Steps for Watercolor Illustration


Continued…  painting images for children’s books?

Steps Involved…

These examples of the steps are from a new book I am currently working on making watercolors for “preschool age” children.  It is written by a talented Australian author named Julie Anne Ford. I will let you know when it is up and ready to see on


Amelia is the darling 5-year-old main character

my previous post covered the sketch approval steps 1 & 2.
3. -resist

initial masking and background setup for watercolors
little girl with fantasy background laying in of background washes.

I usually use resist to hold out the areas I want to keep white.  It is sometimes called liquid frisket or resist and it sure makes the painting easier and faster. You can see the masking material on the surface of this painting, it is shiny yellow.
4. -washes/backgrounds

layout of a little girl in a fantasy background
painting backgrounds in a watercolor painting

I begin by laying in the washes and backgrounds. The bright colors filling up the big areas really quickly begins to bring the ideas-to-life.
5. -main subjects

fantasy creatures behind a little girl talking at the dinner table
painting objects and subjects for 3D shading and form

Now it is time to add form and details to main subjects and get that 3D shading thing happening.
6. -remove resist/frisket

fantasy creatures behind a little girl talking at the dinner table
remove frisket

7. -details

I will not be able to share this finished image with you on the blog, as it would cause problems with the author’s copyright. But the book will be available soon on Feel free to contact me if you need any assistance locating it.

Author: artist

An artist with realistically surreal colorful style in the Inland Pacific Northwest, Valerie Woelk.

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