I you follow me on Instagram you might already have seen some of my plein air paintings I did during my trip to the Pyrénées, a nice mountain chain in the south of France.
During this two weeks trip I had for a plan to do as much watercolors and gouaches as I could.
And I did quite a few so I’m kinda happy about that, I also learned a lot and managed to improve my watercolor skills and maybe a bit my gouache skills ? I had low quality gouache that did not go well with the travelling situation, maybe I’ll talk about my gouache experience in another post.
Let me show you my process for one of these plein air watercolor :
First of all, a bit of the story on the location : Mefisheye and I went hiking to this place, it was a two days hike, quite an easy one but we still had to walk a bit to gain the 2350 m high lake that is hidden behind this small refuge. During that hike we did other watercolors ( that I will also share with you at the end ) but for now let’s focus on this one.
When I hike I try to have a minimum of supplies with me because weight is really important, the less the better !
I only took my homemade watercolor palette, a few brushes ( the splatters I love so much ) a graphite mechanical pencil, my trusty pen, the sketchbook I made ( that has seen better days, but hikes aren’t nice on books ) and a small bottle of water.
I start my sketch with the big graphite pencil.
I’ve really grown in love this big pencil, it is quite heavy and it teaches me to go simple and just focus on the main shapes. I know the pencil may stay in the end because it’s not the kind that disappear with water but I kinda like the look of it in the end, you’ll see.
I am very glad to announce to you that I made a comic for an anthology book about long distance relationships made by Tabulit. The comic I made is called “Trains” and is about living appart from a loved one :
I’ve been working with Tabulit for a while and I love what Alex Park does with his projects, I already took part in the first anthology book they made ” Furr: A Comic Anthology About Cats “. I had an illustration in it, but this time I decided to go for a short comic of 6 pages.
It was a good opportunity for me to experiment with watercolor and the black Fude brushpen by pentel that I actually use all the time. It was a great experience and I am kinda glad about the pages that came out and I am over excited to see the book come to life like the previous one ( that I happily added to my book collection ! ).
So I highly advise you to have a look at the Kickstarter, and check out the other artists that participated in the book, among them Jade Armstrong, Joe Whitt, Renee Liang, Cathrin Peterslund, Rado R. and many more !
Thanks for reading and see you soon for a new blog post !
I recently finished these two sketchbooks, the first one was offered to me by Paperblanks. You can see here the article I made for them at the time, I had another sketchbook by the same brand. It is such lovely sketchbook, I just love drawing in it. But starting the begining of the year I also had the wish to learn watercolor more seriously and needed a sketchbook with real watercolor paper.
Unable to find a fitting sketchbook I decided to make my own ! I even made a video about it ( here ).
Let’s see what is inside these sketchbooks
My Paperblanks sketchbook is more about doing researches and having fun with drawing that are not supposed to be pretty but more functionnal.
And most of all, this sketchbook hold memories of what happenened during that time. For exemple this one was with me for 8 month, so I had time to reccord a few memories in it. Memories of projects, like blue beard, and also memories of days passed like these drawings done on a sunny day by the bicycle road.
The watercolor sketchbook was more about experimentations, trying to get the hang of some watercolor techniques and make my style evolve.
Did you know ? I work a lot with Reedsy to create book covers and children books for self published authors.
Reedsy team came to me a while ago to re-create the cover of the first Harry Potter book to show how I made my covers from scratch.
This is how it ended up on the video they made :
I had a lot of fun creating this cover and it is always a pleasure to work with the team at Reedsy.
I was also extra glad to be able to work on such a book ! I’ve read the Harry Potter series when I was a kid and followed its publication really closely, I read the last one as soon it was out and in 24h ( sleep was not an option ! )
Check out the steps here :
After the concept step, I clean the illustration, not perfectly because I will colorize this illustration digitally and I will refine my sketch as I go but enough to see everything that will be in my illustration.
I then proceed to research my colors and see what will fit best the mood of the illustration
I went for number 3 as it a bit calm but also has a scary look with all that darkness around
Wich one did you like best ?
And then I proceed to do the full painting, I would advise you to give a look to the video above to see this process in more details :
And the final look, on a mock up to see how the book will look in the end, printed on a 6*9″ book.