Monday, April 28, 2008

Surprise Monday : Week 9 : Layers

When using watercolours, it's all about layers. Coming from an oils background, that was a hard thing to learn, especially to learn that you start with light colours first and gradually get darker. Here's a little in-progress of the character Alice, a sketch i showed you here.

Once the sketch is finalised i trace it onto 300lb Arches watercolour paper using my lightbox.


i tape the illo to my table and get to work! as always with my character sketches (in this case title page illo) close at hand for consistency


i do a background wash then start on skin tones which i use the most layers on, this one has 4-5 layers. Monica had asked me about maintaining consistency of colour throughout a book. I find that hard sometimes too. for the most part I use colours 'straight out of the tube' and might only mix two colours together so it's not so bad, but have had lots of problems getting Alice's skin tones right in each illo. I guess I just try to remember how I did it last time and approximate... not the most scientific of ways I guess, but i find i can usually get close enough. Of course your background affect how other colours look to0 so you have to keep that in mind... i don't think that was any help to you though, sorry Monica!

then colour in everything else which for this small illo has 2-3 layers (highlight, middle tone, shadow)
in this case i didn't like the colour i painted the rug so decided to incorporate collage! i like the richness of it, and had talked about doing this with Karen. i'm now using collage in the rest of the illos too which adds a great last 'layer' i think.
i draw or paint on top of the collage too.

Here are all my materials. i've got lots of brushes i never use, and mostly just stick to the ones laid out there by my palette: India Sable brushes, 8, 10 & 12, a W&N probably about #4, a beautiful japanese brush which has a great point on it for doing detailed work, and coloured pencils for the outlines (previously I've used a lot of painted black ink for linework but am trying to move towards something a bit softer) - I've been using some acylics on top of the collage and use W&N paint and flat sable brushes for that.

I'm not going to delve into much more that this point cause I'm really tired... and hungry! My New Orleans red beans & rice is calling me so I'll make a quick getaway! but any questions fire away and I will answer them next time. xx

15 comments:

Isabelle said...

Hi Kim,
This is the fun part!! I love the illo, the collage on the carpet is a great addition.
Can't wait to see more...

Alicia Padrón said...

This is great Kim!!! Love seeing your process and thanks for posting all this, it is a lot of work I know :o)

I just love how you used color on this one and the collage!!! Oh my.. the collage is wonderful! How did you do that? Did you add it with photoshop? Or you actually glued a piece on the watercolor paper. I can't really tell from here.

Wonderful job my sweet friend.. wonderful really :o)

Diana Evans said...

wow Kim...this is wonderful..love the progression....amazing how it comes to life...

MayY . C said...

oh mine, I sure learn a lot from you. Thanks for sharing, those illos is great!

lil kim said...

Thanks everybody! Alicia, it is collage of actual japanese paper onto the watercolour paper. It wasn't planned, but I think it worked well and now has given me a new dimension for the whole book! funny how little things like that work out :)

Alicia Padrón said...

Well is just wonderful! Love it :o)

Monica said...

Wow, Kim, this is really very helpful. What a wonderful illustration and character. I agree, the collage was a great idea. She is such a cute character, I love her little feet, and making the rug using that beautiful Japanese paper added a whole effect.

Diana Evans said...

thanks for popping by! and I look forward to more of your work..

Kate said...

How fun to witness your process! I love the idea of collage. You may have done it to hide something you did not like, but touches like this add chartacter and interest to an illustration! Oh, and she is adorable!

Lightening said...

Wow - the effect of the collage is magnificent!!!! You are doing such a GREAT job and I'm enjoying watching this process come together.

Angela said...

I remember this sketch. The final is so lovely! The collage is beautifully incorporated into the illustration. :)

lil kim said...

Thank you so much everyone :) Your comments are so encouraging and makes me even more excited to use collage to post about!

Kim said...

hi Kim
what a beautiful blog you have and such gorgeous work...
I found your blog through entrecard...
regards Kim @ laketrees

jpdmom said...

I love your illustrations, I think your art is very charming. I work with acrylics all the time - but love that you work in different mediums. Thanks for the showing how you go through your stages of creating your art.

Jamie R Lentzner
www.jpd.typepad.com

Eugenia Gina said...

and it becomes just beautiful, thanks for showing us your methods kim.. It's really helpful.. :D!