Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thinking about styles

This past weekend I went to the New England SCBWI conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. I got a lot of positive feedback on the portfolio pieces done in the ink and gouache technique and I've been trying to define just what it is that people are responding to, so I'm playing with the same image in a few different ways.
Here is my original pencil drawing.
And here is the watercolor that I did from it.
Here's the same picture done in gouache and ink. It's obviously bolder and therefore has more immediate impact.
And here it is with some of the extra smudgy black ink removed.
Finally here is a version with the ink lines drawn directly (unlike the way of working negatively that the gouache technique involves) and colored in Photoshop. I'd love to get feedback. Is it the heaviness of the black line that gives the punch or its uneven quality? Is the uneven coloring an essential element? Is it the very fact that the gouache technique is hard to control and results in almost accidental effects that gives it its energy?


  1. I like the watercolor. It is full of light and the whole picture is like moving. The colors are alive in compare to Photoshop, which makes tho color death.

  2. I think the watercolor has a more "realistic" feel to it, but there is something very striking about the gouache and ink technique. I love seeing your work and seeing how each piece with this technique turns out!

  3. As you well know, I don't have an artistic bone in my body, but from a purely gut feeling I'd go for the watercolour every time - it seems the most alive.

    1. I have a bias toward watercolor too, but can't seem to sell work like that...

  4. I like the gouache with some of the ink removed (the second to last shown). It has more of a graphic feel without being too heavy handed. The last one is good but too 'flat' feeling, IMO. You do very good worK!