Naboo lake retreat

Naboo lake retreat, aka Villa Balbianello on lake Cuomo in Italy. Pencil and watercolor (digitally in mypaint). Watercolor paper texture effect added in Gimp, based on Zoe Piel’s video tutorial.

Naboo lake retreat digital watercolor

Watercolor paper texture effect in Gimp

The texture is not simply a texture layer set to multiply, which would show even in the white spapces. We want the texture to look like it introduces variations in pigment concentrations. Therefore it is used as a layer mask. Here is the process, in short, for Gimp nerds:

  • Open your mypaint export (or whatever you started from)
  • Duplicate the layer – set the top (new) layer to multiply
  • Right-click on the layer in the layers dialog ‘add layer mask’
  • Paste a (large enough) paper texture (greyscale is best) as the layer mask
  • Play with levels for the texture image until you get the dappled look you want
  • Play with the opacity level of the top layer until satisfied

An added benefit of this method is that it makes the watercolor more vivid (my Mypaint originals tend to be a bit weak).


Fanart, the digital watercolor way

I am no huge fan of the pokemon crowd, but they are a great subject for learning to paint.

Digital watercolor fanart of a well-known pocket monster

This was sketched from a downloaded pic (in a separate layer), then painted with MyPaint. I used a combination of watercolor brushes and a new technique I am finetuning, which mimicks watercolor pencils.

Votes are open to request a detailed video tutorial of how I do all this.

Tiffanny’s tutorial

As I was looking for watercolor video tutorials, I found this exceptional video by Tiffanny Varga. The coloring style was just what I was looking for, and the instructions are extremely informative.

Therefore I decided I’d try my hand at it. Except that I did it digitally, with MyPaint. (view large image here).

A warm thank you to Tiffanny for allowing me to showcase my forgery skills.

Digital watercolor texture effect

The same Lego spacecraft, edited with Gimp according to Zoe Piel’s tutorial, so as to add texture. The paper texture is added as a mask so that the texture affects the pigment, whereas if you simply add the texture as a multiplying layer on top of the rest, it shows throughout the picture, whites and colors alike.

Lego spacecraft digital watercolor with texture

As a goodie, here is a high-resolution (2048px) paper texture for free download (Canson paper shot with my Canon EOS 350D against the window pane for transparency). Use high-resolution textures (instead of the small textures available as default in Photoshop or Gimp) to avoid ’tiling’ artefacts which become atrocious when the image is downsampled. Find more textures with Google images.

paper texture (canson, desaturated)

The new Mandarine: same cat, new stuff

Mandarine Lechat, hunting in the chards

For many a month, the original mandarine blog has been left unattended for lack of writing time. This is an attempt at a discrete comeback, simply as a photoblog and sketchblog, to share my timid progress in things artistic.

There will probably be the odd thought, but do not expect long philosophical essays as in the previous version of mandarine. For those who seek the wisdom of the old articles, I will set up a specific section in the archives with the best of mandarine 1.0.

And now for something completely different…