DRAWING PROCESS: Brooklyn watercolor portrait

So last Saturday, random ‘ol me decided to go to the mall because I had a sudden urge to buy dip pens and ink (blame inktober for that) and try it out. So I bought that and before I went home I somehow stumbled upon a craft store (while I was looking for a baking shop, yep I know.) and they were selling waterbrushes. I’ve been wanting to have my hands on that so I took the opportunity to buy one.

They like to put their brand into things.

So the store’s name is The Craft Central which was located in the top floor SM North The Block. They sell various stuffs like notebooks, watercolor (Sakura Koi to be precise) some calligraphy pens.

I wanted to try my newly acquired waterbrush for a spin so what’s the best way to do it, by doing watercolor art of course.

Please don’t laugh at me for using super cheap-ass watercolor. I’m too poor to buy those expensive ones. T^T

I decided to go for just a simple portrait since I’m not really that proficient in watercolors and really I just want to test out the brush. So I drew my lovely OC Jane from CHAMPS as my test subject. Silly ‘ol me forgot to take a photo when I initially sketched her but anyway, let’s start here:

adding the initial colors

I put in the base colors first by adding a wash of yellow and pink for the skin, orange for her hair, leaving white spots for where the highlights will fall.

initial shading for the skin

Okay so I added some shading for the skin first since it’s the lightest area. I use a pinkish red color for it. (I’m pretty sure there’s a specific name for the color but I suck at remembering.) One thing I find very challenging in watercolor painting or really just traditional media in general is that you really have to set where you’ll put the shading right before you even start putting them in. One mistake and I’m screwed. I was kinda winging it when I do my digital paintings and when I make a mistake, I can always just put color on top. That’s not something I can do in traditional media.

made the hair fiery.

I used bright red to intensify the colors in her hair so it looks fiery. I really like how poofy Jane’s hair. It’s so fun to figure out.

added some contrast.

I used cooler colors to add contrast: dark blue for her hair and purple for the skin. Adding contrast is one of my weakness when it comes to traditional because I’m really scared I might screw up and my progress on this is really far already. Will definitely work on that in future practices.

After this, I just fleshed out everything and made the background darker by using black. (I probably should’ve just used inks because this watercolor’s black is very light) And here’s the finished version!


My camera wasn’t able to capture all the colors because my phone camera is lame. This is a scanned version already and I modified the color curves a bit in Photoshop and increased the saturation. I gotta say it’s a pretty decent water color painting compared to my previous messy attempts. I really love using the waterbrush. The water flow is very controlled and I didn’t have to worry much on whether or not I loaded my brush with too much water. I like the strokes I’m making when I was using it.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this little process blog I made. If you like it, be sure to share it with your friends as well. Tell me your thoughts in the comments. Would like to see more drawing process blog? Let me know!

See ya next art blog!

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