16 November 2014

New Art - Happy Snow Girl

We've seen some extreme weather this week in Idaho, extreme not only in the type or strength, but extreme in the speed at which it came about, too.  When I was typing last week's New Art post, the weather was a bit chilly at night, yes, but very mild otherwise--dry, still, almost summery.  It definitely didn't feel like November!  Then, all of a sudden, last Thursday saw the arrival of an arctic blast that brought glacial temps and one of the biggest non-stop snowfalls I've experienced in all my time living here.  I LOVE inclement weather, so all of this has put me in a fabulous mood!  The painting I'm featuring today was created from those good vibes.

People who know me may recognize some of the features in the girl I depicted.  I wanted to create a pretty painting quickly, without too much thought about design or detail, while staying away from a wholly experimental composition.  It's easier to draw oneself, who one knows so well, than to create an entirely new character.  So, as you may see, my Happy Snow Girl was loosely modeled after yours truly. 

Anime-Style Girl Drawn on Watercolor Paper
Initial sketch done with a mechanical pencil.

This painting was actually created using several items from this month's Pigment+Palette box.  The first of which was a 4x6" piece of watercolor paper.  I want to save some of my review-like comments for my actual review post, but I will say that this paper was a joy to work with.  I was continually excited by how it took my brush strokes and how it reacted to the paint.  300 lb. cold press watercolor paper really is my favorite surface to paint on. 

Anime-Style Girl Filled In With Watercolor
Watercolor painted using the graphite as a guide.

Since I was in a bit of a hurry, I applied my watercolor more roughly than I'm usually wont to do.  The painting definitely didn't look complete after this step, but I knew how I was going to proceed, so that was a-ok.   My intention was to get the basic color and shading down with watercolor and add fine details with ink and gouache afterwards.

I used the whale tail brush from my P+P box to paint the lovely, mottled background.  The brush's organic result was just perfect for my wintry scene. 

Anime-Style Girl Outlined in Ink
The girl was lined using pen & ink.

The next-to-last step was adding lines.  This was where the painting really started to come together.  I used my favorite Deleter pen & ink system but I had to add a lot of water to get my ink to flow well; the cap to my ink bottle lost its protective wafer a while ago (well, it kept coming out and making a mess so I tossed it in frustration!) so the ink dries out unusually fast.  Thank goodness it performs just as well even after repeatedly drying up.  It's top quality stuff! 

Anime-Style Girl Completed with Gouache
Snowflakes and highlights were added with gouache.

At the end of this creative process, I used another P+P item: white gouache. I've never used gouache as a highlighting tool, but it seems perfect for use on a watercolor painting (after all, it's basically opaque watercolor).  I was able to add snowflakes, large and small, highlight the girl's face and hair, and fill in the heart details on her outfit.  This paint did everything I wanted and the resulting effects pushed the painting to a whole new level!  I'm beyond pleased~

Anyone else enjoying some wintery weather in their hometown?  Bundling up, sipping hot chocolate, throwing a snowball or two?  Are any of my fellow artists just as inspired by the sight of snow thickly blanketing the world?  Have you created something wintry already, too?