So in my last post in this series, I showed you the finished drawing. Since then I've plunged into the watercolor stage of my process. This piece actually marks a lot of progress for me, for several reasons. First, this is the first watercolor I've ever done that I've felt "good" about. I've managed to achieve some pretty good texture, keep the colors within a predetermined scheme, and get a fairly unified look to the whole thing. Secondly, it's the first painting I've done that stands alone as a finished watercolor painting, but still leaves room for some digital manipulation, which I will complete in the last stage.
The image I'm posting (above) was tweaked just slightly to bring up the levels from what the scan gave me, but otherwise, it is untouched by Photoshop. Over the course of the painting stage, I used these steps, which I will give you here in case you are interested:
Here's a very poor picture of what the underpainting looked like.
Pretty rough, huh?
1. Light underpainting - wash of warm brownish undertones to unify the colors.
2. First washes of local color. This was the stage where I added in my midtone colors, leaving my lightest areas untouched, and saving my shadows for a later stage.
3. Final washes of darker areas - adding in shadows, etc.
4. Final touches of local color, a little more fine tuning.
The final watercolor. Wrinkled, but still alive and kicking!
That being said, there were a lot of things I learned, and things that I will do differently next time:
1. Instead of doing a wash over the whole painting, do a light underpainting on individual elements of the image, such as the trees, the dwarves, the mountains, dragon, etc. This would eliminate some of the dramatic bleeds that I got.
2. Stretch the paper. I skipped this stage, but it was only because I forgot to do this before I drew on it, and didn't want to lose my drawing. Overall, the drawing held well.
And that's about it. I'm sure there were other things I noticed but can't recall at the moment. Anyway, I got through the whole ordeal without incident, and was pretty pleased with the result!
Now I will retreat into my digital laboratory and tweak the DNA of this thing with Photoshop. We shall see what madness shall ensue!
Up Next: Digital Process!