Hi everyone! My name is Katherine Knapik. I’m a professional illustrator and designer, a long-time watercolor artist, and a lover of sparkles! Today I want to go over two different techniques for incorporating The Smiling Hippo watercolors into your work to create more dynamic lighting. I’ll be demonstrating the two techniques on some gorgeous house paintings.
The first technique is one where we use only one gorgeous glitter paint to bring out our highlights. Color theory teaches us that cool colors recede and warm ones advance, so to contract our blue shadows, I’ll be using Hera from The Smiling Hippo.
Notice how this gorgeous golden paint really packs a punch in the department of warmth and vibrance. This more intense gold on top of the underlying greens and grays just screams “golden hour”! Perfect for sunset lighting or just a more bold look.
The second technique uses a lot of colors! I’m using The Mandalorian for the walkway in this photograph, but I’ve also used Augustin from The Encanto Collection, and some colors I got as mystery samples.
By using more colors, you might think this will be bright and bold, but it actually has the opposite effect. Because the contrast between the color of the glitter and the underlying paint is lower, it creates this really subtle appearance. Perfect if you love a little shine, but aren’t trying to make it the first thing you notice; the glitter becomes a magical surprise the longer you look at it.
Either (or both!) of these techniques for lighting your paintings helps to create a more dynamic appearance in your artwork. The Smiling Hippo watercolors are always my go-to for highlights because they just immediately take my work from flat to glowing. And without further ado, here are our finished pieces!