how do you do your water color~? I cant get mine to look good in my program..
Okay, so having some nice watercolour brushes helps (here are the brushes I use.) But I think that no matter what program you have, and no matter what brushes you use, as long as you try to mimic the way watercolours behave you can get a decent watercolour effect in digital art.
Here’s an example
I present to you a sketch of a random floating head because I am a serious and not at all lazy artist.
I picked a random brush (square-edged, no watercolour border) and made sure the opacity was set to low, because actual watercolours tend to lay down paint quite thinly. When people are using actual watercolour paints, they need to think about which areas to leave white, so I tried to think about this too, but only halfheartedly.
More colours! More halfhearted leaving areas white. I coloured the hair on a different layer to the skin.
I locked the opacity of the hair colour layer, and airbrushed over the area where the hair and skin meets, using the colour of the skin. This, sort of, mimicks the way that watcolours will blend into each other while they’re still wet. The reason I locked the opacity of the layer was to preserve the white spaces.
I added two multiply layers. On one I added a bit on light red for blush, on the other I added a bit of light blue for shadow. These were done with the same square, low-opacity colouring brush I used for everything else.
Using the airbrush tool, I erased the edges of the blue shadow, again to roughly mimick the way watercolours blend.
I increased the contrast. I used the levels tool to do this, but brightness/contrast should be fine too. This highlights all the rough areas in the colouring, but I think a certain amount of roughness makes it look more like natural media, so I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
I decided I’d done a shoddy job leaving white areas on the canvas, so on a new layer (under the lines, above the colours) I used the standard pen tool to draw on some white.
I also decided the lines were way too dark, so I changed the colour of the lines from black to dark brown and set the lineart layer to multiply.
Final step, add an overlay layer on top of everything with a nice texture on it (because good watercolour paper is textured.) Don’t have an appropriate texture? No problem, here’s how to make your own in any art program that has a noise filter:
1) On a new layer, fill the canvas with a medium grey (approx half-way between black and white)
2) Go to the perlin noise filter. You can play around with the settings and see what works for you, but here’s what works for me
3) Set this layer to overlay with approximately 30% opacity (again, play around and see what works for you) and you now have a lovely texture :)
And that’s it! Quick 5-minute digital watercolour doodle is complete. It’s very messy, and could definitely do with some cleaning up, but I hope you can see how it’s starting to resemble actual watercolour.
Depending on your program there may be more things you can do to mimic watercolour eg. a brush tip with rough edges tends to look more like natural media, same for a brush tip that’s textured, your program might let you set a watercolour border on either your brush or your layer (or both) and using the blend tool can also create a nice watercolour effect. But since I don’t know what program you use I tried to demonstrate a colouring technique that should work in most art programs.
I hope this helps :)