I painted feathers. In preparation for creating an illustrated novel, I’ve been taking time each week to practice watercolor. I’ve been holding a dark fairytale close to my heart for years now. The story focuses on a siren and as I imagined underwater scenes and a castle by the sea, I knew watercolor was the perfect medium. Watercolor in general adds its own magic to fairytales and has become a favorite medium of mine for that reason. When I see a scene in watercolor, it’s like looking into another world or seeing someone’s dreams.
Why feathers? Because:
a) I needed to get more comfortable with the medium
b) I needed practice that wouldn’t eat up too much of my time while I write another novel and
c) I was inspired by a feather painting tutorial on Youtube by Makoccino.
I have dabbled in watercolor here and there throughout the years and when I decided I wanted to really pursue illustration, I knew I needed to practice it. So, instead of forcing myself into full illustrations which would undoubtedly end in tears because I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I was visualizing in my head, I decided to practice.
I have started with little things like feathers and flowers and plan to work my way up to landscapes based on technique, meaning I’ll be focusing more on technique and less on copying an image. After that, it’ll be time to start applying what I’ve learned. This way, when I’m ready to create scenes of my own, I can use a reference image and technique together to create a detailed illustration that’s original and not a copy of a photograph.
I definitely need to work on my characters for the novel, but we’ll get to that later because that’s a whole other blog post. In the mean time, feathers.
And another exciting little announcement: I have added an illustrated guide to the world of Detective Docherty to my To-Be-Published list and I plan to use as much of my practice material as possible. So stay tuned for more updates because the art I’ll be posting to my blog, Twitter, and Instagram, will be previews of the illustrated guide to come 🙂
Any other artists out there reading this blog? Do you do digital or traditional art? Both? What kind of practice do you like to do?