As you might know, this month I’ve been posting small daily doodles based on the Doodlewash prompts for June. I did all of these on one page and here you have them all.
By the way, the paper I used is the Hahnemühle Collection Sketch, which I will be reviewing in July, along with the Collection Watercolour papers. Be sure to look for it at Doodlewash – along with other reviews, featured artists and tons of giveaways and cool items for sale only until the end of July. The goal is to raise money for The Dreaming Zebra Foundation and support arts education and our future artists.
If you decide to join in, use the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth when you post your watercolor works so it will be included in the online global gallery!
Any watercolor work with even a splash of watercolor is allowed. You can follow the daily Doodlewash prompts, but it isn’t required. Your work is welcome whether you join in for one or a few days, or whether you join in every day!
Artwork-Zebra Zensations Technical Pen and QoR watercolor on a Hahnemühle Cold Pressed Watercolor Postcard. Brushes: Escoda Aquario Petit Gris size 12 . Reference photo courtesy of Gellinger on Pixabay.
Tomorrow, my hubby takes a meerkat pup in his lunchbag. A momma meerkat usually has 3-4 pups at a time, though they can have as many as 8. A group of meerkats is called a mob, gang or clan.
This painting is what is known as a ‘line and wash’ because it is drawn in pen first and then painted with watercolor.
Before You Start
This guy is cute, and that’s what I most wanted to capture.
(This scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines. You should pencil lines in lightly)
Really simple shapes in this drawing so I didn’t worry about a grid.
Not sure if you’re up to drawing this? Art Tutor has a great grid program that will help by applying a grid to your uploaded photo. You can also crop and adjust color and value.
I debated about doing this one with no pen drawing, and then I decided I would do a minimal drawing, but once I got started, I ended with a very detailed pen drawing. It was a sort of spur of the moment decision.
If I had intended to keep this as a pen and ink, I would have continued to darken my values, but I made sure to leave something for the paint to do.
I created the outline of the pup, the texture of the fur (making sure the pen lines followed the direction of the hair), the texture of the rock, small details in the foreground, and the shadow.
Purple Mix – Ultramarine Blue Violet, Quinacridone Violet in equal amounts and just a touch of Iridescent Gold (Fine) Brown Mix – Cadmium Red Light, Manganese Blue and Quinacridone Gold
I started with Quinacridone Gold and the size 10 round brush, applying medium dark stripes of color along the back, the head, the neck and top of the front leg. Then I cleaned my brush, and blotted it until it was quite damp. I pulled color from the areas I had just painted, going in the direction of the fur until all of the meerkat was a very light yellow.
Once that dried, I added a few swipes of purple mix to the foreground and background. I did the same clean brush and pull color everything not meerkat was purple.
Switching to the size 4 brush, moving it in a cross hatch motion, I added more of the Quinacridone Gold to the meerkat, with the darkest in the eye. While it was all still wet, I started adding brown mix around the neck, top of the head, and the back.
While that is drying I add some of the brown mix to the background. I let everything dry.
To finish off, I add a more of the brown around the eye, the ear, the nose, under the body and around the entrance of the tunnel. With what is left of the brown in the brush, I darken the shadow just a little bit more.
As part of the World Watercolor Month, Princeton Artist Co. sent me their two new travel sets – one Neptune set and one Elite set. Each has four rounds and a cool brush holder.
What is the set like? How do they differ from the traditional Neptune and Elite brushes? Head over to Doodlewash and read my review to find out!
Tomorrow, I have a tutorial coming out on the Zebra Pen blog. Be sure to check it out and learn how to draw a Fennec Fox!
World Watercolor Month is almost over! But it isn’t too late to join in with a painting or two, enter some of the giveaways and shop for cool World Watercolor Month merchandise that will no longer be available after July 31.
Artwork-QoR watercolor on Hahnemühle Anniversary watercolor paper. Brushes: Neptune Travel round size 10. Doodlewash prompt: Buildings. Photo reference courtesy of gburgesskc on Pixabay.
I’ve been sharing some quick studies that I’ve done using underpaintings and negative painting techniques. I’ve been dealing with laptop problems, so you may not have seen all of these. You can find them at:
While the techniques can be used for studies and quick paintings, they can also be combined with other techniques for a more complex painting. Today, I’m sharing one of those. This was still a quick painting. It took longer timewise, because I waited 10-15 minutes between each glaze (layer of painting) and I spent some time drawing. Including the drawing, and that drying time, this took about an hour and a half.
I started with an underpainting of swirling shapes. I let this dry completely.
Note for beginners: An underpainting is an initial layer of light color. It can be a wash – an application of paint that covers all or a large area of the paper or simply shapes like this. The underpainting is meant to influence the painting in subtle ways. It may show in the finished painting, but more often will simply influence the colors that come afterward.
Then I drew my weaver bird and his nest. Yes – his. As with many species, the male weaver bird uses his nest building skills to impress the females!
I followed this up with a glaze of QoR Benzimidazolone Yellow. I dropped small amounts of Ultramarine Blue Violet into the still-wet yellow and tilted the paper to let it all blend into a green. After that wash dried, I added more of the yellow to deepen the color on the bird. I let all of this dry.
Note for beginners: A wash is a thin layer of paint used to cover large areas with color- usually the entire paper. A glaze is another wash, but implies that you are painting over a dry layer(s) of paint.
Most of the work was done in this step. I used a thin wash of QoR Manganese Blue on the bird’s face and beak. I mixed the yellow and blue – about 3 parts yellow to blue – and glazed all around the nest and the bird. Within the nest, I switched to a dryer brush and painted, but left some strands the lighter green. This is negative painting.
While the nest was still damp, but not too wet, I added QoR Quinacridone Gold as shading around the nest. I watered down the color and added a little for shading on the bird. A thicker mix was used to color the eye.
Making up a creamy mix of purple using equal amounts of Ultramarine Blue Violet, Quinacridone Violet with just a touch of Iridescent Gold (Fine), I darken the bird’s face, and parts of the wing and add detail to the eye.
The negative painting technique is used to make leaf shapes in the background, and add shadows within the nest. I add more water to my mix, and add deeper shading to the bird, and some of the foliage. Although, they aren’t as distinct, I make more leaf shapes.
Quinacridone Gold is used in the upper right to soften the change between foliage and sky. At this point, the original swirls of Manganese Blue are mostly hidden except on the left. However, there are subtle signs of them that show up better in the original than in the scan.
In a few places, to add some feathery shapes on the wing and vary texture in the background, I lifted some color while the paint was wet, by letting a thirsty brush sit and absorb paint.
Note for beginners: ‘Thirsty’ means that your brush is damp, but dryer than the paint on the paper. Some of the paint will flow back into the brush.
I used a white Uniball Signo pen to add highlights to the bird’s head and a few other areas on the body and leg.
The earlier Shaping Studies were very quick paintings that made use of some brush studies and were meant to be fun, relaxing and practice. The underpainting and negative painting techniques were the main features of those paintings. Today, I hope I’ve shown you how they can be used to enhance a painting without being the dominant features.