Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 2 – Workshops

This post is one of a five part series:
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 1 – Intro
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 2 – Workshops
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 3 – Panels & Talks
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 4 – Showcase
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 5 – Wrap Up

Bob Eggleton’s Watercolor Workshop

This year IlluxCon offered four different workshops you could sign up for ahead of time. Each workshop cost $50, with max. 10 attendees and an in depth look into the process of the teaching artist. I signed up for the Watercolor workshop with Bob Eggleton, whereas my travel mates Betsy Peterschmidt and Rose Wong signed up for the creature design with Lars Grant West.

One of Mr. Eggleton’s palettes.

I have long been interested in watercolors, because I love the look of them but I feel they are a difficult medium to work with, so it was with high hopes I signed up for the workshop. Thought I hoped it would have been more interactive, this particular workshop turned out to be more of a process demonstration, which was also good. Bob Eggleton was painting a dragon during the workshop.

Early Dragon Process: First wash.

Detailing the dragon.

Bob Eggleton explained he usually finishes the head first as its the most important part.

He started with a solid pencil sketch, then did a light ochre wash over it and afterwards started colouring it in with more detail. He worked with cakes, rather than the watercolor tubes, which surprised and delighted me, because I am always told tubes are better, however Mr. Eggleton actually prefers the cakes.

Gouache palette.

He worked from light to dark at first and later on went in with white gouache to pull out highlights and really set the painting. The result was absolutely gorgeous. It was very interesting to see his process, he really made watercolors look easy so now I have to try it out for myself. I’m certain it won’t be so easy.

Unfortunately I had to leave the workshop early because there was a panel at the same time I really wanted to see. I do kind of wish the full program of IlluxCon had been released before the workshop sign up, so we would have had an idea of what else was going on at the time.

Workshop Lessons:

  • Focus on the drawing, if you have a solid drawing, everything else will follow.
  • It’s not cheating to use gouache on top of watercolor.
  • Do whatever you need to achieve a good result. Only the result matters.
  • Don’t be afraid of colors. Experiment, the results will pay off.
  • Purple is your friend when it comes to shadow-tones.
  • Do studies, learn what things look like. Use reference if you need to, look at things all the time!

The workshop attendees are attentively watching.

Last shot of the dragon before I had to leave the workshop.

Links:
Bob Eggleton’s Official Website
IlluxCon’s Website
The Art of Rose Wong

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Kiri Østergaard Leonard
kiri@kirileonard.com

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.

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