It’s about time to send out a new promotional postcard! (my last one hasn’t returned any bites, but I am hoping it is up on a few art director’s walls…) I have a lot of old work I still really like, but it’s all in colored pencil and, to save myself from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I am avoiding that medium for any professional work. Sooo, I decided to take a piece I did from long ago and convert it from colored pencil to watercolor, along with updating it to my most current style.
Step One – Planning and Sketching
The piece I chose is relating to airplanes and the crazy people you might sit by, and I chose it because I thought that it might work editorially as well as for the children’s market.
I made quite a few small changes that I hope will make the picture a bit better:
- Changed the format from square to rectangle to better fit a postcard.
- Changed the image. Nest of eggs put under the seat (Nothing is allowed in the aisles!); Added chicken drumstick to T-Rex’s tongue; changed the woman to a teenaged girl. I thought a girl would apply better to the children’s market, but by keeping her teenaged she doesn’t seem too young to appeal for editorial work. (I hope!)
- Changed colors. Girl’s hair is now orange; Plane interior is more like a real plane, made fish match T-rex. The color comp is extremely rough at this point so the colors are not exact and I’m sure changes will occur once I paint.
At this point I am slightly worried that the new picture’s color scheme looks too “4th of July,” and hopefully I will be able to use the watercolors to dispel that look.
Step Two – Inking and Coloring
After getting the color comp all worked out, I plopped it on a lightboard and started inking. I use a variety of pens to ink; some being waterproof and others not. So I start by only using my waterproof pens (Microns), and using the other pens (Triplus Fineliners) after I’ve totally finished painting. So you can see that a lot of this is still in pencil when I’m done inking. Usually I use Arches cold press watercolor paper, but I found a block of Hahnemuhle watercolor paper at the Artist Trade Show for 8 bucks and couldn’t resist!
Step Three – Cheating on the Computer