I'm still not doing great with posting, but I'm not up to a decade with no updates, so I still count this as an improvement. I took to watching lots of speed painting videos for a while on YouTube and got inspired by one painter in particular. In case it stirs up anyone else's creative juices I'll embed a playlist of some of her painting videos below:
I haven't done the inked style of watercolor in years, and I was never brave enough to ink before painting (after a very bad early experience where the ink bled everywhere upon meeting the faintest hint of water). After seeing her paintings I got some of the pens she uses and have had a go at reviving this style.
This painting is still a work in progress, but all the main color work is done. I'm still trying to get over how much this reminds me of the CG stuff I was big into for a while. I really like some of the line work, but I need to find a way to get back some of the delicacy that I like about straight watercolor. Or just accept this as a different yet enjoyable style and adjust my expectations. I do think I should be going a bit larger scale for this.
And I am aware that the background wash is appalling. This is done on what is actually heavy sketch paper and it doesn't really like water so I have to be very stingy with how much moisture I put on it (that's why there's some discoloration on her right arm: too many wet layers and the paper started pulping). Between that and a brush that was probably too small, there was no way I could stop the wash from going streaky.
One of the last touches to this piece will be a bit of highlighting with a white gel pen. I'm quite excited for that bit, which probably means I'm going to go overboard and make a mess, but I'm ok(-ish) with this being a first attempt which may not be the pinnacle of my artistic achievement.