February 29, 2012

100 Watercolors #29 - Happiness

As promised here is the second, much happier theme from this two-parter:


See?  Life's not so bad!  I was really happy with the layering of of colors in her hand through the water and plastic bag on this one.

Last night I was messing around with repeating patterns in Photoshop.  I found a pretty good tutorial and then whipped up this trumpet pattern:


I didn't get the exact effect I'm hoping to accomplish, but I still thought it was pretty cool.  It's very quick and easy, and it will be a good trick for future endpapers.

Next week's theme: Under the Rain!

February 22, 2012

100 Watercolors #28 - Sorrow

Well, below is the first image that came to mind when I thought of this week's theme.  If you think I'm being rough on this little girl, do not forget that I am a cartoonist!  This week and next week's theme work together as a sequence.


In other news, I began the cover design process for the French edition of Basewood this week.  As some of you might remember, back in 2008 I did a three-part post on this blog explaining the cover design process for my first French comics collection [Part One / Part Two / Part Three].  I'll try to do a similar thing this time around, once the Basewood cover is finalized.

Next week's theme: Happiness!

February 15, 2012

100 Watercolors #27 - Foreign

I am very careful when I buy ink to make sure it is marked "waterproof" so that if I want to slap some watercolors over the top of it, my inks will not budge.  For some reason, my latest batch of ink is not working though, and I ran into some trouble on this week's theme.  As I started to paint, the ink bled into the color, even after letting the inks dry for a day and a half!  Luckily, I was able to blot away the offending mix of watercolor and ink with my trusty paper towel before it all set.  Still, those stork legs are a bit darker than I would have liked...


I'll have to paint more carefully from now on, but that is a hack at best.  If I want to print these files eventually, I'll never be able to get a true, black for my lineart because everything is being scanned all at once.  The real way to get nice crisp lineart, is to keep the black lineart and watercolors on separate layers in photoshop.  "But Alec," I hear you ask, "How do I do that?"

Well, luckily, my old pal Aaron Renier posted an awesome watercolor tutorial on his blog last week.  He goes step by step through the proper process and also follows up with a lot of helpful tips in the comments section.  If you are working on watercolor for print projects, you should definitely give it a read!

Next week's theme: Sorrow!

February 8, 2012

100 Watercolors #26 - Tears

I think my image for this theme speaks for itself...


Next week's theme: Foreign!

February 1, 2012

100 Watercolors #25 - Trouble Lurking

On Friday at The Center for Cartoon Studies, a great watercolor artist named Emma Skurnick gave a two hour "introduction to watercolor" workshop.  It was so cool!  I learned a lot and she answered some of my long-standing watercolor questions.  The best part was getting to try out some new techniques, as well as some different types of paper.  We even got to try out some cool special effects!  Here are the two paintings I made during the workshop:


This one was done on hot press watercolor paper, which was much smoother than I was used to.  That weird crackled texture on the background was made by putting a piece of saran-a-wrap right on top of the wet paint (!?!)  I'll have to think of some cool ways to use this for future paintings...


This one I did on cold press watercolor paper, which is similar to the kind I am using for my 100 Watercolors challenge.  We painted all of this stuff with just five colors, which was cool because it forced me to mix more of my colors, so they were unique, instead of straight out of a tube.

All this experimentation had me pretty jazzed to paint the next theme for my watercolor challenge.  I tried to incorporate some of the things I learned in the workshop.  I'm not sure this picture 100% makes sense, but it was fun to make!


25 down, 75 to go!  

Next week's theme: Tears!