How do you color your illustrations?

Over the years, I have used a variety of techniques to color my illustrations but now I use Winsor Newton gouache paints (opaque watercolors) with colored pencil, because this technique allows me the greatest range of brilliant or subtle colors and clean edges that need no outline. Gouache (pronounced "gwash") paint comes in tubes and is thick like toothpaste. I thin the paint with water and add white paint to create a range of shades of each color. I store the mixed colors in tubs with screw tops so they don't dry out. I have hundreds of different pre-mixed colors to choose from.

 

After I have traced my drawing onto the watercolor paper, I fill in the lines with flat areas of gouache. I add shading and details with Berol Prismacolor colored pencil over the painted areas. The paper I use is Fabriano Artistico bright white, hot press, 140 lbs.  When I am done with the picture,  you can no longer see the original pencil line that I traced onto the watercolor paper.


 

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Tubes of Gouache Paints