When I first started watercolor, I learned from a mentor who works at a local commercial art supply store in my city. I was raised on really great quality watercolor brands, however I could only afford student grade paints.
As I tested out paint after paint, one watercolor brand that stood out to me were the Qor line of watercolors from Golden Paints.
I’ve been painting with these for about two years and I doubt I’ll go for any other brand of watercolor.
If you’ve seen any watercolor illustration from me, then it’s made with Qor.
I love the vibrancy, the clear, deep hues of each paint color. And what I love the most is the sheer mixing power these colors possess. But… how?
This is the second installation of my vixen series! I wanted to play with perspective a bit and have a dynamic looking image. So I came up with this! Once my sketch on my Pastelbord was finished, I erased as much as I could and inked with my Micron pens. Since some parts of our foxy lady was closer and other parts were farther away, I dramatic line weight difference was key.
After the ink was completely dry, I applied my first wash of red. Working wet into wet, I layered on color after color, eventually darkening it to my liking. You can still see the graphite marks are still peeking through. Be very careful with sketching too dark on Pastelbord. I’ve said it once, and I’ll be happy to say it again: this surface clings onto pastel, charcoal, colored pencil and graphite extremely well. So lifting marks (even with a kneaded eraser) can prove difficult.
All in all though, I’m very loose with color bleeding to other areas. Because of the surface’s thickness, lifting watercolor is fantastic. You can lift almost back to white!
After mixing brown and ivory black paint, I kept chipping away at the background. As I figured out my color scheme ahead of time, I thought now would be a great chance to mess with different breeds of foxes, so I decided to make her a Grey fox. Once finished, I started layering washes on the star of the show! I wanted a warmer palette as a contrast to her cooler counterpart, so I layered in reds for her hair and incorporated some background color that bled in.
After getting the basic colors in, I layered more and more to build up the shadows. Once everything was set, it was time to break out my Prismacolors! I’ve never worried about conserving whites while working with these. That sandy surface really does wonders with colored pencils. My white always does the trick.
After going back and forth, adding details from the red and green secondary light, to markings, to fire, to the shines of her eyes, our vixen is complete!
As the amount of work that needs to be done has trickled down, I’ve took it upon myself to make my own project. A series of painting depicting vixens. This was my way to express whatever ideas came to mind at any point in time, and with no need to spend days or weeks at a time finalizing an image, I stuck with a smaller sizes for the body of work.
So let’s get started!
I sketched right on my Pastelbord with graphite, working, reworking, and re-reworking my ideas. There is a definite con to that, however. Pastelbord has a very sandy textured surface, so it grabs a strong hold of charcoal, graphite, and pastel. With that being said, graphite is difficult to erase completely. Once that was figured out, I had to make adjustments on my material choice.
After everything was as solid as it can be, I inked over it with Micron inks, playing around with line weight for variation. I decided to use ink instead of painting directly over it, because the watercolor would show the pencil marks no matter how much I erased. My original intent was to use only colored pencil, but I opted for watercolor instead.
I cracked open my Reeves watercolor set, and got to painting.
My first application was a light wash of Phthalo Blue mixed with white. I then began to apply more and more layers to my shadows, beefing up our scaly guy and making him more three-dimensional.
After those layers were semi-dry, I began laying pure pigments of Phthalo diluted with water, building up those layers. Layering some more color in, I added some violet to my darkest shadows and began painting in the scales. The big guy was eventually finished, and I tackled his fluffy companion.
Using the same methods as before, I worked on the vixen, layering yellows, oranges, and browns for her fur and dress. Once everything was dried, I went over with colored pencil to sharpen some details, enhance textures and add additional coloring to the overall image.
And voila, we are done!
This was such a pleasure to work on. I can’t wait to submit more!
I am releasing a new art book! Keep in the loop of my Kickstarter launching on January 31st!