August 17, 2011

Watercolor Warm-ups

Hey, does anyone remember my 100 Watercolors Challenge?  I won't blame you if you don't!  It's been almost THREE years since I last posted a painting.  That doesn't mean I haven't been working on it though!  For this past year, I have been secretly chipping away at some of the preparatory work for the project: brainstorming visual ideas for the different 100 themes, penciling them out, transferring them to watercolor paper, etc. etc. etc.

I have also been getting mentally ready to paint watercolors again.  Last October, my girlfriend Claire Sanders moved in with me, and she is a watercolor wizard!  Here's an example of an awesome watercolor present she made for our friend Liz.  It's a reimagining of the Monster Bash pinball machine's backglass, but with all cats, because Liz's cats are named Dracula and Wolfman, remember?

Talented, no?  Yes!  So much so, that soon after she moved in, I asked Claire to collaborate with me on my yearly blog archive image.  We did it as a watercolor, so I could learn some of her tricks.  This was the first time I had used watercolors in a long time, but with Claire's help I already felt like I took a step forward with the process.

Then, in May, Claire and I headed up to Montréal for a 24-Hour Comics event, and again, I asked her to collaborate with me.  I did all of the drawings on watercolor paper and Claire colored them all.  It was a crazy eighteen hours of work, but when we were done, we had a pretty cool 24-page comic, and I had learned a TON about watercolors, from working side by side with Claire.  You can read the whole comic over on Grandpapier and here's the cover image to give you some idea of how it turned out:

So!  With all of these warm-ups done, I feel like I'm ready to dive back in on the 100 Watercolors challenge.  Starting next week, I will be posting one painting a week, unless I have some other exciting illustration stuff to share.  As I stated at the beginning of this project, my main goal here is to get better at watercolors, so hopefully by painting the remaining NINETY-ONE themes I will accomplish that goal!

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