This Easter, I wanted to make a card for my Mom. She loves Beatrix Potter so I decided to at least approximate her art style. Trying to copy another artist’s style, especially one that is very different from your own, can actually teach you a lot about process and even improve your normal work.
I began by choosing an image and analyzing the materials.
In this case, the painting was made with watercolor and fine ink pen. The strokes were delicate and the effect pleasingly mottled.
I thought about using watercolor, but decided to use colored pencils instead so I could get a similar effect with less room for failure. I used a combination of a brush pen and a very fine manga pen to at least partially approximate the original work.
I looked at how the lines were laid down, the weights, the way the shading was done. I then decided which elements were important to keep and which weren’t. I tried to copy the shapes, the line style, in what I did.
I also decided I didn’t want to deal with a background. Even though I didn’t end up with a perfect copy, I still had fun – you may too if you try this. It’s a great way to explore new techniques and materials.