Loose Watercolor Studies: Watercolor Basics

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My Watercolor Basics series is a longform, in depth tutorial series aimed at empowering others to pursue their artistic interests.  Due to the nature of these series, which require process posts, numerous examples, and in depth research, these posts are extremely resource intense.  It is only due to the support and loyalty of my Patrons that I can devote the time, resources, and knowledge to posts like this.  To my Patrons, I owe my sincere thanks- without you, there would be no Watercolor Basics or Intro to Comic Craft series.

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Loosening Up Your Brushstrokes

In several prior Watercolor Basics posts, we've talked about painting from reference.  In this post, I'm still painting using reference, but my intention is for a lighter, brighter overall image.  I'm aiming for graphic and appealing rather than learning or practicing specific watercolor skills/

These were completed in a 'watercolor' sketchbook from Hobby Lobby- the paper is akin to toilet paper, and can't handle water or washes very well.  I'm a stubborn woman though, and I decided I'd fill the whole dang thing with floral studies, and bend it to my will.

For these loose studies, I begin by finding photo reference.  For these, I tended towards bouquets with a variety of colors and flower shapes.  For the illustration,  I begin with a loose sketch in light pencil, then begin working in watercolor.  Once the watercolor has completely dried, I ink these with a waterproof, archival fineliner (the Micron 5 and the Micron 8).

The paper isn't capable of holding much water, takes a long time to dry, and won't permit reworking, so it presents a number of challenges that need to be worked around.  Working with intentionally difficult materials can provide you with the experience you need to solve problems you may encounter painting your pages.

These exercises were inspired by the work of Alisa Burke.

These studies were intended to help me loosen up my approach to watercolor, to approach studies with a fun mindset, and to try something new with brighter colors and graphic lineart.  Working outside of your comfort zone doesn't always result in pieces you're pleased with, but often you'll impress yourself with your versatility!

Enjoy my art?  These watercolor studies are available as a set of photo prints!

Speaking of watercolor, today's Watercolor Basic post was brought to you by the webcomic launch of 7" Kara, the comic that has inspired this series!  If you enjoy my watercolor art, illustration, or tutorials, please check 7" Kara out on Tumblr or on the 7" Kara site.

If you just can't stand a cliffhanger, Volume 1 of 7" Kara is available on Gumroad and through my web-shop.  Volume 1 contains the first four chapters of 7" Kara, and a bonus story, as well as loads of additional illustrations and a concept section!


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