My watercolor illustration process in a few words and pictures
Since many have asked, I decided to finally write a post about my watercolor illustration process.
Last week I use my Kraut Source fermentation kit to pickle gherkins I found at the market. It takes about a week to get the perfect texture and taste, so while the fermentation process was going on, I took pictures of the jar.
I always start with a pencil outline of the subject I'm illustrating. I then trace over these lines with a black Pigma Micron fine liner, in size 01 or 005. After that, I erase the pencil lines.
Then I apply masking fluid if necessary: here I did so in the reflective areas on the glass jar, and on the lid. As soon as the masking fluid has dried, I start layering the watercolor, with the lightest shades first. Here I'm using Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor half pans in many shades of green! I let each layer dry and then continue with a darker shade, adding more and more detail. Here I'm using Grumbacher and Raphaël short handle watercolor brushes, but I'll use any good quality, reasonably-priced brush.
Not all of my illustrations are this detailed, but here I was going for a complex illustration with lots of depth and transparency. I worked on the lid last because I find it harder to paint smooth reflective metal. But I think that part came out OK!
This represents between 12 and 15 hours of work from start to finish!