If you have been following the progress of my Where the Wild Things Are tribute illustration, you would have seen the conceptual drawings in Part 1, and then the preliminary and final drawings in Part 2. Now, in Part 3, I’ll be showing you the beginning stages of my painting process.
Watercolor paint is a transparent medium. That means, it doesn’t completely cover what is below it. If you don’t want a lot of errant lines in your underdrawing, then you have to draw pretty cleanly, which is what I did earlier when tracing down my drawing to the paper. But it also means that I can paint in my shadows first since they will show through the next level of paint that will be applied.
So, with a little Winsor & Newton Ultramarine Violet, mixed with a slight amount of Olive Green to cut down on the brilliance of the purple, I laid in a bit of an underpainting. I won’t get into the gritty details here, but if you care to read about this process at length, you can visit my post on painting Frankenstein.
I really don’t care if the paint gets on top of the colored pencil lines of the drawing at this point. Prismacolor pencils have a waxy consistency (they are fancy crayons, really) that repels the paint depending on the pigment. I tend to mix a little gouache (an opaque water based paint) in my watercolors sometimes, which will always cover more. Regardless, if the lines get covered, it’s not a problem because I’ll go back in after all the painting is done to do final line work. And because watercolor is transparent, this purple underpainting will show through the final layer of paint.
After the leaves, the characters got a bit of a purple monochromatic painting treatment. You can see that I am starting to define the shapes and fur with some shading, and determining where my light source will be. In this case, it’s more of an ambient light hitting them from above left center.
Come back for Part 4 to see the progress of the painting which is all leading up to the big reveal of the final piece on Friday at TerribleYellowEyes.com.