Monday, January 15, 2018

Penciling Your Bluelines: Watercolor Basics

In our last Watercolor Basics post, we talked about printing our bluelines and penciling our pages.  In today's, I'm going to demonstrate how I pencil my watercolor illustrations and comic pages.


Printed Blueline Illustration
2H pencil or mechanical pencil lead

Penciling your illustration is really simple, but it can be a key part to ensuring your lines don't disappear.  You want to use a harder lead, as soft leads may smear when you stretch your page.  As your page evolves, your penciled lines will almost disappear, especially if you utilize watercolor outlines and strong contrast.  This allows for a softer look than available for pen and ink watercolor illustrations.  Although this is the method I use for 7" Kara pages, fear not, I'll cover other methods in the near future!

Left:  Inked watercolor illustration.  Right: Pencilled watercolor illustration.

Disappearing Bluelines Tutorial:

Watercolor Basics- Pencils

Left: Pencils with bluelines,    Right: Finished watercolor page.

Penciling is a very simple technique that allows you to define forms even after your bluelines have washed away.  You can go simple and open, or do intricate, detailed lineart with your pencils.  Pencils are not your only option when it comes to creating lineart for watercolors, but they're an excellent low key, inexpensive way to do so.

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