Meagan Hanes

WordPress Designer + Developer

21

2

Hello Watercolour World

I was very interested to learn how to vectorize all kinds of art, but watercolor specifically I figured could never be done. How wrong I was!

For painting the watercolor source, I set up my work area and only sketched letter skeletons of a generic gothic-ish alphabet using a 2H pencil. I then mostly erased it, leaving a ghost skeleton. I watercoloured a freehand design on top of these ghost letters.

Color technique - started with leftover palette orange to get the basic shape. Wet-on-wet added in orange mixed with a bit of red to darken it. Let it dry, glazed orange overtop to equalize out a color imbalance (ran out of palette orange after the N and there was no way of remixing it!), then used the Lifting Off technique to add in highlights using a small stiff (cheap) angled brush.

Scanned at 300dpi because I wanted to get that watercolor paper effect in the final vectors.

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As you can see, they ended up in the final product!

Did my best in Photoshop to bleach out the background by adjusting the levels and brightness/contrast - ended up having to spend a few extra minutes in Illustrator removing the background vectors, but no biggie. Saving my scan as a PDF, making adjustments in Photoshop and reloading in Illustrator is an easy and hastlefree pipeline.

Grouping the art was a cakewalk!

I find a handy tip is to make a background layer of a drastically different colour so that you can easily see any lingering white-ish vectors. You can see there's one in the E and a few around the H.

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Here's a quick export back in Photoshop with a bit of color adjustment to reduce the saturation.

I'm amazed by how easy this was, and look forward to using this technique in my future projects!

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