Watercolor illustration artists

  • SVS OG

    I'm trying to improve my watercolor skills and while there are a lot of helpful tutorials on line, most of them are geared toward fine arts watercolor which is often much more loose than illustration requires. I know that style can be used but I'm looking for artists more along the line of Beatrix Potter who had a more controlled style. Do you have suggestions of online tutorials or technique books by watercolor artists who predominantly do illustration or whose style would fit well with an illustration style? I watched the two watercolor SVS classes which were helpful but I'd like to pursue it more.

  • @demotlj

    From your mention of Beatrix Potter and a look through your Instagram, it seems the style you like is very reliant on the drawing with the watercolour to emphasise but not steal the show?

    You could try searching specifically for line and wash watercolour techniques or even botanical watercolour techniques - these are at the far end of the control spectrum and have delicate colour so you'll likely find some useful tips.

  • SVS OG

    @neschof I have looked at some line and wash but hadn't thought of looking at botanical paintings. That's a good idea. Thanks.

  • Moderator

    Personally I’m studying Holly Hobbie’s work. There are no tutorials unfortunately because she's pre tech, but I’m hoping to gain knowledge through copying.
    I will be watching this post for suggestions though. 👍👍👍

  • SVS OG

    @demotlj tell me what you find! I really like Anita Jeram’s work. She’s another good illustrator to study for our styles. There is one that licenses gifts but I can’t find it no matter what I search under. And it’s driving me crazy! I’ll let you know if I find it. No tutorials though. Let me know if you find any!!!

  • Have you looked Marco Bucci's youtube video? he paints sketches from life with watercolor. Very cool to watch and I also love how he explains the way he thinks when painting.

  • SVS OG

    It’s called “bunnies by the bay.” They sell baby stuff. Not sure who the actual illustrator is. Or if there is a book. I liked the product tag.

  • Iraville on youtube has some good tutorials and process videos. Not quite Beatrix Potter style, but it's more controlled and illustrative than loose.

  • @demotlj I can't say that I have but I will join you in looking around, as I am working in watercolour again along with gouache and other traditional medium. 🙂

  • SVS OG

    I'm interested partly in how people handle line when they do watercolor because one thing that I think often separates fine art watercolor from illustration is how the line is handled. As I was looking around yesterday for examples of the kind of watercolor I'd like to do, I noticed Lisa's @burvantill entry into the contest. @burvantill -- did you do this with traditional watercolor? If so, do you do the line with ink, pencil, or watercolor detail?

  • SVS OG

    @TessaW Thanks! I checked out her site and it looks great so I also bought her book 🙂

  • Adilson Farias on YouTube is someone I discovered very recently. I loooooove his work!

    I also love Michael Marchenko illustrations, I believe he works in pencil and watercolor. I love his defiant children and background jokes he adds to the stories. Can't find any Video on his process tho

  • I concur with @neschof on the botanical, because basically Beatrix Potter is more draftsman and her work uses dry strokes with fine lines and dabs - mind, not dry brushing, but she doesn't use a lot of wet-in-wet and high pigment direct application like Lee or Marco Bucci. I'd do copies / studies of her work directly, using transparent but not staining pigments and avoid the newer ones like pthalo, quinacridones, transparent yellow, etc. I'd probably try sticking with Lee's earthy palette though, and see how much you can achieve with just siennas, ultramarine, cobalt, maybe oxide... hm... I'll get out my big Potter book tomorrow and have a closer look :p Best way to learn is to try out ^^

  • Moderator

    @demotlj ink line. For that image I inked on a separate paper and scanned it in separate so I could play with the color. The art is watercolor.

  • Moderator

    Nicholas Kole just put out a new 55min. video on using Max Ulichney's new watercolor brushes in a Procreate tutorial he has for sale on Gumroad (available here). Here's a first-5-minutes preview he put on Youtube.


    I purchased it, and I can say it's pretty good, albeit very "brush specific" because it's about how to use a specific set of digital brushes in a specific app for the iPad: Procreate.

    That being said, Ulichney's brushes are taking the Procreate world by storm at the moment, and there have been a LOT of shared artworks using them all over Twitter. The effect is quite real. And Nicholas Kole does a great job of breaking down his digital watercolor process step by step.

  • Hello Laurie,

    At the moment, skillshare is having a 2 month trial. You may want to follow the course from Vanessa Gillings called : "gouache illustration : paint a whimsical, colorful chatacter". She uses gouache like watercolor, very diluted. Her method to match colors and tones is just great!
    I think it will help you, from what I know of your art.

  • SVS OG

    @Whitney-Simms said in Watercolor illustration artists:

    Anita Jeram

    I really do like her style. I think I'm going to do master studies of some of the people listed in this thread and she is definitely going on that list. Thanks!

  • SVS OG

    @burvantill I looked at the Hollie Hobbie's illustrations and realized that even though I knew her name, I had never really looked at her work. I love the old fashioned look of her paintings.

  • SVS OG

    @Finn This is a very helpful response because I realized that part of my problem is that I haven't even been sure of how to describe the style I'm trying to emulate which you did really well here -- draftsman, not a lot of pigment, less wet on wet, more transparent and natural colors. I'm also very interested in learning how to create line that blends with the watercolor better and is softer than a black ink line. (Although, I do like the Winnie the Pooh style too.)

  • Moderator

    @demotlj In "the art of holly hobbie" she says that she uses/used colored ink for her line work and detail. But it does not say if she laid it down before or after the watercolor. Is colored ink normally waterproof? 🤔 I too would like a more subtle line. 🙂

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