Friday, January 30, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!

While I wait for comments on the second set of sketches for Raj The Bookstore Tiger, I've started preliminary work for Baby Moose Comes to Visit! Hooray! This manuscript made me laugh out loud at all the mischief the main two characters get into-- so I can't wait to add my own slant to the humor. Here are a couple color sketches.

Also, I thought I would answer a couple watercolor questions I was asked recently. For paints I use the Winsor & Newton Artist's series and paint mostly on hot-press paper, although if I feel in a painterly mood I'll use the cold press for that added texture.

For flesh tones I'll start with a really light wash of cadmium yellow, then follow that up with light washes of cadmium red for the edges of the face, a little blush and softer shadows. If I want a darker shadow I'll go with Burnt Sienna and sometimes will add a little extra red to that as well so the shadow doesn't flatten. I'll then add some slight touches of cadmium orange and primrose to the cheeks and nose. I also make sure the surface is slightly wet before adding the blush so that the colors runs across the cheeks smoothly.

Some people are very technical and studious about mixing watercolors, but I'm basically a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of painter. I'm always mixing odd colors together - a dash of this or that, and if it doesn't work I don't do it again lol. I'm still definitely student of this medium and in fact feel most at home with oil paints. I don't think I will ever feel at home with watercolors - they just don't allow for you to relax...ever..because of their unpredictability. But then again that's why I like them.

Thanks for the questions!


lil kim said...

Looks like a lot of fun! And some good watercolour tips. I am quite similar to you - started out with oils and feel like I'll never quite be comfortable with watercolours, though they are exciting for their unpredictability.

Anonymous said...

Paige they are adorable! I love hearing about how you paint. I have dabbled in watercolor, but as you said it's scary. . .

I am going to try more digital watercolor. . .it's a bit less scary.

Phyllis Harris said...

Thanks for answering the I am just starting to play with watercolor again lately. I find I get bored so quickly and have to continue to try new mediums but there is just something so special about traditional watercolor. Like you said, it's so unpredictable but when I do make a happy mistake, it's so worth it!I am constantly learning.

Oh and btw, I really love the baby moose! Again, I love the line quality and as always the clean beautiful colors.

Jessie Lilac said...

I love the perspective and movement in the top one! The Baby Moose project sounds fun and very well suited to your lovely illustrations. Thanks for sharing your techniques, I find it fascinating to hear how other artists paint.x