So, from line work to washes - from my previous post, you'll know I've used a waterresistant black pen to plot out the scenes. In the second building (B) I've manipulated perspective to get a more 'fish eye' three/four point perspective. Both reference images where at dusk, so I've started including many of these colours (darker greens and lighting in windows) into the pieces.
With rendering in watercolour, remember the following:
1. Use the right paper - watercolour, fairly average GSM but enough not to have the paper wrinkle. Usually I would stretch my canvas or paper for water washes, but I didn't do it this time.
2. start lightly and work towards the shadows.
Something I didn't quite get right with A. I started working with fairly mid range warm green and terracotta straight away, which dictated the rest of the painting being fairly dark, in comparison to B.
3. Red Blue and Yellow - primary. i) Try to make your own secondary colours etc. But if you can't keep enough paint to cover the whole piece. ii) Use opposites for darkening an area - example, when I made the green (red/yellow primaries), I add a little blue in for the darker corners or shady areas. With the yellow, I went fairly vibrant with yellow to highlight the fact that the glass wasn't a reflective 'blue' but rather had a warm 'glow' - people are home, and the lights are one.
4. I won't be putting the sky in, so I need the scene to convey the time of day, by the colours, shadow, green/shade of the trees.
5. Work with purpose. I hesitated a bit with A. which affected the way it looked - more laboured. but B. is free, stronger and to my eye, my appealing. I work on a few pieces of watercolour paper before I jump in, which works for me.
I'm letting them dry, the paper flatten and in a few days, I will revisit for the final coat. So, I guess you could say point 6. Is don't rush, and perservere. There is a tendency to give up on watercolour washes because they're hard to 'manage', but perservere with them.
So, with a variety of styles being explored, I thought I'd present some of the line work for a project I am currently working on. Drawing and commercial illustration allow me to explore a variety of styles and genres.
For the illustration work:
Reference: I find a relevant image and work from that. For buildings, I tend to use the perspective of the image, or play with the perspective (lower image) to get a more interestin perspective. The left image is taken from photo, the right is an altered image of perspective I've played about with. I wanted a more fish eye lens view, i.e. 3-4 point perspective.
Paper: I use a watercolour smooth linen paper which allows me to continue with either colour pencil or watercolour.
3. Textures: on a second piece of paper, experiment with your water resistant 1. - 5. black pen. Try jagged lines, straight lines, thick and thin lines... vary your lines, but make sure where they need to be straight (e.g. slatting) they are straight... slightly off lines bring the eye away from the focal point and to the error because it's so stark - black against white.
4. What next - Washes: I've used good paper, and good pens, so the wash should be work well - I use either watercolours or indian ink...
So I have a second fish in progress - a Bass I believe. I have enjoyed working with the markers. This time I experimented more with bringing different elements together, like the fish and the driftwood. So, research and reference was key to the exercise.
Another thing I do, is I work upside down for the most part. The work is on A3, so I work on a larger than A3, well lit surface. I move the page around to vary the markings and to get the direction of the markings freely moving in the right direction. This is particularly important where texture is one directional. I also work upside down for the purpose of keeping the picture fairly abstract. I have read "Working on the Right Side of the Brain", a recommended book, and in the book, working upside down is used to 'project' the creativity from the analytical 'left' side of the brain, to the creativity of the 'right' side of the brain. I highly recommend both reading this book, and working upside down...
Markers - copic, tria, pantone etc. they all take a little getting used to. Which is why I start back with the basic - neutral grey tones rendered as layers. Now, people do use markers differently, and you'll find that some ways make the image look quickly done but ultra slick, whilst some look more illustrative and textured. I prefer the illustrative textured look, which I use, however both take skill and patience.
Tips when using Markers - decide whether you're going to go the warm greys or the cool greys, which do give you an entirely different feel. Also, decide whether you want to use pen line work or pencil. I am not a big fan of the black line work at the beginning of the drawing, so I stick with pencil. Once the marker goes over the pencil, be aware that it's then permanent.
Use the correct bank paper - other papers will either bleed, or waste the marker ink (specifically porous papers).
Keep all your old markers - they're refillable (most of the time) and the dried out ones can be used to achieve a different texture...
Work quickly for good blending - I often work with five markers, and starting with the light, I will work with two light colour markers and then wait, let the paper dry and then continue. Good markers will blend well, unless they're dry. But if you want multiple layers to be clear over each other, you need to let the paper dry first... so work quickly for blending, allow the paper to dry for clearer texture change.
Above is an example of how to blend... this example has NG10 (lightest neutral grey I use) and NG08... This is a great way to build up texture.
Markers rely on quick rendering and patience. No ctrl+Z, however don't be afraid to photocopy your image and then continue to work on the photocopy. I used mixed media and really changed the texture and overall look of the Northern Pike by adding whites (water soluble) or gel pens, additional graphite and markers. Then adding an overall colour change on the scanned image in photoshop - all mixed media should not remove from the viewer what they're looking at, unless this is done on purpose. I.E - don't over do it.
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Tanya is a traditional and digital artist, living in Brisbane and inspired by all that is 'Art'.