Happy New Year!

Where do illustrations come from?

Frequently asked questions about my work  are kind of funny: “Did you do that?” “Where do they come from?” “How do you do it?” etc etc…so here’s a time-lapse video showing the process of how I paint. I sketch lightly, then I sometimes go over the lines with a pen (which I did), then apply watercolor on top. The inking and painting took about 40 minutes for this little sketch measuring about 5 inches square.

By the way, this is extended family dog, Moose. We bonded over bouncy balls. He has a buddy, and I hope to paint him next.

What tools do you use?

I use Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith professional watercolors. I prefer and recommend the half pans since they are so easy to carry and to keep up. I don’t have to worry about dried tubes and squeezing the paint out and making a mess. Check out the video for the colors I used.

Brushes–a flat and some rounds. I like small brushes, but it’s important to start with a larger brush to capture the large shapes and colors first. When I was an artist-in-residence at Denver Botanic Gardens, I treated myself to the Rolls-Royce of watercolor brushes, the Winsor & Newton Series 7 sable brushes. They are very, very good, and I also love the water brushes by Kuretake and Sakura.

The time-lapse shows a sketch. To make the illustrations more detailed, I just keep working and refining. At some point in the process, I import the drawings into the computer and work in Photoshop or Illustrator since almost all clients ask the deliverables to be in a digital format. I use the same techniques in watercolor and Photoshop.

 Thanks for checking out the time-lapse video! Please leave a comment if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

watercolor dog portrait