When I started writing, images quickly popped into my mind and the scenes formulated organically through the story board process. From the beginning I felt very confident about rendering the final illustrations in watercolor. During my many years of lessons, watercolor has consistently remained one of my favorite mediums. It was the first medium that truly challenged me. The more I explore it, the more I realize it is not so different from life.
When I was twelve, my art teacher gave me her approval to begin using watercolors. I can distinctly remember feeling a sense of pride when I was invited to embark on this journey. Little did I know of the lessons I would learn through it. One memory my inner child still holds close is that I could not make mistakes in this medium. Now many years later I have discovered that I misunderstood my teacher’s words. What she meant was the challenge with watercolors is that you need to work through your mistakes. I personally perceive watercolors as a balance between paint and water. The paper needs to be wet but not too wet and your brush needs paint but not too much paint. In my hours of rendering these illustrations I found myself getting lost in the world of the characters and engrossed in the colors. Day after day I found a rhythmn and understanding through my goal to create consistency and warmth in the images. Yes, I did make a mistake…. There was one element in the kitchen scene where I did not like a color. I scolded myself for not testing it out first. After a deep breath, I weighed my options. I could scratch the drawing and start from scratch or continue working. Given that a good amount of time was already invested into this piece, I decided to work with the color. Adding another layer for shading and playing with the elements, I was pleasantly surprised that what I thought was a mistake actually turned into a happy discovery. There were other slight mishaps (bound to happen when rendering seventeen drawings) but I stuck to my mentality and it worked out in my favor.
With all the renderings complete, I was reminded that watercolor is not so different from life. In a world where there are back up files and recall options we have a lot of safety nets. Although I am grateful for this element in the world, there is a simultaneous beauty of working through a mistake. Accidents are scary regardless of how big or small and sometimes the door that is opening does not appear right away. Through my years of creating art, making these mistakes along the way have in their small way taught me to have more courage. I am proud of that twelve-year-old girl who jumped into watercolors without fear and kept trying to get it right. These struggles lead to this open door which is the world of Bella in living color.
Kristina Lucia xoxo