So I made a background using spray inks (water soluble) and stencils with not very large designs. I wanted some areas of the stencil to be showing on a character's face. I really like Acrylic inks as well and in a few illustrations below I used metallic ink colors - metallic yellow and metallic lime green. They work so well with watercolors, even though they dry permanent.
After the backgrounds were dry I started painting with watercolors. I love using my number 8 watercolor brush by and my number 10 for the hair. I did each portraits in 1-2 layers. When the 1st layer dried I added more color on top. I really enjoyed that the strong patterns from the stencils weren't completely covered up. However, as I mentioned, I specifically chose opaque colors to make sure I would be able to paint over some areas.