Wednesday, August 5, 2009

From sketch to painting

I thought I'd share one little illo, from sketch to finished painting.

For this one, I started doodling a pig in an old-fashioned bathtub. I did a quick pencil sketch: I tend to sketch really small, so when I'm happy with the drawing I have to enlarge it either on a photocopier or using my scanner. Once I get it to the right size, I transfer it to watercolor paper using a small lightbox.

I can still make a few changes while transferring the sketch: in this case I changed the paper boat to a little rubber duck. On the sketch paper, I'll sometimes play with color, just to get some ideas.

Once I have the sketch on the watercolor paper, I use pen and ink to do the outline. I love ink drawings, the looser the line, the better. I prefer using a nib so that I can play with the width of the line, but I'm still learning how to control it. Also, even though I like the line to be loose, like on the sketch, once I start doing the outline in ink I have a harder time keeping it just as fresh. I like the results, but it's certainly more controlled. Once that's done, I erase the pencil marks and start painting. Selecting the colors and painting is also something I'm still working on. I guess my favorite part of any illustration is the sketch: everything else takes a bit more work and effort, and I find myself being more tentative. But the greatest thing is that I can see myself improving little by little. Having a blog and being part of Watercolor Wednesday has helped a lot! :-)


Carla said...

Beautiful sketch, Monica. And the shadows on your whites (the tub, the bubbles) are great.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

I totally agree with you Monica! Having a blog and being a part of WAWE has been such a great help. I love this delicious little dumpling in the tub. What a cute and very clean little piggy!! Very nice illustration. I love the way you explained your process. It's such a wonderful teaching tool. Great post my friend. Love the old fashioned tub too.

mitchowl said...

How fun to see your process. thanks for posting this.

Michelle Henninger said...

I love it Monica! I often sketch in my sketch book and then end up lightboxing. More often than not though, I just sketch directly on my watercolor paper.

This is a cute illo! Thanks for sharing your process!

Linda Kay said...

Monica, your work looks so fresh & loose--I really enjoyed looking at the two images & enjoyed your description of how you work. Thanks so much for sharing--I think it helps all of us to know how others work. Your colors are great & so is that little bather!

Courtney said...

you have a great style.

keeping the lines loose is my goal too, the sketches always seem to have something my final pieces are missing.

can't wait to see more.

Dream Painter said...

Love your sketches, so freely and beautifully done.