Experimenting with Water Colours

I wanted to experiment with different media in order to re-create Sabine Pieper’s illustrations. In order to do this, I broke down the process step-by-step. I started off by using the below image as a reference:




I chose this picture because I liked Sabine’s use of colours and I thought the enlarged image of the illustration beside the full length illustration was also very effective.

Step one:


The first step shows the outline of my drawing using pencil. Sabine uses this technique first to ensure the proportion of her model is correct before adding any colour. Her illustrations have elongated legs, big hair and small waists which are features I wanted to ensure my drawing included.

Step two:


For step two, I used water colours to add colour to my illustration. This was my first time using water colours in over 5 years therefore it took me a while to get used to how it worked. However, once I got used to the water colours, I found this process thoroughly enjoyable. I enjoyed building depth by painting layers of water colour on top of each other. I also enjoyed mixing various colours together to achieve the desirable colour I was looking for. I found the trick to using water colours was patience- allowing the water colour to dry and building layers on top of it to create a more 3D effect. Another trick I learnt from this process was ‘less is more’, as I painted light strokes of colour and allowing some spaces left white to create light in the drawing.

Step Three:


The final step of my drawing involved going round the outline with black pen and adding skin tone. The black outline makes the illustration more defined and stand out. I also think it compliments the water colours used as it creates shadow and more of a 3D effect. The skin tone of the original image is very minimal so I decided to use pencil for this to create shading and lighting. This is one of my favourite methods and I think this adds more dimension to the illustration especially features such as the legs.

Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of my illustration as a first attempt. Although I did not use Sabine’s signature technique of combining hand-made illustrations with digital photoshop technology, I thought the use of watercolours, pencil and black pen was very effective and allowed me to experiment with different media.