Using Watercolor Paints with Watercolor Pencils.You know, eventually all of the detail I had to put in with the ink nibs started to give me real headaches. It was really getting on my nerves having to do all of that every time I wanted to create anything. So I wondered if decent results could be obtained using other methods. I thought at first about using just watercolor paints, but I realized that painting on paper, the detail I wanted just wasn't possible.
The solution? Watercolor paints and watercolor pencils.
Using both mediums in this way gives you the ability to quickly throw down all the colors with paint before coming back with pencil to tighten and detail more specific areas with great control. They really do compliment well. It's also far easier to make smooth gradients with pencil as in the rainbow (see below).
But the old english style doesn't quite suite the bold colors that come about using this method (when I do it at least), so I had to change that a little too. When I first started drawing, I was really into manga/anime. It was just about the only thing I drew for about two years. Eventually I got bored of it and moved on, but some of the elements of an anime style really suite the bright 'pop' color schemes I use when working in paints and pencil. So, I gave it a try. First creating the super mario fan piece, and then the catch me rainbow piece.
Being the first time I'd tried to work with both of these mediums, I was a little unsure. I laid down all of the based colors in watercolor, and did the entire background texture with them. But all of the leaves and vines I decided to do in pencil. Pencils are great for drawing nature, because they leave a rough texture behind that implies all the details you would find on a leaf, or a stem or what have you.
Pencils were also great for the mushroom because of how easy it is to achieve gradients using them. The best thing to do when working with them is to start very light, and gradually work toward your desired colors. I might do a full tutorial on how to achieve different effects using different materials another time..
Anyway, I find that pencils are also great for coloring the human figure, because of the control that they allow for. There is that issue of leaving an undesired texture behind, but since doing this piece I've figured out that if you add the water to watercolor pencil drawings..as your supposed to, that rough texture disappears!
A lot of people ask on my deviant art, how I get the shiny look for the star. It's actually quite simple and I would probably do a far better job now. What I did here was just color using a yellow gradient for the star, draw a few pure yellow smaller stars around it, and then all around the piece just throw dashes of yellow that lead out like a pathway from the star. You can see all of that on the leaves. Looking back I should have done it on the character and the mushroom, but hindsight is 20/20, foresight is blind.. Oh, as well, I threw in bright yellow around the star to make it look like it's glowing, darkened the area around the star to create a contrast and then for the strips of light; It's just smudged tipex for the long streams, and dots of tipex for the brighter parts.
Also in this piece; black marker, orange marker and black biro.
Catch Me Rainbow
After the mario piece, I tried my hand at a slightly less anime style. I wanted that 'pop' feel, but didn't want it to feel quite as stylized. This style I really like actually.
Again gradients are a walk with pencil, making it really easy to blind all the colors together in the rainbow, and gradate it into white at the end. The background was painted with water color for speed, and all the foreground details were penciled in.
It was really difficult to get the balloon strings wrapping round her arm, which is why I'm really glad I had the control of pencils to pull it off. Unfortunately after painting the background, the pencils wouldn't go over the top as boldly as I wanted (the disadvantage of poor planning. Moral of the story: Try not to put new things into the drawing ad hoc), so I had to use prisma color markers in the end.
Those markers also really came in handy doing the pokadots on her dress, and some of the shading for the balloons. In-fact, all of the background balloons are marker and nothing more!
The girl was really fun to color I have to say. All the highlights in her dress and stockings made things really interesting; not to mention the rainbow hair which is probably my favorite part! That was great again with pencils, and would be quite difficult with watercolor paints because the colors could all run into each other. But..I could have just used markers and been done with it now I think about it.
Also in this piece: regular pencil.
Mixing in other media
All in all I think when you draw with watercolor paints and pencils together, you can achieve some great effects. The paints work well for speed and smooth textures, while the pencils allow for control and rough textures. But there are some issues sometimes with getting the pencils to lay over the top of the paints clearly enough. I think if your going to make whole pieces using these two mediums, you need to be prepared to add any other mediums that the piece might need should you run into problems, or get additional ideas. Most frequently I have to use biros and marker pens as well. I might do a tutorial at some point or a step by step, but that's another story all together.
On another note.. wasn't this just awesome? Daenarys for the Iron Throne!