I wanted to show you how the process of a water colour sketch looks like.
Frist I start with a few pencil outlines. Be careful not to push too hard, as water colours may not be able to fully cover the lines.
When I am happy with the outlines, I fill in everything I with a fine layer of colour. Note that you do not really need the white colour, just mix more water to achieve the right tone (unless you want to create a pastel tone or to highlight some specific areas).
After that I personally prefer to darken the colours gradually and to set shadows. Some artist prefer to cover the whole paper with a thin layer of colour, but I do not prefer to do so, as I often change my idea of the piece throughout the process.
As you can see, I used white to highlight only a few spots (usually I highlight the lips, nose, eyes and a few strands of hair).
I decided to do a rather abstract piece, hence the bone and blood stains.
I add a few details to the face (and/or object) and progress to the background.
Here you can perfectly see how different lightings alter your piece and the water colours. I was unable to do the whole sketch in one sitting as I have a one year old son. If you’d like to see more progress pictures of another piece, please let me know!
The final step is finishing the background and adding shadows. As a beginner it may be a little difficult to add shadows, so take your time and do not get frustrated about ‘mistakes’. Practice as often as you can, learn how to mix colours and check out some great Artists on the internet (like Emily Artful, for example) for inspiration.
I hope this was helpful!