This one also ran away with me...

...but in a less obvious way.

This was supposed to be another straight-forward watercolor illustration. Then, when I was almost done, it seems like I needed to add a bit of blue to the skin tones. So I put brush to paper and... it turned the color a flat, dark gray.

I'll have to remember that color combination if I ever am called on to do a drawing of zombies, but not what I had in mind for the alphabet book. I hit the painting with a lot of water, hoping to lift off the color, which resulted in a flat, light gray.

So I had no choice but to reach for the acrylics.

I ended up really liking it. I've been wanting to put more color in the figure, but I didn't want to muddy it too much. If I paint with acrylic, though, I can put in all the color I want. I'll still probably stick with watercolor for the bulk of the pictures, but use acrylics for the features.

Regarding the alphabet book itself, this is one of the few pages where the image has something in it that starts with the actual letter. I had originally planned to have P stand for penguin, but it seems like penguins are everywhere in kids' literature. I opted for the platypus instead.


  1. Love Arianna's face and expression. The platypus is really cute and as much as I like penguins, I am all for introduing more animals. However, I must say that I am not a fan of the blue on the face and there is a lot of red on her skin tone.

  2. Well, that's one vote against the richer skin tones. But that's the kind of feedback I like to get. Does anyone else feel strongly either for or against painting these this way? Let the voting begin!

  3. The blue color in the face and hand seems to be reflected light from something that's not in the picture. Since that object is not explained it's a little uncertain why the blue is there. But I like the drawing anyhow!