Hello people, I'm proposing you a Step-by-step of watercolor illustration.
It is a basic technic, everything in watercolor is basic and simple, the difficulty come from experiment, but it is the only way to improve and progress.
(please forgive my english!)
This is a forest view from Koya-san in Japan. It's a special place with a very special atmosphere, I was there last september, and it was hot, wet, some times raining thin so the vegetation is great, very green, dark green to flashy sometimes, so watercolor is the best way to transmit it in the picture.
1- I fix the sheet on a wooden surface, and after pencil, I ink it with a grey waterproof ink (of my composition, it's very easy to make)
2- I wet a lot the sheet with a sponge and I put my green. It's important. You can see my sheet, and the effects with the color
3 - The sheet is drying.
4 - The green is dry, the sheet is plane again, I put my basic brown with brush on the dry sheet, and I will continue, little by little, going darkly
5 - It's later, I close to the end but not really, the basics aren't finished, I have reserved my clear our high-lighted area.
6 - I put the "flashy" green on my reserved areas, to be vere "luminous" because watercolor is transparent. My trees are very basics, to not perturbate my main tree, and showing this wet atmosphere.
I put the details: lychens on tree, branchs, grass, plants...etc..tiny stuff
I didn't take pictures of all steps, because it's a very patient technic with a lot of smalls steps, there is only the main way of doing, in a next illustration I will be more skill in the making-of.
I hope you have enjoy. Thank you.
Last edited by Eien Kuronashi; May 6th, 2010 at 03:25 AM.
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Holy mother of..... My jaw dropped when I saw the end result. Of course one is always more impressed when they see things they can't reproduce themselves - and watercolors and me should be forbidden by law.
But nonetheless awesome work, and good and informative tutorial.
Great man, I've seen a lot of your paintings in this style and would love to see the steps for others.
Make another one!
Japanese people are very skilled with traditional media. Watercolor and Gouache still have many adepts there. I´m amazed of what they are capable of with this techniques.
You should post more. This place is the right place to post your tutorials. I find them very very very useful, because I´m a wannabe watercolorist too :p Your work is stunning
OK so, this another step by step, for a picture in the same style, but with less details, more spontaneous.
It's the same place, so the same universe.
So this is my place, the original is a personnal photography I took in situ and a little sketch quickly done (non visible here)
this is the sketch with a grey waterproof ink from my own made.
I wet the sheet and put my light green
After waiting dry for the basic green, I wet again and put my dark green
All the next steps are same for différents areas and colors
Does it hurt to use a fan when waiting for the paper to dry?
Great processes, thanks.
If your sheet with color is very wet, a fan can produce a "directionary wind" who push water and color, so take care.
If you use a hair-dryer, you have to take care of air humidity, the paper type (density, thickness) and the warmth of your hair-dryer.
It could be important, because if you wind is too hot, paper could have differents reactions, depending about his thickness. Or the color which can "turn", even the sellotape which fix the sheet which can unstick anymore.
Otherwhile, you can easily do it.
Last edited by Eien Kuronashi; May 10th, 2009 at 09:28 AM.
Is that Fabriano paper?
No, these are CANSON Montval 200g/m2 Cold pressed.
it's a paper created by the painter Gaspard Maillol at the beginning of the century.
from the brand:
"being manufactured in a neutral medium (acid-free) ensures an excellent durability. Fungicides prevent it from mildew and rot, it has natural whiteness."
Fungicides prevent is important, because natural paper and watercolor I use are also almost natural, so sometimes in the past I had some bad experiments with colors turned with a kind of dust, in reality mushrooms.
(depends of air humidity and light)
That's because I try to work in the ancient way, and some old natural papers are not protected, but you can perfectly use a modern way without problems.
Good papers are Fabriano, Vinci, Arches are very good also, and all are modern so no problem. Don't worry!
Are you stretching your paper, or are you taping it down to your board dry, without any preparation? If you are stretching it, the buckling is probably coming from using the wrong tape. I prefer to use postal tape (the kind you have to wet before use).
You're right about the tape, for stretching I use a craft tape that you have to wet (I don't know what is your postal tape exactly, but I think it's same).
I use also a masking tape because it's quicker, and removing is easier too, nicely.
How do you make your own ink?
These are incredible paintings. Thank you for posting the process.
Thank you very much for these nice walkthroughs.
"As you think, so shall you become."
It's not very difficult, to make ink and watercolor by yourself, but it's very long.
You need a color pigment, whitch needs a medium to be use and fix.
But this medium is different of the nature of the pigment:
some pigment needs "huile de lin" (lin oil), other honey, arabic rubber, parafin, a "white of egg" or only water...it depends of the nature of the pigment.
I buy nothing, I find every components...in the nature, (sands, "ocre" "terre de Sienne", carbon, mushrooms...etc...
Plus, the quantities are important and it's quitely difficult to give a precise recepe. I do a lot of errors, tries to finally get a few of color.
I do this for more of ten years now...so it's very difficult for me to give you the right way of doing your own colors.
Try it, you will learn like me ... by yourself with time...
I encourage you to try it because it give you another dimension of the art, more intense, more precious.
Good luck son!
Hello guys, I propose you another Work In Progress.
It's still watercolor, but the mind is different and the tips and technic so.
I'm not sure it is possible to notice, but make a real step-by-step, each time I put the pencil on the paper is too long and fastidious, sorry.
I hope you'll enjoy and it will be helpfull.
its so realistic, that at first I thought its a reference image in the ending really sweet stuff!
I come back again with a new work in progress.
Still the same technic, with an less dynamic view but little bit more realistic.
The point is not to be like a photo, but in this case I really enjoy the quiet and the peace of the place, close to sadness (not exactly..). So, pictures are better than my words:
Eien, thank you very much for posting these! I love watercolor painting, and these step-by-step images are really insightful.
Quick question, sorry if I missed it earlier in this thread. Do you work flat on the table? I have always only done watercolor painting on a tilted surface, and I wonder if you feel there's an advantage either way.
this thread is amazingggg
This is beautiful! thanks so much for sharing!
All of these paintings are very beautiful, and I enjoyed seeing your process. thanks for sharing :]
"A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed
I love your watercolours! We have to use watercolours in my class and I absolutely suck at them xD - We can't use line in ours as well. Can you do an example that doesn't have lines in the finished product? Wouldn't mind seeing how to do that better. I'm a bit bad at it...
My observational skills may be great but i said nothing about my drawing skills
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