Updated: Sep 22, 2020
Here is a giclee print of the daffodils I painted last week. I'll be adding these prints to my Etsy shop today. Daffies, a harbinger of spring to me, are blooming everywhere in Chico right now.
I posted this painting on Instagram yesterday and I’ve had more than one friend ask if I used pencil or colored ink to outline the daffodils. There is a complicated answer to that simple question. I'm new at teaching what I do, so I will try to answer as briefly as I can.
1. as you can see above, I did draw out the daffodils in pencil. When I penciled out onto Arches watercolor paper, I left a rather heavy outline. I liked each intricate curve and I didn't want to lose any of them. So, when I had the drawing the way I wanted, I painted it all, purposely painting over almost all of the pencil marks. When we do that we make the pencil marks permanent on the watercolor paper. So, above you can see the first image the way it looked after I scanned it into Photoshop, cleaned it and prepped it for layout in Adobe Illustrator.
2. The next step is one I take (and not all artists do) in order to be assured that I can make this painting as large or as small as I would like it to be. In Illustrator, I use a tool called "Image Trace". This step lets me convert raster images such as JPEGs to vector images. Using this feature, I can now enlarge as far out as I want...even poster size... without loosing any clarity. Or I can go as small as I like, and put it on a tiny stamp sized image and it's still as clear as a bell. I did ultimately layout this daffodil painting in 3 sizes, 8X10, 5X7 and 4.25X5.5 inches. Then I printed onto Arches paper as well as Inkpress Medium for greeting cards.
So, to answer your question, I used a pencil to outline the entire daffodil. And once I vectorized the image the lines automatically changed to look as if it was done by colored pen. I have learned not to edit the lines. If ever I try to improve on them I regret it.
Do let me know if you have any questions!