Best Seller

Needle Painting for Beginners

A course by Valentina Castillo
Embroidery and graphic designer. Santiago, Chile.
On Domestika since 04/04/2019
, Embroidery and graphic designer

Use embroidery as paint and learn to create unique animal portraits

  • Best Seller Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (379)
  • 10145 students
Needle Painting for Beginners

Use embroidery as paint and learn to create unique animal portraits

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (379)
  • 10145 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 20 Lessons (2h 11m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German
  • Unlimited access forever

The power of self-management and the idea of being able to materialize all your imaginative ideas into personalized and handmade pieces, is what leads many artists to start in the craft or DIY sector. The embroidery and graphic designer Valentina Castillo, since she was a child, has been passionate about being able to create with her own hands, draw, take pictures... Until she found embroidery, which is a technique in which she can gather all the disciplines she loves. Her specialty is the needle painting , a technique with which she is able to portray pets - be they dogs, cats, hedgehogs ... - and pays homage to them.

In this course, Valentina will teach you how to portray animals through embroidery as a painting ( needle painting ). You will learn from scratch to use stitches to apply light and shadow, generate textures and choose your color palette. In this way you can portray your own animal or pet to use it as a memento, or as an ornament.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation
  • U3
    U3. Color sensitivity
  • U4
    U4. Legs to work
  • U5
    U5. Legs to work II
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

You will meet Valentina, she will tell you about her beginnings in embroidery and how her style is linked to graphic design and her interest in pets. Then, she will share her main influences.

Valentina will explain the materials needed to embroider your pet portrait: types of thread, frame, fabric, scissors ... Then, you will see how to choose the right photograph to embroider, as it will be your guide and color source.

You will learn to draw your pet's portrait - whether with or without a pattern - by looking at two ways of doing it: capturing the colors of your photograph manually or digitally, with Adobe Illustrator. Next, you will transfer your pattern onto the fabric.

Translate your chosen colors to the mouliné embroidery threads, seeing tips about the number of colors indicated. Then, you will plan the colors in your pattern to better visualize the portrait.

Learn to tighten the frame and work step by step, the different areas of the portrait. You will start by outlining some features, and then move on to the eyes that will emphasize its personality; then the nose, where you will learn to work the volume.

You will start embroidering the fur, essential to give texture and realism. You will see how to capture each color in layers, making the snout, the forehead, cheeks and ears. Then you will add the whiskers as the last step of embroidery, to finally close and seal your frame with your finished work.

What is this course's project?

You will make an embroidered portrait of an animal, based on a photograph.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

To embroiderers, illustrators, designers, artists or simply, to all those interested in learning new embroidery techniques.

What you need

No previous knowledge of any kind is necessary, since you will learn the technique from scratch.

As for the materials, you will need a round frame, mouliné threads, needle, embroidery scissors, cotton or linen cloth, pencil for cloth, glue for cloth and felt or lenci cloth.


10145 Students
379 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Valentina Castillo

A course by Valentina Castillo

Embroidery and graphic designer

Valentina Castillo is a graphic designer and embroiderer. She began embroidering in 2015 in a self-taught way, at first she embroidered her own illustrations of animals, since they had always been her main source of inspiration and then, she began embroidering as another form of expression.

After the death of her puppy, she began to portray pets through embroidery to contain their memory. Since then, she has made more than 100 embroidered portraits of dogs, cats, hedgehogs, and more. Her specialty in embroidery is needle painting or silk shading .

Valentina teaches embroidery workshops in Revesderecho, in order to teach people their own way of using embroidery. In 2018, she participated in Makikoart's “I love my dog embroidery” embroidery book, where she embroidered more than 40 dog breeds.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
    • What will we do in the course
  • U2


    • Materials we will need
    • How to choose the right photo to embroider
    • How to draw the portrait of an animal
    • How to transfer your pattern to the web
  • U3

    Color sensitivity

    • Color source and how to capture its colors
    • Build the color palette
    • Color planning
  • U4

    Legs to work

    • Frame tension
    • Starting the outlined
    • Main features: The eyes
    • Main features 2: The nose
  • U5

    Legs to work II

    • The coat, its direction and color mix: Nose
    • The coat, its direction and color mix: Snout
    • The coat, its direction and color mix: Front
    • Ears and curves
    • Whiskers
    • How to close our part in the frame
  • FP

    Final project

    • Needle painting for beginners

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final 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 instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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Needle Painting for Beginners. A Craft course by Valentina Castillo Best Seller

Needle Painting for Beginners

A course by Valentina Castillo
Embroidery and graphic designer. Santiago, Chile.
On Domestika since 04/04/2019
  • 99% Positive reviews (379)
  • 10145 students