Before I start the watercolor walk-through for today, I need to share a picture of my studio buddy!
I find watercolors to be a temperamental medium. I have a
love-hate thing for them. In this case, I used a very smooth paper and
the paint went on in a way I wasn't accustomed to. It didn't absorb
into the paper well and sort of sat on top of it in an ink-like film. For some of the images, this was awesome and for some... well, we'll go over my frustrations in another post.
I've traced all of my template images onto my final paper. I used a light pencil so the outlines are faint in this image. I took this pictures with my phone, so some pictures are better than others! I like to keep my lines faint. I discovered on this project that an Art Gum eraser will remove lines even after I painted over them, courtesy of my youngest son who grabbed a pencil and scribbled on my painting.
I used to be a real purist about mixing paint colors. I used a very limited palette for a long time, but then an art professor of mine taught us a whole class just about selecting colors for a palette and it totally changed my thinking.
Also, it's important to paint from lightest to darkest in watercolors. Ideally, the paper is your white. I'll come back to that point later...
The hair is painted in three tones, from lightest to darkest. I find using three colors (light, medium, dark) is really all I need to shade and define form. I used a tiny brush to get all of the strands in. Brushstroke is important. I tried to follow the contours of my initial outlines.
The make-up was tricky. I wanted heavy make-up to convey a sense of villainy and red lips with black eyeliner seemed key. I also thought green eyes were more devilish too! (No offense to any green eyed folks out there - I love green eyes!)
After black, red is my least favorite color to work with and I have a whole rant about red coming up soon.
A word about white... Some watercolor artists ardently refuse to use it. I like a little white when it's helpful. Here, I used white to give the boots & bodysuit a little shine. I also added a tiny bit to the eyes & lips for the same reason.
And this is what my table looks like most of the time! I have an amazing lamp that my husband got me for Christmas. I suggest you use the best lighting you can - it makes a difference.
Next up, I'll go through the entire painting process of a painting an outfit. If I can figure out how, I may try to make that one a video lesson. I've never tried that, so we'll see if it works or not!