Monday, September 17, 2012

Watercolors: Part 2

Here's the continuation of the watercolor lesson.  For reference, I've listed the materials again.

Materials List:

Watercolor Pans (Winsor-Newton)
Watercolor Tubes (Winsor-Newton)
Watercolor Semi-soft pans (Yarka)
Assorted brushes
Doll traced onto Arches paper
Clean water
Paper towel
Watercolor palette

My preferred brush is a Cotman (by Winsor Newton) #4 round.  It's really versatile.  My second favorite brush is also a Cotman.  I believe it's a #1 round but I've had it so long that the markings are gone & the handle is bent!  I like a full synthetic brush -- I think it has the best feel at the best price.  I've had those two brushes for 10 years, easily.  Take care of a good brush & it'll last forever!

So now that my dolls have all of their color blocked in, and the flesh tones have some shadows, it's time to give everything else some shadows.  I started with the red, then the yellow, then the orange.  Again, I tried not to paint adjacent areas.  Start subtle.  It's easier to add than to take away.
After the initial shadows dry, I go back in with a slightly darker color and beef up the existing shadows.  I also add shadows to the base of the doll and the pants outfit.  To create my shadow colors, I use the initial color and add its complement.  Time to get out your color wheel!

For red, the complimentary color is green.  Green is directly across from red on the color wheel.  Adding green to red will make the red a little darker and a little more dull.  Perfect for shadows!

Now that all of my outfits are colored & shaded, I start on the details.  I want the shoes to be brown, and some of the details to be brown, and I leave that color for last.  Dark colors can be a little trickier, so I leave them till the end.  I don't want the brown to run into the red or yellow, etc.

I add the shadows to the brown at this point.  As you can see, I've been working on the face and hair as well.  I'm going to address those separately.

I want a dark red gemstone in the various pins and buckles on the doll.  This is the time to add that.   You could paint the settings or the gemstones first.  I decided to paint the gemstones.  They are are a bright, rich red.  Make sure to let this color dry before placing any other near it.  It will bleed!
Now that the gemstones are dry, I paint in the gold of the settings.  I start with a light yellow, then a darker yellow, and some brown for shadows.  I'll also add a slight white highlight to the gold and the gemstone.  I rarely use white in watercolors but this instance calls for it.

Outline everything with a thin brush in a darker tone.  Take your time with this!  I find outlines really help clean the image up and really give it a "finalized" look.

This is the final doll.  A word of advice: keep your light source in mind.  I accidentally started shading the wrong side of some of the clothes.  Instead of adjusting the clothes, I adjusted the shading on the doll. 

Now for the hair.  I've broken it into 8 steps.  I also painted the face at this time.  That's pretty straight forward.

1) Lay in a midtown.  This is a blonde so I put in a light yellow.
2) While the yellow is still somewhat wet, I put in the first layer of shadow.
3) Using a damp brush, I pull out a little of the light yellow where the highlight is.
4) A second layer of shadows.  I've also started adding lines to give the hair texture.
5) Once all of this dries, I take the initial yellow & glaze over the whole hair again.
6) Another layer of shadows and lines with a thin brush.
7) More of the same, slightly darker.
8) Outline everything. 

Next time we'll start talking about digital media.  I'll start with a Photoshop introduction.  Hopefully you won't see anymore of my horrible photos -- screenshots from here on out!

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