Hey Guys! My name is Jazzy (@j.l.s_art on instagram) and I am an artist who focuses primarily on portraiture. My plan this week was to do something completely different, however, when inspiration strikes, you should listen! I tried out Waves of Expression’s new honey-based watercolor paints and instantly fell in love. As a result, I’m going to be talking about how I used the new honey-based watercolor paints in purple.
When I opened the paint I knew I wanted to do something whimsical, so I went with mermaid/sirens. I selected a reference with strong lighting and got to sketching. My materials for this piece included a small round brush, a ¾ flatbush, two cups of water, a paper towel, painter’s tape, Ripe Sienna, Raw Umber, and Payne’s Grey watercolor paints, and Waves of Expression’s glittery watercolor paints. I coated the back of the page with water to prevent bubbling, taped it down, and started painting.
The background of the painting had a yellow glow, so I went in with a glittery gold shade to create this effect. Next, I added a light pink glitter around the outline of the figure, where the light was creating backlighting. I followed that with orange, hot pink, and purple, slowly bringing the colors towards the center of the painting. This was my first time trying the honey-based purple watercolor, and I was not disappointed. The application is smooth and extremely pigmented, which encouraged me to use such bright colors in my piece. I used the purple to block out the deepest shadows and avoided putting paint on the highlighted sections. I also used a purple tinted dark brown to block in the hair shape. While still in the early stages of the painting, it’s important not to get caught up in the details and to instead look at how the colors and shapes being used are interacting with each other.
Next, I worked on the skin tone of my subject. At first, I chose a wash of Ripe Sienna and applied it over all of the skin. However, I realized that I needed a cooler skin tone, so I built up the layers of hot pink and purple before trying again on the skin tone.
After building up the hot pink and purple, I went in with Raw Umber and Payne's grey to create the cool skin tone that I was looking for. I applied it to the skin, making sure to avoid the pink and purple highlights around the edge of the face and “T zone” of the forehead, cheeks, and nose. I continued layering the Raw Umber/ Payne's grey shade until I was satisfied with the depth of the tone.
Finally, it was time to add some details! I reinforced the lash and lip line with black paint before going in and adding eyelashes and eyebrow, as well as defining the texture of the hair. I continued slowly layering black over the hair textures until the black stood out against the skin. I reinforced the hot pink and purple one last time, added the gold highlight to the iris, and added another layer to the background before declaring it officially done.
Overall, I really enjoyed making this painting and had a lot of fun experimenting with my new paint. I tend to use de-saturated colors in my paintings, but the purple against the pink was too beautiful to tone down. I was curious to see if the honey-based paint would make a difference when compared to other watercolors, and I’d have to say that I’m a believer. It has a wonderfully smooth application and is packed with pigment. It turned my painting up a notch so it is something I will continue to use in the future.