Rebekah – Watercolour Illustrator
Hi there! I’m Rebekah, an illustrator currently living in Kent.
Art has always been my refuge and my most beloved creative outlet. Spurred on by an obsession with animated films, comics and book illustrations, I’ve always aimed to capture atmosphere, expression and character in my work. I draw particular inspiration from the work of Quentin Blake, Hergé’s Tintin comic book series, the film The Prince of Egypt, and the TV show Steven Universe.
I began drawing from life on my commutes to school, using what time I had to sketch out small portraits of fellow passengers on the school bus. Sketching, inking and watercolouring these character drawings has now become one of my favourite artistic practices, and I cannot wait to teach you what I have learned over the years.
Examples of my work:
You can see more from me on my instagram
My sessions with you
I love to teach and share my techniques with others and I am so pleased to be able to bring this all to you in my sessions through nJoyArt. You will not only get step by step instructions but you will also benefit from individual, live support and guidance.
For my nJoyArt sessions I will be using reference images, showing you what to look for and taking you through the steps to create you own unique watercolour/ink character illustration.
What to expect:
Stage 1 – Blocking in the shapes
First, you will learn how to break down a figure/face into its basic shapes. We’re not looking for detail, but rather getting a feel for how all the forms in the body are relating to each other. This will allow you to capture the feeling, character and balance of a figure without having to worry about the specifics just yet!
Stage 2 – Inking – Going in with the details!
Now we will use our black pen to go over our shapes and add in detail. As we don’t have to worry about where everything needs to go, we can focus on giving the figure texture and detail- the blocking also allows us to loosen up a bit as well! As we are going for characterisation rather than realism, I will give you a few stylisation tips to capture the spirit and character of the drawing with as little line as possible.
Stage 3 – Watercolour – the cherry on top!
We are now going to go into our drawing with a layer or two of watercolour to really bring our drawing to life! We can get really expressive at this stage, but I’ll be there to give you some key pointers to make sure that you can keep your colours nice and vibrant!
Examples of what we will draw/paint:
Equipment for all sessions
- THICK ARTIST’S PAPER – Size A5
- HB PENCIL
- BLACK, WATER-RESISTANT FINE LINER
- WATERCOLOUR PAN SET
- ROUND WATERCOLOUR BRUSH (SIZE 5-8)
- TWO WATER CONTAINERS
- PAPER TOWELS
Tips for choosing supplies
Artist’s paper: this can often make or break an illustration! You want something that will hold at least two layers of wet watercolour paint – thick and absorbent.
- If you want to be fancy: 100% cotton watercolour paper
- Standard: Heavy paper/multi-media paper/watercolour paper (200gsm-300gsm)
- Bare minimum: Thick paper/card
Pencil: Avoid any pencil softer than a 3b as we will be erasing these lines later on
Black fine-liner pen with water-resistant ink: I would recommend looking at the brands Micron or Uni Pin, both of which can be bought at standard stationary shops. Preferably a thickness between 0.5 -1.0 . Gel pens may be a cheaper alternative to artists brand pens although they will smudge a bit when water is added!
Watercolour pan set – I prefer using watercolour pans as it allows be to easily draw from my full colour range. You want at least 5 colours! Avoid cheap sets, as they tend to be very difficult to mix and layer.
- If you want to be fancy: Professional watercolours such as Schmincke Horadam or Windsor and Newton Professional Watercolours – Vibrant and light-fast (won’t fade when exposed to sunlight), professional watercolour sets will allow you to use the full variety of watercolour painting techniques, including superb layering capacities. Their high pigment content will mean you only have to use a little to lay down a lot of colour, so they will last you a very long time! Schmincke and Windsor and Newton paints can be bought in small starter palettes that are perfect for anyone looking to get into watercolour painting a bit more seriously. If you’re on a budget, it’s worth digging around the internet to see if you can get one of these sets second-hand!
- Standard: Student-grade watercolour paints such as Schmincke Akademie, Windsor and Newton Cotman, Arteza or White Knights. These sets often give great results at a very affordable price. They are a perfect choice for hobbyists and anyone who wants to begin experimenting with watercolours. Their colour ranges are often limited (depending on which brand you are buying from) aren’t as light-fast, which means they are not suitable for pieces that will be exposed to sunlight. Have a look at sets from Windsor and Newton Cotman, Schminke Akademie, White Nights and Arteza.
Round Watercolour brush: as with your choice in paper, the brush you use can greatly enhance or impede your ability to work with watercolours. We will be using a “round” brush between the sizes of 3-8 as this will allow us to work with a fairly broad range of strokes
- If you want to be fancy: Professional watercolour brushes are often made with squirrel, sable, or synthetic fibres, which allows the brush to hold a lot of water and paint and ensure that it comes to a fine point. Specifically made for watercolour use!
- Standard: good-quality multi-purpose brush sets that are suitable for watercolour.
- Best choice for beginners: Water brushes! These are synthetic brushes attached to a plastic barrel which you can re-fill with water. With these, you don’t have to worry about getting a brush with absorbent bristles! Great for painting on the go.