Art it Up! (53) – My “Graveyard Girl” Watercolor from start to finish

August 8, 2015 Art it Up! 12

Fan Art Up buttonArt it Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read. It is dedicated to showcasing our Art. It could be inspired by a book or some other entertainment media or even just whatever artistic thing you’ve done that week. Break out those dusty art supplies!

Want to participate? See the Art it Up! main page


This week’s art

This was actually done a few weeks ago. But I had taken pictures of it along the way with the plan to post it here as a “from start to finish” watercolor.

Of course its not a true from start to finish of the entire process since I didn’t include any photos of the sketching process but ehhh who wants to see all that? (if you do let me know and I’ll do a process photo on my next detailed doodle.

My process

Step 1 – tape down the watercolor paper to a flat board (you could do it to your table but I like to be able to rotate the picture as I paint it)

Step 2 – Choose your base colors and paint on a very light wash over the picture. I’ve found going light to dark it best. Also I read its best to be sure to spread those same colors throughout the painting to give the whole picture continuity? Seems to work =)

Graveyard Girl art (1)

I pre-wet the surface of the picture in big blocks of area before adding the light wash so that way the color didn’t form any “hard lines”. LET IT DRY between layers or sections you are working on! Sometimes I get inpatient and just push ahead and that’s when things tend to not turn out the way I want. Working when its still wet causes colors to bleed and mix and can turn out muddy. Some love the technique but I obviously still need to work on that to perfect it.

Step 3 – Add in another layer light layer! Again I pre-wet the surface area I was going to work on. I changed up my brush size as well. Since this wasn’t a wash I wanted a smaller round brush. I forget what size 4 maybe?

Graveyard Girl art (2)

Step 4 – I let it dry again and then went in again with an smaller brush and darkened areas. I pre-wet again…Sometimes though I didn’t pre-wet depending on what look I was going for. For instance on the hair I didn’t pre-wet it. I just added in the darker lowlight lines. But on the gravestone I did pre-wet because I wanted the shadow area to slowly fade out to the lighter section. The “shadow” areas to try to make it not such a flat drawing anymore. I’m still not the best at depth but eh practice makes perfect right?

Graveyard Girl art (3)

Step 5 – add in more layers – this is actually just an ongoing step. I’d add heavier shadows to the shaded areas again and again until I get it the way I want it. Usually pre-wetting working with the brush from the darkest part and fuzzing it outward. On the left sleeve I ended up getting a “bloom” look which normally watercolor painters don’t like, but in this case I think it turned out rather nice.

I also added darker color and different colors to things like the grass, a slightly different green then the wash so it isn’t all just one color. I mixed in the main pink purple and greys into the other areas where that was the dominant color to again give it that connected feeling. (sorry forgot to take a picture at this point!)

Step – Last step! Adding white highlights with a white gelly pen (usually the eyes and highlight area…in this case i added it to the hair also then took water and brush and softened the white gelly ink…you could also use white gouache but I really like my white gelly pen…you could say I’m addicted! Then I start outlining the whole think again with black ink penliner.

Since I’m one of those that starts with an inked drawing already my pen lines get faded during the watercolor process. A lot of watercolor painters start with a super light pencil drawing and then sometimes add ink last (or not at all) – I haven’t tried it that way yet, but I probably will sometime in the near future. I personally just want the black to be a vivid black because I just like the way that looks so I go back over almost the entire drawing with ink again. Its good to use a thicker inkliner on the main things in the foreground (like the girl’s outline) and a thinner inkliner on the things in the background (like the gravestone and moon – in the moon’s case I wish I wouldn’t have gone back over it’s outline because I wanted it to look soft but once you touch pen to paper…oops its too late…sigh).

Graveyard Girl art (final)

You can see lots more of my daily doodles over on my instagram! Remember if you decide to participate via Twitter or Instagram please use #ArtitUp so we can all checkout your doodles!


This Week’s Crafty AGGRAVATION!

Paper cutting! I’m having both fun and aggravation with it. The cutting can be scary cause I have a fear of sharp objects BUT I love the look of the layered paper cuts. I’ll do a step by step of that sometime in the upcoming weeks.

Feel free to link up in the comments!

Stalk me!

Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
Stalk me!

Latest posts by Tabitha (Pabkins) (see all)

12 Responses to “Art it Up! (53) – My “Graveyard Girl” Watercolor from start to finish”

  1. Silvara

    I love getting to see all the before bits! Show up much better on my computer screen than the finished picture did on my phone. I still love that girls hair! And the grass looks realistic. For, you know, a watercolor painting thing. *grins*
    Silvara recently posted…When Do You Publish ARC Reviews?My Profile

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    As someone who wishes that she could draw or do artistic stuff (well enough to share I mean LOL) I’d love to see your sketching process start to finish! I LOVE this piece so much ♥ She’s so hauntingly lovely that I want to go sit down and hang out with her!
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Fandom Mashup # 14My Profile

  3. Lynn

    It’s so lovely – I think the moon looks great – especially with the clouds passing over.
    The colours are so good too – and like Danya said the clothes – I particularly love the boots – I would have a pair of those!
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…The Secret Life of a Book BloggerMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Thanks! Glad you like the outfits! I need to learn to do limbs and body positions and the way clothes lay on the body better. I’m getting better every month I think.