors by illustrating an eye. Finally, discover the techniques to paint finer areas like fur and antlers using texture and shadow.

Now it’s time to look at more complex pieces that incorporate both loose and detailed brushwork. Complete the painting of a stag from earlier in the course using layering, splashing, and wet into wet techniques. Once dry, Sarah demonstrates how to make your paper look handmade.

Practice the skills learned throughout the course by painting a fox in a loose, interpretive style using a photograph as a reference. Paint wet into wet as well as wet on dry to build up tones in the fox’s fur. Then finish your painting by adding detail to your composition with gel pens.

Finally, experiment with backgrounds, fantasy colors, and compositions. Learn how to take your own photos and how to attract potential commissions. Sarah shares her tips on taking good photos of animals and creating work at a professional level, from developing a web presence to getting the best out of your materials.

What is this course's project?

Paint an animal of your choice in an interpretive style of watercolor, paying particular attention to tone and structural accuracy.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

This course is for anyone with an interest in capturing the animal kingdom in watercolor form or building on their knowledge of watercolor techniques.

Requirements and materials

Previous experience with watercolors is essential.

In terms of materials, you will need watercolors, brushes, gel pens, and paper.


Reviews

22128 Students
904 Reviews
100% Positive ratings

Sarah Stokes

A course by Sarah Stokes

Teacher Plus
Artist

Sarah Stokes is a self-taught artist from the Midlands region in England, a place where she finds inspiration and creates work that is full of life. From a young age, Sarah has always been her happiest when painting and drawing, using her creativity to build a successful business career before deciding to return to what she loved most.

She has created artwork for bands, restaurants, breweries, and schools, as well as giftware for clients like Enesco. Her work is exhibited in Whitewall Galleries, Clarendon Fine Art, and several independent galleries. Sarah’s prints can also be found worldwide in places like Next, Wayfair, and on Amazon.


Content

  • U1

    Introduction

    • Influences
    • About Me
  • U2

    Seeing Tone and Exploring How Watercolour Works

    • Materials
    • Tonal Values
    • Gridding
    • How to Use Watercolour to Build Tone 1
    • How to Use Watercolour to Build Tone 2
    • Painting the Horse 1
    • Painting the Horse 2
  • U3

    Working With Colour, Loosening up and Working With Texture and Shadow

    • First Approach to Colour 1
    • First Approach to Colour 2
    • Painting a Loose Colourful Study
    • Painting the Fox
    • Colour Mixing
    • Full Colour Palette
    • Masterclass in Texture and Shadow 1
    • Masterclass in Texture and Shadow 2
    • Masterclass in Texture and Shadow 3
    • Masterclass in Texture and Shadow 4
  • U4

    The Stag

    • First Layer 1
    • First Layer 2
    • Second Layer 1
    • Second Layer 2
    • Finishing Touches
  • U5

    Fox With Full Moon Background

    • Techniques for Backgrounds
    • Painting Background
    • Painting the First Layers of the Fox 1
    • Painting the First Layers of the Fox 2
    • Painting the Second Layer of the Fox and Finishing Touches
  • U6

    Exploring Colours and Backgrounds and Taking Photographs

    • Professional Tips
    • Exploring Fantasy Colors and Loose Backgrounds
  • FP

    Final project

    • Expressive Animal Portraits in Watercolor

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates
    Plus

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


FAQs

Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
Expressive Animal Portraits in Watercolor. Illustration course by Sarah Stokes Best seller

Expressive Animal Portraits in Watercolor

A course by Sarah Stokes
Artist. Bewdley, United Kingdom.
Joined February 2020
  • 100% positive reviews (904)
  • 22128 students