Today, Jean Pederson gives a brief demonstration of how she layers various pigments of transparent watercolors to produce a realistic, three-dimensional image on paper.
Her subject matter—an eye—is tricky under the best of circumstances, but as you’ll see, she starts with a fairly detailed drawing to ensure accuracy as she paints.
In addition, please notice the dry brush technique that Jean uses at the beginning to “lift” paint off of the paper. Simply by painting a single transparent value over all the features of the eye, and then removing the highlighted areas with a dry brush, she instantly creates depth. Take a look: