Now that the drawing/inking stuff is done, I clear off the drawing supplies and prep my painting set up:
(Read on! There's more!)
- Watercolors (Kuretake, Holbein, Sakura Koi, M. Graham, and Winsor & Newton)
- 2 jars of water (one for clean water, one for rinsing)
- mixing palatte or tray
- brushes (1 cheapo wash brush, Akashiya sable, 100 yen fude brush, and Winsor & Newton Series 7 No.2)
- paper towels (not pictured)
- eyedropper water bottle (not pictured)
I use a variety of paints - both in pans and tubes. Pans are much more convenient to carry around, but I like the many more color choices available in tubes. A popular choice is to make your own palette by squeezing tube paints into a portable palette and let them dry. A tip I recently learned was to write which colors are which on the side of the well so you can remember which is which later.
Another tip is to swatch the colors onto a similar piece of paper you will be working on so you have a reference of both color and how the color will react with the paper. I find having this reference card helpful when mixing colors. (Same with swatching markers.)
From this point on, I'll be testing out the Kuretake Gansai and Transparent watercolor palettes! (I couldn't resist -- they were inexpensive at $15, really compact and the colors were nice and bright!)
To get started, I have a little eyedropper bottle that I use to moisten the dry paints. (Use whatever's handy - spray bottle, a wet brush to dollop water onto the dry cake of paint, fingers, etc.) Goal is to just get it wet enough to work with -- not drown the paint in water.
I start painting, working from light skin tones to dark shadows. I simply adjust with water to lighten colors or have a paper towel handy to lift excess color/water. If I'm unsure about a color I mixed, I sometimes test the color on an unseen edge of the paper or the swatch scrap I made earlier.
As each layer dries, I come back and add more layers on top. I think I did most of the painting with the gansai set -- which produced more "opaque" colors. For tinting - like blush or the fiery effects, I used more of the transparent palette.
When I'm done, I wait for it to dry completely before doing any touch-up or detail work. Sometimes I want some texture on my paintings and use various verithin colored pencils (same ones I use for "inking") to sketch it on lightly. I also use those same pencils to re-do the lines/edges if they seem a little too soft and need more definition.
If I need some white highlights, I go in with a little white gouache and dot in those areas -- usually around the eyes or reflective/shiny things. CLAMP does something similar to create their white "snow" that appears on many of their illustrations.
And there you have it! My process in a nutshell. Pretty simple, huh? :D
BTW - you can't erase pencil lines once you color over them, so make sure those pencil lines are clean from the get-go or they'll forever be a part of the finished painting!
As an afterthought, the Kuretake palettes were quite fun to use! The colors are quite bright -- which makes me think they may not be light-fast, but for great for quick sketches.
(Light-fast refers to when you leave an image out in direct sunlight and the colors start to fade to over time. If you want to use these paints for something you wish to archive, my best suggestion is to scan the original for your records and store the original away from sunlight.)
The only set I'm missing (it was sold out at the time I made my order of the watercolor palettes) is the Pearlescent set... but I'm not quite sure how I'd go about using it yet. Hrmm...
Full Disclosure: The "art supply" posts are a series of sponsored posts by JetPens. What this means is that some, not all, of the items have been purchased for the purpose of review. I encourage you to find the tools that work best for you!
The art supply series will continue next week -- with brush pens! :D