Those of you who have been in my workshops know that I like to build color very slowly, using multiple layers of transparent colors. This step-by-step shows an example of the process (though remember it’s unlikely you will have the exact colors, types of pens, etc. that I have, so of course whatever you do will be different!).

Using brown watercolor with a little green mixed in, I free-hand painted the alligator shape. The color should be very pale at this stage. (I didn’t use a pencil first… the darker green outline you see around the edges is green watercolor.)

When the first layer of watercolor was COMPLETELY dry, I added a second light layer of green right on top of the previous layer.

Using a light pink Copic marker, I added the “orange” lines you see. (They look orange because the pink is mixing with the greenish-yellow underneath.) Keep your hand loose.

I repeated Step 3 using a light gold Copic marker.

I grabbed a black ballpoint pen and started adding outlines, scales, and cross-hatching, again, keeping my hand loose and squiggly.

Keep working the ballpoint pen until you feel done!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

For those of you in the Northwest, I wanted to tell you that I’ve just added a day-long workshop on Saturday, March 12 in Port Angeles! It will be held at Art Supplies Unlimited. There are two ways to participate: I’m teaching a workshop called “Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists,” which will include things like the above and more. Also, I will be giving a “talk” during the lunch hour, which is open to anyone, even if you are not taking the class. Join me! All the details can be found here.