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Thread: Blanche's sketchbook and progress pics

  1. #1

    Default Blanche's sketchbook and progress pics

    Hi there!

    Since CindyD was interested in seeing some Curiosity Cabinet progress pics and I just made one for Waughtercolors, here goes (sorry the pictures are so small) :



    When it's a detailed card, I often start with a rough sketch in Photoshop to be able to play easily with the shapes and composition. I usually collect some reference pics from Google for inspiration, unless it's a very simple or easy subject :

    Process001.jpg


    When I'm drawing a character with a simple background, I don't bother with Photoshop and just sketch it on paper :

    Process02.jpg


    I print my drawing and trace it with a Col-Erase pencil on watercolor paper using a lightbox (my go-to paper is Fabriano cold press 200g/m2). Sometimes I print several copies of the card on the same sheet for color testing (but this time I didn't) :

    Process003.jpg


    I paint the picture using Winsor & Newton professional watercolor. I'm no watercolor expert and I don't have any amazing techniques to show you. I just go by instinct. Sometimes I paint the whole background with a light color to unify the painting, but here I didn't. More often than not, I start with the lighter colors and finish with the darker, unless I'm feeling like painting the mushroom first like I did here! When I'm short on time, I use a heat gun to dry the wet areas and push the pigment around. I use the area outside the card to test my colors before applying :

    Process004.jpg

    Process005.jpg

    Process006.jpg


    I add the last details using Col-Erase pencils and a white gel pen (I like the white Uniball Signo Angelic Colors, it doesn't clog as much as the Sakura pens in my experience). I feel like this step takes away some of the watercolor spontaneity and beauty sometimes, but it makes the picture much easier to read when I'm drawing small or complex shapes. Finally, I apply some watercolor varnish to prevent the pencil from rubbing off and to make the colors look brighter :

    Process07.jpg

    That's pretty much it. I hope you liked!
    Last edited by Blanche; 07-25-2018 at 12:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    Cool! I wish your pictures were bigger! I'm working on some colorful moos using watercolor. You just gave me the idea to use some of my new colored pencils on them! And I was already planning to use my Uniball Signo. That's my favorite white highlight as well. Great minds think alike! Or at least alike minds think alike :-)
    Keeping my eyes open for the next challenge...

  3. #3

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    Thanks KPinAK! I can't wait to see your watercolor piece.

    I'll upload bigger versions of the pics tomorrow. I was afraid the post would be huge if I used bigger pictures but since they're thumbnails, it's not a problem.

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  5. #5

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    I replaced some of the pictures with bigger versions so you guys can see the details a little better. Sorry for the crappy pics, they were taken at night with my iPhone.

    Pabkins, I use Pébéo watercolor and gouache varnish. I only apply a single light coat. It makes the ATCs seem duller in the pictures because it reflects light, but on the real ATCs the colors look brighter. I know some watercolorists don't like varnish because it takes away some of the color's authenticity, but I'm not one of them.

    I found the varnish doesn't agree with all watercolor pigments, though. For example, some of the highly pigmented blacks look all wonky when I apply the varnish, and some brands of white ink and gel pens tend to fade or completely disappear when I use it (moonlight Sakura gel pens, for example). Another downside is that varnish makes it difficult to change anything on the card once it's applied.

    I hope it helps!

  6. #6
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    I just looked at your "process" pics up close. That's really cool
    how you do that & really cool how you describe it in the thread. Thanks!
    Keeping my eyes open for the next challenge...

  7. #7

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    I know it's not a sketch but I thought I'd share this because it's been so useful to me. I made a watercolor chart with small samples of every color I own. I don't always remember how colors look once they dry, how the different pigments settle on the paper, how opaque they are and so on. The chart helps me a lot when I'm not sure which color to pick :

    IMG_1857.jpg

    The only downside is that it makes me want to buy more colors to fill in the empty spots.


    I plan to make another one with my favorite color mixes too.

  8. #8
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    What a great idea. That would be especially helpful to me to see how opaque my colors are. I like your browns. I don't like my browns. I better buy more colors, too!

    Oh, you know what is WAY TOO FUN? the watercolor sample chart from Daniel Smith.
    https://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Smith-...ct_top?ie=UTF8
    Keeping my eyes open for the next challenge...

  9. #9

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    I saw it up close when I was shopping for art supplies a few days ago and almost bought it. It's a genius idea!
    I wish Winsor & Newton sold one too. It must be super useful to try out new colors!

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  11. #11
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    I think W&N should make a dot chart & distribute it for free to all iATC members who want one. They would recover their costs in about 3 days! :-)

    Can you imagine if that were your job--to make the dot charts? Not to design them. To actually apply all those dots.
    Keeping my eyes open for the next challenge...

  12. #12
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    This is very cool, thanks for sharing Blanche!

    The difference in finish from your last watercolor piece to the finished product with the pencils is marked! and amazing! You must do a lot of finishing with the pencils. Do you add more colors too or just smooth out the watercolors and sharpen the edges?

    I had to buy the smallest brush I could find to get the super tiny details in my pieces, so I was super impressed with all the very small details in your work. I might try the pencils. Looks to be more efficient.
    Website ** Instagram ** Etsy Shop
    I'm taking life one trade at a time.

  13. #13

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    Omg I'm so sorry TempestStudios, I don't get notifications when people write here and I didn't see your question. Usually when I'm at the finishing stage I don't add any more paint unless I notice an area I forgot. I use several different pencil colors to help make the picture more vivid. I don't usually color the shapes with pencil, although there's been some exceptions, but I trace the contours to help the subject come into focus. The colors I use the most among the Col Erase are indigo blue, Tuscan red (skin contour and hair), terra cotta, brown, green, violet and black, but I use other colors once in a while. They're incredibly useful to add tiny details! I sharpen them a lot so they don't last very long but they're cheap so it's ok.

    KPinAK, I really wish W&N would do that!

  14. #14

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    Some stuff from my sketchbook, old and new. I really need to use it more often. I'd like to try urban sketching, it looks like fun!

    This was for last year's Inktober. I don't think I even got past the first day.

    Untitled-1.jpg

    This will be a mermaid but her tail is inspired from a picture of a sea mollusk I saw in National Geographic.

    Untitled-2.jpg

    Just for the fun of drawing succulents:

    Untitled-3.jpg

    This is a small band of runaway children hiding in a spaceship that no longer flies. Part of it may get turned into a card. I was feeling like drawing machines!

    Untitled-4.jpg

    This last one is a Photoshop sketch. They're a pair of evil witches from Legend of Zelda and I think their design is brilliant! I may turn them into a card.

    Untitled-5.jpg

  15. #15
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    Beautiful lines and very cool creatures. So polished and precise. That interior with the runaway children is particularly amazing!

  16. #16

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    Thank you for the nice comment Cindy!
    I'm amazed at all those artists who fill lots of sketchbooks. I'd like to do the same. I need to find a way to keep up the habit.

  17. #17

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    Here's a sketch of Machochick's set of One Piece cards:

    SanjiLuffyNami.jpg

    Colors are done. I thought it would be fun to try a sunset palette.

    Untitled-2.jpg

    Next are the lines and highlights.
    Last edited by Blanche; 07-25-2018 at 01:03 AM.

  18. #18

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    A quick sketch for one of my mushroom folks cards :

    Untitled-2.jpg

  19. #19

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    A very rough sketch of wolf Link and Midna for the Fan art PAT swap:

    WolfLinkMidna.jpg

    And a mushroom belle for the Mushroom Folk swap:

    MushFolk2.jpg

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