Sunday, 4 August 2013

[Tips] How to Make Hard Edged Watercolour

Hard edges occur when water pushes paint to the edge of the wetted area and the paint forms thin 'outline' as it is drying. Usually I avoid it in my paintings, but in this illustration I made it on purpose. And I like it!

It was a commissioned illustration for a wedding invitation of a dog-lover couple, 'German Shepherds' to be specific.

The German shepherds have special characteristics, such as black nose, black mark near the eyes, and black 'saddle'-shaped mark on the back. And I thought these features were fitting for the hard edged style.

Here are a little insights I found when doing the hard edges effect:
1. I mixed a generous volume of water with less pigment to make a thin mixture. When applying the mix I made an effort to control the shape of the wetted area.

2. I dropped more water in the colour when the area was still wet. It pushed the pigment to the edge of the area and made the outline more striking.

3. I positioned the paper on a perfectly flat surface so that it created a uniformly sized outline.

4. To have a very fine outline, I avoided thick mixture. Too much pigment will make heavy, coarse outlines.

5. I made sure the area was completely dry before I put another hard edged washes and stroked the brush gently. The brush's pressure can scrape the previous outline.

I think there are many 'fun' possibilities for the hard edged watercolour as a stand-alone style or combined with other washes!

(Edited on 19/07/2014) I add the final artwork and a closer look to their eyes :)


Janene said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

The "hard edges" are working well for you in your illustration. I've done that before by accident with a thicker mixture and it made a pretty harsh line, but I like the idea of using a light wash to get a more delicate line. Thanks!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mbak kalo cotman sebenernya lebih enak yg pans atau yg tube kalo dipake?

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Janene, Thank you for leaving this insight :) I've done that same accident, too. Usually I can 'erase' the harsh line with a damp brush and a kitchen towel.

@Chandra Akbar Kusuma, tergantung kebutuhannya. Pan lebih praktis dan mudah dibawa-bawa untuk melukis luar ruang (misal bikin sketsa) dan formulanya dirancang untuk menghasilkan warna yang tetap baik meski dibasah/keringkan berulang kali. Kekurangannya, pan tidak cepat dilumerkan jika ingin membuat campuran warna yang banyak. Sementara tube tinggal dipencet sehingga menghemat waktu, membuat campuran warna lebih mudah dan kuas lebih awet (karena tidak diusap berlebihan). Tube cocok untuk membuat lukisan besar di dalam ruangan.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Terima kasih mbak atas penjelasanya

Jerrr said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I know this was posted almost half a decade ago, but to this day this post still inspires me! so many artists teach you how to avoid hard edges, but this is such an amazing way to create texture! Thank you so so much for sharing:)