February 28, 2012

The process

Well, finally I can show you my newest illustration, the book cover for the third volume of "Brigitte des coléres" by Jérôme Lafond. This time the publishing company comissioned me a custom watercolor, and I had to draw the main character, Brigitte, working on a butcher shop. I've taken photos of each step so you can see the process I follow. Pretty simple, you'll see :)
These are the fist rough sketches I sent to the art director, the first one on the left. I was aked to make her more girly and to add more meaty stuff. Once I had the ok, I started making the final drawing on watercolor paper.

I always use this Pentel 0.3mm mechanical drafting pencil, I've had it for ten years and it's still my favorite, I get the cleanest lines whit it. This time I used Fabriano Artistico Extra White paper, but I also like to use Canson illustration board.

They're not picture here, but I use Winsor & Newton Artists' Watercolor Pads and sometimes, when it's too hot and dry (very usual in Madrid) I use their blending medium because otherwise, the watercolor dries too quickly. I start randomly adding the first color washes, in this case I gave the background a slight, dirty white color wash.

This is still on the first wash part, but I've already added some shadows to the hair. Usually I'm pretty chaotic with this.

Here I've started adding details and shadows everywhere. You can also see my brushes, they're natural sable brushes made by Casa Pontes, the local art store where I like to buy my supplies. I have the whole range, but I mostly use the smallest ones since I tend to make my drawings tiny.

And here's the final illustration with all the details, shadows, etc. All there's left to do is to scan and clean the illustration, which is the most boring part. I forgot to take pictures of the scrap paper I have to try out the colors before painting, but overall, this is it!! I really hope you enjoyed this post, and I'd love to answer your questions if you have any :D


  1. Julia, this is stunning - and so interesting to see all of your steps as well. You're so talented dear!

  2. Lovely! Thanks for the step-by-step post.

  3. This is so beautiful.. I really want to learn how to draw better, and paint, but it seems I am too late and lack the skill and tools. Thank you for sharing your process. so inspiring.

  4. I find it very brave to share your creative process. You are a master with watercolors! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. I love it! especially the blood on her apron! so realistic:D

  6. I love that you shared your process, such a treat. I wanted to know how you mix your shadows and how you get the wash color for the background wall.

    Your watercolors are so neat and crisp, love!

  7. Thank you so much everyone!! I'm happy you enjoyed this post. One day I'll make another with my digital process as well :D

  8. julia, this post is PRICELESS!!
    muy inspirador! ✯

  9. Hello, Julia!
    Thanks so much for sharing your process!
    I'm curious about how many hours you take since pencil on final at until the final watercolors details?
    Thank you!

  10. Fer, muchas gracias!! =^_^=

    Luda, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It's hard to say how many hours it takes, depends on the complexity of the drawing... I couldn't really say :)