Just thought I’d pop in and give an update on this piece. The Strathmore Mixed Media board has been okay. It seems to be accepting layers pretty well. However, I still am not 100% happy with it. I’ll try yet another substrate on my next piece – which is currently in the sketch phase.
As much as it pains me, I had to start over on the piece “Against the Clock.” Unfortunately, I had the very same problem with this piece as I did with “Sworn to Protect” – the colored pencil stopped layering and started coming off of the paper. Now, I’m pretty sure that it isn’t my technique. I’ve been very careful to use a very sharp pencil and a light touch. I hardly had any layers of color on the paper and was far from the burnishing process!
I suspect that there are two reasons for this problem:
- Stonehenge is too soft and smooshy (there are actually quite a few artists who complain about this aspect of Stonehenge and refuse to use it as their substrate).
- Prismacolor pencils no longer have the same quality now that they are being made in Mexico.
This time I am using Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Board and Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran d’Ache Pablos pencils. These products cost a lot more than the Stonehenge paper and Prismacolor pencils, but so far they totally seem to be worth it!!
Still plugging away on this piece….slowly, but surely. I am far from being done, but thought I’d give an update as it has come a long way since the last update I posted!
Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way of my colored pencil work lately. The beauty of colored pencil, though, is that I can walk into my studio, pick up a pencil and get to work. No time wasted on mixing up paint and trying to get just the right colors each and every time!
Day Number 10.
More underpainting. Beginning to add a little bit of detail, but even these spots that I’ve begun adding more detail have a long way to go. I bought a new “toy” – a scanner. Now the colors and clarity of each piece will be truer to the original. Taking photographs of art is way too tricky.
Day Number 5. More underpainting. Still need to establish more layers of shadow before blending/refining. As mentioned in a previous post, I tend to work all over the page – unlike other colored pencil artists who finish minute details of the painting a little bit at a time.
Title given: “Against the Clock.”
This summer has been miserably hot here in Wisconsin….as well as the rest of the United States. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time indoors. Unfortunately, I haven’t worked a whole lot on my art. This is partly because I’ve been suffering from headaches and nausea off and on almost every single day for the past month and a half. I have no idea why, but my husband suspects it could be a tick borne illness of some sort. The other reason I haven’t been too productive is that my studio is not well insulated – so it is unbearably cold in the winter and hot in the summer. In the winter I can pile on clothes and crank up the space heater, but in the summer all I have is a fan….which just blows around the hot air.
On days when it has been cool enough I have been working on the two pieces pictured at the end of this post. I do have several commissioned pieces that are in the planning/sketching phase. I’ve been trying to be “good” and finish up pieces before starting something new, but I don’t think that is going to happen. Colored pencil is not a medium that can be rushed, so at some point I will probably have to set these aside and start on the commissioned works.
My current work in progress is from a photograph that I took of my Rat Terrier buddy, Ranger, mooching while my son eats a cookie. It totally cracks me up how he is sitting on his butt in the picture.
The first version of this piece I had to scrap. I was working on smooth illustration board and I made the mistake of building up too many layers quickly on the sweatshirt area. It got to the point where no matter what I did I couldn’t get the shirt to look right. Instead of plodding on with a piece that was going nowhere, I decided to begin anew. This time I was able to include my son’s face. Since his eye contact with Ranger helps to make the piece, it really is for the best that I started over.
As many of you probably know by now, my little Rat Terrier buddy – Ranger - is one of my favorite subjects. He is my faithful sidekick….especially when I have food. One evening my son had some friends over and my hubby bought them some junk food as a snack (what a dad – eh?). I couldn’t resist eating a few of the Cheetos and, of course, my little buddy was right there to mooch. He looked so dang cute in his earnestness to have a bite that I had my daughter shoot some pics….knowing that it would make a really cute painting!
What I learned on this piece:
It is very important to have a really good sketch before starting the “painting” process. If the dimensions of the subject are off even the slightest bit in the sketch, then it is going to be glaringly obvious in full color. Trying to correct the sketch while filling in the color can cause more problems. Therefore, taking the extra time to make sure the subject is sketched out appropriately is worth the time and effort!
8-1/2 x 11 Stonehenge paper. Prismacolor, Luminance and Coloursoft pencils.