I have developed my own style of painting over many years of practice, practice, practice and experimentation with all kinds of mediums.
Oils? Not for me..I dislike getting my hands dirty and the turpentine smell never washes off! Also – I am a fast worker. I like to sit down and finish a painting in one sitting. Acrylics? Better, but still rather viscous and a slower drying time. Watercolors? Just right! I use both watercolor pencils and a palette of assorted dry colors with paint brushes to build layers of fast drying washes.
I have a small kit which holds my pencils, brushes, white erasers, pencil sharpeners and q tips (yes-I sometimes use q tips instead of paintbrushes because they are disposable and I hate cleaning up!!)
I start with an image from a magazine , ipad or photo and depending on its complexity I will free hand sketch with a watercolor pencil or use a lightbox to establish the foundation of the drawing. I like my drawings to be very balanced and sit solidly on the page so a lightbox is an invaluable tool for establishing the proportions and structure of the drawing. I sketch the outline of the form then immediately wash over the lines to soften them.
Then comes the fun part…slowly adding layers of color….
Always leaving plenty of white….with watercolors you can’t subtract, you can only add, so you want to make sure you let a lot of white show through.
After all the paint has been applied I then go over outlines with my pencil – kind of a reverse approach as the logical way is to draw an outline then paint inside it. I like to be very free flowing with my paint application then use pencil to define shapes. I work very fast with the pencil, achieving a sketchy look. I try not to over think it! By taking a q tip and blurring some lines you can create instant shadows – it is very simple.
If you haven’t tried it before I would encourage you to get some watercolor paper (nothing fancy but is has to be watercolor paper as regular paper will seem like paper towel once you apply water and a brush) an inexpensive paint pallet, a brush, a q-tip, watercolor pencils and a regular lead pencil. Pick a big, easily outlined shape like a boot or a bucket and start filling in a pattern using the technique I described. You will be amazed!