Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tutorial: Watercolor Sketch

So I was doing some watercolor sketches of whale skulls today, and I thought maybe you all would like to see a quick little step-by-step of how I do them? This technique (If you can call it that) is super messy and fast - perfect for if you're on the fly or traveling or just don't feel like committing too much time to a piece but want to play with some color.

So first you start with a sketch. I did mine in 3B pencil last night while waiting for something to load or something. It's a sperm whale skull! Hence the teeth on the lower jaw.

Then I did a light wash of yellow ochre and burnt umber. I used this freebie sumi brush but it sucked.

Another, slightly darker wash over the darker areas. Switched to a better brush this time.

Then I decided that this baby needed a background, so I mixed some burnt umber with some red and washed away.

Then did the darkest darks on the skull. I didn't have a reference picture, so who knows if the shadowing is accurate or not.

Blend out the darkest darks. Dang, this sketch is wet!

Another layer of darkest darks.

Blend the darks out again.
And there you have it! One Sperm Whale skull watercolor sketch done. Took about 10 minutes total, and most of that was drying time. Watercolors are so fun to mess around with and experiment with! Hope everyone enjoyed this dumb little tutorial! Bye for now.


  1. loving the new layout!!!

  2. i LOVE this! i've always wanted to get more into water coloring and this is great! if you ever have time, please put up a more intricate example, i love your sailor sketches and would love to learn how to water color bigger projects. your work is amazing! :)