Mixed media experiment (watercolour + digital)



  • I tried something different:
    Untitled_Artwork 3.jpg

    There is no complicated story in this piece, a simple technique test. I painted the background with watercolor and added the character and details digitally. I am not sure if this approach will work, specifically:

    1. Does the image has a coherent look and feel?
    2. would viewers stop to think about the techniques used in the illustration rather than immerse with the content?

    I know many watercolor artists paint separate layers and do digital layering/collage. I looked at Will's mixed media course and really enjoyed it. But I want to see if I can find examples that artists who start painting with watercolor, and taking the image into photoshop/procreate to continue the painting process.



  • @xin-li I like the overall look, but the character does look a little more solid than the rest of the piece--you might play with transparency a little, or texturizing the layers with the characters on. The details are justfine, smaller things in watercolor end toblook more opaque, anyway. But that's just my two cents.

    I think he only people eho eouldgetdistracted bu your technique are those who would get distracted by noticing technique, anyway (namely, other artists)


  • SVS OG

    I follow an illustrator on Behance who does similar work. The background of these illustrations are watercolor but the characters are digital or at least I think they are. Below are samples of his work.

    Also here’s a link to his behance portfolio https://www.behance.net/kimjihyuk

    I hope this was helpful.

    A4CB3B13-3AA5-4A88-BC42-0358E1AFC9BD.jpeg 3CE55D34-4BA1-4DFF-AB5A-C8EE5CF384B9.jpeg C828E33E-DF59-4849-8D86-945831FE02D2.jpeg AF0D82E1-9F9E-4F0F-AE9B-1E0B6CB8614A.jpeg 7CDA8CD1-B18D-4C6B-B556-A08CFA92BF02.jpeg



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz oh I love these!



  • I think the technique works, mixing the 2 mediums. Your background is lovely and loose and the the character is more solid which draws your eye. Check out Lee Whites video on youtube working with textures, it might help.

    I think the images that @Nyrryl-Cadiz posted here are great, the outlines help the characters sit better in the background, especially the girl looking out the window, the textured edges help it, lee white goes over this in his youtube vid.



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz thank you so much. Very interesting work.



  • @Phil-Cullen thank you so much for the tip. I will experiment more on the edges, and texture overlay. Looks like the technique can work. Now I just need to think where to use it :-).

    In the way, I think the digital part is like the equivalent of acrylic over the watercolor, except that with digital, it is easier to try out several alternatives.



  • @xin-li I love it. I don’t know if I have anything useful to add.
    I like the way the focus on the character is sharper than the plants.



  • @xin-li

    1.) Does the image has a coherent look and feel?

    Absolutely.

    2.) would viewers stop to think about the techniques used in the illustration rather than immerse with the content?

    Nope! Well, unless they're like minded illustrators 🙂

    I think this is a great approach. Really liking the feel and colours you're getting!



  • @Braden-Hallett @peteolczyk thank you so much for the feedback. I might do a series of images with this technique to get a feel of it in the beginning of the new year.

    I often find it hard to apply a technique I find it interesting to stories I want to create. It is like sometimes they go completely different directions. I think the gap comes from I am trying to develop my own thing with illustration and write my own stories at the same time. The two tracks are rarely in sync at my current level. Do you guys feel that way sometimes?



  • @xin-li I know what you mean, I’m always in danger of getting carried away, especially if I’m enjoying myself.
    I know of quite a few artists who mix up traditional and digital and end up with a very traditional feel, but I don’t know any who specifically start with watercolour then move it into digital.
    If I find one I’ll let you know.



  • The colours used definitely make it look coherent. As @Phil-Cullen said the character looks a little solid but this is a test and a positive one as I can this heading somewhere cool.



  • @xin-li there an artist called Rita Tu
    She’s on Instagram as qianwentu_rita
    She does watercolour to digital, her works beautiful. I think you’d like it. I’ve been following her work for a while now but I’ve only seen snippets of her process.



  • I think this definitely works. I recently completed a watercolor class and am interested in fusing it with digital. There were SO many times I wish I could hit the delete button on my paintings - lol. I love the liveliness of watercolor, but I'm someone who likes to overwork things which you really can't do with watercolor, so digital gives me that. I'll keep an eye out for others who fuse digital and watercolor and post 'em if I find 'em. How are you bringing in your paintings into photoshop -- are you photographing them or scanning?



  • @Laurel-Aylesworth with this particular one, I snapped a photo with my phone and painted digitally on Procreate. It was a quick test. If I were to make a portfolio piece, I would most likely scan the watercolor if the actual watercolor piece is not bigger than A3. I found some tricks of scanning watercolor from scanning my inktober pieces, here is the link:
    http://kidlitartists.blogspot.com/2014/12/removing-texture-from-watercolor-scans.html
    I used the first trick on the list. It is a bit more time consuming, but I like the result.

    I really enjoy working with watercolor during the Slowvember time. But I am having a hard time figuring out how to paint human character with the look I want by using watercolor. So I thought I gave a try to do character digitally.



  • @peteolczyk thank you so much. I will definitely scroll through her feeds to look for process videos. I am very curious about how other artists work with watercolor + digital.
    And Rita Tu uses Chinese caligraphy brushes too 🙂



  • This is great!

    I think you can tell that the background and figure are different media but it looks intentional and they still look like they belong together. I don't think I would question it at all if I just saw the image with no accompanying comments.

    Starting with watercolour and then finishing in digital is exactly what I'm also trying to achieve so I'll be following this thread closely! The only piece I think of as a success so far was my entry for the November Slowvember challenge. Here's the watercolour scan and then final piece next to each other:
    scan vs final.jpg
    not perfect but heading in the right direction I think. Watercolour is so fun to paint and although you can achieve similar effects with 100% digital, it's quite tedious and sucks away a lot of the joy and spontaneity.

    I loved your Slowvember piece - was that all traditional or a mix?



  • @neschof thank you so much for sharing your piece. It is great.

    My slowvember piece was watercolor all the way. I love painting the environment with watercolor, so much fun. But I have a hard time finding a style for painting character with watercolor/traditional media. In my slowvember piece, it was not a big issue since the character is so small. But I was working on another piece in which there are several characters fairly up close to the camera angle, then I was stuck, and did not know what to do with the characters in watercolor. That is why I did a test with watercolor +digital combination.

    I might do master study on Lisa Aisato, a Norwegian illustratior. I read somewhere that she works with ink, watercolor, pencil and digital in the same piece. But I have no clue how her process is like.



  • @xin-li said in Mixed media experiment (watercolour + digital):

    I might do master study on Lisa Aisato, a Norwegian illustratior. I read somewhere that she works with ink, watercolor, pencil and digital in the same piece. But I have no clue how her process is like.

    beautiful! I think I would have thought her work is all digital if you hadn't said.



  • @xin-li I think it totally works. I think traditional is a very comfortable way to go especially for things hard to imitate like wet techniques like inking and watercolor. But there is a nice looking effect of digital work, too. I would love to be able to blend the two seemlessly.


Log in to reply