Since my big sketchbook flip-through, I’ve been aching to mess about with watercolours again. I always loved the light and murky mildness of it against black outlines and for the longest time, that was my style.
So taking a brief break from the boldness and opacity of gouache, I’ve dipped back into my long lost watercolour palettes for this ever-so-moody portrait of a heavily-tattooed man. (I feel like all men I draw are heavily-tattooed?)
I had the outline of his face mapped out lightly in pencil but, other than that, I really didn’t know where I was going with this one. So I just started messing about with colours, gradually building up the confidence to get bolder with hues, building up a fluid skin-tone with cool and warm shades blobbed throughout.
My only other plan was to give him tattoos. And very much unlike myself, I went straight in with my paint, free-handing the floral design without even sketching it first! Knowing that lighter shades of gouache tend to dry darker than they look when wet, I started out with a very pale blue (more white than blue to be honest) but it got lost in the shades of his skin so quickly that I had to switch to a darker sort of teal colour. I love how that colour ended up complimenting the cool tone watercolour shading.
And then, call it vanity, I don’t know, I had to tattoo my signature onto his face.
That sounds so wrong!
But yeah, I figured I had to put it somewhere, why not turn it into some kind of gang affiliation thing.
Finally, my favourite bit- inking! I had originally planned to do my outlines in gouache in a darker shade of blue, and I can’t really explain why I changed my mind but I’m glad I did. I used my Zig Clean Colour brush pen to finish things of and voila!
There’s no one way that a sketchbook should look. Inside or out. No limits, and no rules. This is the place- if nowhere else-
This painting took a lot longer than expected.
Finally, past my bout of creative block, I’ve been on quite a roll with new ideas