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Introduction to Watercolor- Presented at Mechacon 2014


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A panel on watercolor presented at Mechacon 2014. Much improved from past watercolor panels, this presentation includes new artwork, new examples, and new slides.

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Introduction to Watercolor- Presented at Mechacon 2014

  1. 1. Watercolors
  2. 2. Becca Hillburn I'm a childrens comic artist and freelance illustrator originally from New Orleans but currently living in Nashville, TN. I graduated from SCAD with a Masters Degree in Sequential Art in 2013, and from the University of New Orleans with a bachelors degree in Hypermedia (digital art). My main focus is currently watercolor comics, and my hobbies include writing for my blog, Keep on Truckin' Nattosoup and attending conventions as an artist.
  3. 3. Heidi Black Heidi is a sequential artist and illustrator from dayton, ohio. She likes cats and potatoes and hates writing bios. Her work is at, including her tutorial artbook, Electricabyss, and her newest comic, Sons of Fire.
  4. 4. materials Brushes! Paper! Tape! Gator board! Paint! Patience! Water! Paper towels! Gouache! Pencil! Palette!
  5. 5. papers Fluid watercolor paper: cheap, bound on two sides, very convenient Arches watercolor blocks: bound on all sides, rough texture, expensive. Made of cotton Arches watercolor paper: needs to be stretched, not bound on all sides Canson montval: 7” kara painted on these Blick studio: children's illustrations Watercolors can also be painted on bristol, wet media boards, illustration board, or other thick papers 140 lb is standard for watercolor paper. 300Lb is heavyweight
  6. 6. Paints (tubes & pans) Tubes can be squeezed into pans and dried out (both of us do this) Brands we like: holbein, yarka, soho, winsor-newton, shin-han, Sennelier, blick, da vinci, marie's, Okay-ish brands: grumbacher, “student” brands (cotman), sakura koi Avoid: reeves!!!!!!!!! anything in a multi-material set, anything marked “non-toxic,” anything marketed towards kids, anything with the word “value”
  7. 7. Paints (liquid watercolors) What in the world are these? Artificial pigments, super bright, low light-fastness More permanent than watercolors – act more like stains or inks
  8. 8. Swatch Test colors (for future reference)
  9. 9. Watercolor pencils Not as bad as you think Good brands: derwent inktense, caran d'ache Okay brands: derwent Lets avoid these, shall we: prismacolor, staedler, crayola
  10. 10. brushes Different shapes for different uses: flat, filbert, round, mop, liner, fan, other specialty shapes Come in a variety of fibers: sable hair, squirrel, kolinsky sable, goat, boar, horse, synthetic Good brands: utrecht, blick, creative mark rhapsody, winsor-newton, da vinci, escoda, princeton Avoid: value brands, student brands, hobby brushes Also available: water brushes
  11. 11. Color theory Primary colors: red, yellow, blue. More mixable colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, black A good set of 12 basic colors: paynes grey, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, warm and cool red, warm and cool blue, lemon yellow, sap green, viridian, lamp black
  12. 12. Color theory Mix complimentary colors (opposites) to get more interesting shadow colors Using mixes rather than pure colors makes interesting colors and cool separations Pure colors versus mixes (right) Left: orange and burnt sienna Shaded with violet and blue.
  13. 13. Color theory Use washes of the same color to build depth
  14. 14. Color theory Use the same color for shadows throughout to create unity
  15. 15. techniques Graphite transfer Stretching paper Washes Brush techniques (wet/wet, wet/dry, dry/wet dry/dry) Dropping Multi-material techniques (wax resist, masking, salt, alcohol) Overworking (no! Bad!) Corrections (scrubbing, gouache)
  16. 16. Demo time!