Once the inks are finished, I give the whole thing an erasing while being mindful of not losing the outlines of the thought balloons. They’re important for the next step which is laying a piece of vellum over the page and tracing these balloons onto the vellum. This sheet will become my template for where the balloons will be when I cover over the pencil lines with painter’s masking tape. That’s the next step. I lay down the masking tape to cover the balloon areas and once the whole page has been masked, I lay down my vellum template and trace the penciled balloons with an Xacto blade. The last step in the masking phase is to pull away the tape to expose the areas to be colored. Here’s what page 26 looked like at this point.
I enjoy the look of the pages at this point. The blue masking tape against the white of the balloons is somehow very appealing to me and I think it helps me get a sense of how the shapes work (or not) with each other. Now, onto the first step in coloring this page. I use three sets of watercolor pans by Lukas, Winsor & Newton and Yarka. I grew up using watercolors in trays and have always stuck with them. When I’ve tried the tubes, I felt there was too much waste and no real tangible advantage. At this stage of coloring my goal is to get some of the basic colors down and to bring out the edges of the balloons. It’s pretty simple and this is what it looks like after laying down these preliminary colors and removing the masking tape.
It’s not much yet but it’s a start and the next phase will really start to bring things into focus. For that, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow when we see what happens in Colors Part 2! See you then!