Watercolor look illustration project

I had been posting on another thread, which I ‘hijacked’ so this is the start of a separate thread in which I am going to post this personal illustration project as it goes along. The watercolor like aspects is Post-Processed from Cycles and Eevee renders, along with AO and Shadows passes. Still have ideas of where I want this to go, but here is the latest version. Hoping that the LANPR development can be brought in when finished, as I wrestle with Freestyle too much for now.


I’ve been looking for a watercolor shader for a while now. No luck.

The project has moved along, this is just an update. I have shifted to having a “Night” side in contrast to the “Daylight” side, and I have my first two characters in place. More elements are intended but I wanted to get this posted in its current form.


Some additional work on the night side, which is intended to ‘echo’ the daylight side somewhat. It is a ‘process’ so I will follow along willingly. More to come.


I have moved it along a bit, added another character and went back to a ‘darker’ look to the night side.


The addition of the left aide tree is not that welcome… not to my taste.
Also why a black bird?why not a dove? The cat is great, posture and all :d

The main tree has no separation between night and day

Color.pixel, Hello…
Thank you for taking the time to offer your comments, always part of the process for me.
I am including a variation as a ‘clarification’ as the inclusion of the tree on the far left side, is not compositionally helpful if this is a single full image, but it is intended to be the front and back of a book cover, so only the Dayside will be the primary focus, which works better as a composition, in my opinion. The Nightside is meant to ‘mirror’ the front a bit, but have a tonally different feel. I am including a version with more definition between the two sides, and an indication of the book spine for reference. I am also including the Title, as it might be seen on the actual book. Just ideas for discussion, still not convinced on any of it yet.
The Crow/Raven has been a part of my visual repertoire thru out my life, showing up in drawings and dreams, walking in my neighborhood on windy days as a child, taunting me to make my flying efforts. They are very smart and provocative and ‘asked’ to be part of this project.


The project has moved along. I also had some misgivings, like Color.pixel, about the tree on the left side after I put it in, as it occluded the sky and hillside in a distracting way. I have replaced the tree with a pile of rocks, to serve as a perch for the owl, and changed the lighting of the nightside. It is a ‘process’ so it changes as I go along.

1 Like

While I liked the removal of the previous tree on the left side, it didn’t work, so I made yet another change, which I find is a better solution. It keeps enough of the night sky and the hillside, while providing a more appropriate perch for the owl. Take a look and let me know.


Since each of the ‘characters’ in this book are worthy of better ‘display’ than the distant view of the book cover, I have plans to include more closeups in the corner of the text side of the book pages, across from the full page illustrations. Here are the first of this set of characters.


Here is another character for discussion, a Raccoon to join the Owl at night. LANPR for the original line Renders, tweaked in GMIC and composited with a Cycles Render, combined with a GMIC tweaked version. Trying for that elusive Watercolor/Colored Pencil look with Lines. I still prefer the Calligrapic look of Freestyle, but find it ‘too slow’ and fussy, so I go for a simple LANPR line, then try to adjust. Still not satisfied yet, but LANPR should get more expressive in the future??


Here is another look at the “Cover,” with the ‘Night’ side and ‘Day’ side, with the Raccoon included now (located on the lower left side), and an adjusted Owl. Need to get the young boy finally into the scene, plus some small details. This one is a ‘straight’ render, comped between the two sides and lighting, without any illustration tweaking.


Another look at the Raccoon, with ‘fur’ which won’t transfer into the larger scene without ‘havoc,’ such are the ‘ways’ of fur rendering.

Here is an early look at the young boy, still needs work.

Here is another look at the ‘Owl’ with improved texturing, but still wrestling with the ‘Rigging’ and folding wings correctly, as you will notice.


I thought of your project when I saw this video utilizing the newly available AOV features for NPR techniques.

I appreciate being thought of. I had seen the announcement of the AOV, watched the video referenced, and still need to ‘wrap’ my mind around the usage, as “Node Spaghetti” starts to get a little dense and tedious, but I will investigate. I currently am trying to ‘re-rig’ the Owl, and then the Crow, using the latest version of AutoRigPro, as the coder has implemented a ‘bird rig’ which I had asked for. This should allow a smoother wing fold, but I have to re-align the rig to better conform to my bird polygon ‘anatomy.’ I got the ‘boy’ rigged and in the scene, but haven’t posted it yet, until I get the Owl to look less ‘rumpled.’ Thanks again.

1 Like

Here is a most recent version of the cover, which now includes the ‘boy’ and the raccoon, and the owl, reworked. Still a challenge to get the wings like I want but, need to move along.
Also another look at just the ‘Owl’ and the boy.


1 Like

Your watercolor effect caught my attention and been reading trough your posts. It’s also the first time I’ve actually realized what was the LANPR project :slight_smile:
On your last painted looking image is really hard to tell that it is not actually painted, nice job! I like your artistic style too :smiley:

1 Like

Rogper, Hello…
Thank you for the comment. Some clarification may be useful. I currently maintain a ‘build’ of the LANPR version of Blender on GraphicAll.org, which should be integrated after the 2.83 release?? The development is by a Blender team member, but isn’t as complete yet as Freestyle. It is line render engine only, but can work in ‘real time’ if the project isn’t too complex. This is different than the Freestyle option, which is currently available, as it is not ‘real time’ but happens as a post process after the initial render is complete. For the ‘watercolor’ effect, I currently do a post-render processing of the image using Filters such as G’MIC in Gimp or Krita along with their native filters, and typically composite the result back on top of the original render, playing with the ‘modes’ and the opacity, as the effect can be ‘too much’ for my intent, but a combination at 50%?? or so, gives me what I want. Since G’MIC is also Open Source (from a team in France, which I support too) there is a Grant currently being worked on to provide a Python bridge to Blender so that some of my ‘tweaking’ could be done in the Blender Compositor or as a Node. Wait and see. Currently I ‘tweak’ and combine as a post process. There are certainly those who are using FOV Nodes to make the effects directly in Blender, but I haven’t got my head around the node spaghetti yet, so I muddle in my current way.