The first step to a watercolor painting is to tape down your paper. It’s not necessary, but I often prefer to do this step because it prevents severe buckling of the paper and I get crisp and clean edges. The heavier the paper you’re using, the less it will be inclined to buckle, but any paper is capable of it. Since I will be wanting clearly defined borders for this piece, the tape is a must.
The next step I took was to draw my three ducks in Sharpie. This painting was not planned out and I just added each duck where I judged it would look good. I drew these ducks in pencil first in the order of the largest you see to the smallest, and then lined them in Sharpie afterwards. Since I am already very familiar with what ducks look like, I didn’t need to reference any duck pictures this time around.
The next step I took was to add in my background. Initially I was planning on using a red background, and luckily I dissuaded myself from doing that. Later on, I color in the ducks’ bills orange, and add gold details to the piece. While I could have easily used silver instead of gold, the natural color of the bills was a non-negotiable in my mind. Orange and red are both warm colors and there wouldn’t have been enough contrast in the piece if I used the two similar warm colors. Also, orange and blue are complimentary colors, and the green prevents it from being too one-note. Gold is warm, as well, and contrasts well on the cool background, as you will see later. All around, this paragraph has been a PSA to think before making any final decisions on your artwork. That’s a very important lesson I almost was reminded of the hard way here.
Here you can see that I colored the bills orange. I used a water-based marker for this step.
Sometimes the final touches are what bring it all together, and this piece is one of those times. Adding the geometric lines to the background of this painting was not one I initially planned on, but it’s one of my favorite things about it. As you can see, I measured out my lines a half inch apart with a ruler on the left side of the tape (another great reason to use tape) and then drew them carefully. The contrast between the rigid and calculated gold lines and the natural watercolor effects and animals creates a very interesting result.
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Hope you enjoyed! Thank you for taking the time to read. Please let me know what you think about this piece in the comments down below. We publish a new blog every Tuesday and Friday so, until next time, goodbye!