Watercolor Sketchbook

  • I want to work on improving my traditional painting skills, so I decided through February to sketch only in watercolor. I thought I'd show some of it here to get some feedback on if I'm heading in the right direction or not.

    Here is the first one, mostly just heads and trees.

  • None is happy! 😛

    I think I'll follow you. I also need to recover the use of traditional media.

    I like your result. Will you try full body sketching?

  • So I can avoid painting teeth of course! 🙂 I usually stick to neutral expressions at first, but the eyebrows do make them look a bit unhappy.
    I do plan to work my way up painting full characters eventually, I'm trying to paint all the things I usually sketch.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Nice work!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Hey there! Nice start with the watercolor sketches. The big thing with watercolor is not overly trying to control the paint. So try to think in clear values and watch out for "dabbing" the paint too much. Try painting at different sizes and see where the sweet spot is. Painting a tad larger than you normally would pencil sketch something seems to work for many. Doing a big painting in watercolor is, in many ways, easier than doing a small one.

  • @Lee-White Thanks, that is one of the main things I've been trying to figure out with watercolor, one of my favorite watercolor artists is Omar Rayyan and his work is very detailed with a lot of small brush strokes, I've also heard it's best to mix color by painting in layers on the paper, maybe I'm not doing it right or maybe that was bad info. Anyways, I will try painting a bit larger next time.

    @Charlie-Eve-Ryan Thanks!

    Here are a few more,
    Watercolor_03.JPG Watercolor_02.JPG

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Hey Damian, that's great that you have someone in mind that you are looking at. By all means continue down that path if you are drawn to it.. That feeling is something that is a strong guide and shouldn't be ignored.

    There is definitely no "right" way of working in any medium. Traditionally, watercolorists paint in big areas and let the paint mix on the paper. charles reid is a great example of that kind of style (pictured below).

    Keep up the studies. They are really a great start. I would suggest finding two or three other watercolorists working similar to what you are going for. Then buckle down and try to do a solid "master copy". That is a quick path for getting good at controling the medium in the way you want.

    Good luck!


  • @Lee-White Thanks for the advice Lee, I haven't really figured out what style of painting I really like yet, I like both tight detailed work and looser more flowing work, so I just paint and see where I end up.

    Here are a few more sketches, I tried painting a little larger this time but the brush kept drying out too fast (left and middle ones where my attempt at this), so I switched to a larger brush which helped, I tried to be a little looser with the one on the right, don't know if I like how it turned out though,
    So after that I rebelled and painted even smaller than usual,
    I definitely feel more comfortable with smaller paintings, I guess that just means I have to do more larger ones until I get used to it.

  • Here is another, I tried to focus on painting loosely this time though I did add a few smaller details at the end.
    Just a simple landscape, more for just getting comfortable with the medium than making an interesting image.

  • Comparing your last sketch with the first, we see at once that you are getting more comfortable with the medium! Keep going!

  • @NoWayMe Thank you.

    Here's another, I didn't really have an idea for this one until about halfway through, I did try to add a bit of story to it though.Watercolor_07.JPG

  • I meant to post these yesterday but the forum wouldn't let me, anyways I liked what @Charlie-Eve-Ryan was doing so I tried something similar,
    It's a lizard... thing... I guess. Here is a forest,

    And finally here are some sketches I did today,

Log in to reply