Use inked lines with digital watercolours
I scan my inked line work and give it two Layer Effects: a sepia Color Overlay and a 25 per cent, 10 point sepia Outer Glow. You can add these effects to a Group folder and drop different layers of artwork inside this folder. Layer Mask your line work to make non- destructive edits. illustrator Joseph Zbukvic, because the use of black is very often kept to the minimum with traditional painting.
In portrait paintings, shadow areas are often treated with saturated red instead of dark grey tones or black, in an effort to mimic the translucency of the skin.
When you’re working on the chromatic shadow, you’re also working with colour vibrancy. This is because you’re making certain artistic choices to enhance the properties of certain colours.
Colour vibrancy can be a strong design language, because it plays a significant role in how the brain analyses certain lighting situations. As long as you apply the basic rules you can have more stylised colour choices, which in turn will give a specific personality to your shadows. I hand-paint two mask areas for the feathers and environment. With the feather area selected, I use custom watercolour brushes, trying for a wash-like feel. I let the line work edges suggest the mass of feathers. You can get pretty wild and even abstract inside the masked area! The feathers and environment colour layers both sit in a Group folder with a Pattern Overlay: Gouache Light on Watercolour 40 per cent Overlay. All colour layers inside will pick up this texture. The Smudge tool helps create a few watercolour-like ‘lost’ edges.
The image on the left has the dark grey value for the shadow. However, with the same illustration, you can add colour vibrancy in the shaded areas by boosting the saturation of red in the shadow area.