okay guys. since my first tutorial post was such a hit, here’s post number two!
this one is all about neon (my fav). i get a lot of emails asking how i get watercolor to look so bright and fluorescent. it’s true, watercolor itself does not get this bright- and is traditionally known for it’s softer hues, especially since the main ingredient is water.
my secret to neon is using gouache. i honestly haven’t worked with gouache much, besides the neons, but i treat it the same as watercolor. i mix it the same and i use the same brushes. the one difference you should be aware of, is that once gouache dries, you cannot re-wet it and use the excess like you can with watercolor. so make sure you use a separate palette for it.
above you can see how adding water (the same as you would with watercolor) can create different shades of the color. from a very pale neon, to a very intense neon.
i’ve included two examples of places i’ve used the gouache in my illustration. below, you can see how i applied it to the flowers in bri’s hair. it really pops against the soft watercolor, doesn’t it?
another thing i like to do, is mix watercolor with gouache. it gives a pop to the color- but a little less neon than using pure gouache. here, i mixed neon opera gouache, with ultramarine watercolor. this creates a cool semi-neon fushia- the same mix I used for the pants below.
above: luminous lemon gouache + viridian green to create a neon greenish blue.
above: luminous lemon gouache + terre verte green to create neon yellow/green.
try it out! neon makes everything a little bit more fun.
**neon, unfortunately, does not scan. which is super annoying huh! the bright white light used in scanners reflects off of the neon and results in a grayed out color. instead, i take a nice photo of an illustration that has neon. like this one.
send me your watercolor questions, and i’ll try and answer them in my next post.