from initial sketch to finished watercolor illustration
A realistic watercolor illustration is a unique design feature, which is especially suitable for food- and beverage packaging, editorial applications or paper goods.
Particularly commercial illustrations for packaging have specific requirements, such as presenting the subject in its most perfect form and lightning to make the product as appetizing as possible for the customer. Flaws and imperfections need to be mended, so the use of different reference images is not uncommon to guarantee best results.
Here are my steps to work on a commercial illustration:
initial sketch with paper and pencil
choosing a realistic color palette for the subject
approval from the client
creating the final colored illustration with watercolor
rendering the illustration with colored pencils to give it more depths and brilliance
scan, optimize color, removing background, getting ready for print
After I prepared the sketch and got approval from the client, I transfer my sketch on high-quality watercolor paper. To do that I usually use a light table. I put down several layers of watercolor before I go ahead with colored pencils to render my subject. The colored pencil adds depths and brilliance to the illustration.
I scan the finished illustration with a professional scanner. (Epson Perfection V600) After that I tweak the colors digitally on a calibrated monitor so that they best match the original illustration.
Usually I will remove the background from my illustration, so that it can be placed on different colored surfaces without the white of the paper show through.
Depending on the required final use of the illustration I will do requested print preparation as well.
Arches BFK Rives 280 gsm cotton paper
Princeton Neptune synthetic squirell brushes
Dr. PH. Martin Hydrus watercolor
Caran D’Ache Luminance 6901
Sanford Prismacolor Premier
Epson Perfection V600 Scanner
Huion Lighttable A3
Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Graphic Monitor
Detailed description of all the art supplies I use including a list of all colors and brush sizes here.