Trying new art supplies and materials is always an adventure for me. Being a self taught artist means a lot of trial and error, and that's especially true with art supplies I've never used before. A while back I picked up a pack of Stiblo fineliners, and I decided to give them a first try on a sketch (Electra Heart inspired!) I had drawn a few months ago.
My game plan for the illustration was to line the work with the markers, and then fill in the lines with light watercolours. All seemed well at the start; the Stiblo pens worked awesomely, and I felt mega-confident with the progression of my piece. However, that confidence was short lived once I began to apply the watercolour.
As it turns out, my lovely pens are made with waterbased ink - of which I would have known had I read the back of the package. :b As soon as the watercolour so much as touched molecules with the ink, it began to bleed out. Small rivers of magenta ink ran across the face of my subject as my eyes widened in panic - I didn't want to ruin my drawing. I quickly mopped up the ink and watercolour mixture that began to pool, and thought about how best to tackle the challenge before me.
In the end, I decided to go with Copic markers for the skin tone. The markers still bled a little bit, but the damage left a much lesser impact than the watercolours. I also used markers, albeit an off brand, to color the gingham dress and large hair bow.
While I did try to reduce the bleed factor on a majority of the illustration, there was one bit in which I embraced it - her hair! Thinking of the previously averted disaster with her face had me asking, "how can I use this to my advantage?" With that, I used yellow and pale yellow watercolour to paint her hair,. With my brush strokes I picked uo the pink from the ink I had used to draw it out and blended it all together. I couldn't be happier with the results.
I finished off the picture with some white gel pen highlights and a light blotchy purple background. With the background, I tried out a new masking pen for the first time. The masking pen was kind of a flop. It was supposed to pull off, but I ended up leaving a blue residue behind instead. I didn't mind too much since the effect works well with this drawing, however, I probably wont use again anytime soon.
Much of this piece was trial and error and oopsies, but that's the joy and adventure of trying new stuff! I still love my new markers, but I have learned a valuable lesson of when best to use them and when not to. Had I ruined my sketch, it would have been sad, but not as devastating as it would be to ruin a major work or commission with their misuse.
Until next time, your friend in art,
- Sam :)