Do you love to paint in watercolor, but have difficulty with intricate details? Have no fear!
This week, I have combined the brilliancy and versatility of watercolor with the precision and ease of ink!
Of course, this style isn’t for everybody because it does result in more of an illustration feel and strays a bit from realism–but, if that’s what you’re into, keep reading!
For this project, I had my trusty American Journey Artists’ Watercolors, Miller’s Pseudo Sable (round, size 4), Sakura Pigma Micron Pens (sizes .02 and .03), and a sheet of 140lb Kilimanjaro Watercolor Paper.
My plan for this project was to start with loose shapes and bring them in with the detail from my pens, so I squeezed out a dab of Royal Amethyst and put down a vaguely-floral shape:
Next, I picked a few more nature-inspired colors and filled in some other flowery shapes:
(The light pink is Taylor’s Flamingo Pink, the redder pink is Rambling Rose Quinacridone, the blue on the bottom left is Midnight Blue, the blue-green on the top right is June Bug, and the little magenta and yellow flowers are Janet’s Violet Rose and Joe’s Yellow.)
Unfortunately, I got a little overly excited about all of the colors and shapes and ended up running two of my little flowers into each other…
–But it was nothing that my Fritch Scrubber couldn’t handle!
With that taken care of, I laid down a second layer of color on my shapes to achieve some depth.
To maintain consistency, I mixed the original color with something adjacent to it on the color wheel and also already featured in the painting–for Rambling Rose, I went with Royal Amethyst.
I followed that pattern with the rest of the shapes and colors (adding Midnight Blue to Royal Amethyst and June Bug, Rambling Rose to Taylor’s Flamingo Pink and Joe’s Yellow, and Royal Amethyst to Janet’s Violet Rose) until all–save for the little “Oops” flower–had a touch of a darker hue.
Since the small flowers already had their dark middles, I went the other direction for my large flowers and picked my Fritch Scrubber back up to do lighter middles:
I did this subtraction very loosely because I knew I would be able to hone it with my ink later.
Well, now that my flowers were finished, I needed to give them something to sit in and fill up the white space!
With Joe’s Green, I added some very simple leaf shapes and filled in the rest with what would end up looking like moss.
–It could be moss, right? Moss grows around flowers, doesn’t it?
Oh well. This is my painting. I’m sure these kinds of flowers don’t exist near each other, or even at all, so it’s whatever I want it to be!
Following suit from the flowers, I also added a second “depth” layer to the leaves and mystery foliage by mixing in some Midnight Blue:
At this time, I was also able to correct the “Oops” flower!
Much better! And once it’s inked, you won’t even be able to tell there was an “Oops” to begin with.
So now came the really fun part: inking!
I started simple with the June Bug flower by just lining the edges and where the colors differed.
Once I had an idea of where each flower was going, I was movin’ right along!
It was so magical to see each flower come to life one at a time, right before my eyes!
It was also around this time that I realized my bouquet was floating in thin air…so I did a quick wash of Joe’s Blue and a pinch of Janet’s Violet Rose and kept on inkin’.
I didn’t have to worry about water running into the parts that had ink on them because the Microns are waterproof as well as archival and lightfast!
They all had individual looks to them–again, probably none that mimic real-life flowers–and I could not have been more pleased with the outcome.
With the flowers lined, I went straight in to the greenery:
This section of flowers and leaves ended up being my favorite! All of the colors worked so wonderfully together–and the “moss” doesn’t look half bad!
Here’s the finished product:
It’s crazy to think that all of this came from some nondescript shapes just a short time prior:
This project was a really fun way to play with mixed media as well as substitute brush details with pen.
And now I can submit it to the Spring Art Contest!
Don’t forget to send yours in! There are some amazing prizes to be won and still plenty of time to craft your masterpiece!
Click here or the picture for more information, and keep painting!