Friday, October 1, 2010

Bill Murray with tutorial

I have had a few people ask me recently about my watercolour painting technique, so I thought I would put together a step by step guide to the process I go though. Now this is my technique and I am not saying by any means that this technique is recommended, or one that should be followed, it is just the way that I work and therefore may be interesting to some !

First things first is to find reference photos that you think are solid. For this caricature I used 3 separate references, but the main reference was this one.

1. Make a solid pencil sketch. I changed this sketch numerous times before settling on the final sketch pictured here.

tgeGet your palette together. My skin tone palette consists of the following –

Burnt Umber

Alizarin Crimson Hue

Cadmium Yellow Hue


Yellow Ocre

Burnt sienna

Cadmium Red Pale Hue

Chinese White


Sap Green

Ivory black (Hair, Jacket only)

Ok so we are now ready to put on the first wash. Here I work very wet, loading on the water and a very thin layer of shin tone, slightly more pigment is added to the shadow areas. At this point I am leaving areas of white for highlight purposes.

While the paper is still very wet I add darker shadows to certain areas, paying close attention to the lighting on the reference photo.

I now start my next layer of darkening, this time adding more violet and sap green to the mix to offer up darker shadows.

I now look for pinks and reds in the reference and start to add these in. At this stage the paper is still wet and allows the colours to run nicely into each other, creating nice skin effects.

I am now starting to add in some of the finer details like eye colour and shapes within the nose.

While allowing time for the face to dry, I begin work on the hair. I just all in light and dark areas at this stage.

More detail is added on the now dry face and hair. I look for for more colours in the face and add in more greens, yellow shades and blues for depth.

. This is the final paint stage where I am gust tidying up and finishing of the clothing and hair.

89. At this stage I bring out my coloured pencils and lightly work a few areas to make the colours pop out a little more, I add more reds greens and dark browns to finish off the piece.

That’s it, I hope you enjoyed seeing how I work. If you found this useful and would be interested in more tutorials along these lines, leave a comment or drop me an email and let me know !

1 comment:

Welly said...

Awesome work Matt. Really interesting to see the process in full. I have never attempted to use watercolours before for caricature. Thanks for the inspiration.