Choose Your Own Adventure- Watercolor Edition

One of the magic things about using watercolor for illustration and comics is that it's a bit like choosing your own adventure.  Do you want to use hot press or cold press?  Cellulose or cotton rag?  Do you want to dive straight in to watercolor, sketch with a pencil, print out bluelines, or ink?  Every choice can yeild a different results, and it's helpful to know what your options are.

Today, we're going to talk about different types of finish for your watercolors.  How you want to create your lineart (or whether you want a lineart at all!) can drastically change the end aesthetic of your comics and illustrations.  Below are a few of my favorite methods.


Graphite pencil, brushpen, then erase the graphite.  Paint.

Inks that Work:
Waterproof India Inks (make sure they say waterproof on the bottle)
Acrylic Inks
Pigment Based Inks
Ink Used:  Sakura Pigma Professional FB brushpen (pigment based)

End Result:

Other Examples of Inked Watercolors:


Printed bluelines, then tight pencils.  Paint.

Recommended Leads:
HB or harder

End Result:

Other Examples of Penciled Watercolors:

Graphite pencil sketch.  Paint

End Result:

Graphite Transfer.  Paint.  'Inking' with paint.

End Result:

Colored Leads

Colored Lead.  Paint.

Colored Leads that Work:
Color Eno Leads
Harder, waxed based color pencils

"Lineless" Watercolor Style:

End Result:

Other Examples of "Lineless" Watercolor:

Inking After Painting:

Method:  Sketch illustration.  Paint.  Ink accents.

Any ink will work with this method, so long as you aren't adding water again.

End Result:

Other Examples of Inking After Painting:

Straight to Watercolor

Process: Sketch directly with watercolor, focusing on mark making and shapes.

See:  Chinese watercolor, Japanese sumi-e, loose floral watercolors

I hope this has inspired you to try various methods of 'finish' with your own watercolor art and illustration!  If you're looking for more inspiration, make sure you check out my Watercolor Basics series, here and on Youtube.


  1. Such amazing paintings! I love it! I hope you like these artist materials to make your paintings more amazing!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts