Instagram-Live-Workshop with May&Berry
True to the principle #TogetherAtHome, Sue from May & Berry shared her creativity with you on the Instagram livestream! This time the live workshop revolved around the versatility of the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens. Most of you are already familiar with the ABT Dual Brush Pen from lettering. However, it is also ideal for watercoloring or stamping.
Would you prefer a video rather than a step-by-step guide? Then skip straight to the end.
- ABT Dual Brush Pens in the following colors
- Water Brush
- A pencil such as the MONO Graph Pastell
- An eraser such as the MONO dust CATCH
- A fineliner such as the MONO drawing pen in der Stärke 03
- The speckle stamp from May & Berry (available, for example, at idee Creativmarkt) idee Creativmarkt
- Watercolor paper
- Optional: Toucan template
If you would like to work with the template from May & Berry, you can read how to transfer the template onto the watercolor paper in this article.
Step 1: Primer for the body
The ABT Dual Brush Pen N25 is used for coloring the body of the toucan. We use the brush tip of the ABT Dual Brush Pen and drag it flat over the paper. Fill in almost the entire area of the body. Only in the middle of the belly can you leave a white spot. You can indicate the tail with a few lines.
Step 2: The watercolor effect
Then you can start to drag the color into the white area using the water brush. You will quickly realize how the pigments dissolve and how easy it is to color everything! Use the water brush to go over the entire colored area to blur it a little.
If you can still see the lines a little, that is perfectly fine. It gives your artwork a certain DIY feel.
Once you color the individual lines of the tail feathers, you must be careful not to color the trunk of the tree.
Tip: Not only can you blend the color with the water brush, but you can also blend it with the ABT Dual Brush Pen N00 Blender Pen. Since we are using a lot of water in this case, I decided to use the water brush. However, the blender pen has a much finer tip, allowing you to blend very fine details.
Tip from Sue for the watercolor paper:
The Tombow watercolor paper dries very quickly, which enables you to apply another layer of color. This is something I also noticed when using actual watercolor paint.
Step 4: The tree trunk
We use the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen 899 to carefully color a part of the trunk. You don’t have to color the trunk precisely because you will be using the water brush to blend the color. Just try not to draw over the pencil line.
You can now color in the branches completely using the tip of the water brush. You can give the end of the trunk a somewhat angular look. But make sure it still looks natural.
Step 6: Complete the toucan
Now fill in the tip of the beak using the ABT Dual Brush Pen N25. You can make this part very dark, as this will increase the contrast. Once you have dissolved the pigments of this area a little using the water brush, you can use them to make a light gray shadow line on the belly of the toucan. You need this line in order to create a contrast between the toucan’s neck and the white sheet of paper.
Step 7: The leaves and the stalk of the tree
The leaves are going to be really colorful. Start with the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen 905 and the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen 873. Use the color 905 to color approximately 1/3rd of the lower half of the leaves, and use 873 to color the rest. Then use the ABT Dual Brush Pen N00 Blender Pen to mix the two colors together. Just drag it over and over again to create a smooth transition. After all the leaves are colored in, you can draw the stem using the fine tip of the ABT Dual Brush Pen 905.
Supplementary question for Sue: When do you use the water brush and when do you use the Blender Pen?
Broadly speaking, I use the water brush for larger areas like the toucan. When I color small areas, I have less control with the water brush, so I use the Blender Pen.
To decorate the background with individual splotches, you can dab color 873 on the blending palette. It is best to keep the brush tip completely flat so that it doesn’t get strained too much. Then wet them with the water brush and color individual splotches in the background very brightly.
May & Berry
- Sue Hiepler & Yasmin Redding
May & Berry is made up of Sue Hiepler and Yasmin Redding. In 2017, after following their own paths in the world of illustration and handlettering, they joined forces and opened the creative studio May & Berry in Bonn. Since then, Yasmin and Sue have been pooling their respective strengths to form a complete overall concept and bring together a love of typography and calligraphy with beautiful watercolor illustrations. They both pass on their expertise and passion in workshops and on Instagram.
In addition, they have not only written various books, but have also associated their art with products such as calendars, bags, journals, and stamps as part of numerous cooperations.