Friday, May 29, 2015

Horse, Dog and Rider Again

More work done on my Horse, Dog and Rider.

blended the eyes, and made them look much better. Funny how you have to almost destroy an image sometimes to get the shading right! I know the eyes looked scary in the last post, but I needed to get the darks in for the eyes to look right. Scary, though.

These next steps are slower, requiring more attention to detail and subtle shading. Many pencils and a lot of work back and forth.

There has been more wax bloom than I expected with this pastel paper, but that is easily taken care of with a light buffing.

I did a lot more work on the horse's proper coloring, using my range of French grays, rather than the expected browns. I find these French grays closer to the actually shading you see in real hair and fur than the almost too bright browns.

The jeans have been rather fun to work with, starting with a more "new" jean blue, and using white and some cool grays to "wash" them.

The leather saddle is proving challenging. The well-worn shading of leather more problematic than I had thought.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Horse, Rider and Dog 3: Details


starting details

With any portrait, the face tells it all. If you do not get the face right the rest is a waste of time.


Now is the time to fix the shapes that give you the likeness. You need to be able to fix the likeness, but not just the likeness, you need to fix the identity of the person.


Working on a small face in any artwork takes small, precise strokes. To do this I switch to the Verithins, by Prismacolor. These pencils are harder and can take much sharper points. What you want to do is avoid trying to “draw” the face, but again stroke in the small shapes that give you shapes of value that sculpt the shape.
beginning the shaping


One of the real problems that develop is with the eyes.
"growing" eyes
They tend to “grow”. The eyes are so important it is very easy to have them get larger than life as you work and rework them. While working I keep a small piece of soft putty adhesive stuck to the tray of my easel to left out any stroke that get too enthusiastic. This is the only time I really focus on my reference photo. I keep checking and rechecking the placement and size of the eyes, and other features of the face. This is fussy, delicate work. Speed is not the issue! Slow and steady wins in this case. Building and blending the values is what works. This persons rather almond shaped eyes need to be right!
yes, the eyes are too dark, but the shapes are developing

 Some softening and blending will de-emphasis the eyes, pushing them back into the face nicely. They are now her eyes, which is the goal.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Horse, Rider & Dog 2

blocked in.
The basic shapes are blocked in and the baseline colors are established. Drawing on this colourfix paper is like drawing on sandpaper. It eats the colored pencils. You can work effectively with lesser pencils at the base level. I even got out some old crayola colored pencils. I do not recommend these to students because they are so hard as to be frustrating, but the rough surface of this paper did take them with greater saturation than normal. So this was a good use of the harder, cheaper pencils. While this does has plenty of tooth, one of my major complaints for most papers, I am wondering if this paper has a little too much tooth!


The grayish background tones down the colors nicely and I think it will give an overall nice feeling to this drawing.


starting the second layer
Now that I established the basic level on this drawing I can start working on building up the layers and working in more and more details. It has been a challenge, as I am not as familiar with western tack as I am with English. There are many more do-dads! I will start adding more and more levels of value to all of the shapes, defining them more and more.