It’s Summer for some time already, yet there are many sunny days ahead yet. And my mood is summery.Think coconut cocktails and sunshine.
A month ago we released the Aoha Kakou – Hawaii flower clipart collection and not sure if you have seen it yet, but it is a summer vacation design treasury. It was planned as mainly Tiki clipart collection, but in the process I fell in love with the tropical flowers and greenery.
While working we decided to expand and add to the tiki and tribal patterns more romantic elements like Hawaiian Lei, bouquets, palm leaves and more patterns. At the end we added some pre-made card designs, but instead of trying to describe, I’ll just post some preview images here, so you can see for yourself.
If you want to get the full collection or part of it as a mini collection, we have added them all to the shop.
We’re now working hard to get all set for the first issue. It will include some tutorials, some ideas and some freebies, so stay tuned.
At the same time we’re making a new collection that will hopefully be ready by mid July (see the sneak peek here) just in time for all the back to school preparations. Here’s another reason for you to subscribe – we’ll have a sweet discount code for our subscribers!
We believe it is really important to be able to communicate directly, to ask you what you think about certain product we work on or what would you love to get in our next set; share with you discounts and free graphic resources (like clipart and textures) and let you know the minute there is new or upcoming collection. In short we want to talk with you – our customers and followers.
For this we have now added a subscription form for our monthly newsletter. Well, newsletter sounds a bit pompous for what we plan, but you’ll see.
Another news is after trial and error we decided to go with Gumroad for our own shop. In the next few weeks we’ll be gradually uploading all our collections and fonts in big and small bundles. This will give you more personalized choices when you’re deciding on what clipart you need for your project and what license. All will be crystal clear and easy.
And here is a sneak peek of what we’re up to right now
There is this loose expressive style of painting watercolor, when a pencil sketch showing under the paint only adds charm and liveliness to the final piece. I love that! And it is rarely me.
There is also this less expressive and more “still” style that looses from pencil marks showing through the watercolor.
This is why I prepared for you this tiny tutorial on how to use watercolor pencil for your sketches, before moving on to water and paint.
The watercolor pencils are a blessing! They act as color pencil until you activate them. Once activated (with water and brush) they act as watercolor paint. There is more beauty in them – when the activated pencil marks dry you can draw more over them again with pencils and layer for amazing effects. This is a theme for another post though.
Today I’ll show you plain and simple how I use the watercolor pencils for sketches in my work. It is so simple and rewarding.
The paper I’m using is Canson Dessin Blanc block for mixed media and the watercolor pencils are Milan ( the red one) and Derwent Graphitint (the grayish one).
Most but not all watercolor pencils allow for erasing. The Graphitint can be erases completely even from watercolor paper. The Milan one can’t. Or at least you’ll damage the paper while removing it. So because of this I’m using very light pressure. The sketch is there, although I didn’t succeed much with the picture.
There is no need of anything else. Once the sketch is ready I start with the paints. I usually work on the dry brush side, which allows me to get into more detail. Here for the sake of the example I drew some leaves and berries and there is no too much detail.
When starting a leaf I try to do the whole leaf fast. This is partially paper specific – this paper soaks the water fast. If you use professional grade cotton paper there is no such issue. The fast work in this case allows for the pencil around the leaf’s border to be activated at the same time and not leave marks.
This is the sketch already painted over. Both colors of the pencils have dissolved completely.
Different brands have different level of pigment and some are quite strong. Interesting effects can be achieved by using different color pencil for the sketch than the one that will be used with the paints.
If you only activate the pencil with clear water without blending it you can have a very organic contour. Just leave it to dry and continue with the paints or more pencil work.
This post got longer than I intended but I hope it sparks a desire to experiment with watercolor pencils for sketching.
Today I’m painting deer skull in watercolors. It is something I’ve been wanting to do in the last weeks, but kept postponing.
Staying home and using the quiet time to paint – it’s such a rarity.
Didn’t find a palette, so used a white glass plate for the watercolor paints. I need to either buy a palette for home or take the big one from the studio, though the plate is not too bad.
Hard to admit with the temperatures outside in the 30s, but it’s the end of August and the light has already changed and feeling like Fall. I love Fall, but never got to love the cold that comes with it and mostly the freezing Winter. The pleasure of contemplating the colors is somewhat comforting though.
I find the Watercolor clipart collection – Pomegranates & Doves especially romantic. Pomegranates remind me of hot summer days. It is a bit strange, as here they are sold mostly in the winter months when ice and snow are ruling. Anyway, my association is with hot Summer and all the sweet summery fragrances of a ripe fruit, nuts and fresh herbs.
The sketches for this set were made few years ago, and have been patiently waiting for me to get in the mood to make them in watercolor. When all the watercolors were finished, I was left with the sense it’s not actually complete and there is more to be added, so I’m leaving it open.
Here is a taste of the sketches in pencil and ink wash
It’s nice that after some time passes I forget most of the sketches and going through a watercolor sketchbook is truly amusing. Like when did I draw this, or did I paint this? I can see what colors I was into a year ago, or how my style changed (or didn’t) for this period.
Again, it was so liberating to sit down with some paints and paper. While HN was working on a graphic set I got to make some totally unintended sketches – just for the joy of it. Love when I do this.
I tend to fall in love with small number of colors for quite long periods and use them all over until I no longer like them so much. There are few colors, that never change and are always in my palette, like raw umber, olive green, and indigo blue. Gold ocher is one of those too. There are times when I get tired of my muted palette and want to look at more bold and bright colors, but this passes fast and I’m back to the quiet side of the palette.
This herbs watercolor clipart is just a work-in-progress yet. It’s a tad overwhelming to decide which herbs to include in this clipart collection. There are at least a dozen I know, that are beautiful bloomers and amazing healers, but are local to Bulgaria and I can’t find their global twins. There is no much point of making herbs collection with herbs only used in the Balkans, right? So I’ll stick to the most popular now and maybe later expand the collection with some more exotic and at the same time popular herbs like tumeric, cinnamon and ginger.
Smell of fresh cut Basil. The soft leathery texture of the Rosemary leaves. Taste of Salvia.
This is the time I usually freeze fresh cut herbs. They are a treasury when all gets grey and the snow is no fun anymore.
Most of them, if not all, are not only tasty, but true and tested healing plants. Only if I remember this next time when I get cold!
The tiny watercolor basil and rosemary are part of a bigger project I’m working on now. They’ll become container labels for dried herbs. I already did part of the lettering, but there are more herbs to paint now.
Using Schmincke watercolors, Nevskaya Palitra Kolinski brush #2 and Arches hot press (satin) paper.
Sometimes, actually most of the time, when I “play” for fun and start drawing there is only a vague idea of what should appear on the paper when done. More often than not I’ll try to take control over it in the process and shape it to my desire. When I don’t, most wonderful and surprising stuff unfolds.
It is a good thing to let go and let yourself get surprised. The sketch above is pencil and watercolor from my watercolor sketchbook. I did let go on this one and love it.