I find it helpful to layer colors in
watercolor, first applying light shades and then painting over areas with
darker variations. This helps prevent you from using too dark a color
at first, controlling the color, and allows you to think about the highlight
This was scanned halfway through inking.
As you can see, some areas are unfinished (her clothing and hair) and still
need work. Her clothing in particular is lacking in value, making
it seem flat. The pine border seems unballanced - I will probably
fill it out.
Don't be afraid to mix colors when painting.
None of the colors I used here were straight from the cake - they are too
bright and false looking. Blend complementary colors (green to red,
orange to blue, purple to yellow, etc.) to dull or darken a color - blend
enough together and you will get brown.
Making a realistic flesh tone isn't that hard.
My watercolors have a peach tone (or use a light orange mixed with white)
which I start with, mixing with brown and a little purple (obviously using
more brown for darker skin tones). Test each color out on scrap paper
before applying it - add water to thin the color.
I added a puplish background behind her, since
purple is a complementary color to yellow, and there is lots of yellow
in her shirt, and lots of brown in the piece in general. I added
a light wash over the pine needles to soften them.
Now that the piece is completed I realize
that I drew her carrying too high. Doh! Either that or she
has a very short ribcage. Plus I outlined the feathers on her tunic
in black, and I should have done them in brown. I am not pleased
with the red ribbons, either. The ink was too bright. Overall
it turned out pretty good, though. I wish I could have put more detail
I primarily used a #1 and #2 round for the
watercolor, along with a #8 round for the wash behind her.