Monday, February 27, 2012

Ponyo background study

It was time to learn gouache I thought... So here's a study of a background from the beautiful studio Ghibli film 'Ponyo'. After struggling with watercolour the past 12 months or so, it's so nice to use a medium which is pretty forgiving.


  1. Hi Christian,
    This is amazing! I think you really got the style down!
    Can you please share some more details on how you made this;
    What type of Gouache did you use? What type of Paper? What was your painting process like (did you do wet on wet?)?
    Please, I am dying to find out!!

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thank you!

      The paper was a Kilimanjaro brand watercolour block, quite thick like cardboard so as to not buckle with all the layers of paint. Just separate the sheet with a knife once the painting is done.

      Paint was Art Spectrum in tubes. Only colours used were warm/cool versions of the primaries and sepia. Brushes, a variety of mostly student quality watercolour ones, and some cheap hog hair oil brushes which are stiffer and hold less water.

      Technique, not much wet in wet on this one, though there was on the sea scene for the soft elements. The technique on this one was pretty straight forward, just building up colour variation and detail in layers, and a fair amount of dry-brushing to add subtlety.

      Finally texture and lines were added with decent quality coloured pencils, in this case Faber-Castell Polychromos. The rough texture of the paper was helpful for these.

      Hope this helps, wish I could say it was more than a copy, but alas I simply followed my wonderful reference!

    2. Hey Christian!

      Thanks for your swift reply! Its so great that these materials are not too expensive, since I live in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Time to go art supply shopping!
      Thanks, again...
      Your whole blog is super inspiring!
      Regards from Rio!