Unfortunately, my blog won't display the scan as large as I'd like, BUT! you can view it at a slightly larger size on Ode's site here.
- Blick 140lb cold press watercolor paper
- Blue drafting/painting tape
- Large format printer (Canon Pro 9000 Mark II)
- Photoshop CS4
- Non photo blue lead and drafting pencil
- Intuos 4 tablet
- Custom half pan watercolor palette (mostly Winsor & Newton watercolors)
- Various watercolor brushes
- Caran d'Ache Pablo color pencils
- White Gouache
When doing work not-for-profit, I try to vary my process a bit in order to learn new skills or strengthen weak skills. For this guest art, I wanted the image itself to be fairy simple- two characters, limited background, but I also wanted to include typography.
The thumbnail itself was pretty rough- colored pencil on sketchbook paper. I didn't even delineate a border to the image. Usually I'd scan my thumbnail, convert it to non photo blue in Photoshop, and print that on copy paper to do a rough, but I opted to do something a little different this time.
I sketched out the figures in my sketchbook, and scanned them in before refining.
As you can see, I did A LOT of tightening in Photoshop. I tweaked the figures quite a bit, sketched in the basics of the pine bough arch, and sketched in the typography.
I printed the bluelines on watercolor paper, which resulted in a smaller image than I'd wanted, since I needed to accommodate the arch. I decided not to pencil in the far background that I had sketched in the thumbnail and the refined digital sketch.
Stretching The Paper
I've covered stretching watercolor paper in the past. My method has changed a bit- I saturate both sides by using a mop brush, then I roll a roll of Viva paper towels across the surface to pick up excess water. I wet the tape before applying it, so it'll stretch with the paper as both dry.
Laying Down a Wash
I've covered my general watercolor process in the past, and it really hasn't changed very much since.
I refined my colors with Caran d'Ache Pablo pencil colors and added white highlights with gouache.
Finished Piece Compared to Original Thumbnail
I stayed pretty true to the original concept for the guest art. Retrospectively, a darker fill inside the pine bough arch would probably help the overall composition.