Watercolor version

Ink and watercolor in Raffine sketchbook
(Click image, select “All Sizes” to enlarge)

This week’s Illustration Friday word is “Smitten.” My original idea was to draw my Los Angeles sister’s rescued dove and parakeet that have formed a loving pair and live in a big cage in her little living room. I was going to ask her to try to send me a picture of them but remembered she doesn’t have a digital camera and I couldn’t really remember what they looked like. I guess it wouldn’t have really mattered since I just made this bird up anyway, without looking at any photos.

I started by drawing the idea this morning on a piece of scratch paper that had all sorts of other stuff on it so I couldn’t use it directly. I put the sketch on my Wacom tablet and drew over it, getting the drawing into Painter. Then I redrew it and experimented with trying to get the lines cleaner, but realized there were too many things I didn’t know about using the bezier curve tool and I was too tired to learn them today. I messed around with it in Painter way too long, trying out different backgrounds, trying to draw a cage, etc. I wasn’t happy with the way it looked painted in Painter (see below) so I printed out the line drawing layer on a piece of paper ripped out of my Raffine sketchbook. I painted that in watercolor (above) and stuck it back into the binding. I’m feeling less “smitten” by digital painting today and much more in love with watercolor.

Smitten-Digital version

Digital version done completely in Painter (blah)

Animals, Drawing, Illustration Friday, Sketchbook Pages, Watercolor

Join the conversation! 20 Comments

  1. each medium has their strengths. it’s nice that you show both together. i do like the details you show with digital. i like the illustration feel of the hand painted watercolor. nice work on both! nice story too.

  2. This is so cute Jana. I love the subtle colours and variations you acheive with your water colours.

  3. TERRIFICally SMITTEN!! Well done, Jana!! I like both versions, too — but your watercolors are more lively to me …!

  4. Interesting to see the differences between the two. I just got a Wacom Tablet a couple of weeks ago. Steep learning curve for me!

  5. Great one, Jana! love the birdie-

  6. perfect expression. she is definitely in love!

  7. Charming, I love the watercolor (especially because I’m computer challenged),

  8. Thanks. I want to clarify after hearing the last part of your comment below. I used illustrator on the elephant/duck (smitten) piece for the characters only. The textures and repeated layers of hearts were all done in photoshop. I really love photoshop, painter and illustrator. They are all great programs. Depending on my mood or what I want to accomplish, I’ll any combination of the 3. In the (Trouble) illustration, the only part that was done in illustrator was the cat. I love that I can have the best of both worlds, clean sharp graphics and warm fuzzy or gritty texture. I hope that didn’t further confuse you.

    >”I think I really like the clean lines you get with illustrator and didn’t realize you could do textures and painterly effects in it too”.

  9. First, let me say, I love the pink birds! I think your technique in watercolor is lovely, and maybe trying to replicate it in Painter isn’t for you. Perhaps experimenting in a totally different style digitally would give you a better feeling as to how you could fit it in as a workable medium. I’ve tried replicating my style in Painter using their “acrylics”, and I didn’t like it, but their “oils” are very cool. And I work digitally to begin with! You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, your style is really nice as it is! : )

  10. Hi,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice words.
    I love your style and I think your watercolor technique is awesome.
    If you feel like trying something else, do it but you really are doing great.

  11. Cute.
    I love your wit.

  12. I like the watercolor too.
    I work digitally most of the time now. There is a link to an open letter to digital illustrators on my blog that you might find of interest.

    I think that the letter is written more for illustrators doing pixar-type illustrations, however.

  13. Thankyou for commenting on my blog. I prefer the watercolour version too! I like your work. Very nice!:)

  14. it’s beautifully done

  15. great soft colors and self infatuated bird

  16. really cute. love the watercolor and the perfect reflection. well done!

  17. Remember not to over-critique yourself, but I do understand we are all harder on ourselves then anyone else is. I can find a flaw (or two) in every piece of artwork that I do, but sometimes I just have to let the piece breath and then go back and look at it again so I can see it as a whole. Maybe all artists are this way. Your pink bird has so much personality and it was fun to see you do something only from your imagination.

    Have a great week!

  18. I like the loose lines and the painterly feel….colors are soft and really add to the idea of beingsmitten. Cheers!

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