It's rare for me to branch outside of drawing my Betty girls. Other than my girls, I draw Disney characters from time to time to practice on different poses and features, but for the most part I hardly ever stray.
Now that my plans for the next few months are coming to fruition, I decided a good way to practice and refine my drawing and painting skills was to paint something different to truly observe objects, shapes, shading, etc using different watercolor techniques. I put brush to paper and started with my first exploration: Pandas!
What I Learned:
I definitely need to be more patient when painting layers. (Side note - after this set of paintings, I ended up ordering a heat gun for faster drying!)
In the first Panda, I worked the orange too much and didn't get the more consistent coloring on the arms like I wanted.
In the second Panda, I was doing pretty good with waiting for the layers to dry, up until I accidentally pushed the brush into the left arm, creating that weird swirl. I also experimented with some wet on wet techniques on the rock - I ended up hating the results!
In the third Panda, you can see the overall improvement. I was able to control the water and coloring much better, and even got a nice subtle gradient on one of the arms, which I was super happy with. I also was really happy with the subtle shading throughout the panda. The only areas I got a little frustrated with was the logs the panda lays on. I was free-handing that without having sketched it out. Lesson learned!