Best seller

Needle Painting for Beginners

A course by Valentina Castillo
Embroiderer and Graphic Designer. Tulsa, Chile.
Joined April 2019
, Embroiderer and Graphic Designer

Paint with embroidery and learn to create unique animal portraits

  • Best seller Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (797)
  • 19151 students

Paint with embroidery and learn to create unique animal portraits

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (797)
  • 19151 students
  • 20 lessons (2h 11m)
  • 15 additional resources (5 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

The power of self-management and the idea of being able to make your imagination tangible in personalized and handmade pieces is what leads many artists to venture into the craft or DIY sector. Since she was a child, embroiderer and graphic designer Valentina Castillo has been passionate about creating with her own hands, drawing, and taking pictures. Then she found embroidery, a medium that's a little bit of everything she enjoys rolled into one. She specializes in needle painting, the technique she uses to portray and pay homage to pets, whether it's a dog, cat, or even a hedgehog.

In this online course, Valentina teaches you how to portray animals using needle painting. Learn how to choose a color palette and use different stitches to apply light and shadow as well as generate texture, so you can portray your favorite animals or your own pet as a keepsake or an ornament.

What will you learn in this online 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

Start by meeting your teacher, Valentina Castillo. She tells you all about how she got started in embroidery and how her style is linked to both graphic design and her interest in animals. She also shares her main influences.

Then Valentina explains the materials you need for embroidering your pet portrait, such as types of thread, a frame, fabric, scissors, etc. Move on to see how to choose the right photograph as your reference and color guide.

Learn to draw the portrait of your pet, with or without a pattern, exploring two different ways of doing this; one capturing the colors manually and the other digitally with Adobe Illustrator, before transferring your pattern to the fabric.

See how to find the mouliné threads that best correspond to your chosen colors. Also get some advice on the ideal number of colors. Now plan the color scheme in your pattern to better visualize the portrait.

Discover how to tighten the frame and work on the different areas of the portrait step by step. Next, begin by outlining some key features, then move on to the eyes to capture personality, then the nose, where you learn to work on volume.

The next stage is the fur, essential for adding texture and realism. Take a look at how to capture each color in layers, making the snout, forehead, cheeks, and ears. To finish off your artwork, add the whiskers before finally closing and sealing your embroidery hoop ready for display.

What is this course's project?

Create an embroidered portrait of an animal based on a photograph.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

Embroiderers, illustrators, designers, artists, and anyone interested in learning new embroidery techniques

Requirements and materials

No prior knowledge is necessary for this course as your teacher starts from scratch.

As for materials, you need an embroidery hoop, mouliné threads, a needle, embroidery scissors, cotton or linen fabric, a fabric pencil, fabric glue, and felt or lenci cloth.


19151 Students
797 Reviews
99% Positive ratings

Valentina Castillo

A course by Valentina Castillo

Teacher Plus
Embroiderer and Graphic Designer

Valentina Castillo is a graphic designer and embroiderer. She started to teach herself to embroider in 2015. At first, she embroidered her own animal illustrations, as these little critters had always been her main source of inspiration, and later began to take her use of embroidery as a form of expression further.

After the death of her dog, she decided to portray pets through embroidery to immortalize and honor their memory. Since then, she has made more than 100 embroidered portraits of dogs, cats, hedgehogs, you name it! Her specialties within embroidery are needle painting and silk shading.

She also gives embroidery workshops at Revesderecho to teach people their own way of understanding embroidery. In 2018, she collaborated on Makikoart's "I love my dog embroidery" book, where she embroidered more than 40 different breeds of dog.


  • U1


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


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

    Color sensitivity

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

    Legs to work

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

    Legs to work II

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

    Final project

    • Needle painting for beginners

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

    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.


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
Needle Painting for Beginners. Craft course by Valentina Castillo Best seller

Needle Painting for Beginners

A course by Valentina Castillo
Embroiderer and Graphic Designer. Tulsa, Chile.
Joined April 2019
  • 99% positive reviews (797)
  • 19151 students