Outlining watercolors


Hi all!  Lately I have been outlining my watercolor illustrations with an India ink pen, and I like the results well enough, but for this one I wanted to use a pencil of some sort, because I want something softer.  I used a charcoal pencil for this one, but wondered what kind of pencils other people like to use for outlining watercolor.

(This is from a picture book I’m working on.  Accompanying text is “Yellowphant loved Tuesdays.  But he liked other days too.  One Not-Tuesday, Yellophant got to ride to the store with Lucy and her parents.”)

I appreciate feedback on any element:)Image


6 responses »

  1. I love her hair color. I also really like the idea of Yellophant. Super cute. Her legs and feet are beautifully done. I love the toes touching, and also the sweet facial expressions. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks, everyone! Yes, Karen, I agree that the arms need work. I think I may need to shift her body position a little as well. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. I think the pencil worked very well on this. I like that you included the booster seat for the girl. I think it’s important to show the characters using whatever safety equipment that a real kid would use. Is yellowphant actually a toy which is animated because he’s an imaginary friend, or is he actually real? If he’s real, he should use a booster too.

    The only thing I see to criticise is the girl’s arms.

    The right arm seems to be at an awkward angle. The scribble on the elbow indicates you’re seeing the corner of the elbow, but I think that position would have the viewer looking more at the inside of the elbow rather than straight at the side. If you removed the little scribble and put a horizontal line indicating the crease on the inside of the elbow, I think it would look better.

    The left arm is not long enough if it’s held straight like that. An elbow lands about at the waist and the position of the elbow here comes a bit short of that. If it were pointing forward or back, the foreshortening would explain it, but it is just going more-or-less straight across. Moving the elbow down would just make the forearm too short. What it needs, I think, is to be bent slightly to allow the upper arm to be a bit longer.

    But, really, the arms are the only things I’d change on this. It looks VERY nice. Great job! 🙂

  4. Very cute! I’m no watercolor expert so I can’t speak to the technical side of that but I love the hint of the story – Yellophant and Not Tuesdays makes me want to know more!

  5. I’m not much help when it comes to watercolors, but I wanted to say that I love this glimpse into your book. The caption is so sweet and the scene is touching and funny. I hope to see/read more soon!


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