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Exploring Watercolours with Animal Designs

So I have been gradually getting on with a lot of my designs throughout my sketchbook, trying to take each medium and see what else I can do with it besides just the way I would naturally use it. Watercolours for me I always try and go realistic, but I took some time to step back and try a splashy style, combine it with fineliner, add more colour. Just thinking of ways that I could try the medium without it being a total mess and waste of time. I think I did such a lot of experimenting with the leaves and things so far that I know which mediums I work well with and which ones would just be a waste of time for something as in-depth as a animal portrait.

So I started out with a more realistic approach to it here, I like the hedgehog I think I got quite a nice look with it. The squirrel position is quite nice but I think the look of it could have been more realistic with a small brush and more lightness left into the piece. I tried a sharpie to outline the next couple of studies, which I think worked well to give it a more graphic look, I think this would have worked better with a darker shade of the colour rather than black, but coloured sharpies are not as bold as I would like them and show through to the background behind them. The sharpies do help to define the ears and nose and things which I think does make it look better, maybe to take this further I could see if the technique works on all four of the animals equally well, because this is important as doing three successfully then finding the technique does not work on the last one would not be good.

I tried some splashy watercolour designs next, starting with the natural colour on the hedgehog, then going into the brightly coloured squirrel tail. I took this further then and decided to try each animal, then do all look quite attractive in this style, but it is also a style I have seen before, maybe I could consider it if I add more coloured pencil detail into it to get some details in the face and a looser and splashier background.

Here I showed where I took some of the techniques further, the watercolour and fineliner designs I think were quite effective and the mixture of techniques over the collaged old paper was interesting. I particularly like the dormouse in this one, it turned out quite nice and realistic which I was surprised about, but just going back into it and adding more shading once it dried each time helped to build up the colour well. I tried the hare in a wild pink but I do not think this worked well, I think the pink is too distracting and I like the idea of using the natural colours into it.

Overall the watercolour designs have been really fun, I have enjoyed doing them a lot but whether this is something I could take forward to the designs, may be dependant on how the rest of my designs turn out as I go along.