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WATERCOLOR TUTORIAL:

 

Zephyr (stage two)

 

There are many ways to transfer your preliminary sketch onto the final working surface. Some people use the grid method, others light boxes, etc. I find the grid method too time-consuming. I do use a light box for my drawings, but in this case the working surface was too thick for it, so what I did was scan my sketch into Photoshop, flip it horizontally, scale it to the exact size I needed (8x10”), and print it out. I then traced the sketch onto a sheet of tracing paper with a 2B pencil, lay it face down onto my final working surface (a cold-press Arches art board), and gently rubbed over it so the pencil lines transferred onto the board. Some people do this with their fingernail, but I prefer a 2H pencil, as the transfer lines turn out more precise.

 

You must be careful during this stage. If the tracing moves even a fraction while you’re transferring, you’ll have to start over. I tape the tracing to the board with some acid-free artist’s tape to keep it in place.

 

Note: normally, I give my paintings a 1/2” border, which is achieved by putting artist’s tape on the edges, but this one was so small that I decided to forego it.

 

I wanted this piece to have the look and feel of traditional Chinese watercolor paintings, so I erased the preliminary design on the girl’s dress and dug into my reference folder for some traditional Chinese fabric patterns. The background was also inspired by those.

 

 

 

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