A few exploratory pose sketches! The commissioner asked for a post of her singing and dancing, so I needed to look for something energetic.


Another few thumbnails to explore the composition of the painting as a whole. You can see my notes on where I'm thinking about putting values! During this time, I'm looking at a lot of reference photos to see how pop singers are usually illuminated on stage. Looked at a lot of Taylor Swift photos :P

Rough Sketch

Rough sketch to send to the commissioner for approval! I also had to come up with an outfit that was age appropriate for the granddaughter -- still looking at a lot of reference photos here!


Moved over to watercolor paper (9x12). I'm using a hard pencil lead, so the lines are actually very light in real life. Darkened digitally so you can actually see what's going on. Her raised arm has switched size for anatomy reasons :P (I realized the raised arm should have the higher shoulder, and that the shoulders need to be angled oppositely from the hips!)


Starting to ink! I made some adjustments to her face, and changed the outfit slightly based on feedback from the commissioner regarding the sketch.

Color Plan

Scanned in the inks and did a quick paintover digitally to help me figure out the color composition before putting any paint down!


I like to use a light wash of yellow ochre to help me figure out where the shadows need to go!


After finishing the underpainting for the main focus, I decided to work on the background, which was what I was most worried about! Creating bright lights in relatively easy digitally... but keeping all that white intact when using watercolor is challenging! I lightly penciled in where I wanted to avoid painting, then painted very carefully :P


Painted in the main character! Tried to incorporate purples in her hair and skin to unify the piece. Then used some white gouache to give some sparkle to the lights in the background!


At the commissioner's request, adjusted the inks to give her a bigger smile, and added a bracelet to the character's wrist. Done!