Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hermit Crabs – Colored


This is the colored version of last weeks IF "vacant." I still need to get bolder with the colors, but I am really happy with how this came out. It is watercolor, then outlined with a warm grey Prismacolor pencil. (It looks better on paper than on screen. I can't get my scanner to capture the paper as white, so I have to adjust in Photoshop, which removes some of the color. Any hints would be appreciated.)

I think I may have asked this before, but I would love to know what paper you find suits watercolor best (this was just done on some heavy cardstock I had left over. I know.. not good for watercolor, but I want to get my technique down before I begin using good paper.) I gotta start stretching the paper, too!

22 comments:

Alicia Padrón said...

This is very sweet. I love the soft coloring Tom! :o)

Well, you really should use good quality paper, it really does make the difference. I think is even more important than what watercolor brand you use. To practice just buy cheap watercolor paper, that is fine. But it is important it is for watercolor. It is made to handle water.

One of my faves is the Lana aquarelle, that is my favorite brand. But I haven't been able to find it lately on my trips to the US. The cold press is my favorite from them. Here they sell nothing, can you believe that? No good quality watercolor paper.. sigh.. very frustrating.

Diana Evans said...

Wonderful illo Tom! I love the colours and the softness...

Hugs
Diana

Edrian Thomidis said...

The soft coloring is really great! This turned out really nice!
It's not easy to scan an image and capture all of the subtle colors. Sometimes I have to play with the settings a few times before I get it right (almost). I couldn't give you any specifics. It really depends on the scanner.
One tip I can offer...I've tried this and I have seen some people work this way too, is to work out your sketch so that it is perfect. Clean it up in photoshop if you have to, and then print it right on the watercolor paper. Make sure you use a light gray tone instead of black. This way you don't have to re-draw your your sketch every time if you have to start over. Of course you will be limited y the size of paper your printer can handle.

Are you going to the conference in Miami?

Kate said...

Hey Tom, this turned out really nicely! I like the colors, although I know what you mean about a scanner not picking up everything..they just don't. Edrian has a good idea to print directly on w/c paper, but mak sure your ink in the printer is archival and waterproof or it will smear and change color. My printer does not handle watercolor very well, but your might.

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Alicia. I found the Lana online, but will look locally for some good cold press to start with.

Thanks, Diana!

Edrian: I have scanned the drawing, cleaned it up, and reprinted it with good results (doesn't wash away with watercolor!) As far as scanning, I'll just have to play more with it. :P
And for the conference, in looking at the web site, it didn't look like they were doing anything for illustrators. Did I miss something?

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Kate! Didn't mention this above, but I haven't yet tried watercolor paper thru the printer, just copy paper. I did get a piece of thick acrylic canvas paper to go thru when printing a photo for my brother, so we'll see!

Forrest Illustrations said...

I like Acquerello Portofino Hot Pressed. Great stuff. Part of it is what you get use to using too.
I can't wait to get back to Florida. Great work on the hermit crabs.

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Chris! I think I am going to go out tomorrow and get some cold and hot pressed paper and see what I like.

karenerasmus said...

Thankyou for your kind words on my blog. You are absolutly right, and you didn't miss the point, we are our own worst critic. The trick is to just keep drawing. Your work is looking great. Your use of colur is beautiful. Keep it up.

Edrian Thomidis said...

I actually wrote them an email about the same thing. They have one illustrator and some editors. I am attending the workshop about creating characters and having my portfolio reviewed. There's another speaker I will be listening to about contracts and such. It's my first time attending so we'll see, but I do wish they had more things for illustrators...

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Karen. Hope they helped!

OK. Thanks, Edrian.

Matalonga Jorge said...

Hello Tom, for watercolour the best is paper made of 100% cotton fibers (wich confer stengh and stability). If your work with many water you must have sheets with 300g/m2 or more...(very expensive!)

Usually I work with very large sheets - 200 g/m2, acid free, natural whiteness - that I bought separately (it's cheaper than a watercolour block), and then I cut them to make smaller sheets.

Thank you for your visit and comment. :)

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Matalonge!

Jennifer said...

Hi Tom-- Looks great! Scanning is a real pain, but I've had pretty good luck by adjusting levels to what I think matches the original (at least on my screen!) Then I usually up the brightness a tiny bit, as the paper tends to scan with a grey cast. I like Arches hot or cold press. Especially the 300 lb, when I'm feeling wealthy! ;-) There are a lot of good papers out there, though. Just have to play around and find one that suits your way of working. :-)

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Jen. I am going out today to Michael's to see what I can find!

Deb said...

Hi Tom,
This looks great! I have to do the same thing when I scan in my work. Adjust the brightness and contrast in Photoshop. But it seems to work.

I'm taking watercolor lessons from a wonderful painter and his theory is get on the good paper right away! It makes such a difference as to how the paint handles, that you really will be wasting time on inferior paper.

I've been using Arches 140lb. (need to stretch) or 300 lb. (don't need to stretch). Been working on cold press as I like the texture. Hope this helps.

Oh, and I tagged you :o)

Deb

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks, Deb for the info. And the tag! I'll have to think of some new stuff as I did this a few months back! :)

Bee said...

Successful colour use, this really enhances the drawing. I use water colour fairly lightly too so prefer quite a smooth textured watercolour paper, the weight doesn't really matter with a light touch (only if you you use lots of water):)

Tom Barrett said...

Thanks and great tip, Bee!

kathy hare said...

love this painting Tom, they look like they are eyeing up the empty shell and any moment they are going to both try and go for it at the same time! lovely work.. :)

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