Well, there’s no time like the present. With that in mind, here is the first video I’ve ever recorded of my traditional media process. This is the first video like this that I’ve attempted. Unfortunately, I lost the footage of me starting this piece. Regardless, I uploaded it as an exercise in getting the ball rolling with my art videos.

I started this piece for Bloody Valentines Art Show | The Highlander. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired for the theme, but anatomical hearts are a favored subject of mine. Because I didn’t have specific plans for it, it was experimental from beginning to end. If I had to redo this piece, I’d add more vines and roses to it to balance the composition to make it feel more purposeful.

Because I didn’t have anything specific in mind, I didn’t plan accordingly and I struggled with my medium. This has a lot to do with the fact that the paper I chose didn’t have enough tooth. In the future, I’ll be using a paper with a heavier weight so it can withstand several layers of ink wash, watercolor, and colored pencil. Strathmore’s Mixed Media 90lb vellum surface paper is far better suited for simple ink illustrations without the use of water media. I didn’t use Mona Lisa Odorless Mineral Spirits for this one because I didn’t know how watercolor and the mineral spirits would interact. However, I’ve tested it since I’ve completed this piece and found it works particularly well.

I first used a wash of Higgins ink to put down my dark colors and went over it with a sepia tone in watercolors. Using ink to put down the darker tones followed by watercolor prevents the patterns from muddying by subsequent layers.

Admittedly, I put down far too light a watercolor base with my Winsor & Newton watercolors for my Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils. Because I didn’t have a stronger watercolor base and didn’t use paint thinner to blend the pencil, the tooth of the paper shows through the pencil. In the future, I’ll need to work with the base a bit more before attacking it with colored pencils.

On my next attempt, I’ll bring the camera further away from the piece so you can see the entire thing as it is being worked on. However, this whole adventure is still a work in progress.

Supplies List:

11×14 Strathmore Mixed Media 90lb vellum surface paper
Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils
Caran d’Ache Luminance in “white
Faber-Castell Eraser Pencil with brush
Higgins Black Magic Ink
Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolors
Sakura Micron pens
Krylon UV Archival Varnish