Illustrator - Sarah Jones

Illustrator: Colouring with Inks View Gallery

Image 1Artist: Sarah Jones,
from Girl in the Rain
Nationality: British

(waterproof) Fineliners
Watercolour paper
Masking tape

Image 1Project:
1. For this tutorial I'm starting with an inked sketch. Make sure you ink your sketch with waterproof fineliners or the lines will bleed when we apply inks later. Paper is also really important; make sure you use good quality watercolour paper or it will wrinkle your artwork and be difficult to scan. Usually after inking the lines I scan my image in case something goes wrong.

Image 22. To keep the paper flat while working use masking tape to fix your image to a flat.

3. It's best to work on the lighter colours first while your water is cleanest. Here I'm using pinks and reds. There are two techniques I use to apply inks and watercolours. The first is 'wet on wet' technique. Using your brush, place water on the paper. Then drop the water colour/ink into the water. This results in a soft effect. Image 3

The second is 'wet on dry'. This is simply placing ink straight onto the paper. This results in colour with sharp edges. I usually use a mixture of these techniques when colouring my work.

Image 4

4. I then start building up the background. For this I use the 'wet on wet' technique. I place water on the image where I want the ink to run, then drop in the ink, letting it bleed softly. It's good to use a tissue to dab up areas I want to keep clear of ink. I also apply more water to areas I want the ink to run into.

Image 5For this tutorial I'm just using two colours (pink and black), but you can easily layer lots of colours, experiment mixing when they're wet, but careful not to muddy up the colours. Alternatively, layer up the colours separately, ensuring each one has dried before applying the next.

5. After finishing all the colours and leaving to dry I add the black. It's important to do black last as it will make your water and brushes dirty, and you want to keep your colours clear. Again I use the wet on wet technique, placing the water first.

Image 66. Finally, I clean the water and add white highlights with thick white acrylic-based ink. Use a small brush to create detail and bring your illustration to life!

7. Here is the final illustration, scanned in Photoshop and levels adjusted slightly.

Image 7