My Complete Process | Watercolour Illustration


Hey everyone! I am back with a new video and this is going
to be my complete process for a portrait artwork. If you don’t already know, I have now opened
my commissions, which is basically a paid drawing request, so you tell me what you want
me to draw and I draw it. If you want to know more about it, I’ve
put in the description box a link to my blog where I provide more information and how much
it costs. So feel free to check it out! This is actually one of the things I offer,
which is a stylised portrait commission. And it starts with a reference. In this case, because it’s a practice drawing,
the reference photo I use is from Pinterest, which is also linked below just in case you
want to know what reference I am using or where I get my reference photos. It’s mainly Pinterest. The photo is actually of the model Amelia
Zadro. I’m not really sure how you say her name. But anyway, from the reference, I draw the
first sketch using a 2H and 2B pencil. It’s a fairly rough sketch, but I try to
include some shading since when I do the colouring, I also refer the sketch as well as the reference
photo, and during the sketching process, I’m already thinking of where some colours are
going to go. So adding in the shading at this stage or
this early actually makes the colouring process a little bit easier later on. So after the sketch, I will transfer the rough sketch
onto the watercolour paper, which is a Canson Montval 200gsm paper. And to turn the rough sketch into a clean
sketch I use something that’s kind of like a light box. The one I use is a very makeshift light box,
since the one I made ages ago no longer exists. I’ve actually been meaning to create a new
one, but I kind of got lazy since this arrangement works anyway therefore I felt like I didn’t
really need to make one. Basically this makeshift light box is a frame
that I bought from the thrift store – and it’s a fairly deep frame – which I am
able to put my phone underneath with the flashlight on. And yeah! It works. It’s not the best, but it’s a super cheap
alternative. And when I use the DIY light box, I make sure
that all the other lights are turned off so that I can see the rough sketch underneath
because the light source isn’t extremely strong. It just helps me see the sketch that is underneath
the watercolour paper. So I trace the rough sketch onto the watercolour
paper with a 2H pencil so that the clean sketch is really light. Since I’ll be using watercolours and I don’t
plan on erasing the pencil marks in the end, I try to make sure the clean sketch is super
faint. And this is to prevent the watercolours from
smudging the pencil marks and making the artwork look dirty. So as you can see, the camera can’t even
pick up the sketch that well because it is super super faint. After I have done the sketching part of the
process, I begin to prepare the watercolours and the materials that I’m going to use
to colour the portrait. I’m currently using the Koh-I-Noor watercolour
disc set. And the other palette that you see me use
in this video has Art Spectrum and Reeves gouache, but I mainly just use it as a mixing
palette for the watercolours. Although I would also sometimes use some colours
in that palette, especially when I’m having trouble getting the right colour with the
watercolours – if that makes sense. Since I’m trying to use the same colours
from the reference photo or similar colours, there’s a lot of mixing of colours that
I have to do. With this particular drawing though, I changed
some colours because it’s a stylised portrait, and I am much happier with the colour choices
in the drawing, because it ended up looking more cohesive compared to the reference photo
in my opinion. I do like how the colours work together and
how they look individually as well. I also tape down the paper on a cutting mat
since it prevents the paper from buckling too much. You can tape it to a board or glass surface
or something that just wouldn’t buckle when it gets wet. Normally I would also stretch the paper before
I tape it down but this one’s a fairly small paper, so I didn’t think I needed to stretch
it, and luckily the paper didn’t buckle. And it also helps that I’ve been using watercolours
for some time now, because then I am able to determine whether or not I need to stretch
the paper, especially if I know how much water I’m going to use as well as how I’m going
to go about the painting. Because before, I would normally use way to
much water and the paper would buckle, therefore I always had to stretch the paper beforehand
just because I didn’t know how to use the watercolours when I was just starting out. Whereas this time, I at least have a vague
idea of how I’m going to do the shading for the face, and I also have an idea of the
effects I want to create. I just think this has develop through practicing
and trying different methods and failing a couple times, since it just makes me more
and more confident in how I use the medium. And it also allows me to get to know the medium
a lot better. In between layers, or whilst letting the layer
dry, I try to mix the colours before starting on another section or layer. I also make sure that I have enough of that
mixture so that it doesn’t run out of that particular colour, but I personally don’t
mind if I have to mix colours in the middle of the painting or if the new mixture doesn’t
look exactly like the previous colour I mixed. Sometimes this can add interest to the painting. But of course that depends on whether or not
that’s really what you’re going for. Since the way I use watercolours is fairly
splotchy, this can be used to my advantage, but if you prefer smooth flat washes with
watercolours, then mixing your colours before painting is probably the best method. I also work in layers when doing the shading,
and the drying time for each layer depends on the style I’m going for or the effect
I want to create. So sometimes I’ll wait for a layer to dry
completely before adding the next layer. Other times I’ll add the new layer or colour
when the layer underneath is still wet or damp. Then there are other times where accidents
happen where I think a layer is already dry and I add the new layer, but it turns out
that previous layer is actually still damp, and the paint would bleed. Sometimes this isn’t what I want to happen,
but sometimes the result can be interesting and I would end up liking it. And I guess that’s just the magic of watercolours. After the watercolours have dried, I move
on to adding the final details with a Kuretake brush pen and a Prismacolor fineliner. The brush pen is actually not waterproof,
that’s why I decided to add it afterwards. But then again, I do this for most of my works,
where I add the outlines towards the end especially when I’m using watercolours. There’s no particular reason why that’s
the case or why I do it. I think it’s just become a habit of mine. And because black outlines are seriously the
cherry on top of my illustrations, I always add it in. The way I do the lineart to my paintings is
I try to make it loose, but still sharp. I don’t really know if that makes sense. But I still take my time with the most important
details like the eyes, and the outline of the face. But then I’d add a lot of unnecessary marks
on the illustration, especially around the face. For example, I add the circles on the cheeks
or lines on the forehead – stuff like that. There’s really no use of those lines other
than I really like the look of them, so I just add those in. It makes the process fun, but I do try not
to overdo it, which can be a lot easier to do. And since I’ve been doing this for quite
some time now, I’m able to pin point where I want these unnecessary lines to be, so that
it doesn’t end up looking overdone in my opinion. And this is pretty much all of my process. After I add the black outlines, I fix some
things and do some final touches like adding the highlights to the eyes. And that is it! I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please don’t forget to give
this video a thumbs up and subscribe if you haven’t already. Simply liking this video greatly supports
this channel and my videos, so I would really appreciate it if you hit that like button. Also you can reach me through my social media,
which are linked in the description box. I’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and
Tumblr. I also have Society6 where you can purchase
art merchandise and fine art prints of my artworks. And I also have Storenvy where I sell my original
artworks. You can also email me for a payment plan if
you are interested in purchasing any original art from me, or if you would like to inquire
about my commissions. My email and all my links are listed in the
description box. Feel free to share this video as well. It lets people find this channel and this
video a lot easier. That is it for my self-promo. I really appreciate your support. Thank you so much for watching and I will
see you in my next one!

81 Comments

  1. Meg Renee said:

    Amazing as always Zyra!! Loving how your style has changed and grown, as well as your fantastic talent, over the years! 😘❤️❤️

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  2. Zyra Bañez said:

    In this video I explain my drawing process for creating a watercolour portrait illustration from sketch to finish. I hope you enjoy! 😀

    ✨ UPDATE ✨
    I'm also super excited to start my new video schedule of uploading videos on Saturday! I've taken a look at what time would work best for majority of you guys based on your location and Saturday 9AM EST is my goal schedule. I'm also planning to upload bonus videos on Wednesdays, but it won't be weekly (just yet)!

    My commissions are now OPEN once again and if you're interested, I've got more information about it here ⬇️
    https://goo.gl/YzK7Ww

    I'm also planning to start a Patreon page, since I want to have more time for more art! So for as little as a dollar, you can get awesome rewards, but the rewards are still being finalised, and I'm hoping to launch the Patreon page this April.

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  3. Alyanna Rocuyan said:

    Love it! are you planning on filming tutorials soon? xo

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  4. sarah said:

    is it necessary to use a synthetic brush when using water colors?

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  5. y'all irrelevant said:

    i really love your art ❤️❤️

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  6. Mira Douliez said:

    such a beautiful painting!!!!❤

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  7. Kaleigh Feder said:

    This is amazing 😍 what's your advice on starting to draw realistic portraits without a grid ?

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  8. daryl arzaga said:

    ate zyra asan ka ngayon

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  9. ` jeno said:

    ❤❤❤

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  10. nodippy said:

    this turned out so lovely!! I really enjoyed watching your progress its so mesmerizing 😍 and very helpful to see 🙂 i use a plastic sock drawer as my light box and add a strip light underneath, all about DIYing it lol

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  11. LaylasWorldOfArt said:

    The idea with the frame is amazing…I paid 50€ for my Light Pad xD Damn!

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  12. Your _ Dream said:

    классно рисуешь! и я что одна девушка тут русская?

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  13. Robinson Faye said:

    I really enjoyed this video !! Well done, I think your artwork is wonderful !! 😊 I wish you all the best 😘

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  14. Jayda James said:

    omg this is so sick😣 I will never understand how to fully use watercolor like that.

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  15. bicc said:

    I love her voice it is so relaxing and realy nice to listen to!!
    LOVE U ZYRA!!!

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  16. Michelle said:

    You've improved so much since you first began! Loving how much more comfortable you are getting with watercolors, they are my worst enemy as far as I am concerned. 😂 But I kind of wanna pick it up now 🤔

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  17. pizza-is-lyfe pizza-is-bae said:

    Hey i was wondering what is stretch paper?

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  18. Lilly V. said:

    this is soo beautiful WOW

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  19. Culengi said:

    Beautiful! I love your style and how you make it seem so easy to paint 😍 I've watched a few videos you've uploaded, but I'm already a big fan of your work!

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  20. Sydney Espinoza said:

    Im speachless 😱👌 you are my favorite youtuber ❤️

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  21. aaira saher said:

    wow I like it!! ❤ u r amazing I really love your art !!❤❤😘 god bless 😇

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  22. Lenchick said:

    drawring

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  23. Jessica Sarkodie said:

    I really liked the make-shift light box! I do that for my pattern drafting but I use a glass coffee table and put my phone underneath it. I really like this process, turned out beautiful~

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  24. E said:

    wooow you're amazing 😍👏🏼

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  25. holyjelly j said:

    I really like the purply shading

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  26. Brigitte11 said:

    tolle zeichnung daumen hoch von brigitte

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  27. mysummertouch said:

    I did enjoy the video, and I'm a long time subscriber. Those purple shadows underneath the eyes usually means that the person is terminally ill, I didn't notice them on the original photo, I'm sorry, I had to write that. Maybe it's better not to put them there.

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  28. Daniel Gomez Art said:

    Love love love. 💜💜💜 Thanks for the video, Zyra. 😊

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  29. ZoZo Artsy said:

    Your tips through your process were very helpful and inspiring to me. Thanks for making such a great video. BTW You Are AWESOME😊

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  30. Rafaela Santana said:

    I love your tecniques❤

    March 18, 2017
    Reply
  31. Shelley J. said:

    I love you so much! You are so talented..

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  32. Fran said:

    Hey Zyra, I saw on your instagram that you made your artwork into phone backgrounds, but I can't find the link to them. If anyone has the link, can they reply it to me? Thanks!! 🙂

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  33. LORI said:

    This is gorgeous. Definitely one of my favorites of your work.

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  34. Raji Jojo said:

    Are you still doing generation series ;]

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  35. Amorah Lopez said:

    I think you're my favorite artist. Whenever I try to think of who my favorite artists are, you're always the first to pop into my head. I draw a lot of inspiration for my own art from you and I didn't even realize until this video. You talk a lot about process in your videos, but also about the themes and meanings behind your artwork and both of those things are very important to me so I think that's why you stand out to me. Thank you for being an artist I can look up to, and keep up the great work! Hope you're doing well.

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  36. Casey Boswell said:

    A beautiful process video! I love your art style, it's similar to the skill I am trying to achieve. You are an inspiration 👌🏼

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  37. Aidan Doyle said:

    So grateful for you making this because i've been wanting to get into watercolor but i feel intimidated because im unsure of how to go about doing certain things. But seeing your process kinda gives me some tips on how to do it!
    So thank you for sharing your knowledge 🙂

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  38. encourageyoursoul said:

    OMG your drawings are amazing! I forgot how cool were watercolours! Do you ship to Spain? I would love to have one draw for my birthday! You're amazing girl

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  39. Rae Sunshine said:

    this is so beautiful! I ❤ your voiceovers.

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  40. Divyashish Singh said:

    that ovals on the cheekbones….are they your signature strokes….?

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  41. Katy Reilly said:

    Are you still doing your Generations project?

    March 19, 2017
    Reply
  42. mariposa said:

    your voice is so calming and I love your drawing too! Outstanding as usual <3

    March 20, 2017
    Reply
  43. Lital Oren said:

    Amazing!! I wish I had time to draw😞 school is so hard now. I don't have time for myself and I hate it😞

    March 20, 2017
    Reply
  44. Almost Perftec Miniature Painting said:

    HA! Love that diy light box! I would never steal art, but I'm damn sure gonna abscond with that idea! Yoink!

    March 20, 2017
    Reply
  45. Shanah Daniel said:

    Awesome work

    March 20, 2017
    Reply
  46. Gina ́sArtCorner said:

    😀 amazing! I´m not the only one that uses or used this method of the DIY lightbox. Before I got a lightbox from a very amazing friend I used axectly the same method as you 🙂
    Artist can get creative in many ways, no? 😀
    Also amazing drawing 🙂

    March 20, 2017
    Reply
  47. Andreea rm said:

    Can you draw cats or something about it? ❤🗺

    March 20, 2017
    Reply
  48. Ash S said:

    You are my inspiration!!! Ahhhh your so gooood

    March 20, 2017
    Reply
  49. Alexis Alejandro said:

    I want to buy a commission for you ASAP.

    March 21, 2017
    Reply
  50. Shaf Y said:

    beautiful! I wish I had your talent! x

    March 21, 2017
    Reply
  51. Arjin said:

    Hey i am kurdish and i have a question. I wanna buy MARKER. But i dont knkw where can i find? Which site???? CAN U TELL ME PLEASE💕

    March 21, 2017
    Reply
  52. LightningPikachu2103 Mikaele said:

    I've been watching you ever since i was nine and you inspired me SO MUCH i just turned thirteen so i'm finally allowed to have a you tube channel and subscribe you. Your the BEST artist EVER.

    March 22, 2017
    Reply
  53. Malamik Art said:

    Great lightbox idea, it's a step better than what I do by drawing directly over my ipad that is set on a white page. LOL The best non buckling paper I've found is the new Stonehenge Aqua by Legion. Super paper. I just got a 12×16 pad of 300gsm paper,a nd find it's amazing. Go to Legion and ask for a free sample of their 3 kinds of this cotton paper. Love that you use gouache too!

    March 22, 2017
    Reply
  54. athoub mathkour said:

    I loved the music you put its fun😍

    March 22, 2017
    Reply
  55. oli mueller said:

    nice portrait, only the black lines on the face are a bit harsh/distrackting, Have you ever tried colored multiliners?

    March 23, 2017
    Reply
  56. orkid box said:

    You have a whole new style happening. I would have never have thought to combine watercolour and gouache like that. Thumbs up.

    March 24, 2017
    Reply
  57. Mikayla Yadao said:

    your diy lightbox is such an innovative !!! i would've never thought of that

    March 24, 2017
    Reply
  58. Ankitha Kishorchandra said:

    that's awesome!! you're awesome!!! you inspire me so much!!!

    March 24, 2017
    Reply
  59. peachstink said:

    I think it's so interesting to hear your thoughts on all the lines you make on your work, because that's your signature to me. Like, that's what makes me think "oh! zyra's work!"

    March 25, 2017
    Reply
  60. Diana Sya said:

    It is fantastically ❤❤I love you so much

    March 25, 2017
    Reply
  61. wydnabila said:

    Is it just me but doesn't the painting of the girl look like Rachel Amber from Life is Strange? idk

    March 26, 2017
    Reply
  62. janniel estrada said:

    The first time i've encountered ur channel i already knew you were Filipino. Keep it up ate Zyra you're the best! Ilysm~

    April 1, 2017
    Reply
  63. Lillen Art said:

    A frame and an iphone? Wow. Never thought of that. Haha.

    April 2, 2017
    Reply
  64. echo said:

    grabe idol 😍😍

    April 3, 2017
    Reply
  65. sarah gilner said:

    gorgeous process

    April 9, 2017
    Reply
  66. 6neverhide5 said:

    it's definitely hard to explain arting but I think you did an amazing job! I love your work so much and every video you make to share it with us 🙂

    April 12, 2017
    Reply
  67. Lili Burlamaqui said:

    Thanks for sharing! I love your work! <3

    April 14, 2017
    Reply
  68. Ericka Webb said:

    whats the brush u used fo outlines? thanks! 😀

    April 15, 2017
    Reply
  69. LazZ Kiziİ said:

    It looks great, it looks great

    April 17, 2017
    Reply
  70. Emmy Peguero Robles said:

    AMAZING!!! YOUR WORK IT'S FANTASTIC. IT WILL BE INTERESTING SEE AN AFRO GIRL MADE WITH WATERCOLOR.

    April 26, 2017
    Reply
  71. Fiona said:

    Lovely to watch and listen too 🙂 The illustration is gorgeous, the music nice and upbeat and the commentary actually helpful. Thanks! <3

    June 7, 2017
    Reply
  72. Illustrate My Style said:

    Thanks a lot for sharing your complete process. I am not adept with using water colors but watching your videos inspires me to try other medium.

    July 11, 2017
    Reply
  73. Ashley Khan said:

    Hey Zyra, great painting! I found a video by watercolor misfit I think will help you if you need to prep colors which came use when painting too. Check it out the link below and keep up the awesome work!

    https://youtu.be/qbpi37gBRpA

    July 13, 2017
    Reply
  74. Pugcraft said:

    The style is a lot like the one in the game The Walking Dead lol cool

    July 17, 2017
    Reply
  75. Jennifer Machicote said:

    I want to know the three asswipes that disliked this video, because it was dank af.

    September 5, 2017
    Reply
  76. anderzejn said:

    Hey veri nice vid. But i have 2 things against: for me you've used way too much lineart, and maybe it could use non-straight-black lineart. Nice vid :P.

    October 9, 2017
    Reply
  77. The Little Blerdmaid said:

    Loving your DIY light box! Very clever!

    December 22, 2017
    Reply
  78. pomatolove said:

    That lightbox is brilliant

    January 24, 2018
    Reply
  79. A Somebody said:

    5:15 my face sidewards when I see good work! 😂

    February 4, 2018
    Reply
  80. Terry Berry Creates said:

    i really wish you'd come back to youtube 🙁 i miss your videos so much

    July 4, 2018
    Reply
  81. Christine Ingram said:

    Beautiful work 😀

    April 2, 2019
    Reply

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