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The long awaited watercolor tutorial!

If you want to know how to paint this picture, read the tutorial ;3



Here's a short table of content:
1. Tools
2. Painting the background
3. Painting the skin
4. Painting roses in watercolor
5. Painting the hair
6. Painting details of the face
7. Painting fabrics
8. General Flowers & Plants

This tutorial covers the basic blending and layering techniques of how I paint with watercolors.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! I'll gladly help!



I'd be happy to see your artworks inspired from this tutorial ;3


14/12/2012 Edit:
If you have any additional questions, feel free to visit this journal entry
[link]

-----
Do not use without permission - if you share it on other websites, credit me!
I'd appreciate comments and favs - please do not just download this without a word ^_^'



I really wanted to do this as a flash tutorial, but retro long-ass tutorials are much faster to do. And since I didn't want to let you wait any longer and most of you wanted this format anyways, here's the long picture tutorial ;3
Add a Comment:
 
:iconhanachi-san:
hanachi-san Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Student General Artist
THIS HELPED A LOT :'^)
Reply
:iconharuka--chan:
Haruka--chan Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful tutorial!!!! Thank you so much for this! ^___^
Reply
:iconaquaaurion:
AquaAurion Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, this was really helpful!! =D

I used it for this:
Watercolor Wyn by AquaAurion
Reply
:iconwaterystar:
waterystar Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for making such a thorough tutorial.
Reply
:icondreamjynx:
DreamJynx Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this! It must have taken a lot of work to create this and it really helped me with my art, so thank you! <3 
Reply
:iconnanisodar:
nanisodar Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for thus tutorial it's really helpful!! I've trying to do some watercolour drawings too but I'm not sure of how they came out now after reading this...would you mind checking thwm out and tell me what do you think? It's really not much and sorry if I'm bothering you .:sorry bunny:. 
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015   General Artist
surem, no problem! Just link me some pieces you would like my opinion on :)
Reply
:iconnanisodar:
nanisodar Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank youIcon Miketsukami 
Here are some:
nanisodar.deviantart.com/art/S…
nanisodar.deviantart.com/art/M…
nanisodar.deviantart.com/art/M…
The last one isn't made with watercolors but I' still like you to see it XD
Reply
:iconsenbonzakura22:
Senbonzakura22 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2015
How do you keep the colors where you want them to be? I always have difficulty keeping "within the lines" so to speak; It just becomes a big mess >.<
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2015   General Artist
You can try use a smaller brush, so it's easier to control the color - especially when you're working on details. But a lot of times, "running pigments" can be prevented with the right water/color ratio. The more water you use, the more liquid your paint will be. At first, it's easier to paint wet on dry (wet brush, dry paper) to have more control over the brush and how the colors might flow. You have to experiment a bit, because some pigments "run faster" than others.

If you paint wet-wet, try to not go too close to the lines when you lay down the first wash. The more color you add, the more water and "stuff" will be on the paper and so the puddle will expand. That way you have some "safe space" for your color to go into (and you can still drag the color to the edges while they are still wet). 

Another method, which is really easy is to use masking fluid :) It's a rubbery/silicone-ish mask that you can apply with an old brush (!!). The spaces covered with the fluid will be safe from your watercolor, you can even paint over it - the paper underneath won't be colored. This is helpful when you want to keep the white of the paper and especially time-saving when doing a lot of wet-wet washes :)

Did this answer your question? I hope everything was clear...? If not, feel free to ask more :)
Reply
:iconsenbonzakura22:
Senbonzakura22 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015
Yes thank you, that was very helpful! I've wanted to use masking but noticed that it's a bit pricey lol >.< I will keep practicing for sure though, and especially keep that second tip about having "safe space" in mind;
I actually do have one more question about shading with watercolor, particularly eyes and hair... I find that it's very hard to shade hair nicely, do you think wet on dry would be the best method for that?
Reply
:iconinkris:
Inkris Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the tutorial!
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015   General Artist
my pleasure! :)
Reply
:iconritahearts123:
RitaHearts123 Featured By Owner May 21, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you to make this lovely Tutorial! I need to use watercolor in some of my art.
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015   General Artist
No problem. And sorry for the late reply, I hope the tutorial helped you so far?
Reply
:iconritahearts123:
RitaHearts123 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
It helped me alot! and its okay!
Reply
:iconmochaliciousmc:
MochaliciousMC Featured By Owner May 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for sharing this!

I didn't use watercolors for like, 6 years.

It's great to be back again.

I honestly thought when you stain a color in a pan, it's gonna stay there forever. lol
But now I know it doesn't. :3
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015   General Artist
(sorry for the laaate reply)

Once you already know how to use them, I think it's hard to forget - kinda like riding a bike :)
With some colors actually, the stain will stay forever. But yeah, watercolor in a pan or any smooth/non absorbant surface can be reused - so it's a very economical art tool :D And contrary to the popular opinion, you can make mistakes in watercolor - you just have to be fast in removing the pigments or painting over them :/
Reply
:iconmizael-mizanity:
Mizael-Mizanity Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015  Student General Artist
This really makes me want to practice more water colours. *_*
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015   General Artist
That's very nice to hear!! Have fun! And don't focus too much on the result - more often than not, the process is what's important :)
Reply
:icongoldkaizerflims:
goldkaizerflims Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice tutorial I try to draw a robot with this style :3
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015   General Artist
Ohh I'd love to see a robot in this style! *A*
Reply
:iconhestereotyip:
hestereotyip Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015
This is indeed really nice!! thanks so much for this tutorial and I look forward to more watercolor tutorial from you :3
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015   General Artist
Thank you very much!! My watercolor process is pretty much described in this tutorial, but of course, there are still a lot of other things I could tackle (like blending methos, wet-in-wet, masking etc)

If enough people are interested in seeing those, I won't say no to making those tutorials ;)
Reply
:iconunsolvedenigma:
unsolvedenigma Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi! I used this tutorial in a recent fanart piece.
its a lovely tutorial! I am struggling with the eye area a little bit, maybe I need to make the original sketch bigger?  I took some progress shots too, so watercolor friends & experts can kind of give me some crits. XD like if im not doing it in the right order? color scheme clashy? maybe I should line with ink and not leave in pencil? //shot.
TYVM for posting the tut again.  !
Midorima Progress by unsolvedenigma
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015   General Artist
Wow! I really like it! And you have a really nice art style as well!

The color scheme looks good to me! If you prefer clean and visible lines, go for ink! However, be careful to choose a brand, that's water and smudge resistant and won't start running if you scrub it with your brush. You could always ink it after applying watercolours to be on the safe side. In my tutorial, I only used pencils, and later "inked" some darker parts with watercolours and a very small brush - to bring back the contrasts.

But in the end, there's no right or wrong way - just do whatever yields the best results for you and what you're most comfortable with in your painting process. :)
Reply
:iconunsolvedenigma:
unsolvedenigma Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
omg ty so much for the reply...omggg SENPAI NOTICED ME. *.*.  and ty for the tip! i bought a .3 micron inking pen so ill experiment with it, but i love how you 'ink' with watercolor too.  looks like i have lots of practice in front of me.
and also btw, im glad to see sports animes across your gallery cuz im TOTALLY GEEKING OUT ABOUT MAKISHIMA and im going to try to cosplay him but omg im kinda nervous but yea. ;D

i love the pedals, the Free! (btw its marinka week on tumblr, you should draw something for it!!), hq!!, please add KnB to your repertoire watercolor-senpai! 
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015   General Artist
ahhh S-S-Senpai? hahaha

Ah, tell me if you make good experiences with the micron pen! I'm always looking for good brands for inking :)
"Inking" with watercolors is a lot of fun, because you can actually do it with your brush - which in return gives you more freedom with the lines. It's a good training for brush handling haha

Yay! Sports animes! Ah don't be nervous, have fun with it :)
And thank you for informing me about it! About KnB...I used to be more involved with this series, but I kinda lost track of it, and there are so many other fandoms I'm "involved" in, so I'm not sure when I'll get to draw knb (watercolor) fanart Q__Q  I have made one aaaaaaaaages ago when I just started out with this medium - but that fanart is just embarrassing hahaha
Reply
:iconunsolvedenigma:
unsolvedenigma Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know what you mean about being involved in a lot of fandoms, almost like too much of a good thing.
CAN YOU HANDLE ALL THE FEELS.
(I think sometimes, I cant OTL).

so far micro is 1 good experience, and 1 bad experience. lol so I cant tell.
I like how it came out for ariel img.photobucket.com/albums/v46…
but not how it came out for makishima img.photobucket.com/albums/v46…

ill keep trying with pen, and with the '1' brush (that's the smallest right?) and see how I feel.
looking forward to see new art from you too.! :3
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015   General Artist
Haha yeah, but also - the bigger the fandom, the more idiots and drama makers :/
And it gets chaotic haha

The pen looks good with your style though! I like how there are thicker and thinner lines mixed - it gives a nice feel & look! For brush sizes, there's also round brushes with the size 0 or even 00 and special line-brushes that have longer bristles to make long and even lines (they were traditionally used to draw the pole of sailing ships) called rigger brushes.
Reply
:iconlotusblum:
LotusBlum Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing this tutorial^^
i love it
Heart Heart 
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015   General Artist
Ah, my pleasure! if you have any more questions feel free to ask ^^
Reply
:iconlotusblum:
LotusBlum Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks... you're very kindHuggle! 
Reply
:icons-p-liana:
S-P-Liana Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks so much for sharing your knowledge :hug:
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015   General Artist
Ah no, you're welcome! ^^
It's nothing new tho, but I'm glad if it's still helpful to you!
Reply
:iconinnocent-rebel:
innocent-rebel Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Student General Artist
This was really helpful. Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015   General Artist
You're welcome! ^^
Reply
:icondarkrapier:
DarkRapier Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this tutorial! It helped me tremendously. Painted this as an inspiration: darkrapier.deviantart.com/art/…
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015   General Artist
My pleasure! And the picture looks fantastic!
Reply
:icondarkrapier:
DarkRapier Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! 
Reply
:iconriamishra:
RiaMishra Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014
Thanks a lot!!! i'm gonna go and start painting rite away!!! this has helped a lot!!! Thanks a bunch fr posting this.. i really needed this... :D
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015   General Artist
Thank you! I'm really glad it did! I'd love to see the finished painting ^^
Reply
:iconriamishra:
RiaMishra Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015
:D
Reply
:iconaalnantria:
aalnantria Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014  Student Filmographer
it's help me so much >W< thank youuu!!!
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015   General Artist
My pleasure!
Reply
:iconmemsepe:
MemSepe Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
thank you so much! i've been struggling with my armature watercolor attempts, but I believe this tute will help me IMMENSELY! thank you very much! i hope to paint something soon and upload with link to here 
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014   General Artist
Ah it's my pleasure!! I would love to see the finished piece! And if you have any questions, that weren't covered in this tutorial, feel free to ask me anytime ^^
Reply
:iconhesperida:
Hesperida Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you a lot :noir:
Reply
:iconze-rofruits:
Ze-RoFruits Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014   General Artist
my pleasure! ^^
Reply
:icondaqiao:
DaQiao Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014
Oh my god this tutorial is amazing!!! This is the best watercolour tutorial I have seen. You have made it so clear, simple, detailed and well layed out. Thankyou so much!!! I never knew how to use watercolour before but now I actually have confidence. ^^ I will be faving this hehe!
Reply
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