I’ve been working on creating a halfway point between my pencil work and my fully painted gouache work. I love making detailed pencil drawings and always have. And I love that I got to a place with gouache that’s rich, deep, and detailed. But, I also need something in between. I can’t have every color piece that I do become a hyper detailed gouache painting that takes a really long time.
I experimented with colored pencils over and under watercolor washes, but it wasn’t hitting the mark for me. I went back (after a decade) to India ink (with pops of color) and while I enjoyed it, it’s not exactly what I was looking for.
I wanted a soft line, but still a line- and I wanted to be able to layer translucent watercolor again because the effect is so beautiful. There’s something of the breath of Spring in watercolor.
Yesterday I was looking through an article about the great artist Sorayama. In it he discussed his technique of grisaille with watercolor over it. And it clicked, finally. I made a quick sketch of one of my favorite honorary Frenchwomen, Anna Karina, and laid down the grisaille. Then I washed in layers of watercolor and ended with opaque highlights and details.
I’m very pleased with the result. It’s delicate and reminds me of 1960s manga, especially my beloved Kazuo Umezu.