My Watercolor Illustration Process

Monday, October 17, 2016

Take a peek at my watercolor illustration process and how I found a solution to those annoying graphite sketch lines in my watercolor paintings.
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I recently have changed the way I work when it comes to creating my watercolor illustrations and so I thought that I would share my process with the latest painting that I made. Every artist is different, but for me personally, I find that I like to work in a detailed manner, as a looser style of painting just isn't me. I prefer to sketch out the lines of what I plan to paint first, but those of you who work in watercolor know that once you paint over pencil marks you can't really erase them. This was an issue that bothered me, especially since I tend to be (unintentionally) pretty heavy handed.

Take a peek at my watercolor illustration process and how I found a solution to those annoying graphite sketch lines in my watercolor paintings.

So one day, I kind of had an epiphany and realized the solution was so simple: I could just sketch in colored pencil! I decided to use my *Staedtler Noris Colored Pencils because they actually erase pretty well (just in case I made a mistake) and they are pretty light (I figured the paint would cover my lines). But the other advantage to using colored pencils is that I can plan out my color palette beforehand as well.

Take a peek at my watercolor illustration process and how I found a solution to those annoying graphite sketch lines in my watercolor paintings.

So after I sketched out my design in the colored pencils, I started to paint. And as I suspected, you couldn't see the lines at all! Even if you could, it probably would still be less noticeable than graphite anyway.

Take a peek at my watercolor illustration process and how I found a solution to those annoying graphite sketch lines in my watercolor paintings.

You can see the finished painting in my sketchbook above - minus any annoying graphite lines. I don't know why I didn't think about this earlier, but I'm definitely going to use colored pencils in my sketching process from now on! I'd love to know if you happen to do this as well, or just what your process looks like in general.

And if you like this illustration, you can find it on my *Society6 shop :)

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2 comments

  1. What a great idea! The pencil marks under the paint never really bothered me, unless it is *very* visible. I always draw very lightly and rub out any repetitive lines that would be visible if being painted over. I'll give your idea a try :)

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    1. Hope you like the idea if you try it out! I always have trouble sketching light enough, plus I like using lighter colors, so the lines would be very noticeable!

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