Friday, June 17, 2016


Green like dat moolah you ain't gettin', kid.

Seriously, though, tried getting into watercolors and coincidentally also into actually scanning color work rather than the usual photo snap. To be fair, my camera has repeatedly blown me away with how trusty it is, and I think it might, might be better than my scanner...!

Having always wondered which would win in a fight, I decided to investigate here (scan at top, cam on bot), and the camera does actually seem to be a bit closer to how the picture looks in real life; the scanner shows it a little more red rather than the brown it actually is. Plus the camera seems to be a little crisper...but I can't tell for certain. The main downside to the camera is that I constantly have to battle to capture the image straight-on (hence the varied sizes of the WIP shots) and properly lit (since all the light around here save my tiny desk spot light and my giant window during daylight hours tends to be more yellowish rather than white).

Anyway, today was really all about testing out watercolors (and color pencil touch ups), and fortunately I had an old piece inked up already, so I could cut straight to the coloring. And further fortunately, I diligently photographed the steps so I can "rewatch the tape" later to see what I did myself. I did watercolor earnestly a while ago, but kinda forgot whatever I managed to learn, though it's now coming back to me.

So these are like research notes, I guess: I started with gently layering in the tones I wanted, and placing in light-to-dark in the usual circular weavings and soft swipes for larger areas and subtler incorporation, and then used my waterbrush dealio to work the colors together piece by piece. I'm going mainly off of instinct since I don't have Internet most of the day, so hopefully this is in the ballpark of proper watercoloring.

And then I basically just repeated that process till all the colors were in. I then went over like Eisaku with some color pencils to bring some warmth/balance to the colors, and finished everything off with white Signo highlights. I should note that the line inks were with my G-Pen, so I noticed they can run into the colors a bit. My next watercolor piece was on just pencils, and it came out quite a bit cleaner, as expected. After that, I have to test my Signo .28 and my Copic and Micron pens, too. I assume the Signo's gonna get gnarled up. Wonder if Copic markers are wise...I'm sure there's some chemistry involved here I should be aware of.

Also worth mentioning, for the final PhotoJam, in the spirit of study, I embraced the concept of "image-making," so I touched-up the piece quite liberally in Photoshop, including moving some stuff around. I used to think this was something like cheating, but if I consider it not a watercolor piece, but an image I'm making--that is, a collection of pixels to display online--then I would like to see what I can make of it if everything on the paper was simply the base layer, like pencils to inks. Or paper to pencil! Taking the production further, I also used a KNKL-informed gradient maps and other effects, too, including some over-painting.

I feel like I learned a lot on this piece, even it isn't that great to look at (the date says I drew this two years ago!); the mechanics involved were quite worthwhile and I'd easily be down to give the image-making flow another go.


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