Friday, September 01, 2017

Mix-Ability Challenge: The Layered Look

It's my turn to host the Mix-Ability challenge over on Splitcoast!

I've been spending several hours a week working on pet portrait commissions -- except this week - I was designing pretty Spring stamps for you! Anyway, my favorite way to work on these portraits is by laying down an underpainting with watercolor, and then adding details with colored pencil. Here's an example of what I mean -

This portrait started with a couple of washes of watercolor. The color of the underpainting is sometimes the highlight color of the area, and is what will show through between the pencil strokes.

It's also really helpful in darker areas, where you don't want any white to show through. The underpainting stage can be a bit of an ugly stage, but it builds a foundation, helps you to place colors correctly, and with a little work, the beauty will be in the details.

Here's my challenge sample - I've been playing with these new Color Tops from Chameleon, so I used them for my underpainting here. I used pencils to add a little more shading and some details to the image. The background was lightly brushed with IO Hybrid ink (safe with alcohol markers), and then I added some dotted acrylic paint for the snow.

Stamps I used: Little Red, Winter Silhouettes clear set
 Keep an eye HERE for Chameleon Color Tops coming soon!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Your portrait is BEAUTIFUL, Dina! I don't think the under painting is ugly AT ALL! It is SO WISPY, that when I first got a glimpse of it, I thought it was cheese cloth! Your Card is BEAUTIFUL TOO!!! VERY SWEET!!! ;) I LOVE the care you take with your work!

  2. Adorable finished card and TFS your under painting technique, Dina. Can't wait to see your next post. Hugs..

    1. I have to wait to share this portrait until October, since it's a surprise order for someone's birthday - but I'll share then! Thanks, Nancy!

  3. TOTALLY AWESOME art, hope you share the pet portrait when finished.