Watercolor walkthrough from start to finish: “Little Gnome Girl” and “Pretty Song”

Hi art friends!

I put together a little in-progress walkthrough by revisiting those sketches of  two of my latest little ACEO paintings, “Little Gnome Girl” and “Pretty Song”. I hope you enjoy seeing the steps!

First, I sketch out the critters and girl on my watercolor paper like so. I didn’t really happen to have a plan in mind with these two. I knew I wanted to draw a gnome and some kind of kitty, and just let it go its own way from there.

Watercolor walkthrough stage 1

Next, I put down the basic watercolor washes. Sometimes I start with the background but this time I started with the main characters.

Watercolor walkthrough stage 2

I keep adding more watercolor layers, defining shadow and contours. I also put tiny details in with a size 005 Micron pen. The mottled texture you see in the sky and leaves is done by dropping clear water into the color wash while it is still wet. It’s one of my favorite techniques and I use it all the time.

Watercolor walkthrough stage 3

Lots more details on the main characters now. Polka dots and patterns often appear at this stage. I used a white gel pen for the dots on the hat. Sometimes I use white gouache or acrylic instead.

Watercolor walkthrough stage 4

Finished up the details in the pansy leaves, doodle flowers, grass and stone path. More gel pen polka dots for kitty’s sweater! A few gold accents as well on both paintings. I put a bit of darker shading in the skies to make the characters pop. They are done!

Watercolor walkthrough stage 5 - finished

Do you like to see how artists work on their art? I like making these walkthroughs!

13 thoughts on “Watercolor walkthrough from start to finish: “Little Gnome Girl” and “Pretty Song”

  1. ArtQuench says:

    Hello Carmen;
    We very much like your work and your original style. We invite you to submit your beautiful work to the Gallery. You may contact me direct with any questions.

    Founder/Senior Curator
    Stacia Gates


  2. Sara says:

    I love the depth of colour you achieve, such beautiful vibrant work. I loved your tutorials thank you so much! Your pictures take a lot of skill and work.


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