Wednesday Walkthrough: Moon Flower Collab!

Happy New Year everyone! I know it's been awhile since my last post but everything was quite hectic in my life during these past months. Here's to new beginnings and betters things in the new year!

I recently finished a coloring entry for Camilla d'Errico's Moonflower lineart back in November and I want to share the steps I took. Unfortunately, I didn't win this contest but the experience was amazing and I loved it. 

Original Lineart by: Camilla d'Errico

The first thing I did was re-trace the lineart on watercolor paper. I don't have a printer to print out the lineart but even if I did, I cannot use watercolor on paper less than 140lb and not made of cotton.

Step 1: Cats, eyes and skin coloring

When I finished tracing the lineart, I began coloring the first cat (Luna) with shades of blue, purple and red. Most of the body was done in several layers of watercolor with the first layer a light mixture of Magnese Blue Hue and Quinacridone Red. Then I used some payne's gray and Magnese Blue Hue for the shadows of the white cat (Artemis). Several layers were applied here as well in order to get the shadows in the right place.

The skin was probably the toughest to get right. The skin is a mixture of red & yellow with some blue for the shadows. The eyes were a blend of both white color pencil, white ink and a very light wash of Magnese Blue Hue with some Phthalo Green to create some Turquoise.


Step 2: The hair, dress and tiny details

The next step was a bit more difficult and involved using more color pencil and less watercolor. The hair was colored using several different yellow Faber castell colored pencils and leaving white areas for highlights. Darker yellows were used for the shadow. Her hair came out more golden than I expected but the effect was pleasant so I continued with the same shades of lemon yellow and naples yellow. Her dress was colored with a mixture of light blue and a tiny bit of red to create a lavender color.

I found that coloring the hair was the most labor intensive part of this and couldn't be more thrilled with finishing it.

Step 3: Color the roses, wand and more hair. All the tools used so far, there's a lot! Almost finished..just a few more strands of hair and some roses...

The moon wand is actually made of some glitter watercolor that you can't see in the photo but sparkles pretty well in light. I decided to color the crystal a bright silver-blue with a combination of both watercolors and color pencils. Step 4 isn't pictured here because I had to work quickly and couldn't take a photo. Step 4 is for the background. I used multiple light washes so it had a "pastel" look which is seen in the anime often and a white gel pen to outline the soft feathers and white anime sparkles.

Completed with background! Photo version of the completed work

I find that the photo version and scanned version of this work are completely different in color and accuracy. I personally prefer the photo of the work because it retains the color more accurately while the scanned version seems a bit washed out and lighter.

The scanned version of the final work. Her skin looks a bit darker and her hair is leaning toward a lemon yellow instead of "sunshine" yellow.

Thanks for reading and happy new year!! I am gradually coming out of my art block and have been feeling creative again so hopefully I'll resume posting more often. I'm excited to share some news about synthetic Kolinsky Sable brushes so stay tuned!

By the way, do you prefer a photo of your work or a scan of your work? I find that both have it's benefits and retain accuracy to a certain level. Why do you prefer a photo or a scan?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!