I've never met a designer who didn't love (or at least respect) the iconic Rifle Paper Co. I, myself, have adored Anna Rifle Bond's gorgeous floral designs and color combinations since the first time I spotted them! Her designs will always catch my eye, and I'll always be a sucker for anything Rifle Paper Co.! *For future reference on any and all gifts anyone wants to buy me*
For this tutorial, my inspiration for the floral pattern is 100% Rifle Paper Co., but I put my own special twist on it with some added black details, and a brush-lettered quote. And, for the technique, I'm using Tombow Dual Brush Pens as Watercolors. Take a look at THIS tutorial for an in-depth and step-by-step look at how I use my brush pens as the super vibrant watercolors you'll see in this tutorial!
For this watercolor wall art, I used the following tools:
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
Canson Watercolor Paper
Pigma BB Brush Pen in Black
Fudenosuke Soft Nib Brush Pen
Tombow Spray Mister + Blending Palette
A Soft but GOOD Eraser (I use this one)
2 Sizes of Fine Detail Paintbrushes
I began by sketching my design straight onto the watercolor paper. Make sure to sketch lightly, because you'll be erasing your pencil marks after applying the watercolor. The eraser pictured here (and linked above) is the BEST for getting those pencil marks off the paper without lifting the color. You'll see the proof in the pudding later on!
After my sketch was complete, I grabbed an assortment of pens in "Rifle-esque" colors. I am not going to use all of them, but I like having a few options to test out as I go!
Because a large part of my design consists of leaves and stems, I want to test my greens to see which I like most. Here, I've applied pigment from each pen onto the blending palette, then spritzed it with water.
This is what the four shades of green look like as watercolors. The last option (the mint green) is a little too light, but I can always darken it with another shade.
I'm no watercolor expert, but it makes the most sense to me to take it one color at a time, instead of switching back and forth. So, I completed all my greenery first!
Next, I blended these two colors together to create a medium brown.
The medium brown was applied to all the leaves and stems I didn't cover with green.
Now for the blooms! I'm going to be mixing the orange and red to make one shade, and the periwinkle and purple to make another.
I mean, how vibrant is that orangey-red?
I continued to fill in the design, but after some thought, I went back in and added red detailing to the flower with the brush tip of the red pen. I really like how it looks, and how simple it is to add this kind of detail.
Here's a better look at the purple watercolor, and the soft pink I used.
After I added yellow, I had officially filled in my entire design!
I decided to add periwinkle details to some of the purple flowers, but I don't love it quite as much as that vibrant red!
The last step before adding the black detail is to erase all my pencil marks. Here is a close look at how soft the design looks without those lead marks!
(Almost) Finally, I'm adding some black outlines with the Fudenosuke Soft Nib. Mine is on it's last leg, so I'm not worried about using it on coarse watercolor paper. However, I would never recommend using a felt-tip brush pen on rough paper, because it WILL ruin your nibs. I had a spare Micron pen (pictured above) set to the side in case my Fude ran totally dry. The Microns are GREAT options for outlining or detailing!
This might have been my favorite step!
Here, you can see just how much the black outline really makes the whole picture pop! S/O to my trusty Fude (this is maybe the fifth one I've gone through) for putting up with my daily use, and being switched from bag to purse to backpack to desk (over and over again) like a champ!
And because I can't leave well enough alone, I scribbled some gold sharpie in the center of my blooms for a little shine.
Now that I've added all my details, I am ready to begin work on my quote. I chose the phrase "All good things are wild and free" because it fit so well with my design! I sketched it loosely onto the paper. It's fine to erase and re-do it several times until you get it perfect. I sure did!
I chose to letter it with the Pigma BB Brush because it gives such a 'rough' and loose texture and shape to my letters. You'll see what I mean below!
And that's it! My design is complete! I haven't picked out a frame for this one just yet, but I'm sure I'll put it on Instagram once I do!
Like I mentioned in my previous post about watercolors, I am not always a fan of this medium. It can be fussy, tricky, and sometimes downright impossible...but I have been trying to work through my perfectionist tendencies by exploring watercolor a little deeper, and letting go of my need to make it perfect!
What do you think? Have you attempted using your Tombow Dual Brush Pens as watercolors? Or, do you prefer a special kind of watercolor? Whatever your style is, let me know in the comments below. I would love to try something new!
And because I'm making a promise to myself to be more proactive and more organized in my blogging game, I'll see you next Friday, July 1st!