By Justin Gerard
"Holiday Shopping is Dangerous"
I'm working on a new watercolor painting for the Holidays and today I'll briefly be going over my process from start to finish.
To begin with, I always do a series of unintelligible thumbnails. I won't bore you with those, they would only further convince you I'm a crazy person. They are the sort of thing that a lawyer might show a jury when trying to get their client an insanity plea.
"Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury: Today, the defense will prove to you beyond a shadow of doubt, that our client has completely lost his marbles. No sane person could commit to paper what you are about to see. Observe! These markings here are what he called his 'artworks.' (The crowd gasps, the judge gavels for silence. A woman in the jury shrieks.) The defense moves that we drop ALL charges based on the grounds that my client has a super-sized case of stark-raving McMadness."
Once I have my characters drawn out I assemble all of them together on a rough comp. This I print out at the final size and transfer it using a carbon transfer to a sheet of heavyweight paper.
Initial Watercolor Wash
12" x 16"
Once I have finished laying in all of my watercolor I go through with acrylic white to add highlights and soften some of the shapes (especially in the faces). I do this sparingly since I want to maintain the watercolor feel for this image. I also add some volume and saturation to the high-color areas using some of Holbein's Acryla-Gouache. I like this paint for bright opaque color as it is more sensetive than acrylic and interacts well with the watercolor. Also it goes on matte, which also helps it look natural with the watercolor. While I like it for brightening colors, I do not like it for shadows as it tends to make them too flat and opaque for my tastes.
After this dries I go over the painting again with some color pencil again to recapture any lines that were completely lost. And with that the watercolor is finished! I'm still not sure what I will be titling the piece. "Black Friday Deals"? "The Perils of Holiday Shopping"? I'm not sure exactly what this Dwarf's story is, but I like to think it has something to do with him getting the very last Mechanical Toy Dragon in the dungeon shop.
This watercolor and the drawings will available in our store this coming Tuesday along with some really spectacular new work from Annie Stegg Gerard which you can check out here.
Next Post: Digital Trickery!