This is part two of my herb project that I’m doing for a friend’s kitchen. It’s been taking me forever, in part because I am still somewhat afraid of working with watercolors. So even though they have turned out to be mostly a base for the colored pencil in this project, I still find them intimidating and so I procrastinate.
I started out with a sketch, which I think turned out quite accurately in terms of the reference photo, so I was pleased with that. I was dreading framing this second one because I had an impending fear that the lettering was not going to line up with the Basil drawing, but it did! Close enough. Hopefully Parsley will turn out to line up, too.
I started pretty loosely with the watercolors, filling in some of the darkest areas. I also added the blue ribbon in brush pen, which would later come back to haunt me when it started to bleed as I added watercolor. The reason I put it in so early was because putting it on top of the watercolor previously had muted/ darkened the blue color.
Next I added in some lighter tones. I used the same color palette as for the basil, but of course my mixes came out slightly different. Maybe seasoned watercolor artists can repeat a specific mix, but I am nowhere near that stage yet.
You can see here where I started to add colored pencil, before I blended it at a later stage.
By this time, I had layered in some more colored pencil.
I blended and got a little more detailed with the veins of the leaves, though I still tried to keep the whole thing relatively loose. On the right side in the middle I got a little too stripey with the leaf. At this point, I had added in a fair amount of yellow, and even a tiny bit of light blue (with Indigo Blue combined with Dark Green making up the darkest shadows).
I blended away the stripes and converted them into more of a shadowy area. And here is the final product (which I forgot to sign before taking the picture. Oops!) I haven’t sprayed it with fixative yet so I may find myself going back in and tweaking–the basil has more dark shadows (based on the reference photo), so since they will be hanging together it might make sense to strengthen the darkest darks in this one for consistency, even though the reference was more muted, lighter, and brighter.
I’m not sure if this one is quite as successful as the last, but I feel that it relatively kept with the same style and I like that the hues of green are slightly different, as I don’t think basil and oregano are exactly the same color.
Parsley, I’m coming for you…