Digital Watercolor Techniques (Straw Blowing Effect)

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Content

0. Canvas settings
1. Customize Brush for Straw Blowing Effect
2. Adding a Watercolor Paper Texture
3. Painting a Cherry Blossom Branch with the Customized Brush on the Paper Texture
4. Adding the Cherry Blossoms

0. Canvas settings

Create a new file.
"File" > "New..."

For this example we will use an "A4" landscape format.
Width: 4093
Height: 2894
Resolution: 350 (if you want to print your work later on)
Click on "OK".

1. Customize Brush for Straw Blowing Effect





Since real brush strokes are not perfect on the edges we will edit the "Round watercolor" brush where the edges are too clean:

Go to your "Brush" > "Realistic watercolor".

Right click on the "Round watercolor" brush and click on "Duplicate sub tool...".

Name the brush "Blow watercolor brush" to find it easier and click "OK".

Click on the "Show" icon.




The settings of the brush will pop up:

Go to "Ink" > "Blending mode" > "Replace alpha"

About this function: When you apply the paint, the paint will be more even.

Click on "Spraying effect" and select the check box of the "Spraying effect".

About this function: Normally this is used to make a Spray effect, but we will use this to uneven the edge. With this effect the particles fall apart and when you bring the particles a little together, you will achieve an uneven effect on the edge.

Increase "Particle density" to 20.

Go to "Texture" and change the "Texture density" to 60.

Now you have your customized brush which is now ready to use!

When you use a different pen pressure you can vary the brightness and size of the paint.
more pen pressure -> paint gets darker
less pen pressure -> paint gets brighter

2. Adding a Watercolor Paper Texture





Now we will start to make the watercolor paper texture:

Make a new "Layer". Click on the "Layer" icon.

Click on the "Selection" icon > "Selection"> "Rectangle".
Choose the color "white" in the "color wheel".

Select the whole canvas and click on the "Fill" icon which will pop up after selecting your canvas. This will fill the whole canvas "white".

Click on the "Deselect" icon.

Now the canvas it deselected.

Click on a "Material" icon.



Your material collection will pop up like this:

Go to "All material" > "Monochromatic pattern" > "Texture" > "Medium textured"

Drag the "Medium textured" one and drop to the canvas.



A "Medium textured" layer will appear above the white colored layer:

Click on the "Combine to layer below" icon. Both layers will combine into one layer.

Change the "Blending mode" from "Normal" to "Color Burn".

Decrease the "Opacity" to 70.

Now you have your watercolor paper texture!

3. Painting a Cherry Blossom Branch with the Customized Brush on the Paper Texture

Determine the starting point in the canvas.
In this example we will start at the top right.

Make a new "Layer" for the sketch which doesn't have to be accurate.
This sketch layer should be under the paper texture layer.

Pick the color "Blue".

Begin with a curved line, which makes the branch more natural.

Add more branches which are smaller and thinner which will be our sub-branches.

Add more smaller and thinner branches to the sub-branches.

Decrease the "Opacity" of your sketch "Layer" to 15.

Make a new "Layer" which will be your color layer.
This color layer should be above the sketch layer and under the paper texture layer.



Let's pick the brush we made in this tutorial:

Go to "Brush" > "Realistic watercolor" > "Blow watercolor brush".

Paint the branch with a dark brown color.
Start with a stain. Pay attention to make it a little irregular.
Also try to vary the color brightness through pen pressure. Varying the pen pressure will be helpful for painting natural branches.
more pen pressure -> paint gets darker
less pen pressure -> paint gets brighter

Brush size: 150

Start with the main branch and slowly add the sub-branches.
Slowly develop the irregular lines.
Vary the lines with a different pen pressure for light/dark parts and thin/thick parts in the lines.
You can overdraw some line parts to make them look thicker.

At the end of the branches the paint ends with a drop in analog watercolor, so these parts will be a little bit thicker and darker like a drop.

Change brush size to 30. Make the brush size smaller than the brush size you used before because the branches will get thinner.
Continue drawing irregular, smaller and thinner sub-branches.

Like above: At the end of the branches the paint ends with a drop in analog watercolor, so these parts will be a little thicker and darker like a drop.

Add the last sub-branches. Use a smaller brush like size 7.

Uncheck the "Eye" icon.

Now you have your branch!



But we are not finished yet! We will put in more details into the branch:

Add a new "Layer" which should be above the color layer.
Click on the "Clip at Layer Below" icon.

About this function: Only the painted parts will be affected.

We will use the "Soft bleed" brush.
Go to "Brush" > "Realistic watercolor" >"Soft bleed".

With the same color, tap on some edges of the paint and especially on the end of the branches to darken these areas. These areas are the parts where the wet paint in analog watercolor is most concentrated.

Click under the colors the "transparent" rectangle.

About this function: You will be able to correct some parts with the same brush.

Before the correction.

After the correction.




Now we will add some highlights with the typical salt effect:

Add a new layer which should be above the effect layer and click on the "Clip at Layer Below" icon. Then decrease the "Opacity" to 70.

Go to "Airbrush" > "Airbrush" > "Running color spray" and use the color white.

Spray on some parts when you tap on the areas where you want to have this salt effect.
Try not to overdo it.

This is a picture before applying the "Running color spray" brush so you can see the difference

4. Adding the Cherry Blossoms

Add a new "Layer".

Use "Soft bleed" for the cherry blossom.
Go to "Brush" > "Realistic watercolor" > "Soft bleed".

Pick a wine red color.
Use different brush sizes (bigger and smaller brush) and tap on the branches.

Use "Brush" > "Realistic watercolor" > "Watery brush" for the next step.

Tap over the red areas and use different brush sizes again (bigger and smaller brush sizes).
The "Watery brush" will erase the parts smoothly.

Take the cherry blossom layer and drag it under the branch layer.

Now the red color is under the branch which is the back side of the cherry blossom.




The next step will be the front side of the cherry blossom:

Make a new layer which will be the cherry blossom front.

Take the "Soft bleed" brush again like for the cherry blossom's back.
"Brush" > "Realistic watercolor" > "Soft bleed"

Use the same color and a little smaller brush size but still vary the brush size.

Make a new layer which is above the cherry blossom front.
Clip it with "Clip at Layer Below".
Decrase the "Opacity" to 70.

For some highlights use "Running color spray" to achieve a salt effect.
"Airbrush" > "Airbrush" > "Running color spray"

Select the color "white" and tap over the red paint.
Try not to overdo it.

Make a new layer for more highlights.
Decrease the "Opacity" to 70.



We will add some more highlights with a different effect:

Use "Droplet".
Go to "Airbrush" > "Airbrush" > "Droplet".

Use white and tap over the red paint
Like the salt effect: Try now to overdo it.

Now you have your cherry blossom with a realistic watercolor effect!

Thanks for your attention!





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