Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Using Watercolor Paints with Watercolor Pencils.

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.

Super Mario-ette

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!
I say that for now, but I'll probably change my mind by next week..


Friday, 19 April 2013

A Whistle Stop Tour of My Work

A Whistle Stop Tour of My Work

Welcome to my blog!! If you're reading this, you're reading my first blog post on blogger so excuse me if I haven't a clue what I'm doing at the moment. I'm still finding my net legs so to speak. I don't think HTML and I will ever be friends though -.-.  

Anyway, seen as this is my first post, I think it only appropriate to introduce myself. But it's not me that's so important in an art blog is it? It's the art. I'll write about me in an about me section if I can find something like that on this site. Here I'm going to run you all through my favorite pieces. The pieces I've illustrated thus far that I consider to be my best work. All kinds of other things will be posted on this blog over time, but for now, I'm just going to serve up a taste of what I'm all about! Let's get started!

The Gnome's Playground

This was the very first piece I did in this style. Prior to this I was predominantly a manga and portrait artist, but after discovering old English style illustrations like Arthur Rackham's  (To the right), I went through a huge change! There's a whole lot I could say about Rackham but we'll leave it for another post! Essentially I was inspired by the detail he uses in his work and decided to radically change the way I did things, which lead, to the gnome's playground.

 A Human in Fairy Forest

To tell the truth, this was one of my favorite pieces. I say was because I don't have it anymore. I originally illustrated it for someone whom I have since fallen out with. I'm pretty certain it's been destroyed. I keep meaning to go back and make another version one day. Perhaps soon. 

The idea for it was another inspired by the old English illustrators. They do so much with fairies and I thought it was wonderful, so I gave it a go. Since doing it I've noticed the horizon is awfully slanted and her hands are tiny. Maybe just as well that I don't have it any more ay! 

Also, If you've ever seen the magic faraway tree, the tree with a door idea is from that!


   The Field of Hellish Mushrooms

I'm so proud to have made this one. It was published in teen ink magazine last year and is the first time I've ever been published anywhere. Which is strange because it's far from my best piece in my opinion.  It was also the first piece I did after finishing A level art and marked my decision to continue using this 'weird and wonderful' art style permanently. I actually got my inspiration for it from PyroManiac on DeviantART

We Three Witches

A fairly recent illustration. It was mainly about trying different techniques for drawing trees. I remember back when I was in high school, the art teacher would always get us to make silhouettes using black acrylic. I hate doing that kinda thing, but everything has its uses so I thought I'd try it out with the leaves here. It's not something I kept on doing, but it wasn't bad I guess. After this image, I realized that my figure drawing really wasn't up to scratch!

Skulking in the Caves

After a lot of work on my figure drawing I gave things another shot. While I was at it, I decided to change my backgrounds up a little. I really love doing patterns like these, but I don't think they show up as clearly as I want them to in this blog. Just check out my DeviantART at the end of the blog if you want a full view of everything! 

This was actually really difficult to do. I wanted to get the perspective right but at the same time, I wanted the cave to feel 'distorted'. This young mage girl is meant to be skulking through the caves of delusion. To reveal a little about that; I have this fantasy world envisioned which most of my pieces (except fan tributes and what not) are parts of it. In that way all the characters I draw just live in different parts of this alternative world filled with all of those things in my imagination that I wished as a child -and even now- were real. This is a section of the cave of delusion, which is connected to the tower of end. I don't think I'll go into any more than that here for now!

We're Off to See the Wizard

The wonderful wizard of Oz. We hear he is a wiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was. If ever oh ever a wiz there was, the wizard of Oz is one because, because, because, because, because, because! Because of the wonderful things he does! 

I love the wizard of Oz. Maybe that's an English thing, but I just thing the whole world of Oz is brilliant. This was an illustration of one scene in which the dwarves send Dorothy on her way down the yellow brick road to Oz. I'm certain this won't be the only wizard of Oz piece that I do!

I was really working on getting the clothing designs right this time because I think in my previous illustrations I was a little lazy with them. 

So that's me...

That's my style, it's how I roll! Lol, I have to stop being such a duche on purpose. Like I said, this is me, my work, and it's the sort of thing you can expect from here on out. Not everything I post will be polished in the sense that these are. Hell, not everything I post will be a picture. But for the most part, this kinda thing is what this blog is all about. If you have a passion for the fantastic like myself, you'll love being here (I hope!). I hope you enjoy this blog. A place where everything I imagine, is real.

My DeviantART: http://scarlet-light.deviantart.com/
Something I have to do for Technorati to list my blog: 6XWUW8NRUHMZ
Thanks for reading