[Updated 5/15] Tips for making illustrations look like they are made with watercolors

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Since there is a wide range of watercolor-like paintings, I will post tips for creating a transparent + opaque hybrid watercolor-like analog-style painting!

First off, here's the timelapse!

Time lapse! Because I've just started using it!

I added it because I had the chance!

Sorry if it's hard to understand, I'm not used to video editing software...!

The brush I'm using this time is a watercolor brush that has a village on it from the start!

You can use any pencils and pens that you are comfortable with!

Any pure watercolor brush that you are comfortable with is fine, even an oil painting brush is fine, or you can create your own brush that gives off an analog-like texture.

 

Postscript: I've posted my own brush! I'll put the URL at the bottom.


[0:00~] Rough (normal layer + pencil)

I wanted to draw a summery picture with big yellow flowers, so I decided to draw my original character Senpai and flowers!

I feel like if you make it more relaxed and cluttered, it will have a more analog feel!


[0:11~] Roughly coloring! (Multiply layer + suitable pen)

Choose the most vivid color possible!

 

If you color above one-third of the way through the square on the color circle it's less likely to look muddy.

 

Also, I think it's easier to make it look realistic if you mercilessly paint the brightest areas where the light is hitting them white!


[0:30~] Sketch (normal layer + pencil)

Lower the transparency of the rough layer and create a new rough sketch on a newly created normal layer!

 

If you draw in detail now about what kind of clothes they'll wear, what their hairstyle will be, what kind of pose they'll have, etc., it'll be super easy later on, so draw lots! Make sure to use lines that are as easy to understand as possible!

 

 


[From 1:12] Roughly decide on the light and shadow! (Multiply layer + watercolor brush)

I repainted the rough sketch and changed the color of the sky because I repainted the color on a layer that I had originally roughly colored.

I created a new multiply layer and set the watercolor border on the layer itself to create shadows, but in the end there wasn't much left so if you want to add a shadow I recommend doing so!

You can get that feeling of painting with watercolors!

 

But honestly it's best to paint in a way that is easy for you!

If it's too much trouble just create a new layer!

Also, since it didn't look like watercolor at all, I roughly painted some light colors on a new multiply layer with a large watercolor brush to give it the texture of paper!

If this color gets in the way, I'll paint over it later, so for now it's OK to leave it as it is!


[2:27] Merge copies of the displayed layers!

Just to be on the safe side and to make things easier to work with, I'll merge copies of the displayed layers!

 

From here on, I'll be adding everything to this single layer, so I'd like to do as much as I can before this point!

But, you can still make as many corrections as you want!!!


[2:29] Add watercolor texture! (Use your favorite watercolor paper texture)

At this stage, you just have to choose, but you'll hide it until the very end!

You'll show and adjust it at the very end!


[From 2:30] Shape the image! (Watercolor brush + pen you use for line drawing + your favorite analog-style brush)

All that's left to do is to work desperately towards the shape you have in your head!

Draw, draw and keep drawing!!


【5:17】Done!

Put the hidden watercolor texture layer into Overlay mode, rasterize it, and then use Level Correction to increase the white areas while tweaking the brightness to make it look more realistic, and it's done!

 

Be sure not to add any effects! I think a splash of white is fine, but if you process it too much it will instantly lose its analog look... sad.

In the end, the number of layers was 9!

Because the size was small, it took less than 5 hours.

To be honest, I personally find this method of drawing the fastest... it's much easier than anime coloring.

I made an additional square brush!

In the above example, I modified an existing brush so much that it was hard to say which one it was, so I made a new one!

I'll register it, so please give it a try if you like!

You can create a picture like this! *Watercolor paper texture is layered on top

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