First comes the sketch, a moment in time, captured in my sketch book.
This little girl needed a teddy bear to add a little something to the illustration.
I like to get the details the way I want them on tracing paper and then transfer that to the watercolor paper with graphite paper I create with a pencil and tracing paper.
Even though my paper is 300 lb., I staple it to a board. That helps keep the paper from warping with the water and also keeps it on the board if I want to paint at an angle.
At this point I think about what colors I would like to use. I like to limit my palette to a few colors to help harmonize the colors. I’m going to try a double analogous.
You have to jump right into putting paint on paper. The white blank paper can be intimidating so diving in is the best.
Sometimes I will make a color study. Other times I will think a bit more and let the colors happen. This can be very fun if the painting turns out. Otherwise…..not so fun.
I like to put some details into the illustration with a pencil. The trick is to keep the line fresh and spontaneous. The line needs to look like you are having fun and sure of yourself.
When you think you have your illustration finished, you can take a look at it in the mirror to see if anything else needs to be added. You can also take the color out to see how your values are.