I love working on a digital platform, but sometimes I really need to feel a brush against canvas or paper. Lately, I’ve been working in watercolor because I love the look of illustrated florals. Taking a watercolor into a digital environment isn’t exactly complicated.
Step 1: Paint a watercolor
Step 2: Scan your watercolor
Step 3: Open your file
That’s not really going to get you very far, though. Here’s a watercolor that I like with just those three steps:
Not very spectacular, but nice. Scanning actually can reduce some of the color so after I scan my images I go back in and adjust my color saturation and tone. I also clean up my lines (you can see the faint pencil lines on this example – I certainly don’t want those on the final image).
After years of doing this, I have come to rely on some really cool digital programs to help bring my watercolors to a finalized and fully resolved state so I can use them as part of my designs.
And this is where I get myself in trouble. See, most designers I know use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. And while I use them, my go to programs are generally the Corel products. I use Painter nearly every day. I tend to adjust my images in PaintShop Pro before I bring them into Adobe. For me, each program serves a different purpose and I can’t ever picture myself moving from Corel to exclusively Adobe. I also couldn’t live without using Adobe for my final designs, so I will continue to use both pretty equally.
There are a few more programs as well that I simply couldn’t live without.
Here’s the complete list, and I’ll go into more depth on these in later posts.
Corel PaintShop Pro
Nik Collection by Google
Wacom Intuos Pro (Pen tablet)
For just about every design I produce I use all of these – or a significant number of them. They not only help me refine my original concept and art, but I use them for laying out the design and I rarely produce a design without using at least one filter (more on that in another post).
So here are just a few of the designs I created from the watercolor above:
For these I used every single program on the list above – and I could easily do 10 more just by arranging the elements differently and manipulating them even more or simply by using fewer programs. There really are endless possibilities.
These prints will become part of some new collections I’m developing for this year.