Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blue Girl WIP #5

I meant to post another WIP before I got quite this far along, but art is so intoxicating that when I get into it I forget about everything else... including taking photos for WIPS!

Most of her face is about finished, and I've lightly drawn in some basic hair shapes. Her hair will be the next thing to do. I want to lighten up her skin a little on the areas of her face that reflect the most light- the watercolor underpainting gave quite a bit of color and needs toning down in some areas. This is fairly easily accomplished and I've liked having that initial layer down before starting with cp's. Will probably go that route again on with some other portraits.

"Blue Girl" has been the most enjoyable portrait to date. I've been much more relaxed, have had very little re-do's, and have looked forward to working on it. I'd like to think that has something to do with the hours I've spent practicing, experimenting, reading about and studying portraiture - enough so that some of the info has gelled and I can begin to focus a little more on how I want to interpret a portrait rather than how do I achieve this effect or that effect. I've got little scrap pieces of various types of art paper scattered around my art table where I've tried out different techniques and colors. This "playing around" has been a tremendous help, and I save these labeled experiments to refer to as needed.

Something else that's making a difference in my work process... I've begun to develop a basic palette that I'm comfortable with when painting skin, eyes and mouths. My palette may change as I continue to experiment, but knowing ahead of time what colors to use to get the effect I'm after saves a lot of what my mother would call "dithering around". So far the pencils and colors that I "must have" are: Prismacolor: white, cream, jasmine, light peach, beige, peach, goldenrod, blush pink, rosy beige, clay rose, carmine red, henna, raspberry, light umber and dark umber; Lyra: light flesh, raw umber, cinnamon; Polychromos: light flesh, light yellow ochre, burnt ochre; Caran d'ache: light ochre, venetian red, sanguine. It should be noted that I've fairly recently started using Polychromos and Caran d'ache, so I only have a few colors as a trial and am still getting acquainted with them. So far I'm very impressed with both brands...and I'm particularly in love with Venetian Red by Caran d'ache... a wonderful color for subtle shading on faces! Other colors (for irises, hair, etc) I use as needed and haven't settled down with any particular favorites yet.
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