Illustration step-by-step

Illustration step-by-step

I’ve finished my third illustration of the girl with the red hat… and this time I took photos so that I could do a step-by-step blog post. I thought it might be fun because I would be using some watercolour texture techniques to make the manatee’s skin look rough and barnacle-y!

1)  I began by masking out the whole figure of the girl and the bubbles, so that I could splash around a lot of paint for the watery background without worrying about paint straying onto her skin.
2)  Next I did a wash in cerulean blue to start filling in the water.
3)  I added another wash on top in blue and green.

4)  I scraped some fragments of watercolour pencil onto a spare piece of paper, then when I painted the manatee I dropped a little salt and this pencil dust into the wet paint.

5)  Here’s another close-up after I’ve brushed off the salt and excess pencil scrapings…

6)  I didn’t have much else to do in watercolour except fill in some areas of the girl. I had a bit of a disaster taking the masking fluid off as it took the surface of the paper off in a few places (something that’s never happened before!) I still have no idea why… but I decided it was rescue-able and that I could work around the damage.

7)  I switched to watercolour pencils to tidy up edges and add detail to the characters… and that’s about it!

Watercolour is really enjoyable when you add texture with salt and things, but it can be pretty unpredictable and prone to problems like masking fluid malfunctions. But then again that’s all part of the fun. My artwork tends to be very controlled so I like the gamble of using watercolour, where you’re literally forced to incorporate random elements that emerge during the process of painting.

4 Responses to Illustration step-by-step

  1. Hi Brian… you should definitely try it out! I always feel disappointed when I do a painting where there won't be an opportunity for special textures like this!

  2. Hi Katriona, thanks for showing your process! Such beautiful artwork, i love this latest one. I also like the pencil shavings technique, what a great idea.

    Just a question: is there a reason you use watercolour pencils over normal coloured pencils? (it doesn't look like you actually wet the watercolour pencils after drawing with them?)

    ps. going to go follow you on twitter now! :)

  3. Hi Kim,

    You're right, I don't wet the pencils after using them… and I sometimes use a mixture of water-soluble and non-soluble pencils. The only thing is that I find using a water-soluble white pencil that's been slightly dampened, lets me cover darkened bits quite well. So if I want to slightly move a line, for example, I can use a damp white pencil and it'll cover a dark line then I can re-position it and colour over the white.

    I hope that makes sense. I also like soft pencils and watercolour ones tend to be quite soft… Caran d'Ache have always been my favourites!

Leave a reply